Thursday, April 19, 2007

Tin Foil Wall Treatment


I love this idea from the Kips Bay Decorator's Showcase featured in today's House & Home section of The New York Times. That's tin foil on that wall! Here's what the captions says about it specifically:
Using a simple spray mount, Randall Beale and Carl Lana glued aluminum foil to the wainscoting along the staircase between the entrance foyer and the first floor. “Our inspiration was Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory,” Mr. Beale said. “After all, isn’t a show house about experimentation?”

He added: “The foil nicks, but it acquires a patina, and it is easy to repair. If I was doing this in a real house I would coat the foil with clear polyurethane.”


Amy Butler Fabrics

I am not a sewer, but I am obssessed with Amy Butler fabrics. I've been eyeing this pattern from her Lotus line called "Tree Poppy" in the "Sand" colorway. I think I am going to use a combination of this and a clear vinyl to recover my bench and table set.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Cord Control


Core77 posted recently about
a clever device called the Load-Thing (above) and about a wire-hiding "charge box" (below). I'm not sure if these are a smart things or just more hunks of junk that no one needs. But I can imagine that the Load-Thing would be handy depending on where your outlets are placed. I also think that hiding the wires for all your devices that need charging has its benefits (I hate looking at ugly wires).




R2D2 Mailboxes

I am dying to see these R2d2 mailboxes. According to Gothamist, my office is smack dab in the middle between two of the New York City boxes. Once the rain stops, a field trip may be required.

Latest eBay Obsession: Vintage Soap Dishes


Thanks to Martha, I am scouring eBay for vintage soap dishes. Look at these cuties. A swan dish.

An owl-embellished dish.

A single hand.


A pair of hands.

Giuseppe Pica And Lucite

I figured it might be worthwhile to share some of the take-away information that had appeared in that article on Giuseppe Pica's apartment last year. The most intriguing tip from the story was Giuseppe's suggestion to use Novus Plastic Polish on scratched up Lucite. According to the Times, the product comes in three varieties, "No. 1 for removing dust and dirt, No. 2 for smoothing light scratches and No. 3 for softening the appearance of deep ones." To prove it's effectiveness, the writer notes, "Even Mr. Pica an eternal optimist, was amazed that a cleaning product could make gashes seem to disappear." It sounds like it would be worth the investment if you had some Lucite that needed a buffing up. It's for sale online right here.

Giuseppe Pica's Pad

Apartment Therapy's Smallest, Coolest Apartment contest is up an running for 2007. One of the contestants is Giuseppe Pica, whose very cool studio was featured in The New York Times's House & Home section on March 30, 2006 (I know because I saved the article). One of the commenters pointed this out and another noted that AT doesn't disqualify previously published spaces, which I really think they should in the future. I also wonder how much of an advantage it gives someone to have professionally shot (and more importantly, professionally lit) photographs to enter in the contest. Surely it makes a big difference, don't you think? All that said, I love the space and I was pleased to see a floor plan, which was something the NYT had left out of their article.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Refrigerator Lust

I've coveted the Smeg refrigerator for years. It's a retro-styled fridge sold in a rainbow of candy colors from the UK. However, they seem to be hard to come by in the states. A new company, Big Chill, is selling a similarly styled fridge stateside. Neither is an affordable cooling device, but if I were going to splash out on a kitchen renovation, I'd be much more likely to spend my money on a model like the Smeg or the Big Chill than a Sub-Zero sterile stainless steel fridge. Above is the Smeg and below is the Big Chill.

Color Coded Library

In my last apartment I had my bookshelves arranged by color. I’d been inspired by this shot that ran in Living Etc. magazine in April 2005 (above). It seemed like a clever decorating twist, and my bookshelves had started to look really messy after two years in my apartment. So, I took everything down, made piles of each color and rearranged everything by the hue of the spine. It looked great, and for the most part I could remember if a book had a blue spine or a pink one. Some people would notice my color coordinated shelves the minute they entered the apartment. Others would come for a dinner party and never notice at all. It was a subtle touch.

