Wednesday, October 31, 2012

ANOTHER Bedroom Post (sorry!)

Ahh the bedroom - all talk, no action on my end so far!  I swear, this room really is next on my list for a makeover said the girl who cried wolf.

Do you remember this inspiration board I had put together for our bedroom??

I still love it, BUT... the rug is going to end up being too small!  It took me oh... six months... but I finally took measurements, and the 5x8' rug that used to be in the living room is not going to work in the bedroom!  You literally won't be able to see it from underneath the bed.

So, I've decided to sell it, and get something larger.  With the option to choose a new rug (which by the way, RugsUSA is having a 60% off sale that ends today) my options for the room just got a whole lot more exciting.

You all know how much I ADORE a creme colored upholstered headboard with nail-head trim... but after months of thinking, I've come to the conclusion that a headboard in this color won't stand out against our off-white walls and it won't add much interest to the room (sad).  I've shifted gears, and I'm going to be brave with color!

What color??  Navy!  I am now thinking of a lush navy headboard that will be the room's centerpiece.

Taking a look on RugsUSA, I've narrowed down my choices to these three rugs...

Amazing right??  Not only are all three of these available in 7.6'x9.6' measurements, but all three are below $300 - one of them is even below $200 (can you guess which one??).

I can pretty much guarantee that Kris will veto the zebra print rug immediately, even though it looks so soft, the grey is so pretty, and I love a good zebra print if it's not too crazy.  I'm not even going to pick that battle...

I love the bold pattern and the rich color on the navy rug, but I worry that it will be TOO graphic (is that possible?).  On the other hand, if we go for a navy headboard, this rug would really tie everything together.

The third option is a pretty neutral trellis rug.  This rug (like the zebra) looks incredibly soft, and I love the colors, but while it will be versatile no matter how much I change up the room, is it boring?  Also, is the trellis pattern too similar to the rug in our living room?

I need to make a decision today since the sale ends today - if I'm not getting 60% off, I can't justify a new rug.  To help me make this decision, I've put together two new inspiration boards for the bedroom.

Here is the first one...

I like this option... I yellow and navy look so great together, so I could use the extra fabric from the roman shade in our hallway to make a few pillows, and whip up a quick navy chevron lumbar pillow as well.  I keep coming back to the fact that the rug is simple, and that it will go with everything, no matter how many times I change the accessories up.

I also like the idea that I can move it into the living room for a very different look since these rugs will be the same size!

Next up, is the inspiration board with the navy rug...
This just looks awesome, right??  Aside from looking super styled and tailored, the navy rug is also less expensive!!  It will be just $200 with taxes tacked on!  I think I am leaning a towards the navy rug, but my head keeps telling me that the neutral trellis is the "safe" choice.

I have some thinking to do, but by the end of today, I might have a new rug on it's way!!  No tricks this Halloween, just treats!!

Workplace Halloween Costumes

I happen to LOVE getting dressed up for Halloween, but you have to be careful when getting dressed in costume for work.  I put together an elaborate Cruella DeVille costume, but it's a little much for the office...

If you are like me, and love getting dressed up for Halloween, but you don't want to be that person with painted whiskers on your face in a meeting (yes, that happened to me last year), I've put together three work appropriate costumes, that are easy to throw together, and are adorable to boot!

Workplace Witch:  
All you need is a standard black dress and a few accessories to get this together... striped tights, and witch hat.  Everything else is optional!
Workplace Witch

Sailor Girl:
Not sexy at all, and who doesn't own a striped shirt??  Time to break out your white jeans (yes, even after labor day), and snag a sailor hat from the costume store, military depot, or your dad (in my case)!
Sailor Set

Comme des Garçons slim fit shirt / Mango denim skinny jeans, $56 / Charlotte Russe ballerina shoes / GANT leather belt / NARS Cosmetics , $28

Where's Waldo??
Another easy costume... red stripes, beanie, funky thick rimmed glasses... and call it a day!
Where's Waldo

Comme Des Garçons Play red long sleeve t shirt, $160 / Replay denim skinny jeans, $200 / Leather shoes, $105 / Sunglasses, $180

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Cozy Fur Throw

I took the plunge... this bad boy is the newest addition to our living room... more pictures to come later, but trust me when I say... it feels AMAZING.  Pretty sure that Kris and I will have to duke it out (or row-sham-bo) for this super soft, super cozy (faux) fur throw now that the weather is cooling off.

