October 29, 2010

online shopping for happy budgets and stylish rooms

While I often prefer shopping at smaller boutiques, there is no doubt that sometimes the best styles and always the best bargains are available at the big box stores of online retailers. For me, I like to hit Target and Wal-mart to see what kinds of styles I can get for ridiculously low prices. Yeah, I said Wal-mart. Remember this ottoman that Decorica spotted that made the rounds of blogworld? It was 50 bucks. Yup. And look what some creative ladies did with it...

It looks amazing recovered in a great geometric fabric and mixed with an Ikea sofa in Rene's living room.

Emily also recovered hers (isn't the fabric gorgeous?) and is using it as a dining bench. Brilliant.

This is what bargain shopping allows you to do—save money, get a little creative, mix high and low, and get a completely custom look.

If I shop a little at Overstock and Target and Wal-mart, that leaves room in my budget for a designer fabric or pillow, quality lighting, or one-of-a-kind items from Wisteria or Viva Terra (not tiny stores by any means, but a bit more boutique-y and definitely more expensive) and Etsy.

Speaking of Overstock, I can never get over their $2.95 shipping, for anything, anything on the site. Here's what they've got that I think is worth snapping up right now. Who can afford real Tolix stools? These look like great reproductions. They're $245 through Sundance but just $117 for TWO at Overstock. You can save on these and then maybe splurge on lighting.

Then I searched under tables and found this beauty.

How great would this mirrored piece look as an end table in your living room or in your bedroom as a night stand. Best part? It's just $199.

Under buffets there's this sideboard with great lines—I would use it as a tv console.

Overstock's also got some great arm chairs and little accent chairs. And again, thankfully none of these is going to break the bank. This one (love those low arms and the nailheads) is a favorite. I'd use it as a desk chair.

So, happy shopping, happy sticking-to-budget, and happy mixing and matching, everyone! And I've got a little something to make the deals you find even sweeter. Overstock has graciously offered a 10% discount code to my readers. Use 121728 at checkout.

As always, all the ideas and opinions expressed in this post are my own. No monetary compensation was received for doing this post; however, I was provided with a discount code.

October 27, 2010


This makes me happy. This trend of filling fireplaces to the brim with wood facing cut side out. Love.

What doesn't make me happy: I don't have a fireplace! Alas, I will continue to save almost nearly fireplace image I see...because a girl can dream.

{images: canadian house and home, house to home}

October 25, 2010

home tour: house in the country, with modern style

I fell in love with this house spotted on Connecticut Cottages and Gardens. Have you seen this magazine? It was totally new to me, and I'm not sure how I stumbled across it, but I'm glad I did. It features delicious images of homes in a range of styles, but each feels totally fresh and is completely inspirational. I think this is going to go on my subscription list!

What I love most: whitewashed floors; wide planks; deep, rich walls; white trim; simple, classical forms; clean, modern feel. What do you love?

October 21, 2010

feeling rustic

I've definitely got a thing for the rustic look lately. Isn't this barnboard wall a stunning focal point for this simple, modern room?

In fact, I like rustic best when it's in contrast with crisp, clean, sparkly and new.

skona hem

I'm convinced contrast—that creates both tension and balance—is where it's at. Rough against smooth, soft against hard, delicate with substantial, masculine with feminine. This time of year it makes me think of another combination I love: flannel with lace.

October 19, 2010

tuesday tip: embellished stairs

It never fails: as soon I finish a project I immediately find another one I'm dying to start. How much do I love seeing stairs that have received some special decorating attention?

These are vinyl decals of French numbers. J'adore! You can buy them here. They're stickers, so they're easy to apply, and easy to remove or move when you get tired of them.

How about wallpaper? This seems like a fairly simple project. A bit time-consuming, but straightforward, and what an impact it will have when you're done. Get the how-to here. A set of stairs can be a boring, empty, forgotten part of the house. Why not decorate here as you would in any other room?

