Thursday, 7 July 2016

Design Board: A Moody Bar AKA Girl Cave

I've been very much digging dark, intimate spaces lately, and today's design board is just that. It's pretty monochrome, with the dark charcoal walls echoed in the bar, art work, and rug.

The bar stools, from Chairish, were actually the jumping off point for this whole design. The rich leather warms up all the grey and blue, then gold accents turn this otherwise masculine space into a cozy girl cave. Also, those bubble pendants. Yes please.
Let's break it down and tot up how much it would all cost, shall we?

1. Vintage Bubble Pendant Lights - Chairish - $2800
Pricey, yes, but did I mention yes please?
2. Cloud Play by JR Goodwin - c. $1200
The second time this mesmerizing artwork has made an appearance on the blog, but deservedly so.
3. Etched Branches Glassware - World Market - $28/four
Let's assume you need at least two sets.
4. Etch Gold Coasters - CB2 - $30/four 
CB2 has a host of lovely gold barware at the moment.
5. Americana Bar - $530 - Target
Such an easy way of getting a built-in look without the hassle of the whole building-in part.
6. Leather & Rebar Bar Stools - Chairish - $485/pair
That leather is scrummy, and they're on major sale.
7. Tesso Bronze Wall-Mounted Bookcase - CB2 - $399
For storing all the pretty bar ware and booze.
8. Farrow & Ball Paint in Down Pipe
Incidentally, we're probably painting our front door this color and I'm way over excited.
9. Top Shelf Gold Bar Tool Set - $50 - CB2
It's all about the details, people.
10. Vintage Castle Medallion Rug - $108/6' x 9' - Rugs USA
No, that price is not a typo. Also, bonus points for probably being good at hiding drunken spillages.

Obviously, you could bring the total way down by swapping the pendants and the art, but as it stands, we're talking just under $5700 for a dreamy spot to get drunk with your bitches.

Post contains affiliate links.

Side note: I've not posted my #1Room30Days living room updates yet - things are taking longer than I hoped, but I'd rather wait a bit and actually have something decent to share. It's still in motion and I'm hoping to get it together next week. In case you were wondering.

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Monday, 27 June 2016

A Beautiful Rug That Wasn't Meant to Be

So I accidentally bought a rug. Something that has happened more times than I'd like to admit.

In my design board for the living room, I had a neutral Beni Ourain in here. I love them, but they're everywhere, so I was having reservations. Then I stumbled across this Kazak beauty on eBay...
It looks coral in the listing photo (above) and I thought it might work with my coral chairs, so I put an impromptu bid on it way below the asking price. Totally wasn't expecting it to get accepted, but it did - hence the "accidental" thing. Anyhoo, it rocked up a couple of days later, and I laid it out...
Sadly the coral was more red, and the cream was more dirty beige. It looks okay in these photos - it seems to photograph lighter and brighter than it looks in real life, so I can't really fault the seller. But in reality, it's got cooler undertones than I wanted it to have.
It is a beautiful rug, and it was useful to see what a really bold rug would look like in here. The answer though? Not great. It's overpowering, and makes the ceilings feel lower and the whole room feel darker and more crowded, which is exactly what I'm trying to avoid.
So, I shipped it back, and I'm sticking with Plan A. I found a jute rug with the right dimensions and it's on its way. I'm hoping to pick up a proper Beni Ourain in a couple of months. It was fun to experiment with this one though; even though it didn't work out, it has diminished my reservations about Plan A. Bring on the Beni. 
If anyone's interested, the eBay seller has relisted this rug here.

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Art to Hang Over A Large Sofa

Get ready for a barrage of indecisiveness. Again! Today's subject: art.

