Monday, August 31, 2009

Steelmaster + Henri Bendel = My New Work Space

I would imagine looking at this Steelmaster Cabinet, which has spent the last several years hanging out in garages, does not inspire images of a beautiful work space.

But look at all the wonderful drawers, just the right size for office supplies, small samples, catalogs, drawing materials and on and on! With the multitude of drawers and its size being just right for the left corner of the room...I absolutely have to make it look pretty!

That should be possible, I mean, it came from Henri Bendel for goodness sake. Oh? What was a Steelmaster cabinet doing living at Henri Bendel? Well I imagine someone there found it as useful as I did once it became mine.

For years it was perfect for housing all kinds of supplies used in making my sample garments. And how did it become mine? A friend snatched it up for me when they stumbled across a liquidation sale of goodies from the back rooms of Henri Bendel's Michigan Avenue Store, when sadly it closed.

Let me get sidetracked for a moment...I loved that store, a boutique full of absolutely perfect finds. During the time Henri Bendel was open in Chicago I was studying fashion at SAIC. I would walk the aisles lovingly adoring the new styles from favorite designers as the goods were hung on the racks...though I never once actually purchased anything there. Hum, too many customers like me and you can see why they closed.

Anyway, fast forward. After I stopped working in fashion the cabinet became forgotten, collecting dust and grime. But I couldn't part with it, I guess I knew it would be needed again someday. After a good cleaning it is showing its promise.

The next step, primer...and you know I'll keep you posted on the progress!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Stella & Dot Jewelry Giveaway Winner Is...

Ashley, who entered by saying "love, love, love the Devi Bangles!
But then again, I think I'm falling for most of the jewelry!"

Congratulations Ashley! Here are some of the other pieces of Stella & Dot jewelry Ashley could also select as her prize.

For those of you who didn't win, thanks for leaving your comments and helping me celebrate the addition of the Stella & Dot e-Boutique to my blog. And remember, all orders placed through my boutique by September 30th qualify you for the Bonus Giveaway valued at $118!

Fianlly, I hope you'll visit the Boutique in the future when the jewelry urge hits!


Friday, August 28, 2009

Giveaway Time + 'Geranium' by Benjamin Moore + Thanks Bedford Brown

Look at this striking wall color which makes the whimsical white lamp just pop. This vignette captured my attention while touring a spectacular condo designed by Bedford Brown in Portland's 2009 Street Of Dreams. In a post on the home show, which highlighted this room among many other favorite scenes, I asked "what exactly is this red+orange color? I must find out."

Thank you Tony Loeffler of Bedford Brown, the team behind the design, for providing the answer in a comment on the post.

The fabulous color is Geranium by Benjamin Moore. Now I just have to figure out where I can place just the right amount of this color...somewhere in my home!

And if I were to coordinate jewelry with home decor I would most certainly select this Stella & Dot Garden Party Necklace as the perfect accompaniment to any room painted Geranium! What piece of jewelry will you select should you win the $150 Giveaway? Enter now, the giveaway ends tonight!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Living Room Redesign

In answer to my question yesterday...yes! The living room is being redesigned to become my office. I sorely need one and with no other available rooms in the house, I'm moving in.

This is the TRUE before picture, taken while house hunting last summer.

Not long after moving in it looked like this. The room made me smile every time I walked by...

...on the way to my 'office' located at the kitchen nook table. This started to get old until one day it occurred to me I had options!

The new space (I tried to write 'office' here, but the word just doesn't match the space I am envisioning!) will provide comfortable seating to lounge in while attempting to think creative thoughts, a large table to work on designs and to write at, storage for samples and supplies, and plenty of new lighting to see it all by.

While some items have been repurposed and others sold, there are aspects of the room that cannot be changed. Starting with the 'wallpaper' design. For one, I love it and two, painting it took way too long to NOT incorporate into the new plan. So this is where the room begins.

The geometric design was laid out on graph paper and transferred onto the fireplace wall. Then each shape was filled in with contrasting paint, one...

after another...

after another.

While I figure out the next step of this Living Room Redesign, don't you forget to enter the Stella & Dot Jewelry Giveaway, which ends on Friday!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

My Next Redesign Project

Fall is coming and with it my next Redesign project.
The Living Room Redesign!

Any guesses as to what this photo has to do with....

...this photo?

While you think about it scroll down to my Stella & Dot Giveaway.

There is no guessing required there to enter to win $150 of
make me smile jewelry from my e-boutique!

Good luck...Janell

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Street Banners As Wall Art

Using Street Banners as art is a Trend I Love! A great site to find an outstanding inventory of street banners from cities around the world is Better Wall. Do you have a favorite city, museum or artist? I bet there is a street banner to match.

