28 February 2011

Huge week. Still on hiatus

The day job is bleeding into my BBB time. I'm throwing a quick hello before I have to plunge back into preparing for tomorrows presentation.

Can't knock the hustle, but when does it start to pay off?

26 February 2011

I'm back; did you miss me?

I'm back from a week long business trip to Vegas. Trust me, it wasn't all fun and games. Actually none at all, but I survived nonetheless.

Can we talk about how amazing Brandi's post on styling was?? Seeing your comments roll in to my Blackberry this week was so exciting. I was dying to sneak a peek of her post but I had NO cell reception in the hotel I was staying in and had to practically climb a tree with my iphone to see it. But I did and it was wonderful so THANK YOU!

Please excuse the lazy post. I just wrapped another photo shoot for LaLa Couture and am relaxing at home. We shot the entire Spring Lookbook and I can't wait to start promoting the site when the new pics are up. 

Here's some goodness of my desk from last week. I noticed that there was a lot of orange going on and took some shots. The lamp is from Target from a while ago. It weighs at least five pounds and I'm in love with it. 

I repurposed the brass tray that was in my bathroom as a catch-all for my cell phones (yes, plural.), thumb drive, everyday shizz, etc. It was actually "borrowed" from a nearby restaurant. They present the checks in these heavy, badass brass trays. I had to have one. Shhh, don't tell.

23 February 2011

Brandi from Flights of Whimsy on Styling

Hello BBB readers! It's Brandi from Flights of Whimsy here. When Courtney first asked me to do a guest post on styling I went through several emotions; Surprise, glee, feelings of inadequacy, anxiety, then finally excitement! Why? This being my first guest post I'm definitely feeling some jitters on giving my amateur expert opinion on styling.

The most important thing I felt I could do, of course, was stay true to the BBB style and show you real life applications. Sure, I could sit here and regurgitate a bunch of pretty pictures of perfectly styled bookcases and expertly arranged coffee tables but that doesn't necessarily teach you anything.

So here goes, a few things from around my home...

GO MONOCHROMATIC


One simple way to make any type of arrangement look unified is to stay within different hues of the same color. Mixing colors together can be impactful but so can being monochromatic. I believe that this method also gives a very clean and unified look, which is always stylish no matter what the trend.

USE SOMETHING UNEXPECTED

Often, your first instinct is to use make up trays for storing make up, or jewelry trays/stands for storing jewelry. But you can think outside the box and end up making a big difference. For example, I fell in love with this Fire King dish a while back. I'm sure it was meant to display veggies or be used as a candy dish. I keep it on my vanity to hold make up. The little sections are perfect for keeping things organized while the color and touch of gold add a stylish touch.


 Another example of an hors d'oeuvres tray I use to keep my costume jewelry in order.


In my bathroom, an eclectic collection of vintage canisters and a sherry glass keep necessary items in a pretty arrangement.

USE SYMMETRY


Now this may not be symmetry in the traditional sense but balancing out items to take up the same space visually is an excellent method. In my entry way, I balanced the lamp with the painting. The smaller items fill in the gaps and add color and personality. Again, practicality can also be a part of good design such as the cup I got from Goodwill to hold keys. Even though I didn't stick to a color scheme in this scene, all these colors work together because they have the same vibrancy to them.

Now for the mother of all styling issues; the shelf...

Full disclosure here, I don't have a perfectly styled bookshelf. GASP! Someday my future office will have one. But until then I do have what I believe to be another very well styled storage system, the linen closet.



Since my master bath doesn't have much storage I bought this antique piece for only $80 from a flea market. Obviously it's not perfect but it works because it's organized, practical, and balanced. If I had filled the whole thing with blankets and towels it would look too full, if it had been filled with many small items it would look knick knacky. Instead I balanced out items of varying sizes. I also broke it up by interspersing larger items with smaller ones. And back to what I said earlier, it's practical! I think this is one thing people can often forget when preoccupied with making something look good. All my jewelry is here, organized, and right beside towels and sheets in the drawer on the bottom. 


Of course, there are many other ways to style things than I've said here. But I hope I've inspired you to try something new or repurpose items you already own. In the end it comes down to what really works for you though!

Thanks again Court for having me!

20 February 2011

For Nick: More Janet




Yesterday, Nick Olsen did a post on Janet. I HAD to dig this out of the archives.

Ah....college.

19 February 2011

Amen.

source: NYMagazine


..."Scott said, ‘When I look at a fashion magazine, I don’t find anymore the look of fashion. I saw beautiful images, but not how you can put on a coat for life.’ And I would say, ‘This is very clever. In a magazine, the images are so high, they are so beautiful.’ They are talking about the dream, but they don’t have reference about how you do this for life. That’s why these blogs are a revolution.




