Sneak Peek of Project Laundry Room

 

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I sat down to write a post for this week and realized I never updated you on Project Laundry Room! Because I post snapshots of the house on Instagram (@FromTheRightBank) I sometimes think I blogged them when I haven’t. #scatterbrained

While I still can’t fully reveal all the house projects, I can give you a few peeks so let’s go…..

To recap, the Brazilliance wallpaper was ordered and delivered. But before it could get installed, I had to take care of the other thing I wanted in the room: a striped ceiling. If I had planned better, I could have had my painter do this when he was here painting the kitchen but since I hadn’t, I had to resort to doing it myself.

Yeah.

Me.

Painting a ceiling in any shape or form is no joke. The taping was what was most time consuming…..

I kept thinking of this poem I once read by Michelangelo about painting the Sistine Chapel…..

…..My brush, above me all the time, dribbles paint
so my face makes a fine floor for droppings!

My haunches are grinding into my guts,
my poor ass strains to work as a counterweight,
every gesture I make is blind and aimless…..

I’m obviously not comparing a few stripes to the Sistine Chapel(!) but still.

[Speaking of the Sistine Chapel, we had to postpone our trip to Italy because of some unforeseen happenings here at home.  And after all the excitement in my last post, too. Oh well, I can’t really complain since I was just there six months ago(!)]

Anyway, I did pick up this handy tip on Pinterest or somewhere which proved to be helpful for catching paint drips…..

Just cut a slit in a plastic lid and push your brush through it. While you’re painting, the lid will catch any paint that drips down. So simple and clever, right?

While I was at the hardware store, I just did a quick scan for the most kelly green paint I could find and landed on Pine Grove by Behr. After two coats (and horrible neck pain), voilà…..

The edges could be cleaner but overall, it’s not bad.

So with that out of the way, the wallpaper got installed…..

laundryroom

and I celebrated accordingly.

And to top it all off, I installed that vintage chandelier…..

laundry room by FTRB

(The artichoke-like chandelier didn’t give off enough light so I went with this one instead.)

I plan on hanging some art in there as well but I always have such a hard time putting nails through wallpaper! I will get over it though and just do it.

So there you have it. I can’t wait for the day when I can finally show you entire rooms instead of just these snippets. It’s driving me crazy, I tell you!

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

Reading and Watching List For Italy (+ A Wee Little Bit Of Travel Advice)

roman holiday

Before traveling to another country, I always like to learn about the history of whatever location(s) I’ll be visiting, get some insights into the culture and brush up on current events. Not like I’m getting a Ph.D. or anything but just enough to help me appreciate the culture more. And for me, the most enjoyable way to do this is through books and films (as well as browsing local websites and magazines). I’ve always done this out of sheer interest but I’ve come to see that this kind of preparation really enhances the travel experience. It also heightens the anticipation too.

ladolcevita

This is true whether it’s a place I’m visiting for the first time or somewhere I’m returning. For example, I’m currently planning a trip to Italy in May. Having been there a number of times, it’s a country I know fairly well but I’m still preparing for it in the same way. It’s the perfect case to show you what I mean. And in the process, I get to share some of my favorite books and movies for you to enjoy even if you’re not going to Italy anytime soon.

enchantedapril

We’ll be going to Rome first then to Venice for the Biennale. On a side note, I’ve wanted to go to the Biennale ever since I first heard about it (I think it was in high school?) so to say I’m excited is a huge understatement.

So first, here are some Italian movies that I’m watching for the first time…..

Best of Youth (2003)
Bread and Tulips (2000)
The Golden Door (2006)
Open City (1945)
1900 (1977)

And here are some of my all-time favorite Italian films (or films set in Italy) that I could watch over and over…..

Cinema Paradiso (1990)
Ciao, Professore! (1994)
Il Postino (1995)
Bicycle Thieves (1949)
Roman Holiday (1953)
La Dolce Vita (1961)
A Room with a View (1986)
Life Is Beautiful (1997)
Enchanted April (1991)

They cover many different genres and time periods. I like a mix.

The same goes for books. These are what I’ve picked up to read before and during the trip…..

 

And here are a few I read on prior trips and really enjoyed…..

(For book details, click on each image.)

