Friday, June 24, 2011

Big Weekend Plans

I'm off to spend time with family this weekend and I couldn't be more excited. Since we were unable to celebrate Father's Day last Sunday (my poor dad was sick), we decided to celebrate with a family dinner tonight. We're also making it a joint event by celebrating my youngest brother's birthday as well. My dad will be traveling to Korea next Wednesday for two weeks and won't be able to celebrate with us for Michael's birthday (July 3rd), so we figured why not lump all of the celebration into one night.

Then on Saturday, Steve and I are heading up to Rutherford, New Jersey to stay with his cousin, Mary Ellen. She and I have quickly bonded over our love for interior design and everything in between. Plus, she and her husband, Rich, had a baby over a year ago, so we're anxious to meet their little bundle of joy, Thomas.

We've got some big plans during our stay there which involve a lot of shopping. Mary Ellen sent me a list of places that she wants to check out with me so I am SUPER excited about our expeditions. The one thing (or rather two things) that I am going to desperately try to find during our shopping jaunts are tub chairs, or barrel-back chairs, either one. We're in the midst of trying to reorganize our living room and I know that a pair of tub chairs would be perfect. Wish me luck in finding them!

1st Dibs - Love this site.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Before & After: Chair and Printer Table

As promised, here are some 'before' shots of the chair and table that I found at my Goodwill. Even though both items needed a good amount of work, the fact that I only spent a total of $19 for both made it all worth it. They just needed to be cleaned and primed so that they could get new coats of paint. And while the chair needed to be reupholstered, it was really, really easy to do. It took me no time at all and it was kind of fun using the staple gun.

The thought of removing all of the existing staples seemed daunting at first, but once you got the hang of it, they was really easy to remove.

The foam seemed to have a lot of life left in it so I didn't replace it. Good thing too, it kept our costs down. Not that foam would've been that expensive, but it's just good not to spend more money than you have too.


I knew that I wanted to have something colorful and fun since this was going to be the chair that the student(s) that my mom tutors would be using. I got this fun print at my Joann Fabrics and since I had a 50% coupon, it only cost me $5!

It really doesn't look like much at all, does it? But it was the right shape that I was looking for in a printer table. Plus, the legs added that bit of charm that I was hoping to find. It would've looked great painted in a glossy black, but since we already had 2 large pieces of black furniture, I thought it would balance the room better by making it white instead.

white printer table

The pink Stockholm boxes from The Container Store look fabulous on the shelves, don't you think? I also wanted to make sure that I got a printer table with shelves since it would need to house the modem as well.

I used Zinsser B-I-N Shellac Base Primer Sealer to prime both pieces. I specifically chose this since it requires no sanding and since both pieces are not real wood.

Martha Stewart is seriously my go-to for paint colors. Her prices and choices are unbeatable. I used Martha Stewart Pure White in a high gloss finish for both pieces. I chose a high gloss finish since I wanted an all-in-one process for giving both pieces that glossy look, and I definitely think that it worked.

My next project is trying to reupholster this French Bergere chair that I've had sitting in my garage for over a year now. I have Jenny at Little Green Notebook to thank since she just posted a tutorial on how to reupholster a chair. So now I really have no excuse but to get it done asap.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Before & After: Mom's Home Office


This past Saturday was the final 'install' day at my mom's home office (like that I used terminology from Million Dollar Decorators?) and I am so happy that it is finally finished. I started this project about a month ago and because of my schedule, I haven't been able to work on it until this past weekend. But I can happily say that it is done and looks even better than I had expected. Plus, I'm pretty sure my mom loves it just as much as I do.

For this re-decorating project, we kept a lot of the existing pieces (desk, filing cabinet, bookcase) since they were still in good condition. Plus, we didn't want to have to spend unnecessarily. And to keep costs even lower, I did a few refinishing jobs as well as create a french board. Check out the process below and let me know how I did!

Somehow there were two desks (yes, two!) in this room. I don't know how my mom worked in here but that was the first item of business when we started this re-do. Get rid of the clunky, metal desk!

Just looking at that bookcase freaks me out - it's so messy!



I was originally going to choose a bolder color, but during the brainstorming process, my mom tells me that they're planning on selling the house soon so that I should choose a more neutral color. After testing 3 different colors, I chose Slipstream by Martha Stewart.

Thanks to my brothers, Tim & Mike, we were able to get this room painted in no time.


The white printer table was a $12 find at Goodwill. All I had to do to make it presentable was to give it a few coats of primer and then paint it in a white high gloss paint. I chose Martha Stewart's Pure White in high gloss. It took several coats but the table looks nothing like what I paid $12 for. There will be a separate post for the printer table and chair so stay tuned!

