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Master Bedroom Redux Part 2

6 Nov

I’ll get to the punchline and save you any more suspense after yesterday’s post:  It worked.  Oh yeah, it really worked.  If you didn’t read yesterday, what worked was painting over the bedroom wallpaper.  We followed m all the steps:  gluing down loose seams, mudding over them and sanding down the mud when dried.  To be honest, the wallpaper walls look better than the one with the wallpaper removed.

Maeve and I headed to Home Depot to find the right gray for the painting.  You all know what challenges I have with picking gray paint.  And Maeve, my artist extraordinaire, has an eye for color and I knew she wouldn’t steer me wrong.  I needed a gray that was more tan than blue.  After much debate and her convincing me that this was the right color, we landed on Silver Tinsel by Behr.  The premium Behr paint has primer in it and I was hoping this would help with the pattern of the wallpaper.

And it did.  Only took one coat.  Seriously.  Don’t think I’ve ever seen Brett so happy about a paint as he was about this one.  Got painted in just a few hours and then I could hang my art work and really move in.

We started here:

And currently are landing here:

What is still outstanding…

light fixtures…maybe these?  I think they’d look nice with the patter on the curtains.

MASKROS Pendant lamp IKEA Projects decorative patterns onto the ceiling and on the wall.

Also, art is needed above the bed.  The pop art piece is too square.  I think it needs something long and rectangular.  If I were a bazillionaire, I would buy this piece from one of my favorite artists Barbra Kruger.

Unfortunately, there aren’t even reproductions of this available.  (That I could find anyway.  If you know where to get one, please please tell me!)  I started looking on Etsy because I love supporting small production artists.  I found this by Jestsetretrodesign:

Mid Century Modern Art Painting Eames Era Tiki 60's Retro danish modern Modernist 60s

I think it would look great above the bed.  And while the price isn’t too precious ($250), it’s still more than I want to spend on something that isn’t Barbara Kruger.  I wonder if I could get Maeve to paint something similar.  Bet I could.  What do you think?


DIY Wood Wall Art

4 Nov

I love wood.  (Wait…let me start over.)  I love the warmth of wood in a home.  We have wood on the ceilings and floors.  One of my favorite pieces of art is by Parvez Taj painted on wood planks, so I particularly liked this post from on DIY wood artwork.  Enjoy.  And please share if you attempt one of these pieces!

Wood is much more versatile than one may think. We automatically relate wood to rustic, country flavored spaces instead of really taking a good look at everything we can do with the simple substance. It’s warm, it’s home, it’s funky, it’s eclectic. It can be so much more than just a part of a southern home or back wood cottage. Instead, you can use wood in more artistic ways. Dress your walls with this organic treat and try you hand at some type of new wooden wall art project. Here are some overheads of what you can do with wood!

1. Silhouettes.

Whether it’s on one slab of wood or several, drawing your own silhouettes atop a fresh wood piece can create a beautiful piece of simple art for the living room, above the mantle or in your home office or study.Flowers, landscapes, city skylines … the possibilities are endless. Visit DIYDiva to see how she made some of her own!

2. Recycled.

Create something like this from Thrifty Decor Chick with some recycled wood pieces. Keep them in their original shades or color them yourself to match your home’s decor. Sure, this piece is a bit rustic but with the color and design it’s quite the eclectic, cultural piece as well. Perfect for a home experimenting with different patterns and colors or inspired by a host of different cultures in design.

3. Slices.

For something incredibly beautiful, organic and homey, try a little something like this from Man Made. It’s a little masculine and blends well with a lot of different themes and room genres. And, it’s a lot easier to make than you may think!


Use wood scraps to create mini posters. Cover them with fabric and pop on a phrase. You may even want to add your name, initials or something cute and sweet like this from Make & Do Girl. Of course, you don’t always have to cover up the wood, instead you can paint right on it!

5. Words.

Then you can take the quotes to a whole new level. Turn the wood into a word! You can follow this tutorial from No. 2 Pencil and create something super retro for the kitchen or craft room! As long as you have the tools to get the job done, you’ll have a lot of fun putting this together.

