1st Christmas

I “moved on up to the west side” this summer into my new “deluxe apartment in the sky-y-yyyy”!  Well more like my 1980s shagadelic second floor condo.

The layout was perfect when my realtor and I walked through for the first time… moldings and casings… formal rooms that flow… spacious bedrooms… and most importantly a dishwasher (you try living without one).  Only issue was the space was rough with wallpaper that hung on for dear life, dusty light fixtures and an 80s mirrored dining room.  And that was just the living and dining rooms.  Check out the Ghost of Condo’s Past below:

I have been working on the place and pulling it together and am ready to share with you this holiday; my first Christmas in the new spot.  The living room is still a work-in-progress but it has come together well.


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Every year I purchase new coordinating wrapping papers which make the chore of wrapping more exciting.  Don’t spend too much because they are just going to get ripped to smithereens anyway.  Check out places like TJ Maxx and Marshalls.  Oh and try colors outside the red and green norms, have fun.Dec 18_2015 028 USEDec 18_2015 021

Some old’school garland, ornaments and an oversized star pumped up the festiveness of this antique candelabra from Idlewild House.Dec 18_2015 029 USE

I didn’t need the TV stand anymore but it works as an occasional table between these lovely curtain panels I spotted on sale at JCP.  Believe it or not, that wide seat chair is hella comfortable (similar at World Market).Dec 18_2015 035 USE

Love the tribal feel of the beaded tangerine pillow from West Elm.  It pulls out the colors of the artwork around the room .Dec 18_2015 037 USE

My favorite spot to kick back and chill out under the light of the bamboo textured lamp.  And every room needs an animal guardian… my preference is a horse, of course.Dec 18_2015 042 USE

The TV still needs to be mounted but the position created a holiday decoration opportunity.Dec 18_2015 026 USEDec 18_2015 033 USE


The dining room had its own challenges, as you probably saw above.  There were about 50 mirrored panels glued to the wall over heavy duty wallpaper.  Taking it down destroyed the walls and called for a professional wall coating guy.  Painted the walls a Mindful Gray on top and Witch Hazel below the rail.  The space gets plenty traffic as it is the pass-through from the foyer to the living room and kitchen.  Kept the space simple with just the table and plenty of space to move around.  Check it out:

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Love these horns I picked up from Drexel Heritage.  They add height and keep the table sharp… pun intended.Dec 18_2015 015 USE

The Home Depot fixture provides ample light while still setting the mood with traditional shades.  The Andy Warhol always adds a bit of whimsy.Dec 18_2015 014 USE


Stay tuned for more pics from this adventure called renovation and decoration.


Redemption Story

As a kid, many of my clothes came from Jacque Penne.  From dapper Easter suits, to cool first-day-of-school outfits and even gym shoes.  The store was the epitome of American decency.  Nothing too fancy but just enough at the right price.

If you haven’t figured out what I am referring to, its your regular ole’ JC Penney department store.  My mom came up with the snazzy nickname to dress up the staid place.  My parents often reminese of how they would get dressed up as kids to go shopping at the big store downtown, where they could get almost anything.  As suburban sprawl and the invention of the shopping center opened the door for new retail varieties and casual shopping experiences, giants like JCP and Sears lost their luster and convenience.  Mass consumerism and the common affinity for more luxurious goods has boosted destinations such as Nordstrom and Macys, while leaving others in the dust.  Not to mention JCP’s hiccup on the new pricing strategy….what were they thinking?  Everybody loves sales!!

In an effort to get back on the right trajectory, JCP has reestablished sales and even made a public apology.

More specifically, the stores have been redesigned into stylish shops dedicated to individual designers.  The home store has become a super chic mixture of our familiar friends…Jonathan Adler and Martha Stewart…plus many others.  Take a look at some of my favorite picks:

Proper English Design by Conran

Candelabra $70: JCP

Highboard $1,355: JCP

Sofa $1,645: JCP

Design by Conran: JCP

Side Chair $480: JCP

Vibrancies at Happy Chic by Jonathan Adler

Foo Dog Lamp $75: JCP

Tufted Chair $1,695: JCP

Happy Chic: JCP

Elizabeth bed set: JCP

Bleeker dining set: JCP

Outdoor pillow $25: JCP

Other fun finds….

Michael Graves bookshelf clock $110: JCP

Pantone shower curtain $42: JCP

Michael Graves lamp $145: JCP

Metro wool rug: JCP

Wilco table $1,250: JCP

Take a moment to peruse your local JCP and ask yourself a few questions as you gauge the redirection of the company, especially the lively new home store. 

  • Do you buy the designer collabo scheme and will you actually make purchases? 
  • Do you think the higher price points are too much for the average-Joe retailer? 
  • And are the brighter lights and modern designs enough to appeal to shoppers and boost revenues? 

Only time will tell the fate of this American powerhouse because the road to redemption has just begun…..but for now let’s not call it a comeback.