Tag Archives: Design

New Life for Old Pallets

7 Jul

Pallets—I like ’em. Some of my strongest childhood memories were made bouncing from pallet to pallet in my grandparent’s seed barn. Piles of splintery fun, in this barn is where my love of pallets began.

You can’t tell much about this grainy picture from the early 90s but I can. I can almost feel the cool concrete under my bare feet, smell the distinct scent that accompanies seed–I can almost hear Travis and Ashley negotiating who could drive “the car” (aka forklift). Pretend. We don’t pretend enough anymore. It would serve us well.  Around these pallets we made obstacle courses, rode bikes, roller skated, pretended the fork lift was a car and played serious rounds of hide and seek.

I never see a pallet without remembering this old barn and my granddad. Would you just look at him with his cool old glasses and his cap cocked slightly to the side? His jacket covers it but if I had to guess, I’d guarantee that the strap on his left side of his overalls is sliding just off his shoulder. It always did.

So much has changed yet pallets remain the same. These utilitarian objects are finding new life in homes and retail stores.  I’ve even seen them used to stage a beautiful outdoor wedding. Take a look at these pallets being put to very good use.

There are lots of pictures floating around but these are a few of my favorites.

Love this idea From Under the Willow Tree

Via Lori Danelle

Via Le Petit Garage

Via Ashley Ann.

Via Cheeky Cafe

Via Bower Power

Via Too Much Time On My Hands

And, in case you’re tying the knot or into set design pallets are for you, too. This is hands down my favorite outdoor wedding design made from—wait for it—pallets. Read how they did it here.

You like pallets now, don’t you? Can you believe how unique and stylish each of these projects turned out to be? I think I’ll incorporate a pallet or two into my house. It seems like the right thing to do.


I heart Keri Russell’s kitchen.

29 Jun

The latest copy of Elle Decor feature on Keri Russell and the Brooklyn brownstone her contractor husband renovated. I am most in love with the kitchen and dining room. Shocker. I always like the kitchen. I love the cabinetry her husband made–it looks so nice against the clean white walls and the classy marble counters.

Enjoy the whole article here.

As for my house, I am working on some after pictures and will start posting those within the week. Sorry to have kept you waiting so long.




Mind the gap.

10 Jan

Or, maybe I should say, “nevermind the gap.” In every project there is a moment when you look at your coworker and say, “This is not gonna happen.” Yesterday, during a marathon planning meeting in which I received the longest to-do list of my whole entire life, I came to the conclusion that there is no place for a gappy floor in the Bradford house. And, really, I do not want to buy a vacuum cleaner just to clean the gaps.

Consider this post my white flag. I am waving it. The next house will have a floor with gaps, not this one. There will be a next house. Stay tuned. Why do I like that silly gap anyway? I am conceding because there is such a thing as overdoing it. Don’t you just hate it when you overdo it? Over say it? Overreact? The bedrooms need flooring that’s a bit more refined than the reclaimed wood running through the rest of the house. Officially, formally, and now publicly—I’m saying, “Nevermind the gap.” For now…

Via House & Home


Via Martha Stewart


Via House & Home

Via House & Home

Just add fishing twine.

18 Nov

I’m thinking this is a great idea. All you need is fishing twine and postcards. It feels a little retail/anthro to me but somehow it works, too. I suppose the key is having the perfect stairway. Personally, I’m sort of lusting over those one-by-whatevers that are painted on the wall. And I like the stairs being a different stain of wood. Nice. Lots to like in these two little photos.

Dear Charming Family That I’ve Never Met:  You have an amazing house. I found it on Martha Stewart. I hope you don’t mind being on my blog, too. You’ll inspire so many.

I saw these pictures. They made me brave.

5 Oct

I’m in hardwood hell. Okay, that’s a little severe and we both know there is no such thing.

The decisions I have made about this house are too numerous to count. I credit windows and floors as being the toughest on my list, mostly because it’s my opinion that they can make or break the look and feel. And, let’s be real. Those are costly elements of a remodel.

So, while I’m wading through my own little lake of hardwood fire and brimstone, let me add to the indecision and say to you that not only am I thinking about exactly which wood to put in the house, I’m thinking about how to put it there.

It occurs to me that I don’t have to lay hardwood in the standard way. We’re actually thinking of installing it to run diagonally across the room.  This led to the thought of patterns in hardwood. It seems that in France, patterns are popular.

These three patterns seem to be pretty standard: Herringbone, Chevron, Brick.

