Thursday, September 30, 2010

My style is “Suburban”

So I’ve noticed something lately when watching my favorite design shows. There is one word that seems to strike fear in the heart of many a “real” decorator…

Their mouth puckers up like they just drank lemon juice.

They look like they just swallowed a bug.

They look as if they may just spit out the word…cause it’s just so completely hideous.

That word that makes them quiver…




(Runs screaming from the computer. Arms flailing. Trembling. Hives.)

But I don’t get it. Never have. I don’t understand what’s so bad about “suburban.”

I know, I know. It means normal…average…just like the next one.

To them anyway. To me it means warm…cozy…it can even be classic.

And, YES, normal.

What’s wrong with normal? Normal can most certainly be pretty. Warm can definitely be different. Cozy can be innovative once and a while.

buffet without hutch

But to me, more than anything…”suburban” means


family room

Why is that so horrible? 

For years I’ve tried to figure out my own decorating style, and I’ve never really nailed it down. I’m really traditional, a little bit transitional.

But then I heard that “suburban” word one more time a couple of weeks ago, and I realized…that’s ME! My style is Suburban.

target rust bedding

And I’m proud of it.


Really. I’ll scream it from the roof of my suburban home. My suburban home in a neighborhood.

In Suburbia.

I love Suburban. It’s home.

To me, it’s family and friends plopping down on your couch, getting something out of your fridge, sitting around your kitchen table playing yuker.

Yeah, I said it. Yuker. I’m a Hoosier. Darn tootin’.

Although I usually just sit and watch…I won’t take the time to really learn how to play it. Which is probably a good thing because I am NOT a good loser.

It’s not pretty. :)

And yes, I know it’s spelled euchre. I’m being a Hoosier. Funny. Get it? :)

I found the definition of Suburban online, just because I was curious:

sub·ur·ban (sə-bûrˈbən)


  1. 1. Of, relating to, or characteristic of a suburb. (Check.)
    2. Located or residing in a suburb. (Check.)
    3. Of, relating to, or characteristic of the culture, customs, and manners typical of life in the suburbs. (Check. Check. Check.)

We dream of having a weekend apartment in New York City someday.

And a mountain cabin…someday.

And one day…maybe moving to a house that’s not in a neighborhood, one that’s older than ten years old, on some land with a creek in the back. (Or crick, if you’re a Hoosier.)

You know – the kind of house that’s more than 30 feet from the road? Yeah. One of those.  :)

But any one of those would still be decorated in my Suburban style. Warm and cozy, cozy and warm…and normal. In my way, normal.

airplane boy room

My normal is not your normal, which is why Suburban could never be average. Just in the same way one person’s contemporary isn’t another person’s contemporary. Styles are translated differently by all of us.

And every style can be comfortable and welcoming. Contemporary can most definitely scream A FAMILY LIVES HERE…but that doesn’t make it boring. 

My style is Suburban and I am not ashamed.

What’s yours?  :)

Welcome to my latest advertiser!:

Life and Work: Malene Birger's Life in Pictures

I happened to be perusing the books at the Rizzoli store recently and instantly fell in love with Life and Work: Malene Birger's Life in Pictures.  I wasn't familiar with Ms. Birger but she is a famous fashion designer in Copenhagen, Denmark who has had her own line since 2003.  I was happy to find out that her fashions on Net-a-Porter, are very affordable and wearable.  What really impressed me though are her gorgeous homes.  The book is filled with images of her down to earth Danish decorating style and fabulous artwork.  Her home in Copenhagen (seen here) is eclectic yet elegant and completely befitting a chic fashion designer.  It's quickly become one of my all time favorites and will probably become one of yours.  Enjoy!

Almost a Mandal Wall hack

Materials: BODÖ bed (not on the US page), Malm storage unit x2, Lack wall shelf (any size you choose) and a battery drill with bits and drills.

Description: I where greatly inspired by the Mandal Wall-mounted headboard (see here and here), but thought it was too expensive.

By luck I found the bed part (BODÖ) for my hack, in the basement for my apartment, and asked my landlord if I could have it.

I took off the legs, and turned the brackets underneath 90 degrees and put them back on. I made two holes in each of the two brackets farthest apart with a metal drill, for the screws that would hold it on the wall.

When mounting the bed too the wall, be sure to use the right kind of plugs for your wall type, and use some heavy duty screws.

After the wall mounting, I put a mirror in the middle of my new wall hack, and then placed my Malm storage units underneath it.

