Thursday, November 26, 2009

"Save The Tureky"

Unlike any other holiday, Thanksgiving always seems to bring about only happy memories for me. I can think back to amazing moments spent with friends and family, and there are plenty of inside jokes ("Save The Tureky" is just one of them!) and entertaining moments from Thanksgivings past to fill my day with joy. When I was growing up Thanksgiving held an extra special place in my heart though, because not only did I get one fabulous Thanksgiving with my family, but I also got another amazing Thanksgiving with my school

Long before my school grew to what it is now, we had one very special holiday tradition that us students looked forward to all year... our Thanksgiving feast! The preparations always started weeks before the actual holiday. Giddily all of us students crafted ourselves a special placemat (a highlight to the school year), and came up with the Turkey Day menu (each classroom was responsible for cooking at least one item). The few days before the feast were spent with all of us cleaning, chopping, and cooking. Come time for the day of our actual celebration, we would come to school all dressed up, and grinning from ear to ear. Goodies were exchanged with the other classrooms, so that everyone had a little of this and a little of that to feast upon, and then we would sit down to eat. This tradition, while painstakingly labor intensive for the teachers, was something so meaningful for us students. There was a huge sense of community and independence that was created by not only being able to cook our own food from scratch, but from also getting the opportunity to share these yummy treats with our fellow schoolmates. I wish that this tradition still lived on for the students that are there today, but I am truly blessed to have had the opportunity to partake in it for so many years. Thanksgiving is all about sharing our blessings (even if they are small) with one another, no matter how different we all are. I'm not sure that I ever would have learned the true meaning of Thanksgiving without this tradition, and for that I am forever grateful. I learned about Thanksgiving in the best way possible, by experiencing it. 

So to all of you out there in blog land, I want to wish you a very very happy Thanksgiving. May your day be filled with loving family and friends (and some yummy food too of course!). 

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

One More Window Seat

And here's one more... just because! Don't you just want to escape there?!? Happy daydreaming!

Photo via Purple Area

Window Seat Roundup

If I had to chose just one design element that I covet the most, I think it might have to be the window seat. My love of them started sometime around the time when I was in the 3rd or 4th grade. My best friend at the time lived in a 200 year old house, and upstairs in the hallway there was an almost daybed sized window seat nestled into a cozy nook. It was surrounded by beautiful dark wood, and a set of built in bookshelves that were filled to the brim with all sorts of different books. Many a time our playdates would at some point come to us plopping ourselves on the cushy window seat, gazing out the window, and having girl talk. These were some of the best moments... and since then I have always wanted a window seat of my own. I can think of nothing more magical then curling up on a rainy day with a warm blanket, while being surrounded by soft cushions, and daydreaming the day away. Pure bliss!

Photo Credits (Top to Bottom, and Left to Right): House Beautiful, CoopTours, Unknown, Southern Living

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

IKEA Hacks

So... What's a girl to do on a tight budget, with an empty apartment, and a specific design vision? Why hack her way through the IKEA store of course! As this is my first apartment, I have SO much furniture that I need to buy, and that is where IKEA comes in handy. I love their stuff, but when buying it in mass quantity it can often leave one's home looking a bit IKEAtastic and like one of the pages from their catalog! Hence why I took it upon myself to hack several of the IKEA accessory items that I had purchased. This way I could have an item that matched the design style I was going for, but was still in my price range. Why none of my IKEA hacks are earth shattering, and I don't even technically consider them hacks (more like stylish embellishments!), I do think they show how you can customize a very ordinary IKEA item and make it something totally stylish and unique. 

The Lamp: I had been wanting a mercury glass lamp forever, but all of the ones I found were in the 100+ dollar price range (way out of my budget for a lamp!). Then I stumbled upon some DIY instructions over at Weddingbee Pro, and I started to get excited. Perhaps a mercury glass lamp wasn't out of the picture after all! Then I came across the Jonsbo Orod lamp at IKEA and my dream came true! The mirror glass spray paint proved a bit tricky to find (try looking in the glass painting section of your craft store though - NOT the spray paint section, which is where my "issues" stemmed from), but once I found it the lamp was super easy to make and it looks incredible in person!! 

The Boxes: I wanted some sort of stylish storage on the cheap, and something that looked a bit different than say a wicker basket, but also something that in a couple years if it fell apart or I needed to get rid of it I wouldn't necessarily be super upset. I love the look of the Kassett boxes, but none of the colors matched the look I wanted to achieve. Anyways, I snatched up several of the white ones and decided to think upon how to make them special. Then I remembered I had some great wrapping paper at home. So with my trusty glue stick in hand I went to work. I covered the boxes pre-assembly and then used an exacto knife to cut around the silver details. End result = AMAZING! 

The Curtains: We have really tall ceilings in our apartment. And really LARGE (which is totally awesome) but very BORING windows. We knew we wanted to dress up our space with splashes of hot pink, and IKEA was stocking products in just the shade we were looking for! We picked up a pair of the Felicia curtains in dark pink and a pair of the Aina curtains in the unbleached fabric (which totally fit our need to provide a bit of privacy in our front room but  still let in the natural light which is so amazing in our space). Since the Aina curtains weren't anywhere near long enough to fit our windows we chopped up the Felicia curtains and used them as fabric. By adding the hot pink on the bottom we created a curtain that looks extra special. It now pulls the room together by adding an extra pop of our accent color. The curtains are now long enough to puddle on the floor and with the added sparkle of the Felicia "fabric" we got the sophisticated somewhat casual glamourous look we wanted... and what girl doesn't want a little glamour in her life! 

