Thursday, April 29, 2010


I need to deal with the clutter in my house. 

It's a Polly Pocket sized house with very little storage space and the clutter is quickly taking over. 

I have a good amount of surface area in my living/dining room - and it's all covered with paper.


It never ends. 

I try having different piles - this one for bills to look at, this one for junk mail to be recycled.  But then it all gets mixed up and all of a sudden, I forgot to pay that parking ticket and now it's doubled.  Or last month's House Beautiful never gets read.  I need a system and I need an attractive one that I don't hide when I have company.  When that happens, the box/bag/pile ends up staying hidden for a few extra days (or weeks) and then I'm back where I started.  I also can't have anything closed because in my house, out of sight definitely equals out of mind.

Here's my current thought: on my little chest, I could have a letter sorter to put bills to be paid, coupons and catalogs that have items I actually want to buy.  Behind that, I could have a small file box where I put receipts, bills that have been paid and other things that are to be filed with the idea that every few weeks I'd transfer them to a file cabinet upstairs.  Next to this, I can have a magazine file for current magazines (old ones get recycled or put in a bookcase upstairs).  Finally next to the chest, I can have an attractive waste basket or regular basket for paper recycling.

And The Container Store has all of these pieces in an attractive woven wicker (though I'd want to see in person to see if it's really attractive).  I like the idea of something neutral because with all of these varying pieces of paper, there will be enough visual noise.
I may start out with the file and magazine boxes and the waste basket.  I worry that having empty slots in the mail sorter will make me fill it unnecessarily and then things will get hidden. 

So added to my list of trips to take is The Container Store!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

lamp project

I painted my living room lamp the other weekend.  My mom got this lamp at a yard sale when I was little - little enough that I don't remember not having this lamp in our house.  I was at her house last fall and it was just hanging out in the hallway, on its way to the basement to be stored.  So I asked if I could have it and she said sure.  It felt very 70's to me - an oatmeal colored urn-ish base with a burlap tall drum shade.  I knew exactly what I wanted to do with it - paint it white and swap the burlap shade for one in white so it would brighten up that corner even when not lit.  Originally, she didn't want me to paint it in case she wanted it back, but she eventually relented.  And I finally got around to painting it.  Three coats of glossy white spray paint later and I was done!

It even felt a little Jonathan Adler-esque due to the tone-on-tone design around the middle.

And I had bought a black and white floral drum shade from Target - part of their Liberty's line, natch.  I mean, look at how freaking pretty this is!

I put it all together (forgot to take a picture) - and - hated it.

The white of the shade turns cream when turned on and isn't designed to go with a harp while my lamp base is so it's not very sturdy.  And then the base is just too flat of a white.  It looks awkward.  And as much as I tried to talk myself into the black and white print and how I have lots of other black and white accents in the room, I knew that it just didn't go or fit my vision for this room.

So I went back to the burlap shade, thinking I would recover it in a pretty color. the white base doesn't seem as stark.  And I could always paint the end table in the same shade.  I've wanted to paint it for a while anyway...

Then I figured it out!  I don't need to fully recover the shade, I just need to add some ribbon trim.  Maybe Greek key in green and white?  A formal detail in a funky color, which is exactly my style.  Off to scour the earth for ribbon that blends these two pictures!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

outdoor furniture update!

Sitting on my front stoop right now should be the cushions and rug I ordered for my deck!  I can't wait to go home and check them out.  And then tomorrow the table and chairs should be arriving!  Love Home Depot - less than a week for all of this to arrive.  Yay!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

summer bedding

I needed to change my sheets this past Sunday and didn't feel like doing laundry so that ruled out the brown sheets currently on my bed, and my yellow ones are also dirty, so I pulled out my white ones.  I haven't used white sheets in forever.  Definitely not since I moved and possibly not since 2008.  I used to be a 100% white sheet girl.  I had three sets because I hated going down to the basement to do laundry so would let it pile up.  It was great.  Crisp, cool, white sheets year-round - ahhhh, heaven.  But I've been so used to the warm coziness of my brown sheets and really wasn't a fan when I tried out my yellow last month - could I go back to white?

