Sunday, January 24, 2010

hall monitor

as promised, the upstairs hallway.

really there's just a couple things i thought i'd chat about. for one thing, recessed lights aren't a standard thing for a hall like this....generally 'boob' lights, as i not-so-lovingly refer to them, would be used. however i really don't like any affordable flushmounts so i asked if we could switch 'er up and do can lights instead here.

[i still did get booby-trapped into having flushmounts in closets, all bedrooms but ours, and our back entry, though. hey, they're cheap. i can't argue with that.]

i happen to love the runway look that resulted! anyone who wants to come prance + pose + pretend they're heidi klum for a minute, c'mon ovah. ['re ouhht]

aside from a little lighting talk, there's a certain nooky + a canvas cousin up for discussion.

numero uno, the nook. i'm referring to a potentially awkward spot on our floorpan where the hallway angles in toward the doorway to our master bedroom. to help you visualize this, its the opposite side of the angle that's in our bathroom:

works great in our bathroom, as the room opens up with the angle and it creates visual interest as well as a natural his + hers sectioning of the vanity. but on the other side of that wall there's this funny little odd-shaped space. on the house plan that we remixed, to turn into our current home, there were built-in shelves here. but something about built-ins in a hallway seems basement-y to me. and, i didn't like how potentially distracting that would be since the whole upstairs landing and this section of hallway is very visible from the foyer. shelves just seemed like a magnet for lots catch your eye from the front door. a little too cluttery. and anything white-painted, in terms of shelving, just didn't appeal to me.

so, i started sketching up some ideas. after talking with our trimmer, we landed on the idea of doing a free-standing piece that he would build. now my mind was really racing! i googled various pictures of armoires and eventually drew this....its 'furniture by liz'!

to give you an idea, these are some of the clean-lined pieces that i came across as inspiration. everything pretty sleek, pretty simple. but i really liked the idea of scrapping small standard legs in favor of something a little more unique.

here's a closer peek at the top. plain squared off crown for the capper that just hangs over the edge by a that the base of the piece can stand out more.

as you can see the piece sits on a platform base with thick feet on the outer edges. the hardware you see is a super convenient two-pack of ikea cabinet handles. the length works perfectly, i think. and they don't subtract from the minimalist design.

....a close-up....

and this gives you a look at how we cheated the angle to get a great-looking piece.

the inside of the armoire reveals how the back of the cabinet angles in, which you'd never see by looking at the front of it with the doors closed.

also nice, the piece is free-standing therefore it can move to another spot in this house, or another house, since it isn't attached directly onto the walls. score! not to mention all the additional storage it provides, for off-season clothing, games, name it.

item number two. i was so excited about this paint project i had to tackle it times two!

here's the first layer of our second poured-paint canvas. on this one, i started with charcoal grey....using leftover paint from our dining room.

i added a second layer of a more ghostly grey for some depth and contrast, and voila!

[the nice thing is, should i tire of this relatively calm look, i can always get my crazy on and pour a new color down the canvas later on. and no one will be the wiser!]

also i asked kevin to position it right under that can light in the ceiling for maximum lighting effect.

and now its easy to see from the foyer which i'm very happy about too. a little personal touch to great guests as they arrive! i think these two pups make for great companions up there on the second floor hall, and as time goes on we'll work on some of the other blank wall space. [ pictures....cough]

Saturday, January 23, 2010


so i realized i reeeeally left you hanging on that mysterious blank wall in our living room.

might you remember this?

yikes. not much to look at besides a couple of vents.

oh, and it's the wall to the right of our fireplace, in case you need a little perspective.

it was looking a little sarah, plain + tall right? until....this guy.

are you wondering if i momentarily lost my mind?

this art project actually came to mind while watching top design on bravo last winter, while holed up in our dark little between-houses apartment. [pleeeeeeze bravo, bring back top design!!!!]

nathan thomas, resident genius, randomly decided to throw some paint on a canvas + call it good during the finale of the competition. and yes. he won.

totally, totally, totally amazing. and yes, he made the light fixture too. like i said....he won. i won't even get into the stark simplicity of the white laquered parsons table. with the ornate floral chairs. against the whimsy of the celestial cloud pendant and the mod, funky lines of the paint canvas. ok, sorry. getting distracted!

