Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Inspired by...

Because of all this blogging I'm doing, I'm getting NO sleep, but tons of ideas. Soon I'm going to have to catch up on the sleep thing, but for now...I blog!! I have decided to post on various projects I've found online that I decide to do myself. I'll link you to the orginals and we'll see how my versions turn out. :)

But my first ideas came from the recent Home-A-Rama. I'm going to attempt these on my own, on the cheap, with my own spin.

We do this quite often with client's window treatments, and I've actually seen it done better, but I've never tried it myself. I think it's time -- just have to figure out where?:

This is a Pottery Barn Kids piece, but I know I can do it cheaper on my own. ;) Love this idea!:

Umm, is this not caaauuuute?? It's a lamp, used as a ribbon holder. Darling. I will not do this with a lamp, but it has the wheels turning:

Seriously, how easy and fun is this? This one I think I will do soon...couple ideas floating around as to how I'll do it exactly:

I've seen this before but it was a good reminder of something I've been wanting to do:

I'd love to see if you've done anything similar to these, or if you decide to tackle these one your own! Have fun!

Montauk The End

I've always admired the design aesthetic of designers Robin Standefer and Stephen Alesch of Roman and Williams so I was in heaven when I found their Montauk Long Island home in World of Interiors September 2008 issue. It's definitely got a little flea market feel and Robin says that when they go to the Paris flea market, "we split up, but beforehand we agree to pick out three things each. In the end, two out of the three things we find are always the same." I wish I could find a straight man who wants to go to the flea market with me! Any takers?!

Hackeas: Simple hacks

More hackeas - quick hack jobs you can do easily.

Panel headboard
Markus says, "Once again the 'as-is' territory pulled through! I came across this $.99 natural Anno panel curtain. I love the material and knew I could find something useful to do with it. I cut it in half and made two panels with it. Instead of using them as curtains over a window I thought they would look nice just hanging up on the wall above the headboard. It really adds a nice touch to the room and makes the room feel a little taller.

Simple sideboard
Stephen says, "I bought some pieces of the Ikea Bonde system. When I 'reorganized' my living room, I happened to have a shelf unit with glass door leftover. I wanted a side board at the wall behind the table. So I thought, 'Why not make use of the shelf?' Two brackets, some screws and hanging the shelf sideways did the trick. The hinges keep the door shut.

See more of his bonde sideboard.

Simple nightstand
Stephen says, "I like this nightstand I made better than any stock Ikea ones. It's two simple elements: a Bravad approximately-cube-shaped wall shelf with Capita 6" legs. If you use the stock screws with the legs, you need washers or something similar to keep the screws from going all the way through the wood.

It's probably the easiest hack imaginable, but the resulting product is pretty great."

Simple knife stash away
With a circular saw, Tricia cuts a slot into her Bekvam trolley and voila! You have a knife slot.

Simple coffee table
Martin says, "I have a Lack TV unit which I now use as a coffee table. I did not attach the original legs but screwed on some casters (height about 1 inch). And that's it.

Magnetic photo gallery
Maria began looking for interesting, easy-to-make creative solutions when she started decorating her home. Here she shares two of them with us. She says, "I used Gruntal magnetic containers to create my photo gallery and customized fridge magnet. The background for the old photos is coloured paper."

Quick wall decor
Amy says, "I covered five Malma mirror frames with 1" square and 1" x 2" ceramic tiles. I attached the tiles with Elmer's glue after layout. "

Kid's art display
Chica and Jo uses the Jabba laundry holder (hey, this hanger is becoming popular!) as a piece to display art in a child's room!

Pink trash can
Jennifer, "So...I had this lamp shade from Ikea that did not fit any lamps in my house. I loved the color and shape so I just kept it in my 'I will do something with that later' pile. I also had this random piece of wood that I had been practicing a painting technique on. After recently rearranging my studio a little and the only room for my trash can was on the other side of the room... I knew I needed to fix that problem. I combined all three to make my 'pink trash' can.

I ripped out the guts of the lampshade, turned it over and glued it to the wood base. I wanted to cover the seam, so I added a cute pink ribbon around the base to hide the glue. I then was left with this ribbon seam because I had not planned it out properly. I grabbed a bright green pipe cleaner and made it into a little pipe cleaner rosette and glued it on. My partner thinks it looks like a Caterpillar that has crawled up to sleep. Go figure... I finally decided it needed something on it, so I came up with the cute play on words of 'pink trash'. I can now put trash in my desktop trashcan and dump it into the larger trashcan when it gets full."

See more of the pink trashcan.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Pouring rain. Too many people. Gorgeous homes. Heaven.

So tonight my decorating-loving pal and I went to the local Home-A-Rama. I can't get enough of the Ramas....and I am a sucker for model homes too. There's not a model home within a ten mile radius of our home that I haven't been through at least once.

This Home-A-Rama did not disappoint...for the most part. Love the houses, love the decorating, the ideas, the landscaping AND the bad decorating. Some are just. plain. bad. But there's more of that to come...first, a sampling of my 142 pictures. Yes. 142. Did I mention it was pouring rain? And that we didn't bring an umbrella? We didn't care -- beautiful homes don't judge.

