Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Cool Buy: Zodiac Pillows @ Serena & Lily

In the immortal words of Uncle Luke from 2 Live Crew, "what's up with that zodiac sign?"

I'll tell you what's up. This:

$88 at Serena & Lily. They do have all the other Zodiac signs (except that wierd new one...) but OBVIOUSLY Gemini is the coolest.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Etsy is KILLING ME.

Etsy.com is what I like to call iCrack. I can't...I just can't go on to this web site. I can easily imagine myself selling things in sketchy back alleys (the family silver, a kidney, plasma) to feed my addiction. Which is why I can't start. Because once I start it'll be a slippery slope. I won't be able to pay the mortgage but I'll have one of these:

Printers Drawer Jewelry Display - $98

And one of these:

Custom Repurposed Vintage Steel Locker Console - $745
 And maybe also some of these because they make me happy:

Handmade Wooden Folk Art Nesting Dolls - $120
 Do NOT get me started on the children's clothes. SERIOUSLY. DO NOT.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Someone talk me down from the ledge....

I need someone to tell me that spending $600 on a mini yolk chair for my daughter's room is completely silly.

The folks at ModernSeed.com are KILLING ME!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cool Buy: Driftwood Bowls @ Seaside Inspired

As I mentioned in an earlier post, we're in the process of finishing our basement. Given the low ceilings and the tendency of basements to be dark spaces devoid of natural light, we decided to go for a light and airy feel reminiscent of a beach house. I was online and hunting for accessories when I came across this great site, Seaside Inspired, and their awesome driftwood bowls:


$163 for two. Sure they are totally impractical - I mean, I guess you could hang your keys off the end of a branch? You can use it to hold your tennis balls or pine cone collection as seen in the photo above? But who cares about practicality when they're so darn pretty!

To be clear I'm not trying to create a beach-themed space in my home, but by incorporating elements of, well, beachiness (highly technical design terminology) and using a beach-inspired color palette, I hope to create a little piece of paradise in my land-locked home.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

My Collection

Do you collect anything? I'll admit I've never been much of a collector. I am the queen of purging, especially these days when it feels like my house has been overrun by baby stuff. My husband collects old paperback trashy novels. Here is one he purchased the other day:


Cute. Colorful. They don't take up a TON of room for which I am thankful.

As for me, I do have one weakness. These:


My obsession with vintage seltzer bottles began when I visited Buenos Aires, Argentina. At the San Telmo flea market (every Sunday) I passed several stands displaying these brightly colored glass souveniers. Here's a photo I snapped at the market:


Amazing, right? At the time I'd stuffed my suitcase full of leather goods and cookies (cookies win out over just about anything) so I didn't have any room left for even ONE teensy tiny seltzer bottle. I was so sad. So very very sad. And then my fabulous mother-in-law found two at a Charlotte flea market and sent them to me for my birthday.

A year later my dad was on a business trip in Buenos Aires and managed to bring back two more. The fifth bottle I found at an antique mall in Omaha.

But the key to collections is displaying them in a way that makes them look organized and beautiful. For books I'm a huge fan of the Array Silver Bookcase, $189 from CB2.
The actual bookshelf part almost disappears when it's loaded with books, making your collection the center of attention. Plus it takes up hardly any room so you can squeeze it in anywhere.

As for my seltzer bottles, I'm still looking. But I love the idea of pairing the bright colors of the bottles with something sort of industrial looking, like this:


The Hancock Carbon Bookcase, also by CB2, a steal at $199.

Any other suggestions?

Cool Baby: Pillow Pillow Pillow

My daughter loves Design Assistant Magnus. She actually calls him Mamo which sounds an awful lot like mama. I walked into her room after naptime one afternoon and was met with cries of joy: "mamo, mamo, mamo!" I thought she was excited to see me until I noticed her chubby little finger pointing at D.A. Magnus. I can't blame her. He is pretty dang cute.


Anyway, as I was saying, the child loves dogs so I was pretty excited when I found these adorable pooch pillows by Pillow Pillow Pillow:


There are dozens of breeds to choose from so whether you're a labrador fan or a pug lover (or even a cat person!), you're sure to find one you love. Baby C loves to chew on her chihuahua's ears and hugs her big sheepdog every chance she gets. As for D.A. Magnus, he's pretty fast and not a fan of hugging so she's limited to getting close to him in other ways:


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Cool Buy: Mermaid Linen Pillow @ ABC Home

I could spend an entire weekend at ABC Home & Carpet in New York. If I'm being honest, I have fantasized about hiding out in a bathroom stall and waiting for all the staff to leave to so I can have the place to myself overnight. Sort of like the movie Mannequin but without cutie Andrew McCarthy and a hilariously flambouyant sidekick like Meshach Taylor, aka Hollywood Montrose.


Wow. Tangent, party of one!

Where was I? Oh yes. ABC Home is an incredible, incredible store and if you're ever in Manhattan you should pop in and check it out.

Check it out because they have stuff like this Mermaid Linen Pillow by Kevin O'Brien:
It's $148, made of 100% linen and hand printed in Nepal. NEPAL. That's why it's so expensive. Sometimes when I ship things to my sister in Florida it's like $20 or more. Imagine the cost of shipping all the way from Nepal!

Anyway this isn't about me. This is about you. And you need this pillow. Trust me.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who Knew?: Ghana Movie Posters

My husband always finds the most interesting stuff online. Today he introduced me to movie posters from Ghana. Apparently back in the 80s Hollywood-style movies were hard to come by in African villages. When the VHS was created, entreprenurial Ghanans created mobile theaters, TVs and VCRs in the back of trucks. For a small fee people could sit and watch a bootleg tape of a film. To promote the films, they hired local artists to hand-paint posters on the back of flour sacks. Today you can purchase these original posters for a few hundred dollars each.

