Want the newest Turn Right At Lake Michigan posts delivered straight to your inbox? Then enter your email below:
Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts
Showing posts with label decor. Show all posts

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Merry & Bright. {The L'Casa Wharzinger Holiday Home Tour 2013}

Are you ready for the L'Casa Wharzinger holiday house tour?

Before we begin, as loathe as I am to say it, I actually vaguely had a theme with our decor this year. Since we were in the process of replacing a lot of the stuff that was falling apart after five years of use, I kind of committed to a look in my head that was less of the all silver-and-blue attempt at grown-up sophistication and went for what I've been loosely calling Merry & Bright -- lots of color, lots of sparkle, and a good dose of the parts of the season I want my kids to come away with -- love, hope, laughter, joy, and peace.

Because that's the thing -- once you have kids, the holidays really kind of become about them. And now that they're old enough to get that this is a special time of year, I really wanted them to remember the brightness and magic of this season (regardless of everything else going on in our lives).

I may have gone slightly overboard. I have no shame.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Christmahanusolstigiving 2013.

The thing about having (a) a husband whose birthday is often the day of Thanksgiving (or always the week of) and (b) celebrating multiple, often overlapping, winter holidays within one household is that it's super important and therefore super hard to honor each event in equal measure.

Especially when the Christmas bug, in particular, has bitten you ferociously this year.

With Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coinciding this year, that leaves Christmas more by itself than it's ever been at L'Casa, and for some reason that has made me up my personal ante on getting this house festive as soon as Kyle concedes his war about holiday decor before Thanksgiving/his birthday.

Or, in typical me fashion, I just do stuff while he's not home and he just sighs at me exasperated and goes about his business because if he tells me to take it down, I'm only going to put it back up in a few days anyway (when it's decidedly okay by him) so what's the point.

I mean, I have a Thanksgiving card in the frame in the dining room.
blog 10893607606_a0814de317_o

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Thoughts on The Big Kids' Room Redux.

Almost a year ago on Offbeat Home there was an article pretty much bashing modern trends and the power of Pinterest and decor websites to completely amalgamate and mainstream decor choices into more of a display of consumerism and mimicry than personal style and taste.

It's amazingly written and you should totally check it out.

It popped up again recently (on Pinterest of all places, ha!) and I've had it on my mind while I worked on the kids big bedroom.

Upstairs Bedroom Big Kid Redux

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Too Little, Too Late: Part One.

Oy vey, you guys.

I've been making steady progress on the bigger upstairs bedroom, but it's slow going due to time and other stuff like running my first half marathon. It's good to get out of the house every once in a while, you know? 


Last week I was innocently perusing the Home Depot site looking at light fixtures for the bigger upstairs bedroom when I stumbled upon a little mood board graphic that had a pretty mirror in it, so I clicked it. It took me to The Apron, the Home Depot blog (which is kind of stupidly hard to find from the main page, but I digress.) but not to the article the mood board was in. *Deep sigh*

Thursday, September 26, 2013

It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year!

You know, I'm proud that I managed to wait until mid-September to decorate this year. 

I've been known to get to business on September 1st, but I think adding two new school schedules and a birthday concurrently at the end of August, and I have a little extra on my plate.

Every year, I get the two orange and black storage totes out with glee -- and every year I feel little let down. I feel like I have SO. MANY. DECORATIONS. but when I actually look, it's not very much at all. Each October, no matter what I add to the collection, things break or fall apart or just get used up (candles, anyone?) and I'm not the best at replacing it all.

So this year, Kyle let me splurge a little.

But let's back up a bit.

The living room is pretty much the same as it's always been, more or less:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

A better view of the main fireplace:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Here's my hearth configuration of Target One Spot glitter skulls:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

But the mantle is a bit updated.
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Meet Sven and Bjorn, the West Elm clearance giant candle skulls:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
(That's Bjorn, in case you were curious.)

And the AWESOME little reed diffuser I picked up at HomeGoods that smells like Vanilla Pumpkin:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
When that little bad boy runs out of juice I'm totally keeping it as decor somewhere.

Oh, and my witch brooms (with peeks of my witch sign in the doorway and the jack o'lantern wreath on the front door):
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Now, the dining room is where Kyle let me have fun this year. He let me use a little bit of money out of our budget to go play at HomeGoods, which, SQUEE.

