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June, 2008 | Manolo for the Home
Archive - June, 2008

A more colorful life

It’s a busy day here at La Casa Del Beard, which means all I have time for is a quickie post. Here are four ubercool kitchen accessories from Art Effect:

Pretty maids all in a rowMmmm, sweet stuff
Nummy? Gnomey!BEEP!

They’re all wonderful colorful and inexpensive enough to buy for a relative or friend who’s feeling a little down. What could be more cheering than robot plates, a gnome bowl, nonna graters, and vintage-style cake tins? Perhaps robot plates, a gnome bowl, a nonna grater, and one vintage-style cake tin all wrapped up in pretty paper with a sparkly bow on top!

Wallpaper envy

I love wallpaper patterns, but I’m so not motivated enough to do the whole wallpaper thing. Right or wrong, I think of wallpapering a room as this tedious and complicated process involving lining up patterns and picking fights with The Beard. Why the fights? Tandem home improvement tends to bring out the worst in people. Consider my friend who installed a new bathroom sink with her live-in boyfriend. She said that she was close to killing him by the time the sink was in. Oy!

So, yeah, wallpaper. Do not want. Children’s book author and crafter Claire Louise Milne found a new and wonderful use for wallpaper, however, and I think I could pull it off without becoming a widow. I’d show you a snapshot of her handwork but she asks that people like yours truly not use her photos without permission, so you’ll have to go look for yourself.

For those who’d prefer to stay right here, I’ll describe Milne’s pet project. After falling in love with Neisha Crosland’s “anemone” paper, she decided to jump feet first into the world of wallpaper. Long story short, she backed the doors of a couple of secretaries with some gorgeous with the paper.

“I decided the best way to indulge the wallpaper fixation was to decorate a cabinet. And I found some lovely vintage paper on ebay. It has a lattice pattern (which I love) and flowers (which I love) and the colour scheme is fresh with light green and lots of white.”

This is DIY on a small scale — perfect for those of us with more ambition than time!

Choices, choices, choices (II)…

The house that The Beard and I own — or sort of own, because a goodly portion of it still belongs to Wells Fargo — came complete with a backyard deck painted a sort of rusty red color that burns the hell out of our feet on summer afternoons. We’ve got a power sander and a couple of jugs of deck stain at the ready. What we don’t have is time!

Recently, my MIL was in town along with one of The Beard’s cousins, my own mother, and her partner. Watching our relatives carry kitchen chairs out onto the deck was a bit humbling, to say the least. We’d had two of those molded plastic chairs one can buy at the Family Dollar and a little matching table, which was fine for us. Then The Beard dropped one off of the side of the deck, meaning no more leisurely Saturday morning outdoor breakfasts. For now, at least.

Well, it seems my MIL noticed the lack of outdoor seating because before she left, she presented The Beard with a check for a thousand dollars to put toward a nice patio set. Now I’m wasting precious time scouring the Internet for ideas. I can’t decide whether to buy something chic for two (seeing as that we’ll be the ones using it 99% of the time) or a set that can accommodate larger numbers.

Here are two possibilities:

Provence Garden Set (2 chairs, 1 table) $60 surcharge

The Provence garden set would be perfect for those intimate breakfasts mentioned above, but less than ideal when guests were in town.

Al Fresco Folding Teak Table ($100 surcharge)

The Al Fresco teak set, on the other hand, would allow us to play host to at least three other people.

We’re gravitating toward something durable that’s less than the amount donated by my MIL so we can buy a few other things for our home. I’m thinking about picking up this lamp from Bellacor:

Fiesta Blue Table Lamp

It’s lovely, it matches my living room scheme, and it costs a mere $151, which doesn’t seem like a lot when you have a thousand bucks to play with. Would I spring for it normally? Probably not because I like the thrifting game too much, but the rules have changed for the time being!

The Stealth Bomber of chairs

It flies through the air with the greatest of ease

Radar won’t detect THIS chair from Blu Dot! Its faceted surfaces give it a very low radar signature because it can radiate almost all of the radar energy away from the receiver. Okay, maybe I’m making all of this up, but I can’t help it if my brain says B-2 when I look at this particular piece of furniture.

