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Entries in decorating (53)

Friday
Sep122014

MOVING! City to Suburbs, with home renovation ahead

source

UPDATE: Found lots of cool tile and flooring on my visit to Floor & Decor!

After much deliberation, driving around, and wistful sighing, we've decided to move out of the city.

I know! I can't believe it, either. Yes, our current place is great, but living on the third floor in a hipster enclave doesn't lend itself well to life with a toddler. We seriously considered several other city neighborhoods, but finally realized that for what we want, Mr. SCS could commute either 30 minutes on the L or 30 minutes on Metra, where we could have more space and less crime and— you know what? I can't even listen to myself anymore. I've sold out for a lawn and fresh air.

Anyway. While I'm decidedly torn about this major life decision, I am sort of excited/dreading the home renovation projects in our future. Excited because it's fun to be creative, dreading because there's always the debate about hiring a pro versus DIY. So, I'm really happy to be teaming up with ChicagonistaLIVE again, this time for a segment called "Creating an Atmosphere of Ease and Comfort in your Home" at the Floor & Decor showroom in Skokie.

sourceI wasn't previously familiar with Floor & Decor, but have since learned that they have an enormous selection of ceramic, stone, tile, wood, and laminate flooring, as well as various tools and accessories, sourced directly from manufacturers around the world. In addition to the Skokie location, they have stores in Aurora, Arlington Heights and Lombard, plus 40 more around the country.

Are you in need of some renovation tips, too? Follow #ChicagonistaLIVE this Tuesday September 14 from 2-3pm CDT. You can also watch live at http://www.ChicagonistaLIVE.com

 

Sunday
Dec022012

Keep Kitchen Remodeling COSTS from Adding UP

There are two things I don’t love about my kitchen, shown above – the color of the cabinets (cherry was so chic eight years ago) and the backsplash (::ahem:: there is none). One thing at a time, right? I asked Joaquin Erazo of Case Remodeling/Design for some advice on the cabinets, and here’s what he had to say:

A complete kitchen remodel can be a big investment. Installing new appliances, updating the flooring, countertops, lighting, painting… the list of tempting to-do items is seemingly endless! If you’re trying to minimize kitchen costs for a remodeling project, you need to employ two strategies – prioritize the big expenses, and determine where you can cut corners.

Photo source: Pinterest

Homeowners looking to update their kitchens often start with their kitchen cabinets, as these improvements will likely cause the biggest notice of change (I hear that!). However, replacing kitchen cabinets can also be the biggest budget buster. An easy way to cut kitchen costs for remodeling is to identify whether cabinets should be replaced, or if they can be refaced or refinished.

Photo source: Pinterest

Before you make a decision on the type of cabinet remodel needed for your space, take a good look at your kitchen.
Reface or refinish if: you are satisfied with the current layout.
Replace if: your kitchen cabinets are not functional or if you want a completely remodeled kitchen.

Here’s the difference between the three:

  • Refacing: Refacing is the process of replacing doors and drawer fronts and recovering the remaining surfaces with laminate, paint, or veneer. Refacing jobs are easy and relatively quick to complete, plus they cause limited damage to walls and other surfaces in your kitchen.
  • Refinishing: Refinishing is the process of repainting all existing surfaces with a fresh coat of paint or varnish. For an added twist, consider replacing the hardware (hinges and knobs) Refinishing is the most affordable, fastest, and easiest remodeling option for your kitchen cabinets.
  • Replacing: You can probably guess this one! If you’re looking for a bigger impact with your kitchen , you should replace your cabinets. The total budget for replacing will depend on the type of materials you select. Stock cabinets will be much cheaper than custom-made cabinets.

Photo source: Pinterest

 

No matter which route you choose, changing the look of your cabinets is a great way to breathe life into an outdated space, or just give it a little lift.

What do you guys think? Should I refinish my kitchen cabinets? As you can probably tell from the photos above, I’m a bit obsessed with white cabinets!

Tuesday
Oct232012

TRENDS from CS Interiors 5th Anniversary HOME

Isn't it fun to oogle picture-perfect show houses? I always like to imagine my life in the space ("Let's adjourn to the living room. You know, the room with the hand-stitched leather walls. But first, grab a drink from the refrigerator. It's behind the faux ostrich skin panel.") and the CS Interiors Fifth Anniversary Home was an ideal occasion to do so. Better yet, it was hosted at the newly completed Ritz-Carlton Residences, which I have been dying to peek. Neither the building nor the decor disappointed. Have a look at the six rooms, outfitted by some of the city's top designers.

Foyer and Bathroom

by Anne Coyle
 

 

Bedroom

by Tracy Hickman

 

Den

by James E. Ruud

 

Dining Room

by Jessica Lagrange

 

Kitchen

by Julia Buckingham Edelmen

 

Living Room

by Tom Stringer

Tuesday
Oct162012

HALLOWEEN Table: "Deserted DOWNTON ABBEY"

Halloween is such a theatrical holiday, don't you think? Sure, Christmas has the big tree and the carols, but Halloween is toothy pumpkins, dark vampire liars, mummy tombs, and all points in between.