I bought myself 4 Lack shelves at 11'3/4" x 12'1/4" to mount in "the bed". Luckily the space between the boards is exactly the same as the height of the shelves, so they fit right in.

Last I decorated with a painting made by my girlfriend and some other stuff.

I must confess that I'm rather proud of my first Ikea hack. It was pretty easy to do, and the result is actually pretty good.

Hope this will inspire some of the European readers in here, as the bed is only sold here.

~ Anders Dalsgaard, Denmark

"Sleeping Buddy" Zoo

Materials: Ikea double wall shelves (can't remember name), wooden dowels

Description: Cut wooden dowels to 13" lengths.
Bore shallow holes the size of dowel (I used 7/16") every 6 inches along ends and one long side of shelf, on top and bottom piece.
Insert dowels into holes in bottom and attach side braces.
Attach top piece, guiding top ends of dowels into pre-bored holes.
Fill with stuffed animals.

~ handymama

Antiques and Art at the Armory

There are so many wonderful design related events this fall that my calendar is full.  A great place to learn about antiques, art and jewelry is Antiques and Art at the Armory.  The show opens today and they are offering my blog readers a 50% discount on tickets.  The tickets are regularly $25.  Please mention discount code DBLOG when ordering tickets online.  I'll see you there!

Antiques and Art at the Armory
643 Park Avenue
between 66th and 67th Streets

Thursday, September 30 11:00 am-7:30 pm
Friday, October 1 11:00 am-7:30 pm
Saturday, October 2 11:00 am-7:30 pm
Sunday, October 3 11:00 am-5:30 pm

Photo from 2009 Antiques and Art at the Armory show


Materials: Vika Oleby Table leg, Hemma Cord set, Orgel paper shade, drywall anchors

Description: This is a $25 alternative to boring/ugly/expensive lighting. I installed one on each side of my living room.

It's very easy--just secure the table leg into the wall with some drywall anchors, secure the cord to the top of the leg with one of those little plastic cord tie-down things, and there you go.

I still plan to secure the cord to the wall and paint it to match the wall color.

~ Kim

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Bill Cunningham New York

The New York Times Style photographer Bill Cunningham is a living legend.  Seeing him on the street or at fashion shows will never cease to excite the fashion flock.  He once took my picture on Fifth Avenue and even though it never made it into the paper, it was still a thrilling moment.   He reminds me of Jeremiah Goodman in that he continues to pursue his lifelong passion at 80.  I'm sure it keeps him young.  It also seems fitting that the new documentary about him is entitled Bill Cunningham New York because he is New York.  The film is the first feature by director Richard Press and it has already won the audience award for best documentary award at the Melbourne International Film Festival. I'm not sure when Bill Cunningham New York will be in the theatres but I'll keep you posted.  Anna Wintour once said, "we all get dressed for Bill." I will definitely continue to dress for Bill in the hopes of catching his eye.  But if I don't, I will be just as excited to catch a glimpse of him.

$5.38 (+tax) ceiling porch light

Materials: Ordning Cutlery Stand, plastic ceiling light, Dremel

Description: Not sure if this exact project has already been done, but this was somewhat based off of the "let there be light" hack from an Italian contributor.

I purchased a cheap plastic ceiling light from Lowes ($1.39). It is one that holds a single bulb and has the plastic collar that secures a difuser/shade/whatever.

Using a Dremel I cut a small portion of the bottom of the Ordning ($3.99)so that it can slide up socket. Once the light is installed in the ceiling the collar will hold the modified Orning to the light.

Pretty cheap/easy and it beat staring at a bare bulb.

~ Alan, Florida

Laptop table with STRÖMBY frame door

Materials: STRÖMBY Frame 50x50cm, CORRAS bedside table

Description: I initially bought the Corras table to use as a laptop table in the living room but I didn't like how it was open and showed off loads of papers etc (essentially all my mess).

I decided to buy a STRÖMBY frame and turn it into a door to cover the front of the table.

We also have some Morebo glass doors on the front of our Billy bookshelves which I've put some wallpaper in and I used the same wallpaper for the new door.

I bought from hinges from a local DIY store and my boyfriend drilled holes in the side of the frame so that we could attach the hinges. We used a couple of wooden blocks on the inside of the frame to fasten the screw to.

Then as a final step we screwed the hinges to the CORRAS frame. As a temporary solution I've used some velcro to keep the door shut.

~ Emma