A snippet from the NY Magazine's article on Scott Schuman and Garance Dore.  Read it here:


http://nymag.com/fashion/11/spring/71665/


This is exactly why I blog and this is exactly why you get my apartment 24/7. 

Multitasking the Vday Bouquet


 Last Sunday, I was surprised by the delivery of a huge bouquet of Valentines Day flowers. I wish I took pics because it was chock full of orchids, white Stargazer lilies, calla lilies, and roses.

Unfortunately, I have the black thumb and living things (other than Higgins) often perish in my house. I was able to salvage some of the blooms and repurpose them throughout the apartment.

The calla lilies did very well and I tied them together with some raffia (Mum would be proud, she loves raffia). They now sit at my desk and tie in all the colors going on with the big plum accent wall and my dripping Louis print.

The orchid stem is holding on to dear life in the bathroom. I tried to get fancy and help prop it up as you can see here. I'm using my drinking glasses in each pic.

Does anyone have any tips for extending the life of fresh-cut flowers? I'm at a loss.

*****PS********

Please take my survey to give me feedback on how I'm doing over here on the BBB

http://app.fluidsurveys.com/surveys/bigbeigebox/reader-s-survey/






18 February 2011

Creative Storage in the Kitchen

I'm kinda homesick lately. Don't ask me why, seeing as the Northeast has been buried under snow for the past three months.

My mom is the queen of the place setting. Since I was little, she had multiple sets of china, plates, napkins, and flatware. Mom fell in love with Ralph Lauren's "Basketweave" flatware.
Gorgeous, right?

The problem was she didn't have any more room in her kitchen for storage. Sooo, in the oven they went. As you can see in the first image, Mom makes it work. Since she doesn't use the oven much (observe the salad and cold cut dinner-which she makes seem like a gourmet meal-gotta love Mom) so it's ok to store her beloved Ralphs in the oven.

Does anyone else do this?

17 February 2011

Would you like some pattern with those Chucks?




Awwwww yeeeeeeeah.....This is SO up my alley.

I grew up with Marimekko sheets and bedding. I had the pink tulip print on the blue background and my brother had the iconic trucks print. Don't ask me who or how my mother was exposed to Marimekko in the 80s, but she was hell bent on us having this bedding. She even commissioned a "quilt" from my grandmother, who exquisitely used a bed sheet and quilted around each truck's border to make a comforter for my brother's bed. I wish we hung onto that work of art...for real.

Anyway, enjoy this video that was thoughtfully passed on to me from a friend with great taste.

Also, please take my BBB survey here: http://app.fluidsurveys.com/surveys/bigbeigebox/reader-s-survey/

16 February 2011

BBB Reader Survey

I am absolutely touched and intrigued about my readers on a daily basis. You all have been so supportive as I've grown this pet project to chronicle my apartment projects and entered this great community of bloggers. It really takes a blogger to understand to the outsider how we "know" this person from the internet who has the same likes as us, encounters the same design dilemmas, and frankly, has the same appetite for decor that matches our own. Try explaining that to your cubicle mate, husband, boyfriend, mother, etc. They just don't get it.

What I'd like to do is to get to know you more in-depth to better serve your reading time here on the BBB with content and information that is real, relatable, and relevant. Please take a few moments to complete this survey. Your comments and suggestions are what keep this blog alive. I strive each day to bring my best and contribute blogging "currency" worth passing on.


http://app.fluidsurveys.com/surveys/bigbeigebox/reader-s-survey/

Thanks!

Courtney and Higgins.

15 February 2011

BBB Everyday: My Bathroom Gallery Wall

I finally bit the bullet and finished the bathroom gallery wall. It's not perfect, but it looks a million percent better than having a few frames up there half-assed.
I read somewhere (Probably Domino Magazine back in the day), that the only appropriate place for personal or family photographs is in your bedroom or in the bathroom. I embraced the bathroom photowall, aka the "Wall of Shame," two apartments ago and haven't looked back ever since. 

Here I display my favorite photos, most of them silly, all of them reminding me of the people I love and the crazy times we've had together. 
The bathroom gallery is a huge hit with friends. This is most likely because they're prominently featured there and if they're not, I can guarantee you that they will vie for a spot up there. 
This wall was screaming for something. Why not throw a bunch of snaps up there. 

Here's a few other shots of the bathroom. Did I mention it is nearly impossible to do this room justice and snap pics that accurately depict the bathroom. 

