Friday, May 28, 2010

MEMORIAL DAY PLANS

Happy Friday! I was just making my "to do" list for the long weekend and here is what I have planned:
[click on picture to enlarge]

What do you have planned for the 3-day weekend?

Brandon is gone to Destin to go deep sea fishing with his buddies and left me in the dust! But that is okay, as you can tell, I have plenty to keep me busy! I will also be heading to Lake Martin Sunday for the holiday so that should be fun. 

Also, getting excited about seeing SEX & THE CITY 2 tonight! Girls night!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

DAVINA + DANIEL: photographers

This morning I was skimming through one of my daily read blogs, A Life More Fabulous, and I saw an interesting post with BEAUTIFUL pictures. Lately, I have been on the search for unique, original artwork (at reasonable prices) for Melrose. These pictures stopped me in my tracks and when I realized they had their own etsy shop I was stoked. Etsy is the best place for all things original and homemade. 

Davina + Daniel are wedding photographers based out of Montreal, Canada. After a long winter, the couple decided to hit the road for a 2 month road trip hitting all the must see spots. You can check out their journey here.

Here are some of my favorite photographs for sale on their etsy shop (**hint, hint, gift ideas):
[Lighthouse along Pacific Coast]
[Hills along Pacific Coast]


[Flower Field along Pacific Coast]


[Sunset over Pacific Coast]

I would love any and all of these! I think my favorite may be the Flower Field. They also have amazing black and white pictures as well.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

B&A: DEN

I am finally ready (or really, finally found time) to share some pictures of the den. Here are some before pictures.
[standing at the back of the room, close to the front door - straight ahead is the dining room)


[reverse location - bay windows open to the front yard]

Our first step was to paint. As you can tell, I love white and neutral palettes so that was definitely the direction for the den. I chose Benjamin Moore's white dove for the walls and decorator's white (oil semi-gloss)for the trim. I think Brandon was a little nervous about going all white (he still says the white walls give him headaches), but he trusted me, and it turned out great. White is so clean and fresh and allows you to use accents of any color of the rainbow.


Do you remember the industrial rolling cart project? And the framed print inspiration? Or the bargain shopping bookshelves? Well, here they all are in Melrose:


So, this is the basic overview of the room. I still need some "filler" items on the back shelves, but for the most part I think we have her under control. If you can tell, there is a hint of a nautical theme. Which just so happens to be the theme at Pottery Barn right now - great minds think alike! ;)

I purchased the sea life coral prints from One Kings Lane and framed them myself. After checking at Hobby Lobby and several places online, I found that I could buy the black frames individually, get the glass and backing cut, and assemble them for much cheaper. We actually had an "assembly party" one day at work during lunch over pizza. Thanks girls!

Brandon helped pick out the natural bound rug at Pottery Barn and many of the other items were found at antique shops. 
Since Brandon loves to deep sea fish and we have a nautical theme going, I thought a coastal map of the Gulf would be perfect. He helped me find the perfect one and voila! Paired with an old clock, ratty books with ship cast iron bookends, and a few blue mason jars - and you have yourself a decorated mantel! 

Remember the fireplace inspiration? Done! I was kindly given a trunk load of awesome firewood to strategically place in the fireplace and I love it.

Last, my favorite area: the painting corner. I actually purchased this gorgeous drafting easel at Scott's Antique Mall last Fall - before I even knew Melrose, but she fits perfectly in the bay window. I am on the search for an industrial stool, but so far they are all too expensive. 


I have my paints, brushes, fresh canvases, and old paintings all ready to go! I am also looking for metal locker baskets for the open shelves, but I am having a problem finding ones small enough. Also pictured, decorating books on the coffee table - Domino's Book of Decorating & New Farmhouse Style by Terry Woods. I have probably looked and sticky noted both of those books a million times! 

I will keep ya'll posted on more finds and future progress. Thanks for reading!

