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My Little House Design: October 2012

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Coming Soon...

The other day I got awesome news in the mail:

West Elm is opening a store in Indy! Woohoo!

I don't remember when I first heard of West Elm but it was a few years ago and I've been a fan ever since. If you've never heard of it I would say it is like a cooler more modern version of Pottery Barn which means I can't really afford much but it is all so pretty to look at. Actually, their prices aren't that bad I just have to not be so cheap when it comes to buying furniture.

In honor of this momentous occasion here are some of my favorite West Elm pieces:

Parson's Desk $349. If you read any other blogs or design magazines than you have surely seen this desk. It is a classic desk that can be used for many different purposes and with all kinds of interior design styles.

Boerum Dining Table $509. I LOVE this table. It is such a classic farmhouse style that it could be styled any number of ways. This is also a great price for a dining table. If you are like me any price over $100 is painful, but dining room tables are crazy expensive so $509 isn't bad. It doesn't come with chairs but probably the best thing you could ever do is not buy a matching dining room set ever again (I have one so I'm not judging). A table like this with white plastic S chairs or fabric parsons chairs would look great.

Dokter + Misses Table Lamp $79. I love this lamp because it is a unique enough design that you won't feel like you are spending your money on something you could just pick up at Target for $30.

Alyson Fox Pillow Covers $34. West Elm always has cool pillow covers and these are no exception. They often have 'guest artists' who design cool stuff like these pillows by Alyson Fox.

Rocking Birds $14-$29. Do you need rocking birds? Of course not, but how freaking adorable are these??? I chose this to represent the whimsical side of West Elm. Their accessories aren't as funny as CB2's but they have few things that I just love because of their randomness.

Ikat Ogee Linen Window Panel $69 per panel. These curtains are one of the three things I own from West Elm. They are currently at my parent's house but I should get them back because I like them. I do not remember paying this much for them though... either I am in denial or they were way cheaper a year ago! If you are looking for nice curtains West Elm has a lot of lovely options (though they aren't cheap).

Windows Day Bed $449. This is also a very popular West Elm item. I would love to own one of these for my soon to be screened in front porch. I actually own a West Elm daybed which I got on Craigslist (picture here) for only $150 so I'm happy enough.

Tortoise Shell $79. As I mentioned here, Nate Berkus' collection at Target is selling a similar tortoise shell, but West Elm was the originator (or at least it is the first place I saw it but maybe they took the idea from someone else).

Tali Printed Shower Curtain $39. The third West Elm item I own is my shower curtain which I love. West Elm usually has a good selection of unique shower curtains all for about $39.

Ryder Rocking Chair $489. I exaggerate a lot but when I tell you that I have dreams about this chair that is no joke. I literally dreamed about it a few months ago. I love this because it so unique, practical, and beautiful - that is serious triple threat in design!

If you live in Indy you should definitely check out West Elm when it opens or at the very least you should go here and sign up to get their catalog.

Happy Shopping!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Another Craigslist Post

I have sung the praises of Craigslist many a time (here, here, here), but today is an exception. As much as I love what I find on Craigslist I really hate the user experience of their website. I do have to give them props for really sticking to their original format though. I've been using Craigslist for like five years and their webpage hasn't changed one bit. But what I don't like is when you click furniture you get a list that looks like this:

And then in order to see the image (I would never buy something without seeing an image first) you have to click through to each individual ad. I find this annoying because I will read an ad like this, "full size headboard" which is so generic it could look like anything that I basically have to click through in order to know what it looks like.

This is not something I am even remotely interested in but I wasted that time clicking through to the ad and then clicking back to the furniture list just to find that out. I want to be able to breeze through my search not waste my time clicking through to weird bed frames.

The solution? CraigsEasy. I love this! You may have already heard of it and use it, but if not I think you will really like. I found this about a year ago and it blew my mind! It works sort of like Pinterest in that you download a button for your bookmarks bar. You follow the instructions listed and then presto! You get this:

Pictures! I love this so much because you can easily scroll through and see all the images and find what you are looking for. This really cuts down on my Craigslisting time and helps me to see only the ads with pictures (which are the only ones I'm interested in anyway).

If this is old news to you, my apologies, but I wanted to share it with those of you that haven't yet heard of it.

Happy Craigslisting!

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Monday, October 29, 2012

Travel Inspiration: Marina City

I love Chicago and one of the benefits of moving back to the midwest is that now I am only a few short hours away. As I mentioned here, I went on an architectural river cruise this past weekend when I was there. The thing I was looking forward to most was getting a good up close view of my absolute favorite two buildings in the US, Marina City. The towers were designed by Bertrand Goldberg and built in 1964.

So beautiful! I've been in love with these buildings since Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album came out in 2001.


This is one of my all time favorite album covers.

I was so inspired by these buildings and all I could think while I was looking at them is how trendy the scallop pattern is right now. Here some awesome scallop patterned items:

I love this DIY scallop art work from Playing Grown Up. It seems like a really easy project because she just used a large hole punch on different colored paper and then layered the pieces over top of each other until she got this scalloped look. Love!

This scallop stencil from Royal Design Studio is so bold. I think it would look awesome and trippy in small space like an entry or bathroom.

I shared this scallop rug from Urban Outfitters in this post, but it fits here too. Such a great rug and it comes in several colors like this bold green and a more neutral grey.

I love this colorful print by Steven Womack sold on Society6. If you aren't crafty enough to DIY the art above you can buy this lovely print for $15 and save yourself the headache!

