LIKE / WANT / NEED
Bonjour! I’m Erin.
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Monthly Archives: June 2011
In an effort to maximize employee productivity, my company’s IT department/The Man have deemed certain websites inappropriate for viewing on the company network. There are certain sites that are understandably inaccessible (facebook), ones that are inexplicable inaccessible (Victoria’s Secret, for example, is blocked for being categorized as “lingerie”), sites that are inexplicably accessible (twitter, youtube), and sites that are sometimes accessible and sometimes aren’t, depending on the day (craigslist).
Don’t ask me who came up with the site-blocking determinations, because a) I guarantee I can waste as much time on youtube as on facebook, and b) I’d really like to be able to look at bathing suits without the IT administrator thinking I’m trying to access porn, but I really wish they’d make up their minds about Craigslist. It’s like a 3-act Shakespearean drama. Act I: There is a ton of cheap furniture out there just begging to come home with me, and I can’t browse any of it. Act II: Or wait! It’s not blocked anymore! Joyous hours of internet-thrifting are mine! Act III: The Man hath blocked my access once again. I am driven mad by my desire to purchase gently used housewares and as the curtain falls, you see me throw myself upon my computer, weeping.
Unsurprisingly, my work computer has developed a very confusing relationship with Craigslist. It never knows if it is going to be able to get to the site or not, and thus spends hours at night writing bad poetry all titled “Why Won’t Craigslist Love Me?” to work out its feelings of rejection and inadequacy. On the occasions that it was able to access the site, I’ve come away with some nifty purchases (STOP SPENDING MONEY, DUDE). Observe:
Pay no attention to the leaning awkwardness of it. Eventually it will be mounted level against the wall, and that bottom bar will lean against the bottom of the wall. I first saw this table in a house tour over on Apartment Therapy, during the annual Small Cool contest (which no, I did not enter, and yes, I wish I had, but it would have required me to put away the piles of clothing from my sofa and dust under my bed, and my apartment and I have an agreement that those things only happen on the rarest of occasions). I immediately fell in love with it for its clean lines and simple, white design, and felt all proud of myself for being able to identify it as an IKEA piece. Go, Erin! You have officially amassed enough information about IKEA products to have a mental rolodex of products you didn’t even know they had! (and this was before the owner of the apartment told someone in the comments where to find it, fyi).
Anyway, a quick browse of IKEA’s website informed me that while it might have been one of their items, they certainly didn’t sell it anymore. Thinking I was wrong about the source, I checked CB2. Nothing. West Elm, nothing. Crate and Barrel, Overstock, nothing. Still convinced it was IKEA, I googled every conceivable combination of “IKEA white small leaning desk” until a name popped up. It was indeed IKEA (a million points to me!). It’s called Ludvig, as in Beethoven, if he had been born in Sweden. Further research (thank god Google isn’t blocked at work) indicated that the Ludvig desk had been redesigned last year (it’s now selling as this iteration, which hello, is SO NOT THE SAME). I found one of the older versions on ebay, but with shipping it would have cost way more than the desk had originally sold for. True, it was unavailable, and I had already decided that I had to have it, (and we all know what happens once I get in that mindset), but I just wasn’t into spending more than was necessary.
Off to Craigslist I clicked, my fingers crossed so tight I couldn’t feel them, and lo and behold! The site wasn’t blocked. And ever better! I searched “IKEA Ludvig” and not one, but TWO postings came up for the version of the desk I wanted. Out of the two, one responded to my email, and she lived two blocks away from my mom (hi mom!). And she was selling it for $20! Fully assembled! I know I’m overdoing it with the exclamation points, but seriously, you guys: if you’ve ever assembled IKEA furniture, you understand solely from the string of expletives that came out of your mouth that having something come fully assembled is like a blessing from the gods, on earth as it is in heaven (excerpt from the IKEA bible, verse 2).
This beaut came home with me, obviously, and I didn’t even have to buy her a drink first. Now the fun part of “how do I mount this to the wall without fully disassembling it” begins. My goal for this is to use it as a vanity or potential laptop desk (as it was intended by the gods of IKEA) for my new baby.
And then there’s this:
This score was slightly less dramatic. I’d been looking to buy a simple, small wooden side table that would serve as a blank canvas for me to refinish. This desk was an absolute steal at $10. And since the seller lived 20 minutes away and just happened to be driving into the city, she even offered to deliver it to me. Don’t worry, I didn’t give the lady my full address, only the cross streets, so she can’t come and murder me in my sleep. Stranger Danger!
