30 November 2011

Trending on MY Pinterest: Beach House Chic

The only boho bone in my body lies in my dreams of one day owning a beach house. I realized this when my Beach House board started to take shape on my Pinterest.  A trend slowly formed and my inner global table/Cali girl started to emerge as I collected images of blindingly white spaces with wood accents. Could this be the place where I shed my black moto boot/skinny jean/flannel shirt ensemble? 

Here are some of my favorite images. 

This house is absolutely insane. You're seeing the outdoor patio bar that has straight shot service from the house's kitchen. 

This is what I'd like the kitchen to look like inside, minus the folksy chairs. The stainless steel appliances,  plus the huge, hunkin wood table, pulled on top of those concrete floors are functional and polished at the same time. 

I will never do rustic in the bedroom. This one above is neutral and white enough to be a peaceful sanctuary and does NOT throw a "vacation rental" vibe. I never understood why people would skimp on their bedrooms at beach houses. You are on vacation, why sleep on a crappy bed with mismatched sheets? And don't get me started on the use of knotty pine in many of these places. 

Continuing the white/wood vibe, an amazing living room. Bleachable slip covers eliminate the concern for dirty beach feet and wet bathing suit bottoms. I was always getting yelled at as a kid to get my sandy ass off the couch. Not in my beach house!

Do you Pinterest? Have any cool pins on beach house living? Please comment below!

28 November 2011

BBB Bucket List: Bungee Jump Bloukrans Bridge, South Africa

Source: vivaboo.com via Jim on Pinterest

My friends and I are planning a holiday trip to visit a recently departed New Yorker at his new home in Cape Town, South Africa. Out sheer peer pressure, panic, and later excitement, I said yes to jumping off this bridge above (sorry, Dad!).

Bloukrans Bridge is an arch bridge located near Nature's Valley, Western Cape, SA. According to web sources, it's the highest single span arch bridge in the world and stands at a height of 216m (over 700 ft) over the Bloukans River. It carries the national N2 route, and is also the site for the highest commercial bungee jump. The jump takes place underneath the roadway where guests walk out to the jump platform via a narrow metal grated pathway. I'm sweating just thinking about it seeing as I haven't even gone sky diving!

Has anyone done this jump or something similar? No horror stories, please. 

22 November 2011

On my block

photo: Big Beige Box

I shot this a few weeks ago with my iphone from the back of a cab that I just had hailed to go downtown. The shadow caught my eye at first and when I traced back to see who it belonged to, a woman in the most unique outfit caught my eye. I literally had ten seconds to get my phone out of my bag and take the picture before the cabbie sped off down 9th Ave.  I was so lucky that the car next to us didn't get in the frame and steal this moment away. 

The beauty of this shot is that you can literally write two different stories: one for the shadow, and the other for the lady. They are focused in two totally different directions and yet originate from the same place. It makes me think about perception and perspective-the shadow caught my eye when I took the shot and I thought it belonged to a random person handing out menus. I didn't notice the colorful lady until I was cropping the shot in the cab on my iphone. Now I wonder what she was doing all dressed up in the hot pink fascinator and what she handed out. There's no way I could have dreamed that that person was attached to that shadow. 

This shot reminds me that to be mindful of how I perceive people or certain situations. If a picture speaks 1, 000 words, how come it doesn't always reveal the whole story?

21 November 2011

BBB Clients: The view from the Ohm building

This is from a bachelor pad lease-signing this weekend. Move-in at the end of the month so I'll be busy for a while. 

Meanwhile, enjoy the view from the 35th floor. If you squint you can see Lady Liberty. 

19 November 2011

Daily Dog: Higgins Picking Paint Chips

I might have created a monster. A few weeks ago, I tried to see if Higgs would jump up and share my desk chair. Now, I'm spending my office time scooted to the edge of my seat (which, BTW needs re-upholstering because it's all packed out) while this one can literally curl up behind me. Now, I can't do an expense report or surf the web without this little one with his head on my desk or peeking out from underneath my arm. I'm officially a crazy dog lady.

Lots to do this weekend in the city with T-day parties, etc. I'll be posting pics per usual on Instagram  (@bigbeigebox) all weekend. If you ever wonder what I encounter in my travels across the city, I update this at least daily.

Happy Weekend, see you on Monday! For those of you in NYC (and beyond) shopping the H&M for Versace, good luck and wear a helmet!

18 November 2011

International Blogger Roll Call: South Africa

I'm going to Cape Town next month and would love to start planning. Is there anyone out there who has been or knows of any South African design blogs? I really want an insider's peek into this city, and especially that from the perspective of someone who loves design!

A Google search led me to discover that Cape Town is up for Design Capital of the World for 2014. I'm DYING To see what this city has to offer and open up another corner of the world for you.
Please send links in the comments below! I'd really like to document my trip and bring all the good things Cape Town has to offer to my readers here in the States.

