Love letters…

Home Design Ideas...

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A long-time devotee of doodling, the kiddo Gadora spent many an hour practicing cursive, trying to emulate my Dad’s near-perfect Architectural lettering and scribbling my name in notebooks. I hadn’t a clue one could actually make a living manipulating letters. … Continue reading

The Zero Dollar Christmas Tree (or, how to make your own)

We needed snowflakes.

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Gadora has before mentioned the almost bah humbug-like attitude I possess when it comes to decorating for the holidays. It stems from the ruthless way stores shove glittery Christmas crap at us earlier and earlier every year. Hey, before you … Continue reading

It’s high time for a coffee break…

VivaTerra's recycled seat

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There’s no rest for the weary. Though the suitably roomy L-shaped sofa has arrived, Gadora is still searching for extra seating for the 2nd Floor Lounge. I’m hoping it will be the place-to-be after all, so we’ll want enough space … Continue reading

Tibetan Terrier Scarlett.

Scarlett snugged up on the Sofa.

This gallery contains 5 photos.

A recent request from Horse-country, Texas: “I would really love for you to do a watercolor of my beloved Tibetan Terrier, Scarlett. How does the process work? How long does it take? I’m including a photo of Scarlett in the … Continue reading

Some things are better in pairs…

Some things flourish with a mate. A great lounger and its perfect ottoman. Donny and Marie. Roller Derby and protective gear. Home-furnishings sometimes warrant a coupling of similar items and prove some things are better in pairs. Two candelabras on a well-set table. Or, a pair of lamps flanking a well-made bed. Matchy-matchy is sometimes nice.

And while Gadora is refurbishing a twosome of 3-drawer bed tables, at an admittedly snail-like pace, I’ve been obsessed with homely combos and dig these Mid-Mod speckled-ceramic lamp bases (shade not included) from Etsy Seller: FabulousMess.

60s Mid-Mod Lamps

A pair of Vintage Mid Century Modern bookshelf speakers. “Each speaker measures 13 1/2″ tall and 10″ in diameter,” adds Etsy Seller Modnique, and “have been tested and work great.” Not at all sure how the “bookshelf” comes into play, but here you are.

Modnique's speaker tables...

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Furniture making the rounds…

Gadora has been going round and round a lot lately, with skating that is, and thought it appropriate to include a few home decor options for those who like circles too.

Let’s start in the boudoir. Round mattresses were the rage in the Bond movies, just ask Barbara Bach. Found this patriotic circular bed on Craigslist, accompanying a furnished rental loft in Williamsburg. Click on pic to see more of Patrick’s loft.

For rent: round bed in Williamsburg

More ingenious than renting your way into a circular bed, is having your own. Prealpi’s “Infinity” is a round bed entirely upholstered in leather or fabric that offers a multitude of configurations. eRoomService posted a nice round-up (pun intended!) on the Top 10 Contemporary round beds, if you want to peruse other options…

Prealpi's Infinity bed by Studio Duedi

Of course they all beg the question… where do you get your own round sheets?

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(Dresser) going green…

Found a handsome 6-drawer wooden dresser on a yard/estate-sale outing with some girlfriends (and thank you both for helping me load it in my wonder wagon!). Set out, over the course of a few trips to the parent’s house, to fix it up…

Dresser ~ BEFORE

Gadora recycled the dresser’s original handles on this 3-table set and—because their “crackle” response was so great—gave this dresser a new “crackle” green face. Not as decipherable as the Lane Acclaim markings, the ‘internets’ claim K. Wee and Co. was established in 1966.  Anyone care to take a stab at the manufacture date? Below (right); entire surface received a solid sanding, both belt sander and by hand, before first paint application.

Tag and side.

Each hole, 16 in all, was filled and sanded allowing a fresh start for new handles. Having had a run-in with a mangled can of latex paint, Gadora re-purposed a plastic coffee can to provide easy access for the remainder.

Drawers and paint can alternative.

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Dreaming of shoe closets…

With each trip to Keller, Gadora totes home another few boxes. Now mostly shoes. In Vegas, they were packed by ‘season’ and in Texas they’ve been worn well. Oh how I missed my boots. The Squeeze doesn’t quite understand my obsession with shoes. No matter. It is very real. Verbalizing how I regularly fantasize about my next great place, where I’ll have a very “Miley Cyrus” kind of office-slash-open-shoe-closet space, I pulled some photos to illustrate…

Miley Cyrus's dreamy closet

Gadora’s color palette would be more subdued, but the idea of openly displaying shoes is very enticing. I’m proud of MY collection, and YOU will all have to look at it. Miley’s huge mirror is a lovely accent. And she has skates too. Love.

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Round Top antique roundup…

This week marks the 42nd annual Round Top Antiques Fair, which sits between Carmine, Texas, a town of 230, and Round Top, population 84. Gadora and a new Lady friend, Annie, made the trek an hour(-ish) East from Austin and looked for the promised Big Red Barn sign. While both towns come alive during these antique weekends, it is the original Round Top fair folks come to see.

