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Life is still pretty crazy here. The air conditioning guys are going into their 4th week (and are ALMOST done) and the roofer finally showed up today. Nothing like being in your pjs at 6:40 am and realizing that they are ready to get up on their ladder right by your bedroom window!


We also decided on doors for our bedroom closet. We were all set to order custom doors from Barker Doors, but found that Ikea is now selling an all wood door (Hemnes door in gray-brown, $80). Of course it is in pine in the wrong color, but that hasn’t stopped us before. The style wasn’t bad and the price was a LOT less than we were going to pay for custom doors. Granted the custom doors would have been nicer quality, but in this case we decided these doors were a good savings measure. We may even try and use more of these doors on the third floor.  In between birthday parties, swimming and generally trying to avoid being in our unbearably hot house, we managed to buy 7 doors and get them primed and mostly painted. Mr. S. took the opportunity to buy a paint spray gun from Harbor Freight. The fronts now have 3 nice coats and the back have 2 coats of white paint. They will need a little bit of touchup (we had to move them before the rain).

Okay so back to one of my new favorite purchases for the bedroom. We have been in need of new laundry baskets for a long time. Did I mention that I think some of our old plastic ones are from college? Anyway, most of the plastic baskets in addition to being ugly, are too big for our not so big house. Plus I have to carry them down 2 flights of stairs. It has always been an issue. I was determined to come up with a better solution with the new closets. Previously we had a 3 bag hamper system that didn’t work very well. So I went on the search for something that would fit in the PAX system, with minimal wasted space, but could be picked up and brought down to the laundry without having to change containers.

Since we went with the deeper PAX for the laundry section we had about 23″ of depth to work with and 37″ of width. Unfortunately Ikea didn’t have anything that seemed workable, which is strange since they have a lot of other boxes and bins that fit perfectly. I ideally wanted 3 baskets: one for whites, one for bright colors and one for darks.


Needless to say when I found these awesome laundry baskets I was excited. These are by Umbra and are called the Horizon Rectangular Crunch Can ($19.99) and are available in 4 striped colors and plain. They appear to only be available at the Container Store. I bought the red, green and blue. They are perfect for going up and down our narrow stairs and they look pretty cute in the closet too. I’m not sure why I waited so long to buy these. Did I mention that you can collapse them when not in use? They will probably never happen in our house, but it is a cool feature. The sides stay up quite nicely and I have been able to fit a whole load of laundry in one. Anything to help make laundry more appealing!  You can see we haven’t started the bottom shoe drawers or trim yet, but we are getting closer.



Our Master Bedroom may still look like a giant mess (fingers crossed we will get some paint on the walls this weekend), but I am making progress on selecting products for the space. I have the carpet, ceiling fan, fabric for the curtains and new bedside lamps, not to mention a bunch of Ikea closets in the garage. I decided it was time to update my mood board so I could show where it stands. I feel like we are finally getting close to the aesthetic that I was going for, even if it has been a couple of years in coming together.


Besides the new ceiling fan the other new items that arrived this week were a pair of lamps. I am quite smitten with them. I ordered them from Joss and Main and they are made by Krush a division of Luminance and called the Elle Table Lamp in satin gray. They are nice and tall but flat. They have a very Venturi feel to them, which is fitting sitting in front of the Best Panels. We were planning on using a more industrial looking lamp, but I actually think these will work out really well.

Another unexpected change is that the large metal panels for the behind the bed (from the Best Showroom) won’t fit like I thought they would. They have been sitting in the garage for about the last 8 years and I thought I had checked my measurements, but well I didn’t! Instead of 4 panels we are going to have 2 panels going vertical instead. I still like the abstract pattern (part of a flower) but now I have 2 more panels to find a home for (maybe outside?).

I still need to decide on a chair (the current one is a place holder). I also need to make the curtains, which I am not particularly looking forward to, but will hopefully go okay. I am going to order pleat tape, which should hopefully make the pleating part fairly straightforward.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! We are suppose to have lovely weather here, too bad I will be spending most of it inside.

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Ikea Summer Accessories

April 26, 2013 — 2 Comments


While we were at Ikea ordering up our PAX closet system, we did a quick trip through the store (after all why not take advantage of the ballpit for a bit). I wasn’t on the search for anything in particular, but I saw some really cute summer accessories that I couldn’t resist. How cute are these summer items? So colorful! My favorite are the flamingo cups ($1 a piece).


Here is a breakdown of some inexpensive summer accessories that I picked up and a few more that I considered:


Rotera Lantern for Tealights, Ikea $3.99

I didn’t pick up this large glass lantern, but it was really nice in person. I need to think of how I could use it before I can justify picking it up.

