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Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Dark and Stormy

I am sitting here on the couch, reading up on my favorite design blogs, and the thunder is absolutely booming in the background.  Did I mention its also about as dark as night outside?  Its a far cry from yesterday's 72-degrees-and-sunny weather!

Needless to say, this weather does not make for very good indoor photos.  I had fully intended to take some pictures of the new rugs my mom helped me pick out when she was in town.  Together we did a whirlwind tour of Homegoods, World Market, and a local rug store called Carpel Rugs and ended up with 4 gorgeous rugs at a pretty decent price.

I had been working on where to place them and have been moving them around from room to room until finally getting it right (I think, for now).  If the weather had improved I would have shown you our fabulously mod 4x6 rug for in front of the fire place.  Its pile is fairly thick and, thought it appears to be shedding like a mad rug, the brown and tan square pattern is a subtle contrast to the rainbow organization of our bookshelves.

I would have also shown you the monotone cocoa brown rug that was a STEAL.  It was on special at Carpel Rugs and was originally priced at $1099 though I can tell you that was certainly not anywhere near what the final price tag was.  Evidently the rug designer had sent them 120 of these rugs in a 5x8 and then promptly discontinued the design, leaving them to drastically reduce the price since customers could not order it in various sizes.  Whiles it is monotone, it certainly isnt lacking visual interest.  Like the mod rug, its 100% wool and has short pile with raised berber-style areas in a loose damask design.  This rug was originally in the entry way but I love it so much I wanted to see it every day and didnt want it relegated to being enjoyed only briefly by our infrequent guests.  As such,it is now front and center in the living and provides a good foundation for our coffee table.

Okay, thunder is literally shaking the house!

The third rug is actually a runner.  We picked it up at World Market and its a more traditional style with large winding  rust and grey floral designs on a beige background.  The runner is a perfect fit for the short hallway between the master bedroom and the living room.  The guest bedroom and bath have medium grey walls and the hallway and master bedroom will eventually be a lighter shade of grey.  With the rust colored wall in the living room and the rust sofa, the grey and rust in the rug do a great job of transitioning the two living spaces.

The last of the rugs is one we scored from Homegoods.  Its actually a rug from the Calvin Klein Home collection and is tan and taupe.  It is wool as well but has a short pile and is 8x11.  I originally had it in the living room but I felt that the pattern clashed a bit with the drapes and I wanted to do some fun patterns on the sofa pillows eventually so I swapped it out for the cocoa brown rug which is a bit more subdued.  The large CK rug is now under the dining room table.  The rug color suits the wall paint and defines the dining room space a bit better than when no rug was present.  It softens the room and reduces the slight echo we experienced from time to time in the large expanse of kitchen/dining space.

I truly feel like the home is more complete with the new rugs.  They make it feel more cozy and I am more apt to walk around the house without slippers on just so I can dig my toes into the soft wool rugs as I go from room to room.

Thanks Mom for such a perfect contribution to our new place!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Duvet Inspiration Take II

Evidently I was right about my other choices.  J felt that the daisy styled print, although he liked it, would suffer the same fate as the duvet we currently have -  The second swirly print just didnt do it for him and he ended up saying that it looked "too much like rope" which is apparently a bad thing.

I was back to square one.  Waverly recently released their new spring line of fabrics but I went to see it yesterday at Joann's and it was just too Eastery for lack of a better term.  The yellows were too bright, even for us, and there just wasnt a lot of depth to the design.  We would tire of it quickly.

I perused a bit and found the new home collection from Ty Pennington, the carpenter turned interior designer.  He has some potentially interesting patterns that are ever so slightly asian inspired.  Online the collection looks like it has spice/persimmon colors along with either taupe or grey.  Depending on what the samples end up looking like in person, they may match the navy curtains well as orange and navy are always a great pairing.  I have ordered samples of the following fabrics to see for my own eyes what the colors really are.

Charcoal Blossom
Honeycomb Spice

Persimmon Lace

Taupe Lace

Tudor Taupe

Wave Spice

Kimono Spice

Tudor Spice

The thing is, even though they are from the same collection its difficult to be certain that all the colors will match or, while the prominent color may match, if the accent colors do as well. 

