A Rocky Before

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I came across a photo of what our fireplace looked like when we moved into our home. How's this for a "before" photo.Yes, we had our own rock climbing wall. Our boys loved climbing those rocks! However, they weren't too fond of having to pull the rocks off the wall and haul them into our yard when I decided to remodel the fireplace. But thanks to my hubby and sons hard work, we have an "after" to be proud of.Joy @ JOYSOFHOME

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Modern Wallpapers from Osborne and Little

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Don't you just love "Mad Men"? Aside from the fabulous characters, clever dialogues and story lines, the set on the show is just awesome. They really got it down. Doesn't the wallpapers in the show make you just dizzy though?

Things have changed since then obviously. Nowadays you most likely see wallpapers in the bathroom, powder room, hallway or just one wall. They are used as an accent or an exclamation point.

We thought we show you some new patterns from Osborne and Little this spring. If you follow this post you'll see that this is our favorite wallpapers line. It's not for the faint-hearted though, as it's rather bold and daring. You'll have to have steady nerves to take on this line.

Osborne and Little wallpapers runs about$120-200 per roll. You can get a quote for specific pattern here. Note: the rolls is 11 yards x 22 wide, which covers about 55 sq feet. It is the equivalent of 1 1/2 American roll.

You can see the rest of the collection and the colorways here.

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Fantastic Faux Leather from Silver State

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The other day we came across an artitle about the danger of cheap food in Time magazine. The article talks about how our food has become so industrialized to make it as cheap as possible, and how we've endangered our environment and our health as a result.

We probably can easily dismiss it as one of the many things that is better not to know-- as it only makes us depressed, really. Besides, what can one possibly do? It's not like you can grow chicken in your backyard, right?

But the article did make us pause and think about what we do eat, and how by doing little things we can change our habits, and hopefully, do our part to help the world in the process.

If you are interested in the article, click here. A note of warning: it's really, really long. Like 3,251 words long to be exact! And it makes you want to stop eating for a few days...

So may we suggest looking at faux leather vs real leather when you decorate? We were doing a restaurant project a few months back and we discovered a great faux leather line from Silver State. No one heard of them, but if you follow this blog you'll know that we are suckers for small, boutique vendors that are not well-known.

We ended up using the faux leather for the restaurant banquets and they turn out marvelous. Not only that, they are way cheaper too. Whereas real leather is sold by the square foot, faux leather is sold by the yard like fabric, which means you get way more for your money.

What we like best about the collection is the colors. You might not be able to see the real colors here, but trust us, in person they just POP! The quality is really good too. It's very soft and supple, not plastiky at all...

The faux leather shown here sells for about $80-100/yard. You can find pricing information as well as the rest of the collection on our faux leather section. To see more of Silver State products, check out their web site. It's not a very well-designed web site though, so you have to click around a bit.

Suggestion: these are awesome as wallpapers as well. You need to find a good and patient wallhanger, but they look amazing as wallcoverings, and they are very durable.

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Garden Architecture

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Ever since we moved into our home, we've been adding architectural elements to give it more style and character. We've been doing the same with our yard and garden. We've bought and built simple structures to add character and height. They look beautiful from spring to fall surrounded by blooming vines and bushes. During the winter months when the yard and gardens are so gray and barren the structures give a charming visual interest and stand as a monuments to natures life and beauty.
A few years back we built this rose arbor using doors.
Then we added this trellis and door that leads into our vegetable garden.Recently we used scrap wood, found next to a dumpster, to build two seven foot tall obelisks. Once we figured out how to cut those pointed tops (thank you internet), they were a fairly easy build.
Son #3 painted them with a mis-tint exterior paint.
We placed them in our vegetable garden. They serve as tall, fancy tomato cages. There's only one problem---I want at least three more of these beauties!

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Candice Olson Fabric for Kravet

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Candice Olson is everywhere nowadays. First she did furniture , then rugs, then lamps and now fabric for Kravet.

We love the Candice Olson show on HGTV. The problem with too much licensing, though, is that you kinda lose that originality that got people to like you in the first place. Remember Pierre Cardin or Halston, anyone? Also a great designer does not neccesarily makes the best product maker. There are many factors involved, such as manufacturing, distribution and other business issues that can impact how the products actually turn out.

So we have to say, we're not that impressed with the fabric collection from her. It's okay... It's kinda ordinary, actually. Most of the stuff we've seen before and it's like, heh...

We thought we show you some of the more interesting ones:

Most of the patterns retail for $119/yard (you can get it for less at the upholstery fabric store on our site). To see the rest of the collection, click here.

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Does It Make You Smile

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I recently changed out the accessories in my bathroom. A while back I had placed a weathered blue lantern on the counter with a candle and a pencil starfish inside. It was simpe, beautiful and beachy.But I found myself looking at it and thinking, "Blaaaahh." Maybe it was because, with the kids going back to school, I'm not in a beachy mood. Maybe it was that it had been sitting there long enough that I had begun to look at it as clutter instead of beauty. Or maybe it just didn't have enough layers as I find myself being drawn to in my accessorizing these days. Whatever the reason, it no longer made me smile. So it was time for a little change.
I pulled together a collection of white soap dishes, added in some wonderfully smelling decorative soaps, fake pearls, faucet knobs and a delightfully fragrent candle. Then I placed them a top an old china platter, layered on a tarnished silver tray.

