The little things…

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Oct 24, 2011 | 4 Comments | Category: Budget Design

I love it when other bloggers list items they’re obsessed with, so I thought I’d give it a try!

I adore these Smith & Hawken for Target baskets.  I have at least four!  Great for pretty much everything, and the chalkboard on the front is a really fun touch.  They have a taller round size and a shorter version that’s perfect for magazines.

I smelled this in a client’s home and ran out and bought it that afternoon…Nest Candle in “Blue Garden

Just bought the “Mink” version yesterday and I love it!  They’re on sale right now so I think it’s a great value.  Faux Fur throws by Restoration Hardware

Best. Sandwich. Ever.  I make this constantly for lunch.  Balsamic Caprese Panini

Another obsession – Olive Oil.  They were sampling this  Rustico de Casa Asaro Olive Oil at HEB one day and I LOVE it.  It’s a really big bottle and it was around $12 I think.
What are you loving these days??

Bougie or Bourgeois?

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Jun 03, 2011 | 12 Comments | Category: Budget Design

I think it’s time for another round of “Bougie or Bourgeois?”  **Formally known as “Trashy or Classy.”

In my last post I talked about how I want to spruce up our depressing patio.  I already have the Ikea Tulip Table and a Pair of these Eames Chairs.


I had originally thought of doing another pair of wood folding chairs to go with what I had, but now I’m thinking I should get another pair of the Eiffel chairs…so help me – are the wood folding chairs above BOUGIE OR BOURGEOIS?? 

I’m blogging today from Command Central – a.k.a. my newly re-decorated Office. 

I wanted to share some “in-process” photos and lighting tips with you all.

Here is the space emptied out – that was not a fun process.  As you can see, the existing Ikea Billy Bookcase was white.  I do want to mention that painting this bookcase, even with the recommended primer was very difficult.  If anyone has successfully painted melamine please let me know how you did it!

The skirt for the desk was “no-sew” and made out of painter’s drop cloths from Lowe’s.  I already had the vintage greek key trim that I  purchased at the Warrenton Antiques Show and was just waiting to use.  The skirt took me a while because A). I did not know what I was doing and B.) I realllllly didn’t know what I was doing.  I think I have an extra fold in there, but hey – it works for me!

Progress!  Walls painted, bookcase painted (thanks to my sweet husband), skirt is on, wallpaper is up, and baskets are organzied and waiting to be hung. 

I hung the hooks and baskets all by myself – I was pretty proud!

Done!  What a relief!

I’ve come up with 5 Lighting Tips that I wanted to share:

1.  Use Multiple Types of Lighting in a Space (no matter how small or big).   Ambient, task, and accent lighting are all equally important.  In my office, ambient light comes from the chandelier, task lighting comes from the lamp, and accent lighting could be just the lamp (with the chandelier lights off or dimmed) for a party. 

2.  Lighting provides many ways to make your home “green.”  Ebay, vintage stores, and Craig’s List are all great places to score vintage fixtures that you can re-purpose.  L.E.D. bulbs are 25 times more efficient than incandescent bulbs making them better on the environment and your pocketbook.

3.  When deciding on a light fixture for your space, I prefer to go too big than too small.  Understanding scale takes a trained eye, but I do have a formula I like to use as a guide.  Take the width of the room in feet and add it to the length of the room in feet.  Whatever the answer is, that number is the diameter in inches the fixture should be.  For example, if a room is 12′ x 15′, I would add 12 + 15 = 27.  I would look for a fixture at least 27″ in diameter.  In my makeover, I used a five light fixture in a small space to add drama and actually make the space feel larger.

4.  I am a big proponent of mixing it up!  The finishes in your home do not all have to match!  I have a chrome chandelier with lots of gold in the same space.

5.  Decorating and Interior Design should be fun, but it can also be very stressful and quite expensive (particularly when remodeling).  Whether you are buying a $300 chandelier or designing your dream home from scratch, using a design professional can help prevent costly mistakes and a lot of headaches.  Design Inspiration however, is free- that’s why I LOVE Design Blogs.  They are such a great source for inspiration and information!