I want to mention one last book. The other really important piece in my trip preparation has to do with food – what and where to eat. Good food is a huge passion of ours so it’s a big part of our travels. More often than not, our entire schedule will be built around restaurant reservations; in some cases, it’s even the whole impetus for a trip. If you’re not food-obsessed, that may sound insane but you foodies know what I’m talking about!

eating rome-pbkmech.indd

To plan our meals, I normally compile information from multiple sources (guidebooks, magazines, forums, friends, etc.) but for the Rome part of our trip, I’m relying solely on the just released Eating Rome: Living the Good Life in the Eternal City by Elizabeth Minchilli. The best advice always come from local foodies and I can’t think of anyone better to tell me where to eat than Elizabeth Minchilli who has written six books about and lived in Italy for nearly 30 years. Eating Rome is a fun read, very informative and it’s also going to save me hours (maybe days!) of research. I trust her implicitly and can’t wait to try her favorite restaurants, pizzerias, caffès and gelaterias that she shares in the book as well as some of her recipes.

Venice view
Taken on my trip to Venice last year.

Immersing myself in the culture of another country through books and films really enriches my travel experience so that’s my simple Travel Advice FROM THE RIGHT BANK for today. I also suggest compiling your own lists, focusing on your interests. There are thousands of books and movies about/set in Italy and I chose these based on subjects that interest me (art, history, food, slice of life…..) Questo è tutto. Ciao for now!

A Few Little Updates In the Living and Family Rooms

coffee table
Coffee table got a little spring refresh.

I’ve been getting a lot of little projects knocked out around the house and it feels great! And it seems like a lot of them involve painting in some form or another.

After painting the butler’s pantry I took a paintbrush to the coffee table in the living room. You may remember I painted it a dark gold/bronze a while back. That worked fine in the family room but ever since I moved the table into the living room, I felt like it needed to be a little lighter. And I already had the gold metallic Ralph Lauren paint left over from Project Hallway which was the perfect color. Here’s how it looks now……

gold coffee table

The other thing to update you about in the living room is that I made a decision on the the upholstery for the new sofa and ordered it last month. In the end, I chickened out and chose – can you guess? – white. I know. But I just couldn’t commit to any of the colors and know that white will always work no matter what else I change in the room.

So here’s the space all cleared out, ready for the sofa…..

bookshelves
The bookshelves also got a little refresh.

Moving on to the family room, I busted out some paint in there too. Remember these tables from the guest room? I’m using some different tables there so I brought these into the family room and painted them white…..

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You can’t ever go wrong with white…..

And the mantel in the room is getting new sconces in the form of these…..

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I have been looking EVERYWHERE for some really simple brass sconces because I have a new ceiling light coming for the room. (More on that in a different post.)  I still love the Circa library sconces in there right now but they won’t work with the ceiling light. They will, however, work in the guest bath so that’s where they’re going. (That room also needs a separate post.) Anyway, simple fixtures are harder to find than you’d think so I was so happy when I finally found these. It’s a new one called Calhoun from Currey & Co. I love them.

There are some more projects being cranked out so there will be another roundup soon. Enjoy your weekend!

Orange Cabinet Update and a (Sort of) DIY Lighting for the Kitchen Office

As you may have seen on Facebook or Instagram (@FromTheRightBank), the wet bar/butler’s pantry makeover  is coming right along. The wallpaper has come off and the orange paint has gone on…..

orange cabinets

I LOVE IT – especially how the orange looks with the brass hardware…..

orange and brass

Once I figure out what I want to do with the walls, I’ll post the entire space.

In the meantime, on to the light. I titled this post Sort Of DIY because if you’re familiar with my DIY track record, you know I don’t really DIY…. (If you receive my posts via email, you received a draft version of this post last year due to a technical glitch. That’s how long this little project has been in the works!)

So about a year ago, I had a vision of orange striped pendant lights with scalloped edges for Project Hallway. It was one of those ideas I got stuck in my head for who knows what reason that I just couldn’t shake. But as I was searching for such a light, I started having second thoughts about having so many stripes in the hallway (there would be four lights in total) but I was still in love with the idea of a striped pendant.

And then PB Kids (of all places!) came up with this little number…..

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It wasn’t striped but it was exactly the shape and design I had had in mind. And I knew that the lack of stripes could be easily remedied with some paint. By now, I had definitely decided against this look for the hallway but I thought it would look great in the small kitchen office. You may remember I had been using the Tord Boontje light there but I wanted to replace the yellow with some orange. (I know. I need to cool it with the orange after this.)

