>Shopping For Inspiration: Part Two


While shopping for last minute Christmas gifts last week, my husband and I decided to pop into Restoration Hardware. We were on the hunt for whiskey rocks and every store (on Fourth Street in Berkeley) was completely sold out. So, I thought if Paper-Source, Z-Gallerie and Sur La Table carried them, why wouldn’t Restoration Hardware? Surely, they have a stocking stuffers/novelty gift section, right? Well they didn’t have the popular whiskey rocks (who knew that a box of nine soapstone cubes would be such a hot seller? Guess I’m in the wrong business). But, to my surprise, my husband and I did happen upon a few really cool things that we both agreed would work for our home. P.S. – we ended up finding the rocks a couple of blocks away at BevMo.

I can’t remember the last time I walked into a RH store or checked out their catalog or website. Same goes for Pottery Barn or any of the large home decor/furniture companies for that matter. It’s not that I have anything against those stores…quite the contrary, I think they do have some fabulous items and many of their vignettes and decorating themes/ideas are quite inspiring. I’ve actually had requests from clients to emulate a mural, painting style or furniture finish from the beautifully produced PB and RH catalogs. In a way, they are the benchmark or snapshot for what’s trendy and popular in decorating. And once I had a look around, I recognized some of the very exact decorating vignettes and colors being used in some of my clients’ and neighbors’ homes.

My home is in no way, shape or form “decorated”…although I have many plans, projects and designs in the works. I simply don’t have the time to work on them. Most of the furniture in our home are antique reproductions purchased through the trade network of my interior design colleagues, yard sale or thrift store finds that I’ve refinished, or hand-me-downs or gifts from our family and friends. Most of the items from RH or PB are more than I’m willing to spend…especially when I have industry connections and resources to either fabricate or obtain something similar (not to mention it would be more unique than a reproduction piece that’s on the showroom floor of every store in the chain around the country).

I don’t imagine my home looking like a model home or a page out of a RH catalog, I feel like a home should reflect the personalities and lifestyles of it’s inhabitants. So, I’m always on the hunt for things that I think might represent our unique styles…which explains why it’s been so difficult for me to finish any decorating projects (time and money is also a factor). How to decorate my home in an unique, yet timeless way, without it looking like what everyone else is already doing? Yes, that’s the question (and the subject of another post, for another day).

So, enough of the ramblings…here are the things Aaron and I really liked from RH.

What could be a more perfect way for a painter (ahem, yours truly) to “display” a television than on an antique artist’s easel?! This is so “me”…Honey, I don’t care what kind of flat screen you get, as long as this is how we show it. What a clever idea!

I love the ornate details of the woodwork on this bookcase, although I personally prefer a darker wood finish or a more colorful, distressed painted finish than the sandblasted oak shown here.

Love the style of this chair…I couldn’t do the Belgian linen, though…I have two boys, afterall. Aaron thought it would be cool if speakers could be hidden in it for the ultimate surround sound experience.

Now that’s more like it! A large, deep-seated, tufted, low-back, gorgeously distressed, leather couch. Need to work on that 5K price tag, though!

A great coffee table option…an oversized vintage leather travel trunk reproduction.

Although this is a cool option too…made from an old factory wheel cart. I’m very drawn to the whole style of “steampunk” and the industrial era of the early 1900s.

A lovely light fixture, used here as a set over a dining room table.

My absolute favorite item (both of us LOVED this): antique iron pulleys used as functioning decorative elements for hanging pendant lights.

Aren’t these marvelous?!! For the price tag, though, Aaron figured we could fashion our own. These are antique reproductions…he already found real turn of the century iron pulleys on ebay that are in fabulous original finishes and working condition. For the price of one RH fixture, he could get two real pulleys, wire them himself and use pendant lights that are more our style. We’ve had plans for building a bar and these lights would be perfect to hang over it!

“Ta-tah” for now…I’m still technically on vacay, spending time with family and getting ready to ring in the New Year. But I’m getting a kick out of blogging from my cell phone. I’ll have a couple more posts before the year is through, I’m sure!

Still working on EITAK Design’s Top 10 of 2010 and I have a new blog series to announce…so stay tuned!

– Mobile Blogging by EITAK Design via iphone and BlogPress.

This entry was posted in About Me, Cool Stuff, DIY, Fun Finds, Fun Stuff, Holidays, Home Decor, Just Because, Paint. Bookmark the permalink.

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