Thursday, August 20, 2015

Confessions of a Street Curator!

Today I confess to my lovely readers that I am a street curator (a.k.a junk collector, trash scavenger, hoarder, etc). For the past 7 years now since living in LA, I have found and collected many awesome pieces from the streets. Now before you judge me, let me start off by saying that there is so much great junk out there, you know what they say “one man’s trash, is another WOman’s treasure.” I must have picked up the habit from my dear dad growing up.  He would drag me along to garage sales and thrift store auctions to score a pot of gold. I used to hate tagging along, but as a young adult, I developed an appreciation for the old, vintage, and antique. THANKS DAD! See in my eyes, every thrown out piece of furniture or decor, deserves a second chance. When I first moved to Los Angeles in 2008, the idea of finding treasures in the street was mind blowing, like striking gold. Recap of 2008, I was fresh to this crazy urban jungle of a city and starting my first year in college, so it would be no surprise that I had no mula to splurge, let alone furnish my first studio apartment. The very first street treasure I found was an old wooden water dispenser stand. It served as a side table and later in life as a plant stand. I still have this wonderful little stand. Finding unwanted gems not only saves money, but it also helps clean these junky streets of LA. Receiving rewards while contributing to the community, its a WIN, WIN! There was a time that this lovely little habit became to excessive and my old roomies hated it, but in occasion didn’t mind since it filled our bare apartment. Over my many junk collecting years, I have grown wise and only collect what truly speaks to me. If its worth salvaging, I will pull over, stick it in the car, somehow, and bring it home. I recommend anyone try this, come on it’s absolutely free, no gimmicks!  Just make sure to take precaution of any creepy crawlers, mold, etc. and evaluate if the item is junk or treasure in your eyes. Even design stars like Sarah Richardson and Nicole Curtis have rescued junk from the streets. All the cool kids have done it, now its your turn. What many may not realize is that most of the "junk" thrown out is pretty valuable, some even designer vintage and antique pieces. Though many have grown smarts and decide to sell their goods on sites such as those found in this BuzzFeed article, you can still find unique goods down the street.  Many of the items I have found have served me well and I take pride in saying "I am a street curator!" 


BRASS FRAME & CANVAS (I repainted over the old canvas)
IKEA BOOKSHELF (turned on its side to use as a bench)

Many of the wonderful items you see above will be restored, repurposed, or kept as is, so tune in for great DIY posts coming soon!!!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Recent Project: Teen Bedroom Makeover

In July I had the opportunity to redecorate a bedroom for a teenage girl. The client wanted to surprise her daughter for her 16th birthday by revamping her bedroom. I only had about a week to do the bedroom makeover while the daughter was away on a camping trip. I was instantly drawn to the few great pieces in the bedroom and gathered up as much information about the client's daughter as I could. I found great inspiration on Pinterest and decided to go with a soft bohemian vibe. I wanted to keep everything light and simple so that the space could allow for the teen to incorporate her own style over time. The idea was to keep the bedroom as clean and airy and not have it feel cluttered as it was before. Most of the bedroom furniture was reused and repositioned and I purchased new decor and bedding. My go to stores were, Urban Outfitters, Home Goods, IKEA, Anthropologie, and CB2. Due to limited time and budget, I repainted her existing nightstand to save money. I also made a simple hanging feather art piece to hang above the bed. The results were great and the client and her daughter were very pleased with the new bedroom.




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Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our First Trip Overseas!

This past April & May we got to explore the other side of the world for 15 days. Being our first time anywhere overseas, we planned only weeks ahead and tried to steer away from typical itineraries, so we could have a few surprises along the way. For starters we purchased our plane tickets for the South of Spain. Lucky for us, we were able to visit our wonderful friend Mauricio Manriquez (Mo) and stay with him for a few days. He has been living in different regions of Spain for the last 2 years and at the time was living in Aguilas, Spain. Leaving for our trip we could not decide what places to visit in Spain, so just told ourselves to decide once we arrived with Mo. The first few days we took it easy and just relaxed. Once we were ready to continue exploring, we headed Southwest to a few more stops before crossing over to Morocco for 3 days. Going to Morocco was the highlight of our entire trip. We are certainly returning to Spain and Morocco next year!

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After a 15 hour ride from LA, then a 6 hour layover in Oslo, Norway we arrived in our first destination, Alicante, Spain. Why Alicante, well it was the most affordable and closest city to Mo. It was a nice coastal town, but we didn't stay for longer than a day. We wanted to arrive as soon as possible to see our friend in Aguilas, Murcia. Once in Aguilas, we decided to catch up with our good old friend and just enjoy the cool breezes of the Mediterranean Sea. It was incredible to experience this region of Spain to begin our trip, since April-May was very quiet and had very little tourists. After being reenergized, we booked a ride share service called Bla Bla Car . For a little under 25 euros we got a quick ride to Granada, Spain. Here we used Airbnb and stayed at this lovely attic space.  Granada is a beautiful city with lots of historic sights to see. It was a great place to visit, but we quickly grew tired of the dense tourist filled streets, so we made our way South to Algeciras where we could catch a ferry to Morocco.

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Prior to our trip, I was scrolling thru Pinterest and came across beautiful images of a blue city in Morocco. I was so intrigued and told Adrian I wanted to visit Morocco. Though we hadn't made plans to go further than Spain, we felt compelled to explore the curiosities of this mysterious blue city. It couldn't have worked out better for us to already be in the South of a country that practically borders Morocco. After having had our fair share of Southern Spain we ventured off to Chefchaouen, Morocco. Getting to the magical blue city was a bit of a challenge but well worth it. We had to catch a ferry from Algeciras, Spain to Ceuta, Spain, cross the border to Morocco by foot, and finally hitch a 3 hour cab ride to Chefchaouen. Once there we were welcomed by the Rif Mountains and walls drenched in blue. Everything was great about this place from the food to the rich culture. Many of the locals know several languages including English, Spanish, French, and Arabic, so it was easy to talk to them. By day 2 the effect of the serene blue city kicked in and all we felt was tranquility. We spent most of our time walking and getting lost in the endless maze of the Medina. At meals we were treated with sweet mint tea and goat cheese. We dipped our feet in the cascades that are enjoyed by locals and visitors year round. We spent 3 days in the "Blue Pearl" and it was the best part of our entire trip. Though sad we could not stay longer, we plan to visit again and do a trek to Cascades d'Akchour.

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Leaving Chefchaouen, we caught a quick flight in Tangier, Morocco and arrived in Madrid, Spain. We scored cheap tickets using Ryanair and only spent $66 each for our flight to Madrid. This was our last stop in Spain before heading back to LA. We enjoyed our last 2 days in Madrid and explored what the major city had to offer. We were not as impressed with Madrid, since we favor small rural towns versus large urban cities. None the less it was worth getting to experience Madrid. Upon our return home we had a layover in London, England. It was only 4 hours but we made the best of each hour. We hopped on a quick train to the city and enjoyed the deliciousness of the Borough Market and made our way back to the airport.

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Throughout our trip we used great Apps such as WhatsApp, Airbnb, Ryanair, and Rome2rio which really made our trip planning much easier. We kept our budget tight by cooking a few meals at times and only splurged on a few souvenirs. We have so many destinations on our wish list and look forward to more traveling. This trip will live strong in our memories for it was our very first overseas, but definitely not our last!