Archive for April, 2012

Chiseled Granite Countertop Edges

I love the rustic feel of chiseled granite countertop edges.


And, I was thrilled to have them in our new house.  It looks almost like the granite was just broken off a slab.  But, actually, it was hand chiseled.


Now that I have them, I’m not sure I like them.  Do you have them?  Do you like them?

I keep chipping nails as I reach for a drawer and miss or scraping myself on them.

Want to see another example?


Other granite edge finishes include:

  • Full bullnose – Oval edge
  • Half bullnose – Curved with a flat bottom
  • T-edge -Squared off
  • Single waterfall – Curved
  • Triple waterfall – Multiple curves like rounded stair steps
  • Beveled – Triple cut with a diagonal edge


What edge finish do you prefer?  Do you love the chiseled edge?


Fun Finds – HomeGoods and World Market

Here are some fun finds from HomeGoods and World Market.

Phone-115 Phone-117

Phone-044 Phone-040

Phone-049 Phone-056

Phone-057 Phone-063

Phone-067 Phone-070

Phone-073 Phone-080

Phone-081 Phone-089

Phone-099 Phone-101

Phone-102 Phone-103

Phone-106 Phone-109

Phone-111 Phone-114

Antiques-007 Antiques-008

Antiques-009 Antiques-010

Antiques-011 Antiques-012

Antiques-013 Antiques-014

Antiques-015 Antiques-001

Antiques-002 Antiques-003

Antiques-004 Antiques-005

Antiques-006 Antiques-007

Do you own any of these items?  Which two did I buy?  What are your favorite places to shop?


Arcadian Lighting Review

I purchased three of these Landmark Lighting Chadwick Transitional Pendant Light in polished nickel for our kitchen.


How did I decide on these particular lights?  We are doing an industrial meets rustic meets sophication feel to the main areas of our home.  We needed something industrial, yet chic.  These particular lights seemed to meet that description the best with their polished nickel, interesting, almost naval lines and finished look.  The color adds such a great contemporary element as well as a pop of brightness to the space.

They arrived in a timely manner and I got right to work hanging them.  It was pretty much like installing any ceiling light.  You remove the old one, put up a new plate, attach the ground wire, then attach the live an neutral wires as well.  Screw in the mount and you’re done!  If that sounds confusing, just look it up online – I’m no expert!

Here is a quick before shot of the kitchen.


That was the lighting that the builder had installed.  I wish I had a photo of it turned off, but this is all I have!

And, after we installed the new lights from Arcadian.



A little closer up?

Light-002 Light-001

The new ones are much wider at 13 inches and therefore, make more of a statement.  The original builder grade fixtures were just 8 inches across.

The one thing I was a little disappointed in is if I had higher ceilings than 10 ft in the kitchen, they wouldn’t have had extension poles long enough in the kit that came with them.  Thank goodness my ceilings are just 10 feet.

Okay, maybe there are two things.  One of the lights had some maybe finger marks or something on it, but it will not wipe off.  It’s on the dome area, so I’m not overly worried, but for the money, that shouldn’t have been the case.  Had I complained, I’m sure Arcadian would have worked with me on it.

Other than those two minor things, I love them.  We’re already getting compliments on them!  I think they make the kitchen.

I highly recommend Arcadian as a company and this light fixture specifically.  Hope you’ll check them out!


Fiddle Leaf Fig

I’ve long admired these plants.  You’ve probably seen this one in Kirsten Krason’s (6th Street Design School) dining room.


You can find them in many designs including in designs by Jonathan Adler.


They are truly a designer’s go-to plant.  Why?  Mainly because they look great in a variety of different interiors and truly make a room more interesting due to their sculptural shape.

I am not too great with plants, so I had to wonder, how easy are they to keep alive?

