Thursday, August 12, 2010

Beyond Bookcases

Who knew that moving in with the new husband would bring up all these design dilemmas, like what to do with all our books. We initially put all the books in his Pottery Barn bookcases, but it looks so generic no matter how artfully we arrange everything. I would love to get me one of these chairs as an alternative to the standard bookcases.

This chair from Nobody&Co. would be a great addition to the living room. Why is it that all the really cool furniture seems to come from Italy?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Beds in front of the Window?

The new husband and I are already bickering in that old-married-couple way about furniture placement. I think the bed is the most obvious focal point in the bedroom, and I want it to be the first thing you see. In the guest room, the best placement of the bed is under the window, but the husband is worried about blocking the light and the general awkwardness of the configuration. I found some images to convince him otherwise.

Michael Merrill used a minimal headbo
ard and extended the drapes around the bed for a dramatic effect.

Bedroom by Turquoise

Bedroom by Andy Carera

Bedroom by
Michael Graydon. The bay window is the perfect nook for the bed.

I suppose there are several good reasons not to do this. If you have old, drafty windows, you can catch a nasty head cold. A headboard would be mandatory if you want to sit up and read in bead. Also, closing and opening the drapes can be a drag if you need to stand on the bed to do so. Our room is a rarely used guest room, and the windows are dual paned, so I'm going to place the bed in front of the window and ask for forgiveness later.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Dress Your Desk

I've seen endless slipcovers for couches, armchairs and consoles, but I don't see them often for office desks, so I squealed with delight when I saw Anna Sprio's Tutu desk at her blog Absolutely Beautiful Things. Most office furniture is bland and boring, but her desk slipcover exudes sass and style. Here's another desk slipcover Anna did for a client. Love the bold pattern.

I'm dying to see what's on the other side. I'm guessing it's probably one of those affordable but generic tables with plastic top and metal legs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Farewell Bachelorette Pad

Every time I get my place just right after years of deliberation (or procrastination, if I were to honest with myself), I move. A couple years ago, I was convinced I was going to be a single girl in the city for the rest of my life, and I found the perfect pad to live my "Sex and the City" lifestyle. I hemmed and hawed and hesitated over the art, furniture, rugs, drapes and accessories. I bought and returned countless tchotchkies from Target and Pier 1. I even bit the bullet and spent a stupid amount of money to remodel my bathroom and replace all the pipes so I wouldn't have to bathe in or drink brown water from the rusted galvanized pipes. And what happened 1 week after the the contractor finally completes the remodel? I run off to Vegas to marry the man of my dreams and move to the *gasp* suburbs!

My last place in the city gave me so much comfort, pleasure and joy. Looking at the before and after pictures gives me a huge sense of accomplishment. You've come a long way, baby, but it's time to move on to the next chapter of your life.

Living Room

The living room was spacious and got amazing light, but the dark paneling sucked it all away.

I brightened up the place with baby blue walls and put in glossy cherry floors. The cherry floors were a mistake. I thought I picked out a browner, darker floor, but the floors were already half way installed when I realized the mistake, so I worked with it. It's actually quite stunning. Quite often, it's the first thing people comment on when they first enter the place.

The built in bookcase and fireplace surround were the only redeeming features in this room. I've been meaning to paint it white and put in a mirror backing in the bookcase but never got around to doing it.

Dining Room

I originally wanted an exotic, Moroccan inspired dining room, which explains the rug. I had grand visions of luscious, stenciled walls in jewel tone colors. Instead, the dining room evolved into something more traditional with a hint of French country. I guess I'm more traditional at heart. Almost everything in this picture is from Craigslist and in total cost me around $500.

The kitchen was a total gut job. Nothing was worth salvaging or refinishing. There was a weird hall way entrance that cut the kitchen in two. I closed it off so I could create a U shaped floor plan that is much more conducive to cooking. My last kitchen was all white, and I was craving the warmth of rich wood.

There used to be a wall dividing the dining room from the kitchen that made both rooms feel small and claustrophobic. That wall was one of the first things to come down.

Can you imagine cooking in this kitchen? Check out the rotary phone on the wall.

Half the kitchen cabinets were fake wood laminate and the other half was painted avocado green. Yuck.

Bedroom 1

The first bedroom
had the same dark paneling as the living room. I think I choose the yellow in a knee jerk reaction to the paneling. I gave up finding the prefect piece of art to put above the bed as I'm terrified of it falling on my head in an earthquake. I adore my vintage inspired dresser, but the new husband hates it. It will be interesting to see where it shows up in the new house.

Bedroom 2

The rarely used guest room. If I'm not careful, this room becomes a place to dump all my crap.


As much as I love wallpaper, the before pictures convinced me to stay away from it. Nothing dates a place faster than trendy wallpaper past its prime.

The marble mosaic floor, subway tile, pedestal sink and bead board create the vintage look I was trying to achieve in the bathroom. The coffin shower behind the door was converted in to a spacious closet.  I chose black and white tile for a timeless look. I painted the walls a crazy lavender color. I thought it would be too over the top, but so far, it's been well received.