Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Tufts and stuff

I've been using the same bedroom furniture since I was about 12. I was so excited when I got my new bedroom set. It's whitewashed, farmhouse style from Cargo (are they still in business?). It's suited me fine, especially because, with my changing taste, it's easy to update the entire room by changing my comforter/curtains/adding a bed skirt/etc. The white goes with anything. But, I'm finding myself drawn to a more sophisticated, bold bedroom.

I ABSOLUTELY LOVE upholstered beds. They're dramatic, girly (you could make it manly with leather upholstering) and glam. Lucky for me, they're also an easy DIY project. I gues the one part I don't love is that once you choose a fabric, it's pretty much permanent. Unless you want to reupholster every so often.

These bold colors will make your bed the main focus of the room.

And this one even has a matching footboard.


And, I've seen a lot of wingback headboards lately, which I also adore.

Too bad most of these headboard are in the $1000+ range. So I've decided to build my own wingback upholstered, tufted headboard. I will also build the bed frame and upholster it as well. I plan on it looking something like this, but with wings.

I'm not sure when I'll be able to start this because I'm currently building an apothecary media center (it looks awesome and I'll post about it when it's finished). But in the meantime I'll be keeping an eye out for fabric choices.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

mirror, mirror...

One of my favorite trends is the use of mirrors where you don't expect them. Like on furniture. We all know that adding a mirror to a wall can make a room look bigger, so imagine what a mirrored piece of furniture can do! Plus, you don't have to go to the bathroom to check your makeup :)

These are from Graham and Green. Besides having great mirrored furniture, they carry tons of things I wouldn't mind filling my dream house with. Love the mirrored headboard.

Target has also decided to dabble in this trend. They offer furniture, but for the more price conscious, they offer mirrored accessories. That would look great on my nightstand. The tray is $40 and the picture frames are $20 for two.

I think displaying a mirrored piece adds a touch of elegance to a room. Plus if your style is at all eclectic, feminine or french, mirrored furniture goes perfectly!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Friday, February 26, 2010

I built a table!

Let me start this post by saying that I have no carpentry experience. I own a drill, and I've used it twice.

So it all started when I decided I needed a new dining room table. I wanted an old barn wood farmhouse style table. I shopped around online, and found this table at Restoration Hardware:

Surprise! It's almost $3000. And too big to fit in my dining room. Pottery Barn had a similar table for $2000, which I was also not willing to pay.

Anyway, I found this website, The owner of the blog, Ana, also wanted the $3000 table. But she has carpentry experience (if you haven't browsed her website you need to go.... RIGHT NOW). Well, lucky for me, she decided to build the table herself and posted the plans she used so that others could build it, too. At first I was thinking "there's NO WAY I can build a table." But her plans seemed pretty simple, and she said it only took her 9 hours and $10 to build it. So I printed the plans, got a friend and headed to Home Depot.

She let me use her patio as a workspace since I was in the middle of moving. So, with the help of her boyfriend, we cut and notched out the wood, and started building.

It wasn't as hard as I thought. The worst part was that I made a rookie mistake and didn't make sure all my top boards were straight. This was EXTREMELY important when it came time for the table top. I had to go back to Home Depot three times before I had enough straight pieces of wood.

But we finished building it, sanded it down really well, and stained it, and this is how it turned out:

Not bad, for an amateur! I am looking forward to building more furniture from Thanks, Ana!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Je suis French Eclectic.

I found the site Sproost on some adventures on the internet. Before I visited there, I had always described my decorating style as "vintage eclectic." But definitely not in the "shabby chic" kind of way (read: I abhor shabby chic almost as much as I abhor modern decorating). I like vintage things that have a story behind them. Or at least, things that seem like they would have a story behind them.

Anyway, if you go to you will be shown a series of 20 pictures and you will rate them. Then they will tell you what your decorating style is. My results were 80% French Eclectic and 20% Nantucket (think "nautical/the Hamptons").

Here is what I copied and pasted from the site - all pictures are from the site, too:

French Eclectic
Parlez-vous fran├žais? Even if the answer is no, you can confidently say your home does! French Country, like its name, somehow manages to both be formal and casual, classy and unassuming at the same time. You like your spaces to feel inviting from the moment you (or your guest) opens the front door and this feeling should continue even after you've entered your most formal room. Even though there are French antiques here and gold details there, the rustic elements provide a balance and warmth that seems to say, "come in, relax and stay a while." Your love of antiques leads you to flea markets, garage sales and hours of eBay hunting.

