Thursday, April 28, 2011

Big Black and White Photography

I love this image of Ellen Pompeo's kitchen from Elle Decor. How amazing is that blown up photograph? I wonder what train station it is?

I'm thinking about doing something similar with this photo that Abbey posted a couple months ago. Both my husband and I love it. The sea of bowler hats is so graphic. And that guy smiling at the camera on the left makes me laugh. I also love that it's on Wall Street, sort of near our downtown hood.

I've been using Wizard Prints for a lot of printing jobs lately and I am so, so happy with their products and their customer service. They are fast and reasonably priced -- two big (unsponsored) thumbs up!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Map Room

Summer vacation is just around the corner, and I'm dreaming of quiet days on the beach.

One of my friends from grad school days in Boston sent me these photos of her family's summer home in Martha's Vineyard. It's an old carriage house with cottage-style bedrooms.

This room is named the Map Room or Chart Room. (PS I want a house someday where the names of rooms have nothing to do with who usually sleeps there. I remember when I was a kid, my grandparents had a Butterfly Room with the *coolest* wallpaper.) Anyway, I guess more than 25 years ago, my friend's uncle went out and bought a book of maps and pasted the cut out pages to the walls between the rafters.

He also pickled the beams. And I think they are the prettiest shade of blue! So lovely.

I think this idea of wallpapering with maps is perfect for a beach house, but it would also be great in a little boys bedroom (or maybe a boys bathroom? Or closet?)

Thanks for sharing this lovely room, Aubrey!! xx

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Dear Jenny: What to do with ceiling fans?

Spring arrived with a vengeance and suddenly I want to buy more fans and crank up the AC! Apparently we've all got the same problem, because I got about ten Dear Jenny submissions about ceiling fans! Here's one of them:

We live in Texas, which I think has fantastic weather, but for certain, July and August are hot, hot, hot. It is basically a requirement that the rooms upstairs have ceiling fans to try and keep energy costs down in the hot months. All of the bedrooms are upstairs in my house, and though I would love to put an amazing light fixture in every room, it is just not practical. I look through magazines and style books, and there are no ceiling fans in sight! How can a ceiling fan be stylish and work in a space?

It's true. Ceiling fans are not the prettiest of room accessories. I was raised in Arizona though, so I know first hand how necessary they are in many homes.

I think the best rule of thumb for ceiling fan purchases is to keep it really really simple. No matter how much you spend, I don't really think ceiling fans can look cool or pretty. So go for less conspicuous, like Darryl Carter and Steven Gambrel did here:

Also, I know a lot of times this isn't an option, but if there is any way you can use a fan with no light kit, I much prefer that look. My very favorite is this fan. It's really (shockingly) inexpensive, has great reviews and looks very streamlined.

One trick I've seen used is to paint your fan the color of your ceiling (motor, blades and all). That would be easy with something simple like this fan with a light.

If you have to keep the light kit on the fan, my favorite solution is to add a drum shade to cover up those often-ugly ceiling fan lights.

Better Homes and Gardens

Dwellers without Decorators

What about you readers, any favorite good-looking ceiling fans? Or how have you upgraded your old fixtures to be less offensive?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Rope Detailing

I like *touches* of nautical inspiration in home decor. Not whole rooms - but maybe like a little brass anchor on a stack of books. Or a bold navy and white stripe fabric. But as of late, my favorite thing has been carved rope detailing on furniture.

I bought these stools a couple months ago on eBay (there are still some available if you are interested in making an offer).

Even though I'm planning to reupholster and repaint them, I still love the shape.

I wish mine were a little more delicate and had the nice knot detail like this much more expensive Draper bench and Meg Braff's vintage chairs below. Someday maybe, but mine are great for now, and I think really fit the scale of our space.

images source: Coastal Living

Also, another rope project HERE:

Friday, April 22, 2011

Inspiration Round Up: Part II

Happy Easter everyone! I hope you have a lovely weekend planned. Here are some more LGN reader projects to inspire you. And, as always, if you have a project that you'd like me to share, please email jenny


Natalie, from Natty by Design, hunts for vintage furniture with good bones and then transforms them with paint and sells them in her shop. She did a lovely job with this desk!

