4/22/2010

Living Room Inspiration

I’m looking for some concept ideas for our living room.  As you all know, we live in a rented beach house.  We are limited in what we can do, not because my landlord won’t let us change things but because I don’t want to buy furniture for this house that might not work somewhere else.  Therefore, I’m making it work like Tim Gunn would say…  I don’t want to spend a lot of money until we are in a house.  Our couch is on it’s last legs.  I bought it was Quatrine 13 years ago for $2500.00.   It’s been good to me.  It was in mint condition until my boyfriend and I moved in together (SHHH! Don’t tell him I said that!).   I also have two slipper type chairs I found on craigs list and I’m looking to reupholster them in an Ikat fabric from Madeline Weintrab or John Robshaw or some kind of strip or bold pattern in a beachy blue.  I’m been looking for inspiration and recently saw Ellen Pompeo’s house featured in Elle Decor.  I love her living room for it’s simplicity.  The blue tones are a little bit darker that what I want to do but I love how clean and edited her living room is (see below).   I also posted some other rooms that are serving as color and texture inspiration.  Take a look and let me know what you think, I’m always looking for feedback.

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I love this room.  It is actually the home of a woman that lives in Hermosa Beach.  She has a store in Manhattan Beach where I live called, Waterleaf Interiors.   It was recently featured in Coastal Living.  I love the colors and textures she used in creating this room ~ the blue rattan color is the exact color I’m looking to redo my  living room. 

 

I love the next three below for color inspiration.

Pretty sky blue living room: Glazed walls + painted mantle + silver accents by xJavierx.

Pretty pale blue living room: 'Seafoam' by Benjamin Moore by xJavierx. 

This room is a great example of mixing the old with the new.  I love classic white sofa with a blend of fabrics paired ethnic chairs.  The blue velvet ottoman gives the room a more elegant feeling and the blend of antiques in the background makes the room feel like it’s been collected through ones travels or passed down through the generations.

I love this for our house.  I like the mixture of rattan, with a cleaned lined chair, the pop of color in the light, the zebra print which is always classic and the large plant in the corner adds another element to the room.

 

The Living Room

 

Photo Credits:  Photo 1:  Elle Decor / Photo 2:  Coastal Living / Photo 3, 4, 5,: Domino / Photo 6, 7:  Windsor Smith /  Photo 8:  Southern Living / Photo 8, 9: Source Unknown

4/20/2010

Long Beach Flea Market

I love going to flea markets.  In the past, I had to look at everything and it would take me hours to get through the flea market.   Now, I whisk through in search of whatever item is on my current agenda.  This week it’s a tea cart and art.  I had a friend in town who loves antiquing and flea markets and wanted to check out the Long Beach Flea Market.  We both brought our cameras and snapped away.  There were some great vendors and here’s a little of what we saw and purchased.

This hanger brought back so many memories as a kid when I saw this.  It reminded me of my great grandmother.  As a kid, I would help her do laundry on an old fashioned washing machine (the kind from the 40’s).  I thought it was so cool because you could see the clothes washing (it was open) and then I got to help push them through the top of the machine which squeezed the garments and ring them out.  She had one of these hanging dryers and would clip her undergarments to it and let them dry. P1000840

Angels are everywhere, but there was something about this sitting on a wicker chair.  Had to photograph it.P1000842We loved this oversized black phone next to the regular sized one – It felt like a scene from BIG.P1000841  Hundreds of matches in a big bin.P1000844 He just made me giggle.  P1000846

P1000847 My girlfriend took these pictures and I was like why didn’t you tell me there were beakers ~ she said they were selling them for $20.00 a piece.  I know you can find them for less at other flea markets and on Ebay so I didn’t feel so bad.

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I loved these silver trays below and how the vendor had them displayed in drawers.  Silver trays and teapots are great.  I collect sliver tea pots and have them in a grouping on my fireplace.  I actually got the idea from my Aunt Pat.  I put tulips in them, hydrangeas, etc.  I love the silver platters for a multitude of things:  entertaining, jewelry, in the bathroom with soaps, perfumes, and accessories, etc.  There are so many creative uses for these.

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These butter spreaders looked so pretty in a group on the silver tray.  Just goes to show when you group similar items, it doesn’t matter what it is, it looks good.

P1000848We loved how this one pair of booties with the pink laces stood out in this picture.P1000849 When I saw this, I immediately thought Eddie Ross (see below).  P1000850Nicole and I thought this looked beautiful – the vintage pearls with the key and pendant hanging on a framed chalkboard.P1000851Creative marketing using scrabble pieces.Last 3 Months - 363There was something about these vintage shoes paired with these tubs and pails – maybe Cinderella is taking a break.Last 3 Months - 321  These baskets are so versatile.  There are so many things you could do with them:  use as recycling baskets, toys in a kids room, vegetables in a kitchen, towels in the bathroom, etc.P1000853

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We were cracking up,  the watch vendor was not a happy man and did not want her taking a picture of his watches or booth.  She had to sneak this one in…  think he didn’t have any coffee that morning.  Last 3 Months - 318

I thought how great it would be if you could find your street name.  I also like them in groups, pairs or by themselves.  There are so many creative things you could do with these signsLast 3 Months - 361. Last 3 Months - 344

  I thought these antique yarn spools would look amazing grouped together on a shelf or to add an element of design somewhere using shapes and textures.       

