Friday, December 27, 2013

Crushing on decorator Sally Wheat

Houston interior decorator Sally Wheat evolves her own home design more than I do, and with amazing style! Her last two iterations of her living room include a gray velvet custom slipcovered settee, two channel-tufted Ward Bennett club chairs covered in Osborne & Little fabric, a stacked glass lamp, and a luscious vintage mid-century mirrored coffee table purchased from an estate sale. She reused those items to create two very different looks.


Sally_White_Interiors_living_room_gray_velvet_slipcover_sofa_vintage_queen_Warholesque_chairs_La Fiorentina

I’m partial to the earlier version, with the pop-art Queen Elizabeth art and the vintage chairs covered in the hot pink David Hicks La Fiorentina fabric, since I’m more of a fan of bold than soft and fluffy. When the living room was changed to the lighter look, the pink chairs were moved to the dining room to serve as captain’s chairs, partnered with Milo Baughman chairs covered in sumptuous navy velvet. And Queen Elizabeth now reigns over the dining room as well.

Check out Cote de Texas for more versions of Sally’s living and dining rooms. My favorite version of her dining room was featured in Domino. I’m smitten with the black and white geometric wallpaper, featured in this photo of her gilt bar cart.


"My style is a sort of casual sophistication with playful elements thrown in. It's always evolving, but the constant would probably be a neutral base with splashes of fun accessories, art and color. I always love to include unique and one of a kind pieces if possible." - Sally Wheat, High Gloss Magazine, February/March 2011

A perfect example of that is her client’s room below, with emerald green and pink, against pale walls and sofa. OMG ... the jaw-dropping malachite drapes ....


I never would have thought to pair this pastel oversized wall art with leopard stools, but it’s a killer look.


On the flip side, Sally also wows with dark walls, below in a client’s office (hello, python wrapped desk) and in her own home office.



Back to the light and bright spaces, here’s another client home, this one featured in Domino.




You know how I’ve been wanting to go bold blue on my living room walls and Jason has put up a big veto? What do you think about pale gray instead, if I add in royal blue by way of side chairs (see some of my favorites here) across from my black leather sofa?


Images not sourced above are from Sally Wheat Interiors, with the exception of the photo with the Queen Elizabeth pop art, which is from the premiere issue of Modern Luxury Texas Interiors.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Happy holidays from me and "Seinfeld"

This may be the first December 25 I have not left my house to go anywhere. I did spend half the day in the kitchen making food that only took us 15 minutes to eat, but it's all good. I like homemade pico de gallo and empanadas! And my son may have dominated us in Risk (after playing begrudgingly and arguing with me half the time), but I enjoyed spending time with my two guys.

In honor of all the holidays you and yours celebrate, here are two of my favorite Seinfeld holiday-related moments.

The first, Elaine says angrily, "You want a Christmas card? You want a Christmas card? All right, here, get your Christmas card!"

In case you're unfamiliar, Elaine inadvertently sent out a holiday photo card on which she had a bit of a nip slip! And George was a bit obsessed with seeing it. (The card, that is.) And my favorite Seinfeld "holiday" is Festivus!

Oh, the airing of grievances and feats of strength. It's an original holiday!

But for real, thank you to everyone who visits here, and I hope that whatever holidays you celebrate are happy!


Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Statement chairs for my living room, with design help from One Kings Lane

One Kings Lane asked me what statement chair from my home most reflects my personal style, and what design elements of the chair (pattern, texture, color, etc) I love most. I started picturing each room of our house in my head, recalling each of our chairs. The sad thing is that not a single one makes much of a statement. (Or, in the case of the blah blue chairs that moved from my living room to my bedroom and upstairs, not a statement I want to make.)

For someone who loves design, this makes me cringe. The truth is, one of my wishes for the new year is to replace the gray chairs in my living room with something that brings a little more zing. 

The overall style of our existing chairs is fine. I like the simple modern architecture, the nailhead trim, and the fact that the seat cushion can be removed for dry cleaning when necessary. A couple of my kitties love that they can nestle into where the cushion and chair back meet, for a snooze or a look out the front windows.

The seat of the chair is a bit narrow, though. They are more apartment-sized than fit-yourself-plus-a-furry-creature-beside-you-sized. Jason would love nothing more than for me to let him bring his favorite recliner into the living room. Think brown, orange, and green, vintage 1970s grandpa. Yeah, not happening. Not the right statement.

