Wanted This Week: I Love Lamp

Good afternoon, Universe.

Hope this finds you well. I just wanted to check in, and let you know what you can send me if you’re feeling particularly generous.

I would like a brass floor lamp, and I would like it to be free. Or perhaps under, say, $30. It should have a brass dome, like the one in this photo:

Image via Emily Henderson’s portfolio

But it should arch over, like this:

Image via Design Manifest

I’m not super picky. I would take this one, or this one, or even this whacky one. But as I mentioned, they have to be cheaper. Much, much cheaper.

In the event that you cannot make this happen, I would also settle for any of these three items.

(CC Skye Double Header Pave Spike Bracelet, Nate Berkus Handcrafted Orbit Table Lamp in Rose, Murano Glass Bead Wallpaper by The Paris Apartment)

I know you will do your part in ensuring my happiness by providing me with more stuff, universe. You know how I do. Thanks!


Boot Suit Riot

Adding glitter to a pair of underused shoes isn’t exactly a new idea – in fact, I’d go so far as to call it a blogosphere trend. I Spy DIY did it with oxfords; A Pair and a Spare did it with Louboutin pumps; and my talented friend Bianca from A Lust for All Seasons did it with not one, not two, but THREE pairs of underappreciated heels.

We all know how I feel about glitter. And shoes. So clearly, I had to try this.

My most-lusted-after glitter shoes are currently this pair, which I spotted on A Pair and a Spare:

Image via The Style Crusader

CO-OP Barneys New York – Glitter Ankle Boot – $595

Le Fanciulle also DIYed a pair of these. I searched everywhere for a zip-up tapered ankle boot (my mom says these are called Beatle boots), but couldn’t find a perfect match. Finally, I gave up and ordered a pair of cowboy-style boots from Old Navy. They were on sale for $22, so I figured if I screwed up, I wouldn’t be too upset.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

I scuffed them up a bit with coarse grit sandpaper so that the glue would adhere better, and then taped the edges with the only material I had handy – painters’ tape.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot
Oh, how nice. My TV remote made it into the photo.

I’ve seen a wide variety of glue used in these projects. I went with Mod Podge Matte. The real boots – and Le Fanciulle’s DIY version – use coarse glitter, but I was afraid that I wasn’t skilled enough to get coarse glitter to look even, so I went with ultra fine. (It’s Recollections brand, with both “champagne” and “copper” mixed together.)

I started off mixing even parts of glue and glitter, but found that my mixture didn’t look glittery enough, so I dumped a bunch more in.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

In an attempt to maximize my sparkle capacity, I started off applying the mixture very thickly.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

But I noticed right away that the glue was drying wonky, and the thicker parts were attempting to slide down the boot onto my repurposed bridal magazine. Bastards! Get back here!

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

I smoothed everything out, and from then on, applied the mixture in thin, even layers. At this point, I also noticed that the boot was trying to wrinkle itself while drying, so I stuffed it with some more repurposed magazine pages. Then, it was time to sit back and let the boots dry.

This part was boring, so I went off in search of more items to glitter. Unfortunately, all I could find were a silver box and a fake lemon. The silver box came out kind of cool. The lemon did not.

Oh, well. I let the boots dry an hour, then added another coat of glitter-glue. When the second coat was almost dry, I took the tape off. My thesis was that if the glitter-glue was still slightly wet, I could potentially fix any screw-ups.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

My thesis was correct! I love when that happens. See the kind of drippy, uneven edges above the heel? Because the glitter-glue was still squishy, I was able to kind of push the extra bits into the crease with my fingernail.

I let all the glitter-glue dry overnight, and the next day, I added another layer of Mod Podge (sans glitter) to seal everything in. Et voila! Doneskies!

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

They’re cute, right? I kind of wish I had tried the coarse glitter, but I still like them. Do you? Get a little closer.

DIY Glitter Ankle Boot

I want to add some trim to separate the glittered and non-glittered parts, but I’m not really sure what to use, or how to attach it. Suede cord? Thin grosgrain ribbon? Leather cord? Super glue? Hot glue? More Mod Podge? I need to think about it. Any tips?

