Archive for August, 2011

Art Inspired

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Posted by Rebecca, August 11th, 2011

As part of our staycation, today we headed into New York. One of the perks of living sandwiched in between New York and Philadelphia is that we are fortunate enough to have so many wonderful things to do within driving distance (plus about 6 Ikeas, no exaggeration). All we knew for sure today was that we were going to a Yankee game at 1. We were delighted when we walked outside this morning and saw how gorgeous the weather was.

We had a great view from the 2nd row of the bleachers, but my goodness it was hot in direct sunlight. We were roasting and decided to leave after 6 innings. My friend Shannon was with us (hi Shan!) and we decided to hit up a museum. We wound up at the Museum of Modern Art (commonly known as MoMA) and managed to get in for free since the company Mike works for receives free admission for up to 3 people. Woohoo we saved ourselves $60!

I thought I had made all of the museum rounds for college classes, but as we walked in I realized that I don’t remember ever being at MoMA. Maybe with a high school art class but I don’t remember it. We were pretty exhausted so we didn’t stay too long, but we did manage to browse most of the place. I wasn’t sure if you could take pictures at first, but then I saw nearly everyone had a giant camera around their neck. I figured I’d take the opportunity to snap some highlights on my fancy…iPhone.

First, the very literally house related. This is a cross section of a house from Niagara Falls, NY that was going to be torn down. Those are 3 different pieces, so no, the stairs are not going into a doorway ๐Ÿ™‚

I loved seeing the architectural details up close and personal. Like that thick baseboard, they don’t make them like that anymore!

Then there was an entire area dedicated to furniture/interior design. There was this very West Elm-like industrial light fixture that was made out of a cluster of single bulbs (maybe the West Elm designers have been hanging out at MoMA?)

And this cabinet, which looked like it was straight out of Ikea but instead the drawers got taller and wider as you moved down and over.

When I first saw this next display, it reminded me of the Brady Bunch house. But then I realized that the 70s are totally in style right now and most of this furniture could be in any West Elm/Ikea today.

This bubbly thing was called the cloud bookcase. I wish they would have stuck some books in there, but I guess museums are not meant for staging. A mini version could make for a cool wine rack though ๐Ÿ™‚

This next stack of drawers just reminded me of Alice in Wonderland, so I had to include it…

Then there were the art pieces that set off a little light bulb in my head in terms of inspiration. All of these things I think I can use as a starting point to create some of my own art.

First is this panaramic ocean view made out of single prints arranged in a line.

I had to do something like this for a Fundamentals of Design course I took as an elective in college. All it takes is to stand in one spot but focus your camera on different areas as you move along. I did mine with Times Square back in the day.

Next was this departure/arrival board.

When I saw this, I got the idea of using this as a personal travel log. I’ve always been interesting in displaying our travels and I think it would be fun to list all of the places we’ve been on a board like this! I was thinking departure and arrival can be dates instead of times. Of course, it wouldn’t be functional, but maybe just a painting or print.

And finally, I love a good mosaic. This one takes the cake.

No that is not a photograph, it’ is actually small pieces of magazine pages!

I had to make something like this out of magazine pages in high school, but mine was awful. I tore the pieces rather than making them a consistent shape (like these circles) and was overly ambitious with my image. It ended up looking like a 4 year old made it. I would love to attempt something like this again, but I think I’d learn from my high school mistakes and use some simple circles and would definitely not make a face! This artist is clearly way more talented than I could ever be.

That’s the quick summary of our MoMA trip. We cut it short because we had to sit down for a good hour before our legs decided to function again. Regardless, it was a nice unexpected stop on our staycation!

Staycation All I’ve Ever Wanted

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Posted by Rebecca, August 9th, 2011

Mike and I are officially on staycation! We have the next 3 days off from work, since we planned a trip to Florida but cancelled it to be home with our sick kitty. While my idea of a good time is working on the house, we know it would be best for us to get out and at least pretend we’re on vacation. We have a beach day planned for one day, a Yankee game/NYC trip for another and one day is up in the air.

But, if I were to stay home? I have a running list of small projects I’m itching to tackle in the very near future (most of which originated through Pinterest :)) I think this calls for a rainy day list! ::drumroll::

1. Washer Monogram

(via Decor and the Dog)

Michelle from Decor and the Dog created this from an image I saw floating around Pinterest a while ago. She happens to have the same last initial as me, so I kind of got to see it all personalized!

2. Gallery Wall

(via Decor Chick)

Mike and I have had Ikea frames hanging around forever now, just waiting to do our gallery wall(s) in the entryway. We’re planning on doing downstairs, up the stairs and upstairs and I cannot wait. Emily from Decor Chick recently created one and I’m currently in love with her version.

