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Up in the air

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After a jam-packed and exhausting 10 days in Hong Kong and China, I’m heading home. I currently type this out from the seat that I’ll spend the next fifteen hours in… Thank goodness there is champagne…
I had four back to back meetings before getting to this point, so the post I had planned just didn’t get finished. In the meantime, you can read about me, my travel (including my fave destination) on Channeling Contessa today! Clara and her blog are phenomenal, so hop on over! You will love her recipes, especially!

Bon Voyage!

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DIY X-Stool

making an x-stool from a director's chair

X-stools come in all shapes and sizes, but you don’t have to stress about finding the right one for your space – just make it!  I used the base of a directors chair that I had sitting in a closet to create this little perch in my entryway and love it!  I had a table runner on hand that I bought just because I liked the metallic natural weave, but had only used probably once, which made for the perfect seat and was quite easy to put together.  The best part is, you could use any fabric you want as long as it’s upholstery weight.  Since mine was already at a 16 inch width, I didn’t have to hem any edges, but that wouldn’t be to difficult either.

director's chair into xstool

Xstool Tutorial

ONE unscrew the arms from the base of the directors chair and discard.  TWO unscrew the brace that stabilizes the top of the legs and put aside – you’ll reattach this piece later. THREE measure the open width of the base going all of the way around the underside of the horizontal supports. FOUR cut your fabric to width (or just a touch shorter) and wrap it very tightly around the sidebars, cutting a little notch out for the diagonal legs.

Xstool how-to

Xstool process

Staple one side of the fabric to the underneath of the side bars.  Move to the other side and repeat, cutting the notches for the legs and pulling very tightly before stapling.  The, re-attach the braces that you removed in step two.

X stool from a Directors chair

Presto!  You’ve got a brand new stool that folds right up and tucks away when not in use.  I’d make a pair of these and bring them out to flank my coffee table when guests come over!

Will you give it a try?  If you don’t have an old director’s chair sitting around, I’m sure it wouldn’t be a hard thing to find at an end-of-summer garage sale!

If you have a tall director’s chair, try this fun DIY that I did in April!

 

Have a FABULOUS Tuesday, guys!

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Please Drink Responsibly

drink responsibly - terracycle

Loungy, lazy summer Sundays – complete with snacks and wine –  are one of my favorite parts of this season.  As the weather dries out and the breeze cools slightly, the environment is perfect for an outdoor Sunday Funday.

It’s crazy to think about how much trash can be accumulated from having a party, and considering the beauty of the surrounding nature, I wanted to create a gathering that was as socially responsible as it was fun.  For this reason, I was pretty excited to try out The Naked Grape‘s new Terra-Cycle boxes (yes, boxes) of wine, the first of it’s kind to be 100% recyclable. I had always wondered about Terra-Cycle after seeing their markings on several boxes and I’m impressed about their methods and the sustainability they support.

I wanted to spend some extra time playing in my back yard before I took off to travel around the world, so I put together a quick gathering all with an  environmentally friendly flair.

naked grape responsible drinking

naked grape - drink responsibly

the naked grape wine

I set up a little snack station in my backyard for friends to help themselves to drinks and food.  Acrylic wine glasses and tumblers are reusable and don’t create waste.  Local produce adds to the long list of ways that we can create a socially responsible party with lots of fun factor.  Guests were able to grab a little nibble and lounge in the lawn with their wine.  I choose two varieties, The Naked Grape Pinot Grigio and Cabernet.  I prefer Cabernet, but think the Pinot Grigio is such a nice light and crisp summer wine, it went perfectly with a little cheese and fresh peach slices.  For more photos of my set up and suggestions for an ecochic party, continue reading!

 

Continue Reading…

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Friday Faves 8.16

Friday Faves 8.16

ONE a new 2013/2014 planner from poppin is cheap at $15 and will keep you on track from now through the new year and since it’s 18 month, you won’t be lugging two calendars around when it comes time to switch over. TWO I can’t stop with the scandinavian crosses!  This black and white pillowcover by Pencil Me In Stationary is minimal, stylish, and won’t break the bank at $38.  THREE It’s easy for baskets around the house to look old, but the chunky weave and bold handle design on this Nate Berkus Basket is current and cool.  Plus, it’s just $10! FOUR I’m obsessed with these smooth walnut wood cutting boards by DominikWoods.  They would be just as perfect on display as they would be for chopping veggies, $89. FIVE gold and white coasters by The Coastal are on sale for $22 (set of four) and come in a few beautiful designs.

