Category Archives: Carpets/Rugs

New Year’s Resolution Update

Eight months ago, I set out six design resolutions for myself in 2011.  One of many things on my to-do list was a facelift for our entry hall.  As a reminder, here is the BEFORE:

 

And now, still in progress and revealing my brand-spanking-new, shiny lucite console that arrived at my doorstep yesterday, is the ALMOST AFTER:

As you can see, I replaced the unsightly mustard yellow curtain at the end of the hallway with new French doors, changed out the runner and added the currently bare, but still beautiful-to-me, console.

Remember my first attempt at the console?  Although it was too deep and too tall and too clunky for the space, I still miss this glossy gal:

Here is a close-up of the French doors that my husband labored over after some serious nagging encouragement from me.  We ordered the doors from a local outfit that we love – Pleasant’s Hardware.  The doors came primed, but not painted, and they fit a little too perfectly — the doors were so snug that we couldn’t open and close them.  My husband pulled out some magic with a saw and sander and voila!  The knobs are temporary until I can find some that I really love.  We decided on frosted glass to hide this:

Which will likely be on the design resolution list for 2012!  🙂

I have four more months to:

  1. Style the console;
  2. Find a cheap the perfect piece of art for the long bare wall across from the laundry room; and
  3. Maybe paint the back of the front door an interesting color.

Think I can do it?  Stay tuned!

 

 

Living Room Update

Thank you all so much for all of your kind comments on yesterday’s post.   You are all so sweet.  They made my week! 

Today, I am sharing recent updates to my living room.  This is a strange room in the front of our house that doesn’t get used much, but hopefully that will change.  When we first moved in, I used it as my office, but after Clare arrived and she spent half of the day downstairs with the baby-sitter, I knew this wasn’t going to work.

{I can’t believe I found this picture!  It’s c.2006 and way pre-blog.  Do you spy the old-school blue blackberry on the right side of the desk?} 

 Since Clare came along, it’s been a “living room” filled with a random assortment of orphan items that didn’t really flow together, including that fair isle rug.  I can’t find a picture of the living room set-up, and didn’t even want to take a “before” shot!  I am hoping to turn it into more of a “Mom Cave”  and use it for reading and chatting on the phone away from the hubbub of the rest of the house.  🙂  Sounds luxurious, right? 

For my birthday in May, my husband got me the gorgeous “Blues Comes Through” print by Alice Dalton Brown pictured below (that I have been coveting for a while and blogged about in August of last year).  The old decor clashed with my beloved print.

Based on what I already have, I am going with a color palate of light blue, yellow, white and seagrass.

So far, I have updated the room with Ballard Designs’ Seagrass Rug and replaced the old pillow covers with the light blue Jute Braid Pillow Covers from Pottery Barn.     

I like how the long, rectangular rug makes the room appear bigger.  The previous rug (a 5 foot circular rug above) made the room appear much smaller. 

I replaced a red/white/green framed Georgia O’Keefe poster with this framed illustration from our family room.  And I already had these pillows from Target (which are ubiquitous in the blog world!) and the throw blanket from West Elm, which was also in the family room.

In the short term, I would like to: 1. replace the dark blue pillows on the long couch with a pair of these:

ONE new 18x18 multi color, red, turquoise, green, gold, ikat, medallion, pillow cover, throw pillow,  decorative pillow SHIPS WITHIN 24 hrs

2. Purchase a small and light coffee table, preferably thrifted, but I also like the look of this one from CB2:

and 3. Style the bookcase with some interesting and fun pieces and books. 

Longer term, I would like to replace the end tables with some that add some  height to either side of the long couch.  I would also love to add a fun chandelier or lantern and some airy, flowy curtain panels. 

I am resisting the strong urge to make this room too beachy or coastal, which would be easy to do given its colors and current elements.  However, I don’t live at the beach or in a coastal town and that decor would NOT match with the rest of the house, so I am staying away from seashells, capiz, coral, etc.!

So what do you think?  Any good ideas for me?

Next up, I will share an update on one of my New Years Design Resolutions!

Home Decorators Doubletake

Upon arrival in my household, usually the Home Decorators catalog does directly into the recycle bin.  Think cheesy doctors’ office
waiting room furniture. 

However, after seeing a few promising items on design blogs recently, I leafed through my catalog over the weekend.  And wow!  Great stuff and prices.  They are collaborating with Martha and must be under new creative direction! 
Check it:

{Garden Side Chair, Home Decorators, $99}

{Reflections Storage Shelf, Home Decorators, $349}

{Martha Stewart Fretwork All Weather Rug, Home Decorators, $34-$257}

{Emily Side Table, Home Decorators, $169}

{French Side Chairs, Home Decorators, $169}

{Ainsworth Beveled Mirror, Home Decorators, $299}

{Distressed Cain Candleholders, Home Decorators, $17-$29}

Keep up the good work, Home Decorators!

