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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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Dylan Thomas — the Photographer, Not the Poet

For well over a year I’ve been nursing a crush on 70s design stars like Milo Baughman, Willy Rizzo, and Pierre Cardin, but I think the coke party may be over. Well, sort of. I can’t just quit burl and chrome and brass and glass cold turkey, but I think it may be time to start mixing it up. Mixing with what, I have no idea, but recently I’ve been trying to broaden my horizons and garner inspiration from some unlikely sources. Enter Dylan Thomas, protege of famous royal photographer, Lord Snowdon.

Thomas has photographed everything from the home of fashion design team Preen to old money estates for World of Interiors, all in his signature moody, low contrast style.

It’s all a wee bit frenchfied and don’t worry — I’m not going to go cat lady collector on you, but I am loving crazy fringe on pretty much anything, so that gets an instant pass from me. I also appreciate the mutedness of these spaces, the way almost nothing “pops.” It looks expensive.

And it would probably look even better with my gleaming 70s Pace chrome and glass waterfall coffee table sitting pretty right in the middle of all that tattered history.

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Round Top Round Up Part 2

I’m still rubbing aloe vera into my sunburned chest and calves after Saturday’s marathon trip to Round Top with Karly, but it was worth it despite the hellish heat. I scored some goodies, saw some expensive shit that made me appreciate what I already have, and got a day away from the tasmanian devil that is masquerading as my baby boy. I’ll give the baby report at the end of the post for anyone who cares, but for all the rest of you good people, it’s on to the special awesomeness that is the Round Top experience.

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Some vendors have a very odd sense of humor.

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Too bad there weren’t six of these sexy chrome and leather cantilevered chairs, or they may have come home with me.

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A pair of unaffordable blanc de chine lamps.

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A monumental lucite chandelier for a jaw dropping $4500. No one ever said that Round Top necessarily equals cheap. if you like this, wait until you see what I bought for my dining room on Ebay (for much, much less)…

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Awesome hooded wicker chair with groovy upholstery.

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Big brass Polly.

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Sweet little Asian credenza. The white is fly.

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Brass cylinder lamp that Karly spied on Friday. I was considering it for my dining room, but ultimately passed. Hope I don’t regret it…

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Three of six Milo Baughman chrome cantilevered chairs.

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I really liked these barstools but didn’t even ask the price because homedude thought his junque should fetch a higher price per ounce than gold.

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For unknown reasons, Round Top is very baby head friendly.

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If baby heads can be friendly, that is. Somehow the packing tape makes the whole mise en scene much more ominous.

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Hot pink poles make everything better.

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Enormous 60s abstract that was about $4,400 over my budget.

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At some point I realized that almost everything we spied with our gimlet eyes was made of brass. Chalk it up to magpie vision.

round top louis vuitton trunks

If you’ve got some spare change, you can add these trunks to your Louis Vuitton themed house.

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I have a trestle table crush.

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I reallllllly liked this long, sexy $900 table for my dining room, but A) it’s way too narrow and B) it’s 900 freaking dollars. That’s not how momma rolls.

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Round Top is a haven for dead things — most of which are garden variety — but these birds are pretty fabulous.

Ok, on to the stuff that managed to find a way home with me:

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60’s Italian hot air balloon chandelier for Ike’s room. The dealer had it marked at $135 and I took it home for $65. Boo ya!

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Initially I thought I would paint it black, but now I’m wondering if I should do white with black accents or black with white accents? Will the details get lost if everything is black?

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Crazy deco tripod lamp that may or may not live in my dining room. I am considering painting the shade black or gold… what do you think? Or are you a purist like The Hunny, who wonders why every purchase must be spray painted? Does that question even deserve an answer?

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Lest you think that Karly and I only purchased lights, Look! I bought a lucite towel set to match a lucite towel stand I already have. The toilet paper holder alone is worth the $15 I paid for the whole kit ‘n’ kaboodle.

And finally, on to the baby Ike report:

So, my darling, sweet 11 week old baby stayed home with his dad and my mother in law, who did a very excellent job of keeping his antics under control. He took an uncharacteristically long nap, which was bueno, but then HE REFUSED TO TAKE A BOTTLE. FOR THE ENTIRE NINE HOURS I WAS GONE. They had to feed him with a medicine dropper. Gawd, just writing this makes me feel like the worst mother in the world, but he totally took a bottle from me days before I went to Round Top! I swear, this is the most stubborn child ever born — a trait he obviously picked up from his father. Anyway, he’s back to his normal fussball self, so I guess all is well, but I’m afraid it will be a long time before I get to leave for more than three hours again.


Ike with Grandma, doing the cute act. Don’t be fooled.

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Sleek Streak

DC superfriend and badass interior designer/blogger Raina of If the Lampshade Fits found the silver foil lining of the clouded real estate market when she landed a sweet 70s home in Denver. In celebration of her spectacular find, I’m posting a cornucopia of 70s inspired interiors that manage a modern twist on classic geometric lines. You don’t have to import an entire Karl Springer showroom to get the feel — just a dab will do ya. But a ton of brass, gold, chrome and glass never hurts, because it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that bling.

richard powers

Don’t worry if you’re a shy wallflower. See how subdued the 70s can be? No disco balls necessary. Via Richard Powers Photography.

joe serrins

Or you could go the other direction and bring it all on. Baughman chairs: check. Chrome and smoked glass table: check. Driftwood sculpture: check. Via Joe Serrins Studio.

desire to inspire

Ahhh… it’s quiet again. A smoked glass chandelier and muted color palette ooze restrained elegance. I want to knock that superfluous flower pot off the table, though. Via Desire to Inspire.


