Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The elephant in the room.

I know from experience that some of the hardest decisions for a designer to make are the decisions about your own home. I have struggled with it at times and other times it seems effortless.

I think part of the battle is that I am surrounded with too many options. I am constantly looking at fabric, paint, inspiration pictures, etc.
So, by the time I make a decision I come across something else that I love that I could have chosen.

To look at an example of this in my life we will have to take a walk down memory lane.
I was 22.
 I was a working woman about to move out on my own.
And I didn't own one single thing...Okay, I take that back. I had this.

A console my parents bought for me for my birthday.

And a pair of these -

That's right, only an interior design major in her junior year would ask for a pair of sconces for Chistmas and hold on to them for a few years until she had a place of her own.

My parents were big supporters of communal living in college - hence, the no furniture delima, I resided in the sorority house during the school year and would sub-lease in the summer. I have to admit, I loved it.

So, it was time for me to spread my wings and move into my very own townhouse.
I spent so much time selecting finishes for my very own space...it was so exciting.
And this is what it looked like:

I had a clean slate to work with...how often does that happen?
I didn't have a clean slate for long...because I bought this:

(and this is where the elephant comes in).
I found this beauty at Norwalk.
It was a floor model that was on sale and being that it was my favorite color at the time

(and in my small price range) 
I was SOLD.

Fast-forward a few years later, when my tastes change and so do my surroundings...Everything had to work around the RED sofa...I was constricted with what I could really do because of this purchase...
I definitely wasn't thinking that I would have a husband, baby, and 70 lb. dog that would all be fighting for a seat. Yes, I fit on there too, somehow.

I do love Big Red.
She reminds me of a stage of life that was a little simpler and a lot less crowded.
She has been good to us, but I think her days are numbered.

If I could have told the 22 year old Elizabeth what I know now I would have said:

1. Your style will change (so will your favorite color)
2. Comfort IS important
3. You will soon have to share this with a few people you haven't met yet, but you really love...so make sure it seats 3 + a dog comfortably.

I am happy that I made the purchase. If I tried to convince Jeremy now that we need to buy a red leather sofa, it would take a lot of convincing...and probably wouldn't happen.

But like I said, I am ready for something new...maybe its just a slip-cover for now, but change is good.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

If you think you're home is out of style, just give it 30 years.

My parents are doing some renovations in their home and with these renovations come the need to purge, clean, organize and purge some more. I have helped a little bit in the past few weeks and in doing so have been able to come across some goodies for myself.

Among the many things that were found was this book - Copyright 1982.

Now, I anticipated to see some dated photos...but the real reason for me keeping it was all of the "how to" projects that are in this little gem...how to make a roman shade, hang wall paper, make a bed skirt, the list goes on and on...

I was, however surprsied to see a picture of this kitchen.
Despite the window treatment and the light fixture, it seemed spot on to all the pictures in the magazines today. I bet someone bought this house in 1989 and covered it in wallpaper and country blue with a bunch of geese and now the people who own it are stripping the wall paper and trying to get it back to something close to this picture. How funny...

So, if you think your home needs an overhaul, just wait a few years, you may be back in style by then!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Hook it up

The February issue of House Beautiful showcased 101 hooks.
Well, I never thought I was in the market for unique hooks but after seeing all of these beauties, I need some all of a sudden.
One source in particular caught my eye - The Hook Lady.
Another great thing about this site are the prices...and they have more than just hooks.
Here are a few of her offerings...

I love her - perfect for a beach house.

For the man in your life.

Dogwood Hook
I think your home has added value if you have a Dogwood tree, maybe its a Southern thing.

An owl to go along with the bird/owl craze these days.

A Victorian Double Coat hook - I like it.

I also liked these from the Knob Store.

I love a giraffe, not sure why, but I think this guy is very cute.

Also, perfect for you dog's leash - also offered in aluminum.

And of course there is always something great at Anthropologie

Pressed Flower hook - opaque

Dunluce Hook
This is one of my favorites.

It's functional jewelry for your wall!
Now I just need to find out where I can put them.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Sometimes I wish I was OCD.

I am not a neat freak, but I am really trying to be more organized in 2010. I have a few things working against me though...

- A "quaint" little house - whenever I come home and drop the purse, diaper bag, etc. The house looks cluttered already. So, it is with diligence that I am trying to organize and to have a place for everything and everything in it's place.

- That brings me to obstacle number 2 - an adorable 18 month old who has toys that seem to breed and overflow from her room, to the living room, to the master bedroom...She even has her own drawer in the kitchen for "her" dishes and pots and pans.

I want my house to be kid friendly - don't get me wrong...it is her house too, but with a house like ours there has to be some sort of method to the madness.

- And the third thing going against my efforts is one we all struggle with - TIME.

It's nap time, Do I -
a). catch up on the latest from the housewives of Orange County
b). take a much needed nap myself
c). organize and clean the house until I am exhausted and mad that I did not choose option b

I think the bottom line is this, there is always going to be a dishwasher that needs to be unloaded and laundry to do...but there has to be time to re-charge and do things I enjoy.

So, my goal is this...get the house as organized as I possibly can (keeping my organizational skills in mind) and take time to do the necessities and take time for myself...everything else will just have to wait. I know these moments are fleeting, so I don't want Libby to only remember her mom cooking and cleaning and not spending time playing or going to story time, and all the other fun outings we have.

Here are a few inspirational images that are motivating me to tackle the closets and laundry room in the next few weeks.
Hopefully I will have images of my own to share soon!

Hmm...I wish I had an two empty walls in my house, this would be so helpful.

Image from real simple.

Let me just pause to say; I think the mastermind behind behind pledge multi-surface was a mother with small children...I LOVE this stuff.

How cool is this bookshelf? After it has so many books on it you don't even see the bracket they are on. From MoMA

I love this office, its so pretty and organized.
So Organized that they don't even need the outlet below the desk...

Courtesy of Real Simple.

Whoever did this, I need their help - again image from Real Simple

I really like how this workspace is pretty and functional, but I think I would need a lot more space for function...also love the pottery.
Image from Cottage Living
And who doesn't love a basket - a basket simply says:
"Yes I have clutter, but look how cute it looks all stashed away in this natural beauty"

By the way choosing option a). listed above is almost always a huge mistake.