Monday, October 11, 2010

New Ottoman. It's pink!

Yay, I have Columbus Day off. We celebrated by picking up the ottoman cushion (my mom helped reupholster the base during a recent visit, and it's been waiting naked for too many weeks for its top.).

I won't let the day go to waste, but before I start Operation Clean, I had to put my feet up and give it a true test.

No need to watch TV, though. Our neighbors seem to be installing an inflatable graveyard next door, complete with ghosts hanging in the trees. Far more interesting to watch.
If Operation Clean is a success, I'll be back later with more pictures of the living room.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Under the pantry: more before and after shots

This is not my pantry, but I like it, so here it is:

In case you missed the post about my pantry, click here to read about how the linoleum counters in the pantry made me squeamish

In that post, I didn't even mention what it looked like underneath the counters. It was nasty. So nasty that I honestly doubted we would store food under there. I thought it might be good for cleaning supplies, in a sealed container.

Clearly the landlord didn't touch the pantry when he was renovating the rest of the apartment.

Have you ever hear of Kilz? It's a primer that supposedly neutralizes odors and other gross germs and things that you don't want to spend too much time thinking about. I ended up sweeping and vacumming and scrubbing underneath the pantry, and then painting it with one or two or even three layers of Kilz. And the end result? Not bad at all. It feels fresh and -- dare I say? -- new.

We keep the dry goods on one side. There were some shelves already in there, which you can see in the pictures above. Yeah, they got a lot of paint.

On the other side, we keep extra plates, serving platters and random kitchen things.

There was no shelf on this side, so we went with our cheapest option: a metal contraption from Lowe's. Those things are functional, but they suck hard when it comes to putting them together.

The lower half is not as pretty as the upper half, but hey, it's not to be overlooked!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A good reason to go to London

A good reason to go to London would be to see this blanket in person.

I'll take one in red, please. I should probably take the suitcase, too, since I'd also like to bring back these sheets.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Labor Day has come and gone, but today is the first official day of the fall. My scarves are set and ready for their prime season.

They used to reside in a basket, but I like seeing them arranged in a more orderly fashion. So, I rolled them up and tucked them into an over-the-door shoe organizer we had lying around. I love seeing the colors displayed like this. It's tempting to move the organizer to the outside of the closet door.

The summer of 2010 was one of the best I've ever had, and it's sad that it has come to an official end.

Oh, we had walks by the beach (in Little Compton, Rhode Island).

And we cooked more than ever. No frozen meals, which were a former staple in our house.

All in all, a pretty good prelude to Fall.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Pantry: Before and after

The pantry was one of my favorite things about our new apartment, even though it needed some work.

That's linoleum tile on the countertops. It really didn't inspire me to prepare any food. And while I could think of lots of amazing things to do with this pantry if we owned this apartment, we had to use some restraint when it came to actually making the space usable as renters.

And here's the after! We covered the tile countertops with ikea butcher block -- it's just sitting on top, not attached in any way. When it's time for us to move in a few years, we'll have the option of taking the butcher block with us. It's in big enough pieces that it could be repurposed. 

We wanted to make sure the shelves were sturdy enough to hold plates or appliances or anything else we might want to put on them. The linoleum tile that I could barely make myself touch before has been transformed into the most charming prep space I've ever had.

I enjoy making espresso in the pantry every morning. It's so cozy, and I love to bustle around making breakfast and packing my lunch. Grrr, but now I'm staring at the picture above because the middle drawer is open slightly. Why didn't I fix it? I'm too lazy to do it now, but I'm sure the pantry will be restyled soon. I'll make sure the drawers are closed next time.

I got the chalk drawing at a barn sale in Maine a couple of years ago. The old lady in the picture looks friendly for the most part, but now that she resides in the pantry, I've noticed her looking more stern. I think she wants me to make some whoopie pies! 

See how she's eying those spatulas?

Friday, September 17, 2010

Brimfield finds: Vintage wallpaper and paisley tapestry

I went to Brimfield last weekend. Brimfield comes three times a year: May, July and September. The last one is my favorite, because I think you can get better deals. Plus the September weather usually beats July or May.

I don't really need anything. Especially not four rolls of vintage wallpaper. But I love the pattern, and before I knew it, it was mine.

I also got this tapestry. Or maybe it's a tablecloth.

Whatever it is, I like the rich colors. Plus, paisley is one of my faves.

Pretty sure this wallpaper is going to make like my blog name and be filed for later. It's too good to waste on something less permanent than a wall!

Friday, September 10, 2010

New views of the bedroom

So, I didn't feel like blogging for a few months, but now I kind of do again.

Some rooms in the new apartment feel like we've been here forever. And then others feel like it will be forever before they have that settled-in feeling. Our bedroom is one that is feeling pretty good to me, but that's probably not surprising since it has been the star of my only posts during the past few months.

Oh, whoops. This next picture illustrates that I'm not done in this room.The blue slipcovers are still not finished. But look, they're in our bedroom now instead of the family room. See? Everything is different.

The gold mirror came to us from my aunt and uncle's basement. You know what? Many of the other things in this room came with it. The armoire, the campaign dresser between the chairs, the glass lamp, ummm ... even the chairs. I'm so grateful, as 1) this keeps our house from looking like an Ikea showroom, and 2) I like when the things in my house have a history and not just a barcode.

There's one more corner of this room that is not ready to be revealed, but it will be soon.

In other news: Isn't the start of fall the best?

Sunday, September 5, 2010

New pillows

New pillows = my bed's version of back to school shopping.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


We moved. Only a few miles away, but it's a lifestyle change fo' sho'. Goodbye, city bus commute with interesting and smelliful seatmates. Hello, shady suburban sidewalks and grocery stores that actually have parking lots. Do you know how nice it is to be able to get in the car, drive to the store for (insert needed item here), and be back at home in 10 minutes? I love it. This pretty much confirms that my heart belongs to the suburbs.