I want to thank SYLVANIA & Lowe’s for allowing me the opportunity to execute this makeover.  I learned a great deal and am excited to change out my CFL’s and incandescent bulbs in the rest of my home to L.E.D.’s.  Please check out SYLVANIA’s facebook page to see how other bloggers transformed their spaces AND for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card from Lowe’s.

Well it was a crazy busy weekend at Casa de Haskett as we worked very hard to re-do my teeny tiny office in just forty eight hours.  I’m excited to show you the “before” & “afters.”  Who doesn’t love a great makeover, anyways?

So here’s the run-down…I was given ULTRA LED Dimmable 12W A-line light-bulbs by SYLVANIA, a $500 gift card to Lowe’s, and a weekend to basically whip out a miracle.

I’m beyond embarrassed to share the before photos.  I’m cringing…yes, it was a complete mess.  I didn’t even bother straightening up for the photo – just keeping it real. 

Okay, ENOUGH with the ugly!  Now for the plan…I have to go into any design project whether it large or small, with a plan.  You’ll see that the plan was tweaked just a little, but for the most part it served as a great guide (and kept me organized) during my shopping spree at Lowe’s! 

Seriously, it’s tiny but I know I can make it work for me (click image to enlarge). 

I knew that adding a skirt to the desk would immediately help corral the clutter (not that I just want to shove all of that mess underneath the desk).  I would like to hide the trash can, shredder, etc.  It has also been painfully clear that I need a better solution for fabric samples. 

The loot @ Lowe’s.  I feel like I got a lot of bang for my buck! 

Now, finally, the AFTER photos: 

One of my first pieces of inspiration was the silver and white wallpaper I found on clearance at Lowe’s for $15!  I knew it would be perfect on the back wall.  I picked a coraly-pink paint by Olympic for the walls and decided to paint the bookcase the same color because I didn’t want a white bookcase to “pop…” I wanted it to feel more seamless in the space. 

Let’s talk lighting.  Lack of good lighting was a major problem.  I found the chandelier at Lowe’s and added the SYLVANIA ULTRA LED lights.  One thing to note about LED lighting is that it is a very clear, bright, light.  I love the fact that I won’t have to change my light bulbs so frequently as they last 25 times longer versus the incandescent bulbs I was using before!  SYLVANIA’s ULTRA LED series is also dimmable so you can really control how much light you would like.  The chandelier I installed is large for the space (though I love the drama this provides), so I am using SYLVANIA’S ULTRA LED 8W A-line bulbs.  I could work happily with just the 12-watt bulb in my lamp.  This bulb allows me plenty of task light which is so important when working.  I can’t wait to replace all my current incandescent bulbs with ULTRA LED 12W A-line bulbs!   SYLVANIA also makes DOT-it Linear Swivel LED fixtures that you can adhere to the under side of cabinets or shelves.  Make sure to visit the SYLVANIA website to look at all the new LED products.  The improvements and advancements in LED lighting is so exciting, not to mention going green and saving green is an added bonus in any makeover!   

The gold baskets that now hold fabric samples were originally copper that I spray painted gold.  The white IKEA boxes I already owned were each individually sorted and re-organized so I wasn’t hanging onto unnecessary clutter.  It was so much work sifting through everything and purging what I didn’t need. 

Overall, I’m very  pleased with the new lighting, new organization, and totally new feel of my office!  If you are inspired by my makeover, be sure to head to the SYLVANIA Facebook page and enter their Room Makeover Series!  The contest is going on through 5/6 and one lucky person will win the Grand Prize: a $1,000 gift card to Lowe’s.  Imagine what you could do with that!

Z Gallerie

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Mar 31, 2011 | 5 Comments | Category: Budget Design, Furniture

I haven’t been in Z Gallerie in forever, but was pleasantly surprised when perusing their website.   Here are a few of my favorite items… 



Trashy or Classy?

