Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Inspiration. Show all posts

Thursday, April 17, 2014

blue sofa style inspiration

one day while perusing apartment therapy, i caught an image of a gorgeous blue velvet sofa.  i couldn't stop thinking about it.  how it was such a statement piece of furniture in a time where friends looking to find their "forever" furniture go for quality-made, brown/tan/white/grey/only-neutral/never-goes-out-of-style-but-not-ever-really-IN-style styles.  i had to have it. the blue sofa stayed in my mind.  while it was impossible to find that exact sofa, i knew in my head that when i bought my first house, i was getting a blue velvet sofa.... that was years ago, right after i bought my first "nice" piece of furniture, a brown sofa from CB2 (damn, just missed my chance).  in my defense, i knew that i was still renting, and i knew my style would change over time, and i knew i shouldn't couldn't spend MULTIPLE thousands on one piece of upholstered furniture when i had a car and student loans to pay off.

i have always had an eye for decorating a home.  whether i actually put my style to good use in my own home is another thing.  my sense of style, and finding inspiration in places outside my home (i.e. anthropologie, boutiques, restaurants) has leaked to hung.  before we started dating he only really cared that his home was clean, the kitchen was stocked with good tools and appliances, and the fridge had beer and the freezer had frozen pizza.  oh how times have changed ;)

we went into lou lou in annapolis one weekend while visiting friends in DC (maybe it was alexandria? i forget which one), and hung fell in love with this antique, rounded settee (something like this , but more curved and just as gawdy).  he wouldn't stop talking about it.  though he really does enjoy the look of the small, upholstered, velvet sofa with wood around the edges (why he was down for getting this blue chair for our apartment), i realized the thing he liked most was the look of a tufted sofa.  then i got him hooked on a chesterfield sofa, the most indulgent of all tufted looks...

put our desires together, and you have a blue velvet, chesterfield baby (i mean sofa).  google images is a wonderful thing, and led me to Cococo Home (or, The Comfortable Couch Company).  a blue velvet chesterfield that's a reasonable price, custom-made, AND made in the USA?  i was instantly sold.  now that i knew what i wanted, i just had to buy a house, and figure out how to style the REST of the room around it. 

now that we have the house, and made the most expensive furniture purchase of our lives, we have to figure out how to make it work in our space!  see some of our inspirations below:

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

white on white on white

before moving into the new place, hung and i painted.  and painted.... and painted.... all because i had this vision of having a pure white, blank slate, bright space like i see in all the magazines these days (ok, really, i don't read magazines, i really just read apartment therapy and houzz and the links they post). 

what!? bright white walls and bright white trim? are you nuts?

hear me out. or, just see my inspirations below...

[ 1 ]     [ 2 ]      [ 3 ]      [ 4 ]      [ 5 ]      [ 6 ]      [ 7 ]      [ 8 ]      [ 9 ]      [ 10 ]

i'm in heaven with this look!!  hung gets to design the kitchen when we redo it sometime in the future... i think i may have him locked into this look too ;)  maybe...


Tuesday, December 31, 2013


 photo 2013-12-311_zpsfb6ee1b9.jpg

2013 was... eventful, to say the least.

our lives were filled with so many emotions that life truly was a rollercoaster. 

we celebrated the marriages of many great friends.
we hardly ever said no to social events and celebrations.
we learned that being apart 5 of 7 days a week was horrible and tested our relationship and happiness.
we learned that we might just be the best road trip team ever.
we learned that success is never met if you never set a goal.
we experienced the pain of losing loved ones unexpectedly.
we experienced the pain of seeing loved ones suffer through a painful death.
we learned that we need to make more time for each other instead of always saying "yes" to others.
we felt the joys and excitement of planting our roots in jersey city...
....and we feel the frustration of things not going as planned.
we feel that we have a strong hold on the reins of our lives, yet at the same time we feel like we're walking a tight rope.

i am thankful for the people who have walked into our lives in 2013, and for the exciting, enlightening, inspiring experiences we will treasure.

but man... i hope 2014 is a better year.
in the words of mr p "if you just think positively, you can will it to happen."

cheers to a better, more successful, more happy, more fun, more enlightening and inspiring new year!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

dream home

what's your dream home?
where do you find inspiration?
are you addicted to pinning those perfectly-designed, lavish homes on pinterest?
for me, it's simple .
i go for a walk in greenwich village, and i stumble upon a house that i have to just stop and stare at for a few minutes.
i think it's because my "dream home" is always something that looks attainable.  i don't think i will ever have a 6,000 square foot home with 6 bedrooms and too many bathrooms with a sauna, indoor pool, and movie theater, but i DO think i could have a brownstone one day (maybe, it might be when i'm 70, but still).  and if i did, i would want it to have curb appeal like this beautiful place on macdougal street in the village:

painted brick just melts my heart.  i just love it.  this place COULD use some cute window boxes, but i'll leave that for what WE are the ones that own the place ;)

we were intrigued so much that we decided to peek inside the brightly-lit window (not creeper-ish at all :P)   i was stunned.  those windows near the street level are, on the inside, near the ceiling of a 2-story loft area.  there was a HUGE television mounted on the wall, and it had an adorable, eclectic-but-cozy decor.  this place was just perfect... curb appeal of a classy colonial home, but the modern interior of a typical new york loft.

but, when we turned the corner, i found this gem! just like the other place, but with the window boxes! as we got closer, however, we realized this place was a dry cleaner :(

still though, to live in this tiny little gated community right in the middle of greenwich village in manhattan?  i'd take ANY of those adorable little homes on macdougal alley!

what's your dream home?!