We are not all the way moved in yet, but most everything is out of boxes and stored in its holding place. Now it's time for the fun part - choosing what items go out on display and stacking books and placing coasters in convenient spots. That kind of thing.

And this is our bed, with the sheets rumpled just the way they should be (because ironing linens is not the best way to spend a summer day) and our brand new headboard. See the lamp? There are two of them, and I am searching for new lampshades. See the books? I'm proud of my growing collection. I don't add to it until I have finished what's there, and I only buy when I have a coupon. It's a slow and rewarding way of adding to the shelf.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Living rooms with navy blue

I like blue and red in a living room. Tom Scheerer's room, below, looks so refreshing with the white painted staircase.

I also like this room from the most recent issue of Lonny Magazine. It looks comfortable and pretty.

Speaking of living rooms, here's something I found for my own. A set of matching Herendon dressers! I plan to push them together to use as a TV stand. They're already painted a deep navy blue, a color that makes the clean brass hardware pop. 

They'll be in the new space next month!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Three for Thursday

I've accumulated a lot of photos on during this lazy spring of not much blogging. Here are three of my current favorites.


The first two pictures are a little more masculine than is typical for me. I'll end with a flowery pic to soften the post.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sometimes Craigslist thrills me

Especially when it provides things like this:

It's pretty cute from the back, too.

Good job, Craigslist. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

New apartment!

It's been a busy month. Our lease is about to expire, so we spent a lot of time apartment searching. A job change has made my schedule busy and unpredictable. And, March 2010 was the wettest on record -- 13 inches of rain! -- so things have been pretty dreary around here.

But things are looking up! The sun is shining, and we even found a new apartment that fit all (well, most) of our requirements. Namely, more space.

So many windows! The softly gleaming floors!! The space!!! Our lease doesn't start until the middle of May, but you better believe I'm already thinking of furniture placement and all the other fun stuff.

It's good to be back!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Rainboots, anyone?

I like this little scene.

If only the boots were rain boots. Then this picture would be relevant to everything outside my window.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Sundays of Yore: 1951 Armstrong Bedroom

This bedroom from 1951 is quite clearly an eyesore. But don't write it off yet! I encourage you to take a closer look, because there are actually some interesting things hidden behind the awful ruffles and overused black floral pattern.

For one thing, the bed itself is kind of nice. If the ruffles went away, the bed might look something like this:

I like the crisp, tailored look of the black border on the floor. I think that could be achieved by layering a rug on top of seagrass. And, I love the way the black outline looks with the curly arm of the upholstered chair. Actually, I think I'd leave the chair just as it is.

The room would still need a lot more tweaks to make it current. New window treatments, an updated vanity, and different artwork, to name a few. Please don't forget new lamps. Also: Look what the lady of the house plans to slip into later. A nice green silky robe and high heeled red slippers. That's what I'm wearing right now!*

*Not true.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Kitchen things

If I owned a house, I would probably try to find a place for this:

I think the pale blue pendant would look fantastic in the same kitchen that houses my beloved Tin Can Alley collection.

Speaking of kitchens, I don't believe I've shared a photo set I found on Flickr a couple of months ago.

I'd love to hang something just like it, but in painting form.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Before and after: Console

Last week, my friend Colleen was in town. Lucky for me, she enjoys scouring Craigslist for good finds. Even luckier for me, she has a really good eye. I can pick out things that I like, but I never quite know what to do with them once they're in my possession. When Colleen is around, she works her magic and even the smallest surfaces are artfully arranged.

My very favorite surface that emerged from the week is a Craigslist find - a console turned bar.

You can see my front door just to the right of the bar. There used to be a small bench in this spot, but no one ever sat on it and it wasn't worth anything storage-wise. As soon as I brought the console home, I knew the bench had to go.

I painted it in a glossy white, and put a coat of gold on the hardware. Not only does the console have lots of storage, it also has room on top to display pretty things. Thanks, Colleen!

(The green and white striped dishes have since been moved, but I haven't had a chance to take more pictures.)

We also ventured to Ikea last week, and I was very excited to see their new textiles. Marc and I don't have a coat closet in our apartment, so we hang curtains in front of an odd shaped corner to block off our designated coat area. The new blue and white Ikea Henny curtains really brighten things up in the room. Plus, I love the way they look next to the old painting I found at a local consignment store. It used to be in an old, beat-up driftwood frame, but I like the look of the canvas hanging on its own - so fresh and crisp.

I don't stop to pour myself a drink every time I walk through the room, but I do stop to admire the new entryway. There's another little project to the left of the curtains, but it's not ready for a reveal yet. It's coming soon, though!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Three pairs of chairs

I love a duo of upholstered chairs, and these three pairs are looking especially Spring-y. Pink flowers, bright accent pillows, and sunshine pouring through the windows. Just the way I like it!

(Country Living)


(Palmer Weiss)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Sundays of Yore: 1925 Traditional Living Room

Pretty wallpaper panels, don't you think?

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Kitchen vignette

Hi! I've been light on posts lately because I've been spending a lot of time away from my computer. Ahhh, it feels nice. I'll be posting lots of fun pictures soon - before and after shots of projects and scenes from around my house.

But not yet! Here's a vignette to enjoy while you wait.

(Tom Scheerer)

Have a good Wednesday!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

More upholstery inspiration

I'm sad today - the NYC trip has been postponed because of a Nor'easter that is headed this way. March and its lion tendencies!

Here are some pretty pictures to serve as a distraction.

Striped chair on its own:

Striped chair in a room:

No stripes here, but I love the details on this settee: