Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have SOO many ideas floating in my head.  I am actually really excited about my upcoming plans.  First: some background.  I moved out to San Diego in august of 2009 with my roommate.  In an effort to save money ALL of our furniture was given to us by family members, which of course I am grateful for, however, nothing matches and we have SUCH a hodgepodge of things.  Some are hideous, some are livable.  Overall however, it's just a mess.  I've been scheming for a while now as how to make our apartment super cute and cohesive with little to no budget while tying together our random furniture pieces.  Student Dilemma 101, right?!?!  well, I had an epiphany while at the Laguna Design Center talks.  I'm SO excited now!  I want to do a before and after project!  AHH!  but i will share with you my design inspirations through pictures.  I even made my roommate a powerpoint.  I'm such a dork. 

I want to document the whole process...the cost of each item, the before and afters!  So first I will show you my actual furniture (try not to vomit at their sight) and my inspiration pictures!

This is my living room now.  Ugh....so sad looking.  The coffee table i actually found on the sidewalk!  someone was throwing it out!  it's actually very pretty with a marble top.  The rug is mine as well (hand painted brown zebra stipes) and they are the only 2 things i actually like in this room.  everything else is a mess.  and we can't alter the paint...or carpet.  *sigh....*  so here is my game plan:

                                          here is my powerpoint slide of my inspirations!

The Sofa is in great condition so I am buying a slipcover (since i have ZERO idea on how to reupholster...but one day i WILL learn)  I found it on amazon for about 50 dollars!  (this is the most expensive of the items we would have to purchase).  I also figured since the walls are so white and boring that I could get a little crazy with color everywhere else.  

I then want to put some Orange-Red Coral pillows to really bring out the turquoise!   (in a brighter shade obviously)  There is a beautiful pattern by Schumacher called "Coral," but the image isn't up yet!
These flowers are also a color inspiration that I want to carry through into the kitchen:  

For the Living Room furniture I am just going to buy a stain and get all 3 wooden pieces the same shade of an espresso brown.

This is my Kitchen Inspiration board!

ughh....we got this table set for free.  i HATE it.  it's masculine...hideous...blahh.  here is my plan!

I want to sand off the finish and paint the chair turquoise!  (like the picture on the bottom)

then I want to add a new seat cover and I found this fabulous fabric from Schumacher named "Temple Garden."

I eventually want to take the glass top and make it into a mosaic like so:
Then, as in my re-purposed article, I am taking my Jack Daniels bottle and using it as a flower vase to put in some orange daises  :)

Look Out Above!

Why do floors and walls get all the attention???  Is the ceiling some sort of ugly-step sister??  Or is the idea of dealing with dripping and looking up getting the best of the us??

As I was sitting in my history of interiors class, it dawned on me that in this day and age the ceiling is ignored and neglected.  think about it: back in the renaissance they had gorgeous murals and paintings. The middle ages, baroque and rococo, and onward also had coffered ceilings, trusses, painted ceilings, etc. The ceiling can really make a room (if done the right way, of course!)

If I wasn't renting an apartment right now then i would be getting rid of this horrid popcorn ceiling righttt abouttt....NOW!

  1. Painted Ceilings  
I love the two toned effect in this room!  Since the ceiling receives the least amount of light in a room, painting it a lighter shade than the walls seems to almost lift the top off the room!  The lighter shade also brings out the architectural details that might have otherwise been lost had the room been one solid shade of turquoise.   
2.  Pressed Tin Ceiling

     I'm OBSESSING over this tin pressed ceiling! *I DIE!*  It can be expensive BUT it is well worth it.  I also read an article about a couple from Idaho who re-purposed tin from an old home and re-installed it in their kitchen and dining room for $200...total!  check it out here: Pressed Tin Ceiling
I could honestly write a whole entry on my love of tin pressed ceilings. I also love their versatility from an art deco look to a charming Victorian appeal, from ceilings to backslashes, from kitchens to just about any room in the house!  One more thing and then i'm shutting up:  You can order samples for free (just pay shipping) to test out the different looks and patterns from places such as Architectural Depot.

Plaster of Paris

3.  Plastered Ceilings

I LOVE my history to interiors class, which I'm sure everyone get's sick of hearing me talk about.  However, It's endlessly amazing to me how not that much has changed in the last few hundred years, seriously.  When I go out now I see Greek "Klismos" chairs, Italian "Dante" chairs.  even one of my favorite pieces ever, the chaise, is from the Greek Kline/ Roman Lectus so they could have their heads up to eat!  Maybe it's because they are timeless and why mess with it???  When I heard Barry Dixon Speak at the Laguna Design Center, I noticed that he used a lot of plastered ceilings. 

The Plaster of Paris ceiling corner I found caught my attention for a number of reasons.  The first being that when I hear "Plaster of Paris" I immediately think of middle school art class and secondly because I had no idea how beautiful it could be!

4.  Glass Ceiling

A glass or other reflective covered ceiling calls for an amazing lighting job.  The light will literally dance off the reflective surfaces and illuminate the whole room!  Although this style is more commonly seen in modern interiors, I think it has the possibility to work in a transitional style home if done properly.

