20 April 2011

Lilly "chairlooms"

Read about these marvelous goodies HERE.
If you are a Lilly lover, like me you'll be drooling with excitement over this stuff.

19 April 2011

On Paint

The past week has been a bedroom painting scramble in anticipation of our moving truck full of belonging arriving.

Above, is a before picture of my master bedroom. Can you blame me for wanting to paint it?

This is the almost finished product. The crappy venetian blinds are going away soon and furniture, instead of ladders,will fill the space.
This is actually about the paint.
I used Sherwin-Williams Superpaint in my room and the clerk at S-W promised me that two coats would cover that blood colored accent wall.
Much to my surprise, it did.
I recently used the same Superpaint in my guest bath...
but it only had to cover builder's off white walls.

Yesterday and the day before were spent painting my color-fatigued teens room's.
Much to my chagrin they both insited on having their rooms painted a bright white.
My daughter's room was that builder color with badly scuffed walls and trim.
I decided to save a little cash and went to Lowe's. I chose Valspar Super Premium flat Ultra White that promised "thick one coat coverage".
My already nearly white room required two coats.

That is a blurry before picture of my 16 year-old son's room.
It's very lavender.
This "thick one coat coverage" took actually three coats to cover and after days and days of painting and extra coat seemed like the judge added ten more years to our sentence.
The S-W Superpaint was about $41 a gallon and the Valspar was about $25 a gallon.
I would have gladly spent the money to avoid having to do so many coats of paint and I think we would have ended up using less anyways.

The moral is that, in this case, you get what you pay for.

18 April 2011

My tax refund fantasy

Just for fun, I put together a few things that I might spend a tax refund on if I had one and was totally impractical.

The first thing that came to mind was Brunshwig and Fils "Le Lac". I'd want enough for curtains in my formal living room or about 15 yards at approximately $6000.

I realize that there are finer chandeliers out there but I like this $1400 one from Ballard, darnnit.

These dining Chairs by Ralph Lauren, $1398 each from Horchow.

Phillip Jeffries silk wallcovering for my formal dining room. No price listed.
You know what that means.

I'd also love an aubusson rug that would cost more than anyone's tax refund.

Enough with fantasy-- I'm off to paint a room before the movers get here.

11 April 2011

My-kat custom Ikat

This fun discovery began with a frustrating mail delivery of the wrong
fabric swatches and an even more frustrating trip to a local fabric shop.
I found a great chinoiserie toile on bark colored linen for the curtain to cover my sliding glass door.
They had a yard less than I need in stock and it was discontinued.
The store discounts decorator fabric and mostly does not list the manufacturer, even in their files so I was unable to try to hunt some on my own.
I noticed a Chinese import plate hanging on the wall at home and thought," I want that, but grayer and browner".
Long story-short, I found Spoonflower.com, a site that lets you upload an image file and create your own fabric.

photo of spoon-mirror repeat

It kept be very busy figuring out tweaks of photos, paintings and color.
If this sounds like fun to you get a babysitter and order pizza, whatever it takes to keep things going at your house because it sucks you in and you may not come up for air for days.
The basic repeat option is generally boring with most images.
The mirror repeat option is often the most interesting and how I made the first pattern above.

This one is a detail of a painting and it turned out resembling tie-dye.

Detail from the same painting with a half-drop repeat.
Its fun but I wouldn't fork out any money for this one.
If I liked it but wanted the flowers to be red, that can be done but it takes time.
The colors can also be simplified too. Again, lots of time.

This silhouette worked beautifully in several iterations.

As you can see, the mirror repeat adds decidedly different feel.

I took a photo of the detail on an antique mirror and made this one.

I took a detail of this painting and created this...

I actually like it but I can't think of anywhere to use it.
Maybe a fun pillow.
I had plenty of duds in this experiment that is one reason this little website swallowed me whole.
I  may be able to manage a few Christmas presents out of my creations but my sliding glass door is still bare.

08 April 2011

Do you "ban" companies?

What I mean is do completely avoid shopping somewhere because of a bad experience?
My husband has a "ban" list of restaurants in our former Pa town.
Extremely poor service or damage control in a tough situation earned many establishments a spot on his list over 40 years living there.

I have a "ban" list of my own.

Laura Ashley is no longer the company it once was to preppy people around the U.S.
Perhaps it is, in part, due to their poor customer service, which is the reason I created my list many years ago.

When I was expecting my first child, I was thrilled that my grandmother planned to purchase the crib bedding for us.

