Two of a Kind

The only upside to being stuck at home all day yesterday (aside from the 24-hour-pajama-party and watching Midnight in Paris) was that I got a head-start on scouring the internet for today’s Two of a Kind post. I think I’ve missed a few weeks of these, sorry about that. I mean, I’m not really, you’ll survive, but it feels good to be back in the saddle so to speak. It also feels good to be back at work today. There is only so much moping around, pallid with nausea that even I am capable of. In case you’re curious though, Fitz is an excellent nurse-slash-blanket. He literally laid on top of me the entire day and snoozed away.

I’ve tried to expand my search for Two of a Kind’s to more than just comparisons between clothing and accessories, because I’m noticing there are a lot of similarities between home decor items and fashion, too.

1. Dress / 2. Duvet Set / 3. Scarf / 4. Rug

If I never saw another Herve Leger bandage dress again it would be too soon, but the moment I saw this tonal blue one I knew I’d seen something similar with that Urban Outfitters duvet set. I really like the graduated ombre stripes of both, though you could never get away with wearing it in the same room as the other. And it goes without saying that I am head over heels in love with both that Kate Spade scarf and that wild, bright rug from CB2. The latter isn’t really my style (ie: it’s not stark white) but is the spitting image of the color and details of that scarf. It was a completely happy accident that I stumbled on it, but now I can’t stop staring.

And Then There Were Walls

Three days, 2 trips to Home Depot, one trip to IKEA, 40 hours of watching HGTV on the couch to stay out of the way, and lots of wrangling Fitz to keep him upstairs, and voila, we have walls. A lot more work went into it than I’m letting on. Friday, holes were drilled in the wall to run electric to the new room, the carpet was ripped up, and the menfolk went to Home Depot to buy 2x4s and sheetrock. Saturday morning we ventured out in the rain to buy the French doors, and all the 2x4s went up. The angled wall on the left took the most time. The doors went up with a lot of struggle, though I wouldn’t know because I spent the weekend napping, watching lots of House Hunters, and popping in uninvited to snap pictures of the progress (and, let’s be honest, photographic proof of Boyfriend using power tools). The sheetrock went up Sunday morning, and then there was lots of vacuuming.

Next weekend I think we’re installing flooring in the bedroom portion; Boyfriend has obliged my constant obsession of and begging for white floors and agreed to go with this laminate (we can’t use real wood since it’s below ground and being installed on top of concrete). Sometime this week we’ll paint the doors white. We still have to install molding, spackle and sand all the holes in the walls and sheetrock, pick flooring for the den area, paint both rooms, etc etc etc. It’s not going to be an overnight process, but frankly I’m stunned they got as much accomplished in one weekend as they did.

How was your weekend? I’m home today with a stomach bug (lame).

Renovations

In lieu of a Friday Five this week, I’d like to fill you in on a little behind-the-scenes renovation that we’re undertaking (it fits nicely with the bathroom renovation I shared earlier this week). We have two enormous bedrooms downstairs (350-450sq ft each), and we’re doing a total renovation to the one in the front of the house. Boyfriend’s dad is super handy and has rebuilt entire bathrooms, their own brand new kitchen, custom bars, etc., and is coming down today to start work on our place. The plan is to separate the space in two (that awkward column is the dividing line. I feel like I’m walking into Pete Campbell’s office on Mad Men every time I’m in there), install french doors that lead to that part, make the back half a den complete with a custom wine closet. We’re talking building a wall, running new electrical, ripping out the carpet and installing new flooring, the works. Since his parents don’t live in the area, this is going to be done over to be a series of weekends. That, coupled with the fact that we had to clear almost everything out of the room and store it in our bedroom (so we now have two leather couches, a bar-height dining table and 4 bar stools, a bookshelf, and a menagerie of boxes in one corner) means the chaos I’m inviting into our lives is going to be unreal. Of course I’ll be documenting the entire process and keeping you guys posted along the way.

Don’t mind Fitz photobombing this picture; he wasn’t even in the room when I picked my camera up, yet somehow he found time to run in and plop himself down with his hilariously oversized bone. What an attention whore.

