Repurposing Sports Equipment

I’ve never considered myself to be an “athlete”. I was a dancer, but that seemed more about performance. Boxing was a weird fluke. Running was a thing I had to do to box. Besides, both boxing and running came when I was in my twenties. As a middle schooler, I couldn’t run a mile. In high school, I was on the track team for about 2 minutes before I stopped going to practice. In college, the tennis instructor in my PE class chided that “I had to actually hit the ball over the net.”

What I’m saying is… there’s hope for the athletically challenged! At our wedding shower a few weeks ago, we picked up a badminton game (for 2 hours!) and I was secretly amazed with myself. I was pitching that birdie over the imaginary net like a Williams sister!

Perhaps I don’t have to resort to always repurposing sports equipment…

Images Pretty bats via DesignMilk by Vincent Kohler, Fencing mask light by Faithful Roots, Bat table via Blue Cricket Designs,Tennis racket mirros by Smug Interiors,Tennis racket embroidery by RevisitMe,Golf iPod dock by RockAppleWood

Lamu House

Over the weekend I watched Out of Africa for the first time. Such a beautiful film. You guys may have gathered that I’m more of a “city girl” when it comes to choosing getaways. That said, the Kenyan landscapes in the movie definitely piqued my interest. And with a little research I learned of the island of Lamu, off the coast the Kenya, that seems right up my alley. It’s considered to be the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa and is protected by UNESCO as a place of cultural significance. Lamu seems like the kind of place that feels truly authentic – yet enthusiasts and preservationists are developing some amazing properties to bring in tourists and fuel the economy.

One of these places is the Lamu House Hotel situated right near the Old Town across from the waterfront. It struck as beautiful and simple, not overdown or flashy at all.  Most of the time, the idea of relaxing for long periods of time scares me but I think at the Lamu House Hotel I’d be content to spend a good bit of time reading by the plunge pool.

If I were ever going on safari to Africa, I’d want to end the trip here. And here’s how I’d plan one of my days touring the island.

 

Are you as convinced as I? If we hadn’t already bought our Italy flight tickets, I might be campaigning for a different type of honeymoon!

Images via Lamu House Hotel, Peponi Hotel Bar, Sunset Cruise via Architectural Digest 

The Hunt: Claverack Eyebrows

This week on The Hunt (sounds like a crime investigation series, no?) we are exploring the possibilities of an old eyebrow colonial located in Claverack, which is right outside my favorite upstate town, Hudson.

So, first off, let it be known that we will most definitely give our country home a name. And if we were to ever buy a eyebrow colonial (the eyebrow references second floor half sized windows that resemble eyebrows), we would name our house after some of the great eyebrows of our day. These are the top runners:

Let’s try in a sentence: “Hey friends, want to come up to Brooke Shields this weekend for a little R&R?” Creepy, and yet brilliant.

But that is beside the point. This particular eyebrow colonial was really interesting to me because 1. It’s pretty cheap ($139k), 2. I love how the house sits beside acres of open farmland and 3. like some of the inspiration photos I found below, I think* this house has the potential to marry old and modern really easily.

Can you imagine? I’d leave the front of the house alone and where the roof starts to descend on the back of the house, I’d bump it out, double the floorplan and create a wall of glass on one side. Basically, this would become a modern farmhouse. Here are some starter design ideas to get your motor running.

The two rooms upstairs look quite generous!

But even with two large rooms (and presumably a third, though it could potentially become an upstairs bath) – it seems like the house would need more square footage for guest sleeping. Enter the accompanying poolhouse/guest house.

The way the house is situated with the fields on the left side of the house, it looks ideal for adding another structure to the right of the house that would basically frame the backyard in an L shape. And of course, the backyard would now contain a super fabulous patio and inground pool.

Since I’m already spending hundreds of thousands of (imaginary) dollars on a guest house, I figured it might as well pimp it up. So this guest house would not only include a guest room and bath, but a studio/workshop for me, a pool bath, a wet bar, a giant living room/pool house (with barn doors opening directly towards the pool) and an upstairs recording studio for BC.

