Category Archives: Decor

Baby Got Brass

There we were, The Old Man and I, minding our own business, abiding by our recently implemented austerity measures in a local thrift store, when suddenly this happens:

It reminded me of that one time a toilet seat and the eighties adopted their cousin, this seat cushion.

BUT.  Somehow I was drawn to this chair.  I felt compelled to know more about this chair – to learn her story – to know what went wrong… and I found that underneath it all,  she had a heart of brass.

And the body of a hottie.

Is it inappropriate to discuss lady-boners in a blog?  Let’s assume it is, and move on.

To find out who was responsible for this amazingness, I inspected my new infatuation and discovered:

SHE’S ITALIAN!  ONE MILLION EXTRA POINTS!

Upon a google, I found that a set of 4 vintage Cidue chairs on a European website sold for 500 euros!!!  (Roughly 1000 dollars.)  I buy for 20 dollars per chair?!?!

ONE TRILLION EXTRA POINTS!

Problem:  The Old Man was completely unimpressed.  Disgusted.  Distraught by my enthusiasm.  Unconvinced that I was in fact not joking.

But, as you might have already guessed, the poor bastard despite himself and his better judgement eventually said, “I cannot believe this.”  And we left that store a few chairs richer.

For at least two days, he eyed the one chair suspiciously, muttering curses under his breath at it.  Only one chair had been allowed upstairs.  But slowly, slowly, he has relented.  Three chairs now live in the apartment.  The Old Man still glares at them if they step out of line, but he now admits that he hates them only a little.

File this under “Awesome Sauce”.

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Living Room Updates

Few things are as satisfying as living room redecoration, and few decorating moves are as effective as living room sofa pillow cover change-out.  I had the genius idea of making my own (this was supposed to be an amazing DIY post.  FAIL)… and then succumbed to my need for instant gratification and ordered some from Etsy.  And I am SO happy I did.  They’re glorious.  And sturdy.  Much unlike anything I would probably make.

Before these beauts arrived, our poor couch was littered with this:

Barf.

If you too are craving a quick and easy living room re-do, allow me to recommend the Etsy shop ElemenOPillows.  Karen is very quick to respond to inquiries before and after orders are placed.  And her selection is fresh, modern, and interesting.

DO THIS.

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Industry

One of the things I looked forward to on our recent trip to Ireland and Spain was scooping up some fantastic trinket to deck our walls or halls.  But, due to the fact that Ireland was shockingly expensive, the dollar was significantly weaker than the euro, and I had serious guilt issues about buying stuff for myself, I returned home sans decor.  Instead, I snapped some shots of one great little shop in Dublin… to torture myself.

The hanging lamp shade is made out of old wooden rulers!

The shop is called Industry.  Gavin and I just happened upon it as we meandered down several funky side streets, and it was probably my favorite shop in Dublin.  The vibe is industrial, hence the name, yet polite and polished at the same time.

Pantone mugs and espresso cups.I kick myself for not getting one of these mugs.  It would have end up costing about 14 American dollars and, since it is inconceivable that I would ever pay that much for a mug in the course of normal life, I passed.  But $14 in the scheme of our entire trip?!?!  DOH!

A basket full of old letter press stamps!

And these stamps…  WHY DIDN’T I?!?!

The owner of the shop is Vanessa, a very lovely and friendly young interior designer.  Next time you’re in Dublin, go peek in and tell her hello.  AND BUY SOMETHING!  See above for the street address, and check out the website at www.industrydesign.ie where you will find better photos of more cool stuff.

And always remember – if you are ever lucky enough to find yourself traveling to some glorious far-off locale, don’t skimp on the tchotchkes.  Everything is cooler if it’s from somewhere else.

Dwelling

Cold weather, short days, the soon-coming twenty ninth birthday – these things combine to cause me particular feelings…  Feelings which compel me to subscribe to magazines…  Magazines with pictures of houses that exhibit well-planned decor and environmentally responsible building practices.  Id est: Dwell Magazine.  (Fun Fact:  “Id est” is the long hand of “i.e.” and is Latin for “it is”.  Horray for Fun Facts with The Domestic B!  Id est great!)

