Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Sarah's Hallway: Leopard Rug Part 2

We first posted about our love for leopard rugs here.  We actually didn't end up getting the rug for Julie's dining room, as we've changed a few things around in that room and aren't sure leopard is the best choice.  BUT, we do have some changes in mind for Sarah's hallway and are planning on using a leopard runner.

Here's the hallway on move-in day.  Not much has changed since then, although Sarah has added a photo gallery to the large wall on the left:

Because it's a rental, the light fixtures have to stay, but we've got license to paint.

Option #1 for the hallway is:

The walls would be painted in one of our all-time favorite blues, DKC-29 by Donald Kaufman.  The runner is from Overstock and is a total steal-- we love that the spots aren't too literal.  Sarah has some baby/wedding pictures in her hallway that we'd put in red frames.  We think the white mats compliment the lighting.

Option #2 is:

The rug is the same that we wrote about in our previous leopard rug post (though the runner is only sold at Rugs USA) and the wall color is Coral Bells by Benjamin Moore.  Frames would stay neutral in gold, silver, or white.  This look might flow a bit better with the look of Sarah's living room.

We are also considering leaving the walls white and using chunky gold frames for Sarah's gallery, like in this photo:

So...we need your advice! Should we go with option 1, 2, or 3 (or do you have a better idea for option 4)?

Monday, December 10, 2012

Blue Chandeliers

Ivanka Trump's apartment was featured in In Style and House and Garden in 2007, and we still can't get enough of these pictures.  We were actually surprised by how much we love her home-- it feels comfortable, relaxed and not over-styled:

Yeah, we'd like to move in.  Our favorite room is definitely her bedroom-- we love how calm and serene it feels, but the (perfect) red laquered lamp shade on the dresser keeps the room from feeling one-note.

Another favorite in her home is the blue chandelier above her dining room table:

In such a traditional space, we love the unexpected pop of color that the chandelier provides.  We have to say, of all the colored chandeliers we've seen, there is something about blue that we absolutely love (full disclosure: Julie has a blue chandelier in her living room). Colored Murano glass chandeliers are our favorite-- there's something really light and whimsical about them:

If you're not in the mood to drop thousands on a blue chandelier, we're right there with you.  We think this chandelier from Z Gallerie is a great look-for-less option:

If you want to spend even less, Jenny from Little Green Notebook transformed a big, brass Craigslist chandelier with a can of spray paint.  This is probably the route we'd take...you can decide on whatever shape and shade of blue work best in your space:

So, what do you think? Is this look for you?  

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Julie's Bedroom: DIY Silhouette Art

We've always loved the sweet, personal sentiment of silhouette art:

via Elle Decor

via Lonny Mag

via Lonny Mag

We thought about getting some custom silhouettes made for Julie's master bedroom, but figured this was something we could tackle on our own.  We looked at a few online tutorials, but most of them were really involved with tracing, shadows, etc.  Like most of our DIYs, we decided that we'd figure it out as we went.

We started out by taking profile shots of Julie and Clay.  Don't get too crazy with taking a really high quality photo-- it won't matter in the end.  You just want to make sure that the profile is clear and not blurry (and that you don't have a weak chin, according to Clay).  We then printed the photos on our home printer using photo paper:

Please ignore how creepy those look.  This is only step two and we promise it gets better.

Next, cut out the silhouette using an X-Acto knife or small scissors. We couldn't find our X-Acto knife, so used the smallest, sharpest scissors we could find (which ended up being hair trimming scissors).  We were careful to include all details, like Julie's eyelashes and her ponytail holder:

Next, paint the cut-out using black (or whatever color you prefer) acrylic paint.  We flipped ours over and painted on the white side, but we don't think it matters which side you choose:

When painting, be sure to make your strokes as smooth as possible.  A foam brush would probably be best for this.  We ended up doing a few coats to make sure the finish was smooth.

At this point, and we don't know why this was so shocking to us, but we couldn't stop laughing about how much these look like Julie and Clay.  We know this is the point of a silhouette, but still.  We weren't expecting this much DIY accuracy...

We let the silhouettes dry overnight.  The next day, we used double-stick tape (we were worried glue would bubble) to attach them to ecru card stock and then popped them into frames that we found at Target.  The picture isn't totally clear, but they're a distressed blue-gray and we LOVE them.

Right now, the silhouettes are on Julie's dresser in her master bedroom, but might end up in this nook, as we're making some changes to that space.

If you're looking to give meaningful Christmas gifts, we think this is a great idea for grandparents, parents, or a newly married couple.  Happy weekend!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Champagne Taste: Target+Neiman Marcus Collection

Have you seen the Target+Neiman Marcus Collection? As lovers of Neiman Marcus AND great deals, we couldn't be be more excited.  We've heard complaints about the collection being "boring," but we think the home decor pieces are just the right blend of traditional and modern and will easily fit into just about any space.  Below, we've gathered some of our favorite pieces.

We LOVE the hardware on this tray:

Wouldn't it look fabulous on a coffee table, an ottoman, or used as a bar tray like in Julie's dining room?