Anyway, the pictures in the original Craigslist post didn’t fully detail how much work this baby needs, starting with a good cleaning. There are scratches, carvings, and stains of indiscriminate nature all over this guy:
It was originally intended as a child’s desk, and even has that cute little rail in the back for pencils or slap-bracelets, or whatever kids bring to school these days (chewing tobacco? homemade shivs?). Luckily, it’s solid wood that is still sturdy and sound. I have big plans for it, which will all be detailed in their own post once I rally enough motivation to sand and stain/paint it.
Which leads us to another poll:
I am going to blame my recent laziness on the weather the past few weekends. I’d ideally like to sand this thing outside, but with weekends full of rain, bad weather, and full-day hangovers from dancing til 2am, it hasn’t been possible yet (c’est la vie). Maybe this weekend? I’ll let you know.
Have you guys ever used Craiglist? Any goodies you want to show off?
June 27, 2011 / home design /
It’s officially summer this week, but all that really means for me is that now I get to exist in a state of perma-uncomfortableness. My apartment, with its window air conditioner, isn’t nearly cool enough in the mornings for me to blow-dry my hair without having to wipe sweat off my face afterwards, but my office takes the warmer weather a sign that it should be even colder inside, so I have to bring sweaters to avoid freezing to my desk chair. Seriously, the thermostat now reads “ice cave” at work, and “sweat lodge” in my apartment.
The bipolar climates I have to endure have made me that much more resilient in my search for things that make me happy, or, at least, make me temporarily forget why I’m shaking in my cardigan when it’s 95 degrees outside. Behold, the first Friday Five of summer:
essie nail polish in Peach Daiquiri & Fiesta
I love these shades of pink and peach. A lot of people have been leaning towards paler, more neutral colors for the summer, but I think fun, fiery colors are the way to go. Bonus points that each of these shades would match a dress I just bought for an upcoming wedding. Also, they kind of go along perfectly with the color scheme on this here ole blog. I didn’t really know I liked pink so much.
photograph by Shini Park, via Park & Cube
And speaking of summer, doesn’t this photo send chills down your body? I want to jump in a pool so badly after looking at this (and maybe paint my nails a delicious plum color). This picture was taken at a lakeside resort in Austria during a fashion week event (seriously, that sentence got better and better by the word). Shini is a fashion blogger living in London (swoon) who takes the most incredible photographs (though she has credited post-production in Photoshop to being 40% of her photography). I kind of want to buy a print of this and hang it in my house. It makes me feel cool and relaxed just looking at it. Here’s hoping I make it to a pool sometime this summer!
Gray stripe bed sheets, from West Elm
If it were at all possible, I would spend every minute of the day in bed. I love sleeping, napping, and drooling on pillows, so naturally I’m really into designing the perfect bed. These sheets caught my eye a while ago, and I’m falling more and more in love with them (plus! they’re on sale!). Not only do they encompass three of my favorite things (gray, white, and stripes), they also happen to be about 1/4th of the price of these sheets from Dwell Studio, and they look virtually indistinguishable. If anything, I like the West Elm sheets more, for that seersucker puckering it looks like the strips have going on.
Macbook, from Apple
I have been a Mac girl for as long as I can remember. In the summers when I was little, my mom would bring home her Apple 2 from her classroom and I would spend hours playing games on it. When I was in high school, she brought home her iMac G3 (the blue one), and I spent my summer shooting and editing artsy-fartsy videos in iMovie. Then, in my sophomore year, I got my first iBook. That thing was a champ, and I ended up passing it along to my dad when I upgraded to a iBook G4 in 2005, and it served him well for just surfing the internet and listening to music. My little iBook G4 got me halfway through college, and then it was time to upgrade again, because the thing just couldn’t handle running Photoshop or InDesign, which were both crucial to being a Photojournalism major. I bought a snazzy iMac in 2008, and to this day it is one of the fastest and most impressive machines I’ve ever worked on. That is where I do all of my blogging, photo-related work, and day-to-day internet surfing. I haven’t had a single problem with in in 3 years, and there was no need to add another Apple computer to my life. Right? Seriously, PAY ATTENTION, this is me we’re talking about here. I know I didn’t need a new Macbook, I wanted a new Macbook to replace my iBook, because sometimes you are just too lazy to get off of the sofa and there is blogging to be done (this is an entirely First World Problem). I hemmed and hawed over this purchase, and what finally swayed me was how cheap it was on Amazon (about $60 off), with no tax (a savings of another $80) and free shipping. It arrived yesterday, and someone is going to have to literally pry it from my clutches to get anything else accomplished. It also happens to look incredibly sexy sitting on my white lacquer desk.