Now that makes me smile.What about you? Do you have accessories that you feel Blah about? If so it's time to make a change. Rearrange items, pull things from other rooms, give them a new coat of paint, or live without any accessories in that spot for a while. Whatever it takes,
give yourself another opportunity to
smile about your home

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Chic Furniture from Noir

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Being in the decorating business for a long time, we watch many manufacturers come and go. Sometimes it's heartbreaking, especially when a company has been in business for years and years. On the other hand, we also see some companies started out really small, and with sweat and tears and ingenuity, they grow it into something special.

Noir Trading is kinda like that. We first know them as a custom furniture maker. George, who came from Germany, makes the most amazing custom cabinets and furniture around. Then he started Noir Trading a few years ago. At first it wasn't that interesting, to be honest. Just the typical dark wood furniture and Budha--boring Asian import crap, basically. However, in the recent years their quality and style has gone up several quotients. If you like Oly Studio and think it's too expensive (which it is), this might be great alternative.

Here are some great pieces that we just love:

To see more of Noir products, visit the web site here. If you need help with pricing, drop us a line.

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Is a deal really a deal?

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We were looking through our closet the other day, contemplating an end-of-summer clean up. Now mind you, this is a task we perform say, once every five years. It's not that much fun, really, as it usually conjures up all kind of guilt and regret.

Let us give you a partial list of items here:

1. One Yoshi Yamamoto raincoat with THREE sleeves, bought for $800, never worn.
2. One 5" Gucci Platform shoes bought for $500, never worn.
3. One Narcisco Rodriguez black dress that was too tight to start with, but we were hoping we get into it one day. Bought for $800, worn for a minute and a half.
4. One Prada dress that really needs some alteration, for it is a bit too long and dowdy, but bought because it was Prada. Bought for $600, worn once.
5. One pair of Bruno Frisoni shoes bought for $500 at the Neiman Marcus pre Christmas sale that were way uncomfortable to wear except when sitting down.

What do these items have in common?

First, they were all bought on sale, and at the time, seem too good of a deal to pass up.

Second, they were bought because they were "designer" labels! A Prada dress marked down from $2000 to $600?

The point of all this is, if you buy something on sale, and you never wear it, is it really a deal?

Not really, because basically you are just throwing cash away. On the other hand, if you buy something you really like, and use it ALL the time, it is a better buy, isn't it?

Now excuse us while we try to unload this stuff on Ebay.

PS If anyone who is interested in a three-sleeved coat in a size 38, drop us a line!

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Hgtv Dream House Front Yard

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HGTV dream house...

HGTV dream home is simply an ideal home for all those craving for elegance and style. This home is exclusive not only because of the outstanding décor but also because of the grace that it includes. All the guests and the lodgers can surely enjoy a pleasurable time after getting into this home. The front yard of this house is also as attractive as rest of the house.

Hgtv Dream House: Hgtv Front Yard

The best thing about the front yard of this house is that it is not only unique but is pleasing as well. If you ever want to enjoy the architectural legacy of this home then exploring the front yard of this house is perfect options available. The front yard of this house is a perfect blend of architectural legacy and outstanding accessories that makes it most desirable and appreciable part of the front yard.

Hgtv Dream House: Your Dream Front Yard

The most alluring features of the front yard of this house are that it includes oversized light fixtures that make it as attractive as never before. One of the premium facets of the front yard of the HGTV dream home is that it includes era-appropriate plantings that makes the front yard not only eye-catching but unbelievable pleasing as well.

Hgtv Dream House: Small Front Yard

The exterior front of this dream home can be counted as the most attractive, appealing and pleasing corners of this house. Guests can feel like stepping in a royal yard while entering the beautifully decorated front yard of the HGTV dream home. This space is as striking as other spaces of this dream home.

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Unfortunately Fortunate

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We had a busy weekend, unfortunately it did not include working on our current home improvement project. But fortunately, I did manage to get a little thrift shopping in (I can always manage to squeeze thrifting into a busy schedule).
Here are some of my finds from last week:
Two framed botanicals for two dollars each. The frames need a little care but I love how large and beautiful they are.
A four dollar, perfectly primed and ready to paint, plant stand. Isn't it gorgeous? Can't you just see it topped with a luscious fern, or for fall, a large pumpkin with autumn leaves draping down.And last the best of all the game, this Honey-I'm-not-sure-where-we'll-put-it-but-how-could-I-pass-up-this-gorgeous-Ralph-Lauren-twenty-five-dollar-sofa.Actually I'm thinking of cleaning out an area of our unfinished basement for a "reading room". Being the only female in a house with a hubby who likes talk tv and three sons who love guitar hero, I need

a pretty, little quiet place of my own.

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