Wednesday, July 30, 2008

the love list

The Love List is a really inspiring and delightful design blog, written by graphic designer, Jessica Condatore. She does a great job of highlighting designers that inspire her, encouraging other design bloggers to connect with each other, and spotting decorating trends.

A photo Jessica blogged about last week from a back issue of domino.

Photo by Annie Schlechter, Domino May 2007

Last Friday, Jessica even featured a link to my post about redesigning my bamboo mirror in her "Weekend Roundup" feature! That was a really fun surprise.

In an effort to see what design bloggers are doing in their own homes, and in her own words, "to further inspire and unite the blogosphere in a creative, positive way", Jessica has launched The Blogger's Home Tour. Starting in September, she will be publishing posts on different deign bloggers with photos of, and details about rooms in their living spaces. I love this idea!

I am really looking forward to getting a glimpse of how others, like myself, are decorating their homes. That is one of the really fantastic things about both blogging and interior design- the possibilities for creative expression are seemingly endless and always unique. I will also be participating in this lovely project, and will let you know when my home will be featured!

Please take a few minutes to check out Jessica's blog, the love list, and see what she has been up to.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

mag mania!

I have a prediction: All of these lovely magazine subscriptions will ultimately be the demise of my sweet little organized world. They were out of control again, just like my closet. I don't know how it happened. I was doing so well to tear the photos I liked out of them, but somehow, they just multiplied. I couldn't keep up. The imposing stacks had begun to cover every surface. So, here was my strategy to sort my way out of the clutter.

I took every copy that had been lying around and sorted them according to publication, on the living room carpet. (Except for Chris's mags, which only created one little stack on their own.) I then sorted them further: some I knew I could just recycle without looking through again, and others needed a second glance so I could retain some of the information and photographs for my design files.

Over the next few days, while I was relaxing at night or waiting for the coals to heat up on the grill, or for the chicken to bake in the oven, I quickly flipped through the issues and kept only the best ideas and looks, and recycled the rest.

Back in the living room, the more current and "keeper" copies fit nicely into my magazine rack.

The back issues of Cottage Living and domino, my faves, each got their own fabric box on the end table. I found these boxes at TJ Maxx for only $13 each, and they just happen to be covered in the same fabric I made curtains out of for the dining room and, more recently used to cover the lamp shades. Now that's good decorating karma!

And, since Chris's magazine addiction is much less severe than mine, he gets his own smaller basket, for current issues, on the coffee table.

It seems that I am destined to learn this lesson of magazines-turned-clutter over and over again, despite my best intentions to keep on top of it. I have vowed that when most of these subscriptions have run their course, I will not renew. I think that is the key right there. This wisdom I will pass on to you: if you are not a fiendish decorator like I am, stick to subscribing to only a couple of your favorite publications, and purchase others from the newsstand only when they grab your attention or need inspiration. Hopefully, it will help you to live a life less cluttered!

Monday, July 28, 2008

kim's decorating chronicles: ch.2

A Simply Divine Dining Room

Again, Kim had great basics:a beautiful, high quality gathering size dining table with eight chairs, a hefty china hutch, and a FULL wine cabinet. Still, the dining room felt unfinished. Furthermore, the table took up most of the space, making it difficult to navigate. And, without a proper workspace for her scrap booking, the dining room was playing the role of craft studio, so Kim's supplies were crowding the area. Whenever she wanted to eat, she had to clear away her project. So, here's what we did to transform it.

We solved the first problem by removing the leaf from the table. Since it is usually just Kim and her husband, there was no need to have it set for eight all of the time. The space instantly felt larger, and Kim can still serve dinner for six! Kim's scrap booking was moved to a new spot in the living room , which we will touch on in Chapter 3.

Kim also confided to me that she had been wanting the perfect curtains for two years, but could never bring herself to make the decision. She was considering some solid panels from Pottery Barn, but never made the investment, (with rods too, it would have been substantial), for fear that they wouldn't look right. All Kim needed was a chance to see what else was out there, and with a little nudge and a second opinion, she found the right look at a great price from TJ Maxx. The sophisticated pale blue and pewterish stripes give the room just enough pattern to make it interesting. The simple rods were found at Target.

We hung a mirror that was formerly overlooked in the family room, above the wine cabinet, and simplified the accessories on top.

A pretty and hip collection of decorative plates was moved from its dark corner in the living room to a front and center spot over the pass through to the kitchen.

Kim loves fine china. She has two sets, and had lovingly placed them in this beautiful china hutch. There were just a few too many accessories, drawing attention away from the china, so we just did a quick redesign to simplify it.

Kim was really pleased with the look and feel of the dining room when we were finished. Just six simple changes to the nook made it a much more cozy and intimate place to wine and dine! Next time we will tackle the space right off of the dining room, in Chapter Three: The No Longer Lonely Living Room.