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What Is That, Velvet?

Isn’t word association bizarre? I just found a gorgeous chair in the weirdest way possible, and so I want to take you on a short and strange journey through my thought processes. First, you have me remembering me when I shared a basement apartment with a good friend who was kind of nuts – in a fun way, I should add. For a while, he had a thing for saying “What is that, velvet?” in the reediest faux-Jewishy New York accent. I don’t know that anyone in my social circle knew where it came from. Next you have me deciding, on a random Thursday, to Google it, at which time I found out it’s a quote from Coming to America. At roughly the same time, in my search for the quote’s origins, I also found this:

It’s a reproduction of the classic french chair, flocked in blue, pink, purple, red, orange, or green and then upholstered in matching silk. No, it’s not velvet, but it is velvety and possibly less prone to scratches and dings as a result. English Eccentrics makes them to order, so they’re by no means cheap, but they are a lot of fun to look at and I certainly enjoyed finding my way to them!

Finally, I Get to Show Off a Project of My Own!

After posting so many pics of other people’s DIY projects – like this and this and this – I feel pretty proud to finally post one of my own. I’m not sure what it is about being insanely busy, but when I am already insanely busy I suddenly am able to do more more more without sacrificing any more time. As far as I can tell, I either begin to work faster or time slows down. It’s one or the other. Lately, I’ve been working on about 80 projects (professional stuff, a class, the baby’s room, etc.) and yet here I am, with our kitchen shoe and bag table somehow suddenly updated!

I don’t have a good before picture because I usually start these things at random times when inspiration strikes and so there’s none of that crazy planning ahead stuff that would give me time to get a ‘before.’ Oh well. But I can give some background – I found that table while taking the baby out for a walk. Yes, I am one of those people who will pull perfectly good furniture that’s ready for a little update out of your trash. In this case, it was a homemade side table (there were two but I only took one) that was a yucky mustard color. With some leftover paint from my office, three pieces of craft paper, and some Mod Podge, I turned it into something old and boring into something totally fun and sweet… if I do say so myself.

Build. Unbuild. Build. Sit.

Fun and function are not mutually exclusive in these “Cojines Cojines” cushions by Nani Marquina. Colorful building blocks and floor pillows come together in this cushions with small magnets that let you connect them any which way – longer, shorter, whatever you want. Unicolor? Multicolor? It’s up to you!

I love stuff like this. Superfun!

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Think Pink! (Seven Ways)

One of my favorite bits from the movie Funny Face is the Think Pink! routine. And seriously, I’m a huge sucker for pink, more so now since having a girl baby. Not, mind that I set out to pinkify her life – but everyone else in existence apparently did. Now that I’m finally working on her room, I’ve chosen a deep pink, black, and white scheme, mainly because it’s solid, girly palette without being immature, and as a combo, it never has been terribly unpopular in my lifetime so it won’t look ridiculously out of date five or ten years from now. Pink can be babyish, of course, but it doesn’t have to be.

Here are seven sweet examples of how one might use pink inside and outside of one’s home, with not a single nursery in sight:

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A Little Something Exta

How can you make the perfect bookcase extra perfect? Try adding some color with wallpaper or even craft paper or contact paper. Not on your books or on the top and sides of the bookcase, but rather in back, where it will frame whatever is on your bookcase, absolutely brilliantly.

This is a super DIY project if you’re dealing with a flatpack bookcase, e.g., the Ikea Billy, since you can take off the whole back and simply cover it, but it’s none too difficult when you have to put the paper on the backing directly. It just means a bit of careful measuring and cutting, and a somewhat more careful application. But, oh, so worth it! See?

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Vintage Look Bookcase

Whimsy and utility meet in this adorable bookcase created by Singapore designer Jaren Goh. I might also have written that the modern lines meet a classic silhouette or that vintage and new come together. But however you say it, I adore it!

Stacked to Perfection

Got some old drawers laying around, maybe still sitting in that old, beat-up dresser that’s beyond repair? Why not get your craft on and repurpose those drawers into something totally sweet? Like…

The first two examples of repurposed drawers come from Crafty Nest. Freecycled drawers became a unique bookcase and a beautiful rustic shadowbox in the capable hands of master crafter Monica Ewing. The third example of repurposed drawers comes from a temporary pop-up shop in London by Tracey Neuls with walls created using drawers and c-clamps. Finally, designer Tejo Remy used repurposed drawers to create art meant to be a criticism of modern consumerism, but then the project outgrew the art and now you can buy the table top edition here.

Book? Light? Drink of Water? It Has You Covered.

Unless you absolutely do not have the space because your bed is nearly as wide as your bedroom, you probably have one or more bedside tables a.k.a. nightstands. As furniture goes, bedside tables are among the most useful, since once you’re ensconced under the covers, it’s unlikely that you’ll want to get up again any time soon. But you might need something!

While getting a nice set of matched bedside tables that are basically smaller versions of your dresser is the easiest way to do nightstands, why not think outside of the box? Mismatched bedside tables mean never having to buy new – you might even already have two tables (or table-ish somethings) that would work. How about chairs? Old suitcases? Even a planter stand could work in a pinch.

The only thing you should be careful of is height. Ideally, the tops of your nightstands will be at lest as high as the top of your mattress. And if you have two bedside tables – having one on either side is optional – they should be roughly the same height.

It’s that simple! Here’s bunches of bedside table inspiration for you to enjoy:

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Is It the Art or Something Else?

I’m not a huge fan of nature art, but I’m loving these photo prints from Moon Angel Art. Of course it might just be that I have a bit of a stiffy for the couches in the display rooms rather than the prints themselves, even though they are very pretty. One does, after all, need somewhere to sit to admire the art for any length of time!

Just goes to show you how important the room is in showcasing your art, whether that means photo prints, handpainted ceramic owls from Mexico, Murano glass sculptures, or African masks interspersed with family portraits. And if it just so happens that the art you want to admire is in your kids’ rooms, there are a surprising number of companies that have you covered. See?

colorful rocking chairpink couch for kidsottoman
pink chairblue chairflower ottoman

Shame they’re all sized for wee ones (though they’re nonetheless clickable)!

This Ain’t Your Momma’s Beanbag (or Maybe It Is, Who Knows)

As I said in a once upon a time post, I think of beanbag chairs as being the purview of toddlers and teens. That said, I understand that there are some contemporaries of mine who’d like nothing more than to sink into the engulfing embrace of a beanbag chair at the end of a long, stressful day. But please, if you’re going to do it, at least do it right. Insofar as I can dig on a beanbag chair, I’m digging on the beanbag chairs sewn by a certain Lil Chrissy.

She uses vintage fabric from the 1970s to craft her creations – unless, that is you’d prefer that she sew you up a beanbag chair (or floor cushion or wind break) using fabric that you already have in your possession. As she puts it, perhaps you have the fabric, but not the skills to use it.

Actually I sort of like the second example, possibly because it seems structured? Like it could hold its own against other pieces of furniture around my house. More like a beanbag ottman than a beanbag chair. Less lumpy and frumpy, and not at all as squishy, surely, but certainly more stylish.

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