Monday, August 31, 2009

weekend productivity

a few things:

1) we began repainting the living room yesterday, and i would like to give a shout out to olympic's low-odor, zero-voc interior paint. this is our first go-round with environmentally preferable painting products, and boy-howdy are we impressed so far. i spent the better part of the afternoon lowering my nose into the paint can and exclaiming "wow, it really doesn't smell!" and therefore, neither does our house. captain fantastic is fairly certain that any paint that smells so little and cleans up so easily will soon just fall right off the walls. with approximately 4 strokes of edging left, i managed to dump half of the container on my bare foot...and it came off in the shower before i even sudsed up my loofah! amazing.

2) i made my first pilgrimage to joann on saturday with my sister-in-law. wow. it is now possibly my favorite place on earth. michael's and hancock's in one but nicer and with a large selection of home decor fabrics? yes please! it's just unfortunate that this outpost is stationed approximately on the other side of the planet from my home. no quick trips after work in my future, only full-scale weekend expeditions to the burbs.

anyway, i bought some stuff there. most excitingly: fabric to reupholster some slip seat chairs i nabbed at a flea market a few weeks ago + a few yards of muslin to give the dining room chair slipcover template ye olde college try. and an upholstery book. stay tuned.

Friday, August 28, 2009

speaking of slipcovers...

...slash skirts...i think that's technically what i'm talking about here.

so anyway.

i'd bookmarked this post on little green notebook and kept thinking about how much i super liked the skirt she put on her console table:

then i saw this table on thrifty and chic motif, via diy thursday at a soft place to land:

and also this one on imperfectly beautiful, complete with the fabulous detailing of my secret lover, nailhead trim (yall, girlfriend made that out of a drop cloth. for real.):

and this one, from newlywed diaries, which required zero sewing (!) but looks quite schmancy:

and then i came across another one whilst perusing the archives of urban grace interiors, which looks like the absolute best most perfect and awesome idea of all time for craft supply storage (of which we are in desperate need up in hura):

my roommate and i had curtains made of that fabric in another color back in the pre-married days. i'm pretty sure this is fate. good thing i'm already planning to head to the fabric store with my sister-in-law tomorrow. i should have some good before-and-afters to share soon!

which reminds me of the super "before" that captain fantastic and i made into an "after"...two weeks ago...that i have yet to photograph. dang. i'll accomplish that this weekend. assuming i can squeeze it in to my busy schedule of eating ice cream and watching tlc. the better half is on a fly-fishing excursion, and those activities are pretty much mandatory while he's gone. indeed.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

dining chair slipcovers

these are the dining room chairs that captain fantastic got when he bought the house in which we now live, which used to be the house in which he and some roommates lived, before we even met (paint and rug also pre-me):

the legs are neat, but the seats are a crusty old faux-leathery upholstery, the backs are boring and the finish is chipping all over. recovering the cushions and refinishing or painting the chairs would be an option, but then we'd still be stuck with the boring backs.

enter one of my new favorite blogs, cote de texas. super duper love it. lengthy, informative and interesting posts. fabulous style. a recent feature on the blog was "small houses." which are actually like twice the size of my house. but whatevs. everything's bigger in texas, no? two of the featured houses have similar dining chairs, and i looove them:

monogrammed slipcovers!!! in the words of stacey london, SHUT UP! gimme. but methinks maybe instead of to-the-floor length like above, i would like the precious (and by precious i mean manly and definitely not too girly, no) pleats below:

(can't remember where i got this. let me know if you recognize!)

and you know what i'm thinking? perfect first slipcover project for the budding upholstress! i can sew, and i've recently mastered the art of the pleat. this is like a step up from the ever present seat recover, yet not as monstrous as the club chair and couch slipcovers/reupholstery of my dreams. yes? anyone done this before? any tips? and answer me this: the top and bottom chairs appear upholstered underneath, but those in the middle look like they've got wooden frames in do we think i need to rig up some padding, or would the covers look good just over the nekkid wood?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new header

you like? comin' atcha courtesy of my kindergarten-level photoshop skills. please tell me if it looks really bad. seriously. i'm not kidding. you will not hurt my feelings. i know i s*ck at photoshop.

and also, perhaps i have been under the proverbial interior design rock, but where have you been all my life phoebe howard? i so seriously cannot even choose a picture of one of her rooms to illustrate this post, because i want to post them all. i love her that much. just go look at her work. then pretend like you're inside my house, and it looks like that.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

mirrored furniture

file this one under "trends i didn't like at first but the more i saw them the more they grew on me." it can be friends with pointy-toed shoes and skinny jeans. what's funny is that i still didn't think i liked mirrored furniture until i realized there was a bunch of it in my inspiration files. go figure.

either of these would make super nightstands:

this is similar to the above nightstand but is labeled a sideboard, so it must be larger. i think i actually prefer its more intricate pattern:

this one is actually borderline too intense for me, but i still like it.

so i guess i do like mirrored furniture. though i'm still not quite ready to get on board with this.