It was such a cute piece in the first place, but I really love the green! I could see this desk used in any room in the house.

Heidi from A Thousand Laughing Starfish has posted some great tutorials recently. My two favorites were this DIY curved headboard:

And this handpainted wall mural:

Natalie from Mint Loves Social Club has all kinds of inspiring projects going on. She wanted to share this credenza she bought at a thrift store.

The owner of the thrift store offered to lacquer the credenza for a really great price and I think it turned out amazing!

You can see her pretty credenza, which she uses as a bar (the inside is super organized too!), in these after pictures of her seriously stunning DIY Bubble chandelier project.

Lisa from Lisa Fero Interiors used my Happytape wall tutorial to transform her client's entry.

I think it looks especially awesome looking out from the living room she also did.

Alicia from 12 Devonshire added Greek key trim to the ladder pulls on her bathroom blinds.

What an easy way to dress up plain-jane blinds! Her tutorial is posted HERE.

Jen from Organized Design used this bed from IKEA

as the base for making her daughter a really cute custom bed. Check out her really thorough tutorial HERE.

Vanessa recently redid her kitchen. She used my pelmet box tutorial for her windows and I love the look! I think she made a great choice with the fabric. Visit her post HERE for the details.

Naomi from Design Manifest sent me two really beautiful projects from her Philadelphia loft. She used inexpensive wall mirrors from Bed Bath and Beyond to back her Expedit shelves. Such a great idea!!

She also cleverly outlined a pretty mirror in her entry with hot pink paint on the wall. This makes such a statement - very Moroccan feeling. And what an easy, unexpected way to add color to a room.

And I love the combo with the La Fiorentina fabric on her bench!

An extra big thanks to the contributors!! xoxo

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Inspiration Round Up: Part I

Here are a few projects that landed in my inbox recently that I hope you like as much as I do:

Hannah was inspired by this post and painted her own version of Warhol's Rorschach. Love it!

Grace, a Boston-based reader, picked this chair up for $35 from a craigslist seller.

She had it reupholstered in a beautiful Scalmandre remnant she bought at Zimmans in Lynn. I love the colors! That green and pink together!! They really pop against the new white paint.

The chair makes a great addition to Grace's living room. She is pretty fearless about mixing patterns and I love it!

Here's another beautiful chair makeover. Reader Sherry struggled with a problem I think many of us have. She inherited this beautiful, but very traditional channel back chair from her grandfather.

After years of contemplating fabric choices, Sherry bit the bullet and ordered fabric from (UK based company) Sanderson's new line, called Callisto.

She said she thought it was a risk considering the scale of the print, but she loves the finished product. I think it's a great example of how to modernize a really traditional chair, with the solid velvet on the seat and a pretty pattern on the back.

Sherry also did a good job mixing florals here with her wallpaper. It really works because the scales and the background colors of the two patterns are so different. Lovely!! (Also LOVE that console!)

Polkadot patterns are hard to DIY. It drives me nuts when the spacing isn't exact. Natasha from Samster Mommy came up with a clever method that uses cheap yard sale stickers to mark off a polkadot pattern.

And here's the 'after' photos of her daughter's adorable nursery. The pink and blue combo is really fun.

I especially love those blue cane print curtain panels. (Are these sheets, Natasha?)

Here's another fun paint treatment -- Katie from A Home Blog was sort of over her brown bedroom walls, so rather than repainting the whole room, so used a can of leftover cream paint to add a chevron pattern.

I think it helps to tone down the formerly dark walls a lot. And you can't beat a free project! See Katie's instructions HERE.

Natalie (who is a decorator) loved these lamps from Shades of Light, but was not loving the high price tag.

She saw these vases at Michaels and picked up a light kit at Home Depot and glue some ring pulls on to the side medallions.

I think the result is beautiful! Check out her really well done tutorial with more photos HERE.

Maria from John's Journal used one of my favorite tricks of covering bamboo blinds with fabric. The result is super sturdy window coverings that look very professional.

I like that she trimmed out the borders too.

Also, did you spy her wine rack? Maria rescued a piece of discarded furniture and covered it in python contact paper! So pretty.

Many thanks to these contributors!! Stay tuned for Part II tomorrow. xx