Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Blame it on the Bossa Nova

Last night I was able to borrow a new CD that my Dad gifted to my Mom. By borrow I totally mean steal, because I’m completely obsessed with it. Music has always been a big deal in our household. Growing up my Dad was constantly playing music from all over the world trying to enrich us in culture. Little did he know that it would stick. To this day whenever me or my sisters hear, “The girl from Ipanema” we instantly think of him. See Dad we are actually paying attention.

The CD that I now have in my possesion is the latest by Diana Krall called Quiet Nights.

quiet nights

Let me tell you it’s amazing. It’s a mix of west coast jazz with strong  Brazilian influences with 7 of the 10 songs being Bossa Nova’s.  What is a Bossa Nova you may ask. It’s a song style that came about during the early 60’s in Brazil. It’s know to have hypnotic swaying beats and sultry melodies. Diana even mentions that this is the type of CD that you want to listen to in the privacy of your own home in a romantic setting. Wink, wink, nod, nod you get the jest of it.

I have been scouring the web for hours now trying to find either pictures of Diana Krall’s home or a fabulous Brazilian home to relate this back to Interior Design, but I’m coming up with NOTHING!

Then when I was about to give up I remember a fellow friend/blogger that I know who lives in Brazil!

Enter Alison from My Little Happy Place.


She fills her blog with recent happenings in her life, her love of interior design and even helps out fellow readers on fridays with her design dilemia series where comes up with stylish solutions to your problems. My favorite part is when she shows bits of her home in Brazil like her entry way:


Or her latest post on her living room:

happ living room

So if you are feeling the need for a virtual vacation either pop in this new CD or hop on over to visit Alison and get a feel for the land of Rio and those itty bitty bikinis!

I’m it!

The lovely Alek from, From the Right Bank to the Left Coast recently tagged me.

Here are the rules:

1. Respond and rework. Answer the questions on your blog, replace one question you dislike with a question of your own invention; add a question of your own.

2. Tag eight other un-tagged people.

What is your current obsession?  Lately I’ve been obsessed with fabric! Especially Schumacher’s Katsugi in Gold and Mushroom. I must have it!


Good fika place?  (That would be coffee to us non-Swedes)  I'm not a big coffee drinker so I don’t have a great answer. If I’m ever in the mood then I head to Starbucks for a caramel macchiato.


Do you nap a lot? Sometimes, but I really don’t like to. It throws off the rest of my day.

Who was the last person you hugged? My hubby before he left for work.

What’s for dinner?  Hmm well last night I made Bacon cheeseburger roll-up and have some left over so I may eat that again or make something new.

What was the last thing you bought? Groceries. Not very exciting.

What are you listening to right now? I’m on Pandora listening to an Ani DiFranco station and her song 32 flavors is playing.

What is your favourite weather? I like all weather. It all depends on my mood. I love it when it pours and I just get to stay in doors and have movie marathons. Sometime I itch for snow falls in the winter, but right now I’m just wanting summer to hurry up and get here!

What’s on your bedside table? A lamp, bowl for my jewelry, paint fan deck and  Celerie Kimble’s latest  book.

nightstand 004

Ok I fess up I also had a box of tissues and the remote, but that made it look to messy.

Say something to the person/s who tagged you. Hi, Alek! So happy I found your blog. It’s been lots of fun.

If you could have a house totally paid for, fully furnished anywhere in the world, where would you want it to be?  Ah! Tough question. Currently it would be Barcelona!

Favourite vacation spot? My favorite vacation to date has been a surprise trip my husband planned for me as my 25th birthday. We went to Egypt and I loved it!


Name the things you can’t live without. If we’re talking specifically about things (and not people or say, dogs), I would have to say my laptop with internet, lip balm, bronzer, wedding rings and a good book.

What would you like to have in your hands right now?  A Cadbury egg. I already ate one for breakfast and I’m pondering whether I should have another.

What is your favourite tea flavour? Stash fusion green and white tea.

