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

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.

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?

Color Hungry

April 17, 2011

So much color this morning! I could spend hours looking at images from Elle Decor India:

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

Elle Decor India

These next images and links are from other sources:

Color

Color

Both via Once Upon a Tea Time, here and here.

I just discovered this blog and I already know that I’m going to become an addict. In fact, the two images above aren’t that realistic for my own decorating but I will probably reference this post in the future. It incorporates furniture similar to some mid-century modern pieces I already own without overdoing the MCM feel. For example, the next two images:

Once Upon a Tea Time

Once Upon a Tea Time

The next picture isn’t too over-the-top either.

Style at Home

Via Style at Home

Via Artnlight

Via Artnlight

Other nice links:
Your Tea Time
The Plum Tree

Darjeeling Dreams
Colours Dekor
Bliss
79 Ideas
Rajee Sood
A Cup of Chai
The Colours of Life

I also have some recent additions to my Etsy wish list that I’ll save for another post.

PS: I am still clueless about this stuff, but I did manage to join Bloglovin’! You can follow me here, I think.

Craigslist Round-up!

February 21, 2011

I did a few Craigslist round-ups back in 2009 (here, here, and here) when I was moving to Gainesville. Now that my lease is a few months away from expiring, I’m starting to think about what my next place might look like, since I don’t actually have a whole lot of furniture I plan on taking with me. Now, it might be some time before I’m decorating a new home, considering I may live with my parents for a while, or even do some traveling abroad. But it’s fun dipping my toes in the water again.

All of these items were listed on the Gainesville and Jacksonville-area Craigslists yesterday (they’re about an hour from one another, and my parents live in Jacksonville). I was planning on linking to every item and including the price, but I just don’t have time for all that right now. Most of these range from free (!) to under $200. Excuse the tiny bit of overlap in my “collections” :)

Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist
Craigslist

I learned one thing from this exercise: one day in the not too distant future, I will have me a mother f’ing vintage hutch.

I must say I’m pretty happy with what I found, considering the local Craigslist generally seems to suck. There were several other pieces that seemed promising, but the picture quality was just too horrible to bother posting, or they didn’t really fit with the other items I was including here.

As for the furniture I already have, I’m starting to think about ways to spruce it up–painting, refinishing, refurbishing. It’s intimidating, but maybe this summer I’ll have some time on my hands to give it a try. I’ve been in love with this perfect cottage since I saw it a year ago, and I absolutely adore how the furniture was painted in primary colors:

Croatia
Croatia
Croatia

But making that work in a “real” home, rather than a fairytale cottage in Croatia might be tricky..

Home Inspiration

October 15, 2010

First, some blogs that have inspired me this week:

Elegant Musings (And I’m very excited to discover her Youtube channel)
Bake it Pretty
inFITation
This Battered Suitcase
Academichic (I always love this blog, but I’ve really enjoyed recent posts)
Adore Vintage
Riccis Valladares (Okay, there’s nothing new this week, but I check daily because I am so obsessed with his photography, as I have mentioned on my Tumblr, and he probably thinks I am crazy)
Wish Wish Wish

I wanted to follow up my last post with pictures of the “real life” home that I would say shares a top spot with Amelie in terms what I turn to for inspiration in thinking about my own taste. And, yes, since I am in my last year of graduate school, I have already started to ponder how I might decorate my next place. I go to school in Gainesville, Florida and I have really not even considered the possibility that I’ll get a job in this small college town after graduation. It’s more likely I’ll end up in a large city like DC or Chicago, but who knows? I may stay in Florida or go somewhere else in the South.

At 350 square feet, this home won in the Teeny Tiny division of Apartment Therapy’s Small, Cool 2010 Contest. I fell in love with the five pictures Beth submitted to the contest, but I was really happy when AT did a full house tour more recently. I’ve since found myself following Beth’s comments on AT because she gives such great design advice. Her use of neutral pieces mixed with bright accents works so well, and is, dare I say, a more realistic approach for me to emulate than Amelie’s saturated red apartment. Not to mention she clearly knows how to make the most out of her space.

A Dream Home

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Keep Coming Back

October 13, 2010

I’m posting some pictures from the film Amelie (and it’s not the first time) because I’ve recently been thinking about how my decorating taste always comes back to that movie. I can see a million rooms I love on design blogs and in magazines, but they never feel as warm and homey as that movie set does. I think there’s a pretty clear influence of Amelie in my own bedroom, except instead of all the red accented with green, I’ve got the intense green with a little red. I’m dreaming about red now, though.

These are just pictures I gathered from ’round the internet.
amelie10

amelie6

amelie5

amelie3

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