simple is beautiful

Chic & Affordable Lamps & Happy Birthday Baby Boy

Friday, September 30, 2011

Thanks to all of you who left sweet comments about the lamps!  I am really happy with where things are going in this room.  The other day when I went to pick up the black shade for the second lamp, I noticed a few fun lamps that I thought you might like at Walmart.  My apologies for the phone pictures.

If my lamp fairy had not been looking out for me, I may have gone this route for bedside lamps.  The price is great though they might be a tad short for where I needed them.

 I love this color!  How great would these look with a linen shade?  I'm thinking about using this in an entry that I am working on for a client.

 Love this color!  You could really up the drama with a black shade.

These linen shades are only $15.  It is hard to see here, but it has a nice nubby texture.

Have you ever purchased lighting from Walmart?

In other news.....

Today my baby turns 13.  I can hardly believe it.  It seems like yesterday his father and I brought him home from the hospital.  Time flies.  This will be a weekend filled with celebration so I'd better get busy.  A cake to make.  A sleepover to prepare for.  And for good measure, let's add a 2 day swim meet to the mix.

Have a great weekend!  You all are the best!

Craving Clean & Simple

Monday, September 26, 2011

I hope that everyone had a wonderful weekend!  Ours was nice.  After the rain passed and we were able to get outside and enjoy the fresh air.  Yesterday I picked up some humongous mums in a burnt orange and cannot wait to plant them in our urns on the front porch.  I have never been a mum person, but for some reason I wanted to give them a try this year.  I am also looking forward to sprucing up the window boxes with some cheerful white pansies very soon.  Hopefully I will share more on that later this week.

My mind is racing with lots of little things that I want to do around the house.  My goal is to be caught up by the holidays which will be here soon, by the way.  I know we all joke about our rooms never being finished, but doesn't a finished room sound dreamy?  A room where you sit there and think, wow, this is perfect.  Am I dreaming or do people really say this?  Sometimes I wish I was more like my clients and would just finish something.  One area that has been under construction is the master bedroom.  How many of you are gagging at the mere mention of my bedroom yet again?  It has been a place for experimenting with bookshelves, bedding, and burlap which was all well and good, but now I am ready to settle down and enjoy a serene space for once and for all.  The bedding that I mentioned in an earlier post once again turned out to be too busy for my taste so out it went.  Also, I was tossing around paint colors for a while and even asked for your advice.  Thank you for bringing me back down to earth and convincing me to go with a lighter color.  I have chosen Frosty White by Sherwin Williams.

 Fearrington (this is not the color...I just wanted you to see the gorgeous mantel)

Frosty White is on the same strip as the color I initially fell in love with (Aloof Gray) at Fearrington Village near Chapel Hill.  I painted our dining room a shade down on that same strip with Sensible Hue.  I really like that strip of grays.

Hoping to keep myself on task, I made a mood board.  It is really the bare bones, but that is kinda what I want now.  A clean simple oasis without a lot of fuss.  Anybody else out there craving a clean and simple oasis?  So here it is....

So far, I have the pillows, bedding, rug, and mirrors.  I am currently hitting the vintage venues for some special lamps and maybe even some cool pierced mid-century ones if they fit the budget.  Now for matchstick/bamboo shades and paint.  I would also like to add a few pillows to the window seat in monochromatic shades.  And, I'm considering a little diy art canvas inspired by one of these lovelies

I'm off to the paint store.  Have a great day!

Just in case you didn't see it on twitter or facebook, I am having a 40% off sale in my etsy store.  Use promo code COTTAGEANDVINE at the checkout.  If there is something you want buy it now because I will be taking down most of the inventory soon.

Find Me Here Today

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Today I have been invited to share ideas for fall decorating on Heather's blog, My Many Moments.  While you are there be sure to check out what the other guests have shared this week about fall.  Hint: think beyond pumpkins and scarecrows ;)

Also, to all of you modern vintage lovers, be sure to stop by tomorrow for something you will not want to miss.  Think lighting

A Client's Family Room

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A couple of weeks ago I was hired by a local couple to help with their family room.  I love it when both the husband and wife participate in how they want to room to feel.  The home was already lovely and had an overall serene vibe.  Think calming colors, linen upholstery, fresh and airy.  They needed help with adding pattern, choosing a few key pieces of furniture, and accessories.  While I was there, we began re-arranging the furniture.  Gotta love clients who are willing to quickly make changes.  The sofa was originally opposite the tv and now it faces the fireplace with chairs flanking it.

With limited space between the fireplace and window, I recommended hanging one panel per window up high.  Also, the new location of  the sofa allows for a sofa table.

Here is a mock-up of the plan.  Please overlook the crooked curtain rods.

And here is the mood board that I created for the room.

Using existing photos of the family, I created a gallery around the new tv console to "fill in" that large wall.

I am really looking forward to seeing this room come together.

Revised to say:  Out of respect for my clients, I do not share sourcesThank you for understanding.

Do you need help with a space?  Explore my services here.

Dyed Curtains: Questions Answered

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Thanks so much to everyone who commented on the dyed curtains!  I received lots of questions about them and thought it would be best to respond in the form of a post for reference.  If you are completely ready to move on to another topic - can't say that I blame you.  Please stop by another time ;)

I really just followed the instructions on the box.  If you have more questions, you can check out the rit dye website.  I considered combining colors, but decided to keep it simple this time around.  The site also covers topics like how to chose your fabric, ombre dyeing (which would be fun to try), and washing machine dyeing.

Here is what I did...

1)  I pre-washed the curtains to remove any finish that might be on the fabric that may prevent an even dye. 

2)  It is important to use the right amount of dye and this is based on the weight of your fabric.  Two pairs of curtains requires two boxes of dye dissolved in 2 cups (per package) of hot water.

