Monday, August 29, 2011

Fall Trend: Color-blocking with a Twist

As much as I want to live in summer forever; surrounded by green grass, blossoming flowers and warm breezes, a recent work meeting has me thinking about fall. I had to pick a fall trend, create an outfit and then wear it during the meeting as part of a presentation--I know, life is SO hard when you have to play dress-up at work! I chose the color-blocking trend that I am enthusiastically anticipating for fall and gave it a slight 70's twist:

Sweater- Rag and Bone; Tank- Rag and Bone; Jeans- JBrand; Booties- Vince Camuto; Oxfords- Rag and Bone

The outfit could have gone a little too 70's when I pared the red flares and geometric sweater together, but the bright blue seemed to happily modernize the sweater's neutral stripes and the rust color of the jeans. The asymmetrical hem of the silky tank peeking out from under the sweater kept the ensemble from being too boxy and block-y and provided more visual interest than the sweater and jeans alone. A manager picked the chunky boot for me to wear with the outfit, but I usually don't wear a platform or heel with flares unless the bottom hem of the jean still grazes the floor...but I liked the color and decided to be nice, so the boots finished my ensemble. If I chose the shoes for myself in my everyday life, these leather oxfords would have been a no-brainer. They are SO buttery and soft and are pretty dapper kicks, I might add ;)

This outfit made me think about the possibilities fall brings to my wardrobe, so maybe cooler weather won't be so bad after all...maybe.

Are you excited to color-block/are already color-blocking? What other fall trends are you excited to rock?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Old People Stuff...For A New Generation!

My bf relayed the information that, according to his coworker, I have taken too long to post the pictures of my furniture-refinishing projects (Yes, Dana, I am talking about you! Thanks for reading!) from my highly successful trip to the local flea market (read the post here). I was waiting to get all of the rooms in which these pieces live complete before taking photos, but at the rate I am going, the house won't be finished until the year 2020, so now is as good a time as any to share my results:

The lamp just needed a good cleaning, so I didn't take any additional pictures, but the bench/coffee table and the seat both needed a complete overhaul:

The seat escapade was surprisingly easy. After removing the seat from its base, I realized that the shabby velour had been hastily stapled over another layer of fabric that covered a vinyl cushion. I was relieved that I didn't have to purchase foam and start from scratch (I would have if the seat hadn't been vinyl just to make sure I wasn't bringing anything yucky into the house). With a little (ahem, A LOT 0f) help from my mom (yes, I put my parents to work when they visited recently, I am a terrible child), the seat was reupholstered with a brightly patterned fabric. The gold paint on the metal base was chipping off, but had two layers of paint underneath, so I sanded it and painted it a subdued pewter.

The bench was a completely different ordeal. I liked the pale yellow color when I bought the bench, but the paint was chipping terribly and looked a little too shabby-chic/trendy (don't get me wrong, I like that style, but everything in moderation, people!) so it needed some work. My pops got me started with a sanding tutorial and all I can say is thank goodness for electric sanders! I spent numerous afternoons off in the garage sanding with my little Black and Decker, so I don't want to imagine how much time it would have taken to sand the whole bench by hand with sandpaper! After the bench was striped of layers of dirt and paint, I stained it a dark walnut (which is an endeavor in itself since each layer of stain gets rubbed with steel wool after it dries) and I think the sweaty afternoons in a muggy garage paid off:

The inside of the bench was not in great shape, so I decided to just repaint it with a bright turquoise. I love the contrast of the dark wood with the bright hue:

Now I can actually use my coffee table for storage and display! (The little things make me happy these days). I got a metal and wood tray and refinished the metal portion with the same pewter color as the seat. The tray holds a bowl of clementines, drinks and my latest flea market purchase, an antique metal cricket figurine.

Here is a close-up of the cricket:
I love it so much! (I'm a dork, I know)

It was great to refinish those pieces because although it was a lot of work, I smile to myself every time I pass the seat or bench in my house because I know what I am capable of and I feel like I have a good start on creating an inviting home of which I can be proud.

