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One Room Challenge: Week Six — Reveal!

Hi everyone, welcome back for the final week of the One Room Challenge! For the past six weeks a host of bloggers have worked tirelessly to take one room from a zero to a hero. [Catch up on past weeks HERE.] Let me tell you something: this challenge ain’t for wimps or wussies. Six weeks ago my husband loved me, my children recognized me, and I weighed five pounds less. Apparently the threat of utter public humiliation makes me hungry. Was it worth it? I don’t know, donuts are pretty delicious.

Imagine this bathroom is a giant frosted donut. Nom nom.

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I really hope you like it, because I kind of love it. It’s magic mushroom mystery submarine crazy. I so very much wish you could come visit in person because this is the hardest room in the universe to photograph EVER. And unlike most photoshoots where I am piling laundry into corners out of the camera’s view, I think this space looks so much better in person.

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Also it is tiny so there are really only two angles, but somehow I managed to take 300 pictures. I hope you like to look at pictures of my bathroom on the internet. Let’s hit the rundown.

erin williamson | design crisis

You may recall that I scored this handsome Altman’s faucet on ebay. Some days I wake up filled with worry… will the brass trend die a horrible chevronesque death due to ubiquity and overuse? It might. But if you like it, do it. I think someone famous said that once.

erin williamson | design crisis

Cb2 Torked it out of the park with this mirror. It really goes everywhere, and it especially works when you have a lot of things happening in a small space. Pare. It. Down. It’s awesome, except after we (Ben) hung it I decided it was about two inches too high and now there is a big hole in the wallpaper, but don’t worry you can’t see it because I am a wizard with concealer.

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My pare it down principle somehow does not extend to lighting, because when faced with electrified shiny things I can’t seem not to take it to the maxxx. I am in sweet love with this Mazzega chandelier I picked up off ebay for pennies on the dollar. I swear this thing is 20x more impressive in real life. It’s spun from Charlotte’s webs and angel tears.

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After we (Ben) hung it, I decided it was two inches too high so I made him lengthen the chain, which required disassembling and reassembling with held breath and eyes wide shut. The fear of possible breakage will continue to give me ptsd for weeks.

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Ike was sooooo excited about this soap dish — this glass soap dish that I didn’t want him to use. He actually started crying when I tried to take it out of HIS bathroom. Because he thinks the bathroom belongs to him. Don’t say I never spoil you, kid. You can have the soap dish too.

When it came time to hang last week’s proposed lucite towel ring, I balked. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong with me until I scrolled through my ginormous collection of bathrooms on pinterest and realized that none of my favorites had a towel ring. Zero. A few had petite towel bars, which at least keep things nice and flat instead of scrunched up and germy. I decided I didn’t want anything hanging on that wall… it just felt cluttered. Then I decided I hate regular hand towels so I “made” these from a vintage linen tablecloth with metallic embroidery, and by made I mean “tore artfully.”

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All is not lost, lucite lovers. I did end up using the paper holder with fancy BLACK toilet paper, courtesy of my sweet friend Rebecca who knows my heart’s desires so well.

erin williamson | design crisis

How have I lived so long without black toilet paper that my children aren’t allowed to use? It’s amazing. Thank you, Rebecca! When I opened the box I almost wept with delight and maybe a little bit of first world self loathing. The fact that it’s a gift makes it ok. SCORE.

erin williamson | design crisis

Speaking of great friends, let’s talk about my amazing art courtesy of Gillian Bryce Fine Art. I have 800 million paintings but this wallpaper is wack. Nothing I had worked and I was slightly EXTREMELY panicked, but I stalked the 214 Modern Vintage booth at High Point via facebook like it’s my job (it is) and then I spied this beauty. Gillian overnighted it to me… I’m kind of speechless in love with her and the art. That is service, y’all. I highly recommend checking out her giant art collection. It’s excellent.

