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10 Mar 20:35

DIY Bent Arm Chandelier

by Mandi
DIYBrassBentArmChandelierTutorial.jpg

Building lights is sort of my thing.  It is honestly my DIY spirit animal.  That being said this light pushed me to the brink.  Not because it is hard, but because I was trying to figure out the best way to do it in the most uncomplicated way possible (which complicates things).  So after trying out 3 different types of wires and few hardware swaps I am SO excited to share with you the most simplified version of this brass bent arm chandelier! 

 DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier Tutorial

A few weeks ago I was thumbing through a magazine and came across this gorgeous light from Circa lighting.  I loved all of the different angles and the whole feel of it.  I also love Lindsay Adelman and her branch lights so hard. I knew that I could use both of them as a jumping off point for an amazing light in the entryway.

After spending a few hours on Grand Brass looking at all of the parts that they had, and a lot of sketching I came up with a plan (and ended up with a lot of parts.)  All of the serial numbers for the parts are listed after their description.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier Parts

a. (12) 8in. X 1/8 IPS HOLLOW BRASS PIPE STEM (PIBR08-0X8)
b. (12) 6in. X 1/8 IPS HOLLOW BRASS PIPE STEM (PIBR06-0X8)
c. (6) 1/8F sides X 1/8F bottom X 1/8F top SMALL CLUSTER BODY (BOS2X8)
d.(12) 3-1/4in. SPOKED HOLDER CAST BRASS with 1/8F TAPPED HOLE (HO3-1/4S)
e.(12) PORCELAIN SOCKET (SO10045C)
f. (1)1/8F sides X 1/4F bottom X 1/8F top JUMBO CLUSTER BODY (BOJ6)
g. (3)* 12in. X 1/8 IPS HOLLOW BRASS PIPE STEM (PIBR12-0X8)
h. (1) 1/4IPS PIPE PENDANT HANGING CROSS BAR SET (CB208)
i. (6) 1/8F X 1/8F ips. ADJUSTABLE FRICTION SWIVEL (SV140)
j. (2)* 1/8F THRU 5/8H X 5/8W STRAIGHT COUPLING (NE438) 
k. (1) 1/4 PLUG WITH SCREW DRIVER SLOT (FI1/4PLUG) 
l. (6) 1/8 PLUG WITH SCREW DRIVER SLOT (FI1/8PLUG) 
m. (1) 8in. BRASS FLAT BASE W/RETURN (BAFL08NW) (We had to drill our hole larger, so if you dont have a                 tool to do this they have some that are smaller in diameter with a bigger hole.)
n. (12) OPAL 3-3/4" DIAMETER X 4-1/8" HEIGHT WITH 3" FITTER ROUND BOTTOM CYLINDER TUBE (GLC304)
o. (12) 22-10 Crimp Sleeve
p. (2) large wire nuts
q. (2) Medium wire nuts
r. (1) Wire stripper/cutter
s. Lamp wire

*dependant on the height of your ceiling

While this project isn’t horribly hard (now that we know the right way to do it) it’s definitely not on a beginner DIY level.

You are going to start by assembling your short arms (these are the arms without the bend) using the 8” brass pipe (a.), the spoked holder (d.), and the metal base for the socket. (Make sure that once everything is assembled you tighten the small screw on the socket base.)  This will keep your entire socket from unscrewing when you are changing the light bulb.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-9

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-29

Next you are going to assemble the longer arms using 2 of the 6” pipe (b.),  the spoked holder (d.), the metal base for the socket (e.) and the friction swivel (i.)

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-10

 

Take apart the friction swivel (dont lose the little bits!) and attach each side to the brass pipe.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-13

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-15

 

Wire your socket by checking for the textured edge on your lamp wire.  The smooth one is hot and will be connected to the gold screw inside your socket.  The textured edge is going to be connected to the silver screw. 

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-19

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-20

 

Then feed the other end of the wire through your socket base and brass tube.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-21

 

Attach the socket to the base.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-16

 

When you get to the friction swivel you will have to split your wire to go around the post in the middle (I just split mine from the bottom, up to this point).

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-22

 

Reassemble the swivel using all the little parts that you didn’t lose (because you are AWESOME!!)

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-23

 

I didn’t tighten the screw down all the way until I was completely done with the light (it made things a little floppy) but it gave me a little more play with the wire.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-24

The next step is connecting your short arm and long arm to the hub and adding a 3rd wire that will connect everything to the main body of the chandelier.  This was hands down the most complicated part of the entire light.

So here is what I learned.

Starting with the fact that the wires in this picture are WAY too long.  But it is all I had to show you so sorry about that ;).

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-26

Make sure that the wires that are coming into the hub are on the same sides (hot, hot, and hot, neutral, neutral, and neutral)  this will give you a little more room because they aren’t crossing over each other and adding more bulk to the situation.

Cut and strip the wires as short as you can while still being able to mange them (I think ours ended up about 1/2”-3/4” long)  Twist the wire together and clamp it with a wire clamp (we had to trim a small amount of the plastic off of the edge of the wire clamp)

Lay it in as flat as possible.  Once you have both of your wires clamped and sort of inside, gently pull on the 3rd wire (it is still exposed at this point, it hasn’t been covered up by the brass tube) and suck everything inside the little chamber.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-27

 

Then add the cap and the screw plug.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-33

 

Thread your 3rd wire through an 8” piece of pipe (a.) and connect it to the main body of the chandelier (f.) The body of the chandelier is an egg shaped brass piece that screws apart.  When it unscrews, the piece with all of the holes is the bottom section.  (This is a mini version)

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-32

 

Repeat for all 6 arms.  When you are attaching them make sure that they alternate which arm (long or short) is on the top.

Once you have all of your wires in the main center hub take all of the hot and twist them together,  adding one more long length of wire.  This will be the main wire that runs up the stem to the ceiling.  We found that it worked best to twist one group and then after the wire nut was on to tuck it down inside so that it was out of the way before twisting the second group.

To assemble the stem that comes out of the ceiling you are going to use the 12” pieces of pipe with the straight couplings.  The amount that you need is based entirely on how high your ceilings are and how low you want your light to hang.  This will attach to the hole in the top of the upper body section.  The bottom section has a larger (1/4”) hole that you will cover up with the screw plug.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-35

 

Add the large screw ring for the canopy (it comes attached to the hang straight coupling), the canopy, then the hang straight coupling and the cross piece in that order. Tighten everything up.   I mentioned above that the canopy that we ordered had a hole that was too small.  We used a hole saw that we had left over from this project to make it bigger.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-17

 

Now comes the fun part. MAKE SURE THAT YOU TURN YOUR BREAKER OFF BEFORE YOU WIRE YOUR LIGHT!  (yes that was me yelling, it is critical.)  Attach it to the ceiling with the cross bar, wire it to the house wires and bring the canopy to the ceiling and tighten the screw ring.  Dont attach the cross bar first, and then try to screw the light into that, it will just twist your wire up.  Get the hang straight attached to the cross bar first.

Apparently the ceiling beams are good for more than just looking awesome.  How’s that for MacGyver?

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-31

 

When everything is wired, tightened and light bulbs are in, flip your breaker back on and cross your fingers that everything went smoothly!

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-39

 

The last thing is to tighten the screws on your swivel elbows, and finish it off with the glass shades.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-37

If you make it through this entire tutorial, you are a rockstar!

So what did I learn rewiring the same light 15 times?

The first thing that I did was try a different type of wire because lamp wire was super thick.  Even though it had a good amount of insulation on it, it was no match for the sharp edges of the pipe.  Lamp wire was the only kind (I tried 3 different varieties) that didn’t have the coating stripped off of it.  Go with lamp wire.

When something seems too small, that is because it is.  The original main body of the chandelier was teeny.  Too teeny to fit 6 wires into.  Trust me I tried.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-40

 

The bigger one that the final light ended up with was SO MUCH BETTER. 

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier-34

 

The last thing that I learned?  The projects that push you to your breaking point and you hang in there and dont give up, usually end up being your favorite.

DIY Wooden Beams-14

 

We’re thinking of adding them to the shop, so stay tuned!

Dont miss the Shop My House sale that is happening over at Joss and Main!!

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LoveYourGuts14

12 Mar 08:32

DIY Shadow Art + Video

by Mandi
VR_IntroPost_ForTwitter.jpg

Happy #100reveal Thursday!!

VR_Intro Post_For Twitter

You guys. I have got the COOLEST project for you today. As I was brainstorming ideas for these fun GE reveal® light bulb projects my natural train of thought was obviously to do something cool with light.  But we’ve already rewired a light, and made an amazing chandelier for the entryway

Something different was just what the Dr. ordered.

Something new.

 

Shadow Art DIY vintagerevivals

So armed with $100 to The Home Depot, and a GE reveal® light bulb I set out on my quest.

You know when you get an idea that just seems so crazy, and when you tell everyone in your life about it they genuinely don’t understand what you are explaining?  No? Just me? 

This project describes that perfectly. I have been super obsessed with shadow art lately, but it is always done on such a grand art installation scale.

I wanted a way to be able to simplify it enough to use it in my house.  And probably not use it to make human shapes because that would be terrifying to stumble across in the middle of the night.

So after thinking long and hard about it for a minute or 2 I set out to see if it would work.  If I could actually do something using light and shadow.

 

I conducted a little experiment and here is what I learned:

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 1.17.40 AM

 

It is entirely possible…IF you have the right kind of light bulb, and the right angle.

