Wednesday, November 5, 2014

happy anniversary, little house

I bought and moved into my little house two years ago this Halloween, and it occurred to me this morning that I don't think I've ever posted an exterior photo of it.  If I have, I certainly haven't posted one since I've moved in.  So here it is, in all its glory a few months ago, when everything was in bloom for the summer.  I love the snug and cottage-y feel of my house, though if I really had my druthers, I'd paint it a nice shade of gray with a bright colored door.  Alas, put that on the list of fun future projects for whenever I hit the jackpot.   

One of my favorite parts of the house - which you can't see very well in the picture above - is the vintage door knocker I found on Etsy about half a year ago.  I love horses and horseshoes and finding one that wishes all my guests "Good Luck" when they arrive and leave seemed like the perfect touch.  

Happy Anniversary, my cute little cottage house! 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

little changes make a big difference

After purchasing the Souk Rug from West Elm in gray (which you can see in this post), I though all my problems would be solved.   The rug was dark, so dirt from Kevin's paws wouldn't show up, and it was a shag rug, so Kev could "dig" at it - which he's started to do lately - without destroying the pile too much.  But over the time, the color - when combined with my dark gray walls and curtains - proved to be too drab, and the whole room seemed a bit oppressive, heavy, and lifeless.   So the much beloved IKEA Stockholm striped rug came to the rescue!   I actually owned this rug several years ago in my old condo, but then sold it on Craigslist when the white stripes started to get too dingy from Kevin's paws.  Hopefully I can do a better job of keeping it clean this time.  Plus, at $299 for an 8' x 11', it's a total steal. 

Anyway, I LOVE the room with the rug now.  It adds so much life - in the way that only a good stripe can do - and really brings together the living room with the striped bathroom.  I'm so happy with the decision, and every time I come downstairs, I feel so happy to look at the pretty space!  Here are some pics:

I'm also really loving the two lamps behind the couch: they were a Home Goods find a few months ago, and originally came with Edison bulbs, but since I have so many of those in my house already, I replaced them with these sweet gold tipped bulbs that I found on Amazon. I love the look:

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!!!!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

ottoman makeover

OK, let's see if I can keep up this trend of posting a little more regularly.  Famous last words, right?  One of my recent DIY projects is below: recovering an old ottoman purchased on eBay for the sweet tune of $25.  In looking for cool and interesting pieces for my living room, I stumbled across this bad boy:

The steer horn legs were bad ass, but the pink crap fabric just had to go.  

I was in Fishman's Fabrics (Chicago) getting some linen for slipcovers (captured here in the shockingly bad photography of my last post), and stumbled across a pile of leather remnants.  Even though leather is kind of tricky to work with, and I have zero upholstery experience (with the exception of recovering dining room chairs, which is easy as hell), I decided anything was better than that dingy cotton candy pink velour.  So I picked up a remnant for $15 and went to town!

But first, I totally dismantled the ottoman.  Wasn't my intention, but once I got started, I couldn't stop. This thing was old as hell and there were about 50,000 staples in it.  I was positive I was going to get tetanus ripping them all out.

The end product was...okay.  In the weeks between finishing this project and writing this post, I dropped my iPhone (duh) and had to get a new one, meaning several of my pictures are still floating somewhere in cyberspace.  So I don't have tons of photos to show you the finished product, but here it is, from a distance:

An improvement, yes, but still kinda meh.  It still needed a little pizzazz, so I went to my failsafe: a sheepskin.  Drop one of those on there, and, ta da!  Suddenly I'm serving up some fabulous Scandinavian realness (the Instagram filter also helps).

Not a bad look for 40 bucks!  I felt extra proud when I was at Jayson Home and Garden and saw the Francisco stool for $175. 

 A slightly different look, but still, same idea.  DIY, baby!!!

