On My Mind: December Edition

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1. In a similar vain to October’s “It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherfuckers,” I’m loving The Concourse’s “2014 Hater’s Guide to The Williams-Sonoma Catalog.” I guess this is the third annual guide, but this is the first I’ve seen of it and it’s right on. So, so funny. Here’s a taste:

“You are safe from the outside world here. It’s just you, your $685 Vitamix blender (“No waste and plenty of extra fiber!”), and no possible way for city residents to access your neighborhood via public transit. While the world burns outside, you will be snug and secure with all your loved ones, talking about your times at Princeton (I assume all of you went to Princeton), breathing in the scents from a literal Dutch oven, and spooning out fresh cassoulet from one of your MANY Le Creuset cooking dishes. Isn’t life FABULOUS?!”

2. What TV shows are you guys watching right now? I feel like I need some fresh material for 2015. It doesn’t need to be anything new. I gave The Newsroom a try recently, and it didn’t hook me (despite my journalism background). I’m not into fantasy or sci-fi; I like comedies, but I’m in the mood for suspense. True Detective maybe? The Good Wife? Fargo?

3. One can never take too many design quizzes in my opinion. If you’re of similar mindset, here’s a new one for you from the folks over at Domaine Home. I think it might be the most accurate yet in terms of my decor style. You’ve seen my place. Do you agree with this?

California Eclectic: You love the combination of midcentury modern lines with organic pieces, ethnic textiles, and plenty of plant life. An expert at layering, you never met a brass accent piece or large-scale photograph you didn’t like.

4. I don’t normally talk about my personal life on the blog, but since it does affect my living situation I’ll go ahead and tell y’all that the boy and I broke up (a few months ago now). I won’t go into details, but if I have one piece of advice from this situation it’s that you should move your things out of your significant other’s place as soon as possible. Do not drag it out; it only makes things worse. Luckily, he didn’t have much in the way of furniture or home items, so I didn’t have to reconfigure the apartment or acquire anything new. However, I definitely still took some advice from Apartment Therapy’s 5 Redecorating Steps for the Recently Consciously Uncoupled. The best thing about this whole situation? I no longer have to put up with the cat from hell. Hallelujah!

5. I can’t believe tomorrow is Christmas! This entire month, I’ve never felt like “I can’t wait for Christmas to be here already”—instead, it’s felt like the month has flown by. But now that I’m off work and spending time with the family and can see all the presents under the tree (my parents STILL haven’t realized that I’m an adult yet), I’m definitely ready. In true Peters family tradition, I’m watching SNL’s “I Wish It Was Christmas Today” to get in the spirit. Merry Christmas to all!

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Trolling Craigslist

Sometimes all you need is a good Craigslist troll to return balance to your life. OK, balance may not be the word I’m looking for here. Tranquility? No, that’s far too deep. It’s more like that feeling when you have a long day at work and come home and just flip on some bad reality TV… You know there’s something better you could be doing with your time, but your brain just needs a break.

That reality show is my Craigslist. It’s like the most interesting random catalog ever. I love it. I’m not really looking to acquire anything – in fact, I’m in purge mode right now! – but it’s just fun to see what’s out there. Here’s a few gems I ran across:

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Two Mid Century Bucket Chairs, $350 – It makes me a little nervous that the description of these chairs says they’re “rust orange”… but I’m hopeful it’s actually a warm cognac leather. I picture them in a space like one of my favorite Pins of all time.

Bookcase, $40 – The price is certainly right if this is solid wood! Imagine the styling options… But it’s also very practical with the two storage areas. It kind of reminds me of my bar.

Set of Vintage Chairs, $100 – Cane and bamboo? Well, I’m sold. These obviously need to be reupholstered (I’m picturing the palm leaves motif I’m seeing everywhere), but I’m absolutely loving the details.

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Large School Chalkboard, $160 – I know the chalkboard paint trend set sail awhile ago, but I’m kinda still on board, especially when it has a fun vintage schoolhouse feel.  Get the price down, and this could be a lot of fun for kids and adults alike.

(Images: Craigslist)

 

You Pick: Living Room Rug

I’m having a really hard time deciding on a vision for the living room. I’ve never had such a bold wall to contend with! I’m certainly not regretting the paint job, but I feel like a need a colorful rug to bring some fun—and femininity—to the room. It’s a bit Don Draper right now. (Speaking of, anyone watching the current season? Snoozefest!)

A rug is a real commitment since it’s generally a pricey piece, but I think it’ll really set the tone for the room. I’d hate to make the wrong choice, so I’m enlisting your help!

