It’s been a while…

I have been very motivated to do lots of things around the house.  I especially get more motivated when things get really busy at work because it is a way for me to relax.  So this is what I have been up to:

  1.  I finished painting the two doors on the third floor black 
  2. I bought a new dining table!
  3. I painted three of our old dining chairs in Regal Matt Black by Benjamin Moore and upholstered the seats in a very dark gray fabric from Ikea
  4. I painted the back wall of my room black and I used Benjamin Moore Chalkboard paint as I did on the doors
  5. we bought Kiran a full size bed for his room from Ikea
  6. I rearranged the furniture in Kiran’s room and organized all his toys in separate baskets.  (This has worked out really well.  Kiran cleans up most of the time and I don’t have to deal with stray toys all over the house).  

Here’s what I would like to get done for April

  1. Install two curtain rods and hang some sheer curtains (which I already have) in the back room
  2. Install a shelf in the vestibule and put some small baskets to store scarves and gloves in one space
  3. Pick a color and paint the guest room
  4. Paint the office room in black or dark grey
  5. sell more furniture and clear out the basement!
  6. figure out how I can build a bookshelf for the office room like this:
Image via Vintage

Oh and if you are wondering why I haven’t posted any pictures of what I’ve been up to well it is because my camera is not working.  Apparently the sandy conditions in Sri Lanka were too much for my camera.  I plan on buying a camera before April 18th (which is Kiran’s birthday) but I just can’t bring myself to spend the money again since we’ve only had our camera for about a year.

Editing the Dining Room.

I love everything about this dining room.  I love the mismatched chairs (especially the Ghost chair).  I love the art work. And I love the laid back vibe. 

Via Domino

Our dining room feels a lot like a glorified corridor! It is long, narrow and has a slightly dropped ceiling (thankfully not the textured kind).  It does have two very large windows that face East and has tons of unrealized potential.  I have always been at a loss to make this room feel right.  It has always felt cramped and very boring.  The other problem was that we had a table and buffet which were really dark, heavy and too big for the space. For years I tried to work with what I had because I hate getting rid of stuff.  Anyway  I finally decided to get rid of everything in the dining room and start afresh.  For now I am keeping the blue walls.  We sold the dining room table and buffet on Craigslist (for the same price as that we paid in 1999 when we bought it).   Now I want to get rid of the chrome chairs.  They are fabulous  but I need some slimmer chairs for the small space.

Our Dining Room before we sold the table and buffet.

I love the gallery walls in the image below.  My plan to make the dining room feel less like a corridor is to cover all the walls in interesting art work, photos and other stuff (I love to frame anything).

Via sfgirlbybay

I would like to find a solid wood table, if possible made of reclaimed teak.  I bought a credenza a while ago on eBay.  It is Danish and it is gorgeous.  My camera is not working right now so I won’t be able to post any pictures of it for a while.  For seating I may find a vintage bench to go against one side of the wall and use some of the mismatched chairs that we have in the basement.  I plan on funding all my purchases for the dining room with the money I make selling my stuff.  I have a huge old Persian rug and also a china cabinet (part of the dining room set) that I plan on selling soon on Craigslist. 

Re-dcorating the Guest Room.

After spending some time in November and December vacationing I realized the importance of having a very comfortable and beautiful guest room. This is what the guest room looks like now:

Our guest room is pretty tiny but it faces South and is always filled with light. To make it more guest friendly I need to make it feel more fabulous than it is now. I think we need to add some shelving, maybe in the alcove (next to the window and not seen in this picture) and over the bed. I would like to fill the shelves with some books about Philly and other great reads. We have no shortage of books in the house and this would give me more storage for the books and also provide our guests with some good reading material. I love the shelves in the images below and would like to use these images as inspiration to build our own shelves:

(source unknown)

Since the room is pretty small I want to paint it a dark color, maybe a greenish grey and attempt to obtain a cocoon effect. I think that smaller bedrooms look much better in a darker color. I don’t think that a small room ever looks bigger with a light color. Similarly, I think a small room looks better with larger pieces of furniture, even if they take up a lot of space, instead of tiny furniture scattered around.

I think that I will also paint the lamp base in black and get a smaller end table. Also, the batik peacock art will be moving to the basement temporarily. I want one large painting over the bed.

I hope that this will be a short and inexpensive project!

I’m Back!

The nightmare is over.  It turned out that Kiran also got an infection from the hospital likely due to the stint for the IV drip.  Anway he is better, Scott is better and we are safely back in gorgeous cold and snowy Philly! I think that it will probably take me a while to get over the emotional aspects of this trip.  I generally hate blaming others or harboring emotions of resentment for things in the past because it is just such a waste of time and really only serves to drive me crazy.  For whatever reason I am still angry about Kiran and Scott getting Dengue and the circumstances surrounding the illness, my parents reaction to the illness and  the magnitude of the decisions we had to make and the knowledge that a small miscalculation on our part could have resulted in a dire situation.  So while I am (unsuccessfully) trying to parse out these emotions I haven’t started on any new house projects.

However, after seeing this picture of this mirror for the second time (I initially saw it on Living Etc.) I am inspired! Isn’t it fabulous? I have a couple large vintage mirrors just gathering dust and I would like to paint one of them like this.  Maybe I will run out and buy some paint tomorrow after work…

I need some color!

