Monthly Archives: November 2013

Paper Snowflake Tutorial

‘Twould be the season for holiday decorating, if we WarLocks weren’t grinching out this year! Visions of the pup treeing an angry cat in a mercury-glass laden noble fir have me a little more fearful than cheerful. I’m not sure if I’m more over-protective of my animals, or of my collection of ornaments… either way, “NO, Pearl, NO!” every time she nibbles at a bauble or bough doesn’t really scream Christmas spirit. So, we’ll be decking the halls in moderation. Or up high, where she can’t reach.

Luckily, my favorite holiday craft is non-toxic, non-breakable, and absolutely non-tempting to a naughty puppy. With paper snowflakes in every window, the house will feel festive for all the wintry months to come.

Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 1

Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 2 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 3 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 4 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 5 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 6 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 7 Paper Snowflake Tutorial, Step 8

This tutorial is one of my favorites from Shock the Bourgeois. In searching for it I got a sentimental look back at our holiday celebrations of years past- how Adam cooked Thanksgiving for one, how we tablescaped for two, how we trimmed our tree and our tiny apartment. Hopefully there is enough pie and prettiness in the archive to satisfy your appetites this week, as Adam and I scramble to ready a Thanksgiving feast for 10!

The Living Room: Wingback Chairs

There’s nothing more satisfying that a good Craigslist transaction. The kind where you get a snappy response, make a same-day appointment, fork over a few twenties, and neatly fit your finds in the back of your Honda Pilot (tetris brain!). When you snag exactly the thing you wanted, for less than a quarter of what you thought you’d have to pay, you deserve to kick back in one of them and gloat about your thrifting prowess. Like so:

Wingback Chairs at WarLock Manor

That’s right, I finally found the straight-legged wingbacks I was dreaming of! For only $50.00 each! Just look at how they complement our fireplace! I’ve been showing off the chairs on Instagram, but an astute friend called me on the fact that I’ve only posted black and white photos. It’s true. Why? Because… orange.

The New (Orange) Wingbacks

An avid flea-marketer, I deal with rust all the time. But this color makes me cringe more than the prospect of a tetanus shot. Burnt orange, rust, russet… whatever you call it, no. But I have plans for you, my pretties: inky black, brassy nailhead trim, faux-ostrich backs. Thanks to the major cash I saved, I can make this happen. Someday. For now, the ugly fabric is in good condition; my upholstery skills are not!

 

PS: I’m posting all the behind-the-scenes details (and amusing outtakes) from our posts at the WarLock Manor Facebook Page. If you’ve hit like, you can take a look at the Craigslist ad that put these chairs in my Living Room

 

The Living Room: Wishlist

My policy, when it comes to decorating (and life in general, for that matter) is to dream big, then resize to fit. A concept can become reality via money or ingenuity- and I have to believe that the latter is infinitely more valuable. I don’t shy away from shopping high-end resources for inspiration. Limiting your view to what is easily attainable is settling; aspiring for more (and making it happen through creative means) is satisfying!

To prove the point, let’s rip another page out of the Living Room section of my design binder. Design starts with inspiration, translates into a palette of colors and textures, and then takes shape with furnishings. This page focuses on the South wall, which features the original plaster fireplace. It has the potential to impress.

The Living Room features all-original mahogany trim and hardwood floors, a sculptural fireplace, and arched passages to the Vestibule and Dining Room. This is what we were looking at when we fell madly in love with the house.WarLock Manor Living Room, South Elevation

Images, Clockwise from Top: Lindsey Adelmann Chandelier, Paint Color by Benjamin Moore, Crystal Orb Table, Rug (Owned), Wingback Chair

The table is wishful thinking, but doesn’t it belong at WarLock Manor? The unusual shape, the crystal ball… I’m utterly bewitched, but the price tag would spell disaster for the rest of the room. I can’t imagine that our guests would be so captivated by a table that they could overlook the lack of a chair! Since I can’t conjure up the real thing, I’ve been pondering ways to recreate the look with more humble materials (a thrifted table base + acrylic orbs from an old lamp?).

Now close your eyes and envision a pair of shapely wingback chairs flanking my curvy fireplace… perfect, right? Everyone and their brother is selling granny’s old wingbacks on Craigslist- with Queen Anne legs, in the wrong proportions, in singles, in ratty condition, or 200 miles away. Thrifting requires eternal optimism. Someday, the chairs will appear.

