Tuesday, December 23, 2008

More on the master...

As promised in my last post, I took some pictures of the master bedroom now that its completed. Of the Matisse hung (and yes, Twin, we did take off the corner guards before we hung it up...silly), and the new shelves we ordered from Target for the east wall of the room.

Sometimes, I worry about whether we're cluttering the space with too much stuff. But I don't feel like it's cluttered. How do I know if we've gone overboard? Is there a general rule? My husband wanted to get art for the remaining walls once he'd seen the photos up on the west wall above the bench. But I didn't want photos, photos, art, art all over in the master. It just seemed contrived to me, for some reason.

So that's why we bought the substantial piece for over the chest of drawers (instead of the collage that I was thinking we might be able to do).

We placed the top stripe on the wall at what is approximately my eye level. It's at 63" on the wall, as I recall. It's where I planned to hang the art around the room, and it just seemed like a good idea at the time. And when we bought the shelves, we searched for something that would top-out at that same line.

Lo and behold, those narrow bookshelves from Target's Hudson collection were perfect at a 61.23" height. See?

I like how the effect of leaving the back off the shelves makes them seem less imposing on the room, overall. And I've managed not to clutter them full of stuff (shock of all shocks, seeing as books are my achilles heel when it comes to decorating this house...we need a library, dammit!) which helps as well. I don't know. I really need to take some classes so I can figure all of this out through the help of a professional!

Friday, December 19, 2008

The holidays slow me down...

Its my plan to post here more than once a week, just for future reference. But its hard this time of year, trying to keep up with work, car repairs, parties for friends, buying presents, etc, etc...I promise to be better about it in the new year.

Right now, there's still so much that I'd like to do to the house, its scary. But it also involves money we just don't have right now, so I'll just have to wait. And in the meantime, focus on the things we have been able to do.

The master bedroom, for example, is finally complete. We have the art up, the shelves in, and the rug down. There is only one more thing that needs to happen in there, and we can't do it until Spring comes...that is to stain the side-tables by the bed.

They were side tables that I inherited from my older sister, long ago when I first moved to Kansas City. They're barewood pine that have always sort of gone with the decor in the bedrooms they've been in up till now, because nothing was as designed as it is now. And while I'm all for a mix of woods in other areas of the house, the bare pine doesn't lend itself to the Contemporary Traditional style we have going in the bedroom at. all. So we'll be staining them a darker cherry once the weather warms a bit, and we can do the project in the garage.

The stain will match, somewhat, to the stain on our dresser we have in our master. Seen here. Underneath...THE NEW MATISSE! Ok, ok...its just a copy we got from ZGallery, but we LOOOVE it.

We have very little art in the bedroom. I'm not big on covering every surface with a frame of some sort, so I put up the black and white landscapes that I've carried with me for years on the west wall of the room.

We have a bench on that side from the "Hudson" collection at Target. On the opposite wall, next to the door to the master bath, we have two of the narrow bookshelves from the Hudson collection as well...they weren't exactly what we wanted there, but they fit the budget, and they look substantial and very pretty in the side-by-side set up we have them in. (We put them together without the back on them, so the paint on the wall would show through and make them less imposing when placed side-by-side.) I haven't taken a picture of that yet...maybe this weekend I'll manage to find the time.

Once we had the color up on the walls in the bedroom, we decided that it would be nice to carry it out into the hallway as well. We had some leftover paint from the bedroom, and I'm so glad we decided to make the change! It looks wonderful from all angles, and breaks up the color from the living room being carried into the front guest room.

I can't believe that I haven't posted anything about the house addition here yet! It's what got me all into the whole interior decorating kick that I'm into right now, so I really should get more info up here, eh? I'll work on that over the next couple of weeks.

Right now, I'm off to do some last minute Christmas shopping. Yay! The mall! Ugh...

Friday, December 12, 2008

New stuff!

I just bought this plug-in chandelier for the living room. We probably won't be putting it up until after Christmas, seeing as I have the living room all decked out in red, and this is, well...not red.

But I can't wait for it to come! Eeee!

I've been very lighting-centric around here as of late, havent I? Maybe its the season, but I just love lamps and chandeliers and lighting in general, and I kind of kicked off the theme earlier this week with my post about the glacier lighting trend in 2009. Ooh, which, btw, I found some relatively affordable options online for people, if they are so inclined to follow said trend in the future year...

This is a lovely colored-glass option from Anthropologie. It's the most expensive of the 3 I found online when I looked around a bit, at $1,998. But it is really pretty. So I think it's damned-well worth it, if you have the cash to spend on it!

