For the Love of Pineapples

Sunday, November 4, 2012

So the pineapple is a funny thing in Hawaii.  It's an introduced agricultural crop that is so iconic and representative of Hawaii and things Hawaiian, and most locals despise the taste, the smell and anything to do with eating them.  There is very little love the for the fair pineapple, bless its little heart.  

But they're so cute.  & tropical.  & they look so great that we as locals just can't get away from them in design.  For whatever reason, I'm loving these pineapples today and thought I'd share.  I hope they bring you some tropical tradewinds in November from sunny, 80 degree in the shade Honolulu!

Pineapples all in a row on this perfect of rustic benches.  Who knew pineapples could be so minimal?

Minimal but comfy and casual, I love how this modern chair went tropical.  

I love this.  Hands down, shut the front door.  Perhaps in a powder room?

About as Hawaii as a mai tai, it just doesn't get better than this vintage turquoise chair and its graphic pineapple print.  LOVE.

Three of My Favorite Celebrity Homes

Sunday, October 28, 2012

So in my DVR haze of of a weekend, I've spent all my free time (Ha!) in between the kids' naps and running errands watching the last few weeks' worth of missed episodes of Giulana and Bill.  You can say it, because I can't believe I watch this show, too.  But I'll have to tell you, Giulana is sort of the kind of girl I'd want to hang with.  She's funny, she's stylish, she's smart and ---- she has a beautifully styled home.  Yes, I know she didn't pull it all together herself.  But so what.  She had to approve the choices, right?  That is, when Bill doesn't get all Project Manager on her.  Too much time with The Donald, that's all I have to say.  

Anyway, I wanted to share their house on the show because I absolutely am in love with this house.  And that idea led me to segway onto other celebrity homes I have had major crushes on.  

So here they are, three of my favorite celebrity homes.  They're not overly flashy, they're not McMansions.  They are all cozy, comfy and elegant.  All homes I'd want to live in.  

The Giuliana and Bill House
Los Angeles

It was a rental that recently sold and they are on to a new home that the Altman Brothers from yet another DVR'd show - Million Dollar Listing - sold them.  Give me some dark hardwood floors and mostly white walls and I swoon.  & I love love love that Dutch door.  

Meg Ryan's Minimalist Beach House
Martha's Vineyard

I still have the May 2010 issue of Elle Decor that featured Meg Ryan's gorgeous Martha's Vineyard home.  Probably my favorite interior of all time, this house has everything on my wish list: Dark hardwood floors, white walls, industrial style lighting, dark framed windows and doors, simple lines, an amped up cozy factor and it oozes casual elegance. 

In my mind, hands down, this is the best beach house ever in the history of beach houses. 

Lauren Conrad's Hills House
Los Angeles

Bringing us back to some semblance of reality, we have LC's Hills home, which pretty much everyone who's seen a Hills re-run is familiar with.  She's since moved on and the home was sold to another, but I'll always think of this as hers and I love the LC stamp she put on it.  It's adorbs.  I love it not as much as Meg's abode, but again, livable, cozy, casual elegance. & that pool is so Old Hollywood.  

The few things I want this kitchen to have -- new lighting over the island, because I'm not a huge fan of the one below (and apparently the listing agent wasn't either because it's not in the photo above), and darker stained floors.  After that, I could love it forever.  Perhaps some sort of crystal chandelier, 2 small ones, over the island?  That seems to fit LC's girlish ways.  If it was me, I'd choose something more industrial, but that's because Meg Ryan's house is still perfection in my mind.  Get Meg over STAT!  We need a consultation.

Ok, that light over the bed?  I feel like I should be in a satin 1930's-esque gown in Paris.  It's ridiculously fetch.  & the touches of indigo?  A bold move, LC.  But I love it all, girl, I love it all. 

The Not-So-Composed Bureau

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Some of my favorite pieces in my house are the dressers I refinish and the compositions of stuff that ends up on them.  Between a mirror, books, frames and lamps, I love the frumpy, lived-in look...something that looks more thrown together than contrived.  

Here are some of my favorites:

What can I say?  Perfection.  This is a house I can see boys running amok with nerf guns.  Nothing is too precious and it feels so lived in.  

THAT mirror --- I die.  It's gorgeous.  The pieces are symmetrical and orderly on the dresser but the orchids and the feeling of age that comes from the mirror and the dresser makes you feel at ease amongst their formal shapes.