I try really hard to not turn on my air conditioner until Memorial Day and I figured I wouldn't change my bedroom color pattern until then as well, but with the recent warm nights, I would end up tossing my duvet on the floor anyway and with my new Liberty pillows, I decided I was ready for my summer bedroom 6 weeks early.

And I love it!  It's like pretty pink candy. 

I'm also in love with crisp white sheets all over again.  It's been a bit cool the past two nights so I do have my afghan underneath the coverlet, but the duvet has remained off the bed.  I do need to get a new set of sheets - the ones I have left are years old and I used to use bleach so there are a few thin patches that are *this close* to becoming holes.  I find that Ross and Marshalls are great places for white sheets - you can get high thread count for a low price.  It can be frustrating when you're looking for a specific color or pattern, but basic white is usually a sure bet.  And hey, if they happen to have a pretty spriggy floral in 100% cotton, well, I'm not opposed to that either.  But definitely at least one set of all white. 

Now I'm all ready for summer!  Bring on the heat!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

couch ideas and the cushion debate

I did my taxes the other night and hello housing credit!  Okay, so I knew I was getting that $8k (and I actually won't get it for several months, but it's still nice to know it'll be here eventually), but then I also bought a car and then there are the normal house deductions.  It was a good night.  And it got me thinking about a new couch.  Or sofa.  I vary which word I use depending on my mood.

I had researched this last summer when I was all gaga about my new house and the Louisa from Mitchell & Gold seemed like the best option.  Pretty, went with my feminine-yet-formal style, M&G has a very good reputation both for quality and price.  I kept saying to myself that I needed to get over to the store on 14th St but then I actually bought the house and my savings quickly went down.  Not to nothing, but enough of a dent that I wasn't as gung-ho about making any large purchases.

I'm gung-ho again.

And am back on the Mitchell & Gold website.  I've narrowed it down to three options.

1) The Louisa
Again, it's pretty.  I like the lines, I like the high back.  It's not as long as my current couch, but that's okay.  The low arms mean that I can prop a pillow up on them and still be able to stretch out - or if I have someone taller who wants to lie down, the arms are also low enough for legs to fit over.

Originally my only concern about this couch was that it had two cushions.  I don't really like two-cushioned couches.   When I'm by myself, I tend to sit in the middle of the couch.  My throw pillows are off to the sides and I like being centered.  I thought a bench cushion would be the answer and I bought a long piece of foam to update my current couch.  It's very pretty when the slipcover is pulled taut, but since I sit in the middle, it floats up on the sides.  Not so pretty. 

My next preference would be for three cushions.  All the experts say that there's almost never more than two people on a couch, but they haven't been to one of my parties.  And then what about the singleton who likes to be centered?  But then when I'm at my sister's and sitting on her loveseats, I don't have a problem sticking to one side.  And at a party, you're not looking for comfort so if three people want to sit on the same couch, it's not such a big deal for one to sit on the crack.  Therefore, the Louisa is back in the running.

I loooove Chesterfield sofas.  They're just so formal and all the tufts!  I love a good tuft.  I also love how all of the legs are turned on this model.

But I have a tiny house.  Will the rolled arms and back take up too much space?  I do love how the arms are as high as the back.  My current couch is the same way and if I am ever sitting on one side, I prop my arm up on the arm of the couch.  It's very comfortable.  And I agree with Dorothy Draper that end tables should be exactly the same height as couch arms - and my end table currently is within a half of an inch of this goal.

This couch also has a bench seat, but since it's all one piece with the sides and the back, I imagine I wouldn't have the issue of the edges flying up, would I?  But then would it be comfortable?  I spend a lot of time on my couch and like to take naps there.

Ohmygoodness, how pretty is she?  And then all the features I love!  Camelback, elegant arms, skirted base (to hide the dust bunnies!), bench seat.  It also at least looks like the cushion is attached in such a way that the edges won't fly up, but not as clearly as with the Chester. 

Think it's time for me to actually get over to 14th St during the day (I'm already always over there at night for the restaurants and bars!) and check out my options.

Monday, April 5, 2010

outdoor furniture!

I bought two turquoise plastic Adirondack chairs from Home Depot.  They're so bright they almost glow at twilight.  And they're pretty darn comfortable - I spent a lot of time in them this warm and sunny weekend.  My niece also enjoyed them when she stopped by for a visit!