Which means I actually have a kind of legit tablescape thing going on:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

I found ALL FOUR of those mercury pumpkins at HomeGoods for under $15 each. Those bad boys are like $30 or more anywhere else. I felt like I won some mercury glass pumpkin lottery. The candelabra, votive holders, and tapers were things I already had -- to be honest, they're leftover wedding decor. Because I had an October wedding that was supposed to be on Halloween but last minute I chickened out and moved it to the 10th, which I now regret.

But hey for having cool classy-creepy decor on hand all the time!

Those LED sparkle votives and the super chic sheer table runner with silver spiderwebs were from HomeGoods too. I figured the silver glitter faux candles could go into the winter holidays with ease, and the pumpkins could even work for Thanksgiving, so yay! There was more I could have brought home -- I'm still looking for better placemats and some accent dishes and maybe some wall decor -- but I was trying to restrain myself a little. 

It was a good day.

Also in the dining room, the top of the vitrine:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Again, old stuff with the witch hat and the pumpkin candles (that I actually moved to the mantle in the living room after I took these photos because meh, and were also clearance West Elm finds) but those little dishes are new:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
West Elm Design Dollars for the win! I have eight of these little canape plates and they make me super happy.

Lastly, the bar cart we have opposite the vitrine:
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Nothing new or super special here, but I was pretty pleased with myself about that frame -- it's a Target buy, and it's been empty since I picked it up in the Spring. I found a Halloween greeting card in the basement (unused) while cleaning out some boxes and it was perfect. I don't know how I didn't think about using pretty greeting cards as quick and inexpensive framed art, but I'm totally going to be checking out the card section all the time now. Yay!

The best part of all of this is that the kids are now super stoked to sit at the dining table for dinner, with Kiedis even requesting that we pull the drapes and light all the candles every night no matter what we're having for dinner.
All Hallow's Eve 2013. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I can't say I blame him for liking it so much.

Hopefully I'll get to decorating the outside this weekend, but for now, I'm super excited for my favorite time of year.

DITD 2013

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Turn Right Is Guest Curating on Hometalk!

I told you I've been up to things.

About a month ago I recieved an email from Hometalk complimenting our Window Seat project (yay!) and then asking if I wanted to curate a board of window seat projects I liked for them (whoo!) 

I had seen the pins on Pinterest of people who were asked to curate project boards for them and had *just* been wondering how someone ended up with that gig. Well, now I know.

So, without further ado, here's my curated list of window seat projects for Hometalk:
Turn Right At Lake Michigan on Hometalk! (via turnrightatlakemichigan.com)
Yay! I feel like a legit home blogger again!

Anyway, click the graphic to go on through to the projects -- can we talk about that kitchen wine set up, please? -- and poke around Hometalk a bit. It's a pretty neat site, in my opinion. Like Pinterest but for just house stuff and with real links to the actual posts that the pictures are from instead of spam. They featured our master bathroom a while back, so they're not afraid of the non-traditional, which is awesome in my book.

Also, did you know that if you hover over (really any) photo on this here site that in the upper right hand corner there's a little Pinterest graphic? Feel free to click that baby whenever you see something you like. *Ahem*

Have a great (and safe, and cool) weekend!

DITD 2013

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Very Uppercase Living.

Sometimes, when you're on a ladder on your stairs at eleven o'clock at night, you need photodocumentation that it occurred even though you're usually the one who takes the pictures.
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
But we'll get to that in a minute.

A couple of months ago, my friend Mindy asked me if I'd be interested in a vinyl decal decoration for somewhere in my crazy house. I've always been mildly curious about the whole concept -- mostly, the perfection of it all versus, say, hand-stenciling a phrase or pattern or what have you -- so I said why not and she shot me her website for her home-based business.

After searching through the MULTITUDES of potentials, I narrowed it down to a simple phrase I kept coming back to (the font! the color options!), and a couple of weeks later this pretty little package appeared at my door:
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Yes, I blurred my address. Sorry, you'll have to be slightly better at the interwebs to discover where I live. Of note, this is also probably the closest I've gotten to accurately capturing the color of my dining room in a photo. So this, but brighter.

Anyway, so I opened the impeccable box and found a small treasure trove inside:
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Isn't that a sweet little vinyl? And yes, it's black. There were something like 15-20 color options (including metallic, which now maybe in retrospect I should have gone for because when do I NOT go for the metallic, really?) but I was hoping to opt for a simple graphic impact because for once in my life, I held back a little.

