Kitchen Confidential

This is the plan anyway.  A starting point, really.  Stretch your imagination to envision an L – shaped banquette, half of which you see here.  Next, pretend that the black faux leather cushions with green welting, that you can just make out if you squinchy up your eyesballs, are totally complete.  If you can do those two things, then you are well on your way to understanding the foundations of the eat-in portion of my kitchen.  

Perhaps you remember when I said I was going in a different direction with Chez V.  In terms of the kitchen, that means finally finishing this banquette and hopefully (when the mr. isn't looking) covering the back wall in a great patterned wallpaper.  My love affair with Martinique has not ended, but I am thinking perhaps this paisly from York could be a contenda!  My kitchen has had many incarnations, the remnants of which you see with the random things still hanging on the walls.

Currently we are using an old farm/work table that was my mother’s.  Love that thing but it is too unwieldy for the space.  In order for folks to get comfortably into and out of the banquette without exposing their nether parts, an oval shape table (preferably a pedestal) is a must.  Not to mention that cleaning under it and accessing the storage under the banquette is a total pain.  For that reason an oval marble topped Saarinen tulip table has been on my wishlist for years but I am thinking of pairing an old Duncan Phyfe with modern-ish chairs.  I think the contrast of the dark, traditional table against the modern white banquette and chairs will create some nice tension in the room.

I currently have the pagoda mirror, the Duncan Phyfe table, the Ikea chairs, painting, chandelier, woven shades, the hide rug, and the wide green wide stripe fabric.  Everything else is a place holders of sorts.  A similar runner will go in between my butcher block island and the sink side of the kitchen.  Will needs lots of pillows for the banquette - Furbish and AriannaBelle are great sources for them.  Because here's the deal, this is one of my favorite spots in the house.  It gets great sunlight during the day (where I like to drink coffee and read my magazines) and when I am entertaining, people are always in the kitchen anyway.  So this huge banquette will offer lots of comfy seating.  I want to do some sort of statement piece in the opposite corner where the plant is now and ever since seeing Lindsay Reid's house in House Beautiful I have been hankering to put a vivid lamp on a pedestal.  Looking for a comfortable yet smallish upholstered host chair.  And you know I am gonna slam a monogram  and some animal print on it.  

All layouts by mrs. V

kisses,  mrs. V


Sally Wheat Interiors OKL Sale

Big fan of Sally WheatEver since learning of her via Cote de Texas, I have come to love her fresh take on the Houston Look.  She takes the tonal thing, embraces it and then throws it squarely on its head by injecting bright and shiny with a side of vintage swerve.  Lady’s got some nitrous under the engine.  She is having a OKL sale of which I completely forgot.  Luckily I happened to jump on the OKL site today and beheld all of her lovely wares, most of which have been rightfully snapped up.  Love all of her choices but these really caught my eye.

Shocker.  Animal print, art, brass, more animal print, guild, lucite, random plaster bust and pink.  No surprises here.

All layouts by mrs. V

kisses,  your favorite one trick pony aka  mrs. V


Mary McDonald Madness

As I mentioned yesterday, I had a rather good scouting excursion the other day.  I found so many things that I want/need/have to have immediately in my life.  Well, maybe need is a strong word but I am fairly certain that if a certain mirror does not find its way to my kitchen wall, a part of me will die inside.  For real.  That very Mary McDonald part of me, you know the part that is equal parts glamorous, witty, more is fabulously more, I'm comfortable slamming things on the wall, get me huge blue and white porcelain jars as tall as my head right this minute, I slept in the guest room because I was too drunk to make it upstairs part of me.  That part of me will wither up and die inside if I don’t figure out a way to make that mirror mine.

Mary McDonald

gotta get it - for my kitchen wall above the banquette

See what I mean?  I mean.  And then there’s the baronial ice bucket, the red chinoiserie dragon panels, can’t forget about those Palm Beachy paint by number numbers I found last week, the glam glam brass light fixture.  How about the burlwood console with the fantastic hardware?  The list goes on and on.  In my manic-induced frenzy the other day, I felt a little like Mary at Peter Dunham's store - I absolutely needed two of everything. I've since come out of the manic ether but still can't get these things out of my head.

bar cart, duh

I would find a place, period.

would look great in my kitchen but probably tile room to
replace a very sad gallery wall

Hallway - with globe bulbs

Considering using the base for TV console

Phone pics are bad, I know, but trust that these things are faboosh.  In order to make some of these things mine, I must sell some stuff.  I have too much stuff.  Hoarder 2.0 much stuff.  Just like Mary. Need to part with some things.  Here’s where I need your help.  Should do I the Craigslist thing?  Should I do a garage sale?  Should I offer up items here?  I can’t really ship an armoire or a sideboard but local folks could arrange pick up.  I have some nice things – both antiques and newer items.  So I feel like I should share the love.