The light bulb is critical, it needs to give off enough light to cast a strong shadow and it also needs to be focused.  A regular style light bulb disperses the light too much, but a reveal® indoor flood light worked perfectly.

The angle of the light, will lengthen + shorten your shadow, and the distance from the pegs will straighten out the letters (the further away the less skewed they are.)

So with this in mind we started with a little trip to my version of Disneyland…The Home Depot.

I bought a GE reveal® indoor flood light (and a regular one for the before and after) (4) 8’x1”x6”, a 3’x1”x1” wooden dowel and a 2×4’ sheet of underlayment. 

After you’ve measured the exact size of the underlayment (this will serve as the backboard for everything) you are going to cut 2 pieces that measure the width of the underlayment horizontally (2’) and 2 pieces that measure the vertical distance between the 2 horizontal boards.  This is a backer frame and will give you something to attach the face frame and the underlayment to.

Next you are going to cut 2 boards with 45 degree angles that have an inner measurement that match your underlayment.

PSA:  For the LOVE cut these angles so that they look like this:

DIY Shadow Art Frame vintagerevivals.com-2

 

Not like this:

DIY Shadow Art Frame

Court, I’m talking to you.

If you did not heed the above advice, head back to The Home Depot and buy yourself another couple of boards…#fun.

Once you have your boards cut the right way, use a nail gun to attach them to the back frame.

Shadow Art Project

 

Then put your underlayment on top and secure it with a few nails.

DIY Brass Bent Arm Chandelier

 

To make the light I took apart this cute desk lamp that I’ve had laying around and a few spare parts from the Bent Arm chandelier build.

All I did was deconstruct this light that I bought a while ago:

Screen Shot 2015-03-12 at 9.44.20 AM

 

And put it back together with the long arm in between the base and the socket (I wanted to be able to adjust the light angle as much as I need to.)  I also swapped in a cord that looked better and had a higher wattage rating.

DIY Shadow Art vintagerevivals.com-6

Then I drilled a small hole in the center of the frame and fed the cute new wire through.   The last bit of light construction was wiring a plug on the end.  Its time for a common sense disclaimer, these bulbs can get warm, this isn’t a light that you will want to leave on for hours and hours. Yes? Yes.

Once the light was hung inside the frame (with a small screw) it was time to place the dowels.

I did this part last so that I had complete control over the way that the shadow cast.

Shadow Art Project-2

 

Once I measured and marked where my short dowels (they measure 3.5”) were going to live, I used a small amount of Titebond III wood glue to adhere them to the board.

Shadow Art Project-6

 

A roll of painters tape works wonders to hold them in place while the glue dries.

Shadow Art Project-4

DIY Shadow Art vintagerevivals.com-8

 

Want to see what it turned into?

When the house lights are on and the spotlight is off you have this curious and delightfully inoffensive bit of wooden art on the wall.

DIY Shadow Art Light Off vintagerevivals.com

 

When you shut off the house lights, and turn on the spotlight you get a friendly little message:

DIY Shadow Art vintagerevivals.com  

 

Amazing right?!  I mean, who doesn’t want your decor to actually greet you!!? And for a grand total of less than $50 no less!

DIY-Shadow-Art-vintagerevivals.com

 

Because of the closeness of the light onto the board I was a little curious if you would even be able to tell a difference with the reveal® light bulb.  Oh ye of little faith Mandi.  Of course you can.  Directly on the light it’s a little hard to tell a difference, but look at how much cleaner white the reveal® side is, and how much sharper the shadow.  (Bulbs used were 40 W Soft White Spotlight vs 45 W reveal® Halogen Indoor Flood bulb.)

DIY Shadow Art GE Reveal Before and After vintagerevivals

 

 

Shadow Art DIY vintagerevivals

What do you think?  Do you love it?!

Its time for another giveaway!!  You know the drill, (10) winners will win a $100 Home Depot gift card, and a GE reveal® lighting package, all you have to do to enter is leave a comment and let me know what level of DIYer do you consider yourself to be and/or tell me about your favorite DIY project that you have completed!

ge_reveal_giveaway copy

LoveYourGuts14

25 Mar 12:00

Planning Lucy’s Big Girl Room

by Mandi
Tifmurray

I like the paint treatment in the "after" at the bottom. Been thinking about switching our bedroom with the guest room, and I'd love to paint the guest room like this.

Vintage-Inspired Toddler Bedroom Ideasvintage toddler room inspiration

What’s the first thing I thought of when I found out I’m pregnant? I’m going to be totally vulnerable and tell you that among my first thoughts were possible color schemes for the new kiddo’s room. You know, the important stuff. The interior designer side of me stayed up late dreaming of cute color combinations and mentally space planning our spare room for a crib and baby furniture. But one morning I had a redeeming thought pop into my head: Why redecorate a room for a baby who could care less, when I have a toddler who would find the whole process as exciting as I do?

I scratched my plans to makeover our spare room for the new babe and decided to ask Lucy about what she would want for the room instead. And what did my little firecracker tell me? “BOOOOO!” What color do you want the walls to be? “Boooo!” What color do you want your bed to be? “Boooo!” What color does mommy like least out of all the other colors? Bluuuuuue! But I set out to find a fun and fresh color scheme that was Lucy approved and wouldn’t require too many new purchases. I prefer shopping for home furnishings and accessories in our storage shed in the backyard.

Well, as our little girl ran around yelling “Booo woom! Boo wooom!” this week, we got to work at clearing out the spare bedroom and painting it a beautiful shade of light blue. Now we’re just wrapping up the painting, and I’m getting excited to paint and instal moulding this week. But first I thought I’d stop and take inventory of the things I’ve collected to far for Miss Lucy’s new room.

blue pom pom trim 5 yards for $5.50 from Etsy
inexpensive white curtain pair $41.07 for a pair from Amazon
eyeball sconce white $29.00 from Urban Outfitters
valspar la fonda mirage blue Valspar’s La Fonda Mirage #5003-5B
rabbit bunny nightlight $14.99 from Target
puppy sheets $69.00 from Land of Nod
ball finial white curtain rod $14.99 from Amazon
8 $354.76 for 8×10 from Amazon

off white diamond grid shag rug

Lucy’s furniture was either found or given to us, but we’re still looking for a dresser. Her headboard is a beautiful royal blue ironwork piece that will add a nice feminine touch to her room, though I would’ve never chosen that color had it been up to me. Lucky for Lucy, we found it that way and I didn’t feel like undertaking a big stripping and refinishing job, so it sort of forced me to bring royal blue into the mix. Now I’m kind of loving it!

Lucy's Room Before

Lucy's Room Before

I’m planning on adding a picture rail moulding strip to the spot where the color changes on the wall. I’m hoping it will add a nice classic touch to the room, while helping a fickle girl like me keep from making nail holes in the walls as I change out the artwork from time to time. So far we’re loving the changes, but Lucy’s actually been the most excited. I’m just so glad we decided to give her the new room instead of the baby, because that gal sure is enjoying watching the transformation!

This week we’re heading out to my favorite inexpensive antique shops to look for an old dresser with lots of character. If all else fails, we’ll go for Ikea (cheap!), but I’m keeping my fingers crossed that I can find something used. Wish me luck!

continue reading

The post Planning Lucy’s Big Girl Room appeared first on Making Nice in the Midwest.

23 Mar 13:18

Invisible Bookends

by A Beautiful Mess
Tifmurray

I love this idea. Chris is doing a book purge right now and it's making me rethink about how our "library" is organized.

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Bookends are a great way to add a bit of style to your bookshelf, but what about when you don't really have room for a big ol' bookend? Or maybe you just want to keep things simple on your bookshelf. I had that problem recently. I needed a way to keep my books standing up at the end of the shelf, but didn't want to clutter things up with bookends, or ugly them up with thin metal bookends like the ones you see at the library. I just wanted my pretty books to shine in all their glory.

Then the thought occurred to me— Why not turn a pretty, forgotten book from the thrift store into a bookend, solving all my bookshelf problems? It's the perfect thin shape, looks great, and is a nice way to give new life to a damaged or discarded book.

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.See? No, you don't see, do you? That's because my bookends are practically invisible! They blend right into their environment while adding a bit of classic style to the ends of my bookshelf. A wonderful solution. Check out how easy they are to make!

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Supplies (for two bookends):
-2 books with 1" spines
-2 thin metal bookends (I used these)
-1x6 board or a board of another dimension to fit your book (see notes below)
-super glue (I used gorilla glue)
-clamps
-craft blade

Selecting Your Book and Lumber Size: My books measured about 5.75" deep, 8.25" high, and 1" thick. It's important to find a book depth that will correspond with lumber standard widths, so you don't have to do any unnecessary cutting of the lumber later. This is why I used a book with a 1" spine. I used a 1x6 board to fill the inside of my book, which really measures .75" x 5.75". This board fit my book dimensions perfectly! How did I know that would happen? Well, I brought my book spine to the lumber yard with me! There's a first time for everything.

If you can't find 1" thick books and need to fill out the inside of your book more, you can also find thinner sheets of lumber below the standard lumber sizes at places like Lowe's. Just stack and glue the boards to your desired thickness.

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Step One: Use a sharp craft blade or razor to cut away the contents of the book from its spine.

Feel free to read the contents later! Or discard the pages as I did. I was able to do this guilt-free, because I found my book at the thrift store and figured it was unloved and needed a new life.

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Step Two: Wrap the book spine around your lumber to mark where to cut the lumber. I left about a 1/8" gap at the top to achieve a more realistic book effect.