Having a hard time envisioning it all? Try this floorplan on for size.

Right. Perhaps I got carried away. One of my favorite parts is in the new structure: do you see that hallway in front of the pool bath and studio? There’s a floor to ceiling glass window lining that hallway so I’d paint the doors of the pool bathroom/studio a bright yellow or red!

I don’t actually know the current floorplan and keep in mind that these architectural changes are not based on any structural information. None of this is based on anything other than a few pictures, so I’m not sure any of this could actually be done.

But if it could… it would definitely be my dream house.

Listing: Claverack Colonial via Gabel Real Estate

*for the record, i’m not an architect and would have no way predicting whether these architectural changes could be made. this is strictly a daydream situation.

 

 

Assemblage: Settee

One of the blogs I follow is called Good Bones, Great Pieces, it’s is a fabulous little decorating blog from a mom/daughter team. They are great at antiques. And creating really sweet, sopshitcated spaces. So when shopping at Furbish in Raleigh, I came across Good Bones, Great Pieces, the book, and had to get it. One of the chapters in the book is about the wonder that is the settee, which I’d define as a small sofa or bench.  Suzanne and Lauren recommend the settee for its versatility. It fits just as easily into a small living room as it does at a dining table or at the foot of the bed.

Just for fun, I asked BC what a settee is. His response was “Is that part of a bedspread.” No, honey, that’s a duvet. “Is it the chair that sticks out” No, that’s a chaise. “Is it a chair in general? Don’t tell me. I need to rack my brains for a second” Why don’t you just read about it on my blog tomorrow?

So world, and BC, here’s an assemblage of some of my favorite little antique settees out there.

“It is a sham, a pillow cover?” “Is it that block thing at the top of the curtains?” “It is a kind of desk?” No, No, No…. “I learned what a sconce is!” Yes, honey, good job. We then played 20 questions and he got it in 15, but only after I showed him pictures. His response: “It’s a type of sofa? That’s a little specific.”

Images (in order) 1 Albert Joseph, 2 C. Mariani, 3 Sputnik Modern, 4 CS Post and Co, 5 Wyeth, 6 Greenwich Living, 7 Pamela Lerner Antiques, 8 Jean-Marc Fray, 9 Porter and Plunk, 10 Pegboard Modern, 11 Haven Interiors, 12 George Subkoff Antiques, 13 Donna Parker Habitat, 14 End of Beige Upholstery,15 Judy Frankel Antiques16 Greenwich Living, 17 San Ysidro Ranch photographed by Jose Vila18 Debenham Antiques 

Atlantic Avenue Antiques

When I told you the story of our new dining room chairs, I didn’t mention the sort of shipping farce that I went through to get them. The short of it is that I went to Greyhound two different times to reprieve the chairs to no avail. The second time my mom was with me. We walked about 30 minutes over to the store only to find it closed for a few hours “for mothers day.” Of course the few hours would fall right in the time that we’d gone to the trouble to head to the store. And remember this was my SECOND attempt to pick up those chairs. My poor mother witnessed my frustration reaching new levels and patiently waited for a recovery.

Of course, I’ve had run-ins with retail therapy before. But now I can firmly attest to the power of antique therapy, at least for me. My spirits were immediately lifted in just one block of Atlantic Avenue’s antique shops. And I didn’t even have to buy anything. (But I still wanted to.) Here’s a mini peek of some of the terrific shops on Atlantic Avenue.

See those cans? They are actually candles. Good move, Collier and West! Also, any store with a sea of chandeliers automatically gets magical points. It’s a treatment that doesn’t translate to residential quite as well though.

 

Sterling Place has always been one of my favorite Park Slope shops and the Atlantic Avenue didn’t disappoint. I love the idea of using letterpress blocks for picture or name cards. Also, I’m obsessed with having a hot air balloon in my future nursery ever since I didn’t buy a fabulous balloon from a shop in Chelsea years ago. This one’s pretty adorable!

