Archive for September, 2008
My bff Ashley gave me an adorable linen K Studio pillow with embroidered squirrels and deer on it for being a bridesmaid in her wedding. She really knows me well! I love it!! Absolutely perfect!
This is why I love thrift store shopping. Two weeks ago, I got a dining set just like this as well as a matching credenza at my favorite second hand furniture store. Stats: Manufactured by Bramin of Denmark in 1965. Designed by H.W. Klein. Made of solid teak with rosewood insets. More pics of my actual pieces within my dining room to follow at a later date.
Meanwhile, I posted this because while out flea marketing this weekend I stopped at a woman’s booth, and she’d handwritten a sign that read “Antiques are Green.” It made me laugh b/c she’s right. Anyways…if you’re looking for furniture or accessories don’t overlook the yard sale, estate auction, craigslist, flea market and thrift store. You might just find something fabulous at a bargain price. I know i couldn’t be happier with my gorgeous dining set!!
Okay, so as I mentioned the other day…I spent awhile wandering around the Macys housewares department enjoying Martha’s new line of gadgets & cookware. It’s the first time I’d seen them in person, and it was all I could do not to buy a ton of cookware that I had no use for. (I mean…I’m not the cook in the house anyways. I just decorate things.)
At any rate, I kind of think Martha Stewart may be a product genius. I honestly think the biggest reason I love her line of housewares is because of the COLOR! I love that she understands the power of picking the right color. She directly appeals to that sense of nostalgia of perfect postcard America – robin’s egg blue vintage stoves, cars that look like they were designed to go fast, a tiffany’s gift box. That woman is a marketing maven.
Meanwhile, I’m jealous of all the bloggers that got to go to a taping the other day. Martha, if you’re reading this…don’t forget about ME next time. Philly isn’t that far away for a little day trip.
This is the second time this week I’ve heard about big sales at some of the big box retail home stores. Apparently Ikea is having a 30-50% off rug sale this weekend. And NPR just reported that Home Depot is going to be slashing prices on tons of goods to try and get an increase in cash flow to reduce their debt b/c they’re freaked out about the economy.
Of course, none of this seems to bode well for both big & little retailers, but it is good for anyone who is looking to save money in the short term. I’m in the market for windows myself, and it made me wonder if I should wait and hope they go on sale…or go ahead and buy them now when I know they’re already 10% off. Hmmm….??
Anyways…here’s hoping the U.S. weathers the economic storm without too much more turbulence.
When I first graduated college back in the late 90s, I got a job as an Assistant Department Manager at Macys. It certainly wasn’t my dream job, but I figured I had to start somewhere. Growing up I’d always loved going to the big department stores at the mall with my mom. We shopped [the sale racks] at the best department stores in the South - Richs, Belks, Davidson’s, and Macys. I loved walking through the cosmetics area trying on perfume samples, examining each handbag as if it were going to be mine, and wishing my parents would buy me a pair of Guess jeans. The department store represented a place where my mom and I could understand each other and have fun. It was also a place where I could be alone, yet not feel by myself. Perhaps then, it wasn’t a big surprise that I ended up working there.
But by the time I began working at Macys, the age of the department store was coming to a swift end. Most of the big ones were closing. Discount stores like Kohls & Marshalls were popping up everywhere, and Target offered similar items such as Calphalon, and branded home items. Even when I worked at at Macys, I always referred to it as a “department store dinosaur.” And now, I’m surprised that they’re still hanging on at all.
However, last evening I happened to be in a mall (which is extremely rare for me these days), and I felt that age old feeling of calm rush over me. It’s an odd feeling. After so many years of working in a mall, I find it relaxing now. And so I wandered until I made it back to my old stomping ground – Macys. They always had good sales after all. Why not? I was interested in finally checking out Martha Stewart’s line of housewares in person. It was hard not to buy anything considering how much I liked her stuff.
(As an aside, and as a topic for a future post…I LOVE Martha! I think she’s a savvy business woman, and I also happen to like a lot of her products. Although I didn’t buy any.)
There was hardly anyone in the store as it was getting close to closing time, but it made me wonder if anyone shops there anymore? I constantly hear cheesy ads for Lord & Taylor on the radio, but it’s not a place I think of my peers going. (I did notice last night that Macys still has great housewares markdowns by the way.)
