Friday, July 27, 2012

Ode to the mid-calf boot.

It's not that there aren't a thousand more things that I'd love to get for the house, but with Fall fashion popping up everywhere, I'd like to direct your attention from interior design and over to shoes for a hot minute. I mean, I can't completely ignore my love of pretty thing I can put on my own body, can I? So when this article featuring two of my favorite style bloggers popped up in my inbox this morning, my quest for the perfect mid-calf boot resurfaced from the depths.

I mean, just look at Jane Aldridge here:

I can't even deal with how perfect that all is. The boot is significantly out of my price range, but I'm confident I can find a suitable alternative for under a bajillion dollars. I pretty much have the rest of the outfit in my closet already (not the same brands, obviously, and it certainly doesn't look like that on me, but you see what I mean).

Thus, lust item (warning: you'll never again look at boots the same way):


I want him. But I cannot have him.

There aren't many potential replacements yet; more affordable places haven't released their Fall/Winter lines quite yet, but surely it doesn't hurt to ogle the designer boots that places like Nine West, Charles David, and Via Spiga will be copying (hopefully!) in about a month...

To wit:


Slightly more ankle Brian Atwood:

When $600 starts looking reasonable, just. back. away.

Loubie Loube (as the kids say):

The kids don't really say that.

Gawgeous Giuseppe:


Another perfect Narcisco:

Here it is.

And I think we'll round dreamland up with a wedge:


And there you have it! It'll be fun to see how for-us-real-people designers translate the style this Fall. Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Condo finale (for now)!

Sadly, I'm out of condo things to show you for a while, as the dining area, kitchen, and master bathroom still need some good lovin' before they're ready for the big ole interwebz.

That being said, I'm not quite ready to let go of my condo posting yet, so earlier when I was bored and sleepy I did these two silly little collages.


from top left, clockwise to bottom right: living, master, guest bath, guest, living


living, master, guest bath, guest, living

And as soon as this Thursday's test is over I'll try to come up with some more pretty things to show you. For now, though, just a wonderful article to restore your faith in humanity (as if a golden Moroccan pouf can't do that all by itself):


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Bathroom for improvement

I had what I thought was a brilliant idea this weekend. "Aha!" I said to myself, "I shall paint the guest bathroom today!" Forget that Joseph is gone, that our stepladder still renders me too short to properly reach the ceiling, and that I needed to cram about 20 pages of the cardiovascular system into my brain. I was determined (and procrastinating).

This bathroom was the most ghastly shade of brown. I feel kind of weird using the word "ghastly", but I can't think of a strong enough word, so I'm leaving it. And it doesn't even hide away; it is right off the hallway across from the guest bedroom, so unless the door was closed its heinous poopoo brown assaulted your field of vision. I figured since the room was small that it'd be a cinch. I won't go into details, but a cinch it was not. On Saturday night I almost left it half-done to wait until Joseph came back, but Sunday morning I drank too much coffee and decided to just finish it already.

So it may have been a horrible undertaking that took me at least 5 times longer than it would've taken painters (or Joseph, probably), but luckily the end result makes it all worth it (well, almost. It really did suck doing it).


Who picks out this color??


It isn't exactly done now; the ceiling needs some touchups where I couldn't reach, parts of it may need yet another coat, and I'd like to get some fun matching accessories- a trash can and soap dispenser, silly things like that, and maybe put up a piece of art or two, but still :)

I couldn't quite capture the yellow, either. It is brighter than this first picture but not nearly as bright as the second. Just a cheery, sunny yellow! Plus the bathrooms both have skylights, so in the daytime it reflects the light beautifully.

I'd also like (surprise) some new cabinet knobs. Anthropologie, here I come.

It makes me so happy!

Again, not quite this bright.

But definitely brighter than this.

The mirror came with the house; I painted it with some Martha Stewart metallic silver paint to brighten it up.


Brown e'erywhere.


Accidental self-portrait.

Something that especially drove me crazy while painting was that I could see that under the brown was a lovely seafoam green! I just...I just don't understand why that got banished in favor of burnt caramel. At any rate, I love the bathroom now, and the yellow is a fun bright pop near all of the cool greys and blues in the rest of the house.

And as much as I hated the initial colors of the condo, I have to say that it is really satisfying to see such drastic changes come from something as (seemingly) simple as painting. If we had just moved our stuff in it wouldn't have felt as personal, but revamping it to exactly what we want makes for great before and afters. Plus a little manual labor seems good for the soul (and the biceps).

Once more, for good measure (and because PowerPoint is fun):
Ah, much better. much do you think it would cost to have painters come do my master bath? It isn't much bigger than this room...

Monday, July 23, 2012

Livin' the dream.

And Livin': The Room!

I think I may be having a little too much fun turning this condo into the Casa Nattingly. Decorating is incredibly addicting, as you all probably well know, and when you spend as much time at home as Joseph and I do, it really is imperative that your surroundings make you comfortable and happy. Decorating is so much more than just hunting for the perfect pieces; I grew up with a mom who always had our house gorgeously decorated but home-y, so to me building a pretty environment means making something to which I can connect. Sure it's nice to have beautiful things, but my main goal is always creating something that can envelop its inhabitants and be an extension of them. Since Joseph and I own this place, I very much want it to be our own personal little haven.