What would you like to get rid of?  Like any girl 5 to 10 pounds! I guess I shouldn’t have another Cadbury egg.

If you could go anywhere in the world for the next hour, where would you go? Paris. I’ve always wanted to go and it’s not big on Jon’s travel list.

What did you want to become as a child? A vet.  I’ve always been a bit Elmira like with animals and my wants to hug them and squeeze them and love them all over.


Do you have any pets? If yes, how many and what are their names.  I have two dogs. I little guy named Moo that I got for Christmas 7 years and Bear the latest addition to the family that I got my 27th birthday.

What are you currently reading? In the middle of Eat, Pray, Love. I flew through Italy, but now it’s taking me awhile to get through India. On deck I have The Art of Influence so watch out people!

Hmm I can’t pick just 8 people to tag so I’m throwing it out there to all of you. If you are new to reading my blog I would love you to play along so I can get to know you all better.

It’s fun I promise!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Curtain Call

As of late I’ve been writing about my office quite a bit. I recently did a massive spring cleaning to it as you all remember from this post.

I was considering switching up the color and doing a massive re-vamp of the space, but since I actually liked the bones of what was in place I realized that if I just tweaked it a bit it would be perfect.

Originally in the space I had chocolate brown panels as window treatments. What can I say I love brown and have it throughout the home, but the material of the fabric made it feel more wintery then spring like. I then remember I had bought fabric for this room a while back and never did anything with it. Enter the search for the fabric. I was a mad women trying to find it and turned my house upside down only to find out that my MIL had it!

In order to help said MIL redeam herself for all the cleaning she put me through I asked her to help me make curtains. I was hoping she knew in asking for help I actually meant please just make it for me.

This weekend we were able to achieve it. I didn’t actually do any of the sewing, but I was there the entire time. I learned all the steps she did and how she figured out her measurements. I’m now itching to try it out myself.

So here we go with the big reveal:


after-office shots 005


curtain 443

We were about to make it with a pole rod pocket, but give it the appearance of pleats.

curtain 447

I’m so happy with the way they came out! Next weekend we are going to a roman shade in the same fabric for the other window that has a heating unit underneath it, which makes it difficult for panels.

Since I was so busy doing this on Sunday along with helping hubby with moldings in the downstairs bathroom I didn’t get around to my stair project. I will be working on it this week so don’t worry pictures are coming soon!

Friday, March 27, 2009


In a home a staircase is often forgotten in decorating. I can admit that for my first year of living in my new home I didn’t really give it much thought. The stairs just got me from point A to point B. Now that in the stages of finalizing (for the time being) the rooms in my home I’ve had the staircase on my mind for the last couple of months.

My stairs are traditional wood stairs with the risers painted in white.  I’ve been itching to do something to step them up a notch.

Traditionally most staircases get outfitted with a stair runner. I’m not a fan of the ones with oriental carpeting down the front, but I think I could get use to this:

stair runner copy cat

geometric stair runner

Images via Copy Cat Chic

It would probably be very comfy on my feet and help the dogs from sliding off the wood, but so not in my price range at the moment.

Another option would be to wallpaper the risers for an added impact. Lately I’ve been in love with all sorts of wallpaper, but if I wanted to use them in a room I would need to give up food shopping for quite some time to get the loot to pay for it all. Buying a roll or 2 of your favorite designer wallpaper will not break the bank and add some character to your stairs.

I’m loving these images for inspiration:

shawna stair risers 

ferm wallpapered stairs

Images via Door Sixteen

The cheapest option would be to simply either paint the risers, or a stair runner onto my existing stairs. I could either use some left-over paint or run to Home Depot and see what they have as their Oops paints and walk out with a gallon for $5!

Inspiration for painted staircases:

blue stair runner

Image via House of Turquoise

black painted stair runner

Image via Girl meets Glamour

After doing all my research I did finally pick a solution for what I want to do. I didn’t go with paint, wallpaper, or carpeting, but a little something else. It was relatively inexpensive and if I want a change it’s an easy fix.