The mirror, the trunk and right down to that gold tassle --- I love this look.  

The most contrived of all and way more put together than the others, I still love the warm feeling of the dresser and the organic touch the octopus adds.  Even the texture on the chairs make it seem lived in and comfy.

The Clean Feel of Dark French Doors

When Hubs and I bought our first house together about 10 years ago, it came with a huge glass sliding door to the back patio and for 5 long years I obsessed about how it was my dream to get rid of those hunk-a-junks and install a beautiful set of french doors. Alas... Yeah that never came to be because we ended up moving to Japan for Hubs' career and a whole new life was in store that did not involve french doors. So I forgot about them for a while.

 Fast forward to now and the idea of a pair of white french doors in our new home we bought last year is nowhere near the cool barometer. But perusing home photos and noticing details, it's not that I'm not attracted to them in general, but I've realized I still want them; I just need them to be stained a dark wood color. A wenge wood, or something close to black, would be utterly perfect. And I no longer have a set of sliding glass doors out to our back patio. The irony is that we have two sets of French doors at the new house - a pair off the first floor sitting room to the front porch, and a pair off Son #2's room to the upstairs balcony. They are huge, 120" doors and I love them to pieces. No, this dark wood pair I want to separate the sitting room from the rest of the house. So when you have a book and a drink in hand, one doesn't hear the Halo II battle coming from the Playstation 3 in the other room.

I'm not sure what captivates me more.  The drama of the doors against the white walls (which further gets me away from painting anything -- a plus), or the idea that the doors would be interior doors, so the sitting room would be a room within, like a little piece of solitude.  I don't care.  Let the French Door obsesh continue.  Let's just say I've come full circle.  Now to convince the Hubs of their absolute importance to the grand scheme of things...

For your viewing pleasure: 

THIS is absolute perfection.  Exactly the sort of drama I want to see.

Master Bathroom Sagas

Monday, October 22, 2012

So here I am, still deliberating choices for our bathroom.  Here is where we're currently at.  Just subway tile.  Yep.  Lots of work to do to make this space feel pretty.  I keep telling myself it's got good bones!  It just needs the bling.  

So here's the first piece to consider.  I have searched high and low for an eye catching, soothing, peaceful, graceful chandelier.  I live in Hawaii, so I want a beach house feel to the home.  I considered a crystal chandelier, but I felt like that would just be too over-the-top girly, which I wasn't really going for.  I wanted something that felt casual and yet still had an elegance about it.  I also wanted to stay within a reasonable budget.  So I found this West Elm capiz shell pendant.  I think I like it.  I'm posting it here to let it grow on me.  

Yes, we're dating, this pendant and I.  I'm envisioning being in the tub and seeing this above it.  I think the scale would be great.  It's 18 inches in length and 16 inches in diameter.  It's eye-catching but clean-looking.  I want to come from the beach and like what I see.   

Speaking of liking what I see, I need to decide on lights to flank the new bathroom mirrors.  I'm liking these Pottery Barn lights.  I like the vintage look they're sporting.  

& here are the mirrors I chose.  These were such a great deal and they offer up a nice feminine touch to the bath without being overly girly.  You know, so the Hubs can enjoy the space, too.  

Shabby Chic Baby Shower

We had the cutest baby shower for my sister-in-law today.  Early on my mother-in-law asked if I could help.  You would think someone who upcycles dressers, who loves design and can scour a garage sale for the smallest hints of shabby chic & vintage goodies would be good at this stuff.  But secretly, I suck at putting parties together.  I never felt like I knew what I was doing.  I think this time I felt I needed to prove to myself I could pull all the pieces and create something.  My SIL wanted a shabby chic, girly theme and that's what I went for with the dessert bar.  With serious help from a friend who should do party planning for a living, I went scouring for a dresser that I could set up as the bar and later gift to my SIL.  She is going to use it as a baby changing table.  It will do double duty holding baby's clothes, diapers and everything in between.  

My gift to my sister-in-law was the dresser I upcycled for the dessert bar.  I bought a changing table pad for her and am hoping she'll use it to store all of baby's things here.

