Monday, January 31, 2011

Of light photons and frequencies

And a perfect white. Simply the best.

I picked Ben Moore Super White for all the painted walls and ceiling in my house. It's a clean, clear white, like snow. Gotta love a perfect white. Even when I'm sick of the snow.

Making my imagination count

It all looks good in my head. I have imagination, inspiration, and ideas galore. I just need the tools and the skills to put them out of my mind and onto the pages. I am slowly figuring out how all this stuff works and exactly what I need to make it all work. Right now, I'm at a point where I believe that an iPad is no help. Not what I need for all this. Not to make it right.


In the meantime - until I have my camera:

Some spaces holding bits I love from Burley Katon Halliday. (Particularly that antler chair and that granny wallcovering.)

Images via BKH

Saturday, January 29, 2011

What I Want vs What I Got

We all have compromised and settled with design. Unless your budget, as well as your chops, is as big as Belgian linen in the Restoration Nation, you don't always end up with your design of choice. During my reno, my habit wasn't fed with all the details and elements I craved and now, during the decorating process, I'm not getting hooked up either. Thankfully that kind of creative adversity, or apprehension, can push your imagination into overdrive and the results can be very fulfilling.

Once I'm back in my home state, I'm gonna post some of my own Fantasy vs Reality moments - the greatest number of them are more results of the size of my pocketbook rather than the condition of my instincts or my determination.

Until then, I'm gonna leave with this quote that included word of the day - cacoethes, which is defined as an irresistible urge; mania. I love how this passage has a connection, in my mind, to being bold in discovery and application of design:

"We must talk, think, and live up to the spirit of the times, and write up to it too, if that cacoethes be upon us, or else we are nought." Anthony Trollope

Here's hoping that all Design Junkies can live, and decorate, up to the spirit of their design times, whether or not they are able to live up to the cost. And here's a couple pictures of one of my favorite fantasy spaces, the digs of Aussie designer David Hicks (the other one).

Photos via David Hicks

Friday, January 28, 2011


My purge before the big reno left me with few accessories and wanting more. The things that I did keep are still packed away in the storage warehouse - hopefully in neatly labeled boxes (I don't remember the details of the pack-up & move-out). I've been focusing on furniture and rugs this winter and haven't really been trying to source pieces to decorate up cocktail tabletops, bookshelves, nightstands and dressers.

I do have some special gifted items spread throughout the house and I'm not in a big rush. I want whatever I choose to bring in to be "found" or "discovered". I don't want to do a wholesale purchase of tchotchkes and mass produced statuary and vases or use knocked-off "found" stuff.

So, last night I discovered a link to an etsy shop - Haven Vintage - and found a few smalls that could work. I'm going to try them.

I'm not sure where these will end up. But I like what I bought.

All photos via Haven Vintage

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Bath - Incomplete

I have a guest bath that needs storage. I had the sink/vanity fabricated from Corian, and not wanting to put in any built-in cabinets, I thought it would be speedy business to find a piece to stand in the space on the wall to the right of the silhouette. But there's been nothing that lights me up. (Remains pendant light, SUM Design wallpaper)

Well sure, at first there was this pharmacy cabinet from Restoration Nation that I was inspired to try when I saw some vintage ones at ABC Home. This was cheaper, but when I saw the finish in person, I was right disappointed.

Then, there's this. Crate & Barrel. Nice looking, but pretty generic. It would serve it's purpose and would be a little more showy once styled. Mmmm. Not sure.

The most attractive option to me right now, but I haven't nailed one down within budget, would be a vintage brass and glass number. So, I'm still looking.

Oh, one more. I have a thrifted 4 drawer oak chest with brass pulls that has very nice grain in the veneer. A thought was to do a cerused finish involving some black, or to paint it emerald.

Meanwhile, I bought this Betsy Walton print on Etsy last summer but haven't gotten around to having it framed. But when I do, it'll be hanging in there. One day.


Monday, January 24, 2011


My thought about this blog was to show lots of original pictures of design content and explore design trends and sources. Generally just yammering on and on alongside the other design blogs about... well, design. So, that's why it's called Design Junkie. Oh, terribly original.

I know.

But my camera is in Florida and I'm in Philly. So for my practice round of posting a picture I'm presenting this grainy shot of my living room that was on my BB. You see those chairs - thrifted from an Atlanta area Goodwill and reupholstered in royal blue velvet and navy linen - and the table they flank - thrifted from Lakeland Salvation Army? It's the table I'm focusing on right now.

I had it stored in the secret warehouse for over a year, then moved it to the reno job site for the carpenter to replace the top, which was cracked and warped. He pointed out some termite damage, which I had seen, and poo-poo'd, because, afterall, I had had it for so long, how could there still be an infestation? Wrong thinking. About 6 months after moving it into my house I saw termite droppings and had to have it treated. All's well there.

Originally, the table sat in the master bath, beside the free-standing bathtub, as I studied it in the space to determine how to finish it. Ended up moving it to the living room and I'm still studying. How should I finish it?

A combination of distressed fuschia and flaky gold leaf? The inside and underneath glossy pink? There will be fuschia. Just not sure of the exact treatment. Any ideas?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


are only as good as the mind that can figure out how to implement them. And I am woefully lacking in the skills to bring my ideas to my blog. Particularly with the iPad. I think I'll have more success when I can use my computer.

OK, that, and being prepared. And I'm not prepared. Like, I should have my camera with me in the state where I am.

So, there's no fix here.


Not for lack of ideas

It started with a house. A 1985 jobber with "knock down" texture on the walls, 12x12 ceramic tile, almond Formica kitchen and cultured marble vanities in the baths. Outdated and uninspired from the dented metal front door to the outdoor carpeted screened back porch, it held potential, nonetheless, in it's volume ceilings and livable floor plan. And I had ideas.

In a quiet, comfortable neighborhood, we bought the home in 1996 and raised a family without making any big design changes and not totally committed to the idea of this being our "forever" home. And I had ideas. And I began saving them in 3-ring binders - tear sheets and magazine cuts, and wallpaper samples and fabric memos. All carefully organized in plastic sleeves, added to and edited over years of browsing the nets, collecting catalogs and pouring over ever accumulating stacks of shelter magazines from around the world.

Then one day, maybe 4 years ago, after looking at new houses, better houses, lakefront houses and houses on acreage, all my big ideas got the better of me and I really wanted to flesh them out right where we were. So I took all the ideas and eventually went to work on a big, fat, pain-in-the-ass reno.

Now, 3 years from the start, the construction is done, the CO has been in hand a year, we've broken in the pool, the grill, the coffee system and the gas range, but the storage warehouse hasn't been emptied, there's temporary paper blinds in the master bedroom and there's unfinished decorating projects and unfurnished spaces galore.

There's a lot left to do. And I've got ideas. And I'm talking about them in this blog.