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???