This is my favorite banner (favorite city+great artist+great memories) and the story behind it. The Flying Circus street banner, by artist Kenton Nelson, originally hung above the streets of San Francisco. This banner celebrated the opening of Crissy Field in 2001, while I was enjoying living in this special city. Crissy Field was originally a marsh and later an airfield as part of the Presidio Army Base. Finally the area was restored by the Golden Gate National Park Conservancy to the outstanding park, natural area and historic site that it is today.

Crissy Field runs from the Marina District to Fort Point at the base of the Golden Gate Bridge, with a trail along the way. If you ever find yourself in San Francisco you must find a few hours to wander along the bay taking in the spectacular scenery and salty air.

Near the end of the path is the Warming Hut, a casual spot to grab a really good panini sandwich and a warm coffee...even in summer you'll probably be chilled by the time you reach this spot!

It was on one of my frequent walks in Crissy Field that I spotted a Flying Circus street banner hanging on a wall in the Warming Hut.

I immediately looked for the price. Ouch. Then a conversation with a man working at the Warming Hut resulted in a bit of a scoop. One last banner was rolled up in the back, if I was interested he could sell this one to me at a discount due to some wear on the edges. Well yes, please bring it on out! (A bit of wear? It is a street banner...shouldn't it have at least a bit of wear?!) It looked completely fabulous to me and this is how I was finally able to take home the banner I had been dreaming about for months.

And speaking of dreaming...scroll down to the Stella & Dot Giveaway post below and enter to win $150 of your selection of dreamy jewelry! Good luck...Janell

Monday, August 24, 2009

A Fabulous Stella & Dot Giveaway!

It's Giveaway Time Again!

I didn't think I would be hosting another Giveaway this month, but then I stumbled upon the delightful Stella & Dot jewelry line. With a background in fashion and design, I immediately was impressed by its sophisticated design and style...then it got better.

Last week I quite unexpectedly had the opportunity to meet Jessica Herrin, the founder and president of Stella & Dot. Her smarts and innovative approach towards business is impressive. She is one inspirational lady. The result...the addition of the Stella & Dot Jewelry e-Boutique to my blog.

In celebration, enter to win $150 worth of Stella & Dot jewelry of your choice from my Stella & Dot e-boutique! All you have to do is browse the site, select your favorite piece of jewelry and mention it in a comment on this post by midnight PST on Friday, August 28th.

Would you like to increase your odds of winning? For an additional entry become an Isabella & Max Rooms follower. Don't fret, to thank all of you who are already followers each of you will automatically receive an additional entry when you leave a comment! Interested in beating the odds? Write a post about my giveaway on your blog and receive 3 additional entries! (Please don't forget to tell me you've done this by leaving a comment about it on this post.)

Is it possible, can it get even better? (I am beginning to feel like a game show host.) If you place an order between now and the end of September you'll be entered in a separate Giveaway. What's the prize? This beautiful Adrienne Mixed Chain Necklace, pictured at left and valued at $118! (View the video showing this necklace, you'll love it!)

The winner of the $150 Jewelry Of Your Choice Giveaway will be selected by and announced in a post on August 29th. The winner of the Adrienne Mixed Chain Necklace will also be selected by and announced in a post on October 1st. Good luck and thanks for helping me celebrate the addition of the Stella & Dot e-Boutique to my blog.

Next time - back to decorating! Janell

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Who Inspires You?

I have been pondering the idea of hosting a series called "Who Inspires You"...or something like that...for awhile now.

What is it about encountering a woman (or man!) who is following their passions, thinking outside the box or being creatively determined?

All of a sudden you want more of this spirit in your own life. My first inspiration was my grandmother, a very funny, sweet and spirited lady! She is the stylish woman waving on the left.

Is there someone who has inspired you? Would you like to tell your own story? Is this a good idea? Let me know!!


HGTV Newsletters Showcase My Master Bath Redesign

Could I have done a worse job copying this image?!

But who cares...imagine how surprised I was when I stumbled across this Start At Home Newsletter showcasing my Master Bath Redesign! I don't even know when this was published...but click here to read the entire article.

What "Start At Home" project are you working on this weekend? Janell

p.s. And then I found this article (I typed isabellaandmaxrooms into bing to see if there were any interesting links) and here the Master Bath Redesign is talked about as an example of how big changes can be made in a room on a small budget! Yes, that was exactly my intent. Click here to read this one. Okay...I could get used to this!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Girl's Dream Bedroom - Complete!

The Girl's Dream Bedroom is complete and it has been the perfect summer project. With my daughter home on summer break she has enjoyed being very involved, lending not only her talent but her strong opinion to every aspect of the design.

