house updates

April 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s almost been a year since we bought our house. Craziness!!!

We worked really hard all last summer to make the house more ours, but when wedding planning kicked in full force in October we really lost steam and it was a few months before we could muster up the energy to work on fixing the house again.

The first project we tackled in 2011 was our bedroom. It was nasty. The same boring beige as the rest of the house was before we painted the teal and gray in the living room, dining room, and hallway. I don’t have any before pics with our stuff in it, but here’s what it was when we bought the house.

clearly not our stuff.

I don’t have any pics of the new blinds in that room, but they are now gorgeous dark wood plantation blinds that match the dark stain of all of our furniture. So pretty. We painted the walls a nice middle gray color and after deliberation took out the closet doors (that you can’t see in that pic). They were ugly and cheap and didn’t really work right. Not to mention that with sliding doors, you can only get into half of the closet at a time.

So we were left with a closet without doors. What to do? Young House Love to the rescue! We decided to add in a curtain to soften up the space and add a pop of pattern into the room. The color scheme of the room is now gray, white, black and yellow, as seen here in the final pics of the curtains (sorry for the phone pics. All I had.)

Like I said, please excuse picture quality. I love the round, black-and-white pattern. It looks so wrought iron-esque. Our duvet, which I don’t have pics of sadly, is similar to the lamp — mostly black with a few quilted white stripes. Once I get the decorative pillow situation figured out and hang art behind the bed, I will reveal! How’s that for a tease. Anyway, I am really in love with the curtains and they are so much easier to use than the stupid doors. To hang them we used a simple shower curtain rod that screws into the walls for more stability. All it took was about an hour (and of course my wonderful mom’s sewing expertise!) and we had a lovely feature that adds a boutique hotel vibe to our room.

The next big change we’ve made is to the horrible light fixtures that we inherited. I can’t lament over these enough. We affectionately referred to the two we had as “the lantern” and “scarface.” The lantern was hanging in our dining room and seriously looked like it belonged in a New England beach shanty. When the light was on, it cast these really weird shadows on the walls and was just all around ugly. Scarface was this horrible product of the 80s, a brass and acrylic (no, not even glass) nightmare. It was blindingly bright when turned on and had NOTHING redeeming about it. This is what it looked like.

I’ll wait for you to finish shuddering.

After searching for modern fixtures that fit in our (meager) budget, we settled on two replacements that really fit the spaces better and match the look and feel we are going for. Up first, the lantern.

These were also taken pre-blinds I guess. The airiness of the fixture is great since that room is not very big and the lantern was really overpowering. It has made a huge difference in the feel of them room, even with the old farmhouse style table and chairs (hopefully to be updated shortly as well).

The biggest change is Scarface’s replacement. I don’t have a picture of it hanging because really that is just grotesque. Here’s the new look!

I have pretty much been obsessed with the artichoke light…forever. It was once thing I immediately knew I wanted to change in our house and I’m so glad we stuck to it. It’s Mid-Century Modern to the max! It looks really amazing against the gray of the entryway and shines the perfect amount of light when lit, unlike the blinding force of the scar. One thing that was at first daunting is that you have to build it yourself. All those littleĀ  white leaves (?) come flat and you have to fold them and piece them together. I honestly felt like I was in school again! It turned out great and it makes us smile everyday!

So there are the main changes we’ve made. Little projects can and do make a big difference while you’re saving up for the big endeavors (like a lower level remodel…) A last little bit of fun I had this weekend…decorating with flowers and Fiesta!

Like the new sidetable? I got it for free (!) and spray painted the bamboo bright yellow. Love the shape and how the new color really makes it un-Grandma-y!

Does anyone else have some fun and small Spring home projects to share?

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kt inspiration: kate spade, part deux

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know I said this would be up yesterday, but this silly little thing called work got in the way. Shocking, I know.

So to recap, I heart everything about Kate Spade and desire a wardrobe designed exclusively by her, but alas, I do not have that kind of budget.

