Monday, November 30, 2009

Girls room, hold the pink

An LCY reader wrote in yesterday asking for help:

"Have a tight room with two girls. Need a loft bedding set that's not girly looking and space for additional storage. One prime feature that it not be wider than 80 inches. Can you help me out?"

Mission accomplished. Dear reader, if you are seeing this, I was unsure whether you wanted two loft beds with space underneath or a set of bunk beds. I went with the former. IKEA's STORA loft bed stretches just shy of 80" and retails for $299, quite affordable compared to other loft beds I saw. The desk and dresser, when placed next to one another, should just fit in the space under the bed. And for accessories, I steered clear of pinks and ruffles, instead opting for vintage details: a glass vase lamp, framed album covers, and an embroidered throw pillow.

Links, prices and information for all items are available by clicking on the image.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Where do I sign?

Well, good things come to those who wait! Turns out we are able to get the Lakeview apartment I featured a few days ago. Nate and I are headed downtown now to sign the lease. So here is another sneak peak... I'll bring a bevy of photos for you later today or tomorrow. So excited!!!

The bathroom was just gutted (minus the light fixture) and now features charming vintage details and a jet tub. On another note, the sink looks a lot cuter in person than in this photo.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

I am so on top of this it's not even funny...

As I mentioned last week, my plans were to wrap my Christmas gifts in red and teal, as shown on the December covers of Martha Stewart Living and Real Simple magazines. Above is a photo of what is done thus far. Pretty, eh?

Real Simple cover shot December 2009 by James Wojcik

Real Simple December 2005

Not sure yet if I'll get a post in tomorrow. Definitely stay tuned for Friday when I'll feature pictures of my mom's beautiful holiday decor. No one plays the part of hostess quite like Mama Kaz. Words cannot describe how good this house smells right now. Happy Thanksgiving!

*photo that is not my own is from Real Simple*

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The Look for Less: Sawhorse desk

West Elm's sawhorse worktable is one of my favorite items. In fact, this is the desk I chose when my sister sent me on a mission to revamp her bedroom (where her desk also dwells). It provides a large workspace; a place to sit down and get your hands dirty (so to speak)... great for drafting, writing, painting, creating, blogging...

It's not the cheapest option at West Elm, selling for $449, but when I saw a near-replica at Williams-Sonoma Home (pictured above), on sale for $1250, $449 wasn't looking too shabby. The size of the West Elm desk is about the same as the small WS Home desk. Yet another $200 will upgrade you to WS Home's larger option.

*photos from Williams-Sonoma Home and West Elm*

Monday, November 23, 2009

Designers I Love: Divine Design with Candice Olson

HGTV's Divine Design with Candice Olson is one of the few shows on that network I can bring myself to keep watching. And it's rarely on. Sorry, but Olson is one of the few talented designers I've seen on t.v. Well, her and Sarah Richardson. Anywho! I can't quite fathom the inflated budget her clients are working with because the details, quality, and work that goes into creating these masterpieces is no Design on a Dime. And it shows.

All of her rooms go above and beyond the details most designers overlook, leaving no corner untouched and no pillow unfluffed. But they never look cluttered. Just complete. Like the room has been that way for years. Enjoyed by families and friends as they take in their beautiful surroundings. Her creations are timeless and elegant, beautiful yet practical.

But enough of me talking. Let's have a look...

Her flawless and detailed sketches are amazing to look at. Sometimes - albeit it rarely - they're even prettier than the room itself!
I spy a fur throw (hopefully faux), zebra rug, and lucite tables. Couldn't have done better myself... well. Actually. I'd change that art.
Love the architectural detail she added to the ceiling around the chandelier.

I love this fun backsplash. But knowing me, I'd get bored and want something different in two months. Still, this kitchen is practical, warm, and relaxed.

...with bookshelves
...and with an elliptical...

What Candice Olson can do to a basement is beyond me... she makes these underground, cement cell blocks look as beautiful as formal living rooms and as comfortable as beach house family rooms. Have a look.
Basement Before/Afters
Click on image to see the before picture insert closer up.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

You voted.

LCY will be sticking to one post a day. Unless of course something pops up that cannot wait. As a follow-up to last week's survey, check out this week's: How many times a day do you visit LCY?

Friday, November 20, 2009

New Apartment sneak peak

Tomorrow I will hopefully be signing the lease on the new abode! I am so excited for this place. At around 1400 sq. ft., this unit features two bedrooms plus den, with eat-in kitchen, living room, dining room, big back deck, and a brand new bathroom. I know. Amazing!

Here's a sneak peak. These shots were obviously taken at night, but the unit gets great light (a must for me after living in a "garden" unit for a semester in London). It just needs a little TLC; I've been thinking paint colors all week. IF all goes as planned tomorrow, you'll be seeing a few "New Apartment" posts next week. Have a great weekend. Wish me luck!

Living room/dining room (the front door is on the far right of this image)
View of dining room upon entering the apartment
More dining room
(doors left to right: entrance, bedroom, hall that leads to kitchen and back bedroom)

Thursday, November 19, 2009

I Spy: Ikea Edland chest of drawers

Since I began blogging - actually, long before that if I really think about - I love playing "I Spy" with movies and television shows. Locating items, accessories, clothing, furniture, etc. that I recognize from stores or have read about in magazines. It's quite fun actually. For example, I'm fairly certain Glee's Emma (the redheaded teacher) has a wardrobe entirely comprised of J.Crew items.

