More cleverness at Design*Sponge

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

I was never the biggest fan of Design*Sponge because in the early days the site was always all about products. However, ever since Grace began including DIY projects and her "sneak peeks" on the site, I find myself regularly checking in. The DIY projects remind me of working on the craft section of Budget Living. This vase + plate = cakestand project is definitely something we would have run. My only question is: Are the sturdy? Perhaps you'd want to fill the base of the tall, narrow bud vases with sand? In any case, it's yet another smart project. Bravo Design*Sponge for featuring all this cool work.

Art School: Have a Heart

Dare I say that I "love" this idea? Well, I do. Thanks to sfgirlbybay for pointing it out on her blog here. The Polaroid project originally appeared in Cookie magazine as a headboard. Very simple and very sweet.

Garden Project: Phase 1

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

West side of our garden "before."

West side of our garden "after."

East side of our garden "before."

East side of our garden "after."

Not exactly an HGTV transformation, is it? It's hard to believe that four women working for four hours only made this little dent in our garden project, but I'll tell you what: It's a start.

South Slope

Saturday, May 10, 2008

One last thing about my Sunday last weekend. My friend C. and I went over to a backyard barbecue that looked directly into an old boyfriend's former window. Looking up at his old window was a little bit of a surprise, but I was more even more surprised at how much of Park Slope has crept up the eastern stretches of 5th Avenue. Four years back Buttermilk was the only bar nearby, now there's a number of places within a few blocks, including this chi-chi restaurant, Sidecar, just across from Buttermilk, where we had a damn fine hamburger.

Photo courtesy of Sidecar's website.

Steal This Idea: Simple Sconces

Last Sunday I also went on the Fort Greene House Tour with my fabulous, former co-worker. We toured all of the houses on the map, and there were quite a few that I would have given my eye teeth to live in. There was also one ode to Victorian pastiche, which was such a hoot that I would have paid $25 just to see it, let alone the other dozen or so Brooklyn abodes.

The house I most envied was a recently-renovated brownstone on South Oxford Street. Money was obviously of no consideration in their renovation, as they'd actually had plaster molds cast from a building on South Portland so they could re-create the original ceilings! All the finishings throughout were in perfect taste.

We weren't supposed to take pictures on the tour, so you won't see their fabulous kitchen or the aforementioned plasterwork, but I did sneak two pictures up in the bathroom because I was so impressed with how elegant these two simple elements are when combined. Isn't this smart? A simple, ceramic sconce and a silver bowl incandescent bulb. It's a very modern and very affordable idea that you could replicate easily.

Green Thumb

To my surprise, I have discovered that I might love gardening. My first foray into this new realm was planting a bunch of impatiens last weekend. Our block association had gotten flats of these little annuals from the city for a subsidized rate, and a neighbor and I decided they were such a good deal we really had no excuse not to take part in our block beautification. I ended up planting all of the plants in our three tree pits last Sunday when it was surprisingly lovely outside, and I found it a wonderfully soothing, pleasant way to pass a morning. (A corner of one tree pit above, and impatiens below.)

Impatiens led to conversations with my other neighbors about our front yard, and suddenly I seem to be the head of the Gardening Committee here at the corner of Carlton Ave., which is a role I am happy to assume. Because the truth is, I’ve also found myself thinking about planting and pruning things all week.

Today another neighbor and I went to the garden center down in Red Hook and picked up dirt, manure and peat moss for our front yard. Tomorrow we’ll be turning up the soil to prepare for a bunch of plants we are getting for free from another yard. I’ll take some before pictures of the front yard tomorrow so you can see the fruits of our labor. I’ll also post some pictures of the impatiens as they grow and of the sweet potato vines I plan to plant alongside the impatiens.

Speaking of chairs...

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

I saw this chair on the Shine 'At Home' site. It gave me a pretty good laugh--the chair is hand-carved out of wood by Dutch designer Maartin Baas.

Outdoor Chairs

If I had a patio or deck, I'd definitely be tempted by CB2's new 'grasshopper chair.' I love their mid-century lines and the no-nonsense brown and gray finishes. The $75 seats also fold up for storage and are suitable for indoor and outdoor use.

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