Archive for the ‘Crate & Barrel’ Category

Fall Fail

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Posted by Rebecca, October 17th, 2011

This weekend, one of my main goals was to finish up some fall decorating around here. You can imagine my excitement as I finished my homework relatively early on Sunday (around 3, since we were at Darwin’s weekly vet appointment from 11-1). The minute I finished, I hiked myself down to the basement to fish out my beloved fall wreath. You remember the one, with the pretty orangey berries from Crate & Barrel that looked so nice on my door last year…

Well, something happened, remember Hurricane Irene and her nasty basement flood?

Well, this fall wreath lived in the office for probably, hm, 8 months.  I couldn’t remember where I put the nice sturdy box it came in, so it stayed put until I finally dug the box out. Buuuut, I didn’t remember doing this.  I thought for sure that wreath was separated from it’s box, thinking Mike got sick of looking at it in the office and just put it in the basement. Do you see where this is going?

There was a wreath box, in a plastic bag, in the basement through the flood.  #1. It was in plastic, sure to be dry! #2. I was lazy and the wreath wasn’t in there anyway, right? Right?? Wrong. When I didn’t spot my wreath yesterday I grabbed the plastic bag with the box in it only to discover that it was heavy. Heavier than an empty box should be. The box was moldy, but I thought maybe the wreath was spared.

What I saw was so disturbing that I only glanced. Not only did water get through the plastic bag, but mold had viciously attacked my beloved wreath. I’m talking I couldn’t even fully open the box because I was scared for my health, mold. I was so upset that I hadn’t realized the wreath was in there or that the box got wet. I mean there were cardboard boxes down there that got wet and didn’t get an ounce of mold. I’m guessing that the plastic bag hindered rather than helped the situation.

So I was wreathless. And upset. It was nearly 4 and all I had accomplished was finding a couple of spiders (huuuge spiders in our basement, btw).  Rather than sulk over a wasted weekend, Mike and I ran out to find another wreath. We first checked the Crate & Barrel website, but I’m not liking any of their wreaths this year. We headed to Target, with no luck there either. I also thought I could pick up the ottoman I’ve been eyeing at Target, but that was sold out of every store in our area. I had a serious whaaamp whaaaamp strike out shopping trip.

I did manage to pick up some mums last weekend, though I have yet to put them in actual pots.

When I took these pictures today, I realized that my mums aren’t looking so hot. They were so pretty, a pretty purple, deep orange and white. We’ve had a lot of rain lately so I thought maybe they got too wet, but the soil feels dry? I’m not sure what to do with them, I am a notorious plant killer :(

So here’s where I am…a bunch of pot-less mums, a wreath-less door and a single pumpkin (our CSA farm fell victim to the bad pumpkin season so we got a lot less than last year).

I did pick up a single game changer at Crate & Barrel. Meet the vine gourd I mentioned here.

I mixed him in on the entryway table with the round pumpkins I bought last year, which C&B still has if anyone is interested. No, they don’t still carry my wreath, but vine pumpkins they have (no, I’m not bitter).

I only got one small gourd because I thought the little round ones would offset it well.

I have a large pumpkin from last year that I stuck on the ottoman under the table for now. (ps- I swear I just mopped my floors and the direct sunlight is dark floors’ worst enemy)

Wait, ottoman under the entryway table? Yes, I bought this little storage ottoman from TJMaxx weeks ago but never blogged about it. It’s a little too small for the table and probably isn’t staying, though the pumpkin balances the size well!

That’s about all I managed to get done around here for fall. Maybe next weekend I’ll have more luck finding a fall wreath and maybe my mums will liven up again? A girl can dream.

ps- Here’s how I used the vine pumpkins last year and here is the outside of the house decked out for fall a year ago!

McCrate&Barrel’lovin

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Posted by Michael, October 5th, 2011

It’s true, I’m in love with Crate&Barrel.  I’m pretty sure this is the one store we go to where I’m more excited than Rebecca is — ok, with the exception of the Apple store, but that’s an entirrrreeelly different thing.  When we registered for our wedding, Rebecca told me to calm down adding things from Crate&Barrel.  Right.

Every now and then I find myself on their site adding things to a fake wedding registry so we get 15% off and browsing for a solid hour or two.  Sure enough, I had one of those visits this week.

I’ve never been a fan of these, to be honest.  I always thought they were a bit too classic, but I think I’m turning the corner.  We have an area in our formal living room (oh hey, we have one of those with barely any furniture in it besides our old couch) where something like this would fit in quite snug.   The color, Toulouse Harbor, is perfect, too.  A bit on the blue side, the chaise would have a nice contrast against our grayish walls.

I can just see now, Macky and Diggy sleeping all over that thing.

But for a thousand beans?  For something Macky is going to enjoy more than we will?  We’ll have to pass on actually buying this thing.

Remember that powder room we started?  Yeah, it’s still not finished.  But this wall hook caught my eye with it’s clean-lines.  Now, it might be a tad too modern for what we’re going for, but I figured it was note worthy for the ol’ blog.

