Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Is there a 12-step program for decorating?

My name is Mia and I have a problem: I am a procrastinator. Big time. I have so many plans, make so many lists and spend hours talking and thinking and writing about what I will do in our apartment but when it actually comes to doing it, well, I don't.

There are many reasons. Sometimes it comes down to funding, sometimes I run out of time, sometimes I'm just plain lazy. But there are other times when I simply have too many ideas for one specific space and I cannot decide on any one project. Take my bedroom wall for example. This is the longest uninterrupted wall in my room and it has no interesting furniture to showcase since my bed is pushed up against it and there is also chair in the corner that is usually supporting a giant pile of clothes that have yet to make it back into my closet (further evidence of procrastination). Here is a small sampling of ideas I have had for that wall over the last few months:

*Create fake stripes with colored masking tape
*Blow up and then frame a giant children's map of paris
*Hang a gallery of postcards and other small prints
*Paint a mural
*Spray paint neon doilies in the corners and then peel them off so just their outlines remain
*Install a long rail near the ceiling and then decorate with curtains so it looks like wallpaper
*Buy removable wallpaper
*Decide on a color and just paint the damn thing
*Make a collage using masking tape or push pins
*Hang up the stuff I have from my old apartment simply because I already own it and like it and it must go somewhere

How am I supposed to decide??? The fact of the matter is, I have to do something soon because a) it is driving me nuts and b) if I don't, it will stay empty until I move out and will become a giant source of shame and embarrassment.

I am thinking I might just put all options in a hat and then do whichever idea Hanna chooses. 

Then there's the rest of my apartment. We have bookshelves to buy, decorative shelves to hang, furniture to reupholster. My lists go on and on and I feel overwhelmed and anxious to feel more settled.  What's a girl to do? Should I put more effort into prioritizing and start checking off projects one by one? Should I set a deadline for the entire apartment? Tackle one room at a time?

Or do I simply need to be patient and assume that one day the place will magically come together even if that 'one day' is the week before we move out?

Image: Mary Kate McDevitt

Monday, September 21, 2009

A garden I could work with.

If I had a million dollars, this rug would be at the top of my list.

Image: Anthropologie


Ah Ikea. Even though you exhaust me, I still find delight in every excursion. This weekend Hanna and I braved the crowds at Ikea (a feat considering they are now offering their famous meatball lunch for a mere $.99!). After much discussion, several negotiations and one minor meltdown, we left with over a dozen picture frames for various parts of our apartment.* Most of them will be in Hanna's bedroom but several will wind up in the kitchen, giving that room a much-needed face-lift. The question is now what to put in them and where to put them?

We have a plan for the dark corner where our table currently resides: we will hang a white shelf I inherited from my parents' guest bedroom and then we will store all our tea tins and tea cups on it. Perhaps a few colorful tea towels as well. The other wall in that corner is still completely empty and I have been considering the idea of creating a gallery to bring some personality into the room.
I have always loved the idea of hanging a gallery of photos. My sophmore year of college, I covered one wall with 49 photos of old Hollywood movie stars in sheet protectors linked with paperclips. I had a lot of time on my hands. Unfortunately, the 49 pairs of eyes staring at me began to creep me out and I tore it down in a drunken rage one night. When I moved into the city, I began to collect postcards, photos, paper scraps and ribbons to frame and display in groups on my bedroom walls. Perhaps these two examples would be a logical next step. They look more organized, sleek and stylish. Plus, I would have an excuse to start a whole new collection! I also like how much space they take up. It's hard to know how to treat those long, uninterrupted walls! Our small kitchen wall wouldn't be such a huge undertaking, but it would be a challenge to decide on an appropriate theme. I'm thinking nothing involving eating or food or kitchens.


Images: AT: SF and Design*Sponge

*We also brought home a box of Princess Cakes = THE most delicious dessert you have ever had. Buy them. Eat them. Crave them. Repeat.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Double the Fun

Jenny from little green notebook and Pearl Sreet Interiors recently unveiled a to-die-for makeover of her daughter's bedroom. Bright florals, subtle chinoiserie and shades of retro reds and turquoises all make this cheerful room the perfect transition space from little girl to little lady.

