A little escape to where I can have fun with my love of design and whatever else may brighten my day...

Friday, August 27, 2010

XOXO: Craigslist Bamboo Chairs

Just spotted these ADORABLE bamboo and cane bottom chairs on Craigslist!  The seller is asking $300 for both or best offer.  Man I wish I had some money.  Will he take $50?!?!  These chairs sell for about $300 each at Ballard, but these antique originals with the cane bottom are a really awesome deal.

Antique bamboo chairs via Craigslist
More Craigslist finds to come!

Finders Keepers

After heading out with my roommate to pickup our dry cleaning, we decided to stop in a consignment furniture store within the same strip mall as the cleaners.  The store, Finders Keepers, has a pretty big collection of pre-owned sofas, dining tables, mirrors, headboards, lamps, pictures, etc.  I typically always see something I like, but don't usually buy anything as I would have no where to put it!  As soon as you walk in you are supposed to grab a discount slip.  This tiny piece of paper is color coded with discounts of the day.  So everything with an orange sticker is 30% off, blue is 10%, and so on.  The deals are pretty good and most pieces are in good condition.  No sooner than we made our way around the store, I noticed a wall of frames and pictures.  This one in particular caught my eye...

"Span Tritt" by Josef H. Plank

It's a painting on silk.  This photograph doesn't give the image much to favor, but the rich colors on the silk fabric are really nice.  I also did a little research and the artist is Josef H. Plank - he was born in 1815 in Triol, Austria where he was a historical and portrait painter.  This picture above titled "Span Tritt" was a painting of a famous Lipizzaner horse from the Spanish Riding School of Vienna.  I didn't find any other information really so I'm not sure the worth of this painting or any other historical references.  Regardless of it's worth to anyone else, I paid $28 (after my 30% discount) and now it's displayed happily on the wall in my living room.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Cheap and Chic

I'm serious when I say that people really overlook places like Kmart, Sears and JCPenney for fun decor finds.  I mean, that's cool if no one else wants it and it sits on the shelves forever so they take deep discounts - and by the time I come around I've scored one heck of a deal.  With trends coming and going - who wants to spend a fortune on fun pieces anyways?!  Take a look at these adorable acrylic chairs for example.  Perfect for a home office or a small apartment.
Braxton chairs via Sears

These distressed mirrored frames from Kmart look just like vintage mercury glass (love!).
Picture frames via Kmart

This lattice style rug designed by the always fashionable Cindy Crawford would look good in pretty much any room.

Cindy Crawford for JCPenney

I have an obsession with stripes. No, like a REAL obsession.  They are classic, they go with all sorts of patterns and they will never go out of style.  I am seriously contemplating on which one of these boardwalk stripe rugs I should buy from Walmart.

Don't know if I'll be on the hunt for anything this weekend, but if I decide to venture out I might check out some of these neglected stores for a little retail therapy.  Happy Friday!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm an Idiot

So thanks to my roommate when I lived in Memphis (love you Rebecca!) who taught me everything I know about estate sales - I have turned into one of those people who checks out the local estate sale web site each week to see if anything looks good. And if so, you better believe I will wake up early the day of and head on over to see if my online find looks just as desirable in person - because if it does, I totally need it more than the next person right?! ha  Many times an item looks even better in person or the price tag is higher than I expected.  This time was no exception.  I arrived early one Saturday to a sale in Franklin.  My eyes scoured each room until I saw what I was looking for.  And it was this gold, mirror top coffee table.  Ahhh it was love...

My obsession at a local estate sale
But then I noticed the price tag - $1,100.  Really?  Really?  This is an estate sale people.  Aren't you just trying to get rid of things?  So another option was that I make a bid on the piece and stick it in the bid box.  If the item is still there at the end of the day then the seller goes through the box to see if they wish to take any of the offers.  Well guess what?  I got a call.  And you would expect me to be excited right?  Well I was a little nervous.  I made an offer less than half the asking amount but it was still pretty high.  And the piece weighed like 100 pounds and was way bigger than I thought so that's when my pragmatic side came out - I don't have a place to put this.  My storage unit is full.  Will I like it in two years?  Do I really need this? - so I never called the seller back.  I walked away empty handed.  Well let me tell you something folks.  When you see something you love for a hell of a deal - it's probably for a reason.  Because as I'm browsing Horchow's web site the other day look what I stumbled upon...

Mirror coffee table via Horchow
And we know, Horchow isn't cheap, nor is it poor quality.  Wow this homeowner had pretty good taste!  And I just lost out.  Oh well... I just need to remind myself of my own pragmatic advice!!  Or next time I'm just gonna go for it!