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Did you notice the spray painted blinds? Thanks to all my instagram buds who encouraged me to paint my fingers and toes black. I’m happy to report that it worked pretty well (on the blinds). We’ll see how they hold up to a baby who likes to eat the wooden bobs. Please don’t call CPS. I know the heimlich.

So I think that’s it for my sources. Want to see a little freestyle action? These are the moments (cue teary montage):

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erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

And what would a makeover challenge be without a proper before and after? Put on your sunglasses, because the before pictures might blind the old and infirm. That’s not you, right?

BEFORE:

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AFTER:

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erin williamson | design crisis

erin williamson | design crisis

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And that, my friends, brings us to the end of our soap operatic journey through shame and into redemption. It’s been a long, dusty, expensive road, and I think I’ve earned a bottle of something cheap and strong to celebrate.

Thank you ever so much to Linda of Calling it Home for organizing and hosting such a lovely and talented group of designers and bloggers! This challenge gets better every round, and I’m honored to have been included. If you haven’t already, please do go visit the other participants to see their epic finales.

I myself plan to bust out a donut, drink some ripple, and try not to make Ben hang anything two inches away from perfection for at least the rest of the day. Until next time!

Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

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One Room Challenge: Week Five — Things Fall Apart

Hello and welcome back for the penultimate week of the One Room Challenge, the race to make a finished space happen in six short weeks. [Catch up on previous weeks HERE.] When we left off last week I was feeling a little dumpy about my wallpaper conundrum, so dumpy that I forgot to show you my new counter and faucet power couple, which is basically like forgetting to tell you I won the lottery. Let’s talk about this sparkle magic, shall we?

In the continued interest of test driving potential materials for the future maybe possibly never kitchen remodel, I decided to go with marble counters after pricing out several options. I wanted to use the broken marble table from the last ORC debacle. That would have been epic and so very poetic, but fabricators didn’t want to touch my giant cracked, glued and screwed table with a 10 foot pole. I also considered silestone, but… meh. Somehow a tiny slab of white silestone felt limp when what I wanted was jazz hands.

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The counter is small so I held my breath and splurged on carrara, or not so much splurged as spent $35 more on marble than quartz. Right after it was installed I set about to wiping and worrying, but not 24 hours later I found Luke sitting in the sink with the faucet running and a hot wheels clutched in each hand. I guess the cars needed a wash.

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So far there has been toothpaste, plaster, water, and god only knows what else all over those counters… and I don’t see a thing except for the reflection of yon Altmans faucet, shining like handsome Narcissus in the golden afterglow of his beauty. Even better I scored that dude off Ebay for $250 including shipping and every part necessary for install. I mean, did I want to spend $250 on a faucet? No… more like $25. But $250 is better than $1000.

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Room shot of the install shows that I got the baseboards all a-painted and yikes, there is still an ugly wire thing playing with my emotions. What the what am I going to put there?

erin williamson | design crisis

You know how I got my faucet from ebay? I get pretty much everything from ebay, including all this here lighting that I bought in a bingefest rivaling the great Round Top buyathon of 2013 when I went temporarily insane and spent half a month’s salary in one day. Don’t worry, I’m not rich so half of a month is like $10. I digress. Look at all the lighting I bought! A super weird heavy blown glass flushmout, a petite Tronchi chandelier with smoked glass tubes, an insane Mazzega chandelier, and a teeny tiny lucite ribbon chandelier.

erin williamson | design crisis

I should probably put a mirror up, too. UGHHHHH. My faucet is handsome, meanwhile I prefer to pretend I am just a walking manifestation of being, that I have no face, or at least no face that is slowly but surely melting from years of parenting. So this is just a small sampling of my wares. A thrifted vintage La Barge mirror with gold leaf shells, a CB2 Tork mirror, and a gold bamboo octagonal mirror for all your feng shui toilety needs.