After planning a wedding last year, I am still in an event-planning mindset. I still love thinking about striking color combinations and finding magical table settings among the bridal blogs that I still read (and only feel a little bit of shame.) That got me thinking how bright and cheery a Kate Spade inspired bash would be:

sources: lonny, fpo, and once wed

The pops of whimsical color and hints of vintage styling would be just perfect for a surprise birthday party or a fun and laid-back wedding in a modern art museum or a cool park. The graphic designer in me especially loves the typography on the different invitation suites, especially the bold, condensed sans serifs and the funky, stylized script. I can just picture tables set with different-sized chunky, square and rectangular vases filled with bright fleurs like tulips, dahlias, pincushions, and the always fun yellow pom-poms!

Twinkle lights might just complete the look.

Ok, let’s be honest. I think they, much like sparkles and sequins, complete any look.

Finally, as I’ve found myself recently, I am most inspired by my house/interiors. Now, I do not fancy myself an interior designer in any way. I know the perils of a profession where people who have a bit of technical skill call themselves a professional. I’m looking at you “designers” who learned photoshop and magically learned everything I did in 5 years of school. I do however, like to think that some of the design principles I learned carry over, such as color, form, proportion, space, etc.

sources: unsure, probably lonny or rue

The images really say “Kate Spade” to me. I mean, the one literally does say it, but you get what I mean. I love the pattern, the color, the peppy “hello sunshine” pillow…it’s all good. To me it’s more proof that nothing has to match exactly, but it all has to fit in the family – whether that’s color or patterns or time periods. And who’s to say that what was old can’t be made new again? Those cuckoo clocks are based off a traditional design and shape, but made in a modern and sleek way. Same with the snappy painted chairs and beautiful turquoise doorway.

So now we’ve detailed my girl crush. It’s time to live colorfully. And always add in the sparkle!

kt inspiration: kate spade

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a designer, I find inspiration from many different places – other designers, interiors, event design, fashion, music, photography/fine art. But I really love it when I can find different facets of inspiration from one source. Enter today’s source: Kate Spade.

If I could have one person dress me for the rest of my life, it would be Kate Spade. Her “about page” says it all: utility, wit and playful sophistication. Her motto of sorts this year is “live colorfully,” which I love. It’s such a designer-y way of saying “live boldly,” or, “live passionately,” but it really speaks to me. Not to mention that each month this year, they will pick a new color to “live.” I really love it.

You could say I have a girl crush.

I noticed a week or two ago, this little treasure:

source: kate spade

It’s a little “book” on the site that is so adorably designed (how great is the magenta page with the ampersand? I would totally frame that.) It got me thinking about what sort of mood boards I could divine from the theme of “living colorfully.” I’ll post one board here, and present the others tomorrow. Just for giggles.

The first here is probably the most obvious when it comes to Kate Spade and what she designs, though it might be my favorite right now. Inspired by Miss B, I am feeling this urge to create a personal style for myself as an adult. Sadly, it’s time to leave college “style” behind. I’m purging what doesn’t work for me anymore, and only buying what feels right and feels like it is the clothing of the girl I want to be. This part is obviously very personal, as I know no one has exactly the same taste in fashion, but I love the playful sophistication (with a hint of Mad Men vintage) in this mood board:

source: kate spade and style me pretty

I love the simple, classic clothing mixed with bright and whimsical accessories like the colorful tights and enamel flower pins. The owl purse had me at hello. What I also love about this is that though some pieces are “on trend” (read: tights), most are timeless and perfect in their proportions, thus, can be worn and remixed for seasons without looking staid. So though I can’t afford Kate Spade (tear), I have begun to think about these looks as I shop. Most recently, I found this adorable blue color-blocked dress and bright, lemon yellow sweater that fit perfectly in this theme. Though not at the same time.

That might be living too colorfully.