Ok, cheesiness over. Yoseph and I definitely spend the most time in our living room; we watch a ton of movies, Joseph plays video games, and I am frequently curled up in a corner with a book. Thus, this business just had to go (warning, green reminder):




And now!

Looking from the dining room:

The TV is on the cabinet at the bottom right of this picture.

Joseph's parents are getting him (slash us) a new recliner; I'll have it covered in a dark grey material.

From the hall:

The spool end table (Crate and Barrel) is my newest gem.

I'm on the hunt for a glossy black lacquer frame to put around Jacques (the rhino). For now his holiday wreath will have to suffice.

From another corner:

I'm also jonesing for a new couch (light grey). Maybe this holiday season! The coffee table is an antique chest I found on Westheimer when I was at Rice. Bonus: storage.

Remember our crystal lamp conversation? The beauties you see are almost 30 years old; my mom very generously gifted them to me after hearing how much I wanted some. I am now obsessed with them.

From the front door:

TV to the right of the fireplace.

And a chair corner detail. My other new end table won't be here until September (darn you, Crate and Barrel!), so I used this very classy speaker to hold up the lamp:

Right? Pure class. I wanted to wait until the table came in to show you the room, but I was impatient. Know that it will be awesome; I'll show you when it's here.

Mantel detail:

More crystal! Candlesticks also a vintage gift from Mom.

And Aerial's area of perchitude, complete with my favorite piece of furniture, the Polka Dot Table:

Living room is behind you as you face this. On the right is the hallway and the left is the dining area.

Phew! Inundation complete. Tomorrow I'll show you what I did all weekend (hint: you probably saw a preview of it on facebook).

Thanks for sticking around and letting me give you the tour of the place! I hope you aren't bored 
quite yet...

Friday, July 20, 2012

Holy Batman, Batman.

First, a moment of e-silence for the Aurora victims. I still can't believe someone would have such a lack of respect for human life, and I'm saddened and nauseated by what happened.

On a much lighter note, I feel the need to share my thoughts on the movie. Why? Who knows! Maybe because I only slept 4 hours last night, since I was at a midnight showing of The Dark Knight Rises with some glorious Serious campers from 10 p.m.-3:30 a.m. The movie was definitely fun and entertaining, but overall I was completely underwhelmed. Nolan has done such a great job with the other Batmans (Batmen?) that I had my hopes way up for this installment, but walked away feeling like it was merely ok. I am in no way a movie critic, and you are more than welcome to think I'm nutso for typing all of this out, but that's all right!

The movie starts out with your classic Mission Impossible -type scene: dudes grappling with each other in a failing airplane; I wanted to be into it, but all I could think was "Oh god, I can't understand half of what Bane says and he's a main character." I was right to be concerned; because of his mask you a) can hardly understand some of Bane's speech, b) feel absolutely no connection with the character since all you can see are his eyes, and Tom Hardy apparently forgot how to act with those, and c) heavily judge the obvious 'violent dog in a muzzle' metaphor. The character of Bane is just flat-out not interesting. Maybe I just don't get comic book characters, but he's predictable to the point of silliness. You should at least partly sympathize with a villain in order to feel something while you watch a goodguybadguy movie, and the movie's attempt to do that doesn't happen until the climax of the movie, by which point it's too late and you just don't care.

A few other qualms: 1) Blatant product placement during the stock exchange scene. "Ooo, a laptop with a flippy tablet screen! Let's really show it to the audience. Twice." 2) Zero chemistry between Bruce Wayne and Marion Cotillard's character (can you tell how engaging she was that I can't remember her name?). How can you NOT have chemistry with that gorgeous woman? 3) On a similar note, no sex scene. Just a smooch and then the postcoital laying by the fire bit. 4) Melodrama. Oh so much melodrama, especially in the first 1/4 of the movie. Use pauses sparingly or they lose all power- Theatre 101.

And to tie up the package: you know how the last Lord of the Rings has about 7 endings and you're never quite sure when it's over? Mmm hmm. Similar thing goes on here.

Now listen: I didn't not like the movie. Like I said, it's fun! It's visually lighter than the previous ones (and thus easier to watch), and is chock full of eye candy (oh holy Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Batman). Also, Anne Hathaway is surprisingly adorable as Catwoman! Vulnerable but ass-kicking, and drop-dead gorgeous. Like Bane, she's completely predictable, but it almost works. Michael Caine could say he's a Republican and I'd probably still love him, I want Morgan Freeman to be my cool uncle, and Christian Bale was almost more than one note (I mean that as a compliment).

So: if your goal is to see a comic book-y movie, I highly recommend The Dark Knight Rises. But if you're looking for an intriguing Christopher Nolan movie, stick with The Prestige.