Last but not least, and because it's been a while since I posted a picture of the dude, allow me to share this gem with you.  How do I ever manage to leave the house when he's giving me 100% guilt trip with those sweet little eyes?!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

living room sneakie peekie

It's been forever since I've posted here, and so for anyone who reads this blog with any regularity, I'm sorry for that.  I keep wanting to write with more frequency, but my real job has kept me extraordinarily busy this summer.  This morning I had a few moments to take a couple of (crap) pictures of my living room, which has undergone a few changes recently, and I wanted to share them here.  Hopefully soon I'll be able to post some more of the entire room.  As always, I apologize for the photos being too dark, shitty, and overall aesthetically unpleasant.  I have no idea how to take a good picture, but hopefully you can get a good idea of what's going on in here.  New chairs + slipcovers + pillows to start, and I have a few other DIY things in here that I'll (hopefully) blog about soon.   I also have a bunch of DIY projects that I want to get busy on in other spots in my house, but alas, no time.  There's never any time!  (quick Saved By the Bell reference - I've recently become addicted to April Richardson's "Go Bayside!" podcast.  She's genius and you should totally check it out if you grew up in the '80s/'90s.)

Friday, June 27, 2014

master bedroom

I've started to learn that there's no point in saying that any given part of my house is still a "work in progress," since everything always seems to be changing and in progress, one way or another.  So here's my master bedroom at a point that feels "done," though I'm sure there'll be changes to come down the road.  I posted some pictures of the room a couple of days ago, but I have a few more to share now.  I also can't figure out why I seem to be totally incapable of taking a halfway decent photo with my iPhone, since everyone is always talking about what a terrific camera it has, but c'est la vie, I guess!

First off, here's the room from the hallway, and also a (terrible) panoramic shot, so you can get some idea of what's going on in here:

I think I mentioned in my other 'sneakie peekie' post that I was hoping that the space would seem serene and relaxed, and I think I achieved that without totally surrendering my love of color.  I was also able to get this room done on a budget: the headboard is from Target, the bamboo side tables were about $65 each, and the loveseat, also from Target, and featured here in an earlier post about my office, was kind of a mini-hack (I swapped out the kind of ugly block legs for mid-century tapered ones).  The rug I got on mega-sale from Rugs Usa, and the wall lamps are the beloved Ranarp clamp spotlights that all bloggers went gaga over when they came out last year.  

Other pics:

Don't you just love pretty pillows?  All my pillows have been purchased from Turkish sellers on either eBay or Etsy, over time. 

Love this shot.  I should mention that JC Penney, masters of sometimes surprising you with their excellent featured designers, also have very cheap pillow monogramming available.  I think I got these two lilac pillows with monogramming for something like $30.  Not too shabby.

Requisite gallery wall.  Since I suck at photography (ironic, because my father was a professional photographer), you can't really see many of the images on the wall, but I can tell you that the bottom center image (the colorful one) was a super cheap DIY - just a piece of fine paper from Paper Source, on which I colored in the spaces with oil pastels).  It's super cute, colorful, and I have a bigger one in my master bath, too (pics of that to come later).

There's that mini-hack with the midcentury legs.  And do you like my zebra?

Love that front pillow.

I also love, LOVE the Väte floor lamp from IKEA.  It's so sculptural and substantial and really fills up a corner well.  And it's only $30.  Can't beat that.

And last but not least, here are a few sneak peek shots of my master bathroom, which is attached to this bedroom.  It's not really in photo-ready condition at the moment, but figured I would whet your appetite for what's to come.  Like many of the other bathrooms in my house, this is one of those "work with what you've got" situations, in that the whole thing is tiled in this not-so-pretty and definitely-not-my-style beige-y marble tile.   So until I strike it rich, I'm trying to make it work.  I can show you all what I did to try to achieve that in a later post, but for now, see how the magic of paint, cute towels, and nice artwork make weird-ass tile somewhat tolerable until you win the lottery:

(view looking into bath from the bedroom)

Love this Van Gogh print.  

Man, that's some ugly ass granite.