What say you? I would love to hear what you guys think.   Any of you have any luck with any of these avenuesGonna be honest – I think Craigs is creepstar.  Sure, people claim to have found great things via Craigs but between you and me, urban legends.  Every one.
But I need a fix for my hoarding habit.  Need to find a way to sell some things so that I can get more things.  Let me qualify that statement by saying that I am moving in a different direction with Chez V so I am not just hoarding to hoard, mostly.  Like Mary says, if only I could somehow manage to appear to have loads of money, I would be considered eccentric rather than the reality of being poor-ish and called insane hoarder lady.

Happy hoarding, folks!

kisses,  mrs. V


Mix and Match: Chinoiserie Plates

‘It’s therapeutic isn’t it?’ he said.  ‘Indeed’ I replied.  Oh how kindred spirits immediately recognize their kind.   Parting words exchanged with the owner of a little vintage/thrift store.  Yesterday I had the day to myself, such a luxury in and of itself - all the more so because aside from a hair appointment, I had no concrete plains other than to roam about looking for inspiration - which started off at the thrift store.  Digging through piles and boxes looking for treasure, free from the whining drone of a 4 yr old and fear of inquisitive fingers that can’t resist breakables, I was able to immerse myself totally in the hunt.  Therapeutic indeed.  It was the start to what would be a very great day.  But you are probably wondering what this has to do with mixing patterns.  Patience, grasshopper, I will get you there.

I spent much of the day hunting and scheming and dreaming.  With a  rather manic bent, I jammed as much as I could into one day.  I visited thrift stores, Goodwill, antique shops - both in Cincy and Dayton - the beauty parlor for a much needed foil & trim, and rounded out the day seeing a movie with my mother.  A movie, at the theater.  Imagine!  I haven’t seen a movie in the theater in 4 yrs.  Les MisI was reduced to a puddle.  Cried from start to finish.  And I began my morning listening to the soundtrack and sobbed all over again.

Anyway, enough of the sob story. For those of you who follow me on the InstaV @chezviviv, you will know that I found a lot of inspiration yesterday, most of which I had to pass right on by because of budgetary and/or space constraints, but I nabbed a few great gems like these salad plates and earmarked others for a future rainy day in hopes that said rainy day comes very quickly on the heels of a miraculous money tree discovery.  It would also seem that I need to hold some kind of sale as the mr has threatened to cut off a finger if I bring one more thing into this house and I found very many things I want to bring into this house yesterday.

It should come as no surprise that most of my finds yesterday were chinoiserie inspired.  My love for chinoiserie is a never ending story as is my love of entertaining.  Therefore, could not resist these plates.  I love to mix and match my china and knew these would make a great addition to my collection.  Love, love how they look with my green Limoges plates.

And that patterned bowl.  Can we just have a minute?  It. Is. Everything.  I mean.  Sadly, I could only find one so it will likely not end up on my table but it will look lovely in any vignette corralling a few of my shiny bits.  All in all, a great and inspiring day.  The thrill of the hunt.  A rejuvenating   pampering.  The mix and match of high and low, thrift and pedigreed antique.  The drama and catharsis of a musical. A pattern play of a day.  Therapeutic indeed.

All photos/layous by mrs. V
kisses,  mrs. V


The Year of Getting Shit Done and an E True Chez V Story About the Internet

Onwards and upwards, as they say.  2013.  Boy am I glad to see you.  Let’s get on with it then.  I’m told people love lists.  I do lists.  Sometimes I even check things off my lists.  Mostly though, they contribute to one of the ever growing piles near my computer.  But whatever, the point is I feel better if I write something down regardless of whether not I cross it off my list.  So in the spirit of year-end reflection / new year delusions I am making a list of things that need to get done this year.  I do declare 2013 the year of getting shit done (GSD). 

