Friday, August 27, 2010

TGIF, 8/27/10 Edition

Another week has come and gone but I'm looking forward to this weekend because the long-awaited loveseat is ready for pick up! I can't wait to share it in our "den" next week.

Currently, that sad little area looks like this:

I'm in the middle of a number of projects that will bring this room together. It's a bonus space that we never planned on having while living in an apartment, so we've been fortunate to furnish it inexpensively and (I think) creatively. A breakdown of the decor will come next week!

In addition to this "den" area, our place also features a guest bedroom in the subterranean level (that sounds so much nicer than basement, doesn't it?). We admittedly haven't spent much design time on it, so it currently looks like this:

It's a sad state of affairs. Showing these "before" photos are against my better judgment, so please be gentle. It needs a lot of work. There is very little natural light in this room (or in our apartment in general), so eliminating the cave-like feel is my primary aim.

So, my weekend will look like this:

Priority #1: Spruce up the den
Priority #1.5: Spruce up the guest bedroom

What are you up to? Happy Friday, friends!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Possibilities for the Bedroom

I've got my bedroom on the brain, as you can see by the themed posts this week.

Here are just a few things I'm coveting for our blue/white/red bedroom:

(the Anglepoise Original 1227 Lamp from Brook Farm General Store)

(Josef Frank's La Plata fabric from Just Scandinavian)

(Dash and Albert's Blue Awning Stripe Woven Cotton Rug)

(Julia B. Monogrammed Shams in 'Aix'--I'm adding the blue to our wedding registry for sure!)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Little Blue

I'm feeling a little blue in the bedroom, readers. Get your minds out of the gutters...I'm talking about decor...jeez.

(via decor pad)

What say you? Is blue in the bedroom soothing or just a little bit depressing?

Monday, August 23, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

TGIF, 8/20/10 edition

It's Friday, friends, and I don't think it could have come soon enough!

After fluttering about last weekend, we will be laying low...but active nonetheless. I'll be spending my time on projects. I've started a few already:

Other activities include
--more sanding and staining
--purging and donating
--prep for labor day visitors
--taking in a late-summer Phillies game

What are you all going to be up to?

However you'll be spending your time, remember to enjoy these fleeting days of summer before they're gone.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Nobody Puts Philly in a Corner

Just over five years ago, The NY Times proclaimed Philadelphia "The Sixth Borough," that is, an extension of New York City. The author cited the growing number of commuters working in The Big A but residing in our dear ol' Quaker City. I wanted to weigh in on the assertion that Philadelphia has developed into Brooklyn-lite.

Adam and I moved to Philly from New York two years ago so that I could attend graduate school at Penn. At the time, I had been working as an assistant buyer for a very luxe boutique (think Proenza Schouler, Rodarte, Lanvin, etc.) that was sucking the life out of me. Frankly, the low pay and crazy work situations, coupled with the complexities of city life (i.e., transporting groceries on the subway, anyone?), were too much to handle. We needed to get out.

Philly seemed like a reasonable next step, and it didn't hurt that Penn is an excellent school. So, we moved. Why do I share all of this back story? So you understand what I was looking for in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is a city with a storied history. I mean, folks, I live only four blocks from where the Declaration of Independence was signed. I'll pause for a moment to let that sink in. The flippin' Declaration of Independence! But Philly's glory did not die with the Founding Fathers. In fact, Philly's not dying at all, despite what some may suggest.

Unlike New York and the comparison borough of Brooklyn, Philadelphia draws tens of thousands of people just like me every year on the basis of its
a) affordability
b) great food...unparalleled, really
c) unique neighborhoods
d) immense sports-team pride (seriously, it's crazy here)
e) complete lack of ego

We've got

and these idiots...

We've got Chase Utley, Reading Terminal Market, the Piazza, Jose Garces, the Mural Arts Program, a history of religious tolerance, Capogiro gelato, crazy South Philly parking...I could go on.

Sure, the public school system in the city is dreck (I am working to change that, thank you very much), the city is plagued by crime, drug use, poverty, and blight, but I think Philly holds its own. No need to call this city anyone's ugly stepchild or, even worse, a sixth borough. Lest this post become a pissing contest, it's important to remember that both cities have a wonderful, ever-expanding history and cultural significance, but they are really just different.*

*Editor's Note: This diatribe is coming from someone who still loves to visit New York and regularly dreams of living there, on her own terms (and hopefully, with the significantly larger income necessary to sustain oneself in such a place).

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In Stitches

I've always been a bit of crafter; specifically, I like to embroider when inspiration strikes. Well, this weekend, inspiration struck when I came upon the book "A Rainbow of Stitches" at Joann Fabrics. Embroidery and cross-stitching are funny hobbies because the design options are limited, that is of course unless you are into duck or teddy bear designs.

(via Google)

Here's a piece I embroidered straight onto stretched canvas back in 2006. I stitched directly over a pencil sketch.

(notice the picture of baby Adam...isn't he adorable?)