Step Three: Cut the board to the length you marked. If you don't have a saw at home, you can do this at the lumber yard. They will make cuts for you for free.

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Step Four: Cover the wooden blocks and metal bookends with moderate amounts of Gorilla Glue, as shown above. Don't get too close to the edges or it will seep out. Gorilla Glue foams and expands as it's clamped, which makes for a strong hold, but a messy final product if you're not careful when applying the glue.

Step Five: Once everything is all glued into place, use clamps to press it all together as the glue sets up. You should use scrap lumber as a buffer between the book and the clamps or the clamps will leave indents in your book. I made the mistake of not doing this, and got some pretty visible denting, especially on my orange book. Thankfully the dents aren't noticeable on my shelves. Whew!

Turn discarded books into invisible bookends for a streamlined bookshelf display.Here are my invisible bookends in action. It's as if my books are saying, "Look, Ma! No hands!" -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella from the Signature Collection.

16 Mar 13:17

Suede Colorblocked Catchall DIY

by A Beautiful Mess
Tifmurray

For Crafternoon?

  Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)        Being a DIY-minded girl, I often see pretty items being sold in stores and instead of thinking, "I want that!" it's usually "Can I make that?" I saw this cute little suede catchall dish online and my brain went straight to how I could recreate the idea at home. In case you aren't sure what a "catchall dish" is, it's a little dish or container that people keep on their entryway table or counter where they can throw their keys, loose change, or other items that are floating around in the vicinity. They're great! It's like a junk drawer for your keys! If you don't want to use suede, you could also make this with a thick wool felt—that would be pretty as well.

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)
Supplies:
- suede (real or faux) in two colors
- scissors or rotary cutter and metal ruler
- leather punch (anything that will punch a hole through leather as big as your screw posts will work)
- leather glue
- 1/4" screw posts (4 sets)
- hammer
- small square object as a corner guide

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial) First you'll want to cut a square of leather that is 7" x 7" and another smaller square of your second color that is 4.5" x 4.5". Use the leather glue to glue the smaller square exactly in the middle of your larger square. Well, as close to exact as you can anyway...

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)        Align a square object (like a small box or a square vase) with the corner of your inside color square and pinch the larger square sides up with your fingers at the corner. Use a marker to make a small mark on the outside of the leather where the corner is made.

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)        Use your leather punch to punch a hole in that marked spot, pinch the corner in half again, and trace the hole you just punched onto the other side of the suede fold. Punch that hole as well so you end up with two mirror image holes. Repeat this process with each corner.

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)        Screw your posts through the holes to connect the sides.

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)     You can leave the corners pointed if you want, but I took fabric scissors and chopped them off a bit for a cleaner look. To get the sides to stand up straight at more of a right angle, you can fold each side in towards the middle, take a hammer, and hammer across the folded seams where the bottom meets each side. This will create a crease in the leather so it will be more willing to bend at that spot. That's it, you're done!

Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)     Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)     Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)     Seude Colorblocked Catchall DIY (click through for tutorial)         I love that this was such a simple project to make and it turned out so cute too! You could make a couple of theses at once to give out as gifts or be a little selfish and just keep them in different spots around your place. You can do all one color if you like (still cut out the two sizes of squares though so it gives the dish more shape), but I think the color blocked bottom is fun. Time to show my keys their new home! xo. Laura

Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

11 Mar 13:34

kitchen reno: choosing quartz countertops

by gemma
Tifmurray

My dream kitchen has white/grey, marble-like countertops like these.

Let’s chat kitchen countertops today. Specifically, quartz countertops that look like carrara marble. Warning: this is a seriously long post and if you have no interest in countertops and kitchen reno’s, I suggest you just close’r down now. Or take a shot for every time you read the word “quartz”. That’ll make things a whole lot more exciting for sure. Just don’t  play a blog post drinking game and drive.

Some of the decisions with our house reno have been made quickly, and others have been laboured over for a long while. This was the latter.

Here we are, countertop-less…

DSC_1300

First step in any kitchen counter decision is material choice. There are so many options these days when it comes to counters – laminate, granite, quartz, quartzite, corian, marble, butcher block, concrete, soapstone, etc – and each have their advantages and disadvantages. We were constantly weighing looks vs price vs longevity and maintenance. Depending on your budget, needs of your household, and your style preference, your choice here is going to vary. I don’t think there are any “bad” choices – just different options to suit different needs. Our criteria came down to the following:

Looks: I wanted something that was light – largely white with a bit of grey – to tie the two colours in the cabinetry together. I like the veining that you find in stone, but didn’t want it to be overly busy.

Longevity & Maintenance: We are a young family and only just in the beginning of likely several decades of fairly major wear and tear on our house. We wanted something that would stand up to kids in the kitchen and would be as maintenance free as possible. I didn’t want to be having to wipe down a spill a split second after it happened because I was worried about staining, or have to seal the counters every year. I’m a low maintenance kind of gal.

Price: To get what we wanted in a) and b) above, we knew we would have to shell out some serious coin. In our overall kitchen scheme, we decided to save on cabinetry (IKEA) and backsplash (more on that in another post) in order to spend more of our budget on countertops.

carrara marble countertop alternatives

 

After considering all of that, the choice to go with a quartz was pretty clear. It is an engineered stone, so you can get that look of veining as you would in a natural stone, but it is super durable and maintenance free. No having to seal it annually like granite, or worry about spills and staining like a marble. There is absolutely nothing wrong with any of those choices – we were just trying to choose what would work best FOR US. Here is an article on Remodelista more about the pros and cons of engineered quartz.

Once you get into the world of quartz manufacturers, there are tons of choices. Maybe too many, as it makes the decision process hard! I knew I wanted something that had white and grey in it like a marble, so I went out and started collecting samples and looking at slabs in person where possible.

If I even moderately liked what I saw, I brought samples home with me so that I could hold them up to my cabinetry in the light of my kitchen. There is nothing better than seeing something in your own space – way different than in a showroom under fluorescent lighting. FYI that sometimes it wasn’t super easy to get the sample pieces – it took some persuading and promises of bringing them back to the show room, so be firm if you go out looking. If possible have some sample pieces of your cabinetry and other finishes with you, so that you can see everything together in one place, if you aren’t able to bring home a sample.

If you are looking for a quartz that has grey and white in it and looks similar to carrara marble, these are the ones you might want to check out (this list is current as of March 2015 – manufacturers are always adding new colours). Please also know that these were just the ones I came across, I’m sure there are others out there!

quartz countertop options that look like marble - via the sweetest digs

Here are bigger screenshots of each countertop option, with links to the manufacturer.

Caesarstone – Calcatta Nuvo:

calcatta nuvo

Caesarstone – Frosty Carrina:

caesarstone - frosty carrina
Caesarstone – Misty Carrera:

caesarstone - misty carraraSilestone – Lyra:

silestone - lyra
Silestone – Lagoon:

silestone - lagoonSanta margherita – victoria:

santa margherita - victoria
Santa margherita – lyskamm:

Santa margherita - lyskamm
Cambria – Torquay:

cambria - torquay

Belenco – Fairy White:

belenco - fairy white
Hanstone – Tranquility:

Style: "BEAU_swatches"

Zodiaq – Coarse Carrara:

zodiac - course carraraZodiaq – Snow Drift:

zodiaq - snow drift

After checking each one of those out in person, I narrowed it down to 6 for our kitchen. They all had a fair bit of white in them, and didn’t have the flecks or speckled look that you often find in quartz. It’s totally a personal preference thing – I just don’t like the little flecks and prefer a smooth look with grey veining.

marble lookalike quartz countertop options via the sweetest digs

At this point, I got detailed quotes for each one of these materials. All of these manufacturers are reputable, so price would definitely help us narrow it down. To be honest, I could have been persuaded to go for any of these.

Definitely the front runner for me initially was the Calcatta Nuvo as I thought the veining was just so striking and the grey and white were perfect in our kitchen. And of course, it was the one that was by far the most expensive. Isn’t that always how it is? Cut.

The Frosty Carrina was second most expensive and I wasn’t thrilled by how little veining there was in it, and it was predominantly grey rather than white, so it was nixed.

The last four came in at very comparable prices, so it was just a matter of looks: Tranquility was very white with quite dark, dramatic veining and lots of white space (I thought this one was going to be my favourite, but it just didn’t feel right in our kitchen); Coarse Carrara had some ever so slight flecks/speckles that I didn’t love; and Snow Drift ended up feeling just too busy. So left standing? Santa Margherita Victoria. Winner winner chicken dinner. I should also mention that I went out and saw a big slab of it in person before putting in my order. It’s such a major decision that seeing it on a small scale and on the computer wasn’t enough. I often found that I saw an option on the computer that looked ahhh-mazing, and then in person it looked so different from what I had imagined. So word of warning — always go in person!

Basically as soon as the installers were bringing the slab through the door, I knew it was exactly the right decision. The counters are bright and read like a nice white from a distance.

santa margherita victoria quartz countertops - via the sweetest digsBut when you get close up, the veining detail adds so much interest, without overtaking the whole counter.

santa margherita victoria quartz countertops - via the sweetest digs

I went with a squared edge profile. Simple and clean.santa margherita victoria quartz countertops - via the sweetest digs

They feel solid, smooth, and seriously lovely. Oh, and the seams (we have 3 in our corners) are barely noticeable. I’m totally in love. Bigtime. santa margherita victoria quartz countertops - via the sweetest digs santa margherita victoria quartz countertops - via the sweetest digs

You got some sneak peaks at other elements in the kitchen there… it’s coming together, hey? Things sort of happened quickly all of a sudden. Probably because I was feeling the pressure of getting it close to completion for my last Globe & Mail article (coming out in tomorrow’s paper – my last in the 5 article series I have written). Anyway, more details on those finishing details soon!

