Guest Vignette: Yellow Brick Home

Delirium has officially set in thanks to two really exciting opportunities that have literally fallen into my lap.  Once the ink  has dried, I am stoked to be able to share the news with you!  But you know what else I am happy to share with you all — the newest post my Guest Vignette series.  I don’t know but somehow I convinced one of my favorite blogging couples, Kim & Scott, the adorable, quirky and pretty awesome peeps behind the blog Yellow Brick House to participate.  In case you forgot, the Guest Vignette series is  where I ask fellow bloggers to share a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful.

So lets see what inspires Kim & Scott…..

The workday slump hits me around two every day. I realize this is common for most people, and while I generally crave a coffee at this point, more often than not, this is the time I begin daydreaming of our couch. I daydream of our pillows, our soft, shaggy rug and our pup, Jack, by our side.

I chose this snippet of our living room because it’s by far my favorite place in our home. At the end of a long day – well after dinner’s been made, conversation has been had and the dishes have been cleared – Scott and I gravitate to our couch, and we just be. It’s where we unwind, sip hot tea (or, hey, vodka) and – when energy allows – talk about the upcoming week, our summer plans (in Chicago, it’s never too early to wish for warmth) and oh, look at that cute thing Jack’s doing! On the surface, we’re surrounded by hand-picked items that we love: a photograph of my grandparents, a round table for gatherings and a lamp, an elephant and a crate full of nubby throws. But on that couch, we’re together. And at the risk of sounding like a complete sap, that’s my favorite thing, really.

Thank you Kim and Scott!  I think everyone needs to have a space in their home to just “be”.  Whether that space is your bedroom, your den, or a corner of your living room as the case with Kim and Scott, I think it’s crucial to have that comforting and inviting space.  So tell me, what space in your house is your “chill and recharge” spot?

Well I am back to the Hawthorne project today to go through electrical inspection and supervise the painting.  However, we are in the home stretch — a few more things to buy but the big stuff will be done by Friday, the clients move in on Saturday and it is just then the process of waiting for everything to arrive.

Speaking of waiting – what are YOU waiting on?  Why haven’t you entered my Hump Day Give Away to win a $50 gift card from ZGallerie?  It’s quick and easy, so jump on it!  And don’t forget check me out on Facebook and Pinterest as well as Twitter.

Guest Vignette: Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One

I love the internet….pure and simple.  It is one of the few mediums that brings people together across a variety of different barriers.  If it wasn’t for my blog, I would have never had the opportunity to meet Alycia of Tablescapes at Table Twenty-One.  We may have bonded over our love of pretty tables, but we became fast friends because of Alycia’s kind nature and her never-ending knowledge about running your own business as a second career.

I am excited that Alycia finally agreed to participate in my Guest Vignette series where I ask fellow bloggers to photograph a vignette in their home and explain why it is meaningful to them.  Here is Alycia’s contribution…..

The whole retirement thing is nothing but a big scam! When I hung up my wedding design [business] hat two years ago, everyone led me to believe I would be able to sleep in and then enjoy long, leisurely lunches with my friends. They said I would be eager to learn something new like tennis or Israeli martial arts to work those lunches off before heading to meet still more friends for martinis. They said I would be able to spend more time with my husband and become the glamorous, trendsetting lady of leisure I used to be. Lies! All lies! My so-called “retirement” has been more work than running a design store ever was! I get up earlier, go to bed later, and the time in between is a whirlwind of activity. Lunch is usually scarfing down a sandwich in my sweats while folding clothes. I see my husband for about 10 minutes in the morning before he scoots out the door, and another hour at night before we both fall into bed exhausted. There is no tennis court in my future, and martinis are more like…well, to be honest…just swallowing a handful of olives and taking a swig right out of the bottle because I don’t have time to stand there and shake.

