Monday, May 31, 2010

CSN Giveaway winner!



When I first started reading design blogs, I was pretty suspicious of Random.org, the number generator most bloggers use to pick giveaway winners. I never, ever won. Now, I was entering every giveaway under the sun on very popular blogs, so that made total sense. These days, I don't enter many giveaways...just ones where I really like the prize and on blogs that I read daily. I've won some nice things and also feel as though I see blog "friends" winning, too!

Add another friend to the list of winners! Ada-Marie, the Richmond blogger behind Spark! is the winner of my CSN giveaway!



She said she might put her $60 prize towards this console table:



Congratulations, Ada-Marie! I'll be emailing CSN with your information shortly!
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Sunday, May 30, 2010

What do you do when you're bored?

The internet in my neighborhood went down on Friday night during a huge thunderstorm. I had planned on doing some work on the blog, but I obviously had to change plans.

What does a design blogger do when presented with a free afternoon? She paints.

As a tease, here are the three colors I considered for my kitchen. From top to bottom (and right to left), the colors are: Benjamin Moore Cloudy Sky, Benjamin Moore Secret, and Benjamin Moore Cinder. What's your favorite?

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Saturday, May 29, 2010

My first blog video: a look into the bathroom

Between the nice comments I got when I posted the Abode video and the response other bloggers have gotten to posting videos, I was convinced that I should give my own video a try.

I'm starting with a look at the smallest room in my condo, so I can keep this simple. I'd be interested in knowing you think I should put up some shelving on the wall next to the mirror. I like simplicity and was a little worried that shelves would invite clutter. What do you think?



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Friday, May 28, 2010

Liberty of London, circa 1966

For the last ten years, I've carried a zip-lock bag of fabric with me from one apartment to the next without opening it. It contains Liberty of London fabric that my mother bought in Bermuda, on her honeymoon, in the late 1960s.

Today, I opened the bag.



There was so much fabric! Here it is draped over the end of my bed and it's still folded over once.



It doesn't go with anything I own, so I guess I'll just fold it up and put it back in the zip-lock bag.

Unless someone had a suggestion. What would you do with this much hot pink, Liberty of London fabric?
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A secret garden

Jut outside of Charlottesville, on the grounds of an old farm, is a garden unlike anything I've seen before. I recently got an unexpected chance to explore it. The opportunity was a bit of a surprise, so I didn't have my camera on me. Some iPhone pictures with have to suffice.

When we started our walk, we passed through some fairly traditional gardens and fields





The paths twisted and turned with several switchbacks. We wondered if the person leading the group really knew where he was going. Maybe this garden we were going to was just some woods?



When I looked down and saw smooth stones lining the "gutter" on either side of the path, I knew we were getting close.



We came to a wide, wood gate, we were in a massive Japanese garden.





We eventually came to a house that was surrounded by bamboo fencing.





It had beautiful rain chains hanging from the roof.





Inside the house, we were greeted with a sign that made us realize what was inside. It was very dark inside the house, so excuse the grainy pictures.







The exterior walls of the house slide back, so the tea room could be an open air space.



After exploring the house, we decided to make our way down to the pond at the bottom of the garden. Along the way, one of the gardeners in the group remarked that every plant in the garden was imported. From the bamboo to the ground cover to the trees. Some of the trees had beautiful, delicate leaves.











There were several rock crossings down by the water. The leader of our group said that every rock in the garden was brought in by truck and placed according to a plan.









Some of the rocks were placed to form a waterfall...which can be turned on and off.




I felt pretty lucky to be able to explore the garden in a small group of friends. Apparently, this garden is sometimes open for Charlottesville's Garden Week, so if you're interested in exploring this space yourself, keep an eye out in the spring for the garden tour.
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Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shop Tour: Exotic Home

Can you imagine being in a mall and walking by store that looks like this?


While visiting Marc's mother last weekend, we stopped at the MacArthur Mall in Norfolk, VA. It's a pretty standard mall with pretty standard stores. There wasn't all that much to get excited about until we got to Exotic Home. I was so struck by the variety of furniture they had that I had to ask to verify that they weren't a chain.




