Friday, October 29, 2010

Design book for gawkers like me

I love looking at other people's houses.  That's part of why I love home design blogs - the inspiration seems more relevant than in books featuring professionally arranged spaces that don't seem like they're meant for everyday living.  Last weekend N and I were running really early for a move (It's Kind of a Funny Story is fabulous - go see it!) and spent about 30 minutes killing time in Barnes & Noble.  I ended up in the "home reference" section and found an awesome book compiled by the folks at Apartment Therapy in 2008:

There are a few hundred pages of photos of other people's houses - heaven!  The styles ran the gamut from minimalist to thrift store color explosion and it's interesting to see how real people spent their budget and planned each space.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Oh hells yes. Another fantastic BSC blog.

If you were happy to see my Where are they now? post about the Baby Sitter's Club, you better sit down.  In addition to the fantastic What Claudia Wore, there is another blog devoted to Baby Sitter's Club fashion.  This one is called Entropificus and the blog focuses on gorgeous artwork, especially illustrating Claudia Kishi's outfits as described in literary gems such as Baby Sitter's Club #2: Claudia and the Phantom Phone Calls

In the book, Claudia describes one of her outfits: "Today, for instance, I'm wearing purple pants that stop just below my knees and are held up with suspenders, white tights with clocks on them, a purple plaid shirt with a matching hat, my high-top sneakers, and lobster earrings."

And Phi, the illustrator, created this:

  Perfection.  And there's more where this came from, so check it out!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The best of Ikea (Fall 2010)

I love living near an Ikea.  The prices and modern style are right up my alley, but there's so much stuff to see in store that it can get overwhelming.  I was browsing in the store last week and saw a few things that I think would integrate well into homes without a Scandi theme.  Here's what I want this Christmas:

Ikea Stockholm Rand Rug
I want this for my home office, and as soon as I have $179 extra dollars, it will be mine.  It's of higher quality than the other Ikea rugs, but still affordable for that size (6x8).

Ikea Stockholm Pillows
I already have the checked pillow (in my cube at work) and will be picking up the white one for my sofa.

Salong Vases
These come in teal, red and white and are very heavy and made of glass.  I have a teal one and would love more to fill my many, many shelves.

Kajsa Blad Duvet Cover
I think this gray and white duvet cover is begging to be made into a set of curtains

Olunda Pictures
My favorites are the alphabet and Picasso drawings in black frames.  I'd like them for my office or a future child's room one day.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

DIY Cubicle Makeover

Last week my company moved to a new office.  It's a big change from our previous office, which was fun and colorful with art all over, and is mostly beige and covered in unfortunate doctor's office-esque textured wallpaper despite being built a few years ago.  I know we'll whip it into shape very soon, but I needed quick results.  Needless to say, this was not an adequate workspace for me:

I knew the walls of beige needed to go, so I headed down the street to Ikea in search of some affordable fabric and straight pins.  There were tons of options under $8 per yard and I was about to cut my fabric when I saw a sale sign next to a display of curtain panels that were about 5'x8' and made of thick cotton with silver grommets.  At two for $19.99, I knew I would not find a better deal.  I chose these (big surprise considering my teal obsession)

And 25 minutes later, I had this:

I began pinning one of the curtains to the top of the panels behind my computer and then cut off the excess from beneath the desk and secured it to the panels under the overhead bins.  The second curtain covered the wall to the right of the chair (most of it is a dry erase board, so another set of panels would be needed if you have an entire fabric wall)  and the wall next to where I stood taking the photo.   I also picked up the graphic black and white pillow at Ikea for $12.99 and will be adding a fun 4x6 rug as soon as I find something cheap enough.

What else could I do that's both cheap and temporary?  I'm thinking some kind of fabric cover for the overhead bins (they're plastic).  I'll share an update if I add more to the space, but until then I'll be assisting my coworkers with their own curtain makeovers.

