Sunday, November 29, 2009

in living color

so its been a while since i looked at the living room with you. we've come a long way from a naked fireplace, a hefty dose of burbur and a hard-to-put-your-finger-on shade of gray paint. [the name is rockport gray, thank you very much].

as you can see we've filled in the cracks a bit and made it all feel a lot more like home. to off-set the white built-ins bookending the fireplace, and the tidy white trim 'round all the windows, we loaded back in some of our darker furniture pieces including a couple targey specials - the side tables flanking sofa numero uno. and you can't miss the 4x4 in the middle of the room. of the table variety of course.

its a coffee table with an identity crisis that we caught our eyes on while perusing
world market's fares four years ago. its got the signature west elm overlapping squares which make me weak in the knees, with the zen-like simplicity of an asian gathering table, all wrapped up with a cost plus label.

speaking of squares, there's a new splash of color peeking out from under all those right angles. didja catch it in the image above? that black box, believe it or not, has for the large part remained empty for the almost five years we've owned it. until now! thanks to a stroll down dutch grocer [slash-everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-store] meijer's aisles, we're now the proud owners of fake moss.

ok, i'm the proud owner. kevin's the begrudging owner who's wondering when woodland greenery became an indoor item.

that green pop o' color provides just the perfect accent in the room. a shade or two brighter than some of the other forest + citron tones in the room, its a fun bit of interest without overwhelming things.
you can see a couple of them here. in the two-tone olive pillow + and ziggity-zag striping of our new ikea throws [$8 each on clearance, holla!]. while we're lingering here, i've got to comment on the zany contrast created between the missoni-ish stripes of the blanket and the feminine floral prints of the pillows. i love setting male against female + modern against traditional this way.

if you're lost on the missoni mention, here's a visual hint.

via stylebyme

quite similar, no? this bit of luxe lusciousness is from the missoni hotel [please mommy? can i stay?] and the majority of their fashion lines contain comparable patterns and equally exhilarating color schemes.

in other details around the room....let's talk coffee a moment. or coffee table toppers, to be more exact. i admittedly have room for more friends up there but for now i'm enjoying the minimalist look of three favorite covers and the aforementioned moss.

i point out these pretty publications because they're randomly selected and and basically....i just like them. a lot. the audrey hep book was a house-warming gift from my
bestie that fits into our abode like a ga-love. i love the stark b+w image on the cover + the simple orange title. and, its audrey. i mean, need i go on?

next up is the
chicago brides magazine. random? yeah maybe. it was given to me by a coworker that knew my love of fashion....boy was she right that i would L.O.V.E. many images throughout this mag. the dreamy grey grown on the cover makes me drool and the train detailing is otherworldly. the icing on the cake is the b+w background that correponds oh-so-well with next-door-neighbor audrey's book.

last up: the book of interiors. again, i completely judged a book by its cover and bought this baby from
barnes + noble based on the first image alone....and the hope that there'd be some more interior inspiration within. the cluster of vases, the intricate lamp, the soothing + sophisticated colors....

let's swing around to the fireplace now. those translucent
ikea vases are like a puff of white smoke alighting the dark wood mantle.

since the tv and speakers carry some visual weight of their own, i kept things fairly light on the other end too. three sleek stainless vases, also a meejer [clearance] special, and a stack of books that just happen [wink!] to work with the li
ving room palette, plus a little orange zest.

some side-table sights: a little dose of amber, citron and lemongrass next to that shiny glass lamp + the sparkly mirrored coasters. miscellaneous accents picked up from around town over time.

and last but not least. a barren stretch of wall to the right of the fireplace just begging to be dressed up.

that's where this mystery piece comes in.

if it looks like i found this piece of art in my basement....well, i did. and by that i mean, that's where i made it!

+ more to come on that later. stay tuned! +

so hopefully you enjoyed the room tour and my choices thus far. definitely not finished, but getting there.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

dishing decor: the dining room

so since my energy picked back up and our busy fall schedule slowed down, i've actually been able to get some things accomplished around the house. let's start with the dining room. even with the ikea torsby table we'd added early on....she was looking quite sparse.

so the first edition? these puppies.
the zebrano chair from world market....i'd include a link, but alas, they've already been discontinued. unfortunate too, because they added such a fresh modern feel to world market's usual scheme of dark + exotic decor pieces.

they're surprisingly comfortable considering their lithe frame and you know i'm loving those chrome legs. but it was really the zebrawood grain that first caught me eye....eerily reminiscent of a chair cb2 had sold in the last year or two, right down to the extremely reasonable price. they add a lovely crisp contrast to the cloudy white glass table. i also wondered about the scale, but the legs have a good wide stance and they fill up the table juuuust fine.

if you were starting to crave a little feminine feel in the room, check out these curvacious cotton curtains:

when you take a step away the hourglass shaping really pops. a nice organic juxtaposition to the hard square lines of the window grids and coffered ceiling.

as for color....i know, i know. thus far, the room definitely airs more on the sophisticated side of greys + whites and doesn't dabble too deeply in the color realm.

save for some fun new accessories. a little mix of spunky patterned tins and a burst of red via the quaint little journal propped up there. [the latter came courtesy of my mom as a birthday gift, upon her finding out my love of this classic war poster]

and just outside the formal dining room is this newly created nook. as you move from the foyer, between the dining + staircase, toward the kitchen there's a place to rest your tootsies or set your purse, should you need it.
a couple grey tweed target pillows from a couple years ago....which admittedly could have used a little more pre-photo floofing....two houndstooth cubes found randomly at tj maxx, and a partridge in, an $8 poster in a frame and voila! new focal point!

i especially love the playful homage to binary code. because i'm sooo computer savvy and all.
still to come for the dining room? some sort of rug....either an accent color or something with subtle pattern that coordinates with the existing elements. and possibly a couple taller items, to sit on the floor, that bookend the console table and flesh out that wall a bit. a pair of pooches like this would do just the trick.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a clockwork orange

so you might have started to guess a main color that will be popping up in the nursery.


while to some people this might be a color associated with fast food or icky 70's shag carpet, to me it is fun, fresh and modern.

so, regarding the nursery plan. here's the concept.

