Posts tagged ‘Accessories’

September 19, 2014

Exciting Things

There’s something very exciting coming up for the House on Penny Lane. Are you excited? No? Not yet? Well, I can be excited for the rest of us.

At the end of this year, we’re getting a new sofa! A sectional to be exact…

Our IKEA sofa has served us well during the last seven years. It was our first big purchase together and, for each of us, our first real grown up sofa. But lately, we have begun to outgrow it. We’re hosting more and more get-togethers at our house while also spending more and more time stretched out/cuddled up just the two of us. And we just need more room.

And lucky for us, our living room can handle it. It’s kind of huge. Check out my sweet rendering. It’s like looking at my house through a Simpson’s episode.

 

And I never miss a chance for a mood board. This thing makes me giddy. Especially because the majority of the items pictured are ones I already own. This, by the way, is an update to a mood board from way back in 2010. We were just young chicks then, so it’s interesting to see how our tastes have grown in the last few years.

 

 

1.     Our wonderful wood floors. I still dig the high contrast between them and our walls.

2.     With the addition of a larger sofa, we will also need a larger area rug. Our current rug is a $170 8’x10′ shag rug we found at Home Depot. Such a steal and hides stains amazingly well. The new rug is actually made up of carpet tiles, so if one gets stained, I can just remove and replace it with a fresh tile. I’ve also heard the tiles are way easier to clean than a regular rug, so let’s hope any stains that do pop up can be taken care of quickly.

3.     My $30 a piece Craigslist chairs. I recovered them just last year, so they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

4.     Our 70s coffee table. Another awesome Craigslist find.

5.     THE SOFA. I am so excited by this. Pretend this picture is of a sectional with a chaise instead of an ‘L’ shaped sofa. I chose a fitted back to avoid the inevitable slouchy back cushions. The fabric will be a microfiber velvet in a very dark, almost black, charcoal.

6.     Our sofa table. It came from CB2, but is unfortunately no longer available.

7.     Our favorite IKEA Besta media cabinet.

8.     Our vintage walnut lamps. I am so glad these are not glass or ceramic. They would have been broken a long time ago. *Cough* cats *cough*

9.    My Valentine’s Day Fiddle Leaf Fig.

10.   Our current accent pillows, throw, and our Franco Albini Ottoman.

11.    With the new sofa, I should be receiving some throw pillows in the fabric of my choosing. So here’s my choosing! Kind of an Ikat print with cream, charcoal, linen, plum, and cranberry colors. It’s super pretty and this pic doesn’t do it justice.

12.   Think I can talk Rob into some light colored faux fur throw pillows? I hope so. We’ve got a lot of sofa to cover.

13.   I think a nicely colored Persian style rug would be beautiful layered over our future area rug. This will take some obsessing, hunting, and deliberation, so don’t expect to see this placeholder filled for some time.

 

So what’s been a recent exciting addition to your home? Tell me about it in the comments below!

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September 14, 2014

Vignetting

One of the hardest things for me to do is pull together a great vignette. So when I do manage it, I have to take a million pictures to document my success.

 

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The first is our coffee table vignette. I had searched far and wide for a tray that would fit our large, octagonal coffee table. I was looking for something that would both fit my style and either be circular or square. Not an easy feat. There are lots of rectangular trays out there, but the unusual shape of my coffee table begged for something more symmetrical.

It was during a normal grocery shopping trip that I found myself at our local Asian supermarket. This supermarket has a large section dedicated to housewares. I had never perused this section before and I was quite surprised to find so many beautiful items at low prices. I found the bamboo tray among stacks of woven baskets for a measly $6. Compare that to the $50 tray I had my eye on at West Elm.

All of the other items in this vignette I already owned, including the gorgeous white vase. I have no clue why that thing has been sitting in a cabinet wasting all of its loveliness to the darkness. Actually, I do. Cats.