Has anyone picked out any cute accessories from Ikea lately?

P.S. Our closets are in the garage waiting to be assembled. Pretty exciting! Now please try and excuse my dusty wrinkled clothes for a couple more weeks while we get our room together.


I have been holding my family extra close the last couple of days. I am so saddened by what happened in Boston and my thoughts have been with the families affected. I didn’t post yesterday and still feel kind of ridiculous posting today.


We are making progress upstairs but I thought I would take a break from showing you half finished walls and show you the latest decorations for the piano.


Maisie and I did a little shopping last Friday. She even picked out her first decorations. She is in love with the elephant and rhino (after all who isn’t) although she doesn’t understand why I would buy something like that and then not let her play with them. But the thing she actually picked out were the seashells. We were at Homegoods and she gravitated to the bag of pretty seashells and asked if we could bring them home. She then very carefully put them in the bowl.  I guess it is time to start having her help more often. She also insists on having a bouquet of felt flowers next to her bed.


I also finally picked out a side table for my chair. I originally ordered a metallic ceramic wood stump stool, but after the disaster decided I should get something that didn’t require shipping. I bought this metallic garden stool at Homegoods. It didn’t have a price on it, so they decided that it should be $49.99. I said sold, considering most of the metallic ones I have seen are over $100! Mr. S. said he still preferred the tree stump, but I am excited to have a place to put my coffee cup and wine glass.


So for my spring decorating I started with the brass elements and paired them with some nice bright blues. It was feeling a bit boring so I tried mixing a few of my more colorful kitschy items.


Who doesn’t want to be welcomed home by a picture of vintage apple computer and some wacky creatures?



I was over at Target last week and they have all of their spring/summer outdoor collections out on display. Aaaaaahh…thoughts of spring!  They also had a nice their Patio Look Book 2013 available, so I quickly snapped one up! I know I am suppose to be focused on a certain third floor, but sometimes you need a quick little diversion! So I thought I would show you a few of the items that caught my eye. I don’t actually  NEED much for the outside but a little virtual shopping is still in order. Above I am totally digging the Moroccan style metal lantern, round blue and white ottoman/pouf and the blue pot (which is actually durable resin).


Their outdoor rugs are also looking really nice this year, although the prices are a little higher then I am use to.


This wicker set is pretty cute. I actually reminds of something CB2 would sell. I am also really in love with the pillow.


More of these faux-ceramic resin pots. I hate having to bring pots in over the winter to avoid problems with frost and these at least in the pictures look like a great option. Plus the resin ones tend to be lighter! I am also digging the hakonechloa grass in the pot. This could even possibly be left in the pot over winter (in part sun to shade).


I am also liking this colorful wicker ottoman. I don’t have a place for this but I like the option of using it for a seat, a table or even turning it over and using it to store stuff.  At $39.99 it is a little more than I would want to spend, but I will have to check it out in the store next time.

targetoutdoorpatio6-outdoorpillowdahliaI think the one item I may actually consider picking up are these really cute outdoor dahlia pillows. At $15 a piece, I think that they may add some drama to the backyard.

Time to get back to thinking about a certain upstairs space!



In the midst of trying to figure out all of our second and third floor plans, I was temporarily distracted by some pretty fabric. For some people it is shiny things, but for me a good pattern makes me happy and distracts me from more important endeavors (especially late at night while surfing the internets after Mr. S. has fallen asleep). I have been on a very long search for the perfect fabric for our bedroom curtains and while searching one night (specifically I came upon a nice Jacobean pattern with good potential (Richloom Kathrann Printed Linen Blend Fabric in Garden). It had a nice large size pattern, a good mix of colors and the pattern and was a nice mix of modern and pretty. The only issue was the background color. I really want a white background, to work with the future white window trim and to lighten the gray walls. By the pictures it was a bit hard to tell how far off the background color was. I stopped by JoAnn’s to see if they happen to have it in stock.


And just by chance they did have some of the fabric, so I asked very nicely for a sample and they gave me 2 to bring home. I immediately knew that it wasn’t going to work in our bedroom with the cream colored base but as soon as they were sitting in the kitchen I thought that I definitely need to use this fabric in here for some window valances. Because that is a priority right now (hahaha)!


I ordered enough fabric for the windows with a little bit of extra for a couple of other small projects from for the awesome price of about $6 a yard for 4 1/2 yards in 2 pieces (this retails in the $25-35 range). In addition to selling fabric by the yard they apparently have a lot of leftover small lots that they offer at really good discounts. Wow, I have just found a new place to spend many hours searching for the perfect fabric!

