Step Stool Project

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A few weeks ago I mentioned that I'd gotten a step stool from a local salvage store. Here's a reminder of what it looked like.  Cute, step stool but a little too shabby chic.
Well, somehow between work, a trip to Dallas and a sick baby I managed to get it painted and, this weekend, got the treads and nails heads put on.  I love the results!  I chose a deep / dusty green for the body to tie into other greens going on in the house (and to add a pop of color in the bathroom) and a charcoal for the trim to tie into the roman shade trim.  I started by giving the piece a quick hand sanding and rub down with a tack cloth. Thank God it hadn't gotten so frigid that I couldn't work outside. 

Then I started in with a water based alkyd paint.  I learned this trick from Little Green Notebook. Cleanup is easier than an oil but has the same self-leveling characteristics that give a nice smooth finish.  After giving the body of the stool two coats and letting that dry, I added the grey trim with a small brush.  As you can see, I also removed the treads and painted those green. The black plastic was a little brittle so I cut it down a bit since there were some tears where I removed the previous nail heads. 

Then came attaching the rubber treads with brass nail heads. This was a bit of an experiment. In my head I wanted a small-ish nailhead about half the size of your typical upholstery tack.  I had originally bought some brass nails from home depot that ended up being too big and long.  Instead of returning to the hardware store I sourced some doll house nails online. They were the right length but the heads on the nails turned out to also be doll house scaled.  They were basically like tiny short straight pins - ridiculously small (this is when an online image would have been handy).  Back to Home Depot.  I bought some escutcheon pins whose heads were a little smaller than I hoped.  I figured if I did enough of them around the rubber it could look cool.  I also bought some brass thumb tacks as a back up.  Well, the escutcheon pins took a lot of pounding to get in.  Then they started bending on the last pound and were next to impossible to get out without ruining the painted rubber.  So I went on to the thumb tacks which worked wonderfully. That is how I ended up with a pattern of thumb tacks and escutcheon pins on the front edge.  I like the decorative look though and love how the brass dresses it up.

I also added a bit of green in the form of a small West Elm tray to corral various bathroom items that we keep out on the counter.  I added a couple of silicone bumpers on the bottom to keep it off the counter and from getting wet (from the inevitable water creepage).

Stylin' Mamma: Red

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I love a red shoe.  Why wear black when you can add that interest that is red?

Okay, let's be honest.  I love a shoe shoe.  If it's a shoe, I'm at least going to consider it.  I may not adopt it (the goth platform boot, for example), and I may not adore it, but I'll consider anything shoe-related.  But for the purposes of this post, I love a red shoe, and more specifically, I love a red shoe with a pointy toe just peeping out of an otherwise basic or conservative trouser.

Not that these trousers are basic, no sir.  First of all, how comfy do they look?  Yet how workplace appropriate?

A part of me (the mom part) is digging this season's take on comfy-classy.  Pajama- or active-wear-inspired styles are pretty much a slam-dunk for a gal who yearns to be elegant but (let's face it) spends an inordinate amount of time looking for lost Legos and water bottles that have rolled under the seats of the car.  So you can imagine how I swooned for Old Navy's embellished sweatshirts, how I raced to Fourth & Market and snapped one up to wear to early Fall soccer practice with black jersey pants.  

For a busy day, an oversized clutch has room to spare.  And the good news is, with a neckline like that you don't have to overthink your jewelry: a couple of stacked rings (here and here) by the stylist behind Damsel in Dior ought to do the trick.

Look at you: the Lady Who Lunches, the Lady Who Lounges, the Lady Who Lugs kids and bags and snacks all over town...Hey, I'm digging those red shoes!

On the books: PS 450

Monday, November 11, 2013

A few of your have requested more updates on the work I'm doing for residential and commercial clients.  It's always tough to know when to do these posts. Usually there is a before post but I like that to happen after the design scheme and selections have been completely nailed down. Then there is an after post which requires staging and good photography which often happens a while after a project is complete.  I think I finally have a few things to show you guys.

First off is a bar project I'm working on in the city. Some of you may have been to PS 450 back in the days when I lived and worked in New York or perhaps more recently.  The client is someone who I had worked with in the past and was happy he tapped me for this project now that I'm back in the hood.  PS 450 holds quite the raucous twenty-something boozy brunch and they also do a great lunch and happy hour.  The name refers to its Park Avenue South location but I also like the play on the New York public school naming convention.  Here is what the bar looks like now. A little tired and dated, almost too mod and clean lined for the current more retro industrial trends.

I wanted to add more detail and sort of play off the public school theme. There were a few things we had to keep like the mirrors, floors, bar, back bar and ball chain curtain in the back, and we had a very limited budget. I think the final look will be nice and classic and not overly themey.  Here is the design board I created.  My sister-in-law Soyoung from Dogear Press is helping to design the chalk art wall that has words that reference the fare and libations at PS 450.  

Bryan's Birthday Bash #2!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Last year we celebrated Bryan's first birthday with an animal themed birthday bash.  This year, at the ripe age of two, Bryan had more of an opinion so we went for a choo-choo themed event.  My sister-in-law Soyoung from Dogear Press designed the ticket-style invite.
Luckily the weather cooperated so we were able to hold the event outdoors, complete with duct tape choo-choo track, conductor hats, and train whistles.

As you can see Bryan wasn't very thrilled by all the singing and hoopla surrounding the birthday cake.

 Happy Birthday to our fun little guy!  It seems like just yesterday that we were bringing him home from the hospital in Pasadena.

All photos courtesy of Dogear Press

Chair DIY Update

Monday, November 4, 2013

Last week I shared my recent purchases and some thoughts on how I plan to update those items. Well, I've made some paint color choices on the step stool and hope to get that knocked out in the next week or two. The chair I've been going back and forth on. I had two large fabric swatches that I found in my files that would work perfectly for this small reuphostery project (yay for free fabric!).  The first is this Dwell Studio marbelized black and white pattern. I like that it is dark (don't want a light seat cushion) and organic. I envision it with a sort of forest or kelly green paint on the chair.
 The second is this Beacon Hill fabric which I fell in love with recently.  The chair could be done in a turquoise / teal color.
At first I was leaning toward the latter but now I'm thinking I prefer the green and the more neutral fabric so I'm not as locked into a color scheme as with the other. I also am in love with this Christopher Farr Cloth textile which I think would work really nicely with it (perhaps as a window treatment or large pin-up board?  I'd actually found a comparable fabric by Sarah Campbell for West Elm a while back but they seemed to stop making it (boo! considering the price on the Christopher Farr option).

Which chair option do you prefer? And what are your thoughts on the West Elm vs. Christopher Farr fabric (I love the pricey option, but is it worth it?)