For local folks who might be interested, we purchased our countertops through Kemptville Interiors, supplied by Hiltz Marble & Granite. They were all an absolute pleasure to work with!

Find more posts on the kitchen reno here: designing the kitchen + installing IKEA kitchen cabinetry.

What sort of countertops do you guys have in your kitchen? Do you love ‘em? We did butcher block in the basement kitchen, and I loved the look of those. So warm. Oh and I know some folks who poured their own concrete counter – and it looks amaaaazing. My parents have quite a stunning granite in their kitchen too, which has tons of veining and interest. It’s fun to have so many options, hey?

The post kitchen reno: choosing quartz countertops appeared first on the sweetest digs.

26 Feb 21:31

Old City Hall Transformation Unveiled

The city of Indianapolis and a Louisville-based luxury hotel developer have unveiled a $55 million plan to breathe new life into a historic building. 21c Hotels is looking to turn the Old City Hall property into a free contemporary art museum and 150-room hotel with restaurant and event space. Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard says the announcement shows the city is ready to compete globally for talent.
03 Mar 14:45

Ind. Gov't. - What is the state policy re email retention?

by Marcia Oddi
In 2012 the ILB had a number of posts on the Indiana Commission on Public Records project to create a...
26 Feb 15:16

Design Mistake #2: The ‘Too Small Rug’

by Emily

Biggest Design Mistakes_buying rugs that are too small_roundup_emily henderson_expert advice

America has been suffering for too long from ‘too small rug’ syndrome. I see it virtually every day and it pains me, especially when it’s so easily avoided. I’ve been trying to figure out how this plague came to be I think I’ve finally nailed it:

1. Huge rugs can be expensive and can feel like such a scary commitment. 2. A 5×8 or 6×9 rug sound big even though they often aren’t. 3. Catalogs and magazines are misleading. I’ve styled a lot of catalogs where we have to use the sample size (months before the actual rug is available) and its only 5×7 so we ‘make it work’ and in the shot it’s okay, but in actuality that rug is way too small for the room. I also think that retailers know that 5x7s sell so much more because they are cheaper so they don’t stock 8×10’s in the store, so when people go to purchase they think, ‘Well, this must be big enough because its the biggest one’.  Also ordering and waiting is less fun, so people just snag up the 5×7. Lastly nothing is more annoying than getting a rug home and deciding it isn’t quite right, then having to return it – so I think people just don’t.

Click through to see 25 8×10 rugs under $500  …

A rug in a living room should really ground the whole seating around – it tells everyone that THIS is where the conversation is, this is the focal point of the room, and a too small rug makes it feel disjointed and really just cheapens everything.

Here are a bunch of pretty rooms that they’ve tried to convince us have big enough rugs. They don’t:

Rugs_too small_examples_1_with copy

Don’t listen to these rooms. They look fine in a photo because everything else is beautiful, but they are actually super awkward. If you have a beautiful rug like the one on the right (above) layer it over a huge sisal or another solid flat weave. I did that here and it totally worked.

These below are particularly funny to me because we are supposed to think that the people who own that art collection and that amazing loft space are fine with those teeny tiny awkward rugs:

Rugs_too small_examples_2_with copy

I think that the first rug might be a bathmat. It must have been some sort of product roundup shot because otherwise I have no idea why there is a task lamp on the coffee table or a collection of vessels on the bath mat.

Living rooms almost ALWAYS need at least an 8×10 if not a 9×12. You heard it. Unless you have a TINY living room, stay away from anything under 6×9. Considering a 4×6? Don’t. That’s fine for next to a bed, in a kitchen, entrance, etc, but a 4×6 will assuredly not work in your living room.

Here are the two exceptions – 1. If your living room is smallish and your sofa is up against a wall, then you can float a 6×9 rug in front of it. For some reason this doesn’t look awkward or too small, probably because the seating area already feels grounded and intimate because the room is smallish and the wall is helping ground everything. And 2. If you use a cowhide. For some reason because of the sculptural shape of the hide, it can be smaller and its still pretty.

rug-exceptions

But otherwise, your rug should be big enough for at least two legs of all your furniture to be on it, and ideally all four (but I know that is asking a lot).

My rule has always been to keep it consistent – don’t have your sofa completely on it if your lounge chairs are totally off of it. Its better for them all to be distributed equally, visually.

Rugs_right size_4

Often 8×10’s aren’t even big enough to get all furniture on it, so before you purchase make sure that your room can’t handle a 9×12 rug and if so, please get that. I’ve never walked into a huge living room with a big rug grounding a seating area and thought, ‘Woah, these idiots have such a big pretty rug!!’

Rugs_right size_2

You need to make sure that your rug is first and foremost proportioned to your sofa – if your sofa is 7′ long (standard is 7′ or 8′) then your rug better at least be 9′ wide so you have a foot on either side. AT LEAST!! But don’t think ‘Oh great, I can just get a 6×9′ because if your living room is pretty big then your rug also needs to be proportioned to your room. A too small rug can and will make your beautiful living room feel smaller, choppy and generally cheap.

Tough love, today, I know. I’ve just seen it so often and it saddens me. If you love your too small rug, please just layer it on an inexpensive LARGE sisal (Ikea and Target both have affordable ones).

Meanwhile to combat this syndrome, nay PLAGUE, we have done a roundup of 8×10 (OR LARGER) rugs under $500. Brady searched for days because well, 8×10’s for $249 aren’t exactly everywhere, but we feel confidant and happy to recommend these bad boys to you. We chose $500 because there are a lot of 8×10’s under $1000 that are easy to find but the $500 or under price point felt like a good challenge and within most people’s budgets.

Best Rugs under $500_budget rug_modern_midcentury_affordable_roundup_emily henderson

1. Criss Cross Rug | 2. Dot Tile Rug | 3. Wool Sweater Rug | 4. Yellow Striped Rug | 5. Grey Stripe Rug | 6. Mystic Blue Wool Rug |  7. Chunky Woven Jute Rug | 8. Elizabeth Blue Rug | 9. Gaser Shag Rug | 10. Fresno Shag Rug | 11. Royal Area Rug | 12. Mirage Diamond Rug | 13. Pattern Hemp Rug | 14. Grey Moroccan Rug | 15. Purple Wool Kilim | 16. Braided Wool Rug | 17. Navy Moroccan Rug | 18. Grey Striped Rug | 19. Neutral Morocco Rug | 20. South Padre Rug | 21. Overdyed Red Rug | 22. Blue Leather Rug | 23. Alvine Yellow Cross Rug  | 24. Montauk Blue Rug | 25. Panja Rug | 26. Black Diamond Rug

For additional tips and rug size info check out this video I made years ago.

May your living room feel more pulled together, grounded and proportioned. Good luck, friends.

For Design Mistake #1 (the generic sofa) please go here and check our favorite stylish sofas for under $1000.

This public service announcement was brought to you by every designer ever in the world and probably your mom, too. 

18 Feb 19:53

DIY Faux Stained Glass

by A Beautiful Mess

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Stained glass isn't just for cathedral windows or Irish pub windows. It's also for plain ol' windows in normal folks' homes, like mine! I've discovered that lots of cities have places where you can actually learn how to make authentic stained glass, but I wanted to see if I could get a similar look using glass paint and metal strips.

I love the way my faux stained glass panel turned out, but I did learn a few techniques for achieving the best results. Check out my process below and learn how to make your own faux stained glass look even prettier than mine!

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Supplies:
-glass panel (You can have a glass shop make one to fit your window or else remove glass from an unused picture frame if you don't need it to be a specific size.)
-lead adhesive strips (I used the entire package for this window.)
-glass paint (I preferred the consistency of the Gallery Glass brand to Martha Stewart.)
-backdrop paper
-marker
-sharp blade or scissors (I ended up preferring scissors)
-t-square or ruler

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Step One: Lay out your backdrop paper and trace the outline of your glass panel. If you are using a t-square, make sure the glass panel is square with your table before tracing. Then design your stained glass pattern with marker lines.

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Step Two: Lay the glass panel over the lines you made with the marker. Cover the lines with the lead strips that you cut to size with sharp scissors. I cut my pieces a bit longer than what I needed and then cut away tiny bits of the end until it fit perfectly. Use a stylus to press the metal strips into place. (The lead strips I used came with a stylus.)

Step Three: Outline the inside of each section of the design with glass paint. Be very careful to keep the line straight and go all the way up to the edge of the lead strips.

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Step Four: Fill in the outlined area with a thick layer of paint, and use the tip of your bottle to spread the paint around. To prevent bubbles and to smooth out the texture, use glass brushes instead of the tip of your bottle. I didn't use glass brushes and had trouble with the texture of my paint showing in the final product. If you get bubbles, use a tooth pick or needle to pop them.

Step Five: Fill in all of the sections of your design with paint, working so that your arm will not accidentally get into freshly painted sections. You may wish to take your time and do random sections across the glass and wait for the paint to dry before doing another round of random sections. That's what I did, and it saved my sanity from having to paint so many sections in one sitting!

