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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Cheap and Chic of the Week: Light on Target

So for this week's Cheap and Chic of the Week, I thought I would put the spotlight on lighting. Based on previous posts, clearly I think that lighting is really important to a room--and limiting the use of overhead lighting in favor of table lamps is a major portion of creating nice light in a room. I thought I would check out the often underutilized target website to see what I could find in terms of cheap and chic table lamps, and I thought I did pretty well! 

Here is the Crystal Lamp Base, for only $19.99! A chic lucite-esque lamp base, Target does not provide a shade, so you can shop for your own. I would go with a crisp, white barrel shade ... which you could also most likely purchase from Target. 

At just $29.99, this Tripod Lamp Base would be perfect in a den or study, or as a desk lamp. I know that other stores, such as Pottery Barn and Restoration Hardware have sold similar lamps before, but never at such a wonderful price! Again, here you get to purchase your own shade, which is often a blessing in disguise, because many of the shades that come with lamps are not attractive. 

I know this may seem kitschy to some of you, but something about the architectural nature of this Eiffel Tower Lamp, really caught my eye. It has a real vintage feeling, which is often hard to find in a lamp at its price point.  This is an example of a shade pairing that just doesn't work for me. The shade makes the lamp have a more dowdy quality, I would get a more modern lampshade to emphasize the architectural quality of the lamp. 

And finally, because I have recently been having some sort of affair with mid-century modernism, is this Stacked Geo Table Lamp also for $39.00. In this case, I think that the shade that comes with the lamp is appropriate and works really well. I cannot vouch for the quality of the wood, but you know what? If you don't like it, lacquer it! 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Treasure Trove

So I was casually flipping through a Philadelphia Magazine this evening (for the first time), and it turns out that they have an insert of Philadelphia Home Magazine. Intrigued, I flipped further and almost dropped the magazine when I came across Meg Newell's Bucks County, PA home. One of the owner/operator/founders of Trove, a trio of women who sell a collection of vintage furniture and finds at locations such as the Brooklyn Flea, Newell's business is an extension of her home--and I think its fabulous. 
Even from the street Newel's 18th and 19th century Georgian home is a gem, but its what inside that really counts. 

One of the trademarks of Trove Decor is that they often bring new life to old furniture by painting it and re-upholstering it. Newell's passion for white paint is certainly apparent in her clean, crisp, refreshingly modern and yet obviously historical foyer. 

We all know what I love about this! Newell has combined antiques upholstered in clean linens with the waterfall table from cb2, which was a fixture of my apartment in NYC. I love the look of the waterfall table agains the heart of pine flooring. And how about those drapes? 

Again, no rugs, just beautiful wide plank heart of pine floors. Love it. I love the collection of prints on the mantlepiece, and the  the seriousness of the dining room table and victorian chairs when paired with that amazing chandelier! And again, the walls are clean, crisp and white. 

At another round table, this time painted white, Newell mismatches painted chairs and uses flowers for color in the room. Flowers and throw pillows ... literally you can decorate with only those things for color and live in a white house! Look at how fabulous this all is. 

According to the article, Newell's kitchen is from Lowe's, the kitchen table is an antique, and the chairs are ikea! 

I love how Newell has hung a painting on the window mullion--a great tactic. And don't you just love the hit of blue with all the white? Ahhhhmazing.

Les Indiennes, my favorite. Need I say more? Simple and chic.

Although encasing a house in white is not typical of houses of the time period, it seems to suit this house perfectly. Although she painted the entirety of the house white, giving it a modern feel, the injection of vintage pieces from Trove really reflected the historic quality and character of the house. 

Of course this means that now I will be stalking Trove Decor's website, and waiting for their famous barn sales out in Bucks County. I am so thrilled to have found these ladies, and as someone who enjoys a good paint job, these fabulous women are right after my own heart. 

Photos courtesy of Philadelphia Home Magazine and

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Busy Day, Little Dhurrie

Sorry everyone, really busy day of class today, wish I could do a real post! Also, the fact that my scanner is still not working is really putting a damper on my blogging, as I have sooo many things that I have wanted to share with you all recently! So today, I will share something really quick ...