“According to the owner of Noble Planta, you should let the top soil dry out before watering. Then water slowly around the stem first and then around the outside. When you see water in the tray, that is your cue to stop. If there is no tray or saucer, he recommended about 3-4 cups of water. Watering the same day every week is not best because it might need more water one week and less the next. You have to check. He also suggested opening the windows early in the morning so it receives fresh air in the summer. You should also try to give it fresh air in the winter but away from a cold draft. I am excited to own one but I need to buy a planter before it’s ready for its close up.”  -Habitually Chic Blog

Here are a few more examples of fiddle leaf fig plants in fabulous rooms.








I finally got one of my own.  I bought it at Home Depot this weekend for $35 and it’s close to six feet tall, when in a pot!  In general, they are way more expensive – up to $200 for one that size, if you go to a nursery.

This is her, in our breakfast room.


So the test now is if I can keep mine alive.  I don’t have a great track record.  But it is in a room with great sunlight and I will follow the directions carefully.  So, I’ll let you know how hearty they really are.

What do you think of Fiddle Leaf Figs?  Do you have any tips on caring for them?


Update 11/12/12:

Ignore all instructions on how to care for fiddle leaf figs in the post above.  Instead, check out our conclusions on how to care for it here

Color My World Challenge – Week 4

Today is week 4 for the Color My World Challenge.

Color My World Challenge is a series that a number of bloggers have been invited to participate in. But, not only have these bloggers been invited to participate, we will all be hosting a link party at the end so that readers can play along and share what they have added to their home.

In this series, you are challenged to add a new color to your home!

✓Examples of Navy in Decor – Tuesday, April 3rd
✓Using Navy in Decor – Tuesday, April 10th
✓Using Navy with Paint – Tuesday, April 17th
✓Using Navy with Fabric – Tuesday, April 24th
Show all three elements and say if you liked the color or not – Tuesday, May 1

Readers are also invited to post links to the color they added to their homes on May 1st. Those photos (and links to blogs) will appear on all 18 of the series participant blogs.  Get your room ready!

How will I be using navy through fabric?

Besides the navy in the pillows, I plan to add navy via fabric on the windows.  I talked about navy for my curtains in my family room here.  And, showed these drawings of possibilities.


The problem with the stripes is that they are expensive to have made.  Much more than just straight panels due to all of the extra sewing involved.  So for now, we’ve decided against it though I do like the idea of having stripes.

My perameters?  Fabric has to be $15/yd or less and hubby has to like it, so that narrows it down!  Now, if I had my way, I’d choose a soft floral.  But, believe me, he’ll have no part in a floral unless maybe it’s just on a small pillow.  So, yep, gotta work with the “client.”


These are better, but the pattern, though approximated on here, may be too busy and compete with other things in the room.

Don’t worry, I’m not about to tell you that I have already made curtains and hung them.  Nope.  I don’t claim to be wonder woman.  haha.  I’m still deciding on fabric.  It’s a significant investment to me, so I want to take a few weeks, gather samples and make a decision that I’m confident about.  Here are some that I’ve considered.


With the Duralee Dalesford Ikat fabric on the lower left, this is approximately what it’d look like.


It competes a bit with the pillows, huh?  And, I’ve got an ikat rug in the next room, visible from here.

Or, how about a smaller scale fabric.


I’m leaning towards this one.  It’s Cross-Section by Waverly.


The reason you should get samples is that you need to check scale to see how it’d look in the room and how well it plays with the other fabrics.  Always vary the scale of prints.

Here it is from further away.  My hubby is holding it up.


It seems to play well with the ceiling and the other pillows.  I’ve ordered a yard of it just to be able to see a larger piece by the window.  I’m giving myself another week to mull over it.

In case you are curious, here is the same fabric in gray, so more neutral.


And, the neutral gray ikat.


But, let’s be honest, we’re not neutral people.  I do love to start with a neutral palette, but it’s time to layer in color.  I mean, I can appreciate and even love a neutral room from afar, but I don’t think I could live in one.

So, stay tuned as we make our final decision.  Still leaning towards something navy!

Which do you like best?

What color are you adding to your home?

Stop by and see how the other bloggers who are participating in this series are incorporating new colors into their homes.

