A Pair of Mismatched Chairs

Matching is overrated — especially when it comes to chairs.  Like, who decided that dining room chairs always have to be the same? I think that a pair of mismatched chairs can give a dining space a fresh, unique look.  That’s why I decided to change things up and switch out my boring Ikea dining chairs for two of my favorite, albeit mismatched, chairs.


The chair on the left is from the Goodwill in Tucson. It’s probably my favorite chair of all time. It’s super comfortable and has such beautiful tufting. The replica Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair on the right is also a Goodwill find.  I got it in the Ballard Goodwill, which if you are ever looking for furniture in Seattle, you have to check out the Ballard Goodwill. They have an incredible selection.


I think that stylistically, the chairs have a lot of similarities, and that is probably why it works.  They both have a retro flair. Neither one overpowers the other.


Also, the colors work well together. Oddly enough, the yellow chair actually matches the yellow in my textile wall hanging. I didn’t intend for that to happen, but it’s a happy coincidence.


How do you feel about mismatched dining room chairs? Do you agree with me, or do you think I’m crazy?

City Style: Albuquerque

I love that cities have distinctive architectural styles.  They have their own personalities, and Albuquerque is no different.

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The most prevalent architectural style in Albuquerque is the Pueblo Revival Style.  These buildings are typically made from adobe or stucco.  They often have rounded corners, vigas (wood beams protruding through the exterior walls), and flat roofs.   Some examples are shown below.


Source: David Patterson


Source: Websta (Eva Kolenko)


Source: Unknown


Source: UNM

Other influences on the architectural scene include the Colonial Spanish style.  It’s very prevalent in churches, such as the San Felipe De Neri church, pictured below.


In the early to mid 1900s, Albuquerque’s architectural style evolved, in part due to the popularity of Route 66, which runs through the center of town.  Neon lights, roadside motels, and diners became the norm along the city’s major streets.


Source: Ernst Hass (Photographer’s Gallery)

One of the strangest architectural relics from this time, is the large, red arrow sculpture that sits at a busy intersection.


Source: Road Arch

More recently, design in Albuquerque has become increasingly experimental.  A great example is the tile house, shown below, by Beverly Magennis.  She started this project in 1984, and it took her 11 years to complete. The details are amazingly intricate, so it isn’t surprising that it took so long to complete.  It’s a beautiful home, and I love that the pattern is inspired by Albuquerque’s Native American roots.


Source: Unknown

Another architect that has led the experimental architectural movement in Albuquerque is Bart Prince.  His home, shown below, is a great example of his progressive work. When it was built in the 1970s, it was somewhat controversial in the local architecture community; however as the years went on, people began to appreciate the home’s unique identity and its otherworldly beauty.

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Source: Flikr

Well that’s all I have for today.  I hope you enjoyed this article and learned something new about Albuquerque’s architectural style.


Mini Cactus Garden


Cactus are supposed to be easy to care for, right?  I hope so, because I just finished building a little cactus garden that I’m planning on bringing to work to brighten up my boring cubicle. If my track record means anything, they will probably be dead by the end of the week, but my fingers are crossed that they will make it. Luckily, one of my cube mates is a master gardener, so I’m hoping she will give me tips on how to keep these cuties alive and well. Cactus-1

I think they have a fair chance at surviving, because I did a lot of research on how to properly build a terrarium.  I used three layers of organic material– a bottom layer of rocks, a middle layer of horticultural charcoal, and and a top layer of soil.    The soil I used is specially formulated for cactus.  I don’t really know what the difference between cactus soil and gardening soil is, but the man at the gardening store assured me that cactus soil was a safer bet.  It was a little more expensive, and he might have just been trying to upsell me, but I’m a trusting gal, so I went with his suggestion.


I have high hopes for this little cactus garden.  If I can keep it alive, then I might branch out and try to grow something else. Any suggestions for other easy to grow plants?


Ten Unexpected & Affordable Online Home Stores

I’m a big fan of online shopping. It’s an easy way to browse multiple options and do price comparisons from multiple stores. The only downside is that there are so many websites that it is sometimes overwhelming.  That is why I am sharing my top 10 stores for inexpensive online home goods.  You’ve probably heard of most of these stores, but you might be surprised at their online selection.