Friday, December 30, 2011

{inspiration} art

i'm not huge on quotes, but...... there are a few that i really enjoy.  they usually aren't from someone famous or renouned, and they are usually just something that makes me smile, or feel warm and cozy inside .  when i came across this print, i knew i had to have it , and within 2 minutes of reading it, i had my credit card out to buy one!

it's just a nice daily reminder that your life is what you make of it, and if you don't like it, DO something about it! 

we have it hanging up in the kitchen now, where we spend most of our time at home, so i at least catch a glance at it everyday.  i just love it .

if you aren't inspired enough by the print (purchase a copy here), watch the awesome video that goes along with it!

it's definitely a fitting get happy now/live your life/do what you want/feel good kind of inspiration for the New Year!!

cheers to a better 2012!  see you on the flip side...
(and be safe on saturday night...)

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mission: Festivify the Apartment

I think I am the only one who doesn't have the Christmas tree up.  Tonight's mission is to change that!  Our place is so small, that putting up just the teeny 3-foot-tall tree and lighting Christmas-y candles more than festivify the apartment (probably a made up word, but you get my point).  I think I've held off because I'm too much enjoying the fact that I can relax with no worries of getting things done before we go away for the weekend, because we're NOT going away for the weekend for a whole THREE WEEKENDS STRAIGHT ! ...well including last weekend.

I should be inspired by all of the fun Christmas tree photos posted on facebook, but it wasn't until I saw this photo from my very own mother that I decided tonight is the night!   No more procrastinating!

1st grade. Mrs. Kalkruth. Myself and my brother. Does this look familiar to you too??  How many of you have these ornaments on your tree too (or your parents tree)?

Thanks, Mom, for that extra bit of inspiration for the day!


Sunday, November 6, 2011

Chalkboard Fridge Inspiration

Mr P thought I was crazy for wanting to paint the fridge in chalkboard paint.  But, being the calm and collected man he is, he just continued to say "ok.. I think that will look ok... are you sure you want to do it though?"  I knew it was going to look better than the ugly off-white color it was, because I had seen it done on many other house tour articles on

The first article of inspiration, though, is basically my DREAM house.

Images: Caleb Wilkerson from   iamgravelveins Photography   for   Smitty Baby via

Here's the link to the article with the tour of the whole house, but do you see that fridge!?!? I was insta-obsessed.

I highly urge you to look at the pictures from the whole house, and read the article too.  They basically renovated an old warehouse and turned it into the ultimate loft, including enough open space for riding skateboards in the house (wait, I thought Mom said not to do that?).

I also highly urge you to watch their stop motion video of the mom's entire pregnancy in 15 seconds.. or better yet, I will just post it here for you, because it's that awesome!

Hope you enjoy this amazing house as much as I do!!  ...and take in some fun decorating ideas (though we all know, a loft this awesome is sort of a one of a find).


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sea Salt

Normally I don't like to just "re-post" articles, but read this one tonight and I thought it was worthy of sharing:

From Ocean to Box: How Sea Salt Is Harvested via

If you eat sea salt, you might be interested in reading how it gets to the package!  I'm not one to harp on what kind of salt you eat or don't eat, but I do know that sea salt is just good....  as well as kosher, and other types besides plain old table salt, which also holds an important place in the culinary world.

What type of salt do you normally use?  Have you ever even thought of using something other than table salt?  Salt is salt is salt, right?  Well, kind of.  Read this for a good explanation of the differences.

Kosher takes the crown in our kitchen, hands down... out of our "salt cellar" or  "salt pig" too.  It just makes us feel like important chefs when we can just take a pinch and sprinkle it onto the food :D  What the heck is that?  Well, unless you have table salt, most salts won't fit through the tiny holes of a salt shaker (no matter how cute it might be... this adorable pair has never been used, even though they have been full of table salt and black pepper since the day they came home from Anthropologie over 3 years ago).

You can google "salt pig" and you will find a few expensive containers that are really just glorified trinket dishes.  I happened to come across this little guy at Urban Outfitters with other jewelry containers, and knew I needed it, and Mr P said it would be perfect for salt since it has a wide mouth so fingers can get inside to get a good pinch.

