In which the author tells you how to run your life -- or at least how to make the most of the fun parts of it.

For instance, inside these pages you will learn how to weather a mortar attack in good spirits; how to avoid booking yourself on the Internet into a bed and breakfast full of twee quilts and dusty tchotkes; and how to plan a dinner party that will stun your guests with deliciousness and style and not destroy your will to live with the amount of work you have to do to pull it off.

These are things I know firsthand, and things people who know me often ask me about (though I usually just book them into bed and breakfasts myself -- identifying ruffled death traps is an acquired skill). I am almost always right about everything (food, style and travel-related, anyway, and often many other things) and if everyone would just do as I say, dinner would taste better, cupcakes would not be dry, your parties would be more fun (for you), and mortar attacks... well, they always suck. I can't do anything about them.

*except laundry. I can't manage my own laundry, much less yours.

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Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Have An Awesome Bedroom in Chicago, From Craigslist

Get On It Chicagoans. Today's Craigslist is replete with wonderful stuff.

It all begins with this fantastic high boy. $225

So then you need a bed -- something kind of Mad Menny to pick up the mid-cent vibe above without being like a theme park. The bed below does it -- the brown is right, as is the neo-traditional shape -- sorta wingbacky -- and the tufted detail. Masculine. $695

Now go get these side tables. I like how they are that 60's kind of vaguely Asian. But I'd paint them because the wood tone is yeck (probably hideously expensive rosewood but still. Yeck) and I want the wood on the dresser to be the focal point here. They are $70 for the pair. Not a steal, but they'll do and I got tired of looking.

Paint them a lighter shade of mushroom so they kind of blend in with the bed - very montoney Martha Stewart's kitchen --

or paint them a deep, earthy eggplant -- it's there but it's not asserting itself. Here are my choices:

And on each of the bedside tables, one of these lamps. They are absolutely fantastic -- shiny, clean lined, vaguely retro, pure perfection -- and I need them and they are only $35 each. Please, someone, go liberate them.

I'm imagining a fairly large bedroom, and wanted some chairs -- to drape the suit across, or sit and have a much needed Manhattan at the end of the day. They are wicked cheap too. Best of all, they totally pick up that wonderful blue, and relate to the bed because of the buttons. Also I like that they are a little battered and weird. I mean, who buys these things new? Maybe Kelly Wearstler or Jonathan Adler but probably not even them. I love them. They require Commitment. But not that much because they are only $10 each (check for bed bugs).

And to put your feet up: check it -- a puzzle piece marble coffee table for $125. Just the weird shape the room needs. (Although as I look at all this stuff together, this table and those chairs might be too weird together. You could do something more simple and traditional. In any case, feast thine eyes!)

Finally, every bedroom needs a mirror. I'd like this one to be hanging on the wall opposite the bed, maybe behind the blue chairs. The gold of the mirror works with the pulls on the bedside table. The classic details are timeless and it's only $160.

Here are all the links. You're welcome!

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