3. Lyric Wall Art

(via First Time Fancy)

I spotted the original version of this on Pinterest, but Kerry from First Time Fancy’s was the first DIY version I saw. Since I like to paint and a good chunk of Mike’s life revolves around lyrics and their meanings, I couldn’t think of a more appropriate piece of art for us!

4. Patterned Frosted Windows

(via 7th House on the Left)

I’ve wanted to frost our entryway mini-windows since we moved in, but I’ve been afraid of it looking cheap. Ashley from 7th House on the Left posted the perfect solution this week- she made a frosted pattern which makes it look oh so high end! I was so excited about this one that I printed out her template immediately. I love me some quatrefoil.

5. Living By This

(via here found on Pinterest)

I really want to take some time these next few days to breathe and enjoy life. The past month has been an absolute emotional rollercoaster for us. Last week we were told that Darwin most likely would not beat his cancer, which left me devastated for about 2 days until I realized how happy the little man is. I then felt like I had to hold my ish together for him, since he’s way stronger than I am and is acting fairly normal. He did well at the vet tonight and finally gained some weight. His kidneys are back to being physically normal this week, though they are still not functioning. We left him at the vet overnight for some extra treatments, so I am currently feeling like a giant (but actually little) piece of me is missing. There is still little hope that his kidneys will kick in, but all we need is a little hope to keep our heads up. For now, we’re doing everything we can to make sure he stays as happy as he’s been this week.ย What’s tearing me apart? Cancer. What’s holding me together? Darwin and his miraculous attitude and will to live. I shall focus on the latter. Thank you Pinterest ๐Ÿ™‚

Regardless of what I check off this list for the rest of the week, it will be a productive one. If not for the house, for my sanity (only after I pick up my kitten from the vet tomorrow and attack him with kisses!!)

ps- if you see me tweeting anything but pictures of a sandy beach please yell at me…

Adventures In Furniture Shopping

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Posted by Rebecca, August 8th, 2011

On Saturday, we set out to expand our search for a sectional. We hit up a bunch of stores: The Dump, Ashley Furniture, Thomasville, Mealey’s and American Signature. Thankfully, they were all very close to each other so it was easy to store hop!

At first, our adventures started off as usual. There were the chubby baby couches…

See those rolls? Not so cute on a couch.

And then there were the couches that were characteristic of some different rolls, the Rolls Royce sectionals…

Complete with heated massage seats…

Then while at Mealey’s, one of our last stops, we spotted this…

And angels sang.

Cuddler piece? Check. Clean, modern lines? Check. Build-your-own configuration? Check. Choice of fabric? Check.

The rainbow of colors on the top are just the microsuede options. Underneath that are stacks are larger swatches of non-microsuede fabrics.

The best part of this sectional? It was even cheaper than the one with the piping I wasn’t crazy about at Raymour and Flanigan. Weeeeee!!!

A few of you recommended looking into Rowe sofas, which I actually did before my last post. I had seen them mentioned around and read they were of great quality, but on their website I didn’t see any cuddler pieces for their sectionals. But, I did see that they sold pieces to a lot of major retailers, which is why we decided to head to more large stores. I didn’t even look to see who manufactered this sectional, but the sales person told us it was manufactured by Jonathan Louis… which she said is a division of Rowe and is made with the same quality. I couldn’t find any info on this online, but it was an added bonus to a sectional I already wanted ๐Ÿ™‚

So, we decided to buy this baby (not the chubby baby). We went with the same fabric as the floor model, which is a slightly velvety, medium toned, twill type of stuff. We didn’t want to go too light or too dark, so we decided to go with a color similar to what we currently have. It’s funny, I’m picky until I see something I want and then I don’t think too much about it. I know what I want and when I find it, I choose a configuration, pick a fabric and sign the order sheet in about 10 minutes. We went with the cuddler on the right (when looking at the couch), an armless sofa, then a chaise on the left. So it will be the same as the picture above, but with this added on the left…

The lighting in the store was awful and when combined iPhone photos, I know the color looks different in the two pictures. They were two different displays in different areas so while the fabric was the same, they even looked different in the store.

I sat on this cuddler and it was a dream, I am so excited to get ours. I’ve already claimed this spot as mine ๐Ÿ™‚

Mealeys had some great bright turquoise accessories (our current accent color of choice for the family room).

I loved lamp.

And vase.

But my goodness are accessories in furniture stores insanely overpriced. Like the lamps were $125 I think, which was minimal compared to a lamp I looked at while browsing around The Dump that was $250!! I guess they make a pretty decent profit off of them. I say go to HomeGoods on your way home ๐Ÿ™‚

We also spotted some consoles we liked and we thought one might work well next to the cuddler and up against the half wall. The first one we spotted was insanely overpriced at $1000 but I snapped a picture thinking we could make one.