How to make a faux stained glass panel.Advice for the best outcome:

Use the best glass paint. I liked the runnier consistency of the Gallery Glass paint to the thicker Martha Stewart paint, but if you do decide on Martha Stewart glass paint for the color selection, be sure to select the liquid fill paint, not the gloss or frost paint. It smooths out better.

Apply thick coats of paint. Don't try to skimp on your paint, as I did in a few of my sections. I was running out of paint and didn't want to take another trip to the store to buy another bottle. Thicker paint will settle nicely and give less of a textural design in the finish as the light shines through and highlights your brush strokes.

Finish off the joints of your metal strips. Something I didn't do with my panel is to dab pewter glass outliner onto the joints to give a more realistic finish to the leaded strips. This will also fill in any gaps where your lead strips may have been ever so slightly too short. This is an added expense, but will give an added air of authenticity to your faux glass panel.

How to make a faux stained glass panel.I bought mirror hanging hardware to mount this panel in my kitchen window, but I didn't end up having a wide enough mounting surface in my window trim to use the hardware, but the window trim along my window sill did provide a nice ledge to lean the panel against my existing window. I'm still on the hunt for the perfect hardware to secure the panel in place, but for now it's sitting pretty right here behind my kitchen sink giving me some much needed privacy next to the front door of our house. -Mandi

Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella and Valentine from the Signature Collection.

23 Feb 20:26

Colorblocked Scratching Post DIY

by A Beautiful Mess

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)           If you have a cat (or two!) and have ever roamed the pet store aisles looking for a good scratching post, then you probably already know about my personal anguish. Our cat Mac has taken to occasionally scratching on a few rugs and chairs that I would rather keep "unshredded", so I thought we should get him a post so he can direct his scratching instinct in a more positive direction. The problem with cat scratching posts is that most of them are pretty, well, boringly hideous. I mean, if I want a piece of furniture that's going to stand out in my house, I want it to be a cool vintage chair or plant stand, not a dull-looking scratching post. Thankfully, what's a girl to do when she can't find what she wants already made? You guessed it, DIY to the rescue!

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)              We’re happy to be working with Fancy Feast, who just launched their Broths with Chicken (you can see Mac is loving it!). It's part of their #WaysToWow campaign, sharing tips to wow our furry little buddies. As part of our partnership, Fancy Feast is making an additional donation to Humane America Animal Foundation (behind Adopt-a-pet.com), who helps homeless pets get out of shelters and into loving homes. It's in conjunction with the brand's history of raising awareness about shelter animals.

You may already know, but I have a pretty big heart for the humane society and pet adoption. I adopted our first kitty Charlie over three years ago, and we loved her so much that we adopted a little brother named Mac for her a year ago. Since I have a husband that is on the road touring a lot for his musician job, it can be really lonely when he's out of town, and I have to say that the loneliness was really getting me down. As soon as I got sweet Charlie though, it was a million times more fun to be home alone and so comforting just to have another heartbeat around the house. Mac's playful spirit (and constant willingness to cuddle) has brought even more joy, and I always tell people that I feel like they rescued me instead of the other way around. I love those furry babies so much. 

Supplies:
-18" round wood circle
-4x4 wooden fence post (about 20" tall)
-drill and long wood screws
-white 4x4" post cap
-white paint
-150 ft of 1/4" nylon rope*
-pink and yellow dye
-bucket and salt (to dye the rope)
-staple gun (or hammer and small nails)
-white and pink (or white and yellow) electrical tape

*It seems like sisal rope is actually the rope of choice for scratching posts (I think it holds up to long-term scratching better), but it looked like I could get a brighter dye color and a whiter white with the nylon rope instead. Either rope works though and the sisal can be dyed as well.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)           So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)           So, the first thing you'll want to do is attach your post to your round platform. Find the middle of your platform, place the post in the middle, and use a pencil to trace around the edges of the post so you can see where to put the screws. Use a drill bit that's slightly smaller than your wood screws and drill four holes within your marked square that go all the way through to the other side of the platform. Flip the platform over and line up your traced square to be on top of your post (so basically your whole scratching post should be sitting upside down). Since you pre-drilled your holes all the way through the wood, you should be able to see where to screw in your four wood screws from the underside to secure the platform to the pole. (Get someone to help hold it in place if you need to while you drill. It's a bit awkward to hold yourself) Flip the scratching post right side up when you're done and paint the bottom platform with a few coats of white paint.

 

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)           To dye your rope, you'll want to get a bottle of dye for each of your colors (I chose pink and yellow). Since I wanted three colors of rope to color block with, I dyed 50 ft pink, 50 ft yellow, and left 50 ft white. Fill a large bucket halfway with hot water and add 1/3 cup of salt to the water (the salt helps to set the dye). Mix in your first dye color and stir. You can control the color you want by adding more dye, more water, or simply leaving the rope in for longer or shorter amounts of time (I did one full bottle of color and left the rope in for 30 minutes). Just keep checking the rope to see how it's progressing and leave it in longer or add more dye if you want a darker color. When you are happy with the color, pour out the dye and rinse the rope in cool water until the color runs clear. You'll really want to rinse the rope until all excess dye is removed so you don't end up with dye on your kitties' paws. If you would rather not use a manufactured dye, you can also look into some natural dye options as well, but if you rinse the rope really well, the dye shouldn't transfer from the rope.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)   Once your rope is rinsed, hang it up or place it on a cookie sheet in a big pan to air dry.

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)   After the rope has dried, take your white rope and staple gun the end to the bottom of the post. (You could also use small nails instead of a staple gun.) Wrap the rope around the post as tightly as you can, pushing down on the rows every so often to make sure they are packed tightly together. 

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)   When it comes time to change colors, cut your white rope, take your white electrical tape and connect the end of the white rope to the beginning of your pink rope. The trick with electrical tape is that you want to pull on it and stretch it while you wrap it—that's what makes it really secure. Continue to wrap your pink rope around the pole and repeat the process of joining ropes again with the pink or yellow electrical tape when you switch to yellow rope, and again with the white tape when you switch back to the white rope to finish the pole. Remember to wrap tightly and push down on the rows every so often. 

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)   To finish your rope wrapping, cut your rope and secure the end with electrical tape. Use your staple gun to secure the rope end onto the pole. Glue your post cap onto the top of your post (I just used a simple epoxy glue to secure mine), and you're ready to show kitty the new scratching post!

So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)             So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)          So cute! Color Blocked Scratching Post DIY (click through for tutorial)            I rubbed some catnip onto the sides of the post and brought Mac in to check it out. I did a few scratching motions myself on the post and it didn't take him very long to give it a try himself! If your cats aren't already using a scratching post, you may need a few tips to get them used to using the new scratching routine (check out this post for ideas). And man, I still really love those junk food cat toys I made recently and they still play with them everyday...

I have to say, I was a little worried that a cute scratching post might not be possible, but I'm so pleased with how this came out! Since the colors and feel of the post match the rest of our home aesthetic, it really blends in with the rest of the room and doesn't awkwardly stand out (and of course you can change the dye colors to match whatever your home colors are). It's cute, functional, and the kitties love it. So I would say it's a win for everyone! xo. Laura

 Credits // Author and Photography: Laura Gummerman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.

track
16 Feb 10:00

Pizzology - Mass Ave

by Erin in Indy

I hit up Pizzology on Mass Ave with a friend for lunch the other day. It was actually my first time going to the new location. Well, I guess it’s no longer the newest location, now that the one in West Clay has opened. It’s been awhile since I’d been to Pizzology and I was looking forward to seeing what was new on the menu.

The first thing we shared were the artichoke fritters ($8). I hadn’t seen them before and they were really, really good. Of course, I am a total sucker for artichokes. They were gooey and cheesy with nice bits of artichoke rolled into a ball and deep-fried. The cheese they use is goat cheese and there was also lemon in there, so they were nice and tangy, which you know is totally my thing. They were super crisp and hot and dusted with salt. They serve them with a roasted Fresno aioli—it was really nice with them too. Not heat spicy, but a nice deep chili pepper flavor combined with the creamy rich mayo.

We also shared a pizza that I had never had before—and one that was new on the menu since I had last been to Pizzology (like I said, it’s been awhile). The pizza was the rosmario ($13.50). It’s a white pizza (no red sauce). It’s topped with mild, earthy fontina cheese, wood-roasted mushrooms, rosemary and caramelized onions. It sounded like a unique and really tasty combo to me. It was good, but it didn’t have as much flavor as I expected with rosemary as one of the ingredients—the use of rosemary was fairly light. I liked the flavor of the mushrooms. You can tell they’ve been roasted in the wood-burning oven.  I think a little sprinkle of sea salt on top might complement the rosemary flavor. I do like the crust here—and we got a little taste of the red sauce too by asking for a side of the marinara to dip our crusts in—a nice way to get a little bit of both worlds. Honestly though between the two, the fritters are what stood out for me.

I like the spacious interior of the Mass Ave location—and the big open kitchen is a cool thing to watch. I wasn’t a fan of sitting on one of the bar stool tables along the window—if you sit on the window side (it’s a banquette type of bench), I was too far from the table. No problem for me, we just switched because it wasn’t that busy yet. Our server was very friendly and let us know when there was a mistake in our order and corrected it quickly. A nice addition to Mass Ave.