Monday, May 24, 2010

SPRING TIME AT MELROSE: update

Brandon has been working hard in the yard and it is a-maz-ing. Seriously, the grass is SO green (in the front yard) you would think you were on a golf course! Maybe it is because I accidently sprayed a whole container of Miracle Gro on the lawn - or maybe it is because Brandon takes pride in his yard. Definitely the later of the two...

Here is Brandon in action and admiring his work. 


We really have some work to do in the backyard if we want our grass to look as great as the front yard. We just have lots of dirt patches and empty flower beds. I hope to fix the flower beds this weekend, but in the meantime Brandon has kept it very clean cut. Along the back fence we had a lot of shrubbery that had just "taken over." Brandon got busy on it basically cut down an entire tree.




The flowers Mom and I planted are growing like a weed (ha)! Their colors are so vibrant and make the lawn look so pretty. I just hope they don't die. This is my first, true experiment at gardening so I hope it goes well. 


Check out the overflowing rose bush around the mailbox. Beautiful! Also, over the weekend I noticed that my hostas we planted have buds. I can't wait to see the flowers that bloom - it's a surprise!

NO LONGER THE PARNAM'S

The weekend my parents were in town (Mother's Day) we accomplished a lot - worked in the yard, assembled my great grandmother's buffet, started on curtains for dining room, and replaced the old knocker. The old knocker was gold and engraved with the previous owner's last name: Parnam. Well, the owner has changed and so has the knocker. We replaced it with a rustic, ornate cast iron knocker. 
Notice the old, gold knocker above Brandon on the left and the new, iron knocker on the right. Dad was kind enough to replace the knocker, fill in the previous nail holes, replace the kick plate, and touch up the door with more red paint. Thanks Dad, it looks fantastic!

Friday, May 21, 2010

"THEY DRAW & THEY COOK" blog

I recently discovered this fun blog with amazing illustrations + fun recipes. Artists submit their recipe renderings to be considered for a daily post on the blog. I am now a follower and love seeing the different submissions. The illustrations provide great inspiration and I love to cook so I am always up for a new recipe. Last night I tried out this recipe and inserted it into my inspiration book:
It was very delicious. Next time I will double the hot sauce and cut the butter in half because the sauce was not spicy enough. Brandon isn't a huge fan of blue cheese, but I think he is coming around. ;)

Here are some of my other favorite posts.




I found an artist that I really like from Canada. I love his sketchy style and use of layering on his backgrounds. He has several submissions on the blog and they are all beautiful. I looked at his blog and it seems that he is a professional illustrator. His work is amazing. Here are my favorites of his:



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

MISMATCH CHAIRS

Along with the farm table, I love mismatched dining chairs. My favorite combination is currently metal chairs paired with simple, bent wood chairs. Here are some inspiration images I found:
I really like these wooden chairs. Simple shape with a bent wood frame. [greige]


I love the bench on one side. I contemplated on that idea, but it was quickly nixed. ;) But, I still like the mix of the wooden and metal chairs here. [greige]
I also really like the shape of these chairs. [a life's design].

Who knew dining chairs were so expensive? Not me! But, I actually feel like I have found some good deals for my farm table. 

My first purchase for the table was 2 metal chairs from an antique store in Homewood (Peck & Hills Antiques). Since then I have been on a major search for 4 wooden chairs to accompany them. The dining table has pretty chunky legs so there can be no arm rails or large seats. I need simple and petite. After looking all over (seriously!), I finally decided on these:
Simple, bent frame, wooden...PERFECTION! Don't be alarmed, yes, they are from Restoration Hardware, but I have researched a lot and these are actually the cheapest chair in this style! Yes, I was shocked too! Just goes to show that if you take time to research and check all your options (regardless of reputation), you may be surprised in the end. And, who doesn't like to save money? Check out these look alikes for almost double the price:

$179 each [viva terra]


At Urban Outfitter's sister site, Terrain, for $228 each! [terrain]

My metal chairs are actually identical to Viva Terra's bistro chair, but were purchased at half the price! Steal!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

FARMHOUSE TABLES

I love farmhouse tables in the dining room. I love the chipped paint, the white wash peeping though, the rustic, chunky frame, and the worn wooden planks. I just love anything with character. I purchased a "farm table" from a shop in Auburn that was built from reclaimed wood. It isn't as smooth and worn as I would like, but I hope to doctor it up a bit. Here are a few images of my favorite farmhouse tables in the dining room.


