Thursday, April 30, 2009

Dollars or Pennies: Nail Trim Bed

In this edition of Dollar or Pennies (otherwise known as 'Abby likes to torture herself by browsing the RH furniture catalog often'), I went in search of an affordable option for this classic nail trim bed.

I use to have a hard time picking beds. I thought I hated all of them. Until I realized that I just wasn't a big, dark wood, 4-poster kind of girl. To each their design own, but this is where I want to crawl every night.
And good old Tar-jay delivers with a the clean-lined, nail trimmed Uptown Headboard ($299)! With all my new found pennies, I'll even have enough left for a brightly upholstered bench at the foot of the bed.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Mr. President, 2.0

Those tech-savy 20-something at the White House have found a way to bring our President to us using something we all use everyday already...Flickr!

Check out the White House Flickr stream for behind the scenes photos of life in a big white house. Plus, lots of pics of the new adorable dog Bo!

This is a rare peak inside the private quarters. Love the neutral, creamy, white palate!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dark Cabinets, Lighthearted

This morning as I was scrolling through my posts over a nice hot cup of tea, I whizzed past this one with my mouse and then screeched my little rollerball to a halt and sped back (*Add your own sound effects here!*).

La Dolce Vita did a great post this morning on dark kitchen cabinets and I have been thinking about this particular image all day. Yes, we already know which side of the fence I solidly stand on in terms of white cabinets, but even with the dark wood and floors this room feels so light and airy to me.

The boxy lines of the light fixture, the X-braced island, the industrial knees are weak.

Image via Farmhouse Modern, found on La Dolce Vita

Monday, April 27, 2009

All Mine

A few weeks ago I noticed an Ad in one of my monthly glossy ready that I could get a personalized magazine all of my own. My domino demised, wounded soul jumped on it. Yesterday, I got an email that my very own personal issue was ready:

Here is what I got

It's no domino replacement, but it's cute to see car ads with your name in them.

When in doubt....

via flickr

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I'm sorry, but

Multitasked and all-in-one, this e-car encompasses all those hard to deal with situations like "I'm sorry but it was actually your fault" or "I'm sorry but Mercury was in retrograde"

Send to your most (half-assed) apology here: knock knock

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

What color are your jewels?

This is an exciting week as the actual walls go in over at The Jewelbox! Stay tuned later this week for a full picture rundown. Moving ahead in the schedule, I've quickly come to paint colors. Here is the scheme I've put together. All paint is from Behr.

You can't have a Jewelbox without a little jewel tone, no?

Have I told you my theory on paint colors? I'm a strong believer that you not only have to love to color, but the paint name also has to speak to you. I think it gives you good room karma from the start. This jeweltone blue is called Sapphire Sparkle. I love it, that's what this home is for, to sparkle!

For the (somewhat tiny) bathroom, I've picked a rich saturated yellow. My second belief in paint colors is that you have to take advantage of short term housing to go all out with your color choices. The Jewelbox is not a forever home, so I'm not afraid to use trendier color choices.

For the bedroom I want to keep it a little more subdued and relaxing. A room for myself to escape to after all the sparkling. This bluish-gray is called Contemplation, the perfect color for quiet reflection.

This color will be used for an exterior accent. It won't be visible from the inside of the apartment, but is still part of the overall scheme. It's called Asparagus and comes across not quite this muted in real life.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Escape to South Beach

After a recent vacation, my friend Ann came back raving about the lobby of the Tides Hotel in South Beach, Miami. After browsing through the online photo gallery, I'm ready to pack my bags and head south myself.

I love that they were able to establish a light, beachy feel, while using vibrant saturated colors like the oranges and yellows.

I would happily let an evening slip away sipping cocktails at the Coral Bar inside the hotel.

These are the pictures Ann sent that prompted me loosing half and hour in their photo gallery. Look at those tortoise shells! Ann's favorite are the light fixtures. A very nice accent to the neutral room.
Those are geodes on the table that are used to anchor the napkins.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Truly, Madly, Deeply

If they made a bumper sticker that said "I break for antique shops, flea markets, and random piles of discarded furniture" it would have no better home than on my car. This past weekend, while on the way home from a road trip, my friend Nathalie and I pulled off the expressway for a quick stop and ended up stumbling on a block-sized antique market.

Emporium Antiques
in Frederick, Maryland is a 55,000 ft warehouse filled with treasures of all sorts. Nathalie and I walked from room to room giggling like schoolgirls at the expansive mass of goods that stretched out before us. And then, just as I turned the corner in the warehouse, there is was...

I think this may be the table of my dreams. It's certainly, just what The Jewelbox needs. Do you ever just see a piece and know instantly that it's love at first sight. The nail head trim, the textured covering, my knees went weak.

My table is still there, patiently waiting for me to return and rescue it to a better life of dinner parties and wine nights.

I also fell hard for this entire table of flatware that could be mixed and matched to create a beautiful eclectic set.
I walked out of there a happy, happy girl. My purchase included 2 large vintage hurricanes, and a set of pink, highball cocktail glasses. That's Nathalie's vintage silk lampshade tucked under my arm on the way out the door.