Not the place for bargains, three large circus tents were filled with well-edited antiques, collectibles, art work and furnishings. There were booths with scoops of a thousand vintage buttons, booths showcasing impressive carved cane collections, cases of turquoise jewels and rows of bakelite bracelets. Spots so full you had to inch in sideways.

48-drawer cabinet at Smokehouse Square

48-drawer cabinet at Smokehouse Square

Hard-pressed to choose my favorite thing, and I wanted to drag something home, there was a recurring theme throughout the day. Besides the creepy doll parts (and what is it exactly about a swap-meet that brings out the odd body parts?), which I’ll blog later… apothecary cabinets were key. This salmon-hued 48-drawer, one-time card catalog, cabinet is the winner. The owner, Cindy from Smokehouse Square Antiques in Amana, Iowa, gingerly offered, “it’s got room for all your things, ribbons, yarn… it’s great if you’re a hooker!” We both snickered.

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Back to the (chalk)board…

Still reeling from the lovely chalkboard room in 500 Days of Summer, Gadora recalls early on entertaining a teaching profession. I’d line up my stuffed animals, and prepped with my easel chalkboard and a bucket of colors, would get busy teaching them a few things. (These were the days before PowerPoint presentations, so I had a small space in which to make a big impact on my subjects.) It’s little wonder as an adult I’m still quite enamored with all-things-chalk.

Jen Thompson's chalkboard screen door

Jen Thompson's chalkboard screen door

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“Tie Chair” on Apartment Therapy

From last week’s family Motor Coach (my peeps call it “The MC”) trip to Alabama, Gadora posted one lone phone pic of the coming-together “tie chair” on her Facebook page. Days on the road with The South’s spotty cell service produced a certain panic I’d never be online again, but I distracted myself from cyber space with some very real hands-on stitching of the seat. When I finally reached a more reliable hot spot, I found Adrienne Breaux of All Things Austin Design had inquired about featuring said chair, upon completion, on Apartment Therapy< click to read her article.

Gadora Wilder on Apartment Therapy

Gadora Wilder on Apartment Therapy

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Uh. Yeah. That would totally rock!! Back in Texas Gadora supplied Adrienne with a few photographs, while sorting out the process for a handy “how-to” write-up. It’s wildly appropriate her post referenced “granny chic decor” as the Alabama trip included TWO of MINE: 1) “Grammie” – 85 years old – who traveled in The MC with us, and 2) “Grandmother” – 90 – who we were heading to see. Gadora has some good genes.

THANK YOU ADRIENNE for your continued support.

Headboard needed.

Gadora was again thinking last night, I might should have a headboard. (Currently my BFF’s Klimt print serves as the focal point of the bed.) On a recent visit I’d dragged my Mom to see 500 Days of Summer, and fell in love with the chalk bedroom “Tom” ~ played by the quietly steamy Joseph Gordon-Levitt ~ doodled on. I feel another post percolating here…though NOT about JGL.

Chalkboard wall on

Chalkboard wall on

Ironically, when I returned home a Facebook-friend had messaged, “Hello…Was in Rockport last Friday and saw this company who reuses doors as headboards…” Hm! A little googling didn’t produce that particular company, but it did reveal these snappy ideas.

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Though not entirely Gadora‘s style, Sunset’s repurposed pocket door is a simple way to transform a room in a big way. And as an unapologetic shoe-lover, Gadora especially appreciates the shoe display on top.

Reclaimed door heabdoard. Photo by Thomas J. Story

Reclaimed door headboard. Photo by Thomas J. Story

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No Easy Chair…

Gadora‘s original idea for this upcycled chair came last spring with a chance passing in NoLa. A random storefront window held a darling, though not entirely functional, woven men’s tie chairGadora was inspired. Then not long after the move to Austin, I’d coordinated a garage sale day with the girls, mapping out possible hot spots promising great adventure. Towards day’s end a discarded pair of chairs were spotted in front of a house, we whipped the car around for a calculated look. Yes! One good one. With all its parts. We’ll take it. Thank you.

This would eventually be a two-part project: 1) refurbish said found chair with new seat and paint treatment, and 2) weave ties and cover the seat.

The chair itself needed work! A power sanding revealed layers of interesting paint choices, but gave the wood a smooth finish to work with.

sanded chair ~ revealed layers

sanded chair ~ revealed layers

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Using a cardboard box, Gadora cut a seat template then begged* her Daddy to donate some scrap wood. *Cool as a cucumber my Dad happily obliged AND helped custom cut and sand the seat bottom to fit. With seat complete, I fired up Dad’s blower, after only a few labored pulls of the starter, to clean our mess. Dad digs I dig his power tools.

sanding seat from particle board

sanding seat from particle board

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