I love this retro scallop bunting fabric! It would be adorable in a kids room especially since it's only $6.74 a yard.

If you aren't ready to make a commitment to the scallops trend you could opt for something less permanent like this sparkly gold scallop garland from StephanieLovesBen. This would be adorable at any party or in a kids room (heck it would look cool in a living room if you styled it right!).

So are you in or out with the scallop pattern?

Also, thanks for your patience while I was away. In the past month I've been to Phoenix, Chicago, and DC they were all great trips, but I am happy to report that I am back in Indy for the rest of the calendar year so there shouldn't be any further interruptions with my posts. Thanks for hanging in there!

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

New Curtains!

I had a few minutes so I decided to try and write a quick post.

When I first moved into this house I went to Walmart and bought a curtain rod and ordered curtains off of Target.com for my dining room. I don't know why I decided to get curtains for in there... it was just one of those things that at the time felt necessary.

The problem is that I only bought two panels so they look pretty anemic in there. That room is so big and with three windows in a row, two panels was just not enough. But you know how it goes, some things just never get done. Well, ten months later and I finally got around to buying more panels. Thankfully, Target.com still has the panels I bought originally (here is the link if you care).

So much better! They look intentional now and so much more important. I don't know why I waited so long... best $30 I've spent in a long time!

And because I am not immune to Target impulse purchases even online I also got this:

Why yes that is a ceramic paper airplane and it may be the definition of 'impulse purchase' but I love it. It is really small like 4" and it was like $6 I think but it's adorable!

Okay now I'm off again... I should be back on Monday!

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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Brief Hiatus

Hi Friends,

I am sorry to say that my blog is taking a back burner this week while I have a lot going on. I hope to be back on Monday or Tuesday night. Thanks for your patience!


Monday, October 22, 2012

Design Icon: Mies van der Rohe

This weekend I went to Chicago with some friends so we could go on an architectural guided cruise down the Chicago River. We saw some amazing sights but one of my favorite things was to learn what buildings were designed by Mies van der Rohe. I know who he is for one reason only, this chair:

Recognize it? You have probably seen it in a million design images because it is a very popular chair to design with.





So beautiful! Mies van der Rohe (pronounced meece van der row) lived until 1969 and is considered (along with my pal Frank Lloyd Wright) a master of modern architecture.

This is one of his buildings I saw this weekend. He is often credited with the phrase, "less is more." That aesthetic is clear in this stark black building. I think it is interesting that Mies van der Rohe was an architect and furniture designer. I guess a lot of the modern architectes were but that doesn't seem to be the case today, at least not that I know of.

Lately, I have been trying to teach myself about classic pieces of furniture and the Barcelona chair is one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I will probably never own one considering they are around $2,000-$4,000 (reproductions are around $400-$700), but I still enjoy looking at them. Here are some of his other famously recognizable pieces:

Barcelona Couch

Barcelona Table

Barcelona Chair and Ottoman

Brno Chair

MR Lounge Chair

Want the look for less?

Overstock.com sells this Mies van der Rohe inspired bench for $121.99 (I've had this in my 'shopping cart' for a year... I love it but I don't really need it).

A word about reproductions: I would happily accept any debate on this point but in my opinion reproductions and "inspired by" pieces like the bench above don't harm anyone. I appreciate design but there is no way I'll ever be able to afford a $2,000 chair. Reproductions are the only way I will ever be able to experience a famous designer's work. Any thoughts?

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Inside Taliesin West

A few weeks ago I showed you pictures from my trip to Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West in Arizona. In that post I promised pictures of the interior in a later post, but then I forgot. Well, better late than never! These pictures are all poached (but they are properly sourced of course) because no interior pictures were allowed.



This is the main living area. It is quite large because he lived there with his family, his architecture students, and frequent guests. The seating and the outer walls are all very low to the ground. Frank Lloyd Wright was only 5'6" so he designed all his furniture and doorways to be the right size for him because he felt like his height was the perfect height (as a person that is also 5'6" I felt perfectly comfortable there!). You can see in the last picture how low the ceilings are, imagine if that man in black on the far left actually stood up... there were a lot average height men feeling pretty good about themselves there!


Frank Lloyd Wright was the originator of the open floor plan. He liked to have big parties where everyone could be in the same room all doing the same thing or off in little groupings.


These pendant groupings were everywhere and I loved them! Such a cool look and I don't think it would be too terribly hard to pull off in your own home.


It's hard to tell from the pictures but the "ceiling" is actually just canvas pulled over beams. It is a very tent like atmosphere. He built gutters inside so that rain water wouldn't ruin the carpet. Two things I loved in this room were the animal skins everywhere (animal skins may be the theme of my blog this week) and these round rattan stools (it's like where's Waldo, but you can find them above if you look hard enough).



I love the stone walls with wooden beams and shelves.


This is his office. I love the table with the plant in the middle, he had several of these throughout the house.

Overall this house is kind of a hot mess, but a very cool well designed hot mess. Because he was using his own money and not being paid for his time he used what was available to him and added on when he could... the overall look is pretty hodge podge, but his design aesthetic still comes through pretty clearly. It is definitely and ode to the organic Arizona landscape. What I love about this home is that he lived there and so it more truly reflects on him as a person than his commissioned homes. Most designers design a specific way for clients but in their own homes they are more likely to do things they wouldn't do for a client. I really enjoyed this tour and if you are in the Scottsdale/Phoenix area I totally recommend it and don't worry I didn't ruin the tour showing you all these pictures. There is way more that I didn't show and plus everything always looks different in person.

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