Hunkering Down for Sandy

I try not to get caught up in all the media hype about the impending storm, but of course we cannot ignore warnings considering we live so close to the water.  Luckily we are on a hill  -- far enough from the water, but windwise, we always take a beating as we are surrounded by many mature trees (oak, maple and pine).  I imagine we will loose power, hopefully it will not five days before we get it back  (as in August 2011) and we always pray that trees do not hit our house (or God forbid, that anyone is hurt). It is moments like this that I wish I had not put off getting a generator (or installing hurricane windows).

Calm before the storm, October 28, 2012

Below are some pictures from the aftermath in our neighborhood after Irene in August 2011....

The bridge at the end of the block, August 2011, waters receding (the bridge had disappeared during the storm)

Neighbors surveying the damage after the storm had passed in August 2011

Houses right on the water were flooded and one was condemned (they have not yet finished construction on the repairs).

Our neighbors lost many trees (two homes were hit by trees on our street). Including these two which were pulled up from their roots!

My thoughts and prayers are with everyone in Sandy's path.  I am going back to battening down the hatches : ).


Aerin's Lauder's Leopard Sofa

 Don't you just love Aerin Lauder’s living room with the orange walls and the chic leopard print sofa?

Or how about here with the dark walls? Liking the barware on the coffee table.


Bargain Asian Screens on My Mind

I am hunting for the perfect Chinese Screen for a client (36" x 72").  Here are three inspiration rooms by Meg Braff and Charlotte Moss:

Charlotte Moss-- I love this armless sofa and the darling footstools under the coffee table.  Red and green look lovely.

Charlotte Moss. Oh, I love the gold framed bamboo coffee table and the chintz loveseat.  
Meg Braff.  Love this room with the red accents and the klismos inspired ottoman.  Rattan etageres are fab (there is one on the other side not pictured).  

I am trying to keep costs down as much as possible and I thought I would share my budget conscious ideas with you.  First, nothing looks like an antique other than a real antique and the only places you can really get them is at auction or an estate sale.  So I am checking my luck at auction. That said, I am going to try using a source for new screens and see how I do... Oriental Furniture (an online retailer) has some attractive screens including these 3ft. x 6ft, hand painted ink and watercolor silk screens from  $129 - $199 plus shipping.  I have never ordered from them or seen them in person,  but I may have to break down and order. All the photos below come in 36" x 72" size or larger.  This top one is my first choice for the room I am doing.

Or how about this large screen:

This is really good looking, just large 72" x 72" and $ 285. See it here.

A second option I found is a super cheap option for a huge wall.  This is a paper mural that looks like an Asian screen (aka a poster).   It is a Heron Nesting Mural 4’ 5”  h x 12’ w -- Packaged in four (4)  poster panels.  These panels would look great mounted on foam core and framed (with non-glare glass) and placed on a wall or alternatively they can be placed in molding and used as wallpaper (perhaps with a glaze over them).   The posters are $66.38 with shipping.  Sorry for the terrible picture. I ordered them and they look like posters, but behind non-glare glass  (which makes everything look better) they could look really good.   Here is the Link: Mural


DYI Lined Curtain Short Cut

Okay, I don't usually do DIY posts, but finding reasonably-priced nice looking lined drapes that are not custom is a bear (and if anyone has any sources please share!) so I thought I would share the results of my latest weekend project.  

I have a bedroom that always seems to be a work in progress.  I have 9 windows and I have been so lazy about getting them properly dressed (aside from the shades).  I can sew, but I keep putting off making window treatments (lined drapes)  -- such a huge hassle and time is always at a premium, so I have been trying to think of ways to short cut it (besides having someone else do the work).    

Well, I had mixed results in my curtain quest.  Good in that they look ok, bad in that they were more of a PIA than I thought they would be because of a few mistakes that I made (but how many projects end up that way!).

So here it is:  I purchased ready made lined, linen pocket curtains from Overstock and turned them into pleated drapes with greek trim tape and they don't look half bad.  So if you are looking for a budget curtain makeover and are a tad handy, this might be a good way to go.

Aside from your sewing machine, here are some items you will need.  Pleat tape, long pleat hooks, ready made curtains, trim and liquid stitch.
 What you need:

1.  Ready made Curtain Panels Linen Curtains from Overstock
2. Needle and thread
3. Sewing Machine (I have an oldie from sears)
4. Self Pleating Drape Tape (you can get it here)
5. Long Pinch Pleat Drapery Hooks (you can get them here)
6. Liquid Stitch (you can get it here)
7. Greek Fret Tape (you can get it here)
8. Razor blade or seam ripper or tiny sewing scissors & regular scissors

1.  I purchased 88" Linen Curtains from Overstock 88" L x 54" W at $69.99 per lined panel --- a pretty amazing deal (you can't buy linen fabric that cheap!). I used two panels on each side and hand stitched them together (my window is very wide).  First pin them together, then sew them together by hand.  Easy peasy?  Well it would have been better if they lined up (a 1/2 inch difference in the lengths of the two panels -- thankfully not noticeable, like the seam, as it hangs  in the folds of your drape).  

2. The second issue I had was the curtains came with pockets  (for a rod); so I had to remove the them with a razor blade (you can use a seam ripper or tiny sewing scissors instead).  Not difficult -- just be careful and only cut the threads that join the fabric.

3.  Once I had the pockets off, I sewed the self pleating tape to the back (just make sure you don't put it on upside down or inside out!). 

4.  Once I had the tape in place, I inserted the extra long 4 prong hooks to create pinch pleats (click here to see a "how to" video on how to insert the hooks). And don't forget that your ends take a single  hook.

If you want to make the whole shebang yourself, Design Sponge has a great tutorial, which you can see at this link.

 5.  Last step was adding the trim.  I purchased my trim at M & J Trimming ($9 per yard) and attached the trim by using Liquid Stitch (yes it works awesome and looks great!).  I applied the liquid stitch to the tape at 12" increments and smoothed it onto the curtain.
 Hang that baby up and Voila!  Instant window treatments.

Despite the extra step of removing the pockets,  it was a lot easier than starting from scratch and I saved a bundle approximately $320 per window (excluding hardware) verses what it would have cost for custom drapes (pair of lined, pleated drapes approximately $650 for custom here in NY, and that number is with my discount).



Stop the Presses! Miles Redd's New Book is out Tomorrow!

One of my all time favorite designers is Miles Redd.  Supremely talented, his designing gifts are awe inspiring enough to make any aspiring designer want to through in the towel -- I mean why bother when this guy is walking around?   Ok, now that I have that out of my system, his book The Big Book of Chic will be released October 23, 2012.  I have already pre-ordered mine and they better ship it lickity split. Here are tons of photos for your viewing pleasure.

The debonair Miles Redd.
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