Friday, July 30, 2010

Twig Pick: Vintage Blue Bird Light Fixture

My friend Mia sent me this vintage light fixture on eBay. It’s too cute. You can buy it now for $299 (+ $54.99 for shipping -- that seems a bit steep).

Thursday, July 29, 2010

The “Crow Room,” Rokeby House, by Robert Chanler

I nearly jumped out of my seat on the train when I saw this photo of the “crow room” by Robert Chanler. It's in the New York Times’ article about Rokeby House, a 195-year-old home on the Hudson River. Chanler painted it in the 1890s.

It’s beautiful….and so contemporary. This is the aesthetic that Anthropologie (and others) strive for -- and here is the real thing in all its lovely, decaying glory. Amazing.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Before and After: Our Patio

There were a lot things that made us fall in love with and buy our house last year. Like its 1940s charm and screened-in porch. But definitely not the patio -- it was an eyesore and actually kind of dangerous with its uneven flagstones (we think it was the handiwork of a previous homeowner).

So we decided to renovate it this past spring. We wanted to reuse the flagstone -- they were in great shape, it was the "green" thing to do, and it would help us save money. And all of the contractors who gave us estimates were more than happy to comply.

We ended up going with Simpson & Company Landscape Designs (based in Falls Church), and we were not disappointed. Their estimate was the most competitive, they were easy to work with and they were QUICK -- both in terms of providing an estimate and completing the work. They laid the flagstone on top of a concrete base, and refaced our concrete steps with flagstone and fieldstone. We are so pleased with the results.

When the patio was finished, we realized that the rusted, old railing on the stairs didn't cut it anymore, so we had two new railings installed. (You really do always end up spending more than you planned no matter what type of reno you're doing.) We went with Reliable Rails (based in Manassas), which was also an incredibly smooth experience that yielded great results.

I'm still working on decorating the space, but so far we've added a potting table from World Market (no longer available online) that we use for entertaining as well as potting plants, and the Rock Lake Bistro Set by Country Living.

It's been a few months since the reno and we've been spending so much more time out there compared to last year. No more "homeowner special" -- we now have a little escape in our backyard. It was definitely worth the investment.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Twig Pick: Farm-Stand Flowers

There are things I love about each season. For summer, it’s the long days, the beach and farmers’ markets. One of my favorite things to pick up at the market is a colorful bouquet from one of the farm stands. There are always such pretty options at the Falls Church market, which is where I got the ones on our patio, above. Ahh….summer. And zinnias!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Vintage Ice Cream Parlour Sign @ Georgetown Anthro

I love this vintage ice cream parlour sign ($1,640) at the Georgetown Anthropologie -- it's so whimsical and cheery. And French. (And I love how Anthro has one-of-a-kind vintage pieces in each store.) It would be so cute in a kitchen, or even a patio.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My Post about Decorati on Shelterrific

Check out my post on Shelterrific about using the remote design services of Decorati. These photos are the "after" photos of our master bedroom. As you'll see in the post, I ended up not taking any of the designer's advice and just completely re-did the room. But I would still use the service again, as it helped me think about the room in a different way.