I’ve finally had some time to really delve into the Ikea 2010 catalog, after it sat, staring me in the face on my coffee table for the past two weeks, begging for attention. While the selection of new products didn’t turn on any light bulbs over my head, I was impressed by the styling. Several of the room spreads were a big departure from their usual stark-sweedish-modern aesthetic, and seemed to be pulling inspiration from designers and shelter mags. I played a little game of memory and matched up a few of my favorite pictures from the catalog with similar counterparts…

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This Ikea room is a ringer for the masculine library featured below (via this is glamorous), as well the eclectic mix featured in a Domino spread.

via this is glamourous - carter smiths home

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And in a brighter, more playfully styled room, this Ikea room seems to draw in the inspiration of  Nick Olson and Miles Redd (both from features in Domino).

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Nick Olsen Domino

Miles Redd Domino

In my frenzy of leaving for a long weekend, I realized I never posted a picture of my Craigslist score! Meet my new (old) Crate and Barrel couch:

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Now I need some end tables…

I was impressed by this surprising DIY inspiration in In Style magazine… using metallic tape to frame out some faux architectural detail on a wall.

Scotch Foil Tape via In Style

I’m not sure if I would start taping out designs on my walls, but it could look cute wrapped around the base of a lamp shade, or even applied to some hand made note cards?

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There are some versions of the tape sold with backing that I found on Amazon.com.  Imagine taking one of these new Martha Stewart edge punches and getting the detail in metallic? Some ideas are brewing…

Things I’m currently very excited about:

I found a new (old) couch on craigslist. It popped up on Apartment Therapy’s scavenger, which I sometimes browse because they take out some of the hassle of thumbing through thousands of uglies before you find your gem.

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The couch is an older version of Crate and Barrel’s Cameron sofa and I’m just elated to finally have a grown-up couch to replace my junky old college one! Plus, I bargained and talked the owner down to half the original asking price! Mom would be proud.

Cameron Sofa

And in other exciting news, I heard a rumor that Jonathan Adler is taking on Boston and opening a Newbury Street shop. Sure enough, a little googling revealed they’re currently hiring store managers and a visual confirmation was found on Diary of a Yummy Mummy. adler coming to boston

Would it be unreasonable to leave my career and salary to be a shop girl at an Adler store? I think I would be the happiest girl in the world rolling around in faux zebra rugs and union jack embroidered pillows all day!

To top off my list of exciting things, my 2010 Ikea catalog finally came in the mail, and I’m oozing with happiness as I start the first of many many many reads.

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?

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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!