Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Visiting from Emily Clark's Blog?

I hope you won't be disappointed to see that I have not finished Emily's plan for my living room.  (If you want to see how the curtains look, click here.)

You see, my kitchen looks like this:

So after receiving permission from my landlords to paint it, I decided I could not stand it one iota more, and now it has started to look like this:

Deciding between brass and oil rubbed bronze pulls...

For those of you who follow, you might be thinking.  Is this it?  Didn't she start painting her kitchen weeks ago?

Um.  yes.  I'm stuck, you all.  I've never taken on a project as big as this and can't motivate to keep going, even though I know I have to.  Help?

And for those of you visiting from Emily's blog, know that I haven't abandoned her plan.  I will get it done just as soon as the kitchen is finished.  Thanks for coming to take a look!

P.S.  To see more posts about painting the kitchen, you can click here.

Have you seen this?

An entire apartment fits into 330 square feet space with the help of sliding walls.

I'm a fan of small space living, so I think this is ingenious!

P.S. Per the previous post, while I love all styles of floral design, I'm lately very drawn to the loose and elegant look.  As a floral designer, it's one of the hardest to pull off, strangely enough.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Friday Flower School: What is your flower style?

Loose and Elegant




Tight and Modern


Simple and Monochromatic




Which style(s) are you most drawn to?
Is there any relation to your style with interiors?

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rugs and Ralph Lauren

Ralph Lauren goodness.  Don't you love the dark and dramatic oversized pottery and plants in the room?  It's as about a neutral as it can be, but so interesting with the pattern and textures from many different materials used.  Plus, it helps that the bones of the room rock and that it has a bit of a Southwestern feel (which reminds me of home.)  I stole this from you, Rachael.  I hope you don't mind!

I have been keeping my eye out for fabulous picture that includes a sisal/natural rug to do a review of my several months old rug shown below.
Old picture.

This sisal-looking indoor/outdoor rug (in the picture it was brand new and had not yet laid flat) is holding up really well.  I got it on sale from Pottery Barn.

Thank goodness for the dark stained wood floors which show every speck of dirt.  Otherwise this thing would never get vacuumed!  I mean, it hides everything.  

When I finally moved that sideboard away from the fireplace, I got a bit soot on the rug and it came right off with some soapy water on a rag.  I'd highly recommend this thing to anyone needing a rug for pets/kids/sloppy adults...And the best part is that it is incredibly soft on bare feet.

Now I feel silly.  I just looked to provide a link and only the 2.5 x 9' is left, but it's on sale for $99.  

I'm learning you've got to move fast with Pottery Barn, because these large and medium sized laterns that just came out are already gone.  Darn!

But back to rugs.  I'm absolutely in love with this indoor/outdoor rug in the new collection:

Do you use an indoor/outdoor rug inside?

What do you think of the Ralph Lauren room? Too neutral and rustic for your taste, or right on the money?

Sunday, May 22, 2011

More Random Bits and Pieces

Hello, Gorgeous.

All would be right with the world if you got to walk into this entry each day.  
Would love to see hot pink peonies in that vase, though.

And the Award(s) Goes To...

On Thursday, I told you about the Versatile blogger award, given to me by Michelle of Ispirato Design.

According to Michelle:

"If you receive this award you list seven random things about yourself that people might find interesting and then give the award to ten to fifteen blogs that you've recently discovered. "

Eek!  The first part is hard.  The second part is easy. Guess I'm not so versatile.

I have to be honest, I'm not really positive what the Versatile Blogger Award really means, other than the obvious.  
So, I'm passing the award to these blogs, which I love -- all newly discovered since I've only been blogging since January.  A few are not design related, but I heart them all.  And also, just to make this fun, instead of writing their names, can I pique your interest and write a description? 

I'm still working on the 'seven random things about myself that people might find interesting.'

That's lie.

I haven't really given it any thought to it yet.  

One last thing.

Help Me?

via Design Indulgence from the most fabulous post on kitchens ever created.  In my opinion.
 I'm looking for a bamboo shade like the one shown here.  See how it was hung far above the window?  

I want to do that!   My kitchen window is north facing and so I need to be able to pull the shade all the way off the window to allow as much light to enter as possible.

