Friday, December 31, 2010

Had my pie and ate it, too

Here's an unpublished post that seems seasonally appropriate...Another stop on my mini-roadtrip to Acrosanti was to the Rock Springs Cafe to check out their popular pies. Yes, I realized that pie might be in a different realm than the Acrosanti vibe (where people live in a natural environment and aim to eat healthfully and sustainably), but the strawberry rhubarb looked too good to pass up. And isn't rhubarb a vegetable?

And it tasted delish, too--perfectly tart.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Bird's Eye View

So I'm playing around with the great room furniture, trying to come up with placement for some ottomans to find a seating arrangment that works--knowing that some other items are going to be moved around throughout the house in the near future, but the core setup will remain the same.

I'm still excited about these sofas--a fantastic craigslist purchase that was fun and educational--the Lou Regester sofas were the the "dance room" or sun room of an amazing historic redwood house and were meticulously cared for and regularly reupholstered by the original owner. There are 2 additional seats and a half, you can sort of see them in the background of the breakfast nook in this post. Ideally, I'd have them reupholstered in a less golden toned material, but that can wait and I can't complain about their current state.

The ottomans were an awesome find in a more usual circumstance--on super clearance sale at Target. I purchased 4 and got them to my car and then realized that I could not Tetris them in. Fortunately my bf came to the rescue and I didn't have to sit on an ottoman in the Target parking lot forever.

I think some other furniture will make its way out to the great room, and maybe I'll be getting some items on the wall before too long...Thoughts on the arrangements? FYI, the TV mount is just to the right of the fireplace. 

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

I *Finally* Contained Myself

After my shameful before photo and my journey (ok, multiple journeys) to the Container Store and Goodwill, I finally have the closet under the stairs under control. Yippee! 

Ok, the vacuum rolls in there, so it's not typically quite as "spacious"-looking.
Separate bins for cards, small hardware, sewing supplies, tape and glue and drawers with Sharpies (a favorite writing utensil), calligraphy pens, magazines, and (possibly my favorite drawer label) "Things that Cut". Items I want to be able to see or I might need frequently are in open organizers--which reminds me that I should probably get a second flashlight--all the paint is shelved and labeled, and the gift wrapping is moved out to the garage (garage organization will be a post for another day...)

I've already been happy that I can easily find items and love that I can simply roll out the vacuum instead of extricating it. Oddly enough, this does not increase my desire to vacuum.

PS--Goodwill can be an organizational item goldmine! I didn't find everything I needed, but I was able to get magazine storage and some wire baskets.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Armed and Ready

I went quite awhile without a TV in Home Monochromatic Dynamic. And then a new sibling roomie came with a 46" flatscreen, and I happily accepted the addition to the great room. I had planned for the space for a wall mounted TV during the renovation process--having the electrician add an outlet and jack on the wall above my bar on casters, but getting a TV wasn't a priority at the time. But hey, when it falls in your lap...

Decor tip: having a cord dangling from the loft draws the eye up and makes for a classy arrangement

It sat on the bar for awhile until I found a TV mount that would swivel, tilt and extend significantly. It was important that the TV be able to extend out of the recessed space and that it swivel so that folks sitting on the end of the couch would still be able to watch comfortably. I settled on this model from because it fit the bill, was in my budget and the comments were overall favorable (I felt I could screen out some of the negative comments when it seemed that it possibly wasn't installed correctly). Then I bided my time until an overstock sale or coupon came up! I call this overstalking. Anyway...

Upon opening it up, I realized that the commenters who noted that the installation instructions were practically nonexistent were absolutely accurate.
Um, yeah, note the half sheet of paper with 6 drawings. But playing around with the pieces let me and my super handy parents (thanks Mom and Dad!) piece it together. After identifying the placement of wall studs, we realized that we had to add a piece of wood (as the instructions "noted") onto the stud so the mount would be stable. But a full piece of wood would cover the outlets, so a couple 2x4s were the answer. After these were cut down (so they looked prettier), we hung them with substantial bolts and then painted them (presentation is important, even if it's not something that's usually visible).
After the paint dried, everything else was put together and ... viola!
I love that it's discrete when i want it to be and that it can be comfortably viewed during other times. Now we'll see how long it takes for me to get cable.

Any favorite TV settings? Any technology/construction projects that turned out a-ok?

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Hooked Back on Monochromatic Dynamic

Whee! I'm back to the blog. So many things to share that have happened, that need to happen and that I want to happen to Home Monochromatic Dynamic.  But here's a tiny project to ease into it...

I try to justify aimless shopping by thinking it always pays to dig through sale sections regardless what you come in a store to find. While searching for some sandals I saw online (sometimes I like doing online reconnaissance before I venture into a store), I checked out UrbanOutfitters home items, (clearance priced and marked down) and found this awesome wall hook.

It weighs a ton and I love the shape, finish, and hinged hooks. The price was right ($9!) so I purchased it without having a specific destination in mind. So, when cold weather hit and I witnessed a trend (a pile of cardis and pullovers on a box next to my bedroom door, I knew where that hook I purchased needed to go.

Not bad for $9. That's technically under $1 a hook...hehe.

Ever had anything socked away that came in handy later--like that swimsuit you bought on clearance in December or that dress you wore for a last-minute invite, but purchased without a specific event in mind?