Lighting is KEY. Notice the yellowish tinge these eco friendly bulbs cast? I'm not savvy enough with the camera yet to fix this. 

What do you think?

14 February 2011

Bri from Me You and a Wiener on: Upholstering

Woohoo this is my first time guest blogging and I'm sure to make a fool of myself!

Court wanted me to talk a bit about how I learned to upholster my own furniture. Now I am not an expert by any means I 'm still learning and hope to master the skill one day. I've had several people email me and ask where I learned. Behold my secrets revealed.....

Youtube: I viciously stalked Youtube for days watching every crappy video that was helpful. You can learn a lot from these so WATCH!!

http://www.diyupholsterysupply.com/: They have some good helpful videos if you're just starting out. It's also good to watch and see what tools to use for what job. They also carry upholstery supplies.

Online research: DO IT! Google the sh*t out of upholstery! You'll be amazed how much crap you can find on this subject.

Upholstery Classes: Duh! Even though not everyone offers classes. But if your area does consider yourself one lucky mofo. I've been stalking Nashville for a while now hoping to find one but no luck. Perhaps asking your local upholster if he's willing to teach you..???

Buy a cheap chair and practice: Practice on an inexpensive chair with some cheap fabric. Something you know wont matter if you screw it up. You might even be able to sell it on Craigslist afterwards. Double rainbow!

I bought this cheap chair for $5 at a yard sale that I primed and painted an antique white


I then used a Ralph Lauren $6 king pillow case I found at Ross to cover it in

Sold it on Craig's for $45. In your face!
Buy the right tools: When I first started I tried using a butter knife and glue. Wrong. Don't be a cheapo and just buy the right tools. Some you can even get at Joann's and if you're on their mailing list you can even get coupons. I f**king love coupons!

Here are a few tools that will make your life a bit easier. Well at least mine.

I forgot my hammer a very important tool!
Tack remover: It removes staples as well. I once took a tack to the face so I suggest wearing safety goggles if your a dumbass like me. Or simply removing them with caution will work.

Pliers: Helps remove all kinds of crap like stubborn staples, nails, gum, fabric etc.

Staple gun: I prefer the cheapo $10 staple gun I bought at Wally World then the $45 one I bought from Home Depot but that's just me I'm complicated like that. It's your preference.

Sewing machine:  For the more technical jobs. You might want to have some basic sewing skills for this. I took classes in high school and kept up with it most of my life. I'm still learning.

Old upholstery as a template: Make sure to document and take pictures when removing the old upholstery. This will give you some direction when applying your new fabric. Use the old upholstery as a template to cut your new fabric out.

And for all you decorative nail whores out there this tool will make your life a lot easier as well.



Bam! Nail and tack spacer. You can find them anywhere on the web. I bought mine on Ebay. A cheap tool to have. I've seen some really crappy jobs done on some headboards on other blogs that could have used this tool.

And now my first ever semi-technical upholstery job I ever did. Behold my mad awesome skillz. 


I bought this knock-off Eames lounger and ottoman on Craigslist for $75. The leather was scratched to hell by the previous owners cats so I decided to recover it in a white vinyl.


I didn't want to try my luck with real leather since I wasn't sure how it was going to turn out being my first more difficult job. Not too bad huh?


So far the vinyl has held up to Timmy's humping, my husbands farts, long hours of gaming abuse on it and my moms dog Peanut who likes to chill when he comes to visit.

That's all it be! Hope this helped. Try your hand at some upholstery projects. It's fun! Not really. But the results will amaze you and make you feel LIKE A BOSS!

Thanks Court for letting me guest post! Holla!

Bri
Me You and a wiener


11 February 2011

Obsessed with: Restyling

 The new High Gloss mag got me inspired last week to re-tweak a few things in the house. As you know,  I have quite a large collection of green frames lying around from a gallery wall project gone bad. Here's a quick switch out I did to give my kitchen a little color.
 Before.

 After.
Oh yes, that's a KISS costume. I've done this not once, but TWICE.

08 February 2011

Taking DIY to the Next Level

Hey everyone, this is Kristin from the blog designNsuch, where I am attempting to document the major remodel of the midcentury South Florida home I share with my hubbie.



First off I would like to thank Ms. Court for having me on as a guest blogger. I am completely flattered!

As I mentioned above my hubbie and I have been renovating our midcentury South Florida home for the past year and seven months. Yes, one year and seven months. AHHH!! Ok, I'm back.