Happy weekend, chirplettes!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Master bedroom (extraordinaire)

Ah, back to the condo! Today we venture into mine and Joseph's master bedroom. Interestingly (well, to me anyhow), we had first planned on using this room as the guest room/study and the other bedroom as our master. We preferred the greater privacy of the back room, as this room's one window looks out onto the balcony shared by other condos. But after we had already painted the two rooms, Joseph pointed out how nice it would be to have the bigger room as our bedroom, especially as it has an attached bathroom. So our dreams of having a blue bedroom went farewell (although Joseph seriously offered to repaint both rooms if I wanted), and we rearranged the bedroom plans.

Now I am thrilled that we made that choice. The minty light blue-ish green walls make me so happy, and I love getting to have a real-sized room for our master. It's not like we open the blinds when we're doing things the neighbors shouldn't be privy to, which means it really doesn't matter where that window faces.

The room isn't completely finished, but you can see what I have going on thus far.

*Update*- before shots:

The middle sample is the one we went with.

And now!

New curtain finials to come.

I didn't think I'd have a place for the lovely teal velvet curtains, but Mom suggested we see how they looked in here, and voila! Perfection.

Cozy but fresh.

Funky but classic.

Loving the oval mirror. It didn't photograph well, sadly, but it has a nice beveled edge. The closet is behind that pocket door.

The wall opposite the one with the mirror is currently a huge expanse of blank (save the black sconce); I'm racking my brain trying to figure out what to do with it. Luckily our dresser breaks up the space a bit:

Corner with random accessories that may or may not stay. The peacock feather wreath is ridiculous and I love it. The bathroom  is directly to the left of it.

The dresser is from Ikea, but I jazzed it up with some vintage faceted glass knobs. They change the look of it so that it blends more seamlessly into the rest of the room's decor and doesn't look as "I'm from a big box store!"

Such a quick, easy update!

And there you have it! I will eventually have the big blank wall more accessorized, and I'm on the hunt for a fantastic tufted bench for the end of the bed, but still: this room makes my heart all aflutter. I've been staying up much too late propped up on a bunch of pillows reading and just being content to be in the space, which to me means it's been done right.

You like? If not, maybe just don't say anything.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Another all over the place. Bonus: orange!

As I predicted: drywall! It's really amazing how quickly this house is coming together; every time I'm out in Bastrop it's more and more real (and more and more amazing).

Here's a shot of part of the master bedroom:

One of the upstairs bedrooms (this will be my sister Ann Marie's).

And my mom being adorable looking into the living room from the porch:

Who knew you could get such a cute dress at Talbots? I may steal it.

Speaking of orange (and to copy yesterday's tangent into the random), I'm very much into orange at the moment. I was never a big fan until finding that perfect desk chair, but now I can't help loving it- it's so lively and juicy! The more beautiful pieces I find in the fruity hue the more I gravitate toward it. If I weren't spending all my money on throw pillows and the like, I would most certainly own these boots:

DVF at shopbop

But my priorities, they have le shifted. Retro boots, your time will come again. In the meantime, I really need a tufted bench for the end of our bed...
You'll see what I mean tomorrow when I post pics of our master bedroom!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Quick Bastrop aside...and some random.

As the condo comes together, so too does the Bastrop cabin! Note the grass sprouts around the pond (or, rather, the veritable lake):

It's like a half an acre of soon-to-be awesome. There's serious talk of a floating deck. And maybe a blob.

And the insulation in the living room!

Next step: drywall!

Speaking of living rooms... 
For a little more pretty, since today's post is pretty short otherwise, let's take a detour just because and examine this Charleston living room that has my heart all aflutter:

Southern Living

I mean, seriously. My goal for my living/dining area is to look like I live in a wonderful upscale flea market, and this has that same eclectic, laid-back but fancy look that I want. My anatomy professor loves to put up a slide and say things like "become one with the glioma". So go ahead, become one with that room. It's way cooler than a brain tumor, after all.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Guest bedroom/study

Friends, readers, design-y lovers! I am so happy to be able to give you a real before and after today. Mom and I worked all weekend to get the condo in working order, and I am absolutely in love with how it's coming together. Guest room/study, meet ladychirpsalot. Ladychirpsalot-- guest room/study.

As a refresher, here is a before shot of the guest room:




And official afters! The blue walls photograph more grey, but they are definitely light blue with a tiny touch of green in real life.

Looking in from the hall.
Our guest bedroom in Hyde Park and before in our apartment was just a mattress on the ground. Quote from Joseph: "No one will take us seriously until we have box springs." Problem solved (still no box springs, but the frame acts as them)!

Pan to the right.

Another view.

Mmmmm. bookz.

My favorite area is the study corner. I needed a place that made me really want to sit down and work, and this is definitely it. Plus Joseph and I never had our diplomas up, so it was exciting to get to finally hang them!

That lamp used to be dark brown. All hail spray paint! I will be getting a white cord cover today, too.

My other favorite part of the room is this amazing French anatomy poster I found by accident. I had bought a gorgeous old Virgen painting from an antiques fair, and lo and behold this gem was hiding behind it in the frame! It may be the coolest thing I own (and quite apt in the study, no?).

So there you have it! Come visit and inaugurate the room! Also, stay tuned for our master bedroom!