Mad Men Behind the Scenes

3 Oct

Via the wonderful blog Whorange (for some reason WordPress will not let me hyperlink lately, but the link is come these behind the scenes photos from Mad Men.  Is there anyone else out there that is re-watching all the seasons until the next one comes out?  Just can’t get enough.


darlings, if you have ever fantasized about sneaking onto the set of mad men to twirl amongst the rack of dresses and steal a puff off of jon hamm’s discarded cigarette, do i have a treat for you.

photographer extraordinaire, james minchin III, was given access to the dressing rooms, art department, and sound stage of our favorite TV show. the result — an intimate, behind-the-scenes peek into mad men, from meticiously detailed 1960s props to an image of don draper using an iphone.

yep, sometimes what goes on behind the camera is just as fabulous as what goes on in front of it.



















{photography by james minchin III for rolling stone.} {additional images can be found here.}

DIY Marimekko

1 Oct

You all know about my unbridled affection for Marimekko so I had to share this via Remodelista.  I believe the first image may have been posted before, but I want to revisit it because I have some extra time this week.  After a few months of insane travel, I took some time off to reacquaint myself with my family (“Hello, girls.  Remember me?  I’m your mom.”)  I also plan do a little work around the house and the blog, which means the draught of the past few weeks is over.  Get your umbrellas friends, as it’s going to pour.

Are you an admirer of Marimekko’s graphic black and white ceramics? But don’t want to spend $22 for a mug? Read on for ideas on how to recreate the look for less.

Above: Plates and bowls painted by Jennifer Hagler (she writes the blog A Merry Mishap). Hagler used cheap white china and a porcelain pen from her local crafts store.

Above: Mugs painted by Abbey Hendrickson (of Aesthetic Outburst).

Above: A few more ideas, from Swedish ceramicist Kajsa Cramer.

Bertoia Tonal Sculpture Limited Edition Reproduction

28 Sep

Now I most definitely don’t have $2500 sitting around just waiting to be spent (because believe me any money around here is most likely spent before it ever arrives!)  But if I did I would consider investing in this this Harry Bertoia sculpture.  It’s just lovely and the sound is wonderful.  As background, Harry Bertoia was an Italian-born artist, sound art sculptor, and modern furniture designer.  He designed the wire pieces that became known as the Bertoia Collection for Knoll. Among them the famous ‘Diamond chair‘ a fluid, sculptural form made from a molded lattice work of welded steel.

In Bertoia’s own words, “If you look at these chairs, they are mainly made of air, like sculpture. Space passes right through them.”

From the Bertoia Estate…

2015 marks the Centennial of Mid-Century Modern Artist Harry Bertoia. The Bertoia Estate, in cooperation with Bertoia Studio, is excited to introduce for the first time a limited edition reproduction tonal sculpture.

This exact replica of a Sonambient Barn piece was produced to help commemorate and celebrate the centennial of Harry Bertoia, 1915-1978. The approaching year 2015, the centennial of his birth, will bring more surprises related to Bertoia, but for right now, as a preview, Val, Lesta, and Celia (his surviving children) are pleased to bring the sounds of Bertoia to a wider audience. Features:

144 bronze rods on a brass base, 11 ¾” tall

A metallic chime that has been compared to church bells or music of the spheres

Authorized by the Bertoia Estate

An exact replica of a Sonambient Barn sounding sculpture

While the original would easily sell in the 5 figure range, the reproduction is available for $2500 plus shipping. It is constructed in exactly the same technique that Bertoia himself used, with the same tonal quality that he experimented for years to attain.

To see a video, hear the sound, peruse all the details, and order, or just to play around in the world of Bertoia, please visit:

Jørund Aase Falkenberg

21 Aug

*While not technically MCM, I just had to share these not-paintings by Jørund Aase Falkenberg.  They remind me of another modern abstract favorite of mine, Jackson Pollock, turned inside out.  Also, I just really dig that the woman in the first image is wearing what looks to be a Marimekko coat.  Love.

Jørund Aase Falkenberg
Untitled (WP no. 4), Acrylic on wall, ca. 3×6 m, Entrance 09, Rogaland Art Center, Stavanger 2009

The work of Jørund Aase Falkenberg seems to me to consistently be asking questions. You know how some art tells you things? Well, his work asks you things. It asks you to think about the construction, the materials, and to interact. This particular series, Untitled (WP) looks like there were paintings on these walls at one time and one begins to wonder what is the art? The painting that is no longer there, or the paint that remains.

