Growing up a Boys Room (All You Need is Pine)

My boys are growing up. They started high school this fall and we're having fun bringing in some manly vibes for their rooms.

This vignette started with the pine dresser and antique hat rack I picked up a couple of weeks ago.  The strong sturdy pine and original black wood knobs were exactly the look I wanted for this space. 

I want my boys to live with the things THEY love so it's important that they have their stuff around them and also have a say in how their personal spaces look.  I 'm happy to give them options when it comes to art and decorative accessories I think might look good and function for them, and they're pretty decisive, so it's an easy process. 

The flag is a Danish nautical flag I picked up an an estate sale, the mandolin with no strings was a gimme from my dad and the albums were my husbands.

This boy is a musician and avid reader and this is how he likes his stuff :)

Visual Resolutions

Christmas, New Year's, winter break and my birthday have all come and gone and my house and work have returned to something that resembles a routine. I have to say, I was sad to see 2013 was a very good year all in all.

Instead of writing out a list of resolutions (which I would never keep..who are we kidding) I made a visual record of reminders. Some literal, others figurative and left to the imagination. Don't we edit as we go anyway?  

Even as I look forward to big projects, opportunities and collaborations, I'm constantly reminded that it's the quiet details that most inspire me. 

Framed mixed media glass print was a beautiful gift from my dear friend

Lori Vrba

For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.


ahlil gibran

If you find it's quiet here on the blog, join me at the never ending visual party on


 between posts. 

Adkins Architectural Antiques

In the shade of a giant oak tree in downtown Houston, is one of the best architectural salvage resources in the country, Adkins Architectural Antiques Since I had a "free pass" on Mother's Day last weekend, I asked my family to join me on a downtown adventure that included my camera and Adkins.

Every inch of this lovely old house from 1912 and warehouse, is filled with garden elements, architectural salvage, hardware, lighting, mantels, doors, tubs, shutters and a third floor attic that you should only brave during cooler months.  

This is just a small peek at their huge inventory. You're sure to find that special vintage element to add to your home at Adkins. Their garden inventory is wonderful with many affordable pieces as well as high end European one of a kinds. They also have a woodshop on the premises and can repair or create almost anything you can imagine. If you've never been, I know you'll love it as much as I do.

Estate Sale Finds

A friend and I went to an epic estate sale today. One of those rare old skool sales where the prices are just right, there's still tons of stuff to dig through in the afternoon and you wish you had bought more when you left. My hands were too full to take many pictures, however, this is the hallway of the small house that stored the life of an 86 year old woman that died last year. 
She led a very full creative life as a ballerina and dance teacher. And, sadly, she was a hoarder. It was like a time capsule with newspapers, books, pictures...too much. The house had been closed up so it was filthy. I hoped she hadn't been living there in the state it was in.

I found some wonderful old glass bottles, and some wicker wrapped bottles. And a sailors hat, which I love.

The  moldy garage was filled with trunks and boxes of ballet costumes. Hand sewn, sweat stained from hours of wear. Her name printed on a custom tag on the inside. It was beautiful and almost overwhelming to see. I was told that she was taken from the house 3 years ago kicking and screaming she was so sad to leave her home and her things. I say good for her. Go out fighting. Rest in peace Delores. I will treasure your pretty little bottles.

Vintage Blue

While I've been on the road these last few weeks for vacation, work and family, I've picked up a few things for myself. Coincidentally, they're all shades of sky, sea and summer. And all of them bargains as well.

The soft cotton throw from a thrift store, $5. The oil painting from a flea market for $1. The blue bottles from a garage sale I ran across while on vacation in the Hill Country for $2 each, the pretty lavender bottle is dated 1908.  The paper blue tray hung on the wall is from an old trunk. I picked it up in Waxahachie, Texas, this past weekend while prop shopping for Country Living, $15.  
Do you shop while you're on the road? Found any good bargains lately? I missed Round Top this year so these vintage blue finds will have to do for a while.

Annual Unplugged Sale at Brown

Attention Houston Shoppers! One of our favorite stores, Brown,  is having their annual Unplugged Sale beginning tomorrow, Thursday, and will run through Saturday (March 7, 8, 9). 

