Monday, September 20

Let's shop Target.

No really, let's go. Right now. I mean, who doesn't love Target? They have Starbucks right inside! I realized the last time I ran in to grab cat food and conditioner that my blouse, camisole and shoes were all from Target. This has happened to me many times. Usually I am reminded of what a great deal I got on the items, like the gold faux leather moccasins I’m wearing now, found on sale for $6.24. I’m not vegan but I prefer to keep my leather consumption to a minimum, so faux works for me. Target has high end designers create limited run collections of clothing and home furnishings, at deeply discounted prices of course. Designers like Anna Sui, Jean Paul Gaultier and Zach Posen have all created collections especially for Target customers. Usually these pieces fly off the shelves, but sometimes they are just a bit too funky for the average shopper. I’ve managed to get a few steals just by waiting out the clearance markdowns.

But enough about clothes. The home furnishings are a huge step above any competitors. Classic furniture pieces are mixed with trendy designer accessories. New collections are always coming in so you have to grab the hot new items as soon as they hit the stores or you could miss out. One of the latest collections, by designer John Derian, features charming nature prints on melamine plates, trays, stoneware mugs and more.

These salad plates (John Derian) are available in stores and online. $19.99 for a set of 8.

Can we talk about how cute this little girls chair is? It retails online for $89.99. Absolutely adorable for any little princess's room.

Big time style at a (semi) discount price. For $300 it's not that much of a steal, but it is absolutly gorgeous, and would work great in a small space.

Now this is a steal. This cute little accent chair sells for $200. A classic shape with a great print.

We've recently made a few purchases in their home department that left me quite impressed. I was really pleased by their curtains, curtain rods and hardware. The curtains offered a great selection of fabrics and colors, all at very reasonable prices. We picked up a drapery rod, in nickel, along with a pair of cocoa colored drapes, perfect for the sliding glass door in the kitchen. Target has also been great for picture frames, with very reasonable prices, on classic, stylish frames.

There is a lot more to be found online than there is in-store, for the most part, especially in the furniture department. I recently ordered a cute little buffet for my office lobby. It was a snap to put together and I'm really pleased with it.

One of the best things about Target is there is always an excuse to go there. Need toothpaste? Run to Target. Oh, while I'm here I might as well check out the sale rack!

Monday, September 6

Great Expectations.

Last week, while brainstorming ideas for the guest bedroom ,I was looking for canopy ideas. Something a little different and fun for our visitors. I found what I thought were some really cute inspiration photos, only to be met with a look of distaste from Dave. "That's creepy", he said. I was utterly confused. Creepy? I mean it's one thing to say you don't like it. Too much fabric, too girly, too ruffly, I get it. But creepy? "How is that creepy?" I asked.

"It reminds me of something out of Miss Havisham's house".

Oh boy.

Well now you've done it.

Great Expectations, one of my most hated school reading assignments. I'm thinking now I should re-read it to see if I can figure out exactly why I hated it so much. I can guess why, Charles Dickens has always depressed the heck out of me. But I recall there was something about that book I detested so much at the time. Anyway, Miss Havisham. A name that immediately conjures up images of a old, yellowed satin and lace. A name that instantly makes me cringe to hear it. "You're crazy!" I stated, Miss Havisham?! No way! as I scoured google images for something that was actually a bit more Havishamesque. Something like, I don't know, this...

or this...

I can see guests being uncomfortable in a room like this, especially if it's all crammed into a much smaller room, with much lower ceiling. This is too much. Agreed.

I was determined to redeem my idea, however fleeting it may have been at the time. I kept searching, occasionally getting an "eh" from Dave. We're getting closer. And then I found this...

Oooh. Oh. Oh that's nice. Uh huh, yup. Now we're talking. This is serene, peaceful. A lovely cocoon of coziness. There is a bit more going on here than what I'd imagined for our guest room, but at least we're heading back in the right direction. I'm thinking something a bit simpler, that will still be unexpected. There are so many beautiful fabrics out there that I'd love to incorporate, and this is such a great way to do it. Here are a few more examples of what I think would work.

Stripes and a simple box frame keep this look clean, and let the curves of the headboard stand out. I'd like to see a bit more space between the headboard and the canopy, to really give the headboard a good frame, but overall I like this combo.

*I really love this bedside table.

Hmmm...twin beds for guests? I love this look when done in pairs. Hot pink balanced with lots of crisp, clean white. The lining really makes the cut outs in the headboard pop. The fun fabric keeps this look from being too stiff or serious.

Symmetry at it's best. This vintage glam bedroom has an old Hollywood feel. Notice the puzzle piece cut outs in the canopy frames.

My favorite thing about this bed is the gentle mix of colors. Gray and yellow zig-zag on the box pleat frame, paired with ice blue drapery lined with fuchsia. The light blue keeps it airy while the dark fuchsia creates a great little sleeping cave.

Thursday, September 2

The end of summer.

It creeps up so quickly upon us. Suddenly, vacation has passed, the Great New York State Fair is here, and Purple Loosestrife lines the sides of roadways. We spent the last week on the beach in the Outer Banks. It was a very lazy, sun drenched, salt-watered vacation. By the end of the week we even got Maybe to dip her toes in the ocean. This took much coaxing, and probably most importantly, her attempting to keep up with her new friend, Dude. Dude is a sweet, yet reserved Airedale Terrier, who mostly wants nothing to do with Maybe. Several times he tells her, in not so many words, to piss off. She of course does not listen. At one point during the week he actually engages her in play. Success! Anyway, on Friday we found ourselves again at the sea shore, Maybe in tow. Seeing Dude trod straight into the crashing waves was enough to get her to take her chances with the rolling white foam that crested on her ankles. A little splash here, a crash there, all was good, as long as I was not far away. When all else fails, hide behind Mom.

All that sun and salt water makes everyone tired, even on a lazy vacation. With all the extra sleep I found myself having dreams about designing the guest bedroom. Of course I wake up in a tizzy, feeling inspired, but also flustered because of course, even in my dreams I can't make up my mind about anything. Sometimes I wished I just liked one style, it might be easier to make final decisions. But I like so many things, so many different things, and I'm afraid if I don't censor myself it will turn into a disaster. One of my big design motto's is if you fill your house with things you love, it will all come together nicely. I would tell this to clients, and usually peoples tastes fall within a range of similar tastes so that it rings true.

Yeah, not so much for me. I like modern, I like vintage, I like just about every color under the sun, I like everything. Maybe I'll just let go. No censorship. Hmmmm...

For us, extended time in the car eventually leads to conversations about the house, to-do lists, timelines, budgets, what if's.

Should we set the dining room on fire instead of trying to get the rest of the wallpaper off? Possibly.

Can we re-drywall the half bathroom ourselves? Only if we plan to re-tile the floor.

How much does one of those vanities cost anyway? A lot.

Can we start to take down the wallpaper in the hallway yet? Only when we finish the dining room and half bath.

Lists. In my head, in my notebook, in my Blackberry...

In the meantime, more vacation pictures of Maybe...