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Dec 07, 2010 | 3 Comments | Category: Budget Design


Time for another round of my favorite game…Trashy or Classy?

So this antiqued mirrored cube…is it  Bougie or Bourgeois??

Lucite & Gold Chandelier  

This week I’m mixing it up!  I decided to feature some of my favorite Craig’s List finds from MG Cities New York & Chicago.  If you like it, next week I’ll hit LA, Dallas, and Houston! 

If the above lucite and brass chandelier was within a 60 mile radius from me, it would be mine!  Sight unseen!  I love it…perfect for a little bathroom. 

You certainly have to look past the bad photography and out-dated upholstery when searching through the pages and pages of listings.  Look for quality pieces by Baker & Hickory Chair and don’t be scared to get specific.  Looking for a Quatrine Slipcover Sofa?  Just search it, you never know! 

NYC Finds…

Charles Hollis Jones Lucite Table

Rattan Bench Settee

Vintage Desk

David Netto Crib

Chicago Finds…

Mid Century Mirror – someone please buy this!


Hickory Chair Sofa – classic lines, redo it in a punchy fabric!

Vintage Picture Frames for your DIY art projects. 

Oil Landscape – I love the soft colors

Baker Credenza – huuuuuuge credenza, perfect for your roomy loft. 

Pointers for wheeling  & dealing on Craig’s List:

#1 – Use Common Sense.  If someone wants to wire you money sight unseen before they leave on their honeymoon (yes, I’ve gotten that email), it’s probably too good to be true.  Use discretion when responding to questionable emails.  Also people will low-ball you.  Be prepared to counter.

#2 – Try to meet in a very public place, and do not go alone.  

#3 – Bring Cash to purchase & Only Accept Cash (Or Money Order)

#4 – Prepare for disappointment.  I tried in vain to sell an antique sofa & chair.  After annoying several no-shows and nearly giving them away, I consigned at a local Auction House and came out ahead.  Don’t get desperate, and be patient.  Post your items under multiple categories.  It’s free after all!

#5 – Key Search Words – Just a few I use:  Baker Furniture, Hickory Chair, Lucite, Acrylic Furniture, Oil Landscapes, Regency, Vintage, New Sofa, Campaign Furniture, bamboo…what key search words do you use?  Good luck and happy hunting!

Not Bad Knock Off

Posted By Lauren-Houston | Dec 30, 2009 | 4 Comments | Category: Budget Design, Furniture



I spotted this chair on Overstock today and my mind was swimming with the possibilities.  For the price, I’d remove the faux-Missoni print and recover the chair with a solid leather fabric or bold print!  Chiang Mai Dragon would look fabulous!  I’m loving this print too…


Frank Roop

Could there be a more fabulous console table then the little turquoise number designed by Frank Roop as seen above??  I think I could just stop there…perfection.  I won’t though… here are a few inspiration pictures for a favorite piece of furniture of mine, the console table.  I’m usually drawn to ones of the parsons nature, but they do come in all shapes and sizes! 



Angie Hranowsky



Angie Hranowsky


photo via Elements of Style


Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles


Markham Roberts


Mary McDonald

For the first time ever, this week’s edition is going to be wallet friendly…all pieces will be under $500! 


Ikea Malm Console $79.99



CB2 Peekabo Clear Console – $349


Dunmore Console – Home Decorator’s Collection $279


Mirrored Sofa Table – Home Decorator’s Collection $349


Tanner Console – Pottery Barn $399


Ferme Elm Top Console Table – Ballard Designs $499


Blu Dot Strut Console – Velocity $399


Silhouette Console Table -Brocade Home $499


Tagliare Console Table – Anthropologie $299.95



Blu Dot Barbarella Console Table – Design Public $499


I love, love, love, love the color combination of pink and orange!  This bedding would be soooo adorable in a young teen’s room!  I’m typically a white-bedding lover, but I could see mixing these colorful Euro-Shams with a simple coverlet and it being completely adorable. 





Amy Butler for Bed, Bath & Beyond