Friday, August 29, 2014

Vintage Scavenger Hunt with My Mom!

I promised another edition of the Vintage Scavenger Hunt way back in April and then took my sweet time delivering (which seems to be the same approach sweet baby boy is using to making his grand appearance). Well, I'd like you dear readers to know that I, Griffin, always keep a promise, even if I'm the only that cares, so I'm back today with another Vintage Scavenger Hunt.

HERE'S HOW IT WORKS: My "challenger" (we aren't really competing as everyone wins in the world of vintage scavenger hunting) selects the category from a list of options provided by me. The categories can be a specific type of furniture, a specific material, a theme, or a period or style of design. Then we each head out to one (or all) of our favorite local vintage shops, which include just about any shop that sells second hand. We are to find one vintage decorative object that we feel best fits the category. We aren't required to buy the item, so there is no price limit, it's just about what we love!

THE "CHALLENGER": I'm excited to introduce you to my Mother, Lauri, she's the woman who brought me into this world and reared me. She shares my love of antiquing and design and has pulled off some fabulous DIYs in my childhood home. 

THE CATEGORY: A while back we created a dresser island in my parent's master bedroom so we thought it'd be fun to make the category a vanity/dresser item. 

I'm a bit jealous as my mom spotted some fabulous finds and got to spend the day at my favorite flea market!
Where did you find your item? Grif's dad and I found the items at the Elkhorn Antique Flea Market back in June.

Hands: $5.00 each
Sprinkler:    $17.00

What do you love about your find? 
Hands: I like that they are tall and clear so they won't add a lot of visual clutter to my dresser while showcasing any jewelry I drape on it.
Sprinkler:  It'd be a unique way to store bracelets and necklaces.  I love the old patina of this sprinkler, I like the contrast it'd create against my white dresser.

Is there anything you would change about it (paint it, reupholster, etc…)? 
No, they are great the way they are!

Where would your put it in your home or dream home? 
They'd be perfect on my dresser, I wish I hadn't passed up these great find!

Where did you find your item? I found the 6 piece Art Deco Dresser set at my favorite local antique shop, The Sanford Antique Mall, you just can't go wrong at The SAM

Cost? $69, it's not cheap but they are well worth the price for such a lovely set!

What do you love about your find? I love the Art Deco style with it's crisp angular lines and the beautiful spring green color.

Is there anything you would change about it (paint it, reupholster, etc…)? This is a beautiful find I definitely don't need to change it. 

Where would your put it in your home or dream home? My dresser of course!

Thanks Mom! Look for another Vintage Scavenger Hunt post in the next 1-4 months! Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

How About a Cardboard Frozen Ice Palace?!

Don't say I didn't warn you. I explicitly said on Monday, that if I showed up here today I was killing time. So with that in mind, let me share with you how Ms. Frances and I killed some time yesterday afternoon, waiting on little "brofer."

Cardboard and kids, it's really a great combo.

Now I'm not sure if you've heard of this movie, it's called Frozen, and quite popular amongst the under 12 crowd. It's got sister princesses, a sound track toddlers prefer on repeat, and ice.

Not wanting to jump into any real DIYs but feeling a bit of a design itch, I offered to build an Ice Palace for Francie's dolls. Brilliant idea Mom, now get to work!

Using some scrap cardboard, scissors and hot glue I constructed the ice palace. It brought me back to my architecture school days. I'm not sure who was a harsher critique, my kid or my professors.

"Mom, it needs MORE ice crystals."

Then I let Frances go to town painting it with a couple shades of blue and white. I must say, her painting skills have drastically improved since the last time we attempted something like this.
I encouraged a blending of the paints to create the iridescent look you see in the real Frozen Ice Palace.

