Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A spring table

 birdyWell, it’s in the 70’s here today, and the weather has been glorious for weeks now – SO unlike the Midwest. I’m crossing fingers and toes that there is no more snow! Puhhhleaze? Considering it’s supposed to be 84 degrees here tomorrow, you’d think we’re safe.

When I showed you the cute little Dollar Tree bird in this post, I told you I had some ideas in mind for others as well. I was so sure my idea would be adorable, I drove back to the dollar store at 8:55 that night, grabbing the last few I could find. (So sorry if you were looking for them…)  ;)

My idea was to use them on the dining room table. The bowls I bought last year for the place settings (from Pier 1) have been such fun to decorate with each holiday/season!

My first thought was to nestle them into some Spanish moss, but then I had a bit of a freak out that the moss would stain the white bowls. Probably wouldn’t – but my freak out made the end result even better!

To protect the bowl, I first used crinkled up tissue paper and made a “nest” – but then it hit me. What’s natural, springy, pretty and moss-stain protecting? Burlap baby! And I already had it!:

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I have six little birds total, but I am using a couple elsewhere, so I still needed to fill two place settings.

When Maryann posted her twine/jute covered eggs back in February, I was HOOKED. I am a sucker for jute. I don’t know what it is – but I love it on just about anything.

So I made some of my own jute covered eggs a few weeks ago – just using plastic Easter eggs we had and hot glue. Fareee!

Last week I found some white yarn in my craft stuff and covered a couple with that as well:

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Warning:  This cuteness takes foreva and a day to attain. I think about 15 minutes per egg. But it’s good mind-numbing activity while I watch my shows. ;)

I wanted to keep the centerpiece simple but wanted to add a little somethin’. I found some mossy “blanket” stuff at Joann’s today that was perfect to line the bottom:


I just cut it to fit and I love it! It was pricey -- $9 – but it is reusable.

A couple weeks ago I decided to start using a few of the candle holders as vases, so I’ve been filling a few of them:


If you look carefully you can see the toys on the floor…shhhhh. Nothing but the best for you all!

I had forgotten what a great deal flowers are at Trader Joe’s until my friend Kate mentioned it. (You must see her dining room. Swoon.)

Some of these have lasted for two weeks now! The tulips were $10 for 20. Hard to beat!:

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I absolutely love how fresh and bright the table is!


    060 And I wuv you, you cute little birdies! Kisses!

087I  have BIG plans for our hutch – I can’t wait to get working on it. I don’t know if it’s going to work, but I’ll let you know, of course.  (And no, I’m not painting it!)

To see how I made the centerpiece, go here.

For a recap of the dining room redo, go here.

Chic in LA: Peter Dunham and Hollywood at Home

After Almont Yard, I highly recommend a visit to La Cienega Boulevard. It's chock full of great design shops including interior designer Peter Dunham's chic shop Hollywood at Home. It used to be in Almont Yard so make sure you know that it's moved!

When you walk in the door and turn to your left, you're automatically transported to Marrakech through Martyn Lawrence-Bullard's fabulous fabrics! The print upholstered on the walls is called Majorelle and the one on the ceiling is actually called Marrakech!

Sorry this photo is a little dark but I wanted you to be able to see the ceiling.

Hollywood at Home represents quite a few textile lines including Jed Johnson Home seen above, Carolina Irving, Lisa Fine, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, and his own Peter Dunham line. That's him posing above.

Hollywood at Home also sells custom furniture that Peter found hard to find for his design business. They draw on "a blend of Spanish, mid-century Mediterranean, and Anglo-Indian influences."

I love that most all the LA design shops have wonderful seating areas for meetings and socializing! Also, the How to Marry a Millionaire Rush Side Chair above is one of Peter's most popular and well known designs that is a re-edition of one bought at auction that was seen in the Marilyn Monroe movie. The original is attributed to T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbings.

Peter Dunham also designed the family home for Juicy Couture co-founder Pamela Skaist-Levy that was featured in Harper's Bazaar magazine.

I really wish New York showrooms hung their fabrics from grommets and hooks. I love that you can take them down and see them in different light before you request a sample you might not want.

The front entrance to the shop is this beautiful and flattering pink color. Pink is definitely starting to grow on me! Oh, and the mirror is for sale through Hollywood at Home too!

