Friday, January 29


Though I am currently jobless (and hunting), there is something so exciting about Fridays. The anticipation of the weekend and the people you will see and things you will get done OR all of the LOST episodes that will be watched! My weekend to-do list is very long, and it gets longer every day. Some days Nate just sits back in half-exasperation and half-wonder at my list. And my problem is that I love to get my hands dirty and get involved in every part of it. 

Currently, I am sewing pinch pleat draperies for our living room from some pretty blue duponi silk. Now the list (in no particular order):

bedside tables (find and redo)
make headboard
find fabric for headboard
sew pillows for living room
one day...get a new coffee table and couch
buy chairs for dining room
redo chairs for dining room
make skirts for chairs in dining room
print and frame prints for living room
print and frame prints for dining room
curtains for bedroom
bedskirt for bedroom
redo bathroom

That is part of my to-do list. Problem being I have to find the perfect piece at the perfect price before I start one of  the above. Can you imagine when we buy a house and I am allowed to actually redo that? It makes me giddy! ... and Nate sweat!

Right now however I am going to post about one of our first married couple furniture redo. The bookshelf.

Mom and I bought the bookshelf eons ago for my bedroom at an unfinished furniture store. It was painted white. I decided that I wanted to paint it and use it in our dining room to store our dishes and glasses, since there was no way they would fit in our kitchen cabinets. First go round I chose an unfortunate grey-blue. I told Nate that despite the hours we just put into painting the bookcase, it had to change. I then promised to do the new color allllll by myself :)

This time I chose a glossy black from Sherwin-Williams. Apart from my desk (i will post later) which was metal, this was my first time painting furniture. Knowing what I do now I would paint it black then apply a poly coat. SO. I repainted it. And hung up Scalamandre "Chinoise Exotique" wallpaper from my mom's redone hall bath. 

The wallpaper was just too narrow to cover the whole thing, so I left the selvage on both sides. No way I was going to cut up more of mom's paper! To cover up the beautiful lettering I am going to apply grosgrain ribbon around the edges to make it look "finished." Maybe one of these two?

You can't really see the whole piece, it is in one of those dark, unlit corners of our apartment. But you get the idea. My dishes are randomly stacked on it right now! Lastly, I bought two knobs from the mecca of knobs...Anthropologie.
I went with the clear, because it was not a statement, yet still pretty. Would never clash with whatever else I do in here.
Have a great weekend and tackle one of your decor projects...hopefully I can tackle one of mine!

Friday, January 22

Chinoiserie Takeover

I think most of the excitement in design is looking for ways to make items that have potential really work. My husband's grandparents kindly gave us furniture they no longer needed like this chinoiserie buffet/chest.

While I love me a good dose of chinoiserie, I had it envisioned in another area of the same room. So I prepared to make my first tailored slipcover. I am fairly efficient at sewing pillows, but this was new territory. Overall, I think it turned out ok. I should have consulted my handy-dandy new book "Quick and Easy Slipcovers," but I didn't. So the corners aren't perfect but it is functional. The middle flap raises so I can access my goods. 

I know it looks unpressed but I really did try! I think I am going to make some ties to add some flair, perhaps out of a fun print. I am not crazy that the color blends with the beige carpet, but hey, its an apartment!

Overall, I am very pleased, and I learned alot :) Although, for me, a space is always evolving I am pretty excited about where this is headed. And I LOVE pretty, shiny things that reflect light!

Monday, January 18

Spring Fever

It's only January, and this might be a bit premature, but with the temperatures outside approaching 65 degrees I can't help but keep from daydreaming about wearing something cute like this...


or this...


Then I might top it off with this...



Thursday, January 14

Front Entry

When we moved into our wonderful apartment the entryway had potential to be a great landing strip, but obviously lacked a purpose. Here is the before picture:

Not much to be said. BUT! After convincing my sweet husband to help me paint horizontal stripes, some coat hangers, and some accessories we had a functional entryway!

Here are the deets:
coat hooks by The Hook Lady
rug on loan from the momma
umbrella stand and small table from The Sleepy Poet
lamp base from Marshalls
faux-leather black lampshade from Potterybarn Outlet
mirror, a wedding gift from Potterybarn

Eventually I want to paint the 40$ table another color...what do you think? Something to warm up the space. At first I wanted to do it a coral color, now it is just another project on hold.

For all those who are thinking about horizontal can do it! It just takes patience, time and a good tutorial, which I did not have. All in it took both me and Nate about 5 to 6 hours to measure, tape and paint the stripes. Make sure you have a level, a long straight edge, plenty of tape, and a ruler. A T-square can be very helpful, but you have to make sure your walls are all straight. Ours were not, which we learned very quickly!


Sometime during the fall I got the itch to do our entryway. I bought off craigslist a brass chandelier like this one:

and painted it in "Colonial Red" by Rustoleum and got new bulbs from Home Depot. So now it looks like this:

Sorry, again, about the image quality. I had to do some color adjustments so you would not be blinded by the light. I should have photographed it outside on a sunny day BEFORE it was installed by Nate. Hindsight. Super easy and all in about 35$.

Tuesday, January 12

Brave New World

I have decided to join the ever-burgeoning world of bloggers. Though I spend many hours a week pouring over my favorite blogs, clicking on "older posts" back to the point of conception, I have no clue how to write a one. I want to gather all of my thoughts and ideas and inspirations as I attempt to design our modest apartment from beige to inspirational on a shoestring budget. I look forward to sharing! I spent my Tuesday morning browsing two my favorite local haunts in Charlotte. 1510 Antiques and South End Exchange. Put on your waders before visiting 1510 Antiques, which is charmingly...cluttered. You will need a sharp eye and stamina. But everything is ALWAYS (at least since July) 50% off. So you can score some deals. I found a Ionic column (see mom and dad? that architectural education is eeking out) lamp originally $200 and he gave it to me for $62 and some change. The lampshade was pilfered from another lamp in the house.

And this gold-ish necklace that struck my fancy (definitely not antique, but fun!). Sorry for the quality, it just did not want to be photographed there.

As for South End Exchange, I wanted everything, EVERYTHING, in the store. Beautiful persian rugs at amazing prices...field trip for Nate on Saturday!

And lastly a picture of the beautiful sunflowers left over from our first Apartment Life event we held this past Saturday morning. In the beautiful silver vase from my stocking, thanks Santa.

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