Saturday, March 20, 2010

ALTER ALERT: Kellygreen Home

It has been GORGEOUS in Los Angeles lately. Hate to break it to ya, Rest Of The U.S.A., but living in California is pretty sweet. It makes you stop and reflect about the beauty of the earth, and nature, and how we must protect our environment... And it's true -- except I'm doing it out of purely selfish reasons! I want to keep the gorgeous weather and warm breezes and flowering trees so I can enjoy them. ME!

I also selfishly want to have a beautiful home. So, if you're like me and you want to give yourself a beautiful place to live on both a global and household level, do what I do and visit Kellygreen Home in Silver Lake in Los Angeles.

Kellygreen Home is the creation of Kelly Van Patter, a designer who focuses on environmentally friendly designs. Not only has she done private residential and commercial projects, but Kelly's worked as a production designer on multiple TV shows. Using all of her experience and her passion for green living, she put together Kellygreen Home, a shop where her customers could feel confident in their purchases. All products are carefully researched to make sure they meet Kelly's high standards of sustainability, eco-friendliness, locally-created, fair trade... No matter what you purchase, you're guaranteed to have a Mother Nature-approved item in your bag.

But enough about the environment -- now back to me! The stuff on Kellygreen Home's shelves is also really cute! These Acacia bowls are perfect for building a vignette on your kitchen or dining table; and these on-the-go utensils will brighten up any boring takeout lunch. I find myself lusting after just about everything in the store!

So the next time you're in the Silver Lake neighborhood of L.A. -- or if you're doing some online shopping -- treat yourself to a visit to Kellygreen Home. Mother Nature will thank you too.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

B&D: Mi casa!

I know that Wednesday usually means Before & Afters here at ALTER, but today you're gonna have to deal with a B&D -- a "Before and During." That's 'cause the place isn't done yet. We're going to be going through the process together -- after all, this time the place we're featuring is MY place!

Yep, I've got some new digs that I'm the middle of making over. It's definitely not been easy. The place was a TOTAL shambles when I first got there, but I could see right through the ickiness and visualize my dream home. It had everything I needed -- or at least, it would after I did a little work.

The kitchen before...

The kitchen "during"...

Here's what I was looking for: an outdoor area for my puppy-dog, an office and hopefully also a separate creative space, washer and dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal (basically anything that'll do the cleaning for me!), hardwood floors, big windows that let in lots of natural light, and I wanted it on the East Side of LA. (East Syyyyde!)

I knew I was asking a lot, but when I saw this place I had a feeling in my gut that I had found it. Yeah, I needed to fly in my brother from Michigan and beg all my friends to pitch in, but they're amazing people who really came through for me (and that's one of the many reasons why I love 'em!).

I'm going to share my aches and pains here every Wednesday until it's done! It's coming together slowly but surely, and it's finally livable.  I'll share my nightmare of a bathroom next week, so stay tuned for the drama.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Q&A: Making Painted Ceilings Easy (Like Sunday Morning)

Dear Jackie,

I was an an 80s party this weekend, and I think it was the influence of Lionel Richie tunes, but now all I can think of is CEILINGS! What's something new I can try, besides dancing on them?

Say You, Say Me

Dear SYSM,

Oh! What a feeling! When we're painting on the ceiling!

That's right, painting your ceiling a color other than white is something you can try to bring in unexpected color to any room. Don't worry, we're not talking this:

We're talking this:

Painting your ceiling can either totally transform a room, or add a lil' something extra, depending on how you do it. (And no matter how you do it, make sure you've got enough dropcloths and protective eyewear when you're doing it!) There are many different combinations to consider. The one above has white walls with a bright, bold ceiling. You could also continue the color of your painted walls up to the ceiling, do contrasting colors, or experiment! (Click pics for links.)

The light blue of the kitchen walls extend up to the ceiling

The red peeks out behind the white exposed beams in an otherwise white kitchen.

I love how the aqua blue comes down over the molding and fades into the white walls

A glossy taupe and a flat white were used to create this geometrically-patterned ceiling

A dark royal purple is pulled off by keeping the rest of the room light and airy

Bright colors can impart cheeriness and energy, and usually look best when paired with white walls to give the eyes a little relief when not looking up. Lighter colors are easier to pull off, and can be paired with almost anything. Darker colors -- even black can be used! -- are trickier. They add drama, but can make the ceiling feel lower and the room smaller. It's best to keep the rest of the room light and clean to keep if from feeling like a cave.

So there you have it, Commodore! Your ceilings are ready to go all night long (all niiiiight!) -- I just hope you don't have any upstairs neighbors!

Via Apartment Therapy, Decorology, Design*Sponge, and Resene NZ.