Category Archives: Design

Happy 2010!

It has been a long time since I’ve written on Lavender&Cocoa, and I’ve missed it!  I hope everyone had a lovely last few months leading to 2010!  It certainly was a busy, sometimes crazy, time for me and Hubby.  But we survived and are excited for this New Year and Decade.  To keep us sane from all the busy craziness these past couple of months, we took some trips, met some new friends, played in snow, and cooked, cooked, cooked.  Hubby made yet another perfect Queen of Sheba, which we served our lovely dinner guests for the New Year celebration.  I learned how to make lumpia, which are Filipino egg-rolls.  It was tedious, time consuming, but oh so rewarding!  On the design side, I’m happy to report that I’m sooooo close to finishing our second bedroom/home office and have finally found that perfect white sofa to fill our space and function needs (see previous story).  I’ll be sure to post before and after pics so you can see the transformation.  It has taken quite some time to get this room just right, and I think we’ve finally got it.  I’ve just got two items on the to-do list, and it’ll be done!  Since pictures can better convey what I’ve missed writing about over the past couple of months since my last post, I’ve created a collage posted here to tell my story.

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Still on the Hunt for the White(ish) Convertible Sofa…

Sad to say, but I am. And to think, I was ecstatic when the West Elm delivery truck pulled up in front of my street. What’s wrong with it? It’s still too beige. I thought it might be the lighting, but nope. Late afternoon sun, early morning rays, evening lights don’t matter. It’s just too beige against my liquid blue wall (and the wall color, I’m definitely not compromising on). Take a look (and excuse the mess, I’m not done yet.)

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Getting Stuck in Chicago Ain’t Bad

Hubby and I were in Chicagoland this past weekend visiting his family and a couple of our friends and having a grand ‘ole time. But when it came to Sunday, we were ready to come home and get our week started. Do you ever just feel like being home? Well, this week is like that for me. Unfortunately, our flight got cancelled due to weather issues, and we were not rebooked until the following day on an early evening flight. So what do you do? Not wanting to further impose on family or friends (and realizing how awesome it was to have an excusable day off work), we decided to leave the VERY looooooonnnnggggg line we were standing in at the American Airlines terminal and make the best of the situation. Luckily, Hubby had free points to spare on his Kimpton card and was able to secure us a lovely, el primo room at the Hotel Monaco in downtown Chicago. Imagine our surprise when we got to the hotel, and the registration dude (what do you call these guys?) told us that we were upgraded to a suite! I once wanted to quit my job to be an interior designer because of all the pretty things one gets to look at if one was an interior designer. But I never followed through with that dream (hence the blog). If I was though, I would love to work for Kimpton and design lovely hotels like this one:

Hallway at Hotel Monaco Chicago
Entre to our hotel suite.

Living Space
Living area of our suite

Only at a Kimpton - Funky Patterns and Splashes of Color
Only at a Kimpton — funky patterns and splashes of color

Interior Room
Opposite of bed. Check out the window seat, which could double as another bed. The cushion is as big as a twin mattress! Great idea for small spaces in need of additional sleeping areas.

Reading Nook

Umm.. yeah, this is a nice view.
Outside our window. Umm… yeah, this is a nice view.

Pete, our adopted goldfish for the night
And of course, Pete, our adopted goldfish for the night. (Yes, at a Kimpton hotel, you can borrow the company of a goldfish if you get too lonely!)

Needless to say, we were able to have a little QT and enjoyed the sights of the city. So, next time you get stuck at an airport trying to rebook that cancelled flight — whip out your rewards credit card or hotel points card and just say — “to hell with it! I’m gonna have me a good time!”

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The Hunt for the White(ish) Convertible Sofa is Over (or so I Hope)!

I finally found it!  After a LONG TIME searching for the perfect, convertible, white sofa for my newly re-painted-now-liquid-blue-formerly-buttery-yellow home office/guest room, I think I’ve finally found one.  After several disappointments (“oh, it’s too long. No, it can’t fit width-wise.  It’s not white enough.  It’s too white.  It’s too modern.  It’s too classic.  It’s not eclectic enough), I think I got it.  Thank you, West Elm gods!  You won’t believe how very little selection of lighter-than-beige-as-close-to-white-as-possible-but-not-too-white convertible sofas/sofa beds there are out there. Affordable ones, anyway. Here are the contenders (in no particular order and picture size is no indication of preference, that’s just how they got downloaded):

Contender #1: Ikea Ektorp
Ikea Ektorp

Contender #2: Ikea Hagalund
Ikea Hagalund

Contender #3: Ikea Karlstad
Ikea Karlstad

Contender #4: West Elm Convertible Sofa
West Elm Convertible Sofa (in Pumice)

And the winner is…. (I think):

West Elm’s Clark Sofa
West Elm Clark Sofa 1

West Elm Clark Sofa 2

I’m going to the store later after work to check it out! Please, please, please be the one!

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Longest Yard Sale – Day 2 (Tennessee)

I’m exhausted, but what a great day!  My Mom and I certainly made out well on our second day driving along US Route 127 for the WLYS.  Today, we ventured along the Tennessee portion of the WLYS, between Crossville and Jamestown.  If you haven’t yet done the WLYS, I would HIGHLY recommend this section of 127.  The selection was fabulous….yes, a lot of junk, but also a quite bit of good and really good stuff, too.  I’m too tired now to recount our adventure and showcase our day’s catch (stay tuned for that).  In the meantime, here are pics of some of the pretty things and places we came across.  I snapped a few just for you.

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Longest Yard Sale – Day 1 (Alabama)

Greetings!  I am so excited to experience World’s Longest Yard Sale (WLYS) this year.  I found out about it a couple of years back, and have been hoping to make it ever since.  The WLYS runs along US Route 127 from Gadsden, Alabama to Northwest Ohio. The event is essentially yard sale after yard sale along the 127 Corridor — bargain hunter’s galore! This year, the stars aligned for me. My Mom recently moved to Nashville, TN, which made it easy to reach the Alabama portion of the WLYS, Tennessee (of course), and parts of Kentucky. I don’t think I’ll be able to make it to Ohio this year. Anyway, since Mom is in Nashville, I thought it would be a great opportunity to do some quality mother-daughter bonding. We both love collecting treasures, after all (much to my husband’s dismay!).

Welcome to Alabama!

Day 1 started today for us, even though the WLYS officially started yesterday (August 6). We began our day bright and early and traveled to Gadsden, Alabama. I must say, I was a little disappointed with the scarcity of good junk on this stretch of the WLYS. I really didn’t know what to expect, but I guess, I was envisioning row after row of vendors along the roadside selling their wares. It really was a “yard sale,” in the traditional sense. People opened up their lawns to strangers hoping to get rid of their unwanted items. The homes along this trail were widely spaced from each other, so there were occasions where we wouldn’t see any yard sale for a few miles. The heat and traffic, coupled with the limited amount of options made it a rather frustrating day. Each of us did come away with a little treasure, which didn’t make us feel like total treasure-hunter failures! And we met some lovely, very polite co-bargain hunters along the way. So, we retire for now and start again tomorrow! I have a list now that I have a better idea of what’s out there (or could potentially be out there!)

On my list:
1. Funky cabinet hardware for my new white home office cabinets.
2. Shabby chic lamps (2).
3. Frames for fun art work and my (future) wedding wall.

Oh, and here’s my fun, little treasure!

Mini Japanese Vase

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