Friday, July 29, 2011

If I...were decorating this Capitol Hill rowhouse

The Washington Post had an article yesterday about a Capitol Hill house with an fab rooftop deck with views of the Capitol and Washington Monument.  Being consumed with jealousy, I quickly started looking for my own rowhouse and found this cute little house.  It's in a great location - just a few blocks from Pennsylvania Ave and Eastern Market and right on East Capitol St, which means that it should have a great view of the Capitol from its roof.  Well, it might.  It's a two-story house in a block of three-story houses.  But the Italiante style is just so charming that I'm going to pretend that there's a view.

Inside is just as charming, but today I'm going to focus only on the living room.  It's right as you enter the house, the way most DC rowhouses are, and while it seems quite narrow, it's also doesn't seem as narrow as some other houses I've visited in Capitol Hill.  I'm going to assume that the chandelier and mirror come with the house (or can be negotiated for during settlement) because they're GORGEOUS and perfect.  If they don't come with the house, I'd search for their exact replicas.

Decorating this house, I went for something a bit glam but still with some Bohemian touches. 

I love the straight lines and nailhead trim on the white couch - I'd have two of them facing each other.  Probably loveseats since the room is so narrow.  To soften the lines, I'd go with a round coffee table in gold to pump up the gilt factor in here.  It's also a bit modern, a bit Deco, so contrasts with the chandelier.  Then facing the doorway would be  two peacock chairs. So fabulous! Wouldn't you want to come into a room that greeted you with these?

Growing up, I always loved the octagon side table in the living room so I found that gave a similar vibe - and then added another all in gold. Twin 1960's Murano glass lamps on top add some more circles and some more color.  I'm going with all different shades of green, teal, turquoise and aqua.

On the other side of the couches would be square wood & brass tables with curvy gold lamps on top.  More gold, more modern, more contrast. (I'd have two sets of these, but ran out of room in the picture!)

The cowhide stool adds more seating and also breaks up the formality of the room.

Then, an overdyed rug on the floor.  I've been in love with these since I first heard about them, but never pictured one in a room before.  But I can't imagine anything different in this one.

What do you think?

All furniture from Tonic Home, Horchow and ABC Carpet & Home

Friday, July 15, 2011

If I...were coming up with yet another idea for my kitchen

I haven't really done anything with my kitchen.  Except for my new stove, it's basically exactly the same as the day I moved in.  I haven't even bothered taking a real set of pictures since it looks just like these from the MLS listing.  Except a heck of a lot more cluttered because, well, I have a lot of stuff.
Of course it's easy to dream about what I'd do if I were to gut the place, but what if I were just giving it a facelift?  Something I could do by myself (or with Shelly's help and/or with minimal help from a handyman/contractor type)?

Now, what I'd REALLY like to do is swap the long cabinet and the dishwasher so the latter will be by the window and out of the way when open.  Right now it blocks movement between the sink and the doorway and is super annoying.  Plus with this switch, then I'd have an even long expanse of counter right where I like to work.  But that's a bigger project, what with taking the cabinets all down and moving them around, moving the plumbing, blah blah blah. 

But I can live with the current layout if I could get rid of the orange cabinets and the depressing floor and the so-not-me counters.  And add a little more storage space.  Here's my latest design plan:

Centsational Girl recently redid her guest studio's cabinets with Rust-Oleum's Cabinet Transformations and they came out great.  She didn't even take the doors down!  Love that.  I decided to go with a more gray-based scheme because it just felt more me (even though I've been all about the brown in my living room).  So I picked Winter Fog and then I'll use their Counter Transfomations kit in Onyx to switch up my counters just as quickly.  I'll add this sideboard piece from Ikea (think I may buy it IRL!) and paint in the same Winter Fog.

I might be most excited about the floors.  My house was built in 1942 and linoleum was all the rage.  It went out of favor, but is coming back with Marmoleum!  I picked out a warm gray and then will add a black Greek key rectangle in the middle as a sort of rug.  Fun, right?  And linoleum is a green product and a lot softer on your feet than tile.  I also like the lack of grout lines (and thus cleaning grout lines).  'Course, I don't know how much it would cost, but let's worry about that later.

