31 January 2011

This week's agenda: Splurge or Save?

I've got some really neat guest posts going for all of you during the month of February. This week, Mr. Goodwill Hunting is going to chime in with his guide to splurging. If I could condense some of his thrifting mojo and personal style, I'd turn it into thrifting dust and sprinkle it onto all of us. Me first!

I want to know what your favorite splurges are or were. Most of us are on the internet, trolling for deals and inspiration to emulate our shelter mags on the cheap. I want to know what you've thrown some plastic down on. Swipe, swipe, dearies! Share!! I will post any pics you send my way. (email is listed in my profile or hit me up on Twitter @bigbeigebox)

MY splurge of all time (so far) is my couch from Zgallerie. It's the most expensive piece of furniture in my house and the most expensive dog bed known to man.

29 January 2011

Mom's House

My mom's one of my style icons. 

We differ in every sense of the word; she's the Jackie O to my Courtney Love. She's the epitome of prep and proper, I'm glam and edge. 
And yet, sometimes when I catch my reflection in a storefront-trench coat on with my big Marc shades-or when going to work in a pencil skirt and cardigan, I see her in me. Wow, I've become my own version of my mother. 

That's not a bad thing.

Mom's painting her living room RED. I've seen the updates on Facebook, and can't wait to get home to help style her new look. As you can see, we differ a lot in style, but what we have in common is frugality  and innovation. I'm hoping to share some of her projects with you the next time I visit home in the Spring. Her condo was so generic and she's really stepped it up from "Builder's Beige."

Upholstery: Yes you can!

Hi, my name is Courtney, and I'm here to tell you that YOU CAN do your own upholstery. I gutted and recovered the chair pictured above when I could barely sew a button.

I know that sewing is intimidating. It's hard. It's foreign.

But don't be afraid to take something apart to see how it ticks. I took a perfectly good chair and dissected its  cover. Then used the fabric to make a pattern that I sewed myself onto the chair. You just have to take a leap of faith, trust your instincts, be determined to finish....and consult You Tube!!!!

You're going to see in the next few weeks some pretty impressive DIY upholstery jobs. My goal is to inspire you to follow suit.

YOU CAN do it. Because I did.

Check out how I did this project here: http://bigbeigebox.blogspot.com/2009/09/pimp-my-chair.html

28 January 2011

Your Favorites

Happy Friday!
image from Ryan Korban.com

I'm heading to NYC this weekend for some QT with my favorite person in my favorite city. My question to you is:

Who are your favorite NYC-based bloggers?

I'm looking to move there in the Spring and want to start reaching out.  There is so much opportunity and talent in the City...people carving their own space among the masses...it makes me salivate just thinking about it.

(Full disclosure: NYC would put me within driving distance to my Grama, so I'd be very well-fed.)

27 January 2011

LACKing Progress

More LACK tweaking. I have decided that I have way too many books. Half of these I haven't even read, nor probably will. I spent a good hour Weds night trying to make all the books work.

Guess what? They don't ALL have to be housed in the bookcase. Yes, I know...."what, then, is the purpose of the bookcase?" This is basically the Manrepeller version of why decor logic sometimes defies conventional logic. My goal for this bookcase is not to be functional, but to look good. There, I said it!

I'm putting the books that are stumping me in the closet until I can find a good place for them. It's not like I'm going to miss them while they're in there....or even READ them!

You can see that I've moved the disco ball, again. I took then hint from Mr. GWH and created some symmetry on the top shelf. Having an unbalanced top shelf was giving me the boo-boo jeebees.
My sweet puppy love doesn't know why this bookcase is cutting into his game of "fetch the rubber chicken." Let's end this saga for all involved! More suggestions please!

26 January 2011

BBB Friends: DesignNSuch's Concrete Madness

If you're not following Kristin at DesignNSuch, you're missing out. This DIY maven is renovating her FL home and has had to teach herself how to stain concrete.

You can tag along with the saga here:

24 January 2011

Lack-tervention: 2

I've purged a few books over the weekend. I still can't part with my college text books on Neuroscience and work-related books on ADHD, Pain Management, and Hypertension. Maybe this weekend.

