Monday, February 28, 2011

Lonny and Ivy for less

The latest issues of online home decor magazines Lonny and Ivy & Piper featured a couple of things several times.

One is faux zebra hide rugs.

If you don't care to make my own fake zebra hide, there's now a ringer for the $700 Horchow rug available at CSN Stores for $101 (and free shipping) and at Overstock for $92.

The other item is chevron and its close cousin the stripe.

Premier Prints has both large and small zig zags for about $10 a yard. And here's a tip from Christian at Maison 21: has some of the same chevron for only $7 a yard.

The magazines are, as always, free.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

My DIY: Book friendly wallet clutch

At long last, my current version of a DIY book clutch.

This particular DIY is inspired by Kate Spade's book clutch, which is $325. Mine cost basically nothing, and, most importantly, no actual books were harmed in the making of this clutch.

This clutch allows you to make a fully customizable cover - your favorite obscure book without cutting up your favorite obscure book.

On the down side, it's a wallet clutch, which means it holds only wallet things - money, credit cards and papers. No room for lipstick.

The shell of the book is made from a DVD case.

You will replace the DVD title cover with your own custom "book cover." To do this, you will need a high resolution image of a vintage book cover that is at least 11 inches by 7 1/4 inches.

If you can't find one online, you can scan a favorite book or download the cover I used, which is available here. (I chose The Great Gatsby for its Long Island association.) Print it and trim to fit inside the clear sleeve of the DVD case.

Using a razor blade, cut out the ring that holds the DVD in place. You can also cut out any clips or tabs that you don't find attractive. (I kept some since I can clip papers to them.)

Trim some black velvet (or black felt) to fit inside the case.

Glue the fabric to the inside of the case.

Glue a 4 1/2 inch diameter mirror (such as from an old compact) into the depression where a DVD would normally go.

Glue a fancy button to the edge of the case as a faux purse latch.

As an option, you can sew or glue pockets and holders.

Look smart while carrying your coupons, gum, wads of cash and Metro Card. Make a different book for every outfit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fashion Week - Outfit to room

You're only getting one outfit and one room here. So don't get too excited.

Outfit: Oscar de la Renta. Would love to have this in a blanket (the coat) and a throw pillow or two (scarf and hat). I believe there is a lesson here in mixing neutral patterns with a tiny bit of colorful pattern, appealing to someone as beige and tenative as me. It doesn't seem like it should work but it does.

See the same mix in Ellen Pompeo's home. (I've been studying the throw pillows closely.)

In other news - for you DIY fashionistas, check out my roundup of DIY fashion ideas from the first half of Mercedes Benz Fashion Week here.

For everybody, link up your DIYs and inspirations at the February blog party, if you so wish.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wild thing, you make my heart sing

Always a happy day when I come home with thrifted leopard - this time a jacket two sizes too large and with a pretty black shopping bag to boot. I'm inordinately pleased by this.

Since the jacket is too big and, until recently, not quite warm enough to wear, it has become decor.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sparkle plenty

Danika at Gorgeous Shiny Things did it again with another crazy wall stencil. This time she did the painting and made the stencil and created the design herself.

The design was inspired by vintage brooches, which Danika sketched out on Mylar.

Check out the pre-stencil room. Nice but lacking that certain sparkle.


New York, where the streets are paved with dirty snow, experienced a brief thaw with temps in the 50s yesterday, welcome news to everybody but Mr. Bromeliad, who had just finished a new ice sculpture.

We took bets on which side would collapse first. But we were both away from home when it finally toppled. It will take a forensics expert to sort it out.

How's the weather where you are?

Friday, February 11, 2011

DIY ikat fabric

Artist and fellow Brooklynite Ren Ariel Sano didn't want to shell out $50 for ikat fabric, so she made her own using white muslin, RIT dye, bleach and a squirt bottle. Get the full how to at her blog Semi. Clever girl.

Got a DIY to share? Link up at my Inspired blog party. (Scroll to the very bottom of my very long post.)

Lately stalking

Currently stalking Pier 1's Honeycomb Mirror, which many of you have raved about and I have only lately come to appreciate - rustic yet glam yet global. It's on clearance for $199 (down from $250.) But remember when it was briefly on sale for, like, $90? Now I can't bring myself to spend $200.

