My Custom House Portrait


photo by laure joliet

I have hoarding tendencies, we all know that. But you may not know that this includes memory hoarding – which is my favorite kind of hoarding, indeed.

Having a painting done of your house is not the most normal thing to do, but it should be. I have interior and exterior photos of almost everywhere I’ve ever lived and they instantly flood back memories that I would have totally forgotten. Like my first ‘alone’ apartment in Spanish Harlem. I would never remember that underneath the apartment was a Peurto Rican bodega that i frequented every night, and every night they either called me ‘Vanilla’ or ‘Milk of Magnesia’ – clearly because i’m super white and pale.  See? That memory right there i’m sure I would have forgotten if I didn’t have a photo of the exterior that had the deli in the bottom of the frame.  God, it sounds like i suffer from serious premature Alzheimers, but life goes fast and you have to be reminded of a lot in order to properly remember.

Sometimes, nay OFTEN however, your exterior isn’t necessarily that awesome but you still want to remember it. This house that we live in now (which we are leaving soon, more on that later) is not my favorite house. AT. ALL.  The exterior of it was (and still is) my biggest beef with it … well, the kitchen …  and that VERY intense texture on the wall in the photo above (I mean, its like they were trying to make it look like it was the 15th century).

Of course I thought they would let me paint and landscape but the property manager said they had just painted so ‘no’ i wasn’t allowed to. Jerk. I don’t want to bitch too much about the exterior because I’m grateful that I have a place to live at all and the year and a half we spent here were a pretty great year and a half.

But I’m certainly not going to frame a photo of this peach wanna be mediterranean house. Luckily Danielle Krysa (The Jealous Curator) does custom paintings of your house (or car :).

You send her a photo of it and she does this:




photo by laure joliet

Ridiculously cute, right? I had it framed all proper by Dana with a pink lucite floater to make it look all extra cute and poppy (and yes, if i want to take the pink out when I’m sick of it i can without ruining the custom framing job). It makes me so happy. Its custom to Brian and I and it will always remind of us this year (the year Brian changed careers and I got pregnant twice – once successful, once, well, not and the year that we decided to buy a house). It was a good year here. And while we aren’t moving yet, its in the cards folks and now we’ll always have this ‘Portrait of our house’ to remind us.

If you are interested in a portrait of your house (or your car, I’m not kidding … she does strangely rad paintings of cars, too … see below) go to Danielle’s Etsy store and start a conversation with her about it. They are $225 if its a painting and $275 if you want a painting and embroidery (see below).

I mean, look how cute this painting/embroidery portrait is …


Now you just need a vintage muscle car, although i’m not sure that is exactly a muscle car but it seems like you’d have to have a lot of muscles to drive such a car.

And yes, if your question is ‘Can she do a portrait of the antique dining table that my great grandfather built that is falling apart and I want to at least have a memento of it before it kicks the bucket?’ The answer is, Yes. She claims she’s less good at people or pets, but any inanimate objects are game.  Contact her here: Danielle Krysa

Is this something you would do or has my memory hoarding problem gone all hipster Liberace style?

Trolling Craigslist … Washington D.C.

Trolling Craigslist DC

I worked in DC this year redoing Fran’s space and I kinda fell in love with it. It reminded me of LA, what with the traffic and the whole ‘one industry’ thing (they have ‘the US Government’ we have ‘Hollywood’) and just generally I had a great time … well as good of a time that a first trimester pregnant chick can have.

Well, you requested it and now you are getting it. Somebody best jump on these real fast. Not all of them are total gems but there are a few that I want to hoard cross country, which is the new title of my next show: ‘Cross Country Hoarders’ starring yours truly.

Vintage DesK Chair

Full Size Brass Bed Frame $50: Hey cutie. Put you against some modern black and white wallpaper in a girl’s room and prepare to fight off fans. I know that brass beds can get a bad wrap but in the right context you can transform all the granny geekness to antique chicness. (I just wrote that.) It’s like how you can take Joseph Gordon Levitt, buzz his head, put him in a white tee-shirt, leather jacket, and all of a sudden he’s kinda sexy in a way that surprises you. Like this bed.

Retro Office Chair $115: OK, so this is WAYYYYY too much money for this … but then I reminded myself of Jenny’s chair redo  and now I’m obsessed with doing it to a chair like this.

black and white painted chair

I’m now realizing that this chair (the orange, not Jenny’s) might actually be leather in which case DO NOT PAINT. But if it’s vinyl, feel free to experiment on that guy. The pillow part of it would only be like $40 to reupholster, so don’t let that intimidate you. But again, I wish this chair were $35, not $115.

Vintage Chairs

Industrial Chair $60: Ah, with a white lacquer desk this little mint chair could really be cute. And if you feel like being ballsy you could paint it white – I KNOW!! I’m not proud that I wrote that either, but I also am not the biggest fan of these tanker chairs, and besides Craigslist furniture is the best kind to experiment on. (Leave the mint leather/vinyl.) Maybe even those metal pads on the arms can be gold …

Peacock Chair $100: This isn’t a score, but you could do something like this that DesignLoveFest did which was a HUGE hit in my book:


So good. So while the peacock chair by itself isn’t particularly special, put a little sweat into it and its worth every single penny (plus like $300 more).

Vintage Light Fixtures

Pair of Lamps $115: Oh my inner Martha Washington yearns for these lamps. Obviously I’d update them with a more modern drum shade, maybe with gold foil on the inside. But on a console or as nightstand lamps they are SOOOO good for this price. These better be antique and not Z Gallerie, but either way they have a ton of personality and can be updated to work in a modern environment OR obviously work in a more traditional home.