This vignette is a corner of our little library that offers 10 minutes of solace each afternoon.   I fix myself a cup of tea or coffee and just sit there. (OK, you got me…it’s brandy in the cup!) I may stare out the window plotting my escape from suburbia.   I may catch up on my correspondence (uh, yes…some people still write letters despite the advent of email!), or I may just swoon to the strains of Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck. (Hush! I like Engelbert!) What makes this corner my favorite place is that I am surrounded by memories of family members from generations past. To my right is the violin played by my maternal Grandmother in the 1920s, then my mother, my first cousin, and finally my second cousin who is now in his 30s. The strings are fragile with several missing and the bow is worn, but I love it. On the wall to the left of the desk is a portrait of my paternal Grandmother as a child at the turn of the last century. Next to that are the high school diplomas earned by my paternal Grandfather and Grandmother in 1912 and 1916 respectively. Living in rural America as they did, earning a high school diploma was something of a big deal back then. Judging by the size of those bad boys, it must have been like winning the lottery! My Grandmother actually went on to earn her college degree which was a real coup in those days!

I am grateful for all that I am and all that I have in this life. To be able to sit for 10 glorious minutes each day to enjoy my retirement surrounded by mementos from those who came before me is a blessing.

Indeed Alycia, you truly are blessed!  I love that Alycia has been able to carve out a niche in her home filled with personal antiques that serves as a restful retreat.  Thank you Alycia for sharing!

Do you have a special place in your home that is your “zen corner”?  Drop a comment and tell me where those cozy corners are in your home.

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Guest Vignette: Adventures of an Almost 40 Year Old Intern…

Because I am all about shameless self-promotion, be sure to check out the give away I am doing this month where you can win a $50 gift card from Pier 1!

Okay now that is out of the way, I wanted to take a moment to reintroduce an on-going series for the blog called “Guest Vignette” where I am asking various bloggers to showcase vignettes in their own home and explain why they are meaningful.  While the series is a fun way to get a snapshot into different bloggers’ design styles, it also is a great reminder that a home is all about how you personalize it – without personal objects in the space, it’s a house.  It’s all about how you layer in those personal things that makes it a home.

I am tickled to have Holly of Adventures of an Almost 40 Year Old Intern  as my guest today.  Like myself, Holly found her calling in life a tad later than most but she has made up for it with a vengeance.  She enrolled herself in design school, promptly scoring a sweet internship in Los Angeles.  If that wasn’t enough her mad DIY skills have grabbed the attention of Nate Berkus (she was on the show too!), Design*Sponge, Apartment Therapy and a slew of other design heavyweights.  Today Holly is sharing a vignette in her Los Angeles living room…..


Well, I love this vignette because it incorporates so much of what I love…  A great piece of vintage furniture, a cool graphic printed fabric, fresh orchid, and quirky artwork that is meaningful to me.  For the last year I have been bloggin’ about starting over as an intern and pursuing a career in interior design and this vignette is the first project I did in the quest to revamp my apartment right before I made that big decision. I was obsessed with artwork collage walls, saw many done on HGTV and in my favorite design magazines,  and I wasn’t sure I had it in me to create one of my own. And then one Saturday I just spent the day planning it out on my living room floor and nailing it to the wall. I have been lucky enough to travel to a lot of cool places in the world and have collected random pieces of artwork on these travels and never got around to properly displaying them. So now my groovy vintage fan purchased at a market in Buenos Aires, pieces from a couple of artists in Prague, a photo taken by a really cute guy in India, and a pic of my little nephew with his bright red hair, among other pieces, all live in the same place! And it was the success of this vignette that helped me gain the courage to try my hand at interior design and make the crazy decision to work for free to get experience. Oh, and the groovy original Bertoia chair in this vignette??? Well, it is one of my very first super fabulous vintage finds! I paid $150 dollars for this beauty (and a matching one) 21 years ago at a vintage store in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That was such a huge amount of money to me at the time (I was 19 years old), and way before I understood the value of a great investment piece!

Don’t you love how Holly’s collage wall is more than just a fun way to hang art?  I like that the wall chronicles her adventures in life and can only imagine the conversations between her friends that the collage has sparked.  Thank you Holly for sharing!

You can check out other Guest Vignettes, here and here.  Be sure to also check me out on Facebook and Pinterest as well as Twitter.

Don’t forget to enter the Pier 1 Give Away for your chance to win a $50 gift card!

Guest Vignette: Me, You and a Wiener

If you don’t know Bri of Me, You and a Wiener, then my friends you are missing out.  The blog is highly irreverent and highly entertaining  and showcases Bri’s highly awesome design skills.  If you visit for nothing else, go for her hilarious self-drawn cartoons that highlight her various DIY projects, random musings and adventures.