Since we are suppose to have a rainy weekend I figured it would be a great time to get this project done. Fingers crossed it happens and I’ll be posting a before and after on Monday!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Twilight hour

Well if you haven’t been living under a rock then you know that when I refer to Twilight I’m not talking about a time of day, but about the madness that Stephenie Meyers produced with her Twilight Saga.

I’m normally one that likes to follow  the beat of my own drummer. I don’t like following mindlessly and just do something because everyone else is doing it. For the longest time I was able to resist and never gave much thought to the book. A story about a vampire and human that was written by a Mormon mom that just woke up one morning and started to write.

Hmm I wasn’t interested. That was until it invaded my family. My sister was given a copy for her birthday and since I’m an avid reader I asked her to pass it along so that I could merely check it out. Well I was hooked! I couldn’t read them fast enough. I made sure I had all 4 in time for the movie, because I just had to know what happened to Edward and Bella.

Me and my sister went to go see it opening night and yes I was probably one of the oldest ladies there other than parents accompanying their kids that were too young to see it on their own, but I didn’t care.

Most people had mixed reviews about the movie. The thought it was horrible compared to the book, but I was in heaven.

Edward Cullen's equals yummy!

edward vogue

(One of my favorite pictures from their VOGUE layout. )

The DVD was released last weekend and I was able to get a copy of it until this morning. Don’t worry I made sure to get the Blu-Ray copy so I can enjoy Edward at his best.

So while I settle in this afternoon and enjoy my new flick I thought I would leave you all with some eye candy of your own.

Enter the Cullen’s home in Forks, Washington:

The house they used for the movie was built for the Hoke’s family and goes by the name Hoke House. It was built by Skylab Architecture that specializes in modern homes with a twist. They like to mix it up with introducing natural elements and fusing the past and future in their designs. I perfect fit  for our modern vampire family that’s just trying to fit in.

House tour:

outside view 2

twilight kitchen


cullen home cullen staircase

cullen bath

For more detailed explanation on the architecture of the house and where the images came from Click here!

So now you know what I'll be doing during my dreary rain-filled afternoon. What are you all up to? Anyone else already have their copy of Twilight?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Everybody loves a Jersey Girl!

So I haven't gotten around to watching last night's episode of Real Housewives of NY so this is probably already old news for everyone else, but I just went on to Bravo to waste more time of course before I actually got any work done today and saw this:

New Season: Real Housewives of New Jersey!


Amazing! I swear I'll watch anything Bravo makes.

Can't wait for this new season.

Designer SOS

Many of you already know that I'm in the process of re-designing my master bedroom. I already picked a new paint color, have new bedding, collected art work to frame, painted a little more green on an old credenza I'm trying to bring back to life, got new over head lighting and even switched out the lamps since the last pictures of the room where taken. We are almost there!

Except I have a chair in that room that is in desperate need of a make-up. Right now it blends with the room and I don't mind it, but it's not a wow for me. I think I need an additional pop of green in that corner so I was off on the search for the perfect fabric.

All this week I've been searching for fabric that I bought over a year ago for the office, but never ended up doing anything with it. In all my searching I pretty much cleaned out every single closet in my house. Yesterday it was finally found not at my house, but at my MIL's!

Anyway all this cleaning/searching was good, because I found a handbag I had completely forgotten about. It was a custom made bag I designed about 2 Christmas's ago from here.

The fabric I picked out for it is the perfect shade of green and cream! I must have this fabric to reupholster the chair.

emerald city fabric 

Only problem, while the fabric is available for purchase by the yard at 1154 Lil Studio  the prices are a bit inflated. I want to try and find the fabric elsewhere, but I can't figure out who makes it?

Any ideas? Any new sources for you find fabric on the web?