And this guy.  Well, this guy just made me laugh.  Straight out of Pixar or what?  And is that a suction cup on the bottom?  Genius! (mini Steve Jobs tribute)

Family take note:  this is what I’d like for Christmas and or birthday.  I knew this blog would come in handy one day!  I’ve been eye-ing a quality food processor for quite some time now, but can never pull the trigger on buying one.  Imagine all the fancy salsas I can make.  Maybe I’ll get into making my own hummus!

Rebecca is looking forward to putting our our fall decorations this weekend. We have a doormat, but this one is way cooler. I love the diagonal stripes.

These vine gourds are the taller, skinnier cousin of the vine pumpkins we purchased last year (and just so happen to be included in the stock picture!) I love the C&B is offering a different shape this year to add some more visual interest to them when displayed as a group.

These are salt and pepper shakers that look like inkwells… very cool! Have you heard that Steve Jobs loved calligraphy and said that it influenced Apple’s simple style? Now you have :) Can you also tell that I a) love Apple and b) can’t wait for Thanksgiving?

So is there anything from Crate&Barrel that you guys are digging?  Fancy gadgets?  Cookbooks? Anyone else loving the quotes from Steve Jobs floating around? Our current favorite:

“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do”

“If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it. And, like any great relationship, it just gets better and better as the years roll on.”

Food for thought… better than Thanksgiving.

Pushed To The Side

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Posted by Rebecca, September 22nd, 2011

Two weekends ago, we got our new sectional and we were ready to ditch the coffee tables turned makeshift end tables we’ve had. Instead of putting them at the ends of the couch where they belong, we immediately wanted them out of sight.

Over the weekend, Mike’s brother and his wife had a yard sale so we dropped the tables off there to get rid of them. But… no one bought them. Whaaamp whaaamp. So we’ll be getting those tables back but they will not enter the house, they’re going straight to Goodwill :)

The room is less cluttered, though we still have to pick up a round ottoman and move the rectangular one upstairs. However, I have nowhere to put a drink! Our laptops also stay on the floor when we’re not using them, so we need side tables asap!

My only requirements are dark and round. I would like something with a glass table top since we’re not great with chasing after people with coasters, but it’s not mandatory. We’re not even sure if we want one or two of them, since we like the idea of putting a console on side of the couch (though that would force us to relocate Macky’s area for the second time).

I rounded up (literally?) some of my favorite dark wood end tables hanging around the internet. Yay lists!

1. Silhouette Nightstand- West Elm, $149

I spotted this when I stopped in the store a few weeks ago. I love the design of it, though I’m not sure if the smaller shelf is large enough to be practical (like, for my laptop when I’m too lazy to walk it to the office).

2. Chloe Round Wood End Table- Target, $74.99

I like the price and the design, though I’m not sure how practical those legs are for sliding near the couch. Target normally has some good, affordable furniture options so it’s a visit we’ll have to make in person.

3. Halo Ebony Side Table- Crate & Barrel, $299

Mike and I have liked the whole Halo line since we created our wedding registry at Crate & Barrel over two years ago. It meets all of my critera, though it doesn’t have a bottom shelf. However, that price is a deal breaker. Ouch.

4. Driftwood End Table- Crate & Barrel, $399

If I had endless amounts of money and cats that wouldn’t chew or try to commit suicide with this thing, I would totally want it. How cool is it?? I have a thing for driftwood lately, with my turtle and urchin in the family room. But, I’m going to keep it a little more practical around here :)

5. Lewis End Table- Overstock, $104.99

This table is a less expensive version of the first one I listed, so it pretty much has the same pros and cons as that one.

I would like the check out HomeGoods over the weekend and see if anything unique jumps out at me. While I like these tables, I can’t say I’m in love with any of them. But I’m thristy and need somewhere to keep my drink and my phone. Function trumps form… or at least my picky-ness :)

Our Ugly Secret

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Posted by Rebecca, June 9th, 2011

I didn’t realize we were keeping this a secret. I mean, I knew it was ugly, but I guess I’ve subconsciously refrained from showing it in photos. Like this one…

Or this one…

I thought I had pictures of our ugly entryway light, but it turns out, I’ve always made it a point to keep it out of view. Then I finally found this iPhone picture from days after we closed when our entryway was being painted.

There she is in her brassy glory.

Our entryway is one of our favorite places in our house and was on the ‘must have’ list while house hunting. I’ve always loved walking into a house and seeing a dramatic staircase. Ours is a work in progress. We last left you with some chair rail and we’ve primed underneath it. But we still need to add some semi-gloss paint (which we actually bought a week after the primer, thinking we would start ASAP). The warm weather has switched our focus to outside a bit, but I have been on the lookout for a replacement for the brassy lady.

I have always loved large drum pendants. I’ve loved Crate & Barrel’s Finley Large pendant for quite some time.

 

The downside to this guy is the basically bare wire. I would much rather have a down rod type of contraption, especially since you will be able to see the wire up close and personal while walking around the upstairs hallway. I decided to search around for some other large pendant lights to see what I could find. I had the most luck on the Bellacor website.