P.S. If you haven’t checked out the new High Gloss Magazine, grab your beverage of choice and devour it.  Kudos to Paloma, Erin and the whole team!  My fave spread is Jamie Meares‘ house – gorgeous.

My Design Resolutions

Happy New Year!  The start of 2011 feels liberating.  2010 was a great year, but it feels good to leave its baggage and the holiday stress behind me and
start fresh. 

I have been making a personal plan for the upcoming year and along with that, have been introspectfully examining my design goals and aspirations. 
Here we go:

  1. Get rid of everything that I don’t love without guilt, including gifts or family hand-me-downs.  This will always be a work-in-progress for me and I have closets full of gifts and hand-me-downs that I “don’t hate” but they never leave the closets.  Time to purge.
  2. Step out of my comfort zone and do not feel constrained by traditions and expectations.  Expectations and thoughts about re-sale value often water down and paralyze my design decisions, and the status quo remains longer than it should.
  3. Eradicate the mini-blind from all windows in the entire house!  You may want to avert your eyes….YIKES.
  4. Strike the right balance of investing in high-quality pieces while mixing with affordable, low-end accessories.  My favorite style combines classics and antiques with affordable basics.  I don’t want a house full of just antiques or full of just low-end “junk”, and with Target so close by, I tend towards the latter.
  5. Finally recover these chairs that flank our sideboard in the dining room. They were hand-me-downs that came with a furnished home purchased by my mother, and I like their shape, but the fabric is HIDEOUS!
  6. Finish my 3 ongoing projects!

I am nearing completion on Project Big Girl Room.  I need to style the dresser (now that the changing table is gone — woo hoo!), order some throw pillows, finish the wall art and maybe work on the closet-turned-secret room.

Upon a mention to my husband about wanting to re-do our downstairs bathroom, the next thing I knew, he had demo’d the whole thing.  Tile floors, vanity, mirror, toilet, light fixture — the whole sha-bang.  We are working on a yellow/gray/white bathroom update.  Here’s the current state — yikes again! (also, the yellow is much prettier in person and really not neon.  I had to use a headlamp to take this picture because the light fixture was gone!)

I have also kick-started the New Year by ordering the West Elm Zigzag Rug for my front hallway that I posted about here and here.  I will also likely order a new console and some fun accessories to spruce up the entryway to our house.  I want to get rid of the yellow curtain at the end of the hallway that currenlty serves as the door to our laundry room (we had to take off the door to fit our front-load washer/dryer when we moved in).   Here’s the before:

I would also love to hear more from my readers this year!  I know you are out there because I see you on my stat counter everyday. 
Please feel free to comment, ask questions and say hi! 
I love hearing from you! 🙂

 

{Quick} Lucite Inspiration

Remember this post about pairing this rug:

with this console:

in my front hall?

Well, I started thinking about how I could style the console because there are no outlets on the wall behind where it would sit, so lamps are out.  Plus, because the table is clear, the wires would have been ugly anyway. 

I came across these two images (with no lamps).  I fell in love with the styling.  Notice how the invisible lucite allows the items on the wall behind the console to extend below the tabletop.  Peekaboo!

{Domino Magazine}

{via Style at Home}

I am kicking around mirrors on the wall, a colorful tray with some succulent greenery on the console, and maybe some stools from the thrift store re-upholstered in a fun fabric to sit underneath the table.  What do you think? 

I promise to keep you posted!

Brown and White and Zigzag All Over

Hi there.  I am emerging from my Christmas-induced panic attack that has defined the last two weeks.  We finally got the tree up yesterday, I finished my Christmas cards this morning, I have done my first round of baking, and my shopping is, well, getting there.  Whew!

As a treat for surviving the Christmas holidays, I have my eye on this “oldie but goodie” Zigzag Rug from West Elm in the ivory/espresso/flax colorway:

It’s been all over the blogosphere and back for a while now, and  I know I am late to this party, but I can’t stop thinking about how DIVINE it would look as a runner in our front hallway.  And at only $119, I can easily justify my NEED for a new runner, right?

With this rug, it’s hard to go wrong.  Want proof?  Eye candy awaits you, my friends.