Don't you just love this little dhurrie? When I say little, I mean it. At only 2x3 this rug would look great in a little entryway or as a throw rug under a small cocktail table. John Robshaw is one of my absolute favorite textile designers, however, I usually cannot afford his products. This little guy is on final sale for $60 at The color combination is fabulous, and I love the mixture of a graphic pattern and a floral one. Have a good day! 

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cheap and Chic of the Week: Ahoy There!

It seems as if I haven't done a Cheap and Chic of the Week in quite a while! I have been having a hard time finding something worth the title ... however, this week I am thrilled to discover that something I have been admiring for months now has finally become affordable. These 22" square pillows from Wisteria were originally $69, and have finally come down to the affordable price of $27.60! 

These pillows were inspired by nautical signal flags, shown above. What I love about them is that although they make an historic reference, the pillows themselves have a bold, graphic, modern quality to them. 

Although I love the colors in the signal flags, I like the reinterpretation for these pillows. Obviously I love the ones that incorporate turquoise. 

I am also very drawn to this pillow, as it combines turquoise and orange, which is a color that I have been looking to incorporate into my decorating scheme, and have yet to figure out how. Perhaps this pillow is just the hit of orange that I am looking for. 

While the turquoise color is fun and upbeat, the natural tone of the linen adds a very sophisticated element to these pillows. As a result, what has the ability to be kitschy is more calm, cool and collected. The pillows do not immediately scream "nautical signal flag!"--especially if you pick your favorite pillow and buy a few of those, instead of mixing and matching. 

Just remember to measure the piece of furniture that you will be "throwing" these pillows on to. They are 22", which is no small pillow. The couch or chair that you add them to has to be substantial enough to support these large pillows, you wouldn't want them overwhelming your love seat! So go to Wisteria, and check out these Nautical Signal Flag pillows, on sale for $27.60--I think they would be a great addition to any room, however, don't buy them all before I can order a few!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Topiary Tales

House Beautiful
I love it when I get emails from blog readers asking me to fill them in on my opinion on a given aspect of design or certain DIY projects--its so flattering! This one comes from one of my favorite readers who wanted to know about house plants ... when to use them, where to put them, and which ones to pick out. Unfortunately for my reader, I am not a huge fan of the house plant. Do you ever walk by those apartment windows where you just see a chaos of plants that are clinging on for dear life? That is my fear with house plants, so I tend to stay away from them as a general rule. Additionally, try keeping anything alive in an apartment! But one thing that I would advocate if you are looking to add something green and living into your decor is the topiary. 

House Beautiful
These two pictures, from the foyer of decorator Windsor Smith's LA home, exemplify why I like topiaries. Green, clean, and architectural. Additionally, you have the opportunity to use a really chic pot, which can also enhance the room's design. 

House Beautiful
Here, in the Newport Home of designer John Peixnho, he uses a cluster of miniature topiaries on a hall table, which helps to create good height, as well as add some green touches to the space. 

House Beautiful
In this Steven Gambrel designed kitchen, the topiaries take on a more modern feel, and seem to mimic the vertical light fixtures in the space. The topiaries on the table have more of a free-form shape than round, whereas the topiaries on the countertop have a more traditional rounded shape. One of the things that I love about topiaries is that they come in all shapes and sizes. So far, I have shown you both boxwood and myrtle topiaries, which are my favorite. However, a topiary can be made of many other things such as ivy, rosemary, lavender, and even fruit!

House Beautiful
In this living room by Jonathan Rosen, he has added topiaries that use wire to create a transparent globe shape. 

Now if you want to add that green and architectural element to your space that only a topiary can provide, but you worry about your lack of a green thumb, Lexington Gardens in NYC sells preserved topiaries. They are not faux, they are simply dried and preserved to look alive--you just don't have to keep them alive. However, they are not giving these away ... the miniature start at $95! 

Habitually Chic
Next door at Trelliage, Bunny Williams shop, you can get inspiration from her abundant use of topiaries, and then move on. If you're anything like me, you cannot afford anything in there. People are typically not giving away topiaries,  at Lenox Hill Florist on the Upper East Side I was quoted a price of $45 for a small myrtle topiary, and at Century Florist in the same neighborhood I was quoted $50. This is not cheap, but could be considered reasonable, as places such as Plaza Florist, who are considered topiary experts, will charge far more than that. 