The shop will be loaded with merchandise marked up to 70% off  and includes chandeliers, lamps, tabletop decor, furniture, sconces, artwork, seasonal and coastal decor and much much more.

Here's a peek at the store:

 I always enjoy this store and Jill's vision.  It's part general store, antique shop and lighting specialty store. I always find something that works just right in my own home.

Brown is located at 2940 Ferndale at W. Alabama. Sale hours  10-5pm .  
See you there!

The Merriest

Simple Christmas. That was my goal. And in some ways I've achieved it.  It was hot here in Houston when we pulled the decorations out and that just doesn't inspire me to get going. So I lived with the boxes for a couple of days and marinated in the hope it would turn cold for just a few days...and then it did. Now we're ready! If you're looking out a window onto a snow covered landscape... just know that I'm jealous! 
A couple of Christmas details I've really enjoyed this year is a wood cubby unit that was from a gem shop. It's filled with vintage Christmas miniatures and I play with it a little bit every day.  And I found some metal ribbon. That was a first and I loved using it on  my friends gifts.
Lots of images to share the merriest decorating moments happening around here this Christmas:

"Chiming sweet when the night winds swell, blest is the sound of the Christmas Bells"

Curious Details on Instagram

Are you on Instagram? who do you follow? It's fun and fast and you can follow me at curiousdetails.
 I've got lots of vintage to share this weekend, you might even see something you like so give me a shout Saturday if you are local. Have a great weekend!

These images are from my Instagram feed:

One Shelf Three Ways To Decorate

Does your kitchen have a desk area?  Many of the original kitchens in the 20 year old homes in my neighborhood have one (mine included) and they can sometimes be a challenge to pull together. If you have a dedicated office space in your home for paperwork, then you have the opportunity to make the desk and shelves pretty and have it relate to the rest of your room.

While I had the shelves empty to add some fall touches, I grabbed some accessories from around the house to put together three different looks that might inspire you to pretty up your shelves.

My desk area has an electrical outlet and a phone outlet right in the middle of the wall (thank you Texas builders...why does this happen?)  So I cover it with something BIG like this neutral seashell mirror. Once that anchor piece is in place I can then fill in the rest. I don't do much Halloween decorating downstairs and instead keep the focus on fall. Even when I decorate seasonally, I use things that are meaningful to me. The pressed leaves are from a trip to Paris. The owl plates were found at the thrift store. The artist's last name on the back of the plates is the same as my maiden name which is a very unique French name so I never see it on anything.  The wicker bottles and ironstone are part of a bigger collection. Here's a closer look at the fall accessories I used:

The next look is FUNCTIONAL:

If you've got pretty appliances and serve ware don't hide it in a pantry. Make it part of your kitchen decor. I love vintage so this look is a mix of pieces that I use often and can keep at arm's reach. 

The mirror was replaced with a vintage silver tray. A stainless juicer and glasses, cutlery that I pick up as souvenirs, cloth napkins and more ironstone pitchers that I often use as vases are functional and pretty.

The last look is USEFUL

I do actually like the idea of a recipe desk in the kitchen. A quick place to make a grocery list, look up a recipe or favorite blog is convenient. I combined a few desk supplies with some colorful Mason jars, cookbooks and a chalkboard for the anchor piece.

Until our kitchen gets remodeled somewhere down the road, I'll keep having fun with the shelves as they are. Hope you've found some inspiration!

Tiny Treasures

 Garage sale season has begun here in the suburbs. I'm still purging my own excess from the move, so I don't need to bring much more  in. However, a couple of tiny treasures found their way here.  This sweet little oval oil painting of a Dutch windmill set me back 25cents.  Speaking of deals, see that potted orchid down there?  I've had it since January and it's still this normal?

Anagrams game. Love the black and white letter tiles.

I think these are French prayer books. Pretty dusky purple covers.