Ange – The Blooming Hydrangea
Anna – A Newfound Treasure
Carmel – Our 5th House
Cassie – Primitive and Proper
Jadyn – Dutch.British.Love
Jessamie - Bird and Branch Redesign
Julia – Black Tag Diaries
Julia – Pawley’s Island Posh
Kristy – Hyphen Interiors
Lisa – Shine Your Light
Lisa – Trapped in North Jersey
Maury – Life on Mars
Shaunna – Perfectly Imperfect
Shelley – Crazy Wonderful
Suzy – Saved by Suzy
Tiffany – Living Savvy
Tiffany – Worthwhile Domicile
Vashti & Jamie – Like me Some…


Kirsten Krason’s Series – Story of a Room

Kirsten Krason, an interior designer in Utah, posted a great series this week on her blog, 6th Street Design School.   The series is about how a room is much more than the before and after photos that you see.  There is A LOT that happens in between.   I wanted to share this with my readers because it’s very much how I work and it will give you a very solid idea of what working with a decorator is like.

Here is a summary, but jump over there to see the details.

1.  Client had the main pieces.


She just needed help with a few things in order to really pull the room together. This was Kirsten’s list after the first consult.


Seems simple.  No problem.

2. Change of plans.

Client tries new rug.


Kirsten updates the plan.


Client buys new sofa.


Kirsten updates the design board again.


3.  The room is reinvented.

Essentially they start over after the client decides it’s not going in the direction she really wants.  She likes stuff but doesn’t love it…

Here is Kirsten’s new list of things that the client needs help with.


So, out went that new rug.  Kirsten bought the old coffee table.  And, they started, well, over.  The client wanted something more green, natural and some vintage.

Kirsten loved these fabrics.  So do I.


After lots of back and forth, they settled on these, though the client had another fabric that she couldn’t get her mind off of…


4. Final details.

Kirsten set out to find THE rug now that they had the fabric.  Kirsten sends her client a series of design boards with a variety of rugs in them so she can see the possibilities and choose a direction.


After buying a second rug that they had agreed on (layering two rugs actually) and feeling it didn’t really work in the room, they decided on this one from West Elm.


During this period, the client also found the perfect art and her hubby made a very simple coffee table for the space.

And, she ended up switching from the blue and green (one the right) floral fabric to this Hot House fabric (on the left).


5. Finished room, one year later.


Though she didn’t explicitly say, I’m almost positive that Kirsten worked by the hour and also charged for the fabrics she found for the client and purchased. The other items seemed to be procured by the client.

image image


I love that she showed that things don’t happen overnight, that it takes time and that there will be tweaking along the way.  It’s alright for something not to work once it gets into the room.  We always want to check scale and color and at least see it on a design board, but there is nothing like actually seeing items in the space.

For all the nitty gritty details, check out the series on her blog!

Have you worked with a designer/ decorator?  What was your experience like?  There are a million ways to structure help from e-design to full service to shopping help.  What services did you receive?  Have you thought about working with a designer?  Does this help clarify how the process CAN look?  

If you are a designer/ decorator, what did you think of her series?


Fun Finds – Austin Antique Mall!

I loved visiting the local Antique Mall.  I found some awesome things at very affordable prices.  I wanted to share SOME of what I saw while there with you all!

Antiques-079 Antiques-124

Antiques-081 Antiques-016

Antiques-017 Antiques-018

Antiques-020 Antiques-037

Antiques-022 Antiques-023

Antiques-024 Antiques-025

Antiques-027 Antiques-059

Antiques-028 Antiques-029

Antiques-030 Antiques-031

Antiques-044 Antiques-045

Antiques-048 Antiques-049

Antiques-053 Antiques-055

Antiques-061 Antiques-062

Antiques-067 Antiques-069

Antiques-070 Antiques-074

Antiques-072 Antiques-073

Antiques-078 Antiques-084

Antiques-082 Antiques-085

Antiques-086 Antiques-087

Antiques-098 Antiques-099

Antiques-102 Antiques-103

Antiques-108 Antiques-109

Antiques-107 Antiques-110

Antiques-115 Antiques-117

Antiques-118 Antiques-119

Antiques-120 Antiques-131

Antiques-132 Antiques-135

Antiques-137 Antiques-140

Antiques-143 Antiques-145

Have you been to an antique mall?  Is this stuff you would use in your home?  I honestly think most designs (unless completely contemporary and sleek) should have a few items with history in it.