Gray wool and leather Macbook holder, from Rib and Hull
And of course, now that I have a new Macbook, I want a cute case for it. The thing gets scratched if you look at it wrong, little feather scratches along the outside clear shell. These cases from Warsaw-based design store Rib & Hull are sourced from organic materials from Sweden (win!) and are extremely handsome and timeless. I love the dark gray felt wool and the very masculine vibe of this thing. I want to pair it with oxfords and maybe a straw hat. Of course, the Macbook pro is just a wee bit thinner than the Macbook, and I don’t know if it will even fit in here, so that might be a deterrent to actually buying it. A first!
Have a relaxing and sweat-free weekend, kiddos!
I don’t think I’ve adequately expressed my love for Sweden before now. To this point, my love of all things French has been obvious, but if we’re talking about inspiring home design, there is one country that really makes me tingly, and that’s Sweden. There are books upon books profiling delicious Scandinavian interiors (this one in particular is currently on my wishlist), and if I told you the amount of hours I spent looking at Swedish real estate for sale simply to check out the inside of the homes, you’d think I was crazy. One of my favorite blogs is Chez Larsson, the home design and organizing blog written by a beautiful, blond Swedish woman with impeccable taste. Needless to say it is SUPER UNFAIR that Swedes have all the luck (and, apparently, all of the sunlight in the world: the sun doesn’t even set during the month of June!).
And now I can add Emma’s Designblogg to my list of daily reads, because HOLY COW, there are 6 years worth of archives of incredible Scandinavian interiors. I’ve visited her blog a few times in the past, and saved a ton of images to the ever-expanding inspiration folder I have on my desktop, but somehow I never realized exactly how large a treasure-trove she has. You can safely assume I’ll now spend the next week looking back at every single post she’s ever had and drooling profusely. Horray!
Here are some random goodies that are currently making me itch to redecorate. And paint my floor white:
amazing ladder, Bertoia diamond chair in the background
painted white brick!!
oh my god those bar stools.
I want to take a nap here.
And here. Check out that sexy painted floor.
This office is so, so perfect. And not just because of that Eames chair. Or the Chanel bag hanging on the back of the door.
Unff, that floooorr.
If I had chevron floors or windows that large I’d never want for anything ever again. Maybe.
I could go on, but at this point I need a life preserver to keep myself from drowning in the pool of my own drool. I just can’t even. These rooms are so perfect, and the best part is there are about 2 million more just like it on Emma’s blog (with 2 g’s, I’m assuming to pay homage to Swedish drink Gløgg?)
If I move to Sweden, do you think someone would pay me to like, squeal over their furniture? This is a legitimate question.
June 22, 2011 / home design /
With the amount of time I spend browsing the internet for home decorating inspiration, it seems only natural that I’d run into some choices that clash so wildly with my own aesthetic (and, perhaps, the aesthetic of ANYONE WITH EYEBALLS) that I am left staring wide-eyed at my computer screen, mouth agape, wondering what is happening. You know, the same reaction produced whenever Lady Gaga is doing anything besides GOING AWAY. Far be it from me to be super-snarky about other people’s home design choices, when my apartment looks like an IKEA catalog threw up all over it, but — well, actually, no. That’s exactly what is happening here. I’m going to be super judgmental because it is my god-given right as a 20-something female equipped with a blog and severe case of holier-than-thou (and no, I’m not currently seeking treatment).
So. File this under: Things I Don’t Want In My House; subcategory: Were You On Drugs When You Chose That?; sub-subcategory: Just Because You Paid A Lot For It, Doesn’t Make It Art.
As if the small, bizarre teeth on that creepy, smiling dude didn’t freak you out enough, it is hanging above the bed in this French apartment (come on, France! you can do better than this!). Imagine waking up from a delicious dream involving Gaspard Ulliel (the French at least got him right), stretching languidly, trying to savor the best bits, and then making eye contact with THAT. I feel like that painting might as well come with moving eyeballs and a spooky laugh-track that goes off when you least expect it, quietly, so as to make you believe it’s alive. Because it might be! MAKE HIM STOP LOOKING AT ME.
also from here
This is from the same apartment, because you know, apparently one super creeptastic painting wasn’t enough. The designers on this one really wanted to drive home their point of view, which if I’ve interpreted correctly, allowing for the nuances of the French language, translates into, “You should fill your house with art that literally burns holes in your eyelids.” I know the French tend to be more avant garde with their style and designs than we lowly Americans, but ya’ll, seriously? We’re meant to believe the woman in the painting had time to put on a ruffled collar but no bra? That was so last year.