One of the major things I want to update in our living room for the #1Room30Days challenge this month is to get some art hung above the sofa to replace the set of party tassels that have been up there for six months.
As I have mentioned twenty-seven times, I am planning to replace the sofa with a beautiful navy velvet Chesterfield; a little different from the one in the mock ups below, but similar. I'm thinking probably one big piece of art, maybe two. Here are a few of the options I'm considering so far, and some I'm just dreaming about, priced low to high...
NYC Map Prints - £8 each + Frames - £12 each
Jamie Emmerson's Utah Blossoms 42" x 28" Canvas Print
(contact me 
to purchase) - £36 + DIY Frame£4.50
Total - 
Jamie Emmerson's Utah Blossoms Print 36"x 24" £30
contact me to purchase) + Frame £95
Total - £125
Hayley Mitchell's May Day & Madelyn 16" x 20" Prints -
£53 each + Frames £12 each
£130 (plus shipping)
Kelly Money's Another Chance Print 40"x 30" - $137 (£108 inc shipping)
Brass Bolts £40 + Sheet Acrylic c. £25
Total - £173
Solitaire in Orsbach - Infrared Print 100 x 70 cm - £74 + Frame £106
Total - 
Lola Donoghue Abstract Print 36" x 36" on Paper - £150 + Frame £57
Total - £207
Large Moon Canvas - £265
Lindsay Megahed's Wake II 44"x 44" Print - $175 (£135 inc shipping) + Frame approx - £170
Total - £305
Kiki & Polly Last One In 34" x 34" Print - £256 (inc shipping) + Frame £53
Total - 
Sunwoven Large Custom Weaving - currently unavailable
JR Goodwin Cloud Play I - £930
Ed Fairburn's Anna Fisher - other sizes available from $40 - $975
Ed Fairburn's Daughter Merchandise - 
prints not available but other large prints available for around $655
Cayce Zavaglia embroidered portrait -
size not accurate & prints not available
Do you have a favorite? I probably go for one of the amazing cartographic portraits by Ed Fairburn if I could, but neither are available in the size I'd want, and even if they were, they'd be over my budget. You have to check out Cayce Zavaglia's work too if you haven't seen it - huge, amazingly intricate embroideries - they're just awesome.

I have found one more option that's not even up there...I'm a bit over excited about it coz I I think it might be a winner...I'll keep you posted if/when it pans out!

Thursday, 9 June 2016

Living Room Progress And To Do List

I shared the plans for our living room here a few months ago, but here's a refresher:
This isn't a cheap room redo - there are a few new pieces that will be investments, for sure, which is why it's taking time. That said, I do want to get it to a point where it looks mostly put together, which is why I'm joining in with the #1Room30Days challenge hosted by Alaya at Behind the Big Green Door. I'm bored of having tassels hanging on the wall in place of real art, and having a lamp shade sitting on the sideboard with no base, and having way-too-long curtains, and all the other little things that highlight how in-progress this room is.
I'm going to focus on getting as much done in here as I can for the rest of June, and I always work better with a deadline. I never took a good before photo, but here's one from the listing:
I'm not starting from scratch though. I've made a bit of progress - here's where I'm at right now...
I'll spare you all my gripes about this room for now and focus on the positives, because it is headed in the right direction.

I found a new (to me) sideboard on eBay right when we moved in. Like, I was hunting on eBay that night and picked it up the next day. It pains me to post these pictures with all the wires and mess, because I freaking LOVE this sideboard, and I'm really not doing it justice here. But these wouldn't be true 'before' pictures without the mess, so here we are.
It's a teak "Circles" sideboard, made in the late 1960s/early 1970s by Nathan Furniture. They pop up quite a lot on eBay and on vintage sites, ranging in price from about £150 to about £400 (some are listed for much more). I paid £200 for mine. I need to tweak the doors. I bought that lampshade months ago, and it still hasn't made it out of it's plastic wrap. It's waiting for the base to be rewired, which is also on my to-do list (well, my Dad's, actually).
Don't talk to me about the size of the telly. I happen to share my house with a techie (who I love very much), and this was a huge (in all senses of the word) compromise on my part. Rant over. Moving on...

I went through a few pairs of curtains before I found some I really loved. These are from West Elm (here's the UK link) and they're the prettiest linen with a flocked star print on them. They let in a lot more light than the heavy, lined curtains that came with the house. They still need hemming - it's on my list.
Sometime after that listing photo, the landlord replaced the curtain rod, and had the room painted magnolia. The rod is fine...not so sure about the magnolia. It was all painted right before we moved in, but I'm still tempted to ask if we can repaint. Nothing crazy, just something less yellow. I'd like to refresh the trim too.

