Great Finds: Espresso Cups

My sister studied in Austria, and as she travelled Europe, she collected espresso cups. Though they weren’t the easiest things to take back to the States (miraculously she only broke one), they do make great decoration pieces in our apartment. Here are a few of my favorites.

Ciao!

Sarah

Salzburg, Austria

London, England

Florence, Italy

Munich, GermanyNice, France; Lake Forest, Illinois; Portsmouth, New Hampshire

Florence, Italy

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Before & After: “Open” Dresser

My aunt and uncle were kind enough to provide a whole bunch of used furniture for my new apartment. Most of it fit well into the place, but this piece below was a little trickier. We didn’t have enough space in the living room and certainly not in our tiny kitchen. As a result, it ended up as shelving in the garage. I also happened to be missing a dresser and considered thrifting around for one until I realized that this piece could be the perfect dresser. I painted it a mauve-lavendar and bought cloth containers to act as drawers. The result is a versatile “open” dresser that matches my intended room decor and cost me far less than anything else I was considering to buy.

Before

After

Total cost of this project?

Shelving unit: Free

Paint: $12

Total Cost: $12

Ciao!

Sarah

5 Images to Inspire

Because I could use some inspiration on this rainy evening.

Giving credit where credit is due. Where I found these photos (most come from some pretty interesting blogs and are worth checking out!):

Image 1

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Image 5

Great Finds: Affordable Art (Seriously!)

I recently attended the Art Fair on the Square in Madison, WI, and, since I am now making an income, I decided to purchase a piece of art for my bedroom. I gave myself a budget of $50, which is pretty modest considering the price of much of the work. As expected, the most striking pieces were large…and expensive. I was nearly out of hope until I found collage artist Chelsea Hrynick’s booth. She creates amazingly intricate and symmetrical patterns out of origami paper and painted wood. The medium is perfectly simple, letting the details of her designs stand out.

(Photo from artist’s website. Visit it here!) 

To me, they reminded me of Venetian lace and Native American textiles. “I incorporate design patterns seen in different cultures throughout history such as Celtic jewelry, Islamic rugs, Modern architecture, and Ancient Greek pottery,” writes the artist on her website. “I feel a passionate connection when I work with patterns; decoration somehow transcends distance, time, and beliefs.”

Cool, right?

I bought two small square pieces for $30, which I think is a great deal given the quality of the work.

Have you had any luck with art fairs this summer?

Ciao!

Sarah

Visualizing my (Home) Vision

I think the worse mistake I can make when trying to decorate my new place is attempt to do it blindly. I like to think that I have some vision for a perfect house in my head, but until I have some way of truly visualizing it, there’s not much hope that my vision will become reality. So, as well as finding inspirational images to  get my house vision on track, I also utilized Polyvore to create my color pallet and pull  some key images to create the mood for my bedroom. I’m going to introduce pops of bright colors through a couple Venetian masks, a vase of fake flowers, and my bulletin board/jewelry organizer. I suppose I’m going for a vintage, feminine, peaceful space.

What do you think?

MiaPrimaCasa: My First Place on a Budget

Great Finds: Baroque Coasters

Yep, the title is correct; I found Baroque style coasters complete with ultra-realistic, chiaroscuro-filled mythological and Biblical paintings. Did I mention they were $4? I picked up these treasures at a barn sale in New Hampshire, and not only did I come in under budget on coasters (I was expecting to spend more like $8), I found a coaster set that trumps any inexpensive one I could find at Target. Now if only I could find a real Caravaggio at a barn sale…

Have you had any great finds at garage and yard sales this summer?

Ciao!

Sarah

Bettina Prentice, Lots of Stuff, & My New Place

I ran across this Vogue article about Bettina Prentice’s NYC apartment and found that her space has the essence of what I want to achieve with my bedroom (on a much smaller budget, of course). What I’m drawing inspiration from in Bettina’s apartment is the eclectic mix of lots of stuff. Having traveled Europe and having a penchant for antiquing and thrifting, I’ve collected a lot stuff, and I like the idea of displaying it all and incorporating it into your decor. I’ve chosen, for example, a pallet of purples, yellows, and blues to match my Venetian masks and vintage cameo collection. Centering the room all around these little things not only fills up space in an inexpensive way, it also keeps them from being stuffed into a box in my closet.

Images from Vogue.com

So far, I’ve created inspirational bulletin board jewelry organizer and bought a shabby chic comforter. My place isn’t like Bettina’s yet, but I hope soon enough to have an eclectic, shabby chic bedroom full of lots of stuff.

Ciao!

Sarah