Experiencing the world from a home on wheels

Walking into most campers is like taking a time machine back to the 70s. I won’t lie — I’m a huge camper fan. I love the crazy old school ones that look like silver pill bugs! But unless a camper has been redone or began its life as a custom job they’re usually filled with bad upholstery, horrid colors, and cheap laminates. Bleah.

TerraCross vehicles are more than a little different. For one thing, they’re designed to stand up to harsh conditions and look good doing it. When you buy a TerraCross, you choose between upholstery made of fabric or leather, parquet floors or kautchuk, kitchen counter tops made of wood or stainless steel, cabinets with laminate or real wood surfaces, and more.

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You can enjoy your own blue period

Every now and again, my mailbox is inundated with home decor magazines. Where all of them have converged in recent months is in their liberal use of blue. It’s not just one particular sort of blue, either. There are Greenwich blues and icy blues and cornflower blues and cobalt blues. Light greenish blues seem to be dominating at this time, but there certainly seems to be plenty of room for other competing blues.

Did I mention that other than black, blue is my favorite color? There are millions upon billions of ways one can integrate a color into a home decor scheme. Sometimes it’s hard to decide what to do because there are so many options, but seeing what others have done can be all the inspiration one needs. Below you’ll find some blue interiors that will get your creative juices flowing.

OMG that floor is amazing

The thought of painting a floor never really occurred to me until just now. As it turns out, The Beard and I have an unfinished floor in the upper story of our home and I’m sorely tempted to start laying down color!

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Even more pillow talk

Avocado and Pumpkin Silk Eighteen-Inch Square PillowPale Green Silk Twenty-Two Inch Square Pillow
Red Silk Eighteen-Inch Square PillowRed and Butterscotch Silk Eighteen-Inch Square Pillow
Navajo Blue and Pale Green Silk Eighteen-Inch Square PillowNavajo Blue Silk Twenty-Two Inch Square Pillow

There’s nothing like a nice squishy tosser, as I’ve mentioned previously. In my little abode, throw pillows get sat on, chucked around, used as trivets, gnawed by curious kitties, and taken on long car trips. Huh…maybe that’s why none of mine are stuffed with down and covered in raw shantung silk like the colorful examples above. If your throw pillows lead a far less vigorous life than my own, perhaps it’s time to upgrade to something more refined.

Comfy looking, no?
image by scriptingnews

Doesn’t that look gorgeous? It’s the little touches–like funky pillows or an heirloom quilt–that make a space feel homey to me, which is why sitting on any of my couches and chairs usually involves moving a bunch of throws and things. What are the tiny details that make you feel at home?

Building up a kitchen from scratch

I like all things rustic, though I can’t rightly say why. When I was growing up, the dream home I envisioned in my head looked just like something out of a modernist furniture catalog. My maternal grandparent’s home may have been somewhat of an inspiration, as it was filled with triumphs of Danish Design. Long story short, my mother’s penchant for wood and so on mortified me beyond belief. Why I thought that any of my peers would be giving thought to our home and its trappings is utterly beyond me.

Buried somewhere in the books The Beard and I have not yet unpacked is a short work discussing the French kitchen. In my youth I spent a great deal of time hanging about German kitchens, but never had the opportunity to visit a French one so I can’t vouch for the accuracy of the book’s assertion that the kitchens in France’s countryside don’t typically have built in counters or storage space. Maybe it’s a regional thing?

Drool slobber slobber want

After reading that, I was sorely tempted to rip out all my counters and cabinetry so I could start fresh with all manner of wonderful tables and cabinets. I might begin my kitchen re-imaging adventure with this antique pine and Vermont soapstone island. It comes complete with two roomy drawers with brass pulls so we’d have someplace to put all those odd little kitchen doodads The Beard’s mom insists on buying for us.

Can’t afford new? Revitalize!

Everything old is new again!

While thinking about rooms that don’t click yesterday, I was reminded of the fact that it’s easy to spruce up a room with a new piece of furniture but not always financially feasible to do so. Case in point: Moving into our new home meant spending a lot of time figuring out how we could use what we already have in new ways.

One way I’ve accomplished that involved refinishing furniture in various ways. A lot of people stay away from projects like that because they think that it will be difficult or complicated, when in fact that’s a completely erroneous assumption. How easy is it? Six steps worth of easy! All you need is an old dresser, black acrylic, Mod Podge Hard Coat, 400 and 150 grit sandpaper, toile print wallpaper, a sponge brush, a nylon brush, a craft knife, scissors, and a ruler.

1. Remove drawer pulls. Sand entire chest with 150 grit then 400 grit sand paper.

2. Basecoat entire chest Licorice using nylon brush.

3. Measure top and drawer fronts; cut a piece of wallpaper to size for each area.

4. Using sponge brush, apply Hardcoat Mod Podge to back of top wallpaper piece; position on chest then smooth out air bubbles. Repeat for drawer fronts. Let dry.

