Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Great Pumpkin

I think it’s safe to call pumpkin the official vegetable representative of Fall.  Everywhere you turn there it is…pumpkin seeds, pumpkin pie, pumpkin spice lattes, pumpkin candles, and….well…just plain pumpkins are showing up everywhere you look.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m not about to complain about the pumpkin infestation- I’m actually a big fan of this time of year for this very reason.  In terms of decorating, I think the pumpkin is an altogether misunderstood veggie.  It doesn’t have to be cheesy or scary or just part of an afterschool activity you do with your kids…decorating with pumpkins can actually be incredibly lovely.  Here are a few ideas to run with- for free carving stencils (that are simpler and easier to execute than the designs below) click here.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Reality Check

You learn something new everyday, and today I learned about Hyperrealism Painting.  If you’ve never heard of such things get ready cause you’ve never seen anything like it.  Hyperrealism is a relatively new school of art that seeks to capture the crispness and exact detail of a high resolution photo.  I came across it on the website Recave today and had a pretty tough time believing what I was seeing.  The following are paintings…PAINTINGS…made by people…REAL PEOPLE (Roberto Bernardi, Eric Cristensen, Steve Mills, Pedro Campos, Tom Martin, and Jason Degraaf to be exact).  I’m blown away that this level of talent is even possible!  Enjoy browsing through the pictures below…to view more or read about the artists, click here.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

The Selby

Some strangers are just intriguing, are they not?  I come across people all the time that are just plain interesting to me.  I mean yes, I don’t know them and no, I’m not looking to be their new best friend, but it’s not entirely uncommon for me to make assumptions about their life based on literally no information.  That duo passing by me in Target…are they dating?  Married?  Relatives?  Friends?  If they capture my attention long enough, chances are I’m gonna guess…and maybe take some creative license in my conclusion (i.e.- he secretly loves her and thinks they’re on some sort of date, but she just sees him as a friend).  I came across a website the other day that fed right into this behavior and I’ve gotta tell you, I’m now pretty much obsessed with it.  It’s called The Selby and it gives readers a sneak peek into the lives of particularly interesting strangers (just the type I’d be wondering about) via a few pictures of them in their home.  They feature famous folks, professionally creative geniuses, and anyone else they feel might offer an interesting point of view (decorating or otherwise).  Maybe I’m just nosy, but I’m literally enamored with this website.  Here are a few that jumped out at me, check out the rest by clicking here.

Gerald Decock - hairdresser & visual artist
at his home - New York City - July 12 2010

Lyndsay Caleo - goldsmith and interior designer; and Fitzhugh Karol - 
woodworker and interior designer
at their home - Brooklyn - June 9th 2010

Karl Lagerfeld at his studio in Paris

Sean Macpherson - hotelier
at his home - New York - April 12th 2010

Baby Mary - owner of Faline Tokyo
at her home and her shop - Tokyo - Sept 15 2009

Stefano Tonchi - Editor of T: 
The New York Times Style Magazine 
at his home -  New York City - June 15 2009

Sally Singer - writer, editor and 
Vogue fashion news and features director
at her home - New York City - May 20 2009

Sofia Achaval- stylist; and 
Thibault de Montaigu- author
at their home- Paris- Jan 19 2009

Jacques Grange - interior architect
at his home - 2nd arrondissement Paris - 
Jan 14 2009

Fergus aka Fergadelic - artist; and 
Caroline Smithson - designer and 1/2 of craftwork
at their home - London - Dec 10 2008

Guy Blakeslee - musician and singer for the Entrance Band and Maximilla Lukacs - filmmaker
at their home - Laurel Canyon Los Angeles - 
Dec 8 2008

Chase Cohl - designer, musician and student
at home - Soho New York City - September 27 2008

Krysten Ritter - actress and musician
at home - Silver Lake Los Angeles - August 11 2008

Friday, September 24, 2010

Before & After: Part 2

It’s been quite awhile, but I haven’t forgotten about the previously aforementioned before and after pictures from my brother’s new house.  In fact, you’ll find them below (FINALLY).  This was a fun project but we had an extremely limited amount of time and a very tight budget.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m pleased with the overall results, but I’m more excited than ever to show you some of the other sets of before and after pictures we’ve got up our sleeve.  I’m waiting on some pictures right now form our parent company, Lillian’s Paintbrush…the transformations are really spectacular.  But I digress, the renovation we tackled at Joey’s was a definite success, especially when I look back to the house’s humble beginnings.  Check out these before and afters!

Kitchen Nook: Before, During & After

The men of the house enjoying their new kitchen.

We picked out a poster at Hobby Lobby that we knew we wanted to use, but first we decided to cut out the white space and frame it in order to give it a little more class.  I found four coasters of iconic musicians’ mug shots (Jonny Cash, Jimi Hendrix, Frank Sinatra, Elvis) and immediately knew we had to get them…they fit the boy’s style perfectly.  We decided to frame these as well because we didn’t want them to go to waste and lets be honest…22 year old guys aren’t known for their extensive coaster-use.  Perhaps the best deal of the room, however, was the table and four stools we found for 50% off in American Signature’s clearance section.  I briefly discussed the clearance section a few days ago in Part 1 of this post, but just to quickly review, here is what we learned.  1) Items in the clearance section are typically there because they’re damaged.  2) Some damage is irrelevant and small, enjoy your discount and proceed.  3) Some damage is major or prone to get worse, walk away and do it quickly before you’re tempted by the savings.  

Bathroom: Before and After

There’s nothing that says ‘Bachelor Pad’ like pink tile in the bathroom…am I right or am I right?  :) Terrible as it is, re-doing the tile in a rented house is just an all around bad idea, so we had to go with it.  We decided to make it work by giving the space a retro feel, which we accomplished by painting the walls brown and hanging a vintage Jersey Shore poster (pre-Snookie, of course).  While the pink tile did stand in the way of turning the bathroom into an uber-masculine space, it didn’t prevent us from creating an area that’s attractive and inviting. 

Eli’s Room: Before, During & After

Elijah is a student, so he decided to go with a loft bed so he’d have more room for a desk.  We picked out his bedspread before choosing the paint for his walls because no matter how simple a room is going to be, it’s always good to start with an inspiration piece.  I’m glad we did, because finding masculine bedspreads (or masculine anything for that matter) ended up being a real challenge.  If we’d boxed ourselves in with a paint color, we would’ve been even more limited in our selection.

Dave’s Room: Before and After

Dave doesn’t live in Tennessee just yet, but he’ll be moving down in the next month, so we decided to prepare his room anyway.  Dave is, among other things (drummer, carpenter, lover of Shakira), a lumberjack, so not only did plaid seem like a good choice, it felt like the only choice.  His room is the most unfinished, but it’s still a big step up from the icky burgundy chair rail situation that was going on before.

Joey & Jon’s Room: Before and After(ish)

Joey and Jon’s room is nearly finished…we’ve still gotta find a desk and a few other decorative items and hang some things we’ve already purchased.  Their room is stylish but somewhat doom-esque…it’s practical for them, however, and at the end of the day that’s what’s important.  I’m sure their space will continue to evolve and I’m excited to see it come together fully.

Living Room: Before & After

I know I already previewed the pictures of the living room, but I was just so happy with the results in this space.  For complete details on what we did here, see 
Before & After: Part 1.