Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Chairs, Chairs, Chairs: Part II

Kurando Furuya's apartment via Freunde von Freunden
Since my last post I've fallen in love with a new, outrageously expensive chair.  It's the Slow Chair in red/cream by Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec for Vitra. Only $3755 plus another $1735 for the ottoman.  Where is that wealthy chair patron I keep asking for?  Love, love, love it.

It makes my number one wishlist chair, the Paulistano Armchair by Paulo Medes de Rocha,  look downright affordable in comparison.  Especially since it's on sale right now for $1317.50 at Design Within Reach.
This Cavett Chair from Crate and Barrel looks pretty nice too, but so boring in comparison.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Weekend Edition: Renovation Progress

I was home in Albuquerque over the holidays, and as with all trips back, I try to tackle some house related project.  This time it was over at my Mom's house, installing kitchen cabinets to compliment the beautiful work she's had done on her new "great room".

To refresh, it used to look like this.

And now it looks like this.  Its unfinished, the island shown here is temporary, its missing a new refrigerator and dishwasher, and some additional cabinets, and the doors and windows have yet to be replaced, but it looks soooooo much better.  And it smells delicious from all the new wood on the ceiling.

The ceilings look amazing.  The contractor decided that cladding the old beams was the best way to go, even though some of the old wood was amazing.  My mom custom mixed the stain to try to achieve roughly the same tone as the old.
The floor on this side of the room had to be completely replaced due to the dry rot and damage that pulling up all that old linoleum seen above caused.  This photo makes it look discolored, but that's just a shadow, in real life its a beautiful pale oak.  The old floors look fantastic now too, now that they are no longer a horrific DIY gone bad shade of purple (meant to be cherry or mahogany?). The stools are new, from Industry West.  The island is temporary, the new island will be bigger and the stools will fit underneath.  That door is new, although the opening is old and was boarded over until this renovation.  It leads to the laundry room and the back door.  Once there is a dishwasher in place I'll hopefully be able to convince my mom to get rid of that giant dish rack.  It was driving me bananas and eating up all of the counter space.  I finally had to turn it 90 degrees to at least make it hog a little less counter space.
As the box of kleenex attests, our cabinet install project did not go as smoothly or as quickly as one would have hoped, due in part to the fact that first I came down with a bad flu, and then passed it on to my mom, and in part to the fact that 90 year old adobe walls are not even remotely flat or square.  I did manage to install the bulk of the cabinets before I left.  They still have their blue protective film on the doors.  The doors are a glossy white in reality.  This long shot (above) shoes the cabinets that will frame the refrigerator, and below are the cabinets that turned the old closet into a pantry.  Its through that door on the left in the picture above.  A pantry is part of our strategy for keeping the cabinets minimal in the kitchen area, and making everything seem a little more like furniture than built-ins, in the main room.
 The left side of the pantry (above) and the right side (below).  Again, the cabinets aren't blue, that's just the film that protects the finish during installation.  My mom's contractor is going to come back to install the new countertops, which are butcher block.
The contractor did a little work over at my house too.  He replaced my kitchen door with a glass paned door, making it even brighter, and he patched the exposed adobe, and did a lot of finish carpentry that I didn't want to do myself because it's tedious and requires better tools.
The cabinets are still awaiting their second coat of paint, but the dishwasher is now framed out, and there are baseboards (kick-plates) under them.  I also got a new-old ebay runner for the space.
Meanwhile the rest of my house looks like this.  My mom just moved everything that needed to be moved out of the way during construction (from her house and mine) over to my house, so it's become a disaster of a storage unit.  I do not look forward to sorting through all of this and putting it (or throwing it) away.
 Did you do anything productive over the holidays?  Or were yours more fun and relaxation oriented?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Friday Fun: Antique Store Loot

I spent the afternoon visiting various thrift and antique stores.  These came from the latter, so not really thrift finds, but fairly thrifty nonetheless.  The mango and the tomato are there just for scale, to show how big the Russell Wright platter is. Its rather a strange color, but the table cloth coordinated so nicely that I figured I'd go for it.  Reproduction Russell Wright ware has a color called chartreuse, so maybe this is the same?  It seems a little more mustardy than greenish, which is how I characterize chartreuse.  That little gold tomato was the last from my tomato plant.  I picked it right after the new year, still green because the vine was on its last leg thanks to recent frosts.  It riped inside on my counter.  Hope it tastes good.

