Friday, February 26, 2010

spring a ling ling

fresh flowers go such a long way, don't they?

orange + red + purple has never been so pretty.

these were courtesy of my baby shower this past saturday. yum.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

1, 2, 3, 4....get your woman on the FLOR


no, i'm not trying one of those self-help, pump-yourself up type of mantras. i really did win something!

a few weeks ago i entered a giveaway on a fellow blogger's site, bower power. katie bower does a ton of hands-on home projects which i have to admire as i know a little myself about putting the sweat in sweat-equity. and no lie....she too is due with her first babe, on april 1 [ie: the day before me].

this particular giveaway
was for a new FLOR rug, mailed to your doorstep, your pick of the color/pattern and the size was 5x7. um, ok! worth a try! FLOR rugs are super thin modular carpet tiles that you piece together yourself, so the pattern + placement is up to YOU. kinda fun, eh? they're great for kiddos as stains can be hidden quite easily by just rearranging your rug to either remove the squares in question or place them where they'll be hidden beneath a piece of furniture. or, pop that sucker out and replace it with a new tile, ordered from FLOR.

anywho i threw my hat in the ring and who woulda thunk it?! i won! the best part is, i found out i won while strapped to fetal heartrate + contraction monitors and an IV pole in the hospital following a not-so-fun winter car accident. thanks to the hub for bringing the laptop that day!

at first i was convinced i'd go with one of these two super fun FLOR options. i had the sunroom in mind already as i wanted to add some visual interest to that room and 5x7 just seemed too small or large for other places in our abode, like the dining room or back entry areas.

number 1. faux bois: love the woodgrain, and how its a softer yet still noticeable pattern overall

while i've never considered myself a huge martha stewart person, as i lean more toward the clean modern look, i do love this classic design of hers.

number 2. stampede: this second pattern was just too funky and fun and i thought it'd be a neat playful take on the black + white going on already on our main floor. i've also always loved the idea of having a cowhide in our place and this is a quirky, green take on that.

however once i started really strolling through the FLOR website, i found there were all kinds of goodies that i hadn't noticed before.

in the end my heart was most pulled by the next two rugs.

number 3. be my neighbor: talk about injecting funk + color into a space! i liked the idea that this would be a room our new babe-to-be would play in often and that its eye candy for both of us.

number 4. ding! ding! ding! fedora 2: consisting of charcoal, chartreuse + oatmeal tiles, this was a case of love at first click.

the totally drool-worthy photo didn't give me much chance to resist between the exposed brick wall, white + chrome chairs, and the way everything in this room was styled to coordinate perfectly. but that aside, i just love this color combo:

i mean, if i was starting a new country these would be the colors on my flag. and my team uniforms. the citron zest of the chartreuse, the calm clean of the oatmeal, with its soft grey veining, and the deep charcoal are right on the money. so order it up we did, and a week or so later....voila!

kinda fan-freakin'-tastic, if you ask me. as you can see from some of the gaps along the tiles, we don't have the rug actually secured together yet with the adhesive tape provided. we're just enjoying the great new pattern, making sure we want everything placed where it is, and also debating if we want to purchase one more strip of tiles to flesh out the size a little more. thankfully at $8/tile, this shouldn't break the bank if we do go that route.

we're loving the soft rug-on-rug action as admittedly these rugs are a bit thin by themselves. oh and as for those throw pillows add some more pop to the pic? the grey tweed pair are target clearance gems i've had a few years now, with a great subtle chevron pattern to them, and the two chartreuse friends are simply relocated from our living room.

the new punch of color makes me want to grab a book this minute + plop down in a rocker for a read!

now you might also be wondering about the gentle giant in the corner. kinda looks like rice-paper magnet on a fishing pole, i bet you're thinking.

well for $40 i thought it was too cheap and too mod to pass up, especially in light of [HA!] the pricing for most arc floor lamps that i covet. and for $40 we can deal if our kid starts swinging on it and it dies an early death in a couple years. and so it was that we brought another little dose of the svedes into our home, in the form of the regolit floor lamp.

its almost a little cloud-like up there, isn't it? light + airy, and just the right touch to make our sunroom usable at night, and to help fill in the empty space so the room starts to feel more finished.

and i can't emphasize enough that its but a mere FRACTION of the price of other such lamps i've ogled. to give you an idea, here's a few i just found online. there's this pup for $2,990....

or this specimen, which retails for a cool $510....
[both inmod]

or even this chiasso piece, for $248....

so all in all our sunroom is looking a lot purtier these days and with more accessories/decor pieces, a coffee table [yes i'm still thinking about this one from cb2], and perhaps some sneaky toy storage we'll be about there!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

office space

so i mentioned earlier that we had not one but two green rooms in our humble home. i figure i've kept you waiting long enough [heck, its february!] so here she is....the office.

its the room that sits behind the angled double doors across from our stairway, adjacent to our living room and the foyer.

i know i can't expect my dear husband to keep his work space pristine 24/7 but i do love the glimpse of glamorous green that is visible through those doors on our main floor. so hopefully i can keep them open at least some of the time....