Recently I feel like every interior I see has the books arranged by color — really, what magazine hasn’t recommended this at this point? What once seemed a novel idea (an idea that many people chided me for, by the way) is now the decorating touch du jour. If everyone is going to have their novels arranged red to orange to yellow, then I think I’ll go back to the old-fashioned method and let Ethan Frome sit next to The House of Mirth, and Henry James can sit close by. I can also reclaim my favorite piece of bookshelf wit from my pre-rainbow ordered days: I used to have Bill Clinton’s memoirs sandwiched by Monica Lewinsky’s and Hillary’s, a little bit dorky- mischievous, but it gave me a laugh.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Soap Dish Shelf

I stumbled across this idea for soap dish shelves on Martha's recently revamped website. The project appeared in Martha Stewart Living almost eight years ago, but unlike many of Marty's "Good Things" I haven't ever seen this idea in another magazine or book. It's a cute storage solution — perfect for resting keys by the door. I also love the voice of Martha towards the end, "Don't forgo a metal soap dish because it looks too dirty or corroded to salvage: If you really like its shape or design, you can clean it up with metal polish or have it replated." There's a spirit of optimism in that sentence, which is one of the reasons I've always liked Martha. Despite all the awful things people may say about Marty, I think there is something almost stubbornly hopeful about her world-view. Anyone who could put the kind of care she does into a line of home products for Kmart must really believe that those little details count and that they might actually makes people's lives better.

Everday Food Cookbook

The latest addition to my cookbook collection is Everyday Food: Great Food Fast, from the editors of Everyday Food (one of my favorite food magazines). The book is a selection of 250 recipes from the magazine that are collected by season. I wasn't sure I was going to love the book because I have actually saved all of my back issues of the magazine. However, now that I have the book, I am certain in my affections. It's a great cookbook to have on hand for day-to-day cooking. And my fear that the photographs that looked wonderful in the magazine's small format wouldn't translate well on a larger scale was totally unfounded.

This weekend I cooked two recipes out of the book: a broccoli, chickpea, and tomato salad and a pasta with pesto, potatoes and green beans. Both recipes were a snap to make and delicious to eat. I may have both of these recipes somewhere in my stack of back issues of the magazine, but I probably never would have unearthed them. There aren't any culinary revolutions here, but for inspiration for quick, simple meals, this is a winner. Here's the basic idea for the broccoli, chickpea, and tomato salad:

1. Steam a pound of brocolli florets.
2. Drain and rinse a 15 oz. can of chick peas.
3. Take 1 pint of cherry tomatoes and slice them in half.
4. Finely chop 1/2 of a small red onion.
5. Whisk together 2 T. olive oil, 2 T. red wine vinegar and 1 T. dijon mustard in a large bowl, and then toss all of the other ingredients in the dressing.
6. Season with salt and pepper.

I Heart Nutella

Oh my, how I had forgotten: Nutella is delicious! I can't remember the last time I had a jar of this hazelnut spread in my house, but it's clearly been too long. I picked some up over the weekend, and I fear that I may have consumed the whole jar by the time the week is out. Yum, yum, yum.

Skateboard Table

I meant to post about this a while back, but somehow it slipped through the cracks. Apartment Therapy Los Angeles spotted this cool skateboard table at SHOW. It’s like a giant designer lazy Susan! One commenter noted it is at The Future Perfect in Williamsburg. I might just have to go see it in person. And how chic are those white wheels? Love ‘em. This could easily be a D.I.Y. project for a handy gal. I might opt for some brightly colored wheels, if I were making my own.