2Modern says: “Powder-coated steel ships flat and folds along laser-cut lines to create a dynamic and comfortable chair. As skinny as a supermodel, yet far more sturdy.”

I don’t necessarily know that I want my furniture to be as skinny as a supermodel. Furniture from my local discount store is as skinny as a supermodel and that isn’t good. I wouldn’t mind, however, if my furniture was as study as a F-117 Nighthawk because that’s pretty dang sturdy. Unlike the Nighthawk, the Real Good chair is available in ivory, aqua, and red.

Domestic loveliness from Domestic Construction

A truly bright idea

If you’re a tea connoisseur like The Beard — or a tea cup connoisseur — how can you not love these “ted lights” from Domestic Construction? Besides the fact that they’re uberclever, they’re also just retro enough to be chic while still being subtle enough to blend into a modern space. Then again, a group of them would make a great focal point for a countryish space.

I’m not quite sure how one can acquire them outside of going to Brooklyn and knocking on the door with checkbook in hand. Domestic Construction appears to be a studio rather than a store, but apparently those local to the NYC area can buy some of their unique wares at Ricky’s.

Sucks to be the rest of us, I guess!

Okay with adequacy

I am currently hosting houseguests in the form of my MIL and one of The Beard’s cousins. I’m sad to say that other than cleaning the house and giving up my bed, I did nothing to make them feel welcome.

A well-stocked chair is not for sitting!The two-glass system replaces the pitcher, according to Martha

I did not pull a Martha Stewart and stock a chair with water bottles, roses, and a basket o’ towels. Nor did I provide a glass of water topped by a second glass, to make things look classy AND keep the cats from dipping their paws into the agua. What else did I not to that Martha Stewart Living (which I only get because they canceled Blueprint) tells me I ought to do?

For one thing, I have not provided my in-laws with straw slippers that I embellished myself or lush bars of Savon de Marseille, like so:

What do you do, ask for everyone’s size?!Not ONAROAP

I certainly did not make up a little binder with information about my town, my town’s TV stations, and a menu of the dishes I know how to cook so they can select a different breakfast each morning!

Where to go, what to watch, and what to eat?

Nope, nope, nope. I mean, I’m not an entirely horrible host! I laid out some towels, made sure no one was allergic to cinnamon before putting it in the coffee, and had plenty of pillows at the ready. And, like I said, I gave up my bed! I’m just no Martha Stewart because she gets paid day in and day out to be a perfect host, while I most certainly don’t!

Plant your butt on something beautiful

Oh, MetroSofa, you minx! Temptress! Or is that tempter? I mean, really now, is an only seating shop traditionally male or female? It doesn’t matter. Your antique-modern aesthetic makes me want to light all of the furniture in my house on fire just so I have an excuse to buy more.

Seriously — classic styles merge with hip fabrics in a perfect blend of old and new. They start with recyclable or antique wood frames that would otherwise end up in a landfill and work their magic to make them beautiful again, choosing “paints, fabrics, cushions and finishes with green production and manufacturing in mind.” Yep, green as in eco-friendly so you can feel good about your chair…unless you had to torch all your existing chairs to get it.

Plus, if you don’t like any of the chairs you see below, you can custom design your own!

Metro green hits the scene


So in love with Flutter

When I fall in love with a shop, I typically fall HARD. Recently, I have gone ga-ga for Flutter, a shop filled with a “delightful disarray of found objects and clutter.” The bad news is that Flutter is located about a billion miles from me…well, it might as well be a billion miles with airfare what it is right now. The good news is that Flutter, like Coleen & Company, has some of its wares for sale online.

A splash of colorA house for your favorite candle
Something sweet and calorie freeBrighten up a wall or two

I’d gladly invite any of these things into my home. Besides the fact that pagodas are hot right now, I’m a sucker for all things blue. I also love fruit-themed containers, vintage-look pillows, and anything “distressed.” It’s a good thing I don’t have a lot of extra green, because if I did, I’d be single-handedly paying off Flutter’s lease!

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