Saturday, 17 November 2012

New bed for the guest bedroom

The bed I bought for the guest bedroom arrived last week.  It's the Devyn bed from Restoration Hardware:

It both looks good in the room and is extremely functional.  The guest bedroom is also our TV watching room, so the fact that the Devyn is styled more like a sofa than a traditional bed is key.  It's so much more enjoyable spending time in there now that there's a headboard to lean back against.  The upholstery color is a little more gray and a little less beige than I would have wanted - and than the photo above suggests - but it still works.

Friday, 12 October 2012


This may seem trivial to you but it isn't to me: I bought coasters today!  Yup, it's a small thing but I've been looking for nice ones that are neither totally traditional, nor cheesy/flimsy for more than half a year now.  I thought I'd found some at Jayson Home and Garden a couple of months back but the color on the website didn't match what they had in stock.  I like these agate ones too, from HSN of all places, but refuse to spend $120 for a set of four, even if the rims are gold-plated:

What I bought were eight of these petrified wood ones from Anthropologie. 

Less trendy than the agate anyway.  The ones I picked up are different shapes and colors than the ones in the photo (it is a natural product after all).  They're more beige, less black.  Anyway, it is *such* a relief to know that I can offer guests a drink without worrying about condensation circles being left on antique wood surfaces.

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Two furniture purchases

I think I forgot to share two recent furniture purchases with you.  I bought this coffee table for the sunroom from CB2.

The room is small, so the lucite keeps it feeling a little less cluttered than it otherwise would.  The rest of the furniture is mostly antique so this is a fun shot of something youthful.  I've also already had ample opportunity to appreciate the relative softness of the plastic, since I tend to bang into the corners when I'm watering the plants.

Speaking of mirrored, I also sprung for this screen from Restoration Hardware:

It's in the exercise room, which occasionally pinch hits as a second guest bedroom.  The mirrors are useful when exercising and the fact that it's a screen will let us wall off the weight rack and bench when someone is sleeping over.  Between the screen and the new patchwork hide rug, the exercise is feel a lot more welcoming these days.  Next up for it are custom silk curtains.  I think I found the perfect color but am waiting for a fabric swatch to examine in the room.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Mirror for the front entryway

Today there was some disappointment when the mirror I'd ordered from Restoration Hardware for the front entryway arrived but was too tall. This "Palladian Mirror" is what I'd chosen:

I like the way it's reminiscent of a window: the space doesn't have any natural light and is small so it feels closed in.  I'd thought that a mirror - and especially a mirror designed like a window into another space - would make the foyer feel more expansive.  RH makes a smaller version of the ill-fated mirror, but it's pretty narrow: about 33".  The wall is slightly more than twice that wide and I don't want something there that looks like a a little sliver.

I hunted around on the RH website and the best I came up with was this:

It's stately and the gold would look great with our gold ceiling and the brass chandelier but I'm concerned that it's too much of an ordinary picture frame-type mirror and not architectural enough.

I also found this much less expensive mirror from Ballard that is more in the "window" vein:

It's slightly smaller (an inch and a half narrower and half a foot shorter).  I'm not sure whether that will make any appreciable difference.  Also, the glass is antiqued.  I do want the mirror to be functional for last-minute wardrobe checks before heading out the front door so I'm not sure that's a good idea.  I guess I need to "reflect" on that a bit. (Sorry!)  I'm inclining towards the Ballard, though.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Recent awesomeness

I've been coming across a lot of eye candy lately.  Like this from James Van Sweden's "The Artful Garden", which I read this week:

The bronze snake is a handrail for the pool.  Insane!

This shot make me happy too.  It feels wonderfully tranquil, though I like to be barefoot in a garden and just the thought of pebbles makes my toes cringe:

I'm sure there are other ways to use the idea of contrasting these materials and deploying that smashing color palette.

This week I also devoured Robert Malett's "Envisioning the Garden", which I preferred to the van Sweden (van Sweden's tone and modernism irk).  How evocative is this shot?

Later on I was flipping through the new Anthropologie catalogue and hit this:

Bam!  Are those baseboards crazy or what?  Who'd a thunk of scalloped skirting?  Gaudi, apparently.

I've been fantasizing about adding a (very) small reflecting pool to the roof garden.  I'd had a quatrefoil shape in mind, but stumbled across this undoubtedly priceless work of ceramic art last week:

Then I saw this reasonably-priced version (24" diameter and $275 for the small) today on Burke Decor:

I'd want to sink the vessel into the ground though, so I might be able to find something even more economical (and with a wider flat lip, since that's the part you're going to see).  First time on that site though; they have some fun stuff.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Fall Balcony Urns

After the Patriots game on Sunday, I finally got down to planting the balcony urns with their fall display.  They didn't end up with as many rarified types as I'd hoped, but I'm still pretty pleased with the results (so long as the lambs' ears perk back up after the very unceremonious hacking I had to do to in order to divide one big clump into a half-dozen little ones.)

The urns are anchored by Euonymous 'Silver King', then pale pink mums, leftover white verbena from the summer planters, variegated vinca, Erica x darleyensis 'N.R. Webster', and the aforementioned Stachys byzantia.  I also had some really pretty pink-tinged lettuce to put in but ran out of room so I guess it's salad now!