Also in with the package were neatly-folded little instructions:
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Which are incredibly easy to understand once you figure out how it unfolds and what kind of surface you want to put it on (which, for me, was plaster, so CHALLENGE ACCEPTED, VINYL DECAL) and, of note, due to the intended location of the decal, the fact that these folded smaller than in index card (and therefore were boob-tuckable) was a benefit.

Also, I'm keeping this little green scraper thing forever:
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Because it is super nice to hold, heavier-duty (heavy-dutier?) than a credit card, and lime green. I imagine it will be very beneficial in the application of protective screens for phones and tablets and anything else I need to apply even and rigid pressure to. That sounds far more scandalous than I assure you I actually mean.

Anywhoodle, because I am smart, after seeing the decal in person, I spent a couple days trying to figure out where I wanted to put it. Eventually, I realized there was really only one place for it.

This is the oldest of old photos (it's not even watermarked!) but see that general open space perpendicular to that lovely Breakfast at Tiffany's movie poster (that's actually up for grabs if anyone wants it...) 
Very Uppercase Living. via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Yeah. There. 

Approximately 20 ft straight into the sky in my super-steep stairwell.


On Thursday I'll cover installing that beast because, obviously, I will not let silly things like geometry and physics and high probability of breaking my self permanently stop me from decorating my house how I see fit. But for now, go take a gander at Mindy's Uppercase Living site and see if anything strikes your fancy. Looks like there's a couple of sales going on, so can't hurt, right?

DITD 2013

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Detail #1: The Window Seat Completion!

O hai! Max wants to know if you want to come upstairs and see his new giant cat bed.
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Of course you do.


Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

You guys, I'm so excited I could spit.

Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I'm going to talk a bit more about this cushion next week, but suffice it to say that it's a custom deal contrived by yours truly and her trusty 10 year old sewing machine. It has lime green piping (OMFG THE PIPING) to boot, because if nothing else I get a perverse kick out of impeccable coordination.

Those pillows are extras from the living room we never use. I think we got them at Pier 1 forever ago. I plan to acquire make more to really flesh it out to be more like a daybed (because it's big enough) but for now, these will do.

To the side of each book case I re-hung the kids' baby announcement/first shoe memory boxes:
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
And yes, they're kind of ridiculously high on the wall, but there's a reason for that. Partly to make room for other awesome that (fingers crossed) will be coming in the nearish future, partly so that little hands can't reach them and knock them down and break them. Or that our heads don't do the same.

I also moved things on the higher shelves already:
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I moved the brown geode from Kyle's childhood collection to the topmost shelf to operate as a bookend, and I did the same on the other shelf with the chunk of amethyst that I think came from my high school boyfriend's dad's family vacation one year? Not that I went, they just got me something.
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I also added a picture of us from our winter trip to Florida right after we got engaged with two little apothecary jars I found at the thrift store eons ago and filled them with little crystals of citrine and amethyst that were part of our wedding decorations.

Yes, I decorated the tables at my wedding with real semi-precious stones. Our birthstones, to be exact. Because it sounded really awesome at the time. Now I just have a bunch of rocks I'm not entirely sure what to do with. Well, except for these ones, these found a use.

Now let's look at that valance:
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
It's not perfect (lord, nothing I do ever is, especially not when I sew) but I think it helps balance out the stripes of the cushion well and adds some whimsy.

It's held up by a wide curtain rod at the top by the ceiling and then tented out by a tension rod:
Window Seat Completion via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
It was an idea I saw on Pinterest literally before Pinterest was a thing. It also makes this valance stupid easy to take down to wash or whatever. I like things that can be easily fixed.

As a reminder, this is what this area started as after we'd moved in:

And here's that same angle now:

A wee bit closer, but semantics. And I just realized that that picture of my (now dead) cat Sammy has made it full circle around this house and essentially back to where she started, albeit in a new frame. Aww, poor old Sammy. She had the personality you would assume would go along with this face but she was loyal and sweet once you got to know her. She had awful breath, though, truly awful. But she was my very first cat and my baby and now she's just a photo on a shelf, watching over my family as it grows. Sniff.

Anyway. I want to replace that fan because if you stand on the seat (as a full grown adult) to reach those top shelves it threatens to decapitate you, but Kyle and I are in heated discussions about that. So we'll see where that goes.

