Monday, May 31, 2010


Good Morning and a bright, sunny and very happy holiday to all of you Nesters out there!
You may remember this post I wrote about a yellow poster that boasts a bold L-0-V-E, love.  Well as promised, good ol' Daddio dropped off my prints a couple weeks back and I just now found the right frame for it.  As soon as I did, I couldn't help but speed home to hang it.

I bought the frame from Michael's {on sale!} bundled with this cute silver lined mat. I love the way it adds a little definition between the mat and the image.  As soon as it was in the frame I busted out my hammer and hung it over my cutie little cafe set in the kitchen.

But don't you worry your pretty head, I've got another little project in the works that will accompany this lonely looking art.  Stay tuned for that addition later today!

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Soap 'n' Bubbles

Hey Nesters!  My sister-from-another-mister, Ashly over at Moon Walk wrote a blog post inspired by our fave gal, Martha, and about keeping your kitchen lookin' cool even with all the mandatory cleaning supplies in plain view.  As Ashly posted, Martha was sick of the ugly dish soap plastic container and decided to think outside the bottle.  So why not decant your pretty colored soap into an oil bottle for all to see?

Well I took this idea and ran with it! Check out my lovely new kitchen addition.

I picked up this ribbed glass oil decanter from TJ Maxx for a whopping $4.99. Now check out what it looks like with my over the sink addition that I posted about yesterday.

Not too shabby, huh? 

I have also fallen in love with this soap dispenser from Target.

They have it in a green or a blue tinted glass in stores. I am dying for it in the green tinted glass but right now I just can't stand the thought of paying $12.99 for a soap dispenser.  Does that seem outrageous to anyone else?! Sheesh! Maybe I'm just a cheapo? 

Well when all is together I'll give you an updated shot of the vintage inspired sink area.  After all, if you're going to be doing dishes, you might as well enjoy the space, right?

Saturday, May 29, 2010

The View from the Sink

Good Morning Nesters! One of the first things I noticed about this apartment {but was in no way a deterrent} was this really awkward, ugly space over the kitchen sink.

Isn't it atrocious!? I know, I know... I was stumped at first too!  It was too short to hold any dish soap, and I didn't want to put the sponge up there.  Wood and wet sponges don't mix all that well.

And then something dawned on me. I had these four, multicolored faux French vintage canvas wall hangings that I used to have in my old bathroom.  I got the lot of them from The Christmas Tree Shops for $7.99.  So I retired two and took only the green and yellow ones to keep with the color theme and I was in luck! They fit perfectly!

They just tucked right into those two little panels that were so unsightly with water damage. But the shelf still looked a tiny bit empty.  So I added my hand-me-down marble rolling pin that my Grandma gave me.

The rolling pin does triple duty of holding the prints in place, adding a little culinary flair and also easy access when I bake! Does it get any better than that?

What do you think? Do any of you have an awkward space that you've changed it's function or at least made it look pretty? I want to see! Send your pictures over to and maybe you'll see a blog entry about you!

Friday, May 28, 2010

A Zen Bedroom

Hey Nesters! Today I've got something a little different for you.  We are venturing from our makeshift nests over to my friends new Birdhouse. (Ok, ok... enough with the analogy...)  My friend and former fellow Nicole Miller intern, Perrine, and her twin sister Phoebe just bought their first condo in San Fransisco.  I was so flattered when she asked me for advice in decorating her new blank slate.  What a better place to be hunting for cool furniture than the heartily-design-infused San Francisco?!  There are cool vintage shops and boutiques on every street corner!!!  I think I just got a little faint thinking about the amount of money I could {and would} spend in that city.

{everywhere you look, there's a heart that's here to hold on to...}

 As soon as she closed on the condo, Perrine picked up Domino, the book by the creators of the home decorating magazine, Domino. It has brilliant photographs and helpful tips on how to best make your home exactly what you envision it to be.

Perrine has specified a few things that she likes and I've started by doing a little googling. The first thing she said was that she wanted it to be serene and calming and the color she wanted to use to achieve that was a light blue. Perfect. And after a few photo exchanges we figured out she likes a more mid century look with clean lines and darker wood stains but also with a hint of romanticism. She's a girl that loves a little bit of over-the-top/glam, so we want a chandelier in there.  {This is one of those things that as a restricted renter, I wish I could do... *sigh*}

This is the first image that really struck a cord with me...

