Archive for the ‘Decor’ Category

Long Time No See

Tuesday, December 18th, 2012

It was a long, hard fall. I meant to keep in touch. Show you the midnight blue sweater I’ve been over-wearing, or photos of how our bedroom makeover turned out. But the bedroom’s still essentially bed-less and I’m too scruffy for a blue sweater photo shoot. Maybe Christmas will set things back on an inspired and accomplished track. For now, here’s how I spent some of the past couple months:

Driving to a casino just to eat at the buffet. Photographing jello I didn’t eat, and not photographing things I did eat…

Buying boots that looked like Red Wings but were actually Clarks. One of my New Year’s resolutions will be to kick my addiction to white crepe soled shoes. Enough was enough a long time ago…

Glamming up pumpkins with silver and brass thumbtacks…

Receiving this flashcard from my oldest friend. I considered making it my Twitter icon for a while. Maybe someday I still will…

Learning it was David Bowie who invented that over-used broken-back supermodel pose. The world is good and ready for a new position.

Attempting to bring more texture and pattern into Tudor “Mansion”…

Designing demonic new characters with my niece on our Wii U. This is the latest in our proud tradition of carefully crafted freaky female toddlers. We gave her the chic new Anna Wintour-ish hairstyle Nintento added to the design palette, and finished her off with a five o’clock shadow – and then we named her Jill.

Trying to plan a perfect Christmas…

But settling for something else instead.

Playing in the very first snowfall with Hurly and the gang…

And almost buying Hanukkah flowers, even though I’m 1/00th Jewish.

What is everyone else doing and buying and wearing and loving?

Think Global, Shop Local

Monday, September 10th, 2012

I haven’t been out of the country in almost two years, but the home accessories I’ve found thrifting the past few weeks will help convince visitors otherwise.

Weathered Roman busts, Balinese brass and bamboo basket-bowls, crackled Chinese pots, and wooden Mongolian pipsqueak shoes are but some of the little treasures giving Tudor Mansion a sense of worldly beauty.

Although I never really left, it’s definitely good to be home.

As Seen On TV: End of Century

Monday, August 27th, 2012

It’s a little too early to tell if the ambitious art tarts on Gallery Girls will finally fill the Lauren Vs. Heidi-shaped holes in our unscripted television-fueled hearts. I mean, The Hills, at its apex, was truly a thing of back-stabby beauty.

One thing Miss Conrad’s show never provided, though, was a store-within-a-show curated by half its cast; offering the opportunity for us boring beings outside the reality TV bubble to cyber-shop ourselves closer to the center of the catty chic action.

Thanks to the End of Century website, I can bring spiky-nippled black cups, and speckled ceramic-spoons, and alien aloe-plant inspired pots into my life.

Their edgy, organic, lower west-or-whatever-side beauty is the real win. Being able to say they came from the shop of those BravoTV mega-bitches is just a merry, meta little perk.

In Progress

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Real quick, now.

Patterns and textures for the downstairs bedroom by way of a vintage kilim pillow and new O’Brien shams. A little bit butch-ier and more exotic than things had been looking previously.

That’s kinda all I have time to type now, because (the super Christian chick who played) Blair Warner from my third favorite TV show as a child, The Facts of Life, is gonna be on this season of Survivor, I just discovered today!

So I have to go get my jaw off the floor and go make deeply personal predictions as to how long she’ll be able to outwit, outplay, and outlast the lying heathens she’ll be forced to get grody with.

Saltwater & Sun

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Sometimes I’ll find something potentially home-worthy somewhere surprising like your mom’s favorite store…

And then I’ll soak it in saltwater for a few hours, then set it out in the sun for a couple of weeks.

So that it fades, and cracks, and looks like it came from someplace a little more surprising than everyone’s moms’ favorite store. My Little Pony-horse Pal’s still got one week left of baking in the sun to do before he’s allowed on the shelves inside our house.