Anna (an actual character from Frozen) and Merida (a Princess from Brave) are right at home in their new cardboard ice digs.
Oh and there had to be a balcony, although Francie was quite worried about her princesses falling off, so I encourage her not to push them off and they'd probably be OK.
We successfully killed a few hours with this lil' project and Francie got a new "toy" out of it. Seriously, kids can be so easy to please….at times.
We love cardboard around here, about a year ago I made this playhouse for Francie out of a lawn mower box and pink duct tape, it resides in our Bonus Room and the thing just won't quit.
So next time you find yourself waiting for baby to arrive or needing to kill a few hours, get out the cardboard and build yourself a house, life size or doll size, the hours are sure to fly by.

And at this rate, I'll see YOU on Friday.

Monday, August 25, 2014

I'm Over at If It Barks Blog Sharing Ideas for Living Stylishly with Your Dog's Stuff

You can find me talking dogs and design over at the If It Barks Blog today. I'm sharing a round-up of 8 Ways to Live Stylishly With Your Dog's Stuff.
image via If It Barks Blog
Maggie, our Boarder Collie, doesn't make many appearances on this blog (mostly because she's camera shy, although her fear of camera phones has lessened over the years), but life with a dog does present some unique design dilemmas well worth exploring. As I will be contributing regularly over at the If It Barks blog, once baby boy arrives and we are settled, and discussing a variety of dog-related topics beyond just design, you will likely hear a lot more about both Maggie and design as it relates to our four-legged friends. This first post has my wheels spinning with ideas for dog-related DIYs for our home, so stay tuned!
Maggie Living the Dream
If It Barks is a wonderful small business based here in North Carolina that handcrafts unique Martingale style dog collars as well as leashes and other dog accessories. You can read more about this creative company here and learn what a martingale dog collar is here.

In other news, you gotta love waiting for baby. I am like a machine as I keep tackling different tasks around the house, things I've wanted to do for a while but have easily ignored, like touching up paint in our bonus room, cleaning and organizing cabinets, and deep cleaning all 2-1/2 bathrooms. With each little act of nesting I keep thinking that this will be the one that puts me over the edge and into labor. Instead, I just keep getting stuff done. The productivity is great, but I'm over it, at this point I'm just killing time. We'll see just how productive I am this week. If I happen to show up here on Wednesday, a day ridiculously close to Baby Boy's due date, then its safe to assume I'm still killing time and tackling even more obscure items on my To Do List.

I hope YOU have a great Monday!


Friday, August 22, 2014

Details that Inspire: Vol. 10

With less than a week until Baby Boy's due date I'm really hoping I won't have to take the approaching Labor Day holiday too literally. So while I play the waiting game, here are some of my favorite design details of the moment. I'd love to hear which is your favorite?!

 4. SF Girl by Bay | 5. Aesop

Have a great weekend! See you Monday, unless someone decides to arrive a bit early (if you get WiFi in the womb son, I welcome the notion!).


P.S. Check out all my favorite details!

Monday, August 18, 2014

Touring Blogland {The Design Itch}

It's been going around the web for a few weeks now, no, I'm not talking about 5-year-old Sadie weeping over her cute baby brother, I'm talking about the Tour Through Blogland, where creative bloggers share a behind the scenes look at their blogs. Kathy from Up to Date Interiors passed the tour on to me! She's a fellow North Carolina design blogger, at least for now, as she's also a fellow military spouse who's about to embark on a big move to Japan. I can't wait to see where the move takes her blog!

Now for a "behind the scenes" look at The Design Itch. It all starts with my family and our house.
We clearly don't take enough family photos as this is the last one we took back in December, for our Christmas card of course. My husband, our three-year old daughter, Frances, and our dog, Maggie  wish you kind readers, a Very Merry Christmas 2013! (I feel it's important to note that sweaters with snowflakes and cardinals embroidered on them are not a typical part of my husband's wardrobe but was essential for the ugly sweater look we were trying to achieve. I however, always wear shirts with idyllic wintery village scenes on them.)

This is our house. That's what it looked like when we moved in back in May of 2010, not much has changed, at least on the outside.
But if you come on in, our cookie-cutter home, complete with every builder-grade amenity you can dream up, has slowly acquired its own unique personality over the past four years. Here's a quick tour:
Now to complete this tour through my little corner of the blogosphere here's my responses to the four magic questions posed on The Tour. (Be sure to stick around until the end, at least for the sake of the wonderful blogger I'll be handing the tour on to next week!)