I love handmade business cards. So I got my hands out and made some with tags I picked up at the thrift store and some scrapbook tape from Hobby in the Lobby (that's what we call it)

I also used a couple of pages from one of my favorite things which is this note pad from Sugarboo Designs. At the bottom of each page is a lovely quote which is perforated so you can tear it off and share it or use it in your own creative way.  I recently had dinner with a friend I don't get to see often enough and I think I will leave this laboratory vial with the quote and a feather inside in her mailbox for her.

"As I love nature, as I love singing birds and flowing rivers, and morning and evening and summer, I love thee, my friend."

August Antiques

Have I mentioned that Houston is a shopping mecca? I've lived here almost 25 years and there are parts of the city I've never even been to. It's huge, sprawling and always under construction.
I had girlfriends in town last week and they are hardcore professional shoppers, so we hit some of my favorite shops in Houston, so in the next few posts I will share some fun shopping images and videos.
One of my favorite destinations for shopping is in The Heights neighborhood at August Antiques, a sure thing for unique vintage and antique finds such as lighting, old books, garden antiques, memorabilia and religious artifacts from all over the country. The outdoor garden section knows as Ben's Antique Gardening is one of my favorites. In honor of Spring gardening, we'll start the tour with a video I made there:

See anything you like?

Carol Hicks Bolton Antiquities Laboratories de Design

On our way home from the Hill Country last week, we took a detour to Fredericksburg, Texas, so I could lay my eyes on Carol Hicks Bolton's new store Antiquities Laboratories de Design. Pictures barely do it justice. It's really that good.  Her concept at this store covers some trends with industrial, taxidermy and curated collections, but it is also true to her unique voice in the way she's been doing it for years. For me, Carol Hicks Bolton was doing this look before I even knew of Restoration Hardware. I've always admired how brave and innovative she is with design. The store has many instant collections and glass cabinets which encourage you to begin your own collecting and curating   I loved it and made a quick video and was allowed to take some picture to share:

When you're in Fredericksburg, you can find the shop here.  
I'm also excited to join a group of bloggers on April 2 in Round Top at Royer's Cafe where Carol Hicks Bolton will be the guest speaker!  Mrs. Hicks-Bolton, Texas is proud of you!

"F" is for F R E E

 A nearby neighborhood was getting their subdivision signs updated and I was lucky enough to be driving by while they were demo-ing the old signs.  I saw a big pile of letters thrown to the side so I whipped my car around and pulled up to the construction site and asked the only man working there if I could have them. Before you knew it he was loading them up for me!

 They're plaster, heavy, dirty and have weird bolts coming out the back of them that need to be cut off. I think they look good piled up around the house for now.


Garbage day +  parking lot + thrift store =  New goodies in my house!
I had a lucky streak over the last week and scored some fun goodies...most free.
First I spied these old glasses in the parking lot at Target. They were absolutely crushed and embedded in the I pryed them up. These will be interesting in a frame:

On a recent walk, I saw that someone had thrown away an old piano stool, with one leg broken and missing.  I knew it had parts to salvage so I drove over and picked it up, grabbed a screwdriver and tore it apart.

Here's what's left:

Do you use string a lot at your house?  Seems we do so I like to keep a big spool of string on my desk.  

It fits perfectly on top of the metal piece used to raise and lower the seat of the stool and has an interesting industrial look. 

The seat of the stool makes a beautiful base for this HUGE glass dome I found at the thrift store yesterday.  Hard to see in the photograph, but this thing is gigantic.

I haven't repurposed the three remaining ball and claw feet yet.  I'm enjoying how they catch the light in my office.  Any ideas??? What could I do with them?

Handmade Christmas Inspiration Part 1

Halloween is over and you know what that means....*blink* and Christmas is here!
I did a little pre-Christmas window shopping this week and saw so many pretty handmade decorations offered by some of my favorite retailers,  West Elm , Paper Source, and one of my favorites,  Anthropologie had these cuties that are great for the kitchen: 

Love this pretty tree out of recycled vintage papers:

And this recycled paper bead garland, unique and interesting:

Anthro always offers interesting accessories, however, it can add up quick.  My next stop was the Goodwill Thrift Store down the street, where these goodies were waiting for me:

by Curious Details

A little glue, a little time and a few extra bucks in my pocket. Let the crafting begin!