Ok I'm off to play wife and go food shopping aka purchasing more design magazines from the supermarket and try to pawn it off as part of my food bill! Here's hoping that hubby thinks Veranda is a type of cheese and not a magazine!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Like a moth to a flame

I don't know what it is about Anthropologie, but I always want whatever is in their stores. The second I step into one I'm checking out not only what is new in stock, but what the store displays look like. I love the way they set up all their home items, because they always make me want to move right in. I constantly think about ways that I could incorporate some of their decorating techniques into my design style, but I've had to face the facts that I'm just not cool enough. You know what I mean. Anthropologie to me is like that cool girl you know the one that just oozes a certain, "je ne sais quoi". She is a bit Bohemian, a world traveler, gorgeous, smart, funny and always in the know of what is going to be trend, but to her it's just what she likes and by the time it turns into a trend she's already on to the next thing.

When I'm in Anthropologie I tend to pick up mostly small Home items so as to not hurt my wallet, yet I still get to satisfy my want and  walk out with a small shopping bag that warms my heart. I have bits of Anthro throughout my home, but I just use them to add a little bit of charm to my existing design.

I always dream about having different homes for all my different design loves. I love the organic look of Anthro's design. The beat up floors, the walls that look like they have been their for decades, the fabulous mix of old and new that is a just a perfect blend and comes up so chic yet homey.

While doing some online shopping the other day I stumbled upon this gem on Anthropologie's site: Open House.

It gives you a virtual tour of different rooms in a house decorated fully in Anthropologie items. It's a great source of inspiration for someone that thinks you can't mix patterns or bold colors. Not only do they provide you with pictures, but there are also tips/videos on how to achieve this look in your own home.

Living Room:
anthro living room

Master Bedroom:


Kids Bedroom:




Family Room:


Work Space:


Oh what yummy images! Since I only have one home to my name I'll have to get my Anthro fix by reminding myself that if I saw my water damaged wood floors in my downstairs bathroom at Anthropologie I would be in love with it.

What stores make you weak in the knees?

Monday, March 23, 2009

Literally trash to treasure

One of my favorite activities on Sunday night is to drive around town and see if anyone is getting rid of anything good. I don't do it every Sunday, but if we are driving around doing errands I always sneak a peak and see what my neighbors are tossing to the curb.

Last Sunday I found a chair that looked like it had seen better days. First off it was covered in wet dirt, then it was full of rust spots and it was a bit wobbly, but I saw potential and it came home with me.

Here are the steps we took when we came home to get it picture perfect:

1. We cleaned it off with Ajax. It helped remove alot of the rust stains.

2. We then sanded the chair to get it primed for spray paint. We also used the sandpaper to get rid of the rust stains on the metal legs.

3. Since it was windy outside we didn't want to spray paint the chair outdoors and have dust particles or dirt get stuck in the paint. We took some plastic tarps we already had and tented up an area in our basement shop area and we were ready to spray without covering the whole room in white!

4. We then used 1 can of Rustoleum white spray paint. In between coats of spray paint we would check it see if areas needed more sanding to get an even coat.

5. Voila! That's it. It was a super easy project. Especially for me, because all the "we's" I wrote about were actually my hubby. It was done rather quickly and for only around $5-$10 bucks depending on what supplies you already own. I now have a new chair that I love, but I still need to find a permanent space for it in my home.

Here is a close up shot:

I didn't have any luck yesterday in finding any treasures, but as the weather continues to get nicer and more people start getting into spring cleaning mode I'm sure there will be more items that I will being doing a quick drive-by in order to pick it up without drawing too much attention to myself.

Do any of the items in your house have the same story of my chair? Take a seat and share.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Where the magic happens..

No, this isn't a post about my bedroom, but about my office after shots where the design magic happens. Yesterday I spent most of the day cleaning my office. Not only the top of the desk, but cleaning out all the files inside and figuring out what could stay and what needed to go.

Here are the results of all my hard labor yesterday:

Close-up shot of desk area. I now have space on the desk for my drafting tools, laptop, cellphone, current design books I'm reading as well a change jar, which I'm using to save up some $$$ for a .... Ghost Chair. I've already broken the news to Jon.

