Wednesday, February 28, 2007


Okay, so my eyes would immediately turn purple and fall out (due to cat) the second i got near it, but do you think Nicole of Making it Lovely would notice if I stole her chair? Lovely, indeed. Thanks to Apartment Therapy Chicago for forcing me go to her page and stay at work even later. Jerks.

Tord Boontje, Thomas Paul and I Will Have Great Times Together

Good news, Thomas Paul: Tord Boontje wants to be our best friend. No, don't worry if you can't say his last name. We'll call him Big T and he'll never know how clueless we are. Won't we have fun?

I'm rather the Johnny come lately when it comes to this guy---I first noticed him when he did his Christmas stuff for Target (cool plates and a nifty garland). I like how he combines bright, modern colors with whimsical nature prints. I also like his Transglass products--vases and glasses made out of recycled bottles. It's just that particular shade of green I love. Man, between Tord and Tom, I am going to have the BEST plate collection ever. They had better get started giving me stuff, though, 'cause the only plates in my family are those Norman Rockwell Christmas things. Great for Grandma, but me? Not so much.

More good news: I finally tracked down those damn white birds I've obsessed about since my boyfriend took me on a charming walk through downtown Claremont (yeah, don't think he's so great---I went to a football game first. (Okay, yeah, he's pretty cool)) and I went into a home store and I saw them and I decided I didn't want them. Anyway, I now remember why I didn't buy one. I just can't make myself pay 24 bucks for a bird. Argh. Anyway, they're at Global Table. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Times They Are A'Changin'

I've never liked the barrel/drum side table/stool/ottoman thing. I tend to favor straight lines. Lately, though, I've begun to think they're the bee's knees. In their February issue (that of the infamous Zac Posen dress-induced despair), Domino showed where to find a "cheap" version. I will look tonight and post the picture and link of that. I especially like the Gervasoni take on the table; it's made of pressed newspaper. How cool is that?
I have a small space next to my adored $35 gold craigslist armchair that would be perfect for this table (without the black top though...). Pier1 has something similar--the "Handan Stool." I like it, but the color wouldn't work for me, and I'm not crazy about the trim or little dot things. Is there a technical term for little dot things? Crate and Barrel has the "Congo," but it's $379. Ouch. Do any of you have know other sources for similar pieces?

By the way, how do we feel about all this rattan/wicker/natural grass stuff? Pottery Barn's latest catalog featured tons of it--I liked the cover and the picture in my previous post, but wasn't nuts about the rest. And Pier1 has always had a lot, but they're just loaded with it now. By the way, the one chair I do really like, the Dayton, is on sale for $65. You still have to buy the cushion (for around $44), but I find the chair price rather reasonable.

And finally, you know what I find the most exciting thing in the whole world? I LOOOOOOOOOOOVE when I'm looking at a website and they have something that I found a near replica of at Target. It makes me feel like a winner. And perhaps I need to seek another source of validation, but the sense of satisfaction is no less real. Behold: Crate and Barrel's Kingston for $199. I bought almost the identical table at Target. Crate and Barrel: 0; Casey: 1.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Cool Idea

Much like my students, my flowers never do what I tell them to do. They all lean to one side. Or they hug the rim of the vase, creating 360 degrees of stupidness. I've seen those things that go on top of vases. You know what I'm talking about, right? They're a wire grid? And kind of ugly? Anyway, I was checking out Pottery Barn today, and they've come up with a clever solution to that problem that ruins my every Thursday (Farmers Market day, you see (sub-parenthetical statement: look at the research I do for you.)): the "decorative wire sphere." Neato. And they're on sale for 4 and 5 bucks.

I just got my new PB catalog this weekend. I think it starts out strong, but I wasn't so impressed with the stuff in the middle. I am particularly ambivalent about their Francesca rug, which is supposed to be "inspired by early American quilts," and picks up on the multi-print trend I discussed last week. I don't really like the picture of the rug alone, but I do like it in a room. Go figure. Click on the image to see it bigger. What do you guys think? As if I will ever be able to afford a PB rug...

