A while back I visited my lifelong friend Mike in NYC. It was a quick but exciting trip! I saw the city, spent quality time with my friend, and enjoyed every second! The city is such a vibrant place with inspiration in some unlikely places. Some things are just too good not to share. Case in point: this lucite piano!
I spotted this lovely piece in the residents' lounge of a friend's building. The top view is to die for with the exposed strings. If only I played the piano!
One World Trade is an amazing piece of architecture and the view from the top will literally take your breath away. (And possibly make your head spin. Ick.)
After such a fabulous weekend, I was ready to move! When I got home, I quickly researched brownstones in Chelsea and found one that I'm totally ready to call mine. If only New York wasn't snowy in the winter, I would move tomorrow. I guess my NYC experiences will forever be limited to trips (during warm weather).
Slowly but surely, our dining room is coming together. One piece I have been searching for was the perfect campaign style buffet. History: Campaign style furniture was made for travel, specifically during military campaigns. It was originally made to be easily disassembled or folded for travel. To learn more, read here. They are characterized by inset brass handles, exposed hinges, and brass corners. I thought I wanted one that was lacquered in either white or black, but ultimately decided that the traditional side of me just wanted a vintage wood look. The only problem is that these pieces are hard to come by and when you can find them, they are pricey. Here are some inspiration pics that make my heart flutter.
I searched everywhere and finally happened upon a Craigslist post for a Henredon piece at a local furniture consignment store, Pick-It, in Charlotte's Southend area. I headed over between naps with my miniature side-kick and fell in love. We brought her home for $450. Not bad, considering all others I could find were upwards of $900 bucks.
Here she is, just begging to host a dinner party.
If you're into the campaign style, you can get the look for less with this Ikea hack tutorial using a Rast dresser. I'm considering upgrading baby girl's bedside table with a hot pink number like this one.
Target is also carrying a campaign style desk for $150.
If you love it and want an all new set, Pottery Barn Kids has a darling collection that, thankfully, was not around when we were setting up baby girl's nursery or I would've broken the bank with it.
I was recently in the process of planning out fabrics for our living room, which is so fun. The only not fun part was carting my sweet four month old to fabric stores to source the drapery and pillow fabric. Not to mention, you can get some killer fabric deals online at places like MaryJo's, Hobby Lobby, Barras, Online Fabric Store, and Warehouse Fabrics. In my struggle to go pick up swatches, I discovered a new use for an app I already have on my phone: Pic Stitch! I took a photo of the rug we have, the fabric on our x benches, and then started screen-shotting and inserting different drapery and pillow fabrics into the other two windows to play around with options. Here's what I finally chose. (Ignore the crooked fabric shot!)
I ordered my selections (drapery fabric from Mary Jo's and pillows from Willa Skye Home on Etsy) and when the fabrics arrived I was pleased with the way they work together. Pic Stitch for the win!
P.S. I always check around on different sites for my fabric of choice to shop for the best deal. You can Google the fabric manufacturer and name to let Google's shopping tab help too!
When we decided to sell our first house in order to trade up to something a little more pet and baby friendly we knew we were in for a search. I loved our first house to pieces, it just wasn't the best layout for babies with the master bedroom upstairs. The yard was also too small for our rambunctious pointer, Brice. I'm a little finicky (or a lot) about the layout and location of a house and we had a laundry list of wants that would likely be hard to find in our price range. (Bless our realtor, her work was cut out for her.) After some looking at existing homes, we mulled over the idea of renovating a house to meet our needs. We started looking at houses that needed love. One Friday morning, this colonial popped up on the MLS. This old house needed lots of love.
The listing noted water damage, foundation problems, and mold on the first floor. The listing agent even advised any lookers to wear a mask for protection from the mold. However the list price seemed really good, so after seeing these photos (taken straight from the MLS posting) we ran out early Saturday morning for a look.
After seeing this guy in his saggy, sad, moldy, smelly state we did some serious thinking and on Sunday wanted to go for another look with a contractor to get an idea of the cost for the extent of repairs needed before making an offer. The only problem was...it sold!!!! In ONE day!!!!! I was in serious distress. The house could easily satisfy our list of wants AND needs if it was renovated. But alas, the search for the perfect house was back on. We loved the neighborhood this old house is in, so we continued searching there. I rode through the area on my way home from work sometimes...ok maybe 3-4 times a week to be honest. Stalker, I know. I would drive by this old house and think of what might have been.
I noticed on several of my rides, a guy and his white truck at the house and started to think that a contractor may have purchased the house to flip and resell. Since it sold in a day, it was likely paid for with cash and the work seemed to have already started. Going back to my Nancy Drew loving roots (don't ask), I decided to do some digging. I considered stopping to chat with this fellow, but didn't want to look desperate. Instead I asked our realtor (she's an angel) to call the seller's agent and get the scoop on the buyer.
Our agent, Becky McGrath, didn't bat an eye! She called and found out that the house was indeed purchased by a company that was planning on restoring the house to its former glory and reselling. She somehow got in touch with the buyer and set up a meeting at the house.
That's when we met Doug of Halley Douglas Homes. He and his realtor showed us around the house and outlined the plans for renovation. They were so kind and down to earth! We were able to see some of Doug's other work on new builds and renovations around town, which we LOVED! Hubs and I expressed our interest in submitting an early offer in order to be involved in the process of renovating the (almost) dreamy colonial. After some deliberation, we all came to an agreement! In successive meetings we were able to give our input on layout and down the line, made design choices that made the house feel like us. I should mention that this situation was even more exciting because Halley Douglas does not typically work with homeowners on renovations. They almost strictly renovate or build houses to sell on the open market. Throughout the process Doug, his partner Brandon, and head guy, Dean were all amazing. They thoroughly exceeded all of our expectations and I can't say enough about their workmanship. From getting a structural engineer to check out the foundation work to getting us a deal on all new windows, they were fantastic in every way. I think it's rare to go through a renovation and think, "Oh yeah, let's do that again!" but we so would with Halley Douglas Homes.
We feel like this house was a God send for our growing family and couldn't love it more. The before, during, and after renovation photos will be emerging over the next few weeks so keep your eye out!
During a recent trip to Sleepy Poet Antique Mall I spotted a couple of sweet looking federalist mirrors. The photo above shows how Dorothy Draper used one of these mirrors in her design at The Greenbrier Resort.
Quick Background: These mirrors originated during the federalist period (1776-1806). They feature a carved eagle, convex mirror, gold-leaf finish and usually 13 dots surrounding the mirror, which represent the first 13 colonies. They are sometimes referred to as bull's eye mirrors or a Girandole mirror if candles are attached to the frame. As you can imagine originals are quite expensive. Replicas made of wood and resin or molded came about in the 50's and can be found easily on Ebay for a steal.
After spotting these pretties at the antique mall I started thinking about them. ALL. THE. TIME. The reflection is like looking at yourself in a fish eye lens! They can be incorporated in many designs and look fresh with a coat of paint or lean more traditional when used in their original gold form. It went on my treasure hunting list.
I snagged one last weekend that I found on Craigslist for $35! It happens to be pretty large and is made of wood and resin. Definitely a replica, but it made this momma happy, happy, happy. For now, it has found a home in our powder room, but the options are endless. Maybe he'll end up in the entry way??