Archive for July, 2012

Window Shopping: Beachy Shops & Thrift Stores

Last week I promised a post about all the window shopping slash actual shopping that we did during our week at the beach with the fam. And that includes the two items we actually purchased: the whale sign for Clara’s room (made from wood, a five year anniversary material)…

… and the thrift store basket that I’d love to turn into a hanging pendant somewhere in our house (more on those items here).

But I owe you guys the rest of the eye candy that we perused, so here we go. As we mentioned, we stopped at the Ole Sale Barn in Maryland where we found the L-turned-7 in our office last Labor Day. And that’s where I picked up my little basket-soon-to-be-turned-light.

Here’s what it looks like inside. Chaos. But the fun kind of chaos that you can’t wait to root through.

I also spotted this giant metal grate outside that I thought would be an awesome “top” for an outdoor table. Picture it on top of a big ceramic planter. That would be a killer side table, right? Just use some heavy duty adhesive to glue it in place along the top lip of the planter.

Of course this is also the home of Beyoncé the chicken (and her subsequent children). More on that here.

There were other questionable discoveries there, like this little blast from the past. Yes, I totally had about 25 of them standing on all of the windowsills in my bedroom growing up (for so long that the back of their hair got bleached white from the sun). Guilty as charged.

There were these fun guys too. I love the idea of using things like this for towel bars in a bathroom…

… like we did a while back in our hall bath with a $7 thrift store horse we picked up:

There were also amazingly gorgeous architectural items. Like these awesomely ornate wood panels, screens, windows, etc. Super cool.

I also loved these little two dollar gold plates because I kept picturing them hung on the wall in a big grouping. There were about 7 of them and I just kept picturing a swarm of them hung with plate holders on the wall in an asymmetrical collection. Could be cute, right?

Then we made our way over to Beach Plum Antiques in Bethany, which is always a favorite stop (we’ve mentioned it a bunch of times here and here).

This time my favorite find was this $85 bench. In case it’s not obvious, it was super long. As in, twice as long as a normal solid wood bench that might cost around $199 at a big box store. I totally pictured it up on our porch painted a dark matte black color. But alas, it didn’t fit in the Altima. Haha. Here’s hoping someone else took him home…

I also was in love with this chunky wood based floor lamp. The stitched rectangular shade felt so “authentic” – like it was right out of Dwell magazine. It was already sold, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t stand there and stroke it for a while.

These old suitcases were also pretty darn charming. Especially the pairing of the reddish leather one with the nubby linen-ish brown striped one in front. I like that he looked like he was wearing suspenders.

This giant metal pig also could have been fun as random art (picture his entire body painted bright yellow to cheer up an office, or even coated with chalkboard paint and hung in a kitchen as a place to write notes and lists and stuff).

Then there was this house. We biked by it and I thought it was so sweet I had to snap a photo. I love the bright white trim and the navy door (this picture doesn’t do it justice).

We also made it to Mod Cottage in Rehoboth, which is where we got Clara’s wood whale sign for the frame wall in her room. It should also be known as the place Sherry tried to convince John that our kitchen needed at least eight colorful gurgle pots on the floating shelves. John didn’t go for it. Total fun hater.

But in his defense we do have one small yellow one already. So I’m not completely gurgle-pot-less.

These pretty vases were so sculptural and geometric. We were hypnotized by their beauty.

And this giant beachy print was, in the words of Justin Bieber: swag, swag, swag. I wanted it bad but it was out of our budget. Maybe someday it can serve as inspiration for a little DIY watercolor painting though.

This is just a picture of John holding a pillow with a chihuahua on it…

… which is funny because the last time we were in this store (over two years ago when I was still prego with Clara), we snapped this picture of John holding a pillow with a chihuahua on it (more on that excursion here):

That, my friends, is called Full Circle Chihuahua Pillow Blogging.

Oh and I also loved these cool woven plates that were hung on the wall. I totally felt inspired to dig up some cheap woven platters at a place like HomeGoods and paint them matte white with a pop of color in the middle. So pretty, right?

These lights hung over the cash register and while John said they “weren’t his thing” I thought they were playful and charming. A nice little splash of quirk for the sliding-your-credit-card experience.

We also stopped at a shop in Rehoboth called Bella Luna (which we stopped at over a year ago as well), which is where I fell in love with these pretty scarves (wouldn’t they be sweet table runners, pillows, or even fun cafe curtains for a kitchen? so breezy!).

They also had these fun faux animal heads that had a lot of personality. Especially when they were hung together. We voted the deer one as our favorite since he has “a Burger face” as we like to call it.

They also had this gorgeous mirror. It was around $300, so it wasn’t cheap, but it was mesmerizing. And see the ceiling? I liked that. It was soft wide plank wood with big white chunky beams breaking it up. It was very beachy but not as common as something like beadboard might have been up there, so I liked that it was a little more unexpected.

There was also this really pretty bird art. We loved the green one in the top left (he had a long skinny beak like some sort of sandpiper). Looking back at this shot I’m sad that we left without him. Oh well, next time…

This is also where we instagrammed a shot of the scrabble mugs. So much fun (and such a great, easy personalized gift- especially if you fill them with the person’s favorite candy, makeup, gift cards, etc). I totally should have grabbed one for a friend of mine and filled it with her favorite thing ever (bold and inexpensive bottles of nail polish).

On the way home we also stopped at this random thrift store about 45 minutes out of Bethany off of Rt 113 (yes, I randomly scream “stop the car!” and John dramatically pulls into the parking lot and I hop out to explore).

