Monday, February 28, 2011

pull up a chair

i have a chair problem. i see chairs everywhere that i want. sometimes, like in this particular case, they're incredibly old and weathered. and chained to phone booths. but i could see this chair in a hallway with a stack of books on it, and maybe an old phone sitting on top of them. i could see it being used as a little side table in a guest room with a pretty book or two and a small arrangement of sweet pink flowers. of course the chain would have to come off...

i've also been coveting a midcentury rocker from urban...and now it's gone. so gone i can't even look at it and lament that it's not mine. except i can torture myself by looking at it here.

my love for chairs knows no limit...i don't discriminate - i love all styles and sizes, all time periods and origins.

i collect chairs at tag sales and garbage piles (imagine that said under my breath - i'm not proud of it. well actually, i'm a little proud of it, but mitchell's not). i have a dream of what they'll be one day. my latest obsession is this, in our next apartment. i'll paint several disparate chairs all in one high-gloss color (TBD) and have them around a dining room table all together. i first saw the idea in sjp's home, and became obsessed. i've written about it a few times already, because i never tire of it.

here are the chairs i've collected (well, ones that look a lot like them) that will all live in harmony one day soon around my table. so far, i've only spent $10.

one thonet bentwood style chair, $5 at tag sale:

one chippendale style chair, $5 at tag sale:

then, i have my sights set on two chippendale-style armchairs at my grandmother's house (free) that are far less bamboo-esque than these, but you get the idea. and i love the fact that there are breaks up the pattern of only having one of each and gives it that more collected feel, which in this case, is totally authentic.

then i have 2 french country chairs like this from my other grandmother (free). another couplet...

and then when my mom gives in to my urgings to get these chairs for her dining room table, i hope to take a couple of their current ones too (free). they look like this (no arms):

okay and one more -- this style captains chair which i picked up in a..."recycling" pile. it looks almost exactly like this, except it's in three pieces at the moment:

and i'd like to add a couple more should i ever come across them at a tag sale or something...a shaker style chair like this:

and a curved back one like this:

oh, and maybe a queen anne style like these:

where am i putting all these chairs? i really don't know the answer to that. like i said, i have a problem. maybe one day when i'm a millionaire, i'll have a chair annex. and then i'll live there and stare at all my chairs all day. don't judge.

thonet chair image, chippendale image, chippendale armchair image, french country chair image, other images from here, and here

Friday, February 25, 2011

moments in time

i have to share the photography of liliya gorlanova with you...doesn't her work capture the essence of an emotional moment? i love the way her pictures are a throwback to a slightly older style of photography - they're not ironic or cutesy or vintagey like so many we see all over the blogs. instead, they're honest, earnest and incredibly poignant.

i especially love the ones of the raw and revealing.

take a look through liliya's site this morning, and this lovely wedding she shot...i know her work will put a smile on your face and start your weekend off sweetly.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

family recipes

isn't this the sweetest idea? it's a recipe scrapbook with old, handwritten recipe cards and notes and family photos to correspond. i've long had the idea of putting together something like this with the help of my grandmother, mother and sister and i think this image just put me over the edge.

while martha's version involves the original cards, the creation of slots and probably more DIY skill than i have, my idea is to create multiples of the book i make using great images of the originals. by doing it this way, we'll still get the original handwriting and the color of the weathered paper and ink, but we can make several books and give one to each home in the family. of course, the originals will be kept safely where time won't hurt them.

i don't know if there could be something more special in the kitchen of any home than a carefully bound curation of the recipes and meals that have traced the history of a family, in handwriting generations old, on paper that has seen other centuries.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

on weddings: links of love

i know my mind is totally on weddings these last few weeks. between all the work i'm doing on bridefinds and planning my sister's upcoming wedding, i am a walking wedding.

i love the sensibility behind amanda freeman's guest post on every last detail. it's all about being real with your wedding, and i think it's true way beyond weddings, but true about everything in life - homes, jobs, relationships, children, etc.

can you relate to robin's fear of having a case of HHS (Harried Hostess Syndrome) at your wedding, or at any other party you host for that matter? ugh, you know that feeling, where you just can't even relax because you're so busy hosting?

party like it's 1929...flapper themed wedding and shower finds. LOVE. oooh, a gatsby wedding would be so fun. SO fun.