Happy Friday, guys!  I’ve already finished work for the day in mainland China and am back in Hong Kong enjoying a fabulous hot pot dinner tonight with some colleagues and friends.  If you’ve never had Chinese hot pot, it’s like fondue, but they use broth instead of oil and the selection of things to cook ranges from a slew of Chinese veggies to cuddlefish balls, shrimp dumplings, kobe beef (sliced super thin) and fish skins (which are actually quite delicious).

This weekend, I am excited to do a little bit of shopping, drink some champagne on the terrace of one of the tallest buildings in HK, have brunch at a fancy hotel, and possibly hit up the pool at my hotel if it stops raining.  It’s a little bit of a departure from the renovations and DIYs that have been consuming my past few weekends.

Have a good one out there and come back Monday for little project which really improved the privacy situation in one of my rooms!

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Take Two: Bedside

take two - bedside copy

Two basic bedsides, two very different looks.  Both mix the mid century mod with a bit of traditional, so why are they so so different?  Colors play a big role in this one – if you can image all of the pieces in the second picture being neutral, suddenly it doesn’t feel super different from the first.

Whic bedside do you prefer?  Natural and neutral?  Or mod colorful?

 

source: Left by Bess Friday Photography | Right from My Home Ideas

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DIY Herringbone Textured Walls

herringbone paint walls

So, I definitely painted the walls in my bar to emulate this wallpaper that I’d been adoring.  I had shown you all my plans last week and I was surprised by the responses.  After all of your feedback, I decided to tackle the paint.  I thought, I could always wallpaper over the paint if I botch it.  I will say that I love the way it turned out, although it was really difficult and a huge pain.  Unless you’re doing plain walls with no trim, doorways, angles, or curves I have to honestly say that I wouldn’t necessarily recommend it.

Do I love how it looks?  Sure.  Do I think it looks as good as if I were to attempt wallpaper in the same space? Probably. Did it almost induce tears? Yes.

The project as a whole wasn’t terribly difficult, it just took a lot of patience.   I really got up-close and personal with some ScotchBlue™ Painter’s Tape and my Sherwin Williams paint in Uncertain Grey during the process, but I find all of that taping kind of cathartic.  It took a lot of little chunks of time, waiting for drying, repeated painting, etc. Aside from the tedious details and the waiting, the biggest issue was the uneven walls and the difficulty to get a regular pattern on an irregular surface.

herringbone walls paint effect

painted herringbone walls

The effect is textural and subtle.  I used a grey instead of the beige of the original wallpaper because I plan to paint my entryway navy blue and wanted a nice bridge between navy and the green tea color in our kitchen.  You can continue reading for the step by step on how I executed this feat!

Continue Reading…

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Space for Two

office plans

I have eluded to the fact that I’ve got an office re-do coming up soon,which is needed to suit both Matt and my working habits to the fullest.  It’s certainly necessary (seeing as how I currently do most of my work in the dining room) and is designed to be perfect for two users.

My current office is awesome, but a small desk isn’t suitable for laying out larger projects or shooting DIY tutorials (hence why I post up on the dining room table).  There isn’t enough surface space for both Matt and my computers, so it’s definitely under-utilized.

I intend to bring in a table like this navy Strut desk from Blu Dot to be a flexible work surface, with the ability to be utilized from both sides of the piece.  I can envision me on one end taking styled workflow photographs for the blog whereas on the opposite side, Matt with crunch numbers and advise logistical type support for our big adventure (to be announced this month, I swear!).  Gold shelves (a future DIY), some simple gold stools for magazine stacking or added seating as well as a user-friendly rug (that I already own) will add all of the right details to the space.  Task Lighting will be the added touch to accompany some of the long work nights we’ve been pulling.

How do you feel about the initial design?  My goal is to have adequate storage and work surface, while remaining chic and stylish.

Do you work in an office?  Or, like me, do you work out of a common area of your home?

 

 

P.S. Today is the last day to enter the $500 Home Depot gift card giveaway! Enter here!

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(In Need of Some) Summer Reads

Summer Reads copy

I’m taking off this morning on another business trip and a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong.  I haven’t had much time to read this summer, so I’m really excited for the downtime and the opportunity to catch up on some of the volumes that have been waiting on my ‘must read’ list.  There aren’t many (and I didn’t include any crime novels although I’d love some good recos), but here are a few titles topping my list.

