Monday, January 31, 2011

LET THERE BE LIGHT {and warm weather}

As I mentally prepare for the next snow storm which is currently working it's way to the East Coast, I can't help but dream about the days when I can open my windows again. I'm so ready for fresh air to fill my apartment and the sunlight to continue on into the early evenings...


via Domino Magazine






Sunday, January 30, 2011

SAYING "I DO" TO DESIGN

by Emily Leger of Pdxpectations


When the idea first came up to write a guest post for my best friend's blog, Solo Thais, I was initially extremely intimidated. If you’re reading this post you probably already know that Solo Thais is a blog dedicated to all things design; art, fashion and interiors. Each post is colorful, funky and innovative. Each idea is presented with dedicated passion and a true eye for design. I thought, how am I going to write a blog about design, I'm a writer, not a designer. I'm an artist, but not in the same sense. Then I realized that this is how I've always thought of myself; very logical, very pragmatic, always living in the apartment with the white walls, and the simply framed pictures organized just so. Maybe it has to do with the fact that when I did live with my bestie she did all the work for me. Maybe it has to do with the fact that I have never been quite brave enough to paint the walls red or step out of my beige comfort zone. Who knows for sure what's been holding me back…
All of that has begun to change since I have embarked on the fabulous adventure of planning a DIY wedding, especially since I have been making a lot of the design decisions on my own. As plans have gotten further underway, I've realized that I do have a vision and a passion for the type of wedding I want. This includes theme, layout, color scheme, and many more intricate details that make up the world of design, when it comes to my wedding. Most importantly, it’s not as scary as it all once seemed to be. One of the biggest and most helpful tools has been the internet; the countless blogs and wedding websites that I now follow regularly to get design ideas. There are so many resources, suggestions and helpful hints out there for those of us who weren’t born with the designer gene. Shockingly, I have been pleasantly surprised with how much fun I have been having discovering that I love color!
The colors for my wedding are a deep fuchsia that is accented by a vibrant spring green. I love that they are both bold and bright and seem to complement each other almost playfully. We are having a fall wedding, and from the start I knew I desperately wanted to stay away from oranges and reds-no pumpkins, no autumn leaves…all of that just seemed too typical for a fall wedding. The colors that I chose still represent fall to me, just in a more modern way. Whimsical green paper lanterns will be hanging from the trees to create ambience, and offset the richness of the bridesmaids’ dresses and bouquets.  Other elements of the season, like crisp green apples, will serve as place cards for the guests’ seating arrangements (thanks Solo!). I could keep going, but I don’t want to give too much away…Don’t even get me started on how our food is going to fit into this fabulous theme.
Anyhow, the bottom line is that design is in the eye of the beholder. If you’re like me, and design has always been an idea of epic unattainable proportions, I urge you to take the plunge, and say “I Do” to Design. You might be surprised to find that this could be the beginning of a beautiful life together.


~Emily



Friday, January 28, 2011

INDIKOI SINKS

I'm very excited about a new (and local) line of hand crafted sinks my place of employment, Classic Kitchens now carries.

Indikoi Sinks

"The 6,000-square-foot Indikoi studio located in Springfield, New Hampshire, is where potter, David Pellerin hand-crafts each sink from start to finish. He formulates and mixes all his own porcelain clay and glazes from the finest high-quality materials. Each sink is hand-thrown on a wheel, which compresses the clay to give the sinks superior durability and strength. The sinks are glazed and fired to 2250°, which results in the same durability as a standard porcelain drop in sink and will not crack or break from the normal wear of everyday life."

Patina Crystal Classic Vessel Sink


"These sinks feature Crystalline. This is a glaze that contains crystals within the glassy matrix of the glaze. A slow cooling cycle is necessary for the development of the crystals."




The crystals form the most amazing patterns and they almost look 3 dimensional. They also offer great bold colors glazes with contrasting rim highlights such as this one...


Red Classic Vessel Sink


...but the Crystalline glazes are what makes these sinks so unique. 


Mocha Crystal Classic Vessel Sink

I think they are fantastic and I can't wait to use one in a bathroom design...maybe it will even be my own!

















Wednesday, January 26, 2011

COLOR COMBO: YELLOW & GRAY

Beige is often used as a neutral color in design, but don't forget about gray. There are cool grays and warm grays and it's all about how you use it. Whether on a wall or in accessories, it brings in a little sophistication to the home. 




images: room source unknown, Diamond IKAT Citrine Pillow from Dwellstudio











Monday, January 24, 2011

WEEKEND PROJECT: WINE RACK

This past weekend was filled with restaurant outings and intimate gatherings with friends and family to celebrate my 30th birthday (it hurts to say that out loud)...but I still managed to fit in a few projects. My guy and I first chopped off the legs to our bed frame to give the illusion of a platform bed (and to make it easier for little Miguel to jump on or off the bed). 




Next up was a simple oak wine rack I found at Goodwill last week. I contemplated using it for parts to make a necklace rack similar to this one...

via apartment therapy

...but instead I decided that with the limited kitchen cabinet space and the large collection of wine bottles stacked on top of the refrigerator, I would use it "as is". 



After a few touch-ups with wood filler, a coat of primer and a couple coats of paint, this boring wine rack transformed into a cute dining room accessory. 



I love displaying wine bottles and glassware and will do just that when I design my own kitchen (someday). Is it happy hour yet?





Thursday, January 20, 2011

BEFORE & AFTER KITCHEN MAKEOVER: COMING SOON...

