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Tag Archives: Decor

New Blue Velvet Sofa

Remember that time when I was obsessed with blue velvet? Oh wait. That time never ended.

But now that itch has been scratched so good. Because I bought a blue velvet sofa from West Elm and I couldn’t be happier.

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This is the first piece of furniture that I have EVER bought retail, so that was a big investment for me. It was a little treat from me to me for finishing graduate school and getting a real job with benefits and a 401K and all that good stuff for the first time ever.

I lucked out because West Elm was having a sale on sofas that included CUSTOM ORDER SOFAS! Usually, their sales are just for the colors that they have in ready stock, but this sale was 25% off of even custom orders. So I got a great deal on the special blue ink velvet sofa that I wanted. I ordered the sofa over the summer when I studying for the bar, and then it was ready to deliver by the time we moved in. Yay!!

Anyway, just wanted to share. More stuff is to come, but between getting everything settled and adjusting to my new work schedule, I’ve found that doesn’t leave much time for blogging. And leaves very little time for staging and taking beautiful pictures. Let’s face it: patience is not my strong suit.

Love,

Rachel

PS. My boyfriend thinks the sofa looks great, but he thinks the seat part is too narrow and says he feels like the back cushions are pushing him off the sofa. I think it’s pretty comfy. Just an FYI for those who are interested so that they really give this sofa a test drive in the West Elm show room.

PPS. This post is not sponsored by West Elm. But, West Elm, if you are reading this and want me to review any of your other goodies, I am a willing guinea pig! 😉

New Obsession: Bedrooms with Dark Walls

New Obsession: Bedrooms with Dark Walls

If you repeat this, I will deny it… but I have spent countless hours (maybe seven or eight, maybe more) googling and pinteresting for bedrooms with dark, sultry walls. Navy, charcoal, black, inky deep walls. So incredible. A few of my favorites are below. For more, and believe me, there are more, feel free to check out my pinterest board of dark walls.

I don’t know when I will get to decorate another bedroom… since I don’t know where I will be living come August. Or for how long. Or you know…

But a girl can dream.

Here are a few things that I learned about dark walls (like, when I think they work and when I think they don’t):

1. Dark walls must be paired with lots of white. White bedding, white trim, white curtains. Maybe a flokati rug or two.

This vignette is great. Deep blue walls, white bedding, turquoise night stand with gold accents.

This vignette is great. Deep blue walls, white bedding, turquoise night stand with gold accents.

2. I don’t like them super shiny or enameled. I get the idea, but I don’t like walls to be reflective. I don’t know if it should be matte, eggshell or satin yet (does anyone have guesses on this front?).

3. They need LOTS of cool art. Preferably BIG art, or at least a gallery wall. Frames should be white or gold, with large white mats. I don’t like dark walls that are left too blank. It freaks me out or something.

The walls are a little shiny for my taste, but the gallery  is awesome!

The walls are a little shiny for my taste, but the gallery is awesome!

4. Dark walls look awesome with gold shelving units.

I see those shelves even when I close my eyes.

I see those shelves even when I close my eyes. Oh yeah, and can we talk about this rug? And those camel leather chairs? And this lucite table? I mean, can we just talk?

5. Dark walls are a neutral – so they can be paired with almost any other colors. Some of favorites with dark walls are turquoise, coral/tomato red, chartreuse.

More lucite and turquoise. This time, add some yellow and reds.

More lucite and turquoise. This time, add some yellow and reds.

6. Natural wood looks great with dark walls too.

The art on the right needs to be bigger, or there needs to be more of it. But this table is to die for, as is the rug.

The art on the right needs to be bigger, or there needs to be more of it. But this table is to die for. And the rug is good.

I cannot wait to get a bedroom that I can paint. It’s going to be glorious.

Love,

Rachel

PS. The original links to the pictures are contained on my pinterest board.

Gold Leaf Lamp (How to Gold Leaf Awesome)

Gold Leaf Lamp (How to Gold Leaf Awesome)

I have been wanting to gold leaf something for a while. It just always seemed so awesome.

I really love the idea of mixing gold leaf with matte finishes.

This old lamp was FREE because some guy was just cleaning out his garage. I thought it was a garage sale, so I made my boyfriend pull over (he LOVES it when I do that).

This is what the free lamp looked like.

This is what the free lamp looked like.

First, I sprayed it yellow. I always meant to change the lampshade, but never got around to it.

That is, until I decide to gold leaf this thing! Then, I went to Walmart and got this lamp shade for just $13.

This is the lamp after I first sprayed it yellow. Ugly lamp shade, but it was free... so yeah...

This is the lamp after I first sprayed it yellow. Ugly lamp shade, but it was free… so yeah…

I bought the gold leaf kit for around $10 on Amazon. It includes the gold leaf, the adhesive, and also the sealer.

First, I sprayed the lamp a matte white (after taping off the cord and the electrical socket). I love the look of matte finishes with metallics. The contrast is great.

Second, I taped off the stripes that I wanted. I used two different widths of painter’s tape (which is why some stripes are beige and some stripes are blue).

