Friday, July 30, 2010

Tall Stairwell - Art

So, there is a huge empty wall on the stairway wall up to the second floor in our new place...the wall is 10+ feet tall.  I have been trying to figure out how to decorate this space on a budget...

My dream would be to have a huge wall of unique mirrors.  I have always wanted to have a mirror wall, and hopefully I will someday...just not sure it will be in this house.

image via Material Girls

My latest thought is to do some clipboard art...I saw this picture from Elle Decor this month, and I loved this idea.  I could leave the clipboards plain, or paint them if I felt so inspired.  It would also allow me to change out the artwork as I see fit (this is kind of funny that I would even act like I am going to constantly change these since I am the world's worst picture frame changer-outer EVER).

I just like the look and I think I have lots of random but meaningful things that would be fun to hang up see every time we hike the stairs.

image via Elle Decor

I think I prefer leaving the clipboards all natural, but it could also look interesting with a little color...

image via Martha Stewart Living

I have been looking for a cheap source...the best I have found is only .84 each.  Not bad!!

We are heading off for a getaway for a couple days - hope you all have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Beantown Art

I can't wait to get our Boston print from our super talented friend, Ari Hauben, framed for the new place.  There is a craft place here on post where you can do your own framing...I keep wondering if this would be too taxing on my lack of patience?

Now I just have to figure out where to put this one.  I wish you could see it up close - all the buildings and the bridge are made from newspaper clippings, many of which are specific to Boston.  Can you imagine crafting that skyline from little cut outs from the newspaper?  I love Ari's work!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Best coffee shop in town

I had planned to spend this evening at a coffee shop trying to accomplish some of the things on my to do list, and after realizing how slim the pickings are around here for a place that stays open late and has wifi, I decided to turn the Crow's front porch into my work space. 

As I am going through my million tear sheets trying to remember why I ripped them out, this is what Krissy and Isabella bring out to me...

Featured here...
Chocolate Raspberry Cupcake with Ganache (Brenda's recipe, of course!)
Beautifully frothed coffee
Pretty folded napkin by Isabella - she is working on becoming a napkin folding expert lately

Not only are they letting us stay with them for SOOOOO long, but now they are surprising ME with treats?  This should be reversed.  I wish I could better express how thankful we are for our amazing friends.

Everybody needs a white elephant

So, there is an overpriced Goodwill store that I have been frequenting since I have arrived.  It is so interesting to me how some of the Goodwills that I have been to have fabulous prices, and others are completely overpriced.  I guess the bottom line is that I still go back for the thrill of the hunt, overpriced or not.

Anyways, I have been wanting one of those elephant side tables for a while now (wish I would have bought the $65 one that we saw in Newburyport!) when I saw this little guy at Goodwill (book end size), I figured he would help me get my fix in the meantime.

The little man on my shoulder kept saying...this is overpriced, you don't need this, where are you going to even put this?....but I ignored him.

Two elephant stories - I can't stop laughing about how ridiculous I must sound to Mark whenever he asks me what I am about to go do...last night, it was, 'oh, I am going to paint an elephant'.  I think he now knows to just smile & nod.  He did later say, 'Everybody needs a white elephant."  True.

#2 - While babysitting the kiddos today, I asked Abbey if she wanted to go check out my elephant...she seemed awfully excited, so she quickly put her shoes on and was ready to go outside.  We got out there, and she looked pretty confused and said, "he's not bigger?"  I realized that I should have been more clear - the poor girl was excited to see a real elephant!  She did later tell me that she REALLY likes him though.

I think he looks happier white.
UPDATE - 8/3/2010 - I didn't realize how misleading these pictures are...this guy is pretty small - a good bookend size...I only WISH he was a side table!

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Basement Bathroom

We are very lucky to have an basement in our new house.  It is unfinished, but is painted and clean, so it will get a lot of good use.  There is a bathroom in the basement with a clawfoot tub, which I adore.  I wonder if it wants a clawfoot tub friend?  ...That is, since we still have that one from the cottage...which, by the way, makes me even more thankful for the garage (a.k.a. storage) that we will have. 

Anyways, this is my dream bathroom...Kate Spade can do no wrong!  Love the colors, the clawfoot tub, the bold wallpaper, and the shower curtain.  Of course, I was hoping to make my Ikea Hemmes curtains turn into a shower curtain like this one, if I can sew some straight black lines of fabric on the  bottom of them...

I was wondering if I could loosely recreate a similar look if we were to convert the tub into a shower with one of these 'kits'.  We would only buy one of these if we can find a very cheap one like these on eBay.  Problem is, I am not really sure of all the plumbing details I need to be paying attention to when purchasing one of these...yikes.  That's a disaster waiting to happen.

