Friday, April 25, 2014

Easter Lunch and new chairs!

Salad Nicoise!

I love this salad so much.  It's so healthy, fresh and pretty...and makes super tasty leftover sandwiches the next day on crusty baguettes. Here's the basic breakdown of how I made it:

Serves 4-6

1 1/2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil (or a bit more to your taste)
1 shallot minced
dash salt and pepper
I put everything into an empty dressing bottle that I washed out and shook it up.  You will need some to dress the potatoes and the rest for serving

 3 hard boiled eggs (put in boiling water, turn off flame let sit 10 minutes-pop into ice bath when done, then peel and cut into 6ths)
2 c  small fingerling potatoes (boiled 15 minutes then drained and dressed in a couple tablespoons of dressing)
1 c haricots vert (blanched for 3 minutes and then put in ice bath)
1 head organic red leaf lettuce washed, leaves torn
4 small tomatoes cut into 6ths
1/2 c nicoise olives (or kalamata)
1 lb sashimi tuna steak (seasoned lightly with salt and pepper, rubbed with a bit of olive oil so it doesn't stick-grilled on super high for 2 minutes per side) then sliced like sushi pieces against the grain of the meat for lack of a better term.

For Easter lunch, I arranged it all on a platter and served the dressing on the side.  It looked gorgeous, but honestly, it was a pain to serve this way.  

Usually I just plate it up for each person by lightly dressing the lettuce, putting some on each plate and then arranging all the components nicely on top of the lettuce with extra dressing served on the side. 

For the sandwiches.  Toast some baguette.  Cut sandwich sized pieces 4-6" long split in half lengthwise.  dress each side lightly with dressing and top with lettuce, tomato, pitted olive, tuna and egg.  Smush together and enjoy!


I decorated for the occasion with some Rannuculus (my 2nd favorite flower) #peoniesrule

I tucked them into a cute thrifted vase from Goodwill that I got for $1

Look how cute this little seating arrangement is now that the new chairs are in.  Please ignore Walter's butt.  He's such a relentless photo bomber! Incidentally this is him rubbing his face on the carpet after eating his breakfast.  Awesome right?!

Let's take a real look at the new swivel chairs.  Oh I had my doubts about these working out.  I was concerned about the color clashing with the sofa and the fact that they are a couple of inches higher than the sofa too.  After a week of looking at them, swiveling and tilting back to ponder, I decided...
 I love them! Yay!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Scenes from the weekend

Ding dong the terrible faux finish is gone! She is primed and ready for a new coat of paint. 

Before and after side by side because it makes me feel good knowing all that scraping was not for naught.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kelly Wearstler is my guru

This isn't exactly breaking news.  The article came out last fall, but I can't stop looking at this room.  It's Cameron Diaz's living room in Manhattan designed by Kelly Wearstler.  I love how 70's it is and i t reminds me of Amy Adam's Apartment in "American Hustle" a little bit (just this one room).  I feel like this is what her apartment would evolve into years later when she could afford that swank chandelier and trade up a few pieces in her living room for something a little more collected. This is definitely giving me major inspiration for my living room area.  

I love all the different styles mixed together: the roll arm chair with the boxy sofa with the wacky little footstools and the long low coffee table.  I'm crazy about the colors too.  I really like the peachy pink, with tan and beige and yellow.  It sounds totally "Golden Girls" but it comes off really sophisticated and modern. 

This room inspired me to buy the vintage Drexel Contemporary armchair and ottoman that I had been lusting over for a few months.  It reminds me a little bit of the peach chair on the right above...loosely.  


yes? no? ...maybe?

 I also got some swivel chairs on ebay that will replace the yellow armchairs that are there currently.  Here is a snapshot from the listing:



I really hope I love them.  This could go very right or very wrong and since the upholstery is in great shape I really don't want to recover them if they clash.  The thing that sold me on these was the bases swivel and tilt and are made of beautiful teak wood.  Stay tuned for better pics!  

I'm still on the hunt for a more proportional coffee table and a bigger rug...and some art.  

Oh yea... and some curtains to replace the sad blanket hanging in my window.  How shameful is that?!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

American Hustle dreamz

Have you guys seen "American Hustle"?  From a costumes and set design perspective it was my  favorite movie of the year.  I loved it! 