The design was pulled from Barry Moser's illustration for "Lewis Carroll's Alice: Alice in Wonderland"...a very, very cool book.

(via Google)

For all the crafters out there, whether you've tried your hand at needlework in the past or not, take some time and peruse this book. You won't be sorry. Designs are varied, from seed pods to good luck charms. I can't wait to dig into it--I'm already brainstorming the holiday gifts this book will inspire.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Seasonal Vegetables of California

You've seen Claire Nereim's "Seasonal Fruits of California" print, no doubt. I was so in love with it that it was on my 2009 Christmas list. Yes, I am 26 and I make a Christmas list that Adam and my mother share. Each year they manage to give wonderful gifts! ;)

Well, Ms. Nereim's done it again, this time it's a vegetable print that I'm coveting.

(via Etsy)

Currently, our kitchen is decked in fruit prints (such as a Herman Miller watermelon print and a repro-WPA print that we made ourselves). I might just have to expand the wall decor to include all produce...

(frames by Larson-Juhl, a wonderful investment)

I can see my Christmas list taking shape already...

Monday, August 16, 2010

Weekend Recap: Someone Else's Junk

Can you believe it's Monday already, friends? I can. We accomplished so much this weekend that it was the perfect mix of work and play. On Saturday, we dropped off the loveseat that I can't stop writing about (you're probably thinking, "Thank God she acknowledged that!") for reupholstery. Joe the Upholsterer was very nice and seemed quite competent, given his filled-to-the-brim shop.
We made a number of stops around the Philadelphia suburbs before heading back home to the City of Bro-ham Love. Before we called it a day, Adam and I stopped by The Great Antique and Estate Contents Warehouse, located in the Germantown section of the city. I found it through a lovely local blogger, Naomi of Thirteenth and South.
This place acquires its goods through estate sales and junk removal, but don't let that dissuade you from stopping by. There's a lot of goodies to be had, even if the owner is a character.
Let me tell you, folks, this place was CHOCK full of nuts...I mean...stuff.
There were your requisite MCM pieces, of course. These matching dressers were constructed to last until the next few centuries, let me tell you.

An ottoman with flame-stitch upholstery. We were quoted $75 for it. No, thanks.

But there was much more here than your standard flea market or vintage store fare. Case and point, a stuffed animal skunk lamp. Yes, I said lamp. Flower, is that you?

We walked away with two paintings, a Christmas present for my father (shhh...don't tell!), and Adam's deal-of-the-day, an Intellivision, right out of 1979. Want to see one of the paintings?

Here you go.

Nothing like spending your free time sifting through someone else's junk. It was a good weekend.

Friday, August 13, 2010

TGIF, 8/13/10 Edition

(via Decor Pad)

(via Domino)

It's Friday, friends! You can probably tell by the assortment of images above that I've got sofas on the brain...

What the photos here demonstrate is that a sofa can be as staid or as out-there as you like. A sofa's styling is all about what makes you happy when you come home. I cannot wait 'til my new-to-me loveseat returns...'til then, I'll be waiting like a kid before Christmas.

Happy weekend!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Loveseat Prep Work

Philadelphia, like much of the country, has been experiencing a continuously hot and very humid summer. It sort of feels like the atmosphere is giving this city an angry bear hug and, despite our squirming to get out of its hold, we're stuck in the embrace. Sweaty, smelly, and stuck in an environmental bear hug. Yuck.

It's any wonder I've managed to find the motivation to get moving on this loveseat project I've been talking about for months now...but I did. In fact, Saturday is the big day: drop off at the upholsterer!

I found a quality upholsterer who gave me a good quote and, with classic charcoal linen in hand, I got started on the prep work I need to do before Saturday's big event. Primarily, that prep work involved a good cleaning, a frame tightening, and trim sanding and staining.

I got to work sanding the wood that trims the curved back and sides...

and then cleaned up the resulting dust before I began to stain. I am planning on sanding/staining a few more pieces in our "den," so the stain will be the unifying feature. We decided upon Minwax Wood Finish in 'English Chestnut', the same stain I used for that still-ugly footsool as well as my side chair covered in Alan Campbell fabric.

Staining went smoothly and, in spite of the humidity, the stain dried smoothly and quickly.

Joe the Upholsterer, whose details I'll share if he does a good job, promised this would be a quick project. I can't tell what I'm more excited about: the impending cooler weather of fall or this new-to-me loveseat.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Surrounded By Old Friends

My dream house is still years in the future but, as I wait for the day that we finally move in, I'm collecting inspiration for a room where I'm surrounded by some of my favorite old know, Virginia, Ernest, Kurt, and Jane. Certainly you've been acquainted.

(Miles Redd via Elle Decor)

(via ?...tell me if you know!)

(via Little Green Notebook)

(via Domino)

(via Apartment Therapy)

(Miles Redd via House Beautiful)

These pictures make my collection look skimpy. Hmm, I guess that gives me a reason to keep collecting more [old] friends.
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