Oh man, who doesn’t want to get lost in Horseman Antiques? Is it completely overwhelming? Totally. Is it worth spending hours wandering through? Definitely. Would I recommend leaving a bread crumb path? Possibly. BTW, I found their collection of metal cabinets especially impressive.

Atlantic Avenue, I’ve only begun to conquer you.

Images via Salvaged Grace.

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Antiques in Kitchens

You guys, what an incredible weekend. First, BC and I had an amazing time at the Bon Appetit Grub Crawl though Williamsburg. Then, my cousin/maid of honor threw  the most kick-ass wedding shower/potluck picnic ever. Amazing food and drinks,  badminton and croquet, and GREAT friends and company. Emmy had everyone write down travel tips and they took pictures with a Polaroid camera… it’s the perfect memory book for our trip. We’re going to keep adding to it on our honeymoon. Some members of my family were skeptical of a honeymoon registry, but we’re totally loving having our friends and family connected with our trip.

ANYWAYS… lately I’ve been thinking about how fantastic old antiques look in kitchens. I mean, I think most rooms look great with character pieces and bathrooms or kitchens are no exception. Think an old buffet doubling as a kitchen counter top or an old worktable doubling as an island. It’s such a simple, easy way to add warmth to a typically more sterile, and oftentimes, unimaginative space. Here are a few examples I’ve been saving to share with you.

I especially love the combination of more contemporary kitchen cabinets mixed with the older pieces.

Images via Myles Henry Blog, Automatism, House and Home, and Two Ellie

The Hunt: Hortonville Farmhouse

To spare BC of my constant “Why don’t we buy this weekend house”, I thought I’d transfer that to you guys. Figure you’d enjoy some real estate babble. The premise of this new feature column is, basically, that I’m obsessed with buying an old houses. They ones I love are in various stages of decay but I see them as little gems in need of some polish. I think I might feature a house every Friday for the summer. There’s certainly plenty of potential weekend homes that I’m coveting. Beginning with a grand old farmhouse in Hortonville.

Hortonville is located about 2.5 hours from NYC, sort of near Callicoon, which is Mark Ruffalo country. As far as I’m concerned, his owning a house out there makes it a viable place for our country home.

The pros: wraparound porch, outbuildings (future guest house, studio and/or pool house?), stone fireplace, hardwood floors and a flat area near the barn perfect the future pool

The cons: only 1.5 baths, wood paneling in one of the bedrooms (ick), fairly small rooms (from the pictures, anyways), outdated kitchen, and a lot of bad decor to get rid of

Here’s what we have to work with:

A lot of good stuff right? The on (good) view of the living room knocks my socks off, it’s what inspired my little mood board below.

 

 

AAAAH, I love it so much! Totally relaxing but still sophisticated, timeless and  elegant. I imagine this as the kind of space where a few people would be in the living room area reading while a few more would be playing Skip-Bo (my family’s favorite) at the table. The fire would be crackling, the lights would be low, adult alternative music would be piping through the stereo, dinner would be outside on the grill… I can imagine it all so clearly!

Unfortunately this weekend, I won’t be at my imaginary house upstate, but I will be doing some super fun stuff! Tomorrow BC and I are going to the Bon Appetit Grub Crawl and on Sunday, my cousin and maid of honor, is throwing an Italian themed potluck co-ed wedding shower for us! It’s a good thing I’ve been watching my diet this week because its going to fall apart real soon come Sat around 4pm!

Hope you have a similarly delicious weekend!

Listing: 9 Beechwoods Road, Hortonville, NY

All items vintage unless denoted* below. Art via Anne Nathan GalleryKen Johnson, Alicia Bock, Coat of Arms via Kristen Buckingham Interior Design, Lantern Light via Wyeth Home, *Sofa via, Jayson Home, Armchair via Bonnie Kielty Neiman, Accordian Wall Lamp via Factory 20, Rug via Jayson Home, Side Table via Howe London, Bench via unknown, *Curtains via Pottery Barn, Table via Howe London, Chairs via A View from the Coop.