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Ike’s Baby Bachelor Pad Revealed!

Finally finally finally, despite many obstacles and a complete lack of sleep, I managed to photograph Ike’s new nursery/playroom and today is the day I’m sharing it with you — my fellow members of perpetual renovators anonymous. If you recall, we wanted to get rid of the queen sized bed in Ike’s nursery, because who wants to play sleepover party with a snoring toddler in the room? Plus, Ike desperately needed some space to store his growing toy collection. Ok, I desperately needed to get the toys out of the living room, and for the most part we have succeeded. Triumph!

So, without further ado:

Hooray! We’re so glad it’s done, and it’s become an infinitely more pleasant place to spend time.

And a view of the facing wall where we have the changing station, plus a peek at me shooting the room. I really hope I was wearing a bra that day…

Since I’m sure you’re dying to know, here’s the skinny on how this whole plan came together. The first item at hand was stuffing our giant queen sized mattress in Ike’s closet (I can’t believe it fit). Then we headed out to Ikea and bought some Expedit shelves and a kid’s Kritter table and chair set, for a total cost of about $120.

I have to say the white stuff wasn’t my first choice, but finding good vintage funiture for kids is HARD. And expensive. I looked everywhere for kid’s furniture, but Ikea really had the best, cheapest selection. And look at all that delicious toy storage.

Now that we had a jumbled mass of mahogany and stark white furniture, the paint drama descended on me like late stage ADHD, or maybe like early onset Alzheimers, or something else really really bad… after mixing up approximately 876 samples, Sanders cut me off and chose Pratt and Lambert’s Wolf. I LOVE IT. Have I mentioned lately that Sanders is a genius? He is. Go see him, or email us with your painting conundrums. He can fix them up lickety split.

After solving the paint problem, I scored the antique Heriz rug on craigslist for $160. It’s old and has taken a beating, which made it perfect for a kid’s room. Plus I’ve been dying for a Persian rug forever, since way before I wrote this post. Double plus this sucker is ginormous and triple plus it has been recently cleaned, which is HUGE deal for vintage Persian rugs, especially if you’re a lazy mom like me and you love to lay on the floor. You can’t just steam clean a Persian rug, and professional cleaning is crazy expensive — it cost the previous owner $600! But if you want one for yourself (and you know you do), Naomi over at Design Manifest wrote an excellet primer on how to snag your own.

It was of the utmost importance that we spend as little as possible on this project, so every single other thing in this room is something we already had: I got the Italian hot air balloon chandelier at Round Top over a year ago and Karly told me to paint it black (that Karly is one smart lady — smart enough to design a beautiful nursery right the first time around, as in without a giant unnecessary bed). The drummer boy painting was also a Round Top score. I’ve had the fabulous Klein blue velvet rocker since we moved into this house over three years ago, I scored the rocking horse at a thrift store before Christmas, the stuffed giraffe was something stupid like $3 at the thrift store, I’ve been toting around the vintage 50s sailboat painting over Ike’s crib since May 2005 (the thrift store sticker is still on the back), the mahogany furniture is early Phyllis Morris that we bought in California years ago, and the other toys and artwork were gifts from very generous friends and family — many of them made by hand.

I did get a few great 20×200 prints for Christmas that I put in here, including two by Jenny Odell and this one by William Wegman. Also, I traded Karly some plates for the coolest sconce in the world, which you can barely make out in the second picture. It’s a hand holding a lightbulb and it makes me gigglesnort every time I switch it on.

In case all you parents out there were wondering, yes — we do have more toys than these. There are two giant scooters parked in the closet (just for the pictures), and although we definitely reduced the amount of toys in the living room, there are still a lot of toys out in the living room. Kids like toys. Go figure.

That’s it for my tour, except for the most important part:

Ike loves his new room, just like any king loves his castle. And it’s a good thing, because I am not repainting it again.

At least not anytime soon.

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Good Gifts: For the Quirky Sophisticate

Are you still putting off your holiday shopping like I am? If so then I am here to help… you. I’m pretty sure there’s no help for me. I have a disease and the only cure is spiked eggnog and some sort of roasted meat, unless there is a 12 step program for serial procrastinators. But, back to you. Let’s do this, shall we?

I have a specific kind of person in mind for these gifts — me. But since I have more personalities than Sybil, let’s just say that this selection of goodies appeals to my more youthful and carefree side, the side that would like to go out and get crunked until 2 am. But this side would still pull herself together the next morning to make coffee and straighten the pillows. And this side is not so youthful that she might resort to utter insanity, like wearing neon spandex leggings. Let’s call her homey with a dash of derring do.


What better to document the adventures of your inner wild child than a mini digital Rolleiflex camera? Thread a waxed leather string through the side holes and wear that sexy beast as a purse. Dance floor problems solved. Booya! $280 from Amazon.

Gotta have a hot necklace if you’re going to party. This handmade specimen by Nomoi Koru is flashy not trashy. $34 from Etsy.

But life is not all about bad 80s coverbands and overpriced drinks. Your house needs love and attention, too. 144 Empty Parking Lots by Jenny Odell (thanks to the gods of 20×200 for listening to my prayers!) will give your home that requisite touch of existentialism. I say spring for the 11×14 size if you can afford it — size matters for this piece. $50 from 20×200.

These are just damn cute, but still suggestive enough to have some edge. Kissing creamer and sugar set by Reshape Studio (ps: they have some very cute vases, too). $64 from Etsy.

You like glamor, I like glamor, and I love Art Deco. This gold beaded pillow has the holiday X factor in spades. $42 from Urban Outfitters.

And now a couple of cheap thrills before I hit you over the head and steal your wallet: this Christmas ornament with a living airplant by Tortoise Loves Donkey is sleek enough to live beyond its holiday expiration date. Mount a hook on your window and tie one on. $9.50 from Etsy.

A fainting spell comes upon me every time I look at this picture… Muhammad Ali training underwater, photographed by Flip Schulke. 24×36 poster for $2.25 from Amazon. No, that is not a typo.

Got money? Then by all means Tord Boontje for Artecnica’s completely useless (as far as I can tell) Witches Kitchen Utensil Set is the gift you must purchase… for me. Does that joke ever get old? Not really. The gargantuan price of this set is in direct proportion to my oversized obsession. $770 from Unica Home.

That’s it for today, little buddies. I hope you got some great ideas to wow your friends and loved ones. Tune in later this week for more gifts n things, and perhaps a surprise guest to school you on all the best last minute prezzies you can nab right here in Austin.

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On a Clear Day, You Can See Forever

20×200 can be hit or miss for me. On one hand, it makes works by master artists like the Starn twins or Roger Ballen available to middle class collectors, and it also spreads the word about up and coming photographers like Todd Hido and Eirik Johnson. But it can often dive deep into the twee abyss, cranking out overly cute editions. I don’t fault them for it (hey, we’ve all got to make a living somehow), but I like 20×200 best when it takes risks and puts out thoughtful work from relatively unknown artists. And if that thoughtful work is aesthetically interesting, well then super extra bonus points.

Long story short, I like recently published Jenny Odell’s work a lot. Thank you, 20×200. You get a gold star from me.

Odell’s composite images created from satellite views feature industrial buildings, pools, grain silos, and boats. Voyeurism coupled with a smidgen of melancholy, finished by a dash of slick techno remove, makes for a fine series of work.

195 Yachts, Cargo Lines, Tankers, and Other Ships is available for purchase at 20×200 HERE.

I really hope the pools are up for grabs next…

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