 

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The second is our Master Bathroom vignette. This space is teeny tiny and hasn’t changed a lick since the vanity was installed. This vignette is still not done, but the minor additions have made my time in the space much more enjoyable. I bought the faux orchid for $10 at TJ Maxx. I’ve had the Matisse print for a while. It lived in our Master Bedroom for a time before I decided it just wasn’t right for the space. It has since been living in a closet. Again, I have no clue why.

So. Fun stuff. Things that make me smile.

September 6, 2014

Dusting Off the Cobwebs

Hopefully there are people still out there who are willing to listen to my ramblings. Blogging consistently is challenging and I’ve just lacked the energy and inspiration to continue. Luckily, I do have some new and exciting things coming up for the House on Penny Lane. I’ll fill you in a bit more on that later. For now, I want to show off a quick and easy redo of our guest bathroom.

The guest bathroom was one of our first rooms to “complete” when we first moved into the house, mainly because it had the most bewildering decor of the entire house. Picture, if you will, matching wallpaper and window treatments featuring ladies’ hats and handbags in a lovely checkerboard pattern made of blue striped ribbon. Yes.

We removed the wallpaper and window treatments, painted and retiled the floor. The improvements felt like a breath of fresh air, but have recently revealed themselves to be merely an offering of a blank slate. While the rest of our home filled itself with texture and character, our guest bathroom sat blank and empty. It was time to add some life.

As a reminder of what the room looked like before, here are some phone pics I took of the space while contemplating my next steps.

      

Here’s the updated look.

My first step was switching around some art. Sometimes I love placing small pieces of art on walls that should really have large pieces, just because it’s unexpected. But the piece above the toilet just made the rest of the room feel so expansive, which only added to the empty, blank slate feeling in the space. So I moved the piece to the wall next to the door and added a larger piece of art above the toilet.

I would have loved to do something with the mirror and the light fixture, but I just didn’t have the budget to allow for those changes. Maybe further down the road. Right now, we’re just talking cheap improvements that make a big impact.

The next step was adding texture. This bathroom is used most by visitors that are only staying for a couple hours. So I really wanted to make the bathroom feel like an extension of the living room, not just the room that visitors would spread out their hygiene products in order to get ready in the morning.  So I added a runner to make the room feel less bathroom-y. It also added warmth and texture to an otherwise cold space.

Next was filling up all that counter space. I found the round basket at Home Goods on clearance for $5. I filled it up with toiletries that may be needed by overnight guests. Things like shampoo, soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste. The Himalayan salt votive and marble tray also came from Home Goods. The hand towel and picture frame came from World Market and the soap dispenser came from Target. The floral stems came from Hobby Lobby. I’ve been on a faux floral kick lately and I recently realized how nicely the forms can fill a space, even if they’re not real. I’m no longer above having fake flowers, as long as they’re reasonably realistic looking and arranged well. The large vase, art, and other small pieces were items I already owned, but had no home for.

I’m planning on adding a DIY curtain for the window, but just couldn’t wait to share what’s finally happening over at our place.

Altogether, I spent about $60 on this space. I’d say it was money well spent.

Oh, I forgot to mention… we added framed picture of Polly because we consider this room hers. She loves drinking water out of the leaky faucet. I have proof.

February 2, 2013

Kitchen Improvement Baby Steps, Part 2

I promised a full post wrapping up my first baby step to improving the kitchen, so here goes. Let’s start with the Befores.

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

Kitchen 2011

These pictures were taken in 2011, but not all that much had changed before this past November, including my choice of pajamas. At this point, I was unhappy with practically every surface in the kitchen, but I knew I couldn’t afford any upgrades anytime soon… if ever. So, instead, I started thinking about ways I could improve the feel of the space without putting too much money into it. I came up with a plan, starting with addressing the items I disliked the most about the space.