The thing to consider about laying hardwood in a pattern is L-A-B-O-R. That will cost you, my friends. The other thing I wonder about is waste—do you think there would be more wasted wood with patterns? I have no idea.

Here’s how they do it in France.

If you’re brave enough to install floors in a pattern, you don’t have to do a lot to your interior. Let it be. Let the floors do the talking and keep it simple. Adding a lot of serious decor would only jumble the space and create a visual fight. I hate a visual fight. The only thing worse than getting caught in a visual fight is paying for a visual fight only to realize it’s a fight. That is the worst.

Credit where credit is due: Joseph Dirand, Atelier des Granges and I should probably give credit to  France, for just being here, on the planet in all its french-ness, inspiring the likes of Joseph Dirand, Atelier des Granges and commoners like me.

Dear Meg Ryan.

11 Sep

Since I am in New York (for all of 36 hours) it seems right to mention someone of New York status. I choose Meg Ryan. She is the actress behind some of my favorite onscreen characters. Recently, Elle Decor did quite the photo shoot of her home on Martha’s Vineyard.

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Here’s what I like about Meg’s style:

  • Lighting. She likes her lights lined up in a row. I do, too. It really works well because she has so much space and the fact that her palette is neutral the lights really get their due in her home. (I especially love the lighting in the bathroom. Actually, I like it all.)
  • Doors. She has some great french doors, great sliding barn doors (love the hardware on those). I really like the hardware on the bedroom door.
  • Kitchen. I could cook a million meals in that kitchen. I can find no fault with it—no fault at all.
  • Windows. I have been thinking about this for a while and I haven’t even mentioned it to Brad (until this moment) but I’ve been wanting to ask him what he thinks of working windows into the inside of the house. She does this in the kitchen and in the dining room (above the vintage “Flowers” sign). I was thinking about this just a few days ago. There’s no room in my house for this (we’re at capacity) but this is a thought to hang onto—just shove it into the file. Another house will call for it.

The full article, written by Ingrid Abramovitch and photographed by William Waldron can be found here.

In case you are thinking my being in New York is somehow glamorous, let me tell you that I am in a Holiday Inn Express in Syracuse that is not an entirely smoke-free facility. I’d love to be in NYC with the Wyatts, Leigh Anna, and NYC Courtney. Instead, I will appreciate that I am in Jim Boeheim’s neck of the woods since I always route for the Orange in the Big East/NCAA tournaments.

Industrial Revolution

27 Aug

“Phase Two” of Bradford Avenue involves a studio space behind the house. Presently there’s a garage that I refer to as the Lincoln Log Garage because as far as I can tell, the roof is just sitting there the way the plastic Lincoln Log roof sits nicely atop a Lincoln Log house—it’s quality, I tell you. What I envision is pretty far from Lincoln Logs.

The trick to all this remodeling and building is dreaming. First things first—dream. Then with some guidance I make the necessary adjustments. As the Rolling Stones so wisely said, You Can’t Always Get What You Want. You get what you need. But since we’re dreaming here… might as well dream big.

From the kitchen to the studio, I’d like to incorporate sturdy and industrial pieces among the lovely. On my hunt for all-things-industrial, I ran across a  Get Back Inc. Funny, they only sell things I like—things that I can only dream of using to furnish a studio. I said this is about dreaming, didn’t I? And how can I resist a company that makes me think of the Beatles?

Do you have any idea what sort of dreams we could dream sitting around this table? I do. This table alone makes me want to call up my contractor Brad and say, “Pause on the house. We’ve got bigger fish to fry. Let’s build a studio.”

This fun, go-ahead-and-put-your-feet-on-me table is the product of brand MOJO interiors of North Carolina. (I admire their work and I like all things North Carolina. Mountains and oceans in one place—that sort of stuff that wins my heart. And, let’s be real. Nicholas Sparks put that place on the map—half the women in America believe it’s the Promised Land.) One things for sure, the furniture situation is promising—check the brand MOJO etsy store for proof.

And, there’s a heap of smart design at Hudson Goods. Apparently the man behind Hudson Goods went and did something crazy—he quit his day job. Who would do such a thing! And he started designing things. Really good things. There’s much to admire about his work. I’ve come to realize that I like things on wheels. I have no idea what this is about. I’m going to go with it until I find something else to obsess over.

And, finally, I ran across this table on eBay. Seems to me this needs a few stools and a few folks who want to sit on stools and talk about big ideas. Or, chop vegetables—this could be an island.

Surely something from this post will make its way into the hive of creativity that will eventually exist in the back corner of the Bradford lot. Surely.