Until tomorrow…kt

11 for 11: goal number five

January 18, 2011 § 2 Comments

Since clearly I lost all of my Type A personality traits after high school (and after seeing Black Swan) I am going out of order on these new year goals. I picked number five to start because I could take the first step, inspiration and design, without spending any money (go goal #1!)

For those who don’t remember, goal #5 is to finish the office so we have a workspace. Seems harmless enough. Consider this though: right now the office is a veritable sea of discarded crap. It is our home’s Island of Misfit…Everything. It is nearly impossible to walk from the door to the opposite wall. Or to the closet. Or to the window. You get the picture. Convenient because there is no way I’m providing a picture of my slovenliness for the interwebs’ viewing pleasure.

We are in desperate need of storage and organization. One day it took me 30 minutes to find our home warranty information to call a plumber. If it had needed something in a real emergency? I shudder.

So today is step one in the re-do, and probably the most fun step besides the shopping step which will probably come much later in the year and will be spread out into multiple shopping trips. Sad I know, but such is life after college we’ve come to figure out. Have I mentioned how much I hate 2011 goal #1?

First up: The color inspiration board and the images that inspired the palette.

My first inspiration for this room came from the movie (500) Days of Summer. Wonderful movie. If you haven’t seen it, I wholeheartedly recommend it. The main character has a chalkboard wall in his bedroom as you can see above. I love this idea for an office because you can scribble to do lists and inspiration and doodle some logo designs…whatever you want. I imagine the chalkboard wall to be on the “long” wall of the room with the desk in front of it, facing the middle of the room. I can’t wait to have this area to brainstorm.

The picture of the buttons is what inspired the color palette. I love the soothing blues, greens, the pattern with white, and the pop of red. That would be the spice color, DAAPkids. The green will go on the remaining walls and of course, I already picked out which color I want on my last trip to Lowe’s. Maybe the A-type is coming back.

While the rest of the furniture in our house (at least what we have purchased, not inherited) is decidedly mid-century modern, my goal for the furniture in the office is to go a bit more traditional in shape, while staying modern in the materials. The perfect example of this is the Louis Ghost chair that is so formal and traditional in shape, but made of clear acrylic. It haunts me.

One other part of this room I find very important is creating a “loungespace.” I really, really want an Eames rocker to go in one of the corners for little mental breaks throughout the day. With a bookshelf and this little baby (my alternative to a file cabinet) nearby, I can imagine curling up for a nice long book-reading session. Perfect for the relaxed elegance of the space, and perfectly in line with the mid-century influence of the house. I don’t think I will ever completely give it up, HAHAHA. Plus, not to get too far ahead in our newlywed life, but eventually this tiny room will probably become a nursery IN THE VERY DISTANT FUTURE, and obviously if I can kill a few birds with one design, I will do it now to avoid extra work when I might be growing a tiny human.

There are no tiny human growth plans in the works for now or the next few years. I just wanted to get that out there.

Anyway, that tangent is over. I really love the play in texture on the pillows and the fun, typographically-focused artwork and I think the red and white are just enough to keep the room fresh and vibrant and not pastel-hell.

This is just a random collection of images, but all bring out elements of the room design. You can even see the TROLLSTA painted a vibrant yellow. I would imagine after awhile ours would turn coral. Just saying. It makes it look soo much more modern and unique, non? The white patterned lattices in the first picture are amazingly beautiful and the gray cabinet with aqua shelves really prove to me that you can re-purpose furniture in the most surprising ways.

I had to add in the gratuitous kid playing with the chalkboard wall pic. What kid WOULDN’T love to be allowed to draw on the walls?!?

So that’s the office dream. Obviously it requires a lot of saving money and work on our part, but I think it will be so calm and elegant and practical for the work we would do in the end. What do you think about the room mood boards? A good direction for us to take?

inspiration #5

May 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

Hi all,

Things are moving along here swimmingly (if only if would stop raining long enough for us to get back on our bikes!) Not a whole lot has gone on on the wedding front, mostly because we did so much so quickly in the beginning. Just odds and ends now; dj’s, ceremony music, table linens, bridesmaids dresses, hotel blocks … So it’s not surprising that lately my inspiration boards have been looking a lot more like this:

modern whimsy.

than this:

These pictures, by the way, are from my fabulous photographer who was featured on Style Me Pretty, a huge bridal inspiration blog. Awesome for her!