First, I found a light similar to the C&B one, but I started thinking the large entryway needed a little bit more than just a plain white shade. So I found the Nikko Brushed Nickel Pendant:

I like this one for the outer sheer shade and that it reminds me of another Crate & Barrel light, the Eclipse Pendant. I just wasn’t sure if this light had a diffuser at the bottom. You know, that thing that prevents you from staring at/being blinded by the light bulbs up there. I emailed the company a few weeks ago…okay it was so long ago that I forgot about it. They just emailed me back yesterday to tell me that it does indeed have a diffuser. Yay! It goes on the short list.

Another Bellacor option is the Channing 4 Light Brushed Nickel Pendant:

I like that this one would add a nice little “x” view from below. Mike isn’t exactly sold on this one and I think it’s one of those things we’d have to see in person before buying.

These have been my only 2 options up until this point. Yesterday, I got the idea to put a latern style light in the entryway. It is driving me CRAZY that I can’t remember where I saw it. Since I love Pinterest and would have repinned it if I saw it there, I’m going to assume that I saw one of these lights in an entryway on TV. Probably while watching that episode of House Hunters that took place in Atlanta and rocked me to sleep last night. This idea wasn’t a completely new concept to me, since I’ve been loving yet another C&B light, the Cage Pendant, since I first saw it.

So I decided to search around a bit today to see if I could find anything I liked in that style. First, courtesy of Bellacor once again, we have the Harvard Court Bronze 3-Light Pendant:

I’m nervous about the bronze factor in this one and it doesn’t come in brushed nickel. If the bronze is as subtle as this photo, I’m all for it. But if it’s a dark bronze? Not so much. I’m not feeling a dark metal pendant in my crisp and airy entry. Plus the potential chain running from the ceiling to this fixture worries me. As I said earlier, I’d prefer a clean down rod since it’s going to be eye level with whoever walks down the upstairs hallway.

Next! The Framed Linen Shade Latern from Shades of Light:

At first I passed this light up because I wasn’t crazy about the top of it. But the more I looked at it, the more it grew on me. I mean, it’s sort of a pendant/latern hybrid! Plus there are these flush mount lights for the 2 hallway lights that compliment it, but aren’t a square matchy matchy…

I’m not sure what to do yet, but I know I want the entryway to be classy and timeless. We will be finishing up our wainscoting and adding white frames for gallery walls upstairs, downstairs and up the stairs. Originally, we were going to use the old dining room fixture from our condo, but it’s pretty much your standard 5-light fixture. Since we’ll have to hire someone to hang this thing (sadly we don’t own scaffolding), it has to be right and an obvious choice. Changing this light out will not be easy and trial and error will not be an option! But I guess if all else fails, we can purchase this

Yes, that is the brushed nickel version of our current light available on the Bellacor website.. And it costs $272. Ouch.

Back to the Drawing Board

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Posted by Rebecca, April 7th, 2011

A couple of weeks ago, Mike and I headed to Ikea to check out the Arholma outdoor collection we were thinking of as an inexpensive alternative to my beloved Crate & Barrel set. Sadly, I wasn’t feeling it.

That’s my sad face. Not to be confused with my some dude is circling this couch as I’m trying to pose for a picture for my blog and I feel totally weird about it, face. It’s just very low, the cushions are meh and I just wasn’t feeling the material. I wanted to like because it was affordable, but I don’t even think adding throw pillows would make me like it. I think it would be good for a small patio/city balcony area, but I think the scale would have been off for us.

After this, I figured we’d have to suck it up and go with the West Elm set.

We stopped in there this past weekend to see if they had their outdoor furniture displayed yet. They didn’t, but said they would have it in a few weeks. They asked me what I was looking for and when I said the Wood Slat collection, they told me they had a lounger in the corner I could look at to get an idea. I excitedly ran over only to realize I had walked by it minutes before, but I didn’t notice that it was what I was looking for because it looked black. I really want a nice wood tone to go with our upcoming stamped concrete patio. Whaaaamp whaaaamp #2.

So I was back to the drawing board. Then our friend Robin informed me that Pier 1 had a set similar to the Crate & Barrel/Ikea one.

We also went to look it and though it was still low, it was a step up in quality from the Ikea set and could work. But the table only sat 4 people so we’d still have to find one of those.

I’m feeling a little defeated at this point and I think I’ve lost track a little bit of what we want. Though I love the Crate & Barrel Ventura set, I think I need to stop trying to replicate it and just find something else that I like. So I revisited some sites with zero expectations, as if I was starting from the beginning. I was strangely attracted to the Target Belmont Collection, even though I have seen it and even posted this picture before.

I’m still not in love with this conversation set, but I think it may just be how the picture is staged. I looked at some of the other pieces and I really like them.

I think I wasn’t sold on this furniture the first time around because of a) the conversation set looks a little awkward to me in that first picture and b) the color of the cushions. But before I wanted a West Elm white and navy look, I wanted a bright color. I figure I can still do white and navy throw pillows since the striped pillows pictured here are not included. All of the items in this collection ship for free, except for the armless chair. Just an added bonus to think about…

As I told Mike yesterday, the last thing I want to be picky about is the color of cushions. An affordable price and a good shape/base are much more important to me. I think getting a bold color could be a fun challenge to work with. Margarita green anyone? :)

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