Monthly Archives: September 2011

A Decorator’s Guide to the Galaxy

No projects this weekend, but lots of ideas.  I spent some time hunting and gathering inspiration for our bedroom, and some more time just staring at the walls.  Following are some fun references I like to turn to when thinking about new projects.

When the decorating publication Domino Magazine closed its doors in January 2009, I plunged into a deep, dark, decorating depression.  All I had to hold onto were stacks of past issues I’d been collecting for three years…the same issues that my husband actually had the nerve to suggest I throw away during our last move.  Blasphemy!  But there was a light at the end of the tunnel…the editors of Domino wrote a book!  Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-By-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy is my decorating bible.

Another bright light, and my current obsession, is Michelle Adams’ online publication Lonny Magazine.  Michelle is a former editor at Domino, so of course I LOVE her site www.lonnymag.com.  I sometimes order hard copies of the magazine, just in case.

I received my copy of the Design*Sponge book this week.  Yep, cover to cover in one sitting.  I can’t get enough of the “Sneak Peeks”.  And Grace Bonney, the creator/author, is an inspiration herself.

The Well-Dressed Home is one of my go-to books, too.  It makes so much sense; decorate your house the way you put an outfit together.  I love that.  It makes me think of the What Not to Wear mantra, “Color, pattern, texture, shine.  Color, pattern, texture, shine.”

I usually grab my books and magazines for inspiration first because the online decorating galaxy has a seemingly limitless amount of decorating blogs and websites.  Something from one site, leads to another site, that leads to a blog, where I read the name of a designer, which leads to a google search, and back to a blog, and another website, and so on.  It’s virtually impossible to avoid being sucked into the vortex.  It also means my Bookmarks list is totally out of control.  I won’t bore you with my list of favorites, but I’d love to hear what your go-to decorating site(s) is!

Weekend Decorator is going on vacation, so tune in next time for some decor from the road.

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Adventures in Wallpapering

During the 80s and early 90s I recall that wallpaper was the go-to wall treatment for many homes.   In addition to the Laura Ashley floral explosions, there was a lot of teddy bears, Mallard ducks and baseball gear.  My first wallpaper memories start with the Strawberry Shortcake border lining the top of my pink bedrooms walls.  Once I grew out of my Strawberry Shortcake phase (not soon enough), I remember poring over books upon books of wallpaper samples with my mom at the local paint store.  Every year or two we would map out the next iteration of my bedroom décor, and it always seemed to start with wallpaper.

I come from a family of talented DIYers, which means my mom was the one who hung the wallpaper in our house.  The outcome was always tasteful and perfectly hung wallpaper, however, the execution was not necessarily a joyous occasion.  There was usually a lot of cursing involved.  There was also the time she sliced through a tendon in her finger while trimming wallpaper with an X-acto knife!  Needless to say, I entered into my first wallpapering project with great trepidation.

After about a twenty-year hiatus, wallpaper is the trend in wall treatments again.  But I think it’s back better than ever.  The graphic patterns and edgy images that you can paste onto your walls now, are really awesome.  (no ducks or baseballs!) The problem I have with the new trend, though, is that trends fade and wallpaper is a b*tch to remove.  So, I decided that wallpapering the inside of our bookshelves (they’re from IKEA by the way) would be a great way to indulge in the current trend in a non-committal sort of way.

I spotted our wallpaper years ago in an Anthropologie catalogue.  The wallpaper wasn’t for sale, it was just in the background of one of the sets.  But I HAD to find that wallpaper!  I finally tracked it down at Walnut Wallpaper http://www.walnutwallpaper.com.  (Yes, I have looked at every wallpaper style on that website at least twice and have an embarrassingly large stack of their samples.)

Here it is,  the wallpaper:

Here are some instructions from Design*Sponge:  http://www.designsponge.com/2008/03/before-and-after-ambers-bookshelves.html

And here is my wallpaper project:

BEFORE

AFTER

 I happily made it through this project without cursing, and with all of my fingers intact.  But I will tell you, it was challenging enough to know that when/if I decide to wallpaper our powder room, I’m hiring a professional!

Tune in next time for A Decorator’s Guide to the Galaxy…

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Dog-Gone It

About 6 months after we moved into our new home, we brought home a puppy.  Yes, that’s him up there staring back at you.  We have an unusually shaped pocket off our dining room that the previous owners used as an office/sitting area.  We saw it as the perfect puppy area.

For the past year, this has been Cassius’ home base; His Domain.  This is where he ate, hung out during the day (aka slept) and trained.  Now that he’s a year old, he is able to handle his freedom during the day and conduct himself responsibly outside of the gate.  And we, of course, want to reclaim the space.  So, down came the gate!

For the time being, I chose to turn the former puppy play pen into a sitting area. I always have my eye out for occasional chairs, and usually get discouraged by the outrageous price of them.  But when I found online a couple of tufted upholstered chairs on sale at Restoration Hardware, I got really excited.  They picked up the color and style of a living chair I already have, and did I mention they were on sale?  I knew they would be perfect for our new sitting area.  However, when they arrived, all I could think was that they were the perfect size for a hobbit.  No wonder they were on sale!  I set them up as I imagined anyway, but will likely use them elsewhere eventually.

I hung drapes to enhance the window.  The bookshelves are from Crate & Barrel and came from our last apartment.  The metal side table is, wait for it, IKEA circa 2003.

Sadly, Cassius didn’t like Mommy messing around in His Domain.  He would run downstairs every time I was tinkering in that area.  Ultimately, he made it very clear that he HATED the new decor.  Not only did he target the area as his new potty spot, but he decided to dismantle the decor as you can see below.

I think stripes on stripes is better, Mommy.

Currently, the new sitting area is pending a new plan.

Tune in next time for Adventures in Wallpapering…

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