Anyways, do any of you still shop at department stores? Where are those places that you can’t help but spend money when you go in? For me, it’s my favorite thrift shop in West Philly, any mom-n-pop hardware store and Target. In fact today I got a vintage creamer & sugar that is the exact color of my dining room. The glaze was too gorgeous (in person) to pass over.
More and more [and even more] I’m discovering that I love a good BARGAIN. And nothing feels better than a bargain that also includes something that’s been recycled. Not only am I saving money, but I’m saving the earth, right?! (I know…it makes me feel giddy knowing that I just saved the planet. I’m like Superman.)
But seriously, earlier this week my co-worker told me about something called a “Pre-Demolition Sale.” This is something I’ve never heard of before, but apparently there are people who buy extremely expensive homes and then tear the whole thing down to rebuild something new. And well, their loss is our gain, right? Today’s sale involved a large stone home on the Main Line. Nick and I went out there with tools in hand and managed to get two truckloads of slate flagstone, which included the walkway [shown below] and about 20′ of two-inch thick large slate capstones. All for $250. This will come in quite handy when we want to do our backyard project next summer. (We’ve also decided to do a retaining wall in the front with all those capstones.)
Anyways…we’re both really tired from digging out flagstone and carrying it all day. I’m thrilled about the new discovery of these sales though. If you live in Philly and are planning on some home makeover projects you should check out their website for the next one. I think there’s another one next week.
And p.s., yes, they are going to tear down this house. All that stone will be gone for good.
There’s just something wonderful about coming home and having flowers growing. I love it. This weekend we spent a little bit of time working in the front yard to trim the grass, pull a few weeds and replace the dead margiolds in the planter on the steps (at left). N decided to try spraying beer on the lawn as a type of fertilizer because he’d heard this worked. (I’m not sure where he heard it, or if it works. I’ll have to report back on that.)
Anyways…the flowers in the planter and the neatly trimmed lawn make me smile every night when I get home and see them there.
Now if I could just get the backyard looking nice. I went anti-organic and did some sort of Scott’s Weed-n-Seed to try and get rid of all the horrible weeds back there. I would have gone a more organic route, but we have poison ivy growing in the yard, and I heard that stuff is supposed to kill it. Meanwhile, I’m also trying to grow grass seed. Hopefully I’ll have something nice to show on that soon. Keep your fingers crossed.
So these days I haven’t had much time for posting on ye olde blogge because I’ve been spending so much time [pardon me for this] obsessing on the house. One of the the things you always hear is to not start a NEW project without finishing the old one, however I don’t seem to bother listening to people’s advice because I’ve got at least four projects in progress at the moment. I thought I’d catch everyone up on what I’ve been up to these days.
My pal Shauna taught me how to sew a slipcover.
I’m actually EXTREMELY proud of it because I’ve owned this stained Ikea ottoman for years, but hated anyone to see it because it was…well…stained. So I re-purposed fabric from an old duvet, and now I have a SWEET little slipcover. (Plus extra fabric left over.) Total cost = $0.
I also antiqued a HUGE mirror for my dining room. I purchased this mirror about 10 years ago from Costco for $200. It’s a 3.5′ x 5′ mirror that’s great…except for it’s crappy gold painted frame. So here’s a photo of the in-process antique-ing process. Nice afternoon project and the mirror now looks fabulous. Sorry for no complete after photo, but it’s hard to photograph it now because the dining room is in progress.
And today while the rain poured down, I painted…and painted…the dining room. Here’s a sneak peak of the work in progress.
I won’t show any more than that at the moment, but trust me when I say that it’s looking good… And for those of you who knew me in real life, yes…this is the same Orla Kiely wallpaper from my last house. I loved it so much that I decided to use it again. I’m creature of habit. Haha.
Today sfgirlbybay posted about the new “My Deco” tool on the Domino website, and so I headed over there to have a peak. I have to say that I wasn’t optimistic about what I was going to find. Most of the online decorating “tools” are clunky DIY-style visualizers, but this is like an online folder to store all those great images you love. And what’s better, be able to search through other people’s deco files for great stuff that you may have missed. I spent several hours today messing around with it, and found lots of great stuff. Here’s a glimpse of what I’ve started so far.
If you haven’t already been toying with it (which I suspect many of you have since their website got REALLY slow later in the day), then you should go over and test it out. There’s lots of great photos to see!!