Another wallpapered look. So chic.

cottage living

I think these are stencils designed to look like tiles; whatever they are, they add gorgeous pattern and color.

Another design along the lines of the French numbers. Very sweet.

A painted runner is a classic. Stripes are fun too. What would you do?

October 18, 2010

sneak peek: painted kitchen cabinets

Happy Monday, everyone. How was your weekend? I had a lovely weekend filled with lots of socializing and time outdoors, but in between activities I actually got a project done! Yay for me. And my kitchen. It's looking better since I painted the insides of the upper cabinets. The kitchen's been on a slow road to transformation {done on the cheap} and I will bring you the story later this week when it's been styled—and cleaned—properly! I'm so excited to show you what I've done: new layout, paint, removing cabinet doors, cabinet hardware, and just a little bit of decorating. Here's a sneak peek:

Okay, and maybe a little bigger peek:

October 15, 2010

projects for a fall weekend

This weekend I'm hoping to get some projects done. Or at least begun. I have too many to list, but I'll try...

*Painting interiors of kitchen cabinets
*Painting exterior kitchen door
*Sand, paint and reupholster French armchair
*Sew drapes for bedroom
*Paint foyer floor
*Organize pantry
*Plan living room redesign

I'll be needing some inspiration:


living large in a small house

southern living

hidden in france

I would really like to start playing with Martha Stewart's decorative paint finish tools too, especially the linen and faux bois. You can read more them about here and buy here.

coastal living

Happy weekend! I hope you get all your projects done—or have fun dreaming about them!

October 14, 2010

celerie kemble's floors

Have you seen the new Lonny? And have you seen Celerie Kemble's floors?

They reminded me of how much I love painted patterned floors. And reminded me of how I've always wanted to do this someday. And now I have a house with wood floors. And I think this'd look great in my foyer. Seems like a pretty simple DIY, no? Let's see if I can make it happen. I forsee lots of paint in my future this fall...

October 12, 2010

tuesday tip: decorate for fall

Hmm, could I have picked a more wide-ranging topic? Well, decorating for fall means lots of different things, and it's not just putting pumpkins on the front porch. Beyond that, there's so much you can do, and I wanted to show ways to do some seasonal decorating that may not be so obvious. These looks are more about exuding an autumn vibe...

Velvet is one of my favorite fabrics to bring in when the weather cools down, and this butterscotch color is perfect for setting a fall mood.

Layer in fabrics and texture with throws and pillows.

Think color. Or lack of. Take bright summer color out and set a more somber tone with shades of gray.
 via decor8

If you're feeling bold, bring autumn color in. Orange never fails to charm; I especially love it in a small space like the entryway here.
martha stewart

If some color compromise is more your style, here's a great example of how to do it well. This room uses gold, burnt orange and aqua to achieve a subtle and sophisticated fall look.

And of course, I won't begrudge you mini pumpkins and pinecones! These can look great, especially en masse. My main rule: Keep it simple. Fill a hurricane with pinecones. Fill a jar with bare branches from the yard. Light some candles. Line up a row of white pumpkins. If you must do your mantel here's a beautiful example.

 And Centsational Girl has some gorgeous decorate-with-nature ideas here. Happy fall decorating!

October 11, 2010

how i spent my september vacation

Well, it already feels like ages ago since I went away. But before it becomes a distant memory, I wanted to share my vacation with you all! Here's a little recap of how I spent my September vacation!
first day in volterra

winding cobblestone streets

life in Italy

sipping cappuccino

the view from Cortona

where we stayed in Rome, via Urbana

a gelato truck, and oh, the Coliseum

someone who knows Latin knows what this means

incredible Coliseum against gorgeous blue sky

the Fontana di Trevi: a good place to make a wish

grapes ready to harvest, in the "backyard" of our inn outside San Gimignano

a chapel on the grounds of our inn

the approach to Il Casolare

a view to the pool from the terrace

day trip to Firenze, turning a corner to see Il Duomo

sunset over the Arno

with our charming host Andrea and talented chef Constantino....I want to go back!
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