Looking for Ladder Lighting!

Remember this post? It turns out one of the photos I took and used in the post has been repinned on Pinterest over 17,000 times! Lots of those pinners have made their way here to my blog – welcome! So – if you are one of those pinners (thank you, by the way) and you’ve actually done a ladder lighting project inspired by this photo, I would love to hear about it. Click on my contact page. Thanks!


Sensational Stripes

Remember this post?


A local reader saw it and enlisted my help in using this idea in her home. Her front hall had a large wall that made the perfect canvas. One and a half stories tall, the wall is visible from her newly remodeled and midcentury inspired open concept kitchen/living/dining room. And it’s accented by this gorgeous light fixture.

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We carefully chose the colors, using only half as many as the wall at SMOCA, which is much larger. We went endlessly back and forth between the photos I had taken and the Benjamin Moore color samples to get the colors just right. Working out the size of each stripe was tricky, as the original’s stripes get progressively larger as you get closer to the floor. Getting the correct proportions while making it fix exactly in the space allotted was time consuming but well worth it! Add one very talented (and patient!) painter to the mix and you get this amazing final product:

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It is stunning – day or night!

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Happy Anniversary!

On October 29, Alexandra Design Finds celebrated its 1 year anniversary! By celebrated, I mean it passed completely unnoticed by me until a week later. And then I noticed, but didn’t mention it to anyone until this very minute. Without letting any more time pass, I wanted to thank you, dear reader, for your continued support of my blog. It has been so much fun to share my Design Finds with you, and also to have you share yours with me in return. I have lots to share in the coming weeks, including a great one where a dear friend of mine takes us decor shopping in Bali. Stay tuned!

To celebrate this anniversary, I thought I’d share a project I started this fall. It all began when I saw this:

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It caught my attention right away, so I took a picture of it. But I didn’t buy it. Then I went home and couldn’t stop thinking about it. I felt like this buck was just the thing I needed to adorn the wall over my bed that has been blank for 7 years since we moved into this house. (Actually the whole room has been pretty much overlooked as we work to bring the rest of this house out of the 1980’s.) So I showed the picture to my husband, who himself liked it but was totally shocked that I would – it’s just not my style. But after seven years of looking for the right thing, something that was my style never came along. Obviously the answer was to go in a completely different direction. So I went back and bought it.

But once I got it home, it was obvious it couldn’t stand alone. Here it is sitting on top of the bedframe. It’s a little lonely on that big wall.

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So I repurposed some sheer grey linen tie-top curtain panels to fill out the space. We staple gunned them to the wall at the top and then tied them back with twine on either side of the painting. It turned the room into a beautiful romantic space.

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The above pictures show our summer bedding. Here it is in winter mode:

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The room isn’t done yet. Lighting is still a major issue in this room as you can tell from the poor quality of these pictures. It’s a very large room with a vaulted ceiling and few windows. It may take seven more years to get it finished (and styled for pictures), but we’ll get there eventually!



Fall in Love

I love Fall. It’s partly because of the weather, but also because of the beautiful colors – every tree reaches this magical peak of color and beauty and I just can’t get enough of it. Fall is also wonderful because of the amazing variety of pumpkins and gourds available. They’re so easy to decorate with and they last much longer than flowers. Just pick an interesting mix – don’t shy away from the funky shapes or warty ones, either!

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Above are an amazing variety I spotted at a local farm. Below, a little arrangement I threw together:

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$2 worth of gourds from the grocery store and some faux fall leaves in a vintage midcentury pedestal bowl make a great simple centerpiece. Fall is a great time to keep it clean and uncomplicated and let nature be the star. But of course everything looks better on a pedestal!


I saw a really fun pair of chairs at the Farmer’s Market last weekend. Rather than pay to have a worn out cane seat redone, make your own with belts! A fresh coat of paint and a colorful mix of belts makes for a great accent chair. This would be wonderful in a dressing room, or you could even make a whole dining set – although I’m guessing that would require some thrift shop stops for extra belts! Now I know what do do with all those seatless old chairs I’ve seen at the flea market.

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These chairs made by Was Paper.  waspaper.com

Lunch Finds with PIF

I had a lovely lunch this week with my Partner In Finds and spotted some great lighting at the same time!

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The cobalt blue glass looked amazing against the texture of the reclaimed wood and the varying sizes of the pendants gave it a great funky fun vibe. And of course everything looks better with Edison style filament bulbs – these long ones are wonderful.

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After lunch, we stopped by JT Interiors in Potomac, Maryland and PIF picked up this lovely seat for her garden. She has plans to clean it up and give it new life – I’ll keep you posted on what she does to it.



Chair-izona, Part 1

I spotted some great chairs in Arizona!


I love this funky colorful spin on a traditional classic. Fabric choice really does make all the difference. A little paint and new upholstery can turn any chair into a focal point.

Speaking of paint, check out these great green tractor stools I came across!



I’ve always loved tractor seat stools. They’re usually quite comfortable. Painted this happy green color, these were real showstoppers.




Color Me SMOCA

Hello! Happy summer to you! Please forgive my blogging hiatus of the past few weeks – I’ve been enjoying summer so much that my laptop got ignored a bit. But I have been busy collecting Design Finds and I have many to share in upcoming posts.

Two weeks ago I got the chance to spend several days in Scottsdale, Arizona. What an amazing place! It was my first experience with the desert (except for the time my cousin and I drove from LA to Vegas, but I’m not sure that counts since we didn’t really get out of the car) and I totally fell in love with it. The landscape is so beautiful! The heat didn’t even bother me – I was so taken with my surroundings.



I had a mini freakout of joy and disbelief when I saw my first Saguaro cactus. They really do look like the ones on the Roadrunner cartoons! I had a similar reaction when I came across the amazingly vivid and beautiful colors in the Lounge at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMOCA):


Now THAT is how you add some color to a wall!


Or a table…


I was totally inspired. The wheels in my brain have been spinning ever since I saw this space thinking about ways I can translate what I saw into my own home.

Stay tuned in the coming days for more Arizona Design Finds!

Not Just for Travel

There’s something wonderful about a vintage suitcase. I spotted this great stack of them last week:

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There’s a ton of fun things you can do with them – a stack of them makes a great nightstand or a side table next to a sofa and also provides great storage. Just one suitcase can also serve as a little table, too – just add legs! (A piece of plywood concealed inside the suitcase adds stability and provides an anchor to drill into to attach legs.) Legs are easy to come by on websites like tablelegs.com – I think their McCobb or Wegner legs with metal tips would look amazing in this application.

Or you could turn a vintage suitcase into a shelf!

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Just saw in half (ever so carefully – tape area to be cut with blue tape to avoid marring it!) and slip over wall brackets from the hardware store to hang. To give it more stability, add a wood shelf on top of the brackets and secure suitcase over it with a few small nails.

Spotted at:

Stack of suitcases: DC Big Flea

Shelves: Sage Style, Kensington MD