Archive for Design

Four Times the Luck

This weekend was the Staten Island St. Patrick’s Day Parade so I am pretty darn excited about all things Irish… and Spring – even if it is below freezing right now.  I even asked Joe to pick me up a shamrock plant from Trader Joe’s this Sunday (which he did because he is wonderful).

It wasn’t very warm out this weekend so Joe and I spent some time having a nice Spring cleaning and reorganizing of the apartment.  WIth all this spirit, I got to making four desktop backgrounds for the big day.

Or for all year round.  Your call.

These are all free to download – just be sure to link back if you share!


Download Art Deco Clover background here.

Download Abstract Clover background here.

bg_shamrock2.jpg bg_shamrock3

Download Clover Stripes Background here.

Download St. Patrick’s Icon Background here.


I hope you enjoy!

Posted in Design, Freebies | 3 Comments

Curtain Time (Again)

In the midst of organizing our living room, I realized we had hit a speed bump.

Mainly, this:


It’s not so obvious in this photo, but the curtains are about two inches too short for these windows.  Let’s just say that this is not the look I’m going for, especially since we have such wonderful natural wood trim around the windows.  Sure, I could lower the curtain bar but I’m really not into putting more holes in the wood trim.  Ultimately, these curtains have got to go – either to another room or a place where I convert them into pillows.  Both are viable options.

Our windows came dressed with honeycomb shades (similar to these) so it hasn’t been a big deal to leave them bare as long as we have, but I’m really looking to add some curtains in here.  It’s one of those details that can really finish a room and make it cozy and easy on the eyes.

I thought about DIYing some new curtains but when it comes down to it, I haven’t found a fabric that I like.  For three windows, I’d need about 10 yards of fabric since I’d like the curtains to go down to the floor – so it could get expensive very quickly.  I’ll be on the look out for some potential fabrics, but for now, I’m mostly considering purchasing curtains from the store.

Here are some potential options:


one | two | three | four | five | six

1) These Vivan Curtains from IKEA (in grey) are a great option.  Two panels for $9.99 is sort of a steal and I think they could end up looking great in here.  We’d have to actually get on painting the walls since the grey wouldn’t match the color on the walls but that’s not too bad.

2) I’m a big fan of the Threshold collection from Target, so it wasn’t a surprise that I was drawn to the Ombre Stripe Window Panels in tan.  In all honesty, I’m actually leaning more towards getting these in grey for the bedroom but who knows – perhaps they’ll land in the living room instead.

3)  I’m really into navy and green right now so Anthropologie’s Ink Garden Curtains in blue are adorable and pretty much perfect for what I’d like, except for their price tag.  I would be looking into 96″ curtains and each panel would cost be $178.00 (!!).  Unless I win the lottery next week, these are not happening.

4)  Jonathan Adler has a line at JCP (called Happy Chic) and I am a fan.  You can’t go wrong with bright colors – like these green Charlotte Canvas Curtain Panels.  Each panel is $50, so this isn’t a financially responsible option either, but it’s totally worth stalking them online and hoping they go on sale.

5)  I am a fan of buttons – case in point my button drawer in one of our card catalogs.  When I spotted the Murano curtains in Sage from Linens and Things, I was immediately interested.  Sage can be one of those tricky colors so I think this is something I’d need to see in person before making a commitment.

6)  Another option from Target’s Threshold collection is the Jacquard Ikat Window Panels in tan.  I love the pattern because it’s not so bold that it’s over powering but interesting enough to please the eye.  Based on the online image, it looks like the tan could actually end up our brown couch so that would be a nice bonus.  They’re under $30 but in my opinion, they look more expensive than that.

Do you have a go-to place to buy curtains?  Is this an item you splurge on or tend to look for the best deal?  Anyone prefer short curtains to long?  Who thinks we should keep the windows bare for now?

Posted in Decor, Design, Details, Home, Living Room | 14 Comments

Pinned to Purchased

Roughly five weeks ago, I pinned a knob from Anthropologie (this knob if we’re getting specific).  I knew that the combination of brass and mother of pearl would be the perfect combo for our nightstands, but each knob was $14 and that is a bit much when you’re used to buying knobs from home improvement stores for a few dollars.