5. Coffered Ceilings

I love coffered ceilings!  They add such a unique element to a home.  I also love when contrasting colors are used, such as white and a dark brown to give a beam-like effect.  Here, the coffered ceiling really calls attention to the octagonal  shape of the room which is echoed in the ceiling, table, walls, plates and just about every element in the room.  beautifully executed!

6.  Wood Ceilings

There is so much that can be done with wood ceilings that I could go on forever!  (fret not - I won't)  The vertical planks in the top picture which mirror the floors really elongates the room and makes it seemingly endless.
Horizontal planks and trusses give it a more traditional, cottage like feel (in my opinion).  I love the natural colored wood but it could also be painted!

7. Beam Ceilings
There are so many different ways to use beams!  The top picture evokes more of a ski lodge feel while the bottom can really be used in almost any home ranging from Victorian to modern; very dramatic!  the possibilites are endless!

8. Wallpapered Ceilings
not much to say except: STUNNING!


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Shutter Yourself In

another inspiration from Barry Dixon: Picture frames as indoor shutters!  so cute, right??

I love personalizing a space and what better way to do that than through the use of pictures!  I know you all already  know my obsession with pictures frames (as in my older post Frame It!)  but I also feel that shutters are underrated!  Although you can't actually open and close these, they still add SO much to the room.

In my History to Interiors class we studied that shutters were used indoors all the time in the middle ages.  Okay, okay, so mostly because a lot of people didn't have glass so they had to figure out how to keep the cold out, BUT - they also used shutters in little nooks in the wall to show/hide valuables on display!  

Rusticated, old fashion and brightly colored shutters are my favorite.  

source unknown

Look at this old Parisian apartment building! If this building didn't have such beautiful colored shutters it would probably look like a condemned ugly building but instead I feel it gives off a sense of nostalgia.  If shutters could speak....

*Sigh*  I suddenly have an overwhelming desire to install shutters.

Repurposed: Everything Old is New Again!

I've come to realize that I love to use common items for purposes other than what they are intended for.  Case in point: I love jam and jelly jars as drinking cups.  I wish i ate more jelly....

Another really cool Idea i've recently come across is to Make a cork board from wine corks!  how fun!

Actually, these are sewn together (holes were pierced in the middle and they were connected by thread).  However, that seems tedious and painful.  I can't imagine cutting through cork to be any easy feat.  (i recently cut up cinnamon sticks for a class project and i was ready to bust out with a power saw).  Therefore, I would personally cut them using an exact-o knife, butcher knife, whatever, and then just superglue them to matboard or cardboard backing. 

As part of my Apartment Renovation (to be posted SOON) I want to take this empty bottle of jack daniels I have and use it as a flower vase.  I love the black and white writing and the square shape of the bottle.
I want to put in some vibrant red-orange daises!!!  So chic!

if anyone else has any other ideas - PLEASE share!  I'd be interested to know!

Understated Elegance: Barry Dixon and Nancy Corzine

I had the opportunity to attend an AMAZING event at the Design Center in Laguna, CA yesterday. I went with Amy Meier (a true talent as an interior designer) whom I am interning for. I enjoyed it tremendously and it was truly inspiring.

first, I had the opportunity to hear Barry Dixon ( speak and I just have to saw that his portfolio is to DIE for. I have pages and pages of notes that just really inspired me but one thing he said really struck a chord: All his designs are based on the actual location he is designing for. He actually goes into the yard and incorporates flowers, trees, and the surrounding area to acquire his color palette. Although this seems obvious, I find that many people search for inspiration everywhere but their actual home. He spoke a lot about "Modern Luxury" and to mix the new with some nostalgia.

One room he did particularly appealed me to (he used A LOT of turquoise - my favorite color on this planet). He designed a room in St. Barts that is simply *STUNNING*

I LOVEE the rusticated turquoise washed double doors that open up to the ocean (the color of St. Barts is captured perfectly!) Barry said originally there was one door and he just busted out the wall to bring the outdoors inside.

EVERY single color from the area was incorporated into his design. It seems so obvious, and yet I feel many people and designers overlook their actual surroundings! The turquoise from the ocean, the sea green from the trees, the color of the sand, the yellows from bananas. amazing. breathtaking. to die for.

Nancy was truly inspirational. She spoke more about her life and hardships on her journey to become who she is today. Afterward, Amy purchased her book and we got to meet her and get her autograph! she is so sassy - I have somewhat of a girl crush on her. I am a student of interior design (as you know) and therefore I just want to learn EVERYTHING possible. so, OBVIOUSLY I did some research on her.

she also uses a lot of blue hues which has made me realize: if i could, I would incorporate turquoise or sapphire into EVERY room I designed.

I LOVE the blue against the white - so striking. Also, the white in the pattern is brought out even more paired with the all white pieces. everything else in the room is beautifully designed, yet doesn't take away from the focal point. understated. amazing. drool.

Sapphire dining room chairs - OMG! can i move in this apartment and never leave??? although these dining room chairs aren't my usual taste per se, the color suckered me in. The flowers look like they were purposely dyed to match the chairs (nature strives to achieve Nancy Corzine's perfection - not the other way around. remember that)

this post is so long! sorry! but it was a jam packed day! and i got a chocolate covered strawberry ;)