Let There Be Light

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012

A month ago the bedroom was an asymmetrical eyesore. Mismatched nightstands, a baby blue Jonathan Adler lamp on one side, a tomato orange ribbed one on the other. Then Kelly Wearstler whipped open her warehouse for One Kings Lane, and I spent nearly an hour feverishly refreshing my internet browser until a set of stone-veneer nightstands slipped out of other members’ online carts, and into my own. (I sorta owe God sixty-seven favors now.)

I had feared it might take another few years to find matching lamps worthy of my Wearstlers, but it took only twelve days ’til I spotted a conical, concrete number at Gabberts that was just about perfect.

The on/off switch was situated on the cord, and the silken shade that came with it was undersized and uninspiring – but what better excuse to at last enter the nouveau-riche-ish worlds of Lamp Rewiring and Custom Shade Ordering?

So the bedroom and I are on a roll, after eons of aesthetic inactivity. A queen-sized bed that doesn’t squeak when anyone breathes is pretty much all we still need.

On The Side

Tuesday, July 10th, 2012

Although it can and literally HAS taken me over seven years to find a bigger better bed, a rustic but not-too-rustic dining room table, and fifty-five other furnishing essentials for our no-longer-new home – it’s never been challenging for me to round together a sizable stable of side tables.

At fifteen to a hundred-and-fifty bucks, usually, side tables stand free of the daunting financial investment inherent in larger furnishings.

And you can stash them in the back seat of your whatever-mobile, without needing a U-Haul or your mom’s mammoth un-mini-van to get them out of the store.

In a home, side tables fill in the corners, crannies and visual cracks of a space. I’ve been studying this book, American Modern, a ton the past year, and designer Thomas O’Brien tucks tables any and every old place, even under and sometimes on top of other tables.

So while, a few months ago, I was thinking the addition of four new side tables to my sizable stash was starting to become senseless, O’Brien’s book reminded me you can legitimately jam a giant number of little tables into even the dwarf-iest room and it won’t be overkill.

So on I go – not overkilling a thing.

Above tables:

1. Geometric Table – HomeGoods.

2. Puzzle Nesting Tables – Thomas O’Brien from 2005. I lurked on e-bay for over a year for those puppies.

3. Cement Cube Table – CB2.

4. African Bowl Table – Vintage, then painted glossy white by yours truly ’til my index finger fell numb for a week.

Toying Around

Thursday, April 12th, 2012

Last week I was searching, I think, equestrian art and happened upon these Czechoslovakian toy prints from a 1950s catalog.

For 60-year-old sketches of children’s playthings, there was something rather grown up and modern about many of them.

So I picked my three favorite prints out of the dozens available, and my plan is to scan them in – combine, rearrange and minimize the layout(s), and create one perfect piece to print out and frame.

A timeless, un-traceable work with nods to Ancient Roman artifacts and to backyard games of Cowboys and Indians. Doesn’t make sense in a sentence, but on a wall, in a frame, I think and hope that it will.

The toy prints which I didn’t purchase can be found and enjoyed here.

Vase to Vase

Tuesday, January 31st, 2012

Those close to me are convinced I can’t go six days without buying a new vase. I can appreciate their concern, but really, vases are one of the basic building blocks of interior decorating. And as long as you’re mixing them in with boxes and books and objets and art, you should be able to avoid visitors mistaking your home for a vase museum.

Out of my most recent batch of home decor purchases, less than a third are technically vases, my critics will be (un)pleased to know. I’ve been pounding the pavement on One Kings Lane with increased frequency and found this vintage Mexican abalone box during my favorite Tastemaker Tag Sale of the Fall, curated by designer Darren Brown.

Brown offered some kooky, California folk art vessels shaped like bearded Jesus-lookalikes in the collection as well, which didn’t quite seem like they would’ve worked in my home.

But Jonathan Adler’s reversible king/queen vase referenced the same 70s, fuzz-faced vibe in a subtler and less psychedelic way, and for four hundred dollars less.

With the Adler vase, the abalone box, and the metallic paint-splattered pot I found on Etsy, I’m seeing if a hit of retro, hippie-commune chic can add some unexpected and eccentric echoes to the otherwise genteel tablescapes of Tudor Mansion.

