I’m A D- Shopper, & A Snob.

A huge obstacle for me in decorating is that I am a pretty terrible shopper.  I love to look at websites, blogs, and magazines, but my in person shopping stamina is just laughable.

I was reminded of this fact today when I tried, for about 30 seconds, to look for table lamps on ebay.  Almost instantly after typing in my search criteria, I encountered that throat clenching “I’ve just got to get out of here…” feeling that I often get when I walk into a thrift store, or Ross, or a fabric store… Is it that I’m overwhelmed?  I think that it’s more that I basically lack patience.  But not just patience in general, because I can spend hours in Anthropologie’s shops and certain boutiques just browsing.  The reality is, I’m a snob.  If what I’m looking at doesn’t speak to me immediately, I can’t be bothered.

Is that just one of those things I have to accept about myself and move on?  Probably.  I seem to manage just fine; I eventually find something that feels perfect for whatever spot or purpose I’m looking for.  The sad part is I just can’t hang with my best shopping buddies who weren’t bred to be so finicky and impatient.  Sigh, c’est la vie.

I feel ready for Spring, and aching that I don’t have a yard or garden to tend to this march!  So, I will leave you today with an image to love, thank you Sunset

Kobara Garden Shed - Sunset Mag Online
I want to go to there. Yes?

Jonathan Adler

I’ve just read an inspiring interview (thanks to the link from Bright.Bazaar)  with Jonathan Adler on House Beautiful.  I could literally put the entire slideshow of a home he’s designed in Westchester NY on display, but I’ll settle for my favorite…

Adler's Modern Sunroom
That room is our modern take on the screened porch — it's an eclectic mix of motifs and juxtaposition of styles. - Jonathan Adler

I love the big dark leafed plant in the background, and I desperately want the hanging chair.  And all of those windows!!!  And for my fur loving friends, I apologize, but I love that in the interview Adler points out that he prefers cruelty-free animal print rugs.  A man after my heart.

This slideshow & interview will brighten your day, I promise.

Love & other indoor sports,
ValerieAnne

all terrain

I’m finally in the know about an Anthropologie affiliated home store Terrain.  The site is pretty a la Anthro’s, lots of white space highlighting pretty pretty products.

Wish List

Green Pepper Pot
I want to cook up some soup in this immediately.

Iron Globe Chandelier
this is intensely intriguing... I'd have to place it right to make sure it wasn't looking too "dungeon" themed...

Cyclamen Terrarium
this would look so cute on my windowsill!

There’s nothing super girly or frilly about almost everything I see on this site.  They have a collection of vintage produce crates, tubs, and garden decor that look genuinely old and used in all the right ways.  I love the name Terrain, too… reminds me of places un-charted, un-tamed.

Dreaming of gardens again… see you later…

Love & other indoor (and OUTDOOR!) sports,
ValerieAnne

fantasy holiday

I love that movie The Holiday mostly because of Arthur, the elderly screenwriter Kate Winslet’s character befriends.  But secondly, I fantasize about arriving in a new place to find either a cute quaint cottage or a beautiful Beverly Hills home waiting for me…

Daily Imprint linked to Real Living Magazine’s blog that linked to Luxe Home Swap, a website whose tag line is “For people with homes they’re proud of.”  I think my biggest fear in doing a house swap is showing up somewhere to a home that is decrepit and not wanting to stay there.  This way, you’re swapping with a person who takes pride in the decor and style of their home!  On top of seeing a (presumably) brand new place in the world, you’re getting to steep in the style of a local who has decorating pride.

sydney dream life
Stay in Elizabeth Bay, Sydney in chic modern style
Marakech, Morocco
Moroccan retreat with serious flair

stylish Moscow
can you imagine staying in this rad apartment in Moscow??

Toulouse
I'll retire here, thanks. Toulouse, France...

Buenos Aires
what a lovely holiday spot in Buenos Aires. sign me up.

Paris
in Marais in Paris... I couldn't NOT put this one even though it's 2 from France...

I probably could keep posting pictures, in reality, for days.  There are so many places around the world to go.  I’m not sure how desirable my 1 bedroom apartment would be to folks, but I did see a Russian Hill (SF) studio listed, so who knows.  I wonder if that would break my lease agreement?

Now I’m dreaming of far away places.  In my fantasy when you do a house swap, it’s a clean barter for accommodations, no other charges, right?  What a dream.

Sign me up!

love & other indoor sports,
ValerieAnne

blue period

Last weekend I painted the entry and one wall in my living room/dining room a color so fantastically called Black Forest…

BlackForestDining

I wouldn’t have guessed that I’d be one to go with this look but I was just totally inspired by this new space I’m in…  Our view of amazing ocean clouds & our building’s propensity to being engulfed in fog got me on this wavelength… last week the fog was so thick, I sat at home working at the table being literally serenaded by fog horns.  (Seriously, where am I living?!?!)

Tools used to realize my vision:

Ocean Clouds
yummmm. hard cover Domino.
Jenna's House! (one of my top Domino issues, most re-read of the pile)

I’m really loving the end result.  It has the feeling of living near the sea but more on the top floor of a building on a hill than seaside cottage.  I used Olympic no VOC paint, and honestly I was shocked… it smelled like I was painting with playdo clay!  Plus the coverage was great, which is necessary when you’re painting with such a serious color.  Two coats and I was done.

blood oranges, daisies & mandarins in the Black Forest

I’m really happy I went with my gut on this project.  I’m working on styling up the entry which is also newly painted.  When it’s done marinating, I know I’ll be excited to share.

Love & other indoor sports,
ValerieAnne

back. front.

There are a few reasons for my absence.

The biggest & cutest:

Rudy ❤

The most inspirational, the move to the new apartment.

Our View ❤

I’ve actually spent a lot of my time away looking at other blogs and getting inspired again about why I love home decor. I had been going through one of my phases when I feel fickle for caring so about things… but then I finally get inspired again to remember that style matters. Creative expression matters. And feeling perfectly at home, or perfectly moved by a space, is meaningful.

all tied up

When I moved into my studio on New Years Day of 2009, my darling aunt & uncle drove 50+ miles to help me.  My aunt is just one of those women who can wrap a present perfectly, not allow the saran wrap to stick to itself before it can stick to whatever its intended to cover, and who can tie amazing bows.  I myself have not mastered any of those skills, and I’m not too sure if it’s because I need more practice, or if I’m just not meant for that kind of greatness.

Point is, she tied a darling golden ribbon in a perfect bow on my front door.  I left it on until the day I moved out:

Studio Bow
When we moved out of my studio, my darling aunt & uncle drove 50+ miles to help me once again.  And in the spirit of things + the holiday, my aunt created a fab new creation for our new door!

new bow, new digs
I’m all about things that have such a high rate of return on the happiness factor!  My darling aunt gets to leave her mark on her niece’s new city digs, and I get to think of her every time I walk into my house.  It reminds me that I’m loved and even though they’re not right here, my family is around!

I love to be reminded of simple, unconditional love. Especially at Christmas.

love & other indoor sports,
ValerieAnne