Monday, August 18, 2014

Cremone Bolts, Pom-poms, and Monogrammed Everything!

The top three things that are going to be used in abundance in the new house....
..just because they make me giddy.
Like a little girl with new sparkly shoes kind of giddy!

Since the main topic of this blog for the next year or so will be about building a house, and the things you should do and should NOT do, I think it is important to focus on the things that are definite DO'S.
Not just relating to the building process, but to the decorating process as well.

My DO list is pretty long.....

1. DO hardwood floors instead of carpet.
 Carpeting in the new house will be kept to a minimum. Mostly because I just can't stand it.
I could probably tolerate some leopard print like this Glen Eden wool carpeting:

I even like the Antelope version:

I think I can hear my Mother cringing.

2. DO try to find interesting hardware instead of using all the same throughout the house.
It's how to achieve a look that is personal and filled with character right off the bat.

I'm collecting as I go to flea markets and vintage shops.

3. DO dream about your future pretties.

It's all in the details and it's never too early to start daydreaming or collecting them.
They can make the unexpected hurdles and bumps in the road much easier to deal with.

Take a look at the hardware on the cabinets below:

image via Amber Interior Design:
That zebra/tiger backdrop is sooo gonna happen!

That mean looking hardware is called a Cremone Bolt.

I know, I was like, "Cre-ah-mone-what-ah?? THAT is what those things are called?!?!"

I was walking around describing them as those long rods that when you turn the knob it makes that cool click-y sound and the rods go up and down. No one knew what I was talking about.

Well, I am going to retrace my pre-Cremone education days and tell some people what's up.

It'll go a little like this:

"I would like to see your selection of Cremone Bolts. You know, that classic element of French architecture, which gets it's name from the fact that it was created in the Cremone region of Northern Italy in the 18th Century."

They'll be all "Day-um! You can have these for freezeez, girl!"

That's how it will go down.

Anyway, be prepared to see some Cremone bolts. Like all over the place.

Another little pretty that I am very much looking forward to is pom-poms....

even some BIG pom-poms.....

Last February we went to New Orleans and  I spent a little too much money on some pom-pom napkins....

just cuz. I couldn't help it!

I would even put them on my sun hat...

Expect to see pom-poms on most of the new drapes...

My seamstress, Momma O, is gonna be up to her nose in pom-poms all winter!

Even Bailey's new bed can have pom-poms!!

I found a headboard just like that one at the flea this year for $15! I can't even wait to paint it!

 4. DO Monogram some things for the new house!
As a little gift to yourself that you can open on move in day.

Especially gold or silver metallic monograms!

Mark and Graham is one of my favorite places to get monogrammed goods.
Their packaging is superb and I have been known to reuse their boxes as decor.
Packaging is a huge selling point for me....I am such a gullible consumer!

Now don't be surprised when you come to the new house and see pom-poms, cheetah print, and monograms all over the place. I warned you.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Make Sure Your Furniture Will Fit!

I ALMOST made another kinda big mistake.
Remember when I didn't even notice that there wasn't a hall closet in the plans for our new house?
Wellllll, I recently learned that 15 feet on paper seems WAY bigger than 15 feet in reality.
It's like when you're really hungry and you pile food on your plate thinking you could totally eat an entire grocery store and then you end up eating about half of what you piled on.
So, those 15 feet in your mind somehow stretch out to be somewhere around 30.
Our minds can seriously stretch reality.
So it's best to put reality on paper. 
If you don't have AutoCad at your disposal, or an assistant named Megan, who loves cranking out some floor plans on AutoCAD, you can easily put your space on paper...

Just get out some graph paper and a pencil, and steal some crayons from your kid.
My kid got a little upset with me because I used her NEW crayons. For SCHOOL.
I'm a bad mommy.......using the crayons I purchased and all.
Anyway, just set your own scale. Like one square equals 6" or 1 foot. Whatever is easiest. 
I find that most residential spaces will easily fit on one sheet of graph paper with the 1 square = 6" ratio.
Once I have the room all mapped out I go and measure the furniture that I know I want in the space or go shopping online for what I want in the future. Then, I can really see if the idea in my head is close to reality or a far fetched dream.
In my husbands case, his idea WAS NOT close to reality.
At least not for our future great room.
He got all hot and bothered over a 9 foot sofa at Restoration Hardware.
I laughed at him.
I tried to explain that it just wasn't going to fit but he didn't believe me until he saw it on paper. 
Once he realized how much it would cost to MAKE the 9 foot sofa fit he suddenly decided that a 7 foot sofa would do just fine.

It can be so cruel!
Another example of a stretched sense of reality was our Parlor Room.....

TOTALLY looks big enough, right?
Especially for a room that is hardly used.
Well, it was fine at 12 feet by 7 feet if we wanted to get ALL NEW FURNITURE!!

I don't think so.
 I am too in-love with my little white sofa for that to happen!
Plus, buying sofas is not particularly fun.
BUT buying fabulous pink chairs is VERY fun!
Back to my Parlor dilemma, I immediately informed our builder that the parlor had to grow by at least 18 inches.
Those 18 inches made a HUGE difference!
They meant having enough room for my little apartment sofa AND end tables.
End tables are important in my world.

Just for reference, that pencil line was where the room ended before we added the 18 inches.
The apartment sofa by itself was a tight squeeze. When you can't even fit an apartment sized sofa, it might be time to make a change.
The moral of the story.........don't assume your room dimensions will work just because the numbers seem reasonable.
If I hadn't made my little graph paper layouts, I would have discovered on move-in-day that I had a pretty white sofa problem in the parlor room.
Remember, it's not up to your builder to know whether or not your stuff will fit. His energy is better spent elsewhere.
It might sound ridiculous, but you should visually move into your house before the plans are even finalized. You will be way ahead of the game, saving yourself tons of stress and some serious dough!
Such dough could materialize as something awesome!
or something sleek and shiny!

