Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Reveal - Kitchen Dining Set

It's funny how tipping point always works: it took me months in search of a perfect dining chair to go with the San Montego round table; yet it took one comment from Janice at Life Begins at Thirty (thank you Janice!) to help lock down my choice. Here I present you the "O" chair from InVu Drapery, upholstered in sateen available in cocoa, bronze (what I picked) and fog. The fog color from the web site can be very misleading since it looks nothing like silver in real thing but a dingy greenish grey. Here are some pictures:

The "O" Chair with Back Cutout in Bronze Sateen
Look how big the "O" cutout is in the back: I felt my ribcage could fit through the hole if I shed another pound or two. :-D
The "O" chair from the back. The chair is nicely constructed with elegant piping wrapped around.
And this is how the kitchen dining set looks like now. They are good-sized chairs and comfortable enough for a long chat over afternoon tea with buds.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Look What I Found at HomeSense!

I randomly walked by the area rug isle, and saw a few ladies flipping through piles and piles of rugs. They threw the rugs around while making not so nice comments on every single piece they looked at. And then they paused on a couple of eye-catching pieces that looked way too familiar to me --- could...could they be the Imperial Trellis rugs? My heart was racing, but I couldn't possibly snatch those rugs from their hands. So I quietly observed those ladies hoping they would drop the rugs just like they did with the others. I grabbed those rugs before they even hit the floor when those ladies decided against them as expected! I refused to believe these rugs were mine until I paid and walked at light speed outside of the HomeSense! I can't tell you how much I heart Schumacher's Imperial Trellis pattern! However, at over $120 per yard just for the fabric and often only available for purchase through special trades, I would never imagine I could own Imperial Trellis rugs, yes, rugS, not just one, but two of them at a ridiculously low price. I am however aware though that this must be some violation of Schumacher's copyright.

Handwoven in chenille, this ivory/taupe/cream Imperial Trellis rug is soft, lush and shimmering under certain lighting.
A close-up look of the pattern.
This is one of the two now at the end of our bed in the master bedroom.
So for those Imperial Trellis pattern lovers, what are you still waiting for? Go buy them before they are all taken!

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Earlier in the summer I was thrilled to find some fixer-upper Napoleon chairs and painted them in the grey color I've always wanted. Truth be told, the Napoleon chairs look awesome especially paired with Anne Quinn Furniture's San Montego round pedestal dining table featured below, but they are not at all comfortable. Lesson learnt is that always try to buy the dining set at the same time, or buy the table first and then chairs that fit the height and size of the major piece.

That said, I had to part with those Napoleon chairs and my hunt for new dining chairs continues.

It all started with this San Montego dining table that will go in our kitchen dining nook. Don't get me wrong, I wasn't trying to limit my choices by buying the table first, it is because I know I wouldn't be able to find another custom made solid mahogany dining table at the quality and price Anne Quinn Furniture offers. Therefore, at the end of the day it's still worth all the hassle and dazzle.
(Picture courtesy of Anne Quinn Furniture)

Choice #1: Anne Quinn Furniture's Martini Dining Chair
Lush, comfortable and stylish, this chair would be perfect for any dining table. The tufted button details, barrel back, aged bronze nail heads, and solid mahogany frame all add plus points to this well-made cozy chair. The only downside is that since every piece is custom made, I will need to wait until January 2011 to get them. I wish I didn't waste my time on those fixer-uppers and order from Anne Quinn a few months ago --- I would have been sipping my morning tea on it right now (sniff). I heard Anne Quinn has been stocking up some popular items going forward, so there is light at the end of the tunnel for those impatient shoppers like me that will be able to pick up their custom furniture whenever we want. (Picture courtesy of Anne Quinn Furniture)

Here's what the kitchen dining set would look like with Martini chairs.
(Source: Decorpad)

Choice #2: Sunpan's Hollywood Vintage Cream Leather Dining Chair
Comfortable, clean-lined with a dash of Hollywood shimmer, this chair fits my desire to introduce some modern and airy elements into the kitchen.
Here's a similar pairing of round table with modern dining chairs.
(Source: Decorpad)

Choice #3: Hollywood Regency Faux Bamboo Chippendale Chair
This chair belongs in my wildest dream: I would design my entire kitchen around it! But that boat has sailed after our recent kitchen makeover, so perhaps it's the best that it continues to live in my fantasy.