You are probably cooler than me and likely have already boarded the Dwell Magazine train.  In fact, you have probably left the station and are now sitting comfortably enjoying the back and forth cradle rocking motion that the Dwell Magazine train produces while zooming responsibly forward toward your ultimate destination that is your perfectly imperfect solar powered, pre-fabricated, Nordic-designed, roof-top organic gardened, 900 square foot, less-is-better dream house.  Well, move on over, modern chic amigo!  I have hopped this train like a Depression Era hobo – toot toot – and loan me a nickel to buy a bottle of moonshine.

Forgive me if I froth.  It’s just that in the Dec/Jan issue that just arrived, the majority of the photos and articles flaunt beautiful pre-fabricated, container or module homes, and the amount of practicality and beauty and economy and environmental responsibility mingling so sexily together is a huge turn on.  Examples:

A lakeside retreat built from two main modules.

Inside the lakeside retreat where glass connects the two modules.

Another pre-fab house clad in concrete panels.

A bathroom inside a house made from shipping containers. Check the shower!

Totally hot, right?

You too can indulge your desire for pre-fabricated design porn at www.dwell.com/prefab.

If you didn’t already know, many pre-fab homes cost less than half of what it costs to build one from sticks and bricks.  (Naturally, you do have to own a piece of land to place the thing upon…)  And pre-fab manufacturers know that “modern” architecture is not for everybody and offer any kind of Cape Cod / ranch style / California Cottage / plantation / adobe / teepee dwelling you can think of.  Google that shit!  It’ll getcha.

Here’s a particularly nice floorplan from www.bluhomes.com  *Note:  not all pre-fab houses are inexpensive.

Dig the sitting area in the Master Bedroom and aaaaall that closet space.

Since manufacturers are able to produce modules en masse, (this plan is probably six modules, maybe three?) they are able to order lumber already cut to the correct size, thereby saving wood, money and time.  And customization is totally doable! 

I was lucky enough to recently get to witness the lego-stacking pre-fabulous building process right here in Santa Barbara.  It took all of about one day with a crew of hard hats, a big-ass crane, and four semi trucks.  Mr. Homeowner and his family set up a barbeque and a shade tent on the sidewalk across the street from where his house was being stacked, grilled up some hotdogs, and watched their house materialize before their eyes.  Cabinets, fixtures, windows, tile, siding already installed.  It will take 8 more weeks for all the fine-tuning to happen, electrical, HVAC, plumbing, etc to be hooked up, but heck!  How awesome, right?  See below:

 
Three cheers for beautiful, responsible house making!
And three cheers to you!  May you have a glorious Thanksgiving and remember to actually give thanks. 
Thanks. 
 

Plum Good!

I seem to remember the number of local, one-of-a-kind, make-a-person’s-spending-will-power-melt-away type stores being super abundant in our little city of Santa Barbara.  Perhaps I remember incorrectly.  Or perhaps it only seemed flush with bountiful local art in comparison to the creatively dry desert village from whence I emerged which was almost completely devoid of and discouraging toward anything creative or beautiful or different.  (Does this bitterness make my butt look big?)  Whatever the case may be, I am newly enamored with such a store on State Street called Plum Goods.  Because it is!  (Plum good.)  Standing tall and proud next to monstrosities such as H&M, Forever 21, and Marshalls, the stout and courageous locally owned little-boutique-that-could will be celebrating its first birthday later on this month.  Among its many offerings, one can find tastefully curated locally made housewares (vases, crockery, plates, glasses), baby clothing, paper goods (notebooks, cards), furniture, jewelry, and other such covetable items.  And all of it is reasonably priced!  See photo below for address and website info:

I popped in there today for the first time while running an errand for work (… doing field research?) and picked up this darling driftwood vase for my dear friend Alexandra.  It was surprisingly difficult to photograph.  Likely because I am not a real photographer and only an iPhone photographer.  Also because I was in a hurry to get to Alexandra’s party.  But here it is nonetheless, on my patio floor, in Instagram glory.  $21!  Local!  Handmade!  Adorable!

 

If you can’t tell – this is two delicate glass globe vases affixed securely (but discreetly) to a piece of locally gathered driftwood.  They had other versions of this globe vase concept which employed smooth stones instead of driftwood.  If ONLY my guilty conscience hadn’t shooed me out of there, perhaps I would have gotten more pictures… or at least another shot of the vases to do them some justice.  I promise a better blog post on Plum Goods with better pictures of the things that they sell.  But for now, I hope that this tidbit will suffice to pique your curiosity if you happen to find yourself on State Street looking for something unique, sweet, edgy, or generally great.