[unknown]




My farm table currently looks very similar to this one. [unknown]


But, I hope to make it look a little more like this one. I may trying rubbing white paint into the cracks and crevices, sanding, and applying some tung oil. Hopefully that will give it a more "worn" and used appearance. [a life's design]


Monday, May 17, 2010

THANK YOU CARDS

For the Etheredge Adoption Benefit, I donated a gift certificate for 20 personalized thank you cards to auction. The winner chose to personalize them with her last initial and a "many thanks" tag to keep them casual. They were printed on white linen paper and paired with a soft pink envelope. Check them out!

Friday, May 14, 2010

RUBIE GREEN

I love this site. I have been keeping an eye on it for while and it has really been circulating the blog world lately. The site is gorgeous - I love the color scheme, the icons, the products, and everything about their style! Check out the awesome logo (top right) of the profiled girl with flowers beneath her. 

But, besides their fantastic site, they produce the most beautiful sheets, pillows, and accessories - and they are good for the environment! Here is a clip from their 'about us' section:

"Here at Rubie Green, our mission is to dress your surroundings in fabrics that represent vitality, energy, comfort and style, all while maintaining respect to the environment by using only 100% organic cotton. We believe in classic designs that are familiar to every decade, re-vitalized in an eco-friendly manner."

I hope they come out with more products in the future, but for the time being, I am quite satisfied with these beauties:

[LOVE this pillow. They also make it in a boudoir size that is also super cute. Would be PERFECT in Melrose's mauve-gray guest room. ***hint hint, future gift item for katie beth?? :)]

They also sell a variety of fabrics. I love this one (even though I don't know what I would do with it):


Hopefully, I will be able to post pictures of Melrose this weekend - after Jessica's wonderful wedding weekend. I have had a lot of outside projects consume me lately, but we have been busy, busy on the house. Brandon has really made the front AND back yards look fabulous + we had another weekend of Mom, Dad, & Allen's help so we got a lot accomplished and I hope to share all the pictures asap!

Monday, May 10, 2010

AMERICAN WOMAN

Last week the Metropolitan Museum’s Costume Institute held its annual benefit and gala. This year, the theme was American Woman: Fashioning A National Identity. The dresses were auctioned the next day, with proceeds going to the Costume Institute. I know a lot of these images have been floating the blog world lately, but I just wanted to share my favorites.
Love the cut and color of this dress. The fitting sweetheart top with a flowing, full skirt looks gorgeous on her. [camilla belle in jason wu and with jason wu]

ahhh....gold and neutrals! [jennifer lopez in Zuhair Murad]
I have to admit, Anne Hathaway is not my favorite but I love this dress. The cut is very similar to the first picture of Camilla Belle. I have a thing for sweetheart cuts. [anne hathaway in valentino]


Love the one should + the all while. Very summer chic. [emma watson in burberry with christopher bailey]

Oh, if all these dresses were affordable to the "everyday" woman. 

ARTIST: COURTNEY KHAIL

I previously posted about my recent obsession with watercolor designs. At the time I searched all over my files for this specific designer and somehow I seemed to misplace her information. Apparently, I follow her blog and the other day while thumbing through a few I stumbled upon hers! It was quite a nice surprise.

Courtney Khail recently launched her new website and blog and it is fabulous. I absolutely love her combination of pen and ink. It is so refreshing and original. I have been trying to incorporate a combination of mediums in my recent work, but she achieves it beautifully. Here is an excerpt describing her technique from her website:

"Created specifically for you, each 100% cotton card combines hand drawn illustrations, ink, and watercolor to produce a unique hand painted work of art where no two are exactly the same. We strive to create pieces that are truly representational of you and your event; pieces that are not tossed away, but instead saved and cherished. That way, you do more than just send a letter or invitation—you give the gift of art as well."

Here are some of my favorite images of her work: