Monday, October 29, 2012

Sensory Overload!

The other weekend I was in design HEAVEN. If Nate Berkus had showed up along the way I would have spontaneously combusted, I'm sure of that. As it was, there was a lot of squealing as I went about looking at paint colors and what seemed like every tile sample under the sun.

I got the day started by attending Benjamin Moore's 'Day of Color' at my local shop. I'm pretty sure I was the youngest person there. Well, except for the young man who was dragged to this event by his mother. (I wondered what horrible thing he had done to deserve being surrounded by women who were getting their jollies on about window treatments and stain finishes. --Doesn't that sound like teenage boy hell?) The speaker announced their color of the year  'Lemon Sorbet' and I gotta say I was a little surprised. Yellow? How did we make the leap from tranquil greys to in-your-face yellow? We'll see how this one plays out.

Overall it was a really good seminar about the various ways we can incorporate color in our homes, and of course we learned all about Benjamin Moore's new line of paints (they are the only ones to have no VOC) and design services. I left contemplating the endless possibilities and with a few goodies in my hands, including a quart of Lemon Sorbet. --Not gonna lie, kinda wish it was the edible kind.

'Day of Color'  by Benjamin Moore

Me with a paint fan deck, this might be dangerous.

Afterwards, it was time to head into the city. Chicago is where I was born and raised and yes I have tons of inner-conflict about being a suburban girl now. This is why, with my exams behind me, Tim and I made yet another resolution: Get out there! Where we live isn't very far from the city to begin with, but culturally it's worlds away. Each locale has its plus/minuses, best to soak in the best of both.

Tim is originally a SoCal valley boy, but he's adapted quite well. 

Wicker Park hipsters

Steak and pineapple. Who knew?

After we dropped off Leepo with my parents, and filled out stomachs with tacos, we headed to THE Merchandise Mart. The Mart is the stuff of legends, chock full of every design showroom you can imagine, and it goes on and on. I scarcely believed I could handle entering its doors that day.

In front of the Merchandise Mart.

You're literally not seeing the half of it.

We weren't there to walk around aimlessly.  We were on a mission, and this time it had to do with tile. I have a strong love/hate relationship with tile. I've seen a lot of bad tile design in my life and that has left a bad taste in my mouth. And even when you find something good, it's very easy to err when it comes to pairings. Next thing you know you've spent a fortune on what looks like a cheesy Las Vegas hotel foyer and you find yourself wondering if you should balance it out with marble columns.

I'll tell you what, we found some excellent stuff that day. The best bang for your buck was definitely Spain's Porcelanosa. (You'll be seeing more posts about that later, because I'm pretty sure we're going with them for our kitchen and bath backsplashes.) We couldn't, of course, pass up looking at the really high end stuff, fantasizing along the way. Ah, yes, Ann Sacks. What surprised me the most is that the sales people were more than willing to give samples once you showed an interest. This wasn't like The Tile Shop where they make you swear on your firstborn that you'll bring back that one glass subway tile. They just handed over the beautiful marble and porcelain goodies like it ain't no thang. And I gotta say it's a good tactic, if a company can afford it, because I'm seriously considering a 'splurge' (all things being relative) on one teeny-tiny accent wall now.

Rows and rows of samples.


Endless this

After looking at what must have been thousands of tile options, we went for sustenance at one of the greatest places for french pastries: Vanille. If you're in the neighborhood and can't make it out to France as often as you'd like a croissant, you need to come here. This place is legit.

In a word: delicious.

The combination of sights, sounds, and taste was really remarkable that weekend as you can see. The whole experience has me excited about tackling our upcoming renovations and, as I've said countless times before, I'm just so darn happy to be in this stage of life. I've worked so hard to make it here, and here I am indeed.

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