February 16, 2011

My Guest Room Plan of Attack: From Inhabitable to Insanely Sheek & Organized

I have two big problems with my guest room. For one, I don’t want to spend time in there. Even more central to my everyday quality of life, I am in desperate need of more storage. I’ve been so fixated on the need to clean out my storage unit to make more space that I was overlooking the bigger issue: the guest room’s design totally stinks.

I loved my fun wall o’ randomness at the apartment, but I just haven’t fallen in love with it here. The beige paint color is slowly driving me mad, and furthermore, can anyone tell me why I have a desk in there? I NEVER sit at desks outside the office. I was fixated on putting a desk in there, but, really, my laptops each have their own special spot at the dining room table. And my sewing machine? Yeah, it likes the dining room table, too. The big TV in the living/dining room has DVR and ON DEMAND and swivels right at ya – how can you not like working from there?

I do still love my Room & Board ENCORE sofa. She’s perfect and exactly what I wanted, but everything else in there has obviously been driving me crazy. Enter a late night of HGTV, recent product blog spottings and my love of modern wallpaper in small doses… and....

Guest Room Plan of Attack

So what do you think? If Genevieve Gordon can put a sofa in front of built-ins, why can’t I create the illusion of expensive built-ins with cheapo IKEA Billy bookcases? And the Eames rocker? It’s a $60 knock-off I found on Amazon.com. And yes, the walls will be white…. fresh, clean, bright, white. There will be color – my quilt of crazy Anna Marie Horner fabrics will still call this room home and I’d like to paint little accessories for the shelves and a small yet-to-be-salvaged from Salvation Army end table an undecided bright color.  In fact, I think this room is screaming for some hot pink Pantone Color of the Year honeysuckle!  We'll see. 

February 15, 2011

Not-So Secret Secret Single Behavior

I don't know about you, but I spent an excessive amount of time in my twenties watching episodes of Carrie Bradshaw and the ladies of SATC.  Say what you may about questionable morals and story lines, when you look past the dirty scenes and shock value words, there's a lot of good stuff in there - true stuff, real stuff about issues that really hit home both then and now... relationships, finding your way through life, buying your first place, starting families and more.  Thanks to recent re-runs on the E! Network, I was reminded this weekend of a few... including "Secret Single Behavior."   

Do you remember?  Carrie's was something to do with saltine crackers and fashion magazines, Charlotte walked around her Park Avenue apartment with her engagement ring... post divorce.  Everyone but Samantha had something they would never do in front of someone else.  Tonight, on the day when everyone else is celebrating their relationships, I decided I would celebrate one of my "Secret Single Behaviors" and disclose it to the world.  My no-recipe, no-mess, no-waiting combo of inexpensive frozen shrimp, spaghetti noodles, a little evoo, garlic, salt, pepper, white wine if it's on hand... and oh yeah, more salt.  Yep, I over-salt on purpose, I eat it standing up in my kitchen while watching TV.  YUM.  It's a dinner that is oh-so tasty, but always extra salty... and I love it. 

My V-Day Dinner

Good night!  

February 14, 2011

Is Love in the Air? You Tell Me!

Happy Valentines? I’m a big proponent of showing love to friends, family, colleagues, clients and human beings in general every day – not just one day in the middle of February. I don’t have a significant other to celebrate with either, but, I guess an excuse to eat chocolate hearts can’t be all that bad. Want to make it an even better day for single ol’ me? As a new, first-time condo owner, I need a lot of help, so I thought of a few ways you could show me some lovin’….

2011-02-11 at 22-47-26

Light Up My Recessed Lighting: Those silly light bulbs in the ceiling keep going out. I’m going to be in the dark soon, and I don’t know what bulbs to buy or how to change them.

Two Coats: No, not my latest J Crew clearance shopping spree... paint coats! I’ve picked my colors, now I just need the funds or the muscles to do the paint job on the condo. Interested??

2011-02-11 at 22-47-08

Leave Me Hanging: I cannot for the life of me get this one window shade up. I know it fits because I saw that shade hanging in that window before I bought the place. The paper shade leaves a lot to be desired, doesn't it?

2011-02-11 at 22-48-34 (1)

Heavy Lifting: This stuff doesn’t go here. It goes in the storage unit. I can’t get the wood and glass screen down the stairs myself, and it needs to go in the back of the storage unit so I can organize the rest. It’s holding up my organization project.

Extra Credit: I would love to purchase new rugs for the guest room and living room, cushions for the kitchen stools, replace my damaged hardwood floors and install dimmers on all my recessed lighting. You know, in case you REALLY love me. If not, please post a comment to say “hi.” I’d love that, too.

February 3, 2011

Like White on Rice

If you ask my niece what her Aunt Emi's favorite color is, she will scream "WHITE"!  As I'm thinking about painting my condo, I can't help but be tempted to paint at least the main room my favorite color.  The builder beige is starting to wear on me.  I'm surrounded by white snow outside, the latest edition of "Country Living" is dedicated to the hue and I spent some time on one of my favorite blogs, "Life in the Fun Lane" last night.  This is what I saw....

Country Living
Country Living

Country Living
Country Living

LIfe in the Fun Lane
Life in the Fun Lane

Life in the Fun Lane
Life in the Fun Lane

LIfe in the Fun Lane
Life in the Fun Lane

What do you all think?  Wouldn't white look great against the dark hardwoods like the photos?  Did you notice the countertop in the top photo is identical to mine?  (Her haircut is similar, too.)  I can't decide!!!

February 2, 2011

My Name (and Decor Splurges) in Print!

Chicago's RedEye, the Chicago Tribune's hip, daily commuter paper, did a story on little old me on Monday!!!  The cover story aimed in on the trend of bachelors buying condos before settling down with a spouse.  The truth of the matter is though, buying isn't just for the boys - and I was the example that proved we single ladies have buying power, too!

Monday's Cover


Read the full article online that calls me "single and swanky."  I still have a lot of work to be done on the condo, but please enjoy an updated house tour that will hopefully prove I'm at least on my way to "swanky." 

30 - So Far, So Good!

I'm almost a month into my thirties and I have to say, I'm loving them so far.  I didn't accomplish everything on my 30 before 30 list before the big day, so I've decided to give myself through the end of my 3-0 to cross it all off.  I did buy a house (which wasn't on the list), so I'm not beating myself up over it.  And, I'm going to need all year to get to the remainder of the list because, well, that condo needs decorating and that takes time.

2011-02-02 at 07-45-29

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