 At the time I could not afford to shop at their posh Pittsburgh store.

Yes, you read that right, Pittsburgh.
Apparently, a girl had to show her tiara or some sort of assurance of pedigree at the door.
I did not and was made to feel quite badly and and as though I shouldn't be shopping there.
What I did not know is that the ridiculous level of snootiness was precisely the reason that I should not shop there.
Not because of any unworthy quality on my part, but rather their disdain, lack of courtesy, and general rudeness.
 Macys.com is now on my "ban" list because of their utter incompetence in handling a simple return recently.
10+ phone calls over 3 months-- need I say more?

Do you ban retailers or restaurants?

07 April 2011

Curtains, blankets and divorce,oh my!

Yesterday, my husband said to me, " You'll have to find a curtain for that window over the front door."

He meant the clerestory window in the entry hall.
I replied, " That is not the sort of window you put a curtain on." and it began...
the arguement about what to do in the summer when the sun blazes through the window and heats the house to an unfriendly temperature.
He said, " If you don't find something I'll hang a blanket on it."
"You let me hang a blanket on that back one so I'll just find another for the front."

This, friends, is where I confess a shamefull but necessary blanket hung as a window covering.
When we bought the house it came with partial vertical blinds on a sliding glass door.
I won't get into my feelings about the sliding glass door, since its staying but I draw the line at vertical blinds.
The other day it was 87 degrees in the afternoon and the sun is blinding during dinner most days. That day it was hot too so we hung a blanket. I am in the process of ordering a curtain.

Black velvet I ordered for a chair
I have chosen a few linen samples from Fabric.com. They have superb prices and an array of colors that I like.
I have a whole host of samples that are somewhere in the mail, just frustrating me.
I called my old workroom in Pennsylvania and got a quote for everything I want. Just waiting for the swatches to confirm.
Upholstery fabric for the sofa in steel gray

Robert Allen Dwell Studio Vintage Blossom

I am using the Vintage Blossom in Citrine for drapes on a row of four windows behind the sofa. The sofa will be in steel gray and a chair in black velvet will be in the room.
The linen curtain is for the eating area adjoining the family room and kitchen.
I really hope it all works together.

The good news is that I found a heat blocking window film at Lowe's for about $35 and will remain married despite the comment about chandeliers in bedrooms being stupid.

06 April 2011

Soooo not trendy

I am loving what I just found HERE
not a trendy bauble, slipcover, or garden seat in sight...

The layering and color palettes are exquisite.

I find it delicious, don't you?

05 April 2011

Dream House

Dream house Entry Hall
Don't get me wrong, I appreciate my house. Its the biggest one I've ever lived in.
I am in the very earliest stage of decorating it so figuring out what I want is on my mind.
Pairing what I want with what I already have and considering the constraints
 of budget, existing architecture, and time make it complicated.

Last week I browsed through my inspiration files looking for the elements of my dream house.
I was looking for both things that are possible in my home and things that I love but are fantasy for the moment.

This is my dream kitchen...

This is my real kitchen and the two won't be meeting anytime soon.

A version of this dining room is totally possible, Yay!

I'd like a less pink version of this family room but a large TV and kids make this room impossible.

The general style of this room could happen in my formal living room, minus the bookshelves.
That is what the library is for.

I have plans for a dark, masculine library which will ironically be my "mom cave".

My dream master bedroom has a lot more fabric than my real one.

My 16 year old son does not share my romantic ideas of a boy's bedroom, like the one above.
I've talked him into a bit of midcentury modern combined with his rock star aesthetic.

I have a thing for bed coronets and luckily I should be able to accomplish that in both daughter's rooms.

I'd like a more subdued version of this for the littlest.

At the moment I am living with many white walls, uninspiring light fixtures 
 and one fifth of the furniture I own.
What would your dream house look like?
Do you already live in it?

01 April 2011

Patrician dining

When I think of formal dining rooms, I conjure images of
deep colored walls, heirloom furniture and sumptuous fabrics.
A less casual place than is used everyday that seems worthy of special occasions.

I prefer the English Country House look with leather, tartan fabrics, silk drapes, and bit of equestrian chic thrown in.

My own dining room is far from recieving the style infusion I am looking for.
The walls are still white and and I'll need to start searching for new pieces.

I will need new chairs and I am a huge fan of plaid and mixed styles and fabrics.

To be honest, I'm looking to create something a little stuffy and uptight.

I'll save the whimsy for another room.