Goodbye Summer…sigh.

Anyone who has talked to me in the last 4 months knows that I am absolutely in love with having a yard.  This summer we’ve produced tomatoes, bell, cayenne & habanero peppers, and a great herb garden.  Since it’s probably our last month of really being able to enjoy being outside, I thought that I would highlight some of my scavenged outdoor items.

First, our table.

Five or six years ago a good family friend was tearing down an old barn.  Inside the old barn were stacks and stacks of old doors from their original house.  Those doors went into my poor parents’ storage room, and I pull them out whenever I have a project.  They’ve been used as a desk, a dining table, and now an outdoor table.  Pair these with aluminum saw horses from Home Depot, and you are good to go.

Second, the lights.  I’m a sales rep, so sometimes I get large shipments of boxes to be distributed to clients.  One came on a pallet, I took some steel wire, a drill, and mason jars, and created this great outdoor light with citronella candles.  ***Note: It’s heavy as lead, so the only option is basically bolting it to the fence.***

Third, our outdoor dining table.

This was a great Craigslist find for $30.  This amazing Italian architect was downsizing, and she was getting rid of a ton of furniture.  This little french dining set was on her list to go, so I snagged it up.  Unfortunately because of the ridiculous mosquito infestation of DC, we haven’t been able to use it too much.  I’ve considered buying a used mosquito fogging truck from New Orleans, driving it up here, and donating it to the District.

And fourth, what’s the point of having a garden if you don’t know what you are growing?

I bought a random mix of old silverware on Ebay and used these as garden markers for my plants.  The inspiration came from these guys at Anthropologie, but at $9+ dollars per marker and only having 3 options, I felt I could do better.

And finally, the guy who watches over the yard and keeps the squirrels at bay…

Mr. Oliver.  Ferocious, isn’t he?


Home of a Who Dat

Having grown up in Mississippi and lived in New Orleans during our Super Bowl season, you can say I’m a pretty big Saints fan.  In general I love all things football – fall weather, outdoor tailgating, cheering in the dome, and beer & chicken wings at your local bar.

As I’m writing this I’m sporting my Storyville classic Fleur de Lis tee at my local DC coffee shop.  If you are a tee shirt and pencil skirt girl such as myself, Storyville is a great source for all sorts of fun and quirky shirts.  Where else can you find your very own red beans & rice or Brad Pitt for Mayor tee?

Anywhoo, back to the task at hand.  This week I decided to kick off football season right by designing my own little football den with quirky vintage Saints memorabilia and cozy seats to snuggle into for kick off.  I love the dark walls that are shown in this image.  You can also add wooden picture frame mouldings and cover with a flat, dark latex paint to create a plaster effect.

Restoration Hardware does a fantastic job with their leather furniture and other than their recent love for extremely over-scaled objects, they get it right about 95% of the time.  This is a great image to use as inspiration for furniture suitable for any football fan.

Combine all of this with a bit of that Danish modern flair shown here.

And you get a room fit for any Saints fan – well, at least this Saints fan.

1.  Obviously you need a place for your TV, and this Danish modern secretary makes a great home for it.  Remove the two shelves and let your TV sit inside this area.  At $1450 it makes a perfect modified entertainment center.

2 & 3.  Vintage football memorabilia is so much more fun than a huge poster of Drew Brees (no offense Drew).  Check out these few options here, here, and here that you can cluster on a blank wall.

4.  The main event.  The sofa.  This cushy tufted leather sofa is a great place to curl up for kick off.  It’s not inexpensive but definitely worth it, and you know how I feel about Make An Offer options.  I think leather is always a good choice as it will take the wear of me jumping up and down screaming at the TV.  $5900

5.  These are a bit overused, but I still love the vintage carts as coffee tables.  Here’s a great option with fun stenciling on the side.  It’s a great place for you to serve your beer cheese dip and homemade chicken wings.  Unhealthy, yes I know.  $725

6.  Antique Persian Rugs are my favorite.  If it was up to me I would have these in every room of my house.  They go with every design style and warm up any room.  This little guy is from the same dealer where I got my rug, and I had a good experience.  It was a great price and they were very easy to deal with.  5×8 for $447.

7.  I don’t know if the stripe reminds me of rugby or what, but I thought this lounge chair was a perfect fit.  From the Danish Mafia bids start for this guy at $795.

8.  And finally to contrast with the simple lines of the chair, this little vintage pub table provides a great little resting place for your half-time cocktail.  $499 from Etsy.

For a few more vintage pieces, check out these options.  The bobblehead doll and recent Saints victory are probably self explanatory, but the center option is this Saints medallion from 1970 framed intaglio style.  How cute is that?  I don’t know any wife that would complain about that type of football art.

