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...