Currently, the space above my cabinets is chock full of stuff.  Platters, bowls, cupcake carrier.  I did reorganize my kitchen that one weekend, but it's still full of stuff.  All those bulky kitchen items that don't fit anywhere else.  In an ideal world, I'd put in new cabinets that go all the way up to the ceiling.  In this world, I'll get some nice baskets in different sizes to hide everything.  I also like the way the natural color and texture downplays the could-be-too-stark pink/black/gray color scheme.

I debated the color of the walls.  It'd be safer to go with another shade of blue or maybe yellow or maybe the same grass green as the powder room.  But in my heart, I want pink.  When I first moved in, I thought I'd do them in magenta, but now I'm thinking more honeysuckle.  It's such a bright and happy color.  Combining Rust-Oleum's and Behr's sites, i was able to do a mock-up of my kitchen.

Pretty, but perhaps a bit too bright?  What if I go to Deep Bloom, the next color down? And fill in the floor with gray and pop a few of the baskets up top?

sorry for the lack of photoshop skills

I kinda like it!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

feeling blue today

A coworker complimented me on my cobalt blue dress and I said that I just was feeling blue today.  Said with a big smile on my face because I don't wear blue when I'm unhappy - just the opposite.  Blue is a happy color to me - bright and optimistic.  How can you not be happy when gazing at a perfectly blue summer sky dotted with fluffy white clouds?
picture I took at Bonnaroo 2011

Or a crisp white cabinet filled with blue glass, china and pottery?
Scott Sanders from House Beautiful

Or how about a blue ceiling? Maybe porch, a childcare center or done up with wallpaper (you know how I love that)? Matching blue floors are pretty fab as well.
 no clue where I got any of these - can anyone help me out?

I love blue in kitchens and dining rooms. It tones down the fire-based nature of cooking and helps you slow down when eating to really savor your food.  But then it so easily can keep things lively enough that every day is a party.
no idea about these, either

What about you?  Do you find blue energizing or depressing? Do you prefer it dark? Light? More on the turquoise side of things? Or how about with a good dose of gray in it, like Wedgwood?
unknown, though is one of my favorite rooms ever
 Mary McDonald
Lonny Magazine

Personally, I like all of the variations.  With green, I much prefer grass or lime shades and have to be swayed for sage.  For red, it has to be clear and bright, not soft and weathered.  But give me as much blue as possible, in every shade and combination possible.  I'll take it all!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Midnight in Paris

I just got home from a lovely evening with two of my girlfriends. The plan was dinner & a movie, but we were having a hard time picking a theater (coming from Maryland, DC and Virginia) and a restaurant. Then I was inspired - let's have a theme night and go to a French restaurant and then see Midnight in Paris!

It was perfect. We went to Bethesda, which is about 20 minutes from each of us, and while our first choice was all booked up, we found a not-too-bad substitute. Honestly, I wouldn't rush back to this place so I'm not going to mention its name, but it was perfect for our purposes.

Then, the movie.  I'd heard mixed reviews, but every one said that at minimum, it will make you want to rush off to Paris and that was good enough for me to see it. Well, I adored Paris and I adored the movie. My friend, Anne, said that it was delicious and that's just the perfect description. It was fun and witty and charming. At first I hated Rachel McAdams' character and all of her hangers-on, but about midway through I realized that it was important for me to hate them. And Owen Wilson was SUCH an improvement over Woody Allen as the protagonist. He was charming where Woody is often just slimey.

But you know what got me searching the internet tonight? The curtains in Rachel and Owen's hotel room. They were just freaking fabulous. Gold taffeta? silk? in the living room and purple and white floral toile in the bedroom. Man, why can't I find a picture of them anywhere? I did find this fuzzy black and white picture,which I THINK is the same room:

Just picture it all colored like the bed in this still:

It was even more purple in the film, which helped it from being too stuffy.  That the rest of the room was all in white and the cane bed also helped lighten things up.  It was matching fabrics and an old-fashioned print done in a thoroughly modern way. And the way they draped them open? So opulent. Loved, loved, loved it. I could never carry it off with my 8' ceilings and small rooms, but a girl can dream!

Or a girl could just go to Paris and stay at Le Bristol because they have these fabulous curtains in every room and suite.

I would not mind waking up to these beauties every day for a week. Or a long weekend. Or heck, one night while I spend the others at somehing much more in my budget. Anyone want to come with?