Friday, April 30, 2010

Design Ideas

While in Texas, I shot a few pictures at Pottery Barn that I thought were inspiring. I loved these origami cranes hung from mono filament over the bed. I'm not sure I would ever do it but I thought it was innovative. It could be just the ticket in a room without architectural features.
I love that they were thinking green and recycled crates to add walls and display space. (This picture was included in case you wanted to see how to construct a wall like this. Click on the pictures to enlarge.) We thought this would be useful and inexpensive for a backyard party. We were specifically thinking wedding reception since Eli is getting married in June.
I can picture this as a wall to display engagement and/or wedding pictures at the reception. With a branch at the top strung with mini white lights in the branches, I think it could really look great.
I love how they stacked up the crates to create a display area. Someone has some real merchandising skills.
You could use these as the wedding present drop off area but I think it would take a pretty informal reception to pull that one off. You could make a pretty awesome picnic buffet table by adding a big top on top of this. It could be a unique pedestal table.

Next time you are out shopping, pay attention to the displays. You never know where inspiration will hit.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Candice's Living Room Project

(Candice is letting me post her room before she does. I did ask permission. She isn't worried about my 25 readers/family members spoiling things before she posts. She doesn't usually post about her house so she may never post these anyway. I really want your honest opinion on how you like the room. Tell me what you like and don't like. We can take it. But, just so you know, we don't like to have what everyone else has so this is a bit unique. )

It's becoming a tradition that when I visit my girls, they have projects lined up to do. We did Candice's family room last fall and this trip it was on to the living room. This is taken from the entry hall. This "living room" is really meant to be a dining room but there is lots of space to eat in the "great" room so we thought a library living space would be more useful. We call this our modern take on an old English library. We painted the walls a charcoal gray and left the trim white. We even took the paint up on the ceiling leaving a rectangle of the original color unpainted. We were going for drama. (It only took two coats of primer, one coat of paint that looked navy instead of charcoal, and then back to the paint store and another coat of a true charcoal...ok maybe it was darker than we wanted but at this point...good enough.)
We decided to line one wall with a thin plywood. Candice and I liked that look a lot but Mark encouraged us to go forward with our plan. What was the plan? The plan was to line the wall with pages from two Sherlock Holmes books. (Not that you would notice that is what the pages were from but when we go with a theme...we go with a theme. The book pages were different colors in each book so we interspersed the pages to give the wall a more mottled look. (Mark is hanging the new light is this picture.)

Anna asked why we didn't just apply the pages on the wall. We thought it would be easier to fill a few nails holes than to try and strip off thin book pages when and if she ever decides to change the decor.
What did the boys so while we were working? It was Saturday so the kids were allowed to play the wii while we worked. They loved it.
Candice and Dickens preparing the pages. (She might make me take this off my blog so don't tell her it's on here. Hey, we are's a come as you are party.)

We sprayed the pages with spray mount and stuck them to the plywood. Just in case you were wondering how we did this. Rocket science right?
Mark waiting for us to tell him how to adjust the light. He was a trouper. Very patient with us and our "to do" list.
I really did sew all those stripes on the window draperies. It was not striped fabric. I would have like them better if I had made the stripes the same width. Ahhh, live and learn.
What do you think? The coffee table and locker we bought at Round Top. The pillow with the "S" I made for the family room and the #4 pillow is from Pottery Barn...I think. The chairs and love seat are from the Pottery Barn outlet store. They have some great buys.

(I found the couches I wanted from the Restoration Hardware outlet. They also were a really great price but thought it would cost me a fortune to have them shipped. I was so sad to leave them behind. They don't have shipping from the outlets like they do in the retail store or online. I wish they had some outlets like that around my house.)
Candice is ordering two unique bookshelves to go on each side of the locker. We were able to fit quite a few books in the locker even though it doesn't look like it. I know it is an unconventional arrangement but we like it. There is still more tweaking to do but we finished 2 am Easter morning and I left Monday morning early. The time went too quickly.
Interesting light don't you think? We also have molding to go around that painting rectangle in the ceiling but we didn't get it finished before I left.

