Monthly Archives: December 2013

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We made the list!

Apartment Therapy recently posted their favorites for 2013, and our house made it for Dining Room and Bedroom! That is some pretty exciting stuff, if you ask me.

It’s really funny timing too, since just today, I was talking to John about redoing the bedroom. Hmmmm…

Check out the links here:

Dining Room

Bedroom

Thanks again to Apartment Therapy for enjoying our place, and giving us a chance to show our little house.

Dining Room

Dining Room

 

Bedroom

Bedroom

 

Let’s not be pretentious

OK, so I just gotta say, sometimes design is ridiculous. Maybe I’m just not a good designer, but half the time, I don’t know who made a TABLE or a CHAIR and I care even less if someone has a knockoff of a piece.

 

http://fuckyournoguchicoffeetable.tumblr.com/

Fuck your flower wall

 

I came across this Tumblr today and not only did it make me crack up, but it inspired me to weigh in on my feelings of the pretentious attitude that comes along with design:

http://fuckyournoguchicoffeetable.tumblr.com/

So you’re saying I can get a chair that looks exactly like a ghost chair in a two-pack for $100 on eBay? OR I can pay over $500 for the exact same chair, but is actually authentic? Well, I’m not rich so I think we know which option I made. And frankly, to me, it doesn’t matter if the piece is authentic or a knockoff. If I like how it looks, and I can find it cheaper, then score.

Is that bad? Does that mean I don’t have good taste? My purse is from Target – is that also a no-no?

Labels shouldn’t matter. How something looks, and the fact that you like it, should be the determining factor. And that’s it. I get really tired of the pretentiousness in the field that I hope to one day be a paid employee in. When people ask who my favorite designer is, I don’t have an answer. When I answered the questions for the Apartment Therapy piece on our home, I felt like I needed to make up some pieces so I could name-drop. When they asked what our biggest splurge was, my initial thought was our sofa from Z Gallerie. In the mall. You know, where every-person-USA shops. While it’s a very nice sofa, and we saved up money for it, in the world of design, it’s nothing. Every day I come across photos of decor items that to me, are insanely out of my budget. It’s hard to believe that someone can afford and will pay $20,000 for a 3-seat sofa.

Now, I’m not knocking those people who lust after the name-brand Noguchi coffee table, or the Eames rocker or anything else. Those are beautiful pieces with history and a story. And if you can afford it and love them because they make you feel good, then I am all for it! But when a space is filled with this name and that name, and I could have furnished it more comfortably with thrift store finds and things from the mall, I wonder just why we are so obsessed with having a name-brand piece.

Design is not about how much you can pay for something in your house, and then be afraid to sit on/dust/put your drink on it because how would you ever replace…..??!?! Just stop. To me, design is about beauty and comfort. Filling your space with things you love, and things that mean something to you. Most importantly, it’s about doing it with a budget that doesn’t leave you broke. That has always been how I’ve designed in our home, and how I hope to design when that glorious day comes that I do this for my job. I think it’s important to not be intimidated by design, to take risks because you love things, and to be surrounded by things that make you feel happy.

I’m glad I didn’t make up fake designer pieces to name-drop for Apartment Therapy. I’m glad that I listed our “biggest splurge” as the print from our dear friend Lucie in London (lumastudio.co.uk). It was a splurge to me because it was the first thing I ever had professionally framed! I’m glad I’m comfortable buying what I can afford, loving IKEA and Target, and that together, we can make design affordable and accessible to everyone!

An alternative point of view…

I was looking around the house and realized how many different things I have that I use in other fashions than what they were meant for. It’s not so much a “let’s be creative and ‘different’ and cool by using this in some other way” and more of “there’s not money to buy a (fill in the blank) so what do I have on hand that I can use instead?”

Not only can this save money, but I think it makes the pieces that much more special. I snapped some photos with my iphone and used the VSCOcam app to edit them.

The first is this vintage fur wrap that my parents found at Goodwill and bought for me. It is typically stored on my clothing rack with my jackets, show clothes and other special dresses, but I really like the idea of bringing these types of things out. We rearranged a bit in order to put the Christmas tree in the dining room. I draped the fur over the ghost chair beside the tree and added a glittery gold pumpkin on top.

Ghost Chair with fur

So where do you keep your kitchen dish scrubbers and sponges? I have never found a good way to keep them stored, allow them to dry and to not get gross. I have this beautiful little amber-colored vintage cup, and now with the dish scrubber stored in it, it gets good use every day!

Amber glass

One of the little luxuries in life that I enjoy is having pretty paper straws on hand when we have drinks at home. I guess it could be thought of as a bit ridiculous when it’s just us and not a party, but if you can’t enjoy a paper straw in your drink alone at home, what CAN you enjoy? AMIRIGHT? I used a square glass flower vase to store the straws and display the cute patterns. I also found some vintage gold bar tools that I store in a glass creamer container.

paper straws

A vase I found on clearance at Target is the perfect catch-all for my markers and french curves. It keeps everything organized and looks cute too!

Target vase, french curve

I saw this cute white dog statue one day at Homegoods and while I had no use for it, I knew I had to have it. It makes the perfect storage for my ever-changing sunglass collection. I put the 3 pairs that I like the best on the dog, and can easily grab them on the way out the door in the morning. (sorry for the blurry pic!)

white dog, sunglasses

This one is probably my favorite. On our last day in Paris, we walked by a large shop full of white ceramic ware. Everything you could think of: tea cups, dishes, serving plates… and the cutest little bowls. I had no idea what the sign said they were actually meant for, but I knew I needed one. I think I paid around $5 and just loved the little face on this dish. I use it for my cotton balls in the bathroom (and use an old glass candle holder for my q-tips) and think of our amazing trip so often when I see it. I’m also pretty proud that it made it back across the ocean on a 10 hour flight with no damage! Sidenote: I have since found these same bowls, in all sizes, at Restoration Hardware. While it’s a little disappointing to know it’s so easy to get these a few miles away from our house, I still think my little dish is pretty special.

white french dish, subway tiles

One day at a little vintage shop, I found this perfectly blue-green colored serving dish that had to be mine, like it was made for me. It would be pretty easy to store it away in the kitchen and bring it out for special occasions, but why only allow it to be used then? I have it on my dresser in the bedroom and store all of my bracelets on it. This makes it easy to see what I have and make quick choices in the morning (which is always appreciated) and I get to see the beautiful color of the dish.

bracelets, mint green serving dish

Seeing and using things in a different way not only saves you money, but also helps you appreciate those things around the house. Have a vintage platter from your grandma? Get it out! Use it for something more than the once-a-year dinner you host at your place. I firmly believe in using the things you have, burning the good candles even when you’re the only one home, turning on the Christmas lights on and enjoying the glow all by yourself, and eating the good chocolate. If this is the one and only chance we get at life, lets enjoy it fully!

One last photo for you – the Christmas tree is up! We’ve had it in the same spot in front of the window every year, but this year decided to move things around and have it in the dining room. It meant folding down the table leaves and putting it against the wall, but we rarely use the dining table anyway. The room looks absolutely magical. With the gold pendant light, the ghost chairs and the white light from the tree, this time just feels pretty amazing. It reminds me of how beautiful life can be when you stop to really see it!

white christmas tree

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