Monday, August 10, 2009

The Doctor is In: DBRB part II

We all let out a collective sigh last week after hearing the news of yet ANOTHER shelter magazine biting the dust. It's Southern Accents, in case you've been on a deserted island . Granted, the perfectly-styled interiors featured in the glossies have, at times, contributed to my sense of design inadequacy, but oh...hurts so good!

I'll never get past the notion that we all need INSPIRATION - a pinnacle for which to reach, and maybe, when the time is right, a paragon from which to divert. What I mean is, perhaps The Times are forcing us to reconsider our ideal. Do we want our design goals to be unattainable? Is it satisfying enough to snatch an idea or two from the created flawlessness we see in magazines?
For most of us, the answer is "yes," but not necessarily by choice...

I find it increasingly appealing to see designers, and design-lovers work magic that doesn't involve a crew pinning down cushions, and waiting for perfect light. I love it so much, I seek it out as a means of therapy, for we ALL KNOW I suffer from Design Blog-Reader's Blues ;)

For example, take Jenny - designer/blogger/supermom of Pearl Street Interiors. This woman's blog has been rockin' my world EVERY DAY - and that's when she's on vacation! This is the rental Jenny shares with her husband and daughter. If you follow her blog, these pics may not be new to you, but let me just share a bit of her brilliance with the deets...
She handmade the pinch-pleat curtains - sewing panels of 6" cabana striped fabric on the horizontal to get the dramatic effect. I agree with her that vertical stripes can get "lost" in the pleating, and I'm simply amazed (well, not really) she accomplished this from Googling "how to sew pinch pleat curtains," and watching Youtube tutorials. Needless to say, I am in awe!
Jenny also made the fab ottoman - by cutting down the legs of an old table, adding foam and batting and a wonderful crewel. Really? Can I have one? Please?
See the bookcases? Good 'ol Billy system from Ikea -but tricked out with simple molding on the sides, and inner-backs painted glossy peacock blue. That red chest - a thrift store find, and the yellow ginger jar - a THREE DOLLAR steal from Homegoods. (When I hear things like that,I really get depressed about living abroad - no HG's in Brazil...)
Just when you thought it couldn't get any better than the curtains, she knocks it out of the park by skirting a found-on-the-corner bookshelf with an amazing (but inexpensive) ikat.

Trust me...I know what you're thinking...hire this woman, NOW!

Meet Caitlin of Caitlin Creer Interiors, also a Mommy/blogstress, and self-professed thrifty maven. Like Jenny, Caitlin and her family are in a transitional period, and are currently living in her aunt's basement apartment. Unlike many of us who might simply deal with the less-than-ideal design of a rental, Caitlin has taken the bull by the proverbial horns, and made the apartment a simply stylish little nest.
For example, when confronted by an oddly-placed window in the master bedroom, Caitlin bought a silver-sage colored burlap for about three dollars a yard, and hung it floor-to-ceiling. Window issue: resolved. Lovely focal of a bedroom: accomplished.
She also covered the upholstered headboard in a gray seersucker with nailhead trim. Vintage bedside tables with perfect patina, and a pair of killer lamps round out the symmetry that make this room so appealing. What about the lamps? (you ask) I want to know, too - and forgot to ask! Caitlin? Deets on the lamps, please! Oh, and the herringbone coverlet, too!
Here's a vignette shot - also from the bedroom. Do you admire that serpentine chest as much as I do? Family heirloom - the best kind. The mirror is a two-dollar thrift store find. I love the intricate Roccoco lines, and can also picture it painted some glorious, glossy color! Miss Duck is decked out in Caitlin's fave baubles - isn't it great when you learn something about a homeowner by their personal design touches? Awesome job, Caitlin!

In case you need an excuse to step outside and enjoy the beginnings of Indian Summer...I think Alison of House & Life has got ya covered. Alison is an interior designer, shop owner, and super Mommy! Alison and her husband had a bit of their own Grey Gardens situation with their home...This house (over 100 years old) was inhabited by raccoons when they purchased. Needless to say, much of their budget went straight to demo and repair work. That meant Alison had to pull out the creative stops to transform their front porch into the serene outdoor space it is now.
The wicker sofa was a twenty dollar thrift store find, and the porch curtains are made from water-resistant and fade-proof Sunbrella fabric. Hmm...let's see....cabana stripes and thrift store finds...do I see a (wonderful) pattern here??? When I first saw Alison's pics, and spied those porch curtains, I simply wanted to snatch them off the screen! Breezy and beautiful!
The bar cart is on loan from her Mom, and "'you can often find it filled with champagne and wine glasses for any impromptu visits from neighbors."' Um, yes, Alison...one of those impromptu visits would definitely be from me! Cheers to an incredible, outdoor retreat!
Thank YOU, Jenny, Caitlin, and Alison (good spelling, by the way ;) for sharing your lovely homes! This was a wonderful look into the real-life design beauty that exists - even when our charmed shelter mags may not!

**If you're new here, and have NO IDEA what DBRB is all about - Go
here to read the first installment.**

15 comments:

ms. less is always more said...

LOVE the horizontal striped drapes... WOW! And I found three new blogs! Great post Alison!

my favorite and my best said...

i am in awe of jenny too. i am not worthy.

Lizzie said...

Thanks again for another great DBRB! All the bloggers have agreat taste!

JMW said...

Thanks so much for sharing these blogs - always searching for great ideas to borrow. I'm bummed, too, about Southern Accents. Always hate to see the decline of a great periodical.

High-Heeled Foot in the door said...

I love this series! I was happy to participate in round number 1 and now totally in awe of round number 2.

What lovely and talented ladies.

Morning T said...

Thanks for sharing these with us Alison- I will visit them asap!

Paloma {La Dolce Vita} said...

This was such a fun read! All of these ladies are so very talented.

Haven and Home said...

Love this series. All of these are fab but Jenny's rooms I REALLY love!

Lindsey said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for doing this post today. After looking at houses yesterday I thought, "How in the world am I ever going to furnish a house that is much bigger than my current?" All my money is going into the additional mortgage and there won't be a pot of gold leftover for decor and design. This is SO inspiring. Great post for a Monday...there is hope!

LindsB said...

Wow, what a cure to the DBRB!! All of this eye candy is enough to charge me up for the week, I LOVE them all.

Thanks Alison for the perfect pick-me-up!!

Your blog rocks :)

Averill said...

Great post -- I've actually missed ALL THREE of these amazing ladies' homes so I appreciate the tour.

Now I'm off to catch up on what I've been missing!

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

I love the realness of all of these bloggers places! That is my fave. Real on a budget! Yep.

paula said...

great post... so much talent out there.

Jenny said...

{Surfacing from vacation mode...}

Thank you SO much, Alison!! What a great post! I feel honored to be among these talented ladies of DBRB I and II!

Thanks again!

Jenny

Your House and Life said...

Alison, I thought I commented but somehow lost in space! Oh well, thrilled to be among these fabulous ladies as well. It was fun!!