Note: I'm sure part of my enthusiasm is die to the fact that not so long ago I was given my very first skateboard and am still sort of swooning over the whole idea of being a “skater.” Yes, I am a professional adult woman who is excited to ride around on a longboard. And no, I am not a hipster.
Here's a picture of mine:

It was a gift from my boyfriend, and I must say, it's one of the best darn gifts I have ever received.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Real Estate in Fort Greene


My friend Valerie and I went to go see an apartment for sale a few doors down from my apartment today. It was the first open house and the place was listed at $294,500 for a one bedroom, which seemed pretty reasonable for the neighborhood. Both of us thought that it would be an odd apartment, judging by the (wide angle lens) photos and floorplans on the Corcoran website, but I don't think either of us anticipated how small it was going to be. The measurements and proportions for the living room area suggest that it is a long, narrow room. However, the 19-foot part of the measurement on their plans is clearly the measurement from the bedroom to the far wall, not the length from the kitchen wall to the window. We both concurred that the broker had intentionally mislead people with the way the floorplan was drawn.

Despite the fact that this apartment was very small, there were lots of people there, and many seemed genuinely interested. I was certainly surprised. It is one of the nicest buildings in the area and the common garden is a big perk, but it seems like an awful lot for an awkward, small apartment. In any case, it was good to go see it and to know what else is out there on the market these days.

Captain's Beds

There's a good post on Apartment Therapy Chicago about storage beds. I added my two cents to the comments, which is that Gothic Cabinet Craft makes some excellent wood platform beds with drawers, like this captain's bed above. If you are short on space, a bed with drawers is a very smart solution. My bed is actually my mother's old bed from the 70s!

On a side note, do you think I could convince Gothic Cabinet Craft to hire me to style their photographs in the future? the bad striped sheets are just awful. With a little bit of help I bet they could double their online sales.

A Good Egg


The April 9th issue of New York magazine dissected what a farm fresh egg should look like (see above). The article also listed a few farmers selling a variety of unusual eggs at New York City farmer's markets. As I walked through the Union Square market recently, I noticed that many of the farmers mentioned had taken the time to laminate the article and pin it to their stalls. I thought to myself, "Smart farmers!" It made me want to buy some quail eggs, but I have no idea what I might actually do with them. Any ideas?

Bulletin Board Projects

Grace over at Design*Sponge posted about her new bulletin board last week (simply made of ordinary cork squares), check out the post here. It made be remember some other great message board projects I had seen in the past. Here are a couple other inspiring ideas:

A colorful cork mesage board big enough for a lot of pinned up pictures from Cottage Living.

A simple framed bulletin board from Marty.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Office


I spent the weeekend working on a project. Here's what my home "office" looks like. Glamorous, no? I'm pretty sure Martha would NOT approve.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Cool Knife Magnets

Apartment Therapy posted about ScanWood's unique knife magnets yestereday. I'd seen ScanWood's booth at the Housewares Show last month and failed to notice this great find.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Why I'm Not A Blueprint Editor

Oh my. I cannot believe this is someone's real office. Is it obsessive compulsive or is she just 10,000 times more stylish and tidy than I will ever be?

Blogs I Like

Here are a few blogs I have stumbled across recently that are worth mentioning:

angrychicken.typepad.com
imedagoze.blogspot.com
desiretoinspire.blogspot.com
jordanferney.blogspot.com

It's Not You

This article from The New York Times titled, "It's Not You, It's Your Apartment" is a hoot! Someone could write a whole damn book about this (I'd be able to fill at least a chapter). I once never wet out with a man again after seeing his totally emty apartment: his apartment of many years contained only a sofa, a bed and a huge TV and stero (both sitting on the floor). I'm also sure I liked a former beau a little bit more after my first siting of his pad: curtains sewn by his sister, a latch-hook wall hanging made by his grandfather and a framed picture of Grace Kellley made me pretty sure he was a-okay.

Art School: Wall Painting



Love this pretty wall painting from AT's
The Nursery. It's a simple, subtle effect. Very pretty for a baby's room or even a grown up's, don't you think?

Back in town

Well, I have returned from my trip and I'm busy catching up at work. So, it may be a few days before I am back to posting regularly. But in the meantime, how cute are these ball fringe curtains from Country Curtains? (Ignore the country bumpkin styling.) I think they're awfully sweet.

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