Our current gray chairs blend in with the other furnishings in the room. That's not a bad thing usually, but in this case, I'd like to find something on that side of the room to command some attention. Blue is in order, but something more sophisticated than my old blue chairs. I go back and forth on the style (wingbacks? velvet with track arms? mid-mod?) and the exact color of blue (turquoise? royal? navy?), so I haven't pulled the trigger on anything.

Here are a few that have caught my eye. If you want to put a pair of any of these under my tree on Christmas, I won't hate you.

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

If you're like me and have a slight chair obsession, you should check out One Kings Lane's new Home Decor Resource Guide. You can find everything from how to incorporate a statement chair into a room, to suggestions on when you should DIY an upholstery job vs. hiring out to a pro. You can even find historical information about specific chair styles over the years.

And One Kings Lane is always a great place to find stylish home decor items, whether top-brand, designer or vintage. They are the darling of many a design blogger. And you don't even have to stalk people for a parking spot to shop there ... what a relief!

For now, I will continue to seek out the perfect blue statement chairs for my living room. What about you? Do you have a favorite statement chair? What is it about it that makes your heart go pitter-patter?


Wednesday, December 18, 2013

How to earn cash back by shopping online with Ebates

I've told you before that I'm not an early adopter, right? Like how I just recently joined Instagram? I also just bought my first pair of skinny jeans and it took me forever to relent to a pair of riding boots. I am a total skeptic about spending my time or money when I don't know if it will be worth it.

Where am I going with this? Well, hopefully to earn us both some moolah. You've heard of Ebates, right? I first learned of it years ago but I was a skeptic about how I could earn money by shopping, so I ignored it. I am all about using coupon codes when I shop online, but it wasn't until I saw yet another Ebates ad on TV recently that I finally decided to check it out. Because, ya know, I do like to shop online.

Friends, I can tell you that it's legit. I've already accumulated over $26 in Ebates credits just in the past three weeks from purchasing holiday gifts online. Sweet! There are hundreds of participating websites. Here are some of the basic categories, including some I never would have imagined:

  • Clothes, accessories & shoes
  • Hotels and car rentals
  • Beauty products
  • Electronics
  • Sporting goods
  • Footwear
  • Fabric and crafts
  • Toys
  • Clothing & accessories
  • Tax prep
  • Pet supplies
  • Floral & cookie bouquets
  • Cell phones & service

 And here are just a few stores you might be interested in!

  • Adorama
  • Aeropostale
  • Amazon
  • American Eagle
  • Ann Taylor
  • Apple Store
  • Babies R Us
  • Gap/Baby Gap
  • Banana Repblic
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • C. Wonder
  • Canon
  • Container Store
  • Dwellstudio
  • Groupon
  • Home Decorators
  • Home Depot
  • J Brand
  • J. Crew
  • Lowe's
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Old Navy
  • Pier 1
  • Piperlime
  • Sephora
  • ShoeBuy
  • Shopbop
  • Toys R Us
  • Urban Outfitters

There are hundreds more stores on their website. All you have to do is create an Ebates account and start there when you do any online shopping. From the Ebates home page, you can go directly to the retailer's website to make your purchases. Ebates uses a tracking code which follows you through your purchase and gives you the appropriate credits. Easy as pie.

Ebates Coupons and Cash Back

Since today is Free Shipping Day, I thought you might be doing some last minute holiday shopping! Or if you're like me, you take advantage of holiday sales to buy a few things for yourself!

Happy shopping and happy saving!


Disclosure: Ebates did not sponsor this post, but I could earn referral credits when friends sign up ... and you could too!

Monday, December 16, 2013

Holiday home tour 2013

I was planning to show you my current everyday living room updates before I forged ahead with the holiday updates, but I've been sifting through my living room photos forever and if I don't skip ahead to the holiday photos, it might be January before I get to them!

As I mentioned in my last post, I had planned on a black/white/gold holiday color scheme this year. It was inspired by some amazing black and white herringbone ribbon I found, and my new love for spray painting things gold. Once I started pulling out my holiday decor from the basement, however, I realized I had quite a few silver items and hardly any gold items. Since I'm not pulling in a salary these days, I couldn't justify a holiday decorating spending spree! Instead, I merged last year's turquoise/blue scheme with this year's proposed scheme, and ended up with black/white/blue/silver. I'm thrilled with the results, so it's all good! Sometimes being forced to work with what you've got can push you to come up with something better!