What more could you ask for?

I can only hope the owner of this new room is happy for years to come...

And up next, one Absolutely Fabulous Giveaway!!

Visit this Monday to enter for a chance to win and help me celebrate the launch of a new addition to my blog...You won't want to miss it.


Drapes - Calico Corners Lock in Hot Pink
Drapery Hardware - JCPenny
Rag Quilt Duvet - Calico Corners Lock & Aviary
Accent Pillows - Calico Corners & JoAnn Fabrics
Night Stands - Home Goods
Windham Desk - Crate & Barrel
Lamp Shades - Pottery Barn
Desk, Night Stand and Closet Door Knobs - Anthropologie
Wall Mirror - Home Goods
Message Board Project - Inspired by Everything LEB
Slipper Chair - Auction & Kepler's Upholstery
Headboard Frame - Ebay & Calico Corners Slubby Linen in Robin's Egg
Chandelier - Naomi's Lamps
Table Lamps - Vintage from Grandma
Pink Butterfly Tray - Target
Gold Leaf Frame - Anthropologie
Bag - Supplies From Michael's
Ivory Throw - JCPenny
Footstool - Saved from the Dumspter
Sheets and Bedskirt - Target
Wall Paint & Trim - Sherwin-Williams Watery 6478 & Frog Tape

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

My Living Room Attends The "Price My Space" Party Hosted At Nesting Place.

The Nester is hosting another "Price My Space" party at Nesting Place. It is very interesting to see how people have put together their rooms and sshhhhhhhhhhhhh...what it cost!

Here's my entry ticket to the party. This "Rustic Lodge Meets Modern Design" living room is decorated with furniture and accessories brought in from a variety of rooms in our previous home. The drapes and drapery hardware are the only items purchased specifically for this space. However, after living here for one year the room has been used only a handful of times. What wasted space! So this room is next on my "Redesign" calendar. I'm glad, however, to at least have a chance to show it off prior to taking it apart and recreating it as a highly functional room in our home.

Always looking for a deal, I fell in love the Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Freud Chaise Lounge and then watched it for a few months. Finally the floor model went on sale at a savings of 50%. I tried to bargain the price down a bit more due to a few scratches on the orange leather, but to no avail. $1,100 and it was mine. More MG+BW fills the room, including the Skylar Floor Lamp with its wonderfully oversized orange shade, purchased with my 30% off discount for around $300. The last item from my beloved MG+BW (sadly, the store no longer exists in Portland) is the Anna Armless Sofa found for $900. The task of taking the room apart has already begun with this sofa its matching slipper chair being sold to a client for $750. Can I take this off the total for the room?

Accessories. The resin deer head was found at Z Gallerie. The finish was brown but I painted it a glossy ivory. The store now sells it in ivory. I posted the room the deer head was originally hung in on HGTV's Rate My Space and was surprised by the immediate reaction by many viewers. People were OFFENDED. To get away from all the nasty comments I went to the gym with a stack of magazines. Wouldn't you know it, virtually every room in every magazine was filled with all kinds of taxidermy, fake and real. So there. I went home and ignored all the scathing comments. $199 plus $6 for paint.

More Accessories. Basket to place shoes, from Crate & Barrel for $42. Fire Screen, around $22 from Target. The two striking Hurricanes were found at Crate & Barrel this past spring on clearance, $49 each. The Tray on which the magazines are stacked is from Pottery Barn, again on sale for $18. A large Lumbar Pillow sitting on the sofa is also from Pottery Barn, $12 on clearance with fill from JoAnn fabrics for around $10. Heart Print by Jill Mayberg, found at a local shop for $15 and placed in a $25 Thomasville frame from Target.

Drapes. Clearance at Pottery Barn, with an additional coupon. Double width Payton Linen panels, two for $255. PB Standard Oversized Drapery Hardware, also from Pottery Barn, $139.

Now for the found, hand me down and gift items in the room. The coffee table was given to my husband by his apartment super when someone down the hall moved out. Free. The oval side table was once my grandmothers, free. The plant that sits on it, a "do you have a place for it" gift from my Dad. The globe sitting on the coffee table, a gift. The chunky ivory throw on the sofa, a gift.

Finally wall color, Sherwin-Williams Quiver Tan 6151 with Universal Khaki 6150 used for the "wallpaper" design, $52.

So what does that add up to? $3,193. Can I deduct the $750 I just recouped by selling the sofa?

While a hefty sum of money, it is not a lot to spend on a living room. Well, until you consider it is a room that doesn't get used, then it becomes quite expensive. Look for my new "Living Room Redesign" project posts beginning soon, and watch this room be turned into a space that will be used everyday! Janell