Eye Spy

Ever since I started working from home, I've been watching a lot of TV. On my computer. Gotta love Netflix! I recently got hooked on Heroes and devoured the whole first season in about a week and a half (I'm almost done - one more episode and I can watch the new season premiere!). It's not my favorite TV show, but it has good character development and an interesting plot that makes me want to keep watching, episode after episode.

I never, thought, though, that I would be blogging about it here -- until I saw this, on episode 1.21:

It's Cole and Son's woods wallpaper! One of my favorites. I was starting to think it was getting overexposed...and this is pretty much sealed the deal. By the time I can afford to paper a room with it, though, it will look fresh and new again!

P.S. - click on the image for a closer view.

Lamp Lust

I never imagined that I would be going stark raving mad over a lampshade, but I posted about something as innocuous as hardware last week, so...maybe the world hasn't turned upside down after all.

But seriously? I want, need, must have this lampshade by Orla Kiely . Maybe if I found the perfect base for $5 then I could justify spending $200 on a lamp...

No, who am I kidding? It's hopeless.


Gossip Girl...yes, really

Gorging myself tonight on my new guilty pleasure, Gossip Girl (shh!), I was struck by something that I just had to share with all of you here, risking possible humiliation in the process. I was really impressed by a particular set - not, as might be expected, of the array of tony Park Avenue penthouses, which feel appropriately cold and museum-like, but by Dan and Jenny Humphrey's bohemianish Brooklyn apartment. Their dad is a musician and gallerist, so I can see how they were trying to bring across a cluttered artsy vibe. Anyways, to me it was way cooler than spiral staircases, uncomfortable French sofas and mawble cahlumns...

The first thing that caught my eye was the inset bookcase, as artfully arranged as the hairstyle that you spend an hour fixing in order to appear as if you just rolled out of bed.

Little sis Jenny's bedroom was my favorite - I love the unexpected pop of pink against the teal, and that gorgeous kimono.

I had an awfully hard time finding a decent screenshot of the blue Chesterfield sofa and salon-style installation...and gave up. You get the idea, I hope.

Oh, and Serena's Vena Cava top was pretty awesome too.


Clean Sweep

I've been doing a lot of cleaning around my apartment lately, for the Fall Cure. One of the great things about its Lilliputian scale is that it is much, much easier to clean! Because of the lack of space, however, I don't have an extra closet to store cleaning supplies. There is a huge cabinet under the kitchen sink, and a big one underneath the bathroom sink as well, but it doesn't leave room for larger items like the vacuum (which hides behind my closet door).

Anyways, one of the things I don't have is a broom - I just use the dustbuster. But if I did, I would totally order this Sorghum handbrush and broom set from RE-Found Objects

Those bright candy colors are so pretty that it would be hard to be embarassed about leaving them out in the open.


I spent a very productive Sunday at the Sandwich Antiques Market with my mother and two other fabulous ladies. As the day progressed, it grew unexpectedly hot, and we returned home sweaty yet satisfied. The two other visits we made this summer yielded only this (admittedly awesome and assuredly un-PC) Royal Copley planter which now lives on my bookshelf:

Sunday, however, was different. It just seemed like every new booth yielded something special (until 3/4 of the way through, when I started seeing double). The best part was the friendly dealers, many of whom starting bringing the price down the second I looked twice at an object.

The first thing I picked up was this beautiful Czech hand towel. The dealer told me that it had been purchased in an estate sale, and had been found in a trunk filled with beautiful old linens - none of which had ever been used. It's as crisp and vibrant as the day it was purchased.

Purchased from separate dealers were this adorable, tiny teapot (approx. 6" x 4") and test tube. I think I'm going to find a pretty bloom to put in the test tube, and as for the teapot ... well, don't you agree it's just too cute for words?

From the same dealer as the test tube, we purchased a tiny little clear glass woodgrain jar, with which my mother absconded. That's OK, though, because I found the best thing of all:

This little tin globe, with the loveliest saturated colors. It's ever so slightly distressed, which only adds to its charm. It's about 10" tall - perfect - all of the other globes I had found were much too big.

It's old, too! Judging from the curious array of extinct or otherwise altered countries (The Belgian Congo still exists, Korea has not yet been divided by the 38th parallel, Alaska is still a territory, a significant part of China is in the hands of the Japanese, and Guiana is not yet independent, to name a few anomalies), it was made somewhere between 1931 and 1945. I wish I had a geography expert around to be more specific. Germany, for one, looks suspiciously large - as though it has encompassed countries like Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, and part of Poland - which were occupied during WWII. Yet the globe is made of tin, and such things would not have been produced during wartime. I do love a good mystery to solve...

My favorite thing about it, though, was the base:

Red woodgrain! The months! The seasons! The horoscope! I mean, really. It doesn't get any better than this.
I can't wait for next month's market (October 28th).

Note: the colors are more saturated if you click on the image.


On Sale...

