Thursday, May 31, 2012

Matches Cup

The pilot light on one of the burners on our stove is a little unreliable (even though it's been fixed a few times - we can't figure it out), so we have to keep matches on hand. I picked up a box of these green tipped matches at Target because I thought the color was cute.

The big box is less cute though and if I see it and have to use it almost every day, I think it should be cute! So I bought a few of these pretty mercury glass votives at Gracious Home and thought one would make a perfect match holder.

I remember seeing this idea in a magazine or blog somewhere. It's a two minute project (my favorite kind!). All you do is cut off a square of striking paper and glue it to the bottom of your cup. I use Magnatacalmost every time I need a glue!

My cup was a little deeper than the matches, so I put an inch or so of coarse salt at the bottom before filling with the matches.

Looks cute and works well too with the striking paper on the bottom. Also, my girls don't know how to use matches, but just to be safe we keep the cup back further where they can't get to it. 

Love seeing those little green tips! :) Much better than a lighter or big old cardboard box!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Yard - Advice, Please?

I hate showing in-the-rough before pictures without having some pretty after (or at least during!) shots for you, so I've been hesitant to share any photos of the brownstone. Those bachelors have not been so tidy! I could really use your help though. (and to make it clear - this is not our stuff. We haven't moved in yet)

I would love to be a really good gardener, but honestly, I have no idea where to even start. When we were first married, we lived in Arizona and our yard was mostly gravel and just a small lawn - totally minimal. Since then we've lived in places with no outdoor space. I haven't had the chance to learn about plants and yard care/design. I'm SO excited to finally start now.

We have an upper and a lower deck, both are about 5' deep and 20' wide - not super huge, but just big enough for a small grill, a table and four chairs on the upper deck (which connects to the living room). I'll probably put a small seating area on the bottom deck too (which connects to my office), but I think mostly that area will be for outdoor toy storage. I haven't figured that all out yet.

As I look through Pinterest and my inspiration folders at brownstone yards, it seems like a lot of them have stone or brick pavers. When we first walked through the house, I thought those flagstone pavers should go out immediately in favor for just grass (right after that astroturf gets pulled up off the deck! yeesh!)

But now I'm worrying about mud. Maybe putting down (prettier) pavers is the best idea?

Okay, all you yard experts - help! What would you do with this space? Ideas I'm bouncing around - a tallish hedge along the back wall for added privacy, some flowers and/or vegetables planted along the sides (I want to take out all those low bushy trees to the left).  Raised garden beds? Maybe a teeny tiny playhouse or a covered sandbox? The yard itself is 20' wide x 40' deep (this is a shot from the upstairs landing).

Any thoughts?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Mint Green Step Stool

Hey friends! I hope you had a great long weekend! Ours was so perfect! It felt really long, which is about the best way a weekend could feel. :) Last night was especially fun. We went with our friends Dennis and Jenna on a sail boat down by the Statue of Liberty. The weather, food and company were amazing.

Earlier this weekend I had a little time to finish a project on my list. I bought this step stool at a vintage shop for $20 a while back. I filled the joints with a little wood glue to sturdy it up and then it was good as new and ready for a coat of paint.

I love the diamond pattern on the old rubber treads. 

EDIT: I was wrong about the paint color. I used BEHR's Kiwi Squeeze (latex, high gloss).

After two coats of paint (I did prime first with Zinsser), I dug out the rest of these small brass nails and used them to flatten the rubber tread that was starting to pop up a little. Did you know the easiest way to place a nail in an exact place is to use a pair of needle nose pliers to hold the nail while you tap it in. Work SO well!

Man, I love mint green! 

The stool has been so handy in our kitchen. We don't have a ton of cabinets, so we actually use the items stored on our top shelves on a regular basis. It's nice to have easy access to the shelves all the time now. The girls are really good about not using the stool without me around. I usually fold it up when I'm not using it anyway.

It tucks into this little nook really well for the times we want it out of the way. Or I can put it away in the pantry if I want it out of sight.


But the color makes me so happy, I doubt we'll put it away much. :) I especially love the way the gold looks on the green.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Websites, Catalogs and In-store

Wow! What a whirlwind week! It feels like I haven't had time to even blink since last weekend. Do you have any fun plans for the holiday? We're staying in town, but hoping to get out of the house everyday for some adventures. Also hoping to see the new Wes Anderson film, which is getting great reviews. Can't wait!

Yesterday Michael helped me move some things to our storage unit in preparation for the move (I'm getting SO excited!) and then last night we did a little shopping outside the city. The sales are good this year and we bought Michael some new suits (which helped me feel less guilty about the summer shopping I've been doing lately for me and the girls. Must stop!). We also dropped by Home Decorators in NJ. Did you know they have a handful of brick and mortar stores? It was so nice to be able to check out a few items in person before ordering them.

It frustrates me that it feels so risky to order things online! Wouldn't it save so much hassle for customers and for the companies just to include lots of images (close and far away), with truly accurate color representation? I hope this gets better over time. I've noticed some eBay sellers include a hex color code for fabric they are selling so you can refer to a second source. That is SO smart! More retailers should do this!

Anyway. Home Decorators was interesting. They had some cute accessories that I didn't take many photos of - glass cake stands and tons of great planters.

And I really loved these two large wall clocks. Aren't the hands awesome? Feels like it should be in a Kate Spade store.

Even though it's a bit pricey, I'm thinking about buying this one. I've been looking for a more modern-feeling square clock forever and this one is a good size.

I had considered these chairs based on the online photo (don't they look like they'd be a breeze to reupholster?), but in person the proportions were not good. And the chair was totally uncomfortable - you could feel the frame underneath the foam seat.

These were comfy though, if you're looking for a good price on Louis style chairs. ($169 ea)

I also saw the zinc table I was so excited about.

From a few feet back it looks really great and I like the smokey blue gray color.

But the finish was a little different than I was expecting. It's a little more bumpy, which doesn't remind me of zinc. I don't know if it really bothered me, but it was good to know I guess. It's on sale and there's free shipping this weekend. so.....hmm.

I'm still thinking about pairing the table with these Bertoia style chairs (the vintage ones I looked at before were too beat up for the price). Plus, I wouldn't feel bad about painting these a fun color.

Hope you have a GREAT weekend! xoxo

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Mixing Metals

I'm a gold jewelry person, through and through. It just looks better with my skin tone I think. But when it comes to hardware and metallic finishes for the home, I like to mix things up and throw in some polished nickel/silvery finishes with my brass pieces. I feel like I have an abundance of brass lately and should probably round things out with a few more silvery things.

This lamp has always been a favorite and I'm thinking it might be time to finally try the DIY version - fingers crossed it looks okay!

This basket project from MS Living was gorgeous! SO in love with that finish and want to use these in a nursery project I'm working on. Every room needs some sparkle, but that does mean it has to be a 'glam' look, you know? These baskets still feel very boho.

This new desk from West Elm is going into a consulting client's design plan. I saw some zinc and aluminum-wrapped case goods pieces at ABC a few months back that were about 10x this price. It's a great look and the West Elm price point is much more affordable.

PS I'm also loving rose gold and I'm coming around to copper. These new copper chairs from Blu Dot are like woah.