On anoter exciting note, I finally got a new phone! We went with the new Samsung Galaxy SIII. And for the first time in my entire cell-phone owning life I’m no longer on AT&T. My dad was the lead architect for all of the east coast AT&T stores back when cell phones first came out so we went with them out of loyalty, stayed through the Cingular years, and I eventually got fed up with my phone alerting me to voicemail messages from phone calls I never received from no service. So I joined Boyfriend’s plan on Verizon, and we’ll see how it compares. This phone is so sleek and ridiculous. I don’t even understand half of what it does, but it’s so pretty. I’m also finally on Instagram, but I have no idea what I’m doing. You can follow me under the (totally unexpected) username likewantneed.

What are you guys up to this weekend? Any fun home renovations? New toys? Have a good one, kiddos!

Like A Picture

Maybe I’m jinxing things, but the weather has been pretty wonderful here. Not too hot, and perfectly sunny everyday. It’s significantly easier to be in a good mood when you don’t need two showers a day to avoid major stinkage. Thus, today’s Like A Picture captures the gorgeous summer sunlight we’ve been enjoying, even if (especially if?) it does look like a page out of an Anthropologie catalog. As much as I may be a born-and-raised city kid, even I can’t deny the appeal of a lush outdoor space like this. Anybody else want to meet me for a drink out here? I’ll bring the mosquito repellant, you bring the gin.

1. Blanket / 2. Candle / 3. Picture

Ignoring the fact that the candle is actually Christmas-scented (weird), it looks like a tree (it is from a company called Baobab, after all) and plays well with the picture. The blanket is from West Elm and has a nice ombre tone going on, which mimics the light streaming in through the trees and the light and dark leaves. I am majorly in love with the tablecloth and those chairs; it’s all very French Provincial to me. Do you have an outdoor space where you live? A backyard that perhaps looks like that? Can I come over? All we have is a gated alley where we keep our trash. Ah, city living.

Pinspiration

Following yesterday’s both about actual inspiration (I’m still swooning over that bathroom, let me tell you), I figured I’d copy Annie a bit and gather some reoccurring inspirational images that are popping up all over my Pinterest boards (are you following me on Pinterest yet? You should be!) to see if I can detect any patterns or surprising elements. From what I’ve been able to deduce, I’m really into bright wildflower arrangements, traveling to foreign places, and most unsurprising of all, stark white interiors. I know, I can just hear your jaws dropping in shock. Cue the collages!

clockwise from top: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4

Read more

Inspiration: Bathroom

I’ve posted enough aspirational interiors in my day; rooms that I’ll never be able to replicate or achieve unless the Design Fairies sprinkle me with endless money and free-reign, but rooms that provide enough inspiration for smaller, more attainable design ideas to satiate me nonetheless. I know a lot of work goes into making a home look exactly like you want it, and there’s nothing more satisfying than a real-life room makeover to make you feel like that perfectly styled room isn’t out of your reach. So when my friend Marla told me she and her husband Dave had decided to tackle a bathroom renovation (with a baby no less, these people are superhumans), she obliged me by taking pictures of the before and after.

She first reached out to me for some bathroom redesign ideas to get the ball rolling. First of all, that just about made my whole life. You’re coming to me for design ideas? I was flattered beyond belief, and my ego quadrupled from its already unmanageable size. Marla said their second floor bathroom was small and interior, meaning they needed to inject as much light as they could from elements like light tile and opting to scrap the bathtub and replace it with a glass shower. They were going for something modern but not too modern since it wouldn’t fit with the rest of their house. The before pictures she sent me were sad, and that’s all I’m going to say because I still want to be friends with them. Obviously, I had a field day collecting source images and ideas. This is what I sent her:

I pretty much designed my dream bathroom and gave it to Marla in the hopes that she and Dave would build it and I could come visit it whenever I wanted to fawn over it and stroke all that sexy tile. I’m not weird. Props to me, Marla loved it. She wanted to include a vanity though because they had the space for it, and so I helped her scout out vintage-y looking chrome faucets and a carrera-marble-topped vanity that wouldn’t liquidate their savings.

