Archive for August, 2010

good reading

August 30, 2010

Treasures of home décor abound at flea markets, thrift shops, and garage sales. But how do you know a find when you find it?

In The Find, Stan Williams and some of today’s most clever style makers, including Simon Doonan, John Derian, and Real Simple’s Kristin van Ogtrop–all diehard devotees of New York City’s Housing Works–show not just what to look for, but also how to look at an object to identify a great piece.

book recommendation - The Find

I’m extremely picky about decor books. It’s hard for me to find a book that has a balance of beautiful images and good stuff to read. I was hesitant to purchase The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details.

Truthfully, the cover image is what sucked me in. Now that I’ve had a chance to begin reading it I can confirm that the content is just as good as the photography. I think I’ve mention that I’m not a thriftier but this book has made me want to be a thriftier. Shockingly, I’ve even begun to venture into a few shops and that’s a huge feat.

I’m almost done with the book and it’s been a great read. Lots of information in snippits – reminds me of a magazine and magazine reading is some of my favorite.


home decor: mini makeover

August 29, 2010

water damaged wall

I never mentioned it but back in April we got a leak. That nasty little leak sprung in six areas causing minor damages to four walls. Repairs have left patches of white plaster in both the living room and entry way. Initially, the most upsetting thing was that I’d need to repaint our entire space. I hate painting.. it’s always an exciting project at first but towards the end it just seems tedious. Clean-up is the worst!!


Mentally, the leak was draining. Our space was finally at a place where I was happy. I felt like the biggest purchases were behind us. I was more then happy with the results and all that was left to do was some accessorizing. The thought of having to repaint made me feel like I was back at step one. Then something happened and I have no idea what it was but after a few weeks of sulking – I started to get excited about the prospect of painting. I mean, it’s like an opportunity for a “do over.” There isn’t much I want to do over (or so I thought) and well, now I had my excuse to tell the husband we were making some changes to our décor. In some funny cosmic crazy way my husband was like “ok.”

In my world that’s like the sky parting and angles singing.

more water damage in the corner of the wall

The first time I decorated I went about it all the wrong way. I’ve discussed those issues before both here and here. The dinning room table that I hate. The couch that was too large so I ended up returning it two years later. I always wish I would have planned the space out before decorating and I wish I had given more thought to art work. I’ve learned A LOT from all my fumbles and I’m going to try and use those mistakes as a foundation for being a better designer this second time around.

I’m giving myself nine to twelve months to complete this mini-makeover. One of the many things I’ve learned is that the best things come to you over time. I also need to put lighting at the top of my list. It’s always been on my list but in four years it’s managed to simply stay on my list, never getting crossed off. I’ve finally added some lights to our bedroom and I’ve realized the impact good lighting can have on a space. I also think I’m going to finally change out our dinning room table. I have some new ideas that I’m excited about.. just need to find a table that makes my heart skip a beat.

I have lots of ideas and I need to narrow down those ideas. I need this to be well thought out and I need to be budget conscious. And for once I’m excited about the challenge of attempting to make an amazing space with just a few pennies.

Anyone else in the throws of a makeover? Or still getting their space “just right”?

fhoto friday

August 27, 2010

I use to take a lot of photos, getting a kick out of using an average camera while trying to get an amazing photo. If I could conquer the task then it meant, for me, that I had some talent. I don’t really take photos anymore but I want to change that. The plan is try and capture at least one photo each week.

News Stand, Lex and 86

Living in a busy city means that sometimes there is so much going on that you become oblivious to what’s there. I pass this news stand on the corner of Lex and 86th every week. But the other weekend as I was making my way to H&M for some school shopping it was like I was seeing this news stand for the first time. Never had I noticed the burst of color it added to the street… and never had I noticed all the pigeons.

The color captivated me, the pigeons grossed me out. Apparently those pigeons are EVERYWHERE at that intersection.

that a’ girl

August 25, 2010

Lucy Liu via Harper's Bazaar

It’s as if you have to smile when you see this image. At least I do. It’s the kind of image that makes me remember how beautiful life is.

Even in chaos there is something to be fortunate about.