Friday, February 23, 2007

Split Personalities

Have you seen the mini-trend of objects having more than one print? I don't know how to articulate it, and I don't even know if I completely like it. I think I do. What do you think about this Amy Butler pillow? Or the rugs from Urban Outfitters?

By the way, Urban Outfitters has the closest thing to the blue lamp I like. Okay, not true. Lots of places have that blue lamp I love. UB has the cheapest one, and it's good enough. Not ceramic, though. Bummer. Not that it matches anything in my apartment. Double bummer. Also, I must say that it's a little embarrassing to not have grown out of my Urban Outfitters phase yet. I just really like some of their stuff. I can't say I actually own anything of theirs, but I still visit the webpage on a regular basis. I am so 15 years old.

Finally, please comment! I'm starting to get a decent number of hits, and would love to get to know my readership. Where are you from? How'd you find me? Have a great weekend, all!


Thanks to IMEDAGOZE, I just discovered Rosanna. Rosanna has, basically, everything I've ever wanted. I also think they're incredibly reasonable. I might even get over my obsession with having only red plates. I'm not going to say anything else. I'm just going to show you, and if you know me at all, you'll get it:

Creepy Coincidence

Last week, my boyfriend and I went to his parents' for dinner (side note: I think they may actually like me), and after we said our hellos, I immediately noticed the new addition to their living room. It was The Chair. The Chair haunts my dreams. Apparently, The Chair exists in reality. It's Ethan Allen's Sussex. Funnily enough, I don't really like the chair as it's pictured on the website. Bathe it in yellow damask, however, and (as my friend Cristina says-- I would never actually say this-- except for right now...) I 1-800-LOVE-IT! The boif agreed; his parents had indeed bought the chair I talk about ad naseum. Poor guy, the word "damask" has been forced into his vocabulary. It's the risk you run when you love me, I guess. I wonder how long the damask trend will continue. I really like it, I must say. Not the fussy stuff, but bold graphic prints make me a little happier than a normal person should be made by upholstery.

I am very much in the mood for flowers today. When I lived in Ireland, our farm had flowers everywhere. We had so many different kinds of daffodils it made my head spin. We had huge (and I mean HUGE) red tulips with dark black centers. When they opened all the way, well, one was reminded of Georgia O'Keefe. Little crops of flowers popped up in completely random places (next to the muck pile, for example. By the way, avoid muck whenever possible). We also had a picking garden, which was just awesome. My teeny tiny room was always filled with jars of flowers (jars, because there ain't no such thing as vases on a farm). I meant to stop by my town's farmer's market yesterday, but it was raining and I had to get the stitches out of my mouth (wisdom tooth, ick). I think I will go to the neighborhod florist this afternoon and buy myself some tulips.

Also, and I am a little upset by this, I need to buy a basket. For some reason, I have never been a fan of baskets. Unfortunately, I am a fan of piles. My living room is pretty darn neat right now, except for a pile of magazines next to my couch. And let's be honest: that pile of magazines isn't going anywhere any time soon. Because darn it, I have to keep those home design magazines that I've already read twelve times. Because I am crazy. So World Market, here I come.

Ooh, this just in: I went to the World Market website to find a basket I didn't hate, and apparently, all their rugs are up to 50% off. Nice. They're got a couple I really like. Look in the "natural fibers" section. Also, holy crap. Apparently baskets are expensive. Target, here I come?

Domino Downer

I love Domino Magazine. I really do. I am enchanted by its bright pictures, and inspired by the rooms in its pages. Lately, though, I've been a bit bummed. Because, you see, they want you to think that that room could be yours. But then the lovely wife standing in her lovely room is wearing a Zac Posen dress, and you realize, "Ah crap! I'm poor." When it comes down to it, Domino has very little I can afford. Does anyone know of a magazine like Domino, but for people on a budget? Just wondering.

