DIY Eucalyptus Garland

IMG_3811I definitely meant to post this back in December, but clearly, that didn't happen. Between Christmas trips to Minnesota, parents visiting (their first time in Oakland!) and wedding planning, this blog has unfortunately fallen a bit by the wayside–but hopefully I can remedy that over the next few weeks. IMG_3807I've always been kind of into flower arranging, mostly using what I could find in the gardens at my parents' home. So as we were figuring out ways to cut costs on our wedding this summer, I immediately volunteered to do the flowers myself (and am very open to advice if anyone has any!) This garland was my first attempt at making anything like it, and I was pleasantly surprised at how simple it was. After picking up several bunches of seeded eucalyptus and some other greens at the wholesale flower market, I followed this DIY to bind them together into an 8-foot garland. I didn't make mine quite as full and skipped adding fresh flowers and air plants, but was still very pleased with the results.IMG_3803

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Garlands are of course classic holiday decor, but when made with eucalyptus or other leafy greens, they also make for a beautiful (and affordable) statement piece. As a bonus, ours still looked lovely when it dried out, so I was able to keep it on our mantlepiece for weeks.

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Rose Gold

I've been super into rose gold jewelry lately, and have been excited to see the metallic trend being translated into housewares as well. From statement pendant lamps to shelves to a pretty amazing bed, rose gold is a modern way to add some glamour to your décor. Here are a few of my favorite spaces. Image from domaine.com

Mixed metals add depth to this marble-covered kitchen.

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Tom Dixon's iconic lamps bring in light and add interest to a neutral Scandinavian dining room.

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This amazing shelf would look just as at home in a bathroom as in an entry way.

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A rose gold-framed mirror is a subtle take on the trend.

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Though it's not cheap, Michael Varian's stunning copper ink wallpaper would be perfect for an accent wall.

Image via shopsweetthings.com

Spotted in L.A. bakery Bo Nuage, these angular bar stools are stunning against black and white molding.

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Exposed pipes add storage and visual impact to this neutral kitchen.

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Modern yet traditional, this incredible bed frame makes a bold statement.

Home Design: Modern Pastels

Though it's been a while, I think I'm going to try to get back into more home design posts. Though we don't have any plans to move (or redecorate) any time soon, I've found a lot of inspiration on Pinterest and am loving all of the pastels I've seen lately. No longer reserved for kid's rooms or Easter eggs, pastels are making a comeback. Thanks to modern shapes and geometric prints, baby blue, light pink and mint green can brighten up a room and add a pop of color without being too overwhelming–read on for some of my favorite products.

This ceramic Mint Geo Vase ($30) would look stunning with a bouquet of white tulips.
Thanks to its sleek design, the pale pink Arper Duna Lounge Chair ($831) doesn't feel too sweet.
This mouthblown Austrian crystal pitcher and tumbler set for Lobmeyer (from $65) adds subtle color to the table.
Balanced with neutral white and gray, the Pietro Throw (approximately $140) would work just as well in your living room as in a nursery.
This multi-use cutting board ($37)–it can also be used as a trivet and serving platter–is an affordable way to embrace two trends in one: pastels and geometric prints.
Thailand-based Studiomake purposefully makes each gold-plated bowl ($68) flawed to emphasize the beauty in imperfection.

Fall at Zara Home

How is it November already? Except for the fact that Halloween already happened and it's now about 45 degrees outside, I'm pretty certain that it should still be August. So while I try to distract myself from thoughts of Thanksgiving (plans TBD for the moment), I thought I would share a few of my favorite items from Zara Home's fall collection. I'm a huge fan of Zara Home – like H&M, they have a ton of very affordable options in many different styles, and inventory changes frequently so there's always something new. zara

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I am definitely wishing for some gold flatware to add a little holiday sparkle.

On a completely different note, I wanted to share with you all that Ari (who you may have read about here) just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund his brand-new radio show and podcast, called Off Campus. The show consists of interviews with people from all different career paths and walks of life, talking about their first year out of college and how they got to where they are. They're trying to raise $12,500 by December 4th, so please take a minute to check it out if you're interested (Also you might see a cameo in the Kickstarter video of yours truly). To learn more about the radio show, click here, and to donate to the campaign, click here.

On Bar Carts

mg_4698About a year ago, I was obsessed with getting a bar cart. It probably came from reading too many home design blogs and watching Mad Men, but I couldn't get the idea out of my mind. I scoured Craigslist for months, but since I didn't really want to spend more than $50 on a cart, that limited my options. After what seemed like ages of looking, almost ready to throw in the towel and give up the search, Ari found one at the 6th Avenue Flea Market for a mere $20. Naturally, I was overjoyed and couldn't wait to get it home and move all of the bottles of liquor out of the closet. I don't drink cocktails all that often, but when I do, I at least want them to look pretty. _MG_4701 Keep reading for a few styling tips and a roundup of bar carts!