Also, you may have noticed that there is skim coat on my walls. That’s because if you follow me on instagram then you know that this happened:

erin williamson | design crisis

My favoritest wallpaper man in the world. He’s so good that I have a secret crush on him. I hope he never reads this because the next time I see him it will be super awkward. For all you nerds out there, notice he is pasting and booking a non woven paper which is supposed to be a paste the wall product. Directions? What directions?

erin williamson | design crisis

I’m sure you thought I might attempt to hang that crazy wallpaper myself, because how hard can it be right? Well I have hung my fair share of paper and let me tell you that textured walls + metallic wallpaper = professional installation. I’m not a DIY wimp but I draw the line at skim coating and sanding all the walls, then lining said skim coated walls with blankstock liner, then hanging some very fussy shiny paper behind toilets and around lots of corners. Had I done the job, there is no way this would have been the result:

erin williamson | design crisis

Hooray! But what am I going to use for blinds? Can I do bamboo?

erin williamson | design crisis

Also I am freaking out about drilling into my fancy expensive wallpaper, but I gots to have a towel ring and toilet paper holder… don’t I? I happen to have a vintage lucite set, but I am wondering if it’s a leeetle too much. Or maybe even way too much. I mean, do I just go Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds here? Or should I dial it down to Let it Be?

erin williamson | design crisis

I totally want some black toilet paper.

There are a lot of exclamation points and question marks in the works today. I’m obviously not amped up or stressed or anything. I have 50 billion (or maybe five) big decisions to make and then I can peace out and sleep for a month or possibly even a night. Next week is the big one… the final countdown is upon us. The Final Countdooooooowwwwwwnnnnn.

I need to resolve some issues. Lucite or possibly black finishing hardware? Can I get away with bamboo blinds in here? I’ve got to nail down a lighting and mirror combo. And art. You may remember from the last ORC that I have a few extra pieces lying around… am I going old and dirty or bright and peppy?

You’ll have to tune in next week to find out. In the meantime, drop me a line and let me know your thoughts. I’m feeling weak and tired. I might listen to you. Or not. Nothing personal, I’m just a control freak with an emphasis on the control. Ok, and the freak.

Until then please do check out the progress of my talented compadres. The game is afoot!

 Abby M. Interiors

Because it’s Awesome

Bijou & Boheme

Calling It Home

Chez V

Chinoiserie Chic

Copy Cat Chic

The Decorista

Design Crisis

Design Indulgence

Design Manifest

The English Room

The Glam Pad

Little Black Door

Mimosa Lane

My Notting Hill

The Pink Pagoda

Simple Details

My Sweet Savannah

Verandah House

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One Room Challenge: Week Six — REVEAL!

Hi everyone! Welcome back for the final installment in the One Room Challenge series, wherein I and a host of talented bloggers aim to transform a space in six extremely short weeks. Feel free to catch up on previous posts HERE. Before we get started, I just want to give Linda of Calling it Home a big shoutout for organizing this challenge. Without the threat of public failure, I probably would have flaked a month ago.

So who’s tired of looking at an empty green box where my dining area should be? If you’ve been following along, you know that I started with a fleshy peach disaster of a charmless room that housed sad chairs, a hideous table, and wicked dirty grout. I planned to push myself into designing something bright, edgy and polished, yet still breakfast casual. I had big dreams to resurrect my cracked marble Saarinen table in hopes of creating greater seating flexibility, but that plan failed and I was left bereft. What’s a tableless girl to do when the world is waiting for a dining area makeover?

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Bust out the sandpaper and spray paint, that’s what. I waited and waited for St. Craig to reward my fervent prayers with an oval top for my leftover tulip base, but Frankensaarinen table was not to be. I investigated many fabrication options but was stymied by cost and lead time. So my sad, flaking, peeling old table got a coat of semi gloss black paint on the apron and legs. Then, we sanded the top finish off and wiped on about five coats of dark walnut Danish oil.  It actually looks not too shabby, and I love the matte quality of the finish. Plus the fruitwood inlay really pops now.