I didn't even think about looking at Lamps Plus for lighting until I was searching for a mini-chandelier for our master bedroom remodel earlier this past summer. So now I have it saved in my favorites on my computer, because they really have some great lighting options of all shapes and sizes available for super-affordable prices.

This mini-pendant, for example, costs a whopping $180. It's the James R. Moder Granada mini-pendant, in case you're interested. While it has a traditional feel to it, I think it's crystaline nature and acorn shape add a special twist to the glacier trend. It looks like a pretty little ice cube to me...

And then there's this jazzy number. LOVE! Looks like the ball that drops in Time Square at midnight on New Year's Eve. It's middle of the road for these three options cost-wise at $1,280. It's the Schonbek geometrix Clear Geodes Pendant. And I think it would look wonderful in the corner of a more upscale Contemporary Traditional styled living room. Or over my dining table in the kitchen...whatever.

Regardless, my point was to show that this trend is achievable on any size budget. And don't ever, ever count out Lamps Plus. Seriously, check out their website. They have a ridiculous amount of options available to choose from.

(Photos courtesy of Lamps Plus and Anthropologie's websites.)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

If I could, I'd have chandeliers EVERYWHERE.

It's a sickness, I think. My love and desire for pretty lights hanging all over the house has to be some kind of cureable illness, no? No, huh? Shoot.

Well, anyway, I LOVE this trend for 2009. Glacier style lighting that adds a special level of "cool" to any room they're placed in. These pendants and the following hanging chandeliers are both from the Belgian design firm Spiridon, and were featured at the Maison et Objet Show in Paris.

If only I had a proper place to put them in my Kansas ranch home. Hmmm...maybe in that corner in the guest room that we aren't sure what to do with.

(All photos are courtesy of Elle Decor's Design Trend Forecast 2009 article found here.)

Friday, December 5, 2008

I love my new lamp...

A couple of weeks ago, I mentioned the fact that I'd been able to pick up a lamp I'd had my eye on at Pottery Barn for a while. I put it in its new home, on the Venetian mirror table I bought from Target a while back (it was intended as a possible side table for the guest bedroom, but my husband didn't like it in there, so I put it in the living room instead - ha!), and placed the festive red shade on it for the holidays. (I also have the taupe colored shade to put on the lamp during the rest of the year.)

I just love the way the lamp and the table look together! And the mirroring between the two means that light bounces all over the place, which is why I love the fact that the lamp has a built-in dimmer on it - so I can change the level of the lighting and dim the relative harshness that seems to develop once night sets in, and even the 40 watt bulb we have in there seems as bright as the sun.

I think the two items are just gorgeous together...I'm so glad they've come to live with us!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Up and coming trends for 2009

Since the new year will soon be upon us, I thought I'd take some time each week to look into the upcoming design/decor trends for 2009 that have been shared via Elle Decor's Trend Forecast for the coming year.

As should be the case for everyone, some of these trends don't blend well with my personal taste in decorating. I'll share those ones as well. I'm not that petty when it comes to my inspiration! ;)

Mustard and Plum colors
These colors are pleasing in certain palates, and frightening in others. I don’t think I can get on board with this one…a lot of it reminds me of something I recall from the Laura Ashley colors of the 80’s. Can’t quite put my finger on it.

The trend under the "caravan" moniker concerns pieces that have bold prints, color, as well as Russian/USSR-styled objects and pieces. These pretty canisters can be used for holding dried flowers or branches, or even spare change.

I loooove this chair, possibly tucked into a corner of a modern library under a good reading light.

I'll share more trends next week, so keep your eyes open for something that might inspire you, too!

(All photos are courtesy of Elle Decor's Design Trend Forecast 2009 article found here.)

Monday, December 1, 2008

Their favorite time of year...

This past weekend, I put some of the finishing touches on the decorating for Christmas at our house. I purchased some red pillows to match the new lampshade, as well as an ubersoft blanket (it is ridiculous how soft this damned blanket is...) and an additional strand of lights for the tree. Which I did not get a picture of, I just realized. Oh well! Further updating to come, I guess!

Imagine a tree where the shiny mirrored table is, and you'll get the idea of what the space looks like now that the decorating is complete.

We moved the table and the lamp to the side of the couch in front of the mirror, and now there is light that just bounces all over that corner, boy! Good thing the lamp has a dimmer on it. Which was a pleasant surprise to me after I finally figured out how to turn it off the first night we had it. (Shut up! It was weird, and goes the wrong way than it should, so I was confused...)

I'm all for keeping the theme to the current red and gold accented decorating that we've been building on over the last few years. This might be the last year for the current tree and the globes we have for it, though, but I'll save that discussion for when I have actual pictures of the tree.