Love, love the painted chair and color punches!
(Source: Decorpad)
Choice #4: Flare Barrel Back Dining Chair
At the risk of repeating myself, this chair looks similar to Choice #1 except for the flare shoulder detail. The nice thing about this one is that it accentuates a round table by hugging the curves. And this is what the dining set would turn out with this chair.
(Source: Decorpad)
So, which one shall I choose? With overseas guests arriving this coming weekend, if you know how much of an organized freak I am, you would know I will be making a call soon. Stay tune for the reveal...

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Pearls, Little Black Dress and Good Bites

Recent Europe travel advisory has scared us into making last minute vacation change from London to DC. Though I've been to DC many times prior for work, the unplanned leisure trip turned out to be fun and relaxing. That goes to prove to an organized freak like me that spontaneity can be a bliss.

DC is a no-brainer for museum and gallery goers, just remember to slip in some changes as donation on our way in or out as most admissions are free.

Strolling in downtown DC and observing street scenes was entertaining:

  • People appear generally happier here than other metropolitans, unlike Hong Kong where smile has to be constantly reminded by street posters (yes, they actually have happy therapy signs everywhere).
  • I doubt you are going to be able to find more women in little black dresses and pearls, and men in suits and ties anywhere else -- a.k.a. DC fashion style.

Restaurants with fancy food are much more available and affordable.

  • Zola is conveniently located next to Spy Museum and I loved their "create-your-own salad".
  • Blue Ridge Grill's (Leesburg VA) lumpy Maryland style crab cakes are to die for.
  • Make sure you leave room for desserts at The Cheesecake Factory. Their vanilla bean cheesecake tastes like ice cream! I used to be a big fan of their Seafood Jambalaya Pasta but was disappointed this time as the flavour turned out quite flat.
  • Ladies with sweet tooth do not want to pass Fro-Zen-Yo, a self-serve frozen yogurt joint with tens of funky flavours.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Powder Room Chandelier

After the powder room makeover, I have been searching for a small chandelier to lighten up this only windowless room in my house. I finally found this one-light crystal chandelier that fits the vision.
Here is what the chandelier looks like after the installation. Yes, again I was following the trend to add a chandelier to a bathroom; but No, I wasn't audacious enough to put up a faux-cloud pattern on the wall -- it's the crystal lighting effect you are seeing in the picture.
This is what the powder room looks like now all finished. The cloud pattern the crystals project on the wall is quite annoying. In reality the Light French Grey color looks nothing like it. I am going to have to work on my photo-taking skills.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Pursuit of Happiness (in Bargain Hunting)

We have some overseas guests over to stay with us for a while, so I have been very busy getting our second guest bedroom ready. The room is now double-duty as Anthony's video game/media room. I need a multi-task desk that can be used as a writing desk, laptop table, and vanity/lady's desk, etc. The pursuit was challenging with my mind set on a certain style and size. After exhausting my search in major furniture stores, I have decided to give some local classified sites such as Kijiji and Craigslist a try again. I would have turned to one of my favourite custom furniture stores Anne-Quinn if I wasn't in a hurry to get it. So here is how my bargain hunting trip went:
Verdict: No Deal after L'absence de réponse
Listed on Kijiji, the dimension is perfect, style and function are in-line, and price is excellent at $300 for a piece supposedly antique maple. However, when a deal seems too good to be true, it probably is. After many attempts to connect with the seller, I gave up when they went L'absence de réponse on me. Oh well, this is still a buyer's market and I had to move on.

Verdict: Faithful Louis XV but too Flamboyant
This is an antique reproduction, but both the price tag (upward of $3,000) and the ornate style scream too much for me.

Verdict: My Favourite, but wait, it's a Custom Piece!
Words can't describe how much I love these legs! The curves remind me of Christopher Guy's signature chris-x (pronounced kris-krôs) leg design. For those interested in buying this piece and have the patience to wait for it, you can go to InDeco Furniture to order it.

Verdict: Sold!
Also listed on Kijiji, this young antique piece is in mint condition, made of solid cherry and with a price tag that made my jaw drop! I was told I was the first one to call after the seller hit the "List the Item" button. After zooming through the traffic in Bathurst & St. Clair area, I scored this bargain at $200!!! I will probably have it spray-painted in the future. I can already see how fantastic this desk is going to turn out in antique white or grey color.

Ciao for now, until next time I have something exciting to post again.

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