While I love the juxtaposition of lots of colors, textures and prints (more is always more) I sometimes love the serenity of all white rooms.

I recently came across these two beautiful images on Decor8 and I can’t help but drool over the this beautiful home. I love the crochet covers on the bed.  I especially like the contrast of the white cover with the beautiful cream cover.  I obsessively searched eBay for a while for vintage crochet bedspreads. I wanted one that I could dye black but they all ended up being too granny-ish that I didn’t end up buying anything.  Seeing this picture  has re-sparked my eBay search for crochet blankets!  The bright clothes pop nicely against the all white decor.  I think the light fixture is a Tord Boontje garland that I have been lusting after for ages. I have no where to put it so I have resisted the urge to buy it.

Speaking of lamps I have also been lusting after a Bourgie lamp like the one below.  I prefer the completely clear one and once a lot of the major renovations are done I may buy one.  It is sort of way out of the league, in terms of cost, compared to all my other thrift store lamps.  I am not sure  if there were ever a time that I didn’t have any major renovations to do that I would actually spend that kind of money on a lamp.  For now I am quite content thinking that I may buy it.  I  love the mix of high and low in the picture below,  the amazing lamp is sitting on an inexpensive Ikea cabinet and looks stunning.  
There is no chance that I am going to paint my walls white (any time soon) but I love adding lots of white furniture and accessories to the room.  White makes it easier to live with lots of color.  
I shall go to bed tonight dreaming of the Bourgie lamp.

Still Dreaming of a Black Room.

A while ago I posted some pictures of chalkboard paint and black walls.  Well my obsession with black walls just seems to grow in leaps and bounds.  I am seriously on the verge of painting the office room black.  What’s holding me back? I have always loved color and black is sort of the absence of any color so it is a huge mental hurdle for me to overcome.  I feel that my black room may seem depressing, dark and dull.   However, all the black rooms I’ve seen online are rich and decadent.  Here are some of the fabulous black rooms that are really pushing me towards actually buying the paint and painting the room black!

Dining Room of Victoria via AT
Breakfast Nook of Victoria via AT
Jenna Lyons’ Bedroom via Living Etc.
Anna at D16’s newly painted black wall
I think that sometime in late January I will tackle the office room.  I need to, spackle, fill in all nail holes,  prime the walls,  paint and then rip out the carpets.  I’ve already picked out the perfect black from Benjamin Moore. Also, I’ve decided to paint everything black, the walls, molding, doors and shelves.  I am not sure whether the floors under the carpet can be refinished.  I am hoping that they are in perfect condition like those we found throughout the house.  I hate carpets and I hate carpeting from prior owners even more. 

Isaiah Zagar Mural.

Ever since my first visit to Philly in 1995 I have been obsessed with the Isaiah Zagar murals coverning numerous buildings and walls in South Philly.  When we moved to Philly in 1999 we went for a walk down South Street and spent hours admiring all the murals on the buildings.  The colors were amazing the details stunning and the best thing about them was that they were accessible to the public for anyone to admire.  Never did I ever imagine that I would have one of Isaiah’s fabulously beautiful murals on the side of my house!

Our Mural up close.

Our house has an extensive side wall that is clearly visible from the street.  While the old brick walls of our house are beautiful, the cinder block wall separating our house from the neighbors was just ugly.  So on a whim I started to research how I could get one of Isaiah’s murals on the side of our house.  It turned out to be much easier than I anticipated…which really shows that sometimes all you have to do is try and you could get something amazing. 

Isaiah started the mural by making the larger pieces in his studio, then attaching the larger pieces to the wall and drawing the outline for his students to complete. 

Isaiah starts the mural (as Kiran watches). 

Then one weekend his students started working on the mural and they finished it in two days under Isaiah’s strict guidance.

Isaiah and his students working on the wall.

Scott and I Help with the Mural.

Isaiah adds the finishing touches.

The completed mural.

We’ve had a lot of people give us their comments on the mural.  Most of them love it and some people  think that we have reduced the value of our house.  Neither Scott nor I worry about the “value” of our house while we renovate it.  We are renovating the house to accomodate our lives and our tastes.  I think that the value based approach to renovating is unnecessary not always necessary and prevents people from being creative in their living space because they want to play it safe for resale purposes. 

Love. Love. Love

I love these interiors styled by Sasa Antic. I love all the colors, patterns and textures.  Her website features lots of great interiors.  Here are some of my favorite images:

Sorry for the skimpy posts lately.  I am really busy at work and I’m also trying to throw a huge party next Saturday for Kiran’s birthday.

I’m not a minimalist.

Via emmas designblogg

Minimalist is not a word that describes me.  I am always striving to de-clutter and not acquire any junk.  However, I love the things I love and I love a lot of things.  I find that having beautiful things around me makes me happy.  I am never quite comfortable in minimalist spaces.  Another thing that doesn’t quite make me feel at ease is going to someone house and encountering a glass table.  A glass table is one of those things that doesn’t evoke the feelings of comfort and relaxation.  It just looks cold, gets dirty really fast and feels pretentious. I also don’t enjoy stark spaces devoid of any personal touches.   I enjoy  spaces without clutter but filled with color, streamlined furniture and full of personal flourishes.
This entryway pretty much sums up my sentiments.  While I may not necessarily pick the wallpaper or the stairway runner I love the way the patterns and colors all work together.   I especially love the Ikat bench.