1. Urban Outfitters: If you have ever read any of my “Look for Less” posts, you are probably aware that Urban Outfitters has more than just clothes and college dorm essentials. In fact, they have a pretty awesome selection of stylish furniture and décor that wont break the bank. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their rug selection. Area rugs can be so expensive, but Urban Outfitters has a wide array of choices at a reasonable price point. For instance, the Assembly Home Plus Sign Handmade Rug shown below costs $89 for a 5 x 7.

Urban Rug2
Urban Rug1
2. H&M: Another clothing store that has a fantastic home line is H&M. You won’t find furniture, but you will find deals on linens, decorations, pillows, and more. I personally think H&M Home has some of the best pillow covers on the market. The pillow cover below is only $12.95. It reminds me of something I would find at Anthropologie for upwards of $50.


hm1 hm2
3. Cost Plus World Market: I have to admit, I’m biased towards World Market because there is a store only a few blocks from my house. I love stopping there and browsing through their wine, food, and home goods; but their online store is just as good. They have a great furniture section, but where they really shine is the kitchen accessories. They have a fantastic selection including the stacking mugs pictured below. A set of 6 is $17.99. They aren’t anything fancy, but they are extremely practical and have a nice, classic look.

Cost Plus1
4. Shopgoodwill.com: I bet you didn’t know that Goodwill had an online auction site. Different stores from around the country auction off some of the higher quality donated goods. Depending on how many bidders are interested, you can get some really nice goods for a steal. For instance the amazing, vintage Hobnail Milk Glass Lamp pictured below is currently going for $9.99 with no bids.


shopgoodwill copy

5. Zara Home: This fast fashion store is known for on trend clothing, but they also have a pretty decent selection of home goods. Some of their products are on the pricier side, like the beautiful mirrors they sell; however, they have a surprisingly affordable collection glassware. The Diamond Pitcher pictured below is only $16.90. It’s very elegant and would be a beautiful pitcher for entertaining.

zara1 zara2

6. Modcloth: Modcloth is an online marketplace featuring products from indie designers. As such, they have exclusive items that you won’t find anywhere else. While some of their items are slightly pricey, they have a fairly large selection of affordable home accessories, like the $12.99 Q-tip holder below. It’s a porcupine—how could you not love that!

7. Craigslist: If you are into vintage and second hand pieces, Craigslist it the place to go. You can get amazing deals on just about anything. A few of the things I’ve purchased through Craiglist include my couch and a wardrobe. A word of caution – watch out for scams and never meet a seller alone. With that safety tip in mind, you can find fantastic stuff – like the Mid Century Howell Tandem Fiber Glass Chairs below. They are only $80 and are very retro cool.


8. My Habit: My Habit is a flash sale website owned by Amazon. The sales are always changing, so you’ll constantly find new and exciting deals. They often have replicas of famous furniture designs like the Eames Rocker and the Barcelona Chair. To be honest, a lot of the time, I’ll look at My Habit for inspiration and then do a price comparison on Google. Sometimes My Habit is the cheapest, but other times I find better deals. For example, the Fine Mod Vac Arm Rocker Chair pictured below retails for $112 on My Habit, but can be found for as low as $88 on other websites; with that said, My Habit is a great place to look for the newest trends at affordable prices.

9. Target: Target is such a great store. You can get just about anything there, including really stylish home goods. In particular, they have some partnerships with very talented designers. The collaborations are great for price conscious consumers, because it makes high end design attainable. Some of the collaborations Target has are with Nate Berkus, Thomas O’Brien, and my personal favorite, Blu Dot. The credenza below is from TOO by Blu Dot, and it’s only $269.

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10. JC Penney: I don’t usually associate JC Penney with stylish design, but I’m starting to change my opinion. They went through a rebranding a few years ago, and they have totally upped their style quotient. Like Target, JC Penney has some fantastic designer collaborations including Jonathan Adler, Michael Graves, and Terence Conran. JC Penney’s furniture selection is particularly impressive. The Design by Conran Lulworth Sectional shown here is on sale for $865. It’s very well designed and looks like it costs a heck of a lot more than it does.