Monday, September 26, 2011

Ok, ok I'll be nice and share...

Everywhere I go, people ask me where I bought my earrings, which look strikingly similar to these.

My husband bought them for me at a local store called Gem, but I recently found an etsy store that sells pretty much the exact same style of jewelry as Gem for pretty much the same price point. The store is called TangerineJewelryShop.

Do you know Bart Swindall aka Magnaverde, true master of High and Low?

If you have been blogging or reading blogs for a while, you probably know Magnaverde. Recently looking through my inspiration folder, I came across Magnaverde's Chicago Apartment as feature in O Magazine in 2008.

I haven't been blogging very long, but I have been reading design blogs since 2007, which I think is when they hit the ground running. Correct me if I am wrong.

Anyway, I've always liked to read comments on long time bloggers' blogs like Decorno, and I have stalked That Homesite for like ever. Magnaverde's comments are always thoughtful and genuinely helpful. A breath of fresh air.

So is, or was, his apartment. (I don't know if he still lives there.) The design was REAL. I can't remember where I read this, but a while back he tried the all neutral, beige trend. However, after a while, he was honest enough with himself to realize that he couldn't keep up with the neutral look. By the way, Bart custom fit the white slipcover to his sofa using store bought SureFit slipcovers. Brilliant and cheap!
Anyway, let me just preface this with saying that I still love neutrals and whites and grays, but I so appreciate his ability to fearlessly add color to his surroundings. He proves that colors don't clash, they all "match," they all work.

He attributes his audacity when it comes to color to simply being on a budget, buying second hand, and dealing with the upholstery the pieces already have. I think he's being humble. He clearly has a good eye and buys carefully. He invests in pieces that stand the test of time, whether that means that he purchases them or finds them for free and modifies them into what he wants. Either way, it's admirable. Taking your time in decorating your home and avoiding the impulse to fill that empty space with whatever the big box is offering on sale is certainly a virtue in my book. The temptation to fill empty space with whatever is easy is too great.

Bart Swindall has mastered that virtue. When his Chicago apartment appeared in O Magazine back in 2008, the article stated that "Swindall repurposed styrofoam packing blocks and slide carousel boxes (painted black) to serve as pedestals for his lamps." Seriously genius. I mean really. Look at that photo below. Does that look like styrofoam?

As for the lamps, he found them at a thrift store and spray painted them black and gold.

Bart created the bookcase below by attaching a vintage door frame to a steel bookcase.

He also dipped an antique table in plaster (it's reversible). Maybe as an ode to John Dickinson?

Below is Bart's apartment sans the white/neutral look.

You can't see it in the photo below, but I believe that in the dining room, Bart had a chandelier he made out of shower curtain rings and a plastic grocery store tray. Apparently, he hung it to figure out scale of a future light fixture only to have it stay there for a year, grow on him, and find a permanent home. Talk about mixing high and low...Apparently it hung there 4 feet away from an antique Roman marbelized urn probably worth God knows what....Ha! A risk taker no doubt is that Mr. Swindall...

When I found these pictures in my inspiration folder I realized how timely it was that this article ran in O Magazine in mid 2008, when we were on the brink of the economic collapse. Either it was a coincidence or the writers at O are psychic. Either way, it was wonderful to see how an apartment that looks so pulled together, so classic, and exhibits such confidence, is the result of a lot of thrifting, antiquing, ingenuity, and a sense of humor. You don't have to spend a fortune to have a nice place full of life.

Sure Bart Swindall is a historian, and the nod to history is obvious in his apartment, but it's not a serious home. It's a home with a sense of humor. The plastic shower curtain ring and tray chandelier, plastered table, styrofoam stands, and lastly, a vinyl ball he bought from the toy aisle placed on a bronze tripod making it look like it was a rare work of glass art. Who woulda thunk it? About that last one, the vinyl ball, I remember reading on gardenweb that when kids would go to Bart's house, they would recognize the ball for what it was straight away. They would reach for it to play with it, as their parents gasped thinking they were about to break a relic.

So with all that said, I started to wonder about my own place. Had I taken any risks? Did my home have a sense of humor? Was it a combination of things that we loved, a combination of high and low, ingenuity, work, and a sense of humor? My home is still a work in progress, but I hope someday it is just that.


I love when I find designers unloading their stuff on craigslist. Here's one find that I am thinking lots about...I am trying not to spend money, but this print is soo me.

Robert O. Hodgell Signed Woodcut Print

Titled "The Flood" $125

This work of art is a man who seems to be drowning in his words/thoughts. It's so relatable.

And if you are wondering who the designer(s) who are selling this print is/are, well let's take a looksy. They are Sean Cowan and Eric Silverstrim. They were both living in New York until fairly recently when they moved to the Edgewater neighborhood of Chicago. Their apartment is simply smashing.

Their apartment was featured on Tate's blog, Strange Closets as well as on Chicago Home

So, the moral of the story is, if you haven't already, get thee to Craigslist asap!


Love these! Sometimes I like things that are slightly dark and twisty...Get them here.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

From the corners of my universe...

I am sorry I have been gone so long. I was terribly sick last week, and this week I have been playing the wonderful game that is catch-up.

Anyway, I was looking through my iphone pics and saw all sorts of awesome images that I've saved as of late....Thought I'd share some.

Faceted hardware...WHAT?!? You need these. I need these. It's for the greater good. They are not in mass production yet, but you can follow along designer Jessica Ahnert Davis of Nest Eagle Rock's blog to find out where you can buy them once they are.

First, Veranda Magazine's House of Windsor. If you haven't heard, Veranda got her groove back. For a while there, Veranda was not one of my favorite magazines. But ever since Dara Caponigro (one of the founders of the now defunct Domino Magazine) was named editor-in-chief, the magazine has been sprinkled with nothing but fabulousity across it's glossy pages.

Veranda's involvement with House of Windsor is no exception. House of Windsor is a concept house that is the brain child of none other than genius designer Windsor Smith with the collaboration of design heavy weights such as Peter Dunham, Martyn Lawrence Bullard, Tara Shaw, to name a few. The goal behind this house was to create a home that responds "through architecture, design and intent—to the demands of the modern family" and is also "beautiful to inhabit."

Take a peek at some of the rooms I saved on my phone as I browsed the House of Windsor page.

I've been obsessed with this tortoise shell like lamp by Robert Abbey for a while. Apartment Therapy rekindled my love for it just other day with this post. Get it here.

I hope you are having a wonderful Thursday morning!!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

accessories / pillow

Bordeaux Stallion Decoupage Glass Tray Decoupage Gifts - Gifts Misc at...

Bay with Groom Decoupage Glass Tray Decoupage Gifts - Gifts Misc at...

Cotton List Platter - For The House - Gifts


Faux Python Tray - medium

RECTANGULAR HORN TRAY | tabletop | accessories | Jayson Home

accessories / preserved moss spheres


Antique Asian Furniture: Altar or Sofa Table from Shanxi Province,...

Friday, September 16, 2011

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Another Living Room with the same Schumacher Camberwell Vase fabric

Again, sorry it's spilling over into the archives list... :(
I am still working on getting a new and prettier blog format, so bear with me till then...

Like I said earlier, I am falling in love with this fabric all over again lately, and I decided to come up with a couple of mock ups using the same fabric in the same colorway.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Alessandra Branca is having a sale...Let's go shopping!

So, Branca is having a sale, and I pretty much want 2 of everything. Let me show you my faves.....