Friday, February 25, 2011

Goodwill Hunting

So, the other night I was in a spendy mood and felt like bargain hunting and made it to "my" Goodwill (ok, the one nearest to Home Monochromatic Dynamic). And scored some cool items! It took some deliberation and a lot of carrying things around the store while I made a decision (play-by-play: I wander through store with arms full of various items, see a potentially awesome addition to the house, put down other items while looking around to make sure no one will swipe them (which would never happen because there are only 2 other peaceful looking people in the store), pick up the newly discovered object, debate, step back, flip upside down (the item, not me), decide it makes it to the next level of commitment (being held with the other items), re-situate the existing potential treasures so I can carry all of them and wander off to another area. Phew. Anyway, these are the items that made the cut, as seen in their now-natural habitats:

Glass bowl, spotted bananas not included

Dark wood tray (hand-carved as a project, I think) to add some contrast and depth to an end table
A short candlestick to add to a bathroom tableau

I also hunted-and-gathered a dark wood bowl made by the same person as the tray above and 2 silver candle plates (the later of which are currently in the freezer so I can flake off some wax residue more easily).

Ah, bargain hunting urge has been sated, most of the new finds are integrated into the house and it only set me back $12!

Who loves a productive Goodwill visit?! Any good secondhand steals (not literally, of course) to share?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Color Me Sane

Sometimes it's the little organizational things that make me feel accomplished (or the lack thereof that can absurdly drive me insane). Water glasses left around the house is one of those phenomenons. I am a frequent offender--one glass in the kitchen, the living room, next to my bed, on my desk--and compounded with a few additional glasses from the sibling roomies it's a recipe for I-don't-know-if-that-glass-is-mine disaster. And a too-frequently run dishwasher. Sooo, I had been thinking of ways to mitigate the number of glasses without resorting to dehydration. And during a shopping stop at Anthropologie, these caught my eye:

Great, right? I could do a different color for each of us and they're fun and easily identifiable. But I was hung up on the price, so I shelved the idea until I popped into World Market recently, noticed these and brought them home:

Yep, you can see they're already in use. And that I should have found a white background for a better comparison photo......ok, I'm over it. For about the price of one Anthro tumbler I got all three! The glass quality might be lesser, but I think we can handle it and the size of the World Market version is larger, which is a benefit that might make up for any lack in quality.

Ah, I love easy fixes--even when they fix problems that aren't that big in the scheme of things but have the potential to irritate me--yep, I feel more easy-going already. Any little setbacks that drive you nuts? Or things that seem inconsequential but make you feel like all is right in the world?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Put a Ring on It!

Your napkin, that is. These are some napkin rings that caught my eye. The majority are via Etsy, click on the links below to get to the sellers.

 1. Olive Wood
2. Numbered Napkin Rings
3. Horn Napkin Rings
4. Wood Band Napkin Rings
5. Black and Brown Napkin Ring
6. Wood Grain Napkin Rings
7. Villeroy & Boch
8. "G" Napkin Rings (which have no connection to my name, but they're awesome and someone with a "G" name should snatch these up!)

When I lived with a family in Madrid, I loved that each family member had a monogrammed napkin ring--it keeps everyone square on whose napkin is whose, which cuts down on the need to launder them, too.

I saw this cool concept on Remodelista--maybe I should find some inexpensive wooden napkin rings (I'm liking the price of these and these) and put my chalkboard paint to good use...

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Plant one on me

Happy Belated Valentine's Day! Even though the bf and I said no gifts that cost money, I had some plant life waiting for me when I got home yesterday evening. Aww. :)

I had to improvise with the vase technique--I don't have any vases tall enough for sunflowers and I don't have any traditional vase filler options, so some unshelled nuts left over from Christimas and some twine to stabilize the stems were the way to go. Note the bathroom vanity that needs to be redone sometime in the future...

He also got me a plant that "should be easy enough to keep alive"...we'll see.

And, non-Valentine's related, but while we're on the topic of plants, I added some hardy little succulents to the planter I originally posted here.

Maybe it's the warmer weather, but I keep envisioning dozens of plants throughout the house and replanting the backyard... Expect more vegetation posts this spring!

Friday, February 11, 2011

One Down

One down and 50 to go. I finally finished one of the great room paintings! I shared my inspiration here and you can see the works in progress here, so I wanted to give myself a blog-y pat on the back that I finished one.