I went with a two-toned dresser, painting and distressing the body in white and going for a parisian grey-blue for the drawers.  I used a vintage 60's sheet with a shabby chic vibe as the table runner and layered with crocheted doilies I've picked up at garage sales for a dime.  Armed with my party planner friend's jars and dessert bar knowledge, I set up the confections on top, and opened one drawer to hold the cups and straws for a champagne cocktail that became the shower's signature drink, Berry Happy Baby.

Berry Happy Baby is also known as a Fluted Ruby in other circles and is made of pomegranate juice, a little sugar and Brut Rose.  I gravitated towards it mostly because nothing gets cuter than pink champagne at a baby girl's shower.

The Cocktail Bar at the Baby Shower.  I set up the menu so the ladies could see what it was all about. 

Berry Happy Baby

1-2 Sugar Cubes
Pomegranate Juice
"Pink Champagne"or Substitute (like Pink Moscato)
Berries of your choice for garnish

In glass, add sugar cube(s).  I eyed the mixture and added approx 1/3 of the cup with "champagne" and 2/3 with pomegranate juice.  Then I garnished with berries.  Voila!  

First, let me start with the dorkier points.  Yes, I know it's Sparkling Wine and not technically champagne.  & double yes, I know that's not Sparkling Wine in the photo, it's Pink Moscato.  But let me explain!  Due to issues at the grocery store at the last minute, I was forced to buy Pink Moscato, but everyone loved this substitute and felt like they were drinking something refreshing.  If you're going to use Pink Moscato, I would use 1 sugar cube.  If you go with Brut Rose, maybe you'd want to use 2.  Either way, the drink was a hit and our Baby Girl was showered with her own Signature Cocktail.  

In the end, I was pretty excited with how it came together.  I felt like I didn't drop the ball and put something together that tasted as good as it looked.  Everyone had a blast and loved getting goodies from the dessert bar.  At the end of the party, guests made little take-home goodie bags.

Recent Home Photos

Monday, October 8, 2012

So what's a 3 month hiatus between friends?  It wasn't exactly Writer's Block.  It was more like Writer's  Refusal.  I just wasn't interested in talking about the house, or projects, or anything in between.  It was like Eat, Pray, Love, where I simply decided to take a vow of silence and enjoy not having anything to do with a blog, etsy, or painting furniture.  I got to relax.  DIY'ers will know what I mean.  Sometimes, the crafts, the blog and the etsy shops... they can feel like a job and not a passion.  & think I missed just enjoyment behind why I got into DIY'ing in the first place.  


Alright, now that I got that out, I thought I'd share some updated photos of the house.  Nothing too big has happened.  We had a few more wenge wood plantation shutters installed and beyond that, I've sort of just moved things around, because I seriously can't be happy with things in the same place for very long.  

So I recently found this mirror.  It came as a freebie with a dresser I bought to upcycle on Craigslist.  I originally thought it would go in our bedroom, but I love the height the mirror adds, and the dark color of the frame really looks good with the plantation shutters in the other rooms.  I'm starting a little bar tray here.  So far, it's filled with 2 vintage seltzer bottles I found at a flea market in NYC, and my husband's grandmother's cocktail shaker and martini glass.  I need to add some liquor, hello.  

The kitchen has a few projects in the works.  We'll soon be starting our white, subway tile backsplash.

I'm in the middle of re-styling this area.  Frames on the wall are waiting on photos, the coffee table needs accessories that can withstand my one-year old's daily attacks.  

I brought the vintage 1930's metal dresser into the family room to function as a place to hold dvd's and video games.  I had it in the entry way before this, but could never enjoy it as much as I do now.  It is on of my favorite upcycled pieces.  

Our sitting room, aka, the converted dining room for people who don't dine, hasn't changed much.  It's still full of mostly upcycled mid-century pieces specific to Hawaii.  The wooden chair in the forground is new to us.  It's 1950's, and came from Duke Kahanmoku's estate sale.  If you've been to Waikiki Beach, Duke's statue stands prominently in front of the beach he loved to surf at.  I consider it my own little piece of Hawaii history from a time period that made Hawaii famous.  Lucky me!

More to come on projects that are unfolding around the house, as well as some thoughts that have been swimming around in my head about upcycling, re-selling (houses), and budet-based design...