the basic layout of kevin's office is the trestle desk [a target online purch] in the center of the room, allowing him to face out toward the french doors + to see out the window on his left.

so based on the way we positioned things, kevin has a great vantage point of the front walkway + porch for when guests are due to arrive or packages are being delivered.... he also gets to see just a smidge of the lake view which is an added bonus.

looking out the left side of the window he can see out to the road winding up around our little hill.

and to his right its down to bizzzness.

looking this direction, he sees the cube bookshelves we're using as an organizational system for all of his work well as just a +few+ of my decor items. [you really think i could set up a whole bookshelf system and NOT have some fun of my own with it?]

both the magazine files and the you-snap-it-together-yourself storage boxes have been used by many an ikea fan. because they're totally great and cost next to nothing [compared to comparably sized storage containers]. just be ready to have a confetti party from punching out all the dots yourself, where the metal connectors go through!

there is also a handy-dandy spot to label whats in each bin to take the mystery out of things and create a functional organizing system.

the magazine holders have the same label spot but i preferred the look of the grommets showing so we chose to flip 'em and this way he can also eye-spy at a glance which work materials are where.

the nice thing is that at any time we could flip around all or just some of the mag files for a different look, and use the more closed-off, concealed side instead. [should the overall look start to feel too busy or cluttered, or if i just get bored with the current placement of things!]

as for some of the other deets on those great modular shelves.

+ these are grasses i'd bought at pier one a couple years ago, that i trimmed down to retro-fit the cube size. i love how the cool green contrasts with the more olive-undertoned wall color.

+ this is a hand-made pottery set i bought on a double-discount at the bookstore on campus where i work full-time. i love the fact that its an original set that was made by an art student.

+ and, i feel like its a fun play on the more stereotypical office bar set of a decanter with cut crystal glasses for scotch or whatever the highrollers hobnob with.

+ this charming grouping consists of some photo albums that we've had since we got married, which i felt lent a 'library' air to the place with their black + gold bindings.

+ the alabaster horn is one of two i snagged on clearance for $4 from pottery barn.

+ this shaggy lad also succumbed to a haircut when it came to accessorizing these shelves. he was standing just a leeeetle too tall but a little trim fixed him up. i love the variation in the grass blades + the subtle hints of grey in the vertical woodgrain holder as well....this was a target clearance find from the glorious global bazaar days [have those come to an end?! i hope its not so!]

+ and here's the mate for the horn mentioned above....he's a lone soldier in this particular cube, which i think is necessary to create balance and interest.

throughout the shelves i wanted to have varying heights and textures, and some unique objects, to make things interesting visually and yet the color palette is quite simple....greens, browns, blacks, whites, and bits of metallic. above all it is key to avoid the dreaded 'busy' look which can happen when you get carried away and just start stuffing things everywhere in a panic to fill up the spaces.

ok, can i PLEASE talk about the wall behind kevin's desk now?!? i've really been trying to hold back but i can't any longer. I LUB DIS WALL!

i had been subscribing to a thin 'zine called ny spaces a year ago [it was something like $5/year due to a hubby subscription to consumer reports] and each month when it came i fell smitten with the bold, funky images on the cover.

during an ikea trip i saw a grouping they did of W magazine covers and i instantly knew this was THE LOOK i had to do in either our office or guest bedroom against the green wall for a little culture + color POP. it was just a matter of selecting the right combination and placement of covers, and figuring the best way to group them [originally i liked the idea of going 3x3 but with the vertical alignment of the frames this would have gotten quite tall on the wall]

my favorite is the hot pink tones against the dune grass green paint. just a titch unexpected and so refreshing on the eyes.

i also love the raw edges of the frames....visibly brushed aluminum, where the metal really catches the well as the metro feel the collection gives to kevin's office.

here you can see them ready to be hung with the frames just gleaming and preening. they know they're hot.

last up, just a couple side details. hidden on the open shelves of kevin's desk are 4 of these guys, 2 on each side. they're clearance bins i picked up at meijer quite a while back and i think the punched black metal works beautifully with the desk + overall scheme. not to mention how perfect they are for storing the stapler, notecards, hole punch, et cetera.

because seriously, while open concept desks look great in pictures and when you first set them up, they do present a bit of a challenge when you actually plan on getting anything accomplished in your office without it looking all disaster-y.

and lastly. just a few carefully chosen items top kevin's desk, like the gold armillary globe on the right corner, this fun cut-glass lamp [a marshalls find] with chrome base + trim black shade, and a little black pot with kevin's business cards [flipped backwards for the photo].

oh. and kelly green chevron on a mini sticky notepad??

thank you target! at $2, down from a ghastly $7, this little buddy was meant to come home to our office.

he sits next to the fallen comrades from my grass-clipping escapades. i'm so dutch, i couldn't part with them knowing they could somehow be part of the decor as well....and i think they look pretty in that squat square vase!

still on my mind for this room is adding some storage along the west wall where there is a bump-out for the window. [during the building process we debated adding a window seat with storage beneath, but placement of the floor vent nixed that thought] the truly perceptive may have noticed in a photo above that there are still boxes of files + other items sitting along that wall that are waiting for a home. well, plenty of time to get that figured out....we've come a long way already!

