Archive | May, 2010

painted wood floors

28 May

Solar system floor mural, Pottery Barn Kids catalog

Who wants a weekend project? If you’ve got wood floors, you’re in luck!  Personally, I don’t know anyone who can (logistically) do this.  But the painted wood floor seems to be making a comeback, in real life as well as in staged catalog shoots (see the awesome Pottery Barn floor, above).  But I can imagine if you live in an old home where the floors are destined for either linoleum, carpeting, or refinishing, this could be a fun way to liven up a room without much in the way of cost or effort.

Below, here are a few of my favorites:

Painted wood detail, home of Miami City Ballet director

Rather than painting the entire floor, this homeowner chose to add visual interest by following both the wood grain and the style of his furnishings.   If you have a prominent visual theme in your room, it may make sense to follow the design to the floor.  Sort of reminds me of car detailing, though, with lines and basic shapes.

Nautical stripes, Coastal Living magazine

An interesting take on the striped nautical trend.  Furniture and walls remain white or neutral, and all color comes from the doors and floors. (This is usually the role of an area rug in a rental apartment…)

Source unknown for above two photos

I’m not sure if the top image is paint or a veneer inlay, but I really like the idea of outlining the edges of a room to define the space.

From Living Etc.

Here’s a great article on painting your floors white.  But if you’ve got kids, and you think you can keep the floors clean, more power to ya.

And, lastly, HGTV shows you how to go whole-hog on the painted floor trend.

Only trouble with floor painting?  It’s just like getting a tattoo.  You’re making a huge commitment.  So I recommend starting out small, and in an inconspicuous location. . .
Have a great Memorial Day weekend.

outdoor furniture, repurposed

28 May

Now that the weather’s getting nice, I seem to be receiving tons of catalogs devoted exclusively to outdoor furniture, and I seem to be recycling mostly all of them.  But I’m going to start paying more close attention; there are some great things in these catalogs, if you’re willing to think a bit laterally about the merchandise.

(After all, what kid wouldn’t want a hammock in his room? I know I used to dream about having a hammock in my room as a kid.)

Hammock, Crate & Barrel, $199

On a more practical note, here’s a great idea (and the impetus for this post), courtesy of my new friend Pippa.  Mother of a one-year-old, she’s got her share of toys in the front room.

GRAVA planters, Ikea, $15

On a recent trip to Ikea, she discovered these large, colorful, GRAVA planters.  The best part, besides the price?  At 14″ high, they’re the perfect size for one-year-olds to reach into, and at 19″ diameter, they hold quite a lot of stuff.    They’re made of that really nice plastic – sort of matte, reminiscent of the Starck Bubble Club chairs you always see at hotels.

Bubble Chair, DWR, $680

If you’re up for spending nearly $700 for a chair, I’m sure it’d last quite a while.  You can even drag it outside when the kids want to go camping in the backyard.

in praise of the 'mismatched' room

25 May

Favor from Tallie’s Vintage Birthday Party by TomKat Studio

There seems to be a recent trend in which children’s birthday parties have started looking like weddings.  Blame it on crafters showing off on the Internet, moms getting tired of the invisibility of scrapbooking, or a simple desire to outdo all the other kids on the block.  But it’s now starting to creep into room design, and it’s stressing me out.  (Mentioned the phenomenon to my husband, who expressed his own disdain as, “My kid’s getting a pinata. That’s it.”)

Think of this post as a unicorn chaser for this overly coordinated, hot-glue-gun-and-grosgrain-ribbon-trimmed, letterpressed and Pantone-chip-matched craziness.   And a chance to feel OK about the state of our kids’ rooms 99.999 percent of the time.

Are those Legos on the floor?

A neighbor of ours, some guy called Gabriel Byrne, is looking to sell his townhouse here in Brooklyn.   The townhouse is selling for a few million dollars (I’m not sure of the exact amount right now, but you can read all about it here, on Brownstoner, our local real estate blog.  The comments section is especially snarky.)  So they’ve set up a website to profile the property.