I have to be completely honest, we are not diy'ing most of the work. Hence the title, Taking DIY to the Next Level. What we have done is strive to make this place OURS. So when it came to the floors and the countertops, major design elements in a home, we didn't want to do the typical beige travertine tile floor and granite or marble countertop. After some research we decided to do decorative concrete floors and countertops. Anyone that has looked into concrete floors and countertops knows that prices are kind of out of control. Countertops range from $65-$80 a square ft. Insane. So here's the confession. We hired subcontractors to pour the concrete floor. Not DIY. We saved money by using a regular concrete mix instead of a self leveller which can drive up the cost quite a bit. The hubbie and bother in law have a shell construction company, so our guys made the concrete countertops. Not DIY.

I know you're probably thinking, I thought this was a post on DIY. Well, it is, now. Anyone into interiors knows that it's all about the color or lack of color in the case of black and white. Color is my thang. So, I was the one to acid stain the concrete floors and countertops. Without me coloring with acid there wouldn't have been concrete floors or counters because it was completely out of our budget to hire someone to do the entire job. That's the point here. If you combine DIY with some professional work you can take your project to the next level.

How did I learn about acid staining concrete, you ask? Well the first resource was actually a book. I know, that ancient thing that has printed pages bound between two thicker pages otherwise known as a cover. See, I knew so little about staining concrete I couldn't even get decent internet search results. But after skimming the book and searching the internet I found that youTube is an amazing resource. This is by far the best video.


So after watching just about every youTube video on acid staining concrete I worked up the nerve to sample some colors. After selecting the colors I just followed the directions from the best youTube videos and went at it. If you would like step by step instructions just submit a request in the comments and I'll post them.

I will admit, it was scary. The floor looked like this right after staining.


Here's what the floor looked like dry after neutralizing.


I know, totally different. That's why sampling is a must.

There are other options when coloring concrete. Apparently water based stain offers a more reliable color because it's an actual pigment instead of a pigment with a chemical reaction as with acid stain. Another option is pigment that is mixed in with the concrete. Soycrete, a soy based stain, is yet another way to color concrete.

I know not everyone is ready for concrete floors or counters but there are ways to play around with staining concrete. Vases and stepping stones are great options. There is another product called DecoPoz which is a cementitious product that can be applied in a thin layer, say on plywood which can be stained and hung as wall art. So, there are affordable DIY options to add stained concrete to your decor.

For more info check out the Decorative Concrete category of my blog here or ask questions in the comments. Thanks for reading and don't be afraid to take DIY to the next level!

DIY Week: Make a Shower Curtain with Window Panels

When I moved into Apartment #12 I had a challenge: Find a shower curtain for a shower stall with peculiar measurements.

My shower stall is what I call a double-wide, meaning, it's most likely 1 and 1/2 the size of a normal shower stall. I think the builder was being cute (as evidenced by the crazy acute angles of my walls-which is another post in itself) and wanted to create a luxurious spa-like feel. But with a shower.

I think it's nice. I don't take baths and really never feel the need to take a seat while showering so I'm good with standing up all the time.

The problem was the size of the shower as well as the fact that I wanted something cute. To make matters even worse, I fell in love with a greek key curtain panel from Zgallerie (mine has since been discontinued). Since I couldn't find a greek key shower curtain, I decided that I'd just make the panel into a shower curtain.

Since the curtain rod was screwed into my wall, I couldn't use the rod pocket that the panel already came sewed. No, that would have been too easy. So I researched away and found that I could pick up a grommet set at JoAnn. Problem solved.

Check out the nitty gritty details on this DIY here:
http://bigbeigebox.blogspot.com/2010/01/grommet.html

Feel free to ask more questions or for more pics. I'll do my best to fill in the gaps. All in all, this project took thirty minutes. Mostly because Higgins decided he needed to "help" and sit on the curtain for most of the time.

What do you think? Have you repurposed anything like this?

07 February 2011

You CAN do it! DIY Week

ruh roh. DIY? Me?

I've received a lot of feedback from you regarding DIY projects. The main concern is that it's daunting to take on a project you know nothing about where to start or how to do it. I get it. What I'd like to do is share a few of my minor DIY projects from the past that have made a big difference, as well as share some HUGE projects done by my friends.

You will see what I call the "Mother of all DIY" this week. My friend Kristin and her husband have been renovating their amazing FL home for the past year and she has bravely tackled the most challenging, permanent, and scary project.

I'd like to call on you, the reader, to share any DIY (no matter how big or small) projects that empowered you to get the ball rolling. Please contact me, send me pics, etc and I'd love to share them this week on the blog.

My commitment to you from my Jerry Maguire/mission statement post earlier is that I represent the everyday blogger in love with decor. You get to see my apartment, lumps and all, as well as I try to inspire you do challenge yourself to take on a project you've never done before. Let's get this going this week!
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