The art depicting the geese flocking overhead felt so peaceful to me and all the different fabrics juxtaposed in one space makes it look so lush.  But Perrine immediately said she wasn't loving the tufted headboard. Not a problem. Wooden headboard it is.

I fear that this might be a bit too classical for Perrine. As we had discussed, dark wood is our target. But the mirror and molding on the soft blue walls and the simple white linens with blue quilt would be a great fit in a her room.

This room has comfortable written all over it! The {what looks like} chenille armchair and the down comforter piled high on the canopy bed looks like a pool full of feathers, that I am ready to jump into like George McDuck! But somehow this is just a bit too New England cottage for what Perrine is looking for. Let the search keep going.

This is it.

The chandelier that is subtle and chic, above the sensational pull-tab dresser that has the perfect darker stain but not too dark to blend in with the hardwood floors. The wall color is the perfect icy blue.  Again the armchairs with throws that are infinitely inviting.  This room has so much light, as does Perrine's and I think we have found our perfect inspirational space to start really working off of.

What do you think, Nesters? What do you want your space to be like? Serene and calming- with hues of blue? Fun and funky- Go ahead and use every color in the rainbow!? Or Sweet and Cozy- pink and white all over! Or what about a forest green- keeping it masculine?  Inquiring minds what to know!

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Dish Towel Dilemma

To me, a kitchen is a work den. Its not a place that's going to be pristine all the time. It's bound to be covered in flour when baking cookies, or tomato sauce splatter when its been simmering for hours. That's just the way it goes. And the same goes for all my kitchen towels. Most of them are bruised and beat up and have been through the ringer and back.  Like a boxer... only for cleaning. They have accidental bleach marks and gunk encrusted in them so far that no matter how many times you wash, you'll still find a trace of it. Ratz! In my prolific interwebs prowling, I started searching for new kitchen towels. I want them to be cute but not too cute, have good absorbency, but not anything crazy scientific and to either be yellow, orange or a hint of red. Despite the plethora of dish towels on the World Wide Web, I have come up empty handed!  How disappointing!

In the meantime I did see some awfully cute ones on Etsy.

Since I came up short, I've decided that I'm going to try my hand at making my own kitchen towels. It should be as simple as sewing a plain terrycloth towel to a cute piece of cotton calico. That way, I will have the absorbency of the terrycloth and the cuteness of the cotton print.

Stay tuned to see how this project unravels!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Da Search for Damask

You've already seen a picture of my sterile bedroom that is in some dire need of TLC.

While its a good start, it's undoubtedly lack-luster. 

 After some thought and deliberation of how to bridge the gap over the headboard.  I am on the hunt for some Damask wallpaper to hang behind my headboard.  I had considered a mirror, hanging the Almond blossoms art from my prior apartment, or perhaps even keeping it bare. 

But none of those options truly ticked my fancy. I was discouraged when I thought back to what my realtor, Jeanne, proclaimed, "No paint, no wallpaper or wallpaper borders!" While I can fully understand why this would be problematic as a landlord, I have a plan up my sleeve to adhere the wallpaper without ruining the walls. Stay tuned for the execution of that project!

{My ultra-swoon-worthy inspiration images}

Don't they almost make you want to weep like a small child? 
Oh... {sigh} ...what I wouldn't give for infinite amounts of money and space. 

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

A little more coffee talk...

If you walk into my new apartment there is one major puzzle piece missing: the coffee table.
I know, I know... I've already gone over coffee tables in this post, you probably thought I already had this one from World Market:

But I keep having second thoughts about it!  Do you ever have those moments? Where you find that piece of furniture {or clothing} that is perfect, but you just quite can't get yourself to commit to buy it because there might be something better out there? Well, I had one of those moments. I just know that I can do something so much more fun and interesting than buying a plain ol' coffee table. Or if I do just go the traditional route of purchasing, I want to see it in person first. There's nothing worse than making a big investment and being unhappy when you receive it.

So, now I'm at a stalemate with myself.
I've found a few other inspirational pieces (ie: too expensive so I'm looking for something like it but cheaper)...

I think the thing that keeps me from investing in one of these fabu occasion tables, is knowing the insane bargains I got on the cedar chest {$35} and on the night stand {$2} and I'm holding out for that perfect DIY yard sale find. This weekend's nice weather will surely call for some erratic driving and pulling over at lightning speed.