Frederick, Maryland, you've haven't seen the last of me!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Today's Mantra

I believe it, do you? Now if only I had a big paper wall to jump through...

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Thanks so much to Kelly+Olive for reposting the Details, Details post from last week! I'm flattered!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

A Delivery for Me (and You)

I'm sending myself virtual flowers today and I thought that I would share them with you too. I needed something to brighten the dreary day of rain and cardboard boxes (see previous post) and actual flowers seemed like too much work!

So, here you go. Special delivery from me to me (and you!)

Image: Ms. Stewart

Wish I was here...

This is what I'm craving today: A cozy spot in a room filled with family photos with a big soft blanket to curl up under and watch the rain fall outside.

This is what I'm looking at today: A room stacked so high with moving boxes you have to tunnel yourself in between to get from room to room and the ever frustrating feeling that nothing is at your fingertips because its all buried deep down in the very bottom of a box.

Jewelbox here I come...eventually.

Image via Shelter

Monday, April 13, 2009

Random Inspiration Tidbits

These little lovelys have been stacking up in my inspiration folder and I think it's time they see the light of day. Happy Monday!


Thursday, April 9, 2009

Details, Details, Details

Well, we're up to our eye balls in sawdust over at The Jewelbox. We're at about the midway point, just preparing to start the drywall. As soon as there are real walls, I'm going to post some picture, I promise!

This renovation has been a learning experience in honing my design decision making skills. I was thinking the other day about all the renovation projects people always dream about and discuss, but never start. As I sit here, covered in dust, with a materials list a mile long, I understand why many people are too intimidated to even try. It's daunting to look through thousands upon thousands of options for each piece you need. With the sheer mass of the market and the amount of detail that goes into even the smallest project, it's so easy for your design vision to get lost in the shuffle. Designers don't just have an aesthetic vision, they have razor sharp decision making skills. Here are the self taught tips I've learned during this process to hone mine. I like to call them:

Abby's Super-Duper Design Skill Lessons for Novices
(or, how the real people do it)
  • Know your budget for each item. This is so very important. Kitchen: $10,000--is not a budget. Break the room down into a materials list and set a price range for each piece, down to the small details. It will help keep your overall budget on track and you'll know where you've found pieces for less, so you can splurge in other areas. Also, with the major retailers, you can narrow your web search criteria by price. There is no need to torture yourself looking at 15 pages of sinks you can't afford.
  • Everytime you make a final selection, print a picture. That way when you're pressed for time and trying to pick between a few options for a certain material, a quick glance through your pictures will help remind you of the aesthetic you've already got going. Also, take this folder with you on every, single shopping trip. Transparent sleeves and a 3-ring binder work perfectly for this.
  • Clean lines, Clean lines, Clean lines. This is the mantra that I repeat over and over to myself while I'm scrolling through dozen of pages of gaudy, hideous light fixtures and cabinetry. If you're stuck between two options, make this your tie breaker, and go with the piece that has the cleanest lines.
  • Use your Idea Files as your jumping off point. You spend all that time ripping out pictures and saving files anyway, put them to good use. The key is to do some work up front and have them already organized. You don't have time to be sorting through a hundred pictures to find that one bathroom sink you loved from last year's Pottery Barn Catalog. Find an organization system that works for you and use it. Mine are organized by room: Bedroom, Bathroom, Kitchen, etc., with extra files for things like Flower Arrangements, Tablescapes, Lifestyle Inspirations, and a Tidbits folder for all pictures that make me happy but have no other home.
  • Trust your instincts. More of a life lesson than a design pointer, but it's incredibly valuable in honing your taste. You will know (probably nearly instantly) which pieces you truly love and which you don't. Have the faith in yourself to trust that instinct and you'll rarely make a decision you regret down the road (in life or in the living room).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Can this room be done from Ikea?

Today I'm feeling less inspired and more exhausted. All I can think about is falling into a big fluffy bed and sleeping a deep, long sleep. We've all swooned over this Miles Redd bedroom featured in Domino (Isn't it sad that you can't even hyperlink Domino anymore since the website is gone. It's like it never existed, like it was a figment of our little design imaginations). This has always been one of my favorite bedroom tearsheets. So, I got to thinking, could I recreate this one the cheap? Could I do it for Ikea cheap? I think I you can come pretty darn close. A nice subtle dark hit of spray paint and this 4 poster bed would easily pass as a stand in for Redds.
Closing matching the inspiration pics zig-zags, this little rug works overtime adding both pattern and visual interest to the room. Plus, who can resist a deal like that.

A shot of tourqouise will be perfect on this nightstand table lamp. And this white fluffy duvet and pillow set are calling to me to curl up in them and relax.
A toned down version of the fancy silk number in the picture, a ruffled trim could easily be tacked on these curtains to dress up that window like a ballgown.
And this room just would not be complete without a pair of chic little entables nestled by the foot of the bed.
And while you can't find the exact fabric pattern from the internet, this nature inspired theme would be adorable tacked right on the wall.
And there you have it, nearly an entire designer bedroom all from Ikea. And you thought they were just dorm room and first time apartments.