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Posts from the ‘Home Decor’ Category

A Year of Living Thriftily?

So I have this idea and I’m not sure I can do it. But I’d really like to try.

Here it is: What if, for an entire year, I didn’t buy anything?

Ha ha ha ha ha!

Okay so that’s not exactly what I mean. What I’d like to attempt is to not buy anything at a retail store. By “anything” I mean clothes, furniture, household accessories… things that can be bought second hand.

I think I might be up to the challenge.

As a start, today I went to the BTS Thrift Boutique in Culver City. The only thing I was really looking for was a 20 x 16 frame for a painting I got for $1 at another thrift store. I didn’t find a frame, but I did get a set of four demitasse cups ($12) and a pretty decorative bowl ($2).

Realty Fine Porcelain Demitasse Cups

Espresso, anyone?

I’ve been wanting to get some espresso cups for awhile. I’ve got a maker, but nothing to put the finished espresso in. Hostess fail!

Here’s the bowl:

Love the color of the flowers!

Love the color of the flowers!

I just thought it was pretty.

So the parameters of the challenge would be I can only buy most items second hand. That includes furniture, clothing, home decor accessories, gifts, etc. An exemption can be made for items needed for DIY projects, but that needs to be pretty limited–I can buy supplies, but the bulk of the project should come from second hand items or items I already have on hand.

Items like underwear, sportswear, running shoes, and electronics are also exempted. Other things might also be, I just can’t think of them at the moment. But don’t worry, I plan to keep this as real as possible.

Where can I buy? Craigslist, thrift stores, garage sales, flea markets, Etsy vintage, private parties, consignment shops… anything second hand.

The purpose of this challenge is to be more mindful of my purchases and where they come from. I don’t like the idea that people are making cheap garments that I buy at Old Navy or Target for obscenely low wages. I need to consume less and more thoughtfully.

I also need to spend less money!

Can I do this?

Espresso cup

Ahhhhh…

I’m not sure. But it might be fun to try.

Get Your Project On: Young House Love’s New Book

The other day, one of my favorite blogs, Young House Love, posted something that made me very happy. Their new book, titled Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love, is officially available for pre-order!

You can hear the whole story from them right here.

In my other life, I’m a crime fiction writer trying to get my first novel published. The process for publishing fiction is different than for non-fiction, but hearing about John & Sherry’s journey in getting this book done rang some familiar bells for me:

It’s so funny because we distinctly remember every single phase: signing on with an agent well before Clara was born, writing an 100 page proposal in 2010, pitching it to publishers and picking the right one for the job right after moving in 2011, turning our proposal into a complete book outline and then a complete manuscript right around New Year’s, shooting for three straight weeks in our house back in February of this year, and then refining and proofing and proofing some more, and finally – finally! – sending this baby off to be printed.

One thing is certain, the world of publishing is not what you’d describe as a high-speed bullet train. It’s more like a horse-drawn carriage. Read more

Window Shopping at VivaTerra

The other day I got a catalog for a store I’d never heard of before called VivaTerra. This morning I made myself a tall iced coffee and sat down to do some window shopping at VivaTerra.

The first thing that caught my eye was this chair and ottoman:

Bruges Chair and Ottoman

Image borrowed from VivaTerra.com

This is the Bruges Chair and Ottoman. At a sale price of $829 and $349 it’s a bit splurgy (actually many of Viva Terra’s items are splurgy) but if it fits into your budget I really like the shape of it. Kind of like an Eames Lounge on vacation in Tahiti.

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Cherry Blossom Bathroom Mood Board

I have long been enamored of cherry blossoms, but surprisingly, I don’t have any in my house. Creating this cherry blossom bathroom mood board gave me some good ideas for a future bathroom re-do.

Cherry Blossom Bathroom

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Craftsman House Tour – Media Room

Okay, so this room is really meant to be a bedroom, I think. But we call it the media room because that’s where we watch TV.

Truth be told, it’s one of the rooms we spend the most time in.

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Craftsman House Tour – Office/Guest Room

Since we moved into this house in February 2011, I’ve had my office in the guest room, the media room, and the master bedroom, then back to the guest room. Mick, that lucky dog, has an office all to himself, and even though I had several options for where my own office would be, all of the rooms needed to serve some sort of double duty.

In the end, I decided the guest room was my best option.

Here it is right before we moved in:

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Giant Fork & Spoon

Updated post from February 2012.

Over Christmas, I convinced my grandma to give me these:

Fork_spoon_brown

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Craftsman House Tour – Living/Dining Room

This is what our living room looked like when we moved into the house in February 2011. See how we tried to make a cozy little settee out of dining room chairs? I stole that trick from Young House Love.

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Craftsman House Tour – Exterior

When we moved into our house in February 2011, it looked like this:

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Complete Transformation

There’s nothing I like more than a good before and after.

When we started renovating the condo a year ago, I couldn’t wait to see the before/after pictures. To compare them side by side. But when the condo was done and ready to be put up for sale, I couldn’t bring myself to do it, not right away anyway. It seems I’m still feeling pretty sentimental about the whole thing.

It’s not the renovation that bothers me–the place is gorgeous. It’s the fact that I’ll never get to enjoy the beautiful new place.

But on to bigger and better things, right? It’s finally time for that before/after post. And boy, what a transformation:

KITCHEN:

Before

Condo_kitchen_before

After

Condo_kitchen_after

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