Sometimes it's the smallest things that get me excited, but I am absolutely LOVING my new purchase.

Gallery Wall Layout

While we are on the topic of a gallery wall, I'm starting to collect the pieces I'd like to hang together, gather frames that work well with one another, and work on a layout that will look organized without being perfectly symmetrical.  Thank god I didnt' decide to just start hanging things... I can just imagine trying to do a large gallery wall without at least a little planning...

This is what we are working with... a big empty wall.  Let's get a good "before" here...

I cringe to even look at this picture, but this is what our living room looked like almost a year ago when we moved in - this was taken just after Christmas, so we'd been there for just about one month by this point.  The wall behind Kris' sad little love-seat is big... REALLY big... and this picture does a good job of showing how much empty space there is.

If there were a title for my life, it would be called, Making Do With What You've Got - and I have gotten pretty good at it!  While I'd love two new sofas (instead of two old, mismatched, and very uncomfortable love-seats) it just is NOT going to happen right now.  Banishing the idea of a new sofa, my goal is to distract from what I don't like with things I love.  Since these love-seats are smaller and lower to the ground, this means that I have even more wall to work with - if we were to replace the black love-seat with a sofa, this gallery wall might need a bit of adjusting, but since a new sofa is a very distant purchase on the "want" list, I think this gallery wall will be intact for some time.

Now that we've got a really good "before" pic (aka, a really awful photo that makes any improvements I've done look AMAZING) let's take a look at what the wall looks like now.

We may or may not have one or two unpacked boxes shoved in the back of my closet, but I couldn't stand looking at a huge blank wall, so a few months after moving in, I hung a few pictures on this sad, empty wall!  It currently looks like this...

This is the best photo I can find to illustrate how the wall looks now.  There is a trio of black and white photos hanging (even though this photo only captures two of them) and as you can see, the room is a far cry from last January.  The addition of curtains, coordinated throw pillows, and a new rug made a HUGE impact on what had been an empty shell of a room.  That said, you can still see that despite having a few frames on the wall, they are hung too high, and are just too small for the space (also, I realize after posting this that the frames are STILL crooked... I tried!!)

This photo shows the wall from another angle - excuse the horrid lighting.  The wall needs some love - it's as simple as that.

Since it's clear that I am not so great at hanging frames symmetrically, I am looking for a layout where I can have staggered frames of varying sizes while keeping a somewhat organized look and feel.  I searched online for some gallery wall layouts (why reinvent the wheel, right??) and I found none of them helpful.  Thanks for nothing Pinterest!

So, in an attempt to be resourceful, I started working on my own layout.  I have most of the frames I plan on using already, so taking their measurements, I began playing around on the floor of the living room.

This is what I ended up with after a few tries...

Eh... I wasn't loving it.  I think I definitely need a couple more frames to round it out, so I turned to my computer to start mapping the wall out...

This is what we have right now...


I'm not going to continue to beat a dead horse... three frames = too small for large wall... moving on


I like that even though these frames are different sizes, having the four smaller frames on the bottom row still make this feel balanced and symmetrical.

I have one large piece that I'd like to hang as a portrait, but it's large... in order for it to be hung vertically, the largest frame would need to move, so I played around and came up with this...

Again, I like it, but want to feel 100% confident before putting more holes in the wall.  Now for the fun part... choosing all the art!

Stay tuned for updates!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Gallery Wall Inspiration

I've been toying with the idea of creating a gallery wall on the very blah wall behind our couch.  In the ideal world, the couch would get the heave ho, but that's another story for another day.  Working with what I've got, I desperately want to draw the eye up, and replace the blah black and white photos (from Ikea, where else) that are currently there.