So I just taped off stripes, primed it with some Kilz…..

pendant makeover

and then rolled on the same orange paint from the butler’s pantry…..

pendant makeover

And that was it. See? This barely qualifies as DIY.

orange and white striped pendant

It’s a tricky space to photograph so here’s a not so great picture of the light in situ…..

orange striped pendant

I’m very pleased with the fun little splash of color in the space.

And with that, I am done painting everything orange. (Orange you glad I’m going to put the orange paint away now?) 😉

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)

New York Journal

snowy park,  nyc

Hi there right bankers, how have you been? I made two trips to New York the past month for some business and fun so I’m back with a ton of inspiration to share with you….

snowy view of new york city
Greeted by blizzards on both trips.

On both trips we stayed at the Standard (High Line) and had a great stay both times. Great views, nice design and good service….

the standard hotel, high line
In love with these lights. (I apparently had lighting on the brain as you will see.)

the standard hotel, high line

the standard hotel, high line
More lighting I love.

There was a lot of other great design inspiration like at the Apartment by the Line, a loft apartment where everything (furniture, clothing, household items, art, etc.) is for sale…

the apartment by the line

and at my old favorites, ABC…..

abc carpet and home

abc carpet and home
Another light that caught my eye.

and Bergdorf’s…..

bergdorf goodman
And another.

and a certain stye icon’s house that was still decked out in the prettiest blue for the holidays (as of my February trip)….

west village townhouse

Can you guess? (Her initials are SJP….)

And there was so much art to absorb….. My timing was lucky because on the first trip, I made it to the Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs exhibit right before it closed and on the second trip, I got to see a preview of the new Björk exhibit before it opened to the public.

I’ve mentioned before that Matisse is my favorite artist but I never appreciated his cut-outs as much as his paintings until I saw this exhibit. I’ve also always been intrigued by Björk because she interprets the world through such a unique lens. Seeing her huge body of work over the years was fascinating. I was also pretty excited to see the costume designed by Alexander McQueen (another true original) that she wore in the Who Is It video, which happens to be my favorite. The dress made of bells is a work of art itself.

bjork at moma

I also went to the theater a few times and the highlights were Beautiful, The Carol King Musical (Jessie Mueller is phenomenal!) and Constellations with Jake Gyllenhaal and Ruth Wilson…..

constellations on broadway

It’s not the best play I’ve ever seen but the performances were great. (I think she’s incredible in the Affair. Do you watch?)

And I went to a screening of The Left Handed Woman, as part of the Wim Wenders Exhibition at MoMA. The 1978 film is set in a Paris suburb and naturally, I couldn’t take my eyes off of the setting, especially the interiors. (I’m a total Wim Wenders groupie so I freaked out a little when the two of them introduced the film.)

the left handed woman

For me, aside from traveling, there is nothing more exhilarating than huge doses of the arts. It sparks so many new ideas it almost overwhelms me and I have to take some downtime to process it all. (Do any of you operate this way too?)

snowy new york

As I was running around to all of these events through snow, sleet and rain, I was so thankful I packed my Ilse Jacobsen boots! After these last two trips, I can attest they are totally waterproof and really warm.

ilse jacobsen boots
In an effort to stay warm, I consumed a lot of coffee and other hot beverages. My favorite spots included Café Gitane…..

cafe gitane

Ralph’s Coffee…..

ralph's coffee

La Colombe…..

la colombe

and the Living Room at the Standard for the sheer convenience of it being just downstairs. Plus they make a pretty good peanut butter hot chocolate…..

the standard hotel

and out of the window, you can watch people twirl around on the cutest ice rink you ever did see…..

the standard hotel
Note the lighting here too!

Between the Living Room and the Top of the Standard, I could have just hibernated in the hotel….

the standard hotel

But there was more to do, see and of course, eat. A couple of recent favorites for quick and casual eats were at Chelsea Market: Num Pang for Cambodian/Asian sandwiches and Mokbar for Korean ramen…..

chelsea market

Lastly, there were business meetings but those make for boring photos so here’s a photo of the dessert at Kajitsu at the end of one of those meetings. Matcha pudding on the left and hoji-cha pudding on the right…..

kajitsu

Delicious Japanese vegetarian food, beautifully presented in a totally zen setting. I’ll definitely be going back!

fifth avenue, nyc

I’ll stop here but you can expect more from New York throughout the year as I’ll be spending more time there. As you can imagine, I’m happy as a clam about that!

Have a good first week of daylight savings!

(Photos: FROM THE RIGHT BANK)