Our nightstands have been teal for a few months now, even though I only shared the finished product in February, and I’ve been looking for knobs for quite some time.  I kept hunting, but I always came up empty-handed.

And so, our nightstands have looked like this for a five months now.


At this point in the search, I was leaning more towards purchasing the knobs from Anthropologie but my problem is that I’m the type of person who will talk myself out of purchases all the time.  This isn’t really a complaint because this approach gives me time to think about it and either go back and get it or forget about it – it’s just annoying when you’re on the hunt for something specific and you’ve found it.  I sent Joe the link to the knobs a few times and he finally encouraged me to go get them.  I responded by reminding him that they were pricey, which he countered by asking me if I really liked them.  I did, and so I headed to Anthropologie during my lunch break.

Of course, while I was there, I found another (more wallet friendly) option and texted Joe this picture.  Truth be told, I wasn’t as crazy about it because the color was a little muted, but I didn’t hate it.  Joe still preferred the first option (shiny vs. un-shiny is a totally unfair contest) and so I got them.


The point of this story is that I did splurge on knobs, but they’re pieces that I really like.  Even if our nightstands get replaced, I will be holding onto these knobs.  They’re pretty spectacular in person (the photographs don’t do them justice) so I think this was a good time to spend a little bit more on something I loved rather than something I thought was ‘eh’.


When it came time to swapping the old knobs for these beauties, it’s a pretty straight forward process that I don’t need to get into.  I will share that I was so nervous about how these would look on our nightstands (because they’re larger than I expected) that I was very careful when removing the price tags.  You know, just in case it looked terrible and I had to return them.


When it came to trimming the bolts, I opted not to.  The bolts are part of the knob so once we trim them, they’re trimmed.  There is the potential for these knobs to end up on another piece of furniture so I don’t want to trim them now and regret it later on.  They haven’t been a problem thus far, so for now, they’ll stay as-is.


This close-up shot really lets you see how these knobs shine (the shiny factor definitely explains why I’m so fond of them).


I love the direction the nightstands are going in.  The deep teal color next to the bright yellow is a nice pairing, and the new knobs add a bit of sophistication to everything.  I’m thinking of painting the bottom of the legs in a color that matches the brass knobs.  I’m not entirely sure how it’ll end up, but I think it could be amazing.  We’ll see.


Do you splurge when you find something you love?  Ever talked yourself out of a purchase, only to end up regretting it?

Posted in Bedroom, Decor, Design, Details, Home | 16 Comments

Plan for the Bathroom

I’m still in the midst of taking photos to give you an updated apartment tour, but until that’s ready, it’s the perfect time to give you a sneak peek into our bathroom.  It seems to be the only room that we’ve been able to give some love to while we were watching the cats.

We started out with quite the blank slate: a basic vanity and some basket weave tiles.  Since this is a rental, we have no plans to upgrade the vanity or tile – even though the look is not my style.  Those towels also permanent since we got them as a wedding present and we love the color.  The walls are a light blue, but since we can paint them, I’m not too concerned about it. bathroombase

With a pretty basic foundation, it has given Joe and I a lot of flexibility with which direction we can go in.  There are so many possibilities that I feel drunk with power.  I guess going from a floor-to-ceiling marbled bathroom to a blank slate can do that to a girl.

Anyway, here is the current plan:


1)   In terms of color, we’ll be using Martha Stewart Living Cornbread paint from Home Depot.  It’s something we already have – and have had for almost three years!  We used it on our tv stand but I’m ready to try it out on the walls.  The good news is that it’s free, so if we don’t like it, it won’t be a big deal to go pick up a new color.  In terms of accent colors, we’re going to use reds, greys, and greens from the shower curtain.

2)  When we asked you which direction we should go in for the bathroom, a whopping 71% of you voted for the Åkerkulla Shower Curtain from IKEA.  This was also our favorite (although if we had a house/more bathrooms, I would definitely choose the other two) so on a recent trip to IKEA, we picked this beauty up.  It’s a very cheery curtain and I love it.

3) I spent a bit of time trying to decide on a piece of art for our bathroom and ultimately ended up choosing a photo we took on our honeymoon.  The plan is to get a large print made – I’m hoping around 11″x14″ – and then maybe tossed in a red frame to keep things spicy.

