Thursday, August 28, 2014

Coastal Modern Family Room Concept

Coastal Modern. Is that a thing?
I say it's time to reclaim coastal style from the shabby chic folks and make Coastal Modern a thing.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. The living room, dining room, and bedroom are all in progress. w00t.But it seems strange that I haven't done anything yet to the den. After all, it's the most-used room in our house. My rationale has been that form should follow function, and we should figure out how we actually use the room before coming up with a design concept. But we've lived here for a few months. And it's safe to say we should rename this room, "The Netflix Room." So it's time to begin. And no, we won't be keeping the banana leaf ceiling fan!
Modern Coastal Family Room
This is the look we're aiming for. Keith loves the beach, I love turquoise and teal, and we couldn't stand to get rid of all our Mid-Century furniture. So I put together a modern take on coastal style, without any of the shabby chic influences usually associated with a coastal look.

Aside: I hate shabby chic chipped paint finishes. It seems like every time I touch a chippy piece of furniture, I get a paint-chip splinter. And it always stings like a thousand tiny wasps dipped in acid and shoved under the skin. Does that happen to everyone, or just me?

Anyway. We're off to a good start: We already have the credenza, coffee table, black and white fireplace, and the art. We need a comfy gray sectional, a ceiling fan that doesn't belong on a lanai, window shades, and curtains. I'm still not sold on the rug; is it weird to put a rug over carpet? That seems redundant. Mostly, we need window shades. We just pruned the trees outside, and now I feel like I can't walk around my own house without a bra.

Here's a question for y'all: I'd like to hang our TV over the fireplace, if we can figure out how to do it without any visible cords. Have you done it? Did it make you cuss like crazy, or would it be a relatively easy project for people who aren't afraid of using tools and making holes in walls?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

We Found a Big, Fancy Bed. Thank You, Craigslist!

When we moved into the new house, my husband said, "I don't like upholstered beds. There's something gross about sleeping, breathing, and shedding a night's worth of skin cells on something upholstered." Ew. I never thought of it that way before. He continued, "I want a solid wood sleigh bed with a cherry finish." Wow, specific much? When we met, Keith's furniture vocabulary consisted of the words "wood" and "French." He's come a long way!

Please forgive the grainy pictures, and ignore the bathroom from hell in the background.
When it comes to design, Keith doesn't usually make specific requests. So when he does make one, he gets what he wants. Upholstered beds are *yawn* so trendy, and I thought it would be interesting to buck the trend. So I glued myself to Craiglist and hunted for the perfect sleigh bed. And had a laugh at all the listings for "slay beds." One "slay bed" even came with a "matching armor" (armoire)! Nice.

This thing is so tall, I can't see the top of it.
A few days after the major Craigslist fail, the bed of our dreams appeared on Craigslist. It's in wonderful condition and made by Thomasville. It came with a gorgeous matching dresser. And the best part? The dresser has a secret drawer. I was in love. There was just one problem: The seller wanted $650 for both pieces, and I'd budgeted just $250 for a new bed. I didn't want to blow the budget, so I waited. And waited. A few weeks later, the seller dropped the price to $400 for both pieces, and I pounced.

The shield hardware was a pleasant surprise.
We've been living with the new furniture for a few weeks, and I love the way it looks in our bedroom. The ceiling in here is 12 feet high, and our old furniture looked tiny and strange in the large space. But the new dresser is almost as tall as me, and the foot board gives the bed a heftier look. These pieces look right, and I'm so glad Keith steered me toward this style.

A place to dream: A grown-up fairy tale bedroom

Remember this? This is still my plan for the bedroom, and we're halfway there. Paint, chandelier, rug, bed, lamps... Check, check, check, check, check! As it comes together, the windows look more and more naked. So now I'm hunting for vivid chartreuse curtain fabric, and looking for a pair of nightstands. I've seen some nightstands that would perfectly match the bed and dresser, but I don't think I want a matchy-matchy furniture set. What do you think?

Monday, August 18, 2014

August 2014 Ipsy Bag: Beauty Schooled

For those of you just tuning in, Ipsy is a beauty subscription service. For $10 a month, Ipsy sends 4 - 5 surprise beauty products to your door in a cute cosmetics bag. They even mail it in a shiny hot pink envelope! Seeing that envelope in my mailbox always makes me dance around like a little kid. If you don't want to get in a beauty rut, Ipsy is for you.

It was the best of bags; it was the worst of bags. I was thrilled to get samples of Urban Decay mascara and Dr. Brandt's primer, but not impressed by kiddie lip balm and two samples that are a) so small, they're difficult to use, AND b) manufactured by companies with which I am not familiar. Here's the underwhelming value breakdown for this month's bag.

Pores No More by Dr. Brandt (.25 oz sample): $11.25
Perversion Mascara by Urban Decay (.1 oz sample): $5.50
Silk Kajal eyeliner by Lord & Berry (0.02 oz sample) $7.00

Total Value: $27.74

The Urban Decay Perversion mascara might be the best lengthening mascara I've ever used. It doesn't thicken my lashes as much as I like, so I'll stick with my beloved Too Faced mascara for every day. But it made my  lashes long and feathery-soft, with zero clumping until I tried to put on three coats. There's just one problem: It doesn't remove easily with soap and water.

The Lord & Berry eyeliner is smaller than my pinky, and that sucks. It's so small, it's difficult to use. But the formula is a pleasant surprise. It doesn't smear quite as much as Urban Decay's 24/7 liners, and it's great on the waterline. I just wish it was larger.

The Absolute lip balm is not impressive. With a fruity flavor and packaging that requires you to stick your finger inside, it reminds me of products I bought when I was 11. I suppose it's fine, if you like children's make up, but it's not my style. I'm surprised that Ipsy Match recommended this product for an adult woman.

The Coastal Scents blush samples are so small, I can't actually use them. When I try, I wind up with too much product on a very tiny part of the brush, and no product on the rest of the brush. Packaging fail.

The Dr. Brandt primer is incredible. It's a mattifying primer that erases pores and makes your face look airbrushed. Those products often break me out, but this one has a breakout-fighting secret weapon: Tea tree oil. I've been using it for two days, and so far I love it. I may even use the 25% off discount for Ipsy subscribers to buy a tube.

To sum it up: I'm not thrilled by the tiny samples, but Dr. Brandt's excellent primer redeems the bag. And sampling two expensive, high-end brands is never a bad thing. So, what did you get in your Ipsy bag this month? If you got the Glam Glow Youth Mud, is it as incredible as they say? People say it's the Fountain of Youth mixed with, like, unicorn tears. Is it really that good, or is it just priced that way?