Sunday, November 14, 2010

Closet: Before

The worst part about apartment living? Small closets.

Although, even small spaces can be functional if the space is utilized well. Clearly, our space does not currently fit into that category!

We are on a mission to make this space more functional! We can't turn it into an enormous walk-in closest with ottomans and a bar, but hopefully Mr. B and I will be able to find our favorite jeans by the end of the remodel without the fear of being caught in an avalanche!

My side

Mr. B's side
Stay Tuned for the big reveal!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Oh, the Places We'll Go!

Mr. B and I received our passports in the mail this week and are daydreaming of all the places we'll travel to together. Neither of us has have had a passport before and both feel like we are opening a new chapter of our adult lives and it is so exciting to do it together.

We have been learning Italian off and on for the last year (mostly off, to be completely honest) and Italia will most likely be our first out-of-the-country adventure together (not counting Mexico where we visited several years ago by driving across the border).

Here are some other places that have long been on our "to-go" list:

And for our love of The Truman Show:

Anywhere you have visited that we should put on the list?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Lighting is important. It can set a mood, allows for reading, and the perfect lighting makes everyone look more beautiful. This apartment provided ample opportunity for us to be creative since we can't have overhead lighting in any of the living spaces.

We eagerly set off to find some great lamps and were shocked by the prices of lamps! Since when have lamps gotten so expensive? And you have to buy the lamp and shade separately?? Evidently, we have not kept up on the price point of lighting, sheesh, we were going to have to get crafty.

The struggle we found was finding a pair of lamps. There were beautiful lamps at the thrift stores, but most were flying solo. We found these beauties and even after the cost of rewiring, painting, and bulbs, we were WAY under the retail cost of similar styles.

We found these lamps:

For the bedroom nightstands

For the living room table

We ended up having to buy the shades from Ikea and HomeGoods because we couldn't find any discount ones.

Here are the afters:


Living Room

We are lit!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Clover's New Home

I didn't diy this little house, but someone did and I couldn't resist.

We found it at the Golden West Swap Meet in Huntington Beach, CA for $45 and are in love!

Clover, on the other hand, is ambivalent. Hopefully it will grow on her!

Too cute, right?

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Hollywood Regency Mirror

We needed a mirror for the "entryway" in the new apartment (and I put entryway in quotes because its more like the-space-where-the-front-door-opens, than a traditional "entryway").

I scoured the usual places for a similar look to these inspiration pieces:

And of course, there was the Angelique mirror at Z Gallerie that was so decadent, but so was the 349 dollar price tag!

Luckily, I found one at a swap meet for $8!

Here is the before:

I knew the brassy look had to go! I painted it black, but then we decided to paint our walls a dark granite, so I repainted it white so it would "pop."

And the after!

This look is coming together!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Dessert Party

My sister turned 26 yesterday and we celebrated with a lot of dessert after taking in a great Indian dinner. It was her first birthday in Los Angeles and our first time trying out Pink Orchid bakery.

We splurged on:

Creme Brulee


Red Velvet Cake

Cherry Cake

and Bread Pudding

We enjoyed everything and recommend Pink Orchid bakery to all the West Side LA'ers!

I had also been wanting to try out a recipe that I had seen in Instyle Magazine awhile back and thought T needed a signature cocktail for her big occasion. We made Donatella Arpaia's (@donatellaarpaia) Prosecco and Chambord drink and it was perfect for the celebratory mood we were in! Here is the recipe so if you try it out, let me know how you like it.

T, I hope you have a wonderful year filled with life, love, and laughter!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Movie Prop Sale

Spent some time this weekend rummaging through some old movie/tv props at a "garage" sale. Definitely one of the perks of living in LA!
Found a few fun things to bring home, but there were many treasures that I had to leave behind because they wouldn't fit in the apartment (where is that McMansion when I need it?)

Can't wait to show you the finds and my tinkerings, but here is a few shots of the 5 acre warehouse that I perused:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Decorator Tins

After seeing these great decorator tins on the amazing Dollar Store Crafts blog, I wanted them for my house!

I set to work finding some tins I already had in the house and found these from Ikea:

I spray painted the tins and then tried to use the stencil provided, but I couldn't get as good of a result as I wanted. I ended up free-handing the letters and numbers which doesn't look quite as glamorous as the inspiration photo, but sometimes one has to just let it go....

Here are my final results:

And the tins in their new home:

These tins are great for storage and ours hold crafts and quarters for laundry and no one is the wiser!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Z Gallerie Inspiration

I saw this great piece on an even greater blog, Three Men and a Lady, that she had purchased from Z Gallerie:

I loved the look and the size of the piece and wanted my own!

After hunting my local Z Gallerie and even the (amazing) Z Gallerie outlet outside of LA, I could not find the fabulous yellow and I was not happy with the price of the Mariposa Collection at $99.95.

I wondered if I could use an apothecary jar I found at Ross for $12.99 and go for a similar look.


I used Rust-Oleum Spray Paint:

During Priming:


Its new home. The top shelf is still a work in progress, but it is coming along!

What do you think? Should I do more for my own "mariposa-esque" collection? I have a slightly less ornate apothecary jar that might be next:

Friday, November 5, 2010

Chandelier DIY

I have been wanting a chandelier for a couple years, ever since I became enamored with the Hollywood Regency style and Kelly Wearstler's design of the Viceroy in Santa Monica. But I never could quite figure out where to buy one or how to diy one and I was especially daunted by how hard it might be to install one.

I wanted it to look something like this dining room:

After reading a favorite blog of mine, Style-for-Style, I decided I could do it. I set off to find one and follow her directions and enjoy the glow of my new "classiness".

It honestly took me about 3 months to find an affordable one, I searched all the thrift stores, craigslist, and flea markets in the LA area (and Scottsdale, AZ while visiting) and then when my frustration was at a breaking point....within a week's time, I stumbled on two chandeliers! One was $40 which double what I was hoping to spend, but by that point I just wanted to get my hands on one and get to work. The second one I found was $2 at a garage sale we happened by while driving to an apple picking farm way out in the boonies. I had to buy the second one, it was only $2!

Alas, I now have two and have given them both the same look (maybe I should have done them differently, one black and one white?) but only have space for one. I want to hold on to the second one and put it above my bed once I live somewhere that doesn't have heating coils in the ceiling (don't get me started), but I'm not sure how much longer Mr. B is going to live with a chandelier out on the patio.

Maybe something like this:

Once I got them both home and after spray painting and drying, I hung one of the chandeliers over the dining room table with plenty of help from this video, Mr. B, and T and with only a couple wrong-fuse mistakes.

Overall, it wasn't too hard to take down the previous light fixture and to install the chandelier and I think it will be easy to switch back the original light fixture when we move.

I forgot to take "before" pictures, but let me paint the picture for you.....brass, cobwebby, and lightbulb-less...not a pretty sight.

Here are the afters:

This is the one that is still on the patio :(

During the day:

And my favorite, at night

I am so happy to have followed through on this chandelier project that I have coveted for so long. Thanks to everyone that provided inspiration, tutorials, and help along the way!