Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Bookcase Inspiration

More progress is being made in the music room.  It's now a music room/library with the addition of some stacked Billy bookcases from Ikea.  I wanted the shelves to go up to the ceiling so we had to buy a tall and a short bookcase and cobble them together.  The short bookcase had to be cut down to fit which was a pain.  But they came out okay, for chipboard crap that is.  Just don't look too closely.

Here's some inspiration pictures that I pinned onto my board on Pinterest.

In the picture above, I love the juxtaposition of the plain shelves against the ornate cornices in the room.  I think it creates a certain amount of tension and unexpectedness (I'm pretty certain that's not a word).  That's kind of the look I'm going for.  I did toy with the idea of adding trim to the bookcases to make them look built-in, but I kind of like the look of them as is.  There's plenty of architectural elements in the room already.  I showed this to Damian and he didn't get it at all.

Isn't the above room lovely?

And of course, I had to include some bookshelves from my favorite designer, Windsor Smith.

The above two rooms are perfection in my eyes.

When I saw this room from Elle Decor what stood out the most to me were the sconces either side of the bookcase.  Umm, that would be a good way to dress up some plain Billys.

I even bought a tulip table like the one above, just smaller.  I was going to use it like this but I think it looks pretty in the bathroom.  I might just style it like this for a laugh (minus the dead cow), as I also have some tolix chairs.

Here are the lights that I've ordered to go either side of the bookcase.  They should be here in a few weeks.

And if I could style my bookcase anyway like this one I'd be happy.  Unfortunately most of my books are children's paperbacks.  I may have to hit up some charity shops to find some hardback books to fill the shelves.

All of the above pictures and their sources can be found on Pinterest.

Monday, November 21, 2011

New David Trubridge Coral Light in Music Room

The music room is slowly coming together.  I finally hung the new light fixture that I bought months ago from a flash sale on  I took a huge risk with this one.  It's really hard to judge what something will look like from a tiny picture on the internet.  And I have to admit it was one of those impulse buys. was having one of its designer sales and they were featuring the lighting of David Trubridge.  I had never heard of him before, but something struck a chord with me about how organic and interesting his lights were.  And the fact that it was about to sell out (and it was over half price) may have had something to do with it.  But I love to juxtapose traditional with modern elements to make rooms feel a little bit unexpected, so after calling Damian and getting the OK I put it in my shopping cart.

Fast forward to Sunday morning, having just finished tiling the fireplace, this was the next task on my list.  The light had arrived in a neat, little box, unassembled.  The instructions stated that it should take 40 to 60 minutes to assemble.  OK, believe that.  I had seen this light on another blog, and they said it took them 4 hours!  I was determined to beat that time.  So I set about assembling it.  It took a lot longer than the 40 minutes, and I can only equate it to building the lego death star.  And it kind of resembles it also.  I'm sure that it's not everyones cup of tea, and it is really big (31.5 inches diameter to be exact), but I love it.  It also casts a fabulous pattern on the ceiling and walls when turned on,  might be a bit distracting when you're trying to play the piano, but cool none the less.

It's made out of bamboo and has a lovely, organic and natural look to it.

I bought it in the caramel color.

One down only 12 more to go!

 Three hours, one massive splinter, and incredibly sore thumbs later, et voila, the death star has arrived!

It casts great shadows on the ceiling and walls.  A bit like a disco ball, but more tasteful, I hope.

And I had to include this last shot of the fireplace, because the light was shining so nicely on the brass surround.

Finally, I want to thank everyone who voted for me in the Apartment Therapy Room for Color Contest 2011.  I came 3rd in the Western Division with a lucky 333 votes!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Fireplace Reveal

It's finished and I'm thrilled!  It's even more beautiful than I imagined.  Now why didn't I do it sooner?  The only trouble is it looks so elegant and crisp that it makes the rest of my house and furniture look like crap now, but isn't that always the way when you remodel something?  And without further ado, I reveal the new fireplace in all it's marble glory.