1. The upper cabinets above the peninsula. I despised them. They got in the way of many conversations being had. I wanted to tear them down, but that meant patching the surfaces beyond. I had to be prepared for whatever state they may be in. I’ve had experience patching gypsum and texturing walls, so I felt confident I could fix whatever happened to the ceiling in the process. The wall, not so much. The backsplash tiles were cut around the upper cabinet, so if I took the cabinet off, the raw edges of the tile would be exposed. I do not have experience in tiling, so I did not feel good about that. Luckily, I had an idea. I designed a wood trim piece to cover the cut tiles and had a friend build it for me. I then painted it and liquid nailed it to the wall. You can see the down and dirty pictures here at my previous post on this subject.

Kitchen Progress

2. The dark and creepy window nook. I loved this window space when we first looked at the house. I thought it could be a cheerful space to grow herbs and other plants. Instead, it became a black hole that constantly felt empty, yet overcrowded. After staring at pretty kitchen windows on blogs, then at mine, I realized a curtain was the first step, and I could make it myself. But first, I painted the window frame to match my tile trim. Painting the trim white helped to brighten up the area and made it feel much cleaner than the old, worn stained frame did. I then got to constructing my curtain. I found a pretty simple tutorial here that is so easy I was able to start and finish the project in an evening. I then took the “less is more” approach to accessorizing the nook by removing everything I didn’t love. I was left with a knife block, a couple plants, three glass canisters (which each hold flour sack towels, dish detergent and fresh light bulbs) and a frosted mustard bowl to tie in my accent color.

Kitchen Curtain

3. Lack of interesting and cohesive accessories. What accessories I had were merely parts that did not add up to a cohesive look. Accessorizing is not my strong point, so I experimented with my accent color in various patterns. I mixed the geometric curtain with striped tea towels and a southwest style rug. Mustard colored bowls, a print with bits of yellow and produce helped add fresh color to the space.

Kitchen Accessories

4. The furniture in the space doesn’t accomodate the activities that take place there. Sure, a dinette table belongs in a dinette, but what if the dinette table only gets used as a mail sorter and a coat rack? The table just took up space and made it difficult to vacuum. What I noticed most was that guests preferred to stand close to the peninsula to watch whatever activities were happening in the kitchen. So how about some stools?

Kitchen Stools

Ok, enough ‘splainin’. Let’s get to the Afters!

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Kitchen Progress

Baby step one is done. My plan, now, is to live with this progress a while and decide if anymore steps should be taken. At this point, those steps are painting the upper cabinets or painting all of the cabinets. We’ll see!

February 25, 2012

Nate & Aurelio

Way back in September, I blogged about doing some pro bono (ish) design work for my friends Nate and Aurelio (you can go back to read about the inspiration for the design here). I’m happy to announce that a ribbon-cutting ceremony was held today in celebration of the completion of the project. Of course, it wouldn’t be entirely complete without my blogging about the process. Grab yourself a snack and find a comfortable chair because I’ve got tons of before and afters to share.

 

Please excuse the poor phone picture quality befores as well as any not-so-kind criticisms. They asked for my help for a reason, right?

Entry:

Note the dark wallcovering that creates a cavernous entry.

Living Room:

Note the white walls, saggy futon, feminine drapes, pillows and artwork, and more tables than anyone could possibly need.

Dining Room Before:

Note again the dark wallcovering and just large amounts of stuff.

Of course there was also a lot of good stuff to be found. I had the foresight to take some pictures of items that stood out to me.

I knew this console table would make a good grounding piece for the entry way.

 

The carved detail on these nesting tables definitely made my socks go up and down.

 

A pair of leather-look side chairs intrigued me as well as an oddly placed stack of gentleman’s hats.

I proposed to Nate and Aurelio a more masculine feeling interior using the majority of their existing furniture with an emphasis on neutral colors. I put together this mood board to help visualize my idea.

The hard part was going to be implementing my idea on Nate and Aurelio’s budget. Over the course of the next several months, we removed wallcovering, painted (Sherwin Williams Relaxed Khaki), cleared out and purchased furniture, and hung drapes and art.

Enough already. Here are your Afters.

Items purchased:

Paint & Supplies – $136

Mid Century Modern Sofa – $235

IKEA Minut Wall Lamps – $20 ea.