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You can’t really tell in this picture but the legs on this table and chairs are chrome with a bamboo pattern.   This table would look fabulous in any style home paired with fabric or antique chairs.  It was a great piece.Last 3 Months - 345

My girlfriend loved this crown made from a measuring stick.      Last 3 Months - 331

I’ve been fascinated with maps and globes since I was a kid.   They make great accessories in a home in large groupings on an armoire, a bookshelf, or a credenza type table.  A single one always works in a home office or a kids room.Last 3 Months - 333

Now to the purchases of the day.  I found what I was looking for YEAH!!!  I bought this painting below for $8.00 of a pink lady.  It was so cheap, I had to buy it and didn’t even have to bargain.  The guys said it was from an estate sale in Beverly Hills (so he says).  She will be added to my portrait collection.  She reminds me of springtime and pink peonies.

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My other purchase was an antique map of California for $5.00 (normally they sell for $100.00). This was a bargain.  I bought a Boston one and an Italy one last year in Santa Monica and paid $150.00 for both.

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Last but not least my tea cart for $15.00.  The cart was the major score, it’s made of wood with a bamboo pattern, like the brass one I posted.  The difference is this was $20.00 and not $300.00.  Granted the one on craigslist was much nicer but I’m in budget mode, so a girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.   We happened to spot it when we first walked in but it was as a little wobbly so we decided to walk around.  I kept thinking about it and we decided to stop by before we left and see if it was still there.  The vendor who was nowhere to be found and while we waited and waited, we agreed if she didn’t take $15.00, I wasn’t buying it.  She came back and accepted my offer.    Ms. Madeline was a trouper and wheeled it to the car for us.  We told her she had to be careful of potholes because we were afraid it would fall apart.  Last 3 Months - 353 We used it that night for our picnic all chipped and everything.  Of course, my boyfriend looks at this cart like another piece of junk.  He thinks I will get bored of it and it will end of in the garage.   Little does he know, this baby it getting painted and he’s fixing it this weekend.

Stay turned for before and after pictures. P1000856

4/10/2010

Spring Has Sprung

It feels like spring 365 days a year in LA because the weather is so beautiful.  We are fortunate to have green plants all year round and depending on the type of garden you have.  My garden consists of hydrangeas and roses which typically bloom in the spring.  I just got back from vacation on Tuesday after being gone a week and my garden is just feeling the taste of spring.  The roses are budding, all the leaves and buds are blooming on the hydrangeas, my hollyhocks are growing, and my hibiscus is opening up.  When I grew up in Connecticut we could always tell spring by the crocuses, dog wood trees, daffodils, tulips, lilac bushes and forsythia. 

I planted two Gardenia topiary plants on our upstairs balcony outside our french doors.  My plan is to paint the porch floor white.  I thought these would be beautiful when they bloom and we would get the fresh scent of Gardenia when the wind blew.

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We rent our house, and the owners have it painted a blue/gray color with a red door.   Little beach houses are becoming extinct here in Manhattan Beach.  I wanted it to look  like an English country cottage and decided to compliment the house by adding pink flowers and roses.  I added touches of blue on the porch with a potted hydrangea and lavender. 

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When we moved into the house, the yard was bare with the exception of a yellow and pink rose bush and one hydrangea.  Four male college graduates lived in this house, let’s just say gardening was not their forte.  While this is the only plant that is not pink in my garden, it always makes me smile when it blooms.  I returned from trip last Tuesday to this beautiful rose in bloom.      P1000799 P1000800

  Prior to going on my trip, I trimmed my pink David Austin heritage roses and sprinkled fertilizer around the roses and came home to these in full bloom.  When I decided to plant roses along the front of my fence, I spent a considerable amount of time researching roses.  I wanted something low maintenance, disease free, pink of course, and visually looked like a peony.  These roses are so fragrant and the petals are so delicate and beautiful.P1000802

P1000803 P1000806 P1000807  I love hibiscus because they bloom all year and come in a variety of colors.  My favorite is this coral pink color.  I’m waiting for them to get big enough so I don’t have to look at my neighbors oversized succulents.  I love succulents, just not these.  The boys next door won’t be offended because they don’t like them either.  I even offered to buy new plants for the other side of my fence and take care of them.  Their landlord said NO! One day, I will post a picture.  If you were the landlord trust me ~ you would have said YES!P1000809Last year,  I had been searching for hollyhocks in pink, maroon, and hot pink and found some seeds on EBay (most include yellow).  I planted them on the side of the house and the snails ate them (again thanks to my neighbors infested succulents).  Finally, I found the perfect place for them, right in front of the house.  They grew over 10’ and were incredibly beautiful.  They are sprouting up right now and cannot wait for them to bloom.    P1000813

Pink geraniums on our outdoor teak table.

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Last but not least is my little munchkin, Ginger.  As I was photographing the roses, she laid down in the flowerbed and decided it was nap time in the warm sun, looks like she has something in common with the gnome. P1000812

Gardening has become a hobby of mine.  I am what you would consider, a rookie gardener.  I wing it!  I have no clue how to make the soil perfect, check the PH, and do all that other “stuff”. I stick it in the ground and figure out what does or doesn’t grow.  Sometimes it can be a waste of money but I think Peggy & Fritz would be proud of my makeshift garden.

GET OUTSIDE AND ENJOY NATURE ~ I PROMISE IT WILL MAKE YOU SMILE!

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