Monday, March 30, 2009

Back to regular programming...

I missed a good chunk of last week due to a nasty stomach flu sneaking up on me, so this week, let's turn over a new and refreshing (and healthy!) leaf, dust off our crystal balls and take a look and see what our future Ikea summer purchases for summer might be...
Mynta plant pots (*gasp* This may be hard to believe, but I would pick the white one!).
Salvia hanging planter. I think these would look amazing with strawberries spilling over the sides.
Solig solar-operated lights.
Greno cushions. 
Roxo easy chair (not sure how comfortable this would be, it looks a little awkward).

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Kitty participation

When I was sewing the blanket ('QUILT!') for my mom, Lulu couldn't get enough of it.  Give her a yard of fabric and she's a happy kitty*. 

*(Other things that make her happy: a Kerplunk stick, a chickadee through the window/or on tv, a running faucet, grass, a paper tube, her squeaky dog, her fluffy feather duck, a cup of juice...) 

Friday, March 20, 2009

Making a quilt

I wanted to do something special and handmade for my mom's birthday this year, so I decided to make a quilt.  I took the instructions from the French General Home Sewn book I bought last month (with a few changes, I didn't use linen so I needed batting, and I added buttons on the outside to hide mismatched squares and give it a little 'bling!').  I used fabric by Anna Maria Horner from her Garden Party line.  Overall, for my first (EVER) quilt -- and I use that loosely after calling it a blanket many times and having a woman at a fabric store snap at me and say 'quilt!' -- I think it turned out pretty good*.   

* And LARGE.  You don't realize what 81" x 81" is until you sew this behemoth.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Kitchen shelves

Like most people with limited kitchen space, I like to take advantage of wall storage for items that I use on a regular basis when cooking or baking. Of course, this storage needs to look good -- who wants to look at something ugly in one of their most-used rooms? My shelves were decent, but in need of a little spruce-up. Here's some tips that I like to follow:

- Display things that you use regularly, but aren't crucial to have within an arm's reach (like pots and pans, utensils, spices, etc.)

- Take dust wraps off of books that you display -- they're usually much prettier looking without them (I have some really ugly ones that didn't make the cut)

- Include some quirky items that add some personality

- Find jars and containers that look pretty, and use opaque or ceramic jars to hide not so pretty items

- If you're installing shelves in your kitchen, be sure they can hold the weight of heavy items (mine are installed according to Trevor's 'so strong you can hang off them' mantra -- which means making sure you hit some studs or use proper wall anchors!)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

FLOR musings...

FLOR tiles look like such a great idea for so many areas around the house. There are so many designs to choose from, and these are my favorites:

Monday, March 16, 2009

Bedroom inspiration

When we go away, I like to check out the small boutique hotels -- they always have something more interesting to offer than the chain hotels (and sometimes at an equal or better price!).  One of our first stays was at Hotel Deluxe in Portland, where we found the inspiration for our bedroom*: 

Another hotel that we stayed in last month was Hotel Max in Seattle:

And, most recently, I won a free night at Hotel Murano in Tacoma (yay twitter contests!!):

*no photos of that, it's in the middle of a major ensuite reno and looks like a disaster

Thursday, March 12, 2009

French Eclectic and Rustic Revival in the entryway

I think that if you took vintage yardsticks and rulers (instead of the reclaimed wood) and created something similar to the above picture it would be faaaaa-bulous.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cookbook display

I *heart* cookbooks, especially when they're pretty on the outside.  I also love displaying cookbooks in the kitchen.  On our trip to Seattle we had brunch at the Steelhead Diner, where cookbooks were displayed near the kitchen/prep area.  Whether it was just for show, I have no idea, but it looked good!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Thoughts on wallpaper

In the next house, I'd like to try some wallpaper -- if 2002 me was reading this, she'd think that I was crazy.  Our house is wallpaper-free now (I removed a border in a bathroom when I moved in with Trevor -- mega ugly, dark pattern, scary to think about), and the house will remain that way because wallpaper has a funny effect on potential buyers.  Plus I'm not going to plonk down a bunch of money on something that doesn't add value!  So, looking into the future, here's a few patterns that have caught my eye:

Monday, March 9, 2009

Le Creuset wishlist

In my dream kitchen I want these, specifically in the teal and kiwi colours.   

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Living room style

I was using Sproost to put together a living room in the 'Modern Elegance' style.  The room creator tool is really helpful; it was fun to group pieces together and see the result (without the commitment!). 

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring in the kitchen

Cynthia brought me some cheery yellow tulips and a very cool white ceramic pitcher for my birthday (among other cool things...*ahem* a pen with a chic GREEN holder!).  It makes the kitchen such a happy and spring-y place now*. 

*Note: The kitchen isn't finished yet, can you spot the missing outlet covers?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

From paper to glass

On our trip to Seattle we drove a little further south to Tacoma and visited the Museum of Glass for an afternoon.  One ongoing project is the 'Kids Design Glass' where children spend some time drawing objects and ideas on paper, and one lucky kid gets chosen to have their drawing recreated in glass.  The museum makes one for the artist, and another for the museum (for an upcoming exhibit in October of all the pieces made).  

Here are my two favorites that we saw:

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Y? Because!

Trevor wanted to buy me a new letter for my birthday, so I found one on Three Potato Four (from the same family as the letter A I posted about!).  So fabulous.

(Oh yes, you are mine.)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dishtowel chic

This is my new addition to the kitchen: the Macintosh dishtowel from Crate & Barrel.  It looks so lovely and spring-like (and so far I haven't been able to use it properly because it's too pretty!).  There's also a red Macintosh version, but that would be wrong wouldn't it? (I think I might be locked up soon for my addiction to green).

Other designs that I saw (and liked):
the Tomato Slice dishtowel;

the Lettuce dishtowel (look at all that green!!);

the Eggplant and Artichoke set (I was fawning over that before I saw the Macintosh);

and the cute Teacup Print towel.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Finding your style

I've been looking around my house lately (and especially yesterday for some reason) and I've been a bit frustrated about not having a cohesive style around here.  Sure, I've been though the 'we've moved in with each other and dumped our furniture together and ticked off with each other's lack of style' stage, then moved on to the 'let's make a deal' stage (I lost my old red and white dotted Ikea rug, Trevor lost a hideous ceramic swan *shudder*), and, after almost 7 years, we've arrived at the 'I think we're starting to like similar things' stage.  (Also known as the 'yes, Kerry's right' stage.)

I found Sproost and took their personal style quiz.  The first time I took it I was 33% French Eclectic, 33% Cottage Chic, and 34% Hollywood Couture.  I ended up with a room like this:

The next time I took the quiz I was 100% Hollywood Couture and had this room:

And, the third time I was Modern Elegance: