Friday | Picture of the Week | Week 47

Ahhhhh…..Christmas. The sights. The sounds. The smells. All so pleasant to enjoy from the comfort of home. Dare to enter the mall or a store and you might be singing a different tune! But when all is said and done it really can be the most wonderful time of the year!

I have always dreamed of one day spending the entire month of December in New York. Of course, in my dream month in New York, I would have ice skating skills worthy of those cute skating outfits ala Blair Waldorf, endless money to spend at Bergdorfs, and of course time to enjoy a wonderful drink at the Plaza. So, for now, I will enjoy a glass of wine from my New York wine glass and call myself lucky. Lucky to have our health and lucky to be surrounded by such love. But don’t worry, I will still be stalking all those New York bloggers {The Glamouri, From Me-To You} and hoping for some good ol’ New York eye candy.


Bookshelf TLC

Decorating…….it is one of those things that no matter how much I study others and try “buy what I love” my results never seem to please me. And while others, such as Rita at Design Compass,  have no problem visualizing color schemes, patterns, and sofa configurations, I struggle through trial and error until I achieve something that I can live with.

Case in point, here is my “before” of a bookshelf that Ryan built for our old apartment. While this bookshelf is not quite Edwardian antique material, it is something that I couldn’t dare kick to the curb (just yet) because I knew how much love and work went into it. I took a few odds and ends around the house mixing silver, colored books, and white porcelain. As you can see, it was quite barren and “mismatchy”.

After living with the barren bookshelf for a week, I was not happy and continually plotting how to improve its esthetics. I remembered that we had two boxes of white serving pieces that were given to us as wedding gifts for which did not fit into our kitchen. I decided to decorate the bookshelf keeping to a theme of black and whites.

I planted oregano and some white flowering ground cover in the empty containers to bring a freshness to the space. While these might die in a  few weeks, I only spent $5 on both plants and figure I can easily replace them.

I hope to add more white pieces to the bookshelf as time goes one, but this is how it will sit for now!


Lots O’ Pictures + Lots O’ Frames

Another frame wall — seems like everyone has one in their house these days right?! Well, what are your options when you have a huge wall to cover, do not appreciate (nor can afford) a piece of overpriced canvas brushed with paint fine artwork, and you already have a stack of frames sitting in a corner waiting for a home?  A frame wall of course!

Ryan bought most of the black frames with white mats during his bachelor days (good tastes right?). Then along came our wedding which required me to buy several more frames for our guest book table which I used display our parents/grandparents wedding photographs. After the wedding, we merged more than just our bank accounts and these frames were part of that merger.

So now we had to decide, do we go with 100% matted frames or mix the matted and not matted together??? This question was debated over a span of several months. After months of moving the pile of frames from corner to corner, I decided to put some order to the pile!

During my process, I arrange the frames in various orders, each time snapping a picture with my iPhone as to not lose that layout once I started “shifting things around”.  I knew I had two options: 1)  Create equal spacing between the frames and have an uneven border (such as this) or 2) Use the frames to create a solid rectangle and space the frames as best as I could within that rectangle (such as this – although they achieved equal spacing and a perfect rectangle). Did I lose you? Needless to say, I chose option #2. So working within my rectangular constraints, I came up with this arrangement and snapped a picture on my iPhone.

Next step was to space the frames on the wall whereby I used the “newspaper templates” approached I discovered while cruising around John & Sherry’s blog, Young House Love. Check out the link for directions because I did not photograph this step (but I did manage to save Will & Kate’s royal wedding photos from the LA Times from being used as frame templates…whew!)

Finally, newspaper was on the walls, the frames were still on the ground and my husband was ready to hang without any of my girlie micromanager input.

You can see in the iPhone picture that two of the longer frames (one horizontal, one vertical) were actually matted for three 4×6 prints. I wanted something bigger in those frames, so I had custom mats made at Aaron Brothers to accommodate a more “panoramic” print.

Finally, here is the finished wall with the two panoramic’s, 6″x16″, in place. We hope to change out the photographs throughout the year, as we already have two pictures we are dying to get rid of (don’t worry, they are both of us!) We love you all to much to bail any of you from the wall! Mom – I am still waiting for you to make your debut!


wishful thinking.

New apartment, new decor! With the recent move fresh on my mind, I can’t help but to think about all the possible decor options.  Because it’s only an apartment (i.e. not permanent), we don’t want to break the bank trying to decorate it.  So, we will be trying to use stuff we already have and mix in a few new pieces and accessories. I want to keep the colors black and white with splashes of possibly red.

Here is my current wish list of items:

I have many more things on the wish list, but these 6 made the top cut – a few others I would loooove to add are a black baroque floor mirror, a mirrored serving tray, an accent chair, and a chandelier.

1. Bukhara Pillow – Black & White 24″ from Z Gallerie ($69.95)

2. Patrick Demarchelier Hardcover Book from Amazon ($62)

3. Oversized Tufted Ottoman from Wisteria ($549) – this might be too “natural” to work, I am still looking for cream option

4. Hollwoood Pillow from Z Gallerie ($49.95)

5. Velvet Drape from Potterybarn ($109 each)

6. Lanvin Book from  Amazon ($53)