But then we spotted this one at American Signature that I like more, plus it’s only $199 compared to the hefty price tag of the other one.

I love the side storage on this one and that we could still stick our shoe basket on the side. But we’re going to hold off until the sectional arrives to see what kind of space we’re dealing with. Same goes for this round storage ottoman from Target that I’ve been eyeing as a coffee table…

I think that if they all work out, our family room will be much more functional and way more sleek looking. The sectional should take around 3 weeks to come in and I am so excited to be able to check this purchase off of our list!!

The Couch Crisis

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Posted by Rebecca, August 4th, 2011

Last week when I started my casa tour (which I will probably resume next week), something about the family room was seriously irking me. It’s not something new, in fact, I’ve been wanting to replace these damn couches since long before we moved in.

Actually it’s not couches, it’s couch and chair-couch (as we lovingly refer to it). In fact, we love our couch and chair-couch and they have served us well. But we bought them about 6 years ago for our condo and the layout of this room just doesn’t work with the couch/chair-couch combo.

Along with couch and chair couch, we also still have 2 square, glass topped tables from Ikea that are about 5 years old. They are too short and too tight in this space, but we need somewhere to put drinks and laptops. We knew when we first saw this family room that we wanted a big comfy sectional with some round tables on either end. We figured our current furniture will find a nice home in our formal living room or sitting room and would not go to waste. And so we’ve been searching for a sectional…FOR TWO YEARS.

I would like the same profile and size of the furniture we have, just without the table in between the couch and the chair-couch. We searched for a bit before we moved in but then decided just to put our existing furniture in the family room for the time being. We realized that the configuration we wanted would probably be a special order and we didn’t feel like spending a large chunk of change on it. But lately our couch is looking worn and the layout is bothering us, so we decided to look again this weekend. Much to my surprise, we walked into Raymour and Flanigan and saw the configuration we wanted in front of us.

Sorry for the crappy pic, I snapped it quick before we got bombarded with sales people. It’s hard to tell in this picture, but it has some contrast piping on it that i’m not crazy about. Plus the arms are tapered funny and I’m not a fan of the back pillows. Here’s a picture from the Raymour and Flanigan website

It’s much cheaper than ordering a custom sectional, but since I wasn’t crazy about it, we decided to check out the custom selection. There was nothing with that caddy cornered “cuddler” piece that I want to match the current angle of our chair-couch. I felt like I’ve hit a road block… do I go with a less expensive sectional that meets my size and shape requirements but that I’m not crazy about design wise?

Part of my concern is that we are not easy on our couches. We spill ice cream, we once had a cat cut a paw and smear blood all over our couch and so far, microfiber has been good to us. We normally pay extra for the stain guard so that spills wipe up with warm water. Macky also has a habit of scratching ottomans, so I’m worried about paying a lot for something that is essentially going to be beat up. Decisions decisions.

I’ve heard that Pottery Barn slipcovered furniture can be machine washed and does so well, so I checked out their website. Of course, no corner cuddle piece, but I like the idea of a machine washable slipcover and their more modern lines. Plus this configuration would technically work for us…

We’re going to check out a few more stores and hope we get lucky, but here’s where I need your advice! Have you seen any sectionals in the layout we’re looking for anywhere? Do you own a washable slipcovered sofa? What would you rather give up, shape, design or ease of cleaning?

I’m not sure if we should settle for the light sectional with dark piping. It was awfully comfortable when I lounged on it…. ๐Ÿ™‚

Knocked Up

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Posted by Michael, August 3rd, 2011

No, mom, this entry title does not mean Rebecca is knocked up.ย  I wouldn’t tell you via the blog; I’d do on Facebook instead.ย  Or via an email.ย  I’m not sure yet, I’ll let you know after our 5-year plan to have kids.

Every time Rebecca and I watch Knocked Up, one of us always brings up how we love the house in this movie.ย  Then we spend the next 5-10 minutes discussing why we love the house so much.ย  And then we spend the following 5 minutes laughing about how whenever we watch this movie, we comment on the house.ย  It’s a vicious cycle.

Anyways, as we watched Knocked Up the other night, I had the idea to highlight the areas of the house we love and post them!ย  Original, right?ย  Right!ย  So for your viewing pleasure, here are all the things we love about the Knocked Up house!ย  (btw, it was incredibly hard not to label Katherine Heigl in every picture).

Okay, I don’t like this pool and seating area.ย  I like the idea of this pool and seating area.ย  Got it?ย  Good.

Actually, is that house for sale? We want to trade up.

ps- This is our 200th post! So far we’re doing well on our list of goals we set out in our 100th post, which can be found here.

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