These inspiration images actually tie together quite nicely … they are very modern and clean in design, yet are full of unexpected pops of color and vintage pieces that make you smile. It’s the look that I’m really loving for my home design because it’s just so happy. It feels very well designed, yet it’s not so clean that it feels sterile and unapproachable and yet it’s not so comfortable that it’s full of overstuffed park-a-loungers (no offense if that’s what you love. to each his own. it’s just not me.)

ps- How cool are those striped plates?!? LOVE.

-kt

inspiration #4

March 12, 2010 § Leave a comment

First order of business: Sorry we haven’t been around. Not much planning activity has occurred in a few weeks and I just got back from a quick trip to Orlando to run race have fun in Disney World with Amanda. Fun definitely was had and I am thankful I no longer have to pretend I was in training. (I’ll post pics soon – and don’t worry Amanda, you’ll have them this weekend!)

Anyway, tomorrow is a fun planning activity, probably the one I was most looking forward to of all the planning activities (minus the dress, of course.)

The Cake!

Oh, I love cake. I believe it is the breakfast of champions, the perfect complement to coffee. Though it can also count as the lunch, dinner, snack, or dessert of said champions too. Not that I would know.

Like many things about the wedding, the cake is something I had clear-cut ideas about. It was going to be a funky, colorful, fondant-covered masterpiece with uneven layers and really graphic designs.

Exhibits A through C:

And like so many things about the wedding, what I thought I wanted is in fact, not what I want at all.

While I appreciate that these are interesting and very beautiful, they’re leaving me a bit cold. It somehow doesn’t feel like me and Eric at all! Plus, I wouldn’t want to put my lovely owl cake toppers on top of these modern marvels would I?

While researching everything wedding, the cake comes up a lot. Now-a-days, it seems there’s a lot more flexibility when it comes to the cake. You can choose something modern like those above. You can choose cupcakes. You can choose to not have cake. You can choose pie. You can choose candies or cookies or whatever.

You can also choose white.

Never in a million years would I think I wanted a white buttercream wedding cake. How boring! I would’ve retorted.

Exhibit D:

Lovely. Exhibit E:

Bad picture (from a mag) but … swoon.

I think my little owls will look right at home! Now where can I ride my bike tomorrow after cake fest 2010?

-kt

inspiration #3

January 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

As a designer and an avid tv watcher, one of my favorite shows is amc’s Mad Men. I can’t get enough of it (and now E even likes it too!) The story line and dialogue are witty, the character development is rich, and the visual are nothing less than stunning from week to week. No matter what darkness hides under the glamour of the time, the world of Mad Men is full of glamour, elegance, and that certain je ne sais quoi from the perfect little design elements of Don Draper’s office and he secretaries’ lovely wardrobes.

I recently found this inspiration board on The Inspired Bride and fell in love with its concepting based on this vintage appeal.

Aren’t Don and Betty so pretty?

Vintage elements are very popular right now in wedding aesthetic, particularly from the ’50s and ’60s. There’s a certain charm and quaintness to these details that bring class to whatever part of the wedding a bride chooses. One popular element? The dress. How sweet are these?

I love the simple shapes of the dresses’ silhouettes. Another important aesthetic piece for the wedding? The cake. Look at these:

That last one is actually from one of the Mad Men actor’s real wedding! I love Christina Hendricks (aka Joan)!

To round out the vintage reception, here are some other bits and pieces that complete this charming look.

Fancy transportation? Check.

Reception decor details? Check.

Old-fashioned photography details? Check.

You’re all set. Have a swell wedding!

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