The question now is, how do I want this gallery wall to look??

I could go with large white mats, identical frames, and hang them in a symmetrical grid like this...
Gallery Wall

Or mix it up with photos, letters, frames, slats of wood, old keys, and whatever else just looks cool like these next two gallery walls...
Gallery Wall  Wall Color

gallery wall

I could go black and white all the way, but mix up the size and shapes of the frames a bit...
Gallery wall

I could go eclectic with varying frames of different colors...
gallery wall, rug

Or I could get all "beautiful mind" on the wall, and go nuts with a thousand small frames packed tightly together (very cool,  but something tells me we are definitely NOT going there)...
wall to wall gallery

What do you think?  Maybe I should snap some photos of the living room wall as it stands now...

Friday, October 26, 2012

Bar Cart Update

I WISH I could say that this little vignette is the newest corner in our apartment, but alas... it's not.  Remember this bar cart I had my eye on at the antique store a few weeks ago?  It was a steal at $200, but after thinking about it more and more, I liked it... but didn't LOVE it.  It had the right qualities, but was just too simple.

The image of the bar cart below from Life in a Venti Cup (original source unknown) just reminded me how much I adore the look of a swanky cocktail cart, but perhaps I will hold out for something more ornate... even if it costs me more in the long run.

While the one I spotted a few weeks ago was nice, it lacked a lot of the detail this one has.  

I love the raised sides and how it almost looks like the top could be removed as a serving tray (perhaps it can), and I love that underneath there are slots for stemware, and bottles of wine.  We already have a small buffet with a wine rack built in, but as an avid wine drinker, it's not nearly large enough for the collection that has started to amass.

For now, I am keeping my eyes peeled for the perfect bar cart...

It's Beginning to Feel a lot like Christmas

Ok, yeah it's definitely not.  It's not even halloween yet, but I've seen so many FABULOUS ideas for Holiday decor on Pinterest, and this one I just HAD to share!

Isn't that the most adorable tablescape of mini Christmas Trees.  This is actually direct from StyleMePretty - the post on a Christmas DIY Potluck.  These ladies are so crafty, making all sorts of adorable projects like wreaths made out of old book pages...

I mean how awesome is that??  Another favorite project they showcased were these adorable little Christmas trees made of different sizes of cut paper.  It's actually pretty self explanatory to make just by looking at it, but how clever (and lovely)

To make the moss trees from the tablescape, you'll need a few foam cones from the craft store, a hot glue gun, cute pot, some sturdy twigs, floral wire, and some flat moss... start gluing away, and you'll end up with some sweet (and easy) moss topiaries.  I also love the idea of using round foam balls for these (less holiday, and they could even take you through January and February)!


OK... back to thinking about Halloween, and getting our costumes ready for the weekend!!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tripod Lamps

Let me start by saying, Pinterest is evil.  It really is!  There are things on there that you never knew existed... and then, like flicking a switch, you suddenly NEED it... like right now.

Damn you Pinterest!!

This Tripod lamp is now added to the "need" list after seeing it on Pinterest.  Isn't it just plain cool?  Cool in the same way that a globe is cool... or an old wooden box.  It looks old and collected, and I feel like it has a story (even if it's brand new... you can make it up, right??) Between the brass legs, the warm wood, and that perfect little linen drum shade, I am wanting it real bad!

Luckily, I've got willpower, and will be exercising it, instead of instantly purchasing the Easton Tripod Floor Lamp from Joss & Main...

Nate Berkus at Target

I was able to get myself over to Target over the weekend, and came across some VERY empty shelves.  I thought to myself, this is odd... and then realized... this is where the Nate Berkus collection had been... before it sold out... in A DAY.

Needless to say that I didn't leave with much since the shelves were picked clean, but I am absolutely DYING over this little chevron urn, and that awesome asymmetrical lamp.  I'm actually kicking myself for not getting an adorable hammered metal bowl - perfect for holly berries, holiday sweets, or even a small hand soap in the bathroom.