And, since I love my Ikea Hemmes curtains, maybe I could use some of those and add some black fabric to create the stripes myself?  Add some kelly green accents, and I would be good to go.

The only problem now is that a kelly green is the only color that I am gravitating towards for our other two bathrooms because of all the oak cabinetry...I am having a creativity block about other colors that would play nicely with the stain.  Any other suggestions??

Friday, July 23, 2010

Feature Friday on 6th Street Design

I am so flattered that one of my favorite bloggers, Kirsten from 6th Street Design School, is featuring our Boston area home on her Feature Friday series today!  You can check it out here...

Thanks so much, Kirsten!

Master Bedroom Inspiration

I think I am going to go with gray & yellow in the bedroom.  I have long had a crush on this color combo.  Here are some of the photos I have been looking at for inspiration...

From left to right..
1.  Bakelite Westclox - really started loving these clocks recently.  Layla used it in a recent project.
2.  Curtains from Curtain Call
3.  Eco market totes from Container seen on Say YES! to Hoboken.  I feel like a pair of these on a low shelf or maybe in a closet would be key for stashing away baby books/toys...
4.  Jenny's DIY Roman Shades...mine are 90% done, but no where near as good as hers!!
5.  Benjamin Moore™ 2137-60 Gray Owl- most likely color for our bedroom - and maybe the living room/dining room as well!
6.  Gray vintage westclox - a find I got on eBay for $5
7.  My new lamps!
8.  LOVE LOVE LOVE the look of this contemplating the same mustard color for mine...via Martha Stewart.
9.  Fun yellow/gray room

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

White have or not to have?

So, for a long time, we have talked about buying some white plates in bulk for entertaining.  We finally buckled when we got here because after much shopping around, we were able to get 36 dinner and 36 salad plates from the Williams Sonoma Outlet for 50% off the outlet price.  Plus, we had a gift card...perfect.
We have had lots of hilarious late night chats while here at M&K's, and the plates came up.  I knew we would get grilled by M for making this purchase, so I tried to use my eco-friendly reasoning with him.  Being the 'green soul' that he is...I thought this was my only way to win this discussion.

The sad part is, I have even wondered at times if 36 was enough!!  (Okay, I am still wondering....)

Last night while reading about something completely unrelated on Apartment Therapy, I found this post about these people who bought 160 white plates!!!  Yeah, someone more crazy than us.  I love these people, and I love their rationale...and all the comments that follow.  I immediately announced this article to Sean and K who were in the room with me, and sent it to M, hoping he would read it when it popped up on his iPad upstairs!  M said it is just proof that you can always find something on the internet to back up what is not true....bottom line, I am still happy with my purchase.  Where do you stand?

Curtain Call

So, here at West Point, I was blown away to learn about 'Curtain Call'.  Basically, it is a gold can go and purchase curtain panels for 'donation only' and they recommend $1 per panel!  From my understanding, there is an  alum who owns a curtain/textile company, and he decided to regularly send shipments here for everyone to benefit from.  How generous...and what a jackpot.

I was fortunate enough to attend one a couple weeks ago, and I came home with 17 curtains...lots of sets but also lots of singles as it is hard to find a match at times.  However, I figured if I could become industrious, they could make some great pillows, or, maybe I would attempt Jenny's brilliant DIY - roman shades made out of mini blinds.  I got two sets for Krissy which we hung (or, I should say, have attempted to hang because one already fell down!) in their living room and study - they look great...and can't beat $4 for curtains in two rooms!

I bought some mini blinds from WalMart in hopes that would inspire me to get going on this project.  I am notoriously bad at measurements, so I am a little gun shy since I have a fear that I will complete them, and then they will be the wrong size!  If I motivate, I will keep you posted.

Nice Mention - Destination Wedding Invitations

I stumbled upon this nice mention regarding the wedding invitations that I did for Ryan &, Mr. & Mrs. Maloney!  What a nice surprise!

Cute and Chic Wedding Invitations for a Beach-side Ceremony

Paddy's Room - Books, part two.

I forgot about my other ideas for books for Paddy's room...

I LOVE the idea of the wall book shelves for displaying books - like from Kelly Wearstler's children's room...
Children's books are such beautiful pieces of art in their own right...

I also love the idea from Young House Love about how they are going to create shallow shelves for their office to put their postcards on.  I love their idea of sending themselves postcards whenever they travel, and now they plan to display them.  Genius.  Sommer and I have decided that they are so incredibly perfect...why can't we be more like them?  I thought it would be fun to start at least 'buying' (I am not so good at sending postcards) Paddy a postcard from places that we take him.  Then, we could display those as well as some others that I have picked up or saved over the years.

