Thursday, March 31, 2011

Brook Farm General Store

Ever since I read the article "American Rustic" in the New York Times, I can't stop thinking about this modern form of Country style.  I almost hate to call it Country because to me, Country denotes cute and quaint, where as the American Rustic style is anything but -- almost the masculine form of the feminine Country.

The article mentioned several New York shops that display this look, and one shop in particular has a website worth looking at.  It's called the Brook Farm General Store.   Here are a few things I love.

Ebbtide day blanket made from linen and cotton - $225

Ash basket $125
Metal dust pan ($26) and natural hand broom ($32)

Brass bicycle bell $19
Iron hooks, 4" and 6" - $6
I love that everything they carry is well made and often hand made, the way things used to be.  Bet you'd be hard pressed to find something plastic there. 

Wish I could go into the store just to see these displays in person.

Function Over Form

My family of four rents a two bedroom duplex.  We have no mudroom, so we take what space we can next to the fridge in the kitchen to hang up coats and bags and dump shoes when we (meaning my twins and me) come in through the back door near the garage.

The little space was becoming over-burdened with raincoats and regular coats and hats and bike helmets, etc.  Plus, my girls couldn't reach the hooks and were constantly haranguing me to get something down for them.

So when I found the expandable coat rack you see leaning in the corner a few months ago, I thought it would be the perfect solution.
It looked like this when I first bought it.

It got a quick coat of paint.

And I hung it vertically. 
Two screw holes in the wall for 10 hanging pegs is a whopper of a deal, don't you think?  
Does everything look a little cock-eyed?  That's because it is!  I use a level, I swear I do, but I just can never get anything hung straight.

Here's the after.  Not styled folks. This is real life, and I wasn't about to make it look pretty just for the picture, because this post is all about function over form.  Everything you see here is what we use. And now my girls can reach it all. 

Now, if you are looking for form blending seamlessly with function, here is a great example.  

I've posted this picture at least two times before because I can't get enough of it.   The hats are hung using two (I think) expandable coat racks.  A beautiful photo. 

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Art and Objects from the Mundane

via The New York Times
vintage dog tags

Via The New York Times
mens' vintage belts
via Elle Decoration

bottle cap baroque mirror

chandelier made of bicycle chains and gears

Via Houzz Beautiful
via Home Decor News
 chandelier made of clothespins

via Tied 2 Art
men's neckties

 via Design Sponge
wall art made of toilet paper tubes

via SF Weekly Blog
tapestry made of thousands of whiskey labels

The last is my favorite.  I have had the good fortune to see this beauty in person at San Francisco's de Young Museum of Art.

Has anyone read the New York Times Thursday Styles section article called American Rustic?

It's where I got the first two images.  The article was fascinating, and I highly recommend it. 

Friday, March 25, 2011

My Favorite Living Room Arrangement

 via The Polished Pebble

via Houzz

via Decor Pad
via Decor Pad
via Decor Pad

via Decor Pad

Parallel sofas!  Or couches, as I call them.  I love the symmetry.  Plus, it just seems so cozy and personal.  Often the parallel couches are centered around a fireplace, but it would work just as well center them on a sideboard or chest with an interesting mirror, art, and/or lamps like the second picture. 

Ever given thought to your favorite arrangement for living rooms?  If so, what is it?

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Salvation Army -- A Few Good Things

 I thought the finish and hardware on this dresser were fun.  But no dovetail corners on the drawers.  No dovetail corners = not a chance I'd buy it.  Oh, and did I mention that I don't need a dresser?

 Why aren't daybeds like this made more often? This is clearly a vintage piece, and such a great idea.  If you live in a two bedroom place like me, something like this would be ideal for guests.

And this had such pretty lines WITH dovetail corners on the drawers.  

Reminded me of this piece by Jayson Home and Garden, which according to Bryn Alexandra, is no longer available. 

Isn't the flat black paint gorgeous? 

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Other Incarnations

Here is a picture of my living room -- a work in progress.

It is built in a classic craftsman style with big fireplace in the middle, built-in bookshelves on either side and two windows above each bookshelf.  

Currently, this sideboard is in front of the fireplace to keep my kids out of the sooty mess inside.  But I want to move it and have been entertaining other ideas to keep my kids out.
Plus, I really want to paint the brick.  

Here are the many surprising number of photos I've found with similar craftsman style fireplaces for inspiration.
Living Room traditional living room
blue with black/white accents eclectic living room

Seattle craftsman houses traditional exterior

Kelly Scanlon Interior Design eclectic living room

Dear Daisy Cottage- living room eclectic living room

Presidio contemporary living room

8. Via Decor Pad
 The above picture could be my living room.  It is exactly the same layout.  And sadly, there used to be glass doors like these on both our bookcases and entry to the dining room.  They are long gone now, even though the hardware remains.  Look.  Exactly the same layout.

9. Via Decor Pad
I can't tile the brick.  But which do you prefer, white or black paint on the brick?
Do you have a favorite room?  
Is there a furniture arrangement you like most?
(I numbered them for easier commenting.)