Loving Out Loud: Roberts Revival DAB Radio

I believe that the holiday shopping season doesn’t really start until December 26th.  Shopping the day after Christmas may seem like a crazy notion to many but for myself, it’s the only way I roll when shopping for those winter “must-haves”.  This is a time where I don’t have to worry about Great Aunt Brenda or if my MIL will like it…..this is solely “me time”.  It’s where I find those wonderful baubles and whatnot that make my heart race, fill my closet to the brim and empty my bank account.

This year was no different and I happily filled shopping bags with new coats, sweaters and shoes…..simply gorgeous stuff that I am excited to share with you in the coming weeks.  However, the thing that made me the most giddy was the Roberts Revival DAB Radio I got for $100 at Anthropology……

I am by NO means an audiophile but sweet meats and cheese this sucker is gorgeous.  Encased in a baby blue leather and brass shell, the Roberts radio not only look beautiful, but sounds fantastic thanks to some superior engineering and “doodadery” (it’s an official term)……

My one complaint about the radio is that the DAB function will not work in the US since we don’t have DAB frequency.  It was a nifty selling point but it is lost on American buyers which is why I think it ended up on sale.  Fortunately, it does have ports to support your iPod, so you can blast your favorite tunes to your heart’s delight.

I am quite stoked that I was able to find such a cool radio for the music room for $100.  With some slight jiggering, I was able to find a nice home for it on the shelf…..

It blends so well with the decor of the room that I think it was meant to be and thus I feel 100% justified in my purchase.  I like to think that I paid $1 for every percent of justification and since justification is priceless, I got the radio for a steal.  Hey….don’t judge my warped retail math.  Try it.  It works.

So did you all partake in the post-Christmas sales?  Leave a comment and tell me what new thing filled your heart with delight and left your wallets a little lighter….

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Critter Invasion….Of The Cute Kind….

I really need to stop swinging by Anthropologie when I run my errands.  Seriously, I can’t leave that place with picking up some piece of decor or housewares.  It’s a sickness and this weekend I got “infected” with a bad case of Acute Ceramicitis Nervousa.  The main characteristics of this affliction is the inability to say no to cute ceramic figurines, ergo why I can home with these two critters…..

Aren’t they adorable?  Even better is that each of the ceramic figurines houses a lightly scented candle reminiscent of cinnamon.  I love the fact that once the candle is spent, you are still left with these cute figurines.  They are currently adorning the bookcase in the music room but will probably take center stage in the living room once the tree is up.  Best of all, they are on sale for $19.99 but with an additional 30% off so they are less than $15 putting them into the realm of awesome stocking stuffer, host(ess) gift or teacher present.

So speaking of trees, is anyone else having a hard time getting into the holiday swing?  I FINALLY got my tree out of storage and dug out the ornaments yesterday.  Less than 2 weeks until Christmas and I have yet to start gift shopping, decorating or menu planning.  I don’t know but I am slacking in a major way.  Any suggestions (aside from booze) on how to kick up the Christmas spirit a notch?

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My Selfish Act: New Chair For Guest Room……

The Partner thinks I am abnormal — well I am but not for the reasons he thinks.  He thinks I have an issue with sharing, which I will readily admit that I do.  It has been a struggle with my personality since I was little.  I tend to hoard things I like and don’t share — potato chips, cookies, clothes, etc…..if I like it, I don’t want anyone else to have it.

So when I happened up this cane chair a few months ago (okay to keep it real, I found it in February), it was cute but nothing special.  I would have gladly shared it with anyone who was willing to take it off my hands for the $28 I paid for it…..

As I said, it sat in my garage for months with a tarp on it, collecting dust and clearly no takers.  So in June I finally said “Enough” (actually The Partner threatened to take it to the curb and put a “free” sign on it) and decided to do something with said chair.  I toyed around with a variety of ideas, but eventually settled on recovering it with a handmade rug I picked up from Anthropologie for $40.

The rug itself was a gift from the upholstery angels.  Made in Uzbekistan, the front side consisted of colorful hand embroidered butterflies in an abstract form while the back was simple off-white duck cloth.  Fortunately, for me, the rug was constructed in such a way that a simple cross stitch was used to hold the two sides together, so I simply used a seam ripper (my teeth) and pulled the pieces apart.  So what I ended up with was two large 4×6 pieces of cloth – just enough to do the entire chair for under $50.

Since I was using a thick & unconventional material to cover the chair, I opted to use a professional upholstery person.  While I think I could have done the job myself but between the fabric selection, sewing, welting, tufting and staining, I felt it was worth the added investment to hire a professional especially in light that the fabric (aka rug) didn’t have any additional yardage so there was no room for error.

