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A Farmhouse, Not Farmy

I’m loving the 1840s farmhouse the painter Sean Scherer shares with his partner, Marc Mayer. It’s rather deceptive — outside it has all sorts of rustic charm, while the inside is home to botanical, zoological, and anatomical artifacts. Mercury glass shares space with transferware and precise renderings of human guts. Where else can you find an old slaughterhouse table share space with midcentury Scandinavian ceramics and newsprint wallpaper all in one space?

farmhouse bedroom

farmhouse kitchen

farmhouse living room

farmhouse kitchen 2

Style to Fool the Eye

Commitment-phobic decorators can still get their fun on, sans nails or paint or anything else that will leave a lasting impression. Decals are the order of the day for those who can’t fathom keeping the same decor for more than six months and apartment-dwellers whose landlords have given them a clear thumbs down when it comes to changing anything more than the window treatments. Stick ‘em, unstick ‘em, stash ‘em when maman comes to visit, whatever.

Trompe L'oeil Chair Decals

Old chairs become new again!

Trompe L'oeil Chandelier

Low ceilings no longer mean having to forgo pendant lighting!

Trompe L'oeil Headboard

Why spend a lot on a headboard that doesn’t actually do anything?

Trompe L'oeil Mantle

No fireplace? No problem.

Trompe L'oeil Lights

The chair backs, socket lights, and headboard decals come from Blik, while the mantle decal comes from Urban Lola and the chandelier decal comes from Single Stone Studios.

Daybeds: Five Ways

The humble daybed was my dream bed as a girl, which is why I’d like my daughter’s first big-girl bed to be a daybed. I’m sure she’ll despise it because the grass is always greener, meaning she’ll dream of a lovely wooden platform bed or a sleigh bed or perhaps even a round hanging bed if she peruses the Manolo for the Home archives. A daybed can be thought of as a cross between chaise lounge, couch, and a bed, and may come with a trundle bed that stows away underneath so two can find a night’s rest.

I still love them, I’ll readily admit, which is why I went looking for pictorial daybed inspiration. Here are five daybeds done five ways…

For the sunroom, where guests can sit on it year round or sleep on it in the summertime:

daybed 4

For the home office, where one can lounge between frantic sessions of productivity:

daybed 5

For the living room, where it doubles as the couch:

daybed 6

For kids’ rooms, whether it is a seating space or a bed for sleepovers or both:


For a cozy, out-of-the-way guest bedroom (otherwise known as the room your dog thinks of as his own):

daybed 2

A Little Bit Country

Your home can be a little bit country without animal heads on the walls, lots of dark exposed wood, or being a little bit rock and roll. Just like you can be mod without plastic chairs or inflatable furniture. Not that there’s anything wrong with going a really rustic route.

Check these country interiors out for down home inspiration without the gun rack:

country art

A recipe for rustic: take one piece distressed furniture and combine with old world landscapes, vintage art pieces, and crisp white furniture. (via)


Making the Most of What He Has

Sometimes people live in small spaces out of necessity, and sometimes they do it for the challenge. I’m not sure why out-of-work architect Sergio Santos chose a small space lifestyle, but I have to admit he’s doing it more effectively than most. He rents a converted electrical closet in Delray Beach, Florida for a mere $150 per month. At five-and-a-half feet from wall to wall, you can touch both walls at once.

small apartment living 2

When you live in a space that small, there’s nowhere to go but up. The bed, television, and closet are suspended above Santos’ office space, and yet he still found places for a mini kitchen and a window sanctuary. Not even wallspace is wasted, provided you don’t call art a waste. Even the shelves have a second purpose, serving as the ladder to the upper level.

small apartment living

Santos built a small seating area, which he calls his terrace, below the room’s only window. It’s the homiest spot in the tiny little space he calls home. The only thing that’s missing is a bathroom, which I hope for Santos’ sake exists somewhere just outside his miniature living quarters.