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Styling:

  • I like arranging alcohol by height so that you can best see each label.
  • Add other cocktail-related items, such as shakers, fun straws, and books to mix up the visual impact.
  • If you don't have room for a bar cart (or don't want one), another great option is to create a bar area by putting all of your bottles on a tray and displaying them on a bookshelf or countertop.
  • I like to keep my glassware on the bottom shelf altogether, but if you have particularly pretty glasses that you want to display, put them out with the bottles.
  • A bar is something that can be built up over time -- don't feel like you need to go out and buy 20 different kinds of alcohol at once. I have been adding to this collection for a couple of years, and you can start with just a bottle of clear alcohol (such as vodka or gin), one bottle of dark (such as bourbon or whiskey), and some bitters (essential for Manhattans, Old-Fashioneds, etc.). If you have the money or inclination, you can also add something a little more unexpected -- such as St. Germain or Aperol, both of which can be used in a number of different cocktails.
  • Other things to have on hand, especially for parties: lemons, limes, club soda, tonic, vermouth, and of course, plenty of ice.

H&M Home Collection

I'm a little late to the game, as H&M's home collection has now been available for several weeks, but I couldn't resist posting about it anyways. My expectations weren't super high, but they surpassed all of them by far. Inexpensive linen sheets? Chic candles? Beautifully styled photos? Check, check and check. I can't speak to the quality of all of the items, but with many pieces coming in at under $20, it might be worth picking up a few things to change up your décor. Here are a few things I have been eying:

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All images from hm.com. Layout created exclusively for 124 Park.

DIY: Industrial Rope Lamp

_MG_4621Apologies for the long absence, y'all. I've been dreaming of summer and haven't felt much like cooking lately, but with lovely produce and the sun finally shining in Brooklyn, I'm excited to get back into the kitchen. First, however, I have a DIY tutorial that I came up with a few weeks ago. Bored by the hand-me-down floor lamp we had in the living room, I decided it was about time I found something with a little more personality -- but after some searching, it's hard to find a good floor lamp for less the a couple hundred dollars._MG_4623 Instead, I decided to try my hand at creating my own floor lamp with materials that you could find at any hardware store -- and altogether, everything was less than $50. It's definitely not perfect (the cords to plug it into the wall are kind of awkward), but I'm really happy with how it turned out overall. For the price breakdown and step by step instructions, click below.

Materials:

2 industrial clamp shades, $9.99 each

1 broom handle, $5.99

2 pieces 1"x 12"x 12" wood, one with a 7/8" hole drilled through the center, $2.00 (make sure that it is big enough for your broom handle to fit in)

Approximately 25' rope, $12.99

Black paint (or the color of your choise), already owned from this project

Hot glue gun

2 lightbulbs

Steps:

1. Glue wooden squares on top of each other so that the sides are flush and the hole is in the center. Let dry.

2. Paint base the color of your choice (I chose black). Let dry at least one day.

3. Place one end of broom handle into hole in base. Using an electric drill, drill a screw through the bottom of the base and into the handle, making sure it's secure.

4. Choose placement of lamps at top of broom handle. (I staggered mine a few inches). Fasten cords to handle with twist ties every few inches so that they stay taut._MG_4617

5. Heat hot glue gun. Starting at the base, glue rope to handle and press to adhere. Begin to wind rope around handle, glueing every few inches. Once you encounter lamp cords, make sure that they are pulled tightly and wrap rope around them and handle. Continue until you reach the top of the handle. Then, holding tightly, trim rope and glue to top.

6. Add an extension cord to lamp cords if necessary, light bulbs, and enjoy!

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DIY: Paper Anemones

_MG_4694I love fresh flowers. One of the loveliest parts about visiting my parent's house in the spring and summer is the abundance of peonies, lilacs and hydrangeas in their gardens. But having no outdoor space at my apartment, buying fresh flowers every week can get a little expensive. I recently saw these gorgeous paper flowers at West Elm, but even those were a little pricy at $5 apiece. So when I stumbled across this amazing tutorial on The Elli Blog, I couldn't have been happier -- and all you need is a color printer, some wire, and a glue gun. _MG_4691 It did take me a couple of hours (I made 10), but in the end I think it was definitely worth it. I of course won't be giving up fresh flowers completely, but in the meantime, these make a great alternative that last all year-round. Note that the ugly phone in the picture above is one of the unfortunate parts about living in a rented apartment, but I think that the anemones brighten up my little entry way considerably.

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Be sure to check out The Elli Blog for more amazing tutorials!

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DIY: Color-Blocked Basket

West Elm, $79 Martha Stewart Living, August 2010

I've been working on a few projects lately to spruce up the apartment (more to come!) This definitely isn't turning into a DIY blog, but given my love of design I figured I would share a few of these projects with you. The first one is really simple: all you need is a basket, one or two colors or paint, and some painter's tape. Using these pictures as inspiration, I decided to capitalize on the color-blocking trend and take this red-hued basket (not really my style) to a much more modern black and white. Here are the steps I followed:_MG_4560

First, choose your base color (alternatively, if you like the original color of the basket, you can skip this step). I used white spray paint, and sprayed about 4 coats on the exterior and interior of the basket until I had covered it completely. Let dry between coats, and let dry fully (1-2 days) before moving on to the next step._MG_4566

Next, tape your basket about a third of the way up from the bottom. Carefully paint sides and bottom of basket (below tape) with your second color, and let dry fully. Remove tape._MG_4600

That's it! Super easy. I also think it would be really fun to use silver or gold for the second color to add a bit of glamour. What do you think? Would you be interested to see more projects like this?