4)  For the past couple of years, Joe and I have been using a very tiny and flat bathmat from IKEA (this one if you’re curious).  We chose it originally because it was budget friendly but stuck with it because our last apartment’s bathroom was so tiny.  Now that we have the luxury of a bathroom with enough space that you can turn in, we decided that the Toftbo Bathmat from IKEA was the right fit for us.  I can honestly say I love it.

5)  One thing I wan to do is place a tray on the top of the toilet tank.  My top pick right now is this  Lacquer Bath Tray from West Elm, although we could end up with a bamboo tray or a wood that matches the vanity.  Regardless, I’d like to add some fun accessories, like clear containers for the cotton swabs an q-tips (already owned) and this Casa Tissue House by CB2.  I have been crushing on this for a few years and I feel like this is the perfect time to invest.

Now that you know our plan of attack, I can share with you where we’re at. When you first saw the bathroom, it was pretty basic.  Heck, it didn’t even have a shower curtain up!  Thankfully, that was an easy update which has already done wonders for the room:


The blue on the walls still hasn’t grown on us (womp womp) so we’ve got plans to paint.  Since we haven’t had time to paint yet, I’ve used Photoshop to show you what it will look like.  It’s about to get a whole lot cheerier in there thanks to Martha Stewart.


 What do you think?  Are you digging the direction we’re going in or do you hope we’ll make a U-Turn and reconsider?  

Posted in Bathroom, Colors, Design, Home, London | 12 Comments

Bath Time

Soon, the shower pod will be a thing of the past – and hopefully something I will never experience again.  It’s just one of those things that never made sense to me (although the rumor is that it keeps families with children from renting).

Rather than dwell on the pod, I’m looking forward toward the future… which includes a tub.  I’m especially excited about detail that because that means we actually get to style the bathroom.  This will involve painting the walls, buying a shower curtain, and then accessorizing. bathroombase

As of right now, we’re currently working with a basic bathroom vanity in a medium wood color, a black and white basket weave tile for the floor, and the towels we registered for (these in Aegean – via Macys).  We’re not starting with much, but I think that’s great because it will give us a lot of freedom to do what we want.

That said, I’ve come up with three different options for directions we could go in.  Rather than making mood boards, I thought I would edit the photo of our bathroom.  I think it helps see everything together.

[Option 1]

AKERKULLA Shower Curtain (via IKEA)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Salvia (via Home Depot)

This is our boldest option.  It would include a nice green-teal color on the walls and a colorful shower curtain.  It’s easily the most cheery of the options, and definitely budget friendly (as well as provide us with an excuse to stop at an IKEA!). bathroom2

[Option 2]

Room Essentials Leaf Shower Curtain (via Target)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Cornbread (via Home Depot)

This option is also cheery, but that mostly has to do with the paint color – one that I’ve been a fan of for a long, long time.  It’s definitely a classic pairing of the yellow and grey.  You can’t go wrong with a geometric pattern, either. bathroom1

[Option 3]

interDesign Carlton Extra-Long Shower Curtain (via Home Depot)
Martha Stewart Living Paint in Lemongrass (via Home Depot)

Our final option is possibly influenced by my eagerness for Spring to arrive, but it’s a beaut none the less.  A simple white waffle shower curtain with a soft color on the wall.  It sort of feels like a spa in how calming it looks. bathroom3

We’ll probably use this week to mull it over (and this weekend to purchase the shower curtain – I hope) but I’m curious…

Which Do You Prefer?

  • Option 1: Colorful & Cheery (71%, 22 Votes)
  • Option 3: Spring-time Spa (16%, 5 Votes)
  • Option 2: A Classic (13%, 4 Votes)

Total Voters: 31

Loading ... Loading ...

Do you have experience with shower pods?  Do you love ‘em or hate ‘em?  Anyone else prefer a tub?

Posted in Bathroom, Colors, Design, Home | 15 Comments
  • Archives

  • Visit my Amazon Store *Links contain affiliates
2011-13 Popcorn on the Stove. All rights Reserved.

Swedish Greys - a WordPress theme from Nordic Themepark.