You may recall that this mirror invokes Wisteria's Peacock Mirror, which retails for a million dollars.

See the honey in some rooms at A Blonde and a Brunette.

I was also stalking this root stool at Kohl's of all places. It was half off $120. I've been craving a root ball stool since 2009. (In fact if you Google 'root ball stool', my post is the very first result. How's that for SEO.)

Sixty dollars may seem exorbitant for a smallish piece of wood but not so much when a tree stump sells for $200 at West Elm (currently on sale for $160). A bigger root side table runs $180 plus at Pendleton. Viva Terra recently came back with their Root of the Earth stool for $150 plus additional shipping charges.

Clever shopper I am, I hit 'refresh' for a few days hoping the price would drop a little. And then, of course, it sold out.

Talk about stumped.

I crack myself up.

p.s. There's a cool stump table how to at The Art of Doing Stuff. (I would subtract the metal feet.)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

MY DIY: Anthro-inspired ruffled scarf

For all you lovers of pink out there (and I know there are a bunch of you), an extremely easy hot pink ruffled scarf to brighten your winter.

The complete tutorial is available at Dollar Store Crafts (the scarf is made from three plain Dollar Tree scarves). No sewing machine required.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Blog and you shall receive

After blogging incessantly about Moroccan pendants, here and here and here (my those were ugly) and here, I am now the proud owner of a Medina Pendant by Murray Feiss simply because I did blog about it again and again and again.

The Medina sold for a whopping six hun . . . hundre . . . hundred forty five dollars at Horchow (And to think I initially identified the pendant as "definitely West Elm.") making it the only actual item (as opposed to a knock off) in my home from the 'Chow. And it cost me nothing.

My bloggie friend Katie (who also happens to be my friend ITRW) saved this pendant from the street because she knew I would like it because she had seen me go on and on about similar styles. She made her husband search my blog to convince him they should drag it home.

Isn't blogging the best?

Now the next big thing is to figure out where to hang it (not that I have that many options in a 500-square-foot apartment with low ceilings.)

One option is the kitchen.

But I'm sort of leaning toward the living room where patterned light would make more sense.

I'm imaging something a bit like this. (Minus everything but the lamp.)

Thank you, Katie!

Monday, February 7, 2011

A lesson in lighting

Here are my new task lamps. I give them high marks for affordability, sturdy construction and shiny good looks.

There's only one wee tiny little problem. The light is terrible.

This is what marks the difference between real interior decorators and dilettantes like myself. A real decorator would know that you can't light an entire room with two task lamps. I don't know what I was thinking. It is exactly like having two flashlights nex to the bed - harsh and at the same time inadequate.

This means I now need more lighting, and something other than the Close Encounters of the Third Kind ceiling light we currently have (known in design circles by the technical term 'boob light').

Some of you may remember my affection for Lindsey Bond's place. Did you notice she uses cheapie paper lanterns as her overhead lighting? I'm liking this. But I've been known to be wrong in my likes.

What do you real decorator people think?

DIY trellis stencil

Danika Herrick over at Gorgeous Shiny Things just revealed her fabulous DIY inspired by Quadrille's Trellis pattern.

Not only did she paint her own wallpaper, she made her own stencils to do the painting.

Get the whole how-to at Gorgeous Shiny Things.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Inspired in February: Global Style

Looking to cultures other than your own can provide inspiration for a lifetime let alone for a month of only 28 days.

Global touches like a bit of ikat, a rustic wood stool, some chinoiserie or a Moroccan pattern can warm up a modern room and cut the sweetness of traditional. It can do the same for your outfits. Feeling boring? Add a bangle (or a dozen). throw on a wild print. Besides, who doesn't want to escape (at least mentally) right now to somewhere exotic and most likely warm?

What's inspiring you right now?

You may not see it in Google Reader, but at the bottom of this post is a button that allows you to link to an image on your blog. This monthly blog party is a change to share inspirations and projects, so link up all month long.

Images: Thomas Hamel in House Beautiful, Thomas Hamel, Peter Dunham, Thomas Hamel, Numero China via Honestly, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, detail photo by Lisa Romerein, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard, Lonny, Lisa Romerein, Kristen Buckingham, Katie Leede, Katie Leede, Martyn Lawrence-Bullard in Elle Decor.

Link up below.