Pizzology
608 Massachusetts Ave
Indy 46204
317/685-2550

Pizzology Mass Ave on Urbanspoon
11 Feb 11:56

Why are we so Afraid of Color? {In Kitchens and Bathrooms}

by Naomi

As much as I love decorating (textiles, chairs, lamps, mirrors oh my!) kitchens and bathrooms continue to be my favorite spaces to design.  Perhaps it’s the blending of architectural elements with more decorative softer touches.  I love specifying millwork with special details, laying out tile patterns, accentuating lighting with the perfect pendant or sconce.  Compared to a living room with lots of textiles and furnishings, these spaces usually have less materials, making each selection more profound and important.

Kitchens and bathrooms tend to be more “permanent” renovations.  Remodels are lengthy, messy and expensive.  I find that people tend to be much more risk adverse when remodeling these rooms.  There is a much greater concern over creating a timeless look vs a trendy design.  After all, changing out a pillow in a living room is no big deal, but swapping out a tile backsplash in a kitchen is not so cheap or easy.  I totally GET wanting a kitchen that will look classic in 10 years, I wouldn’t want to spend a lot of money to then have it look dated within a decade.  Buttttt does classic have to mean a white kitchen?  I often wish I got more calls to do more colorful kitchens.  People are open to color in other areas, so why not in the heart of the home?

pink and orange bathroom

As much as I love a bold statement of color and pattern,  you can add a special punch to your kitchen or bathroom without going 110%.  I adore the bathroom above…. but not for my home.

So how do you add more color into these functional rooms in a smart and dare I say “safe” way?  Here are tips to be classic yet colorful in your kitchen and bathroom.

 

#1 A colorful base cabinet paired with classic white backsplash tile (or light wall.)

I think of this as updated classic.  Keep the architectural lines clean and let the color on the cabinets do the talking. The light walls keep the room from feeling overly saturated.

blue base cabinets

I love this kitchen so much!  The choice of a navy blue base cabinet is so rich and warm.  White counters, subway tile, a traditional beaded inset cabinet all give this kitchen a classic look.

green base cabinets

orange vanity

Hallie Henley Design

#2 Mix white perimeter cabinets with a bold colorful island

When the majority of the kitchen is clean and crisp, you can go a little bolder on the island!  You can even pair the white perimeter with a special tile or wallcovering that ties into the island.  The white cabinet will help balance the space and keep it from feeling too busy.

white cabinets with blue siland

Sarah Richardson

orange island

green island blue wallpaper

wallpaper in a kitchen?  be still my heart.

#3 Barely there color feels soft, clean, yet interesting.

Not feeling a bold hue?  A soft pastel can be absolutely gorgeous and equally compelling against a white backdrop.  Especially fitting in a bathroom.

 

violet cabinets 2

lilac cabinets

Wow, this bathroom is amazing!!  The soft color is just the perfect accent and looks great against brass fixtures.

mint cabientry bathroom

Colorful cabinets too much for you?  Here are a few ways to incorporate colors on a smaller scale.

#4 Leave the cabinets neutral but add a colorful pantry or door.

yellow pantry

green door pantry

#5 Subtle Saturation at its best.  Skip color on the walls, but add it to the ceiling!

white bathroom blue ceiling

Beth Webb

blue ceiling in kitchen

 

In reviewing these rooms, I see a few general takeaways.

– Color is a great way to add interest in rooms that do not big architectural details.  Low ceilings or no major mouldings?  Color may be that necessary addition in your space.

– White is a great counter-balance to color.  It quiets and brightens the space and keeps the attention on where you want it.

– Speaking of white- if you go for colorful cabinets, white or gray counters tend to work best.  Marble, quartzite, or quartz look great paired with a little color.

– If your cabinets are colorful, you don’t need to splurge on a fancy door style.  Keep it simple!

– A little color goes a long way.  (I prefer color on a few cabinets than splashing it all over the bare walls)

– Kitchen specific- the less wall cabinets you have, the more colorful the base cabinets.  Keeping the color below eye level makes a colorful space feel brighter and more open.

2183202_Befor024

lots of windows, limited upper cabinets, lots of lovely!

***

If you would like help creating the kitchen of your dreams, please reach out to us- {naomi at designmanifest.com}

We’d love to design kitchens, colorful or not.

13 Feb 00:14

Ind. Gov't. - More on: Pence rationale for abolishing State Library Genealogy Department

by Marcia Oddi
In an updated post this afternoon the ILB quoted the recommendation of the Office of Management and Budget re the...
09 Feb 20:37

Public Finance Director Moves on to Private Firm

An Indianapolis-based engineering firm has added the state's former public finance director to its executive team. Kendra York is now director of planning services and economic development at American Structurepoint.
04 Feb 14:58

Ind. Gov't. - "When You Die, Who Can Read Your Email?" Indiana among those considering new law [Update]

by Marcia Oddi
That is the headline to this Feb. 1 WSJ report by Rachel Emma Silverman. A few quotes:A controversial new state...
06 Feb 16:40

Ind. Gov't. - Pence budget would eliminate the state genealogy department

by Marcia Oddi
What is the Genealogy department? Here is the state government website, that explains:The Genealogy Collection has developed over time to...
11 Dec 13:11

The 2014 Holiday Dinner: Pork Loin Roast with Sicilian Cauliflower

by Cara

Pork Loin Roast with Sicilian Cauliflower | Big Girls Small Kitchen

This time of year, holiday parties ferry us out of our apartments and away from our kitchens–at the moment when we need home-cooked food the most, to balance out the frosted cookies and chocolate gelt. It can be wildly fun to be out at restaurants and bars, sipping themed cocktails and standing by the kitchen door in order to capture the first edition of each hors d’oeuvres. But, as a cook, I sometimes wish that some of the festive food came from our pots.

We do turn on the oven, of course, to bake (and there are lots of cookie, candy, and cake coming your way really soon). So far this December, I have been trying to come home to the kitchen when I can, to make chicken stock weekly, to eat some greens, and to pack carrots sticks with lunch. We’ll see how long into cookie season that lasts.

Those aren’t the only two options. Another thing entirely is to host some version of a holiday celebration yourself. This isn’t necessarily competition with the office party or the, er, FriendsMas/Friendsmakkuh fest, but a quieter affair, maybe with a few family members or friends from the neighborhood who can help you put ornaments on your tree. Serve them a garlicky roasted pork loin and a side of seasoned cauliflower that picks up the roast’s simple Italian vibe–and then end things with a contrastingly creamy maple creme brulee, potentially.

Or, keep this for yourself and save remaining portions as leftovers. The double roast–pork and vegetable–is a simple weeknight dinner at heart, even though it has the soul of a holiday meal.

**Recipe**

Pork Loin Roast with Sicilian Cauliflower
Serves 4

The pork recipe I borrowed this from calls for an overnight marination. If you have forethought or prefer to make a mess in advance, you should smother the pork in the garlic-herb mash the night before, then leave the roast at room temperature before cooking. You could make the cauliflower dressing at the same time. That’d mean all the work to be done on the day of is to roast pork and cauliflower. But if that doesn’t make sense with your schedule,  just follow the recipe as written.

Ingredients

For the pork (adapted from Food52)
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
a lot of black pepper
Pinch dried or fresh rosemary
Pinch dried or fresh thyme
One 1 1/2 pound pork loin roast

For the cauliflower
1 tablespoon minced chives
1 tablespoon minced parsley
Zest of 1 lemon
1 anchovy, finely minced (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the cauliflower
2 tablespoons raisins
1 tablespoon lemon
1 teaspoon capers
Salt
1 head cauliflower, broken into florets

First, marinate the pork. Combine the garlic, oil, salt, red pepper, black pepper, rosemary, and thyme in a food processor and pulse to combine. Rub this onto the pork roast, set it on a parchment-lined baking pan, and leave at room temperature for 45 minutes.

At the same time, make the dressing for the cauliflower: in a large bowl, combine the chives, parsley, lemon zest, anchovy, olive oil, raisins and capers. Sprinkle with a little salt. Let this marinate while you cook the cauliflower and pork.

Place the cauliflower florets on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil, sprinkle with salt, and mix to distribute.

When the pork has sat at room temp for a while, preheat the oven to 425° F. Roast the pork loin, fat side-up, for 25 minutes. Roast the cauliflower at the same time.

After 25 minutes, remove the cauliflower and toss it into the bowl with the chive-anchovy-lemon dressing. Lower the heat to 300°F and allow the pork to continue to cook until the center reaches 140°F, 20 to 30 minutes. If you have a thermometer, check often

08 Dec 10:40

Burgerhaus

by Erin in Indy
I kept forgetting about this place. Unfortunately, I think part of it may be its location. It’s on the canal, which I hope becomes a more well-traversed place, but when the weather is really bad, it’s hard to imagine the location to be a super popular one. Also, it doesn’t help that the parking is a bit confusing. But just so you know, there is a garage that is attached to the restaurant—just drive west on 9th Street until it dead ends. There’s a parking garage there that you can park in for free if you ask for a validation from the restaurant (park on the bottom level and you can park right at one of the restaurant’s entrances).

I met my friend @wibia—he’s always willing to try a new burger place. We ate early and we’re the only ones there for a while. Like I said, I worry about this location—the crowd picked up a bit, but the place was never very busy. I ordered the “Haus burger” ($9). You get to pick your cheese and add additional items if you like. They come standard with bibb lettuce, tomato and sliced red onions.  I just got cheddar (it’s white cheddar) and told them to leave the tomato off because I am wary of tomatoes in the winter. I also asked them to add garlic may—I find often a special sauce on a burger can really make a difference. They also asked how we wanted them cooked. I ordered mine medium and wibia medium rare. I was interested to see how this came out. I liked the soft brioche bun—it held up well to the burger but was soft enough to squish down so it wasn’t so big. The lettuce and red onion were nice and fresh and crisp and I liked that they use bibb lettuce because I like the relative softness of it—I hate when you get a big piece of hard Romaine heart on a sandwich. I also liked the thick cut dill pickle slices served on the side of the burgers.

