Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Design Dilemma {Update}

I've made a little progress on the former wet bar situation in my new condo.

When we last spoke (here) about this little space it was looking pretty sad. 
The former owners had taken out the wet bar (see the plumbing?) and put in a sweet makeshift "desk" using a piece of plywood covered with peel-n-stick stainless steel sheeting.  So chic :)
The walls were also very yellowish.  You can see my paint samples sitting on the mantel.  Not yellow. 
Everything has since been removed from that little niche, the walls painted a crisp white (BM Distant Gray) and I bought this little chest that fills the space nicely and provides some great storage.
(sorry about the crappy iphone photos)
You guys gave me a lot of great ideas for the space and some of them are still very strong possibilities. But I needed to get the living room sort of finished and this works for now. 
Many of you suggested shelves...like some rough, natural wood floating shelves like these:
My {adult} kids voted for a bar like the one below.  Shocker ;)

But since the space is right next to my bookcases where there is already a lot going on, I decided that adding shelves so close to the bookcases just wasn't right for me. 
I need clean and simple.

I shoot a lot of photos around town...if you follow me on Instagram, you already know this.  These two below are a couple of favorites from the beach at Pacific Palisades and the Hollywood sign on a cloudy day.
I ordered a couple of prints and had some custom mats cut at a local framing shop.


Far from professional, but I like them and I think they look nice in the space. 

So there you have it. Design dilemma solved for now.

  You know I'm not a designer, so I can't really call it "styling", but I'm always "restyling" (aka changing stuff around) here, so it hardly ever looks the same for very long.  I change my mind a lot....do you?

Hope you're having a great week and as always,
thanks for stopping by.


Sunday, March 9, 2014

Around Town {Spring Forward}

Blue skies and warm temperatures...it definitely feels like spring.  Or early summer.  In any case, it's awesome.

Last Wednesday I had lunch with my son at our usual spot which is right near the Capitol Records building.  I always want to take a picture of this iconic building.  Just can't help myself...it never gets old.
I also went to a screening of Le Weekend at the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences.  The movie was meh, but I always enjoy looking at the photos at the Academy.  So many of my old-time favorites line the walls (that makes me old, I know ;)
Walter Cronkite and Lucille Ball.

And my two all-time favorite television stars are right next to each other, Johnny Carson and Mary Tyler Moore.

I really sound like an old geezer now, but I can honestly say that I haven't watched The Tonight Show even once since Johnny retired.  I used to watch it every night.  

It's been a pretty good week for my family. Got to hear one of my son's songs on a TV show (Rake with Greg Kinnear). Then got to see my daughter's name on the credits at the end of Mr. Peabody and Sherman (which was a REALLY cute and smart movie...highly recommend!). A productive week I'd say!

Yesterday, my girls and I went shopping in Santa Monica and Brentwood.  It was a gorgeous day.
We hit the 3rd Street Promenade and then headed over to the Brentwood Country Mart.
Here's something at the Mart you probably don't read much about, but how cute are these old vintage sinks in the restroom at the Brentwood Country Mart?  Everything in this restroom is vintage and so cool.
I couldn't resist these coasters with gold dots at Sugar Paper L.A.
And how cute are these pink and gold thank you cards also at Sugar Paper L.A.?  Merci!
So we sprang forward this morning.  Do you like it?  I like the extra daylight at the end of the day, but I'm not fond of losing the hour of sleep.  How about you?
Hope you're having a great weekend!
So sad...no Downton Abby tonight...shortest season ever!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Oscar Sunday

It's been a wet and soggy weekend here in LA. Kind of a bummer for the Oscars. They're squeegy-ing off the red carpet...it's not pretty.
There were so many great movies and performances this year, it's hard to pick my favorites.
I enjoyed every single thing about American Hustle.
So, so good!
These guys will probably win Best Picture but man it was hard to watch the brutal treatment of humans in 12 Years a Slave.
Matthew McConaughey nailed it yet again in Dallas Buyers Club...the favorite for Best Actor.  Another sad movie.
I was thoroughly entertained for three hours watching Wolf of Wall Street, and I loved the sweet and touching story of Philomena.

The stellar cast of August: Osage County was outstanding making it very entertaining.  What's not to love about Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts?  Not to mention Margo Martindale, Sam Shepard, Dermot Mulroney, Abigail Breslin, Juliette Lewis and Benedict Cumberbatch.  So much talent.
In Nebraska, June Squibb and Bruce Dern were amazing.  There's something really special about watching seasoned veterans shine so brightly.
Like I said, so many great movies and performances, it's impossible to pick a favorite.

On a side note, how awesome was the piece today on CBS Sunday Morning on Academy Award winner Eva Marie Saint?  True movie star.   But more importantly, she gets it.  No plastic surgery, 89 years old and looks beautiful.  Walks every day, married to the same man for 62 years, devoted mother and grandmother.  I'll leave you with one of her memorable quotes that is especially appropriate today:
"America is now obsessed with stars in an unhealthy way.  They don't actually deserve this kind of attention.  They're only actors, not scientists who are triumphing over cancer or doing some other wonderful thing." - Eva Marie Saint
I totally agree.  A healthy fascination however, is acceptable.  So for tonight, I'll be healthily obsessed.
How about you?
What are your Oscar favorites?
Have an awesome Sunday.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Classic Restaurants {The Smoke House}

Last week I took my family out for a celebratory dinner at the classic restaurant The Smoke House in Toluca Lake. 
As a teenager, we would go there for fancy dates and special occasions. 