this couple featured on bwed got married at a drive thru. they look so fun and spontaneous. and i'm obsessed with how the yellow of her bouquet is strung all throughout their photos, even from such mundane places as the lines in a parking lot.

and i'm already obsessed with all the totally adorable things on the new site from the wedding chicks, on to baby. and the fever begins...

i don't know what's sweeter...the little girl's barettes, or the fact that she's drinking juice out of a jam jar. or the fab antique mirror. it's a good package, all around.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

reader dilemma: rachel's couch

hello lovelies. today, i'm tackling a reader's dilemma...rachel is determined to buy a couch this weekend on president's day sale...i love that she knows so much about what she wants, and i did my best to stay pretty tightly within her parameters (below) because they were reasonable and, let's face it, we're all capable of shopping outside our budget and needs - we're experts at that, i'd even say, right? part of the challenge of good shopping is being happy with something you don't have to feel even an ounce of guilt over.

here are rachel's parameters:

-not modern and angular
-not alot of scattered throw pillows; 2-3 fixed pillows or just a padded back
-preferably gray or eggplant, but flexible on color
-not leather
-not convinced on microfiber, but flexible
-preferably $1000 or under, but flexible
-less than 88 inches
-not online; must be able to try in person*

*if you think a fabric feels rough or a back feels too firm when trying it out, forget it. that's after hundreds of people sit on it every day, so when you get yours, it will be that much rougher or firmer.

the only real challenge i had was the color...not many eggplant couches that are tryable in NYC are out there...and i found some gray. BUT since rachel was flexible on color, and you can always accessorize with throws and other textiles, i feel okay about it.

okay, so rachel liked the couch above, though not the print, so that was my first frame of reference. so off i went, parameters in mind...and this morning i'm sharing what i found.

first, in the style of the couch rachel liked, here are a few, all under $1000. these all have the rolled arms and slipcovered look rachel seemed to gravitate toward:

the brynn sofa(on sale for $788; 86") from raymour and flanigan:

this is the comfort slipcovered sofa ($999, 83.5") from pottery barn in stone, a light gray.

and this is the auburn sofa ($999, 87") from macy's, about which i've heard great things about furniture purchases, including a 7 year total protection plan.

now, also similar in style to rachel's original couch crush, i found these options, which also have the traditional rolled arms, but are an upholstered look, rather than a slipcovered look.

there's the buchanan apartment sofa ($799, 79")from pottery barn in the stone seen above, and i also think it's quite charming in this dorian stripe.

then back at macy's, there's the remo velvet sofa (on sale for $774, 88") in aubergine and lots of other colors, including a more neutral color on sale for only $599.

the only couch out of the whole lot i'm taking a slight liberty with is the vegas sofa ($569, 90") from raymour and flanigan which, at 90" is two inches longer than rachel's ideal. but i think it's worth placing, since it's almost half her allotted budget and really nice looking.

now, in a different style but still within rachel's parameters, there are some alternative options which have padded backs rather than pillows...

the dylan sofa ($899, 83") from pottery barn is straightforward but still comfortable looking and comes in that pale gray rachel might like.

similarly, the anna sofa (on sale for $699, 82") from raymour and flanigan is a sort of granny-chic looking option and comes in a dark brown but also a really punchy, persimmony red which could be fun. and the pillows are just decorative! i love the gentle shape of this couch...which the pillows hide, in my opinion.

and then the abbie sofa (on sale for $599.99, 84") from pier 1 is very luxe looking in lustrous cranberry velvet.

and speaking of luxe, these options still fit into the parameters but are even more tailored, and i thought might be fun to take a look at just as a total departure. though some of them have the tufting we all see everywhere a la mad men, they don't have the modern, angular feel that rachel doesn't want.

meet the chloe sofa (on sale for $699, 76") and the claudia sofa (on sale for $999, 76"), both from macy's. i like to think of them as stylish sisters. that come in chic colors.

room and board actually has a reasonably priced option in the brooks sofa ($899, 85") which comes in charcoal (gray!) and a few other colors, including the lovely otter.
and then could you die over the silhouette sofa ($999, 80.5") from crate and barrel? this color is just beyond, but of course it comes in others if this is a bit too...just too.

once that got me going, the tory apartment sofa (on sale for $769, 74") in ochre swept through. it also comes in charcoal...gray again!!

alright, how'd i do rachel? anything you like? tell us how you did!
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