Monday, August 16, 2010

One chair, some spray paint and a touch of velvet

Okay so I'm hoping this post puts a little pep in my step.  You see I purchased this chair off Craigslist.  I got it for only $20 with the intention of giving it a little TLC and turning it into a beautiful masterpiece! This is my first DIY project when it comes to furniture makeovers - and I still have high hopes, I just need a much higher level of motivation.  You see, when I bought the chair it had a dark stain finish.  I stripped the wood (it took FOREVER) down to the bare essentials and sanded and sanded and sanded.  Then I moved on to spray painting, which is what you see today.  Actually, I have done a little detail work since and hand painted some of the pretty little edges and flowers in a light gray.  It looks pretty good I think!  So back to where I originally started... I needed to post this picture so I could get excited about the soon-to-be (crossing my fingers!) outcome.  Next steps: take the chair to The Cane'ery to get the bottom re-caned.  And then the cushion (not pictured) that came with, is getting a makeover all its own - a luxe charcoal velvet fabric will replace the old and gross calico print.

See the pretty details!

 I'm really excited about using velvet for the cushions.  I'm in awe of what this fabric can do to such traditional chairs! Ooooo la la!

Pink velvet Louis chairs

And I'll take both of these too please!
Blue velvet arm chairs

Friday, August 13, 2010

Happy Friday

A couple of Don Davey drawings I picked up in a Bourbon Street souvenir shop on my trip to NOLA.  I love the French Quarter one with the Pat O's sign -  my fav bar.  They were quite inexpensive, but will look great matted in some pretty frames :)

French Quarter Nights

Royal Street

So Fresh and So Clean

Not everyone loves a shower curtain.  Some people prefer the clean lines of a simple glass door or the open air.  I have to say I LOVE a shower curtain.  Something so small can give a plain bathroom a whole lot of character.  I just recently purchased this frilly shower curtain by India Rose.  The colors are great - so I normally would have picked up this magenta or avocado green one, however I went with the crisp white as it will go with everything, even as move to my next abode.

India Rose shower curtain via Burke Decor
Another frilly find is this flamenco curtain from Anthropologie.  MTV's Whitney Port enjoys this particular one in her West Village apartment.

via Anthropologie
If you love the frills, but hate the cost.  You can still enjoy some dainty ruffles with this version from Target.

Shabby Chic via Target

I'm not just about the frills.  I really like how this Thomas O'Brien for Target curtain is very gender neutral.  The masculine dark gray contrasts nicely with the feminine floral.

Thomas O'Brien via Target
And this subtle gray zebra print is expressive without being too overbearing.  The price is fabo too!

via Overstock
I find it oddly difficult to discover a shower curtain that I can get excited about.  So when one catches my eye like these do,  I just can't resist.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Laissez le Bon Temps Rouler

I'm leaving for The Big Easy tomorrow - one of at least ten trips I've made there within the past two years.  Mainly trips for work, but also to visit close friends.  I've got to say, there truly is no other city like New Orleans.  I love everything from the street cars, seersucker suits (they originated here you know), historic homes on St. Charles, to the shops on Magazine St. and the taste of crawfish etoufee and bread pudding.

In recent months I've been itching to have some original New Orleans artwork.  Artists sell their handmade work all over Jackson Square - beautiful watercolors, charcoal drawings and oil paintings galore.  I'd love to own one of these in my home.
Artwork by Debra Hurd
Artwork by Angel Turner Dyke
Another thing I love about New Orleans style is the French character that's embedded into all aspects of the city.  I adore antiques - especially those of the French variety.  I'm not talking gaudy, over-the-top formal pieces (with the exception of gold guilded mirrors), but classic Louis IX chairs and settees.  Huge living rooms with wide baseboards and tiled marble floors.  Chandelier medallions and ornate crown moldings.  I love taking traditional classic pieces and mixing them in with newer styles.  These pretty pieces have found their way into my heart.

via Trouvais
via Horchow
French Bank Table c. 1930
via House Beautiful
You can be sure there will be more posts on beautiful French pieces to come!  'Au revoir!

Couture for the Ages

I recently visited the Frist Center for the Visual Arts' Couture Exhibit and to my surprise I wasn't enchanted by the actual gowns, corsets and fashionwear as I was the photographs of gorgeous gals wearing the frocks.  I grabbed my little tour guide book and immediately circled the ones that caught my attention the most - in hopes of searching the internet to find a reprint for my home.  Here are a few of my favorites (and yes I did find at least one to put in my happy little house).
Photo: Richard Avedon

Photo: Richard Avedon
Photo: Richard Avedon
I'm usually not into photography as artwork (I know, weird right?), but these feminine yet fun images were too wonderful to resist.