I have come to count on Bri as my dose of reality in the blogosphere.  She never sugar coats and always puts it out there like she sees it which you need at times.  So when I was tinkering with doing a ongoing series of guest posts where I ask other bloggers to photograph and describe a meaningful vignette in their home, I ran it past Bri to gauge her reaction.  Fortunately, she liked the idea; so much so that I convinced her to kick off the series.

Here is Bri’s vignette and her explanation on why she finds it meaningful…..

This is a big ass vignette, that picture in the back of the ocean be San Fran. We took a few trips up there when were still stationed at Beale AFB. I miss Cali a lot so I keep a few pictures around the house that remind me of all the great places  my buddies, Wayne (hubby) and I enjoyed while we were still stationed there.  I’m not one to really have special objects that I treasure (besides my dog tags, because I’m thankful I still have them), what I treasure most are pictures of friends because they serve as good conversation starters when family and friends come to visit. Especially when they are of your best friend who is a dude wearing your weave that you accidentally emailed to the whole base. Bahahahaha

I “heart” Bri’s vignette but absolutely LOVE that the whole vignette was inspired by the small picture on the console table.  Her explanation brings this seating vignette to another level and I can just imagine Bri sitting in the chair, strolling down memory lane right before grabbing the joysticks and kicking your ass in Gears of War 3.

So are you tired of me plugging the Shabby Apple Dress Give Away yet?  You won’t be if you are the lucky winner of an awesome (and free) party dress for the holidays.  Be sure to enter!

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Seeing It Again For First Time…..

I woke up this morning and this is what greeted me when I walked into our master bathroom…….

I never noticed how the potted orchid echoed the shape of the flower in the photograph.  It struck me as a beautiful composition, so I took a picture of it.  To me this is the essence of what I am striving for as a designer – when the elements of a room “talk” to each other without necessarily “yelling” to get your attention. 

I love being in my home and “rediscovering” aspects of it.  It’s like seeing my house again for the first time.  Now if I could only apply this same philosophy to all aspects of my life! 

So tell me, what old thing in your life have you discovered “again” and see with new eyes?

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Vignette Week: Crystal Rabbit

In my second post for Vignette Week, I wanted to focus on a vignette I created for my living room coffee table….

My Partner received the small crystal rabbit from his grandparents 12 years ago during the Year of the Rabbit.  His Chinese zodiac sign is also rabbit so it was considered to be a doubly lucky year for him.  Coincidentally it was also the year we met…..while I can’t say for certain that the aligning of the zodiac brought us together, I like to think that his crystal rabbit as my good luck charm. Therefore, I try to make sure that it always has a special place within our home. Superstitious?  Maybe.  Call it what you may — lucky charm, patron saint or symbolic token — that little rabbit means the world to me as does the owner.

Do you have a special memento that reminds you of a loved one?  Leave a comment and tell me what it is…I promise I won’t tell a soul!

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Vignette Week…….

Over the weekend as I put the finishing touches on my Halloween tablescape, I was struck by how many small nooks and vignettes I had created in my home.  It comes as no surprise that I love creating them (especially since I have a whole section of my blog dedicated to them) but what did strike me was how personal each vignette was to me.  They each hold a story whether be about how I acquired the pieces or why they are grouped together.

So over the next week, I am going to be displaying different vignettes from around my home and sharing their stories……..

The painting I picked up at my favorite resale shop, Urban Ore, for about $9.   What drew me in was the subject matter — the elderly lady poised so rigidly in her house coat, sun hat and stockings.  It reminded me of my great-grandmother’s circle of friends in the Bronx.  Proper ladies through and through, this bunch followed the strict “code” that ladies  always covered their heads and legs when in public.  When the rest of us were in tank tops, nursing ice cream cones, these ladies sat on their porches on the edge of their seats, hats on their heads and iced tea in hand keeping watch over the collective brood.

So do you have a vignette in your own home that reminds you of your youth?  Share a link or picture of it in the comments section.  Also check back this week when I share my Halloween table based on The Raven by Edgar Allen Poe.