Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Basement Update!

When I last posted about our finished basement project here and here it was still in a pretty sorry state. There were a lot of pieces that hadn't yet arrived, and very little of the decor was finished. Now it's looking a little more photoshoot-fresh, so I thought an update was in order. 

The view down the stairs is the same: 

Turning the corner in that hallway at the bottom, going to the right you see this:

I've added some artwork, although it feels a little basic to me. I may still switch it up for something with a little more flava at some point. I'm still dying to get a print of this shot and install it somewhere in the basement: 

or maybe this one:

I think either one would be delightful and surprising, which is really what I look for in all my art choices.

The door on the right leads to the storage room, which is actually looking much better these days! But, still not quite blog-worthy :)

There are two doors on the left in the hallway above (hard to see). The first one leads to the craft room, which is also not yet blog-worthy. It's getting there, though. I've ordered a storage system (Elfa, from the Container Store), so once that arrives and gets installed (and I unpack the moving boxes that are STILL there) I'll do a post about that room.

The second door on the left leads to the downstairs bathroom:

The floor is still a major fave. I've added some artwork in here and a few accessories to help pull it together a little bit.

I especially like this vintage photograph of vespa scooters in Rome, which I ordered from Shorpy (a fantastic resource for vintage photographs) and then framed using Framebridge. It's a pretty cool service - they send you a mailer (or you can use your own) and a pre-paid shipping label, you choose your frame from their very good selection of pretty frames, then a couple of weeks later you get your framed piece in the mail. 

I would say the quality is comparable to Hobby Lobby and the like, perhaps slightly better. I wouldn't necessarily use it for a work of fine art, but for a photographic print it was perfect. 

The other smaller artwork is a print of a sumo wrestler that I brought back from Japan. Kind of random, but I like it here: 

Moving back down the hallway into the main part of the basement, it opens into the big family room area:

I've zhush'd the bookshelves with a lot of fun accessories and books, mostly keeping to our downstairs color palette of reds, blues, and neutrals: 

The closed storage portion of these built-ins houses all the electronic components, games, etc. 

To the right of the family room area is the bar:

It's fully stocked most of the time, so feel free to stop on by for a drink :) My favorite these days is a mix of Ancho Reyes liquor and St. Germain, with lime and splash of soda. So good!

I'm still thinking about doing some sort of antiqued mirror behind the shelves here, but that is a project for another day year. 

Fun little bar artwork from Restoration Hardware.

Back over to the TV area side of the room, there's this fun little area, with a console and a small bench tucked underneath:

This little bench was a Homegoods find, and I really love it! My only regret is that they didn't have two so I could have a matching set.

The accessories are a mix of pieces. I think the two lanterns are Pottery Barn, and the grey vases are both from Target.

Moving further along into the basement, we have the poker/game area:

The table is vintage (painted in an Annie Sloan chalk paint - custom color), and converts to bumper pool or just a dining table top as well as the poker set-up, which we keep it on most of the time. I looked long and hard to find the right table. B really wanted a vintage one, and it was next to impossible to find one that didn't have a really cheesy finish with supersonic green felt, etc. I was thrilled when I finally came upon this one.

It's hard to tell here, but the chairs are a blue/grey tweed that goes perfectly with the color scheme, and I love the touch of warm wood and brass to tie it to the woodwork elsewhere in the basement.

The art is all vintage sports photographs that are favorites of B's. Including this - quite possibly the most disturbing sports photograph I've ever seen:

I'm told that guy is not dead, but you'd be forgiven for wondering.

Also in this area we have an air hockey table:

We'll likely add a few more black and white photographs to this wall, but it's a little awkward with the big domed scorekeeper thing on the air hockey table. I have yet to figure that out completely.

Of course everyone's favorite game, though, is the Pac Man arcade machine. It's seriously so much fun.

The artwork above is perfect, too. The framers went INSANE when they saw this. It's huge - like 36x36 and it's hard to see in the picture, but the whole image is made of teeny tiny Japanese characters (it's a giclee of an original work by a Japanese artist - can't remember the name offhand). It's just so cool, and when I saw it, I knew it needed to live in my basement :)

The door you see near the Pac Man machine is one of a set of two that lead to the exercise room, which is the only part of the basement not yet fully outfitted. We have a few things in place: 

But, somewhat predictably, it's been annexed a little bit by some of E's larger toys this winter:

My plans for this room (once some of the toys can be relocated) include adding artwork and/or mirrored walls, a clock, and of course a few exercise machines. I'm also thinking about doing white horizontal stripes on the walls. This image was my original inspiration for this room:

I held off on the stripes because I felt like they were getting a little played out with people using them everywhere, but for this type of a more utilitarian space I do really like them. So, we'll have to see about that.

Here's a view from just inside the exercise room doors, so you can see there is a decent amount of separation from the main family room part of the basement, and the double doors do shut so it's not super awkward to work out while other people are watching TV or whatever.

The family room is honestly one of our favorite parts of the house and we spend a ton of time here:

It's just so cozy and a great place to lounge. The sofa is from Crate and Barrel, and we absolutely love it. The chair and ottoman is Bernhardt, but I would not recommend them AT ALL. It is super comfy, but it looks like crap. We have only had it for not-quite 4 years and it looks like it's about 15 years old. The cotton velvet fabric did not hold up, even though Bernhardt has a great reputation and it was a very expensive purchase.  