....aaaand he sits next to the pepper grinder (looking for a more awesome one... anyone have ideas?), sugar pot (one-of-a-find from Brandon Knott Pottery), olive oil squeeze bottle (sooo cheap from Wasserstrom... yep, you read that right... $0.64.... restaurant supply stores are the best), and refillable vegetable oil sprayer (ha! did you even know these exist??  me neither, until Mr P introduced me to this one that used to be his brother's... greenest idea ever... no more Pam and its super un-green aerosol throw-away container).

So if you haven't tried sea salt, kosher salt, or other types of salt besides plain old table salt, you should!  Especially now that you know where it comes from!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Giving isn't Just for "Givers"

“If this is going to be a Christian nation that doesn't help the poor, either we have to pretend that Jesus was just as selfish as we are, or we've got to acknowledge that He commanded us to love the poor and serve the needy without condition and then admit that we just don't want to do it.”
Stephen Colbert

You've probably seen this quote a LOT recently.  And recent events (ahem, the "Occupy" event that has gone global) has brought a lot of controversy to the table regarding who should be taking action against Wall Street, IF we should be taking action against Wall Street, WHERE our tax money goes, WHO should be taxed and HOW MUCH they should be taxed... Should we be taxing the rich because they have so much effing money they don't need that much?  Or should we be giving them a tax break because they are fueling our economy?  Would you be living off of unemployment too if you had to provide for your family and knew another job wouldn't pay as much?  What if you, living your lavish life, lost your job?  Don't you still have a mortgage to pay and food to put on the table for your family?  Or would you do the "honest" thing and take that minimum wage-paying job at McDonald's so you're not "living off of the government"?  Then again, when you did have that job for X amount of years, didn't you pay taxes that went to those who were unemployed? Don't you deserve to live off of the government now?

So many questions, so many opinions, so much controversy.... Honestly, I would rather stay out of that debacle.  When we say we should "give to the poor", people instantly hear "give money to the poor."  If you have the means to give money, by all means do so.  But don't not give because you don't have money, or you don't want to give money.  There are many other ways to give to those in need, just by putting in just a little more effort.  And whether or not you think these people deserve help or not, the fact is that they are in need.  Do you really want to see more homeless people on the streets because you don't think they deserve help?  Do you really want more crime?  Maybe you think it's a social issue that just has to change and it's "not my problem they ruined their life with drugs and live on the street now."  Wouldn't you rather "give" to an organization that helps prisoners get back on their feet instead of throwing them on the streets, only to do something that puts them back in prison because that's a better life (i.e. spending more of your tax dollars whether you like it or not).  The fact is that these social issues aren't going to change just because we "will" them to change.

Whether or not you know how to give, here's a reminder of ways you can "give" without directly giving money, but by just re-organizing your lifestyle a bit:
  • Donate your old things :
    • Take your old clothes to a charity consignment store such as Salvation Army, a homeless shelter, or another organization that may help those in need get on the right track to a better life.
    • Why did you get that new flat screen television? Does your old one still work? Give it to someone in need instead of littering the landfill.  Same goes for your old cell phone, old coffee pot, and other things you have replaced just because you "wanted" one, and not because you "needed" one.  Just because you can't buy new tube TV's doesn't mean someone doesn't want one. 
  • Take advantage of coupons :
    • My mom told me this the other day:  She's going to start giving the "free" item when she gets "buy one get one free."  For Mr P and I, this doesn't happen very often because we buy perishable foods almost exclusively. But maybe you have to get toilet paper, and you have a coupon for buy one get one free for a 12-pack.  For us, we certainly don't have room for TWO 12-packs, but not using the coupon is like turning down free money.  Get the free one, and donate it!
  • Volunteer:
    • I don't think there needs to be an explanation for this one, but there are many places you can donate your time without committing to a regular schedule.  One year my mom and I spent Thanksgiving serving food to those in need instead of being gluttonous like most of those who have the means to provide such a meal.
    • Don't have time to volunteer?  Think about how your spend your time every week.  Do you really need to watch that episode of the Real Housewives of where ever?  DVR it, watch it later, and volunteer one night a week (or month) at a Boys and Girls club or sort through donated items at a charity consignment store.
  • Participate in Charity Events:
    • Oh? You wanted to go to the bar tonight? Why don't we go (here) because the cover gets donated to (this) charity!
    • Starting to run?  Test your skills in a 5k or fun run.  Procedes almost always go to a charity organization.  Choose one that benefits those in need.
  • Buy from stores that give back:
    • Tom's shoes is the best example.  Today I am wearing my Tom's, which remind me that for every pair of Tom's I buy, another is given to one in need (whether it is in the United States or another part of the world)
    • Go out to eat on a special night when 5% or 10% of your bill will go to a charity.

I could go on and on, but the point is... you don't have to have money in order to "give". and if you do have money but don't want to "just give it away", then let someone else turn your trash into treasure, instead of turning your trash into an environmental hazard. Or just buy wisely from places that give back.

Cheers to giving... I think I'll be cleaning out my closet giving some of my old shoes to Salvation Army AND getting a new pair of Tom's giving a new pair to a child in need.  BAM!  Two ways of giving in just one day.

How will you give today?  Tomorrow?  This year?