Regrets? I’ve Had a Few

When I was in high school, I desperately wanted my bedroom to look like this. Substantial charcoal-gray paint. Minimal furniture. Plenty of glamour. And just enough artwork and embellishment to make it so that friends who visited my bedroom would envy my limited living space.

charcoal gray bedroom

Unfortunately, I was in my teens without money or anyone to teach me the finer points of decorating and finishing a space, so my bedroom ended up looking more like a very sad goth hideout with posters and clicky-clacky hangings and all the other silly things teenagers seem to like so much. If only I had known then what I know now. C’est la vie, I suppose.

A Crib to Dream In (and About)

If we had a nursery for our little one and I could have any crib I wanted, I think I’d choose this one.

blue crib

This Kenridge Crib looks great in its various incarnations, which means no having to buy toddler beds — sorry, racecar bed fans — or twin beds later on. White pine, poplar, and other hard woods mean its durable, too. And the finish? Think white pine and hardwood veneers that are lightly distressed.

toddler bed

Because twin beds? Sure, they’re less expensive in the short one, but they’re not particularly useful later on. You can’t use them as a guest bed unless you exclusively host singles, and I’ve never known a young adult to want them for long once they move out of the house.

blue bed

Unfortunately, at $1,127 (plus shipping) for the crib plus both conversion kits, this crib isn’t what I’d call economically-priced, especially since the most expensive part of any bed is the mattress. But it is certainly pretty, and it comes in a huge range of colors, from the above surf blue to flamingo to chili pepper to sour apple, and all the usual boring colors like white, black, and the pastels. Nursery-matching is not a problem here. Love it!

Feminine Doesn’t Have to Mean Pink

We can’t deny that pink is associated with femininity and that femininity is associated with pink, but that doesn’t mean that we have to buy into it. One can, in fact, create a feminine space without reverting to splashes or even tidal waves of everything from amaranth to tea rose. I’m not saying pink is bad or ugly, but sometimes I wonder if society’s current lust for it is a sign that we women are being asked to revert to girlhood as part of that horrid quest for everlasting youth. So let’s get away from it without sacrificing that XX spirit, shall we?

feminine bedroom

Here are four overtly feminine bedrooms, all done in different style and in different colors, from blue (shown there) to purple, green, and a room that combines a lot of different colors to make one harmonious whole.


Never teh Bride Loves: Purple!

I know that it wasn’t that long ago that I posted a selection of purple interiors — which y’all loved, yay! — but a recent search for purple slipcovers brought this versatile hue to the forefront of my mind once again and I started tooling around Amazon in search of cool stuff in said color. Here’s just some of what I found:

purple paring knifepurple graterpurple radio
purple office chairpurple toasterpurple ottoman
purple thermospurple coffeemakerpurple pillows
purple couchpurple lamppurple bottle opener

As always, click on any of the pics for more info. My faves are the purple slipcover (obviously), the purple coffee maker, and oddly enough, the wide mouth thermos. The lamp is a pretty close third, though!

Another Ersatz Headboard Idea

Those of us who inherit bed frames don’t get a lot of choice, obviously. But that doesn’t mean we have to wait until the perfect headboard shows up on Craigslist or in the classifieds in the newspaper. I’ve touched on DIY headboards before, but it struck me that I’ve never written about the ersatz headboard idea I used for quite some time.

floral headboard

The most basic version of the faux headboard is nothing more than a screen, fabric covered or otherwise, tacked up to the wall behind your bed. For years the Beard and I used a Shoji folding screen as a headboard. We didn’t even have to attach it to the wall — it stayed put just wedged between the wall and the bed. If you don’t want to DIY, you can always go with a floral screen and a folding screen with built-in storage, which are great for those who don’t have room for proper sidetables.

If you do want to DIY, however, there is no shortage of headboard how-tos out there. The easiest will have you stapling fabric to a simple wooden frame, while the more difficult ones involve a bit of sewing or actual construction work. Still, even for the novice, this is a fairly easy DIY project and nothing to be afraid of!

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