These posters are fantastic. And gross. Well, they're not all gross but some of the horror movie posters are down right gruesome! Here are some of my favorites.

Cujo...aw, why so sad puppy? Oh wait, that's blood, not tears:


House Party...a classic film. And I'm pretty sure I had that exact outfit on the right.


My favorite. The Spy Who Love Me...not LOVED her. He just plain love her. And who wouldn't? That is one sexy chica...or chico? Hard to tell.


Want more? Need one for you living room? Click here to get all the Ghanan movie posters you can handle!

Cool Buy: Amalfi Bench @ Grandin Road

Last summer I was on the hunt for the perfect bench for our front porch. Long story short, I didn't find the perfect bench so I ended up with an OKAY bench that I punched up with colorful outdoor pillows. Meh.


Today I found the perfect bench. Check out The Amalfi Bench from GrandinRoad.com:


It's $199 and comes in three colors - black, dark red, and pesto which is my favorite. For those of us who live in places with dreary winters, imagine having this fun pop of color outside of your house year round. It's a happy bench. I like happy benches.

And since I'm all about options, here's another great choice from Grandin Road. The Meridian Bench which comes in the absolute funnest Easter-egg inspired colors. Hey, Grammar Police? I know funnest isn't a real word but I like to use it anyway. So sue me. Now back to the funnest bench:


This bench is $399 which is not a bad price, but you can see why at $199 the Amalfi Bench is such a steal.

Consider it a little touch of spring year round. Come January you'll thank me.

Oh, and I'm TOTALLY going to paint my bench this week. After seeing these colorful options I can no longer live with basic black!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Cool Buy: Industrial Rolling Side Table @ Urban Outfitters

I love sprinkles of industrial-looking furniture. And I do mean sprinkles...I don't want a house that looks like some creepy 1900's Sherlock Holmesian morgue. Here's an example from the latest issue of Lonnymag.


See the soft wood, ladylike apron dangling from an antique chair and soft worn pillows, coupled with the industrial-looking student chairs. See? A SPRINKLE.

Here's something else you can sprinkle in your own pad - the Industrial Rolling Side Table from Urban Outfitters:

A lot of bang for $169.

Celeb Casas: Elvis's Graceland

This weekend I went to Memphis for a family wedding. It was a lovely and elegant affair. Know what was slightly less elegant? The shuttle bus to Graceland.

Oh you KNOW I was not going to miss that.

My husband, sister-in-law and I wove through crowds of Japanese tourists in bedazzled Elvis shirts, sunburned senior citizens, bored looking kids with frazzled parents, and dozens of other tourists. A shuttle bus took us through the famous gates and up the winding drive to the house.

First of all, Elvis was a rock-n-roll pioneer. And I feel strongly that when you're a rock star you can get away with just about anything.That's why Lady Gaga can wear a meat dress and Paul McCartney can keep marrying 30-year-olds and we still love them.

Elvis was also gorgeous, talented, and by all accounts, a very nice person. Plus, he must've been very design forward because the house is AMAZING and I covet most of the furniture in it. Note I said "most." I do NOT want this monkey:


That thing gives me the creeps!

Let's move on...I think the monkey's following me with its eyes. Shudder.

We started our tour on the front steps:



Pretty, right? Okay, so from here you enter into a small foyer and living room. Behold the power of the peacocks:



I immediately wondered if Lisa Marie was allowed to play in this room. If it were my room - and lord how I wish it were - I wouldn't let anyone so much as breathe in it. Among the many fantastic pieces of furniture was this dresser:



Next up, Elvis' parents' bedroom and bathroom - I loved the fabulous wallpaper (and forgive me - I don't know what's going on with this picture but it won't post right side up):

They're poodles. Somehow I don't think Vernon Presley picked this out. He doesn't really look like the poodle kind of guy:


Back to the tour. Next, the kitchen which I'm sure was very trendy and chic-chic in it's day, but the carpet (ick, ick, ick...carpet in kitchens...no no no) reminded me of something you'd see in an off-strip Vegas Casino:


 Past the kitchen and these cool light switches:


Down the slightly nauseating mirrored staircase (hi!):


And through the doorway marked with the ram horns (manly):


You enter the rockin' basement TV room, redecorated in 1974 after Elvis heard that President Lyndon B Johnson had three TVs in his office to watch the three major television networks at the same time:




EEK! He's LOOKING at me! Quick! Avert your eyes. Look at something else...ANYTHING ELSE...oh, how about this great lamp?


Not far enough. Let's go into the pool room which was redecorated in 1973 and was covered ceiling to floor in 400 yards of fabric:


Back upstairs to my favorite room, Elvis' den, The Jungle Room:




Rumor has it Elvis purchased this furniture in the mid-70s to annoy his dad who thought it was the ugliest furniture he'd ever seen. Vernon, I'm with you. The room was once filled with plants and a working waterfall along the brick wall. Elvis had all the walls covered in carpet so he and his buddies could use the room to record. (they recorded most of his Moody Blues album here)

I may have gotten a little carried away...blame the shag:


I've already shown you my favorite rooms, so here are just a few more photos to round out your tour. Enjoy!

The racquetball room.

Racquetball room - Elvis sat and played at this piano the night he died.

Humble beginnings.
Lisa Marie's playground sat outside Vernon's office and the carport.








Gold-plated sink and faucets on The Lisa Marie.
Plush velvet seats with gold seat belt buckles...the man traveled in style.