Did anyone else have better luck than me??

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Lady in Red

Red flared pants + blouse  

Red pants... are you brave enough to wear a pair??    I am LOVING the look of these looser fitting trousers with a sheer white blouse.  A great red pant is a "nice to have" not a "need to have" in terms of wardrobe essentials, but wouldn't they be fun to wear??

In middle school, one of my FAVORITE things to wear was a pair of blood red, bell bottom corduroys.  I was thirteen years old and stick thin (seriously... I was fully grown at 5'8" and but weighed around 96 lbs).  Regardless, I felt awesome in my bright red pants.  As an homage to the 13 year old in me that was brave enough to wear red pants all through the 7th and 8th grade, I put together a few options with how to wear guidelines... take a peek!

Red Pants

Marni wool pants / Marni crepe pants / Theory pants, $1,220 / Pink Tartan red pants, $245 / Mango pleated pants, $72 / Valentino lace up heels / Christian Louboutin leopard print heels / Rupert Sanderson high heel pumps / Ash black boots, $465 / High heel pumps / 3.1 Phillip Lim satchel handbag / Dareen Hakim clutch handbag / Yves Saint Laurent chain link necklace / Miriam Salat resin jewelry / DANNIJO brass jewelry / Kate Spade clip on earrings / Long necklace, $9.62 / Charlotte Russe rhinestone earrings

From left - you better be a brave woman to wear this pair of Theory Stretch Leather Leggings, but if done right with these Valentino laser cut booties, they would be absolutely fabulous.

Red skinny jeans feel really urban and edgy - pair with some motorcycle boots and funky accessories - I especially love this cuff.

In the middle, these mens wear trousers from Mango are the most affordable, and the most similar to the pants in the inspiration.  I just love them for work with a big bag, and neutral shoes.

A cropped version presents the perfect opportunity to show off fun pair of suede peep toe pumps (with bow!)  The cornflower blue in the bangles and the deep sapphire blue of the earrings make the color combo feel more like winter to me.

Finally, leopard print is the perfect compliment to red - a fun pair of peep toe pumps and a chunky statement necklace are amazing for prowling around the town or a swanky dinner on the weekend.

Trestle Table Love

love this rustic table

Oh my... this dining room is pretty much perfection - the great french doors and amazing light, molding, and architectural detail make this room fabulous on it's own, but it's this table I am most obsessed with!  

One of my favorite things I own is the table in our dining room.  It is a small pedestal table, just large enough for four.  It was a Craigslist find that is around 100 years old, and while the top is wobbly, and always seems to be at a slight angle, it has a beautiful turned pedestal that reminds me a lot of the detail on this trestle table above.  Isn't it pretty?

Restoration Hardware has a trestle table that is absolutely amazing, but it comes with the Restoration Hardware price tag (aka, they aren't exactly giving it away).  Luckily for you, I've put together an inspiration board with less expensive options for recreating this look!

Where to Buy:

Trestle Table - if you love the Restoration Hardware trestle table, you will LOVE this.  One of my favorite bloggers just bought this exact one for her house - for pics in real life, check it out  here!!

Veranda Linear Chandelier - this look has been a longtime favorite of mine - the perfect compliment to a rustic dining room.  Pottery Barn's version is relatively affordable, but I've seen fixtures similar to this at places like Lamps Plus or even Home Depot as well!

Nailhead Parsons Chair - if you are getting six of these for a dining room, costs can get really high really quickly, but this chair has great reviews in the blogworld, and are very affordable for the level of detail!  Not to mention, a parsons chair is ALWAYS in style

Burlap Panel Curtains - another affordable option - especially if you are looking for extra long curtains - Ballard Design's version has a great fringed bottom

Tile Border Rug - Pottery Barn's plush rugs aren't inexpensive, but they also won't break the bank.  My parents have a few in their home, so trust me when I say they are extremely plush, and have held up well!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Sneak Peek: DIY Roman Shades

Ready for a little teaser post??