It is funny that one of the first things that I did when we bought the house was take down a lot of curtains and valances to let in the light and now I am putting them back up (of course in much nicer fabric that is not from the 1970s). I’m not quite sure to think about this development. We do have solar shades on a lot of our windows, which I do really like but they are a little ho hum looking.


I just whipped up a rendering of what a valance might look like in here. I like it. I am considering actually making it with a solid backing and padding it slightly and using some decorative nail trim. Although if I follow something closer to my Dining Room valances, they would be easier to take down and clean. I do want to mount them inside the frame, so as to not obscure the nice trim.

What do you think? Does anyone else have a fabric obsession?

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I love a good salvage place! Unfortunately most of my old haunts have disappeared over the years, so I was excited to go and visit a relatively new place. Philadelphia Salvage Company has been around for over a year and I had heard passing mention of it, but one of Mr. S’s coworkers recommended it to him so we decided a visit was in order. We packed up the family on Saturday morning and headed over. It is in West Mount Airy (across from Weavers Way), Philadelphia.

Looking at their website I was concerned that pricing would be on the high side, after all the best places are usually in sketchy neighborhoods with dusty artifacts that have been sitting around for a decade waiting for someone to take them home. Fortunately I thought that their pricing was pretty reasonable, even if their stock wasn’t as extensive as some of the other places I have been to. I was pleased with the quality of what they had too. Here are some of the items that caught my eye.


Aren’t these vintage industrial fixtures nice? They are pretty big and have a nice patina. They require rewiring, but a row of these would look great over a kitchen island. There were a whole pile that were already sold (probably for a restaurant).


This table top is made out of an old bowling alley floor. It looks really great. They were also making a giant dining table out of the same material. One of the cool things is that they offer refinishing in addition to making furniture, which is definitely a bonus depending on what you need something for. Usually you have to lug whatever you buy to a separate place to get it worked on.


I loved their tile collection. We used similar new tile for our kitchen backsplash. The color and crackling is really quite stunning. They had also removed all of the old grout, so these are all set for installation.


I also really liked these windows. The colors of the glass medallions were really amazing. I find a lot of stained glass too fussy for my taste, but these are a nice mix of a little pop of color in a nice geometric pattern.


Of course I was like a kid in a candy store, so walking away empty handed was difficult. We didn’t end up buying anything while we were there, but I have since called and put 2 things on hold. One is for the house and one is for the garden. The garden one I will unveil later on, but we did choose this newel post. It is a dead on match for our newel post (which is a small miracle).  I have a bad habit of stockpiling old house parts (i.e. half of our garage loft is filled with extra house parts). So I told myself if I don’t have a place for this I shouldn’t buy it, even if the price is really good (which it was). So after I got home I was thinking about the upstairs hall and how we are going to have to cut the handrail at the bathroom wall, I thought why not use a piece of this to finish it off. Right now the rail dies into a piece of wood, and has always felt a little bit off, and I’m not sure how it was finished originally. I think if take one side of this, it will make a really nice detail.  Maybe if I can salvage one of the other sides I will add it down in the basement at the bottom of the stairs. Our contractor is actually going to be over later this week putting a closet in for us (one of those items that didn’t get finished last year).

Does anyone else love salvage stores or have any recommendations?

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I know it is a major trend right now, but I decided to give Turkish or Fouta or Peshtemal towels a try. I actually tried them years ago when I was in college and visiting Istanbul for a few days while studying abroad. At the time I was confused and definitely not convinced. I thought these sheet like things are suppose to be towels? They seemed stiff (possibly starched) at the time and not at all luxurious (of course I was staying at an inexpensive hotel not really made for tourists).


So anyway, back to now. I have been seeing them pop up on a number of the sale sites and in some of the catalogs I get in the mail. I couldn’t believe how pricey they were ($40-60 a piece), although they are super colorful with fun patterns. But what finally convinced me to give them a try was reading a review of them on House*Tweaking. She is using them on hooks (like we do) and said that they dried more quickly. We have problems in the summer with the towels drying out properly, which leads to going through a lot of towels and spending more time then I would like ensuring that they are washed properly to get the mustiness out. Dana recommended this etsy shop. They have them in the $24 to $28 range, which compared to some of the other prices I have seen, wasn’t bad, but it still felt a little pricey for something I wasn’t totally convinced about.


So I had the idea stewing around in my head for a while.Then I saw a link on Little Green Notebook for a company that I hadn’t seen before called Nine Space. And as a bonus they are offering 20% off with the her discount code (LGN20). So I went over there and found some awesome deals in their sale section.


