Archive for August, 2009

Finding Nemo.

Project Kitchen is under way. We’ve painted cabinets, purchased new appliances, installed new hardware, and selected granite counter tops (images and descriptions to come). Now I’m researching tile or other wall treatment for the kitchen backsplash. Looking through the Washington DC Spaces magazine this morning, I saw an ad for Nemo Tile.

Nemo Tile in Jamiaca, Queens, NY, 1921

Nemo Tile in Jamiaca, Queens, NY, 1921

I tend to lean towards the not too trendy bit something fifferent approach. So the first page of this website drew me in. Nemo specializes in usable tiles and offers a myriad of options; which run the gamete of conventional materials such as stainless steel, glass, porcelain and stone, to the more unusual; and environmentally friendly, coconut shell tile.

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I prefer to stick with neutral wall treatment for this project as this is a condo and will eventually be sold to a new owner – so keeping it in line with the Victorian architecture of the building but updated for cilty living is key. The granite selected is a polished stone called Marron Cohiba (love the name) and has brown, black and touches of pearl in its markings. Marron Cohiba is quarried in the Huila Region of Angola. It is formed of unevenly shaped dark brown crystals often with metallic mica reflections. Often times, these crystals will show fine white streaks that are usually only visible in larger portions of the stone.

Marron Cohiba Granite

Marron Cohiba Granite

Now, we have new stainless appliances and want something to work alongside a creamy white cabinet, this granite and the silvered appliances. Any ideas?

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Music To My Ears!

Tonight is going to be great! I’m off to Merriweather Post Pavilion to see The Killers live in concert. I have not been to that venue in years – last visit was to dance the night away to Creed (was invited backstage to hang out with the band and watch them play ping pong). But I’m happy as can be standing front and center with my good friends Jessica, Stacy and Greg. Rock on. I’m Mrs. Brightside!

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A Good Crush!

I’m in the midst of planning particulars for my early Fall vacation to the sweet Napa Valley. It’s high season, and the right time for wineries to work around the clock to “crush” plucked full grapes into the famous California wines – which means busy busy busy –  so getting things in order ASAP is key. I’ve purchased airline tickets, reserved accommodations at two really cute inns, saved a table at three well-respected restaurants, purchased tickets to Domain Chandon’s Annual Pink Party, and about to soon secure an early morning hot air balloon ride above the beautiful terrain of Calistoga (I’d appreciate advice from any past ballooners!). Now its time to sit back, cross off the remaining days on my calendar and think about a few days drinking wine and putting my Nikon to very good use. I’ll make sure to return with a cool art peice for my walls and maybe some other goodies as well (I always pick up a holiday ornament and sterling silver charm when I travel!).

But Wait!

Yahoo featured an article in todays Travel section called Street Fairs, Tastings, Art in Napa Valley. Yeeaaah!! I’m psyched. If you’re headed there the first weekend of October, add these to your itinerary!

Taste Napa: Downtown

Cheers! St Helena Street Fair

Locals Night at Oxbow Public Market

Saturday Stroll with Music and Wine in Calisotga

Sunset in Napa

Sunset in Napa

Crappy & Cramped to Fab & Functional.

Hello apartment, condo, and dorm room dwellers! I often give decoration or design advice to friends, family, and clients who live in cozy spaces in and around Washington, DC. With these living environments come rental policies, cramped quarters and lack of storage – all are often the biggest complaints. Thanks to My Home Ideas for the following helpful tips. Read on for perfect ways to create a truly comfortable , functional, and very happy home!

My cozy living room after recent move-in.

My cozy living room after recent move-in.

