Sunday, July 18, 2010

Catalog living

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Well heya! How was your weekend? I spent a few hours today completely wasting my time on a project – it’s one of those that just was a total FLOP. But as hubby always reminds me, at least I know now that it didn’t work, and I won’t always wonder. ;) Gah. (More on that later!)

When things don’t go right with my projects, I often take solace in a little luxury – taking a few minutes to browse my home decor catalogs. I LOVE catalogs.

I don’t subscribe to any home decor mags, don’t follow any “real” decorators and only know of luxurious fabrics like Kravet and Scalamandre because I worked in the decorating “biz” for a couple years. Now, I can’t remember the names of half of the fabric books I searched through every day. :) But that’s OK -- I am already sufficiently overwhelmed by all of your amazing projects I see out in blogland. (My head is swimming!)

Catalogs bring me a different kind of inspiration – very similar to model homes. I could spend a whole day walking through decorated models. LOVE.

I’ve told you before that most of the time when I’m taking pictures for this blog, the crap is chucked out of the shot, or cropped out. ;)  Sometimes I push everything out of the way, take the picture, and it’s not till later that I notice little things I didn’t get to:

It’s like a Where’s Waldo of sorts. But with me, it’s find the toy, or my latest favorite – the bag o’ chips:

I love me some sour cream and onion!! ;)

I personally think the stagers at Pottery Barn are some of the most brilliant I’ve ever seen. I open that catalog and ooh and ahh – every space just feels warm and lovely and gorgeous.

I keep saying I’m going to find a vignette I love, then try to copy it with what I have. But then I start studying a bit more and realize I don’t have a branch to casually perch on the mirror:


How fantastic does that look? But in real life…hello?? A branch hanging off the mirror? Ummm, I wouldn’t even be able to look at myself! ;) (I kid, I kid!)

The more I break down the photos, the more I don’t quite get it.

If you look even closer, the paper menus scattered on the wall would look positively redonkulous in our house. And the one on the left, that looks like it fell off the wall? Do you know how many anonymous comments I’d get that would be all, “Um, your huge paper handwritten menu fell off the wall.”

And I’d be all, “Uh, DUH. It’s supposed to be like that!”

Yeah, not happening. But it looks OH so right in the catalog.

I think part of the reason I love the pages of the Pottery Barn catalog is that it looks like whoever lives there is ready to party at any second:

Fresh grapes for your guests? Check.

Fifty-two bottles of wine? Check.

Bread stuffed into glass? Check.

And why didn’t I think to have a olive oil tasting party?:


Can I admit something here? For one hot split second, I thought -- “Wow. I must have an olive oil tasting party!”

NO, I must not. What the ?? I mean, I love olive oil. With some pepper and salt and some yummy dipping bread ---- yummmm…

But I am NOT going to have an olive oil tasting party.

Even though Pottery Barn makes me want to.

There is always something missing from catalog pictures…it’s the little imperfections. The personal touches. I adore this wall, but in our house, at least half the frames would be filled with faces:


And the gourds on the bottom would be replaced with basketballs. That’s what our decorative baskets store.  ;)

But really…aren’t they dreamy? Really. I get lost in catalogs. They are such fantastic inspiration – for FREE.

Recently, I came across a fairly new site and I knew from the second I saw it I’d have to share it with you all. Many of you have probably already seen it, but if not, check out Catalog Living -- it is hiiiiilarious!

The author of this site has created fictional owners, Gary and Elaine, who live within the catalog pictures, and she pokes fun at the beautiful photos we drool over.

Just try not to laugh:

“Sure Gary’s out of town, but I’m perfectly capable of
starting a fire in the fireplace by myself, thank you very much.”


“If you go to Game Night at Gary and Elaine’s,
you can count on playing at least a few rounds of Wood Fish.”


“While Gary and Elaine were in the kitchen getting popcorn,
the brave yellow sweater attempted its escape.”


“Oh that?  That’s my Wish Plant. 
It’s where I clip pictures of people who I want dead.”


ACK!! I. love. it!! So freakin’ funny! The author is actually a actor/comedian named Molly Erdman:


Does she look familiar?

She’s the woman in the Sonic commercials:


Those made me laugh out loud. :)

Are you a catalog lova? Do you drool over the perfectly poised photos like me? As much as I love to look, I still don’t know if I could live in these rooms – but it won’t stop me from trying it out! (Just with Thomas the Trains scattered throughout and cat hair tumbleweed floating by.)

What are your favorite home decor catalogs? I drool over PB, Restoration Hardware and Ballard Designs. Any good ones I’m missing out on?


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