More fabrics are displayed behind the reception desk.

While Christian, Andrea and I were hanging out chatting with Peter, Madeline Stuart came in with one of her assistants. As I mentioned previously, Madeline recently moved her office to La Cienega and it's across the street from Hollywood at Home. We joked that she was following us but she really came in to shop for fabrics! A designer's work is never finished!

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Hang your TV on a pole

Gerry wraps a TV round the pole. Sexy than this 2-pole version I received in 2006. Guess with the sleekness of LCD TVs nowadays, you can do away with the extra pole.

"I wanted a TV stand to mount my 32" LCD. I fabricated the two rails that attach to the TV from steel shelf bracket vertical rails. It was just a matter of drilling three holes in each rail to match the TV mounting holes and a center hole for attaching to the Stolmen pole. The angle bracket is from a Stolmen clothes rail installation kit.

Click to read more>>

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chic in LA: Madeline Stuart

I know some of you are probably over my trip to LA so I promise I'm going to try to wrap it up soon but I met so many wonderful designers and store owners that I can't help but want to share them all with you! One person who stood out and whom I could have spent all day chatting with was ├╝ber chic interior designer Madeline Stuart. It didn't hurt that her office was drop dead gorgeous too!

I love this photo of Madeline because I think it illustrates her fun personality and great sense of style. She's also extremely intelligent when it comes to design and I think her floor to ceiling bookshelves might have something to do with it! Her husband, Steve Oney, is a writer who authored the talk of the town story in LA about the con artist/interior designer Craig Raywood. The story actually came up as a topic of conversation quite a few times on my trip! You can read part one in the November 2008 issue of Los Angeles magazine online and part two in the December 2008 issue online. It's definitely worth it!

Madeline Stuart and her staff recently moved into this office on La Cienega and wanted to make it clear that they had not completely unpacked and things weren't perfect but they looked pretty fabulous to us! You also have Madeline to thank for the first movie version of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory! She was too modest to tell us this herself but someone else we met informed us that Madeline had read the book and pitched it to her director father, Mel Stuart. She also appeared in the film. How cool is that?!

Inspiration boards are very popular with creative types and I loved checking out what was tacked to hers!

I loved all the stacks of books and objects in her personal office and throughout the the rest of the office as well!

She has space for even more inspiring images so I think this is only the beginning for the board!

The back wall was already mirrored when Madeline moved into the space so she decided to have her built in bookshelves installed in front of it. I've seen the backs of bookshelves papered and painted but never mirrored. I actually love this idea and will be filing it away as an idea for a future project!

On the other side of Madeline's office is this stunning Chinoiserie screen and beautiful lavender settee. The color combination was even more stunning in person!

I think it would be very relaxing to sit at the desk and stare at that screen all day, in between working of course!

Even the bathrooms were chic! The ladies room was papered in a salmon pink grasscloth and the woodwork and shutters were painted to match.

The mirrored wall extended the tiny space as well!

The men's room was decorated in brown grasscloth. I love that she painted the ceiling and vanity base in matching brown paint. It also makes this tiny space appear larger.

It's very hard to photograph powder rooms and bathrooms but I had get a shot of these rust look sculptures on the vanity. They add to the masculine feeling of the men's room.

This isn't the best photo I've ever taken but I wanted to show you the conference room. The walls are upholstered in linen and I am wondering if the mirror was original or brought in later. I forgot to ask. I really loved all the details that you would find in a home.

In the hallway outside the conference room were these framed letters of the alphabet.

The entry included this beautiful artwork and chairs. The flowering branches and flowers throughout the office added to the welcoming atmosphere in the office.

I thought this white tableau was especially beautiful as is the white sculpted version of Madeline's dog that also stands in the entry below! Her real dog had gone home for the day so we missed him. I didn't know much about Madeline Stuart before this visit and I'm so happy to have met her. She's not only a wonderful designer but I really lovely person. Every time we mentioned meeting her afterward, everyone had nothing but nice things to say about her and I think that is a true measure of a person's character. And as you seen from her office, she's a really talented designer!