  1. Use adhesive hooks. If you can’t use hammers and nails, try hanging your pictures on plastic hooks that come with super-strength adhesive. When you move out, simply pull off the adhesive, and leave the wall intact.
  2. Buy extra closet rods. Apartments aren’t known for their spacious, walk-in closets. In fact, they’re known for tiny ones. Deal with this problem by purchasing an extra adjustable rod to place underneath the existing one.
  3. Rotate knickknacks. Sometimes, what makes a home are the little items we attach to precious memories, and apartments can’t always hold them all. Leave your place simple and uncluttered by rotating these treasures and displaying only a few per month.
  4. Maximize storage. Hide household items by storing them under your bed. You can use bed risers to give your bed some height, and then cover them with a longer bed skirt, making room for boxes, books, and other storage items.
  5. Use a reversible bedspread. To keep your decor fresh and new, try a reversible bedspread. Whenever you get tired of one look, flip it over the next time you make up your bed.
  6. Find multifunctional furniture. Nothing saves space like multifunctional furniture. Whenever you shop for your new apartment, try to find flexible items such as futons, which can serve as both couches and beds.
  7. Try mirror tricks. Opening up a cramped space can require a few illusions. Placing large mirrors around a room can make it appear larger and much more spacious than reality.
  8. Decorate with plywood. Many apartment policies prohibit repainting, so an easy way to add life to your home is to paint or wallpaper large pieces of plywood any color you wish, and then simply lean them against the walls. Just make sure the plywood fits the space.
  9. Let there be light. Some policies won’t allow residents to alter their light fixtures, so if you want more light, you will have to bring it with you when you move in. Find interesting lamps that add charm and personality to your rooms.
  10. Let walls be a canvas. Another solution for bare walls is to cover them up with oversized canvases or posters. Found online or in craft stores, they allow you to drape your apartment in simple, solid colors or in wild, intense designs.
  11. Add color with curtains. Try hanging curtains on your walls, as if you were concealing a nook or extra room. This creates the illusion that the apartment is bigger than it actually is, and it adds a little pizzazz to the decor.
  12. Try wall decals. It might seem a bit elementary, but cling stickers can brighten up a bathroom or kitchen. Home improvement and superstores carry a variety of fun and bright stickers such as flowers, polkadots and chic silouhettes. They can give a room a little whimsy without damaging a surface.
  13. Choose accents wisely. Even if you choose to keep the original wall colors, accents and accessories can easily spruce up your rooms. Add decorative throw pillows, rugs, and lamps that reflect your own personal style and create a homey space without upsetting your landlord.

Come One. Come All. DC this Fall.

I love fairs, festivals, fast times, and far away adventures. But I have a lovely vacation planned to Napa in late September so entertaining close to home is in order for the next few months. Thank you Stephanie for sending me this simple web page showing local DC, Maryland, and Virginia Fall Fairs and Festivals (in and around the 495 Beltway). Pick and choose your “we so have to go” events and mark your calendar. Its never to early to save the date. Cheers and thanks for the information RawDc!

The Growing Cox Farms Festival. Its a really good time!

The Growing Cox Farms Festival. Its a really good time!

Home Sweet Home… Old School.

Emily Pilloton shares with readers of Interiordesign.net the coolest home on wheels since its predecessor, the older and less “pretty” Airstreams of yesteryear. Oh the summers of orange Tupperware meals and slim pickings on the radio (if you had one). Emily tells us how she took to the road this summer with temporary digs in a 1972 Airstream trailer – taking with her bare necessities and learning to live with that old-fashioned summer camp feeling. But for the rest of us folk who choose to live a bit more luxuriously, even if that means in today’s creature comforts  – without the creaks and the hard mattress of moldy foam, I want you to meet the Trailer of Design Within Reach.

Airstream Activities Unchanged (photo from website)

Airstream Activities Unchanged (photo from website)

With a withering customer base and 50-year old average demographic, DWR commissioned the longtime Airstream collaborator  Christopher Deam to come up with a holistic model for a touring vehicle that would perfectly telegraph the DWR core values of authorship and curated authority in design. And here it came rolling in… The Design Within Reach Trailer. Lets hit the country road or city streets. Summers almost over so get out there and ride on!

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Online Yard Sale: Coming Soon.

A friend has asked me to assist in posting some well-cared for family-owned belongings to eBay. No problem. Aside from the painstaking process of locating the photos on my hard drive and then uploaded to the site, oh, and nailed down beautifully, it’s easy breezy onward from there. Kind of on the addicting side as you watch the bidding take off (hopefully – as many of you Sellers would know). I was excited to take a look last week to see what I was going to be presenting to the online bidding world. So I really hope that someone out there sees value and beauty (the greens and blues are so seaside dreamy) in what Champagne Butterfly will be auctioning off starting tomorrow night!

Ivory and green aqua glazed put. Cool shape!

Ivory and green aqua glazed pot. Cool shape!

Inside of pot.

Inside of pot.

Sapphire glass ashtray. So chic in a retro home.

Sapphire glass ashtray. So chic in a retro home.

LOvely large green McCoy pottery (with attached tray)

Lovely large green McCoy pottery (with attached tray)

Imprint from company. Great condition!

Imprint from company. Great condition!

Smaller pot with ivory glazed rim. Also top notch condition!

Smaller pot with ivory glazed rim. Also top notch condition!

This one is my favorite!

This one is my favorite!


Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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