Because it went so well with the wall color and provided a little reading nook, the orange wing chair from the family room just had to be moved to the office.


This was a $7 chair from Goodwill and all it needed was a fresh coat of paint and new fabric for the seat. I decided that this would replace the green Windsor chair since we still needed an extra chair for the student(s) that my mom tutors.

I created a french board to go behind the desk chair since we needed something on that big wall. Wall art would've been fine, but this way my mom can put family photos up or cards she gets.

Did you know that Blake Lively had to test out 14 different shades of brown for her hair in the Green Lantern? That's what I'm reading about right here.

Just so you get the full effect of the dramatic transformation:


Black mirror, HomeGoods; Globe, HomeGoods; Retro White Swivel Chair, Craigslist; Pink Storage Boxes, The Container Store; Silver Floor Lamp, Target; Yellow Magazine Basket, Joann Fabrics; Chinoiserie White Upholstered Chair, Goodwill; White Printer Table, Goodwill.

Resources we re-used:
White tall bookshelf, Black Desk, Vertical Black File Cabinet, Orange Wing Chair, and Yellow Throw pillow.
{Photo Credit: Stephen & Christina Johnston}

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Oh One Kings Lane, You Tempt Me Much

One Kings Lane

Just got my daily reminder email from One Kings Lane and saw this promotional ad for Saturday's Tastemaker sale. I am SO into Palm Beach chic, so you know I'll be counting down the hours til 11am EST Saturday morning.

If you need an invite, let me know! Otherwise, happy shopping!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Our Stay in Hot Springs, VA

Winding Ridge
Winding Ridge - apt name since the roads are pretty windy.

A few years back, we started a new family tradition with Mr. Joe (Steve's dad) and Susan: family vacations. We went to Cape May last year and had such a good time. And the year before that, we went to this amazing cabin in Hot Springs, Virginia. This year was no exception. We went back to the cabin and just like the last time had such a relaxing stay there.

The cabin itself is just an amazing place to stay in and you feel worlds away when you're there. I definitely think the owners of the cabin did a great job at furnishing the place, because you instantly feel at home but still feel like you're on vacation.

I didn't bring our really good camera so the photos aren't as good as they could be. But aside from the mediocre pics, what do you think of the cabin?






The media room where we watched the Belmont Stakes.


The screened-in porch was a lifesaver from the bugs.

The wraparound porch had a fantastic view of the mountains.


The boys' bourbon hideaway - the lookout tower.

Great for star gazing.


Our room during our stay.



The kitchen and dining room also had fantastic views of the mountains.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

What's Been Going On

Vintage Vera Polka Dot Scarf
Gotta get it dry-cleaned but once I do, it'll be the first pillow on my Etsy shop.

I promised you all an update about what I've been working on so here is the full scoop. I'll be hosting another trunk show next month and I have been working around the clock to get as many amazing finds as possible to showcase. Meaning, I've been scouring thrift stores, flea markets, antique shops, and craigslist to get as many goodies as I can. It's been exhausting but honestly I can't complain. Shopping is what I do best (I think?) so I always have fun when I'm in my buyer mode.

Then to add more to the mix, I've recently learned how to make envelope closure pillows (so easy!), so I've been getting a little crazy by buying a ton of fabric (no joke). And recently I've been specifically buying vintage Vera Neumann scarves to turn into pillows. I really like the colors and patterns of the scarves, and thought how unique would that be to have a vintage silk scarf pillow?

And I realized that I never showed you the Lucketts Market finds that I decided to keep for myself. I tried really hard not to keep everything, but these were just too perfect for our house not to keep them. Well, technically, one of them I specifically bought for our house since we've been in need of one (a full-length mirror). And the 2 framed prints just went so well with the mirror in our dining room that I couldn't NOT keep them. But don't worry, there's still a bunch of other items that I will be selling at the trunk show and on my Etsy store, so you'll definitely have a chance to score something fabulous.

I'm obsessed with bracelets this season.

Vintage Syroco Peacocks
Create the perfect tableau with these gold peacocks.

Both of these are going to be so hard to let go.

Vintage Mustard Macrame Purse
I'm still convincing myself that I don't need this.

Vintage Mad Men Style Handbag
The chain straps are the perfect length.

Vintage Gold Curtain Tiebacks
How gorgeous are these curtain tie-backs??

Full length Gold Mirror
It took about 3 years to find it, but we finally have our perfect full-length mirror for our bedroom.

Pair of Vintage Botanical Prints
These prints were a steal at $10 a pop, and already framed too!

Pair of Vintage Botanical Prints

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