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Buying A Home

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Apartment Lust in the Cinema

I know! I know! Halloween is long gone! The good news is that I have been busy with work, friends, boyfriend, and family. The bad news is that I let blogging take back seat when I had some great ideas for posts. So here's to catching up!

I have a confession. I have been out of school for almost an entire year now, and I am living at home with my mom. We have a great relationship, and I am not living here for free, but it makes a slightly better financial arrangement for me. I am paid a percentage of design fees for the design projects I work on, and that system makes the income a little unpredictable at times whereas landlords expect rent payments to be the opposite.

So I have serious apartment lust all the time! I would love a tiny hole-in-the-wall place to have small dinner parties, have evenings with my boyfriend, and especially spend time alone. My appreciation for my mom and her offer to let me "stay as long as I need to" is never-ending, but I think a girl of 23 who works as hard as I do should have a place of her own even if it just serves as an excuse for her to buy that awesome lamp/art piece/vase/bookcase at the thrift store.

A few weeks ago, I traveled to Charleston with my employer and co-worker for a kick-off meeting at a hotel renovation. Walking the streets of downtown almost killed me. I could see into some of the adorable little flats and apartments above the restaurants and shops, and I yearned for such a great place to live.

Along with creepily peeping in on people who do not choose to close or own curtains, I usually take special notice of apartments and homes in films. Here are a few of my favorites.

Sex and the City

In the film, Carrie has her apartment renovated as part of her reinvention of self after being "jilted" be Big. She gets modern storage and seating as well as a much brighter and fresher color scheme.

I love that the walls are a vibrant blue and the other items are still lively but muted in color.

I'm not sure I understand this interesting piece by the entry, but it speaks to the "love conquers all" Cinderella theme plot.

Someone Like You

When Jane is jilted, she does not have the option to renovate her apartment, but out of necessity, chooses to move in with her womanizing co-worker Eddie. The flat is huge, located over a bar, and has a great industrial feel. Great leaner mirror on the right!

The galley style kitchen is small but has an open feel because of the eat in bar. Eddie has a very cool vintage refrigerator and lots of alcohol.

It's a great flat, but I think my favorite thing in Eddie's apartment... is Eddie.

27 Dresses

The first thing I noticed about Jane's apartment in 27 Dresses was the gorgeous black and white tile in the entry. It's also in the building's hallway.

The place has a more traditional and elegant feel. Tons of moulding at base, chair rail, and columns. It's very crisp.

Check out the cute blue bathroom with claw-foot tub!

I really like the eclectic furniture and the painted brick wall in this shot.

Hmmm. . . I just realized these are all movies about working women being rejected. . . Think the theme has meaning??

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Halloween... it's my favorite

I absolutely love Halloween. When the weather starts to chill, I always get a little sad because although I love cozy Fall clothes, I am a Summer girl. What gets me through you say? How do I tolerate the fading of my Summer warmth? Halloween. It is by far my favorite holiday. Cobwebs, costumes, and cauldrons excite me 100% more than turkeys, tinsel, or trees decorated for any other holidays. Here's why.

I have not carved my first pumpkin of the year, but I plan to pick out several soon. For me it is not really about carving but cleaning. I love pumpkin guts, and there is no better Fall snack than roasted pumpkin seeds.

My personal Halloween Heaven

Dressing Up
My inner 5 year old reigns around this time of year. I want to try on every costume, mask, wig, and cape I see. Halloween also makes the thought of babies and purse dogs a little more appealing to me.

What makes babies dressed as food so hilarious?! I think it's the worried looks!

Santa said I can have one of these in December. . . an iPhone. Not an adorable dog.

Need I say more?

I must make these this year! How cute!

"Healthy" treats are fun, too!

We never did much more than some cobwebs, a few pumpkins, and maybe a scarecrow at my house, but when I have my own place it will be a haunted house for the entire month of October. I look for Halloween decorations the way some people drive miles to see Christmas lights.

Classy Creepy, like Morticia Adams


And finally, links my 2 favorite Halloween videos! Enjoy, and have a spooky October!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

Carpet... ugh!

It must be carpet week in my world. It's kind of like Shark Week on Animal Planet, but I didn't stock up on popcorn and Swedish Fish.

Wednesday, I learned about making a seaming diagram with a carpet rep. The rep I met with was very patient and answered all my questions about what she was doing, why she needed that information, and what the manufacturer would be doing once they received all the marked up plans and forms. I was very excited that The Boss let me hold this meeting all by myself. He wasn't in the office at all, and I did ok!

Today, I met with a carpet rep for another company that we have been having constant trouble with since we placed the order over 2 months ago. The client is losing patience, and the real problem is not the manufacturer but this rep. I have learned that some product reps are proactive in the design process, keep themselves informed without annoying the designers (me), and can truly be an asset to a project when you are in a bind. Others operate solely as a middle man, seem to only transfer information then expect their cut, and usually end up getting in the way.
So today we were trying to sort out what has gone wrong and how to fix it quickly (color changes, motif changes, grasping of the general direction we are looking for). It was frustrating.
The Boss let me do this one on my own, too, but he was in the next room over. He gave a piece of his mind to this particular rep just a couple days before.