Yummy...this came in dark and light stain and in different sizes

The staff member told me that with only two locations (Norfolk, VA and Kill Devil Hills, NC), they aren't really a chain. The upholstery in that store came from Lee, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, Vanguard, and a few others.

There were some misses, like the faux zebra print rug below, but for the most part, the store had interesting pieces that were a nice contrast to the Pottery Barn across the way.


The animal friendly version of the zebra rug?


The ice blue color of this sofa isn't coming through in my iPhone pictures. It was striking!


This was interesting, but it seemed like a bit too much uninterrupted pattern.


I liked this bench that was placed at the foot of a bed.


There were quite a few small vignettes


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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Don't forget to enter the giveaway!

Have you entered the giveaway yet? You don't have to be a regular to enter, though becoming a follower will get you an extra entry. The giveaway closes tomorrow, so get over to the original post to put your name into the hat!

The Prize: A promotional code worth $60 for use at one of the 200+ CSN online stores

To Enter:
1. Go to any CSN store website and pick something out (you can use the sidebar to limit the products by shape, color, material, etc). You have no spending limit and you aren't locked into getting that item if you win!

2. Post a comment telling me what you'd put the $60 towards and include a link.

3. For an extra entry, follow this blog.

4. For even more extra entries, tweet or blog about this giveaway. Come back and leave a comment for each extra entry. If you tweet, be sure to include @smallchic in your text so I see the tweet.

Do it by:
Thursday, May 27th at 9 AM Eastern


Small print: If you don't have a blogger account, you can enter by picking the "Name/URL" option under the comment box. Enter your name and leave the URL line blank. Be sure to leave your email address!
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Hitting the decks...again

I love my Benjamin Moore Color Preview fan deck, but with the prospect of picking a paint for the kitchen (after making a few bad picks in the past), I decided to order a bundle of decks from My Perfect Color.



I feel like I did back when I bought my first deck (Sherwin Williams' very reasonable $10 deck)! I've been flipping through the Classic Colors and Affinity decks on and off, trying to find the right color to compliment the color that's in the rest of the common spaces.



Since I already have a Color Preview deck, I'll sell the extra one on ebay. The one thing that struck me was how much thicker my deck is that the wrapped one. The decks weren't wrapped all that tightly...so I guess all the playing I've done with my deck has done this.

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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Speaking of knock offs...

Yesterday, we had a pretty interesting discussion about knock offs. There's another sort, though...the DIY version. Knock Off Wood is a great resource for those who love catalogue pieces and want to try their hand at recreating them at home.

I have a great real life example of a DIY knock off and it comes from Marc's mother. She loves the look of Russel & MacKenna furniture and the style fits with her home at the beach, but even simple pieces tend to start at $1,000.


Picture from Russell & Mackenna

Last year, she gave a friend a picture of the R&M's $1,200 wave hall table and he was able to make a similar table. She put on the finishing touches (paint and sealer). The result is pretty close to the inspiration piece, don't you think?



What do you think? The paint job is fantastic...it looked professional to me!

She has another piece in the works and I've already seen it. It's a headboard made to look like R&M's Boardwalk Queen Bed.

Someday, I'll have to share photos of some of the work she's done in her home. It's a bright, cheerful house right on the water and the pictures would probably be a pretty interesting departure from the style I usually show here.
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Shop Tour: Decorum Furniture

Decorum, the furniture store where I saw the knock off ghost chair this weekend had some pretty interesting pieces. I snapped a few iPhone pictures to share with you.

I thought this Candice Olson chair was nice in theory, but I think the upholstery work was a little too rough for the design. It didn't seem refined enough.


The rest of the items in the Candice Olson collection seemed nice, but just a tad off. I wonder if this line is a step up or down from the line sold at Norwalk Furniture Idea.


I wish the lines weren't so exaggerated


One of Candice's drawings

Tucked away in a nook on a staircase was some art by Christopher Marley. I had never seen his work before and thought it was pretty interesting.





Here are a few more items from around the store...



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