Monday, February 28, 2011

One Woman's Trash is Another's Treasure

Ah, the beauty of Craigslist, peeps. This weekend has pushed me from casual peruser to *in my own mind* seller extraordinaire! I have officially wandered into the dark recesses of Craiglist and put up my first ads. Um, no they weren't personals. Instead, it's home deco all the way, baby! Here's a sneak peek!

Small, Japanese glass floaters I bought and collected in Japan. Lovely, but not loved. So they must go. & go they did! I had a number of interested people in these within the first hour of posting. If anything, I've learned that as a buyer, I better be quick with the phone call if I want something I think others will want just as much as me!

The "old" bar stools that are making their way into a new home today. These were gone in the first hour as well. I'm sure it has much to do with my pricing, which I believe was fair and a little low, but I needed them to go. There's nothing worse than having tons of stuff in your garage because you're trying to make an extra $5. I have enough in my garage, thank you very much.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Dark Plantation Shutters Debut & the Retro Couch that got Away

First, thanks to everyone for chiming in on the counter stools. I agree that a back rest would have been ideal, but I ordered a single Restoration Hardware stool for a desk area and when that baby came in, all bets were off. I ordered 2 more and they are on their way. I liked them for their swivel, their roomy seats, and their vintage industrial look. I admit I chose them for style and function came a close second. But I'm happy with my choice and I can check that box as done.

On to the next. Our wenge wood plantation shutters arrived and I have to admit I love them. They pop against our white walls and look great against the dark, hardwood floors. A small tour:

The dining room - slash - bar - slash - library. I'm hoping to find some interesting shelving, and a great retro, vintage couch as starting pieces. Perhaps I can turn the inside of the Chinese armoire in the photo to the bar? Thoughts?

The living room also got its windows dressed up. We put plantation shutters on the tall, thin windows that flank the entertainment nook and white linen curtains on the big window over the couch. I'm not a fan of that couch. If I can find something with more clean, minimalist lines, I'd be a happy camper. Craigslist, it is.

The kitchen comes along. Those stools at the counter now? They will be going. That stool at the desk will have friends soon and the swivel action will make them all tall enough for the counter height. Am waiting patiently for their arrival. In the meantime, the kitchen is still a work in progress. I'd like to do a white subway tile backsplash treatment but have never done tile work before.

Alas, the retro couch I missed by 10 minutes this morning at a semi-garage sale in Honolulu. It would have been FABULOUS in either room that is calling for a retro couch, and I actually like the lime green color. It could also have been slipcovered in something more subdued, but you really lose the retro feel when you take away that great color!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Deciding on Counter Stools for a Clean & Simple Beach House

Who knew picking a counter stool would be so difficult, peeps. I mean, it's a counter stool, not a couch, or a dining table, or any other significant piece of furniture. The way I used to nerve wrack over J.Crew purchases, I've somehow channelled that anxiety and overthinking into my counter stool purchasing. It's good to see neuroses never die!

First, let's talk about the stool requirements and the set the stage a little bit. I'm in need of 3 counter stools, around 26" in height, for my kitchen island. The kitchen and family room are right next to each other and form a large open space. If I could have a theme running through the house, it would be, "Clean, Simple Beach House." Everything needs to go with what we already have, peeps. But I've come down to some common elements in each of the rooms downstairs:

1. White walls
2. Dark distressed wood floors
3. Distressed wood antiques of the Asian variety.
4. Lighting fixtures with clear bulbs.
5. Touches of bronze in ceiling light fixtures and floor / table lamps, and drapery rods.
6. Stainless steel appliances in the kitchen.
7. Dark wood plantation shutters and white, long drapes on the windows.

Now that we got that straight, walk with me down counter stool lane and I'll go over the finalists I've got on the brain. I'm in need of some direction, ladies. Some serious, Come-to-Jesus-style direction.
The Modern Industry stool from Sundance Catalog. $125.
Me Likey: The white metal contrasting with the dark wood floors and the way the stainless seat would pick up the accents in the kitchen. I also likey the price.
Not So Much: It seems to lack warmth and doesn't look that comfortable.

Modern Times Factory Stool, Sundance Catalog, $195.
Me Likey: Again, the white / stainless combination. In particular, I like how much more this one is distressed (chipped paint and all), and I love the swivel seat.
Not So Much: It looks unsturdy and slippery. & again, it seems to lack warmth.

The Lyon Fixed Height Industrial Stool, available online for $83.
Me Likey: The stool on the right. & I'm seeing it spray painted a funky color, like an interesting green or something. It would be a pop of color in my very color-neutral house. It also looks more sturdy than the other stools so far, and I love me the price on this one.
Not So Much: It looks too industrial. Definitely lacks warmth, and may not go well with the distressed wood we have elsewhere in the house.

& Finally, the Colby stool from Potterybarn, $99.
Me Likey: It would add the warmth I think is missing from the other stools and add that depth of distressed wood in the kitchen and tie the other rooms' antiques together. It would definitely add that "beach house" element I'm going for, with the rough hewn look it's sporting. I'm relaxed just looking at it. It also seems sturdy and the price is right. Where's Bob Barker at when I need him?
Not So Much: It doesn't have that "industrial" tie I'm looking for, and is a bit of a safe choice.

A final contender: Restoration Hardware $169
Me Likey: The swivel wood seat. Brings in that wooden, vintage feel to tie in the antiques and add warmth to the kitchen, while keeping the industrial vibe I so adore. Adds dimensions of the black colored oiled bronze we have going on in each of the adjoining rooms. The metal accents would tie nicely with the stainless steel in the kitchen and it would contrast nicely with the dark wood floors and white kitchen cabinets and walls. Overall, my favorite for its balancing act of price, requirements, and aesthetics.
Not So Much: The max height is 25.5 inches and I'm worried about how sturdy it is "under pressure" at that or at 24 inches high. It's RH, so the quality should be great, but you never know. The seat diameter is 13 inches. That's a lot of possible rumpus hanging off the edges.

The choices are maddening!!! So now that you've seen all the finalists in the line up, which one would you go with?

Monday, February 7, 2011

More House Fixing Up

I have house on the brain. I admit it. I'm almost no fashion, all house these days. Thought I would snap a few pics and show what's been new in the house decorating department.

Pillows: Thomas Paul, bought from Gilt

Glass Sea Urchins: Roost
Pharmacist's desk lamp: Target
Spider Mums: Whole Foods

BTW, I am in LOVE with these sea urchins.

Pendant lamps: Roost
All installed and with some great Edison bulbs to boot. I think the next set of bulbs will not be as strong. These were 60 watt. I'd like to see the filaments! Hello! That's why I spent more on the bulbs!

Pendant lights off. I think they add to the clean palate I'm trying to go for.

What do you all think?