What do I LOVE about the house?  Not the period copper detail, or the parlor room, washer/dryer, or fantastic location. No, what I love is the fact that they took photos of their kids room WITH CRAP ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

I love that someone decided he/she wanted green floors and blue walls and that’s what they got.  I love that there’s a life sized decal of Cristiano Ronaldo on the wall, and that it hasn’t been removed for the showing.  I love that there are two bunk beds, even though I have no reason to believe Gabriel and his wife actually have four children.

And I absolutely, thoroughly, love the presence of that great furniture democratizer- an IKEA Expedit bookcase.  I have to say that this is my favorite piece of furniture right now.  One-cube-by-four, you have a tower or a bench.  Two-cubes-by-four (as shown), you have a kids’ height storage center.  Five-by-five, and you’ve got a room divider or great storage piece.   I can’t wait for the opportunity to get one.

So fear not, friends.  Think of it as a “Stars, they’re just like us!” feature – maybe it’ll inspire you to skip the straightening up for the day, because after all, the maid will be in tomorrow. . .

in praise of the ‘mismatched’ room

25 May

Favor from Tallie’s Vintage Birthday Party by TomKat Studio

There seems to be a recent trend in which children’s birthday parties have started looking like weddings.  Blame it on crafters showing off on the Internet, moms getting tired of the invisibility of scrapbooking, or a simple desire to outdo all the other kids on the block.  But it’s now starting to creep into room design, and it’s stressing me out.  (Mentioned the phenomenon to my husband, who expressed his own disdain as, “My kid’s getting a pinata. That’s it.”)

Think of this post as a unicorn chaser for this overly coordinated, hot-glue-gun-and-grosgrain-ribbon-trimmed, letterpressed and Pantone-chip-matched craziness.   And a chance to feel OK about the state of our kids’ rooms 99.999 percent of the time.

Are those Legos on the floor?

A neighbor of ours, some guy called Gabriel Byrne, is looking to sell his townhouse here in Brooklyn.   The townhouse is selling for a few million dollars (I’m not sure of the exact amount right now, but you can read all about it here, on Brownstoner, our local real estate blog.  The comments section is especially snarky.)  So they’ve set up a website to profile the property.

What do I LOVE about the house?  Not the period copper detail, or the parlor room, washer/dryer, or fantastic location. No, what I love is the fact that they took photos of their kids room WITH CRAP ALL OVER THE FLOOR.

I love that someone decided he/she wanted green floors and blue walls and that’s what they got.  I love that there’s a life sized decal of Cristiano Ronaldo on the wall, and that it hasn’t been removed for the showing.  I love that there are two bunk beds, even though I have no reason to believe Gabriel and his wife actually have four children.

And I absolutely, thoroughly, love the presence of that great furniture democratizer- an IKEA Expedit bookcase.  I have to say that this is my favorite piece of furniture right now.  One-cube-by-four, you have a tower or a bench.  Two-cubes-by-four (as shown), you have a kids’ height storage center.  Five-by-five, and you’ve got a room divider or great storage piece.   I can’t wait for the opportunity to get one.

So fear not, friends.  Think of it as a “Stars, they’re just like us!” feature – maybe it’ll inspire you to skip the straightening up for the day, because after all, the maid will be in tomorrow. . .

welcome to the new site

24 May

Hi everyone, and hope you like the new format. Apologies for the slow restart. Right now, I’m just learning my way around the place.

But I’ve got some changes on the horizon, hopefully to make the site more fun, inspiring, and easier to navigate.

“Practice Makes Perfect” print by Wolfie and the Sneak, Papernstitch.com, $15

Soon, you’ll be able to click on the navigation titles at top, where posts will be divided (when appropriate) by room type.  In the poll I conducted a while back, many of you indicated your interest in seeing more posts about kids rooms, and I hope to accommodate this demand.   (Kids rooms are tricky, as there are so many variables (including a child with his or her own tastes, and of course, lots of STUFF.)  I think this is probably why the websites out there stick to nursery design…)

I’m also venturing into design services.  Right now it’s a soft launch, meaning I’m conducting informal consultations, but I’m always open to the email question and am always willing to help out with advice. If you’ve got a specific question, let me know and I’ll devote a post to your query.

Hope you all have a great week.  And til next time, check out a website I just discovered – beautifully designed, by the way!