Almost four years ago when I moved back from the West Coast, I decided to take on a kitchen project right away...so I nominated my parents. They had talked about remodeling their kitchen for years, so I decided to draw up a plan to see what they thought. Well...they went with it, and along with a new kitchen I got a full-time job designing for "real" customers at Classic Kitchens & Baths where I currently work. It's not uncommon for the start of one project to trigger many more, so over the last few years multiple additions and projects have been in the works, and with the help of my talented friend Dustin Pros of Custom Tile Works, a tiled bathroom, kitchen backsplash, four season porch and fireplace added to the list of projects. Here is a sneak peek of the kitchen, but stay tuned for more photos of the finished projects. 

















Wednesday, January 19, 2011

COLOR COMBO: PURPLE & GOLD

I'm crazy about this shade of purple, and throw in a little gold and you have a fabulous color combination! So fabulous that I would happily wallpaper any room in my house with this fantastic wallpaper from Aphro Chic.  





What are your favorite color combinations?




Tuesday, January 18, 2011

TUESDAY'S TREAT: SLICE OF CITRUS

I'm so inspired by the beautiful birthday cake a friend brought to a small gathering I hosted last night. Crispy golden orange slices and candied cranberries so delicately placed on top of a chocolate cake with buttercream create the perfect mid-January color palette (and treat).





Images clockwise from top left: Chocolate Cake with Orange Buttercream from Cakery Dauphine, Climbing Vines Curtains from Anthropologie, throw pillows from Jonathan Adler, and Festival Rug from Anthropologie




Great work Amanda...it was beautiful (and delicious of course)!





Sunday, January 16, 2011

STORAGE UNIT FINDS

If you've ever had the chance to rummage through someone's abandoned storage unit, you know it can be exciting and scary at the same time...you never know what type of treasure (or horror) you might find. Well...I had the chance to do so the other day and here are the "treasures" I took home. 


The pineapples and candlestick need a little polishing, but that shiny mannequin head was in tip top shape. I'm not sure why I felt the need to purchase these, but they will soon find a place to live. Do you see that large piece of burl wood in the background? Yes...I bought that too!

This thing weighs a ton, but I couldn't pass it up. I'm off to the fabric store today to see if I can find a small piece of faux fur to turn it into a cat bed. 

This tri-folding screen is currently living in storage, but I can wait to get my hands on it! It needs a lot of work but I enjoy saving things like this from the dumpster. 






Saturday, January 15, 2011

OBSESSION: THE FLAMENCO SHOWER CURTAIN

I am so in love with the Flamenco Shower Curtain from Anthropologie! It makes me want to hop the first flight to Barcelona and forget all about the next few (bitter cold) months ahead...




Would you use this color palette in your home? 














Wednesday, January 12, 2011

BABY IT'S COLD OUTSIDE...

Waking up on this snowy morning I just want to cuddle up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate and watch the snow fall...


...Or get back into bed and snooze for a few more hours.


Instead I'm finishing up a few work related projects... 


...then my boyfriend and I are headed to Boston for a Celtic's game with a couple friends. I'm staring out the window at what looks like a foot of snow and more is on the way. Do the Celtic's ever have a snow day?




Also...I can't get this song out of my head...which isn't such a bad thing.













Monday, January 10, 2011

WEEKEND PROJECT: MY BRIGHT BLUE STEP STOOL

Even when I don't do the usual rounds at thrift stores on the weekends, I can usually just take a look around my apartment for some type of project when I get the itch. Last year I purchased this wooden step stool from Goodwill for $3 and it's been tucked away in the coat closet ever since. For a short time it was used as a bookshelf and side table, but the roommates voted to ban it from eyesight. Well...I do NEED a step stool for hanging artwork, curtains, etc., so I decided to make it slightly more appealing and functional. 






Although it will probably live in the coat closet again, I will definitely remember to use it from now on. 

















Sunday, January 9, 2011

I'M A LITTLE TEAPOT...

I've been terribly sick the last two days, but I'm starting to see signs of recovery. In between NyQuill induced naps I've consumed quite a bit of Emergen-C, ginger ale and hot tea, which brings me to the teapot. I recently purchased the Medelco stove top whistling tea kettle from Amazon which is getting more and more use every day as I cut back on coffee consumptions. 




And for $11 plus shipping, it's quite a deal. I'd like to venture into the world of loose leaf teas soon, and starting a cute little collection of teapots would be an added bonus. The Bayadere Teapot from Anthropologie is right up my alley...that is until I saw the $398 price tag! 


Moving right along to the Halo Teapot from Crate & Barrel, at $65 that seems like nothing compared to the one above, but it's still a little more then I would spend for the occasional cup of tea. I LOVE the handle on the Halo!


This retro inspired teapot from Gretel is definitely my style and lighter on the wallet at $45. Isn't it adorable? 


However, I keep going back to the clear teapots like the Bodum Assam Teapot ($40) from Sur la table, however, you can find the same style on Amazon for almost half the price. I like the simplicity of this teapot and it will go great with my clear tea kettle. 


  


Which one do you like?








Wednesday, January 5, 2011

JANUARY 5TH: SPRING FEVER

Okay...so I know it's a little early, and we probably have some rough weather ahead, but I have spring fever today. The sun is shining, it's in the mid 30's, and I have the day off! Thirty something degrees is still weather I'd rather not expose myself to, but that doesn't mean I can't tend to my house plants today (and we have many). 






Once I get my plants organized I'll post a few pictures, but for now here are a few photos that have inspired me to do a little indoor gardening. 







Tuesday, January 4, 2011

JANUARY PREVIEW MAGAZINE 2011

One of my kitchens is in the January issue of Preview Magazine!


Just in case any of you followers are thinking of remodeling your kitchen (or any other room) come see me at the Home Show in March...or call/email me.   



To see more photos from this kitchen go to my kitchen gallery.