I love that the room features coordinated florals but manages to avoid looking to matchy. The fabric on the headboards is so wonderful that I am inspired to track down a similar print for our living room armchair and I would love to copy her idea of continuing the print in the fabic throughout the room by transforming it into wall art.

Is it weird that I am sort of in love with the twin bed set up? Once you are out of college, it's pretty safe to say that most people graduate to full+ beds. Yet I love the idea of setting up a guest bedroom with two twin beds. Perhaps it would be more appropriate if we magically had some extra twin beds lying around or frequent younger guests. 

Images: little green notebook via oh happy day!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Is Brown the new Grey???

I am loving food writer Laura Santtini's attic apartment in London! The large scale of the rooms and furniture bring a certain old-school elegance to the space but touches of color and off-beat accessories add a touch of whimsy. I adore the mix of furniture styles and finishes and the different textures throughout each room. I don't know if it is the season or what but I am really into chocolate brown walls lately! They look so warm and inviting and effortlessly stylish.

Check out the full spread over at Living Etc and you too can drool over the different styles of each room!
PS. LOVE LOVE LOVE the white subway tile in the kitchen. It is infinitely nicer than the ugly peach painted trees in our kitchen! Sigh.

Images: Living Etc via AT: LA

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Little surprises around every corner, but nothing dangerous.

Charming Wallpaper? Check.
Perfectly coordinated accent moulding? Check.
Adorable ligh fixtures? Check.
Ooodles of candy and goodies?  Check.

In short, Heaven.

Miette Confiserie in San Francisco. I love it.

Images: YumSugar via AT: SF

Monday, September 14, 2009

What's old is new again.

Doilies bring to mind fussy, floral furniture, porcelain figurines and the smell of potpourri. I used to see them arranged on tabletops and think they were more geriatric than genteel. In the golden era of my youth, when I was obsessed with my Samantha doll, Anne of Green Gables and petit fours, I might have figured out a way to incorporate them into my over-the-top style but ever since, I have been all about lacquer and lucite and jewel tones- none of which go very well with cream-colored lace.

Lately, I've had the strangest taste. I suddenly gravitate toward touches of gothic glamour and neon accents. When I found a packet of doilies at the dollar store a few weeks ago, I had the strongest urge to tape them all over my bedroom wall and then go crazy with some hot pink spray paint. This could still happen.

Am I having an identity crisis???

Perhaps I should tone it down a little with this ladylike rug from Anthropologie. It would match our walls and bring out the deep mahogany shades in our floors. I also like the scalloped edges, which would soften the sharp angles of our mantle, couch and (eventually) coffee table.

Don't tell my Nana though- I swore to her I would never have a doily in my house!

Image: Anthropologie via Oh Joy!

a new kind of camoflage.

Do you ever get annoyed when a door breaks up a perfectly good wall? I do. sometimes I just want to cover the long wall of our living room in a big, bold wallpaper but then my bedroom door takes up the last third of the wall and I can't bear to deal with the logistics of wallpapering around the door.

Hernan found an ingenious way to avoid this problem by covering the doors as well! This wall takes on a a less industrial look when the four doors are disguised with the bold tree-themed wallpaper. I love how the vertical lines of the trees echo the lines of the doors themselves and the simple color palette complements the style of the room, pulling the kitchen and living area together.

Image: Mompita via AT: LA

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

collage days

I love collages. I love how complicated they look. I love how easy they are to make. I love the instant texture, pattern and depth they add to a room. When I was in London, I covered one wall of my bedroom with a large collage of ticket stubs, postcards and random pictures of Cate Blanchett as a Russian ballerina in The Man Who Cried. (skip it.)

There's something sorta bad-ass about collage, don't you think?

I do.

Lately I've been thinking my bedroom is awfully boring. Granted, I still don't have curtains, there are crates of books taking over my desk area and I've placed wall art on only one wall. Nevertheless, I need something to balance out the girlishness of my room. Something darker. Something edgier. Something dramatic. I *was* thinking a crystal skull but perhaps a collage will do instead!

Images: The Benevolent Postcard Society and Apartment Therapy via Dress, Design & Decor


Photo Courtesy of: Variety