Saturday, February 20, 2010

The Richmond Home Show, and Meeting Eddie Ross.

I was watching TV the other night, and a commercial came on for the Home Show that was coming to the Richmond Convention center the next day. I didn’t think much of it, until I heard the name “Eddie Ross” as a speaker. Really?! Could it be! So I jumped online, and sure enough, he was going to be here. Now, for those who don’t know, he worked with Martha Stewart, Food Network, and has had been in several spreads in my favorite magazines that have ended up in my inspiration folder without me even knowing it.

I hadn’t heard of him before this past Thanksgiving, when I stumbled upon his page through a tweet about his Tartan Thanksgiving table setting:


His perfect blend of shades mixed with antiques sucked me in. I spent a solid hour going back through his old posts oohing and ahhing over his talent. So I went back to his twitter page and realized he was just in Richmond. I mean literally, I just missed him! So now you can imagine my excitement when a full 3 months later he was coming back. I called up my mom, and we set a date to go to the show on Friday.


He is cute as a button in pictures, and he’s even more charming in person. His presentation was fun and full of great ideas.


There were several times he spewed off ideas that I had looming in my own to-do stash. Spray painting this:


with this (yes, I have a can of spray paint on the dining room table. I’m obsessed.):


And recovering pillows like you saw in my living room photoshop. Except he mentioned paying $25/pillow to have them recovered. I do them for about $5/pillow including the zipper in about a half hour.

I also love matting in frames, and wanted to spice things up with mine, but I never took the time to plan out how to make it happen so I just spray painted the frame for a big pop of color in the bathroom, and taped the picture to float in the frame:


His slide show included several pictures I have in my own inspiration files, including the awesome Kelly Wearstler wallpapered hall I’ve seen everywhere, but I wanted in pillow form.

And this image that was in Country Living that I clipped out because of the cute crab pillow and the white pony statues (would you expect anything less?)

After he presented all his how-to’s, I got to have a cheesy photo-op:


Notice he grabbed his floral arrangement to pose with? Darling.

Then this afternoon, I went back to his twitter, and saw that Jaithan must have been live-tweeting, and my unhappy little face was plastered up on his twitter feed! I mean really, I know I was more thrilled than this to go up and meet him!

eddie2 eddie

Though, it probably looks better than my red shaded face up close :) He was such a good speaker and I really would like to go see him talk again. So please, Eddie, come back to Richmond!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Revelation Continued: Going Regency.

Since we’re in Blizzard #3 this year, I spent the day bundled up inside next to my fake fireplace, under a cozy blanket, making mock-ups. I have to say, I’m glad I took a day to relax, cause relaxed I am. And so full from not delivery, but DiGiornos! Anyhow, we left off in my last post with these awesome inspirational photos:

828e823ff9d7 8868c1eb1e2c

And here is what the room currently looks like:


I took the photos down around the mirror, made the floors darker, and tossed in some pillows and flowers for that punch of green. I wanted a much smaller touch of Zebra print, just enough to give it a little pizzazz. It’s hard to add pizzazz to big poofy couches, but hey, we like comfort, and I’ll sacrifice some style for seating that I spend so much time in. It looks more regal and pulled together just with the few accessories and dark floors, but it needed another touch to make it look more “finished.”


So I wanted to see what a frame looked like around that big plain mirror. It’s been in that same spot since the 1950’s, at least. I imagine it really opens up the space since it’s so narrow and long, but again, I wouldn’t know since it’s never moved! All of our pictures in this room have black frames currently, so I thought I’d try an espresso frame to polish it off, and threw one on my silhouette painting in the background:


It amazed me at how it really pulled the look together, and all it would take is a few cuts with a miter saw to some molding from a home improvement store and a little paint or stain. However, I couldn’t get that white framed picture from the inspiration photo out of my head. I had to try it on for size! I am really torn, but I think I’m leaning towards the white:


So with that, here’s the play by play again, finished off with more flowers on the final picture with the possible white frame.


