We are prepping for a big reveal over here, but like a 2nd grader on show-and-tell day, I can NOT wait that long to show you some new things that are happening. First up? That vintage piano. Now I really wanted our family heirloom piano (remember our new years resolutions?), but to properly restore it (it was 100 years old) it was going to cost $4k – $6k + shipping ($1300), and even then the player piano component probably wouldn’t work.
So we started shopping and I was floored by how much new (pretty) pianos can cost, and restoring something that wasn’t a family heirloom in LA didn’t seem as fun. I’m sure I could have waited and found the perfect one on Craigslist for much cheaper, but when Mel tagged me on a post by Hernandez Brothers on instagram I showed it to Brian and he said – yes, that’s our piano. When Brian is enthusiastic about something you already love – you don’t wait for him to follow it up with a question. You simply hang up the phone on him and immediately make the purchase. It’s a really healthy way of making decisions. You hear what you want to hear and then hang up!
Turns out I wasn’t the only one interested in this lady but thank God, those lovely guys know me and wanted it to go to a good home (Fun Fact: I actually shot in their store during the pilot episode of Secret’s From A Stylist). It was $3500 and I had to put about $400 in restoring it (whitening it’s teeth/keys and tuning it up, plus some minor other repairs). It was certainly more than I wanted to spend, but we’ll have it forever and it’s stunning (plus they are super rare so I know I could get more for it someday if we needed to sell it). I love it, the kids love banging on it, but sadly my fingers remember very little so I’ve ordered some easy piano books (Mozart, Debussy, and Moana, obviously). If anyone knows the best way to get a 3 year old interested let me know. I know he’s too young for a proper 1/2 hour piano teacher, but I hear there are some fun new methods out there. For now, they play around and like to hear me play which is all I really expected and care about.
***Update: I bought the ‘Moana for easy piano’ book today and while I’m embarrassingly bad, the kids think I’m literally a magician that I can make ‘Your Welcome’ come out of those keys.
About that chair. We are on the hunt for the perfect chair or bench but for now this vintage Paul McCobb (which I found at one of my favorite stores County Ltd.) looks pretty amazing with the piano. It doesn’t fit underneath, nor does it really make a good bench for more than one of us sitting there but for now it’s lovely to look at. And I’m still loving that lamp from Schoolhouse Electric. (Similar here) I want to write a whole post about the power of a non-white lamp shade…
Curtains – GAH. I worked with Calico Corners on the curtains and hardware and they are STUNNING and have warmed up the space so much. The linen is washed and drapes amazingly made (more on all that later – but you can purchase that here). Plus they come to you, they do all the measuring/installation and it’s been a dream. I worked with Karen and Ramis at the Pasadena location and they were so helpful, knowledgeable and most importantly they didn’t act annoyed when I changed my mind. Also black French rods, people – it’s what is happening from now on (these are from Calico as well). They block the light on the sides and feel all old world in a beautiful modern way.
Sigh of course then we have to talk about the two gorgeous pieces from Round Top that are making me so incredibly happy (see full post here). No regrets here – those two pieces are STUNNING (despite the fact that the chair didn’t fair too well in the move and is definitely more of a ‘looking at chair’ than a ‘sitting in chair’. I’m particularly in love with the combinations of modern and antique – and the color of that cabinet is perfection.
NEW STOOLS!!! Remember when I had these stools which I thought were great in there, but then all of America thought that they should be the wood version of that same stool? Shortly after ‘Stool-gate’ ensued and people stopped going to work, mass transit mutinied, and the housing market almost collapsed again because people were so upset that I didn’t want to use the wooden version of that stool. Meanwhile the whole time I did agree that wood would be more ideal – just not that tone.
Enter these amazing stools from Hedge House Furniture. They feel classic schoolhouse, but definitely still modern – and with more of an edge. They have wood and white and warm things up without making it feel heavy. Plus they are really sturdy and the kids can climb on them without knocking them over. And they swivel. So many good things.
So good. And you can get them in a few different wood tones and powder coated any color. Every single member of the family loves them, including the bear (she rolls all over them, sliding around).
Next up, the cuddle corner:
Introducing the most beautiful late 1800’s french chaise lounge (in original fabric) ever! I saw this on Jayson Home’s Flea market portion of their site and fell in LOVE. Now, many of you haven’t known me for my entire life but trust me when I tell you that there is a old Grey Gardens style crazy grandma inside of me, just waiting to don something with a floral or run my fingers through some lampshade fringe. I love footed vases, animal tchokes. and quilts. I like it most when there is something subtle about it. For instance if this were full of ornate carved detailing, I wouldn’t be so into it. But that simple beautiful shaped back, on the smaller size, in that lovely mint-y aqua color…. GAH. it’s just so good. Even Bob Henderson (Brian’s dad) is like WOW, that is such a stunner of a chair.
Now, when we shoot this for the magazine we will style out the shelves all proper (with not just kids books on the bottom two shelves) but I left it because honestly we sit here at least twice a day with one or more kid and read book after book. Birdie will go pick one out and hop up on the chaise and yell mama mama mama mama mama mama mama until I come happily running over to read to her. Both kids know that it’s their corner. Any new toddler books I should know of? I should do a post about it – we DEFINITELY have our favorites that all of us love to read equally. BTW has any child ever loved Runaway Bunny?? Our kids practically throw it out of boredom protest…
From the rest of the room you can’t tell that the bottom two shelves are filled with Dr. Seuss and ‘Little Blue Truck’. I love that there is a ‘Plato’ book on the same shelf as Dr. Seuss’ ‘The Foot Book’. Long story but I recently got all of my books from college back – boxes and boxes of novels and philosophy books from 1997 – 2001, and man is it fun to rifle through old Paul Auster, Margaret Atwood or Chuck Palahnuik or look at Thomas Pynchon and Nietzche and think… my, how my hobbies have changed...
(Hey has anyone read the new Paul Auster or seen the new Hand Maiden’s Tale on Hulu? Brian started it last night and said it was too bleak for even him – and he knows this emotional lady doesn’t do “bleak” or “depressing” so well since I’ve had kids (even though I loved The Killing and The Affair …. please do weigh in).
Oh and yes that is another piece of art by Kirill Bergart.
There is more to show you but I’ve talked enough for the night. Mondays are my night ‘off’ (it’s when Brian doesn’t have rehearsals so he’s on kid duty) so I need to, you know, get on pinterest and watch my ladies of New York City ….
*P.S. Dear Bachelor – I really, really miss you.
I feel like I asked you like 94 questions in this post so go for it. Piano lessons? Paul Auster?