 Speaking of bar trays, these glasses and shaker are hitting all the right notes for us:

We wouldn't do the shaker and glasses together, as we're not huge fans of anything too matchy-matchy.    The glasses would look lovely paired with a stainless steel shaker.  Don't be afraid to mix metals!

We're eyeing this trinket box for a client's bedside table.  It's pretty and functional:

We've been helping our mom accessorize some open shelving in her kitchen, and think these dessert plates would be an unexpected addition in her more traditional home.  They'd also work great as catch-all dishes on bedside tables, bathroom vanities, etc:

So, what do you think? Boring or chic? If you love it as much as we do, hurry on over to Target to get this stuff while it lasts...in addition to all of the pieces above, we've both got our eye on these clutches from Marc Jacobs.  Happy Monday, everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Genevieve Gorder Living Room

It's no secret that we love the work of Genevieve Gorder, so we weren't shocked when we ran across this image of her NYC living room and instantly fell in love:

The simple color palette, the red chairs, the black and white striped pillows, that rug. Perfection.  This room really feels like it could grow with you-- you could easily swap out the throw pillows, ottoman, or bistro chairs and have a different look in this room for very little money. Love that.

Want the look of Genevieve's room but don't exactly have her budget? No worries...we've taken the liberty of recreating a similar room for much less:

Here's a breakdown of this room:

 Rug: $349.00

Chairs: $267.99

Couch: $399.00

Pillows: $16.95

Bistro table: $1549.00

Bistro chairs: $354.99

Ottoman: $159.00

Mirror: $261.80

Chandelier: $349.00

There you have it! The total cost of the room is not super cheap (thanks to the bistro table) but when you consider that each of the chairs in Genevieve's room costs $1300, things start to look a little better.  Her chairs are the Astrid chairs from Anthropologie (now sold out) and the "look for less" chairs in our room have to be our favorite part! Love them.

We think the bistro table would be a great (and much cheaper) DIY if you've got any woodworking skills (sadly, we do not).  Not the DIY type and don't have an extra fifteen hundo lying around?  We think the room would look just as good with a far less expensive bistro table, like this one from West Elm ($399):

Have any rooms you'd like to see us break down on a budget? Send them our way!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Large Scale Botanical Prints

We're always on the hunt for great art for our apartments.  Even though we have different taste in art, botanical prints are a definite favorite for both of us.  The bigger, the better in our opinion, so when we saw these large scale, black botanical prints we were instantly in love. We think every room needs a little bit of black, and love the contrast of it with the bright colors in the botanicals:

via House to Home

via Martha Stewart

via Pure Style Home

via Making It Lovely

Love the look? The Evolution Store has some beautiful prints, but they're not cheap (about $200 each). So imagine our glee when we stumbled upon this beauty at IKEA! At 36"x47" and unframed (we prefer this look with large scale botanicals), we think it's just about perfect.  Did we mention that it's only $19.99? We'll take a second and let that sink in.

It's safe to say that we're both frantically trying to find empty wall space in our apartments to hang this sucker.  We think it'd look great in a kitchen, living room, or guest room, but also love the bold pop it creates when used in a simple vignette, as in the space below:

source unknown

So much pretty we can barely stand it.  Is large scale not your thing?  At just $20, this book is full of smaller versions that you could easily frame.  We'd love to see a few of them hung together behind a bedside table.

Regardless of where you hang these prints or what size you choose, we don't really think you can go wrong with this look.  Happy Saturday!

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sarah's Nursery: Penguin Book Art

Most of the art pieces we hung on the walls in the nursery were no-brainers.  My favorite is the watercolor hanging over the glider.  Our grandma is an incredible artist and painted it specifically for the nursery.  It's beautiful and whimsy and reminds me of all the fun we've had painting together over the years.

The baby also adores it.  In fact, when I'm trying to get him to relax in the glider, I have to face him away from it because he gets so worked up looking at it.  Clearly he is already a refined critic.  

I love being able to use meaningful pieces like this, but I had the hardest time figuring out what to hang above the crib.  All moms know that crib art is difficult because you can't hang anything heavy that could fall on your baby, and you have to hang it awkwardly high so that the baby can't reach up and grab it.  Enter Penguin.

Penguin book art has been all over the design world lately.  One of our favorite examples is the painting Courtney Cox hung in her beach house, featured in Elle Decor:

Of course this picture warms my nerdy, bookworm heart.  Literature, art, and design combined?  Is there anything better?  A few more faves:

Needless to say, I am obsessed with this trend.  So when Julie spotted a box full of old Penguin postcards at Housing Works, our local thrift store, we knew we had found the perfect solution!  We decided to hang multiple postcards rather than blowing up just one because it would allow us to bring more color into the space and would just be a little different than what we've seen done before.  We hung them using Command picture hanging strips:

...and just eyeballed their placement.  This is not recommended but actually worked this time.

We love the interest these postcards add to what was a humongous, blank white wall.  Pretty postcards of any type can be an easy, cheap, and unique answer to the question of what to hang over a crib.  We love them grouped, like we did in my nursery, but also think that a single enlarged postcard (framed or unframed) would bring make a bold, graphic statement in any room.
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