Design and Travel

July 14, 2011

Last night I went to a Barnes & Noble for the first time in ages and had the opportunity to browse through several design books I’d read about online. I do a lot of online shopping, but it really helped seeing the real deal because I was able to choose a favorite (I didn’t buy it yet because of the whole being unemployed thing). I looked at:

Decorate
Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach to Interior Design
Modern Vintage Style
Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic
Downtown Chic: Designing Your Dream Home: From Wreck to Ravishing
Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces
The French-Inspired Home
Simply Scandinavian

…and many, many others. I would love to have them all for a wide variety of inspiration and resources but I came back to The Vintage Modern Home several times. I’m not sure what set the it apart from all the rest for me (especially very similar titles, like Modern Vintage),  but after several flips through, the pictures just spoke to me the most, and the tips looked helpful too, not that I spent much time reading.

In unrelated news, I visited my best friend in Pensacola, Florida last weekend and absolutely loved it there. We went downtown on Friday night and spent a long Saturday watching the Blue Angels and hanging out at bars on the beach. I’d have loved to have spent more time there. I was in ultimate beach town vacation mode.

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Pensacola

Jubilation

July 3, 2011

I went to see the Cirque du Soleil show Alegria last night. This is a little taste:

It was so amazing that I have a renewed appreciation for what the human body can do. It kind of makes me want to do some yoga, and at least get to the point that I can reach past my knees…

It was also a great excuse to dress up, but sadly, I didn’t get any pictures, except for this bad one of a delicious meal at a Mediterranean restaurant from before the show:

Casbah

Fried jibneh (cheese), falafel, and spinach pies

You can listen to the soundtrack here, which is awesome. The theme song reminds me a little of Lady Gaga, particularly the chorus of Alejandro. But this just might be my favorite. I don’t know. I can’t decide.

Alegria!

On the plane during recent flights, I alternated between reading “The Joy of Less, A Minimalist Living Guide: How to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify Your Life,” by Francine Jay, and imagining what I want my next home to look like. I recommend the book; it’s all about achieving that excitement you feel when you first move into a new place and it’s still empty, when the open space is inspiring and exhilarating, before you fill it up with all your things. It’s really a call for a different life style: looking at your belongings with a new eye, being more aware of how stuff gets into your home, letting go of items you don’t absolutely need or love, defining yourself in ways other than by what you own, and creating–and maintaining–a peaceful (beautiful, functional) dwelling.

These rooms from the Haven in Paris vacation rentals are what I’m sort of longing for right now (and not only because they’re, you know, in Paris). I’d have a little more art and decor, but not too much more. And have I mentioned that I need* hardwood floors? Minimal decor seems to work so much better with pretty floors.

*I use the word “need” loosely and excessively in this entry. I do not actually need these things, other than to achieve the images in my head.

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

Haven in Paris

When moving back in with my parents last month, I ended up selling more furniture than I anticipated on a last minute whim, including my sofa and an armchair. Patrick and I also sold our dining set and a few other things, and he and I split up the remaining furniture, a process that was very smooth. The truth is, I didn’t want to keep much. I like the thought of a fresh start, and I want fewer things overall. Even the stuff I did keep, currently sitting in a storage unit, is more than I need, but I’m waiting to see what my next living situation is like to decide what stays and goes, depending on size, layout, whether or not I live with someone else, etc.

Basically, the furniture I have left is:

All the items in this very IKEA-fied little reading nook. I will most likely change the color of the chair cushion to something more neutral.
Clean house after a party

Chair and footstool- IKEA, oak bookshelf – 2ndhand IKEA via Craigslist, white shelf – IKEA as-is section

This chair–happily, I’ve chucked the old cushions and will definitely be having new ones made.

New chair

Chair – Craiglist

This dresser, which I’m on the fence about keeping. If I do, it’s getting cleaned up.

Bedroom

Dresser – Craigslist

This small Danish table/bench (I love it).

My Home

Table/bench – Ebay

This even smaller side table.

Rearranging

Side table – found on a curbside!

This little green [bedside] table (guess I’m okay on small tables, huh?).

Around the house

Bedside table – Pier 1

The desk and shelves in this picture, which I have no attachment to.

My Home

Desk and shelves – IKEA

Not pictured: An oak IKEA Expedit bookcase I never assembled.

