Creative Envy

Monday, April 6, 2009, 9:44 pm
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Some great ideas on Do It Yourself (via How About Orange) for unique wall decor. These are my favorites.









Sunday, March 29, 2009, 7:46 pm
Filed under: abode envy, design envy | Tags: ,

The latest CB2 catalog arrived in the mail the other day and I am seeing a lot that I like.


I give you my wish list.


1. Modular surface décor forms. The possibilities of these curlicues are endless. I think I’m actually going to pull the trigger on this one because you get a set of 30 for $29.95 and I think they’d look pretty great in a formation coming out of my white wall tiles in my living room.

2. I wish this revere pendant lamp came in some other colors (although I suppose I could spray paint it). CB2’s grouping of three together make an awesome impact.

3. While I normally refuse to spend any kind of money on throw pillows because I can make them myself, I may also have to get this sunflower flock pillow. It’s not overly priced and I am already picturing it on one of my recycled chairs (you know, once I finish them).

4. My heart is longing for these track brass wall strips (they patina over time!) but at $129 for a set of three, they are out of my price range. I really think you need at least six of them to make an impact in a room and $260 seems a bit crazy to me. Don’t worry though, I will be stalking these in the off chance they go on super sale.

5. A clever milk carton bud vase for $6.95? SOLD.

6. If this sol console table were slightly deeper, I’d be tempted to snatch it up as my new desk. I would love to ditch my current bulky, dark wood piece in favor of something more streamlined and table-like.

7. Props to CB2 for offering this conserve runner made out of recycled plastic Indian milk pouches.

Conserve provides a source of income to the hundreds of urban “rag pickers” who scavenge and clean recyclable materials from the streets of New Delhi. Each is unique with original dairy logos and type—no added dyes or inks.

Saturday, March 14, 2009, 9:03 am
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I’ve written before about the duo of Something’s Hiding in Here, Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt. Their ideas are so original and their living/working space is out of this world. I have seen photographs of their Philadelphia loft; however, Etsy recently did a video home tour. Their place is just as great in person (errrr, video) and you can’t help but say “awwwww” when you see the cuteness between the two of them.

Monday, March 2, 2009, 7:07 pm
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Yet another “find out your personal decorating style” online quiz at Sproost. I love to take them though and they are usually pretty accurate. However, I did start to get a little nervous on this one because I don’t think I ever clicked the “love it” choice. In fact, most of the ones I clicked were “don’t like it” or “hate it”. Oops! I wasn’t sure if they’d get my style down with so few positives, but my results were 75% Vintage Modern and 25% Modern Elegance. Yep, I’m down with that.

Thanks to How About Orange for original posting.


I am in awe of the woman that is Annie Coggan. I stumbled upon Annie’s blog Chairs and Buildings through Bloesem and she is quite extraordinary. Annie recently opened a local sustainable eatery called Little Building Café in Starkville, Mississippi.

Little Building Café in Starkville, Mississippi

Little Building Café

Of course I love the fact that Annie has chosen to go green in her building materials but can we just talk about the chairs she made for the café? Oh the chairs!!! Here is one of Annie’s sketches for what she had in mind.


And here are 10 of the chairs that resulted.

Unreal, right? From Bloesem:

Annie has been working in her home of Starkville, Mississippi on these chairs for her own café, which she will be opening in July, she told me that the chairs are are part of a method of making that she cares deeply about, using resources from “within arms length”… all these chairs were bought for less then 20.00 or were found … the pieces to stabilize the chairs she got from junk shops..very nice! It looks so simple but you need to have some creative talent to come up with the idea to give the chairs these funky twists…

And here is a shot of said chairs in the space. Don’t you love how some of them hang on the wall and serve as art when not in use?


Annie did a great job on the interior of Little Building. I love the light blue color scheme combined with bright pops. And any time anyone uses those tiny hex floor tiles? Sluuuuurrrp. The table tops are made from tiles in which each quadrant is a part of the map of Starkville! Gotta love that local flavor.


I can’t say enough things about what Annie has accomplished. This kind of imagination and inventiveness makes me giddy and inspires me to stay true to my long-term goals.

If you’d like to see the place in real life, of course you can visit Starkville, or you can watch this news piece from WCBI TV. Also be sure to check out Annie’s blog which she refers to as her “notebook/sketchbook and visual food for thought”. Some great posts on there about, yep, chairs and buildings. Thanks, Annie!

Photos from Chairs and Buildings

Monday, October 27, 2008, 9:45 pm
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About a month ago I emailed my landlord inquiring about a little yellow cabinet on the balcony above my apartment that appeared to be abandoned through two cycles of tenants. I couldn’t see it in its full glory but knew instantly that it would be perfect in my kitchen. He told me that the new tenants had just moved in and had “already seen it” so he wasn’t sure if they’d be willing to give it up. I figured since the newbies were a couple, a couple that includes a girl who looks around my age, that the cabinet was theirs, no question. That girl was going to be all over it, right?! WELL….contrare, monfrare! Tonight whilst making my Stouffers french bread pizza, my smoke detector started beeping intermittently, which prompted me to go out on my back porch to retrieve my ladder, which led me to…..THIS!