Described as “an online exhibition space created to promote talented artists, designers, and makers selling handmade goods,” I think of Paperandstitch as a members-only version of Etsy.  It’s “curated” monthly, so you get to spend less time searching for beautiful work, although it also means the selection isn’t as eclectic.  Based on what I’ve seen so far, that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Have fun browsing and let me know what you find.

Play space, vintage signage and fun vending machines

20 May

Boys’ room, Sixx Design (also in Room for Children)

This past winter, I enrolled myself in an interior design course at Parsons here in New York.  Over the course of twelve weeks, we learned the art of freehand space planning; that is, creating and drawing our own floor plans, measured out with architectural rulers, marked out with lead points, and formalized with felt-tip black pens.   Our long-term project was to meet the demands of our ‘clients,’ a well-to-do couple who had just purchased a 3000 foot loft space downtown.  What excited me most was the fact that my pretend clients also had a pretend six-year-old son, who required space planning of his own.

I was reminded of this assignment the other day.  With camera and Room for Children in tow, I spent a day at my parents’ house last week.   Downstairs, in the finished basement/den/playspace, the walls are literally covered with items from my mom’s collections.   First, I thought how wonderful it would be for all children to have play spaces of their own, just like my mom & dad’s. (Whether a separate room or the space between bed and dresser, it doesn’t matter).  Second, I thought back to my floorplan, in which I had sketched out an adjoining space to the boy’s bedroom in which to keep his toys and games.  And third, I thought HOW COOL it would be to have a play space just FILLED with the signs, toys, and machines that my mom’s collected over the years.

Light-up concession stand sign. 
Hilarious type-o’s, courtesy my husband.

Like me, my mom’s a major collector.  And like me, she finds, obsesses, and focuses on something, then moves onto something new.  Her vending collecting bug is now gone, but here’s a smattering of what remains.  I think any of these pieces could serve as decoration, toy, or visual focal point for a kid’s bedroom or play space.

(That must be why I love the boys’ room (at top) in one of the Novogratz houses (sorry, I can’t keep them straight).  I’d say this is pretty representative of the Sixx design style too – true to their loft space roots, the rooms usually feature gallery white walls, a choice selection of bold curtains and area rugs, and one or two key vintage, eclectic, or just plain odd design finds.  I read that the old scoreboard was from a school gym – I’d kill to find out where the rest of that architectural salvage ended up.)

Rock-Ola.  (the last update features Bon Jovi and Hall & Oates)

A penny candy dispenser

Fab 1950’s vintage “Perfumatic” – anyone wear White Shoulders?

These would still come in handy nowadays.

And, of course, an odds machine.  This one still has the little cards in it.

I did a quick search tonight on Ebay and found this candy machine (below).   Liam said that it would encourage kids to eat sweets.  I said, “you can fill it with other stuff, like raisins!” And then he said, “then it wouldn’t be fun anymore.”  But I completely and totally disagree.  In fact, I want one right now.

70’s candy vending machine, Ebay

The good news? With four days remaining, it’s going for only $79.95.  The bad news?  The seller requests local pickup in Northeastern Ohio, otherwise, you’ll have to make your own arrangements… Anyone for a road trip?

really big canvas totes

18 May

I know I’ve already done a post about canvas totes, but we’re running out of room here at the Daley house, and I need more.  Something bigger.  Something funner! (sorry, grammarians).

A few years ago, I really wanted a canvas tool tote for myself.  I think I saw it as a hip, steampunk, authentic, LL Bean Signature (which is amazing, btw) version of a Hermes Kelly bag.   But the dealbreaker?  Carrying around something with my own name (Jaime, nee Klein) emblazoned on the side.

Klein Tools 24″ bag, Home Depot, $68

For toys, though, I think it could work.  And if I wanted something a little more -industrial-, there’s always the Steele Canvas storage totes (as seen virtually everywhere online).

Elevated truck, 24x18x16, Steele Canvas, $95

It’s a chunk of change, for sure.  But there are all different kinds, at all price points.  They’re more than laundry baskets, anyway – they’re more like furniture.  And what amazing hiding places they’d make for little orphan girls!  Enjoy…