The weather has been freezing here, literally, but it finally warmed up yesterday.  Today was lovely and I took advantage of my biweekly Friday off to make a quick stop at the beach during my shopping.
Also, this isn't exactly my style, but there are so many cute little 1940s houses here that sometimes I daydream about living in one... and this (probably 1960s) sofa would look so cute in a little breakfast nook.  I've just finished watching Million Dollar Decorators Season 2, and this sofa seems totally Katheryn Ireland to me...  with the back pillows switched out for her signature mis-matched patterns, of course.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Material Goods: Fall Fashion Spree

I had a busy week in which I took two of my professional licensure exams.  This morning I decided that I deserved a bit of a shopping spree.
My job doesn't require flat shoes, because we all have to change into steel toed boots before we go out to the construction sites, but its not really a heels environment because it's too casual.  So I always need flats.  These oxfords are really cute on.  I tried a couple years ago, but didn't really find the tap-shoe pointier toe and less substantial sole to be very flattering.  I'm excited to wear them.
Do you wear perfume?  I go through perfume phases, and right now I'm in one.  I'm a pretty loyal Thierry Mugler Angel fan.  Its the only perfume that someone tried to spray on me at a department store that actually made me stop and come back for another sniff.  Its a strong scent, so I tend to reserve it for special occasions.  For daily use I switch it up a little.  My mainstay is L'Occitane Jasmine Green Tea.  I bought a Tocca Violette fragrance a couple weeks ago.  And although I've been an Guerlain Aqua Allegoria fan for years, but I've never actually pulled the trigger and bought one before.  I chose Pamplelune today, but they all smell good.
Next up was makeup.  Red, rose and plum.  They all seem like darker fall shades here, but they go on sheer.  Pretty, pretty.
And finally, I love this shirt.  The fit is perfect on.  Tailored and relaxed all at once.  Kind of a crazy print, but it looks on.  And, it's a really light weight cotton, which is perfect for this climate.  I wish the other colors/prints had been as good.  I would have bought multiples for a winter uniform.

What have you bought lately?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Recent Inspiration

I haven't been terribly inspired by much online lately.  A few images here and there.  I'm sure its partially my own fault because I haven't really been looking in any concentrated way and partly because everyone seems more into Instagram postings than blog posts these days.  I'm guilty of it myself.  Instagram is so fast, most of the photos are original and posts are sort of in real-time.  Its appealing, but the downside is that the images are tiny, you can't zoom in for a closer look, and the platform isn't about imparting details.  I find most of the online and boutique magazines similar.  Pretty photographs but few details and no articles to speak of.  Magazines used to have a variety of columns, not just the brief prose that accompanies the main photo spreads.  Where did the writers go?  I'd like both please.  Anyone have any recommendations?

A few images over the last few months have inspired me though and they are both kind of out of character for me-- monochromatic.  I can't get this living room out of my head from Shareen Joel's beach house, discovered via The Marion House Book's pintrest.
And this product shot from the Justin Timberlake / Estee Stanley collaboration for Homemint.

I misinterpreted the caption thinking that the headboard was black linen, which inspired me to start planning a DIY.   I'm rethinking my Albuquerque bedroom to go black and white. 

What's inspiring you lately?

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Home Kitchen Progress

I try to get some small home project done whenever I visit Albuquerque.  Last October I painted my living room.  This last trip I started painting my kitchen cabinets.  The color is Benjamin Moore Van Deusen blue.  It turned a little greyer as it dried.
Before and during.  No after pictures yet, but its getting there, little by little.  I plan to have very limited upper cabinets, one in the corner there above the microwave and one above the refrigerator, which is just out of frame on the left.  They won't be painted blue, but I haven't quite decided what they'll look like.  If I reuse one of the old cabinets I'll probably paint them to match the wall color, but I also might just buy a couple of new cabinets.  Like I said, little by little.  I also keep changing my mind on the backsplash.  Right now I'm favoring this:
Blue and white talavera tiles in "Harlequin" pattern, which allows for a zig zag pattern.  I don't want to over-kill on the blue, so I'm also considering a brown color way... or green, or yellow...

Sunday, July 15, 2012


I was in Albuquerque last week.  I arrived just at the tail end of a heat wave and was lucky to enjoy several days with rain while I was there.  New Mexico is just incredibly beautiful, and seeing all my friends, family and dogs made it really hard to leave.

 All shot from the car on the drive between Albuquerque and Santa Fe.