The cheese was nice and melty and I appreciated the additional moisture from the mayo, particularly since, as it turned out, they did not cook that burger medium. I would say well done was more like it. And @wibia’s burger was at best, medium-well. Sigh. I mean, it was still decent because the beef was high quality, but it could have been a lot better if it was actually cooked to order. 


As for the flavor of his burger, he tried one of their combinations, the Monaco ($13). This had a beef burger, white cheddar cheese, sautéed onions and mushrooms, avocado, arugula and burgundy wine mayo served on a pretzel bun. It sounded interesting and included all things that I like for sure. Not sure how I felt about it all together. It may have been just a little much. It was kind of so many things; you couldn’t really appreciate any of them a lot. I was not a fan of this pretzel bun because it was really dense. I guess in some ways that is good to hold up to so many toppings, but the top of the bun didn’t mush down and it was one that was for me, hard to fit into my mouth. Overall, I preferred mine with fewer toppings and the softer bun.

We both had fries alongside our burgers. They were served in very cute little miniature fry baskets, and were fresh and fairly crisp. There just wasn’t anything about them that really stood out. They were just kind of middle of the road fries. They do offer a bunch of fries prepared and topped in different ways—I’d be tempted to see if they would offer this with the side of fries. Spicy blue cheese or garlic parmesan sounds good.

I’m glad to see a new restaurant going in along the canal. It is certainly an underserved area. As far as the food goes, it was a decent average burger for me. Not sure it was enough to make me want to go out of my way to get another one. There were some tasty sounding things on the appetizer menu—I wonder how they are? And there’s a fairly extensive craft beer list (And I like the way they give you beer pairing suggestions with many of the food items), but you know that’s not luring me in. Anyone else been?

Burgerhaus
335 West 9th Street
Indy 46202
317/434-HAUS
15 Dec 10:00

Bento Café

by Erin in Indy
My friend Suzanne and I often seem to be swayed by Asian places, and a couple of people had mentioned Bento Café in Fishers to me so we decided to give it a try. It’s a cute place inside—nicer than a lot of Asian restaurants, with some modern décor and a fairly spacious dining area. If it was a little closer, it’s a place I’d try for dinner with the kids.

We started out with an order of the seafood gyoza ($4.50) and Suzanne got a bowl of egg drop soup ($2). The soup was pretty standard egg drop—a thickened chicken broth with wisps of egg in it—it had a lot of egg in it. Not really anything else in there. The gyoza (6 in an order) were really, really good. If you aren’t familiar, gyoza is just the Japanese name for dumplings—they are basically like pot stickers, only the wrapper on these is super thin and light. You can get them with various fillings, but the seafood we chose was really good and I would recommend it. It was a light mix of seafood that was probably dominated by shrimp. They were served with a light soy based sauce that had some vinegar in it. A little lighter version of the sauce you usually get with potstickers. You could tell they were housemade and very fresh. I would get these again in a second.

We also ordered two sushi rolls. They have a pretty extensive sushi menu, from really simple to very complex. We ordered the “Sweetie” roll ($11.95) and the “Oh My God” roll ($9.95). I think my favorite was the Oh My God roll even though it was enormous. It had shrimp tempura and avocado on the inside and then (a lot of) spicy tuna and tempura crunch on the outside and was topped with masago (those teeny fish eggs), eel sauce, and some scallions. Generally these are all some of my favorite items in a sushi roll. It had the right amount of crunch between the fried shrimp and the tempura bits. The tuna wasn’t the super high quality you sometimes get with spicy tuna—more of a fine, almost puree. But it still tasted good, even if we had to cut them in half with a knife to eat them.

The sweetie roll had avocado and salmon inside as well as some tempura crunch (you know I like that crunch). It was topped with thin slices of salmon that I think were lightly seared (or torched) and then spicy mayo and salmon roe. Maybe this one didn’t have quite enough variety in taste or something, because while it was good, I didn’t like it as much. I am not a huge fan of salmon roe either because sometimes it tends to be a little too fishy. This roll was a little smaller, but we still tended to cut the pieces in half to eat them.

All in all, I was intrigued by this place. Those dumplings were good enough that I would want to go back and try more of the non-sushi side of the menu (even though there are lots of other interesting sushi rolls on the menu too). There are some noodle dishes that sound good as well as bento boxes that have lots of different combos you can try several things.

Bento Café
9778 E. 116th Street
Fishers, IN 46037
317/578-8803


Bento Cafe on Urbanspoon
18 Dec 10:00

Thunderbird - Revisit

by Erin in Indy
I hadn’t been to Thunderbird since shortly after it opened, and had enjoyed my visits then. I had heard since that the menu had changed a lot and was more toward a sandwich and fries genre, which wasn’t exciting me to try again. So when I heard they had gone back to a more interesting menu again, with someone new in the kitchen, I looked forward to going back. 

We started with some cocktails because that’s their thing at Thunderbird right? So I had the Murder City Devil ($10) with two kinds of rum, Ancho Chili liquer, lime, grapefruit, and pomegranate demera (a sweet simple syrup). And it was on fire. Well, my lime was on fire. It was tasty—a little heat and a fair amount of acid and sweetness. I couldn’t drink more than one though and switched to wine after. One friend had the “Roppongi Sour” ($10), a lighter drink made with gin, Midori, lime, sugar, egg white, cucumber, salt and bitters. It was tasty too, although maybe a bit on the sour side for some. They do a nice job with cocktails here, and the cocktail service is speedy.

Since we were with friends so we started right off with an order of the deviled eggs ($2 each) of the day. Luckily they were with us, because hubby is hard to convince of deviled eggs on most days. According to the menu, the preparation of the eggs changes daily—on this day they were doing a smoked whitefish version and they were really, really outstanding. In fact, we ended up ordering a second order because we liked them so much (and because the kitchen was a bit overwhelmed and it was a little slow to get our food). They tasted extremely fresh and the eggs were cooked just right so the white wasn’t over hard and the filling was light and fluffy with just the right amount of the fish flavor and a fair amount of acid (lemon I am guessing.) These were the best deviled eggs I’ve had out.

They also brought us a plate of an item that was not on the menu—something they’re trying out I guess. They were crispy polenta sticks with a cheesy sauce. They were super crisp on the outside and very soft on the inside—a fun take on a version of a fry. I enjoyed them.

Sadly, I really wanted to try the chicken liver nuggets, but they were all out. Apparently they are very popular and they go through a lot. I still need to try them. We did try the pimento cheese grilled cheese ($9), the fried chicken ($18), the pork belly ($14) and two sides—the mac and cheese ($8) and the “Kill Lettuce” ($5). By far, the favorite was the pimento cheese grilled cheese.  They give you a nice toasty sandwich filled with a pimento cheese and it’s is sitting on top of a mustard slaw  with some bread and butter pickles. I really enjoyed the mustardy heat and acid from the slaw with the sandwich. I just wish I got to have more than one quarter of it—I would get this again.

The pork belly was pretty good as well-the meat tender with a decent amount of flavor. We kind of argued about how much everyone liked it. Some definitely more than others. The stuff underneath was a bit underwhelming for me. There was a waffle, collards and apple butter as well as a fried cheddar cracker. There was just not a good balance here for me with the sides, all of it was a bit sweet, but also a bit bland.

The fried chicken was the most disappointing for me. It suffered the fate of not very good fried chicken in that it was overcooked. The white meat was dry and the dark meat a tad rubbery. The sides here, biscuits and more slaw weren’t helping much. The slaw is good, as it was with the pimento cheese sandwich, but the biscuits were super floury and dry. They were crying out for some gravy to cover them. The crust on the chicken was nice and crisp and had some decent seasoning, but not enough to save the chicken inside. To be fair, the place was slammed, particularly the kitchen and I think they were a little overwhelmed.

Speaking of sides, we also got the mac and cheese and the “kill lettuce”. I really liked the kill lettuce, which is a bowl of nice fresh leaf lettuce topped with a warm vinaigrette with big dices of crispy bacon in it. The lettuce wilts down and the vinaigrette was pretty spot on with lots of, well, vinegar. This was a perfect balance to all the other richer dishes we had ordered. The mac and cheese was pretty solid with caramelized onions and green chiles, another good accompaniment to the other items, and honestly, I preferred it as a starch with the pork and the chicken.

The beignets we had for dessert reminded me more of doughnut holes than beignets, but they were tasty cinnamon and sugar coated doughnut holes and we enjoyed them.

Overall, we had a really fun time. The friends we took had never been to Thunderbird and really enjoyed the place—they have done a great job with the interior of the place and it always seems to have a good buzz. I’m glad to see the menu has gone back to the sort of “creative southern” cooking that they started with and several items were very good. I look forward to trying some other things soon. And as always, it’s a great place to get a cocktail.

Thunderbird
1127 Shelby Street
Indy 46203
317/974-9580


03 Feb 15:14

Affordable Upholstered Headboards

by Heather

Tufted Upholstered Headboard | Decor FixHello, friends! Today we are talking headboards. I’m sharing my thoughts on and have scouted several affordable upholstered headboards from around the web for under $400. I priced them all for queen sized beds. One is even less than $140. Can’t beat that. If you’re contemplating a purchase, here are some things to consider…

UPHOLSTERED HEADBOARDS

PROS:
1. Comfort: Very comfy if you like to sit up in bed to read, watch TV, or use electronics. An upholstered headboard makes your bed moonlight as sofa, while solid framed headboards aren’t as conducive to sitting up right.
2. Looks: Upholstered headboards are gorgeous, and a fabric covered piece softens the look of heavier wood or metal furniture used in the rest of a bedroom.