That left me with the art conundrum to solve. This was a toughie. I really have too many choices and I like them all for various reasons. What I chose surprised even me…

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Say what? Maybe it’s because it was PITCH BLACK and pouring on shoot day, but the acid yellow of this 70s abstract painting appealed to me. Let the sunshine in!

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I tried lots of art in multiple situations with tons of different styling options, and somehow this dark horse ended up the winner. When I paired it with the crazy Clarence House fabric I used to upholster this vintage ebay bench, something clicked into place for me and I saw things differently. It really is so important to shift your perspective and keep an open mind. Wine helps.

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I know I kept saying I was going to use that red Robert Allen fabric — I do love it and I even ordered a yard. But me and Clarence House have a thing going on. Don’t tell Robert… I don’t want him to be jealous.

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So far the brassy bench is popular seating — like elbow your baby brother out of the way popular. I’m pretty happy with the way it opens the dining area to the kitchen, in that it feels less fenced off.

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And then there is the vintage head vase… it’s 80s deco eurovibe o’clock up in here, with a Fornasetti twist. Say that 20 times fast.

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Everything on the table is thrifted — from the $5 flatware to the fringed napkins, cobra commando candlesticks, glassware and Bavarian china.

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I have TONS more china, flatware and glassware, but I just put way too much work into the table to completely cover all that sexy woodgrain up.

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In case you were wondering, the other half of the room still exists…. Of course my ugly door has been properly rejuvenated with a shiny brass doorknob. And what’s that on the kitchen side of things?

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Oh, it’s just a creepy haunted mirror. No biggie — apparently I have to showcase something haunted in every room. I have no idea what this thing is, but my hunch is turn of the 20th century central European. The hammered brass vase came from Round Top and it is far cooler than pictures give it credit for.

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This picture is supremely awful… it was the end of a (literally) dark day and the kids were (literally) three seconds from walking through the door, but I wanted you to see the whole humble setup.

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Even the china cabinet got a mini restyle. Notice all the gold glassware that didn’t make it to the table…

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I bought the unicorn for a client kid room, but little Susie may have to live in a land of shattered dreams. Or maybe I will let it go… I am a giver, after all.

And that’s about it for my teeny tiny dinette makeover. Let’s have a proper before and after, shall we?

BEFORE

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AFTER

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I think I accomplished what I set out to do. The room is functional and finished, plus there are a few surprise moments. Nothing like a little shock and awe to go with your morning cereal, right? By relying on thrift stores, craigslist, and ebay I was able to keep the budget in check. The bulk of my funds was spent on simple window treatments and a cowhide rug that can be used in different decorating schemes. Content to play supporting roles, neutral basics allow color and quirky accessories to take center stage in the dinette drama. And of course I can always switch out the cheapie flashies when my fickle side takes hold.

As Leonardo da Vinci said: art is never finished, only abandoned.  I read that in Parent’s magazine or something. Hey, I’m no snob — inspiration comes from everywhere.

It’s been a blast hanging with you fine people throughout the challenge! Thank you for your support and comments — they have been the wind beneath my wings. I read each and every word and I love them all, good or bad. Feel free to leave a comment and tell me all about what you think of the new old dinette. Maybe you can even talk me into doing the kitchen next… Maybe.

Please don’t forget to visit the other participants to see how their rooms resolved. There is some amazing work taking place!

one room challenge

It’s been real. Signing off and taking a nap.
xo,
Erin

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Thrampage

Saddened by the realization that a super high 100″ inch long black leather couch might turn my living room into a funeral home, I have turned to the shopping dark side. Friends, I have gone on a thrifting rampage — a thrampage if you will. Historically this is what happens when I almost spend a lot of money but am thwarted for some silly reason — like measurements. Instead of spending all that mentally allotted money in one fell swoop, I fritter it away on $5 Murano candy dishes and brass spiders. Although let’s not kid ourselves, a brass spider is something to behold and well worth $5.

