7th House on the Left

Okay, that pun (or lack of one) is just sad. Feel free to ignore it.

One thing I really want to do this year is post more “organically” – blogging the way it was intended to be way back when I had my first blog back in college (I still wish I could find that). Basically, we’re going to try to share more of the the random shopping trips, thoughts about the decline in curtain options, brain-dumps about my office layout and overall the completely random thoughts of a graphic designer who loves to decorate and a computer geek who’s learning his way around power tools. That’s us. Back in the day, those types of posts were our wheelhouse and we want to get back to it. For us, it’s comfortable, less stuffy and all around more fun. Is that cool with you guys? We hope so.

So, are you ready for a quick brain-dump post? Here we go…

Greg and I were in HomeGoods the other day doing some after-Christmas Christmas shopping for my in-laws (we decided to celebrate with them after we got back from Florida) when I came across a beautiful, solid wood pedestal bowl marked down from $95 to $29. Since Greg is a one-track mind kind of guy and he was focused on shopping for other people, I knew I had to get creative. So I said, “Greg, I think your mom would really want me to have this. Don’t you think?” Yeah, it didn’t work–he’s nowhere near that gullible. But he loves me, so my lovely new bowl found its way to the shopping cart and through the checkout, regardless of my super-obvious attempts at manipulation.

Solid Wood Bowl Made in Philippines found at HomeGoods // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Isn’t she lovely? Great, now that song is going to be in my head for the rest of the day. At first glance, I loved the differences in wood tones and how well-made it was. When we got home, I fell in love with it even more. The warm wood tones paired with the countertops and classic subway tile made me happy. I’m in the process of revisiting the accessories and overall decor in the kitchen (decluttering, “finishing” and freshening things up in general), so I’d really like to keep it in here.

Kitchen in Progress // 7thhouseontheleft.com

From that angle, it looks a little bigger than it is. I decided a perfect place for it would be that small section between the stove and the end of the cabinet. I’ve always had trouble figuring out what to put there, and this seemed perfect. But now… what do I put in it?

Solid Wood Bowl Made in Philippines found at HomeGoods // 7thhouseontheleft.com

I thought about fruit (I have some faux green apples I bought at Hobby Lobby back in college that look incredibly real). However, we have a bowl of (real) fruit further down the counter, on the other side of the stove. Wouldn’t that be over doing it in the fruit department? Then I thought about making it a pretty cell phone catchall, but that would just look cluttered and messy – which is definitely not what we want. Then I thought about planting herbs in it to use for cooking. I’d kill them, so it’s not really an option, but wouldn’t that look cool?

So, what do you think? What needs to go in this precious bowl of ours? Ideas?

CUSTOM FRAMING 101

posted by Ashley  /  16 Comments

Custom framing. I don’t know about you, but I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the process. So many choices. So many decisions. When Michaels asked us to test drive their custom framing service, I have to admit, I was a little hesitant at first. The more I thought about it, the more I was intrigued, and we ultimately decided to give it a go.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Keeping in mind that Michaels can frame pretty much anything (including guitars, jerseys, quilts, etc), we racked our brains for a few days trying to narrow down what to have framed. We didn’t have any vintage guitars or quilts on hand, so we thought it would be fun to have our prized vintage gas station number framed. For over a year, I’ve been noticing a ton of old red gas station numbers at our local flea markets and antique malls. I’ve been keeping my eye out for a number 7 for what seems like forever and found a plethora of 3′s, 2′s and 6′s but no 7′s. About six months ago, I finally found a 7. It was $20 – which was about 75% more that what all of the other numbers were marked – but that was okay because it was exactly what I’d been looking for. Finally. Since then, Greg and I’ve been wondering what to do with it.  We couldn’t necessarily frame it because that’s not really your standard frame size.

Next, we had this box of post cards that had been sitting around for almost two years. My mom gave them to me as a part of my birthday present, and the moment I saw them, I thought they would make great wall art. I envisioned them being hung in a grid of 6 or 9. Since the postcards are 4×6, with a tiny white border around the edge, and we wanted a slightly larger than average mat (at least larger than the other 4×6 frames we’d seen). That made them perfect specimens for custom framing.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

When I arrived at the store for my custom framing appointment, I met my framing expert, Kate – who by the way is a very talented illustrator (I so wish I could draw). I showed her what I had to frame and the style I was going for (simple/timeless/modern-ish).