Sunday, February 7, 2010

be my guest, be my guest, put my service to the test.

well here's a room we haven't seen yet, n'est-ce pa?

its the upstairs guest bathroom. soon to become the 'kid' bathroom as it neighbors up to our nursery, and its also the spot where lots of splish-splashing in the tub will take place by our squirmy bundle of fun.

could it be the floor that first caught your eye? you may already be aware of my love of zebra wood, so the chance to infuse some zeeb love into a couple rooms in this house was too much to pass up.

both our full bath upstairs and our master suite closet [more on that later] were graced with this call of the wild. and at $1.15 per square foot [no lie], the call was pretty loud.

its a click-in laminate flooring and i must say, it gave us a run for our money. installing 1,000 feet of asian hardwood downstairs had nothing on this stuff. we were ready to throw in the towel a few times, but thankfully powered through because i so love the end result. the laminate plank grooves just did not want to cooperate, we had difficult angles in the room to contend with [such as several spots where permanent trim had to be worked around] and since this was toward the end of our process, it was june and felt about 1,000 degrees of hot and sticky in the room.

this is one of those troublesome spots. the water closet.

[kinda looks like toity's been a bad boy, doesn't it? the way we've got him quarantined in there?] we think this pocket-door mini room will be nice for future years....say if there's a brother and sister sharing this space. but[t] yeah, working around the plumbing that connects to the toilet, the doorframe where permanent to-the-subfloor trim needed to be notched around, and again the h..e..a..t.... ugh. not our favorite building memory. if only we had a shot of the two of us crammed in here + soaked with sweat....hmm, too bad.

on to greener pastures!

say, like our vanity fair.

i wanted the mirror in this room to appear like a stand-alone piece rather than a built-in mirror glued to the wall. by using the dark wood stain and making the mirror extra tall and wide, i'm think i achieved the maximum impact look i was going for. the espresso wood contrasts to the cabinets [done in benjamin moore's super white, like the rest of our house's trim]. this was deliberate as i didn't want the mirror and vanity to appear like a built-in set.

even though they are....shhh.

also purposeful was our placement of the hardware in purely horizontal lines. i wanted the lines on the vanity to be unbroken and i feel like this orientation creates three subtle visual lines that are far more pleasing to the eye. normally, the middle two door handles would have been attached vertically but i like to avoid normal where i can! we also used 'feet' on this cabinet to give it a floating, furniture look....vs. just a bank of doors + drawers.

the starting point for this bath was actually what you're looking at right here:

super striking black, white, and grey granite known as bianco antico. biiiahhhhnnnccoooooooohhhhh. so wild. so mesmerizing. so pollock-esque.

you can see why i started pleading for this stuff early on. we were very fortunate in that the countertop shop we worked through for our kitchen, master bath and full bath had one, just ONE slab of this marbled magic left. reason being, its actually one of the weaker granites. all of those amazing black shards and veins you see are weak points and our very own slab even broke in half during installation.

thanks to the fix-it powers of epoxy, we were not completely up a crick when this little disaster took place. we elected to have the shop use black epoxy to basically glue the two pieces back together and now? you'd never know any sort of mishap took place!

now its just a pretty pretty playground for peacock pals like that west third candle + box you see. [isn't the resemblance to thomas paul's design remarkable?]

also hanging out on the countertop is one of a few round + square juxtapositions that happen in this bath. this faucet, from the danze parma line. oh and that soap is just a cheeky homage to the zebra flooring that's nearby.

secondly, the lights. another restoration hardware outlet find. cheap lights = happy me.

i just love the crisp corners up top that merge into rounded shades at the bottom. and the sleek chrome base that coordinates with the chrome faucet beneath it.

and third. we already had these oil-rubbed bronze hooks from our last home's full bath, so i figured why not re-introduce them here? i think they fit in seamlessly and they provide just the quietest little contrast with the curtain's border of tiny squares.

last but not least. i'm not a huge fan of towel bars so we hooked ourselves up this time around. these same ikea hooks preside in our bath and i just love how minimal, modern and quirky they look. kinda like metal attennaes or something. they also work marvelously with the west elm chrome tp-holders i snagged for our house at an outlet as well [pictured above].

i still ponder adding a splash of color to this bathroom somehow but as you know by now, i'm a careful editor when it comes to color. so the right idea or piece will have to hit me, to make the cut. [plus let's be honest....a plethora of kiddie toys will soon inhabit that plain white tub!]

to close this favorite thing in the whole room is not actually IN the room. its the view of the lake which lies to the front right of our house.

this window is right next to the shower so while it's far too high for anyone to pull a peeping-tom on guests, it does provide a splendid view for stepping in and out of the tub.

peering out at the snow + ice encrusted lake reminds me of how kevin proposed [on the middle of a similarly frozen lake, at night] and also makes me dream of summer and sunshine....