Wheeeee, it’s loud again! You could apply lipstick in the reflection of that wallpaper, and the light fixtures are divine. Not loving the starburst wall clock. Via OWI.

70s kitchen

Foil wallpaper may be the most ingenious backsplash, ever. I might have to do this in my kitchen… Via Style Files.

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Of course, I would trade my entire kitchen, the house and everything in it for these cabinets. BRASS cabinets, people. Holy Jeebus Moses! Via Philippe Stuebi.

colombe stevens

And while we’re on the gold trip, I think I want to cover something, anything in these gold mosaic tiles. Maybe a headboard…? Via Colombe Stevens.

nina campbell

Nina Campbell’s brass mantel is almost as delicious, but the clutter kills. Just take a mental snapshot of the brass and mirrors and close your eyes and mmmmmmmmmm. Via Domino.

jerry samuelson

If I had enough space and didn’t think I might burn my house down, you can bet your sweet ass I would have an indoor firepit. Hello fondue party! Via Jerry Samuelson Photography.

fawn galli

Milo Baughman is definitely the go to designer for all things sleekly seventies. Fawn Galli breathes new life into his iconic chairs with some rockin’ fabric and more awesome foil wallpaper.

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My gay boyfriend Nate Berkus’ apartment with his Baughman chair. Copious amounts of mirror action, the chrome coffee table, Arteluce lamp, and tufty time sofa complete the look. The hand chair is available here for $69. Spraypaint is the nectar of the gods. Via Elle Decor.

living etc bathroom

Cultivating a 70s vibe doesn’t mean you have to keep your original 70s bathroom. Just say no to the triple threat of fiberglass tubs, formica and linoleum and say yes to burnished golden tiles, a black (!) pedestal sink and some fresh accessories. Via Living Etc.

joe serrins

Finally, the bathroom we all dream of. If not, you may be reading the wrong blog. Via Joe Serrins Studio.

Whew, that was a lot of pictures, but Raina’s dreamy home score deserves nothing less. Congratulations, Raina, on your swingin’ seventies pad — can’t wait to see it shine!

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Erin’s Dining Room Drama

In case you haven’t already figured it out, I am a serial re-doer. No matter how good a job I do the first time around, I am always convinced that — given one more shot — I could do better. Problem is, one more shot turns into twenty really, really fast. I’ve repainted the guest bathroom three times, endlessly rearranged the living room, second fifth guessed myself while renovating the kitchen, and now I’m itching to redo my already redone dining room. Good thing paint is relatively cheap and I am the wizard of Craigslist, otherwise the Hunny would have divorced me long ago. Still, I’m a busy lady with a new baby and can’t afford the time or expense of redecorating 500 hundred times. And so, friends, I am calling on you to help me make this one count.

Problem: The table/chair combo is making me lose my appetite. And the chandelier ain’t helping, either. I am like the furniture collecting equivalent of the quintessential crazy old cat lady. Mid century mod just keeps multiplying at my house… And while the hodegpodge kind of worked in our old dining room because it looks like a crazy old cat lady lived there:

erin's dining room

I am not loving it with the new, more understated paint job that went in when we redid the kitchen:

erin williamson dining room

So, I like the things on the black wall. The Karl Springer style console, benches and antique painting are a-ok by me. I’d like to add some sconces, but that’s not a big deal right now. However, I think the table sticks out like a sore thumb. Or is the problem the chairs? I only have four of the Burke chairs, and I have six of the Danish chairs, but most are broken or need to be restrung. And does that chandelier make my ass look big, or is it just me? Help?!

If I move the table to the back office, I could replace it with something different. Something… longer? More oval? Glass or not glass? I actually own this table with an oval glass top, but it’s kind of on the small side:

drexel base

And this awesome set is currently available on Craigslist, but I’m afraid the proportions are wrong for my room:


Great pic, I know! I love the set, but my room is small and narrow, making me think I need a long, dark table and small chairs flanking the sides. Am I crazy to pass this up?

baughman table

Oh, and please tell me that burlwood table wasn’t the perfect thing for my room, since I found it and passed it on to a friend…

And here is where I paste in some random dining room eye candy to inspire you to leave witty comments and savvy advice for your old pal, Erin:


via the now defunct Domino. Love love love the chairs!

met home

via Met Home. I like the idea of a long table with chairs on the sides, only. I also like the look of a legless table. Plinths please me.

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via Living Etc. Hey all your breeders out there: is glass kid friendly?

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Can’t remember where this came from… one of the above sources. Mostly I just like the groovy mood in this one.

Ok, dear readers. Today I live for your comments. Thursday I shall follow up with more dining room pornspiration. Don’t worry. It will be prettier than it sounds.

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