BAH, giant children heads. While certainly cuter than the first picture, those kid’s eyes are too big and saucer-like for my taste. Look, we get it, kids are cute. Sometimes so cute that you want to make 2’x3′ paintings of their heads. The rest of us are content to pinch a few cheeks, but hey, to each their own. Also, the decision to hang this mere feet from the foot of the bed?What was that all about? Is it so while the parents are getting jiggy with it, they have a reminder of what happened the last time? I GET IT. It’s visual birth control, right?
You guys, don’t move. The robot from Metropolis has set up command central in the living room and is now acting as an overlord to those yellow Eames chairs. Oh, wait. Whew, it’s just a shapeless stone mannequin. That makes more sense! How silly of me.
Believe it or not, this is a kitchen, not a den of iniquity, from the very appropriately titled post over at Desire to Inspire, “How much is too much?” Let me answer that question by saying that ONE Playboy picture decoupaged on the walls of a kitchen is too much; hundreds make you downright disturbed. And in case the floor-to-ceiling images of women too classy for clothing wasn’t distracting enough, check out the carousel horse on top of the water heater (? storage unit for dead bodies?). That thing has officially galloped out of the picture and INTO MY NIGHTMARES.
What’s the worst design choice/trend you’ve seen recently? Bonus points for creepiness.
June 15, 2011 / home design /
Sup, homies! Before we jump into this week’s Five, I’ve got a surprise for you. But I can’t tell you what it is right now, for a multitude of reasons, chief amongst them my desire to torture you. You’ll have to come back on Monday for the news, but trust me, I think it will be worth the wait!
Anyway, for this week’s Friday Five, I’ve decided to change things up a bit. I spent a long Memorial Day weekend in New York City, and even though I’ve been to there a million times (and even lived there for about a month in my senior year of high school with my way cool cousin (hi Ilene!) for an internship at MTV), and even though I know it’s so uncool to act like a tourist, I let myself take pictures around the city like a tourist, because I was. And because for a large portion of my life, photography was my main focus, but I became swiftly disenamored with it after I graduated college. I’ve been trying to get back into it recently, thanks to this here ole blog, and I’m planning on posting more original photography.
Starting with this week’s Friday Five: five photographs of New York City.
Warehouse, 25th & 10th Ave
I attempted to see this Jeff Mermelstein exhibit at the Rick Wester Fine Art gallery on Saturday afternoon, but found it closed at 4pm, despite the website saying the gallery was open til 6. Major bummer. I huffed and puffed and let out an expletive or two (don’t take a photography exhibit away from me!) and was about to declare the entire day a waste, when I turned around and saw this across the street. I’m still grumpy about not being able to see the exhibit, but there’s always a silver-lining, right?
Lillie’s Victorian Bar, 17th & 4th
This is my favorite bar in the entire city, possibly even the entire world, for one very, very obvious reason: the decor (okay, two very obvious reasons: they serve 4 flavors of Lindeman’s lambic!). I hold a special place in my heart for Victorian pieces, and Lillie’s is decorated from floor (old parquet) to ceiling (painted tin tiles) with delightful, classic charm. Plus, all of the bartenders seem to be from England/Ireland/Australia, which means a never-ending assortment of amazing accents.
I know a lot of New Yorkers hate the High Line, and again, it might make me super uncool to think it was pretty neat, but it was. An elevated half-park-half-walkway with impressive views of the city? What’s not to love? The weather the entire weekend was gloriously sunny and warm, and after stopping for drinks at both the roof bar and Biergarten of the Standard Hotel and feeling tragically un-hip the entire time, it only made sense to take a stroll along the High Line from 14th street up to 20th. This photograph isn’t an accurate representation of the glass panes, though; they were really green and blue. Next time, white balance!
I spent a good 2.5 hours at this museum on Saturday morning, totally nerding out over all the dinosaur fossils and taxidermied animals and, of course, the giant blue whale. All I talked about for days leading up to the visitwas the whale, and while it certainly didn’t disappoint, the entire museum won me over. And I didn’t need any more reasons to love it, but I stumbled across this man in the African Mammals hall. This sweet old man, sitting on his little folding stool, drawing. My father was an artist, and so I think I’ve reserved a special place in my heart for things like this.
brook-vin, 7th Ave, Brooklyn
I stumbled into this amazing little place in Park Slope on Sunday afternoon after having brunch and getting
lost in acquainted with the neighborhood. What a wonderful treat, too. They were having afternoon Happy Hour, so wines were $5. It was a particularly sunny and hot day, so a crisp glass of white was in order. There might have been some stinky Camembert in the mix, too, along with some marinated olives. And everyone was just so nice. The decor was beautiful with an exposed brick wall and little hints of Industrial Chic (and you know how I feel about that).