Refurbished Dixie French Provincial Dresser

Monday, July 2, 2012

My latest refurbished piece is finally done!  A 9-drawer, French Provincial style dresser with original pulls, approximately 40 years old that I was lucky to find.  It was a very nicely kept piece that was lovely on its own but I needed to paint something.  I was going through withdrawals not being able to get the creative juices flowing.  Not to mention I had been dying to paint something this color.  I love this blue-grey that I found at Lowe's.  It's a little darker than your classic french blue and what can I say -- j'adore.  Every photo I gravitate to on the web is a blue-grey like this or close to it, and yet I never seem to be able to break out of painting pieces white.  Taking the plunge, I decided this was the piece I wanted to jump in the deep end of the pool with.  & I love it!  Now to decide where it should go.  I'm leaning towards keeping this piece in our bedroom.  Our bedroom's ready for a re-do and I can't help but let this piece be the inspiration for setting the color palette.  

I'll be sure to take some photos and post them when I finally have the piece settled in its new place!

Finished Dresser.  Distressed and Hand-Waxed.

Close Up: Shabby blue and casual enough for our beach house.  Love.
The original dresser in its "Before" state.

Bedroom ideas?
Bedroom Dreaminess

Sometimes, You Just Have to Move Things Around.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Change is a good thing.  I don't know why in certain aspects I need it all the time, and in others I'm rigid and unwavering.  As it relates to furniture placement, I fall in the first category.  I never seem to be completely happy with the way our furniture is laid out for very long.  We have two white, slipcovered Alexa sofas by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams.  Earlier I had put them both in the family room, facing each other.  I had a mismatched vintage 1960's Hawaiian three-strand rattan chair in the room facing the  TV.

Like this:

1 of 2 white slipcovered Alexa sofas by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams in the family room.   Pillows are Thomas Paul Damask in Duck Egg.  

A mismatched 1960's vintage Hawaiian three-strand rattan chair.  Complete with pom-pom chenille throw I found on eBay for $15 a few years ago.  The Chinese door panels in the back against the wall were bought in Okinawa, Japan and imported from China by an antiques shop close to our old home.  

But no one ever sat on both sofas at once.  Someone always sat in the rattan chair and maybe another person on the couch.  And did I mention that although I think I'm this grand social entertainer who always has people over and would need tons of seating in our family room, the reality is that most nights it's really just us.  So who needs all the sofas clumped in one room?  Some re-arranging was necessary.  I moved one sofa into our front sitting room which we like to read in.  I swapped out two matching vintage 1940's rattan chairs from the sitting room to the family room to replace the space left by the exiting couch and took the mismatched 1960's chair to the sitting room.  

& now... balance and harmony!  What I like best about the new seating arrangement is that the room feels so much more open and airy.  And the best part is that the family room seating is comfortable.  Ultimately, this is a lounging and relaxing space for our family.  I love how breezy it feels.  Let's hope we can keep it this way for a little while.  Or for as long as those two rascals in the photo allow it to stay that way, anyway...

Two vintage 1940's Horseshoe rattan chairs and chevron pillows sit across the remaining couch.   The kids seem to like this arrangement!

Our little reading room at the front of the house with the other couch and rattan chair.  The Tiffany Box blue buffet is vintage Lane from the 1960's.  I painted it one day after craving some color.  The pillows on the couch are Thomas Paul.  The coffee table is vintage mid-century, courtesy of Grandma.  The photo over the buffet is of Son No.1 enjoying a fancy Hawaiian drink poolside.  The other framed piece of art is a much loved Heather Brown print. 

Building pacificVintage ... It Ain't Easy

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Hello there!  Apologies up front for the two-week hiatus from blogging.  I've been busy juggling kids' schedules and husband schedules and not to mention my own.  We have trips coming up very soon and have been busy trying to get them together.  Not to mention Little Boy #1 has an extracurricular schedule that is off the map.  Besides all that, I am still trying to put some time into building my little Etsy shop and adding to the pieces offered for sale.  

The latest and greatest is I am having this gorgeous card design done by Vintage Sweet.  I love it and can't wait to get the final product.  The cost was $10 for Jessica to put this together for me.  The proof came really quickly, I had two options to choose from and once I get the final design, will send them off to Vista Print to get them done up nicely.  I'm going to go with stickers to use as labels for shipping, and will print more for calling cards as well as item tags.  