Sometimes though, good design is absolutely attainable- and the chandelier is a shining example. The Lindsey Adelmann studio has actually published the instructions (and kit!) for assembling this fixture, and the plans are easy to customize. You can see this chandelier DIYed all over the interwebs, and soon I hope to add mine to the search results!

 

Those of you who follow along on Instagram and Twitter know that I’ve knocked one of these items off of my wish list… one that will be absolutely ideal with a bit of DIY. Pictures tomorrow!

Family Portrait: November 2013

Here we are with our darling Pearl, who turned three months old yesterday.

Pearl WarLock, 3 Months Old

Still a lapdog… for now! She’s looking so much more doglike since last month, but she’s all puppy. No idea what to do with those long legs, and learning what not to do with her sharp teeth. Growing pains for all of us!

 

 

The Living Room: Colors and Textures

I’ve received at least three considerable hereditary gifts from my mother: Tetris brain (I’m always telling Adam, “yes, it will fit“), an eye for color, and the itch to organize information. Like my mother before me, I am genetically predisposed to decorate.

While I can space plan and color scheme in my sleep, organizational strategy requires conscious effort. I trust my own taste, but if I wing it, I may not be making on-budget decorating decisions that follow the master plan. That’s where my design binder comes in. A section for each room, and pages for inspiration, swatches & colors, floor plans, elevations, measurements & specifications, and mock-ups. I’ve created simple, flexible templates that I can edit to keep current with my purchases and ideas. Digital and printable, I can consult these pages whether I’m shopping in-store or online. This is my favorite way to stay focused on my design priorities, prevent impulse buys, and best of all- share with you here at the blog!

Earlier this week I posted my inspiration page for the Living Room, where we’ll curl up with a cat and a book on a dusky evening. Here’s how that translates into fabrics and colors…

WarLock Manor Living Room, Textiles & ColorsImages, Clockwise from Top: Paint Colors by Benjamin Moore, Marbled Paper, Blue Vintage Sofa (owned), Leopard-Print Fabric (owned), Rug (owned), Swan Wing Pillow, Striped Velvet Pillow, Mock-Croc Pillow

 

The Living Room: Inspiration

When Adam and I were renters, we made our home within the restrictions of space and lease agreement. I was tormented by this vivid recurring dream, in which I’d open a somehow-undiscovered door in our apartment and find myself in a new room. Oh, the frenzied mental decorating… and the disappointment upon waking! Nowadays, I am living the dream- about nine distinct spaces to furnish however I fancy. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

Here’s what I’m envisioning for our Living Room: chilled colors with a zest of citrus, a night sky with brassy stars, sophisticated and spooky.

WarLock Manor Living Room, Inspiration

Images, clockwise from top: Owls, Matilda, Phineas, Flowers & Citrus, Neutral Pattern

 

Our Brick Tudor

These photos are of our house just as we first saw it- beiged and staged. I wish I could simulate how we first saw it.

By the time we found our Tudor, we had been searching for seven months. We’d seen dozens of houses. There were many tours that ended just inside the front door, or with a heavy sigh. There were false starts, false hopes, and two losses that had stung badly.

We’d just finished walking through a house nearby. It was well-priced, contractor/Dad-approved, and the only thing wrong with it was that it didn’t feel right. I was starting to wonder if we should stop looking for the house and simply find a house. But then our realtor suggested we stop by an open house down the street, a Tudor that was just outside our search criteria. There it was- the house.

Of course, it’s not like they just handed us the keys. It was laughably disastrous. It took four (or so?) offers, two months of negotiation, and one shiny new sewer line. And even when we finally got the keys, we couldn’t get the damn front door unlocked. Classic us.

Here’s the house that we fought so hard for.

Do you see what we saw?

Librarian Tells All (About StB & WarLock Manor)

If I haven’t said so already (I have), it’s really wonderful to be blogging again. The more I share, the more I want to share- authoring a blog has motivated me to create, and to live a life worth celebrating. Best of all, there is always someone to celebrate with in the blogging community.

Case in point, Jen of Librarian Tells All has given me the warmest “welcome back” a girl could ask for.
Librarian Tells All BannerRead her very kind words about my blogging history at Shock the Bourgeois here, and while you’re there, do be sure to peruse her archives! I, for one, am headed back to pin some of the beautifully bookish decor from her recent wedding (congrats, Jen- and thank you!).