Now for an insider secret. We were literally laughing and crying at around midnight. Picture dark gray walls, bare light bulbs, black and what striped curtains, and a metal locker with the doors closed. At that point we thought we had made a HUGE mistake. Especially when Mark came in with the #4 pillow held in both hands in front of his chest like he was having mug shots taken. Candice said that she would never be able to have any one over until it was changed or they would think she was really bizarre. We decided to keep going and once we got the rug and the furniture in along with some merchandising in the locker, it got a bit better. I have to say it was a rough night though. I don't think either of us slept much.
By morning, and a little more tweaking, we decided we loved it.

The coffee table is a old grill of some kind with zinc squares hammered on the top with little nail heads. We love re-purposed interesting one-of-a-kind pieces.
We didn't get everything hung before these pictures but there will be a black and white picture with light matting on that wall behind the love seat. She also had some great letters "M&C" to be hung on another wall. They are the finishing touches the room needs.

And, see those tulips. Mark bought those for Candice. They were there when we got home from Round Top just to show her how much he missed her. He is a keeper. (We feel so blessed with 3 great SILs actually.)

THE END. What do you think? If you are reading this, I would love to hear from you.

Could I entice you to make comments if I promise to show Candice's family room? A room I would really like in my own home. A room that is also unique and answers the question about what to do with a wall that is 24 feet tall without any architectural features.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

My Round Top Purchases for the new Addition

Here was my first purchase. It is my new entertainment center. Do you think I can make it work? I can picture the big screen tv on top of that nice plank can't you?
I wish I had that mirror on top or those pans on the bottom shelf where the DVD player will be.
I love that urn on the other table too and what's not to love about the coral piece. It's a beauty. Unfortunately, I had to pass on so many treasures. I only had a little budget after all.
Can you picture this as my sofa table? I can picture it with big lamps on either end and large baskets full of quilts, pillows, and /or magazines. I think I'm crazy right?
Just look how industrial and cool it is though. Look at the patina on that wood. Can't wait to decorate it up for Christmas with a small tree and all my vintage ornaments. (The room is 15 1/2 feet by 34 feet. The walls are 12 tall with a tall timber framed ceiling. The room can take some big pieces of furniture.)
Here is my coffee table. I don't remember which one but it is one of those. I'll never have to worry about the table top getting scratched from putting your feet up on it. I might have to do a little sanding and waxing to keep from getting splinters but that's OK.

I bought two of these. Now if I can just find the right light kit and a great lampshade, I'm in business. Won't they look great on top of the sofa table? I'll have to think of something great to do with the crates. Have any ideas?
See those doors. I bought a set of old European doors from the South of France. I'm not sure how I'm going to use those yet but I'm hoping to find a place. I might have to list them on ebay if not. They would make a great head board too but I'm going to use my old mantel to make one of those. Candice also bought a set and she is going to use them to make a headboard. I love old doors.

Here is a zinc top table I purchased as well. I wish they would have thrown in the tablescape...maybe they will surprise me with it...wishful thinking.

Another view of it.
Candice saw this little beauty first. It is either from the South of France or Belgium. It's very tall and not very deep which is just what I needed. I'll store the DVD's and videos in the bottom and books and beautiful things behind the glass.

I also purchased a couple rolls of antique carnival tickets and five player piano rolls, a large wooden dough bowl, an old turned column piece, and I think that is it. I hope I don't have any regrets once everything arrives...if they arrive. Everyone said the shipping coming was a good one but they haven't called me and they said they would. I'm a bit worried and am keeping my fingers crossed that it all works out. I'll let you know. It's a leap of faith for me.

So what do you think about my purchases? I really want to know. I do like unique. I don't want to have what everyone else has that is why I don't like shopping in big box stores, etc. One of a kind is a good thing in my book.

Stay tuned for the reveal of Candice's purchases. I don't have pictures of them at Round Top so will post pictures of us decorating her living room and the mostly finished room. I can't wait until you see them.

After that, I will show you how the addition is progressing. We removed the fireplace mantel yesterday and they are supposed to put the hole through the wall tomorrow. The timber frame and roofing is supposed to go on tomorrow too but nothing ever goes as scheduled so we'll see. It is exciting though.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Round Top Spring 2010

I went to Round top last October with Candice and we got some great things for her new house. We were trying to furnish and decorate her family back then. This trip it was her living room. We accomplished a lot in the week I was there.

This time I was also looking for some industrial looking pieces to use in our family addition. I'll post some of the things I bought in my next post.

