Friday, July 30, 2010

A Look Inside the First Lady’s Office (warning: not for the faint-hearted)

First let me say, I love Michelle Obama. I think she is an excellent modern day role model for all women. She has brains, beauty, family, career, etc…and I want her arms!

That being said, the recent peek inside her White House office, published by POLITICO, has me DYING!!!!!!!!!!!

“The first lady, who redecorated the space last summer, has gone for something more casual than the gold tones of the Oval Office: an off-white, overstuffed, living-room-type couch — with floral and other printed pillows — along with two brown-and-cream-patterned chairs. The space is painted a warm, cozy peach color, and the windows feature plantation-style shutters rather than curtains or blinds.(POLITICO)


Dear First Lady Michelle Obama,

First things first Michelle…can I call you Michelle?

Dear Michelle,

We no longer live in 1987 when peach walls were semi-acceptable…semi being the operative word! There is nothing “cozy” about peach. That’s POLITCO’s nice way of not saying your wall color bored them to tears and made them want to cozy up on a nice sofa (not yours) and forget they ever stepped foot inside your office.

Plus what’s with the drab cream couch, random pillows and pitifully dull coffee table? I don’t know whether to cry or sign in at reception for my doctor’s appointment. If I get dizzy with boredom I could just stare at your ceramic lamps from 1993 until I am blind. Lastly, I heard your husband is doing okay financially…I think it’s time to invest in some hardwood floors.

The only highlight is the little bit of recessed lighting I see creeping in on the side of this photo, and I am always a sucker for built-in cabinets.

Michelle…you are such a powerful, energetic, exciting woman…you wear Jason Wu and dress down in JCrew…you deserve so much more than this. Can you picture Jenna Lyons sitting in this office? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

Here’s what I’m going to pretend your office looks like in my head from now on:

With the utmost respect,

Thursday, July 29, 2010

My Favorite Kitchens

They say the kitchen is the soul of the house. If that's true my soul would be an all-white with glass doors, platinum shaker-style hardware, a large white farm sink, and Carrera marble frosting...but that's just me!

Yesterday was a big day for my father (aka my hero) layed new tile in my kitchen....say goodbye to the awful baby blue and cream linoleum. We are grouting tonight so look for the big reveal on Friday! Here is a sneak peek:

Speaking of are my favorite kitchens of all time:

DISCLAIMER 1: I have been collecting these images for months/years so I have no idea where I found many of them, but none of these photos are mine. 

DISCLAIMER 2: (aka Reality Check): Although I love my kitchen and it's fabulous upgrades, my kitchen in no way shape or form will look like these heavenly visions below so adjust expectations accordingly.

Gwenyth Paltrow's Kitchen

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Oh Domino...My Domino

If you are like me you are still mourning the death of the best shelter magazine ever created, Domino.

I subscribed to Domino since it first was established back in 2005. Each issue was like a work of art, and I would give anything to have saved them all.

Most of the photos can now be found on Flickr, and for those really struggling there is a Facebook group called SAVE DOMINO created!

I love this quote from a New York Times article written by Penelope Green shortly after it was announced that Domino had closed, "Did Domino’s demise augur the crumbling of a larger, cultural movement, characterized by a girlish and fizzy optimism and an appetite for Jonathan Adler ceramics and Parsons tables from West Elm, and peopled by thousands of crafty, handy young women — like Carrie Bradshaw but cooler, with fewer shoes, better values and a mortgage?"
  • Girlish and fizzy optimism? CHECK
  • Appetite for Jonathan Adler ceramics? CHECK
  • Appetite for Parsons tables from West Elm? CHECK
  • Crafty, handy young woman? CHECK
  • Like Carrie Bradshaw but cooler? THAT'S A STRETCH
  • With fewer shoes? MOST DEF
  • Better values? WHO AM I TO JUDGE...


A couple ex-Domino editors decided to stick it to the man and launch their own online magazine.

Welcome Lonny into my life, and thank you for bringing me gorgeous photos and amazing articles!

(According to their website) Lonny Magazine (the name is a hybrid of London and New York) is a bi-monthly online design publication launched by Michelle Adams, a former Domino-magazine market assistant and freelance photographer Patrick Cline.

Lonny stays true to the Domino spirit of accessible designs, affordable products, and 1000% charm!