Thanks for stopping by, and have a good one!!!

Friday, June 20, 2014

master bedroom sneakie peekie

I know, I know - the last time I posted something was back in March, at which point I promised to be more consistent in putting stuff up here.  But shit hit the proverbial fan in my life over the past few months, and I'm just starting to get things back on track.  The result of this massive life overhaul has also been the re-styling of many of the spaces in my home, so I guess there's a silver lining here in that I'll be able to get some new content for the ol' blog.  So, to whet your appetite, dear reader(s?), here's a quick sneak peek of my re-done master bedroom, which is still slightly a work in progress, but which is on its way to hopefully being a cool, relaxed space.  There are still a few tweaks to come, but here's what I've got so far (and apologies for the shite quality of the photos, as always):

More to come, I promise!!!!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

cheap bathroom fix up

OK, now I'm on a roll. Two posts in two days!  Hopefully I can keep up some semblance of regularity from here on out.  Again, the following pictures were taken long ago, but I never got a chance to post them.  When I bought my house, the upstairs guest bathroom and basement bathroom both had the ugliest beige tile, with a heinous floral-relief trim in the shower.  I was able to get the upstairs bathroom re-tiled and paid to have the shower surround re-glazed in white, but the downstairs basement still has the same ugly stuff (just to update, by the way, that upstairs bathroom, which previously had lavender walls, has since been painted a dark gray-green.  Hopefully I can do an update post on that soon).  Since I never have real money to do real renovations, I decided to make the most of what I had in the basement and use paint and some decorations to make it work.  In truth, the most offensive part of all was the trim in the shower, which I was unable to hide in the upstairs bathroom because of the glass shower door there.  In the basement, a shower curtain keeps the ugliness at bay, so all we have to contend with are the floor tiles which, when all is said and done, are tolerable (I've definitely seen worse).  

So, to begin, here are some shots of the tile and overall situation before:

Yes, ugly beige trim and tiles, yes ugly flat white walls, and yes, reddish-brown cabinetry and granite countertop (which, while not my style, are both high quality, and I have come to learn to *like* them in my house).

So I made the most with what I had.  Painted the walls a very warm gray (which has some plum and brown undertones to it; actually wish it was a little cooler in tone, but once I finished, there was no way I was changing up the color), added a cool vintage rug I got on eBay, and some decorations and mirrors and the like.  Here's the finished product!

Of course, my dream bathroom continues to be a white one with carrara marble and either burnished brass or shiny chrome fixtures, but I realize that's a pricey dream that I may not see fulfilled for years to come.  Besides, there are other projects in this house, that, should I ever have the dough, I'd much rather see completed (french doors leading out to my back deck, anyone?!).  My philosophy is, it can actually be a lot more fun - from a creative standpoint - to come up with solutions for ugly spaces and to incorporate current materials/finishes to make something that is, in the end, pretty and nice to look at.  It's easy to plunk down a chunk of change on beautiful finishes and fixtures, but the end project is - at least for me - a lot more satisfying when you've had to take someone else's trash and turn it into your own treasure.  

Hopefully it won't be an aeon before I post again!  Thanks for reading!

Saturday, March 29, 2014

it's been forever

I know I haven't posted in an eternity.  Work, life, and everything else seem to have gotten in the way, but I have friends from time to time ask me, 'Hey, do you still have that blog?' which makes me feel like I should throw something new up on here.  So, without much introduction or context, here are a few pictures of a little hallway vignette that I put together months ago.  The yellow dresser was a salvage project from my old condo and I ended up moving it into the hallway to make room for a loveseat in my current office.  Still loving the bright chartreuse-yellow color.  I think everything would look a lot better against a deep gray or black wall, but I've been (re-)painting a lot of my rooms dark colors lately, so I don't want to be too rash and later regret getting rid of the bright white.  We'll see.

There are more projects that I've photographed and have yet to post, so hopefully I'll have time in the near future!