The materials and pieces you are drawn to play on the mix of formal and casual. Many of the pieces look like they were passed down from your great-great-aunt (even if they are brand new!) and you managed to upholster them in a way that made that piece both then and now. Much of the furniture is wood-framed and the wood is either left natural (hey there rustic!), painted white (hey there country!) or even gold (hello refinement!). And many times there is a strong mixture of all of these. If you find yourself leaning much more towards the "country" side of things and away from the Parisian side, drop the gold details and replace them with wrought iron.

When it comes to color, you are drawn to bright and airy options. Thoughts of the French countryside are key - warm colors such as yellows, reds and oranges hinting at fields of gold. But the nice thing about French Eclectic is you can just as easily go in the opposite direction: pale blues and greens hinting at acres of lavender fields and expansive blue skies.

Space Planning
When you think about laying out your French Eclectic room the key is to invite people in and encourage them to stay. So furniture should be grouped nicely to encourage intimate conversation and the main pieces should be comfortable in both look and feel. There should be plenty of places to set drinks, prop feet and lean back. And yet the functionality of these pieces doesn't necessarily mean that they aren't beautiful antiques or replicas.

I know I don't have many (any) followers yet, but I would love to know what everyone's style is.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

What is Steampunk?

I've been seeing a lot of "steampunk" labeled accessories lately. Actually, I think this term applies more to clothing than interior decorating. In my opinion, "steampunk" could be described as "vintage industrial eclectic". I did a few searches and this is what came up...

First, to good old, Google images. The first one is a steampunk keyboard. Someone actually made this from one of those really old plastic computer keyboards from the 80s. Read about it here.

The next one is a watch. Not sure if you could wear this without having to drag your wrist behind you everywhere, but it's definitely a conversation starter:

Next I headed over to Craigslist to find some local steampunk home decor. The title of the posting is "Neo - Victorian ~{{ STEAMPUNK}}~ Calculation Engine (Computer)." Ummmmmm, Ok. Whatever that is... A calculation engine? Well, the near $1000 price tag is enough to quell my curiosity. Here's the link. Here's the picture:

Then it was over to eBay, where I found these goggles.

They remind me of the aviator glasses that Snoopy used to wear when he pretended to be the Flying Ace.

Last stop, Wikipedia. Quoting directly from them (and they quote pretty much anyone!) "steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction and speculative fiction, frequently featuring elements of fantasy, that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world where steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. "


In other events (and, since I can't sleep) - I'm done with my table! Oh, wait... you have no idea what I'm talking about. Well, I'll have a full post soon, but for now I'll give you a hint:


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Revisiting the Industrial Revolution

Lately I've become a little obsessed with industrial furniture and accessories. They are great items to throw into a vintage or modern mix. I love looking around a room and seeing one thing that doesn't quite belong, but still looks amazing in a space, like these kitchen stools:

Things like that will just have to wait until I have my dream house. But for now, I can certainly decorate with smaller accessories that remind me of the industrial age. Check out this galvanized wine bottle rack (I think it's from CB2)

Or vintage industrial lighting - the top two are from Anthropologie - they have some nice (and terribly expensive) vintage hanging light bulbs and beacons.

This is (supposed to be) a vintage dentists light. Love it!

Some other industrial accessories:

Salvaged bank safety deposit boxes found at Salvage Nation on Etsy

And, of course, Restoration Hardware has accessories

A vintage fan is sure to keep you cool and get you lots of compliments - this one was found over at

Or this Arc Boom table lamp I ordered from All Modern Lighting (OK, so I cheated with the genuine vintage part - but it was marked down to $52 from $330! with free shipping!)

And Urban Remains, a store in Chicago that sells antique artifacts, had lots more industrial-type accessories, like the ones below.

This metal storage cabinet would look great in an office

And I can picture this beauty sitting on my bathroom countertop:

Lastly, this cart would look great in a living room with some artwork or plants sitting on it and a cozy blanket draped over the side.

I'll have pictures of the lamp on my desk as soon as it gets here. I'm so impatient!