For a refresher, here’s the living room:

The living room and dining room feed right into each other, so I’d like there to be some cohesion, but it doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy. Here’s the dining room:

Originally, I wanted to go with a cream shag or flokati rug, but this is a high traffic area, and honestly I don’t think it’d stand a chance. The cat’s always in there. We eat in front of the TV all the time (though I’d really like to break this habit). This is where people hangout when they come over. I’d give it six months tops. Same goes with one of those super popular Beni Ourain-style rugs. Plus, I think I might fall out of love with it after awhile.

I want something fun but somewhat timeless (I hope to still like it in five years). Something bright since there’s already so much dark. Something with a hint of elegance but nothing traditional. And hopefully something that won’t break the bank but is quality (no Dhurries, please!). Is all that possible?

I’ve cobbled together some ideas. Which rug do you like? Or do you have a suggestion? Please, I’m all ears!

rugs1. Martha Stewart Chevron Leaves | 2. Surya Frontier 918 | 3. Safavieh Cambridge | 4. West Elm Ikat Links | 5. Savanna Ikat VE01 | 6. Savanna Ikat VE03 |
7. Surya Scion | 8. Martha Stewart Poppy Field

Summer Bucket List

Screen Shot 2014-05-16 at 8.37.25 PMHappy Friday! I don’t know about y’all, but this week has felt forever long. I think it’s because it’s been raining all week. I’m not (really) complaining because I’m happy it’s finally above 35 degrees, but I have to say I’m pretty excited for summer to hurry up and get here. I dream of the beach… yes, even our fake Lake Michigan “beach.”

But speaking of summer, it’s time to put together a bucket list! For the past couple years, some friends and I have assembled a bucket list for each new season. Some of the stuff frankly isn’t possible (create a time machine), some of it is too ridiculous (Sketchers Shape Up bar crawl) and some of it we just don’t get around to (go skydiving), but a lot of the items do get crossed off. It’s a great resource to have when you find yourself with a random free Sunday, and you’re looking for something to do. Then again, maybe I’m just not creative enough to think of something on the spot.

Anywho, here’s some of things on my personal Summer Bucket List:

Train for the marathon. This isn’t so much a fun bucket list item as a straight-up necessity. The Chicago Marathon is Oct. 12, so that’s means the training program starts about the second week of June. There’s going to be some eaaaarly mornings this summer… (This also means on your bucket list should be “Make signs to cheer Kelsey on at the Chicago Marathon!”)

Make my own popsicles. This one has been on my mind for awhile even though I don’t eat that many store-bought popsicles. I’m weary of what exactly is in there. (Is high fructose corn syrup good or bad for you this week? What about chemical sweeteners? Why are they always slimy?) But I’m always looking for new healthy snacks, and if I can make my own, then I’ll know every ingredient. Plus, I’ll have an excuse to buy these super cute molds. Yes, I’m really 6 years old at heart.

Go floating. This is a repeat item from a many a summer bucket lists past, but it’s finally happening this year—for my birthday! For those of you not familiar, floating trips involve, well, floating down a river in a big inner tube with a bunch of friends and usually a cooler of adult beverages. It’s like a real-life lazy river. We’re going floating at Turkey Run State Park and camping out nearby. I can’t think of a better way to spend my birthday!

Attempt to grill pizza. In general, I want grill out a lot more this summer, but I’m especially interested in trying to grill a pizza pie. This idea could very well stem from the fact that my oven is terrible. (It won’t consistently stay above 400.) I really want to try this grilled pesto, sweet corn and avocado pizza recipe. Check out that dessert pizza she makes too, omg…

Eat at Hot Doug’s. Sticking with food, I want to make it to Hot Doug’s one more time before the beloved sausage joint closes in October. I’ve only been once—see above, that’s what just me and one other person shared. It was sad… but delicious. After Charlie Trotter’s closed, I wished I’d made an effort to get there. I should feasibly (read: financially) be able do Hot Doug’s at least.

Hit up the Kane County Flea Market. The rumor is that this flea market about an hour outside of Chicago is the place to be on the first weekend of every month (March-December). Like any flea market, I’m sure the Kane County Flea Market is a hodge podge of junk and treasures, but I’ve heard there’s some quality mid-century items up for grabs if you get there early.

Bike ride every weekend. I have a bike; I need a helmet. Then I’ll be good to go on weekend biking adventures around the city. I’m just a tiny bit scared…

That’s all I’ve got so far, but I still have another week to brainstorm. (I consider Memorial Day to be the summer kickoff.) Do you have a Summer Bucket List? What’s on it? What should I add to mine?