Here’s a picture of the boots on actual feet. The Hubs wasn’t home to take the photo for me, so this was the best I could do in the mirror. Better than nothing, right?

Anyone else have a fun DIY fashion project to share? (I think this is my first one!) I want to see yours!


Modern Rustic Glam

When I can drag myself away from all the cheesy docu-soaps that I’ve somehow become addicted to, one of my favorite shows is Secrets From a Stylist on HGTV. Emily Henderson has the most amazing knack for nailing her clients’ individual styles and creating functional, stylish and custom-tailored spaces. It doesn’t hurt that she’s cute as a button, and totally charming. OK, so I might have a bit of a girl crush.

On the show, Emily usually works with a couple and has to combine their two styles. In the first episode I saw, I fell in love with this room, designed for Joy Cho of Oh Joy!.

Images via Emily’s portfolio

Based on the “style diagnostic,” Emily found that Joy’s style was “Artsy Nouveau,” while her husband’s was “Single Malt Minimalism.” Basically, Joy liked really girly, gilded things, and her husband was more into a masculine, Mad Men-esque look. To create a blend of their tastes, Emily deemed them “Single Malt Nouveau.”

Another favorite was “Untamed Modern Funk,” which mixed clean, modern lines with eclectic tribal pieces and funky ’70s stuff. It was insane.

What I’ve learned from watching the show that is that not only is it possible to mix two totally different styles, it actually makes for a more exciting, interesting room. Which is fantastic, because The Hubs and I definitely diverge when it comes to home decor. Since we’ll probably never get featured on Emily’s show, I attempted to do my own diagnostic to determine what our style-child would be.

I don’t think I need to say too much about my style. If you’ve been reading this blog, you know I’m into shiny surfaces, graphic patterns, gold accents and bright colors. The only thing you might not know is that comfort is a high priority for me, and I like to keep things informal. When my friends come over, I want them to feel like they’re in their second home – not in a museum. I prefer big statement pieces to kitschy knick-knacks. I think my style is something along the lines of “Easy Graphic Glam.”

Image via Marcus Design

Brad shares my love of color and comfort, but that’s where the similarities end. His style is more like what you see in a Pottery Barn catalog. He appreciates antiques and furniture with character, and can even skew Tuscan (minus the vineyard murals). His dream home item? A super-chunky, worn-in farmhouse table. But at the same time, he can appreciate the symmetry and grace of a Parsons table. Brad’s style is a kind of “Modern Colorful Country.”

Image via House*Tweaking

Put those together, and what do you get? My guess is “Modern Rustic Glam.” Something like this:

Lilly Pulitzer

For us, it’s all about incorporating warm wood tones with cool white lacquer; sturdy, simple silhouettes with gold or mirrored accent pieces; and a few bright, bold statements that keep things fresh – bonus points if they’re from another country or era.

If you had to pick a name for your own personal style, what would it be? What about if you had to combine it with your partner’s or roommate’s?

Wanted This Week: Nothing That Will Surprise You

In a move that will surely shock the nation, I’ve fallen for a number of items this week that are one or more of these things: gold, shiny or sparkly.

  1. J. Crew Crystal brûlée bracelet in “rose dust” ($45): The little lavender cups that hold the crystals are supposed to look like tiny crème brûlée ramekins! Such a perfect color.
  2. Topshop “Bug Collar” necklace ($80): Rhinestones and giant metallic bugs. What more could a woman want in a piece of jewelry? This thing is bizarre, but I’d wear the crap out of it. Picture it with a simple white T! Genius.
  3. Versace for H&M dress: Be still, my beating heart. I don’t have a shot in hell on getting my hands on this dress, of course. If the Versace collection even comes to H&M stores in Atlanta this November, I’m sure it’ll sell out immediately. But a girl can dream, right?
  4. Nine West Mavenue Bootie in Dark Taupe Suede ($149): It’s a basic, multi-purpose suede ankle boot, but with a little flash of gold to make it extra-special. Subtle, but brilliant.
  5. J Brand 901 Coated Legging Jeans in Gray ($216): I know I already posted about these jeans, but this pair is GRAY.
  6. Express Sequin Moto Jacket in Matte Gold ($128): A few weeks ago, I was in Express during a sale, and my eyes landed on this jacket. I tried it on. It is INSANE. If it had been on sale, I would have snapped it up in a heartbeat, but sadly, it was not. And for $128, I just … can’t. Not right now, anyway. When I win the lottery, I’m going to buy seven of these jackets so that I can wear them every day of the week.
  7. Druzy necklace from jennijewel ($40): My friend Jess turned me onto this Etsy seller, and I haven’t been able to stop drooling since. All of her pieces are beautiful, but I’m particularly enamored with this delicate gold necklace. I had never heard of a “druzy” before now, but I think they’re one of my new favorite things!