Monday, October 25, 2010

The homemade Halloween costume you'll wear again (in pieces)

I like Halloween as much as the next girl, but I don't have enough extra money to invest in a costume that I'll never wear again.  The past few years, I've half assed it and assembled a look that's definitely costume, but made of pieces I can wear again in the future.  In case some of you aren't hard core Halloween partiers, but still want to partake, here's an idea for something you can wear that's made of pieces you may already have in your closet.  If I end up at a party on Halloween weekend, I'll be wearing something like this.

The theme is goth, with a chic twist.  I'll start with black leggings (or tights or jeggings, whatever you have already own) and layer a short black dress or long shirt on top.  I have a black strapless dress from Express that's far too short for any other day of the year, but you can look at Forever 21 or Charlotte Russe for cheap options.  The point is to create a sexy base layer that's comfortable enough that you won't be pulling at it all night.  Then, add some killer heels or black lace up boots if you have some in your closet.  Everything shown below is from Forever 21 and under $35.  You'll be able to wear them all again separately.

Next, the fun starts with jewelry.  Find dark, gothic, heavy pieces with studs and skulls and blood red stones.  Hot Topic and Forever 21 are good places to start.  I once wore a black studded dog collar from Petco because it was only $9.99 and less than any of the necklaces I found in store.  You can wear these again later (one at a time!) so get things you like.

Now, if you really want to get a reaction, find some high end fake tattoos for your collarbone area.  The one below is only $2!

Next, head over to Ulta or Sally Beauty and get some clip in hair streaks in a color totally opposite of your own.  I like these red and platinum blonde ones from Hot Topic because they're under $10 and you can easily cut them to blend with your hairstyle.

Now that you're got clothes, jewelry and hair, the last step is makeup.  This is where you're going to get the most reaction for very little money.  I like to get a new felt tip black eyeliner and practice along with Lauren Luke tutorials on YouTube.  Add some (blood) red shiny gloss from the drugstore and you're all set.

Hopefully this helps someone solve the "what do I wear on Halloween?" question.  What are you going to be this year?

Friday, October 22, 2010

Wallpapers for your home... or phone

I am officially part of 2010 now that I have my new super smart phone (a Samsung Epic 4G, if you're wondering).  Before setting up important things like email, I felt compelled to find a good wallpaper for my new, crystal clear screen.  As I searched through the options, it hit me that I should just grab some images of the wonderful wallpapers (for actual walls) that I've been perusing lately in my quest to redecorate our house.

In the event that you're ready to look at another image behind your phone icons, here are some of the options I considered before arriving at my final choice.  Just download the pictures below on your phone, set as your wallpaper, and say no that generic pink daisy forever!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

A long term commitment: 2011 Calendars

I cannot believe its almost Halloween.  Before we know it, it will be Christmas and then 2011 will be in full swing and all of us will be needing new calendars.  I don't take calendar selection lightly because it's something I'll be looking at all year long.  I'm already starting to consider options for my office and home, and here are a few I'm considering:

Paper Source Wall Art Calendar
2011 Charley Harper Wall Calendar  (In the lead so far...)
Kate Spade 2011 Wall Calendar
Kitenotes Oversized Wall Calendar (this will be good for work since I need room to write)

What do you think?

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Surpisingly affordable - Bring Home Ballard

If I had my way, I'd have gorgeous designer pieces in my house and show off the rooms to anyone willing to look at them.  However, decorating becomes much more difficult when your entire budget for a room is less than price of an average area rug and you're cursed/blessed with taste that doesn't skew cheap. (For example, I hated the results of most Trading Spaces rooms.  Homemade sofas?  No thanks.)   Luckily, I love a shopping challenge and have learned that even more expensive lines can have a great sale every once in a while.

Ballard Designs, one of the brands I'd love to have more of, has made it easy for me with their Bring Home Ballard section.  Basically, all the items are priced to sell quickly.  Here's a few gems that may make you consider bookmarking the page:

Librarie Bookshelf - $99

Garden District Mirrors - $149  (I want three of these so. freaking. bad.)