17 November 2011

More arresting graffiti style wallpaper

I woke up this AM with the next two images in my mailbox from my DFG (Design Fairy Godmother). Talk about WOW! I'm digging the hand-painted, undone look of both of these wallpapers. The graffiti wallpaper trend is taking off!

This is a room from the Kip's Bay Decorator Show House done by Amanda Nisbet. The wall paper is genius!

And obviously, unless you've been living under a rock, is Jamie Meares' take on my favorite wall paper that she hand painted herself for Furbish.

The whole "grand statement" of an entrance is resonating big time this week for me. My poor roommates have NO idea what they're up for...I hope they like it!

16 November 2011

High Impact Entryways

When you live in a small apartment, why not amp up the "wow" factor a little? After all, space is at a premium, and keeping your decor sparse and clean may not always open up a space the way you think it will.

I'm sure all of you have seen Nicole's latest project below.

                                                           Source: sketch42blog.com via Courtney @bigbeigebox on Pinterest

The entryway of your house or apartment sets the tone for the rest of the house. I love how Nicole's foyer and the one below achieve the same effect--you get a stunner of an entry, but at the same time it has continuity with the next room. 

I would like to do something on a grand scale in my own apartment but do not have the luxury of having a separate foyer area. Below are some examples of how to use pattern to define a space. 

                                                           Source: blog.lonnymag.com via Courtney @bigbeigebox on Pinterest

                                                  Source: blogs.babble.com via Courtney @bigbeigebox on Pinterest

Here's my entryway. I'm thinking about riffing off Nicole's latest project and am using Kelly Wearstler's foyer wallpaper as my inspiration to do my own paint treatment in this space. I'm VERY excited to share this project with you in the next two weeks!

15 November 2011

Higgins in the City

Inspired by a shoot done for the JCrew blog, I had my friend take a few snaps of Higgs and I on our block.
Photo c/o: Abby Brack Lewis

14 November 2011

NYC Buildings: Central Park and NY Public Library

My college roommate (Hi, Ab!) came to visit this weekend and we shot a TON of photos. She is one of a handful of friends that I can fun anywhere with, doing absolutely nothing. We trekked over 5 miles on Saturday in glorious, crisp, Fall weather. I was planning on shooting with my personal Canon and getting a lesson from her on using my manual settings, but I failed to charge my battery and was only left with my iphone. Here are some of the snaps I took and uploaded on Instagram (@bigbeigebox). 
We left my house in Hell's Kitchen in the morning and walked up 8th Ave to Central Park, crossing through Lincoln Center. We walked up to the park to the West 70s and cut across, as I've never explored the East side. This picture above is taken at the Conservatory Reflecting Pool, where visitors can rent motorized mini sailboats. 

According to the official website, Central Park's plans originally called for a formal flower garden and a large glass conservatory, surrounded by a reflecting pool. The plans for the conservatory were abandoned, but the pool stayed, inspired by similar ones in France. 

Did you know that there are over 29 sculptures in Central Park? This one by Michael Sailstorfer was installed early September of this year and is made out of  truck tire inner tubes. It's absolutely stunning in person and rises over 30 ft above the sidewalk. Be sure to check it out (it's on Central Park South, across from FAO Schwartz) as it will be there until February 2012. 
Lastly, we toured the New York Public Library's Stephen Schwartzman location on 42nd St. This beau-arts building opened to the public in 1911 and is considered the "main" location for the NYPL. We checked out the free tour (every day at 11am and 2pm) and got a great history of the construction and materials of this amazing building. 
The exterior is made of Vermont marble and some of the pillars inside are solid slabs. This building also has a corridor of marble harvested from Greek quarries that also supplied the Parthenon.  

Every weekend this city unfolds in front of me and I'm amazed and so appreciative of all the "new" things I discover. Please comment if there's a place you'd like me to investigate, I'm open to suggestions and would love to see NYC through your eyes!

Happy Monday!

12 November 2011

A little to the right...Bergdorf Goodman

Took this while out in the city today. Looks like BG is doing their windows for the holiday. 

11 November 2011

Today's the Day: LaLa Couture's Boutique Opens 11.11.11

Starting with the determination of ONE and the efforts of MANY, LaLa Couture is officially open for business! My sincerest congratulations to my dear friend, Molly, for all of her hard work and determination to make her dream happen! LaLa Couture is not only a store, it's the start of a community of amazing women in Fort Lauderdale. 

 Please like LaLa on Facebook to stay in the loop for the store's latest arrivals from brands like Free People, Miss Me, and Mink Pink. Order here online- LaLa ships all across the country and can make you look fabulous for your next girl's night out or trip to Vegas! You won't get better prices or customer service anywhere else.

If you're in the neighborhood, please stop by. LaLa is located at 1918 East Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304 and give Molly a huge hug for me!