My other new favorite thing is the bookcase. I'd had my eye on it for the last two years, although I was hesitant to pull the trigger because it's £245, which seemed a lot for what honestly doesn't look like a terribly substantial piece of furniture. In person though, it really is lovely quality and much more solid than I'd thought.
We had a cheap Ikea thing as a stand in before, just because we needed something to hold all the books, and I am blown away with what a difference the new one makes. This huge mess was the before:
And now - not styled beyond the top three shelves, but still a huge improvement:
This bookcase doesn't hold as much stuff as the old one, but I'm on a KonMarie kick so that's not an issue. There is just enough space for a little lamp on here. I almost want to stick googly eyes on him and give him a name, he's just so cute.
I also have to mention the trinkets - I found that little brass lamp in a charity shop for £2. I am amassing quite the collection of brass shiznit. And the little bone-inlay box is a cigarette case I found on eBay. It's really pretty and not remotely functional. I love it. The Chicago flag print is from this Etsy shop, and the faux succulent is from West Elm.

One last little update in here - I got a couple of new covers for the cushions on the sofa, although I want to replace the inserts with ones that fit better. I bought them with the navy Chesterfield in mind (still saving up for that!), and although I'm not convinced these will all make the final cut, having them in a more consistent colour palette already makes a big difference.
I put the tassels up for E's birthday party four months ago and then left them there because I couldn't stand the big bare wall. Finding something more substantial to go here is high on my list of priorities.
I blogged about my progress at the other end of the room not long ago. It's not done either - I want to add pulls to the cabinet doors and maybe change the picture frame and plant by the door. I did just bite the bullet and order a bench though! If you read my ramblings about seating, you'll understand that's a big step. I'm still not totally decided on chairs, but I'll probably keep three of the wishbone ones here for now.

So that's where I'm at so far. There's still a lot to do; here's my phase one to-do list, with my progress so far as well as the bits I'm hoping to get done during the #1Room30Days challenge:

Hang something above sofa
Curtains - replace old ones, hem new ones
Update cushions (in progress)
Replace bookcase
Style bookcase (in progress)
New media unit
Straighten doors on media unit
Hide wires
Rewire lamp & replace shade
KonMarie everything!
Hang something above desk
Fix toy chest
Replace Pax storage
New dining chairs/bench (in progress)
Handles for Pax storage

And, more for my benefit than yours, here's the rest of the to-do list - phase two:

Frame oil painting
Replace sofa with sofa bed
Add a cosy throw/blanket
Replace rug
Replace photo albums with matching photo books
New mirror?
Slipcover poofs

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Favorite Things 2-6-16

Outdoors //
Last summer, I bought four hydrangeas. I kept two of them in their original pots and bought two Lechuza self-watering pots for the others. I've taken barely any care of either so far this summer (my bad) and this is how they were both looking a couple of weeks ago.
I only bought two last year because they're expensive (£33 each for the size I got) but man, they are so worth it. I've got a few other self-watering pots which were cheaper, and they're better than nothing, but still pale in comparison to these. I've just bought two more for the poor scraggly things that didn't get an upgrade last year, and I'll replace all my pots with them eventually.

DIY //
Creative in Chicago just wrote a great post about different folding techniques for Shibori tie-dying. I want to try some of these out!

Style //
I just had my Dad bring me back a pair of Merona Jana Thong sandals when he went to the States. They're super cute, super comfy and super cheap (less than $12 on sale). I'm on my fourth pair!

Finds //
We've been using the same Ikea toy hamper as a laundry basket since college...I reckon it might be time to splurge on a more grown-up option! I love this bamboo one (£60 from John Lewis).

I also want this friendly doormat. :)

Travel //
A friend's IG feed of her travels to Panama has put South America on my bucket list. She stayed at the stunning American Trade Hotel. I want to go to there.
{Am Trade photos via Design Sponge}