Sydney's apartment, in particular, was so amazing.  I love all the yellow details like the pegboard in the kitchen.  Pegboard in the kitchen always reminds me of Julia Child's kitchen on The French Chef

 The parquet floors and grass cloth walls are super cool too.  I've been thinking of adding some grass cloth as a cover for the mirrored closet doors or as an accent wall in the master bedroom and this is really convincing me.

I wish I could find a picture that shows more of the dining room.  She has black framed Breuer chairs and a white parsons table.  It's the ultimate 70's dining area with the great art and a Persian rug. 

The chairs though!  Man, I love these chairs! 


The living area is pretty great too with all of the potted plants and the deco brass coffee table.   It looks great in the movie with the "daylight" coming in the huge windows with the sheer curtains.

This bedroom, though, is the most flawless room in the whole apartment and possibly the whole movie!  I mean, yellow with off white?  Upholstered walls?  With a matching upholstered headboard? 

It's totally over the top and it's incredibly simple at the same time. I am obsessed.  

As Liz Lemon would say: "I want to go to there".  

Isn't this room just bananas?

 Poor sad Sydney in the sunny yellow room :(

Wait a minute! Doesn't that bag to the left look like a smiley face?  Or am i tripping?

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bar stool update

Remember this guy? So curvy, shiney and shapely, but with the most boring uphostry....Well he's got a fancy new fur coat now.  Faux mongolian lamb!  

Yeah, fur is kind of crazy for a bar stool in a kitchen, but it's so fun and it'll be easy to recover when it gets dirty.   Although I will kill anyone that spills on these guys :)

Here's a glamour shot!  

Boom!  I like the way it ties the wall unit in with the kitchen. 

side note:  I will always figure out a way to justify a purchase of brass furniture.

Look how cute they are in their home at the bar? Just LUSHous!  I have really been enjoying them and they are holdingup surprisingly well.

So, in conclusion, as nutty as it is to cover a chair in faux fur, I will say there are some major positive aspects:

Working with faux fur is actually very forgiving.  There are no matching patterns or stripes to deal with and the density hides staples really nicely.  Therefore, a project like this takes very little time.  These chairs only took me about 10 minutes each!  I love that.  

 sidenote: I will always justify the use of faux fur

Monday, December 16, 2013

Stalking ebay

There has been a major void in my kitchen area.  I have cute little counter height bar area and no bar stools :(

Where are people to sit and chat with me while I slave away in the kitchen?

A few months ago, I found some amazing counter height chairs at St Vincent de Paul in LA, but they were $70!  Each!! They were just black vinyl bar chairs with tapered legs.  Cute, in a clunky way and very 70's.  I didn't see the big deal.  The tag said they had been there for almost a month.  I tried to talk the manager down and he actually budged to $85 for the set.  He said that obviously I knew what these chairs were (I did?) and that they would definitely be gone by tomorrow.  Naturally, I balked and refused to pay such an exorbitant, inflated price..... and then .....I couldn't stop thinking about them.  Aaand, sure enough, I went back the next day and they were gone!! wtf??  Who stole my chairs?

So, I searched ebay, etsy and craigslist and apparently they are kind of a big deal.  Here are a similar pair in orange vinyl for over $2,000?!? Which is totally insane, but kind of makes $85 seem more reasonable....

Gahh!  I hate when that happens!

So I search...for months on ebay, craigslist, thrift stores, even regular stores and ....nothing!  I want to kick myself every minute for not getting those awesome chairs!

And then, to make matters worse, I discover that counter height stools are way harder to find than regular bar height stools.  

Finally, I found a possible solution on ebay in brass (my favorite) and then I got sick and completely lost focus.  The auction ended and I forgot to bid!  

Luckily no one else did either and I contacted the seller and made a deal.  Not an awesome deal.  But I was so tired of looking and I did not want to see these chairs for $40,000 on etsy tomorrow so I bit the bullet and now I have new glamorous counter stools!


So far I've cleaned up up the metal with window cleaner and my favorite thing the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.  This thing works wonders on scuffs.  Have you tried it?  You must!

Next up is upholstery and this is my inspiration:

They are going to be amazing.  Stay tuned....