(top picture: mrs. howard. all others: worlds away)

Monday, August 24, 2009

daily lichen: glass lamps

to encourage daily posting without inducing panic attacks over diy projects or before-and-afters or being clever, i'm going to post a picture (or pictures) each day of something that inspires me. slash something i like. something i'm liking. likin'. lichen. which is similar to moss in that it grows on stones.


or not. puns are my fave. but anyway, maybe you'll like what i'm lichen too. then we'll all be happy, because i'm posting daily and you're seeing neat things and i'm making use of my inspiration files and so forth and so on etc. and i'll make additional posts when i've actually done something worth posting. howsabout that?

so, here's what i'm lichen today: glass lamps.

like these, as seen on design sponge

and these, from stray dog designs (LOVE this company)

and most especially, these from pottery barn

i plan to put that post-wedding-registry discount to good use and acquire two of these in "jade" to flank my living room couch. i'm a symmetry sort of gal.

in related news, a weekend trip to nashvegas to visit my godparents and help my baby bro move into his new apartment resulted in an awesome and unexpected parting gift: godmother linda loaned me a set of instructional dvds on...learning to upholster. SCORE. i think i'll get my feet wet by doing up those aztec-navajo-southwestern patterned estate sale chairs a la pink & polka dot's laziest slipcover tutorial ever (via living with lindsay) and see where we go from there. it is so on.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


riddle me this:

SOMEone on this planet is capable of upholstering things, because there are lots of upholstered things around. so. why can't that someone be me?

anybody got any leads on upholstery classes in the memphis metro area? slash an upholsterer who needs an apprentice? slash fail-safe online upholstery tutorials? hmm?

i saw approximately 25 chairs on last saturday's thrifting excursion that would have been very happy to come home with me...were i capable of reupholstering them. i don't mean little pull-the-seat-out-and-staple-new-fabric-on chairs. cuz i'm already all up in that. i mean like wingbacks. and my couch. and this set of estate sale chairs that the captain acquired several years ago:

what even is that pattern? besides gross. and threadbare. and dog-chewed.

andnoiwillnotpaysomeoneelsetodoit. no sirree. who do you think i am? see previous examples of stubbon i-can-do-it-myself-even-if-i-have-no-clue-how-to-do-it nature here and here.

also, my grama could upholster back in the day. and i'm pretty sure it's genetic.

(pictures of things that i could probably find at a thrift store and reupholster myself via wisteria)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


i am the queen of cheap. i almost never buy things at full price, unless that price is really small or the thing in question is a pair of jeans. jeans are always a good investment. i'm not afraid to toss around a few c-notes, but boy you betcha i'd better get a pile of awesome in return. nothing thrills me more than a good deal. i'm going to go ahead and blame this trait on my father. the man scours grocery stores around the city all day in search of a deal for chrissakes. he's probably there right now. and there's a 95% chance you'll see him on your next trip. tell him i said, "wazzup!" he loved that commercial, and he'll think you're hilarious.

the thing that makes me different from my dad is that instead of carefully researching items and weighing my options to find the best deal, i carefully research items and then randomly end up buying something completely the opposite of what i originally wanted because it's on sale. case in point: the living room rug. what follows is a sampling of the rugs i've been drooling over for weeks now, mentally decorating my living room on top of them and cataloging the curse words i'll throw out when my dogs and/or husband ruin them with muddy feet.

there's the (martha stewart):

the this-will-be-destroyed-in-five-minutes-but-i-don't-care (shades of light):

the why-doesn't-it-come-in-8x10-that's-just-stupid (safavieh):

and the doesn't-match-my-couch-but-whatevs (ballard designs):

(actually none of these match my couch in its current upholstery. eh, no big.)

so after hemming and hawing over the cost of rugs and the pitfalls of light colors and old marley dog's carpet-licking compulsion, we finally made a purchase. i don't have a picture of the actual rug, because it is still rolled up, patiently waiting until we re-paint the living room before its big reveal. i also can't find a picture online, because it was on super clearance at the pottery barn outlet...a $1,600 williams sonoma home rug that we shelled out $262 to take home with us. CAN YOU BELIEVE THE DEAL. geez oh pete, we couldn't. anyhoo, it looks somewhat remotely similar to a 9x13 natural fiber version of this (minus the fringe):


i am insane. bear with me.

here's why this is an acceptable alternative: i have been collecting inspiration photos for forever, and when i look back through them, i start to notice patterns (sometimes, literally). in case this post doesn't have enough pictures already, here are a few (whose sources i don't know..oops) from my inspiration file to illustrate my point:

and my fave...

apparently i have a thing for striped floors. and lucky me, now i get to POSSESS a striped floor, and i don't even have to whitewash my hardwoods! win-win.

in related impulse-buy news, i satisfied my trellis-pattern fetish by ordering a pair of these fab bodrum throw pillows from today's one kings lane sale for 50friggin% off, booyah!

dear gorgeous new throw pillow,

can't wait to meet you in 12-20 business days.


insanely affordable new striped rug

Friday, August 14, 2009


well, well, well. lookie who's back!

welcome to romancing the stones part deux: the nesting files. captain fantastic and i have settled into married life and are moving on to our next big adventure. this blog will chronicle our adventures in painting, tiling, thrifting and decorating as we work to create a home that reflects our personalities and warms our little hearts. we are both passionate do-it-yourselfers who love to tackle big projects...and sometimes have trouble completing them. we have champagne taste...but hate shelling out the big bucks. add to that equation a 50-yr-old house and two enormous dogs, and we've got ourselves a real challenge.

the name of this blog was inspired thusly: our last name is stone. we both sometimes struggle with timelines (hence rolling at our own pace). and, like the stone in the old addage, we are gathering bits and pieces to feather our nest. if a rolling stone gathers no moss, we dilly-dally just enough to gather an eclectic and meaningful array.

this is how we roll...
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