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

To start off, Kate took a photo of the metal number using a digital camera on an arm that hangs over the table – or what I refer to as the “handy dandy sky cam”. The photo was immediately uploaded to the computer where she loaded it into the in-store Frame Visualizer. By the way, the consultants put on the white gloves to protect the artwork they’re working with, which is a very nice touch, if you’re working with something that’s easily damaged or discolored.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Michael’s has tons and tons and tons of mat options. 480 to be exact. They also have different textures, finishes and details to choose from. For both of my framing projects, we decided to go with a simple white, classic mat.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Now for the frame. Oh my goodness. So. Many. Frames. Luckily, I wasn’t too overwhelmed because we already had an idea of what we wanted for this piece. Since we’re thinking about hanging this in the kitchen (or at least near the kitchen), we wanted a dark frame to stand out amongst the white cabinetry. I showed Kate a photo of the space we were thinking about hanging it and she agreed – a simple black frame was the way to go.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Each frame option has a “grade”, and each piece of artwork graded based on its dimensions. The grade of the frame has to be the same or greater than the grade of the artwork, or the frame won’t work. At first, I was thinking more along the lines of a small, thin frame (like the one on the far leftt of the counter), but since the frame’s grade was a lot lower than the grade of the gas station number, we had to upgrade to a beefier frame.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Since the width of the frame was smaller than the width of the red number, everything actually balanced out perfectly. As far as the mat, Kate and I both thought it would look really cool to mount the number on the mat rather than having the number surrounding the mat like traditional matting. I’m so excited to see the results of this! Now, on to the next framing project…

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

The box of post cards came with 100 book covers. Before coming for the consultation, I narrowed it down to 9 cards. Once I laid them all out on the counter, I thought that 6 framed cards might look a bit less cluttered, so I narrowed them down to six. Once I settled on the six we were going to have framed, Kate took each one, measured the artwork and took a photo of it using the handy dandy “sky cam”.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

Once again, we went with the simple black frame – but this time around, using the smaller one. As for the mat, Kate suggested we do a double white mat. It brings more depth to the simple design of the framed piece as a whole and overall, gives it more “oomph”.

The entire consultation took about 45 minutes to an hour. It really didn’t even seem like that long because, honestly, it was a lot of fun. Not at all as tedious or laborious as I expected. Before I left the store, Kate gave me a paper for each frame (7 total) that included the overall dimensions of each frame and the style frame and mat we used. This will definitely come in handy when we decide to have more pieces framed in the future. The turnaround time for our frames (and most framing projects) is two weeks. We should probably be getting them sometime next week, and I can’t wait to see them!

Out of curiosity, I asked Kate about the largest piece they’ve ever framed. She told me about a guy who is trying to make his own custom-sized projector screen. He’s having a wooden frame made at a local lumberyard, bringing the frame to Michaels and having them stretch a blank canvas over it. Did I mention this “frame” is gigantic? She said it covered both framing tables then some. Now, that’s a big project.

Michaels Custom Framing // 7thhouseontheleft.com

BE STILL MY HEART

posted by Ashley  /  7 Comments

While we were in LA for vacation, we stopped into Restoration Hardware on Beverly Blvd. We’ve always been big RH fans, so stopping by the flagship store was definitely on our to do list. Okay, well, more on my to do list than Greg’s… but he was a good trooper.

As we walked up to the store, the first thing we saw was the outdoor furniture “showroom” courtyard. Basically, this consisted of lots of ultra comfy and delicious outdoor furniture, mini white lights, candles, soft music and outdoor chandeliers that couldn’t even fit through the front door of our house. In other words, breathtakingly gorgeous. Needless to say, it was what I call, “an Instagram moment”…

Instagram: 7thHouseBlog

I know. Who wouldn’t want to host a party in a space like this!? With all of the fuss over the few photos I posted on Instagram, I thought I’d put together a little post of the photos I snapped as we walked through the store. Keep in mind these are just iPhone photos and therefore, do not do it justice. Whatsoever.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Talk about an amazing movie room, right?!

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I’ve been seeing these chairs online and in the catalogue for some time and always wondered if they were comfortable. I can tell now tell you, yeah, they are very, very comfortable.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I love these chairs paired with the mirrors, lighting and side tables. The candles on the side tables are battery-powered but look so real – more real than any other battery-powered candle I’ve seen before. Find them here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

I’ve had a thing for Chesterfield sofas lately. Seeing this giant, luxurious, deep version made me fall in love more. I also love the grain sack pillows over in the corner of the sofa. Find them here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

If I could pick out any bed for our bedroom, I’m pretty sure this one would be it (we have so many projects going on right now, I can’t even start thinking about the master yet). I love the clean lines, reclaimed wood frame and the nailhead finishes. Uhh, makes my heart happy. Find the bed here.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

A more modern side of RH. I’m really digging the moss centerpiece on the coffee table. They don’t sell it – it was just for staging – but I’m sure it would be relatively easy to DIY something similar.

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Doesn’t that look like a comfy bed to curl up in with a good book? The columns make the area feel so palatial and full of character. I also love the gallery wall in a grid pattern over the bed.

RH Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

This room was filled with bunches and bunches of fresh white flowers. I’m a total sucker for white flowers, so this room was especially swoon-worthy. I really like how they built the hanging shelving unit from rustic wood planks and chains. I also like the numbered tin buckets. Very clever!

Restoration Hardware Flagship Store / 7th House on the Left

Last but not least, my favorite room in the store, the “Tea Room”. It’s filled with canisters of tea, books and magazines and, of course, comfy furniture and how about those birdcage chandeliers?! I also love the staircase and how the artwork goes all the way up towards the ceiling to take the eye upward.