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Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Etsy Pick of the Week: Mudworks Pottery

I know, I know, it's been awhile. I must admit that I've been in a bit of a funk lately and as a result haven't been feeling very inspired, just mostly overwhelmed. I don't know exactly what the reason is for it all. I think it's partially that I put my baby into school and partially that the reason for it is to really commit to my new job as a freelance writer, blogger. A job that I truly am enjoying, but am also conflicted with because it is not my "dream job". For the greater portion of the last 10 years of my life, my dream has been and continues to be to create and turn Chateau & Bungalow into a booming business. Somehow life seems to keep getting in the way, and I know that I really can't complain because so many of my other dreams have come true, and not everyone can say that. And I know that I have to keep plugging away and not complain and know that things will happen when they are supposed to happen as long as I keep working at it.
What does that have to do with a fish mug? Good question. I was at my favorite farm stand, Sweet Berry Farm, today with the kids and caught the back of this mug on the shelf. I picked it up and this adorable little fish face looked back at me (this picture actually doesn't do it justice compared to it in person). I couldn't help but smile. As you have probably heard me say before, I'm a big fan of smile inducing objects. Our homes are much happier places with them and so I came home and found the company online to share with you all. Who knew that a funny little fish mug by Mudworks Pottery would be what it takes to inspire to find the time to get back to blogging. I promise I won't go that long again. And I think maybe I'd better head back to the farm and bring that little guy home to remind me not to get discouraged and to keep me caffeinated (he holds 14 ounces of coffee!) which I'm going to need to get everything done.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Jeff Soderbergh Furniture

I am so lucky to live in a place where there are so many talented craftsmen. There is something about the ocean that seems to draw creative people. I have long been a fan of local furniture designer Jeff Soderbergh's architectural salvage furniture, and am lucky enough to get to see it in several of my friends' homes (and hopefully some day my own). This year he was featured in the House Beautiful Kitchen of the Year designed by Jeff Lewis of Bravo's Flipping Out, and recently I had the opportunity to interview him for our local news web site Middletown Patch. He is amazingly talented so be sure to check it out here.

Image via House Beautiful.

Friday, October 8, 2010

One Year of Chateau & Bungalow

This door at the entry of Vanderbilt Hall, a luxury Newport hotel, caught my eye as I was walking past it this morning. I love the door knockers and the deep green color of the door. I'm sure part of it is because it's one of the things that I loved the most about the house I grew up in which also had the lion's head door knocker and dark green door. It's a striking combination. The entire entry (below) of the hotel was looking crisp and fall-ish, but sophisticated at the same time. Don't be afraid to use rich, sophisticated colors like this. It makes all your seasonal decorations stand out even more.
Also, today is the one year blogiversary of Chateau & Bungalow. I'm really having fun with it and have enjoyed all the feedback I've gotten from all of you. A year ago, when I started this blog, it was a way for me to have a creative outlet while I was unemployed and staying at home with my two kids. Never would I have guessed that it would lead to a new career as a writer/editor. I'm now writing for multiple media outlets, but I am still committed to building Chateau & Bungalow into a much bigger business and hope to be offering products to you all as well. Thanks so much for reading and I would so appreciate it if you share your favorite posts with your networks. I'd also love to hear what some of your favorite posts have been. Was it the color your own wallpaper, the book shelf styling, architectural fences, 18th Century Colonial Renovation? There are 150 posts to choose from! Thanks for a great first year, and here's to many more to come!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Brightening Up Beige

The folks over at Ohdeedoh, Apartment Therapy's kids blog, always have great posts of people's before & after's in their homes. I came across this nursery this week, and was very impressed. On the surface, it looks like a cute well designed nursery, but what's so impressive about it is that upon a closer look, you can see that it is a room with beige painted walls and beige carpet. This is a rental that looks like anything but! So many people get stumped by what to do with a rental and how to infuse their own personality into them. Here, the homeowner put a bright colorful area rug over the beige wall to wall carpet, and added a scalloped wallpaper border that she made from contact paper. To find out how, you can check her blog, IS*LY. While this was done for a child's room, you can easily use these ideas for an adult's room too. So go on, and brighten up those beige rentals.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Bookshelf Stairwell

I was researching a totally different topic for today's post when I came across this bookshelf staircase on Apartment Therapy in an image search and decided it was too good not to share. This is in a London flat and the stairwell is hidden from the main living space and takes the unit's owners up to a previously unused loft space that is now a bedroom.
Being someone who is always looking for storage solutions and someone who hates to get rid of books, although I don't have nearly this many, I figured there are others of you out there that might have a similar storage problem. And it doesn't have to be books. If you have collections of other (non-breakable) items, you could display them in the same way. This stairwell was a new build so they were able to do it exactly to their specs, but it's always good to think about what lies behind your walls. In so many cases there is "dead" space where built-ins can be installed, especially where there are dormers, fireplaces, etc. Obviously you'll need to be careful not to do anything to any load baring walls without the assistance of a professional, but don't be afraid to think outside the box, or in this case inside the walls. Go to Apartment Therapy to read their full story on this project.

Images via Apartment Therapy