Decor, Home, My house

The Hunt for Master Bedroom Bedding

Last week, when I told you about the room that inspired our master bedroom palette, I touched upon the decadent, sumptuous, to-die-for bedding from Olatz Schnabel that graced her bed in our inspiration picture. I would have loved a full set of her bedding but I don’t have a spare $4000 sitting around so it’s not going to happen. But, that’s no reason not to dream a little and try to find a similar solution.  Here are a few shots of Olatz‘ bedding line. Let the drooling begin.

Olatz Schnabel (the person) draping her gorgeous self across her gorgeous bedding (from Olatz, the bedding line) on her gorgeous bed via Pursuit of Style (It’s just wrong to look that good.)

A clear shot of the full set via Olatz. The sham is only $300. Maybe I could just get one??

The pink and red version  in ELLE Decor with…wait. What is that? Yes. Yes, that is a MATCHING HEADBOARD. Just kill me now.

This famous cover is like a trifecta of style obsessions: Domino + Jenna Lyons + her Olatz bedding = my head about to explode! Throw in black painted walls and that fireplace and I’m dead. Dead. via Habitually Chic

The Bowery Hotel apparently has Olatz bedding in every room. May I move in, please? (This pic via NY Mag)

When GQ (my first job was the Fashion Closet Assistant there!) did a story on the best bedding, of course they needed to include Olatz bedding. Insert cute girl in bra and panties to GQ-ify it.

Little Green Notebook did a makeover on Joanna Goddard‘s bedroom and she had an Olatz-ish duvet made for the room. Perhaps this is an option for me? (Still can’t be cheap though…)

CarolynMAKING has a great no-sew (!!) DIY of the Olatz bedding. She did an amazing job but I feel like I could screw up something  even this simple.

The crazy thing is that I look at these pics and think, “Everyone makes duvets like this. I’ve GOT to be able to find something similar.” But the problem is the colors. You just can’t find that bright orangey red or that regal purple at mass brands. Pottery Barn makes a nice duvet and sham with a band of color. But in classic “Pottery Barn style”, the color choices are basically beige, beige and more beige.

I found our current duvet at Lands’ End about 9 months ago. They don’t have it anymore but I highly recommend their bedding. It’s super soft, really nice quality and priced very reasonably.

It’s frustrating to know there’s got to be something similar out there and just not be able to find it.  (Please let me know if you have a resource for me!) I might just have to try the DIY. If I do, you know you’ll hear all about it! Until then, I’ll live with my subtle stripes because let’s face it, that old way-too-small headboard is a much bigger problem than the duvet! More on that later….


Sue at Home

Decor, Home, My house

I Will Love This Poster For Like Ever

Sometimes there are things that you really want to buy but you just don’t get them for some reason or another. My relationship with this poster was like that.

I saw it on the cover of the Sept 2006  issue of Domino magazine in the home of Jessie Randall of Loeffler Randall and I wanted it bad. And I was not alone. It was an instant design sensation and I recall that it was sold out for quite awhile after. (Can you believe that I still have the issue in my personal archives  – aka on a shelf in my attic?)

But I didn’t get it. And for once, cost was not the problem. I don’t know why I didn’t get it except that since it was way back in 2006, I suppose I was still sort of in newlywed mode and for me, that meant that I needed to grow up and have a mature apartment which did not involve pink posters. (Read more about my design manifesto here and how it has changed over the years.)

But the love did not fade in the past 6 years. So, when Pablo and I decided to do our bedroom over in shades of pale blue with hits of red and purple, I thought about it again. I mean, yes, it’s mostly pink but it’s got a lot of red too. And as I’ve explained before, Pablo is comfortable enough in his manhood to have a little pink around his house. (You know, as the saying goes: Happy wife, happy life.)

So, I did it. It’s finally mine ours. It needs a little styling love in front of it but for now there it is displayed with a big TV and a cable box.  (Sidenote: Have you ever seen a cable box in a decorating magazine or shelter blog? Nope. Where is everyone hiding them?) UPDATE: I saw one on Habitually Chic! Thanks, Heather, for being honest and not hiding it!

Not quite the beautiful accompaniment I always believed it would be surrounded by but it’s a work in progress. (Which is just how I like my home. I mean, what will I do when the renovations and decorating are done?) Some might think a master bedroom should be serene and romantic. But what’s more romantic than the sentiment that I will love Pablo “for like ever”?

For some more ways to display it, check out these inspiration pics:

Propped up against a wall via Adore magazine (Chanel football, anyone?)

Super sweet pink on pink via Carla Lane interiors

So pretty in a modern girly nursery via Small Shop

With cool mid-century furniture in a totally eclectic room via Apartment Therapy

With a red frame and more mid-century furniture via Apartment Therapy

What could be better than a minty wall via Glitter Guide

So, what do you think? Could you put a pink poster in a “grown-up” room? Would the man in your life be okay with that? I’m so glad mine is!