What I DID do, was turn all the books back inward to avoid the "Barnes and Noble" look that Boops described. Boy was she right.

I'm looking to declutter and buy some cute knick knacks this weekend. I'm doing my homework and the most composed and pleasing book cases are the ones that are tightly edited.

And...heading back here this weekend. The heart wants what the heart wants.

23 January 2011

BBB Field Trip: The Forge, Miami

I just got in at 6am from an incredible night in South Beach for my girlfriend's 30th. We had dinner at The Forge restaurant in Miami's Design District. 

There's been quite some buzz in town about the recent overhaul of The Forge.  Originating in the 1920s, artisan and blacksmith Dino Phillips opens a forge on Miami's 41st St, designing iron gates for the Vanderbilt and Firestone families. A decade later Phillips turns his forge into a restaurant, which attracts Frank Sinatra, Judy Garland, Jackie Gleason, and the hottest A-listers at the time. 

The Forge was purchased by international financer, Alan Malnik, in 1968 where it was gutted and showcased his lavish collection of art and antiques and serves as a regular spot for Elizabeth Taylor, Richard Burton, and Desi Arnaz.

Malnik's son, Shareef, takes over in the 1990s and puts The Forge on the Sobe hotspot map. Shareef Malnik guts the forge again in 2009 with a fresh, modern vibe that gives homage to its roots in Old Miami glamour with a quirky South Beach twist you see here in my photos.
courtesy of The Forge

We had the private wine room that housed vintages that cost more than your car. I was very careful not to knock anything over. Food was great, the vibe was amazing, and it is DEFINITELY the place to see and be seen. 
This is a shout out to Mr. Goodwill Hunting, who would have died and gone to heaven with the service settings and capiz menu boards. Live orchids were centered in the middle of two grand mirrored tables. The chandeliers were wrapped in a translucent cloth reminiscent of a caterpillar's cocoon. 
The entire room was flanked by rare vintages, stocked in bookcases lined with mirror. 

Bathroom chandelier. 
The ladies' parlour room in the bathroom was covered floor to ceiling in Venetian glass mirrors, modern seating, and an amazing bubble glass chandelier. 
Yes, I was THAT girl taking pics in the bathroom.

20 January 2011


Thank you for your suggestions from last week's post on my Ikea LACK bookcase. I was beginning to feel like the bookcase showed how neurotic I am, especially since I had grouped my books according to color. I tore everything down Wednesday night this week. Let's call this a work in progress that WE can master together.
 Thanks to JandJ Home and Boops, the disco ball stays. I agree, it is put to much better use on the shelf where it can reflect more light.

I think I definitely need to get rid of some books and let this bookcase breathe. 
The common theme I've seen in great bookcases is editing and composition. I need more trinkets to break up the books. I need to ruthlessly tear through my collection of books. 

Speaking of books....here's my full disclosure post. My random library. 
J'Adler and Neuronal development. Anyone need to know how your cocktail will affect your vicodin consumption tonight? I have the book for you!
Work a Room, Tranquilly, while Managing you Pain.
The Complete Book of Endocrinology...by Kevin Aucoin??
La Jolie + Vaccines + a Dry memoir= The Color Purple?
And don't forget the Field Guide to American Houses while Being a Pack Leader. Classic.
I know these are at your house. The rest, I'm sure you DON'T have handy.

All kidding aside, I need your help!! Please comment with suggestions to style this book case. Be specific. I am going to compile your suggestions and keep tweaking the arrangement! 

19 January 2011

Frosty: The project that won't die!


I'm back after spending over 12 hours on a plane today coming back from Seattle. While I regroup, check out my project on Stencilsearch.com

18 January 2011


In the spirit of yesterday's post on closet lovin, check out the dressing area Laura put together.

(I yanked this off Laura's flickr stream)

I never tire of a well-styled LACK book case. 

How have you styled your IKEA LACK? Send me pics!

17 January 2011

BBB Everyday: My Closet

Self-portrait. See how I created a six portraits in an hour here. 

