Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Coffee table voting

Soon I wish to buy a new coffee table to replace the one seen here. Its too something... and not a good something.
Everything else pictured will remain.
Here are my budget friendly choices, please vote people. I am actually going to do this.

1. CB2 Smart round coffee table

2. CB2 Peekaboo coffee table 

I am heavily leaning in the clear Lucite direction
3. a pair of Cb2 Smart glass top side tables

The difference in these is that they are 19 inches high and 18 square. The other two are 12 to 13 inches high.
The pricing is similar, $299.$249, and $149 each, respectively.
Can you picture any of them here?

So, PLEASE tell my indecisive self which to choose!!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas table setting

via Pinterest
Having missed out on setting a Thanksgiving table, I am pondering my Christmas table with excitement.
I think this year I will use different china than usual. Here are my choices.
Last year I used my grandmother's California Ivy. It has the right green for a Christmas-ey feel but it is also rather casual.
I was originally thinking of combining it with my great grandmother's Queen's Green and Princess Green, two very similar sets with the Ivy.
I think I want a richer palette.
I have four of these Wedgewood Cow plates...
interestingly in my lazy effort at photos for the post I grabbed this image from and noted the selling price of $209 per plate. Yikes!
I would like to get clear glass plates to actually put food on and use the cow plates as a charger of sorts.
This is another antique set I have but only salad and bread plates, perfect for the top layer.
I will use my formal silver and white linen napkins. 
I can't decide whether to use my Jefferson cups for water as usual or group them with flowers for a centerpiece.
As for the tablecloth, I am considering buying a plain white cloth and using my wooden stamp to stamp the design in blue. I think repeating the colors from the china with a different ethnic vibe could work nicely.
What do you think?
You'll have to wait 'til Christmas to see what I actually do and it could change by then. I am not exactly the most decisive person on Earth.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Real or fake?

I think I am the only design junkie that hates putting up Christmas decorations, not having them just putting them up. The list of to dos grows ever longer at this time of year and for me the dread of rifling through all of that stuff, only to do it in reverse in a month, creeps in.

Not gonna happen in my house

Five years ago, I started putting up an artificial tree. I was in a house with 8 foot ceilings and really tired of the mess a real tree created. I still like a realistic looking one without fake snow or some strange color.
Frasier fir
Before that, my entire adult life included a Frasier fir every year. When my older kids were little we lived in a Victorian house with high ceilings and a bay of windows at the front. It was the perfect place for a huge tree.
I loved the smell but not the constant sweeping of fallen needles.
Frasier firs are known for their soft needles.
I will tell you that they are not that soft.
The first Christmas that their father was not at our house I insisted on buying a real tree and keeping everything the same.  I easily removed the tree from my roof rack, sawed of the end, and got it into the house. The fun came when I was trying to get it into the stand and straighten it. I was doing this all with no one else there and it was getting warm. Figuring it was no big deal I took off my sweater and wrestled the tree into place.
This is how I know that the needles are pretty darn scratchy! I looked like I fell into a briar patch.
I always retain my clothing when decorating for Christmas now, much to the relief of my family and neighbors.

How much effort do you put into decorating for Christmas?
Are you a real or fake tree user?

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Holiday cocktails

For those of us that did not host Thanksgiving it is nice to have a little get-together post turkey.

This year we traveled and since we have been in Virginia less than a year we really don't know enough people to have over but this is a favorite from years past and good if hosting a crowd.

64 ounces cranberry juice
2 liter ginger ale
750 ml spiced rum preferably Captain Morgan
cinnamon sticks
whole cloves
black pepper
Begin by bringing the cranberry juice, 3-4 cinnamon sticks, tablespoon of cloves and a few black pepper berries to a simmer. Remove from heat cover and cool completely.
When party time arrives this cocktail can be mixed individually (equal parts each) or as one giant batch of Christmas punch.Garnish with a cinnamon stick, serve over ice or chilled "up" in a martini glass.
It is spiced and tastes like Christmas but you don't taste the alcohol so watch out or you'll end up under the tree!

My husband and I aren't big fans of champagne unless it is Moet et Chandon and at the holidays we always seem to end up with a bottle that we just don't like. The poinsettia cocktail is the remedy.
chilled champagne or sparkling wine
Grand Mariner or triple sec
cranberry juice
We make these individually by adding a small drop of Grand Mariner to a 3/4 full glass of champagne and filling the rest with cranberry juice.