It was pretty small, but had some fun things hidden among the piles. Isn’t that chair and ottoman combo totally Emily Henderson-ish. She would reupholster those bad boys in charcoal or emerald or navy and they would be to. die. for.

I also liked this pretty green glass container (might be sweet on a kitchen counter full of flour or sugar).

And these trays. Can’t you picture them hung in a grouping on the wall? The black owl one (with the owl in the same tone as the other two frames) sealed the deal that someone should totally buy all three of these and use them together somehow. Hope they’ve already been adopted en masse (let’s just say I put them back on the shelves in a group in the hopes that someone else would snatch them up that way).

And so ends our latest window shopping slash thrift store spree. Part of me is sad that we only returned home with Clara’s wooden whale and the basket-to-be-turned-light, but most of me is relieved since it means we didn’t spend too much (leaving the chance that more thrift store goodies could come home with me in the coming months…). What have you guys been loving lately while window shopping? When you go on vacation do you try to stop at a few places on the way in, during your stay, and on the way out? Have you found any cute things?



Getting Moody In The Bedroom

The deed is done! Rockport Gray is all up in this hizzy.

We love how much more things like the extra thick crown molding and the trim around the doors and windows pops now that the color is deeper and more… sleepy? Can you describe a bedroom color that way? In love.

It’s such a mutating color. Sometimes it looks lighter and grayer.

And sometimes it looks moodier and more mocha.

We think it looks especially good with our cheap-o Ikea curtains (Vivan panels for $9 a pop) and other crisp white things, like this old side table from our first house’s den and the white lamp shade on our floor lamp.

So yeah, we likey the new vibe in the bedroom.

Basically the room looked kind of soft and sweet with the light gray-blue walls before

… but they were kinda similar to the walls in our first house’s bedroom (which we did love, but after 4.5 years with it we thought it would be fun to try something different).

It also felt a little too blue when you factored in the blue in the rug, the headboard fabric, etc. We just wanted something with a little more oomph. See how these side by side shots show how much more the molding and the fabric on the headboard pops? Now they stand out and say I am molding/headboard, hear me roar.

These vertical images might help you see the molding effect more easily (since they’re not as small). Doesn’t the trim almost look like it has been beefed up and whitened in the picture on the right? It’s all thanks to the contrast that the deeper and less airy color brings. Seriously, I didn’t repaint the molding or anything.

As for the process, we basically spackled any nail holes that we weren’t going to be using anymore (like the ones that used to hold the art up over the bed when it was on the other wall) and then sanded them so they were smooth.

Then we moved a lot of stuff out of the room, and covered the remaining furnishings that we pushed into the center of the room with plastic drop cloths):

We taped off the crown molding too (since on a step ladder I’m less steady handed). But I can freehand all the trim around the windows, doors, baseboards, and outlets without tape – so that saves us time and tape.

It’s amazing what an instant difference the new paint on the wall was. But it took us about five or six hours of prep/painting to get to that point. It’s a big room (16 x 16′) and we were also painting the entire sink nook (which is like another small room that’s attached with tons of windows and doorways to cut in around). So we just put on some music and got down to business. Painting business. Not funny business.

There was some of this (I’m the cutter-inner in the family and John is the roller):

And some of this (we actually painted the ceiling above the sink nook a color for the book photoshoots back in January, so we finally got to repaint it back to white while we were doing the walls):

As we mentioned, the room is 16 x 16′ – and we actually used less than a gallon of paint for this entire paint job (including the sink nook). Maybe around 2/3rds of one? Benjamin Moore paint (this was Rockport Gray in their Natura base, which is VOC free) has great coverage, so when we used Olympic to paint this room for the first time we used the whole gallon since we needed two full coats, but this time we only needed one coat and a few touch ups as a second coat instead of a full second application. Oh and we went with an eggshell finish for anyone wondering (it’s nice and matte but still a bit more durable and wipe-able than flat paint would have been).

There was still the same amount of house chaos even though we only needed one coat of paint this time. Because of course when you paint a room, at least one other room looks like complete insanity since all of the stuff from the room that you’re painting gets dumped in there. Like our living room in this case:

For those wondering where Clara was, her grandparents graciously offered to take her to the playground, lunch, and the library while we got this done. So thankful! We’ve definitely painted rooms while she napped and it has worked (like the bedroom when we painted it the first time) but it’s usually just a lot more choppy because we both work hard for the two-ish hours that she naps and then one of us has to watch her while the other one works (ex: I continue to cut in while John watches Clara after she wakes up) and then we switch (I watch her while he rolls).

And since you know we like to move faster than Edward The Vampire play around with time lapse stuff, we even shot this video, where we condensed our day of work down to two minutes:

Here was our little setup to catch the process on our laptop’s camera (which has a longer battery life when plugged in than our Flip HD, which can only record for an hour). Oh yes, we’re high tech around here. There was ottoman on side table action (we used iMovie to make the video, which comes free with most Macs and has easy settings to speed things up):

So whoop, there it is. Darker, moodier paint that makes us wanna sleep. Haha. And kinda makes us want to paint a whole lot of other rooms in darker tones since it’s amazing how much more substantial the molding looks. But when we stop to think about it, ultimately we like the balance in the whole house’s current palette, which consists of:

Should be fun to see what colors we end up with in the completely untouched sunroom, playroom, hall bathroom, and guest bathroom though. In the meantime, what are you guys painting? Anyone diving into darker colors? Or lightening up with something soft? Feel free to name your favorite wall color of all time – it’s always interesting to hear what you guys are loving.