Left Hanging

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

Most of the art I was aiming to get framed and in place before the holidays remained grounded in lightless closets this past month. Every time I was set to be ready, some other piece, new or old, would pop into the picture and prompt me to pause. With the garland gone and our wilting Christmas tree now thrown to the curb, it’s time to finally spruce up our space and do some hardcore hanging.

One of the pieces I’ve been most excited to install was the above bust portrait from Russia. The image is originally off a postcard I retouched to eliminate needless negative space, and I threw in a free nose-job for the old Soviet while I was at it. I shaved a good 10 years off his schnoz in under a minute, that’s how deft I am with digital knives.

The abstract water color I commissioned from my very own artist-in-residence, M. Hurlburt. Over the course of six or seven nights I had Hurly render similar pieces in endless shades and shapes – and in the end, drove him to madness and myself to giggles by choosing the very first one he’d completed. When it’s right, it’s right, but sometimes you don’t know that until you first go way wrong. (For, like a whole week.)

The colorized photo of this sun-streaked courtyard had been sitting around, unframed, for at least three years. Probably more like four. I wasn’t ever sure whether to go modern or antique-y with it, so in December I finally decided to not really officially decide, and just jam it in a twenty dollar frame that wasn’t up to any good anyway, and call it a day.

Really/obviously, I’ve been thinking, and perfecting, and waiting too long on all this. Hand me the hammer, and let’s just nail these things.

Santa Tracker 2011

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

St. Nick must’ve sent a team of his elves to Mumbai this past year to set-up a satellite workshop in order to stuff my 2011 stocking. Cause he ended up leaving me a stash of beautiful Indian treasures this Christmas, like this nano-sized pill box and citrus-scented soap.

And this sparkling vintage cricket ball!

My household Santa rejected this box of Elephant brand noodles as an “official” Christmas present, so I was handed it, unwrapped/unceremoniously, early on the 24th as a reject gift. But its packaging was so cheery and charming, it’s earned “official” status in my heart.

I don’t drink soda pops all that much anymore, but I still have a super strong sweet tooth for unique, extinct, or international soft drink (bottles). We’ll see what this CocaCola branded, coconut water-colored Limca goes down like.

After departing India, Santa’s sleigh must’ve stopped in England somewhere along his journey to my house to pick up this vintage postcard book featuring the small town in England in which I was born. Although it was a gift for me, it was my Mom and Dad who most enjoyed flipping through the photographic reminders of the first place they called home as husband and wife.

Santa didn’t forget to Buy American this year though, and these Thurmoc Slippers from Hickorees are not only puppy belly-soft, inside and out, but they’re packaged in the greatest, grandfather-ish box.

Kris, Kelly, and Sabrina showed up on Christmas too…

With a 34-year old piece of gum and a sticker of Kris on one of her earliest cases.

Petrified, deadstock chewing gum is quickly becoming the hipster sweet of the year, if no other blog’s told you so just yet.

The Nights Before Christmas

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

All is now glistening and glowing here in our little house we inaccurately (but affectionately) call Tudor Mansion. The year we moved in I found a bucket of deeply discounted garland in citrusy sherbet colors during a Boxing Day sale. And so ever since then our home’s holiday get-up has strayed from the red/green grind of Christmas tradition.

Our house is already outfitted in faded, sea-glassy colors the rest of the year, so we simply tint our Christmas in the same sorts of hues, adding in Whoville-like pops of bubble gummy pink and key lime green.

Many of the pieces have been handed down to us from German Grandmothers or Church Crocheting Club members over the years and have become some of our favorite items for the warm sense of history they bring to our set up.

And everything else we try and keep silvery or sparkly or fuzzy or felted.

I try and find one or two new things to add to the arsenal each year. We ordered a dozen boxes of white bubble lights for the tree back in November, but they were back-ordered and only arrived a few days ago.

Next year, though, we’ll bubble up for sure.

Many out there may whine about how early it gets dark the end of December. But I can’t wait for the sun to fall out of the sky this time of year so I can flick on the tree and watch our non-Mansion shine.