So which do you like better? The white or the espresso frame? And would black frames on the rest look ok? I know I need taller lamps, the kind folks on HGTV’s Rate My Space reminded me that a couple times. This girls on a budget, but by golly I’m saving as many pennies as possible to pull this house together!

From the Inspiration Files: A Revelation.

I have two ways of collecting my inspiration pictures. The first would be savings pictures found online on my hard drive, and the other is clipping pictures from magazines and pasting them in a notebook. I sort the online files by which room I WANT them to be in, not necessarily the room is already is. Say, I like a wall color and furniture tone that’s in a bedroom picture, but I want to use it in my dining room. I sort the files in my notebook by likeness; 3 pictures have the same lamp base I like, 4 rooms have multiple shades of paint in one space that all have the same tones, etc.

I was in the mood to add some more flare in our living room, which is pretty bare bones, and has been for a while:


It just has your basic sofa/loveseat, ivory rug, dark wood tables and too-short lamps (which were moved to the bedroom). The mirror is plain, so I’d like to add a frame to it, and I want to beef up the accessories to balance out the huge furniture and tables. I revisited my inspiration folder, and came across my favorite room. 828e823ff9d7

I love the wall color, and how the dark wood furniture popped off of it, but also blended with it to create sort of a milk-chocolatey goodness. And I could only dream of having that amazing kitchen opened up to our living room, with that gorgeous stair case peeking around the corner. The fresh green plants added the subtle hint of color that went perfect with this neutral room. I also loved how the fireplace wall poked out and created two niches on either side for storage and displays. We have the perfect cubby area in our own space, but with a fake fireplace. I would love to make this wall a reality in our space… one day.

Then as I was thumbing through my other pictures, I found my second favorite room inspiration photo:


I love the gray walls with the dark wood sofa popping off of it, the huge statement piece of artwork behind the sofa (framed, like I want our mirror) and the white chairs to add contrast and lighten the space. The zebra print adds some black and white to the mix that I never thought would work in a brown/cream neutral room, until we did it in our own hou--- HOLD THE PHONE PEOPLE. Did you notice that zebra ottoman in the first picture? Look a little closer. That’s the same green plant from the first picture too. Wait, are those the same cream chairs in the bottom left corner of the first picture too? This is the same room! No wonder I loved that photo almost just as much! Maybe you saw this before I did, but man, it took ME by surprise.

I then immediately jump for joy that I have 2 photos of the same room that I adore more than any other inspirational photo I could possibly find. Then I stumble upon my fireplace inspiration picture. What did I love about it? The poked out fireplace wall creating the niches that hold the stora… stop. You’ve got to be kidding. This is yet a THIRD picture of the EXACT same room!


So I think it’s safe to say that I’ll be using this as my main inspiration to beef up our space. I’m just lucky that I have 3 views of this room that I love every square inch of to use for ideas!

8868c1eb1e2c b4e15185e96d 828e823ff9d7

I could also take notes and use these ideas in our dining room, with our dark wood table, white captain chairs, and hopefully smashing aluminum side chairs. Or, I could just buy this place.

Friday, February 5, 2010

This Ain’t No Dairy Queen.

So why am I in the middle of my second Blizzard within a week?! That’s right folks. It’s here again, like it or not. Personally, I love it… for one reason. For the first time since I got my Canon Rebel XTi in December of 2008, I sat down and figured out how to adjust the manual settings to let ample light in. Why on earth didn’t I figure this out sooner? I don’t know, I keep asking myself that. So I tested it out in the snow since work let us off early (yay!). Here are a few of my favorites. You know, in case you’re too lazy to open your curtains and look out your own window. Enjoy :)

IMG_1923 IMG_1936


IMG_2009 IMG_2002






Thursday, February 4, 2010

Thrifty Thursday: Red, Red, Whine.

Many years ago, 2005 to be exact, I was the wee age of 19 when I purchased my first Mini.