10 November 2011

Faux Malachite Finish: Painting Tutorial

There has been a paint sample that's been staring at me for the past six months and I finally decided to do something about it yesterday. As you all have seen, I've been obsessed with malachite lately and after being inspired by DIYs from Bri and Danika, I gave it a try. 

I had two things lying around: 
1. A black and chartreuse stationery box and 2. Picture frame of same chartreuse color 

Here's what I did (not rocket science): 
Don't prime (I know, it's probably going to scratch off). I generously laid on a coat of Gliden's G31 Forest Green directly onto the box. This is the 2oz sample you get at Home Depot that comes with a brush built into the cap (score!).

 While paint is still wet, use the brush provided by the paint sample and make concentric squiggly circles. You will see that doing so removes some of the wet paint and exposes the original color of the box beneath.
Work in sections, laying the initial coat of paint and then wiping off the excess while you make your pattern with the brush. What's great about malachite is that it is has a natural, organic pattern so there's no way you can mess up!
Keep squiggling and playing with your pattern. Make sure you wipe off the excess from your edges (I should have taped these off but I was too excited to slow down and do it right!).
 This took all of ten minutes to do. I'm currently letting it dry overnight, as some areas are thick with paint and still tacky.

Then, I got VERY ambitious and started in on this frame I had lying around from Target.
 I make sure that I painted all the edges like the inside of the frame, as well as its outside border.
 Then, I piled on the paint. You can do this quick and easy, with no rhyme or reason as to which way your strokes go. Make sure you only paint an area that you can easily complete the pattern. If you paint the whole frame first, areas will be drying before you can start the pattern and the effect will not work.
 I went pretty heavy-handed with this. You will see in the frames that come that I did a lot of wiping off my brush to remove the excess paint.
 Here's another close-up of the pattern I was making. I alternated squiggly circles and tight, circular sweeps. Additionally, I let the thickness of the paint vary in certain areas. This is achieved by cleaning off, or not cleaning off, your brush.
 Here's the end result. This seriously took all of ten minutes to do. I was scouring the room for other things to malachite next. Someone please stop me before I go overboard!
 Here's what the frame looks like this morning. It's still a little tacky and dried matte. I am going to get a clear lacquer spray to lock in the pattern and give it a 'finished' look.

09 November 2011

Cork Wall Decor: My Thanksgiving Project

Let me start by saying that I've been doing yoga religiously for the past week and I've immediately felt strong, centered, and motivated. There's something that resonates with me after each class where I find I walk down the NYC streets with my head up and heart radiating.

It's also re-inspired my creative drive. I'm working with my girlfriend this week to tweak her friend's West Village apartment, the order for my malachite shades is going out on Friday (aka Payday), and I've got a massive surprise collaboration on the horizon. 

Meanwhile, I must collect ideas for my Thanksgiving vacation. My stepmother has been collecting wine and champagne corks for YEARS and wants to display them in her new home. She and Dad are working on fleshing out their "game room" which will house their new pool table, karaoke machine, and Nintendo Wii (aren't they cute?). We've got an entire finished basement to decorate and the corks will be a prominent feature on display there. 

I've done a lot of research on cork walls on Pinterest. I've seen some really cute side projects like so:

What I haven't found is an entire cork wall that looks cute except for this.

Because this looks kinda tacky. Does anyone have any suggestions?

08 November 2011

Spoonflower Malachite sample has arrived!!

The sample from Spoonflower arrived yesterday. The print is amazingly true to what's on the website and I'm totally happy with the quality of the the (least expensive) quilting weight. 

I am going to measure my roller shades this week and place my order. My only concern is will the extra weight of the fabric make it hard for the shades to roll up into themselves? My roommate painted her shades and the weight of the paint alone makes it impossible to roll up the shades. 

06 November 2011

Sneak Peek: My boutique design

Remember the project I started earlier this summer? The LaLa Couture boutique is set to open next Friday in Fort Lauderdale. The client sent me a sneak peek this am that I was DYING to share with you. 
This vignette is the main focal point of the fitting room area and is visible from the store floor. We wanted to create an area in the fitting room where friends, husbands, etc. can sit comfortably for the mini fashion show that ensues with trying on clothes. This area had to speak for the entire store, encompassing the essence of the LaLa Girl. 

We chose sleek textures, incorporated curves, and turned up the shine to convey a look of luxe and girly sophistication. The walls are covered in a damask wallpaper pattern that was painted to match the rest of the store. I highly recommend using this to incorporate texture in a room. It's subtle but has a great impact.

Here's the original plan below. We sourced all items (except the mirror and wallpaper. There is a little Jonathan Adler gourd vase on that table too!) via the web. As you can see below, we got some great deals!

The store opens next Friday on 11.11.11. Is there anyone in the South Florida area who can stop by??

LaLa Fitting Room Back Wall

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