Anyway! I'm not sure if any of you watch The Good Wife on CBS with Julianna Marguiles. Good show. Definitely recommend it. But what I really love is her character's downtown Chicago apartment. This week's episode had quite a few shots of the hallway, which I thought was beautiful as soon as it popped up on the screen. The checkerboard floor, the wall's architectural details, the sleek light fixtures, the... IKEA CHEST OF DRAWERS! As I scanned the items of the room, admiring all of these pretty details (yes, that's how I watch my TV shows), I was so excited to see the same chest of drawers I recommended my mom get for guest room - we're going with grey, who's surprised? - and these are the perfect charcoal color. AND affordable.
Ikea's Edland chest of drawers - currently available for $199
Stay tuned for more I Spy's in the future.

Artist Snapshot: Donna Geissler photography

If you're still undecided on those hard-to-shop-for friends this holiday season, I've saved you all the trouble of running out to shops, incessantly searching only to come up empty-handed, and ending with another Starbucks gift card. Photographer Donna Geissler is having a sale on her photographic prints: $20 (usually $35) if you buy before December 15! One, two, three, even four of these would make a great gift for the new homeowner or apartment-dweller, sibling, parent, cousin, or college student in desperate need of prettying up those dreary dorm rooms.

Geissler's ethereal prints exude a relaxing and happy mood, putting a smile on the viewer's face while recalling memories of summer vacation: swimming with friends, walking the beach, sipping iced tea... just grab a few cheap frames and you've got a beautiful, affordable, unique and most importantly, thoughtful gift. OR if you're anything like me, you're just about done with holiday shopping and you'll buy some as a gift to yourself!

Geissler's print matted and framed (matting costs an additional $20 and fits into an 11x14 frame which I've seen at Target for $14 in black, white, and dark brown)
Surprise, surprise. I absolutely ADORE the dog series...
Isn't this the best?
Doggy paddle!
You'll notice these next two prints have a textured effect. Geissler explains: "My latest art includes digitally painted and handpainted photos. The textured European photos were taken in the early 90s so my memory of it all was very vague. I felt the need to dab areas with various digital paint brushes and colors just so I saw it as I remembered it - kind of as a dream (just as in Someday I'll Return- Gondolas). I loved the look, but really wanted stronger paint strokes, so I painted my own strokes on paper with real paint and digitally mixed it with my photograph. (as in Waiting). I love this look and plan to continue in this direction."
Yes, I'd like to be sitting there right now... with hot tea and a croissant, writing in a journal rather than typing on a keyboard.

And if a matted and framed print is above your budget, grab this 2010 calendar for just $20!

**On a final note, Geissler has a beautiful collection of black and white prints that I didn't feature along with many other photos of Europe, the waterfront, flowers... So browse around her Etsy shop until you find something you like. It's sure to impress.

*all photos by Donna Geissler*

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen... of sorts

Couldn't agree more, People magazine. Johnny Depp was named People's 2009 Sexiest Man Alive, against all odds of Pattinson grabbing the number one spot. I don't know about you, but I can't wait for Pirates 4 and Alice in Wonderland. Here are my other faves that made the list of top 15. We all know I love Ryan Reynolds, the Glee guys, and Edward Cullen. But excuse me! Where is last year's number #1, Hugh Jackman? Have you seen Wolverine???

Who would you choose as number 1?

*all photos via*

Christmas came early!

What do you get for taking in a friend and her evicted puppy for a few weeks? The West Elm tripod lamp, apparently! My overly generous best friend surprised me last night with the West Elm lamp I've been eyeing for months but couldn't bring myself to splurge on. Here it is in my bedroom.
***Note: The lamp is no longer available online so you'll have to check your local store.

Literally the day before, I took a picture of the Pottery Barn tripod lamp (not available online anymore) to do a blog post comparing the two styles. I love love LOVE the West Elm version so much more and am so grateful to her.
In other news, I am 99% positive I've found an apartment! And I cannot wait to share the pre-move-in/pre-decorating photos with all of you. This lamp will look gorgeous in the living room! Talk about a bright, rainy day here in Chicago. : )

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

To keep your toes toasty

With nights dipping down to 32 degrees, I have no doubt snow will be arriving sooner rather than later here in Chicagoland. To my fellow Americans who dwell north of the Mason-Dixon Line, I'm sure you can relate, and I suggest investing in a pair of these before it's too late.

Last year, I bought these because I loved that they were waterproof. Perfect for trudging through 2 feet of snow four times a day with the dogs.
Then these darlings popped up in my e-mail (see actual photo above), so of course, I want them. I absolutely love the lace-up look.
**Wow. I put this post together last Thursday, and now I see the Sorel's are already sold out at J.Crew. Click on the new hyperlink to buy them from Zappos.
Some other cute boots to consider:
Target fake-Uggs - not bad for $29.99

And for the boys:

*photos via J.Crew, Nordstrom, UGG Australia, Neiman Marcus, and Target*


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