28 November 2007

Designers: Candice Olson

Like most of you, I'm addicted to HGTV. My favorite show is by far Divine Design. Yeah, it's a bit impractical to emulate as they obviously have NO budgetary restraints, but the end product Candice and her crew create is always flawless and classy. I particularly admire what she does with basement spaces.

10 Basement Redos By Candice Olson via HGTV

Why not capitalize on the extra space if you have it? I think basements are highly underrated.

23 November 2007

Privacy, Please.

Yesterday, Higgins and I were walking along the Fort Lauderdale Riverwalk admiring the modern high rises and their elegant glass balconies. One first-level condo had cleverly arranged fake boxwood hedges around the perimeter of their balcony for some much-needed privacy.

Like this:

I have sworn up and down that I would never bring a fake plant into our house, but I may bend my rules a bit just this once. Our balcony railing is white, flimsy, and an eyesore to me so I'm considering doing my own hedges out there. For one thing, Higgins has taken a liking to the balcony and I'm terrified his curiosity will take him in between the bars when I'm not looking (which I doubt because I watch him like a HAWK and am considering leashing him while he's out there).

A hedge would cover up the ugly bars and keep his curiosity at bay. Plus, it's would block the 'view' of the parking lot below us, leaving us only the city skyline in view.

Now, the question here is the price. An article on the Temple University cites pricing for an artificial boxwood hedge to be about $25 per square foot. Other sites are selling 36" wide hedges for $300 and up. There's gotta be a cheaper way!!! Unless I win the lottery this week, I guess I'll go to Michaels and figure this out.

Cool Gifts

My web browsing has brought me yesterday to the Modern Poverty Store site. With this being the biggest shopping day of the year, here are a few cute gift items.

These remind me of the Chiasso store in Boston:

Wiggle Wiggle Clock

This is perfect for that girlfriend who has just recently been engaged...or for the wedding-happy hopeful-we all know one.

19 November 2007

Design Challenge: The Dog Crate

Higgins has proven to be such a doll and thankfully loves his crate! We have decided to keep his crate in our bedroom so we can sleep like a pack and pay close attention to his cues should he need to potty in the middle of the night.

The crate, however convenient, is a huge eyesore.

Being the design snob that I am, I have been searching online today for more attractive options.

(All images: Hardwoodhideway.com)

These are definitely more attractive alternatives to the wire crate, however the purpose of the crate is to keep our guy safe while we're away. Hardwood Hideaway crates have the option of a secure door, but I'm not too sure how I'd feel locking my dog up in a dark cabinet...

If anyone has any suggestions as to how to make your dog's crate blend seamlessly into your home decor, please let me know!

18 November 2007


I realize it's been more than a full week since I've posted. Truth be told, I've been working like a dog at my day job since my last post and since yesterday, have been working with a dog the rest of the weekend! My lovely boyfriend surprised me with the dog I have been coveting for the past two months online yesterday.

I'd like to introduce Higgins, our little gentleman. Isn't he so distinguished with his mustache and his little tuxedo patch of chest hair?

I'm so excited for this new inhabitant of our big, beige box. My question is, how do we glam up his crate to fit into our house??? Does anyone have any suggestions?

09 November 2007

Weekend Projects

A lot of creative juices are flowing over here at the BBB house...I've got the aforementioned Living Room Curtain Project I'm mulling over, I came up with a semi-final draft drawing of the banquette I'm attempting to build for the Dining Nook Project, and I'm going to help out a friend of mine pick out paint chips for his brand-new bachelor pad he closed on last week.

While looking for color ideas for the bachelor pad, I came across the work of Kristan Cunningham, host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime" and design consultant for the "Rachel Ray Show".

All Images from KristanCunninham.com

This is proof that neutrals do not have to be white or beige!

08 November 2007

Living Room Ideas

Some hardware ideas for my living room curtain project...

Ceiling mounted curtains:

JC Penney


As I am looking to hang a sheers flanked by an opaque colored/patterned pannel, the hardware needs to be able to support fabric across the 13'2'' span of my living room. I'm pretty sure the first and the second pictures will do the trick. The wire option by Ikea may also work, as I found you could use a piece intended for corners to alleviate some of the tension across the middle of the wire.

Maybe I'll just wait on hardware until I know what fabric I will be using for the curtains. What I do know is that if at all possible, I'd like a pinch pleated curtain to give everything a more polished look.


Next up, fabric inspiration....

07 November 2007

Cocktail Banter

I'm not against tattoos. Most of my friends have a few, my brother is covered in them, and my boyfriend happens to have one of the most gorgeous Japanese half-sleeves I've ever seen. Personally, I cannot commit to a lifetime of adornment. It's that simple. I'd rather express myself through my clothes.

So last week at Happy Hour, I was chatting with lovely girl and the subject came to tattoos. I have no idea how we got to this subject; blame if on the endless supply of Blue Moons that miraculously appeared in our hands one after the other (gotta love attentive boyfriends). ANYWAY, after sharing that she has a few of her own she asked me if I had any. Normally she'd get my canned speech about I'm too fickle to commit to a design, etc. but the first thing that came out of my mouth really surprised me.

"If I were to get anything put on my body, I'd have the Kelly Wearstler Imperial Trellis wallpaper print put on me."

Wait. What?

I surprised myself while leaving my friend blinking politely at my response. The problem with being a design freak is that the rest of the normal world has no idea what the hell you're talking about. I spent the next three minutes tipsily trying to explain how I am drawn to symmetrical, repeating designs and meanwhile I'm sure this girl thinks I'm crazy.

Oh well. At least now I have my answer to the classic cocktail party question on tattoos.

06 November 2007

Sprucing Up

Nick Olsen, the Deal Hunter on Dominomag.com, always raves about his finds on Pearlriver.com so I decided to do some browsing. This is a great Far East-themed resource for woks and steamers to paper lanterns and furniture.

I've been in a mood tonight where I want to build my own furniture because I can't find exactly what I want. Since I cannot open up a New Yankee Workshop in my small apartment, I think I'll be forced to modify existing pieces.

What about nailing this Square Black Wooden Plant Stand from Pearl River to the bottom of some plain nighstands.
Plus this minus the legs, sprayed black, of course:


Plus this sprayed in brass or chrome:


Maybe you can't always get what you want initially, but some scrappy internet searching will get you exactly what you want and on a budget to boot!

02 November 2007

Troubleshooting: Living Room

Quick question. I'm new to the whole brand-new, ultra-luxury, high-rise apartment thing originally coming from Boston so you guys are going to have to help me out. Why does my Florida apartment only have ONE closet (the master walk-in)??? Am I supposed to shove our winter coats, our luggage, and one boy's humongous golf club collection in there too? Impossible!

Ok, so this is going to be like showing the whole world my underwear drawer, but this is totally necessary to illustrate the fact that we have a storage problem here.

My solution for this is since the vertical blinds are hideous and need to be covered up, I'm going to bump the curtains out two feet and mount them from the ceiling to provide some hidden storage space for the growing golf club collection.

The curtains are going to be a solid silk-blend panel flanking each side of the sliding glass doors with silk sheers in the middle to let the light in and provide privacy. I'm pretty confident that we won't loose too much room on the floor by mounting the curtains out a bit and we will gain a bit of vertical drama by mounting the panels on the ceiling and breaking up the wide horizontal wall with the dark colored panels at each side. I'll be researching hardware today. Please send your suggestions for panel colors!
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