Feb 4, 2010

Bedroom Makeover Complete!

Check out my bedroom makeover by John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon and tell me what you think. You can see details on where I purchased items and how much I spent.

Feb 3, 2010

Back from a Break

It's been a while since I posted, but I swear I've been busy! December and January were spent finalizing our bedroom makeover for The New York Times' "On the Cheap" series. Did we do it on the cheap? By our standards, yes. And I look forward to sharing more about our DIY experience.

My husband and I sanded, primed, painted. Schlep, hammered, screwed and more. We mixed hand-me-downs with eBay finds. And heck, we even got some stuff brand new!

We're very happy with the end result and will keep 96% of what we purchased. I have to give credit to John Loecke (www.­johnloeckeinc.­com) and Jason Oliver Nixon for a job well done. They're incredibly professional and a lot of fun to work with.

Check out The New York Times' Home section on Thursday, Feb. 4 to see our better home. But still, no garden :(

Dec 9, 2009

Steampunk Has a Hold On Me

I love French. I love Country. I love French Country. My husband has been incredibly patient with me as I outfit our living room in bergere chairs, Anthropologie rugs and turned leg tables, and I've finally figured out how to reward him...go industrial!

Lately, Vintage Industrial and Steampunk have really caught my eye. I've already got a couple of vintage telephones, a vintage type writer and old cigar boxes but want to go "masculine" in a way that's cool for both of us.

There's no shortage of wood in our living room so I want to look at ways to bring in metals. I don't have any side tables so perhaps that's an opportunity? I'm also looking at adding SteamPunk decor elements that are great to look at and even more fun to play with when nobody is looking. Any ideas??? On a budget???

Here's a really cool Steampunk home posted on http://www.steampunkworkshop.com/.

Dec 7, 2009

Christian Lacroix

Fashion designer Christian Lacroix has put his apartment in the Marais district of Paris on the market. No word on if the furniture is included. I love the striped fabric and vibrant quilt on the sofa, and I actually have a Louis XIV chair being reupholstered right now in that same spirit - 3 different fabrics!

Nov 19, 2009

Crate and Barrel 15% Off

Greeting me when I returned home last night was a petite Crate and Barrel holiday catalog with a 15% off coupon the back! I've been wanting the Faulkner 62" Console (I love British Colonial style furniture) since I spotted it in...May. I may make a go at it and stop this silly obsession. Perhaps after I get the console, I can get a life.

Purple Walls

I've been busy with the bedroom makeover. Hint...cannonball bed, reupholstered Louis XV chair. Okay, that's all I can share until the article comes out. I was browsing through The New York Times' this morning and came across this gorgeous purple wall from a home in Marrakesh. The only thing more outstanding than the wall was the entire living room.

Photo credit: Ingrid Pullar for The New York Times

Oct 26, 2009

High Drama

As the bedroom makeover continues, I'm working hard to understand the rules and break them at the same time. Perhaps what I mean is, break my own rules. I didn't realize how closed-minded I was about certain styles and elements until I started this process and fell love with styles I had previously sworn off. At times when I felt like my back was against the wall because we are working against a deadline, I was force to open my mind and stretch my imagination. These pics are pointing me in the right direction

Oct 20, 2009

Oct 19, 2009

Molly's Vintage Dwelling, Part Deux

My post-war apartment in Brooklyn is lacking in architecture, so I have to rely on the comely digs of friends like Molly for inspiration. Molly recently relocated to an apartment in Little Italy and one of the most delicious features is the bathroom with exposed brick!

Molly's favorite detail in her Mulberry Street walk-up -- complete with tin ceilings and vintage light fixtures -- is the vintage glass panel on a door that blocks off a long hallway from the front entrance.

Molly's Vintage Dwelling

Travel writer and EatYourChow.com blogger Molly Moker loves the thrill of the hunt and is scoring some serious vintage finds for her new abode in Little Italy. Just this weekend, Molly bargained her way to a petite, white-washed side table for $45 at flea market on Houston St. in Soho – just in time for the Shabby Chic resurgence.

Molly’s new digs have inspired her to get out and start decorating and she’s shared some pics with Better Home No Garden.

In talking with me, Molly echoed the words of Rita Konig: once the decorating is done, it’s probably time to move!

Check out mollymoker.tumblr.com for more apartment photos and www.EatYourChow.com for recipes and outrageous food pics.

Oct 14, 2009

Made in America

Some people want to meet Michael Jordan. I wanted to meet Rachel Ashwell. At tonight's Apartment Therapy meet up at the new Shabby Chic store on Mercer St., I shook hands and chatted with the woman who branded Shabby Chic and delivered it to the masses.

Rachel was incredibly friendly, humbled I'm sure, considering the turn her business took in this struggling economy. But romance never goes out of style, nor does classic wood furniture or washable slipcovers, so Rachel was able to rebound.

Beyond Rachel's style, I love her story. A single mother who pushed a double stroller around flea markets. Natural talent, luck, hard work, the mistakes that followed from a lack of business knowledge and the success that still hovers around because she believes in herself. When we chatted one-on-one she actually used the phrase "keep on keepin on" in her British accent.

Shabby Chic is still as gorgeous as the first time I laid eyes on it. I didn't walk out with any chandeliers, pink or white-washed linens, distressed cabinets or other Shabby Chic staples, but instead a soft, vintage-inspired cotton nightie that I've been longing for. Rachel informed my decor but I have to credit my mom...and Betty from "Mad Men" for the nightie.

What I learned tonight:

Most of Rachel's products on made in America!

Rachel's 22-year old daughter is pursuing a career in fashion, and her son is an artist. I always like to hear what kind of influence creative types have on their kids.

