30 July 2012

Introducing: Holding Court

Dear readers,

Over the past three months of self-inflicted hiatus, I've missed the dialogue and creativity amongst the blog community. In other words....I'm blogging again but this time with a scope much wider than just decor. While I will remain an apartment decorator at heart, I'd like to share more of my life, travels, and love for art and design with you. 

Please join me over at:

14 May 2012

Blog Hiatus

Hi, all. Thanks so much for reading, commenting, and providing so much support to my passion over the past 5 or so years. It means a lot!

I'm currently taking a hiatus from blogging to focus on life, work, and travel.

I will remain active in other forms of social media during this time, which you can follow me here:

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/court/
Instagram: bigbeigebox

It's been an awesome run. Thanks for your support! xx court and higgins

11 May 2012

Painting 101: Cut through the Tape!

After painting several rooms in my years traveling the country, apartment-hopping, I've sharpened my brush skills. Today I sit before you to say that I've completely abandoned the blue tape and will now only be freehanding my edges.
Last night, I started on a project for a good friend of mine, who just moved to a cute, Upper West Side apartment with some crazy, amazing moulding. She rolled, and I cut in the entire room by hand. Why didn't I use tape? Well, because it's like hiring a maid to clean your house who only does an OK job, leaving you to pre- and post-dust your house. Aha! I got some of you thinking!

Cutting in saves you two steps: One, saving time on the actual taping off part. How many times can you apply, tear off, and reapply the tape because you didn't hit the line of the moulding or wall flush-on and now it's crooked? Two, taping off always results in touch-ups. According to This Old House, " Another problem is bridging. "Latex paints form a skin," says Dixon. "Removing painted tape can tear the skin, resulting in a ragged rather than a sharp line." Lastly, taping takes time. "Learning how to cut in with a brush takes practice, but if you can do it, you'll leave most tapers in the dust," Dixon says. (Cutting in is painting just the surface you want, not the surface adjacent to it — for example, where a wall meets the ceiling.)"  

In the case of my project yesterday, taping off was futile because the condition of the walls. This apartment building was probably 100 years old, with about 15 years of paint accumulating on the walls. Tape, in this case, was worthless in many spots because you couldn't get a flush line due to old paint bumps (despite our best efforts sanding). I was able to freehand and fake straighter lines with my brush because I was able to control my line with my brush.

Speaking of brushes...I recommend a 2" beveled edge brush from Home Depot like the one shown below. Skimp on the rollers, etc, but always throw down for a good brush!

Lastly, get yourself a gel manicure. They last weeks and can withstand this:
This manicure survived that paint job.

Enjoy! Happy Friday!

10 May 2012

Girly Bedroom Inspiration

Source: google.com via Alexis on Pinterest

I have been seriously MIA and I apologize for those of you who have been checking in. Work, play, and life often get in the way of blogging as I'm sure you all can relate. I wanted to share some inspiration for a project I'm starting tonight for a dear girlfriend of mine, who just moved into a new apartment on the Upper West Side.

Her bedroom has some serious architectural detail with gorgeous moulding on the walls, as well as the ceiling. With years of paint accrued, we have a lot of sanding to do to make those lines sharp, but I'm really excited to get started.

The photo above (from Lonny Magazine), is the inspiration for the paint color and part of the color palette. Does anyone know who makes this paint and what color??

08 May 2012

Sponsored Post: Fine Crystal on a Budget by Bering's Hardware

Today's post is brought to the BBB by Molly Mulvaney of Bering's Hardware. As many of my BBB readers are trying to achieve high-end decor on a realistic budget, I thought I'd mix it up a bit and go into unchartered territory here....table settings!! Namely, fine crystal! Here's Molly's pics, I hope you enjoy! -court

Fine Crystal on a Budget
By Molly Mulvaney, Bering's Hardware

Wedding season is quickly approaching, which means it's time for many engaged couples to start narrowing their wedding registry selections. When it comes to fine crystal, many people assume that it's too impractical or expensive to include crystal stemware in their registry selections. But, rest assured there are many affordable options! Even if you are one of the lucky few who have friends and family who are able and willing to purchase high-end crystal, it never hurts to be aware of all the options out there.
Reed & Barton manufactures crystal patterns that are similar to more expensive brands. Their Richmond pattern retails for approximately $27.50 a stem, so all four pieces, wine glass, wine goblet, iced beverage, and champagne flute would cost around $120.00 dollars. When compared to the cost of some of the Waterford patterns, the Reed & Barton option gives you two pieces for the price of one Waterford.

Richmond by Reed & Barton: $27.50 vs. Araglin by Waterford: $75.00

If the look you are striving to achieve comes in the form of a $200.00 goblet, it's no wonder you've had a chip on your shoulder. In order to achieve the look of a super expensive style, sometimes it's necessary to raise your budget just a tad. Don't get me wrong; $100.00 is still a lot to spend on a wine glass. But, if what you originally had your eye on is more than double the price, then that second option might not look so bad. These next two crystal comparisons are so aesthetically similar that even your status conscious friends won't be able to distinguish between the two!
 Orleans by La Maison: $99.00 vs. Tommy by Saint Louis: $230.00

More often than not, the price difference between what you love and what you like will not be pleasing to your wallet. Sometimes, it's not until you add up the total cost of each pattern that you really notice the difference. For example, if you love the tulip shape of Baccarat's Capri pattern, you might want to consider Classic by Vera Wang for Wedgwood. At $110.00 (approx.), Capri will run you upwards of $1,300.00 for a set of 12 wine goblets. If your budget allows and you feel comfortable with this price, then by all means, go for it! Baccarat's commitment to high quality is one of the main reasons for its asking price. But, if you simply want something that looks great, and that won't cause you to cringe every time your friends clang their glasses to toast, try the adorable option below:
Classic by Vera Wang: $37.50 vs. Capri by Baccarat: $110.00

All in all, selecting a budget-friendly crystal pattern can be fun. The patterns previously mentioned are intended to enlighten you and stimulate your research. Don't stop here! With a little time and an open mind you are sure to find a crystal pattern that is beautiful while also forgiving to your wallet.

About the Author
Molly Mulvaney is a sales associate at Bering's Hardware in Houston, TX. Bering's is well known for a broad range of carefully selected home goods such as housekeeping products to grilling products and accessories, as well as fine crystal stemware. Molly enjoys spending time with her family and friends, attending graduate school, doing Crossfit, being outside, watching movies, and eating sweets.
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