Category Archives: Weekend Decorator

A Rug’s Life

In May, Husband and I took an amazing two-week vacation to Turkey.  While planning our itinerary we thought it best to end our trip in Istanbul so we wouldn’t have to schlep our Grand Bazaar purchases all over the country in our suitcases.  I was secretly hoping to snag a gorgeous Turkish rug for the dining room, so this seemed like a genius idea!  However, our genius idea wasn’t as brilliant as we touted.  Strangely, and surprisingly, we didn’t buy one single thing at the Bazaar.  No Turkish rug, no Turkish towels, no leather pouf.  Such disappointment.  I’m not saying we didn’t see loads of incredible wares, because we did.  But by the time we arrived at the Grand Bazaar, whether it was because we were overly exhausted, over stimulated, or over budget, our grand plan just didn’t come to fruition.

Despite coming home empty handed, my memory of seeing the rug making process will last just as long as any rug we would have brought home.  Here are some photos to illustrate the process:

Removing silk thread from silkworm cocoons.

Dyed silk yarn for the REALLY expensive rugs.

Wool yarn is spun by hand…

and colored with organic dyes.

Rugs are hand knotted, one piece of thread at a time.

The pattern is attached at the top of the loom for guidance.

It’s a long process.

Some rugs cost more than $50,000.

Shoes off!

Husband and I already plan to return to Turkey some day, so maybe that will be the time to find a special rug for our home.  Until then, I will never look at a rug the same way again!

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Patience and Progress

I’m happy to report that we’re making progress in our quest for a super rad home office…and I’m equally happy to announce that this is the first weekend in a month that I haven’t visited the Container Store!  (OK, so I pulled into the parking lot, but quickly came to my senses when I assessed the overflow of holiday shoppers.  Someone would have gotten hurt with a shopping cart if I had entered that rat’s nest.)   However, since it is a three day weekend, my decorating list was long.  So instead, I tested my patience by visiting Home Depot three times, Kinkos twice, IKEA once, and Pottery Barn (quickly!).  I’ll share photos of this weekend’s projects over the coming weeks, but in the meantime you can take a peak at our office decor pinboard here on Pinterest.  (And here’s a teaser photo to whet your appetite!)

Tune in next time; fun things are on the way!

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A Frame.

I would say our most valued home furnishings are works of original art.  Husband would probably say that he values the couch and bed most, but he would really mean the artwork is most important to him.  As a house warming gift my mom, the talented artist, gave us two of her amazing watercolor paintings.  A fantastic focal point for the upstairs!  We were also fortunate enough to be gifted, from our brother-in-law Chris, four original Shepard Fairey silkscreens of characters from The Godfather movies.  They’re the inspiration for our office decor!

It should be no surprise how important framing is to maintaining the integrity of artwork.  I made the mistake of taking a series of original drawings to a certain “big box” frame store recently.  Although the drawings look very nice, the framing just looks blah.  It does nothing to highlight the feel or detail of the drawings.  I’m never spending so much money on mediocre framing again!

Fortunately, a few years ago my mom was introduced to a framer in San Luis Obispo named Gail Johnson of Johnson Framing Studio.  Gail is an artist herself so she fully understands how framing should underscore artwork, not just encase it.  When we received the pieces from Mom and Chris, I knew I couldn’t do them a disservice by taking them to a “big box” framer.  Gail to the rescue!  All of the framing she’s done for my mom is flawless and beautifully chosen.  She was the only one I trusted to frame these pieces. And get this, she actually did historical research before she picked frames for our Godfather prints!  The results truly blew us away.

Here is the thoroughly impressive artwork and the equally impressive framing:

Now that we have The Godfather prints framed (the first step in our office transformation), we are tackling the rest of the room.  Stay tuned for our progress…

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What the Duck?

My absolutely favorite things in our home are those that we’ve inherited from family.  I love that they tell a story and are a continual reminder of loved ones.

My Grandpa George was an avid outdoorsman, fisherman, duck hunter, gardener, cactus enthusiast, craftsman and collector.  One of his treasured collections consisted of antique duck decoys.  I know, not something most people think of when they think of collecting, but when you grow up in my family duck decoys are an everyday object.  And I’ve come to learn some very interesting history about duck decoys (but I’ll skip the history lesson here.)  The point is I finally realized, after noodling over it for about a year, that the shelves in our dining room would be a perfect display space for some of Grandpa George’s decoys!  So, Dad pulled the collection out of the garage and let me choose (and dust off!) some beauties for our place.