Sue at Home

Before and After, crafts, Decor, Home, My house

DIY: Lengthening our Master Bedroom Curtains

I suppose putting DIY in the title of this post is a little misleading. It should be more like “figure-out-how-to-do-it-and-then-hire-someone-else-to-do-it-because-you-can’t-sew”. That’s a little more honest. But if you can sew then you can absolutely do this yourself. Anyway…

I have a love/hate relationship with curtains. I mean, I get it – I know that they can totally transform a room but I find them to be a little fuddy duddy and too “designer-y” for my taste  – plus they are often A SMALL FORTUNE. For just a piece of fabric. It kinda makes me crazy.

Let me stop and remind you about the inspiration picture for our bedroom. Olatz Schnabel’s bedroom from House Beautiful. Ahhh. I could just stare at this pic all day. It’s so dreamy.

olatz house beautiful

Yes, I’m aware we don’t have high ceilings like that, nor do we have a gajillion dollar bed but still, I figured we can work with the color palette. Just go with it, ok?

(Sidenote: Before I get into telling you about the curtains I ended up with, let’s just gloss over the EPIC CURTAIN FAIL that happened when I ordered 4 red silk shantung panels from Macy’s. Small room with low ceilings + inexpensive but trying-to-look-expensive drapery panels = turning one’s bedroom into a brothel. I’m not talking about a high class Heidi Fleiss kinda place. I’m talking about 8th and forty-deuce. It was HORRIBLE. They were quickly returned and we shall never speak of this again. Okay? Okay.)

So, I spent a lot of time looking high and low for some curtains for our bedroom. I knew I wanted something that would really pop against our blue walls. Something in either a bold red or a rich purple or even a major print. There were many I fell in love with – most from Anthropologie. Some are long gone now but the ones I was loving are similar to these:

The Marrakech Curtain – This would add an eclectic vibe.

Wandering pleats – I love that rich purple color.

And the new Swing Stripes curtain (they’ve got POM POMS! And I love me some pom poms!)

Since an Anthro curtain can run you from $148-188 per panel, these were all out of the question. (I needed 4 panels and there was NO way I would be spending $600+ on curtains when I don’t even have a grown-up bed.  More on that at a later date.)

Then I started looking through the curtains at Anthropologie’s little sister, Urban Outfitters, and there were a lot of pretty prints. They’re all much lighter, semi-sheer cottons but I kind of like that look so I didn’t mind. (Remember, I’ve got an aversion to thick, fancy, old ladyish “draperies”.) I was thrilled when I found this amazing one that was kind of flourishy in purple, orangey-red and even a little of a light blue that kind of worked with our walls. (It’s still available in other colors.)

I bought the longest length they had (84″) and I hung the rod a little bit above the window so the curtains skimmed the floor. I don’t have a picture of this because I was embarrassed by how it looked.  Here’s the problem: We all know that curtains need to be hung as close to the ceiling as possible so I knew I was trying to cheat and get away with a cheap solution. What was I thinking? (I know actually. I was thinking about doing it as cheaply as possible.)

In case it’s unclear what I mean, check out the great post from Erin Gates of one of my favorite blogs, Elements of Style. She illustrates the problem in the most simple way:

Hanging curtains way up there just makes the ceilings look higher – and it gives the room a French boudoir feel to it. Ooh la la!

 But I had 84″ curtains and I needed 96″. So how to deal with too-short curtains? I ordered 1 extra panel from Urban and they were on sale at that point so I got it for a song. Then I brought all 5 of the panels to my tailor (that sounds so fancy but it’s just my dry cleaner who hems stuff for me!) and asked her to cut the extra panel and add an extra 12 inches to the bottom of each curtain. Is it perfect? Nope! But I asked my dry cleaner to do it and I think she charged me $20 for all 4 panels so I’m not going to complain. (If I had done it myself, I probably would have been a little more anal particular about lining up the print perfectly but I’m quite sure they would not have been sewn straight.) See how messed up there are?

It’s pretty obvious there but when I pull back it’s not as bad. I don’t think anyone would notice unless I pointed it out. See?

One cheap place where you can always count on finding long curtains is Ikea. They sell most panels in one long length that comes with hemming tape so you can make them any length you want. We have these polka dot ones in S’s room. I think they look great and they were so cheap. You can’t beat $13.99 for a pair! The hot pink crinkle sheers are from here.

Since I finally took some decent pics of our master, this will be the first in a series of posts about what’s happening in the bedroom. (No. Not that stuff! Get your head out of the gutter!) So, make sure you subscribe to Sue at Home to see all the action. (Decorating action! Jeez. You should be ashamed.)


Sue at Home

Before and After, Decor, Family, Home, My house, Uncategorized

DIY Painting for the Dining Room

Allow me to reintroduce you to my dining room. Dining room, readers. Readers, dining room. You might remember that you met this room back in this post but here’s the recap. This was our dining room before we moved in. Simple. Subtle.

Cream and brown.

Here’s how it was recently.

The only big problems were 1) the too-short curtains that need to be replaced by something that goes all the way to the ceiling and 2) that weird art by yours truly. The curtains are going to take a little time to hunt down but I got to work on the painting yesterday. I was inspired by this picture I had seen on Amber Interiors but I wanted to do it with a gold background instead of silver. (Yes, I know that silver would “go” better with the gray walls but that’s precisely why I want to use gold. You get me, right?)