Friday, August 15, 2014

Art to Interior: Georgia O'Keeffe

I figured this Art to Interior series needed some female representation and who better than the Mother of American Modernism, Georgia O'Keeffe. Her long career spanned 1916 to her death in 1986. Here's my take on her art translated into a living room's decor:
Let's take a closer look at her art:
Row 1: Early Abstraction, 1915. Read and Orange Streak, 1919. Series 1 No. 4, 1918.
Row 2: Red Canna, 1924. Sky Above Clouds III, 1963. Abstraction White Rose, 1923.
Row 3: Horses Skull with White Rose, 1931. Black Mesa Landscape, 1930. Cows Skull with Calico Roses, 1931.

The sensuous forms, vivid colors, natural elements, and abstraction of O'Keeffe's art really inspired the decor of this living room. The rug {8} is the jumping off point for this space as it has a very abstracted pattern on it and establishes the color scheme. It contains many colors we see in O'Keeffe's works including red, orange, tan, brown, gray and white. From there, the seating and accent tables in the room sort of bring the abstract pattern in the rug to life in the third dimension as they correspond to the colors found in the rug, The form of furniture takes on a folded, rounded feel like those in O'Keeffe's art. The bold red curtains pull the red from the floor up the wall as does the folded wood veneer chandelier. I even threw in some silvered cow skulls, sometimes a girl just needs to be literal.

Have a great weekend! See you Monday!

Sources {12 / 3 / 4}
Linking up to That's Fresh Friday #38, be sure to stop by and check out all the other great posts!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

5 Steps for Successful Styling in the Real World

Given all the serious things happening in the world as of late, a lengthy two-parter on another serious issue, styling, seems appropriate. Monday, I shared my disillusionment with the blogosphere's obsession with styling and its occasional disconnect from the way I actually live, today I share my:
Let's jump right in!

First and foremost despite what the internet will have us believe not every surface in the home HAS to be styled.

Beautiful furniture can stand on its own, it doesn't always need to be cluttered with stuff to make a statement in your space. 

Here's a few examples:
My DIY Rope Side Table has a unique form and a highly textured surface, it's enough to look at on its own. Plus, it usually ends up being used as a foot stool or a spot to set down a drink so there is little room left for additional decor.
This may seem like an a design No-No but a bare fireplace mantle is OK too. I have a colorful map of North Carolina hanging above my blue fireplace, that combination makes a pretty bold statement, adding more is just overkill and for me, clutter. There's little doubt when you walk in to my living room what the focal point is despite its lack of additional styling.
Here's another crazy notion, the accent tables that flank my sofa are usually bare. Except for the occasional stone tile coaster topped with a beverage. Its more of a practical reason, Francie seems to gravitate towards whatever I put on these tiny tables and between The Man and I sprawling out on the couch things are just asking to get knocked over. They are interesting little tables and hold their own in the space.

Once you've decided that a particular surface in your space, whether it's a coffee table, accent table, book shelf, console table, or desk absolutely NEEDS a little something to spice it up determine how that surface gets used and who uses it. This will impact what you can put on the surface and where you can put it.

In our house, the coffee table is mostly used for feet, there's no getting around it, The Man or I sit on that couch for a little Sunday Football or HGTV and the feet go up. Let me demonstrate with a little House Hunters...
Understanding that feet will inevitably make their way onto the coffee table dictated how I styled the table. It's a reality I must accept.

Don't rebel against how you actually live for the sake of styling, let the styling work with your life and enhance it!

The set up you see on our coffee table is easily sustained given the realities of how we live, yet it still contributes to the overall design of the space.

Now that you've considered function at a macro scale, by examining the overall function of the furniture you want to style, now take it down to the micro level. You need to consider the function of the objects in which you style those surfaces with.

  Successful styling for the real world has to be sustainable given how you and your family live. Styling with objects that serve a purpose and contribute to the  functioning of the room is key!