Lonny Magazine
Lonny Magazine
Lonny Magazine
Lonny Magazine
Lonny Magazine
Lonny Magazine

Check out this month's article on one of my favorite designers, Lee Kleinhelter. Lee is the owner of Atanta's store Pieces, which focuses on refurbished, vintage furniture and accessories. Her shop and her many homes (she designs to sell) have been featured across all shelter mags.

Lonny Magazine
Pieces is probably my most favorite store I've never been too! I regularly check it's site for vintage finds that I can't afford...but it gives me great ideas!

I absolutely love finding one of a kind, forgetten about pieces, slapping some lipstick on them, and making them part of my home.

I can't wait to visit Pieces someday and buy a candle or some napkin rings (all that I can afford) :)

In the meantime, we can all enjoy Lee's latest condo project:

Lonny Magazine

Lonny Magazine

Lonny Magazine

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Designing Your Own Subway Sign

You have probably seen quite a few vintage subway signs creeping up everywhere from design blogs to retail stores like Restoration Hardware.

I love the vintage/industrial feel it brings to a living room. But with an average price tag of $1,600 I decided to make my own. Plus, I wanted to customize it with my own cities/stops.

STEP 1: I designed the actual signs in Photoshop. I picked the cities where both Ryan and I have lived:

Kenmore Square (Boston, MA)
Central Station (Sydney, Australia)
Brooks Drive (Annapolis, MD)
Woodley Park Zoo (Washington, DC)
East Falls Church (Falls Church, VA)

I made sure to use a very gritty font.

STEP 2: I printed my designs at Kinko's on a very heavy cardstock.

STEP 3: I purchased custom cut wood from Home Depot for $7, and painted it black to match the printed sign.

STEP 4: I adhered the sign to the painted wood using Mod Podge, a durable hard coat finish specially developed for use on furniture. This sealer adheres paper and fabric to almost any surface, and dries clear and smooth.
STEP 5: Finally I nailed hanging hooks into the back.

Although it doesn't look exactly like the $1,600 vintage piece above, I think it came out super charming!

Plus I love that it reminds me of all the places Ryan and I have lived, including our first apartment, and now our first home together. It's my version of a quilt :)


Monday, July 26, 2010

Happy Birthday to my friend, Jessica!

Happy Birthday to my first real-life (aka didn't meet growing up, or in college...but at our first job out of school) friend, Jessica. She is such a beautiful person inside and out.

Jessica is a constant source of inspiration for me. We love to bounce design ideas off each other, and she has fabulous taste! HAPPY BIRTHDAY JESS!

Conquering the world in our back-to-back cubicles at our first job...6 years ago

Weekend Steals!

I can't wait to share the complete steals I found this weekend. Not 1 hour after leaving work on Friday, I was on my way to get my eyebrows threaded. I had a long talk with myself on the drive out to Tyson's. OKAY HEATHER DO NOT WALK INTO WEST ELM.

But then fate intervened and my threading lady was with another client, so I couldn't help but wander into West Elm. And boy am I glad I did...I got two awesome steals...both for my guestroom 2.

Have you heard of floor samples? These are usually the floor models, and while most are not 100% perfect they are more than 60% off. Plus by the time I shove anything into my Jetta and drag it into my home, nothing is ever perfect anyway.

So first I found this awesome wrap around dining chair. Originally $79, I got it for $30. The tumeric (aka lemon yellow) is so fun, and will look perfect at the desk in my guestroom 2. (read more about this desk below)

Here it is at my father-in-law's roll top desk he purchased in 1982. This desk has been through so many moves and it is barely held together with nails and staples. When Ryan and I moved it to paint we literally heard it moan. I fear it's on its final legs but I can't seem to get rid of it. The roll top is so charming!

Next I found this white rolling beverage cart. I love that the glass is frosted. Originally $199, I got it for $50.

Now I know I could be predictable and use it outside by my fabulous South Beach-style pool:

But then I remembered I live in Falls Church, and I don't have a fabulous South Beach-style pool. So instead I thought it would be more interesting used as a dresser in my guestroom...ta-da!

I hope everyone had a great weekend and found some steals of your own.


PS...have you checked out the new West Elm site? Cute!!!

Make sure you check out the cool behind the scenes pages

Like this one of their Fall photo shoot

Or this one where you can get to know the West Elm designers

Super cool job!

I can't wait to post some great items this week, including my kitchen floors, a fabulous rug I found for $19.95, and one of my favorite designers. Stay tuned!