Friday, June 28, 2013

Quick Change Artist: Master Bedroom Refresh

Our house has a lot of gray, black, white and green. Brent has voiced this to me on several occasions. So after giving it some thought, I realized one of the easiest rooms to update would be our master bedroom. It had green pillows and a green candle. That's really all the green. Here's a glimpse of what it looked like.
Two green pillows and a black and white damask pillow.
I've been thinking about adding more white to the bedding.
Even Porter's bed is green. (Cutest doggie ever, right?!)
The wall opposite the bed. I happen to really love this arrangement.
In an ideal world, we'd have a nice sitting chair over in that corner with a side table and a floor lamp. And you probably can't tell from the pic above but there is a painting hanging in the mix that I've always loved. I bought it from an artist outside the Guggenheim about five years ago. So it became my inspiration.
What do you see in the painting? I see a street view of a New York with a taxi on the left.
I had a glorious Friday off and I headed to TJ Maxx for some stress relief. I hit the jackpot in the clothing department (scored black shorts and two versatile tanks) and the home goods (pillows, a basket and a white ceramic garden stool I've been hunting for a year!)

I got these two pillows as a starting point. Love that they pull in the yellow from the painting.

I had the rug in the guest room and pulled it in for fun. I think I like it!
Also found a yellow candle that smells like apricots (yum!) and the basket that fits perfectly in Brent's night stand.
I think I can amp up the yellow just a little bit more, so I'll be on the search for a new throw for the bench/bottom of the bed.
I remembered that I had two shams that came with the duvet cover so I put two extra pillows in them.
I also found that cool ceramic white light that I added to the dresser.
I'm loving the results for only about $45! Thank you, TJ Maxx!


Monday, June 24, 2013

Hotel Sax Chicago: Design Inspirations

This week I traveled to Chicago for a recipe photoshoot with work. I decided to stay at a different hotel in River North. I found Hotel Sax online and was impressed with the location, rate and reviews. So off I went.

It is located right next to House of Blues off State Street and Kinzie within walking distance to lots of great Chicago steakhouses like Harry Carey's as well as some hip new resaurants like RMP and Sable Kitchen + Bar. (I ate at the last two. Did not disappoint!)

The reception area was the first unique element I noticed. The antique glass display cases were filled with cut crystal glassware. It was not the normal sterile greeting!

The halls on the way to my room featured graphic pewter carpet, metallic tone-on-tone wallpaper and dark wood trim. A sort of rock 'n roll vibe...
Loving the patterns, metallics and darker tones.
And so the wallpaper continues...

In my room I was greeted with a variety of textures, patterns and tones. A snake skin chair, an embossed leather headboard, plush black and white carpet, crisp white linens and wood grain furniture. (All of this with a lack of "artwork." I love how this design lets the colors and textures be the focal points instead of a large picture over the bed, for instance.)
LOVE that wallpaper. Very subtle but gives some interest to the wall.
An up-close of the wallpaper in the bedroom

This cool sidetable has a glass top with purple marbles inside. I also love the mirror behind the side lamp. Again, it doubles the amount of light and makes the space feel big.

In the bathroom, the lime green grasscloth wallpaper really set off the black and white tile and fixtures. 
Modern with a nod to retro

I love that this wallpaper makes you want to touch it!
After using the bedroom and bathroom for a few days I think there are a few things I want to tuck away in my own "inspirations" for our future master bathroom remodel and a couple updates in our master...

Larger white subway tiles.
Again, a modern bit of retro.

Black and white floors (I love these but I think I might get tired of them in real life)
So much fun
These were actaully small tiles laid in a square 4x4 pattern

I love their tasteful use of mirrors (because we all know there is a fine line between 70's creepy floor-to-ceiling mirrors and framed modern mirror features)...
This is opposite the large windows so it bounces light around and makes the room feel much bigger than it is.
Our master bedroom is big enough to have a small seating area. I love the idea of one soft chair and lamp.
Notice that this lamp base is painted a dark purple.

So if you can't already tell, I'd recommend this place if you're headed to Chicago and you like a posh, modern, rock 'n roll style.