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A sparkly gold crystal spider. What’s not to love?

I thought maybe I’d take you on a mini tour of the fruits of my thrampage. Please do not assume this represents even a fraction of the stuff I have thrifted in the last month. I just dumped two giant boxes full of Italian pottery and mid century sculptures on a client that I was too tired to shoot (the thrift wares, not my adorable client people).

persian rug

This here is an awkward space, therefore I made it awesome by surrounding my crazy Mark Sabin print with equally awesome stuff that I nabbed at thrift stores and on craigs. I would never advise my clients to attempt this at home, because honestly sometimes you have to drop some major cash (and even buy new furniture… gasp!) to pull a room together. I think I just have the thrift disease. I probably (definitely) should take my own advice and spring for a new couch instead. Or at least a better cabinet.

mark sabin

But this is how I feel when I thrift… like I’m in a magical forest wearing a floral headdress. You didn’t think I was waxing metaphorical, did you?

marble elephants

These didn’t photograph well but I am obsessed with my new $4 alabaster elephants. I have no idea who made these, but they are gorgeous and HEAVY.

vintage elephant stand

Apparently I need to stop buying white elephants because I have four of them within view. But who could resist this guy?

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If you follow me on The Gram (that’s what all the kids are calling it these days, right?) then you already know about this vintage Kurdish rug I scooped up on Ebay and put down in our foyer.

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I’m loving it with this amazing gouache painting I bought at a consignment store. And let’s not overlook my brass candlebludgeons… the baby is not yet tall enough to reach them, but soon I will have to move them lest we reenact a scene from Clue.

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Ok, so I didn’t thrift this wallpaper but I felt you must see the most mangled ridiculous socket wallpapering job in the history of humankind. It looks like Michael Myers from Halloween (not to be confused with Mike “yeah baby!” Myers). This makes me laugh. I really should have paid my amazing wallpaper dude to do this but I cheaped out. Bad. Idea. Jeans.

vintage brass lamp

To make matters worse I might have found this enormous insane ridiculous brass lamp a home in our living room, even though I swore I would not put another brass lamp in my house.

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“Seriously Mom, stop with the brass!”

Have I mentioned that Ike and Luke are a little tired of being dragged to every thrift shop in town? Luke just turned 13 months old but he knows exactly where we are as soon as I pull into the parking lot. You’d think the lure of cheap plastic toys and the promise of air conditioning would be enough to stave off their dissatisfaction. But no.

Did you know that Round Top is coming up… I am getting itchy just thinking about it. Are you making mental wish lists for my house like I am? Does it include a brass chiavari chair? I bought one of those, too. Because it’s brass.

brass chiavari

It is vexing me sorely with a bad case of flaking lacquer that I can’t remove, and also you should never clean brass with steel wool (apparently I slept through chemistry).

Let’s talk about how to fix this situation.

Let’s also talk about how there is a set of FOUR immaculate chiavari chairs on craigs right now… Someone please buy them and save me from myself. Please.

The thrampage continues!

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I Spy With My Gimlet Eye

Sure I still have unpacked boxes begging for attention, a garage full of unloved furniture, and a room devoted entirely to packing paper and cardboard, but a girl’s gotta shop for her new pad, right? I put it off as long as I could, but yesterday in between errands I managed to speedwalk through an antique mall which was, perhaps predictably, stuffed with junque. Still, while mining the hills and sifting the sands I managed to find some gold in them there hills.

gold brass trunk

You may recall my obsession with trunks, and especially with all things Sarreid. Well, this guy may not be a Sarreid, but he’s still damn handsome. I think he’s going to make the perfect end table, and toy storage is always a bonus.

gold brass trunk

The booth that housed this beauty also held a number of other curiosities. I kind of wish I had bought this stainless footlocker, too.

Another trip may be in order? Who’s in?

And now I have to figure out how to unload my score from the front seat of the car, where it is wedged in tighter than Kim Kardashian’s booty in… well, anything.

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