In other news, I have a confession to make. I really want this Buddha head from CB2. I usually stay away from religious paraphernalia. For one, I think it's semi-disrespectful to use someone else's sacred object as a paperweight or a bookend. I also am not really into the Eastern look (Although, I admit, I covet Jonathan Adler's Chinese Chippendale chairs. But in red. Why don't they have a red one??). Once in a while, though, I will be drawn to some sort of religious statue. Why? Well, in this instance, I just love the color. When these traditional objects are saturated in bright, contemporary colors, I just can't help myself. Ah, juxtaposition, how I love thee. Ah juxtaposition, how I love using thee in dubious ways.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Pause for Pop Culture

Yes, you're still reading a decorating blog, but you're also reading my decorating blog, which means you're going to have to hear about American Idol.

FINALLY! I am so glad they're out of the auditions phase. I found those shows offensive, basically. I think it's one thing to show the audition of someone who's kind of a jerk and has an inflated concept of his talent. In the last few years, however, I think Idol has gone a darker, more unethical route. Would you agree that some of the early contestants seemed to be disabled? I'm a teacher, and before I started this job, I worked with kids with special needs. Some of them looked like they were just regular kids. However, after talking to them for a few minutes, one would be able to tell that there was a processing problem or autism or something. I sort of feel that Idol's audition pool was composed of similar people. But, you say, those people chose to audition, right? Yes, that's true. However, it's society's job to take care of people who can't make the best choices on their own. Idol is like the modern sideshow.

And by the way, aren't the girls MUCH better than the guys?

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

I will never be Buddhist.

I lived with Tibetan monks the summer after my sophomore year of college. I was an intern at the Atlantic Center for the Arts, and the monks were there to build a mandala. It was an amazing time. I would watch them, transfixed, as they scraped a metal stick up and down a grooved metal cone. The vibrations of the cone caused the sand inside it to come out like water, and soon monkeys, clouds, gorgeous buildings, and writing took shape. The monks worked for a week, sometimes for 10 hours a day. When not working, they were the most kind, gentle, and surprisingly playful people I've ever met. It was probably the most formative experience of my time in college.

But that darn One Good Bumblebee has pretty much prevented me from ever becoming a Buddhist. That's right, my path to spiritual enlightenment has been permanently roadblocked by their Jar of Whimsies. Why? Because the jar is filled with stuff, stuff I desire. Buddhism calls this desire Tanha, and it's apparently not good. But Buddhists, how could you expect me not to want "glass glitter imported from Germany, vintage cotton spun mushrooms, gold foil leaves, viles, millinery supplies, vintage beads, vintage costume jewelry, vintage clothespins, typewriter keys, jingle bells, vintage marbles, wooden spools, sugared fruits, antique skeleton keys, vintage game pieces, watch parts, foil dresdens, miniature toys, vintage swizzzle sticks, charms, and so much more." So much more! Clearly I need this. Clearly enlightenment will have to wait until the next life (and maybe in my next life, I'll already HAVE all this stuff, so I won't want it. It's like the Eightfold Path loophole).

Do you think Thomas Paul will be my best friend?

Isn't this a pretty pillow? And this one, too? Does anyone want to buy them for me? No? Okay, then. I am going to have to recruit Thomas Paul as my best friend. Sorry Emily, Cristina, Melika, Lisa, Allegra and Mom. You had your chances. It's Thomas Paul's turn. And if, say, while we're doing each other's nails and talking about our sex lives, T. Paul wants to load my house with his gorgeous pillows and piece-of-art plates, I guess I'll just have to let him. Because that's what best friends do.

Friday, February 9, 2007

I HAVE to have these

So, I have had a mental picture of these since I moved into my apartment. Crate & Barrel has apparently read my mind. Creepy. Anyway, the Samovaari bath towels are by Marimekko, and almost make having a garish yellow and orange bathroom worth it. Almost.