Friday, 28 September 2012

A few more interiors purchases

The purchasing I did for inside the redbrickbuilding last week has been trickling in.  I liked quite a few of the items enough to keep them, but of course they're spread out all over the house, so no completed in-room photos for you yet.

To start with, I got a medium sized Olive Jar planter from Crate and Barrel: 

It's good in the master bathroom.  So good that I just ordered a small one too.  And massive.  The medium is 24" high and 18.5" in diameter.  It reads a bit more 'ancient Egyptian' than I was looking for and it's a bit of a darker brown than in the online photos but it definitely works with the red brick tile.  I'm now on the hunt for appropriate vine-y occupants.

I also ordered this knock off of the Restoration Hardware Baby and Child patchwork hide Rio rug from Rugs USA:

It was half the price of what the RH version would have cost me, even after my RH trade discount.   I'd planned on using it in my stepdaughter's bedroom but the tones are cooler and grayer than I had expected so I tried it in the exercise room and it actually looks really good there.  We need to rearrange some of the furniture in there before making the final decision about whether it's the right size for that room.  But bottom line, I love me a good knock-off.

A pair of these outdoor teak chairs arrived from Ballard Designs:

They're definitely too chunky to use indoors in the off-season but they're pretty good for outdoors, especially on sale at about $200 a pop.  You know my beef with North American garden furniture, but these have more curve and detail than most.  Plus they'll easily support my husband's burliest guy friends.

I also bought these Saxon Accent Lamps from Restoration Hardware:

The quality is extremely good: weighty, plus they take a 100 watt bulb if you want it, with a 3 way dimmer switch.  (I have no problem with RH's prices when they go above and beyond on quality.)  I paired the glass bases with these shades I got on sale from Anthropologie a while back:

They're playful and unexpected during the day but maybe a bit energetic for my taste in the evening when I want to settle in and be soothed.  I'm considering getting some more-subdued-yet-not-totally-generic silk shades down the road.  For the time being, the scale is a bazillion times better than the puny things we were making do with before.  Relief.

Tuesday, 25 September 2012

A major gardening day

Saturday was a big day for gardening.  All the fall perennials and shrubs that I mail-ordered arrived late last week and they needed to be planted.  First, though, I had to dig up quite a few existing plants and find them appropriate new homes.  That was actually the more challenging and time-consuming task.

Before I rearranged everything, I took a lot of photos, so I'd have a record of how the roof garden looked 6 months after planting.  Here is what the garden looked like before I re-planted:

That's the so-called "right-hand side" of the garden.  (It's to the right when you step out onto the stone patio.)  To the left, it's a real jungle, not helped by the fact that the kosteletzkya virginica turned out to be much larger and more unruly than I'd imagined.  (And adding insult to injury, it has lots of buds but is taking its sweet time about flowering.)  Too much of a wildflower for me, I am definitely going to be moving it to the beach house in the spring!

Saturday, 22 September 2012

The Turtle and the Rabbit

I was searching eBay a couple of weeks ago and randomly came across this charming antique rabbit-shaped vessel:

I find it hard to resist a good, life-like rabbit, and even more so when it's functional, so I bid...and won.  I'm going to display her in a vignette with the turtle-shaped change dish I picked up from West Elm a few months back, currently on my husband's bedside table:

I think they'll make a cute couple.

Friday, 21 September 2012

A furniture and a decor purchase

This week I've shifted some of my attention back to the interior of the red brick building, starting to think about which pieces are still missing before I can declare certain rooms "finished".  I made some mood boards and am in the midst of placing furniture and decor orders.  I stopped in at the Restoration Hardware outlet to see if they had any of the items on my list and had some luck.  They had the Scrolling Corinthian Capital side table

...for $170!  Sold.  It's made of resin and hollow on the inside, so although it looks substantial, it weighs about 50 lbs.  It's going to live in the garden next to the chaise lounges in the summer and in the master bathroom next to the bathtub in the winter.  Here it is, together with some of the other bathroom elements:

Seeing it there makes me realize that I really need to get some plants in place.  And I also have to figure out the planters.  My first instinct is to look for something that ties in with the bathtub.

This is the moodboard I put together for the powder room:

The wall shelf arrived yesterday.  It's from Urban Outfitters so I wasn't sure what it would be like in person.  I'm not a fan of the black plaque on it, but think I might be able to take it off.  Also, I might end up painting the bare wood white: I'm not really going for rustic in there.  The constraint is that the wall the sink is mounted on is a scant 21" wide and I really want a surface in the room where we can place a small bouquet of flowers or a candle.

The mirror is from Pottery Barn.  I've been looking for an antique for over a year but it's very hard to find one that's narrow enough.  I was hoping for something with a really luxurious frame, like tortoiseshell, but nothing has turned up and it's really annoying not having anything in there at all.  While design-wise it's nothing special in itself, the PB mirror seems like it would blend inoffensively with the look of the light fixture.  I'm trying to find it in stock at a local store before ordering it online and paying the shipping.