What do you think of the rehab job? Any suggestions for ways I could have done it more easily? And what should I name the cricket? Hehe

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Seeing Chevrons

I openly admit that I am a shopaholic, but I rarely purchase anything online, much less make an impulse purchase online. But there it was, a black and white striped chevron rug staring at me from the Hautelook website. Its poor, woebegone self seemed to whimper, "Take me home with you"--- oh, wait, that was the price, nevermind! Even on a computer screen I can tell it isn't the quality of the Madeline Weinrib or West Elm chevron rug I have been pining for, but at $65 for a 5x8 rug, I couldn't pass up the deal and it will be perfect for my home office.

After (im)patiently refreshing the webpage until it came back in stock, (you have 15 min to purchase what you select for your shopping bag on Hautelook or it is removed from your bag and put back in stock--can you say "extreme sense of urgency""?), I snagged the size I want and purchased it, feeling triumphant. Until I realized I had purchased a black and white chevron rug... How on earth am I going to make that work with my decor of happy turquoises, organic wood accents and metallic odds and ends...? Panic set in, but then my sister (ever-so-chic and a pro decorator) told me to check Pinterest for inspiration.... Like I don't spend enough time on there to think of that myself! (But I didn't, it was panic time). Anyway, I was immediately relieved to see the awesome rooms people have created with chevron rugs and can't wait to get mine in the mail so I can start decorating my office!!! Here are some of the pictures I found:

I love the ornate style of the chair contrasted with the more modern, graphic rug. And the turquoise? Obviously a fav! I was relieved to see it incorporated with the black and white.

This rug looks to be about the size and scale of the one I purchased, and it doesn't make me cross-eyed, so I can stop hyperventilating ;)

I love this mix of print and color!

I found the picture of this home office last, and it will be of great inspiration to me-- I mean, it is simple, but who wouldn't want to work in a space like this?
Is anyone else out there an impulse shopper? Do you normally shop for home goods online or in 'brick and mortar' stores? Am I crazy for buying this rug?!?!?!?

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Windy City Outfit

Hello, everyone! I am back from vacation, but still sorting through my pictures from Chicago....not because I have tons of great pictures, but because I am not the greatest photographer and tend to take pictures that are out of focus or that are just plain confusing: "What is the intended subject of this one?" ..."Umm, the sidewalk? Or maybe that garbage can?"

My sister took some photos of my outfit for one of our walking around/biking around days and these photos are great because you get to see a little of the city in the background and because the subject of the photo is easy to decipher! hehe. Not the best lighting, however:

I love Target! This drape-front dress is easy, breezy, and takes up a teensy-weensy amount of space in a suitcase. And it was under $20- score!
I love this belt from the GAP. The little, shiny hexagons on neutral leather are super fun and surprisingly versatile for cinching tops and dresses.These Corso Como sandals make the outfit pop and are soooo cushy. Perfect for a day on foot and bicycle in the city (don't judge my oddly skinny toes!):

Here is a photo of my sister's outfit, too! She's a chic gal (with a chic decor blog) and loves a pair of Toms as much as I do. (Who is the awesome sister who got her the black and gold linen Toms she's wearing in the picture? Oh, wait, me!). Anyway, we had to take photos together when we realized we were both wearing black and pink!
I swear she loves me, but she does give me her "oh please" face quite often. There was another picture of us that was better, but her arms were mysteriously missing and her facial expression just wasn't as classic ;)

I hope everyone had a great weekend and, good news!, the weekend is only 2 days away!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Blowing Through the Windy City

I am excited! I have been oh-so close to Chicago many-a-time, but I have not been to the heart of the city of Chicago to discover all that is awesome there.......but I will be there on Wednesday!

I can't wait to check out the stores on Michigan Ave, have some great eats and maybe even ride a bike along the shore... who knows what I will get into, but I am looking forward to all of it.

Any suggestions of great things to do in Chicago? Somewhere I simply must eat at or visit?

I hope everyone is having a great week! I am enjoying my out-of-town visitors (my sis and her Bf have traveled to D-town from AZ!) and SO glad busy season is over at work. It is time to enjoy the rest of summer!