The Pillow: I can't take credit for this one, as it is all the roommate's doing, but I will fill you in on what she did. It is simply the Felicia curtains again cut up and used as fabric and sewn into a pillow case, inside is a pillow form from IKEA (although I can't figure out which one it is from online... sorry). In order to make the pillow have that little something extra, my roommate cut up the tie back (it's the same hot pink as the curtains but it has this really incredible gold flowery swirl pattern all over it) and attached a strip of it to the front of the pillow. Voilà! 

So... Swoonette says:
  • Don't judge an IKEA product by it's looks and function, instead think of IKEA as a place to purchase "materials"
  • Don't be afraid to cut things up, paint things, or add on any embellishments that you may like
  • The fact that IKEA products come disassembled makes it easier to be more creative 
  • Since IKEA furniture is fairly inexpensive, and far from a family heirloom, there is no need to become distraught by hacking away at things  
  • And if you need a little extra inspiration be sure to check out IKEA hacker

Monday, November 23, 2009

Cozy Blue and White Moment

Home again, home again, jiggity jig! Wouldn't you love to come home to this cozy blue and white chair, and snuggle in with a good magazine and a glass of wine!?! I know I would. But I get to snuggle in with something even better tonight... my kitty boys! Since I'm home for Thanksgiving I'll get to spend some extra quality time with the fur babies... and my mom of course!

Photo from House Beautiful

Blue and White Rooms

Here are some absolutely drool worthy blue and white rooms to help you get revved up on this Monday before Thanksgiving! I've made sure to showcase a sampling of different rooms to point out how this color combo can really go the mile. It can feel breezy and free in a family room, inviting and restful in a bedroom, and quirky yet casual in a kitchen. There's no place that blue and white can't go! Even though this color combo is an old classic, there are so many ways to alter it to achieve a look that is right for your life and design style. So whether you want a refined more traditional room, or something a little more fresh and modern, the possibilities are endless!

Photo Credits (Top to Bottom, and Left to Right): Bathroom - Country Living, Bedroom - Unknown, Family Room - Ideal Home, Kitchen - Country Living, Bathroom - T. Keller Donovan in House Beautiful, Living Room - Martha Stewart

Blue and White Mood Board

While there are several versions of the blue and white color scheme (all equally beautiful), I have to say that my personal favorite is the good old classic of crisp bright white and dark cobalt blue. Perhaps it has something to due with the fact that I grew up near the ocean, and so very often you find this color scheme present in seaside homes. Or perhaps it is because blue is my favorite color, and there is no better way to showcase its beautiful hues then on a blank canvas of white. Either way though there is something so elegant and classic about this color combo. It's a timeless design chameleon, shifting itself to fit into the homes of both the fanciful artist and the elegant designer alike.

Towels by Ralph Lauren, Tea Set from Wedgwood, Dress by Roxy, Fabric Swatch from the Whimsy Collection by Pillow & Maxfield, Shoes from Marc by Marc Jacobs, Bag by Buti, Fabric Artwork by mondocherry.  

Friday, November 20, 2009

The Lineup

What's better (but maybe not quite as stylish... wink, wink!) than your trusty old collection of "days of the week" undies?!? Why Swoonette of course! While things here are still in the works, the ultimate goal is to have a special theme for each day! So without further ado here is what will hopefully be the future lineup of this design blog!

However, the fun doesn't end there! So make sure to always be on the lookout for updates to the "My Swoonette" and "The Apartment" sections, because honestly these are the real reasons behind this blog. I needed/wanted a place to share my new adventures here in NYC with the kiddos/family/friends back home! And of course there will always be random posts thrown in here and there to keep you on your toes!

P.S. Eventually I hope to be adding a navigation bar to the top of this blog! That way each section can be grouped together, allowing you an easier way to cruise through posts. But in the meantime just be sure to keep checking the labels featured at the bottom of each post!


I know, I know! Right now you are all staring at your computer screens asking yourselves the same question! Swoonette? What in the world is a swoonette?!? Well... I don't really know either! Let me explain...

It dawned on me the other day that there are so many beautiful things in this world. However, the things that I find beautiful might not be the same things that you find beautiful. While I may find the way that the sunlight creeps into my room in the mornings, and splashes across my bed, to be utterly breathtaking, you might view it as nothing more than a reason to lower the shades a bit more. However, while you might find the way the rain droplets pound against your window sills to be the most amazing symphony, I might find them to be highly distracting and headache inducing (I don't actually feel this way, but you get the idea!). To each their own! And thus this idea of a swoonette popped into my head. AND... yes it's a totally made up word! But, I can sense you all still asking what exactly is it! So let me give you a quick little definition before I carry on:

swoon \'swün\ verb: 1. to become enraptured. (swooning with joy) (definition courtesy of Merriam-Webster)
swoonette \'swün-'et\ noun: 1. the things that make one swoon 2. an object, person, feeling, moment, song, picture... ANYTHING... that causes one great happiness. (my cat is my swoonette) (definition courtesy of my brain!)

So... hopefully we are all on the same page now! If not, no worries, just wait it out, and maybe you will get the idea! So as I was saying, there are so many lovely things that we encounter every day. Sometimes we realize them... and sometimes we don't. Either way though, I always find it quite intriguing to see what everyone else finds inspirational and beautiful, and so Swoonette was born! Every morning I love sitting down with my cup of coffee and pouring through the posts in my Google Reader. I have so many WONDERFUL blogs that I follow (check out the daily eye candy section in the sidebar!), and the imagery fills me up with happy thoughts and wonderful scenes to take with me as I head out into the day. I too wanted to be able to share with the blogosphere the things that I find beautiful... my swoonettes!

So what will you find here on Swoonette? Well... basically it will be a little of this, and a little of that! But what I will promise you is that the things here will always be beautiful (well at least what I consider beautiful that is!). So sit back, grab a cup of something yummy, and let the posts here wash over you and leave you all warm and tingly!

Hope you enjoy!