Jan 29, 2013

Designer Spotlight - Susan Long of SB Long Interiors

Anyone else in the audience love design magazines?  I'm admittedly one ounce short of being a design magazine addict, but I guess there are worse addictions to be had...  My all-time favorite publications are Better Homes and Gardens, HGTV Magazine, House & Home, House Beautiful, and Architectural Digest.  And then, there's one little local magazine from Dallas, Texas that I can't help but love any time I get my hands on it...D Home (an affiliate publication of D Magazine).  I discovered the beautiful and inspiring work of the below designer, Susan Long of SB Long Interiors, when I grabbed a copy of D Home when down in Texas a few weeks ago.

Originally from New York, Susan Long recently relocated to Dallas with her family and will surely make the Dallas metro area (and the entire Lone Star State, I hope) a bit more beautiful, at least on the inside!  Aren't these the most gorgeous rooms?  Something about her bold, yet careful, use of color is simply stunning!

Looking through her diverse portfolio, I was amazed at the myriad spaces Susan Long has designed.  Everything from mountain lodges, to NYC lofts, to hotels, and even cruise ships.  (The last photo featured above is the Owner's Suite on one of the Oceania Cruise Line ships!)

SB Long Interiors shines with both contemporary and more traditional design styles.  A true gem in the design world, if you ask me!  Dallas scored when she moved down south, for sure.  What do you think of her work?

Jan 25, 2013

Easy Dolled-Up Picture Frames

So there we were...scoping out some scrapbook paper at the local craft store.  My little one was behaving well so she had earned the privilege to be out of the cart.  And she was doing so well just looking around the aisle as I was distracted by all the pretty papers.  Suddenly she comes up to me so excited because she had found this paper...

I have never known a little girl who so loves Buzz and Woody as my little does.  She has a Toy Story beach towel from my Aunt that she uses every night to dry off from her bath.  And, any time she sees the Buzz action figure in the kid play area at the gym, she lights up.  Bottomline, this paper was hers and I needed to figure out a cute way to display it back at home.  Enter the dolled-up frame concept below...

Plain photo frames
Decorative Trim or Ribbon
Hot Glue Gun and Glue
Your photo (or beloved Toy Story paper...)

1. Come up with a simple design and cut trim or ribbon to size.

2. Attach trim or ribbon to frame with the hot glue gun.  A small bead of glue will keep it from oozing out around the trim.

3. Put your photo in (unless you jump the gun like I did and put it in first...) and enjoy!

Not rocket science, but they sure are cute!  And, I can use the frames for other pictures once Buzz and Woody move on.

Your options are limitless and this project only takes about 10 minutes, so it proved to be a good "naptime" endeavor for me.  It would also be a fun birthday craft/take-home favor for kids since they're easy to make...may need some parental supervision with the glue gun though.

Jan 23, 2013

Microscope Art - Oh My!

I don't mean itty-bitty small art or even art created from the parts of a microscope...I mean art from items placed under a microscope.  Crazy, huh?  The other day, I fell in love with the artwork shown below in a feature by Robb Report magazine on Topping Rose House restaurant in Long Island:

So vivid and bright, how could it not call my name???  Upon closer inspection, I think it's a close-up - like close-up in terms of microscopic proportions - of some biological matter.  It could be bacteria, yeast, cell contents, who knows...but it's kinda cool if you ask me.

I hunted around for it, but was unable to find the artist behind the above "floral" creation.  But, I did find some other fun microscope art that was equally as cool and not as potentially icky (unless you like snapshots of bacteria in your living room, or even better, your dining space).

See if you can guess what these close-ups are of...

 "Multicolored Watch Gears" by Micro Discovery via Art.com

 "Polyester and Nylon Cloth of Woman's Bodybriefer" by Micro Discovery via Art.com

 "Crystallized Beer" by BevShots via Portland Monthly

"Glass-Shelled Diatoms and Butterfly Scales" by Darlyne A. Murawski via Art.com

Even if microbiology freaks you out a little bit, it would be cool to have something as unique as a fingerprint on your wall.  What do you think of this funky genre of art?  Have you ever seen it before?

Jan 21, 2013

Craigslist Misses and Chair Envy 101

Have you ever had one get away?  You know, the Craigslist find that you spot, think about for 5 minutes (which is too long, apparently), and then tell they you'll take it after it's been snatched up by another lucky son of a gun?  Well, you see, this has happened to me too many times...

First, it was this great mid-century danish lounge chair that was offered for a mere $50 when we lived out in Portland OR.

The original upholstery was even in great condition - a take and enjoy type, if you know what I mean.  I even went to see this in person at a thrift shop it was at and passed it by because we didn't have space or "need" it at the time.  I pretty much regretted it the instant I drove away.

Next, it was a mid-century bench  offered for a morsel at $60 and so close to our house near Boston MA.  And, this time I had a spot for it immediately - it was perfect for our mudroom or entryway.

To really appreciate that price you must realize that Boston is the type of place where people think that anything "vintage" or "antique" means it deserves a $400 mark-up.  This was a total SCORE...for somebody else.  I was 2nd in line, just in case the other guy didn't like it - really?!?!?

Well, I don't know if it's me and mid-century modern furniture, or if it's just bad luck with Craigslist seating.  I tend to do well with other things I've found on Craigslist (i.e. the finds and subsequent DIY projects here, here, here, here, here, and here).  On that note, I kinda admit that I have a Craigslist obsession after finding all those "here's" in my blog roll.