So what I make of all of this is:

  • I have a lot of brown wooden stuff, and I want to balance it out with upholstered pieces, glass, metal, other colors, whatever
  • I want to change my chair cushions to more neutral colors
  • I will not need everything I have above, and could probably do without some of the small tables and one of the chairs
  • I will need a bed, sofa (white or very light), small dining table (probably white), and some rugs (I still have the white shaggy one in the reading nook)
  • I need to phase out the oak IKEA stuff
  • I don’t want to be too theme-y, including overly retro or vintage
  • Color-wise, I want to be much calmer this time around than I was in Gainesville (despite the fact that this completely contradicts recent entries I’ve posted). I want a lot of neutrals with green as my main accent color. I’ve been inspired by this image from Anthropologie since 2005!

Anthro spring 2005

and I still have these curtains, which I love:

New curtains

I cut down on my decorative items as well but still have plenty to spread throughout my next home. I think I’ll be pretty selective about that process too, though.

…And this concludes today’s over-analysis of how I will decorate my next hypothetical place.

A Better Me

May 5, 2011

8 weeks

I found out about the 8 Weeks to a Better Me project through Cara-Mia, but given my poor track record with blog challenges, I mentally wrestled with it a bit. Blame laziness, flightiness, life getting in the way–whatever it is, I should probably not commit to anything blog-related that lasts more than a few days. That being said, I like the Week One challenge of coming up with three blogging goals. I can do that. I can do that right now, in fact. (No one said I actually have to accomplish them right? …Kidding.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Oh, hi.

April 29, 2011

grad1

grad2

grad4

grad10

grad11

grad14

grad22

Confessions:

-I still have to finish a paper for a class.
-The royal wedding had me trying to copy Kate Middleton’s makeup and hair this morning. Not exactly her wedding hair, but her usual hair.
-The following photos are not the most flattering, but they make me happy nonetheless. CAUSE I GOT A MASTER’S DEGREE.

Read the rest of this entry »

So Close, Yet So Far

April 28, 2011

ft lauderdale

christmas break

la playa

Hollywood Beach, FL

Hollywood Beach, FL

Hollywood Beach, FL

Hollywood Beach, FL

Hollywood Beach, FL

Hollywood Beach, FL

Ft. Lauderdale May 2010

bikes on the beach

One Year Ago: September 08

Edited versions

Summer 2010

Summer 2010

outside dali

Hollywood Beach, FL

Eye Candy

April 22, 2011

Since I’m not out doing things worthy of taking pictures right now (give me a week and I will be), here’s some other eye candy.

These are images of peaceful bedrooms I’ve saved. I can’t remember where they all come from but I can give credit/take down any pics upon request!

Glamour

Minimal

Inspiration from Design*Sponge
I know this is from Design*Sponge

And my favorite of the group, I think, which was originally in Domino Magazine (I have that issue, sigh):

Inspiration

Next, my best friend is going to try on wedding dresses at a trunk show tomorrow. I admit I have saved from favorites, myself…

Exhibit A:

Marilyn

Marilyn

Wish I had some better photos of that one.

Exhibit B:

Wedding stuff

Wedding stuff

Via

Exhibit C:

Ruffled blog

Ruffled blog

Via

Exhibit D:

Love this dress

Love this dress

Via

Notice a trend?

Finally, a few good reads:

  • I was thrilled to discover The Fearful Adventurer since I, too, am “rife with phobias, fears, and anxieties”. This piece about a mother’s love and support of her daughter is beautiful though.
  • Too many good posts at inFITation lately to list just one–not to mention the beautiful pictures of Hawaii. Sigh.
  • Thoughts on shopping, budgeting, and Tax Day.
  • How to Earn A Living Online from A Foreign Country. Ok, I’ve only briefly skimmed this but I want to come back to it. Just in case.
  • An interesting post about atheism and faith.
  • I hadn’t really read Elle Magazine in years but since following Elle on Twitter recently, I’ve been enjoying the articles posted online, like this one on unrealistic sex scenes in Hollywood. Or this overview of six food bloggers. (“There are now the gossip bloggers, the traveling eaters, the snap-my-every-mealers, the restaurant reviewers, and the home cooks who include, but are not limited to, moms, small-kitchen copers, and strangers-in-a-strange-land homemakers.”)
  • It’s been a couple of weeks since this post but oh my gosh, I love this watercolor portrait! Since sort of, um, failing at the 30 for 30 challenge in the fall I have been a little out of touch with the fashion blogging world but this made me miss it. Actually, I was just browsing through my outfit photos the other day and picked out some of my favorites. It was interesting to see what stood out to me. Simple, classic, and feminine are the adjectives that occurred to me.
    30 for 30 FavesAnyhow! Enjoy, while I work to finish a paper tonight. So that I can start a take home test. And another paper. How can I even process that I will be done with all this in a week?