Wednesday, August 18

Speaking of plaid...

I mentioned the plaid wallpaper in my last post, of which we still have a relic to treasure. A papered outlet cover, whose origin was a bit of a mystery for a few months until I found a tiny strip of the same paper above one of the office windows. Not to totally diss plaid, it's just really hard to justify wallpapering a room in it, especially in the 80's.

Wiki says: Tartan is a pattern consisting of criss-crossed horizontal and vertical bands in multiple colours. Tartans originated in woven cloth, but now they are used in many other materials. Tartan is particularly associated with Scotland. Scottish kilts almost always have tartan patterns. (Tartan is also known as plaid in North America, but in Scotland, a plaid is a tartan cloth slung over the shoulder or a blanket.)

Tartan is made with alternating bands of coloured (pre-dyed) threads woven as both warp and weft at right angles to each other. The weft is woven in a simple twill, two over - two under the warp, advancing one thread each pass. This forms visible diagonal lines where different colours cross, which give the appearance of new colours blended from the original ones. The resulting blocks of colour repeat vertically and horizontally in a distinctive pattern of squares and lines known as a sett.

I'm all for a nice tartan, used well of course. Here are a few great examples of when tartan works.

Gorgeous. I'm not sure I should even put anything after this one. A classic Eames chair and ottoman, with a shift from the typical leather upholstery. It's a design nerd's dream.

Vintage cool. This old school thermos is available online at or possibly in your gramma's attic. Perfect for carrying peppermint cocoa on a winter sledding adventure.

The pillow in the foreground is similar to the wallpaper that once graced our office walls. Very cute in a pillow, but I still shudder when I think about it as wallpaper.

This striking lampshade works when paired with a cut crystal lamp and crisp white paint. I love the little Greyhound statue, it's a great element in this little vignette.

You know I love my flats. Enough said.

A girl can never have enough shoes. These give plaid a little street cred.

And to close, a sweet example of how plaids, paired with stripes, can be very nicely executed. This classic settee is brought down to earth with a navy pinstripe upholstery. The plaids make it even more cozy.

Wednesday, August 11

It's not easy being green.

Better late than never right? I hope. We've been so busy doing actual work on the house that I haven't had time to blog about our accomplishments. More is on the way, but here goes with the office finally.

Green is one of my favorite colors, but it's also one of the toughest to get right in a paint color. I think we've pulled this shade off. It's called Asparagus, and we're thrilled with the outcome. We thought it would be fun to go a little bold in the office, and we wanted to find a shade that would work with the pictures and diplomas we had to go in there. Here are a few before and after pics of our first completed room. Oh shoot, well, almost. We do have blinds to hang up, but it's pretty close to being done.

Before, the office was boring white. The built-in shelves were in disarray and the room was generally disorganized.

Cleaning up and organizing the built-ins made such a huge difference. It took a few hours one night to accomplish this, taking everything down and then putting back into place. Of course I'm completely anal about these types of things, so everything had to be placed within a millimeter of perfection.

Here's a better view of the wall color. The room is a bit tight to get a better view than this. We're lucky the walls were in such good shape, because don't you know it, there used to be wallpaper there. Plaid wallpaper. Yes, plaid.

So we'll call it done since the blinds were an afterthought. For me, especially in this house where we're plagued by all this wallpaper, a sign of a finished room is art on the walls. It felt really great to get some pictures up finally. For our first painting project I think we did a great job. Since there is crown moulding and trim everywhere it was easy to tape it all off and get to work. There were lots of high fives in our house that night.