My idea is to make a duvet out of one of the more plain colors and then have the underside have hints of color.  For example, if the top of the duvet was Kimono Spice and the underside was Charcoal Blossom, it would add some interest to bedding that would otherwise be somewhat monotonous. 

The other option is to go for something grey and white, like this for example.

Waverly Cross Section in Charcoal

I think the white, gray, and navy would make for a timeless and elegant combination.  There wouldnt be too much excitement going on colorwise, but it would be a very relaxing room.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

New Duvet?

When we purchased the new house J and I finally put our Crate and Barrel gift card that we received as a gift at our wedding to use.  We bought a beautiful duvet that was very outside our design comfort zone but promised to bring some class and panache to the new house.  Well, I have to say, we love the duvet.  It washes well, isnt too wrinkly and it has the most amazing shades of blue.

It also, much to our dismay, shows e.v.e.r.y cat hair.  Its especially bad this time of year when our three little ones are shedding their winter coats. 

J and I arent really blue people.  I own a few blue sweaters and J has a few blue shirts, but if you were to ask us our favorite colors I dont think either of us would come up with blue.  My inclination is to ditch the blue color scheme altogether but seeing as I already spent time and money on those great navy curtains, I really want to find a replacement duvet that incorporates the navy color without having it be the dominant color and, hense, reducing the prominence of our cat hair issue.  I havent been able to find any suitable duvets at Overstock or West Elm which typically have affordable bedding solutions so I began scouring my new favorite website,  I found two potential fabric patterns.

This one by Amy Butler is daring and has a sight Asian influence, but its also a bit...neon.  Unfortunately, requesting a sample of this fabric from isnt an option.  I may be able to find it elsewhere for a sample, but I am not even certain J would go for it and it may still be too dark to correct the original problem.

The second option is a nautical theme by Robert Allen.  Its polyester which may actually act to repel some of the fur but I am not sure if its too yacht-y.  White, navy, and tan are pretty neutral colors so I am hoping that I can down play the boating theme by not incorporating any nautical accessories into the bedroom. 

Personally I am leaning towards 1) new drapes or 2) the Amy Butler print.  Its big and bold and bright and offers a lot more decorating options than the nautical Robert Allen print which is a bit more tame and safe. 

Monday, April 4, 2011

HUGE Reveal - Guest Bedroom and Bathroom

The fact that my mom is coming to visit has really lit a fire under my ass to get the guest bedroom and bathroom in a more user friendly state.  Jonathan and I have worked diligently to edge and roll every wall and all the trim in both rooms.  We spent multiple weekends cleaning the space, installing hardware, laundering the bedding, and painting some furniture.  I even got to spend a little bit of money on sprucing up the place with new accessories like a mirror and shower curtain for the bathroom.  All the effort has paid off.  The rooms are beautiful and sparkling!  I cannot believe how well they turned out. 

The guest bathroom used to have a large shabby chic mirror with country stars on it.  The walls were painted the same poopy brown as the rest of the house and there was no hardware in the room to speak of.  We repainted, recaulked, rehung a mirror, installed a curtain over the open front built-in shelving, bought a shower curtain, and purchased a matching floor mat.  The room needs some shelving over the toilet and maybe a small bench with storage under the towel hanger and light switches.

The bedroom looks equally fabulous, or perhaps even more so!  I spent a good deal of time transforming a plain wooden table into something vibrant and unique.

The yellow sheets my mom sent matched perfectly and painting the trim of the octagon window was the cheery on top.  The yellow is also highlighted in the curtain.  I was hoping to have a shower curtain made of the same fabric, but in the end it was too expensive and may have been a bit over kill.

I painted the wooden headboard from Jonathan's childhood a glossy white to update it a bit.  I didnt end up decoupaging the remaining curtain fabric onto it since I ran out of time and money, but it may be a project for the future.

Also, since our house only has two bedrooms, the guestroom also serves as an office.  We relocated our large white storage unit that we purchased two moves ago to function as a pantry into office storage in the bedroom.  We also hung the light bulb image we purchased at a local art show above the desk to inspire great ideas - cheesy but true.

In the end, I could not be happier with the results.  I would love to move a full sized bed into the guestroom so that couples could come a stay without having to share a twin - eek - or have to fight it out for the bed or the sofa.  I see a craigslist purchase in our future...