Use tape to mark off the parts you don't want painted.

Use tape to mark off the parts you don’t want painted.

Then, I applied the adhesive lightly with a sponge applicator. Let it dry for about 15 minutes, and start applying the gold leaf. If you miss any spots, it’s OK. You can come back and fill it in by adding more adhesive and more gold leaf.  You basically just put the gold leaf directly on the adhesive and rub it with a brush or your finger to make sure it’s stuck down well.

The lines aren't perfect, but that's OK.

The lines aren’t perfect, but that’s OK.

Finished! The light isn't great, but the lamp came out awesome.

Finished! The light in the photo isn’t great, but the lamp came out awesome.

The stripes are not perfect. Gold leaf is not really a tidy adventure, but from a far, you cannot really see the less-than-perfect parts.

The gold leaf instructions say that you should seal it, but I figure the lamp won’t get man-handled too much, so I skipped that step. If I was doing something that would get more touching, I would definitely seal it.

I love how it all turned out. It only cost me a lamp shade and a gold leaf kit (I have most of the kit left too, so I am like Midas – constantly looking for more things to turn gold).

Gold stripes and matte white finish.

Gold stripes and matte white finish.

What else can I gold leaf?

What else can I gold leaf?

What do you think? Do you guys freaking love gold as much as this girl?

Golden love,

Rachel

A Dinosaur Christmas

A Dinosaur Christmas

I don’t have much time to write a long post now, but just decorated my first* Christmas tree and wanted to share. (*I am Jewish – on occasion we would decorate the ficus, but it was never the real deal…)

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Happy Dinosaur-Holidays!

Love,

Rachel

Procrastination

Procrastination

I have a three or four assignments due next week. Big ones. Naturally, that means I need to update my blog. Because – you know- I cannot work knowing that my blog is behind. Or when there are dirty dishes. Or when there are nine recipes on Pinterest that I haven’t tried yet. Makes perfect sense, right?

Isn’t she a beaut? About 22 inches across and maybe 36 tall. It was love at first pineapple! (ignore the blue painter’s tape).

So I promise this will be a quick one. More of a promise to myself than a promise to you. You may or may not have a 20 page paper due on Thursday that you only started a day or two ago. If not, lucky you!

A few weeks ago, boyfriend was out driving around and spotted what appeared to be an awesome yard sale. He kindly called me out from my studying cavern and said we should go. (Thanks, baby! I know you think I like weird old garbage and have way too many pieces of furniture/decor with animal motifs and probably too much gold, but you told me about the sale anyway. 🙂 ) This yard sale was awesome! Some dude collected other people’s vintage junk and was selling really nice pieces for next to nothing. I basically wanted to buy pretty much everything he had, but I recently downsized from a three bedroom apartment where I lived alone, to a two bedroom apartment where I have a roommate. Basically, I already have way too much furniture.

Don’t you just want to eat that little hand-carved pineapple?

BUT – a girl can never have enough mirrors. Especially if the mirror is awesome and has darling little birds. Even more true if the mirror appears to be hand carved, made of real wood and has actual gold leaf on parts of it (not just gold paint). And you can never get enough mirrors like this when the price is only $10!!! Are you joking me?!? Of course I will give you $10 for that mirror, sir! I would have paid much more (like up to $20… I am a student after all).

So we forked over the cash (and also scored some awesome ornate picture frames for $1 each!) and headed on our merry way. The top woodwork needed a little repairing, but it was nothing that a little wood glue and a staple gun couldn’t fix. That is why there is blue tape in the photo. I put tape on for support until the wood glue dried.

Oh, hello lovely little birds flying around with branches in your beaks! Would you like to come home with me and stay with me forever?

Can anyone help me identify the genre? I am thinking it’s art nouveau, but it’s a little more structured than art nouveau, maybe? And when I try to google pineapple feet, I get all sorts of weird stuff. If you have any ideas, let me know!

And for dessert we have another adorable pineapple foot to drool over!

Anyway, I should probably get back to work. Or back to cleaning so I can get back to working. Or back to baking cookies, and then cleaning up after myself so then I can get back to work. Or back to finding the perfect cookie cutter on amazon.com so I can get back to baking, and then cleaning up, so that I can get back to work. Or… the possibilities of things I could be doing other than studying are endless…

With love,

Rachel

How to Fake Reclaimed Wood

How to Fake Reclaimed Wood

I have been obsessed with getting a reclaimed wood table for a long time. Obsessed. But such tables usually cost at least $1000, often much more. So I needed to figure out how to get the look of reclaimed wood without breaking the bank. I managed to do it without breaking $70.

This is what the $40 table from craigslist looked like before:

I didn't take this pic. The guy from craigslist did.

This is what I turned it into:

Doesn't she look nice with my blue chairs?

And another picture:

Seriously, I even impressed myself on this one. This table may be my favorite piece in my apartment.

It was a LONG process to get her to this point. But faking reclaimed wood isn’t easy, though it does come pretty cheap. And, it’s your lucky day: I will tell you how I did it!

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