Oh well, at least Murphy likes it:

Of course Murphy can lounge anywhere! 
The fireplace is getting a lot of use this cold winter too:

It cracks me up how dinky it looks compared to the TV. I swear, it is a normal size fireplace, not a dollhouse one!

So, that's how the basement is looking these days. It's most definitely one of the most-used spaces in our house and one we look forward to enjoying for a long time to come.

Thank you for reading and have a great day!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Favorite Details Around the House

If you've been reading this blog for any length of time, of course you know that I love the larger elements that make a room: wallpaper, furniture, paint, draperies, etc. 

The great thing about decorative accessories is that they are a fun way to punch up a room and really make it sing without over-committing to a huge decor change. You can easily layer in fun little groupings and then switch them out when you need something new. 

I'm constantly tinkering with these elements in my home and love nothing more than a quiet afternoon when I can move things around from room to room (yeah, it's a nonstop party up in here). I thought I'd share a few details of the current set-up around the house:

Plus, here are a few accessories that I'm considering adding in the coming months:

Fornasetti Lidded Candle (at Barneys): 

Fornasetti Burlesque Lidded Candle -  -

Scoop vase in Emerald by Jonathan Adler

Vases - Bel Air Gorge Vase

Velvet Green Bolster Pillow (via Biscuit Home):

Kelly Wearstler Channels Pillow (via Etsy) - also thinking about this fabric for roman shades in the kitchen: 

Malachite obelisk (via One Kings Lane): 

29" Malachite-Style Obelisk, Green

Gold leaf mirror (via PB Teen!): 

Scallop Gold Leaf Mirror

I frequently post pictures of little details around the house on instagram, so follow me there too if you liked this post. Thanks for reading! 

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

The Front Parlor/Piano Room

I think of all the rooms in the house, this one has been the most challenging for me to pull together. It's a little awkward, since it's essentially another formal living room (right next to the other formal living room), and for the longest time, I just couldn't get my head around how to make it stand out and serve a unique purpose.

It gets great light thanks to the two sets of large double windows, so it's a really pleasant room to spend time in, but I wanted to shake things up a little bit here.

Then, it hit me. LEOPARD. 

I feel compelled to mention the round table above is indeed centered on the window. It would drive me insane every time I saw it if it was not. The angle of this picture is a little slanted, which is why it looks off-center.

I dig symmetry, so I knew I wanted a pair of matching chairs in here. It took me a while to zero in on exactly what style I wanted, but ultimately settled on a slightly overscale wingback from Ballard, upholstered in a Sunbrella fabric (since these babies will get lots of direct sunlight, I wanted a fabric that could withstand it).   

I am all heart eyes for them and they are exactly what I wanted in this room.

Not to mention, handsome Mr. Lincoln looks like he was made to go there between them, right?

The little metal side table is from Pottery Barn.

The bench under the windows is topped with a couple of Ikea sheepskins to cozy it up a little bit, and the round table in the center of the room is also Ikea. The topiaries are from a little boutique (Cooper & Co for those of you fellow Lincolnites), and the tray is vintage.

Looking toward the other end of the room, you see our piano, which came with the house, but which I painted using Annie Sloan paint in a custom color. 

Have you used this paint? It's black magic. It's perfect for someone like me who likes painting but hates all the boring prep work. Sanding, mineral spirits, etc. No thank you. With this you just dive right in and paint - no prep necessary. I realize this is sounding a little like an ad. I can assure you Annie Sloan has no idea who I am (but if you are reading this, Annie, and want to send me some free swag, I will gladly accept ;))

E's gorgeous little reading nook is on the left above, and we still love that little space very much. The doorway to the right of the piano is a hallway leading to the powder room, and beyond that then the office and TV room in the back of the house. 

The piano stool is an antique, which I upholstered in a cool Nate Berkus fabric.

Not dusty, just old. 

I love the little glass balls on the feet.

The other piano in this room belongs to Miss E:

It's officially the cutest thing ever. 

The rug is a really beautiful woven silk in a striated green with some navy and chartreuse to it as well.

I think it looks especially pretty on the dark wood floors.

I also have a pair of these mirrored cabinets in the room, one on each side of the window. 

That bunny sculpture (by Christy Puetz) has moved around a lot in the house, but I think this is now the perfect spot for it. The artwork above is by Michelle Armas. 

This piece was purchased at auction, and I cannot remember the artist's name (and am too lazy to go look at the signature). I do love it, and also love the pretty gold bamboo-y frame.

You can see in this picture that it hangs on the left side of the room, behind one of the chairs. 

I think I'll be adding a floor lamp in that corner too, once I find one that I really love. 

Here's a view from the Front Parlor into the Formal Living Room and then on into the Dining Room so you can see how all the spaces relate to one another: 

I love how the colors in this room tie into the rest of this part of the house, but also bring some new elements to the table too.  

I have a lot of fun decorating those two little cutouts you see above. Currently, I have a few pieces of blue and white china there, but I'm sure that won't last for too long before I'm swapping in something new. 

Getting this room finished was a big check mark on the to-do list, and I'm so happy with how it came together. It's the perfect mix of mostly traditional elements but with a few modern and whimsical touches, as well as some new, some vintage, some high end, and some low, that I love.

Side note: sweet little Murphy, whom you see above making himself at home on the chair, has been feeling really bad lately and is in a lot of pain due to a slipped disk in his back. If you're so inclined, we'd appreciate any good vibes you can send his way for a speedy recovery.

Thanks so much for reading!