Sunday, January 30, 2011

Cubitec Shelving

Design Within Reach is one of my favorite furniture design sources. But they happen to be very 'out of reach' from a price stand point so I find myself getting ideas from them and then trying to find close seconds at IKEA, Room and Board or West Elm. That said, they do have one product that is not only beautiful, functional and well designed, but also affordable - the Cubitec shelving unit.

I love these. The shelves are light weight, sturdy molded polypropylene and can be attached and stacked to create any size. They look great as book shelves but I think they're sturdy enough to be used for toys too.  I think one unit is around $250. And I have to point out -   there's a HUGE difference between DWR quality and West Elm, Ikea's always worth the extra money when you can swing it.

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So what do you think? Doesn't the color coded book shelf above just inspire you? I feel like color coding every thing in my house when I see such order!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

check this out

Very cool before and after basement room makeover from Decorology. Looks very low budget. Give anyone any ideas?

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hip Chick Macrobotics

I thought I'd share what I'm reading these days. I have a huge stack of books I want to get through this winter, and this one has kept my attention for days: The Hip Chick's Guide to Macrobiotics by Jessica Porter. It's an easy read and very funny. Jessica starts out the book talking about taking a class on Macrobiotics in NYC and wanting to run for the hills because everyone was a weirdo (but ultimately ended up fully embracing the diet and writing this book obviously).

Personally, I've never paid any attention to macrobiotics because it's a grain focused diet and I've always had trouble with gluten grains. That said, it's similar to a vegan diet but more flexible in a way so I wanted to look a little deeper. The diet and philosophy center around the yin and yang energies of food and how they effect our bodies. It's really fascinating.  People who follow this diet, unlike other diets, claim to be healthier (as all diets do) but also seem calm, balanced and frankly,  just plain happy.  Now I'm not ready to dive in head first, but I'm intrigued. I like the idea of sticking to whole grains, fruits, vegetables, sea vegetables (this one is tricky), beans, soups, and sometimes animal products.
Here's a great excerpt for all of us living in the Northeast:

"WINTER:    Imagine your winter coat. Gloves. Seeing your breath. Cold air on your cheeks. Our part of the planet has pulled away from the sun so it becomes extremely cold, which creates contraction. Everything is dark, and all the living things go inward. Trees have pulled their sap in and down. Bears hibernate. People go to indoor parties, huddling together for a type of warmth they don't even know they are seeking. The weather outside is extremely yin (cold/dark) and that produces a yang response in us; our bodies fight to stay warm, active, and gathered. We are literally floating in an in-between that eventually becomes the strong expansion of spring."

"In winter we need to stay warm. More oil, hearty soups, animal food, and rice bean dishes are necessary in a five season climate. Baking feels comforting. Even deep frying is appropriate for sealing warmth into the body. Buckwheat, beans, sea vegetables, and good quality salt are all the very nourishing to the kidneys, bladder and reproductive organs - the most strongly charged by winter's inward, floating energy"

Isn't this fascinating and doesn't it make so much sense? I'm only a quarter of the way through the book but my rice cooker is on the way.  She suggests trying this diet out by just changing one meal a day to an all grain meal. I love brown rice, so this is easy for me.  We'll see if I take it any further.  I'll let you all know how it goes....

Btw, if you want to learn more quickly without getting the book, Jessica has a great website -

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Lime Green

There is a color theme going on with my posts lately. Anyone noticed? I think it's the deep freeze we're in right now.  White is the primary color around here lately so I find myself daydreaming of all things colorful and bright and lively. So here's my idea. I've always wanted a bright lime green door so I'm projecting ahead to the spring when I can paint the back door to my house this lime green color.  What could be more cheery and fresh?

The photo below was my inspiration. This door in the photo is more of a mustard yellow not green but you get the idea - bright pop of color!

So what do you think?  Does this give anyone any ideas for fun spring decor projects?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

More color

Some new inspiration from a newly discovered Interior Designer here North of Boston. Humm...can I work for her someday? My mind is spinning.

Anyway, these are not her designs but she referenced these on her blog awhile ago.

Love the color, love the India themed inspiration. Notice the white and neutral walls with splashes of pink and orange and purple.

All images: New England Home, Photos: John Gruen

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Kids bedrooms

My 50th blog post. Hooray!!

So more inspiration for you as promised. Here are a few files I have stored on kids' rooms. I love these all and kept them for when/if my kids ever get there own rooms, and if not, I may take bits and pieces. And as a side note - I snagged these so long ago I can't give the proper credit out for either the room designers/home owners and/or the photographer. But I know they came from Swedish blogs.

Don't you just love love love this rock wall below. How great would this be for a kid?

Some of these are custom built bedrooms, but most of these are very do-able on a limited budget. Between paint colors, IKEA, and some crafty artwork, you can recreate most of these bedrooms. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've been feeling so inspired lately. For starters, we decided to take our house off the market. There were a few reasons, but for me, it had alot to do with the comments we were getting when people came through. Everyone really loved my house, and I now realize, as silly as I feel for listing and then unlisting it so quickly, that this was all meant to be. I was meant to see my house through everyone else's eyes, and now I love it all over again.  And as much as I was looking forward too more design projects, I'm so relieved I don't have all that work in front of me.

So why am I feeling inspired? I was reminded that everything in my house and your house can always be re-designed, furniture moved around, wall colors altered. Nothing is fixed and permanent. There is always room for change and renewal.