Thou Shalt Not Covet Thy Neighbor's Gorgeous West Elm Rug

Basically, I really need this rug. Ah West Elm, why must you tempt me so?? I, like so many people before me, have fallen prey to the bird silhouette trend. Of course, I have no space for a runner. I kind of want to just have it, though. I could, say, roll it up and keep it in my closet. And then some day when I actually pay off my huge amounts of student debt (yeah, like that's ever going to happen), and own a house with a HALLWAY (that's right, my current "hallway" is a 2'x2' square), I'll be ready. And I will be awesome.

Por supuesto, aside from space for the rug, I also lack funds. I did recently complete a little project that incorporated birds, though. On the wall above the notorious Problem Spot, of all places. I searched the internet for bird silhouettes, printed them out, and cut them out again on black paper. I also freehanded a few branches and birds. Then I bought two sets of the 5 for $15 frames from Target, some card stock from Michaels, and bang, instant ubercheap art. At right is an admittedly crummy picture, taken with my phone (I really, really need a digital camera). I must say, I'm pretty happy with it. It took me about an afternoon, and I only cut myself with the x-acto knife once. I do admit, I feel a little conflicted about the project. Some of the images are from t-shirts and stuff. Am I not respecting artists? Or is it okay because I'm not selling them or anything? And because I'm poor. Don't poor people deserve art, too?

While I'm looking around West Elm, I must also say, I kinda enjoy this duvet cover. As I get older, I'm more drawn to the natural world (see bird fetish, above). Green has always been my favorite, but I'm lately more fond of brown, a color I've never liked. I am also more comfortable with mixing graphic prints with florals, which sounds horrendous theoretically but actually looks pretty neato in reality. Can one be a serious writer and still use the word "neato"? I leave you a long weekend to ponder the question.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

I Just Can't Help Myself...

I am really drawn to these balls by CB2. [Yes, jerks, insert your "Well, Casey's always drawn to balls" joke here. Then grow up.] [Okay, I admit it, I still mentally make ball jokes. Someday I'll be an adult.] Anyway, the balls pretty much match my living room color scheme. I can picture a bowl or hurricane lamp full of them. I'm usually not a huge fan of these sorts of things, but I guess there's a kindergarten/yarn/plaster of Paris aspect to them that I like. While I'm on the subject of CB2, let me say that you should definitely visit their page. They are very reasonable about incredibly well-designed pieces. I covet the haiku platter. Sadly, I am destined to years of retro-red, as dictated by my kitchen.

I think this brings me to another subject. I'm really wondering: Are other people as crazy as I am?? So, I have this 1950s-ish kitchen. I like it. I put in the Pottery Barn cafe curtains, and I have a bunch of old (and, frankly, slightly bizarre) family pictures up, and Fiestaware galore, and I'm happy with it. I'm also sort of stuck with it. I feel as if every item I buy for the kitchen must be red. I don't even really like red. And really, I should let go. Take the aforementioned haiku platter, for example. It's a platter. As in, take an appetizer to a party. As in, take an appetizer to a party given by people (ahem, usually your mom) who most likely do not have a 1950s-inspired kitchen. As in, these theoretical people will love your appetizer and compliment you on your cute haiku platter which will lead to a discussion of CB2 which will lead to a discussion of your blog and maybe you'll finally get readers. Now, I know I should buy the darn platter. But I JUST CAN'T DO IT. I can't buy something that doesn't match the kitchen. Do you want to know why? Promise not to laugh? Okay. Because my cupboards won't match. I know, I know, I'm insane. It's not like they're glass-front or anything. Nope. It's just that I'll know. I wonder if there's a program for people like me.

What else, what else? Ah...I recently discovered Textile Arts. They've got a limited but cute assortment of gifts, as well as large-print Marimekko fabric, like the oilcloth piece below. I am, I must say, a little sad that I haven't been able to work this color anywhere into my apartment. There are about a million beautiful vases in the same shade. Target, Pottery Barn, and every little knick-knack home store has such vases in abundance. There are also a bunch of lamps that I want. Do you know what I mean? It's a kind of milky material? It's somehow modern and beach and farmhouse all at once. Argh, if only I didn't have a yellow and orange bathroom. I like the whole milk blue vase/white starfish combo.