I waited 2 weeks and got a call from Rene that the chair was ready.  I went to his place with every intention of placing the chair on eBay or Craigslist to sell.  But then I fell in love………

This is where my inability to share kicked in — the chair was WAY cuter than I anticipated and I didn’t want to share it with the world.  It was MINE!  MINE!!!!  So I did what any respectable designer does….I went home and promptly went through my house trying to figure out where it would go.  Lucky for me, we had an Ikea Poang chair in the guest room that I never loved – actually I hated it from Day One but The Partner loved it.

Fortunately for me (and the chair), The Partner was away visiting family, so out went his beloved Poang and in went this beauty……


Not that all was lost…I sold the Poang chair for a tidy sum and used the money to buy a few new accessories for the room including a great brass tray and stretching the monkey painting I blogged about here.

While not my intention, by placing the new chair in the guest room it gave the room a needed jolt of personality.  Now the room is a mix of clashing  patterns (in a good way) that make it fun but still relaxing.  A few more tweaks and I will take some new pictures of the revised room.

So tell me….what do you think of my “selfish” act of keeping the chair for myself…


Would you have done the same?

Okay have a GREAT long weekend and take some time to relax!

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More Wood & Brass Lighting Awesomeness…..

If you have not guessed, I love wood and brass together.  If my last post regarding my new wood and brass chandelier did not affirm that notion, then maybe today’s will.  A few months ago, I found a killer brass and wood lamp at my favorite resale shop:

Unfortunately, it was missing a harp, needed some rewiring, new shade and the base had “lamp psoriasis”……

Or what I think everyone else would call rust.  However, none of those things deterred me because I saw how awesome this lamp could be with about an hour’s worth of effort.

Thanks to about 10 minutes of sanding of the base, 15 minutes of rewiring, 10 minutes of wood oiling and sealing and 20 minutes of spray painting, I was able to turn this puppy around…..

I was lucky enough to find the shade at Anthropology for $30 marked down from $129.  I love the fun pattern and colors of the shade……

To be perfectly honest, I am still on the fence regarding the shade.  Part of me feels that it may be too busy considering the lamp base already has a pattern.  However,  part of me loves the craziness of it.  It strikes me as very 70s chic – the brass, wood and ikat pattern.

So if I was to rate my newest brass and wood light it would rank around the level of 70s awesomeness…..well if awesome was Charlie’s Angels + Bionic Woman combined with spending the day on Fantasy Island before heading out to Studio 54 in a custom Halston leisure suit.

Yeah, I think the lamp is just that kind of awesome.

Happy Monday!!!!

Update 8/24/11: Submitted this project to the CSI Lamp Challenge

Recap: Bright & Light New Year’s Day Brunch Table Setting

During the winter months, I crave brightness.  Some people call it seasonal affective disorder or some other fancy name, but I just know that by the end of December, I want bright, light and cheery.  This need has manifested itself in different ways throughout my life ranging from an inherit need to dress in bright patterns during the winter months to turning on every light in the house come dusk.  Fortunately for my electric bill, this year manifested in a need to create a bold and lively table setting for our anticipated New Year’s Day brunch.

Since most of our friends are parents of infants, a night of partying isn’t in the cards anymore. Instead, this year we have opted for a low-key New Year’s Day brunch.  The gathering is low-key, informal social gathering where we all wear jeans, the wee ones are fed and placed to play on the shag rug and the occasional tiny dog or two a sneaked a treat of breakfast sausage under the table.  The brunch is my idealized concept of effortless perfection and  I wanted the table to reflect this mellow vibe.   Think mellow but still fun as it’s still a party (even if sparkling cider is subbed for champagne for some members of the group).  After all, it is the first “official” social gathering of our friends, so we have to set the tone for the remainder of the year!

To achieve this feeling, I opted to go with a  non-traditional color palette – colors you would not typically find on a holiday table.  Don’t get me wrong – I am a dude who loves all things shiny and silver.  But when I tried it out a color scheme like that, it felt too stuffy for a brunch.  So I opted for a palette that was zippy and straight out of a Technicolor dream: turquoise, purple and orange.  This color scheme allowed me to do two things: (1) fulfill my innate  need for punchy colors and (2) mix pieces from my collection that don’t necessarily “match”.

What I ended up with was a super-saturated table setting that let me run a bit wild.  It’s fun,  bright and I think I may have my first table setting “crush”…….

Here is a breakdown of the items used:

Tablecloth: 90in round cotton Crate & Barrel
Napkins: Pier One
Dishes: Plate and salad plate are from Anthropologie
Champagne Flutes: Clearance pieces from Ross Dress For Less
Juice Glasses: Pressed antique glass
Silverware: A combination of antique mother of pearl pieces & every day stainless steel flatware
Flower vases: Ikea drinking glasses
Centerpiece: Dollar Store, found branches and holiday ornaments & keepsakes
Mercury Candle Holders: Michael’s Craft
Tea lights: Ikea

Tomorrow, I will highlight the “big sister” version of this table setting……

PS: You can get a sneak peek of the Big Sister version if you visit the lovely ladies over at Living Livelier!