Completed This Space: Entryway Vignette

So a week or two ago I asked y’all to chime in on how I should (quite literally) top-off my freshly painted, mid-century entryway bookshelf. Thank you to everyone who left comments, but… I’m sorry, I ignored all of your suggestions. beforeandafter2I didn’t mean to! There were a lot of great options: a sunburst mirror, faux taxidermy, a welcome sign, etc. BUT I came across something that was just too good to pass up:vignette3Isn’t she amazing? (Yes, it’s a she.) I just happened to stumble across this awesome—and cheap!—oversized mirror on Craigslist. I don’t even remember what I was originally searching for, but once I saw it, I knew it had to be mine. I talked the seller down almost 50 percent, fought the rush-hour traffic up to Rogers Park, and brought my baby home safely. That shape… sighhhh. She matches the new dining room pendant lamp perfectly.photoSometimes my mid-century modern furniture, especially the bar, gives the space a masculine vibe, so I’m loving the hints of glam the mirror and pendant are lending without being overly feminine.vignetteFINALSo given that this “entryway” is actually part of my dining room (I just call it an entryway because it’s the first thing you see when you open the door. I feel like now I’m finally making a good first impression!), does it change your opinion about the rugs?

Dining Room Revamp: Part II

Man, I did not realize how much work would/could go into this dining room! I can’t find a picture of what it looked like when I first moved in, but I’ll keep looking (my iPhoto is in serious need of organizing… and backing up!). So we’ll start here for now:

IMG_1179You probably remember this picture from Revamp Part I when I snagged my awesome teak dining table and Eames replica chairs. I still haven’t had a dinner party yet, but it’s coming. A Friendsgiving perhaps. But that’s only if I can get some more things squared away in the space first. It’s a work in progress:

IMG_1584We (well, my dad) finally got around to hanging the vintage pendant lamp. I looooove it! I bought it about two years ago now for something like $20. I’d kicked around the idea of painting it but decided just to go with the antique gold and teal colors. It definitely brings a bit of Hollywood Regency or Moroccan glam to the room. Look at the cool design it casts on the ceiling when it’s lit up:

IMG_1675The rug is where I’m really struggling. It was a hand-me-down, so free is always good and I like the way it breaks up all the wood in the space, but I don’t really have anything else salmon colored in my entire apartment. Does it matter? The pendant is glam and the rug is tribal… is that OK? I’m still struggling with how to mix and match styles. My instinct is matchy-matchy, but I’m trying to fight it.

IMG_1588Maybe a new rug is on the wish list, maybe not. I change my mind about it every other day. But while I contemplate it, my next steps are to get the new artwork (it’s just leaning against the wall on top of the bar for now) framed, rearrange the gallery wall and complete the entryway vignette. I’m hoping to have all of that done by the end of this month, but framing is darn expensive so we’ll see…

Thoughts, ideas, criticism and Pinspiration are always welcome!

Craigslist Crush: Danish Teak Vanity

As a child, I spent hours playing at my grandma’s vanity. It was part of the bathroom in what seemed to me at the time to be her and my grandpa’s grand mansion. (A sitting room no one was allowed in except for on Christmas? Does Santa live in there?) There was a white-leather-and-gold stool that boosted me up so I could look into the magnifying mirror (just like princesses and movie stars) and proceed to try on each and every one of her lipsticks and nail polishes. With a daughter in the cosmetic industry, and a fashionista in her own regard, my grandma certainly didn’t lack options of either.

I would kill to have the space for mirrored trays of perfume bottles and blush brushes galore. But such is city life. Or rather a renter’s life on a budget.

Plus, to be honest, I just don’t have all that much makeup, and a “girlie” vanity doesn’t really fit my mid-century aesthetic. Or does it?

Enter this danish teak beauty by Vinde Mobelfabrik:

01616_28ytRKkqURU_600x450Now, I still don’t have a place for it, but it would surely fit in if I did. I love the beautiful teak, the simple lines and the utilitarian design. According to the Craigslist post, Vinde Mobelfabrik was a mid-century manufacturer of Danish Modern furniture, identifiable by the interlocking V and M logo on the back of most pieces. If you do a quick Google Images search, you can see all the cool things attributed to VM (looks like mostly bedroom furniture and desks, so perhaps this piece is a rarity).

I can’t say whether this vanity is worthy of a $400 investment, but it is a beautiful piece. Click here to see the Craigslist ad for more info.

(Images: Craigslist)