This little beauty is best for those of us that had too much turkey and pie.
It is one shot of vodka and the rest ginger and lemon peel sparkling herbal water with a splash of cranberry for color. The herbal water is pure flavor and bubbles, no sweetener. I garnish with candied ginger.

I hope your holidays parties are sparkles and fun.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Jenny in the house **update**

It is gray and rainy here, hence the bizarre lighting, but I could not wait to snap a few pictures of my latest art purchase.
The large painting was done by Jenny of MFAMB fame.
Her blog is  daily read of mine and she often showcases her marvelous abstract paintings there.
No curtains :(
  I was hoping for a "ta-da" reveal of my finished living room by the time I hung the painting but, alas it was not to be. I am thrilled with the painting and the extra modern touch it brings to the space. I am aiming for a 50/50 balance of modern and traditional.
Bombe chest is now between the naked windows

I have yet to deal with the lack of curtains and get a different coffee table.
The other chairs (not the Brno chairs shown here) are out for reupholstery, so there is progress being made.

I am hoping all of this will be done by January 1 but that is kind of silly.
The holidays are already cutting into my design time.
Luxe living room picks are coming after Thanksgiving, as promised.
Its is surprisingly bright out today, November 23 so I snapped a far better picture and just thought I'd share it.
truer colors in this one
Happy Thanksgiving all!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Stylish new living room under $3000-really?

In my own search for fabulous interiors I have noticed a great deal of deals and splurges.
I have made most of my interiors come together through good deals with the occasional splurge.
Above,  is my $3000 living room from scratch.
I will break it down below.
One would hope that family or the local thrift could amply fill in with the accessories that I have left out.

The fantastic British architect Sally Kelly, offers affordable original artwork like this one for $30.
There is no excuse for owning mass produced art-ish things. 

I paired it with this one of Sally's for $35
 I have several of her wonderful paintings.

This Parker cocktail table is $199 at
Don't forget shipping is only $2.95 but buyers  beware the returns are not so easy.

2 of these side tables from India at equal $358 for the pair.
I am mixing metals and styles for an eclectic and collected look.

On to seating...
The Karlstad loveseat is $479 from Ikea
and the two chairs take up a large chunk of the budget.

Two of the Cielo chair from CB2 at $599 each eats up almost half of the budget.

Two of the Felicity lamps from World Market are a total of $260

 Small pillows from World Market at about $45 for three and a few vases like these

Add to this two gallons of Sherwin-Williams Super paint
(a fave product of mine)
at $40 each, equaling $80 and now lets add it all up.

Original art $65
Parker cocktail table $199
Side tables $358
Sofa $479
Chairs $1200
Lamps $260
Paint $80
Pillows and accessories $85
Grand total $2726
 What could you do with the $274 dollars left?
There are always give and take spots to pair what you have already. Any good designer will help a client find the best things to keep.
total luxe.

Friday, November 18, 2011

2 new paintings

La femme diluée

I have added two new paintings to my Saatchi portfolio. HERE


Thursday, November 17, 2011

coffee table trays

I have coffee tables on my mind. I need to figure out something for my living room.
Off subject, but everyone in my house hates the Brno chairs. It just gives credence to room reveals HGTV style. People just don't get it unless its all there at once.

I don't necessarily want an ottoman with a tray as a coffee table for myself but I like them.

I am really just paying attention to the ways that other people style their trays. Books and a flower arrangement seem to be standard.

Bowling pins are much more rare-haha.

Very large trays are common.
Most of them leave me cold.

I tend to think of ottomans with trays as a more traditional element but they can have a place in a more Spartan space.

I know, no tray, but I had to include this little Moroccan cutie with a fur hat. 
I want one.
Are you a tray person?
Do you fret about styling your coffee table?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Making things better

The dividing archway between my living and dining rooms is something that has bothered me since I bought this house a year ago.

View from the living room before moving in
The dining room has wainscotting and a chair rail and the living room does not. The problem is that these half walls with columns only separate the space and do not define where the outside walls stop. This means that unless I add something both rooms would have to be the same color.
One side brown the other pink
I wanted two different colored rooms but did not want a line of paint to be the separating mark.

Trim complete

My rather handy husband used a board and rope trim to create this simple finishing touch. As he said, " No one will ever walk in and say, Wow what great trim! but it vastly improves the rooms."
It is  a bittersweet reward to finish a project with no wow factor but I know it's there.