To kick off GSD, a little nip/tuck action is happening to the blog.  A new year, a new look, a new me, a new chez V.  Changes will happen gradually as I transition to the new digs.  Got myself a right proper address a while back and it's high time I put it to use.  Forgive the rubble and any interruptions in the broadcast.  For this construction phase, you get a little tasty taste of the streamlined V in my banner above.

And speaking of streamlining my world, the mrs is going to get her pooper and home back in fighting form this year.  No more drooping poopers or sagging floorboards.  MFAMB must have sensed this need because to my delight and surprise I won her giveaway at the end of the year - I never win anything.  A lovely box arrived on my doorstep the other day filled with perfect things. It was like getting a care package from a dear friend who knows just what a girl wants.  What a girl needs.  Which I must say is NOT more Brittany.  This girl wants to streamline her mind, her bod, and her home in this year of GSD.  Coincidence that each and every item Jenny included in the box helps to support this desire?!  I think not.

I busted open all that goodness and tried everything immediately.  Just like a teeny bopper sporting her new Rick Springfield tee the day after the concert which, for the record I never ever did.  Never.  Except every time I went to a concert which was like twice.  And by immediately, it went something like this:
slice open the gold duct tape - nice – and promptly hand over empty box to child for hours of rocket amusement; meanwhile, light the my-most-favorite-awesome-smelling-ever candle; high on delicious Diptyque fumes, gawk at new painting and run around the house test driving spots; speed read new cookbook – weird, how did she know I have a minor obsession with cookbooks?  pick out recipe to make  for dinner; do some of the yoga because I don’t want to appear over jealous which was oddly enough, a lot like my dancingsinging indecipherable words, moving unwieldy body parts in opposite directions and hyperventilating while the breath of fire escapes from my nose or maybe my butt;  shower off the fire sweat so that Jeff Lewis can massage my head – because using Chaz Dean’s hair products is  close enough of a degree of separation for me;   with re-vitalized tresses and great smelling skin - that shit really worked on my tangly, color-stressed hair and I know about hair because my mom is a hairdresser – whip up that new recipe, a super fresh frittata using veg that I just happen to have in the crisper - not really, but really wishing I was the kind of gal that had a ton of veg on hand is a lot like it really happening; feeling like a better, more streamlined me, I greet my husband at the door with a smile, fresh face, smooth hair, sore butt and dinner on the table.

After spying the healthy fare on the table, sensing my glorious good mood and detecting the bounty of natural aromas all around me, he accused me of spending the afternoon at Whole Foods. A hard and fast no no in these fiscal times.  Conversation ensues:

‘no, no, Jenny sent me all this amazing stuff.  Isn’t it totally awesome?  She totally gets me.’

‘Who the hell is Jenny?’

‘my friend, the one from the internet, you know, the one with the really funny blog.’

Snorting, ‘Boris sent ya stuff, did he?’

‘real funny. not everyone on the internet is a russian robot.’

‘I would really rather you just admit that you shopped at Whole Foods then make up some story about how your internet ‘friend’ just happened to send you a box full of stuff that you just ‘happened’ to want.’

‘well, she didn’t just send it to me.  I won a giveaway, like out of a ton of people who entered.  I won.  This is the stuff I won.’

‘gee, really?  you won?  A painting, a cookbook, a candle that happens to cost more than my shoes that you have been going on and on about for months, a yoga dvd to reduce stress and anxiety. Did this ‘giveaway’ happen to ask for a few numbers at the bottom, you know, to ensure shipping? And perhaps your social security number and passwords to our bank account?  You know, to ensure your ‘identity'?’

‘Jenny is NOT a russian robot.’

Pieti, what did you and momma do today?’

‘we went shopping and Momma got a box from the mailman and we watched a movie with some lady who told momma to shake her body and talk crazy words like chinese or something.’

‘nice try.’

‘no! wait!  I mean, I know how this looks.  We did go shopping, but not at Whole Foods, and I definitely didn’t buy THIS stuff.  I might have secretly bought some other stuff still in the car but not this stuff.’

‘Sure hope Boris enjoys my identity.  Won’t get him very far.  Next time you waste my money at Whole Foods at least come home with some meat.  You know I hate sticks and berries.’

For the record, he loved that frittata.  So thanks Jenny Boris for all of my goodies.  You know just what a girl needs.

kisses,  mrs. V