Saturday, July 31, 2010

Astor Courts: The Wedding Venue

I think we have all had enough of hearing about Chelsea Clinton's wedding today. Let the poor girl enjoy her day already. But I have to admit that Astor Courts is a pretty chic wedding venue. It's actually a private home that belongs to Clinton friends Kathleen Hammer and her husband Arthur Seelbinder who offered it up for the nuptials. I don't think this was a completely selfless gesture as it is currently on the market for $12 million.

Astor Courts was built in 1902 by Stanford White for John Jacob Astor IV in Rhinebeck, New York as a weekend retreat. It was also inspired by the Grand Trianon on the grounds of Versailles which accounts for the long lean lines of the one story building. The building was in pretty bad shape when the current owners purchased it in 2005 and they spent many more millions renovating it with the help of Standford White's great-grandson, Sam White. There is a great article in The New York Times about the renovation here. Hopefully the 50-acres of grounds will prevent pesky paparazzi from ruining the ceremony and the happy couple will enjoy their special day!

Photos by Bruce Buck and from Luxist

Friday, July 30, 2010

July Month in Review!

Hello there! I’m baaaack with another month in review! Can you even believe how fast this month has gone? Nuts!

To start out July, I showed you the progress I had made on my kitchen redo (with help from American Express!):

And see? I said I hoped to get the kitchen done in July, and looky there…NOTHIN’ else has been done. It’s the kiss of DIY death to say it out loud. :) (Well, I did work on the window treatments, but they did NOT go as planned. More on that later!)

I still don’t know where I’m going to place the glass doors in the upper cabinets – but now I’m contemplating doing all of them. Hmmmm…that depends on if I can get the not so pretty stuff hidden away in baskets. There’s that itsy bitsy cost issue too. ;)

Next, my love of Craigslist blossomed. And I had a ton of fun decorating my new, loverly  buffet for our foyer:

I have plans to add beautiful crystal knobs to this beauty, once I find them. :)

I continued my blogging series and discussed how/when/where/why I’ve accepted ads and what’s worked for me:

Many of you asked how long I had been blogging when I was up to the 2,000+ hits a day and decided to start accepting ads. I started this blog in May of 08, so it had been eight months total at that point. My site did not really take off till the fall of 08, so I had been actively blogging for five months.

I showed you how I took Walmart and Target jars, and black craft vinyl and made adorable cereal jars and “chalkboard” labels:

glass cereal jars

The vinyl is the stuff you use for craft cutters, like the Silhouette. I found mine at Meijer, but I think you can find it at Walmart and Target, and for sure at Hobby Lobby and Joann’s. If you loved the idea of Chalk Ink markers, you can find them here.

Some of you asked if the cereal has stayed fresh, and so far so good! The lids aren’t air tight, but they provide enough of a seal. I just munched on some Cheerios to double check, and they were nice ‘n crunchy. :)

I showed you my next Craigslist find, which was actually my first Craigslist find, but whatever. I originally bought a dresser for the foyer, but it was way too big, so I ended up moving it to the family room, and now this spot:

Now looks like this:


Sigh. Isn’t she lovely?

I admitted to my love of faux and showed the nonbelievers that yes, it can look good!:


At least I think so.  ;)

I showed off Emily and some of her fab projects, including these DIY Willliams Sonoma candleholders:

Williams Sonoma hurricanes

Oh yeah, hers were only two bucks EACH. I do believe Dollar Trees all over the country are cleaned out. :)

Next, I dissected the beautiful catalog pictures we all drool over:


And I still love them, even with the fake menu falling off the wall. ;)

I showed you the chore I loathe…and the torture I go through to get this:


To this:


Let’s just say there’s some sweating involved. And a clear schedule for the day.

One of my lovely readers let me know that these bins were recalled:


I was annoyed with them anyway (they “shed,” you can’t sit on them and the lids don’t stay up – hence the recall). I took them back and got a store credit – if you have them, you may want to see if you can do the same!

I discussed one of my most frequently asked questions – how to pick out and mix metal finishes in your house:


And also mentioned my hatred of shiny brass. ;)

Many of you have asked if I have tried spray painting door knobs – I haven’t, but my friend Beckie has, and she gives you the low down here. I think they’ve held up pretty well for her!

Last weekend, Saffron Marigold offered a fantastic giveaway of their luxurious linens.


One of my favorite (and mostly FREE!) changes of late was taking the massive hutch off the beautiful buffet in our dining room:

dining room

I “made” a mirror, Emily’s candleholders (from above) and got some fabuloso lamps from HomeGoods, and it was complete! (And loverly!!)

Finally, I showed you how some of our rooms have progressed over the years, from this:


To this:


It’s taken six and a half years to get from the before to the after, and there’s still more I’d like to change up!

I have to give a BIG shout out to my wonderful advertisers for July as well! You can click their buttons to get to their sites:

If you are interested in a photography class that teaches you the basics of beginner photography, how to better use your camera and its settings, etc., then Angie’s class is for you!:

If you need quick, easy dinner recipes and family meals, check out Quick and Easy Dinners for a ton of ideas!:

Dimples and Dandelions is a family owned company that sells the most adorable and unique products available for both baby and child!:

Bomobob’s shop is full of fine carnival, bird, flower, nature and travel photography -- all shot with vintage film, digital, and Polaroid cameras. And ALL unique and original!: is the world's largest photo jewelry supplies super store, offering a large selection of photo jewelry making items such as bracelet, brooch, pendant and ring blanks. (And more!):

Need help decorating a room in your house? The designers at My Design Guide will help with everything from choosing the perfect paint colors to picking furniture, lighting and accessories:

And thanks to my additional lovely advertisers for July – The Vintage Pearl, Thirty-One and The Rusted Chain:


And thanks to YOU for what was the BIGGEST month ever at TDC!!


I couldn’t do this without you Squeeeeeezies!!  ;)

* The Before and After Party is on for this coming Monday – it will go up that night!

** If you are interested in my primary or secondary advertising, or a giveaway post, email me at thriftydecorchick (at) gmail (dot) com.

*** If you have any additional questions about this month’s posts that I didn’t answer, please leave them in the comments and I’ll respond back this weekend.