Of course I enjoyed a few days in San Antonio with Candice and family before heading to Round Top. We worked out at her gym. I was able to do her "Boot Camp" workout there. (I think Candice was secreting trying to kill me off!) Mark was diagnosed with Strip Throat the morning I arrived and Candice got sick right after that so I thought I was doomed. Thankfully, every one got over it quickly.

Unfortunately, as is par for the course, Candice's transmission went out the day before we were supposed to leave for Round Top. We had to rent a mini van but we were still determined to go. We thought we would be able to fit Candice's purchases in the back since all the seat were supposed to fold into the floor board. And yes, you guessed it, when it came time to load of the van, one of the seats would not fold down because the front seat wouldn't move forward enough. We did get everything in in spite of that but it took hours to tie everything in and tie down the hatch back. I tell ya, life is always an adventure for us!I loved these windows taken from a building in Chicago. I would have loved to have taken one of these home with me but at $2500 each, I took a picture instead. This is at the field called, "Essex." Our favorite haunt both last fall and this Spring.
Candice and I both bought some of these last fall. The vendor had sold hundreds since then and had raised the price quite a bit. I think someone said he was selling them for $25 each now. Yikes! They are beautiful though. They came from a textile mill in the south and were used to hold dye.

Here is a taste for some of the industrial looking pieces.

We loved these tables but I think they were $1100 each. It didn't come home with either of us. We passed on the skull too. Can you believe that? I've always wanted one of those...not.
Candice was looking for an old medicine cabinet for her bathroom but these were a bit expensive. It turns out it was good that we didn't get it because we didn't measure the bathroom before the trip and this would have been too big.
I feel really bad that I didn't wear my cowboy boots and shorts. (Just so you know, I don't really own any.) Honestly, it was the uniform of the day. Only in Texas...I hope.
I took these when I thought no one was looking. Hee Hee.
There are rows and rows of tents. The biggest tents I have ever seen. This is upscale show. Things were really different between last fall and now. Last fall we were there almost by ourselves and saw very few sold signs. This time there were tons of things with sold signs from the first day and lots more people. Does this mean the economy is turning around?
Candice took these of the carnival booth. We each bought a couple of rolls of old carnival tickets from the girl who owned this booth.

I really liked a lot of the industrial lighting. Unfortunately, this is the only picture I took of them.
Candice is ordering these shelves to use as bookcases in her living room. I can't wait to share those pictures with you. I love how it turned out but it too was an emotional roller coaster.
Candice liked these shelves too but we decided on the ones above instead. Good choice I think.

Loved this sign. I'm hoping to use it for inspiration to make my own one of these days.
How about this beauty? It made us laugh. I didn't see any of these on Project Runway this year did you?
There were actually lights made out of these spheres. They were great.
This was taken about halfway down one tent row.
Here is a glimpse at the Bar W junky fields.
Those doors are from Europe and I bought a set. I'm hoping to be able to work them into the new family room.

We went to the Red Barn for the first time this year. It was crazy in there. Way too crowded for me. But we did like this both that used player piano rolls to decorate their booth. The pictures don't do it justice. We would have liked to have taken more pictures in here but had to go through and get out as fast as possible. Too hot and too crowded. Wall-to-wall people literally.

Ooh I love buttons! This booth was filled to the brim with all kinds. Heaven!

Outside the Red Barn are two tents, one continental and one that is European. This booth was Bo Bo's booth, the guy who does a lot for Restoration Hardware. Great booth. We loved it.

The Curious Sofa owner walked by and rearranged this cabinet. We took a picture after she left because we thought it was hilarious that she would do that. Check out some of what she bought. (We were too shy to say hello. Last fall we ran into Brooke from Velvet and Linen. We didn't say hello to her either. We were surprised they didn't recognize us from our blogs. Just kidding. We are not in their league but we are pretty sure they would have been really nice to us if we had said hello.)

Candice and I both wanted to buy this chalk board but while we were thinking about it, someone else bought it. Snooze and lose. Boo hoo.

While driving around we spotted these doors. We just had to stop and take pictures. We love old doors.

Candice. Isn't she beautiful after spending two days walking around all day in the humidity and mud?

It was a beautiful drive and we had great fun together. If you get a chance to go do it. It's a blast.
What did you say...when pigs fly? I'm telling you they have a little of everything.

Hopefully, this bottle will end up at my house. I bought two of them to make lamps out of. I hope I can make it work.

I hope you enjoyed joining in on our adventure. Can't wait to show you what I bought. You'll probably think I'm nuts...I think I might be too.