Not sure that any of these ideas will come to fruition while we are here, but I would love to implement them someday!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Paddy's Room - Books

So, in Boston, we made due with the closet shelf as a bookshelf, knowing that Paddy would need more space for books once we moved on.  I have Craiglook set up with a search for bookcases/bookshelves, but I haven't seen any I am crazy about, so I have started thinking about alternatives...

The only requirement I can think of is that I will need to have some space for books that are not age appropriate yet so that he doesn't destroy all of them already...whether that be a higher shelf, the top of a dresser, etc.

I thought that I could remove a couple of the metal bins from the Brimfield cart in order to store books.  Or maybe I should even remove all the bins on the lower shelf since we are a little worried about Paddy pulling those all the way out and hurting himself!

Or, today, I saw the book slings that two of my fabulous blogging friends, Vanessa and Michelle, have made...very cool, and I think this is even within my limited sewing capability!

Or, maybe I just need some cool bookends.  Again, I liked this idea that Vanessa blogged about because I feel like it is always so hard to find bookends that are heavy enough!  However, Hallie, Brandy and I have tried to work with concrete before and we weren't very successful, were we ladies?

Does anyone have any other ideas?  I am all ears...

Mad Men - set the DVRs!

You are probably already tracking, but the next season of Mad Men starts up on July 25th!  Can't wait for another season of fashion and design inspiration!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


So, I know I previously wrote about the Craigslist Image Prefetcher, which I hope, if you EVER look at craigslist, that you have taken the time to download it because it will save you HOURS.

Krissy introduced me to Craiglook.  I was sort of reluctant to use it at first; however, once I realized that I could SAVE SEARCHES, I was hooked.  I now receive lovely daily emails with all the new postings that match what I am looking for.  The only problem I have is that you can only have 10 searches and currently there are about 500 I would like to have.  You can also use their handy slider bar to say how far you are willing to travel to get the goods, and your search is quickly updated...nice, right?

Hope you enjoy it, if you aren't already!  Anyone else have any fantastic craigslist tools?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Paddy's Room - Wall Idea

So, because I have been feeling a complete lack of inspiration on the blogging front, I figured I would try to jump start myself by posting about some design ideas for the new house which may or may not pan out.

I am obsessed with maps lately, so when I stumbled across these maps (I was able to get it for cheaper, but I guess the company I purchased from is now out of them - however, these are still almost 1/2 the price of the exact same one that UO is selling!) that would take up an entire wall, I knew this was what I wanted to attempt in Paddy's room.

Image via Urban Outfitters 

Now, I would love to hang this in a way that I might be able to re-use it in the future, but I haven't had a brilliant idea for how to do that.   The whole map is more than 8 feet by 13 feet, and it comes in three large pieces. If you have any thoughts, I would love to hear them!  The only thing I thought of was binder clips??  Not sure if those would be strong enough to hold these pieces up since they technically should be hung like wallpaper.  Poor Krissy - she keeps offering to help me paint, then she spilled the beans that she knows how to wallpaper.  She is in trouble...I am going to probably take her up on ALL her offers :)

Then, I will probably paint the rest of the walls a light blue to go along with the map...I finally bit the bullet and ordered the map, so I will try to color match once I receive it.  

I also love the chair in this pic!  For now, Paddy will be stuck with the vintage orange beauty :)

So...should I start a poll on how long it is going to take to hang this bad boy?

Friday, July 9, 2010

A find.

Wow, I didn't realize I would take such a long 'blogging break'...but we have been all over the place since my last post....IL, Hawaii, MI, NY & CT.  Thank goodness our little man has been so flexible and understanding during this time of being sans home.  While we were soaking up some Maui sun, we got an exciting call saying that we were getting a house on post at West Point.  We were thrilled.  We won't be able to move in until mid-August, so in the meantime, we are staying at Chateau Crow.  We are so lucky to have friends like M&K who can not only handle their 4 children under the age of 7, but can also be so hospitable to welcome our chaos.

So, now that we know what house we are getting, my mind has not stopped spinning with decor ideas.  Sommer & I chatted about this today...I think we have some sort of blog disease...we love blogs so much, and have filled our heads with so many images and looks that we love that it is hard to narrow down what we want to do. challenge to myself is to have a very good idea of 'what goes where', what colors we will paint, what to do with the oak cabinetry that is all over the place, etc. etc. etc.  I won't bore you with details.  Okay, maybe I will.  We'll see.

So, obviously, this is going to have to be some thrifty decorating I champagne taste on the beer budget is going to be challenging :)

My first favorite find was these (working!) lamps that I scored for $5 each at a barn sale that we stumbled on after a farmer's market in Cold Spring...

I adore them.  Now they just need some new, clean shades.