Isn't it awesome that some things never change?
Same red leather booths.

And like the sign says, fine dining since 1947.  It's true!
The filets and the prime rib were as good as always,
but the star of the show at the Smoke House is the garlic cheese bread.  I remember it was about the best thing I'd ever tasted.  My kids love it too.

It's located at 4420 Lakeside Drive in the city of Burbank, right down the street from Lakeside Country Club and right across the street from Warner Brothers Studios.


Our special occasion was to celebrate my son (the musician, song-writer, performer, all around music genius) getting his first big success in the very difficult music industry.  He sold a song he wrote and recorded to ABC for the show Marvels Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.  It's pretty damn exciting.
I'm so proud of him.  He's been working hard in the business for very little money for over six years.  But this first taste of significant success makes it all worth it.  Good things are coming for him.
 I got him a two pound box of his favorite chocolate butter creams from See's and this awesome card.

Yeah, he really does rock.

Hope you're having a great week.

As always, thanks for stopping by.




Friday, February 14, 2014

Winter Weekend {So Cal Style}

Last weekend my sister and I went on a little road trip down south.  We stopped at Roger's Gardens in Newport Beach.  I have read a lot about it and seen blogposts, but never experienced it in person.  It did not disappoint.  The weather was beautiful and there were amazing flowers everywhere.
  What could be better?

We cruised around Balboa Island, did some shopping at Fashion Island and then spent the night at my favorite hotel down that way, the Hyatt Regency.  The next day, we woke up to cloudy skies, and after breakfast we stopped at the historic Crystal Cove. 

After a nice walk down the beach, we arrived at the cluster of old cottages where people have been camping for the summer since the early 1900s.  

The history of this place is pretty fascinating.  If you google, you can read more if you're interested.

As we continued south to San Clemente, the sun came out and it turned into a beautiful Southern California winter day.

I mean seriously, how lucky are we to live in So Cal?
I wouldn't trade it for anything.

And here is the view from my friend Judy's balcony, right by the San Clemente pier.  I don't think I'd ever leave the balcony.  Can you imagine the sunsets?

We continued on south stopping in Laguna Beach, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe where I had a work meeting on Monday morning.  Unfortunately I did not play golf that day, but it was a beautiful course at the Santaluz Club.


We did a fair amount of shopping and I came home with a new pillow sham from Restoration Hardware, some cute black and white cocktail napkins, a couple of amber bottles and a cute little gold nut dish.

It was a pretty good weekend.   Let's hope this one can hold up as well.  It's three days long and going to be warm, so it's already got that goin' for it.

Wishing you a good one!

As always, thanks for visiting.




Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Bookcases {In My Case, Less Styling More Books}

So tricky, yet so pleasant (when done right).
My bookcases are less stylish and more workhorse.  While I love a beautifully styled bookcase, in my small condo, I don't have the luxury of having a lot pretty stuff on them. 
I need them to store my BOOKS. 

I got the idea to use two Ikea Expedits from Meg Lonergan's four stacked units in the photo below.  I'm sure everyone has seen this by now...it's been around for awhile and in many publications.

So brilliant.  I mean really, that's a LOT of books.  And I think they look fantastic!
I don't have nearly as many books, but I wanted them all in these units.  As you know, I'm not a fan of clutter, so I needed this space to look clean and organized. 
I started with all of the white-ish books in the top two center cubbies.

Then all of the black books in the bottom, just above the two baskets (which are great for storage). 

I placed the colorful books together in sections of reds, blues and greens.
All of the children's books are in the bottom cubbies
(where there will soon be tiny ones who can reach them :)   

These are all books that I used to read to my kids.  They're all tattered and loved up, like childrens' books should be :)

I still have books stacked throughout my place and some of the decorative stuff will probably have to go soon since I keep getting more books.  But for now everything fits pretty well in these two units.

Can't believe it's Wednesday already.  This week is flying!

As always, thanks for visiting.





Thursday, January 30, 2014

New Lamp {West Elm love}

I stole a great line from Sherry Hart (Design Indulgence) and it's ok because she stole it too! 

I'm "auditioning" this lamp for this corner of my living room.  In L.A. where everyone is auditioning for something, it's especially appropriate.

Yes, I realize the plastic is still on.  I'm taking it off soon.  When I'm sure.   ;)

I've had this big empty corner to work with.  I've tried a few different things here but nothing too thrilling.  I think I've finally found a winner with this new floor lamp from one of my favorite stores, West Elm.

I have to tell you though, when I first started thinking about this lamp about six months ago, it was $169.  It's now $229.  I used some discount codes, free shipping and a gift card (thanks Katie ;) so I got it for a little less cash out of my pocket.  But still, that's a pretty hefty price increase.


I like that it's tall because my ceilings are tall and I needed some height in the space.  And it's adjustable so I can change the height if necessary.  I also like that it has two lightbulbs so you can have different levels of light.  And I've got a pretty good mix of modern and traditional going, so I think it might work.

Did I mention that I get afternoon sunlight?  It's pretty cool.  I get to watch the beautiful Los Angeles sunset every evening. 
It's one of my favorite things about my place.

The weekend is almost here, friends! 

Hope you have a great one.



~ Karen ~