Rachel's outfit: The best pair of distressed jeans I've EVER seen; grey try-blend cotton tee, which has pretty much become my uniform (see profile pic); a tailored, Chanel-like blazer and "bling" around her neck as Rachel calls it.

So basically, I want to dress like her when I'm older, substituting her boots for Converse.

Pick up Rachel's new book Shabby Chic Interiors: My Rooms, Treasures, and Trinkets and visit http://www.shabbychic.com/.

People Crush: Jeanine Hays

Her afro is alluring but so are her designs. Jeanine Hays, the San Francisco-based founder and creative director of AphroChic, is marrying high-end design with ethnic culture (take note French Vogue!) and making it palatable for the environmentally conscious. In between sharing her design ideas on her blog, she's found time to launch a new online boutique featuring Dreamland, a vibrant pillow collection inspired by traditional ikat printing techniques. I especially love the Reflection pillows. Shop http://www.aphrochicshop.com/.

AprhoChic 1; Exxon Mobile 0

Photos: Patrick Cline

Oct 13, 2009

Frame It

Aside from plants, art is the best thing anyone can add to a room to create warmth, beauty and a hint of personality. I'm a lover of portraits - some serious, some quirky. Don't take yourself too seriously - save that for Sotheby's - just have fun and buy what you like.

From Art.com. E-mail me at jmwint@hotmail.com if you need hints on how to find them.

Oct 11, 2009

Electronic Thrift Shop

Have you ever wanted something so badly from eBay but it's too big to hide from your husband like a pair of shoes? That's how I feel about this pair of mid century club chairs from the Milo Baughman era. I would snap these puppies up in a second and recover them in Basketweave Linen - Pomelo (pink in George Smith's language).

Oct 8, 2009

Peppered with Jealousy

I almost had a cow until I realized that "Man Shops Globe," which inconveniently airs on the Sundance Channel, is available on iTunes. While some people are just looking for a job, Anthropologie's buyer-at-large Keith Johnson has a dream job. Keith Johnson spends his days exchanging foreign currencies for tchotchkes and other things I can't really afford.

Reviews for the show have been mixed - peppered with jealousy and accusations of self-importance.

Watch "Man Shops Globe" Wednesdays at 10 pm on Sundance or purchase the entire season on iTunes for $13.99, pretty much the equivalent of one knob at Anthropologie.

Oct 7, 2009

Electronic Thrift Shop

This was made for that holiday party in your studio apartment! It's a little bit country, but paint it fire engine red or glossy black and it suddenly becomes a little bit rock 'n roll. Or just keep it country and paint it green. Krylon H2O 's spray paint in Hosta Leaf green seems like a good choice and according to the company H20 is low odor and contributes 55% less to smog pollution than most spray paints.

eBay search term: Unique Wood Vintage T Cart Caddy Server Buffet
Note: better home, no garden is not affiliated with the seller, nor are we endorsing the quality of this vintage item...but it does look cool.

Oct 3, 2009

A Little Place for This Mini

Who knew a career in travel PR would require so much travel?! Kidding. I'm off to The Bahamas for 1 night and while I never get tired of gazing at turquoise water, the image I really love is the one I snapped in Paris' Latin Quarter. I'm no ace with the camera so I think it's as low res as low res can get, but I intend to frame it anyway.

Photo credit: Judith HoSang

Sep 30, 2009

Discounts upon Discounts

I was browsing a Kenneth Cole Outlet last week when I spotted these leather flats and worked up the nerve to ask for a recessionistas discount. My request was granted with 20 percent off! So where should I apply that savings? My bank account? Ha! A patent leather bag of course!

I love this one from Matta (mattany.com), and if I work up the nerve and get a discount, then I can buy stuff to put in it. Like...the DIY book "Tossed and Found" from Wary Meyers; "Born Round, The Secret History of a Full-Time Eater" by newly retired NY Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni; and tickets to FELA! on Broadway.

Sep 29, 2009

People Crush: Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline

As Radiohead cried, "don't leave me high, don't leave me dry." The exit of Domino left a void in our budget-conscious, design-challenged hearts, but Michelle Adams and Patrick Cline are poised to pick up the pieces with Lonny.

Michelle and Patrick are the creators and editors of Lonny magazine, and similar to the Fantastic Four -- but with only two people -- they come with super powers! Michelle's super powers are decorating and designing eco-chic fabrics for her company Rubie Green, while Patrick's are behind the camera.

Tired of paper cuts -- figuratively and I imagine literally -- Michelle and Patrick decided to create Lonny as an Internet magazine providing affordable decorating tips, ideas and products without page limitations.

Lonny magazine launches October 1 at www.Lonnymag.com

Photo credit: Patrick Cline

Sep 28, 2009

International Dialing

It's no secret that vintage telephones are like kryptonite to my wallet. I spot one and my bank account magically opens up, spilling out money for old things. Sweet Bella offers these authentic, unused phones from the British General Post Office dating back to the 1950s. I think they would be a great exclamation point in a pop art apartment!

Head to Sweet Bella's contact page on (sweetbellausa.com) to see how you can get your hands on one.

Sep 27, 2009

More Inspiration

Yesterday was meeting #2 to discuss my bedroom makeover, and we tossed around fabric and ideas in the design studio of John Loecke and Jason Oliver Nixon. While I can't divulge much, we're heading in the direction of laid-back, glamorous, traditional but with a twist. Even though we've already started creating a design scheme, I think these picks will help shape how we move forward.

The turquoise nightstand is actually from a previous New York Times "On the Cheap" participant and photographed by Phil Mansfield. The tote is from Matta and the coin purse from Sweet Bella.