Monday, October 27, 2014

Salvaged Souvenirs Straight From Amsterdam

Happy Monday everybody!  [Side note: whenever I hear or say that I think "really, is it?", does anyone else do that too?]  Anyway, I think today is a happy Monday because I have Alex back home!  He returned from Amsterdam this weekend and being the sweet husband that he is, he brought home a thoughtful little surprise for me-

Yes, a set of salvaged European speed limit signs with a authentic worn finish- I love them!  He picked these up at a salvage store just outside of Amsterdam called Neef Louis (which means Nephew Louis). 
Alex's cousin Jaimi brought him to this neat salvage & vintage shop knowing it's the kinda place we like :)  His/our cousin Jaimi lives in Amsterdam with her hubby Arnaud and their two kiddos Mila & Remi so Alex also got to stay with them during his trip....
Left: Alex enjoying a local brew with Jaimi (not pictured, darn!); Right: Alex with their kiddos Remi and Mila
I was so excited that he brought home a little piece of Europe for me :)  
Now, I just have to figure out what I want to do with them...

What would you do with the 4 signs?
Would you just mount on a wall?
Or, would you repurpose them in a unique way?

I'm about to do some noodling on Pinterest, but I'd love it if you have ideas to share!  I'm all ears, help!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Dead Man's Shoes Vintage & Other Curious Goods

Don't you love it when you find great new local shops when you aren't really looking for them?  That happened to me and my mom over the weekend when we ended up at Dead Man's Shoes Vintage...

Alex was out of town on another business trip so I asked my mom to come for a visit and thankfully she hopped in her little red hybrid and drove on over from Michigan to keep me company over the weekend!   Or maybe she did just to make sure I don't end up in the ER like the last time Alex was gone?  Anyway....
Shopping adventure selfie with mom :)
We were out and about on Sunday heading to a few estate sales and one of the sales happened to be next to Dead Man's Shoes Vintage.  Naturally, when I saw "vintage" I told her we had to stop in to check it out, so glad we did!

The store had oodles of fun vintage clothing, shoes, accessories, furniture, home decor and other fun curiosities or as they describe it-  "A truly one of a kind collection of curious goods".  I also loved the way the store was curated, the mix of color and pattern throughout added to the fun retro vibe and made browsing through every little bit irresistible.

I have to comment on a few items now- the favorite being the Disposable Dress!  Did you know there was such a thing?!?!  The packaging said it was for "shopping, dancing, partying, funning, and house cleaning" and that it was "for today's Swingers".
It made me wonder if this is where the phrase "she'd look good wearing a paper bag" came from?  Because it is really just a paper bag... with a paper belt/sash.  At least it was water resistant and flame resistant so you can't soak your dress with a spilled a drink or get light on fire during your Swingers party :) 

Lastly, I have to tell you that the best thing about this store is that the prices are reasonable!  That's usually my beef with some vintage stores when you find great things but the pricing is outrageous.  I mean, that dress form in the above pic is $42!  Such a deal!

For all you local Minneapolis/St. Paul folks, you should definitely check it out!  After writing about the Disposable Dress I am kind of kicking myself for not buying it, should I go back and get it?

What did you think of Dean Man's Shoes Vintage?

Would you wear the Disposable Dress?

No update on the sofa situation yet due to Alex's business trip (and the warning he gave me if I buy a couch by myself).  Hopefully we'll get to decide and buy this weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Couch Contenders

Ready to meet the top contenders in our search for a new couch?!?  We hope so AND we're also hoping that if any of you own one of these sofas you can tell us if you are happy with your purchase or not :)  Here we go!


In this corner are the "true to our original idea" category are the leather chesterfield style options.  The Home Decorator's Collection option is priced really well and is our current favorite, the downside is that it is online only so we can't sit on it before buying it :(

The look is pretty much what we want as I mentioned in the first post about replacing our current sofa situation, it's just so classic!