7 1/2 hours until kick off.  You better get to shopping!  Who Dat!

Weekend Rehab

When we finally got our house laid out and all of our pictures hung, I had a huge wall over our sofa and not nearly enough money to purchase the artwork that I would like to see hanging there.  We also had a ton of art on our walls but not very many photos.  I had come across this image when designing a hotel in Mississippi, and the concept has always stuck with me.

Unfortunately I had no family photos available, so I took shots from our travels and my time living in New Orleans and had them printed at the local CVS.  If you sign up for an account, you get 25 free 4×6 prints.  Perfect!  I took all of our images and laid them out in Photoshop with the white border to create the effect of an old photo.  I uploaded them to the site and while they were printing took a trip to Home Depot for supplies.

What you will need:

  1. Some type of wire fence, I chose to use chicken wire because they had the exact size that I needed for over my sofa.
  2. Small nails at least 1″ in length.
  3. Hammer
  4. Wire Cutters
  5. Clothes Pins
  6. Photos

The Steps:

  1. Unroll the wire onto the floor and make cuts where necessary.  It will be difficult to unroll, so it’s easiest with two people – I made this mistake.
  2. Lay out your images while it’s on the ground to get your composition.
  3. Once you are satisfied, have one person hold the wire to the wall while you nail into the areas where the wire twists together.
  4. Secure the nails at the top, middle and bottom about every 18″.
  5. Once you have the wire up, take your clothespins and arrange your photos accordingly.
Ta Da!  You have a huge wall of artwork for a total price of about $15.  Congrats!

My Best Friend’s Closet

Thirty years ago today, the person who has made me laugh the longest and the hardest in my entire life was brought into the world.  Lucky me!  This is the girl that I have to thank for my love of chocolate anything, my first hangover, my adorable god child, and of course, my first flea market trip.

For her birthday I styled her favorite room in her honor.  Her closet.  A girl who is always two pairs of shoes ahead of Anthropologie, I took her love of something old and made it into her own something new.  Having personally organized her 53 pairs of tights, I have first hand knowledge of her need for space. With a little help from the internet, I have selected some items that she can add into a spare bedroom and recycle into her own walk-in closet.

Being one of the few people I know that still has a love for wallpaper, I chose this selection of vintage fashion ads.  I know, I know.  Who cares what is on the wall of your closet?  I do. It’s little details like this that add an extra bit of flair to your home.  You’re also more likely to stay in there and hang up the 10 outfits that didn’t work if you enjoy being in your closet.

A closet doesn’t have space for a lot of furniture, so check out these functional finds that I’ve used to incorporate her style into her own little dressing room.

1.  The Mercantile & Factory section of eBay is one of my favorite sections.  There are so many great vintage pieces that can be upcycled into furniture or millwork for your home. Instead of building in custom shelving, this old store display is perfect for folded clothing, jewelry, accessories, and really anything else that you can fit in here.  Buy it now for $5200 (eek!  I know, but it’s huge) or make an offer.  You never know!

2.  This vintage French inspired chandelier contrasts nicely with the simple lines of the store display.  It allows the chandelier to be the jewelry of the room.  Bidding starts at $350.

3.  Maybe not everyone is as obsessed with hats as me, but since she has a decent vintage collection, I just grabbed this expandable hat rack for $10 from Etsy.  Depending upon how many you need, you can do a grouping or just have the one.

4 & 5.  Instead of getting a typical dressing table, I combined this desk and vintage vanity mirror both from Etsy.  Combined price of $177.

6.  Yes you can use a typical vanity stool, but I like the idea of the industrial step stool which is also versatile to use to get to top shelves of the closet.  Two for the price of one at $45.

7 & 8.  Vintage Dressmakers Forms!  Oh how I love you.  Yes, I suppose these are for decoration, but you can also use them to hang necklaces, pins, layout tomorrow’s outfit and anything else you can think of.  Find these two here and here.  Etsy – $310  eBay – Bidding starts at $49.99

9.  She lives in an old house with old wood floors, so to finish off the look of this room, I chose this very feminine Aubusson rug.  The traditional elements tie in the chandelier and also contrast with some of the more industrial/mercantile pieces.  8×10  $1220

For hanging clothes I suggest galvanized plumbing pipe hung from the ceiling or vintage garment racks similar to the style below.  Also, for jewelry, these antique letter press drawers are great wall racks.

I think that’s it folks. Some of the items are a bit more expensive than what I tend to look for on an average day, but she is my best friend, and hey, you only turn 30 once!  Happy Birthday SGH!