I ended up with the Lapiz Fouta Towel in navy. It is now listed at $29 but  a couple of weeks ago they had it for $16.99 + 20% off. So I decided to order 2.

So the verdict? These are generously sized at 40×71 and I quite like them. It is definitely a different feel, but I felt like it did as good of job as a plush towel. They are suppose to get more absorbent the more they are washed, so we will see how I feel about them in a couple of months. Mr. S. is still deciding undecided/not fully convinced. I think my favorite part is the nice texture of the cotton.  They hang nicely and up close the weaving is very pretty. I also picked up a turquoise one for the pool and to use as a wrap, which I think will be a much needed stylish upgrade.

Has anyone else given these a try?

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Shattered Stool & Germs

January 11, 2013 — 1 Comment


I ordered this beautiful ceramic wood stump table (Silvia Stool, $99)over the holidays from Joss & Main, one of my favorite flash/private sale sites. Isn’t it kind of ridiculous? Unfortunately when it arrived the other day it look like this:


I knew it was a bad sign when the box was wrapped with an extra layer of bubble wrap on the outside. I was planning on using it back by the piano and colorful chair kind of like this:


Alas it was not meant to be. Joss & Main was really good about giving me a credit back for the full amount and shipping but they don’t have any extra. It is one of those purchases that I looked at a bunch of times over a couple of days before ordering. Mr. S. even weighed in on which one he preferred, so I was pretty excited to get it. I did learn that it was made by Statements by J who I see makes quite a bit of stuff for both J&M and One Kings Lane. So I guess I will be keeping an eye out for something similiar. I was planning on using it to hold my coffee cup for when I sit in this chair and talk to Mr. S. while he works on the computer.  Oh well.

In other news the stomach bug has struck again (this time it was me). Yuck! After Sam was sick on Saturday I scrubbed the house down with Lysol wipes and washed all of the sheets, towels and blankets. I guess it wasn’t enough. I spent yesterday in bed watching bad tv. I’m up today and except for being really tired and not very hungry appear to be mostly better. Now if I could just get someone to do all of the other work I missed I would be all set.

I hope everyone has a great weekend, and may the bad germs stay away from you!

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Mix of Greens,  Holly Berries, Eucalyptus paired with a Vintage Style Sign & Twinkle Lights

I stopped over at Terrain this weekend for some winter & holiday inspiration. The weather was dreary to say the least but it was still beautiful. I hope you enjoy the eye candy! The number of outdoor arrangements and plants was impressive! I wanted to scoop them up and bring them home! I think that they have really upped their game in terms of outdoor plants and exterior decoration. Of course most of them were REALLY expensive. The display  makes we want a larger garden just so I could grow some of these plants for cuttings. Maybe I will stop over at Produce Junction and see what I could pick up to make my own outdoor arrangement. So stay tuned!

Holly Berries Mixed with Greens, Eucalyptus & Red Twig Dogwood in a Stunning Urn

I think this was my favorite arrangement. The colors and size was spectacular (over 4′ across). I think one of the surprises in their arrangements was the mix of cuttings with perennials. They usually do a nice job of mixing perennials with annuals, but this time of year all the annuals (with the exception of some of the cabbages are done for the season). They actually use quite a few small bushes (that were also for sale). I’m not sure if they are really dwarfs or just babies, I will have to investigate! I also thought the use of eucalyptus was brilliant. I think of it being used in boring interior applications, but outside it brought a new color and texture to the arrangements (and appeared to be holding up quite well outside).

Mix of small cabbages, heather and sedum

I like the use of heather here paired with the small cabbages. I just saw some heather for sale the other day locally and was wondering how it would fair outside. Maybe I will give it a shot.

Planter with Nandina, Coral Bells & Autumn Joy Sedum

I really liked this arrangement, especially since I own all of these plants, and these are all readily available. I actually have 3 miniature nandina sitting behind the shed waiting to be planted. Maybe I will throw a couple of them in pots on the deck for the winter. Also as long as the winter doesn’t get too cold the coral bells should make it through. I do wonder with the pot being exposed though how it might fair. Will the roots freeze?

Beautiful Window Boxes

The window boxes were stunning. I have never seen the black cabbages before. I also liked these grape vine orbs. They have lights in them, but at $148 a piece, I may try to replicate them for my yard. I always have random weedy vines that I might be able to use to replicate this.

Miniature Outdoor Display

Finally, this miniature outdoor scene was splendid. I am trying to think of a place for something like this that could be seasonable in our yard. One more item for the to do list!

P.S. Here are the photos from last year’s visit.

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