When I was hunting for hardware the other day at Anthropologie, I came across their gorgeous botanical charts -- in the sale section! Well, Flax and Dandelion are, anyways. I'd been sighing over them for a while, wishing I had a bare wall somewhere. Well, I still don't have that bare wall, but maybe you do! They're marked down to $99.95, from $228...so run, don't walk, to your nearest store as I doubt they'll be available for long.

Other goodies include the very covetable Louis tables and a beautiful Dandelion tray which I was very tempted to buy for myself.

BIG Hair

I'm having so much fun with my Etsy theme posts, why not continue? This next one's a bit silly, but I wanted to pull together a few favorite pieces for you depicting most wonderful, whimsical hairdos.

While one takes Grey Gardens as its source, several of them are inspired by the fantastically over-the-top hairstyles around 1770-85, one of my favorite periods in fashion and art/design. Marie-Antoinette is the most famous proponent of this style, but it was common for many fashionable women in Paris to go to the opera wearing miniature ships, gardens, and aviaries atop their heads. Such hairstyles may have been, literally, rat's nests (critters liked to hang out in the wire infrastructure the hair rested upon) ... but it looked so spectacular that the trend continued.

This may not have been the most practical way to dress, but it is so romantic to think about, and rather than styling your hair outrageously yourself, why not pay homage with a pretty print that you can hang in your boudoir?

A Bird in Hand by Justin Richel

Edith and Edith by MarmeeCraft

Bird's Nest Bella by Tilly Bloom

Hive, by Julianna Swaney

Marie Antoinette by Cate Anevski

If this subject interests you at all, I would recommend Caroline Weber's Queen of Fashion: What Marie-Antoinette Wore to the Revolution for a fascinating and penetrating analysis of the way the ill-fated queen used dress as a source of personal and political power. For anyone interested in this time period, fashion, or cultural studies in general it's a wonderful read.


Fall Cure, Week 2

I've been pretty busy with real-life things - I'm starting my first German class tonight, wish me luck! - but that doesn't stop me from thinking constantly about my apartment. I haven't been there in a few days, as I've been hanging out at my parents' house since the weekend, going to my brother's regatta and various doctor's appointments. Well, I can't wait to get back home and start this week's Cure assignments:

1) deep clean kitchen
2) start cooking in said kitchen (this, I think, will be the hardest part for me - let's just say, I looove my microwave)

Decorating-wise, I'm still pondering the decals. I really need to get my kitchen rug. And I'm still thinking about hardware, both for the kitchen and the bathroom. My budget has really been taking a beating, lately, so I can't splurge as I'd like.

I was browsing around on Anthropologie's website, my favorite wallet-emptier, and I saw some lovely drawer pulls on sale that just might work for my bathroom. They've since been taken off, but I may get lucky and find them in-store. They are gold, and they look like chain links. Very elegant, and I think they would warm up the space a bit. I'm just wondering - my faucet, etc. is silver - is it silly to worry about how matchy-matchy I should be?

The Hammered Handles are still available, and the same price as the others. I love the texture, and think they could be beautiful in my bathroom.

Still...I would need three, and I don't know if I want to drop $24 on non-vital decor elements just now. I'll have to think about it.

The same goes for the kitchen hardware - an even more daunting prospect as I need so many more handles. I love this yellow milk glass pull from Look in the Attic (thanks, ImaVunDerBrah for the link!) but I shudder to think how much it would cost to outfit the whole kitchen...remember, I'm a recent graduate with a very part-time job.

IKEA also has a decent selection... I like these and these but I haven't seen any colorful ones. Perhaps spray paint could work...



Show Pony

I know everyone's pretty sick of seeing eco-friendly shopping totes, but I just had to post about Glasgow-based Show Pony's bags, made with organic fair trade cotton; I think they are brilliant!

I love their trompe l'oeil cleverness, and the fact that they are pretty seals the deal for me. I don't really like to wear t-shirts or carry bags with "clever" sayings or worse - labels. These are rather more glamorous than your usual cotton shopper, don't you think?

Available at Show Pony's Etsy shop.


Sunday in the Park with RugBag

I know summer is almost over, and that autumnal chill is beginning to linger in the air. But to me, this is the most beautiful time of year, and a bit of a drop in temperature should not immediately signal that it is time to hibernate for the winter. So when I saw the RugBag by Demelza Hill I thought it was as good an excuse as any to picnic well into the autumn months. It's only September, so you have some time!

I love to see items that marry beauty and convenience in one simple package, and RugBag is a perfect example of this - the black and white baroque pattern is so pretty. Bundle up in a cozy sweater coat, tote a wicker thermos of hot apple cider, dine off of charming faux bois melamine plates and enjoy the fall canopy while it lasts.

via pan-dan.


Sticker Shock

I try to avoid the more rabid trends in decorating. With a ten foot pole. Unless I adore them at first sight.

The truth is, I don't want to be able to date my apartment (to the season) years from now. Seeing wall decals in a home, I could say, "a-ha! spring 2007!"

I saw some lovely ones, particularly over at French site Ugly Home (which has a beautiful selection of wallpaper as well) - but I wasn't tempted because they still seemed too faddish to me, though I understood the appeal.

