Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Wish You Were Here...

Phew! We're finally back on the grid!

With only a couple precious days unofficially left of the summer, Chris and I have been doing our best to live it up. I swear, I think we've done more in the last couple of weeks than we've done in the seven years that we've lived in New England.  So just a few days before Irene hit, we packed a bag with our swimsuits and headed out to spend the day on Block Island.
 Block Island is a 30 minute ferry ride on the Hi-Speed Ferry from Point Judith, RI.
 There's such a cute main drag right off the dock where the ferry dropped us off.

 We saw lots of examples of Second Empire Victorians.

Many of the restaurants have sweeping front porches with views of the ocean.
 There's a beach club on the island where you can rent beach chairs and an umbrella for the day at their private beach. It has a bar, live music, and beach wait-service. The vibe there was 30% yuppie New Englander, 70% MTV Jams, but Chris and I have just enough Jersey Shore in us to enjoy a fruity cocktail at the bar. How could you not with a view like this one?

Seriously, does it get any more classic New England than this???

Sigh...already can't wait to go back.

Friday, August 26, 2011


A couple of years ago, I visited my friend while she was in the process of cleaning out her husband's family summer home, where I found Mr. Elephant in a pile destined for Goodwill. He was missing a tusk and glazed a dated shade of gray. So I rescued him, took him home, and spray painted him to a perfectly lovely & updated glossy white.
But now I'm kind of over the whole glossy white animal movement. Time for another makeover, Mr. Elephant.
My inspiration:

My original plan was to try my hand at gold leafing, but when I saw what Annie over at Hello Newman's did to her old chandelier with only 30 minutes a $4 tube of Rub-n-Buff I decided to take that route instead.

 I just rubbed him down with the stuff.

Before long, Mr. Elephant was almost gold and so was my finger. (I swear! The instructions on the package actually say to use your finger!)

 I'm pretty sure all these bumps weren't supposed to happen, but I don't mind. Mr. Elephant was free and my materials were only $3.99. Most of them went away after I gave him a good buffing. But if I ever use Rub-n-Buff on something more precious, I'll buff as I go instead of stopping halfway through to go have lunch and watch a dvr'd episode of the Real Housewives. Or maybe I should have done a better job of dusting him off first. Oops.
 And now, let me introduce Mr. Elephant Fancypants.
Look at him all proud and smiling :)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

How Do You Sleep At Night?

When Chris and I lived in our old house, we couldn't fit a King size bed in our bedroom. We didn't think anything of it until we put our house on the market and it seemed like EVERY potential buyer had a King size bed they weren't willing to give up.
 Our poor bedroom was so small in our old house, that we couldn't even stand far enough away from the bed to get it all in the same shot! It is a wonder how we sold that house...

Now that we have the room for a King size bed at Hazard Ave, we've been considering trading up, and I'm curious...

Do you have a King or a Queen size bed?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Family Room Wallpaper

 Remember when Chris and I toured this open house while we were visiting San Francisco? It was covered in grasscloth. As soon as I walked through the door I knew we needed to have grasscloth somewhere in our house. It made this San Francisco home feel so warm, sophisticated, and RICH.
Oh, it was the $2,275,000 asking price that made it feel so rich?
Whatever. It is exactly the feeling I want to have in my Beacon Hill Brownstone Chic family room and I'd like to think that the grasscloth had something to do with that.

So the decision to use grasscloth wallpaper in our family room was a no brainer, but which color? Which texture? Faux or real?

Well, the faux or real question was an easy one. There's actually faux grasscloth on our family room walls now and I hate it. Sure, faux grasscloth has come a long way since the 60's or 70's when ours was probably hung, but unless we were planning to put it in a bathroom where moisture is a factor or in an insanely high traffic area, we'll stick with the real thing.

As for choosing a color and texture, I just had to see for myself.  I ordered some samples and while my parents were in town visiting last week, my Mom and I spent an afternoon picking our favorite.

 Ugh. I can't wait to put that sorry old wallpaper out of its misery...
 And the winner is...
 First one from the top!
It's not too dark, not too light, not to beachy, and not too brown. It has a beautiful spun gold color & texture.

Since we're keeping the bamboo shades and adding white curtains, my Mom wanted to see how that would look. So we hung the sample in our office where that situation is already going on.
 Not bad.

Finally, here's the winner with all the fabrics going in the room.

Are you as excited as I am?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Stick 'Em Up

I have a new paint gun, and I'm not afraid to use it.
Chris built our nephew, Carter, a miniature sized picnic bench for his 1st Birthday using free plans he found online.

The deal was that Chris would build the table and I would paint it and we'd both be able to participate in making Carter's gift.
 I'll be honest with you, I was dreading having to paint all the little gaps and corners.
So it was serendipitous that I read Danielle's post on the subject just before heading out to Home Depot to pick up my paint supplies.  $70 bucks spent on a new sprayer, some bright red exterior paint and I was in business.
 Not only was this the funnest "chore" I've done in a while, but I had the whole thing painted in less than 20 minutes. Maybe it was only 15 minutes. I don't know exactly but it was really speedy.
 It was also really easy to use. The precision of the paint stream was really remarkable. No cloud of paint like you get with a can of spray paint!
and no horrible spray paint fumes.

Easy peasey.
I can't even begin to tell you what a time saver this will be for future Hazardous Design projects!

Eventually Carter will learn that that he's supposed to sit at the table and not stand on it :)

By the way, I'm guest posting today over at Room Rx as part of Cathy's Fresh Fabric Fridays series. My subject? The beautiful, vintagey, outrageous florals of Designer's Guild. Head on over and take a look!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

One Year Ago Today...

We were frantically moving out of our old house and moving into our new home on Hazard Ave.
We've accomplished a lot since we've moved in...

So what do we hope to accomplish in the next year? I suppose you'll just have to stick around and find out :)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Family Room Fabrics

 A family room is one of those spaces that requires a lot of soft furnishings...drapes, sofa and accent chair upholstery, throw pillows, throw blankets, etc. Now, I don't know about most people, but the thought of mixing and matching colors and patterns is quite daunting. I suppose I could just play it safe and stick to all solid fabrics, but that would be so boring!
So I'm cheating. Using Hot House Flowers in Spark as my starting point, I figured I'd use one of it's coordinating fabrics within the same line elsewhere in the room.
Hot House Flowers is a gorgeous fabric, but a little will go a long way. I had originally intended on using it to reupholster the accent chair that I picked up at the Salvation Army, but now I think that the pattern was just too similar in scale to our new rug to use it on something as large as a chair. I think it will be better suited as throw pillows instead. 

I think something a little more geometric (and affordable) will be a better solution for the accent chair. Betwixt, also from Celerie Kremble's line, in charcoal/ecru will go perfectly with the rug and the flannel gray sofa we just purchased.

Throw in some grasscloth wallpaper, these drapes, and some leather pieces, and hopefully we'll have one cohesive and coordinated room when we're done.

By the way, did you know that you can order "trade only" fabrics without going through a designer? I ordered these samples through a website called Designer Fabrics For Less.  Other sites like it are Maddie G Designs and Decorators Best. I don't know about you, but having access to these fabrics has made decorating more fun! 
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