So long story short, I have collections of colors I love and photos I admire and styles I want to steal.  This will be my theme for the rest of the week. Starting with the above photo I snagged from Lonny awhile back.  There's a lot going on in this photo - alot of wall art and pillows, a strong sofa color, and a graphic rug -  but somehow it all works, don't you think?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Love Mae

Another great find on Etsy.  Love Mae is a group of women from Australia who design wall decals. I've seen a lot of wall decals and these are by far the sweetest. I think I may work these into my office somehow, I can't resist. I love that little flowered squirrel.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


As we all deal our own version of a snowy winter this weekend, I thought I'd give you something to day dream about.

Photo by Christian Chaize
I'm sure you all want to know, like I did, where is this place? Praia Piquini in Portugal.  Never heard of it, but it's definitely on my life travel list now. And btw, if you'd like to have this photo by your desk forever and ever, the link will take you to it's home.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Mood Lighting

Apartment Therapy did a cool piece on unique mood lighting for small bedrooms recently. I plucked the pics I like the best to show you. Don't you love the white ceiling ball lights? I've seen this done before and it just looks magical when they're all together.  I've seen these lights hanging from tree branches at parties too. So many uses..

IKEA carries a few pieces similar to what you see in these photos. All of these pretty lights are under $100, some only $19. What would we all do without IKEA?

 Happy Friday everyone!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

snow day

We are knee deep in snow. I can't even see the tree swing in our backyard so I know this is big. Lots of snow.  It's windy and beautiful.

Kids are home. Peter's working in the basement. I went through my snow day list of things to do in about 4 hours. We've already built towers and buildings, used our new colored pencils from Santa, Henry has opened up all his new legos sets and had lunch. And it's only 1:13pm. Humm.. I'm starting to think our afternoon might be video related. 

Thankfully we bought the kids the Planet Earth video series produced by the BBC for Christmas and it's really amazing. The kids love it, it's captivating, and each of the five segments is about 3 hours long.  Perfect. I'm feeling a tad guilty but I'm telling myself it's very educational and we'll go outside after.

How about the rest of you on the East coast ... are you all surviving or thriving in the snow today???

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Color for your day

Happy Tuesday!

I can't help it. I'm addicted to 20x200. I'm finding so many fun, inspirational photos. I hope this photo brightens your day like it did mine!

Winter Flags by Younga Park

So the Gluten Free Goddess just posted a great recipe. I've made this before in various forms when I've been on a quinoa kick, and I got a rice cooker for Christmas this year with the intention of always having some brown rice, millet or quinoa cooking and ready to eat. Most of these wheat free grains/seeds can be eaten with just about anything (add sweet potatoes, beans, chicken to the quinoa etc) and are so easy and filling. I love this combo though because so full of color!

Quinoa Salad Recipe with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas, Baby Spinach and Orange

3 cups cooked quinoa
While the quinoa is cooking, roast the beets:
2 beets, trimmed and quartered
Olive oil
Sea salt

In a medium roasting pan, combine the cut beets with a drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of sea salt. Place the pan in the center of a pre-heated oven and roast until the beets are tender (roughly 45 minutes). Remove the beets from the hot pan and set them aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, rub off the skin. Cut the beets into bite sized pieces.

Meanwhile make your salad dressing:
1/4 cup fruity olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons wheat free soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon agave or local honey

Combine the dressing ingredients and whisk. Set aside.

To make the salad:

Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with:
1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
2 handfulls of baby spinach leaves
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste

Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Calm week ahead

I've been busy. Open house this weekend and another birthday party.  Feeling a little out of balance, but this week is low key and I'm going to take full advantage.

So I'm not in organizing mode right now but I've heard alot of chatter lately that there is an New Year's organizing trend happening, so I thought I'd share this photo. In my next house, when I have more pantry space (fingers crossed), this is what I will aspire too.  I love order, so ofcourse this is perfection for me.

I also love being able to use glass instead of plastic and the idea of buying in bulk, therefore saving money. I made a decision this weekend after chatting with a relative who is particularly good at saving money on food to buy bulk snack items instead of the prepacked snack foods for lunch boxes. Not to name names but snack packs of veggie booty are way over priced! So I'm going to try stick to raisins, pretzels,  fresh whole fruit, nuts and blue corn chips. We'll see if my kids get on board!

As for containers, I know alot of people who use the BPA-free Bento lunch boxes for kids lunches. I try to stay away from plastics altogether so I've been using LunchBots and Kids Konserve containers. They are a small initial investment but it's so worth not having to use plastic bags over and over. And there is no worry about chemical leakage from plastic. And they are dishwasher safe ofcourse.  Isn't it great we have all of these options! You can go to their direct website, but also find deals on Amazon.

What am I missing - any other frugal, eco ideas or products for school lunches out there?

Thursday, January 6, 2011


I was starting a post today about calendars for the new year when I came across these sweet homemade hand printed pillows from an artist on Etsy. Each one is separately hand printed and one of a kind. Aren't they great? This artist is from the UK. Here is a direct link to her Etsy shop:  HELKATDESIGN. They average around $54 and you will find over 124 different pillow designs on her Etsy site.

My favorite is the lone red wolf pillow below. Wouldn't he be striking on almost any piece of furniture?