Now prepare yourself because this is a Christmas tree unlike most others you'll see in blogland.

Yep, it's a mini tree! I purchased this on clearance the day after Christmas a couple years ago from a local craft store with the intention of giving it to my mom since she no longer wanted to decorate a big tree. Turns out she didn't want to decorate ANY tree, so it's been sitting in my basement waiting to be used. Well, mini tree, this is your year!

Between my minor surgery a few weeks ago and then Jason's rotator cuff surgery just before Thanksgiving, neither of us were allowed to bring up our large tree from the basement. I decided this year we would let our mini tree shine. And it weighs so little that I was able to carry it upstairs myself!

I set it on a round table from my basement project stash, and covered the table and base of the tree with a white fleece blanket. The cats enjoy playing hide-and-seek underneath.

I had no black ornaments, so I grabbed a few extra ball ornaments I had on hand and sprayed them black. Rather than leaving them plain, I decided to jazz them up with some polka dots. And then I almost died over the cuteness.

The polka dot ornaments match some of my wrapping paper.

Christmas, holiday

Christmas, holiday

I wrapped half our gifts in the polka dot paper and the other half in kraft paper so I could feature my awesome herringbone ribbon and the narrow black and white striped ribbon I bought to coordinate with it. Am I the only one who has an obsession with wrapping each gift a different way? No two can look the same!

Under the window is a bench that I originally picked out for our bedroom, but it makes its way out to the living room every few months. It's especially helpful when hosting guests because it can seat three additional people.



Christmas, holiday, chevron

Christmas, holiday

The herringbone ribbon makes appearances throughout the room, including as an add-on to our usual stockings.

The reindeer got bows/bowties made of the narrow striped ribbon.

I found the reindeer above at Goodwill a year or two ago. Last year I spray painted him turquoise. This year he went black. The topiary on my coffee table (above right) got a couple coats of white spray paint to cover the red/green/purple sparkly effect it used to have, which no longer fit with my decor.

Above the sofa, I hung a wreath from ribbon over top of my favorite abstract painting. My white lamp got a herringbone bow tie.


I managed to do just a little bit in the kitchen. To me, too much decor in the kitchen just gets in the way of cooking and baking, which we do a lot of around here.

And I swapped out the art on our stairway landing for a big wreath. I wrapped it with the herringbone ribbon, of course, and added a bunch of small tuquoise gem-like ornaments.

Looking at the photo above of our stairway, I realized I never added the lighted garland down the railing. I guess I'll be doing that this week!

Growing up, my family never changed our holiday decor from year to year. I didn't realize anyone did, actually, until I went to my friend Chris' house in high school. Her mom changed up their tree each year, buying all new ornaments. The first time I saw it, their tree was decked out in bright colors, rather than the standard reds and greens I was used to. I never thought I would do that myself but each of the past few years I've had the itch to try something different.

Do you use the same holiday decor year after year, or do you change it up? What about colors? Are you a traditionalist or do you do whatever suits your fancy? I've been loving all the white trees I've seen around blogland this year, especially with brightly colored ornaments.


Saturday, December 7, 2013

What I've been up to lately

I miss you, little blog. I've been better at keeping up with reading other blogs in recent weeks (via Bloglovin' on my phone ... it rocks), but still haven't gotten back in the groove with posting my own stuff! I thought I'd just pop in tonight to fill you guys in on a few things I've been up to the past few weeks.

First, many of you know that my teenage son is in marching band. And my husband and I are both very involved volunteers. My official job (unpaid, of course) is band booster president, which is a very busy job with our active band program. From July to November, my life revolved around marching band! They made it to the state finals for the fifth year in a row and placed sixth in their division. It was a great year, and we're shooting for even better in 2014! I still have band stuff going on year-round, but nothing like the busy fall season. Here's where I spent most of my Saturdays in September and October -- in the bleachers.

On our one non-band Saturday of the fall, The Mr. and I got all gussied up and attended a family wedding. We are both more sarcastic than silly, but we managed to have a little photo booth fun.