So I'm right back to where I started: sans coffee table. *sigh* C'est la vie. I will surely find the right piece eventually... at the right yard sale.

Monday, May 24, 2010

One Night Stand

Heya Nesters! I am back with you to bring you the final reveal of my two dollar yard sale nightstand! When I picked it up, it was already primed just waiting for some spray paint.

Not too shabby, eh? So I added about 3 even coats of hi-gloss white by Krylon. Between each coat I let it sit for about 24 hours. I did add one last good coat to the top to make sure that it was a smooth, solid surface, ready to put up with whatever I toss at it... literally and figuratively. And now it's being put to good use....

It's perfect to hold my bedside knitting or my most recent read.

Doesn't the mismatched nightstand duo look adorable?
The bedroom is still a work in progress, but this is a good start!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

The Hall of Frames Part II

Hey there Nesters! Well, this weekend flew by with some wedding-attendee-madness and I missed you all yesterday! But let me catch you up a little further on what has been going on in my neck of the woods! 

You already saw my workspace on Friday.
My next undertaking was a wall frame collage.  It hangs over a mid-century, vintage dresser that I inherited from my mom.  It was hers when she was a kid and we painted silver when I was in high school.  We were doing DIY projects even then!  Now it is the secret encasing for all my art supplies and it is busting at the seams! 

So, remember this post, when I gushed about my love for this Red Envelope Wall Frame? Well, I didn't quite go that route and hang them from the rod... I decided to go with the independently hanging, asymmetrical frame collage.  I started with an image of my grandfather standing on a table singing and just went from there.

Many people suggest using painters tape to map out how you want your frames to lay before you start banging holes in your wall.  I, on the other hand, did not go that route. I laid out all my images {which were for the most part all black and white images in black frames} on the dresser. I picked and chose and built up and out in a random pattern but so it still looked equally visually weighted. 

I tried to keep in mind the placement of the artifacts that would be housed on top of the dresser as well.  I knew I wanted my Grandmothers milk maid to keep her home on the right hand corner of the dresser, so I left the bottom right corner of the collage a little more empty. 

It's still a work in progress. I'd like it to grow and morph as times goes on. But mostly, I'd love to cover that eyesore or the fuse box that you can see above the bouquet of flowers.  {NB: Best $4 investment from the grocery store ever! There is nothing more homey-feeling than fresh flowers! And they are in a $10 glass pitcher from The Christmas Tree Shop. Did I mention I love bargains?}

Hope you like it! 
Stay tuned for tons of up coming project reveals!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Office Space

Heya Nesters! I'm gonna go ahead and ask you to come in on Saturday.  Just kidding!  Office Space anyone?
Enough movie references... I'm back with you today to show you my newly assembled, Hollywood-inspired workspace.

The desk itself has been with me since high school if not before then. Its a solid {NB: heavy!} slab of wood that my dad DIY'd by screwing a few metal legs onto.  Personally, I'm not a huge fan of the color of the wood, so you may be seeing a staining project coming up soon! And of course, you recognize Buttercup, don't you?  I also plan on replacing this bookshelf and its partner in crime which is on the other side of the room. I think I'd like something a little more substantial. {Don't you worry your pretty little head, of course I'll take you with me on that search!}  I took a square vase that I had sitting unused on my shelf and filled it with all my illustration markers. It will make it easy for me to find the color I want and I think it looks so fun!

My parents both went to art school so much of the art we all have in our homes were not bought. The centerpiece of the desk is a lavender silkscreen on silver metallic paper of 1930's Hollywood starlet, Greta Garbo. My faux Uncle Michael {my parents good friend from art school} designed and squeegeed it himself back in their hay-day.  This is and always will be one of my favorite pieces. The wall sconce, on the other hand, was an old purchase from Urban Outfitters that I was ready to sell on Craigslist until I realized this would be the perfect place for it.  Low and behold, I love the way this came together.

 For a short while after college, I waitressed at a restaurant that shared a back alley with the Gap and it happened to be just after their Audrey Hepburn inspired pants stopped being advertised. While walking out one night, I noticed these plastic rolls of images of Audrey herself sitting on the stairs, waiting to be chucked. I couldn't bear to see that! So I took these 2 strips with me and they have been displayed for all to see ever since. They come with me everywhere.  Don't you love them too?