5. Apply a topcoat of Hardcoat Mod Podge over the entire chest (both painted and wallpapered areas). Let dry. Repeat with a second and third topcoat of Hardcoat Mod Podge, sanding between coats with 400 grit sand paper.

6. Using craft knife make a holes for drawer pulls then reinsert.

Ta da! You now have a “new” dresser, end table, or bed stand!

When a room just doesn’t “click”

I’m home a lot recently, which means I spend an awful lot of time looking around my abode with a vague sense of dissatisfaction. We moved in around October 1, and I’m still not altogether satisfied with the feel of the house. I’ve spent many an hour moving furniture and accent pieces from one room to another and back again. When I get dismayed, I just think, “Hey! It’s exercise, right?”

Lately, the focal point of my efforts has been the bedroom. Yesterday, I moved one of the kitchen table chairs into the bedroom. There’s only two of us, which means there’s no reason I shouldn’t spread the chair wealth. Then I went crazy hanging plates, mirrors, and quilts. The dang room still doesn’t feel right.

River Estates Trellis Bed (Queen)Enchantment Lattice Bed (Queen)
Shelby Bed (Queen)British Isle Poster Bed (Queen)

I’m beginning to suspect that what my bedroom needs is a new bed. A bed that isn’t partly held together with a metal reinforcement bar. A bed that isn’t a thousand years old. My bed is serviceable, but it’s not in keeping with my current tastes. It was once The Beard’s, which could be part of the problem.

A new piece of furniture can re-vitalize a space, provided you can afford the right piece of furniture. In my case, I’ll be spending another day schlepping stuff into and out of the bedroom…

One step up from the fireplace DVD?

Resin Tealight Fireplace Log

Does this strike anyone else as a touch odd? I like logs in the fireplace (not that I have one) and I wouldn’t kick a tea light off the table, but I’m not a fan of the combo package. Bellacor describes this product thusly:

The rustic charm of a flickering fire is recreated with this clever, handcrafted resin log sculpture. Set right in the fireplace for a no fuss alternative to lighting.

I’d actually feel safer with a proper fire set off from the room itself with a nice decorative grate. Eleven tea lights at floor level means eleven flames drawing the attention of curious pets, curious babies, and clumsy house guests. I suppose you could use flameless tea lights, but just how faux are you willing to go?

How many fake leopards had to die?

Someone tell me how I can fit this into my decor without it looking ridiculous

Wedding gowns and shoes get saddled with amusing, silly, and patently odd names. Why was Cary named Cary? And who’s Madalyn?

As it turns out, plenty of furniture comes complete with interesting and evocative monikers. Meet Cairo, the bench that apparently hails from the land of the pharaohs.

Sitting on subway maps and signs

Subwayphiles everywhere are salivatingA chair for the sign lover in your life

I have these two friends. One is a die hard New Yorker and a subwayphile. The other is loathe to pass up any opportunity to snap up an old street sign that happens to be lying around. If I had a few thousand bucks burning a hole in my pocket, you can bet I’d be placing an order for a few of these chairs. Designed by Boris Bally, they are crafted from aluminum and steel signs rendering each chair unique.

As Michael Monroe (wait, that Michael Monroe?) so aptly put it:

“An attraction to the bold graphics of discarded highway signage inspired Boris Bally to collect, recycle, and fabricate furniture of great wit and distinction. His chairs – with fragmented words, symbols and arrows splashed across their surfaces – seem to symbolize urban grit and rhythms.”

Indeed…of course, I love weird highlight pieces like this. You wouldn’t want to outfit your whole house with them–at least most people wouldn’t–but they’re awesome in a starring role. My main stand-out piece is a beautiful and striking Russian khokhloma side table that my grandparents brought back on some excursion some years ago. What’s yours?

Clutter is more than just an eyesore

Disorganized outside can mean disorganized inside

According to a recent NYT article, clutter is just as psychologically damaging as it is ugly. I tend to agree, but I’m a chronic organizer rather than a chronic clutterer. While I can accept that one man’s clutter is another man’s collection, I’m firmly of the mind that if something is neither useful nor beautiful, it ought to be chucked, repurposed, sold, or given away.

Excessive clutter and disorganization are often symptoms of a bigger health problem. People who have suffered an emotional trauma or a brain injury often find housecleaning an insurmountable task. Attention deficit disorder, depression, chronic pain and grief can prevent people from getting organized or lead to a buildup of clutter. At its most extreme, chronic disorganization is called hoarding, a condition many experts believe is a mental illness in its own right, although psychiatrists have yet to formally recognize it.

Getting organized is unquestionably good for both mind and body — reducing risks for falls, helping eliminate germs and making it easier to find things like medicine and exercise gear.

Makes sense to me. For those wondering how to begin, I recommend starting with some decorative trunks:

Set Of Two Woven Jute Trunks

In a pinch, you can stash your stuff in these babies without having to organize it, and you can come back to it later for organization purposes when you have more time.

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