Plaid Pillows – $11 ea.

IKEA Vilmie Figur Cushions – $13 ea.

Faux Fur Pillows – $50

Rugs – $55

IKEA Ritva Drapes & Hardware – $40 ea. window

Wall Art – $25

Lamp Shades – $15 ea.

Total: just about $700.

 

If you ask me, the best money was spent on paint and drapes.

It’s amazing what you can do with your own stuff and a few extra bucks, huh?

 

September 11, 2011

Wisteria

I’m proud of my papa. After years of being a graphic designer, he ditched it to become a starving artist. He’s still an artist, but no longer starving as he is now the creative director for Wisteria, the online home decor store. He asked me recently (in a blog comment, no less) to photograph any Wisteria items I have in the house on Penny Lane with the potential of featuring them on Wisteria’s blog, Vine.

I get a nice family discount, but have not received any other perks from Wisteria for this post, although I will accept discounts on some pieces I’ve been eyeing (provide a Christmas list right, Dad?).

So here’s a shot of the living room featuring a handful of my Wisteria items.

Wisteria items: white enamel stools, gray wicker basket, glazed porcelain lamb

I didn’t place that basket, that’s how perfectly this shot laid out. I have two of the gray wicker baskets. This one is the catchall for cat toys. It’s too cute when Jin jumps in it to find his desired toy. The other basket we use as a laundry basket. We also have a couple sets of water hyacinth baskets. They are scattered about the house to organize small items. I use one to neatly contain my makeup products. Baskets are an item one can never have too many of. Just saying.

July 19, 2011

Fireplace, Pt. 2… and finished?

Nearly a year ago, I wrote this post about my fireplace conundrum. To sum it up, I hated it and couldn’t decide what to do with it. Paint some of it? Paint all of it? Cover it up? I allowed myself to stew in my obsession and ended up making the best move, which was no move at all.

First, here’s a look back on the desperate lives of my fireplace.

09.2009: The fireplace during our first viewing of the house. Its previous owner didn’t fare much better.


12.2009: Christmas time and I was desperately trying to make this focal wall work. Duct tape is a difficult finish to match.

 

 11.2010: The wood floor is installed. The fireplace looks better, but still desperate.


12.2010: Christmas time again. The furniture is improving and the first good move was made with the fireplace: relocating the round mirror to another area.

 

 2.2011: I saw the light and the biggest improvement was made for the fireplace: roller shades were installed on the two adjacent windows. The light balanced out the darkness of the fireplace and its next of kin, the bookcase.

And now the fireplace’s current state. Not desperate. Simple.

The moral of the blog post is that sometimes, oftentimes, less is more.

I will check back once we have used the fireplace, hopefully with no flaming cat stories to tell.

January 24, 2011

Surprised?

I know I was.

December 31, 2010

Make an Entrance

The one area of our house that has remained in a state of vacancy has been our entryway.


a view of our entry from June 2010.

We bought a rug for it way back when, but, needless to say, it wasn’t enough.

This Christmas, Rob’s mom, Carole, gifted me an entry table. And after a bit of accessorizing and tweaking (including relocating the mirror from above the fireplace), I was left with this pretty space.

Thank you, Carole!

November 1, 2010

Be a Good Host

I’m nowhere close to being a good host. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very hospitable. Yes, come inside my house! Take a seat! But after that, you’re on your own. You’re lucky if I remember to offer you a drink.

So of course these quick tips for easy entertaining over at Curbly.com quickly caught my eye. The idea of setting out multiple votives sparked my interest the most, especially after hosting a sparkless dinner for my sister-in-law while my brother was out of the country. I vowed to go votive crazy the next chance I got, and I knew just the place.

On my recent thrifting excursion, I noticed miles of shelves exclusively stocked with small glasses, handfuls of which could be used as votives. And handfuls there were. Here is just the beginning of my future collection.

 


Unlit votives

 


Lit votives