So that's it! What do you think? Success on redesign numero uno?

Thursday, May 20, 2010


Hello Nesters!  I promised you pictures of the highly hyped new apartment and now is the time! I've talked a whole lot about organization and I boast that this can be one of my fortes'.  I am weary of showing you my scary, scary apartment when it was mid-move, but here goes:

Here's a shot of the front door to the apartment and all the junk I dropped as soon as I walked in. 

And this is a peek at the entrance to the kitchen from the living room. Opposite the white linen cabinet is the very beige bathroom which I will be showing you soon.

Oh look! Its my little jam packed kitchen! If I had to share this kitchen with someone else, there would be an issue because I did a really good job at filling every single cabinet! Another little treat with this apartment is that the stove and fridge are brand-spankin-new. YAY! {still not gas.... but what can you do}

In the bedroom, I tested out layering the same Ikea Wilma curtains I used to have in my old bedroom with the Ikea Sarita curtains that used call the office "home".  I had high hopes for this layering effect with the white and blue but I was terribly disappointed and took them down shortly after this photo was taken. What can I say, it's a work in progress. 

Stay tuned tomorrow for pictures of the house cleaned up and with some initial decorating in play!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Clean slate

Often times I get frustrated that despite my love for design, that my home looks haphazardly slapped together. The combination of crazy mismatched art and messy bookshelves that makes it feel jam packed and I can't help but feel a sense of chaos.

I love organization and having everything in its right place. This tends to lend itself to a sense of calm. And I just need a liiittle calm.  {sigh}
So I had a minor epiphany and here's the issue:

A.) I used to have roommates and when 2 (or more) peoples' belongings combine... there's always an overabundance of something. Usually it's "art" and kitchen utensils. When you're buyin' 'em you think to yourself "you can never have too many options!" And now you have 30 pasta spoons and 15 posters that are somehow involving Marilyn Monroe.

B.) I am a sentimental sap. I keep all the books, post cards, vases or the tchatchki's that I've been given by loved ones.  I just don't have the heart to throw them out.  --Told you I was a sap.

But I've got an opportunity here... a totally clean slate! I want to make it into a serene, well manicured home so that when I cross over the threshold, I leave the days' stress behind me. Remember how I used to feel about my old bedroom? Well I want to feel that way- only better- about this entire apartment.


I want to apologize to you Nesters out there, I want to post pictures of my new place for you but my home computer has been having some technical difficulties uploading pictures. It will be straightened out shortly and you will get to see the whole shebang!

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Green Dahlia

Heya Nesters, I just had to come to you with a quick post of some great furniture I came across on I've always got entertaining on the brain, namely: serving people food. So when I stumbled across this gorgeous chair I couldn't help but imagine a whole modern dining room and chic gourmet meal displayed for all to see.

Isn't it breathtaking?  Its called the Dahlia Chair and it will run you around a hundred bucks each and they come in white and black as well. They're super modern but its interesting and feminine and inviting.  Now, to me this screams "head of the table" and you don't want to spoil the special-ocity of this chair so I would only pick up two and then pair them with simple, clean lined and cheap Modern Stacking Chairs.

And get this... they're only $70 a pair! So this can allow you to buy the two head-of-the-table chairs at a little higher price if you can get four additional chairs for only $140. And lets be real... the green Dahlia chair would look phenomenal sat next to either one of these colors. (Espresso or White.)

Now you cant have dining chairs without a table! This is the tough part- the table.  Sometimes pairing modern with more modern can look a liiiiittle wacky....


And sometimes you can get away with pairing it with a really rustic table...

{I am in love with this whole set up}

But I think for these chairs we need something that is classic and modern at the same time.... perhaps something like this...

It has the shape of an old farmhouse table that you would find in so many New England homes with an nod to the wooden Turned-Legged chairs but keeps it ultra modern with the sleek materials that were used. Did you just hear my heart skip a beat? I did.

To finish off the look, add an accent wall of a crazy colored flocked wallpaper to bring in little bit of vintage feel...

Ugh! I would kill for a dining room that I could wallpaper at my liesure! Alas, we are renters so no-can-do. But it was nice to imagine, right?

And to think... this all came from seeing one measly little chair on