WARNING: Your family might get annoyed with you having to document the measurements of every little thing AND your child might not appreciate you ruining the nice tips of his or her newly sharpened crayons. In your defense, you were trying to save money and stress and the results will be worth all the stubby crayons. 
I hope that if you are building a house at some point in your future that you can learn from me and my almost-big mistakes as well as my "OMG! what was I thinking?!?!?" mistakes.

What will I learn next???


Monday, July 28, 2014

Inspired By Soap

Sometimes the inspiration for a space comes from a piece of fabric, an item of clothing, or even a bottle of hand soap.....

You all know how I am currently obsessed with the design of our new bathroom...of all rooms...well, yesterday while shopping at TJ Maxx I spotted this bottle of hand soap and it called my name.

Please note: I am NOT an expensive lotion and soap person.
I buy what gets the job done and that is that.
BUT on occasion the design of a product will entice me.

Alchemy not only has me hooked on their fragrances, but also on their product labels and designs.

I can design my entire bath around these soaps...

Chinoiserie anyone?

How about Puriste? 

This silly and regularly expensive bottle of soap magically made my bathroom design come together in my head.

This is what the hand soap did in my head.... made an explosion of light pink and Chinoiserie happen! 

I immediately envisioned very light pink walls....

Benjamin Moore Pink Peony


or Pink Pearl

Since this is for my bathroom not just any pink will do. The wall color that I pick MUST complement my skin tone.

The one on the bottle has just enough peach...

It also made me want some Chinoiserie fabric to happen.
Maybe something covered in Braemore's Emporer's Garden....

Or if I had a 9 bajillion dollars I could use Manuel Canovas's Pegoda.
Drapery panels perhaps?
I only need $3000 to make that happen....Jeesh!

or I could just do light pink or white fabric with a trim.....

and save the printed fabric for a chair....

While on my Chinoiserie search I came across some fabulous things....

paintings by Ann Harwell that would fit right in...

you should check out the shop: Annechovie on etsy. 
I am certainly going to stockpile a few paintings for the new house!

Stopping over at Beth Connelly's Chinoiserie Chic is always a good idea when you're looking for some Chinoi!

She recently posted this image of Kirsten Kelli's work that was recently featured in Veranda.
Chinoiserie Chic never ceases to inspire....

I could easily stock up on prints from her shop, Pink Pagoda, as well.

How charming is this print, The Merchant's Wife???

Do you see the sort of madness that just one bottle of soap can create?? 

I really shouldn't be allowed out of my house.

Would you paint your bathroom pink??

Monday, July 21, 2014

Save Room For Kent and Phyllis!!

In the last post I talked about allocating space for creative furniture pieces or built-ins in your new home plan.

You all must know by now that I'm a furniture hoarder, soooooo it shouldn't surprise you that I already have two pieces in mind for the master bath.

We haven't even broke ground yet and I have started an inventory of finds from flea markets, thrift stores, and outlets.

I recently met this piece...

His name is Kent. Clark Kent.
I found him at the Restoration Hardware Outlet and he is in pretty decent shape.

I fell for him instantly. Especially because he was about to go on sale.

I think I have a problem. 

I made this before I purchased him.

Isn't he handsome??

He even goes with an array of vanities:

and I am finding that vanities are my new addiction.

My current favorite is this one:

The Hudson at Restoration Hardware. It's just so clean and shiny!!

I do NOT like the price though. 
Not saying it isn't worth a bajillion dollars, I'm just saying I don't HAVE a bajillion dollars.
I DO know a welder though.....and a great place for I'm thinking that I might be able to make this happen for about half the Restoration price.

But then there is this pesky, real-life thing, called FUNCTIONALITY.

We could need more storage than this piece offers.
There is additional storage in the bathroom besides Mr. Kent, but I know how frustrated I get in the morning when I don't have everything I need right in front of me. So Mr. Hudson could very well just be a lusty dream for me. 

Plus, where in the world would my husband plug in his toothbrush??? 
You can't have vanities like these and then have an electric toothbrush plugged in on the counter.
That's just wrong.
It would have to be a very sleek, almost invisible, high tech looking toothbrush in order for that to be ok.

I did NOT just google "sleek toothbrush" because buying a new toothbrush to go with possible future vanities would just be insane.

Meet Issa.
I know what you're thinking.
Issa is a TOOTHBRUSH from Sweden. I swear!
She is all silicone and costs a mere $3,000. Wouldn't she go nicely with the possible future vanities?? 

I can't help but wonder how much the replacement heads are.....$1000 each??

Anyway, back to reality and my options for the "creative space"

Here is option 2:

A secretary named Phyllis.

I found her at a flea market for $175. She is from the 40's and is in perfect condition.
Errrrr....she WAS in perfect condition until I got my hands on her....she may have gotten scratched on the way home......shhhh...I feel terrible about it!

She would actually fit between the two sinks and could fold down and be used as a vanity.

Like this:

or this...

But she isn't as tall as Mr. Kent and would probably fit better in our front hallway as well as make a larger impact.

I have dreams for her that look like this:

and this:

image from Divine Distractions

image from Kiki's List

Wouldn't a pop of color make Phyllis a bit more of a statement piece for the hallway??

Black and tiffany blue never disappoints!

and the color combo reminds me of favorite little mugs...

How is a girl to decide?!?

Good thing I have plenty of time!

When I am homeless and it feels like it is taking an eternity to build our house, I will sit in my parent's basement and stare at Mr. Kent.