Sorry the quality is bad... the battery was dying, wonder why??

I LOVE these windows:

This is the most unique window I've ever seen in a home. The picture doesn't do it justice:

Reminds me so much of Candice Olson!:


Creamy cabinets were the rage:

Wow, none of these do the homes justice. I'll share more soon...and the home with the worst decorating I've ever seen. I feel awful saying that, but really, it was bad. You'll die. Just die. Die! Die! Die! (Jack McFarland anyone?).


Who doesn't love cupcakes? Especially, precious, cute, custom cupcakes? A friend of mine makes the most beautiful cupcakes I've ever seen. They are little works of art. And they are goooo-ooooood. I know, I've tried one (nine).

I know 99 percent of you don't live close enough to order from her, but you can still drool. Check out her out here:


Toy storage cabinet

Usually Pax wardrobes are matched with Komplement interior fittings. Andy discovered that the Trofast is pretty snug too. 

Andy writes, "I wanted to share how we have used some Ikea furniture as toy storage. It's not really a hack as we haven't changed anything but it's more of a way of using a piece of furniture differently.

We wanted some way of storing our kids toys so that they were neat, easily accessible and easy to sort out. I had always liked the look of the Trofast storage range but the size of the units is pretty small. So I decided to use a Pax wardrobe and line it with the plastic buckets instead. I wanted to put 10 buckets in it but due to the placement of door hinges I could only fit eight of them. I don't have lids on the buckets so that I can fit more in. I made some labels on my computer for the outside of the buckets."

More toy storage photos here.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flea Market Fun with Eddie Ross!

I would have been happy with receiving just an email from Top Design contestant and Martha Stewart Living Senior Style Editor, Eddie Ross, but to go to the flea markets with him was a both a treat and an honor! Eddie is so amazingly talented and knowledgeable that I joked that I was learning from The Master but it really was the truth! Luckily, we got to take a few photos and enjoy the outdoor flea market at 39th and 9th before the deluge began!

Eddie, not surprisingly, had already done a walk-thru before we arrived and had started making a pile! His partner Jaithan, who also couldn't have been sweeter, joked that when they are driving Eddie can spot a tag sale and be out the door and have things under his arm before anyone else is even out of the car and I believe it! It was amazing watching him find things that the rest of hadn't even seen! You gotta dig!

Not only does he find things that others over look but he thinks outside the box so a ceiling light fixture could become a cake plate if placed on top of a vase! He is a creative genius!

Some of Eddie's purchases included a fabulous bar cart and Christmas ornaments because he's already thinking about his holiday decorations! Somehow this doesn't surprise me!

I saw these great marble lamps on his blog from his visit to the flea market last weekend and to my surprise the dealer still had them this weekend so I scooped them up without hesitation! They were $100 for the pair and had already been rewired so now they just need new harps and shades. One will look perfect on my desk now and the pair will look great flanking a sofa later when I have a larger apartment! We saw a similar pair later for $150 that didn't have anywhere near as nice a patina as mine.

The best part about Eddie is his incredible knowledge. He knows exactly what every utensil is to be used for like the cake fork and sugar spoons we saw today. I like to think I know a lot but being with Eddie made me realize that I need educate myself more about china and flatware! Anyone have any good book recommendations that would help with this task?

I loved all the beautiful wood, ivory and mother of pearl handled flatware on Eddie's blog and unfortunately we came across a treasure trove in the garage flea market on 25th Street after I had already spent well over my budget! Eddie was also great at teaching us how much is fair to pay for certain items at the flea market which was very helpful!

Another good rule of thumb is to think about a price that you are willing to spend on an item before you inquire as to how much they are asking. When I saw this fabulous box of gold Greek key bordered china from Heinrich & Co. of Bavaria Germany in a box on the floor, I was a little nervous as to what the dealer was going to say so when he replied $40 it was a no brainer! (I think I might have gotten an Eddie special though since he's a regular!) There were 10 dinner plates, 11 bread/dessert plates, 8 tea cups, 4 saucers, two different sized bowls and a creamer. More than you could ever get new for $40! The only problem is that I'm obviously missing some pieces and I can't figure out what pattern it is yet on Replacements Limited. If anyone knows or can figure it out, I would be eternally grateful!

The china is so beautiful that I can't stop looking at it! I might have to start drinking tea just so I can use them everyday! There is nothing that sounds as lovely as the tinkling of a tea cup and saucer! I recently bought some gold rimmed champagne and wine glasses at Housing Works that could lean a little too Donald Trump with the gold rimmed china but I think they might actually look nice together. (I also styled this photo as an homage to Eddie and his professional looking photos on his blog!)

I also bought a few other odds and ends including these chic gold cuff links for $10! I might give them to the Bachelor or save them for someone else who might appreciate their elegant simplicity. I also found an old book entitled Furniture and Decoration from 1941 for only $7 and a few accessories for the Bachelor Pad.

All in all, it was a fun and educational day and I want to thank Eddie Ross for being so gracious and sharing all his secrets! I always say that the people I've met are the best part about blogging but it's really true! We have to wait until November to see who wins Top Design but it's clear that Eddie is already a winner in my book!!!