Archive | July, 2012

Styling Crash Course

31 Jul

This week I’ve decided to give myself a styling crash course.  It’s kind of embarrassing actually, but in the year and a half that we’ve had this house, I really haven’t styled anything.  I made things look nice for my housewarming over a year ago and then have been collecting things in piles since.  *slaps self on back of hand*  bad dog designer.  That’s also why I’ve been dragging my feet in showing you an updated home tour (soon, I promise!!)

Naturally before I actually got to styling my own house, I needed to find some inspiration images online.  My name is Karen, and I’m a Pinterest addict.  Such eye-candy!

The first room in my house to get styled is the bedroom.  I’ve got all the big components in it- furniture, curtains, bed linens… Now, it’s all about the icing on the cake, the cherry on top- the accessories!

This really was easy- all I had to do to style the bedroom was put a cat on it.  Me-ow.

Ok, well, maybe there was a bit more to bedroom details than capturing Charlie’s excitement over a made bed.  I was losing daylight with my futzing styling, so unfortunately you’ll have to be patient until tomorrow when I can show you some well lit styling montages.

AAAAAAND the living room is getting a very exciting addition this week (no, not a chair yet) that I can’t wait to share with you.

So many pretty things are happening over here this week, I hope you stay tuned!


Life’s a Happy Song

26 Jul
when there’s someone by your side to sing along!*
3 years can really fly by when you married your best friend
*brownie points if you get the Muppet reference.  Even more if you’ve now broken out in song or have it stuck in your head.  You are welcome.

End of an Era {Mini Home Tour}

25 Jul

My parents have lived in the same house for almost 29 years, in the same town they grew up in, in the same town their parents grew up in.  Then both their daughters moved to Massachusetts.  See where this is going?

It’s official.  My parents are moving to MA!  My mom has a job (as an elementary school librarian) starting in the fall, they’ve listed my childhood home (already gotten a few offers), and even put in an offer on a house in between my sister and me.  The pieces are falling into place.

Before they uproot and put their stamp on a new house, I want to showcase some vignettes and vintage treasures surrounding them in the house my sister and I grew up in.

The chair in front was Handy Dad’s $20 brimfield find last year. Looks amazing after being refinished and reupholstered, don’t you think?

They picked up this desk on the side of the road, refinished it and made a new top for it.

Is my personality beginning to make sense?  I think my antiques/DIY gene lay dormant until I had a house of my own to fill.

Another trash to treasure side of the road find.

Mom’s collection of Fiestaware and vintage dishes

I realized when looking at this picture that the bench has evolved in my lifetime. When I was little, there was a heart cutout on the back. I have a feeling my mom commissioned Handy Dad to fashion a new back for it when she got sick of hearts.

Even the finished basement did not escape vintage treasures. This hope chest was my great grandmothers and the mirror is a recent tag sale purchase.

We gave this chair to Mom a few years ago as a mothers day gift. Thanks Craigslist!

My parents are obviously fans of vintage fans. This one has been rewired and is 100% functional. The sewing machine (which is folded down into a compartment under the top) is also 100% functional and operates via foot pedal.

I guess I don’t have to wonder too much where my garden fixation came from

There will certainly be some awesome transformations once they move into a new house.  I’ll be sure to share them all with you!

Outside Progress and Inside Plans

23 Jul

I can’t figure out how a yard the size of a postage stamp can suck up so much of my weekend time.  Even weeding a postage stamp takes time, I guess.

Morning glories are beautiful, but they are impossible to control, multiply faster than you can weed them, and grow everywhere.  I’m trying to fix this issue with landscape fabric and mulch.  Landscape fabric accomplished.  Mulch, not yet.

In addition to morning glories trying to stage a take-over of our yard, the cucumber plants are trying to break out of their planter.  They have completely taken over one planter and are expanding into the surrounding pathways.  They suffocated my canteloupe plant and have the butternut squash plant in their sights next.  Who knew cucumber was so vicious?

With all my focus outside, I’m still itching to make some big changes in the dining room.

I’ve been debating between two different moulding approaches.

Board and batten


Picture rail

The high picture rail with the white above fools the eye and the space looks larger.
via Apartment Therapy

I wanted test out these theories without actually any construction or painting, so I tried out the different divisions of the wall with painters tape.  (I also was testing out a potential future built-in which would utilize the dead space above the basement stairs)

I’m currently leaning toward the picture rail.  When I walk in the room with the higher tape line, the room seems to feel a bit larger.  The lower one had much less of an impact.  Either way, I want to get started soon… I’m sick of talking about it!

Behind the Objects: Israeli Art

20 Jul

In the land of design blogs, we talk a lot about things.  Furniture, art, accessories… material objects.  What really makes a home’s design special to the occupant, however, is the meaning behind the objects.  In this series, I celebrate the personal significance of the things I surround myself with.  The stories of my home.

Today’s object is a piece of art that I ‘inherited’ with Hubby

He brought this original artwork home from a trip to Israel as a child and we got it reframed a few years ago. The colors are so vibrant, the picture really does it no justice.  The gold background is tough to capture, but in person it just glows.  I just wish I knew what it meant!  Hubby claims that he used to have a piece of paper describing the meaning of it, but it disappeared along the way.  So if you have ANY inkling of what it says, by all means, share – I’m dying to know!

With such a variety of colors, it could really live in almost any room of our home.  It’s current place of honor, however, is in the dining room where we walk by it daily.  It’s a beautiful piece, but beyond that, I love that Hubby feels so connected to it.

Wanna Know a Secret?

18 Jul

I’m finally ready to divulge the mysterious secret of the desk that I told you about here.  But, you’ll have to wait until the end of the post.  Unless you’re just THAT impatient and scroll down right now.

I’ve been working like crazy to refinish this $80 craigslist find so I could deliver it to my sister in law this past weekend.  $80 is probably more than I would have spend on a regular old desk, but as I mentioned, this is no regular old desk.  It’s original state was sad, though.  I would have loved to salvage the wood, but the veneer desk top and drawer fronts were beyond help.

Naturally, the solution to that was paint it bright green.  Naturally.

I’m kind of in love with the color.  It’s so glam.  Good thing I can’t cheat on Hubby with a color, he might have competition.  The flower knobs are from Anthropologie, and for the amazingly inexpensive DIY ring pulls, I followed Sarah M. Dorsey’s tutorial.  But, we all know by now that this desk is more than meets the eye.

It’s the PERFECT piece for a spatially challenged NYC apartment.

I have never seen one before.


Is the suspense killing you??

Ok, fine.

I’ll tell you.

How cool is that?!


Shared at the link party at Primitive and Proper

Sneak Peak {NYC}

17 Jul

Last weekend I drove a lot, used my hand as a pin cushion, made a new furry friend, and watched a LOT of Rue Paul’s Drag Race.  Oh, and I spent the weekend in NYC helping my amazing sister-in-law make her apartment amazing.  Check out the “befores” of the apartment here.

We pretty much spent the entire time recovering the couch, which really was the elephant in the room.  There’s still a lot of finish work to do in the room, but it’s starting to look pretty great.

Well on it’s way to looking like an apartment fitting a dazzling young actress, don’t you thing?