SHE design studio

August 24, 2010

In all honestly, I’m not certain where I’m going with this blog anymore. My initial intent was to share new things that I believed encompassed Beautiful Living. Things that hadn’t already appeared on ten other blogs I subscribe to on GoogleReader. Staying true to that has become harder and harder. I’m not ready to pack up and say good bye but I am acknowledging that I have steered away from my original intentions and that has me starting to rethink my purpose here.

Designing with the goal to dig deeper than what we first expect a product to be. Our aesthetical approach is to reach for subtle changes and taking use of the material to its fullest.

We love what we do and work hard to fulfil our own requirements that sometimes are more than what is possible and by doing so we can reach innovation.

SHE design studio

who, what, where, when

August 22, 2010

getting ice cream

Summer is just about over and I feel a bit like I’ve abandoned by blog these last few months.

I spent the first half of summer working on a project that left me exhausted week after week. It was fun and exhilarating but EXHAUSTING!! Two months later when everything was wrapped up I spent a week zonked out on my couch. By the time I popped back up it was time to hop on a plane to sunny and hot Dayton, Ohio. After two days of gorging out on Americana (think Arby’s and Chick-fill-a) I returned to New York sans child. That started a week of endless social events.

Embarrassingly so, a week of nightly dinners with friends, food and booze left me.. exhausted.

As much I loved being back in the scene a week of heavy socializing left me, once again, glued to my couch. I spent my second weekend sans child at California Pizza Kitchen sitting with my husband in silence because at that point I was all talked out from the socializing. I even sipped on water for the entire meal because, as of present, margaritas make me a little sick.

I guess there is some to truth to having “too much of a good thing.”

We welcomed Graycen back on Friday!! I think I grinned like a crazy chester cat until the moment I saw him. Now, with only a few weeks left of summer I need to get organized. The little man starts school in September which has me seriously weepy.

August 13, 2010

I dream of the day I get to do a kitchen remodel. Our kitchen desperately needs it. Desperately! 

I will say that it’s definitely the least beautiful thing in my life… but it functions so I shouldn’t complain too much. For now I will continue to lose myself in pretty photos of gorgeous kitchens.   

love the handles

love this kitchen

don't you love it, too?

crafts: gift wrap

August 12, 2010

kraft paper gift wrap

gift for a little girl, from Graycen

We recently went to a birthday party empty handed. That’s what happens when your husband is in charge of getting a gift. Fortunate for him, they live in our building and were very understanding (at least more understanding then I was).

I wrapped this gift a few weeks after the party and for selfish reasons I have to say that wrapping a gift to drop off “after the party” is a lot less exciting.

I went pretty basic on this gift but I ended up really happy with the end result. A store where I purchase a lot of my wrappings will roll your paper in Kraft paper. I then recycled the Kraft paper by using it as the gift wrap. I finished it off with brown and white butchers twine by Martha Stewart. The animal cut out is also by Martha Stewart. I realize that these keep showing up a lot on my gifts but that’s because I love them immensely. I think they make the perfect gift tag and are a great substitute  for the lack of a greeting card. You might also notice that I hardly ever (almost never) give a gift with a card.

crafts: cute.. or not

August 9, 2010

recycled polka dot tissue paper

Well, they always say there is a first time for everything.

I guess you can say this was my “first.” I recently gave a gift and got a collective “OMG.” It just wasn’t the kind of OMG you want to hear. It was more like “OMG, who the fkk made that?”

Umm, that would be me. Opps!

I gave this gift at a baby shower for my coworker. I’m very fond of the fun house theme. That’s what I call it – Fun House. Apparently the other guests, like my boss, were calling it scary clown and saying things like “Who brings a scary clown to a shower.”

And to think I was brimming with pride when I showed up with my box.

fun house gift wrap...

or is it scary clown gift wrap?


I don’t know. I still stand by my piece. I think it’s fun as in FUN HOUSE. But maybe the collective fear in the room explains why this paper was on a deep discount when I bought it. 

I love how the red polka dots on the tissue paper mirror the polka dots on the wrapping paper. I love the red and white stripped twine from Martha Stewart and I love the navy blue against the bright white mixed with the curry yellow.

Tissue paper is recycled from a purchase at Anthro and wrapping paper is from Paper Source.