anywho. back to our abode. we were in need of some major eye candy on our little patch of grey [greige?] wall. so i started out with the goal in mind of pulling a little n.thomas trickery myself. i fully intended to use several paint colors from around our house [alas i repeat is free], conveniently stored in the garage. i was thinking a palette of black [from the kitchen accent wall], charcoal grey [dining room], light grey [foyer, master bath or 1/2 bath shade], and orange for a pop of interest. in preparation, i even used a coupon i had this summer for a small FREE gallon of glidden orange marmalade.

however once i applied the first few drippety-drops, i started to fall smitten with the ever-so-simple look of jet black on white. and the rest is history.

linear art + organic toss pillows = one heavenly match. what do you think? success??

fo' dolla, fo' dolla.

sometimes you can't NOT buy something. yes, kevin, it's true! like a little dose of black + tan graphic goodness. thank you, stein mart!





mmhmm. i got game! today anyway.

original price....$25 per pillow, or $50 for the pair. h..a..p..p..y.. .... ....

ps. the lovely citrony chartreuse pillows you see peeking out as well are courtesy of ikea. in december i figured we needed more color than our current living room scheme was providing. and i think these pups were just the thing! and link as they're no longer on the site. boo!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

be my guest

so that paint color i teased you with? its eddie bauer's dune grass and it made the final cut for two rooms in our abode. numero uno is the guest room....

you might think we took that bedding in and matched the paint to it. nope! but i was pleased as punch to find it post-paint selection as it fit perfectly into my scheme. initially i waffled between a couple shades of green for the guest room....

on the one hand we have laurel leaf, a lovely green color that had just the right amount of preppy cool attitude and would be lovely paired with whites + blacks or perhaps white + navy. on the other hand, also from the eddie bauer brand, there's dune grass....just a touch more of a rich earthy feel. in the end, i thought the depth of the grass shade would have a longer-lasting appeal and it just felt a titch more sophisticated and designer-y to me and those whose opinions i asked.

back to the bedding. it was a must have, tj maxx style. i thought it looked remarkably similar to this oh-so-fabulous print by kelly

ok i'll let you take a minute and just SOAK IN the gorgeous nature of this photograph, first of all. the glamorous black sconce? the BIKE? the crisp pattern of the wallpaper against the rustic wide-planked hardwood floors? [big sigh....]

here's another look at her fabric done in chocolate brown. love those fat mercury-based lamps bookending the bed, too.

anyway, i'd call my set a dead ringer:

in a breezy graphic pattern of a different nature are these sheer curtains i've mentioned before.

they're just enough contrast to make things feel calm but still interesting, i think. my mom knows me so well she pegged them for this room the minute she laid eyes on them at ikea. and sure enough, they were exactly the pair i'd been planning on. speaking of the ike, this hefty chunk o mirror in the corner hails from there as well. for $99 you just can't go wrong with the scale of this beast; i'm loving how it visually fleshes out the corner of the room while also opening things up by casting around more light from the adjacent window.

and on the practical side, the full length mirror + club chair provide a place for guests to take a quick seat, do a head-to-toe check, or toss their tote.

however next to that corner is a whole lotta green space. and not the good kind. i'm talking blank wall that is crying to be filled up with a little eye candy.

what i'm picturing is two or three gallery frames, in white on white....a la targay.
they'd be horizontally aligned, filled with some shots like these that i snapped during the building process:

i think this will add a nice personal touch as well as a playful companion to the harder lines of the patterns and mirror in the room.

for now i've got a few little details to warm up the space....a lamp dressed up with shiny glass spheres, some books and a few quirky vases. ideally i'd like tables flanking each side of the bed, both for visual reasons and for guest convenience, but for now this guy is holding down the fort.

and speaking of turning up the warmth, check these brown hued pillows done up in tweed and feathers. just the right mix of menswear fabric and cheeky feather trim. [thank you, marshalls clearance bin!]

another future project for the guest room involves an item from our first house that's been out of commission for a while. any guesses? i'd love to hear!