After venting the Craigslist angst, now I digress to sharing my Chair Envy when it comes to another mid-century modern chair that I love that's totally out of my price range - the new (and almost sold out) Saddle Office Chair from West Elm.

The gray!  The white!  The walnut stain!  The large diagonal, chevron-esque stripe!  That's right, I can't even get a mass-produced gem to work for me.  At $350, it would be WAY too much, even on sale for 50% off....which doesn't happen at West Elm.

Someday my mid-century modern chair-prince will come.  Hopefully very cheaply on Craigslist vice a West Elm splurge...but honestly, I'd take either, or both, or all. :)  Any one else have a similar "thing" for some home furnishing item?  Make me feel better, please.  Do share.

Jan 18, 2013

Lone Star Inspired Design

Howdy y'all!  I'm currently in the mother-land...I mean Texas...visiting family.  Though I've lived all over the states, Texas is always "home" to me because it has this strange magnetic pull that attracts the very essence of any person born within its borders.  It's hard to explain, so I'll leave it at that.  While I'm here, I thought I would share some fun "Texas" design with you - a little rustic and rough around the edges, refined in a not-to-fancy sort of way, often grand, and always full of warmth.

This first batch of pics is from Southern Living's Texas Idea House 2011 in Horseshoe Bay, Texas:

And...I'm ready to move in!  You with me?

Next, I couldn't help but add this photo from a Dallas home belonging to Kristen of Gypsy Soul Interiors.  I saw her home featured on Little Green Notebook and started "pinning" away.  Isn't this an adorable little watering hole bar area?  In Texas, this is not a strange feature to have in your home...

I'm convinced that color, as shown in the dining room below, is good for the soul...maybe that's why there aren't many stuffy or stuck-up Texans out there.  It's either for that reason or the fact that we have some excellent Mexican food and nobody can be pretentious while sitting back with their boots propped up and margarita in hand.

Now this next bedroom digresses from the typical colorful Texas stereotype - it's got a simple color palette of gray, pewter, and white - but it's got a lot of character in metal accents, antique Texas portraits, and a BIG light fixture and headboard.  We'll call it "Understated Texas Glam".

Unlike any other state, Texas just does backyards right.  It's hotter than Hades in the summertime so you have to get smart about outdoor living spaces - a pool is a must and a covered porch runs a close second.  This outdoor space has both, plus a big screen TV and a fireplace for when temps drop for a week or two in the winter.  I guess the fireplace is justified when it comes to making s'mores possible all year round!

Now I'm ready to put on a chambray shirt, some cowgirl boots, and a fancy chiffon skirt (if I had one)...in hopes of channeling this look:

And, I'm off to ride into the sunset with my cowboy and little cowpoke-ette...  See you back at home in freezing cold Boston!

Jan 16, 2013

Zesty Chicken & Vegetable Couscous

As we're all likely trying to eat a bit healthier this new year, this is a great recipe to try on your family.  It's super tasty and flavorful, and uses some colorful fresh vegetables which are so good for all of us (whether we typically enjoy eating them, or not).

My dear friend down the street made this for us for dinner one night, and we've made it about every week since!

1 box Couscous - I use Roasted Garlic & Olive Oil flavored couscous
2 cups cooked chicken, cubed or cut into bite-sized strips
10 raw baby carrots
1/2 raw bell pepper (red or green)
1/3 cup lemon juice
2/3 cup Kraft 100% grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt

1. Cook couscous on stove-top using the directions on the box.  (I typically cook my chicken with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper at the same time.)

2. Chop up your veggies.  Feel free to add some other veggies as well...green onions would be yummy.

3. Toss prepared couscous with cooked chicken and chopped veggies in a large bowl.

4. Combine lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, olive oil, and salt in a shaker or jar.  Shake very well, drizzle over couscous mixture, and stir it up (either in the large bowl or allow people to add their own sauce on individual servings).

(I love my Blender Bottle from Bed, Bath, and Beyond for dressings and sauces like this)

5. Serve warm and enjoy!

With a little salad, this makes a very healthy dinner that is light yet totally satisfying when it comes to savory flavor.  Please let us know what you think of it!

Jan 14, 2013

Succulent Facelift

Have you ever bought something that you love, but then get it home and it just doesn't look right?  The concept is good in theory, but maybe the color is off or it doesn't stand out like you thought it would.  That was how I felt about my $5 faux potted succulent from Homegoods.

I liked the bright green but the red pot it came in was just too similar to the color of my mahogany-stained wood desk top.  It didn't 'pop' quite like I wanted it to.  Hmmmm, what to do? what to do?  Spray paint should fix the problem!

Instructions to update a faux potted friend:

1. First, grab some paint - I used some flat white protective enamel because it's what we had and I wanted the finish to look matte - and some painter's tape.

2. Tape up the parts you don't want painted.  There is likely a more sophisticated way to do this, but hey, it worked.

3. Spray away!  Don't forget to let it dry completely.  (that's always the hardest part for me...)

4. Admire the change and enjoy the fact that you finally got "the look" you were going for all along!

She's pretty darn cute, huh?  A nice modern touch on my more traditional desk.  She makes me feel a little more Spring-y as I sit and do my work, until I look outside and see snow...oh well.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...