In our house, the kitchen's open shelving is a great example of styling with functional objects. 
I've got my various canisters for baking and such (I know, they desperately need a refill!), a brown woven basket to store our bread, a white basket for dish towels, some glass jars for spare change and pens,  a quirky red metal container we use for keys, wallets and sunglasses, a wire fruit basket, and a radio for a little NPR (how else is a girl gonna stay connected to the real world?!). Heck, even that dog figurine has a purpose, his tail doubles as bottle opener. I made a point to mix various metal and glass storage pieces so they are appealing to look at but most importantly meet our functional needs. 

The key to a sustainable styling solution is selecting functional pieces first, then adding in a few "just for show" pieces later.

Once you've acknowledged all your functional needs through styling, then it's a good idea to throw in some "just for show" pieces. The best "just for show" pieces have personal significance, they are meaningful objects you cherish.

Avoid styling with an object simply because it is on trend yet has no relevance to you or your family, it waters down your decor. Great design is filled with personal meaning.

The Man brought home these Lapiz Lazuli cups and spherefrom his last deployment that I display on our floating cubby buffet. It was our first deployment as a couple and Francie was just two weeks old when he left and nine months when he returned. So while the cups and sphere are lovely, they have a whole other level of meaning for us, as they represent a major event in our family history.
Here's some "just-for-show" styling on an accent table in our bedroom with items that are filled with a lot of meaning. 
I have my wedding bouquet on display in a glass vase along with some grasses and dried flowers The Man gave me a while back, on the wall are silhouettes of our family (to be updated soon!). Since the chair is really only used by the man in the early morning hours to put his boots on, the fact that there is little function and a lot of show in the table styling of the table works out just fine in this situation.

Meaning will come in different forms for all of us it might be photographs, mementos, or simply a beautiful or one-of-a-kind coveted object (I've got plenty of those!).

The goal is to think about the statements you make when you style. Make sure there is function and/or meaning in the objects you style with, otherwise it's just clutter on a surface. 

Now, that you've determined what surface needs styling, you know who will use it, and how they will use it, and you have some functional and meaningful objects to style it with you are ready to style that surface! Here's a few tips to make it look pretty!

+MIX HORIZONTAL AND VERTICAL ELEMENTS. You want to vary the height of objects in order to direct the eye through a vignette so a combination of vertical and horizontal elements is key.

At my parent's house I styled this side table in their living room. There is a major horizontal item, a flatware chest, that then lifts a few vertical vases that I filled with various wood objects and greenery. The vertical objects draw the eye up to the Tiffany Lamp that hangs over it to tie the whole vignette together.
+LEAVE SOME OPEN SURFACE. Don't feel compelled to style every square inch of your surface. 

At my parents I made sure to leave some room for the occasional drink, Sports Illustrated, or iPad that will likely land on that surface. This ensures there's no need to rearrange and fuss over your styling.
+MIX MATERIALS AND TEXTURES. A variety of materials and textures is a great way to add interest and variety to a styled vignette, it keeps the eye stimulated.

In our upstairs hallway, our wall mounted table mixes different metals; a silver platter and the brass pull for the drawer. I also mix the metals with rough natural materials like pine cones, rocks, sea shells, and a woven basket for a rustic-glam look.
On our coffee table, aside from having to mix in feet, I combine a faux smooth concrete planter with marble coasters, and a rough chunk of concrete I found at the beach and they all sit inside a shiny red metal try. When it comes to great styling, variety, in terms of height, material, and texture of objects, is the spice of life!
+GIVE IT TIME. Finally, a collection of beautiful, functional, and meaningful objects to style the many surfaces of the home takes time to acquire, just as a home takes time to decorate. The most beautifully styled surfaces are those that at least appear to be curated over time with love and consideration. But most importantly, a well styled home is one that can withstand all that life has to throw at it!

See you Friday!
Linking up to On Display Thursday #7That's Fresh Friday #38, be sure to stop by and check out all the other great posts!
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