For the all-around-good-reads, I’ve heard wonderful things about The Light Between Oceans by M.L Stedman, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by  Carol Rijka Brunt, and The Cuckoo’s Calling by J.K Rowling.  I only home that the latter is better than her previous non-HP attempt, which I didn’t love.

I’ve also got a fair amount of design books that have been taking a back seat to the abundance of summer projects I’ve been trying to bust out.  I pretty much love anything by Darryl Carter, so The Collected Home has been on my wishlist for a while.  Interior Portraits by Victoria Hagan looks to be a beautiful slew of inspiration, and The Soul of a House by Chris Madden is one that I’m sure I’ll take my time pouring through.

Have you guys read any of these?  Thoughts?  Or if you have a phenomenal book I must get, let me know!  I’ll pick it up at the airport!

 

Have a fantastic week, guys!  Just because I’m out of town doesn’t mean I don’t have some amazing stuff lined up.  I’ll be unveiling my herringbone walls this week, we have a $500 giftcard giveaway going on, and I’ll be sharing style and travel amazingness on Instagram!

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Friday Faves 8.9

Friday Faves 8.9

 

ONE I’ve had my eye on this wall sconce for a while now and might need a couple for my office plans (which I intend to share soon!) The black matte exterior with a shiny copper lining is what I’m all about.  £105 from Idyll Home. TWO this metal drum table from World Market is on sale for $69 and I’m contemplating a purchase! THREE pinched and glazed, could a planter be prettier? Handmade in Brooklyn and at $40, it also comes in Aqua and a glorious dark teal from Leif. FOUR ream, muddle, repeat. The perfect cocktail tools are simple and beautiful. Fruitwood reamer and muddler are $42 for the set from Jayson Home. FIVE I have a thing for little scandi crosses and the coral color is perfect for a summer transition to fall.  iPhone case from Pencil Me In Stationary for $40.  SIX what could be more classic that tortoiseshell? These highball glasses would add a serious pop of awesome to my home bar.  $48 for the set of four from Design Darling.

 

I’ve got a lot on my plate this weekend before I leave for Hong Kong on Monday.  I’m going to DIY paint the walls in my bar, prep and photo a few posts for my time out of the country, produce a styled wedding shoot that I’m organizing along with a fabulous local photographer, do some laundry to prepare for my trip and then pack!  Eeek.  I’m going to need some serious lists to get it all done. If you see me running around town like a maniac in workout clothes, I’m not working out, I just GSD better in activewear (haha).

I hope your weekend is going to be fun and relaxing!  Tell me, what are your plans?

 

 

p.s. don’t forget to enter our $500 Home Depot giftcard giveaway.  It’s silly if you don’t enter.

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Wallpaper Wonderings

front and main wallpaper

A while back, my good friend, Lacey, showed me this gorgeous wallpaper that she’d spotted on West Elm’s blog, Front & Main.  She’d contemplated putting it in several spaces and (being the supportive friend that I am) I wanted her to also put it in several spaces.  To be quite honest, I wanted to use it in my house from top to bottom, but it was definitely her thing, and wallpaper is so damn expensive that I thought I’d live vicariously through her.

That was literally two years ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since.  When I showed off my new home bar, I told you guys that I wanted to use it in there, Finally honing down the need to use it on every square inch of my walls.

So I decided to just go for it.  I hopped online to order and after doing some quick math, realized that it would take me six rolls (and $200) to do my tiny little 8 x 3 room.  And that didn’t even count the adhesive, the tools, and the labor to get it up.  I backed off of the ‘checkout’ button and gave this some thought.

Could I do a similar effect with paint? Would that be crazy hard? I would get to choose my own colors if we went that route. It would also save me over $175.  Could I really pull this off?  Do I even want the words faux finish looming in my house?

So here I am on a Thursday.  Weighing my options, racking my brain, wondering if I’m crazy for not just going for the real deal.

Tell me… Am I nuts to consider painting this effect?  Or should I give it a go?

 

P.S. If you love home projects as much as I do, you’ll die over the fact that we’re doing our last summer renovation giveaway with Home Depot and we’ve teamed up to give away a $500 gift card to the Home Depot!  GO ENTER NOW!

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