I haven't styled it properly yet, but I'm definitely leaving my Francis Zimbeaux ink drawing up there.  I'm probably going to frame it in a thin gold frame to match the mirror.  

I scored the mirror at a consignment store for only $90; it's huge and it really makes a statement in the room.  The chandelier is being replaced with something more modern and a little unexpected.  I just have to assemble it first.

And here's the sofa that I recovered earlier this year.  I love how the chevron echoes the herringbone tile on the face of the fireplace.

See those boxes in the corner?  Yes, big plans.

So I took a risk painting the fireplace white, while the rest of the trim is stained.  I couldn't find any pictures on the internet with this combination.  I think it looks lovely and breaks up all the brown.  I also like how simple the mantel looks without the extra scroll detail.

And below are some inspiration pictures that I had pinned to my board on Pinterest.

from here 
from here
from here
from here
To see what the fireplace looked like before go here.

And finally, the competition at Apartment Therapy is still going strong.  I'm currently 3rd, and would love it if you would check out my entry and vote if you like it :)

Thanks xxxx

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Fireplace Progress

Real progress has been made on the fireplace remodel, yay!  It's been physically and mentally tiring, but so worth it.  I've just got the grouting to do and voila.  Now which grout to use?  I read that you should use unsanded grout on marble because sanded could scratch the surface, but I find sanded to be much easier to work with (it tends to settle nicely in the joints).  I think I'll have to do some more research.  In the meantime, here's some sneak peek piccys.

I had a bit of a crisis moment on Thursday when I thought I didn't have enough of the herringbone tile.  Warning to you all, 12 by 12 tile is not exactly 12 inches.  I'd ordered 4 square feet thinking that I only needed 3.  But it soon became apparent that I may have to order some more which would delay the project by a week.  It was also really tricky lining up the sides with the top because nothing is square!  In the end I managed to piece together the tile like a huge jigsaw puzzle.  So you'll see the grout lines aren't exactly perfect in some places, but hoping that it won't notice once it's been grouted.

Here's how much tile I had left over, I really don't believe in waste! (but next time I think I'll err on the side of caution and order more than I think I'll need).

So for a less than $200 and a little bit of time (OK a lot) and some stress, I've managed to create what I think is an elegant and timeless fireplace surround.

See if you can spot what's missing from the mantel.  To see before pictures go here.


Here's some recent pictures of the mantel

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Apartment Therapy Room for Color 2011

Welcome Apartment Therapy readers!  Thanks so much for all of your kind comments.  As promised, here's some more pictures of my home office.  I've also included a before picture, shocking isn't it?

It's really hard to take a picture of the whole room because I couldn't stand far enough back.  I think I need a better lens for my camera.

I wanted to surprise my hubby with an original oversized Beatles Help movie poster which was twice the size of these ones.  But alas the bidding surpassed my meager budget by hundreds.  One day.

Yes, I'm obsessed with birds, and um it appears chevron!  Really the pattern on the back of the bookcases doesn't stand out nearly as much as it looks in the photos.  It's more of an accent.  And because I merely ironed starched fabric on to the backs, it should be an easy update if I decide to change it.

 I used cute sticky labels to add a bit of color and pattern to the generic Ikea Kasset boxes.

And here's a before picture.  I'm deliberately keeping it small so you don't see how messy it is.  Oh, who am I kidding?

Yikes, orange, faux painted walls.  So from this you can see that I reused the desk, the chair, the blinds, and the drapes.  I would like to get rid of the blinds but we need them for privacy.

Here's a tutorial on how I recovered the chair.  It's not very extensive, because I didn't know that people would be that interested, but it's been repinned a million times on Pinterest.  Next time I'll make sure that I do it step by step.  And here's how I did the light shade.

Thanks for visiting.  TTFN (ta ta for now)!

Oh, and if you want to vote for my home office go here.