Photos by Heather Clawson for Habitually Chic

Asker hanging liquor bar

Here's one from a contributor who rather not be credited. He says, "I used Ikeahacker for ideas a lot when I moved, and thought I ought to at least contribute what I came up with." Thank you! :)

Constrained for space and renting (so not wanting to make big holes in the wall) I decided to hang everything I could in the kitchen.  This included hanging pots and pans over the entrance to the kitchen (careful to hang the small ones over the passage to permit passage for up to 6'3"), and the Asker suspended liquor bar hack.
Click to read more>>

Monday, March 29, 2010

A cozy window nook!


First of all, thanks so much for your idea on the furniture layout! It’s hard to get a feel for the room just with the pics I posted – there are walkways behind both sofas, so for now, they have to stay put. But I am going to add a console table behind the long sofa for sure – I found a perfect table that isn’t too deep and it’s gorg! But for now I’m trying not to spend any cash. ;)

One of the first changes I made to the Bub’s room was his window –  it looked like this for quite some time:

beforeI’ve gone back and forth for years now about adding a built in window seat in this spot. Some day I think we will, but for now, I needed a spot to put the rocking chair. The addition of a big boy bed made for little room for it. It fit perfectly into this little area -- so I decided to make a little “reading nook.”

Then it was time to address the window. I’ve slowly but surely been replacing all of our two inch blinds with bamboo roman shades (LURVE) and that was the first step:


I loved the shutters (found at an antique store) but with the move to a big boy room, they just felt too “nursery” to me. Or maybe I was just tired of them. I’ll go with the former. ;)

I played with a few ideas in my head. One was to make shutters like I did for the windows on our deck and hang them to each side of the window. I loved that idea, but I also had plans to add more light to this spot. It was going to look odd having the light sconces I had in mind installed on top of the shutters.

I wanted it to be light and airy feeling – and then I remembered the white muslin fabric I had bought for another project. I had a ton of it (I need to get more now for the other project, then I’ll share that one!), and it was only $1.99 a yard, and 40 percent off of that.


It was perfect!:white drapesI found the swing arm sconces at Home Depot ($30-something each?) and they were EXACTLY what I was looking for! Squeal! They are so gorg. And they even had drum shades, with a yummy basket weave-like fabric. (Just like the wallpaper I used in this space!)

I still wanted to add a little something to the white drapes, so I decided to use extra fabric from his headboard project (coming soon). I started by hemming up the ends of the muslin with my iron and hemming tape:


Then I made panels of the accent fabric, hemming the edges with the no-sew tape:

And then I just ironed the panel to the muslin:

I rarely ever sew drapes – I always use hemming tape! I cannot stress how easy it is to use! I always buy the super weight and it holds up great – for years and years and years. You can even wash items you use it on. I buy mine everywhere – Joann’s, Hobby Lobby, I think even Walmart has it?

This project would probably have been faster with a sewing machine – but by the time I get my little machine out and then try to sew a straight line, I’d rather just use hemming tape. ;)

Now the little touch of navy blue really grounds the drapes, both literally and figuratively:


The extra fabric at the bottom helps to make them a bit more substantial and they hang much better now.

I planned to make the panels a little thicker than they are, but I didn’t have enough fabric. They ended up being eight inches tall:accent fabric

I love love LOVE how they look next to the built ins:

Wooeee, I am in love with this navy and white combo! Classic.

Each sconce takes a 75 watt bulb, so it adds a TON of light:


The sconces are on the wall behind the fabric – and to make it so the arms came through the fabric, I separated the panels of muslin – one slightly thinner panel on the left, one wider on the right. So the arm of the sconce comes right through the fabric:


I can still close the wider section when I want, so they are operational.

I’m thinking about adding a cornice at the top, but I’m a little wary that it will get too busy, so I’m holding off for now.

I am so thrilled with the transformation! Before:


nightI especially love this area at night! It’s so sweet to sit in this chair with the Bub – during the day, looking out on the land behind us. At night, reading, talking, just being.  :)

All in all this spot was in the cost of the sconces and the bamboo shades (from Lowe’s). The fabric I already had for other projects. It is one of the first things you see when you walk in, so I felt like it was worth it!

The room is coming along just as I saw it in my head. Lurve. Lots still to do in here – art, accessorizing, molding, painting, painting and more painting. :) I can’t wait to show you the rest!

P.S. You can see peeks to other parts of the room in these pics – I know I said before I was trying to avoid primary colors when I started thinking of the redo a year ago. The whole irony in all of this is that primary colors are all that are going in here! AND I love it! :)