I painted the sides a black-brown, which I like, too.

Hooray for feeling productive! Now I have to get into that same artsy mood to complete the others and move onto some other art projects!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Ready, Set, Indigo

Well, I bought a wallet. My former wallet wasn't taking to kindly to housing all my receipts and my massive amounts of cash (haha!! to the latter) and so I up-sized. And up-sized to a wallet with a pattern that I considered cool and not-so-sensible. And that I thought was sort of original,...until all of the sudden I see this pattern is everywhere! Well, this indigo/tie dye pattern was probably all over the place all along, but I'm just noticing it now. I think it just reaffirms my fun purchase. I love that deep blue color and the white contrast translate so well to so many things.

1. Agate bookends
2. Alma de Anil pillow cover
3. Tory Burch wallet (purchased second-hand)
4. Anne Klein sheath dress
5. Bola International chair, photo via Remodelista

I was thinking that my new wallet couldn't possibly be confused with anyone else's, but at this rate, I'm not so sure!

PS, what's the difference between a wallet and a billfold? What would you call the one I have?

Monday, February 7, 2011

Office Nook

I noted the transitional state of Home Monochromatic Dynamic earlier, and how furniture is moving around to accomodate using the loft as a bedroom. Sometimes I prefer the rearranged result and sometimes I don't. This falls into the former category (yippee!). The great room previously had a curvy-ish loveseat in the space between the fireplace and the backdoor wall, as seen here. In emptying the loft, my big desk (I have a smaller--and awesome--vanity I use as a mini-desk in my bedroom) had to move, and the only spot for it was that loveseat nook. Magically, it fit, and I love the setup.



Desk via Craigslist, of course
Chair via another Craigslister

With the current setup, I'm still near natural light, I have all the outlets I need right there, and I am more likely to take mail that needs to be filed and put it directly in the applicable desk cubby until it gets filed permanently (I used to have to run upstairs to do that). I was using a larger chair when the desk was in the loft and experimented with another chair after the downstairs move, but I ultimately decided the lucite chair (previously at my bedroom mini-desk/vanity) would work the best since it isn't physically bulky and doesn't visually take up room. See how it looks practically invisible!?

Now I think I need some art/usuable organization/something awesome to go above the desk. Any ideas?

Saturday, February 5, 2011

The Survivor

Just thought you might want to meet this lovely aloe vera plant...

The only healthy backyard plant I have currently. And I really like it--not just because it's such a trooper--but it actually looks cool (especially compared to dirt).

In the coming months I need to be gearing up for some projects to get my backyard into a habitable space (there's nowhere to go but up!)...stay tuned.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Some Privacy Please!

I might have mentioned in a previous post that I have been slow to add drapes to cover the sliding doors in the great room and the master bedroom. Well, I finally got to one of them! After pulling inspiration from various sources (which included taking weird, poor-resolution photos with my phone in hotel lobbies and stores--not that I'm in hotel lobbies all that often, but this did take over a year...)

Anyway, I also pulled inspiration from shelter magazines--including lots of photos from different curtained rooms in this home that used simple dark curtain rods:

Architectural Digest Dec 2010
 And other inspirational sights like this:

Oh wait, that last photo is actually my temporary screen in my bedroom (yes, in Home Monochromatic Dynamic, "temporary" can mean well over a year). I have plans to redo it somehow and use it elsewhere in the house, but I'll be putting it in the garage for awhile since I'm just that tired of it!

Well, here's the finished product:

The color is a little different in real life--don't know if this could justify a new camera...

I'm so excited about it! Although waking up is a little harder when it's so cozy and dark in the morning, I think I'll get over it. I find it makes such a dramatic difference in the room. I used IKEA linen curtains and curtain rods. It took 6 curtain panels to span the entire wall (it's shy of 15 feet). The rods meet exactly in the middle and go all the way to the sides of the room (I eschewed the decorative end caps that came with the rods)

FYI, careful with curtain panel shrinkage! Here's a view of how different the curtain lengths were before they were hemmed. Luckily the shorter ones still left just enough material to work with.

Now to figure out placement for the mirror that was in the corner and decide on some art for the other walls...
Annnnd maybe I should look for some overheard lighting for the bedroom (the lack of adequate lighting might offer a better reason the color doesn't photograph quite as accurately...I suppose I'll be hanging onto my camera for awhile longer...)