The next contenders in the "next best thing" category are some fabric chesterfield style options. We like them just not as much as the leather and the color options we've found aren't the most appealing.  The upside is that some of them are a little more budget friendly and the Martha Stewart option does have a lot of positive online reviews.

Last up in our list of contenders are in the "well that's cute though" category because we both liked these when we came across them during our shopping excursions but they weren't the original look we both agreed on.

Which contender will come out on top???  We still aren't 100% sure on that right now but I can tell you that it might be a while until we have an answer for that unfortunately (wa-wa).  My hubby has to do some traveling for work for a few days and I've been told/warned that I will get in trouble if I buy a couch while he is gone... he knows me waaaaay too well :)   It is a big decision so we want to make sure we do it wi$ely and of course together.

What do you think?  
Which couch contender would you pick?
Do you own any of the couches?  If you do, are you happy with it?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Pumpkins and Our Fall Bucket List

Good news!  I was able to get my fall fever to go down a little bit :)  but in case you missed my last post-  I say that because I finally did a wee bit of fall decorating at home.  It's not a lot but the simple switch-er-oo I did to the decor on our dining room sideboard really added the touch of fall I felt like we were missing.

I picked up two green Fairytale/Cinderella pumpkins at Trader Joe's for $6.99 each and a mixed herb plant for $7.99 and then added one of the chalkboards we made with a scrap piece of plywood.  My favorite detail of it all is the "fall bucket list"we added on the chalkboard...
I've seen a few "fall bucket lists" on Pinterest used in fall decor and thought it was a fun idea!  You know how much I love crossing off a to-do list :)  at least it will be fun to-do's to complete this fall!

All and all, just mixed shades of green against black and white with a hint of the warm copper.  Simple but still seasonal!  Maybe it will get a little spookier too as we get closer to Halloween, we'll see!

What's on your Fall Bucket List?
What are your other fall favorites this year?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fall Fever

I did some sofa shopping earlier this week and unfortunately we haven't found the sofa of our dreams just yet but what I did find was lots of lovely new fall themed decor! Since then, I've kind of had fall decor fever I guess?  Has it hit anyone else too?  I hit West Elm, CB2, and Target, here's a look at a few of the fun things I spotted while I was out and about!

CB2 and West Elm even got me noodling on Thanksgiving decor already!  I mean who doesn't need a poultry shaped tealight holder at their table?!  I also loved their table by number place card holders.

My favorite though was their Chuck Wood Storage.  I wondered if Alex could DIY something similar for us though, hmmm....

Over at West Elm there were more traditional, yet still fresh and modern Thanksgiving decor ideas.  I loved the Wheat Bunches and the Painted Metallic Table Runner.  Hmmm, another DIY idea maybe?

They also had a really fresh sophisticated take on Halloween decor.  I loved their decorative Apple Box, Snake shaped candle holders, and those studded-pyramid shaped candles.

One thing I can say I did NOT like was the X-ray plate set...

I think these would ruin my appetite?  That snake head one especially seems kind of icky!  Would you be able to eat off of them???

I also found a few cozy Threshold things at Target...

All of it got me noodling on what to buy or DIY to bring some fall decor into our home!
I didn't purchase anything just yet but I know I need to change couple things up to get that fall kind of feel- and I have to do something to get rid of my fall fever!

I guess you could even say...
I've got a (fall) fever and the only prescription for that fever is more cowbell new fall decor!

Sorry, it was too hard to resist!  (If you aren't familiar click this link, you'll be glad you did)

What are you fall decor favorites this year?
What decorations are you using for Halloween or Thanksgiving?
Would you eat off of those X-ray snake plates?!?

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Time for a Furniture Refresh?

 It's been a while since I last shared new photos of our Living Room during my "Five Year Refresh Week", but I've seriously been thinking about a furniture refresh ever since when it comes to our couch/sofa situation- and I mean seriously like it's officially scribbled in on my to-do list.