OK. So we’re all recapped now. Let the painting begin!

I used Craft Smart acrylic paints from Michael’s in Gold and Neon Pink. I actually had to make a run to the store to get more Neon Pink. That’s what happens when you share your paints with 2 little girls. (Who am I kidding?  I used it all myself!)  I made my first coat and I could still see some of the other colors through it. I liked it on the pink part but the gold was just looking greenish. (Also – please note my amazing art studio. It’s called laying-newspaper-down-on-the-living-room-floor-and-leaning-over-the-painting. Really fancy, huh?)

But luckily after a few coats later, it was finally covered – with just a little bit still showing through the pink part.

I actually like that little bit peeking through the pink. Nothing like a happy mistake!

So, it’s good…for now. I’m quite sure I’ll be changing it in a few months, but until then, I’m content.

And I’m not the only one who likes it.


Sue at Home


Home, My house

What I Love About My Small House

Me and Pablo on closing day 12/21/2010

I have big house envy. I’ve got it bad. Every time I’m in a friend’s house that’s bigger than mine (and they all are) I start saying things like, “I just love how WIDE the hall is!” and “It must be so great to have your own bathroom” and “……….”. (That’s the sound of my jaw dropping as I see their walk-in closet.)

I grew up in a decent sized house. Formal living room, dining room, 5 bedrooms, 2.5 baths – the whole deal. When I was in college, my parents moved into an even bigger house. Meanwhile, my first place of my own was a rented 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan, which I shared with a roommate and then my hubby. For 12 years, I learned to share very little space. When we had S, we quickly bought a townhouse in NJ that was about 1700 square feet. Seems like a lot of space but by the time we moved out, we were a family of four and we had started drowning in all the “stuff” that comes with having kids. In 2010, we moved to a house. A real house with a yard. But alas, since we were upgrading the town, we weren’t able to upgrade the amount of space.

So, here we are in about the same amount of space as the last place, except the kids get a lot more of it. In the move, Pablo and I gave up a 10 x 5 master closet and a mammoth master bath while the kids gained separate bedrooms and a playroom. That just doesn’t seem fair. (Unrelated: At what age can I ask them to pitch in for the mortgage?)

While I’m busy drooling over bigger houses, I do have to admit that there are a lot of nice things about having a smallish house.

1. It’s cozy. No seriously. It really does have a just-enough-space feel to it. If I’m cooking in the kitchen and the kids are downstairs in the playroom, they’re a few steps away. Plus “my room” (the living room) and “Pablo’s room” (the den) are fairly close. (Our couches are only 26 feet apart! You can see the view from mine to his above.) You know what I mean, right? We each have our own space to chill, watch TV, and spread out. We usually watch different things on TV (him: sports 24/7, and me: anything else) so it’s nice to have that private space but I would hate for our “offices” to be on different floors.

2. It forces me to purge unnecessary stuff. Years of Manhattan living were good training for this. Believe me, there are drawers full of stuff that have to be edited but needing the space makes me go through them much quicker.  (And I’m more frugal during beauty sales at work. I know I don’t have room for another body scrub that I will never use so I don’t bring it home!)

3. It’s easier to clean up. Since we live in a tri-level split, we don’t have long flights of stairs so when it’s time to get the girls to put their toys and shoes and hair clips and artwork and dirty socks (WHY do they leave them balled up all over the house?) in their rooms, we can just toss them to the top of the 6 steps and they can get put everything where it belongs.

4. It costs less. Sure, the house itself was less than a big house. But there’s also the lower taxes plus the savings on heat and AC. Why pay to heat and cool rooms that you rarely use?

5. It’s a well-oiled machine of  efficiency. My lack of kitchen cabinet space means I need to keep the not-often-used stuff in our walk-up attic. The other day I had to go up to get the bundt pan – it took about 30 seconds to walk up there and grab it and this was the first time I’ve needed it since we moved here 17 months ago. So, why do I need a kitchen big enough to store it? The same goes for my closet. That 50 sq foot closet in the last house was great but it held every handbag I own, all my evening clothes, old Halloween costumes, basically everything I have.  Oh…and Pablo’s stuff too. Now, all of those items plus bathing suits, extra coats, old shoes that I can’t bear to part with, and off-season clothes live in the attic. My closet may be small but it only has clothes that fit, are currently (somewhat) stylish, and are weather-appropriate which makes getting dressed in the morning much easier.

6. It’s big enough to host a guest or two, but they don’t seem to stay too long. And isn’t that ok for everyone involved? Enough said.

7. It’s ours. I could waste time obsessing over what I don’t have or I could appreciate what I do have – a great house with plenty of space in a beautiful town. Isn’t that the American Dream?

So, the next time I start drooling over a 5 bedroom, 4 bath house, I’ll just try to remember these reasons. Plus, how long would it take to clean a behemoth like that?


Sue at Home