Well I was a very productive little lady on Sunday, and made some real progress on my roman shade for the hallway... I do not know how to sew, so I'm not done yet, but here is a sneak peek on the progress....

Happy Monday!!

Dark and Moody

The weather has turned again, and I woke up very early this morning to the first storm of the season.  The rain was coming down in buckets, and I had to get up for an extra blanket before I went back to sleep.  This kind of weather puts me in the mood to hunker down, and that mood is definitely reflected in the colors I am drawn to.  The deep dark colors of these rooms are so rich, and  if it weren't so hard to paint back over, I'd be slathering our bedroom in a dark hue tonight.

You'd think that a dark color in a small space would make it feel smaller, but with bright accessories, and the right lighting, I actually think it makes many of these spaces look even larger (check out that powder room with the slate grass cloth - fourth down).  SO amazing!

Enjoy these inspirations from Houzz...

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Transitioning Your Wardrobe from Summer to Fall

I've been trying to dress for the seasons (even though San Francisco has little distinction between the seasons), and I saw this cute little outfit on Pinterest (where else?!)

I love the idea of layering a chunky winter sweater over a light floaty skirt.  The juxtaposition makes it interesting, and it's the PERFECT way to get a few more wears out of your floaty summer dresses and skirts!

I'm going to brunch on Sunday with the girls, so I'll test this look out then!  All week has been hot and sunny, but we woke up this morning to a layer of fog that just won't go away.  I am looking forward to diving in to a cozy sweater, and feeling like it's fall again.

I'm also loving the neutral monotone in this photo - for a similar look, try something like this...
Fall to Winter Transition

Cable knit sweater / Gold pleated skirt, $44 / Qupid high heels / Tommy Hilfiger gold bangle bracelet / Belle Noel by Kim Kardashian / Nadri crystal bangle bracelet / Michael Kors steel jewelry / Spike jewelry / Ray-Ban eyewear / Bobbi Brown Cosmetics lip care / NARS Cosmetics / Leather Jewelry Hermès Brown

Friday, October 19, 2012

DIY Projects: Halloween

I love fall, but the decor for Halloween that you find in stores leaves a little to be desired.  I scoured the internet for some clever decor ideas that are simple, and relatively inexpensive.  It's such a short lived holiday, no one wants to break the bank on fake witches and over the top lawn displays (or maybe you do... I know I don't!)

Read on for some fun ideas to get into the Halloween spirit!!

Glittery Pumpkin Candle Holders:
This one is perfection - Twig and Thistle has a fabulous tutorial for turning foam pumpkins into sparkly accessories for fall.  Tutorial here!

Spooky Porch Decor:
Cassie from Hi Sugarplum! decked out her porch with a swarm of bats, which is spooky, not silly (my favorite type of Halloween decor).  She used thick felt, and fake crows from the dollar store, and it's incredibly striking (and easy!)  Check out her tutorial (and more pictures) here!

Glittery Spider Webs and Spooky Shelves:
Centsational Girl is the ultimate in crafty DIY, and has been making all the stops for Halloween.  These bookshelves capture the Halloween spirit without being tacky. One of my favorite ideas!!  Go look at the whole tutorial here.

DIY Trick or Treat Pillows:
The Cutest Blog on the Block had an easy idea for some DIY Halloween Pillows - these would work indoors or outdoors but with the glitter involved, I think I'd keep these outside on a porch, or in an area you could easily sweep (unless you want to find glitter in your carpet for years to come).  Tutorial here.

Pumpkin Punch Bowl:
You'll need an extra large pumpkin to pull this off, but Martha Stewart reigns again with her clever ideas for fall entertaining!  Check it out here

"Pick your Poison" Bar Setup:

Throwing a party?  While we are on the topic of entertaining, this is a fabulous little set-up for an adult Halloween Party!  Get more details here on BHG!

DIY Treat Bags:

Hi Sugarplum! made it on this list of fabulous DIY projects twice (she really is that clever) - this time with her cute idea for Treat Bags.  Adorable!!

What did I miss??  Any other cute Halloween DIY's that I should test out??