Currently, we have a leather sectional that we purchased in 2008 when we lived in our condo downtown. It actually was the first big furniture purchase we made together (awww!) and it still is a very nice sofa...  but as you may have noticed, that sectional doesn't fit into our living room due to the sofa/chaise positioning and we have been using each section separately.  If we had purchased the sectional with the opposite layout- chaise on the right, sofa part on the left (facing the sectional); it could have worked in our house just fine.  - wa-wa -

Yep.    I know.    It's kinda really janky :(  

Perhaps we had grown "house blind" to how odd it probably looks to everyone else?  Regardless, we've come to the realization that it's time pull the trigger on buying a (real) new sofa! 

I have been digging the look of the Chesterfield style sofas and thankfully, Alex is onboard with this look too... Ahhh, always feels like magic when we just happen to agree on design/style choices!  Really though, there's something nice about that classic tufted look that seems to fit our style...
Images via The Rustic Modernist | The Little Green Notebook | Veranda Interiors | Pinterest | Elle Decor | Pinimg | 47 Park Avenue
I've been doing a lot of online research but I hope to get out and do a little shopping this weekend to see what my options are.  As for our current/old sofa, we will likely list it on Craigslist since we can't fit it anywhere else in the house.  Kind of a bummer but at least we can use that money towards a new one!  Now, I'd love to hear your ideas/suggestions/recommendations since this is a larger purchase, ya'll better give me some tips...

Where would you shop for a new sofa?
Would you buy online without seeing it in person?

A special thanks goes out to our friend Amber for keeping it real and telling us that our sofa situation is strange :)  we always appreciate your wise insight... and Alex always knows you are right :) you have secret mind powers!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

West Elm Souk Rug Pattern Inspired Pillow Cover DIY

It was gettin' crafty up in here today- Check out my latest little DIY pillow cover project!

A combination of things inspired me to take on this little DIY project which started when I found this cute "Ziggy" pillow from Fine Little Day  on Pinterest a while back....

The pattern was cute, simple, irregular and had a handmade sort of feel.  I kept coming back to the Pin thinking "I wonder if I should try to DIY something like this?"

The look or texture of the print reminded me of the popular zig-zag or interlacing trellis patterned Souk and Torres rugs at West Elm with that similar irregular type line work...
West Elm Souk Wool Rug $199-$1299 and Torres Wool Kilim Rug $59-$599; Sidenote- I'd love to have one of these if anyone has a spare $1,000 I can borrow?! JK
I figured I should give this DIY a green light using a combo of the looks I was inspired by,  seemed like DIY-ing the print would be totally do-able right?  So, I had to try it!

I had an old cheaper white pillow cover that I figured I could sacrifice in case this turned out terribly and after steaming and ironing it for nearly an hour to de-wrinkle it was ready!  I started out by lining up the pattern look I wanted with painters tape.  I wanted to fit the three lines of diamonds going along the length of the Souk rug so I started by lining up that pattern with painters tape.
Using the painters tape allowed me to adjust and get the right size and shape similar to the rug.  Once I had the diamond shapes fitting across the center I cut out a piece of cardboard that fit into each of those three diamonds then used it to trace out the top and bottom rows of the diamond/zig zag pattern.  Once that was complete I used black fabric paint and a foam brush to apply the pattern.
All in all, it was a pretty simple DIY and I imagine there's probably ten other (and perhaps better?) ways I could have gone about applying or tracing out the pattern?  But I am just happy with the end result!  I think it has a simple modern look that we can fit easily into our living room or sunroom decor.  What do you think?

 Do like how the pattern turned out?
If you want to try this DIY, would you do the same pattern or something different? 

I almost want to attempt a sewing version of this DIY now, hmmm... Using the same pattern inspiration I could use thicker yarn and stitch it through a pillow cover instead of the printed/painted version?!  Sound crazy or should I try it???  Let me know!