Tag Archives: rug

Furnishing accessories

I’ve been going home a lot this year.  And the major reason is that my parents built a new house, and my pet project is go to and help them decorate it. :-)

During my last trip, we managed to get all the furniture in order.  About half the furnishings will come from the old house and the rest, we bought to fill up the new one (which is about 3 times bigger).  Our goals for this trip were to:

  • finish buying all the bathroom accessories (they can get so expensive!)
  • pick up random accents
  • look at couches and pick a style for the living room
  • figure out the entertainment situation

Accessories & Random Accents

The first was pretty easy.  I wanted my room to have a muted, slightly feminine look.  I’m not usually a huge fan of purple, but after I saw those Nicole Miller shower curtains, I absolutely had to have them!  They were on sale when I first saw them in June, but by the time my parents go around to buying them, they were only $19.99 at Bed, Bath & Beyond (major WIN!).  During my last trip back, I had also picked out matching DNKY toothbrush holders, soap dishes and trash cans.  My bedroom ‘suite’ is actually two rooms with two sinks/vanity areas and a shared toiled/bathtub.  So after a quick hunt at Macy’s, the three of us (parents + me) picked an also matching bed set a la Style & Co.  Here’s how they came out:

Nicole Miller shower curtain.  You can kind of make out the metallic sheen.

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The matching DKNY bathroom accessories and how it looks on the granite I picked out over a year ago.  The stylist looked at me like I was nuts for wanting black granite in the bathroom, but I think they turned out really well.  Especially because it pulls everything in the room towards it.

We were going to get a trash can as well, but I’m leaving my kitteh with my parents from Thanksgiving until Christmas (it’s $125 each way for the cat, so I’m saving $250 just by not bringing her back from Thanksgiving and then there again for Christmas), and we didn’t want her to knock over the creamic trash can and break it.  She might get hurt, and the trash can’s $40 plus tax.

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The matching pillows.  The small one is from Style & Co., a set with the sheets, but the larger ones are actually from TJ Max.  They’re identical in color to the original Style & Co. large decorative pillows, except the TJ Max twin was $16 vs. $40.  (win!)  I don’t have a picture of the sheets, since they were still in packaging when I left.

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For my parents room, my mom wanted something that was brown and gold to match the curtains, for which they’d paid an assload.  Not everything matches exactly, but I guess if you have a bathroom the size of most 1 bedroom apartments in New York, they don’t have to look exactly the same shade.  From far away, lotion dispenser and toothbrush holders look amazing, but they’re just cheap plastic.  Whoo Steinmart.

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These curtains are ridiculous.  A little elaborate for my taste but so rich.  It makes the whole room look majestic, especially with my parents’ bed frame.

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I didn’t actually help with picking the curtains (my parents just hired someone and said, “Here’s money.  Make it pretty.”), but I just love how the dining room turned out.  At first, I thought the table was too shiny and plastic looking.  The curtains and chandelier do wonders in softening the look.

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Living room & Entertaining

As with most standard houses, the living room is huge and two stories tall.  The goal was to put an entertainment system in the rather large alcove between the dining room and the living room, and leave the living room for a huge couch set up and some nice rugs.

My dad had this crazy idea of buying two 46″ Sony Bravia W series because they don’t really sell LCDs or plasma over 60″ (or something like that).  In the end, we ended up getting a 46″ for the master bedroom too.  My mom had gotten used to falling asleep watching TV, so it was hard for her not to.  We still have the old 53″ DLP, but that’s going into the entertainment room upstairs.  It’s silly to have two entertainment systems in the house, but turning down the thermostat upstairs (usually set to 83 degrees to save electricity) just to watch TV seems sillier.

We also went to what seemed like 100 different furniture places to look for an appropriate couch set.  Most of the stores had very traditional leather styles, which seemed too blah for my parents.  But the European stores had tiny tiny furniture, which would look so wrong in such a huge space.  I really dig this one.  It’s 1) made from cloth, so no sticky leather in the summer; 2) a really pretty color; 3) actually big enough to fill up the living room and 4) not that expensive (about $4,000).

… Sadly, my mom hates it.

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Here are some gratuitous pictures of bao zi that my mom and I made.  They’re sooo gooood.  We tried making them super small this time, so each one is about the length of your knuckle (except… you know… round).

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Okay this post has gone on for way too long… cheerio!

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Houston for a Week

dsl

 That’s just part of what I did back in Houston.  Yup.  My parents bought a house last year and built a new one from the ground up, and we finally moved in last week. 

Usually they both go online at work.  Dad loves the tech blogs and on my walks home from work, we’d discuss what I’d read on Gizmodo and he on Yahoo! Tech News.  Mom loves reading the gossip blogs in Chinese for Chinese immigrants and emails me cute links, pictures and recipes.  But finally, we have DSL at home (thank god!).  Of course setting it up was a huge pain in the *%#, and we didn’t have time to tackle it until close to end of week.

I arrived Saturday afternoon.  In addition to the Starbucks ground coffee for mom and Ghiradelli chocolate for dad, I brought the scrapbook that been in the works for a year.  Undoubtedly, I thought they would have noticed the missing pictures and two photo albums.  They didn’t.  The surprise on their faces was well worth the effort and my friend teasing me about buying scrap paper from Kozo Arts.

Sunday, we bought my bed, matress and matching bedside table.  For most of the week, we just moved boxes and boxes.  The two houses are only about a minute drive from each other, so we took trips in the SUV.  I thought I had a lot of stuff.  Just the cooking supplies took two trips, that’s like 12 boxes!

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This is where I usually paste tons of pictures, and here it is:

This is my bedroom with along with my new bed.  At first I thought it was just black, which makes my room look so basic (black and white).  But there’s actually nice accents of red fades throughout the wood paint/varnish thing.  My mom and I still need to pick out a book shelf and maybe a print for the wall.

Our living room from the second floor.  At this point, it’s still all bare, but I love the gray marble and the real fire place.  (Now there’s a place for Santa to visit!)  All those huge cards in the corner are Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and birthday cards I’ve sent them, since I’m almost never home for those occasions.  Most of the pictures on the mantle are of me- I’m an only child.

This is our dinning room.  The furniture delivery guys and I hit our heads so many times on the chandelier putting together the table.  My dad and I helped cuz… well… we like building stuff together.  Apparently, the rug under the table costs more than the whole dining room set.  Something about handmade… blah blah blah.  Personally, I never understood rugs.  I love hardwood floors, tile, marble and hard, tactile surfaces.

This is the kitchen and my favorite room in the house.  I love the different lighting fixtures from ceiling lights to cabinet lights to the two low hanging bulbs over the range, and all the different variations.  There’s also a huge pantry that’s not much smaller than my dorm room in college (okay, like 1/5 the size but still huge).

What I said before about the kitchen… nix that.  THIS is my favorite room in the house: the master bathroom, equipped with a full walk-in closet that really IS the same size as my dorm room and this full size jacuzzi.  After my dad and I finished moving boxes on Monday and helping put all the furniture together, I actually fell asleep in the tub.  It fits me like a glove both facing forward with my elbows on the ridge and in the fetal position.  There’s perfect room for candles and reading a book (The Yiddish Policemen’s Union), while enjoying the full jet blasts.

My mom didn’t want me to show the picture of the unmade bed, but the headboard is just too beautiful not to show.  The two matching bedside tables, which are basically mini-chests are matching and magnificent.  The whole structure reminds me of a boat drifting peacefully among the waves.

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One of my next posts will explore all the bathroom features. :)  There are four, and most of them still need decor.

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