I did manage to find some stockings that I liked at Target, pictured to the right. So cute! I don't know why I didn't think of that bookcase as being the perfect spot to hang some during Christmas last year...I guess I'm just so used to the traditional over-the-fireplace location for them, it just never even crossed my mind.

We don't decorate a lot more than the living room and the outside of the house, though. I'm not one of those types that goes all out and buys linens for the bathroom, or special comforters for the beds in the house. My mother-in-law did make us a lovely Advent wreath for our kitchen table, so we set that up every year now.

But other than that, we keep things pretty basic. I think eventually, once we have more storage, and possibly a larger house to entertain in, we'll get heavier on the holiday decor. But for now, this suits us just fine.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Nobody likes change...or do they?

We live in a ranch home that I bought 5 years ago thinking that it would be my starter home that I’d be moving on from in a few years. 2 years after I purchased the home, I met my husband at a local hang out I visit on a weekly basis. He moved in 3 months later, and the house seemed to get a little bit smaller with every passing week. Then we got a dog. Then we got married. Then we got another dog…

Along the way, we’d been making improvements…new garage door, new driveway, new windows throughout the house…with the intention of selling the house and moving to a larger space the spring after our October 2007 wedding. But then my company announced that, as a money-saving plan to try to beat the failing economy, they would not be giving us raises in 2008. Suddenly, moving on into a new home was out of reach.

Thankfully, our savings account combined with my stellar credit allowed us to be able to add on to the home during the spring/summer of 2008, and we plan on living in this little “starter home” for another 10 – 15 years now. We’re pleased with how it all worked out, overall. The neighborhood is perfect…quickly filling up with young families, its centered in a tract that’s surrounded by main thoroughfares, but far enough away from them that they aren’t a nuisance to our lives in any way. We’re close to the freeway that leads us downtown and to the airport when needed, and we’re a little over a mile from grocery stores, restaurants, and shopping in every direction.

Having made several improvements along the way, our decorating style has evolved as well. Today, I thought I’d share the living room changes, and I’ll share more changes that I’m making this week in particular before Friday is here.

When I first moved in, I was single, and I had my heart set on having a house that my friends could all enjoy along with me. So I went out and bought myself a great, big, comfy sectional that would allow for loads of people to gather in my living room whenever they dropped by. But the couch took up the entire room! It wasn’t long after Jesse moved in 2 and a half years later before we donated the couch, and brought in a new one from Crate & Barrel that we felt would be more fitting to the area we had in the room.

But the proper arrangement for the space has eluded us. Initially keeping the couch in front of the large picture window in the room, we had a galley feel to the area, as the kitchen entrance is on one end of the long room, and the suite of bedrooms is on the other end.

So, as I said the other day, I decided to move things around a bit. I first moved the couch around 3 months ago, but only wound up putting it on a diagonal in the room, which seemed to help a bit with the flow, but not a lot. So completing the change by placing the couch along the north wall of the room was the key. As I now know for sure. My husband and I both feel like it has completely opened the room up, and look forward to entertaining this holiday season now! Now if I could just manage to get that round coffee table I want…

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

That would be a kick in the pants...

Woo! I just got the call back from West Elm, and they scheduled me to have a second interview with their GM next week! (For those who haven't read my other blog, I'm interested in (a) getting off my butt more often, and (b) making more money than I currently do. So I applied at West Elm about a month after they opened a local store here in Overland Park/Leawood, KS. They didn't have any openings/hours to give me at the time, but things have changed - like they do - and they'd like to see if I can work for them part time.)

I could so, soooo use the cash right now. Plus, we're coming up on the end of football season here, anyway, so I didn't really know what I was going to do with my extra time on Saturdays.

Cross your fingers that I get some sort of job there! (I applied with the intent of working in the stock room, to be honest. I don't know what kind of hours they have to offer right now, though...I'd happily take a sales floor position, too.)

Monday, November 24, 2008

I LOVE it when that happens!

My husband thinks that I have a bit of a lamp fetish. I have to correct him often and tell him, "No, honey, I don't have a lamp fetish. I have a lamp, clock, and mirror fetish. Get it straight!" You'd think that after 3 years, he'd have it figured out by now...

I've been lusting after these Mead Mercury Glass Lamps from PB for weeks. I think the bedside lamp (which is the smaller, more squat one in the picture) would be perfect in our living room! Over the weekend, Jesse and I picked up some art to help finish off the master bedroom suite, and I had wanted to go to PB to check out (i.e. BUY) the lamp that I'd been dreaming of for too long, already. But I was tired and hungry by the time we were done picking out the art. So we went home instead.