The aforementioned teenage son just turned 17 on Thanksgiving day. It was only the second time since the day he was born that his birthday actually fell on Thanksgiving, so that was pretty cool. He is our "turkey boy." We have been on a car hunt for a couple months and surprised him with one at his family birthday party the weekend before. He is stoked, of course. And now I have to try not to back out of the garage and hit his car in the previously unoccupied turnaround in our driveway. (We have a long, windy driveway, so it's not an easy one to back down.) He actually smiled that day, which is a rare occurrence (grumpy teenagers, ya know). Just don't tell him I posted a photo of him on my blog.

In news more related to my blogging self, I have finally come to my senses and joined Instagram. I'm not what they call an early adopter, huh? Follow me at hollie_imbusyprocrastinating. I need more people to follow, too!

Pigs may fly before I join Twitter, though, so don't bother checking for me there. I remember a few years ago thinking, "That Twitter trend is going to die before it really gets anywhere." Well, I was wrong. But I'm still not joining. Blogs and Facebook and Instagram and Words With Friends/Scramble are enough to keep me procrastinating.

More trailblazing here ... I bought my first can of gold spray paint and my first tube of Rub 'n Buff. Again, behind the times. It was love at first spray, and I was afraid that everything in my house might have been turned gold if I didn't restrain myself. This coral sculpture was my first victim. Look for it in some upcoming living room update photos.

Since I've got the whole black and white thing going on in my living room and since I had a new affinity for gold, I was totally stoked about going black/white/gold with my holiday decorations. However, once I started pulling out all my current stuff and realizing that most of the non-tree decor I have is silver or mercury glass (which is also silvery), and since I do not have approval to buy all new stuff, I quickly came to the realization that I needed to work with what I've got this year. In that effort, I'm updating last year's turquoise scheme to a black/white/silver/turquoise for 2013. Here's a sneak peek I posted today on Instagram. The polka dot ornaments make me smile! And I'm totally happy with how things ended up this year. I might have gone a little crazy with black and white herringbone ribbon.

Until I started putting up my holiday decorations this past week, I was being a total scrooge. It takes me a while to get in the spirit. Two of our local radio stations started playing Xmas music 24/7 right after Halloween, which totally annoyed me, especially since one of them was in my top 3 as far as local radio, and now I have fewer non-Xmas stations to flip through. I still can't get into the holiday music mood, but I'm all about the shopping. Except I feel like I'm shopping more for me than for anyone else! I mean ... with 60% off sales on Black Friday, who can refuse trying on jeans when one's existing jeans are really needing to be replaced? And I may have spent a bit too much time in the Target home decor area yesterday. I really was shopping for others, I swear. I'm still pleased with the Target/Nate Berkus partnership, and Target's Threshold brand is really killing it. They have bar carts at Target now, people!

Their Threshold line is putting out some awesome knobs, too. Previously the selection was pretty blah.


The knobs on the left are faceted, and the knobs on the right are all bubbly -- very Anthro-esque. My photos don't do them justice. I wanted to put them in my cart right then and there, but decided I should probably wait until my next big furniture project actually happens. 

But even if there was time for that in December with all the holiday busy-ness, I'm not supposed to lift anything over 10 pounds for a couple more weeks. I had an ovarian cyst removed a few weeks ago, so I'm still on the mend. No worries ... everything is fine, but surgery was required, so I'm supposed to take it easy for a while. And two weeks after my procedure, Jason had rotator cuff surgery. He will be wearing a shoulder immobilizer sling on his right arm for six more weeks, so between the two of us, there is not much lifting and moving going on. He's getting pretty good at eating with his left hand, but he's pretty much no help around the house, which is a bummer, especially at meal prep time.

Is there anybody still reading this post? It's gotten quite long, and I don't know that I've ever shared this much personal stuff! And I can't believe the majority of photos were taken on my phone. It might be a record.

Now it's your turn to share. Do you have a kid in marching band? Or just a grumpy teenager in general? Are you a holiday scrooge? Do you spend more time shopping for yourself than gift recipients this time of year? Are you getting more and more excited about Target home decor these days? Or am I just easily impressed because I don't get out shopping much since I haven't been working and earning an income? I'm almost afraid to go gift shopping at HomeGoods next week because I'm afraid of the temptations!

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