I consider it a HUGE luxury to have a walk in closet. Especially since I've lived in a city for most of my adult life and have always had to be creative with storage solutions due to inadequate closet space. My college roommate, Abby, visited me when I moved to Fort Lauderdale and commented, "Courtney! You have SO MUCH clothes!!" upon walking into my closet. See, your wardrobe size is often a function of your closet space. I remember thinking to myself that I really didn't have room for a fourth trench coat when I lived in Boston, my roommates would KILL me if I stole more real estate in the hall closet.

Now, I have a palace of a walk-in at Apartment #12.  And I've really celebrated it, paying huge attention to the details, decor and display of my favorite things. I thought I'd share some snaps with you.

Most of my jewelry are bracelets and necklaces. Rather than keep them locked away in a box, I display them like little works of art on wall sconces. Makes me smile every day. 

My favorite things mingle with my clothing and accessories.

My "Teddy" is in charge of displaying my multiple fedoras.
My sales awards (not pictured), my "Tyra Banks" award (for the ability to style shoots and boss around modesl) and highschool varsity letter make me laugh every day. 

A picture of me at age 3 on the beach and the picture I took of the Cliff Walk remind me of my childhood in Newport, RI

I see my favorite snap of Higgins and my grandparents wedding picture from the Philippines every day. 

Then, there's my inspiration wall that gives me ideas on outfits each day.
And reminds me that I am loved.

To be surrounded by your favorite things...is luxury.

Have you ever thought of turning your closet, or a little spot in your home, as a homage to your favorite things? Do tell...

14 January 2011

Finally Friday!

Happy Weekend to all!

I'll be back next week with some sneak peeks of the BBB Everyday.

xoxo Court

13 January 2011

BBB Everyday: Bookcase Dilemma

Here's the current state of my IKEA Lack book case.

I need some major help finding interesting accessories and perhaps paring down on the books. Any suggestions? I need to keep the work-related items below because I have no office. The top three shelves are fair fame. 

I moved the disco ball out of the urn, do you like it here?

Help! I'm a hot mess. 

11 January 2011

Flashback: #11 Door Project

After posting my foyer last week, a reader commented that my door needed something. I agree, and it reminded me of a project I did in Apartment #11.  

Apartment #11 was a fantastic little 1 bedroom, 1 bath in the heart of downtown Fort Lauderdale. 

It was bright, clean, and spacious. 

And it was WHITE. Generic. 

So being the Queen of Black and White (Reserving respect for the King, Mr. GWH), I purchased faux black leather contact paper and spent a good 6 hrs covering all the doors in my apartment. What a difference it made! 

Check out www.designyourwall.com for contact paper of all different kinds. You'll find animal hide, metallic, wood grain, and more!

And as always, email me with your project!

10 January 2011

Umbrella Stands

Slightly obsessed with this one. Is that bamboo?

Thank you all for the thoughtful comments last week. For those of you who take the time and really ponder a question I'm posing with some really great ideas and solutions, I thank you!

I'm traveling this week to Seattle. It will be jam-packed with fam and friends but I may have some time to squeeze in a few touristy things. Any suggestions?

09 January 2011

As promised...everyday life in the BBB


Not motivated to clean the apt after a weekend of relaxation, sleep, and beach with my bf. 

Yes, those are two lamps you see....about three feet away from each other. 

Played Boggle on the ipad relentlessly. 

Started reading "Inside of a Dog: What Dogs See, Smell, and Know" by Alexandra Horowitz.
Boops, you'd LOVE this. 

Had a very inspiring meeting with three fabulous sisters who are photogs, makeup artists, and glamorgurus in the Fort Lauderdale area. 
Got hired to help them revamp their creative space. 

Great weekend indeed.

Now....who's going to vacuum the sand off the carpets? Higgins??....Higgins??

07 January 2011

Daily Dog Friday

Reading a great book called "Inside of a Dog" by Alexandra Horowitz. Google it and read the excerpt about dogs and raincoats.

People, please stop dressing your dogs!
I mean, really....hahahah.


Fur vest for humans, Forever 21.

06 January 2011

Keepin it Real: BBB #12 Foyer Details

I'm pretty pleased with my teeny, tiny foyer. 

It's not too cluttered and has some interesting and practical pieces.
I need something to sit on/place a bag upon entry and an umbrella stand for right side of the door.

Can anyone lend advice on how to improve the styling of the hall table and on an umbrella stand?

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