Fast forward two-ish months, and their small, out-dated bathroom underwent an amazing transformation:

More Before & After photos after the jump.

Read more

Dude, Where’s My Paper?

Our Sunday New York Times subscription was supposed to start last weekend, but the paper never showed up. Imagine Boyfriend’s confusion when I very uncharacteristically hopped out of bed early Sunday morning to “help him walk the dog” (it generally takes an act of God to get me out of bed on the weekend before 10am, and having his head bitten off on more than one occasion, Boyfriend knew this) and then stood in the foyer of our building looking at the floor in complete bewilderment, like I’d dropped a contact lens. My plan was to accompany him outside and then feign delighted ignorance at the Times sitting by our door, and then be all, “Surprise! Early anniversary present!!” Only it wasn’t there. It never got delivered, and I was stuck actually having to go outside at 7am. Brutal all around.

One week and one strongly worded email to the subscription department of the NYTimes later, and yesterday morning we got to lay in bed reading the paper like a cliche right out of “Stuff White People Like” (“White couples usually fight over who gets to read the Sunday Magazine first. How do we know this? They will tell us repeatedly about how they always fight over the Sunday magazine.”) Sunday Style for me (two Bill Cunningham features!) and everything else for Boyfriend.

Our weekend also included watching episode after episode of “The Wire,” which I just found out also appears on the list of Stuff White People Like at number #85. “For white people to like a TV show it helps if it is: critically acclaimed, low-rated, shown on premium cable, and available as a DVD box set.” Yes, yes, and yes, I bought the complete series on ebay for $50. If you haven’t seen this show, go. I didn’t lead you astray with “Homeland,” did I?

How was everyone’s weekend?

Friday Five

As I mentioned, our 2nd anniversary was this week. We exchanged gifts the night before, like eager kids on Christmas Eve. I got Boyfriend a subscription to the Sunday New York Times, YSL L’Homme cologne, Art of Shaving Lavender shave cream, and a gift certificate for a professional shave. Boyfriend got me Lush bath bombs, the Club Monaco fedora, a bottle of Bluecoat Gin, and tickets to see Florence + The Machine this fall (if this were Twitter I’d end this sentence with hashtag: spoiled). It should be noted that I am incredibly lucky.

And because I’ve been showered with gifts this week and don’t feel the same itch to buybuybuy, today’s Friday Five has more things I already own than things I want to own. A first, I think!

1. T-Shirt / 2. Tote bag / 3. Bath Bombs / 4. Mariage Frères Tea / 5. Biscoff Cookies

Read more

Beauty Routine

It’s been a while since I did a whole breakdown of my skin routine, and truthfully there haven’t been too many changes (I’m a creature of habit, and why mess with a good thing?). Because I’m sure you are all dying to know exactly how I make myself look human and presentable for the public, here is an exhaustive look at everything I use. Warning, this is heavy on the self-centered blabber.

1. Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser / 2. Clinique Clarifying Lotion #3 / 3. Clinique Even Better Moisturizer / 4. Clinique Turnaround Overnight Moisturizer / 5. Softlips Vanilla / 6. Body Shop Tea Tree Oil Blemish Stick / 7. Dove Sensitive Skin Bar Soap / 8. & 9. Kevin Murphy Hydrate-Me Shampoo and Conditioner / 10. Smashbox Photo Finish / 11. Nars Blush / 12. Covergirl Lashblast Mascara / 13. Anastasia Brow Duo / 14. Smashbox Brow Brush

Read more

Happy 4th

Hi kiddos! Sorry for the late post, but not only is it America’s 236th Birthday (oddly, more of my British family and friends have made sure to wish me a happy holiday than any Americans I know) it’s also my anniversary (I like to tell people our first date was so good there were actual fireworks. Cheesy, I know). We celebrated by having a picnic and I’m just now sitting down to my computer before rushing off to a bbq at my mom’s house. I’ll be back with my normal schedule tomorrow, but in the meantime have a wonderful holiday or regular Wednesday if you’re not in this country. Enjoy the fireworks and everyone be safe!