House Beautiful
If you want to add a topiary to your decorating scheme, I would go out and scour the neighborhood doing a price comparison. Call around and go to different places, but I would avoid the shops that advertise as topiary experts--that translates to expensive topiary! To my reader who asked me the question, I hope this helps!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grassy Knoll

As a blogger, there are few things that can really be a bummer, and one of them is the death of your scanner. My scanner is currently not scanning, and I need to do some serious recon to figure out what might be wrong, b/c without it, there are so many ideas that I can't post! Anyway, lucky for me, I have an amazing DIY project to post on that doesn't require my scanner! 

Here we have an already familiar photo of my tiny Philadelphia studio. But what the DIY project entails is my desk.

The desk is made up two different sets of pieces, these vika artur legs .. 

And this top called vika gruvan. I love the top of this desk because it consists of a piece of glass on top of a shelf, which allows you to store and display things under the table top, which is really a wonderful feature. However, always feeling like the display looked a little white, I took some inspiration from the November 2006 issue of Domino, wherein Nick Olsen covered a bland ikea console table with grasscloth. 

I thought that idea would be just the thing to liven up the whiteness of the shelf underneath the glass on my table top. That way, I would cease to look at all that white ... which also showed all the dust and would occasionally lead to serious procrastination ... and have some great texture to it. Luckily for me, there was some leftover Hinson grasscloth lying around in Charleston, and it was just enough to do my desk. 


I can't take the credit for this, unfortunately. Although I had the idea, the paper had been sitting next to my desk for months, and while I was on a class outing on Saturday, W did the honors. He did a wonderful job, don't you think? I am so pleased with it because now I have created a custom piece out of  ikea parts! 

Sunday, March 21, 2010

What a Weekend!

Spring! What a weekend, the last few days have been spectacular, and the trees in Philadelphia are blossoming like crazy--thank god. 

Friday, March 19, 2010


Flipping through the April issue of Dwell Magazine, I came upon something in the furniture section that really piqued my interest. Typically the uber modern furniture featured in this section is not to my taste, and I tend to prefer looking through the sections of the magazine that feature modern architecture and renovation projects--but this month was different.

The Alumette Sofa by Atelier Oi for Rothlisberger Kollektion is extremely an extremely modern piece sofa with a stick-like construction. Made from arura vermelho, an extremely hard wood cultivated in the Amazon, something about this sofa struck me, and I couldn't figure out what it was that made me love it soo much. 

Upon visiting, I found that the collection also included arm chairs, which I liked even more. I love the color of the wood, and the almost haphazard quality of the construction. But again, why did I love this so much? Typically not my style ...

The collection also includes a table and chairs, which I came upon at the end of my web surfing, and I realized what it was about this extremely modern furniture collection that appealed to me. 

House Beautiful
Look at the bamboo chair and table set from House Beautiful that I posted yesterday. Warm tortoise bamboo tones and the stick-like construction of this table and chairs make it an ideal combination in a room with "heavier" furniture ... such as upholstered furniture or the grounded seagrass furniture pictured here. 

Look at the similar characteristics of the Alumette collection and the traditional bamboo furniture. Both types of furniture have a "constructed" quality ... you can see all of the engineering behind the pieces, both have that warm tone, and both are a great addition to a room with heavier pieces to create variety and "lightness." 

House Beautiful

You all may think I am crazy, but I really do see the similarities in the construction of these two very different styles of furniture. Now I am not about to completely change my design aesthetic and go completely modern, but I think that in a traditional living room setting, the Allumette chairs might be just the right dash of modernism. Like postmodern architecture, which draws inspiration from the past and interprets it in an ironic way, the Alumette Collection seems to draw from the past and interpret it with a sense of humor.

Unfortunately, Lacquered Lifers, this collection is not being given away. To add insult to injury the price is very high, and its in euros! I didn't even bother to do the calculation. So file this post away into your folder entitled "future" and when you have the money you can add this touch of postmodernism to your decor. 

photos courtesy of
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