I had been thinking about taking my little bunch of wares and setting up a booth at our next neighborhood Farmer's Market or Craft Fair.  I thought that would be my avenue beyond Etsy.  Passively, I've been putting together the pieces in my mind that I'd need to set up shop: A banner, tables, a few vintage pieces for sale that are easy to carry (ha!) like a dresser and a chair, and the smaller things, like my spoon garden markers, my vintage dresser drawer garden kits, and glass doorknobs and vintage hardware.  Anyone with craft fair experience out there that wants to give a rookie some good advice?  

Garden Chic

Sunday, May 6, 2012

You know how it is when you have projects you're supposed to get to and yet you pass by them everyday, dreading getting started?  I was like that.  What is that?  It's something like Writer's Block, so let's call it Project Block.  Project Block hit hard for a month or two but then on Friday, it magically cleared and all I wanted to do was get going on my spoons.  My lovely mother found a beautiful assortment of vintage spoons at an estate sale a few months back and shared a few with me because she knows I have crafty, old-cat-lady collecting issues.  So I made a few sets of garden markers out of them.  If you like shabby chic, or rustic anything like me, you know the appeal.  Project Block begone!

Lavender has to be one of my favorite herbs in the garden.  
Hawaii Edition!  If you live in Hawaii or spent some extended time here, you know that these herbs are staples in a Hawaiian garden.  Chinese Parsley -- Cilantro -- is universally appealing here.  Everyone calls scallions "Green Onions."  Chili Peppers, whether the Hawaiian or Thai variety, are a requirement in everything from Hubby's Korean Kal-Bi Rib marinade, to my chili pepper water.  
Staple herbs anywhere, these would perk up anyone's garden.  

The Procrastinator's Pin Wheel Diaper Cake

Saturday, April 28, 2012

My awesome brother and his wife are having their first baby, a girl they plan to name Kayleigh.  Her shower being tomorrow, my fellow procrastinator of a sister and I have decided to attempt a diaper cake.  Being virgins at this (ha!), we had no theme, no idea what to do except to roll up some diapers and hit up the nearest craft store for some inspiration.  I don't know what it's like for you when you walk into a craft store... I sort of walk in like it's an airport.  Everyone knows where they're going and then here's moi trying to get my bearings!  Well I found some super cute pin wheels and some buttons and I ran with it as a theme.  We have no clue what our new Sister-In-Law's mother has planned as a theme for the shower, but that would have only stressed us late starters, anyway, so it's much better just making things up as you go.  

Pin Wheels!  Of course!  Such an obvious baby shower theme!  
Now we had our supplies unpacked at home but had to come up with a plan of attack.  The beauty behind the Pin Wheel idea is that the sticks were so long, we were able to thread them through 3 layers of diapers and the sticks sort of acted as re-bar -- adding some serious stability to our new project.  We amazed even ourselves at this point.  Our last minute planning was starting to look purposeful!  

Supplies!  Buttons, adorable scrapbooking paper pin wheels and receiving blankets were our weapons of choice.

Et voila, the finished diaper cake.  On a cake stand, bien sur.  My sister had brought over some rattles and teething rings -- not to mention a cute little doll for Miss Kayleigh to love.  We wrapped each tier with a receiving blanket, a 2 and 1/2 inch pale pink, satin ribbon, and a 1 inch burlap ribbon in a light creme color.  We used adorable wooden buttons from the scrap book aisle to add some finishing touches.  Now hilariously, I am a saver of all things pretty.  The pink satin ribbon?  It came from the wrapping of a Simply Shabby Chic blanket we purchased from Target almost a year ago.  Aaaah upcycling.  I can't seem to quit you!

Each layer wrapped with receiving blankets and a double layer of ribbon.  The varying textures between the blankets, ribbons and finishing pieces really made it fun.  & even though it's pretty busy with all the little toys and touches, I think the muted colors help keep your eyes from crossing.  
The scrap book aisle was just what these two procastinators needed.  We found these great pinwheels in our muted color scheme -- made up 5 minutes before, mind you -- and added these awesome wooden buttons.  To me, there's just enough detail and texture to keep you interested while still avoiding a migraine in the making.  

Receiving blanket wrapped around each diaper layer, followed by a pink satin ribbon and then a light creme-colored burlap ribbon for added texture really brought together our soft color scheme.  the paper pin wheels and the little, wooden buttons were our favorite parts.  
And we're done, in time for the shower tomorrow.  I may want to do this again I had such a fun time with this.  Are you a diaper cake maker?  Seriously, what a fun job!