first decorating to-do of the new year: a new bed for our girl


We have a long list of things we’d like to accomplish around the house this year: Finally replace that coffee table. Re-do the downstairs bathroom. But first and foremost is to give our girl — who is about to turn six and is most definitely no longer a toddler — a room she can grow into. It’s a bit of a challenge from the get-go, because between the radiators and windows of her small room, there isn’t a way to get anything larger than a twin bed in there. And forget about bunk beds (much to Isadora’s disappointment); the ceilings are too low for that. We think we have found our first step in the right direction — Oeuf’s Sparrow Bed. It has clean lines yet occupies a smaller footprint than most beds that come with a head and base board. We also like that it mixes birch with white and doesn’t scream “girly.” We opted for no trundle at the moment — we need the underbed space for storage, and ordered one from DesignPublic which has no delivery fee. It will take six to eight weeks to get here, so in the meantime we can start thinking about more important things like… wallpaper vs. paint? More soon!

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want it now: a chic pink office chair

We have an anti-pink decorating policy in our home, even in our girl’s room. You’ll find vibrant orange, the palest purple, a splash of citron, but no pink. The feminine side of my decorating heart is seriously under served. To keep harmony with my husband I think it best I confine my girliness to my office, where I have a strong desire to Think Pink! This is especially true after spotting this beauty at ABChome.com. This curvy upholstered chair with its sexy chrome-legs is in just the right shade of frosty pink, the same color that spotted the runways of New York Fashion week last September. How could anyone disagree with you when sitting in a chair like this? The problem is that I would need two of them and they are pricey — $982 each. For now they will remain on my wish list, while I hunt for a throw pillow or two to spice up the bland company-provided Eames chairs. Drool along with me by visiting abchome.com.

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a bright light in radiant orchid, pantone’s color of the year

A couple of years ago, we were insanely excited when Tangerine Tango was the color of the year. It is one of our all-time favorites and has a permanent place in our decor. Admittedly, we sorta skipped last year’s — emerald — but the new 2014 choice just announced today has us giddy (especially a certain kindergartner who loves purple). Pantone’s newly christened shade of the year is called Radiant Orchid, like a blossoming flower. And while bachelors may have a hard time incorporating it into their sensibilities, homes blessed with little girls like ours will find lots of the new hue in months to come. What’s nice about Radiant Orchid is that is a strong purple, with strong pink undertones. In the right light, you might even mistake it for fuchsia. Our hunt for the bright color is on, and we already found one thing that matches it perfectly. This Modern Lamp Shade from Mood Studio Design is just the right purple to capture the Pantone spirit. It’s made to order from the Canadian company, who we suspect is about to get flooded with orders. Put in a request for yours for $89 today and you’ll be ready for a stylish new year.

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thanksgiving to-do: finally polishing grandma’s silverware

We’re getting ready to host our annual Thanksgiving Redux feast at our house, which means dusting off all the serving platters and seasonal trinkets out that have been in our basement for a year. It’s usually around this time that I start to regret never having a formal wedding registry: I loved our low-key wedding, but it didn’t end with us getting a 12-piece china pattern or the flatware of our dreams. Instead, we’ve been slowing acquiring the things we love and truly need step-by-step. Today, while moaning about our lack of elegant flatware, I suddenly remembered a little treasure box that I was given after we cleaned out my grandma’s house a few year’s back. It contains a set of very fancy, yet very tarnished silverware. Inside is an 8-person set complete with soup spoons, pie knife and tiny little oyster forks. The certificate says WM A. Rogers AA and is says that each piece, except knives, is plated overall with pure silver. My grandma was issued this guarantee in 1952. Though the intricate Oneida pattern doesn’t really fit our clean and modern aesthetic, it seems a shame not to use. But how to brighten up? We picked up a tub of Goddard’s Silver Polish and gave it all a good rub. Quickly it started looking bright and clean. Afterwards we ran it through dishwasher, which I thought seemed silly, but this article assured me it that it work. (The key is to NOT mix with stainless-steel flatware, which can cause a chemical reaction and discolor the silver.)

For more silver polishing tips, see this Real Simple story.

Do you have any silver polishing tips to share? Tell me how to do it better next time!

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field trip: maui’s surfing goat dairy

When one thinks of Maui, usually visions of poetic sunsets, leaping whales and surfers with washboard abs come to mind. None of those are wrong, but what you might not realize is that there is a burgeoning farm-to-table movement happening on the paradise isle, which makes sense since getting stuff there is not exactly easy. We snuck in a pre-holiday season vacation thanks to the wonders of airmiles, and made a stop by the Surfing Goat Dairy. Found on the hills of Halekala, otherwise known as Upcountry, it’s down the road from a vodka distillery and up the road from a lavender farm. Founded about 12 years ago by two German expats, (he a software exec, she a school teacher) they decided to buy a small goat farm and turn it into an organic dairy is that is a gourmand’s dream. One hundred percent sustainable, it now raises Saanen, Alpine and La Mancha goats, and from their milk they make the most delicious cheeses. If you’ve never had the opportunity to pet a kid goat, you are missing out. They are friendly, soft and eager to have the back of their ears rubbed. They’ll also try to eat anything they can get their tongues on, so you do have to be careful. We signed up for a $15 tour and was shown around dairy and farm. Our favorite part was getting a turn to milk the goat moms for ourselves. Though they have machine pumps — which they swear are gentler and kinder than a human touch — we were each allowed to give a “squeeze” and aim for the bucket. The goats seemed grateful.

If you are in Maui, be sure to visit Surfing Goat Dairy. The best time to show up is around 2pm so you’ll be there for the afternoon milking. If you’re really interested in learning more about sustainable, organic goat farming, ask about their volunteer program. A summer in Maui getting close to some goats while perfecting your cheese making skills? Let the fantasies begin. And for those wishing to sample the goods without the jet lag, consider a gift basket for the holiday season.

For more information on the Surfing Goat Dairy, visit their site.

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