Our New House – Family Room

We have lived in our home for three weeks now.  We’ve managed to unpack most boxes, sell most of our old furniture and buy some new items.  Honestly, I think I’m not only impatient in general, but in a hurry for this house to feel like home.

Yesterday, I shared photos of the kitchen.  Check them out if you missed them.

Here is the basic overall design vision for the main rooms that I posted a couple of days before we moved in.  Several things have changed, but overall, we’re still on this general track.


We have not at all completed the main rooms, so please take that into consideration as you view these images.  However, I didn’t want to keep you in the dark.  I wanted to share with you where we are and where we are going.

First, we put down a neutral palette.  I believe in doing this so that you can easily make changes to color later on.  We kept the builders neutral wall color (for now), added an almond colored sectional that we already owned.  Then, an ivory and camel shag rug.  And, for the tv stand, we used a redone dresser painted in Old World White, from a local antique shop.    It’s my favorite piece in the house right now.


In addition to that, we added a metal end table from Restoration Hardware along with a white end table. All still neutral. The throw is charcoal gray and the lamps are shades of gray, ivory and taupe.


I already had the decorative balls/ container for the coffee table.  Other accessories such as the antlers are also neutral.

As you establish the neutral base, be sure to vary the textures.  This makes it interesting to the eye.

After this base was established, I began to layer in color.  This is layered in via the ceiling, throw pillows, antique books, etc so far.  This allows for optimal flexibility later on.  Keep in mind that this room is NOT finished.


We still need to add curtains, a sunburst over the mantle and garden stools flanking the fireplace.  I also may still paint the coffee table and more pillows are on their way!


What are we going for?  A mix of glamour/ sophistication, rustic, and industrial.  A bit of a Restoration Hardware feel.

You can really see the neutral base here.


There is that awesome custom sofa table.  I do realize the lamp cord is showing on the right.  Since these are just progress photos, I didn’t worry about it.  I also still have fabric samples on the sofa table.  And, the truth is, I’ll probably rework the accessories before it’s all over.

To see what our previous family room looked like, go to the tour page on the blog.

And here are some quick drawings of where we are thinking we’ll go with it once we add curtains and art over the fireplace.   Color of the curtains?    Navy and ivory… but the shade of navy is still to be determined.  I’m on a fabric hunt.  It should be somewhere between the ceiling and pillow color.  However, if you know of any awesome navy fabric in that range in a linen blend for $15 a yd or under, let me know!

Ceiling-041curtains Ceiling-234withsunburst

Since taking these photos, I got the sunburst mirror and it’s now above the mantle and I love it!  So, I’ll take a photo of it soon.

I didn’t put it in the drawing, but we still have pillows to add (some are ordered) and garden stools.


However, do you know how much seamstresses charge for pinch pleated, lined, striped curtains?!  A lot.  So, this idea may be out.

So, instead, we could do this version of blue and white curtains, with solid ones in the breakfast room as originally planned.  It’s a little busy, but we’d make sure to keep the rest of the room less busy.

Ceiling-041curtains2  Ceiling-122curtains2

Or, if that seems too busy, we could go with solid gray/ greige/ taupe.


Still kicking the curtain thing around.  What do you like?

And, here is the kitchen again, so you can get a feel for the two rooms flowing together.  I still need to add wheat grass on the bar and curtains in the breakfast room.


I hope to show you where we are with the breakfast room soon.  It has the most changes from the original design.  For example, we’re using the faux bamboo chairs in the formal dining and chose acrylic chairs for the breakfast room.

Hope you enjoyed seeing our progress so far!   You should notice that this is VERY (completely) different than the family room at our last home.


Update – Post with much more progress in this room goes up on Tuesday, 6/26/12!