Feeling inspired,

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Quick Way to Add Patriotic Colors: Porch Pillows for Pat

My neighbor Pat's porch pillows had gotten eaten by the squirrels last summer. She wanted to replace them but she didn't want to spend a small fortune for something that might only last one summer. (The squirrels may find them again!) I told her that for her birthday I would love to make her some new pillows.

She has a great bench and rocker on her porch. Her granddaughter gave her the wonderful wooden Colorado flag that hangs above the bench, so she always decorates in red and blue.

Love the colorful wooden flag! But, she really needs some pillows!
This year she planted red and white flowers in her whiskey barrels to go along with her patriotic color scheme.
These just got planted so they are small.

I found (in my stockpile of fabric) some navy plaid that worked great for two of the pillows. I then purchased some red dot to coordinate for another one. 
I used a vintage button on the red pillow.
It had come from a dear friend we both knew.
I think the new pillows look great and really make the front porch a place you want to be.
So, the new pillows are all ready for the squirrels.

Happy Birthday, Pat!
Enjoy the summer,

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Spring Flowers in Bloom

Spring around here is a busy time. In fact there is so much "stuff" to do that there is no time to write about it. And, it is not necessarily something anyone would want to read about or see pictures of anyway!

Regardless, it is past time to "show and tell" something, so here are some photos of spring progress in the yard.

We did a little repair work on the garden shed. If you recall, from an earlier post, we damaged the roof when we took part of the tree down.
We fixed the damage and replaced some shingles.

The Day Lilies are on the east side of the house and love the early morning sun. They seem to grow every day. I shared some with Karli early this spring.
Blooming yellow (Lemon Lily)

Blooming orange lily
Our flowering crabapple tree is so beautiful in the Spring. But it only blooms for a short time. Enjoy the pink while you can, I guess. 

Close-up of the pink flowers. Too bad the pink goes away so quickly.

As for annuals, I like to keep the colors all unified. This year I only purchased orange marigolds. I planted some in the beds among the rocks and sedum. Here are some views of the yard so far......

Sedum, orange marigolds, mountain sage.

I also plant some of the same orange marigolds in various pots.
This should fill out soon.
On the back deck I included some pots of basil and parsley. Karli has been trying to get me to cook with "real fresh" herbs!

I love summertime and spending time in the yard. I love my flowers! They will grow more beautiful each day. But, by the end of August, I'll be over it and wishing my watering and mowing was done! Go figure!!

Happy yardwork,

Friday, June 14, 2013

A Sneak Preview: Exterior Project (Almost) Complete

It's hard to believe it's been almost a month since my last post. Where did the time go? What have I been up to? (Eating bonbons and sun-bathing?--I WISH!) Let me tell you a story.

In my last post, I told you about our trim being rotted and needing replacement before paint could begin. I also told you that the work was going to begin the next day. Well, that "little" project turned into a not-so-little nightmare. The contractor we used was very late starting the work, very slow to get the "two day" project done and made a few mistakes along the way that delayed the project even more. It was all I could do not to rant on Facebook and complain on the blog, but my sweet husband kept me from it. (I still have to practice deep breathing when I think about it--and to be honest I did write a Facebook post about my frustrations and when I tried to post, my phone kept giving me an error message. I considered it a sign from God that I should remain positive.)

I don't want to bore you with all the nonsense, so I'll get to the happy stuff. Brent's sister and her husband paint houses on the side of their already full time jobs and lives. They painted our old house and I realized then that their attention to detail is just as strong as mine. Perfect. Needless to say, they did an amazing job on this house too. I almost cried when I pulled up the final evening and it was done.

A year's planning and saving resulted in something I'm proud to call my own!

Here's a sneak preview of a full blown post to come...

I don't think I'd even posted about this! We add a new sidewalk into the mix too. So happy with the results!
The first bit of paint going on the house! I was giddy like a little kid!
Lime Green front door?! I think YES!
Shutters going up (and that last bit of reddish brown trim)!
Here's just a little bit of the finished product. More coming in a couple days!

What do you think so far? Better than where we started? :)

Happy Summer,