Monday, February 11, 2013

Reupholstered Bentwood Chair

Found this chair for $30 at Junk in Brooklyn.  They really do have a lot of junk in there, but I thought this was a good find.  In the before pics, below, you'll see that the seat was covered in some safety orange vinyl, which was really dirty and gross.  I replaced it with a pretty linen and voila!  Now I have a nice new chair.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Apartment Challenge :: Artwork Hanging :: Part 1

You might remember this sad photo that showing the pathetic state of the "artwork gallery" behind our sofa.  There used to be a fourth piece hanging there, but I knocked into it and broke the glass so it had been down for the count for a few months.  But even while that was up, there were some issues:  the artwork was hung too high, and the layout of the four pieces just wasn't working.  Needs more filling out.  Plus Annie Oakley is in a rather crooked frame that my husband and I made ourselves in the early days of our relationship.  I will keep the frame for memory's sake, but I think I will re-frame Annie for now.  

So, finally, I am finding my motivation and will fix this wall!  To get inspired I've gathered some photos of successful gallery walls to share...

Wowzers.  This one is like an explosion - a puzzle of artwork.  And how beautiful is that crown molding?  It is like the mother of all crown moldings.  Where do people find these apartments?  Anyway - drawings, paintings, prints, three dimensional works, photography are all on this wall.  The frames are all different but it all works because there is just SO much of it.  And it might seem haphazard at first, but if you pay attention you can see there was thought put into the way certain pieces would line up with each other.  I definitely don't have this many pieces to put up, but I am inspired by the way they fit their artwork together.  Image via

Here is a similar wall, below.  Image via

First off, I would kill for ceilings this high.  The gallery wall stretches all the way from the top of the sofa back to just below the ceiling for a huge impact.  The pieces aren't strictly gridded but again there is a method to how their positions relate to one another.  And the fact that they are all similar works with a simple color palette and matching frames keeps this gallery wall feeling a little more buttoned-up than the previous two.  The concept here is really similar to what I did for my entry wall.  Image via Elle Decor.

Well isn't this cute?  So smart the way the designer hung the artwork to mimic the shape of the bed canopy frames.  All of the works have a similar color palette and theme, and the frames all match too.  I won't be working with the outlines of a canopy bed, but this photo is a good reminder that if you can take cues from some other feature of your interior when deciding how to arrange your artwork, it can make for a nice little moment in your space.  Design by Amelia Handegan.

Lastly we have this lovely little baby artwork gallery by Workstead, a firm in Brooklyn who does gorgeous work.  It's a little more loose than the other gallery walls I've shown here, but it all ties together because the artwork and frames are similar in appearance and size and attention has been paid to how the pieces are placed in relation to one another.  Love the variation in the width of the frames.  Who can resist a tiny little artwork in a big chunky frame?

Ok, so you've seen my inspirations!  Stay tuned to find out how my own gallery wall turns out!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Sunset Magazine: Houseplants Go Glam

This houseplant guide in Sunset Magazine (Feb 2013) features a great selection of gorgeous houseplants.  I am a huge fan of having plants in my living environment.  They are like living sculptures, and they say they help purify the air inside too.  I have a fiddle-leaf fig that I am trying to get to grow into a more tree-like shape like the one above and I'd love to add some of these other beauties to the collection.  Especially the more vertical, tree-like black aralia or ficus triangularis, as most of my plants are low and squat.

If you live in my neck of the woods, a great source for houseplants (and herbs and other seasonal plants) is David Shannon Nursery and Florist.  They've got a solid selection of plants at reasonable prices, a really friendly staff, and will also re-pot your plants before you take them home for a small fee.  They have a selection of basic planters, but you could also bring your own. 

To read more about these plants visit or pick up the Feb 2013 issue.  Image above scanned from Sunset Magazine.  Photo by Thomas J. Story.