Personalized Christmas Stockings - $25  (I love how they look like elf shoes!)

Fleur De Lis Shopping Tote - $12  (I have one of these bags w/ my monogram and they're really big and super sturdy)

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Boots season is here!

It's officially cool enough to wear boots in Dallas and nobody is happier than me.  I absolutely love a good pair of boots and can't wait to fall-ify my outfits.  Over the past few years, I've collected both black and brown riding boots and heeled boots so I officially don't need any more.  However, that didn't stop me from looking around and finding some good deals for the rest of you!

You'll notice that "good deal" doesn't necessarily mean cheap.  I am not a big fan of pvc boots since most look terribly cheap (even if they weren't) compared to the real deal.   I've included some vegan options for those who don't wear leather, but I think boots should be an investment and you should shop for good quality. 

Audrey Brooke Orville Boot
Ciao Bella Thabata Boot
B.O.C. Maricela Boot
Vegan Chic Riding Boot

Perry D-Ring Boot (On sale in stores!)

Jessica Simpson Angie Boot

And, in case you missed it, here's my take on how to wear riding boots.   They're more versatile than you may think!  What kind of boots are you planning to wear this season?

Monday, October 18, 2010

And the winner is...

Thanks to everyone who entered to win the CSN gift card giveaway!  As of midnight on Sunday, I had 79 entries and selected #8, which was the comment belonging to Amanda West

Sorry if you weren't the winner this time, but keep checking back and see what I'll give away next!

Postcard + Coasters = Better than I expected

When I registered for glass photo coasters at Crate and Barrel, I knew I probably wouldn't put actual pictures inside.  I like to add color to the living room wherever I can, so I began trolling Etsy for some sort of bold print that was not too expensive to cut up and on a small enough scale to look nice in a 2x2 inch opening in the class. 

Luckily, I discovered the Ragamuffin Press shop on Etsy.  The artist, Beth Schaible, creates beautiful letterpress cards and books (and really gorgeous paintings on her personal website) and I instantly clicked 'Add to Cart" when I saw the bright yellow chevron patterned postcard for $3. 

Once it arrived, I grabbed a ruler and some scissors and 10 minutes later I had a set of coasters that I'm really happy with.  And if I get tired of the yellow, I'll buy a new postcard and start over again!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Where are they now: The Tanner's

Don't forget to leave a comment on the CSN Stores giveaway post by midnight on Sunday to win a $35 gift card!

It's Friday and I felt like writing another fun post, so I played around in Polyvore and decided to keep the Where are they now? series going with DJ, Stephanie, and Michelle Tanner.  Here's my take on what they'd be doing and wearing now:

DJ Tanner
DJ went to college in Boston (class of 1999 since she was going to prom in 1995) in an attempt to take a break from her giant extended family.  After graduation she got a job as a TV producer in New York, but 9/11 made her realize she missed being around everyone and she moved back to San Francisco.  She and Steve didn't stay together through college and she ended up reuniting with Vipor, her old musician boyfriend who played at the Smash Club.  They live together, much to Danny's dismay, in a small apartment in The Mission and she likes wearing very casual, but still conservative outfits to her job as a producer for Good Morning San Francisco (Danny and Becky's show was canceled after 15 years)

Stephanie Tanner
Stephanie is 27 now, working a collection of jobs in Los Angeles along with the occasional commercial and small guest role on crime shows like CSI.   She dropped out of college in 2002 and decided to pursue acting instead of degree.  So far it's not going well, but not bad enough for her to move back to San Francisco and get a day job.  Her style is very hippie/beachy/chic and features lots of clothes DJ didn't want anymore. 

Michelle Tanner
Michelle is 23 now and just graduated from Stanford (the school that rejected DJ) with a degree in English.  She tries to get freelance writing work and is working on a novel about a huge family without a mother, but currently works for a high end wedding planner in San Francisco.  She's really stylish, thanks to her job and Aunt Becky, and spends all her money on expensive clothes by The Row.


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