This morning, I looked up the lamps online...I don't know why. Maybe to make sure I knew the name of them before I headed into the store? Anyway, I saw that they were on sale, which pretty well made my day.

Over lunch, I went to Target to make sure, sure, sure that they didn't have something similar for a lower price. (Which they did not. However, they do have a lampbase that is the exact knockoff of an acrylic based table lamp that I saw at PB when I went to buy my lamp. For $50. So there's that.) After finishing up there, I headed with hope in my heart to PB down the street. I wanted them to have that lamp in store so badly, so I could take it home and hug it and squeeze it and call it George.

Going to the store itself is a dangerous thing for me to do. They have awesome linens that are all holiday-inspired right now! And how cute would it be to do up the guest bath in holiday-inspired linens for our family when they come to town? It'd be too cute, is what it would be. And we already have perfectly lovely linens in there that are softer than anything I've ever owned, and they'll love those, so I just needed to get away from the pretty things, dammit.

Fortunately, I know exactly where the lamp section is in that store, so I bee-lined it as well as I could (after said sidetracking by the linens...), and found my lamp. And then I saw that they had additional colors of their dupioni silk shades available in the store (which I cannot find examples of online, so I'm very sorry I can't show them or even link to them here!), and I figured it might be nice to have a red shade for the holidays. And then, OOH!, I could get pillows and a throw for the couch in a similar red shade, and tie it all together, and how clever am I? So I set aside the two shades I wanted, and went off in search of a salesperson to help me get my lampbase.

The pillows there are just not justifyable, expense-wise, right now. So I put off buying any pillows, and purchased my lamp for a total of $40 off the regular price. The lamp itself came with the "gold" lampshade, for a total of $89. The extra red shade I bought was $39.

I'm far too excited about my purchase, which is how most of them go when I let them get all built up like this. But if I hadn't waited, I wouldn't have gotten the sale price, so I think my decor angel was watching out for me on that one. Thanks decor angel!

I can't wait to find pillows that match that red shade now...


I woke up early on Saturday morning, listening to my dog whining at the door to the bedroom, indicating her desire to come in and sleep with us like she usually does. Unfortunately, she and her “brother” were relegated to the living room that night, due to some infraction or another that they needed to learn a lesson about. I called out a quiet, “That’s enough, Iz!” And the whining stopped…at least for a little while.

It was probably about 3 or 3:30, but I couldn’t fall back to sleep. Suddenly, I had that other arrangement on my mind for the living room…the one that might allow more space for entertaining, and just living in general. Would it work? It had to work! Jesse’s family is coming to town for the Christmas holiday in a few weeks, and I’ve been worried about where we’ll all sit when they’re here. What will be most comfortable for everyone? Where will we put our tree this time around? And, ugh! That couch! Having only just bought it two years ago to replace the enormous sectional mistake I bought when I first moved into the home, I didn’t expect it to wear out so quickly. We bought it at a high-end store! We paid a fairly high amount for it! It should have lasted longer than this, dammit.

Regardless, were stuck with it for a while. And I wanted to put it against the north wall of the living room, like I’d been planning to do for a while…

This is what keeps me awake at night. Along with the lamp I dream of buying for the same room, and the bookshelves that my husband, Jesse, will install for us today in our new master bedroom, allowing us to put the items currently on the bookshelf in the guest bedroom into a new home, so we can move that piece of furniture out of there altogether. It’s taking up too much space, and makes the corner it’s in look overcrowded and like an afterthought.


Welcome to the new space I’ve created in order to share my ideas and inspirations that ramble through this overcrowded noggin of mine every minute of every day. I’m an avid lover of all things clean-lined, but traditional in nature. I love pieces inspired by retro style, from the Hudson collection found at Target (you heard me), to just about anything you can find at West Elm. I get loads of ideas from the magazines I troll through, as well as from watching hours upon hours of HGTV, and reality design shows like Top Design. I haven’t really been searching the blogosphere for inspiration yet, because I’m already overwhelmed by the things going through my head as it is…I’m afraid of what might happen if I add a new layer to the mayhem! But now that I’ve found a place to put it all (duh, the internet was such an obvious choice, I can’t believe I didn’t think of it before now), I’m sure to find new and fun places to link to that will hopefully inspire more than just me along the way.

Don’t be confused by my blogroll or the links that I share. I get inspiration from fashion, food, party planning, and landscaping. I figure it’s only fair to share the ideas, regardless of where they come from.

So enjoy! And tell me what you like and don’t like! And help me by sharing your ideas and inspirations, too. I’m looking forward to getting all of this…stuff…out and in your world, too.