3)  Next I added dye along with 1 cup of salt and one tablespoon of detergent to my top loading washing machine and filled with hot water.  Agitate to mix. 

4)  Uncrumple and add damp curtains to dyebath.  Set machine for extended wash cycle before rinse begins.  Oops, I didn't make it to the machine in time and missed this step.  They turned out ok though.
Fabric should be in the dyebath at least 30 minutes.

5)  Dry curtains. 

Worth mentioning:

Ritva curtains come with hem tape which had already been applied to my curtains.  The tape lasted through the pre-wash stage, but fell apart during the dye process (perhaps because of the salt?).  My advice is to wait until after dyeing to apply any hem tape.

 I hope this helps.  If any of you dye your curtains I would love to see them!

DIY Dyed Curtains

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

When I set out to lighten up our family room, it seemed that everything I chose was white.  White slipcovers, white curtains, white walls, etc.  It looks great in magazines right?  After adding all of this white, my husband and I decided the room needed more color somewhere.  I have been drawn to blue curtains lately - especially against white walls.  Here are a few examples...

Decor Pad

The image below is from our living room.  The curtains are linen Ritvas from Ikea I purchased for around $35/pair. 

Over the weekend I picked up 2 boxes of denim blue rit dye.

I followed the directions on the box and here is the result...

They need to be pressed a little better, but you get the idea.  Much better. 

Additional questions answered here.

A Fireplace Filled With Wood

Thursday, September 8, 2011

We recently sold our old fireplace screen and haven't found a replacement.  I had images of horse head andirons and a simple screen in my head.  Every time I enter an antique store my eyes go right to the floor in search of the perfect pieces for our fireplace.  Maybe I am finally learning to hold out until I find what I really want.  Maybe.

However, until then, I really like the look of a fireplace filled with wood and have the urge to go outside with a chainsaw and make this happen.  Tree huggers, ignore me please ;)

Do you like this look too?  With thoughts of firewood and cooler days ahead maybe I am ready for fall after all.  Are you?

All images:  Pinterest

The Farmer's Wife

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It seemed like everyone enjoyed my little visit to the Design Archives the other day so I thought that I would share another one of my favorite spots in town called The Farmer's Wife. The Farmer's Wife is a fun shop specializing in antiques and accessories with a breathtaking florist in the rear of the store.  If I was planning a party or special event, this might be my first choice for flowers.  Daniel, the store owner has an eye for all things wonderful and vintage.  I'm not going to say a lot about this post because I believe the images speak for themselves, but I especially love his artful vignettes.

To learn more about The Farmer's Wife go here.

Laura's Kitchen

Monday, September 5, 2011

A while back I dedicated a post to my friend Laura who at the time was renovating her kitchen.  She was curious about banquettes and wanted to incorporate one into her kitchen.  Laura has three boys, two of them twins, and she wanted to make the best use of space to accommodate her family.

The other day, Laura invited me down  I forced my way in to take pictures.

Here is a before shot of the kitchen.

And, here is the after.  I love how fresh and airy this room feels now.  The dark floors, the Windsor chairs - love.  Laura found a black and white trellis pattern in an outdoor fabric for the seat cushion which you see on the roll on the banquette.

A little nod to her three boys.  Touches like this really make a kitchen the heart of the home.

Laura chose this marble tile back splash and soapstone counters.  She loves her counters and they are gorgeous!  Thanks Laura - now I hate my granite counters.

Another choice that she is happy with is this big ole' apron sink.  Love that bad boy.

I spotted this dried arrangement in the dining room and just had to snap a picture.  I'm sure at this point Laura was wanting to kick me out.  Isn't her dining room beautiful?!

Thanks so much for letting us stalk your house Laura!

Design Archives Emporium & First Friday

Friday, September 2, 2011

 I wanted to share this little jewel in the heart of downtown Greensboro called Design Archives.  Local readers, have you heard of it?  It is located directly across the street from Natty Greene's.  Brilliant location if you ask me.  Prepare for incomplete sentences...
 This is a view of the right half of the store front.  "Stuff" is its name.  Love.this.booth.  I mean love, love.
 It is made up of mostly mid-century modern pieces.  Melissa just has the eye for great "stuff".
 That mirror.  I die.

 Yep, I could live in this little window.  Good grief I want that little chest!  And the lamp!
She ships too.  I almost didn't share that for fear that someone might buy something I want.  It already happened once.  Grrr.

 Next stop, another wonderful vintage booth.  Yes please.  Love the dog.
Cassie, if you are reading, this owl vignette is for you ;)

Need a little something for your next garden party?  Did I mention that Kate Pierson of the B52's shopped here last time she was in town?  Yes she did.  Vintage clothing lovers, there is something for everybody.  

These are fun little custom mats made by my friend Jody.  She is a professional framer and has a great eye for design and detail.  She has an extensive selection of paper to choose from in her collection.
Oh vintage lighting, how I love thee.  And what about those funky little candle sconces on the wall?
 Last but not least, we have the other half of the storefront - Contents - another mid-century modern booth.  Just look at this Audubon lamp.

 The framed birds sitting inside the drawers are even more amazing in person.  And those horse heads - I want!

And, my goodness at this mirror.  This booth is getting ready to expand so prepare for more greatness.

Also in the Emporium is handmade jewelry, pottery, pillows, etc. 

They are gearing up for First Friday which is tonight.  Lots of new items have been added for the occasion.  If you are in town I urge you to check it out.  Have dinner at one of the many restaurants.  Walk across the street to Vintage Archives and shop.  Then walk down to Cheesecakes by Alex.  Did mention this is the best cheesecake in the world?  It is.  My boys ask for this instead of birthday cake for their birthdays.  They also ship.  Yums.

Have a great weekend ya'll!

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