curtain crush

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i’ve been searching for 3 years for window treatments for the tv room and i think i might have finally found the perfect curtains. the front room’s linen striped panels came from serena & lily. i love them but thought they might be too light weight for the back room and i also wasn’t so sure i wanted everything in the house to be so matchy-mtachy. i found these ombre pinch pleat curtain panels on etsy — such a great treasure trove for unique items for the home — by lovely home idea out of lithuania. they are handmade, linen and come in a few different colors. the fabric is hand dyed so each panel may be slightly different.

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if i like the grey as much as i think i’m going to, i might have to purchase the gold for the upstairs guest bedroom. but what about the blue folks…the blue is mighty pretty too! ugh, decisions, decisions.

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fabulous photo booth fun

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i don’t know about you, but when i see a vintage dip and dunk chemical photo booth i get giddy with excitement. i’ve always adored them, but growing up in a rural community, they were not plentiful. i vividly remember finding one on a class trip to six flags great america and blowing every penny i had. dragging classmate after classmate into that little booth, sitting on the wobbly stool, pulling the red curtain closed and making silly faces or sticking out our tongues…then waiting 5 mins for that whirring noise and receiving a strip of 4 black and white photos. memories and friendships being held in my hand.

for me, analog instant photography has been a great outlet for creative experimentation. all my life, i’ve been obsessed with cameras, film and photography, but i’m one of those people that needs instant gratification. my polaroid cameras helped fulfill that instant need but after renting a vintage chemical booth for my wedding, i knew i had to have one of my own. don’t get me wrong, i’m not above jumping in a digital smilebooth and hamming it up with the best of them, but there is something special and unique about a vintage film photo booth.

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after completing an extensive google search, i quickly found that vintage chemical photo booths were kinda hard to come by…especially booths in working condition. the search was quickly narrowed down to one company, mainly because they own the market…google pointed me to a&a studios located in chicago. i guess they were surprised when i said i wanted to buy one just for me…apparently no one does that. they also warned me that these machines were a bit tricky and needed some tender loving care (insert they are really, really fussy) to keep them in working order, but we all agreed, nothing compared to the strip of 4 images on film, so i drove to their studio on ogden ave. and found my machine in their basement storage room…an old model 20 that looked so decrepit and janky, but beautiful at the same time. and so began the build.

i didn’t realize that these machines were so heavy! they can weight over 800 lbs. since it was going to live in the basement, our main objective was devising a plan on how to get it in the house and not have the stairs collapse. anthony, a former architect and now a&a’s owner, decided it should be 4 separate pieces…the floor, the ceiling, the sitting area, and the machine itself.

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the night before delivery day was unbearable. i was excited, i was nervous…i couldn’t believe this booth was going to be mine all mine. it took a few hours and three guys to haul it into the house, get it down the stairs, leveled out and set up. anthony and another awesome guy who works for him — rob — ran me though the chemicals, camera, film, heater and other gizmos…i felt a little overwhelmed, but jumped in head first. ever since we have been making family memories day after day after day. i’ve been able to photograph the dude and little maus monthly and i think it is going to make for an amazing family photo album.

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domino is back baby

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domino fans rejoice! the ultimate guide to living with style has returned, just in time for the holidays. conde nast has finally brought back my dream magazine, and i couldn’t be happier. i was completely crushed in 2009 when i learned i would no longer receive my beloved home interior guide to goodness every month. last year my hopes were raised when there was rumor for a possible comeback, only to learn that the hyped issue was a repackaging of old content.

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but i’m a domino pack rat and saved every single issue. so needless to say, i was completely bummed when i bought the new issue after hunting it for weeks only to find it was old news. but not this time…domino is back and the new issue for the 2013 holidays is on stands now.

one of the coolest things about this comeback is not only will it be a quarterly publication, but it will also host an e-shop. now you can source and buy everything you see on every spread all in one shop…a-mazing! since the dismantling of the original domino, i’ve enjoyed reading and perusing lonny, rue and anthology magazines. not only are they the ultimate source of trending and obtainable interior design, but these publications provide URLs for featured decor. it beats googling weird descriptions of pillows or lamps in hopes of getting lucky with the link of your lighting desire.

after quickly snapping up my copy online, i had to check out the e-shop. here are a few things that might just have to make it into my home in the near future.

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catbird secret sale

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ok, after you read this post i want to you head on over to catbird! they are having a 15% off sale on all of their classic stacking rings. they seriously never do this.

i have a few absolute must haves that i just can’t live without. the tomboy memory ring has a great chunky feel and the mignon memory ring has been on my finger since i purchased it. i thought the memory rings would fall off or become uncomfortable, but the so aren’t. my first purchase was the threadbare rings . originally i found them on pinterest and became obsessed with their hardly there sophisticated appeal. over time, i’ve added to my stack to create a one-of-a-kind personalized look. yes, it takes time and money to to create the collection, but these dainty bands are timeless, fun and unique. you’ll wear them forever!

what’s even more awesome about catbird is if you spend over $100 (which is not hard to do), they send you this super cute tote bag for free. i use mine on the commute to work…i lug my not so comfortable but oh so cute shoes down to the office and back, and look adorbs while doing it!

so what’s in my cart online? honestly, this is such a difficult decision, and it needs to be edited down, I seriously need help! right now there are a couple classic hammered first knuckle rings, another tomboy and a mignon for my index finger. it is so difficult to figure out the stack when you can’t try them on, but since i don’t live in new york, this handy dandy anatomy of a stack is a great visual for personalizing and guiding you to your own stack.

now quick! go! use the promo code FRIENDSTACK and remember who told ya first…go stack it up!

cole & sons — woods wallpaper

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patterns, patterns, patterns…there are so many to chose from! and how do you narrow it down to one. or to make the decision more difficult, how do you pick more then one pattern that doesn’t make your home look like a crazy fruit bowl? how do you make them mesh; be fluid. if i thought picking a paint pallet was tough, adding in patterns and multiple colors can make my head spin. i thought pillows were difficult. seriously, how do interior designers do it? oh ya, that’s right, they go to school for that stuff.

since we moved to the new house, i’ve been contemplating wallpaper much to the boy’s dismay…but (i think) the reasoning behind it is because neither of us have ever plastered it to walls—wallpaper newbies. i always thought wallpaper was too much of a commitment, too 70’s and too much of a pain in the ass, but the mind changer was when i found ferm living a few years back. recently, i dipped my toes into wall decals in little maus’s bedroom. we, and when i say we, i mean the boy, stuck a tree decal into the corner of the room, and i love it. it is soft and subtle; however, i have not clue as to how to remove it…i guess i will learn years down the road when she is 15 and deal with it then. i digress.

while perusing design*sponge, I came across this blog post and fell in love with the cole & sons new contemporary two woods wallpaper. all i could think while viewing sonja rasula’s dining room was was, “hey there pretty little birch trees. you guys need to be living in my foyer along side the barrister shelving and the haywood wakefield chair”, omg, this pattern might just change my life. dramatic, maybe a touch, but seriously crushing on it all the same. the wallpaper pattern, designed by michael clark in 1959, features bold sketches of trees making a unique forest repeat. it would look fabu in my mcm cookie cutter home.

my love for birch trees stems from my childhood. my parents had this beautiful white paper birch in their front yard. i can remember sitting next to it, running my fingers over the trunk. the paper bark peeling off and feeling silky soft. the pattern clark created just makes me think warm and cozy thoughts. it brings the outside into the home which is the main idea i’ve tried to convey in the interior of our home. i guess all i have to say now is, “get on my walls!” let’s do this!