Set of Four Barstools $150: If you’ve ever shopped for stools you’ll find that good ones are strangely expensive, so while these aren’t AMAZING, they are really good for the price. Maybe paint the bottom white and the chrome part gold … or paint the wicker part gray … they need a bit of modernizing because they are pretty tiki retro right now, but the shape, scale, and price is great.

Brass Light Fixture: I love that this is ‘OBO.’ Are they trying to do eBay on Craigslist? Regardless someone should snatch this up, hopefully for under $400. It’s awesome and worth a lot (maybe a C. Jere). It’s not for everyone, certainly, but if you love Brutalist design like I do, jump on this bad boy — but not physically, that looks very painful.

Retro Mint Side Table $125: Last but CERTAINLY not least … nay BEST, even. I want this little girl and all her ’80s goodness so bad. The color! The shape! The total playfulness of it all!! Don’t do a thing to it, just make sure that your house has a lot of white and modern graphic shapes in it. I want to put it in my mouth I love it so much.

So where to next, folks? I’m tempted to do this twice a week I love it so much …

xx – E

Dorm Room Round Up: Brights

Dorm Room Decor Round Up

Future so bright you gotta wear shades, folks. While I loved the first ‘black and white’ dorm round up that Abby did, I think my 18-year-old self is more attracted to these crazy bright colors (as we all know I love me some bright colors). In fact, one of my most favorite comments from My Living Room post was someone who said, ‘It looks like SpongeBob SquarePants designed this room,’ which makes me laugh every time, although I’m pretty sure that wasn’t the commenters intention. It has since become a joke that we reference constantly around here with ‘that rug doesn’t quite feel SpongeBob enough for me’ or ‘that’s so much more RugRats than SpongeBob,’ etc. Although the joke is on me because I have slowly removed the yellow from my living room and that can’t be an accident.

ANYWAY. I love bright colors, so if I were a dorm room I would probably lean this way. Thanks, Abby, for pulling this post together.

Brights Dorm Room Round Up Part 2
1.  Tinted Jewelry Box $49, 2. Color Block hour Glasses $10-24, 3. Neon Cord Task Lamp $14.99, 4. Hot Pink Storage Bins $23.99, 5. Lime Green Push Pins $5, 6. Magical Thinking Prism Pillow $44


Brights Dorm Room Round Up

7. Velvet Tassel Pillows $68-78, 8. Ski Slopes by Kristen Endsley $127, 9. Neon Chord Lamp $17.95, 10.Wide Angle 35mm Camera $35, 11. Transparent Storage Containers $24, 12. Graphic Notebook $8, 13. Bright Metal Desk $39.95

Get your decorate on, friends. That dorm room ain’t going to decorate itself and how else are you going to throw your Juan Pablo ‘Bachelor’ parties? You best start preparing now, for January comes ’round real fast.


Flower girl

This chick (below) has actual skills with her hands and now she is teaching said skills to the unskilled, like me.


It’s a paper flower making class on Skillshare by one of my favorite, nay MY FAVORITE, paper flower maker in the world (and just an awesome all around gal). Brittany from The House That Lars Built makes these ridiculously beautiful paper flowers that you’ve seen all over the interwebs, and now you can make them. Go HERE for all of the information and to sign up for the class. But meanwhile, feel the romance that is just dripping from this photo:


the house that lars built

To sign up for the class go here. Don’t go on in life without knowing how to make these. Treat yourself to come luxurious crafting. Romance not included. :)

11 awesome art installations

I’m officially addicted to commissioning art installations for my projects now. Seeing the stained glass panels that Judson Studios did for The Fig House made me more excited than Tom Cruise a la Oprah’s sofa jumping incident. And now I can’t stop. I have a few projects coming up in need of something special — mainly because every project, especially commercial or studio spaces need something really special. So I’ve been trolling the Internet for happy art installations that can inspire something in my little brain.

art installations

Most of these are out of a material that I can actually get my hands on or materials that in themselves aren’t terribly expensive or luxurious. That’s not to say that these aren’t priceless, but the reason I’m inspired by them is that they are all a material or medium that I’m not scared by and therefore the project is more doable. Normally when I’m conceptualizing these things I literally think of every single thing you could possibly make something out of. I do it in a list: fabric, wood, metal, tape, rope, chain, paper, and then I do subcategories for them (like for fabric I’d do: fabric, ribbon, fringe, vintage quilts, vintage kantha fabric, velvets, leather, worn leather, bunting, crocheted, knitted, dyed, dip dyed, tie dyed, sheepskin …. etc.) Actually seeing all the possibilities always sparks an idea.

So get your ideas on, friends. And don’t think these have to spark ideas for art installation — this could be for a piece of art for your home, graphic design inspiration, or maybe something to try on a piece of furniture that you want to redo. Happy Monday.

Credits clockwise from top: Mixed Media dog by Robert Bradford via CoolHunter   / Sliding Ladder: Truncated Icosohedron # 1 by Nike Savvas via Skiptownline / Pink floor Via Love On The Ground / Neon shelves via HaberArts / LOVE matchstick art by Pei San Ng / Wire sculpture, unknown 


Credits: Drippy walls via Inthralled / Washi tape art by Koji Iyama  via DesignforMankind / Geometric sculpture by Henrietta VanThoog / Rainbow Picket by Judy Chicago / String art installation unknown.