Enjoy your weekend, kiddos! And make sure to check back on Monday for my extra-exciting announcement!
Remember the Friday Five I did way back when? (Also, HA, remember when I thought I would do one of those a week?) In it, I proclaimed my love for these wonderful pillows designed by UK based Ashley Allen, made to look like travelcards from the London tube and rail system:
Again, I’m pretty sure there is nothing cuter as far as pillows go. The folks over at Bonjour Mon Coussin have a pretty strong hold on the Cute Pillow Market (exhibit A), but Ashley’s designs hit a little bit closer to my heart.
Like most things that tickle my fancy, I tend to be a “hit it and quit it” kind of girl. I fall in love with something, write about it, focus all of my attention on it for an ample amount of time, obsess over it, and then poof! I expire the need to own it. It’s pretty magical, and my bank account thanks me for it every day (not that I don’t buy a fair amount of stuff that I post about on here, though).
The same was half-true with this pillow. I thought I was over the crazy need to have it in my life, but the universe had other plans. A few weeks ago the designer, Ashley, emailed me, saying she had seen my blog (!!) and asked if I would still be interested in purchasing one of the cushions (!!!). It was a win-win situation for both of us; I would get the pillow of my dreams, and Ashley would officially become an international artist. So, of course I said yes. I mean, come on, have you been paying attention at all?
Cut to yesterday, when my present from overseas arrived:
MEGA SQUEAL! The crafts(wo)manship is superb, and the screen-printing is flawless. It is absolutely darling, just like I thought it would be, and HELLO, someone give me an award because look how cute it looks on my sofa. I couldn’t be any happier with it.
Ashley, thank you so much for stumbling across my blog and reaching out to me (you’ve upped my readership to 7!), and for giving me a reason to clean the piles of clothes off of my sofa. Guys, I can’t recommend her work enough. If you’re looking for a sweet housewarming gift for someone, look no further! Also, she has amazing handwriting, which you just know I’m a sucker for.
June 7, 2011 / home design /
It’s no secret that I love yellow. Wait, that isn’t entirely accurate. Let’s start over: It’s no secret that I am obsessed with yellow. After gray, yellow is my favorite color. If you combine the two, well, it’s pretty much perfection. Unfortunately, there is no cutesy rhyming adjective with gray, so yellow is taking center stage for this post. It’s such a happy color, and perfect for warm weather, or, even those un-sunny days when you want to interject a little cheer. Without further ado, here are a few yellow things that tickle my fancy (two of them might look familiar to those of you who remember header image #2):
1. Colorblock Shirt Dress, Topshop. How mod & retro! This would be perfect for walking around the city on a nice Spring day, or even wearing it to work.
2. Pierre Hardy Heels, Barney’s. I’d never in a million years break down and buy these, or any shoes that cost this much money, but they are pretty perfect, don’t you think? Of course, like every other high heel I’ve put on in my life, these would inevitably give me blisters the size of quarters within seconds.
3. Crane Desk Lamp, CB2. Oh, hey, this lamp looks familiar! I’ve been having a love affair with this lamp, and in fact all task lamps in general. I think it has something to do with the angles. Oh, it’s on sale! Yellow and cheap, what more could you ask for?
4. Trollsta Side Table, IKEA. Sadly, this isn’t available online anymore, which means IKEA (<3<3<3) is probably discontinuing it, but they might have a few left in stores. Fingers crossed, even though I have no idea where I would put something so bright. Maybe we’re just supposed to admire it from afar.
5. Yves Saint Laurent Nail Lacquer, Surreal Yellow, Barney’s. If anyone can make neon nail polish look classy instead of prostitute-ish, it’s Yves. I’m sure I’ve offended someone with that statement.
6. Canary Candleholder, CB2. This is like the baby that would occur if this and this got together in a bucket of yellow paint and things got a little frisky, am I right? Though I am worried that given this thing’s tiny little spindle legs, a lit tea candle could topple over with the slightest provocation.
7. Sunnyside Pillow, CB2. Not quite a love child, but doesn’t this pillow look like the little sister of the shirt dress from Topshop?
8. Beam Mug, CB2. This is the most fabulously priced coffee mug in the history of yellow coffee mugs. In real life, it’s a little less acid-yellow and a little more mustard, and the square handle just kills me it’s so perfect.
So there you have it. My love of yellow continues. What color(s) are you guys most into? I’d love to know!