Joanna of MommaCuisine.com recently invited me on her new show Momma Cuisine Live and asked me to conjure up a sophisticated Halloween tablescape. I had to look no further than my DVD player. My husband and I love PBS's Downton Abbey and have been making our way through season two (yes, we're late to the party).

Downton Abbey is set in the early 20th century and tells the story of both the aristocratic Crawley family and their servants "downstairs". The Crawleys weather life's curveballs yet Lord and Lady Grantham always manage to end their evenings with an elegant dinner...thanks in no small part to the servants' efforts!

But what if the Crawleys went mad? And what if the servants had enough of their shennanegans and simply left the estate? And furthermore, what if the Crawleys barely took any notice, and kept trying to entertain as per usual? These thoughts led me to...

Deserted Downton Abbey

Colors: Dark neutrals, tarnished silver, aged gold, and ivory (never white).
Style: Keep it antique, and slightly mis-matched. This is a great way to use incomplete sets of china. Borrow from friends or rent, as I did, from Tablescapes Event Rentals. Everything you see here, (with the exception of the flower vase and candleabra) is from Tablescapes!
Details: Crinkled placecards written in half-dry markers, bent forks as amuse-bouche servers, dripping candles, dry flowers

 

Below: Candles bend at precarious angles and drip freely. At right, these bent forks from Tablescapes are meant to be used as placecard holders, but I like them as amuse bouche forks. Placecards are crinkled and written with a half-dead marker, to add to the look of neglected elegance.


Silverware should be mis-matched, as seen here with Tablescapes' heirloom flatware collection. And did you notice that one place setting is gold-ivory, while the other is ivory-gold?

Don't polish the silver before this party! You don't want anything too bright on the table.

 

The overall look is coordinated, but not overly matchy. Note the complimentary crystal wine glasses.

 

A behind-the-scenes look! It doesn't look nearly so forboding in the daylight, does it? I recommend dark lighting and chamber music played on a scratchy record to set the mood. And feel free to dress in your moth-eaten finery!

Happy Halloween!

Wednesday
Apr112012

Add COLOR with BLENKO inspired glassware

The arrival of spring seems to bring a cleansing of our collective color palate (pun intended), and this year seems particularly bright; just look at the neons accenting spring fashion or the tangerines, pinks and teals of this season’s trendiest manicures.

Your home is another playground for spring’s cheerier hues. The sun flooding through my window the other day made my translucent cerulean decanter particularly brilliant. It’s a subtly crackled Blenko piece, oversized (I still wonder how it could actually be functional as a container), and the most arresting blue.

I remember admiring it on its place on the mantle at my grandmother’s home. When she moved to a smaller place and parted with many of her possessions, the decanter became mine. Only later did I realize it was collectible. Honestly, that didn’t make it any more special. It’s the color and shape that I gravitated toward then—and now. Noticing it that day sent me down the rabbit hole of Blenko research, studying the motifs and bold colors produced by the West Virginia-based company now inextricably linked to Mid-Century Modern design.

Blenko is abundant—and hotter than ever—but there are numerous alternatives, both vintage and new, that pack the same punch. Cluster any of these monochromatic glass vessels in a light-filled area and enjoy the extended daylight.

 

 

Scour flea markets, eBay and antiques dealers specializing in glass, like Glasshouse, for Blenko decanters, vases and other vessels like the ones pictured above from the Blenko Museum. (Hint: Be on the look-out for the charming owl motif!.)

 The work of Joe Cariati is primed for lush magazine spreads--so editorial, as they say. The various shapes and colorways are quite simply stunning.

 

Colorful glass need not be expensive. Functional pieces like this Bormioli Rocco Ypsilon glass carafe are inexpensive and offered in a variety of candy colors at Cooking.com.

 

Michael Ruh creates beautiful glassware like this Lime String Mallet (available at Lille, one of my favorite local stores whose taste I always trust).

 

Etsy is a great resource for Mid-Century Modern glassware (Blenko or otherwise). I love this sweet vase from vendor The Cottage Cheese.

 


Elizabeth Lyons Big Jars collection (available at select boutiques and showrooms) captures the vibrancy of the Blenko colors and is offered in groupings like Twilight (shown).


 

Wedding and party superstore Luna Bazaar is a cheap-chic source for colorful glass bottles like the one shown above. At less than $3 each, large groupings are encouraged.

Unica Home carries the iconic work of Finnish designer Tapio Wirkkala, including these truly lucious (and thus predictably spendy) Bolle bottle series for Venini.

 

CB2, always a reliable standby for affordable accents, offers these Colour glass vases; while simple, they pack a punch.

 

Also from Unica Home are these Bambu vases by Arcade Glass, featuring a more 21st Century shape and muted palate

 

Interior Decorating and Design by Christine Sisson
Part of the Second City Soiree Contributor Series. Christine is on Twitter @WordsOnStyle. Read her full bio here.

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