CONS: 
1. Bad for Allergies: They get dusty. Fast. Cleaning is a must, especially if you have allergies. I typically try to vacuum my headboard every now and then (or once a year). #keepingitreal
2. Show Stains: They can be difficult to clean. As opposed to a wood or metal headboard, upholstery tells all your late-night-snacking-in-bed secrets.

Affordable Upholstered HeadboardsSOURCES
Roma Tufted Wingback // Safavieh Halmar Arched // Skyline Nailhead 
Dane Nail Trim // Skyline Arched Nailhead Insert // Loft Concept Tannyson
Berkshire Stripe // Gerber Elsie // Canopy Stripe Loran
Nailhead Linen in Laguna // Hedron Velvet in Teal // Skyline Nailhead in Sage

Ok, so technically the Gerber Elsie red and white floral pattern headboard is $404, but it HAD to be included. It reminds me so much of Grace Bonny’s famous Otomi headboard DIY. I would love to go bold and do something like this one day. It will probably take finding a fabric that I know I’d want to stare at every day for years. Grace Bonny's red and white headboard

If you’re a DIY type, Sarah M. Dorsey has a fabulous and simple tutorial for making your own upholstered headboard, which could open up a world of possibilities with fabric options.

We’ve had this one from Target for 4 years now, and it’s served us well. Honestly, I was over it for a while and wanted something fresh. A new bed wasn’t in the budget, so I draped one of my favorite textured throws over it. This is how it looks most days…Upholstered Headboard | Decor Fix

Yes, the iPhone wielding toddler is a regular too.

The post Affordable Upholstered Headboards appeared first on Decor Fix.

29 Jan 12:06

Utility, IURC Reach Rate Increase Settlement

The Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission has approved a settlement agreement with Indiana American Water Co. over a rate increase request made last year. The utility says most of its residential customers' bills will increase by less than one percent.
29 Jan 15:20

Design Mistake #1: The Generic Sofa

by Emily

I get this question all the time in interviews: What is the #1 mistake that people make when designing (or shopping for) their home? After doing so many makeovers over the last 5 years of real people, I’ve found some consistent solid mistakes to avoid. So, I started writing a post about it and that post was like 15 pages long. I figured that obviously this could be a series.

Biggest Design Mistakes_buying generic furniture_roundup_emily henderson_expert advice

I’m not sure there is a #1 mistake, but buying cheap generic furniture is up there. So often I come into a house and the people have good taste, but they already had a sofa that we had to work with, and that sofa was bad. They didn’t want to replace it because it wasn’t that old and they didn’t mind it. I’ve had to break the news to them over and over, that with this sofa they will never get the room they want. Sure, we have worked with said sofa, and done the best we could, but trust me that a big bad sofa in your room is a bummer (and I’ve never even really blogged about those projects).

But just saying ‘don’t buy cheap generic furniture’ is kinda a dick thing to say. I’m not saying buy expensive sofas (at all) nor am I suggesting to buy super stylized sofas. No one loves a simple sofa more than me because they are so easy to style. But there are some sofas that transcend bad in a way that is hard to come back from; bad fabric, bad shape, weird curved legs or winged arms, multiple fabrics and just what I like to all ‘try-hard’ details. Those are the details that are screaming at you, saying ‘HEY!!! I’M FANCY! LOOK AT ALL MY TUFTS AND NAILHEADS AND CONTRASTING SEAMS, AND SHINY FABRIC, ETC’. Its like putting a hideous, yellow, 80’s bad prom dress on your screaming pet hyena. You are already embarrassed that you have a hyena as a pet, so you don’t really need to attract more attention to it, right?

Here are sofa shapes/styles that you should avoid. If you need more examples simply google image search ‘couch’. It ain’t pretty out there.

Sofas to avoid_roundup_emily henderson

Some of the things on that list could be fine, by the way. I really like this winged sofa, this winged sofa and I don’t mind this vintage two-toned sofa, so if your sofa fits into any of those categories and now you are crying, know that I’m speaking in generalities and it still depends on the sofa (and if you actually own one of these, I’m sorry!!).  Also some of those could be fine if the fabric was different, or if the legs were updated (see me backtracking?? I feel bad already).

I started to think about why people buy generic/bad sofas and I think its two different reasons: cost and availability. These are sofas that are generally inexpensive, and don’t have a long lead time – you can get them in under a week, not the usual 8- 10 weeks that even Pottery Barn and Room and Board have. They tend to be from those ‘furniture liquidation’ or ‘Dave’s Furniture’ stores that are in every town. You can actually go in and sit on them, make the decision together, get it within a week, etc. I get it. I can’t really solve that last problem – those stores just need to start carrying better furniture.

But, until stores across America start selling better furniture, I wanted to present to you some other super inexpensive options that you can buy online and have shipped to you. These sofas are all under $600. That, my friends, is crazy.

Best Sofas under $600_budget sofa_modern_midcentury_affordable_roundup_emily henderson

1. Target Grey Convertable Sofa | 2. Roscoe Grey Sofa | 3. Zuo White Sofa  | 4. Everett Sofa Grey | 5. UO Grey Convertable Sofa |6. Brown Leather Sofa | 7. Navy Convertable Sofa | 8. Grey Tufted Sofa | 9. Retro Chestnut Sofa | 10. Bradley Grey Linen | 11. Tufted White Sofa | 12. Light Blue Sofa | 13. Sienna Futon Grey | 14. Black Leather Couch

You can’t argue with those prices.

Have I personally sat on them? Can I vouch for their quality, comfort and the conditions of where/how they were produced? NO. But are they such better options than your average $500 sofa? YES. Plus, they are all available for purchase online with no lead time (besides delivery, obviously).

For those of you who can spend a bit more ($600 – $1000) I’d like to introduce you to some SURPRISINGLY good inexpensive sofas. Some are from fine retailers that you know (Cb2, West Elm, Target, Urban Outfitters, etc) and some are from surprising retailers that happen to have pretty good inexpensive sofas (Lamps Plus, for instance).

Best Sofas under $1000_budget sofa_modern_midcentury_affordable_roundup_emily henderson_revised1

 

1.Grey and Wood Tufted Sofa | 2. Grey Haze Sofa| 3. Cherie Teal Sofa | 4. Larson Grey Sofa | 5. Tufted Tan Velvet Sofa | 6. Pink Rue Sofa | 7. Albion Sofa | 8. Rachel Slipcover Cream | 9. Grey Wool Tufted | 10. Tufted Highback Blue | 11. Black Leather Sofa | 12. Grey Sofa Bed | 13. Tufted Grey Chesterfield | 14. Midcentury Modern Grey and Wood |

Of course my best recommendation for buying inexpensive but better quality furniture is to go the used/vintage route (Craigslist, KrrbLA, flea market) plus it’s better for the earth. A $399 sofa does provoke the question ‘How is that possible???‘ and I’m really scared of the answer.

But you know what always irritates me is when rich pretentious fashion editors advise us that we should simply save and ‘invest’ in that perfect $600 blazer or $1200 pair of boots that will last for 6 generations, Its like obviously, that is a good idea, if you have that kinda cash lying around in your walk-in LisaVanderpump closet. I remember being so broke in my 20’s that every time I read that in a magazine I would scream, YOU ARE RICH AND YOU PROBABLY GOT THOSE BEAUTIFUL ‘INVESTMENT’ CHLOE BOOTS FOR FREE!!!!! For us normal people when its Friday afternoon and you have fun plans to go out that night and you have $450 in your bank account, a trip to Forever 21 to buy a fun top whose hem will probably rip out within weeks, just makes you so happy. Same with your home – when you don’t have an extra $2 -$4k to drop on that awesome sofa, sometimes just having a new, simple, inexpensive one will make you so much happier when you walk through that door.  Then when you get rich you can buy this one (for me).

23 Dec 20:52

The 2014 Holiday GIF Guide

It’s the GIF that keeps on giffing.
29 Dec 20:21

IPL Requests Rate Increase

Indianapolis Power & Light Co. has filed a rate increase request with the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission. The utility says the proposal, which would result in the average residential customer seeing an increase of about $8 per month, is due to rising operational costs.
31 Dec 18:34

Ind. Law - Jon Laramore to head Indiana Legal Services

by Marcia Oddi
Tifmurray

Yes!

Indiana Legal Services announces today:New ILS Executive Director has been selected I am pleased to inform you that the ILS...
10 Dec 20:46

The Psychologists Who Taught the C.I.A. How to Torture (and Charged $180 Million)

The Senate’s torture report reveals that the C.I.A. tortured detainees in ways more brutal, sustained, and gruesome than was previously known.
09 Dec 19:03

Governor Pence Heading to Israel

Governor Mike Pence will be spending Christmas in Israel. State officials say Pence will visit cultural sites and will meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, business leaders and other government officials.
05 Dec 20:07

Ind. Gov't. - "Pence using outside counsel for immigration lawsuit"

by Marcia Oddi
Updating this ILB post from Dec. 3, Dan Carden reported yesterday in the NWI Times: INDIANAPOLIS | Hoosier taxpayers will...