Yes, I’m on my second one. It is an obsession, people. I named it The Short Bus, I became a celebrity on the Mini Cooper Forums, I went on drives with other Mini owners, I made lots of friends with that Mini. There was one small issue, which seemed pretty major to me at the time. Sure I could do drives since I had a license, I could hang out at Brusters for the Ice Cream socials for all ages, but I wasn’t allowed to go to what sounded like an awesome event: Cooper Vineyards Mini Cooper Rally and Wine Tasting. They even gave out complimentary wine glasses! But alas, I was under 21, so I missed out on the fun. But I was so very lucky the nice people in the local Mini Club (I was actually one of the first members of BEFORE I bought my first mini. I’m telling you, OB-SESSED) were thoughtful enough to bring me home a souvenir glass from the event: IMG_1906

Sadly, I sold The Short Bus before I turned 21, and didn’t buy the next one until the Mini club members moved on. But they do still have events at Cooper Vineyards which I WOULD love to attend one day. In the mean time, since you’re wondering where this tangent is going, I was browsing Diversity Thrift’s huge selection of dinnerware. Now, when I say huge, I mean a room the size of my master bedroom with shelf upon shelf chock full of dinnerware, cookware, and small appliances, most in excellent shape. Oh, and just a reminder, I’m short. Under 5’ short. For me to spot this was like winning the lottery, in a sense that my life is so sad that spotting this find was comparable to winning the lottery. I scanned each shelf, as long as the room and 3-4 glasses deep, quickly and in the very back, on the very top shelf, and very middle of an endless supply of wine glasses, out popped this baby:


Can you believe it? Some Mini owner somewhere in Richmond was silly enough to part with a Mini Cooper wine glass! Granted, it not only went to a good cause that is Diversity Thrift, but it landed in my sweaty, excited, and satisfied hands. Don’t even let that price tag fool you. Surely I wouldn’t spend a whole dollar on a wine glass second hand! (or would I? you now know my pathetic obsession) (I may have paid way more than $1 if I was forced to) I actually paid $0.50. Pink tags are 50% off the price! This beautiful eye candy was all mine for just half a dollar. It’s a good thing we’re lushes, and our friends are hopping on the wine train along with us, or I may not have had such a great excuse to add to my obsession collection. And let me tell you, I have Mini x-ray vision. I can spot a life size one, toys, and even these thumb print sized ones from a mile away. It’s bad. Really bad. But when a car’s name actually describes your stature, you kind of have to love it. And own one two.

Stay tuned for my next installment of thrift finds. It may be more exciting than this was, but it’s pretty hard to beat a Mini. (especially when it’s supercharged like mine is. har har.)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Oh, Snow!

Yes, I know. You’ve seen a million pictures of the Blizzard of 2010. But this is different. Why? Because I didn’t post it when it happened. Or the day it happened. Or even the week it happened! You got it folks, I’m late. So just a *reminder* of what we went through, here’s a recap.




I spied a MINI on the road! I thought they were crazy to attempt to go out in this. Why? The reason we’re stopped is because of a vehicle stuck in the intersection, and then the car in the right picture got stuck when the other was finally moved. And no, that tow truck didn’t help anyone out. Why? Because THEY got stuck too!


So why was I toughing it out on the road? Surely I wasn’t taking chances in my MINI. The secret is out. We did something very not mini. We bought a vehicle that the MINI fits in the back of. But you know what? We were able to get rid of our cabin fever and offer help to those in need.


Ok, so our driveway is starting to look like a used car lot. But we now have a car for every season. I took the MINI out to work today, and I couldn’t get it back up the driveway when I got home from work. So it’s a blessing we got a 4x4 monster in the nick of time. (this also means we’ll be able to do more renovations now that we have means to transport it!) Anyhow, the grand total was 11 inches of snow as of Sunday morning.


Then we got more tonight, and expect more this weekend. You can bet we’ll be testing out the 4x4 some more. And offering more help to anyone that’s stranded or needs a little push and shove out the way :)