+ no THEME [not a fan of pre-packaged sets featuring winnie the pooh or any disney folk]

+ not too blatantly boy or girl

+ a vintage/mod feel

+ crisp white, saucy orange, and some neutral background colors

+ an eclectic mix of items [thus avoiding the 'i bought everything in one trip to the mall' kind of look]

here is a look: click here. i couldn't post the picture version [sad! clearly i am a moodboard rook], but the link should show you just what i've dreamed up.

and here are highlights, with explanation.

+ old toys with a new spin. wooden toys, knit toys, toys that have been around a long time. done in a new way.

+ orange in patterns, like bold stripes

+ simple striking shapes will add to the fun, mod feel.

+ cheap things are welcome. example: paper lanterns.

+ dim lighting options make for a happy mom in the middle of the night

+ orange will not be the end-all, be-all. other bits of color will be key for contrast + interest.

+ quirky is encouraged. safe, predictable is not. [how can you not love this guy?!]

+ the practical will not be forgotten. good old fashioned storage is key.

[ a way that my eyes can stand to look at day after day. i'm thinking of this locker unit as an early introduction to at least a dozen years in school baby H has ahead of him or her]
+ a scattering of letters throughout the room will keep things playful and childlike

this was my original inspiration. total blogger kindred spirit moment.

if i dissect this room, here are the key components my eye spies:

+ random elements, from various stores, travels, online sites, and those created by hand

+ a color scheme that doesn't punch you in the face but definitely correlates as your eye wanders from wall to wall

+ a light 'n airy CALM feel, despite the bold color choice of orange throughout [and bits of red + yellow too]. this seems important in a room built for a teeny tiny new babe

+ a decidedly home-like feel. this is not a store catalog spread or design mag photo shoot. nor should your nursery look that way!

other inspirational nursery rooms i have seen since, include [but are not limited to!] the following:

via manofbluedesign

both via ratemyspace: ecomodernmama

via ratemyspace: nicobus


if you're wondering, 'where's her window treatment in all of this?''re not alone. i'm wondering that too. i'm thinking of a layered effect of both solid orange + sheer patterned panels, or, a single curtain set-up that incorporates a quality [read: light-blocking] lining, a great pattern, and another [non-overwhelming] dose of orange.

a la:

one target exclusive +

something light and whimsical


something light and graphic

....and if you clicked the cb2 link, the answer is yes. i am just that crazy that i would try to rig up a shower curtain as a window treatment, should the price + print be right.

great minds think alike.

i'd like to point out that shortly before my koi pond post, the office [] aired this episode. love me some steve carell.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

don't be koi with me.

so i happened to stumble upon this bedding last night.


love how the 'water' translates as simple striping....

and the mod style of the pebble bed of the pond....just look how thrilled this adorable baby is to be sleeping with the fishies! [in a non-Sopranos kind of way]

so i discovered the crib set while on a last-ditch witch hunt for gender-neutral, modern bedding with orange in it that wouldn't require taking a second job + that did not scream Sesame Street or cutesy-cute.

not easy.

i'd first been pining for this bit of cotton coziness [bold, simple striping....grey, non-kiddie birds....slight homage to Canada-land] but let's be honest....$320? for an infant's bed? wait, for just the bedding?

um, no. not this gal!
i even debated re-creating it with the help of my wonderful mom, who has a hand for sewing. [she wasn't going to touch the appliques with a ten-foot pole, but i figured i could handle that part]

then, last night. the image of koi fish leaping before my eyes and a price tag in the reasonable realm. awe. excitement. the urge to punch in cc numbers and start camping on the front porch until it arrived.

flickr: pete4ducks

i haven't yet pulled the trigger [even i am aware of my oft-overly-enthusiastic nature by now], but i can at least dream about the possibilities for now.

i can also enjoy perusing this GREAT new website where i first found my fabric feast:

not only do they sell the light fixture i MUST [must] MUST OWN for some room or home in the sputnik himself....but, they sell other amazing things too.

like custom-made pillows. by you. i could scream! [click here if you want to start screaming too.]

if koi aren't your thing, how about kanye?
pining for a pattern that no one else has?
ready to reveal that you're a fist of fury fan?

check it out and i promise you'll thank me later.

Monday, November 9, 2009

crib your enthusiasm.

um, since when did walmart start offering stuff like this?

a pseudo platform-bed crib with peggy legs and ZERO curvy, ornate lines?
yes please!

if you're not convinced yet, check out the rest of the walmart 'baby mod' olivia line:

+ clean, fresh, white surfaces

+ adorable peep-holes for opening doors + drawers
(note: off center holes on the drawers - even better!)

+ perfectly simple compliments to a modern, fresh-faced nursery

if you're curious about my own nursery plan....well yes, there is somewhat of a plan. nothing is set in stone yet, aside from a few accessories, but there is at least a room in my head that will hopefully become reality prior to april 2.

i'll give just a couple hints before revealing my nursery vision in a future post:

flickr: blempgorfjenn ski alphabet zoo

i hope to grow the room organically as i find various elements and work them into my mental plan. should be fun! long as i can keep kevin excited about my choices....