That’s right, the little yellow cabinet was sitting out there waiting for me! I almost felt like one of those yuppy women in the Christmas Lexus commercials who comes outside and her new car is bejeweled with an enormous red bow. I squealed with delight and immediately dragged it in. Well, that’s a lie. I had to attend to the smoke detector first, but that doesn’t sound as romantic! I love it so much. It could use a new coat of paint but quite honestly, if I do repaint it, I think I will keep it yellow. That, or possibly a kelly green or light blue. I could mix it up through the years.

Here’s a little collage of the set-up and what I’m thinking:

1. The cabinet matches the limey yellow that’s in my most favorite table cloth I’ve ever owned. I lusted after it at Anthropologie for months and then one day it was magically on sale.

2. This is my attempt at a tabletop vignette. Those two cookbooks date back to my Nana’s days in the 30s and 40s, and contain choice excerpts such as “Time and your oven await the occasion and the man.” Ha! They are currently serving as decoration but I, of course, have big project plans involving scanning some of the inside pages and doing an original art piece for the wall above.

3. This pig is the cookie jar I grew up with and it now has the perfect perching place. Many a cookie was sneaked from it and my mom was this close to giving it away. No way! It’s mine! For both sentimental value and all around lovely kitchy-ness.

4. The inside view. I plan on keeping my old school Corning Ware pieces in here and some mixing bowls. Those little hooks will be great for hanging up potholders and all the aprons I plan on making (big wink).

5. Surprise, surprise….another project waiting to be finished. This was once an enormous decoupaged canvas I did and I eventually tired of it so I peeled all the paper off and it ended up having this awesome textured, aged look. So now I want to paint something great over top, using the texture as a background. We’ll see how that goes down.

This little cabinet definitely made my day (happy dance).

Monday, October 20, 2008, 7:39 pm
Filed under: abode envy, art envy, projects | Tags: ,

Wow. Just, wow. Charlie Kratzer of Lexington, KY is my new hero. Using just $10 worth of Sharpie magic markers, he decorated all of the walls in his basement rec room.

Says Kratzer, 53, the associate general counsel for Lexmark: “People are amazed that with something as simple and inexpensive as a Sharpie, you can decorate a whole basement.”

I can only imagine all of the possibilities! Amazing. You can read the entire article here.

(Via ReadyMade blog.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008, 6:44 pm
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I don’t usually find too much that I absolutely LOVE in West Elm’s catalogs but I think these mercury glass birds are destined to be mine (or maybe just the smaller one). Aren’t they enjoyable? They have brightened up my very sluggish Sunday.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 10:52 pm
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Todd Selby (at The Selby) photographs people with amazing spaces in major cities, including Brooklyn, Manhattan and Los Angeles. And if you ask me, the people seem pretty amazing (and unique) themselves.

I love everything about these photos. From Selby’s photography style, to the environments that are documented, to the lifestyles they represent. I could make a wicked mood board using all of his pictures.

As you can see from the bazillion photos I’m posting, I had a hard time editing down my favorites (although the majority of my picks came from Cheri & David’s place in Soho and Fanny & Bill’s place in Brooklyn).

I seem to have an affinity for photos with sewing materials in them (shocking, no?).

These are just a small fraction of what’s on the site. Another great procrastination tool! Thanks to Made By Girl for originally posting about The Selby.

Sunday, August 17, 2008, 9:55 pm
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I’m in complete awe over the lovely Philadelphia abode that is home and studio to the duo of Something’s Hiding in Here. Featured in this month’s issue of ReadyMade magazine, I am dying of envy over this place. It’s so original; a virtual fantasy land that I know if I lived/worked within its walls, I would have a very hard time going outside into the real world.

Something's Hiding In Here's rental loft space

Something's Hiding In Here's rented loft space

This is the kind of home that both inspires me and makes me feel like a failure in my procrastinating nature when it comes to all the home projects of my own in need of completion. Although it makes me feel slightly better that the article says it took three years for them to build it out. Slightly better.

How great are those globes up there?

How great are those globes up there?

The couple is Shauna Alterio and Stephen Loidolt, who have been married for 9 years and have their own business, fashioning “objets d’art” that they sell at outlets and on Etsy. (He bought her this swing for Valentine’s Day, which just makes me swoon. Not only because of the sentiment but, hi, they have a porch swing inside their home!)

Alterio and Loidolt

Alterio and Loidolt

These two exemplify one of my deep rooted beliefs when it comes to your home: it doesn’t matter if you live in a rental. It’s so important to make it your own and transform it into an environment that represents your personality. Having a signed lease and a landlord has never really stopped me from painting my walls crazy colors, putting up murals, or taking it upon myself to swap out window fixtures. Most things can be taken down or painted over, so why not enjoy it while you’re there? The couple has a welcome mat that says “home sweet rental”. My sentiments exactly.

some great organizational details

some great organizational details

The article closes saying that Alterio and Loidolt anticipate feeling the itch to move. Hmmm….I HAVE always enjoyed a good Philly cheese steak.

Note: photos courtesy of Something’s Hiding In Here on Flickr.