Brave New Home

creating authenticity where it matters most


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DIY Wallpapered Lamp Shades

DIY lamp shadeWell, I found my first use for the gorgeous wallpaper samples I received from Farrow and Ball!  Enter plain jane yet totally functional (and affordable!) Arstid.lamp shades beforeI just couldn’t bring myself to pay almost $200 for the plug-in swing arm wall lamps I had been eying.  Ikea to the rescue!  There are some things that Ikea can just not be beat on (come on, $30 for a pair of wall lights, light bulb included!?) and their lighting selection is one of them.  I lived with the lights for a bit just to get a feel if they fit our needs (and they did!)free farrow and ballinspiration and color guide and wallpaper samples with arrowI picked out the lattice wallpaper from my samples.  Per Farrow and Ball, lattice is brassy and elegant, brave and modestly chic.  Sounds like the perfect choice!ikea lamp shadeA close up up this ho hum lampshade.  I care for white lamp shades very much it’s just that this accordion cover had me wincing. stripped lamp shade  First, I got to deconstructing the lamp shade.lamp shade templateThen I made a template of the lamp shade using some advertisements (no way I’m making a mistake on such beautiful paper!).taping wallpaper to lamp shadeAfter cutting out the shape, I simply used double sided tape to adhere the wallpaper to my lampshade.  I think I’ll probably recover these with cloth somewhere down the line so I wanted a less permanent decorating solution for the time being.painting lamp shade ribbonI saved the original ribbon from the lampshades and painted them grey.  They too got attached to the lampshades a la double sided tape.close up lamp shade redoI used white duct tape to hide the chord.  So many things to love about having white walls!pair of recovered wall lampsAnd lastly, I repositioned the lamps above our bed.  After snapping a few photos, I realized they looked better balanced above our bed compared to the side.

Linked to Alderberry Hill, City Farmhouse, The Gunny Sack, It’s Overflowing, Ginger Snap Crafts, The Shabby Creek Cottage, House of Hepworths.

Do you think the new position over the bed works better?  Have you used any interesting materials to cover a lamp shade?

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Get Inspired and Some SF Home Fronts

Inspired Design ChallengeStarting next week, I’m teaming up with a few of my favorite bloggers to challenge ourselves to get creative!  If you haven’t already, meet Angie from Angie’s Roost, Lindsay from Life of Splendor, Kristin from Bliss at Home and Sara from Embrace My Space.

Over the coming weeks, we’ll be using five stores as inspiration to move our homes forward.  Anything goes!  DIYing a shower curtain from Target, adapting a furniture layout found in the pages of an old Anthropologie catalog, painting an accent wall the color of the rim of a pair of sunglasses from Urban Outfitters—you name it!

We won’t be hosting link parties but we’d love it for you to play along and get inspired with us : ] Just leave a comment with a link to your post and we’ll feature some of our favorite inspiration posts each week.

In other news, we spent the past 4th of July (extended) weekend in San Francisco visiting family.  San Francisco has some of my favorite home architecture on this planet hands down!  I wasn’t able to squeeze in as much photo snapping of all the unique homes I would have liked (that could take weeks!) but I did manage to get in a few from a couple of the neighborhoods we were in (mostly South San Francisco and Ocean Beach).  Have a look!SF home 6SF home 5I needed a close up of those beautiful planters (or oversized statement window boxes?).  Gorgeous, right?SF home planter SF home 4 SF home 3 SF home 2I don’t think I’d ever paint my exterior Pepto Bismal pink but I’d love having a neighbor do it!  I can’t help but smile just looking at this photo.SF home 1A Mondrian inspired home front.  I wonder if it extends to the interior?SF home 7Apparently I was really drawn to color this weekend!

Are you planning on taking on the Inspired Design Challenge with us?  Any projects jump to mind?

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Oooh Say Can You See

To celebrate Independence Day, today I am sharing with you some patriotic home fronts from homes nearby the base The Hubs works at.  Not only are the houses stunning, lots of them proudly wear their colors year round—this is a military community after all! If you take a close look, many of the homes have other (and less obvious) flag inspired decorations like pinwheels, pillows, and wall art.  Enjoy!patriotic home 2patriotic home 7patriotic home 1patriotic home 5 patriotic home 3patriotic home 4 patriotic home 6Have a fun and safe Fourth of July Holiday!

Do you break out your flags for the fourth or do you display them year round?

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Tea with the Barefoot Contessa

tea cup jennifer and ina garten cook bookIf I could have lunch with any person it would probably be…Ina Garten.  Madeline Albright would be a great choice, too, but (and I’ve seen her give a talk in-person) I fear I’d clam up or say something daft so I’d go with the approachable Miss Garten (who was also involved in government at one point).

Although she’s mostly touted as being a food celebrity, she’s one of my home style icons.  Ironically, I don’t particularly like her decorating style.  Where she scores points in my book is in striking balance between elegance and casual comfort; she creates a casual and inviting environment with deliberateness.  And that is a style I can definitely agree with!

Reading the intro to her cookbook, Barefoot Contessa at Home, felt a lot like reading a magazine editorial in the pages of House Beautiful (where she’s actually been featured twice!).  Her ideas about home inspired me and had be nodding my head in agreement.  “A good home should gather you up in its arms like a warm cashmere blanket, soothe your hurt feelings, and prepare you to go back out into that big bad world tomorrow all ready to fight the dragons,” (Barefoot Contessa at Home).  She admits she didn’t  always know how to make a house a home and that it took years of experimentation.

After marrying Jeffrey Garten, a man she met in her high school years, she relocated to North Carolina where Jeffrey was stationed.  To occupy her time while her husband was away serving (I can relate to that!), Ina began dabbling in cooking and entertaining.  Ina continued her studies and climbing the proverbial ladder while following Jeffrey from town-to-town.  Ultimately, she landed a job as a nuclear energy analyst at the White House.

Upon spotting an ad for a speciality food store in Westhampton Beach, she left her job in DC and opened up her shop, the Barefoot Contessa.  The rest is history!

The Gartens own three residences, one in Paris, another in Manhattan and a third in East Hampton where her Food Network show, Barefoot Contessa, is filmed.  Here are a few of my favorite photos from her Manhattan residence:

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And a few from her East Hampton residence:

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So simple yet elegant, right?  I respect Ina’s authenticity, both in her home decor choices and in her life choices.  Many would consider a position at the White House to be the ultimate job but she abandoned that career track to follow a passion that allowed her to be creative (and wildly successful).  Her and Jeffrey really seem to support one another.  Aren’t they just too cute? 

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Do you have a home style icon?  Can you relate to Ina’s style?

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Fling: Oversized Animal Art

fling  (flng) noun: a short period of unrestrained pursuit of one’s wishes or desires.

Lately, I’m really feeling large, over sized, black and white animal art.  They’re such a statement!  Here are a few of my favorites:

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couch with oversized animal artI think the spot above our love sofa would be a perfect candidate for a large black and white animal print!  Doesn’t this lama just make you smile : ]  I think a large animal print in conjunction with the cowhide rug in our living room might be animal overload though.  It’d be neat to snap a photo of an animal and have it printed as an engineer print (you know, those really large black and white posters you can have printed at Kinko’s).

How do you feel about animal prints?  Yay or neighhhh?  Hehe.  I think this may be the only way my husband let’s me bring another animal into our home :P

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