Tomorrow, I will meet with another carpet rep for another manufacturer. We met in Miami last week, and he is coming by to show us the lines his company manufacture. It should be fun.

So, in honor of Carpet Week, here are some beautiful carpet patterns to drool over.

Durkan. Virginia Langley. Dune.

Lexmark. Stacy Garcia. Meteorite.

Signature. Sakura Park. Aristocrats.

Bentley Prince Street. Canyon Rapids. Scorpionweed.

Mannington. Finders Keepers. Taupe.

Shaw. Mirror Image.

Also, I am getting very excited about Halloween! It is my most favorite holiday, and I am formulating a spooky haunted hotels post!


Monday, September 20, 2010

It's been a long roller coaster of design work the past two weeks!

Part 1: Mississippi Mayhem

The Boss and I took a trip to Mississippi to do walk-throughs of the property and spot artwork. These are supposed to be last minute touch-up kind of things. We arrived and quickly realized we had been mislead as to the progress of the site. The finishes (but not furniture or built-ins) in the guestrooms were mostly complete, but the public spaces were nowhere near ready for an opening day 4 days away. So instead of walking the property and making a list, we ended up moving furniture ourselves and trying to find items that had been misplaced. Not typically what designers do, but no big deal right?


Please do not get the wrong impression about my next few thoughts. I appreciate a hard working person that is employed in hard labor. I know that their jobs are just as important as mine in the big scheme, and I know that while I may receive attention as an individual for my design, the construction workers most likely will never be individually recognized for their efforts. That said, the team on site was IMPOSSIBLE to work with! They needed to be spoon fed instructions. We repeated the same tasks 3, 4, 5 times in the 4 days we were there because they could not/would not see the big picture.

It was so incredibly frustrating and disheartening. By the time we left, it felt like we had been
running in circles for 4 days and getting absolutely nowhere. A few examples of the lack of common sense on this site.

Painting base trim while dirt and dust is being whipped around by strong wind

Building the ADA refrigerator cabinet 6 inches from the end of the sofa (a wheelchair will never fit in there)

Unloading brand new furniture a zillion feet from the hotel entrance... it poured rain 20 minutes later

It was a completely exhausting experience, and The Boss said it was the worst site visit he had ever been on in his 8 years of design work. Maybe I can hope the worst is behind me and better projects are to come!

Part 2: Redemption in Miami

We attended the Hospitality Design Boutique Expo in South Beach, and it was all I needed to get re-inspired, re-energized, and rejuvenated. We took the first day to relax on the beach and get settled into our hotel, The Catalina. The entire hotel was booked, but somehow I ended up in an ADA room (i.e. there was fields of space compared to the other rooms!).

We were taken out dinner each night at the nicest restaurants I have ever been to like Barton G and Gotham Steak.
At the show, I fell in love with design all over again. All of my frustrations from the week before melted away as I viewed fresh tile designs

Beautiful upholstery on cozy yet modern chairs

and lighting that turned me on! (I admit, that one was a little too far)

There were parties to attend, product reps to take us out, and plenty of free goodies to take home. It felt like everywhere we went, I was handed a drink and a business card.

The highlight of my trip, however, was meeting one of my favorite design icons, Stacy Garcia.
I was introduced to her on the showroom floor, but only spoke to her for a moment. Probably a good thing too, because I was totally starstruck. So when we saw her that night at a club and we were able to have some real conversations, I felt like some kind of ID-VIP. She even asked if I was on Twitter and suggested we follow each other. Of course then I had to confess that I had Tweeted about meeting her earlier that day (eek!), but luckily she thought it was flattering and not creepy (phew!). This is one of her stunning carpet designs

Awesome no?

I am so grateful to be designing and working full time in what I love. I am learning all I can from the amazing experiences as well as the amazingly terrible ones.


P.S. I got the "Internet Chair" position on the board I mentioned in my first blog! Huzzah!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another View or Two

This story completely frustrates me with the disgusting display of ignorance. I mean, how can they call themselves the "Dove World Outreach Church" and burn a book that some 1.57 billion people in the world use to practice their worship? That action sort of contradicts every single word in their establishment's name as well as any fathomable combination of the words. Instead of continuing to rant and raise my blood pressure about this issue, I would like to share a few photos I have found (and a few I took myself) that show the beauty religion and diversity can exude. Enjoy, and please practice love and open-mindedness if nothing else.

photo taken by me in New York City

photo taken by me of the Basilica of St.Mary in Minneapolis, MN

decorative page of the Qur'an

page from the Gutenberg Bible, the first major book printed on a movable type printing press

decorated Torah scroll

Shiva dancing as Nataraja

sculpture of the Buddha

Australian Aboriginal Rainbow Serpent rock painting

papyrus of Maat, Egyptian goddess of truth, balance, and order, bowing to Isis, goddess of motherhood, magic, and fertility