I love that I now have everything out in the open. It use to be pain to figure out where I was going to draw up floor plans because the desk was always so cluttered, but my now my daily items are out there ready to get used.

It's also great to have storage on the wall. The hanging organization pieces were actually purchased at Ikea in their kitchen section! The cups hold my scissors, pencils and pens. The hanging basket holds papers that need to get looked at and not forgotten. Currently it holds a folder with all our tax info, because we have an appointment tonight to get that done, paperwork for a test that needs to get run by the Water company, plus most exciting was in cleaning and going through old paperwork I realized that a furniture company owed me $275 for a delivery charge on a dining room set that had been returned! I had completely forgotten about it. So once I get that $$$ returned it will be going in my chair fund!

Here is a shot of other side of the office:

I moved the white ottoman downstairs to open more space. Then I moved the zebra x bench from downstairs to the office. I also moved the peacock feather pillow up from the living room. I love shopping around my house. I'm constantly moving items around to give rooms a quick change and see what looks best in the room.

Thanks to everyone's great response to the color in the office and how they like it the way it is I'm going to leave it as is for now. We have a Florida room or 3 season room or screened in patio. Everyone has a different name for it. This room is slated to get heating put into it, plus new french doors and will be home to my office/design studio. Since it looks like Jon wants to make this a project for this coming summer. I'm going to hold out for now and use my design ideas for that room.

For right now I'm just going to make a couple of tweaks to get the office picture perfect for my portfolio. Audrey is going to have to leave and make room for a bigger cork board. The wall above the chair is going to house new shelves so that I can organize all my design/work papers, etc. Once that's done I think I'll be a happy lady.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Spring has Sprung!

I woke up today to a beautiful morning in NY. It's sunny, the skies are clear and the temperature is suppose to be in the 60s. Perfection except along with Spring time comes Spring cleaning and that is what I'm trying to tackle to today.

Here are some before pictures of what my office is looking like now:

(Notice the only bit of lucite that Jon allowed in the house. I wanted a Ghost chair and he came up with a ceiling fan (boo) that he thought was totally necessary and thought he was compromising with me by getting it in lucite.. Umm...)

Here's a close up shot of the disaster:

Since I started to lose desk space my mess continued to move on to other parts of my office:

I'm normally a very organized person. To an extreme at most times so this is quite shocking to me. I'm in the works of designing a new look for this room and with that will be a new desk. So my project today is to not only clean up the mess you see on top, but tackle the files on the inside and see what really needs to be kept. I hope to have after pictures and some helpful organization tips for you all later on in the day.

Fingers crossed it won't take too long, because I would love to venture out today and enjoy some sunshine!

On a totally different note, but related to Spring time. One of my least favorite things about Spring time is that when the weather warms up Jon takes out his bike.

No, I'm not talking about this kind of bike:

I'm talking about something along these lines:

Here is the face I was meet with when I saw his motorcycle jacket out and ready:

Ah! At least he only works 7 miles away from home and has already called to let me know he arrived.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What day is today?

Ok yes mostly everyone knows that today is St. Patrick’s Day. I’m not the least bit Irish, but today I get to pretend which is fun. My main reason for excitement this year is that I have a new friend who’s birthday falls on this exact date!

I just wanted to take a moment to wish Ms. Patricia of PVE the happiest of birthdays! This woman is amazing. To know her is to love her. She is full of life, love and inspiration. Constantly on the look out for ways to make others life better. Either by sending you a beautiful sketch due to something that inspired her or merely sending you a website she’ll think you’ll enjoy.

While Patricia’s birthday coincides with St. Patty’s day she also is not Irish, but has an absolute love for the color green. So in her honor please enjoy some of my favorite green rooms from Domino.


green kitchen

green dining room green 1 green room

green 2

I hope you all enjoy your St. Patty’s day!