  Here's the problem:  I need it to be about 5 feet wide to cover the 4 foot window plus the trim.  

Where can I find a 5 foot wide bamboo shade? 

And how come '5 feet wide bamboo shade' sounds funny, when isn't that technically correct?

Friday, May 20, 2011

Friday Flower School: Modern Asymmetrical Arrangement

This dark/light and asymmetrical arrangement was once again, made only using the plants/flowers in my yard as well as house plants.

 My inspiration came from this planter on our front steps, but you can look anywhere for inspiration, much the same way you would for interior design.  I love the way different colored and textured foliage work together.

Clockwise from top: huechera,  purple stock,  magenta mums, basil, canna leaf, lavender, aloe, flax, dracaena
Taking one to five cuttings from each plant, I looked for variations in color and texture of foliage while keeping to a magenta/purple and chartreuse theme. 

Also note that I used my trusty rectangular vase again to show how versatile this vase is -- have I convinced you to get one yet?  Remember from past lessons that a shallow (less than six inches) vase with an opening about the size of a deck of cards allows for easy arranging.  You don't need a lot of plant material, and the length of the stems need not be long. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Random Bits and Pieces

Cargo Space Explosion
New car + two rows of fold down seats = capacious cargo space for thrifted furniture.  Uh-oh.

Kitchen Progress
In Progress

This mirror is made from the cabinet door I removed for open shelves.  Better than before, but it needs more contrast.  
That post is coming.

Kind Mentions
on-hand + modern kindly mentioned this blog for her why didn't I think of that? series
Thank you, Celeste!

Michelle of Ispirato Design passed along this award.  Thank you, Michelle.
More about that tomorrow. 
Pretty Picture
 I LOVE this picture I found on Pinterest. 
(You don't even notice the laminate countertops, do you?)

 Speaking of Flowers

It never freezes in the Bay Area.  As such, my petunias are coming back with a vengeance.

I'm working on my Friday Flower School series for tomorrow. 
Is there anything you'd like to learn about arranging flowers? 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011




Note that gorgeous bending branch.  Takes my breath away.


Lately, I find myself enamored of jars.  What a great way to repurpose while storing items in an attractive way.  And with all of the bad press plastic has been getting these days, you can't go wrong with a glass jar.

Want to see my new favorite?

This Weck jar is a total beauty.  Is it strange to say that about a jar?

Do you use jars?
How do you use them?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Decorating Amidst the Painting

I have decided to (at least for now) leave the door off of this
middle cabinet --thanks for the suggestion, Steve -- and fill it with my dishes and other pretty things.

(A work in progress.)
Rather than commit to painting the back of the shelf with a color, I used a sheet of paper from  Paper Source
and attached it with these removable dots.

Also from the Paper Source

I'm glad they're removable because I'm not sold on the paper.  We'll see.  Steve suggested navy paint since I decided not to (but wanted to) paint the lowers navy.  However, I couldn't find any navy paper to try.  I might have to paint a piece of foam core navy and try that instead.

I wanted to paint the door that goes on the middle cabinet since we are renters and will need to put it back up when we leave, which will hopefully be many years down the line.  

As I was painting, I was thinking about where to store the door while not in use, and it hit me.

via Houzz
 (I recently posted about mirrors in kitchens.) 

Aha!  I'll add a mirror to the cabinet door and hang it here on the bare wall, where the clock is.

This wall is directly opposite the big four foot window over my sink and I'm hoping it will act like another window in the room by bouncing around some light. 

But how do you attach a mirror without damaging the cabinet door, you might be thinking.

You take the cabinet door to to a plastics store, like TAP Plastics, and have them cut a sheet of acrylic mirror to fit while you wait.  This picture was taken when the protective sheet was still on.

Then you go to the hardware store and get a picture hanging kit and this.

One removable adhesive strip locks into place with another removable adhesive strip with something like velcro -- but it's not velcro.  (3M makes ingenious products.) 

And then you attach the mirror (which is VERY lightweight) to the cabinet door and peel off the protective sheet.

Sorry, you don't get to see it hung.  

My girls are sleeping;  there will be no banging with hammers during nap.  

Back to painting.  


To read more about my kitchen painting project, click below:

Part 3

Update:  You can see the mirror hung by clicking here.


The Lettered Cottage