Why, then, am I contemplating putting them in my apartment?

This is why:

My tiny kitchen is dead boring. I'm planning on warming up the floor with a 2' x 3' rug, but the cabinets and tiles are like a never ending expanse of white. It's neither sleek nor modern - it just looks dull. I'm a renter, so I'm pretty much stuck with the kitchen. Bemoaning this fact over on Flickr, I was surprised when fellow apartment therapy cure-ers on the Chicago group suggested decals. At first I shuddered, but then I thought - why not?

They're affordable, removable, and customizable.

Even chic!

I liked the overall selection at Modern Wall Graphics. The prices, in particular, are just up my alley. $36 to spruce up my kitchen cabinets seems like a pretty good deal to me. I know Blik's graphics are popular but the prices are a little too high for me.

A lot of the motifs that appealed to me (well, all of them) are organic and leafy: bamboo, ferns, and flowers. I'm afraid of being too repetitive, especially because my apartment is so small, and the main wall in my apartment is covered with a riot of green leaves. I'm going to do yellow decals, so hopefully that will detract from it.

I would love to do the lattice print, but it doesn't come in the color I want (sunshine).

I have time to think this through, so I'm going to be patient and not rush a decision. Though said patience is beginning to run dry on my dresser hunt!



Progress is the best motivator...

I know I've been neglecting the blog, but I have piles of grad school application thingys, a new job (a research assistantship involving a VERY cool project related to the 1968 Chicago Democratic National Convention and artists) and some super exciting apartment developments...can you blame a girl for getting distracted?

To be more to the point,

I finally put my curtains and mirror up and assembled/painted my coffee table (uh, thanks, Dad!). Ecstatic is one word to describe the way I'm feeling right now...the curtains are even more Josef Frank-like than I had hoped and the table, which until a few days ago existed only in my imagination, is even better than I ... you guessed it, had hoped!

The photo looks a little faded on Blogger, the colors are more vibrant than this. Click here for more pictures and explanations from me.




Apartment Therapy Fall Cure

Posting my shame for all to see...

Yes, my Flickr photos for the Apartment Therapy Fall Cure are up! So far, I've posted my before photos and my style tray for inspiration. I tried not to tidy up the place for the sake of truthfulness - the closet, especially, is a wreck. Though I'm rather proud of some parts.

I decided to do the Cure last week after putting that to-do list together, and it seems to have been the right choice. Although it only began officially today, I was so revved up over the weekend that I got a lot done. My curtains are now up, my mirror is hung, and my coffee table is finally put together! I got a battery for the cuckoo clock, too. Photos of the new developments will be up sometime later in the week.

Now, if only I could be so assiduous about my graduate school applications my life would be in great shape!


Barnyard with the Bling Bling...

I've always loved Harry Allen's piggy bank. The gold shade is totally glam, and its creepy anatomical correctness imbues it with humor.

But it's been difficult to justify spending $200 on something, however special, that represents *saving* money. Right?

I mean, I love expensive things. I love to ooh and ahh over them, and imagine them in my home. I even love to post about them. But when it comes down to it, I'm just out of college and most pricey objects are way out of reach for me.

Sometimes you have to compromise.

Meet my new friend:

He's not a piggy bank - he's way smaller in fact, and is meant to hold cream. It's the disco diva version of those iconic white creamers. And I won him on Ebay for just a fraction of that Areaware bank.

Sorry about the low volume of posting, guys. As last Friday's post probably suggested, I'm super-focused on getting my apartment up to speed. I've made a lot of progress, but I still have a ways to go. I've even decided to do Apartment Therapy's Fall Cure! As soon as I get my before photos up on Flickr I'll post a link up here and let you all know.


Braeburn Bentwood Chairs

My obsession with green and yellow is still going strong ... are you sick of it yet? Even if you are, you have to admit these bentwood chairs from Urban Outfitters are seriously adorable. They look like they came from some cheery 1950s kitchen, but imagine the impact in a hyper-modern all white kitchen. They would be cute on a patio too - as an accompaniment to DWR's Pix Cafe Table, perhaps.


Living Hand to Table?

I've always really liked the design of BluDot's Strut Table. Clean lines, juicy colors - what's not to love? It's minimal and maximal all at once. But I was really perplexed to find this line in DWR's new catalog:

"While furnishing post-college apartments, designers Christakos, Lazor and Blanks discovered they couldn't afford the things they liked, and didn't like the things they could afford. Inspired to change this, they started their company in 1997."

Um, the Strut Table is $1,100. Their sculptural Butterfly Rocker is $849.

That's a really admirable statement and all - who says people with low incomes shouldn't be able to have beautiful homes? - but I don't know any new college graduates who would consider dropping over a month's rent (or possibly two) on a table. I'm sure that lots of people would consider this furniture "affordable" but ... people in their early twenties (lacking trust funds) are not among them.

For the record, my IKEA dining table cost $149. Is it wrong of me to feel outraged about the term "affordable" being thrown around so loosely?