Jørund Aase Falkenberg
Untitled (WP no. 3), Acrylic on wall, ca. 5×5 m, Reconfigure, The Drawing Room, London 2008

Jørund Aase Falkenberg
Untitled (WP no. 2), Acrylic on wall, ca. 3×6 m, Master exhibition, Stenersenmuseet, Oslo 2008

Jørund Aase Falkenberg
Untitled (WP no. 1), Acrylic on wall and floor, ca. 3×6 m, What Is This, Gallery 21:25, Oslo 2003

Read more at Design Milk:

Orla Kiely RIP (Or Rant in Progress)

19 Aug

*No, she’s not dead.  She’s just dead to me.

Dear Orla,

Things have been rocky with us for a while.  This may (or may not…I’m mercurial that way) be my last Orla post.  I have been let down.  Again.  I am beginning to feel used and abused.  For me, there is nothing worse than a special lady like you who spreads herself to the masses in such a mercenary manner.  I thought you were the one.  Apparently, you want to be the one for everyone, you village bicycle, you.  When the scale tips from unique and special to mass reach in pursuit of profit, I’m out.  I’m sorry but this relationship has run its course.  It’s not me.  It’s you.

It was a great love while it lasted.  Awed by your whimsy and color and mid-century sensibility, I fell for you and fell hard.  Four years ago, I started my handbag collection.  In small boutiques tucked away in trendy little Seattle shopping areas, I would catch a glimpse of this eye-catching stem pattern on bags or wallets.  Rare enough to not be ubiquitous, but accessible enough to not be haute couture.  My obsession with you began.

Then of course, I saw you flaunting yourself at Tar-jay a few years ago and the canisters I bought have dictated the color scheme in my life.  When you designed for Target, I wasn’t as disappointed as I am now.  You were new.  You were fresh.  You were limited. You needed the exposure, I get it.  We all want to grow.  And even after the Target stint,  I didn’t see you hawking your wares everywhere, Roxanne.

I even put you on my walls.  Reminders of us as I walk through my home.  I turned our love into art.

Hello.  My name is Brandy.  I am was  an Orla-holic.  When times were easier and money less scarce than in today’s economy, I bought Orla bags with abandon.  Every fall and spring, I had to have the latest.  Last spring, I bought another at the Orla store in London.  I loved the size.  I love the olive pattern.  I hated that the leather shoulder strap split within a month.  My girlfriend bought a different bag and had the same thing happen to her. Sign number one that quality stops being the priority. (Mind you, these all sit at the top of my closet now.  I see them, growl, and threaten to sell them on eBay.  I do this with the children sometimes too.)

Then I had to live through the anticipation and let down of the Orla linens at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Such a disappointment.  You looked so cute in the photos.  Kind of like a profile.  Alas, when I met you for coffee, you were no different from the rest.  And you were so cheap, you made me pick up the tab.

Even after that, I gave you another chance.  Like a beaten wife, I just kept coming back for more.  So when I saw you had a new line of hand soaps for Method, I checked it out.  I love Method products.  Not in the way I loved you, of course.  Method products are non-toxic, environmentally friendly and they smell SO good!  But the two of you together with me all foamed up in soapy goodness, well, that could be memories in the making. 

Method Orla Kiely Gel Hand Wash - Primrose 12 oz.Opens in a new window

Method Orla Kiely Foaming Hand Wash - Vanilla Chai 10 oz.Opens in a new window

Sigh.  When I saw you there on the shelf, you were cheap and all tarted up in a flimsy plastic wrap around your bottle.  You didn’t look special.  And your scent?  Sheesh.  Vanilla chai so sickly it nauseated me.  Where has your class gone?  Has substance abandoned you?  I left you sitting there on the shelf.  I did.  I couldn’t even part with the $3.99 for you.

I will miss you, Orla.  I will always have fond memories of our time together. 

I leave you with a quote from another idol of mine who never lost her class.

“I have often observed that resignation is never so perfect as when the blessing denied begins to lose somewhat of its value in our estimation.” Mr. Collins, Pride and Prejudice.



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