But for now, there it is! Thanks again to PureBond for helping us out with this project (by making it a possibility and then a reality), and next week I'll be breaking down the nitty gritty of how I made that cushion,  giving you a peep at the drawers (eek!), and my closing thoughts on this build over all (FEELS, I HAVE THEM).

Have a great weekend!

DITD 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Detail #1: The Window Seat Is BUILT!

I am BRIMMING with EXCITEMENT, you guys.

Despite illness and birthdays and snafus and what have yous, we bust this thing out and made it functional instead of, you know, letting it sit for six months half-built and shrugging our shoulders and telling ourselves we'll get to it except we wait until the last possible moment, say, before we have a crapton of people over for something or other and then we whirlwind complete it not to what we imagined but just to what will work and call it a slightly defeated day.


Anyway, I know you're here for the photos, so let's get to it:
Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com


Obviously, things have changed a little bit since the last time you saw it. After living with the shorter BILLY bookcases and the purple painted backs for a week or so, two things became apparent: the bookcases were tragically too short, making the whole space feel crunched and that the purple wasn't translating as fun and bright as we'd hoped.

So we made a trek to IKEA for the taller BILLYs and I let Kyle pick out a color for the first time in ever. 

The taller bookcases were actually about two inches too tall for the set-up as we had it, so we hacked them (literally) to make them fit while still keeping their structural integrity. Years upon years of building IKEA furniture will allow you to do that with ease, I'm afraid to say.
Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
We used casing to act as a small crown around the top to hide our hacking, and used the wall-mounting brackets that came with the BILLYs to really secure them in place, lest a child gets curious.

Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
We also used a wider chair rail around the entire bottom of the seat to mask the bottom of the bookcases and to add some extra protection where little hands and feet and claws and butts will often be.

The color Kyle chose out of our stash in the basement is the lime green from the kitchen -- and at first I was really afraid that it would look awful since the berry purple became kind of a bloody wine cooler color without direct sunlight. But, as he pointed out, both kids have lime green as accent colors in their rooms and it would echo the bright yellow of the bathroom upstairs.

And he was right.

Our kids' book collection looked a bit sadder with the taller cases, so I pulled some of our books out of the basement, as well as some I'd been hoarding in Tova's room (along with her book ends) and some random bits of decor from around the house to fill in the gaps.
Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com

Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
None of it is permanent -- in fact, I've already moved some things around, but that's the beauty of bookcases, right? Things are meant to be moved about.

I also took down the old curtain rod (and moved it to Tova's room where it's making her curtain sitch 1000% better than that cheap thing we had going on before) and since IKEA re-introduced the TUPPLUR roller blinds sans choke hazard, I picked one of those bad boys up to keep the privacy from our neighbors without creating a lot of fuss.
Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
Painting the window seat and trim kind of forced me to touch up the window trim here, too, so it's extra fresh and clean looking. Now I just have to do everything else upstairs to match.

Moving on to the DRAWERS!
Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I know I showed you the trim on the front before, but here it is in full glory. The big decorative bumper there, if you will, is a piece of the wide chair rail and then a thicker, more ornate rail on top of it. I think it really seals the look of the built-in.

Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
I also showed you the framed-off fronts before, but here they are with hardware. I opted for something clean, classic, and elegant to match the rest of the upstairs fixtures. I thought those half-arch file cabinet looking ones might be too heavy, plus kind of a pain to open without reaching waaaaaaay down to grab it. This I can open with a foot. Because I use my feet to do basic tasks. Like a primate. 

Window Seat Built-In via turnrightatlakemichigan.com
And the kind of best thing is that they're just on straight-roll casters, so super easy to roll in and out, I don't have to worry about them jumping tracks or anything, and I can clean underneath them easy peasy. I'd show you the drawers pulled out, but that's really hard to photograph since they're literally at the top of the stairs when pulled out plus it took us about twelve nanoseconds after the paint dried for us to start storing things in them because for the rest of all time we will need every square inch of storage we can get our hands on.

Now hopefully you're aware enough to realize that this post wasn't titled as finished, because, well, it's not. We still have a couple more beasts to tackle before we can officially stamp this as DONE, but I just couldn't wait to show you how beautiful the window seat is all on it's own, without any extras.

I'm so proud of the work we did on this one, and I can't wait to show you what's next.

We are being reimbursed for our use of PureBond products, however all opinions and viewpoints are strictly our own.
DITD 2013

Thursday, October 25, 2012

A Fun Discovery.