And because I’m all about appreciating what I have, instead of just lusting after what I don’t:

I can’t believe I’m putting this picture on the internet. I had just gotten home from girls’ night out, and I was a little tipsy and very tired, so I look like roadkill. But this coat is worth it. Meet my new Michael Kors faux fur. Guess where I got it! MARSHALLS! The amazing part is that they’re still selling it full-price at Neiman Marcus. (Apparently, they call it a “chubby,” which makes me cackle like a hyena. I know, I know – I’m a 13-year-old boy in the body of a 25-year-old woman.)

Nothing better than a fantastic find! This coat makes me feel like a healthy Rachel Zoe. And it’s warm and comfortable, too!

So, readers, what are you lusting after this week? What’s one piece you already own that you just can’t get enough of?

The Non-Failure Paint Job

I’m still in a funk over royally screwing up my cabinet project on Sunday. (See the end of Monday’s post for that story.) I’ll be honest – I’ve been depressed about it for days. I know it’s not a big deal, but I really, really hate screwing up. Type A perfectionist much?

So, in an effort to cheer myself up, I’ll share another project that I didn’t completely ruin. (I’m exaggerating. My cabinet will be fine. I just have to sand it and start over. Sigh.)

This is my Ikea Rast nightstand. I use it as a shelf in my office. This is the project I planned to mess up – the piece was only $15, is too small to be useful, and is almost completely obscured by the giant printer that sits on top of it. That’s why I did this project first. I actually finished it about a month ago – not sure why I haven’t shared it until now!

I told a friendly employee at Lowe’s that I was going for a white lacquer look, and he suggested I use a latex primer, latex paint and water-based brush-on poly. This all seemed reasonable, so I bought my supplies and kicked off the project.

First, I sanded the whole thing down with both 50 grit and 220 grit paper.

I applied two coats of the primer with a foam roller and a foam brush for the crevices. I sanded in between each coat of primer. (See? I’m usually great with prep. I over-prep. That’s why my failure on Sunday was so frustrating.)

Next, I added three coats of paint. I sanded in between each of those, too.

I let it dry overnight, and the next day, I had a nice, clean white nightstand.

At this point, I planned to gild the front edges with liquid gold leaf. Unfortunately, it occurred to me that if I wanted to tape off the lines, I’d need to wait a while for the paint to cure, and I was way too impatient for that. I tried to make a clean edge by holding up a straight piece of cardboard, but it just bled through and looked terrible. In a rare moment of courage, I decided I’d free-hand. And shocker – some parts come out really nice!

Other parts … not so much.

No worries. When I was done, I went back in with white paint to touch up my many mistakes, and it covered just fine.

Next up was the polycrylic. Dude. I don’t have a photo of this step, but trust me when I say that polycrylic does not look like lacquer. I was very displeased, so I went back to Lowe’s and grabbed some real spray lacquer. Yes, it was fumier than the water-based stuff, but it was so much glossier. It would have looked even better if I’d done more than one coat, but by this point, I’d already spent a ridiculous amount of time on a $15 shelf, so I gave up and brought it inside.

That’s it! The gold edging looks pretty amateur, but for the most part, it was a fairly successful test of my limited furniture finishing skills. Like I said, it usually has a giant printer on top of it, but I just couldn’t put that image out into the world. The poor little guy deserved to show his top!

I want to cover up the screws on the side, and was hoping to use some kind of nailhead-looking things, but they can’t be a real nailheads, because there will be screws underneath them. I bought some little wood discs that I planned to paint gold, but I just don’t think they’ll look right. Anyone have any suggestions?