{Palmer Weiss via Odi Et Amo}

Notice its pairing with the lucite trunk.  {via Four Walls and a Roof}

{via Decor Pad}

Note the lucite trunk again.  They are BFFs.  {via Decor Pad}

Do you spy the lucite cocktail table?  {via Decor Pad}

{via Jen Ramos at Made By Girl}

The rooms pictured below aren’t actually the West Elm gem (and most likely have the way more expensive Madeline Weinrib version), but the awesomeness is the same.

{By Jonathan Adler for Liz Lange via Sketch 42}

Dude, if it’s good enough for Jonthan Adler, it’s good enough for me!  {Jonathan Adler’s NYC dining room via Cococozy}

I like the vertical orientation here.  That suzani bench is bananas too.  {via Things We Heart}

{via Decor Pad}

Are you convinced? 

P.S. I couldn’t leave its BFF behind.  I could pair my zigzag rug with this cute lucite Peekaboo Console from CB2:

The Big Reveal: Hallway Update!

Thanks for bearing with me for the 5+ months it took to “complete” this upstairs hallway update.  It was my New Years Prezzie-lution.  I am so thrilled with the way it has turned out!  For your reference, here is the before shot with the terrible builder-grade light fixture, an old rug and my lonely mobile:

And here is the after, TAH DAH:

Now, for a few of the details.  I love the butterfly prints that hang on either side of the console table.  Thanks to a great post by Jenny at Little Green Notebook, I found these for free while searching the New York Public Library’s digital catalog.  I printed them on my little ole HP desktop and popped them into $20 Target gallery frames.

I found these adorable foo dogs at Homegoods for $7.99 each.  Love these guys! 

The tray holding my travel guides on the console was a $10.48 red-tag Target find!

I am madly in love with this artichoke table lamp from Shades of Light.  It’s perfectly framed by the long dormer and I adore looking at it each time I go down the stairs.

To be honest, the rug selection was the hardest part of this project.  I wanted something fabulously neutral, so it would not compete with the gallery wall, colorful lamps and bright foo dogs!  After a few tries, I settled on this seagrass rug from Ballard Designs. 

I like the way the color of the seagrass almost melts into the color of the hardwood floors and the green band complements the runner on the steps, as well as the rug in the front hall and the fabric on the pelmet box in the dormer.  Don’t be alarmed, the white ball of fur on the step is Annie, the sleeping dog!

Things I Learned During the Hallway Update :

1. While I love looking at perfectly styled tables and spaces in glossy pictures, for me, a clear tabletop is a clear mind.  I tried “styling up” the console and the little dormer table with items that I loved such as little vases with greenery or little picture frames, but it just didn’t feel like me.  It felt cluttered and suffocating.  The books and foo dogs were just right, and I didn’t want anything to detract from that lovely artichoke lamp!

2. Items with lots of contrast and texture are not neutrals.  I originally bought this jute rug from Ballard Designs for the hallway. 

I loved it and mistakenly thought that it would provide a great neutral feel to the space.  When I laid it down, the contrast and texture competed too much with the rest of the space.  Which leads me to my two next lessons:

3. Rugs do not have to “steal the show.”  I am a rug person and love for the rug to be the centerpiece of every space.  Due to the runner on the steps and the colorful composition of the space, the rug had to be neutral.  But neutral does not have to mean boring — the seagrass rug is perfect!

4. If you don’t love something, don’t keep it.  I almost just kept the jute rug because it was only $79, a pain to ship it back and an additional $8.95 in shipping to return.  But, the more I lived with the rug, I realized that it was not right for the space and I didn’t love it.  It “stole the show” from the items that I DID love.  So, back to Ballard it went.   And it was the right decision.

Source Info:

Paint — Benjamin Moore, American White
Console — Chloe Console Table, Pottery Barn, $299  
Stained Glass Lamps — Sundance Catalog, circa 2003
Artichoke Lamp — Shades of Light (similar), $175
Dormer Table — Antique
Ceiling Lights — Brushed Nickel Flush Mount Ceiling Fixture, Overstock, $74.99 each
Area Rug — Seagrass Rug, Ballard Designs, $89
Stairway Runner — Custom, Carey Burke
Foo Dogs — Homegoods, $7.99 each
Gallery Frames — Target, $15 – $30 each
Mobile — Gift, similar
Tray — Target, similar, $19.48

I love that the space can grow with me.  I will be adding to the gallery walls and may search for two chairs to paint and recover for each side of the console.  I would also love change out the gold door knobs throughout the upstairs to brushed nickel lever handles. 

Soooo, what do you think?

Stay tune for my next project: conversion from nursery to big girl room!