Hello! Just a friendly reminder that I'm going to be migrating my RSS feed here soon so if you'd like to keep up on the shenanigans of L'Casa Wharzinger, click here!
The overwhelming crush of a big project I've been working on has finally slowed down to a more manageable steady pace, so this week with the awesome weather I've been able to begin working on some new inventory for Tabulous Sundries since I haven't had the chance really to make some stuff for a while.

I've been on a kick about vintage frames (because who doesn't love a good vintage frame?) and when Kyle went out thrifting for his Halloween costume, I told him to keep a look out for any great frames for me to upcycle. He found a couple of good ones, but only one made it home (the other fell apart at the register and he said it was beyond reconstruction. I'm not as sure about that since I wasn't there and didn't see it, but I'll have to give him the benefit of the doubt). It's at least a 2x3 foot frame, with some dated print of an old painting of the Seine that really just was ... not awesome.

Anyway, when I start dissembling my finds so I can properly upcycle them, I like to see if I can find any information about the time period it hails from. Sometimes I'm lucky and there's a copyright date stamped on the back, or maybe a printing date on the artwork or poster so I have a good idea of where it comes from.

This poster for this particular frame was just Scotch-taped to the back, but peeling back the corner showed a lot of dust and crumbs and gross, so I opted to take my find outside to open up, lest the inside held all kinds of ick that I would prefer not to unleash upon my house.

Read: bedbugs.

There weren't any, by the way. But still. Safe > sorry.

Anyway, as I fought the strong breeze to peel off the tape as thoroughly as possible, I noticed some newsprint poking out from the inner corner of the heavier paper that lined the back of the frame. I peeked into the frame, still trying to be cognizant of the potential for little critters to jump out of this thing, when I saw something so familiar I couldn't help but smile and actually mist up a little bit.

But we'll get to that in a minute.

Anyway, the wind tore some of the paper, but by shifting my position and being painstakingly careful, I was able to preserve the whole of the piece of newspaper, and was pretty excited to find a little piece of American history:
Fun Discoveries.

I brought the paper inside (obviously) so that I could take a better look at the actual articles without fighting the wind and the early afternoon sun, and I knew pretty much right away that I needed to save this bad boy for when Kyle (the social studies teacher) came home from school. I mean, that Castro ad in and of itself is pretty remarkable, right?

Checking the top of the paper, I found an in-tact print date and publication name -- part of what made me smile when I found it:
Fun Discoveries.
Kyle managed to find me something that came from Chicago. In 1960. Which, to be honest, my parents weren't even born yet in 1960. Close, but not quite. So I was pretty stoked to find something from a place I love so much from a time that only my grandparents might remember.

There are articles about some beer distribution guy's income and tax evasion, the weather, a cartoon, and a small bit about some fundraising dinner for a politician (it was $99 a plate, guys, and that was A LOT), and of course, ADVERTISEMENTS.

But what made me smile when I saw it, that made me all nostalgic and slightly verklepmt, was this big ad in the bottom right corner:
Fun Discoveries.
Oh, Marshall Field's. I have childhood memories of going to the store on State Street when we visited in the winter (which wasn't every year, but often enough) of seeing the holiday displays in the windows, and of many visits to the historic store to get Frangos (and Frango ice cream, and Frango hot chocolate, and Frango coffee ...) and it being an intrinsic part of being downtown in Chicago, an institution of the city I was raised to love so much.

The last time I was able to go to Marshall Field's was shortly after Kyle and I were engaged. The State Street store looked bare, many things on final sale or clearance. The brand had been bought out by Macy's, and they had to clear out the non-Macy's-compliant merchandise to make space for renovation and conversion.

For me, it was super depressing.

I've been since, now that it's a Macy's, and though, for the most part, it still looks the same, it's sad for me to see the bright red glare of the Macy's logo where the soothing, deep green of the Marshall Field's script used to be. You can still get Frangos at the cafe on one of the upper floors (I think it's the fifth, but don't quote me on that), but even the lack of that familiar scrawl on the top of the box seems to remove part of the majesty of it all.

So I was super excited to see that familiar logo again, a reminder of my own childhood from twenty-five years before I was even born.

Kyle was pretty stoked to see the newspaper when he got home -- he actually took it to school with him to laminate and use when he talks about the '60's in his American History class, so I was right to save it and show him. 

Sometimes I wish we'd find cool stuff like this when we're doing projects on our home, but so far no luck. 

I'll just have to settle for thirft store surprises, for now.
The Year of Fruition