Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Wish List Part 1: The Kitchen

Man, January just flew by.  It seems like the year only just started and here we are in February.

You've seen my 2012 to-do list for the house, but I thought I'd also start on a list of items I'd like to pick up throughout the year as well.

Part 1: The Kitchen

1. Blown glass succulent terrarium

source: Shelterness (I believe this is The Brick House)

2. Saarinen Tulip/Noguchi Cyclone-style kitchen table

source: Treadway Gallery
source: Office Designs

3. Eames shell/Bertoia wire-style chair (x2)

source: St. Houzz

source: Blogspot - Room Lust

source: Knockaround

4. Scandinavian dinnerware (Ikea 365+ - $29.99 18pc set)
source: Ikea

5. Scandinavian flatware (Ikea Lärd - $24.99 20pc set)
source: Ikea

6. Scandinavian glasses (Ikea Svalka - $4.99 6pc set)
source: Ikea

7. Bamboo placemat (Ikea Toga - $1.99)
source: Ikea

8. A trash can that doesn't look terrible (much harder to find and more expensive than one would think)
source: Amazon

Sunday, January 29, 2012


I know.  I know!  You are probably all sick to death of rugs, but I went to the girlfriend to speak about the purchase, and now I'm more confused than ever.  This whole decision has been taking far more time and energy than necessary, and I think I've figured out why.

I've got conflicting ideas of how I want the place to look!

On the one hand, I really the look of an eclectic mix of antique/vintage and modern, more of a typical european style.  It's super classy, grown-up, and sophisticated.  It also matches well with my current home, a 1940's gingerbread-style with a lot of beiges, browns, and other earth tones as well as antiqued brass hardware.  If I went this route, I'd probably need to pick a flat-woven kilim rug in a more muted rust, beige, or black, a natural-colored jute, a natural-colored shag, or a cowhide.  Obviously, I'd also need a more traditional pattern or solid as well.

On the other hand, the typical Mid-century Modern style look also appeals to me.  It's a bit more "kitsch", funky, and fun. As far as rugs go, I could use something more modern with brighter colors and bold patterns.  It might go a bit better with the teal sofa and chartreuse chair too.

I've never been a very stylish/artsy person (at all), so I think that by starting out with a set list of rugs that I'd put together and checking a few off, I kind of limited myself.  I need some input from my keen-eyed, fashionable readers, who are likely far better at this sort of thing than me.

Of course, both of the rugs that were picked last time around are still solid options...

... but lets see what you all can find.  What type of rug do you think I should go with (material/color)?  What works with my space?  If you feel up to having a look around (bonus cool points), I have a budget of about $140 and the rug needs to be around 5x8 in size.  Overstock.com is a great place to start.  They have a huge selection of low-priced and stylish rugs.  Who knows, you might even find one for you like for your own place!

Here is my abode as it stands:

Go crazy folks!  Thanks for all of your help!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The final countdown

Today is the final day of Rugmania 2012, so get your final votes in and we'll hopefully be placing the order tonight!  Have a little trouble visualizing what they would look like last time around?  Well, I've put my excellent Photoshop skills to work...

As it stands, the vote tally is at 4 for rug #1 and 5 for #2.  Every vote counts!

To Do List

This likely won't be of much interest to you all, but I thought that it would be good to get everything written down.  Here is my home-related to do list for 2012:

*Replace roof
*Buy and install blinds
*Install electrical outlets in sunroom
*Install electrical outlets in second story
*Replace light switches with dimmer switches
*Fix and install sputnik chandelier
*Replant front garden
*Clean, repair, and paint garden shed
*Patch cracks in drywall/plaster
*Repair water damage in study and second story
*Have basement tile removed
*Build workbench
*Make and install storm windows
*Fix front door window
*Seal basement
*Repaint basement
*Replace basement windows with glass block
*Find room dividers/curtains for basement (to hide workroom and laundry)
*Buy and install washer and dryer
*Level back patio
*Run line for ice-maker
*Replace second story lighting
*Fix/replace drain vent pipe
*Replace toilet seat
*Paint bathtub

I know that I won't get everything done this year, but I'll give it the old college try.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Rugmania 2012

It's time for the final showdown!  After all of your input and no small amount of ruminating, I've narrowed the selection down to two fine, woven competitors.  Two rugs enter, but only one will find its place in the living room.

Note: I plan on getting some Kilim pillows (above) for the sofa as well

In this corner we have the 5x8 hand woven kilim in a black and off-white zig-zag pattern.  It's neutral.  It's modern.  It's gorgeous!  It's only weakness: it might blend in with the taupe/beige walls.

In the other corner we have another 5x8 hand woven kilim, this time in a red, off-white, and black pattern.  This bad boy is a heavy-hitter with a lot of pop and a classic design, but will it's bold colors  leave it exposed to it's more flexible opponent?

Which floor covering will reign supreme?

Let's get ready to ruuuuuuuuu(g)mble!

Is it "Jax" or "Jacks"? Somebody needs to clear this up.

Bill Curry Jax Doorstop
Source: Monkivintage (Etsy)

Ahhh, the jax bookends and doorstops...

I've been looking for a set of these little guys for a while, but the number one rule of thrifting (if you are seeking for something specific, you'll never find it), as always, has held true.

Surely they must be fairly cheap on Ebay or Etsy, right?  I mean it's just a simple painted cast iron form.


Reserve price of $250?  $325?!  $375?!!!

They're dreamin'.

One name keeps the price of these items sky-high: George Nelson.

After seeing this attribution, I'd resigned myself to a life without playground game-themed decor.  However, Mr. Modtomic did a great write-up a while back in which he stated that he believed them to be designed by Bill Curry, founder of Design Line, Incorporated, who also happened to design a jax coffee table.

Bill Curry Jax Coffee Table
Source: Modern_Cactus (Ebay)

I did a bit of research on my own and found a number of threads discussing the origin of the jax, but nothing definitive.  That is until now...

Yes, that's Bill Curry and his elusive jax.  It turns out that an old friend (supposedly) of the Curry family started a blog to set the record straight.

"Bill was my father's best friend and when Bill died in 1971 at the age of 43, my father married his wife Jacquelyn.  Together they did their best to keep Design Line, Inc. alive. The 70s weren't kind to a design company so rooted in the 1960s, so they packet up the remaining inventory and called it quits in 1977. Sadly, Jackie died a few years later in 1985.

Now decades later, my father dusted off a box of Bill's work and its contents - photographs, blueprints, sketches realized and unrealized, letters, writings, brochures, and clippings will help me tell you about Bill Curry and Design Line.

And as for setting the record straight, the Jack bookend (cast-iron prototype shown) is often in various locations on the web incorrectly attributed to George Nelson.  Design Line, Inc. produced a 6" 3 lb rough iron casting in 12 colors which sold for $7, the brass were $9 and a slightly larger 9" 9 lb version and also made a large plastic table base Jack."

I know.  I know.  It's a blog and anyone could just make this stuff up, but what motivation would they have to do so?  It seems pretty legit to me, especially given Curry's other designs.

I also found that a number of manufacturers produced unlicensed copies, of which they sold vast quantities.  So perhaps my quarry will one day turn up at a reasonable price.

Until then, I think that we can call this case (almost) solved!