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I’m now bartering for blogposts. I promised my good friend Taz (who you may remember from my back to school series) that I would lend her my sewing skills in exchange for her before and after pictures to post.

Taz has a challenge that so many of us apartment dwellers face; a severe lack of kitchen cabinetry. So, to store some of her bigger kitchen items like pots and pans, she’s been using a kitchen cart. The problem? Other than exposing her George Forman grill to the world? Dust. She had to wash the tools before she used them each time, and when time is of the essence to get dinner on the table, that’s the last thing anyone wants to do!

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So with armed with some Alexander Henry fabric, the trusty sewing-machine and a dash of Velcro we transformed this:

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Into this:

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I love the playful print; I think it looks great with her Orla Kiely accessories and brightens up the room! I’m trying now to persuade her to make some valances out of the scraps… in exchange for some before and after pictures of course.

Thanks to all of the awesome bloggers who stopped by last week to share their back to school wish lists! It was awesome to come back after a long weekend at the beach (complete with a cover-to-cover read of the best 584 pages of fall fashion) and see all of the great comments that were shared!

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This snakeskin table, featured on Shelter, is to-die-for. It’s a really simple shape, but the texture and pattern make it look so glamorous and luxe.

designer Lindsey Harper via SHELTER

Though it’s been awhile since I’ve decoupaged, I think I could pull of an easy DIY by covering a craigslist find with some inexpensive snakeskin embossed wrapping paper to recreate the look, what do you think?

embossed snakeskin paper1

I know I’m way behind on the wave of popularity that Gossip Girl was getting when it first came out, but after much persuasion from friends and family who were adamant that I would SWOON for the preppy sets and clothes, I finally broke down and bought the first season on DVD. Lets just say, it did not disappoint. I’m flying through discs and already pre-ordering the second season for when it comes on DVD.

What surprised me though was that I was less inclined toward the preppy wares of the Waldorfs and instead am really into the Lofty, Brooklyn-vibe of the Humphrys. I love the exposed brick, the over-sized windows and doors, the stained glass, and time-worn oriental rugs that all give it an artsy edge.

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I got especially excited when I spotted the tufted blue sofa in their living room, mostly because I recognized it from one of my all-time favorite Anthropolgie spreads. anthropologie room 1

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I always loved these photos, but never thought a tufted chesterfield sofa like this would make a practical choice for any living room… but seeing how it’s used on the set to make a small, cozy living space in the big open, airy loft has me brainstorming for how I can find one on craigslist or at a flea market! (and how I can find an affordable loft space to move into!)

My hiatus is over, I’m back from a lovely 4th of July, a very relaxing week at the beach, and have finally caught up on my overflowing inbox that welcomed me at the office. It’s so hard to come back to the real world after days of BBQs, beaches, shopping, and lovely weather.

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The one day of non-beach weather was filled with fun activities: a wine tasting at a local Cape Cod Vineyard and some flea market hunting (an ideal vacation day). The vineyard had beautiful gardens and the property had a precious cottage where we tasted some great wines and jumped on a tour of the vineyard and bottling barn.

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At the flea market I scored a small vintage oil painting of a coastal scene that needs a new frame but was too cute to pass up. At a nearby thrift store my mom found a white milk glass hobnail vase. My mom taught us well: my sister spotted it the second we walked in and we flipped it over, real Fire King milk glass… and it was only $2.00! Nothing is more satisfying than a successful thrifting trip!

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After we got back from Cape Cod, we just weren’t ready to let go of the vacation-mode yet and took a day trip to Newburyport where we stumbled upon Oldies Marketplace, an enormous barn turned marketplace for all shapes and sizes of antiques and treasures. I amazingly walked out of the place without buying a thing, but regret not stocking up on some of the vintage Shiny Brite ornaments and the quirky plastic beads they had displayed.

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Now I’m back to the daily grind, but I missed my blog while I was away and kept a list of post ideas even when I was internet-less, so now that I’m rested and recharged expect more in the coming days!

What a lovely weekend, I’m sad to have to go back to the grind tomorrow. Despite some rainy weather, I had tons of fun celebrating my friend Taz’s birthday. Check out the delicious tasting flight of mini-cupcakes we enjoyed at tea at the Ritz Carlton. YUM.

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My bookend search is currently 1/2 done. I just won this reproduction of an Eames-era Jax bookend on eBay! I might repaint it a glossy black, but for now the hunt continues for it’s other half…

Jack Bookend

My friends and I started a little book club that meets once a month (while we do actually read a book each month, it’s more of a cocktail club or a gossip club; there’s a lot more of the latter two going on than the actual discussion of the book). Since this book club started, my excuse for a bookshelf is getting increasingly full because I keep buying new books.

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I might need to break down and buy a real bookcase soon, but was thinking about perhaps investing in some bookends to keep my mini-library from toppling over the edge of the radiator (yes, a fire hazard, I’m aware – I like to live dangerously).

Just taking a quick scan on eBay for vintage bookends I came up with a gold mine. There are so many quirky vintage bookends on the cheap, here’s a round up of my favorites:

Vintage Nuart Art Deco Cast Metal Terrier Dog Bookends - eBay

How cute would these dogs look spray painted in a bright color?

Vintage Pair of Horse Head book Ends Black Ceramic - eBay

I love these for their equestrian look and high-gloss finish (though, the gold eyes kind of creep me out).

JACKs JAX Bookends George Nelson Eames era SCULPTURE ebay

Every girl needs a little Eames-influence, right? I’m bidding on these Jax bookends now, fingers-crossed!JCPenney bookends

These are actually from JCPenney’s new global-inspired home decor line, Artesia. They’re very sharp looking, and a steal at $14.99.

Jonathan Adler Bull Bookends

And I can never get enough of Jonathan Adler, though a little out of my price range, this set of bull bookends could be recreated by snagging some of those cheap vintage eBay finds and refinishing them in a coat of white paint.

During our couch hunt last weekend I stumbled upon this great oversized nautical chart of boston harbor. I love the colors in nautical charts, and the scale of this one was perfect to hang over my desk!

 

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I’m really inspired by these uses of nautical maps layered as wallpaper:

Domino Mag Map Wallpaper

via Domino Mag

SR Gambrel Design - Maps

via Design Crisis

via shelter blog

via Shelter Interior Design Blog