In our dining room we have built-in cabinets and shelves on either side of the fireplace that have been in need of some attention.  When we moved in the built-ins matched our very orange kitchen cabinets (that I can’t wait to paint!)  To get an idea of what painting the kitchen cabinets would actually entail, I did a test drive on the built-ins.  I sanded, primed and painted…and nine or ten weekends later, we had lovely white cabinetry.  Yep, hiring someone to do the kitchen.

Here is my sand, prime, paint, decoy project:

Original color of cabinets (ugh).

Finally, white!  Ah.

Those owls aren’t scared.  Bring on the ducks!

Operation: Decoy Rescue

Right at home.

It means so much to me to have the decoys at home with us.  They conjure wonderful memories of my Grandparent’s house, and I think Grandpa George would be pleased.

Tune is next time for a little bit of party planning…woohoo!

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A Mountain Retreat.

Last weekend Husband and I were in Park City, Utah for a snowboarding trip and New Year’s celebration with friends.  We were invited to stay in an incredibly cozy mountain retreat nestled on a golf course not far from the ski resort.  In between eating, drinking and hot-tubbing I, of course, soaked in the decor.  True to the locale, and consistent throughout the house, the theme was Mountain Retreat all the way.  Here are some of my favorite highlights:

A mountain retreat would not be complete without an antler chandelier.

This was my favorite wall hanging in the house…I especially loved the gray wood paneled wall it was hanging on.

Now, boys, THIS is a rack!

This stool belongs in our house.  I want it.

I really like the contrasting cowhide and leather.  And good for a nap!

Antler lamp, expected.  Leopard print chairs, unexpected!  Yeah, it worked.

Just in case any horses strolled by.

Cassius lays like that sometimes…oh, yep, he’s doing it now.

Speaking of dogs…”Be the person your dog thinks you are.”  I love that!

And, here is the pièce de résistance.  How about that for Mountain Retreat?!

Many thanks to Sweet T for the sweet pad!

Tune in next time back home with me and our cozy city retreat…

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It’s Resolution Time…

Happy New Year to you all! But you know what this means, don’t you? Yep, it’s resolution time. I’ve got my usual list of diet, exercise and blah blah blah, but I also have a list of New Year’s resolutions for our home. Maybe since I’m putting it in writing I’ll actually stick to them (is that the secret?). Let’s give it a try, in no particular order:

1) Use coasters. Yeah, like these.

2) Use my Kitchen Aid mixer.

3) Buy more art. I mean, Buy Some Damn Art.

4) Make more art.

5) Throw a house warming party.

6) Throw any kind of party:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7) Recycle catalogues within a week.

8) Bring home house plants (and don’t kill them).

9) Bring home flowers.

10) Grow flowers.

11) Create a space that feels like this:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

12) Frequent the local antique markets.

13) Fill the house with more music, and less TV. (Moves Like Jagger might just happen on a Tuesday night…and I’m not embarrassed to say it.)

14) Take more photos (aka better photos).

15) Light more candles.

16) Receive more packages like this:

Well, this is the plan anyway. Tune in next week to see how it’s coming along…

(Image credits: 6) SFGIRLBYBAY, 11) Erin Loechner, 15) AB Chao)

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Decorating for Christmas (Day 1)

‘Tis the season…already?! But it’s 80 degrees outside! Not that I’m complaining.

Last year I made a very feeble attempt at decorating for Christmas. When I say feeble, I mean pathetic. I’m not sure I even wrapped a present. But this year, well, this year is different. Weekend Decorator must decorate for Christmas!

Husband and I have an ongoing disagreement about Christmas trees. I like them freshly cut (purely nostalgic), he likes them artificial (purely economical). Well, so, no Christmas tree this year. Probably for the best since white trees are all the rage (not nostalgic nor economical). But I still decided to decorate for Christmas anyway…tree or no tree.

Shortly after Halloween I started brainstorming about all sorts of wild decorations for our front porch. At one point I’d convinced myself that I wanted to build a wall of white poinsettias parallel to the front door. Fortunately I reeled it in and conceded that a wreath from my nephews hanging on the door would do just fine. Inside the house, however, I’ve embarked on a project that might just take me until Christmas to finish. Upon inspecting my progress, Husband remarked to Cassius, “Mommy is crazy.” Yes, maybe, but I kind of like what’s happening so far.

Remember this?

Now it’s a wall of presents!

How about that faux bois paper?! And who wouldn’t love that gold glitter paper?! All from Paper Source.

More holiday decor to come…once I finish wrapping the rest of those frames!

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