Hi guys, Happy New Year! I know, I am officially the worst blogger ever... 2 posts in December?!! I mean, what's up with that?! The truth is, I've just been majorly busy! Running around town, exploring different markets, trying new restaurants with friends. It's been fun but the blog has suffered - sorry about that. I'll try to be better! At least 3 posts a month... ha ha ha! I recently went to a huge fabric market in Beijing and bought some super 120s wool that I am going to have made into a shift dress - you know, with the hopes that one day I will have a legitimate job to wear it to! I'll keep you updated on how that goes and post pics when it is finished.
4 months. I only have 4 months left in China... can you believe it?! I'm not going to lie - at some point (in the midst of my homesickness, I am sure), it felt like I'd NEVER get this far, and now here we are, 4 months left, and I know I have to really make them count. We have travel plans for every month we have left here, so we'll see how that goes! We are going to Harbin soon to see the Ice Festival.... it's like -15F in Harbin, so I am hoping the (ugly)(but warm) Northface snow boots I bought will arrive in time.
What else have we been up to... buying furniture. I love Asian style furniture, and it works well with many different types of decor styles without being overwhelmingly Asian. I'm hoping to find somewhat unique pieces that I can use to add a little Asian flare to our house, without someone walking in the room and feeling like they entered a traditional Chinese house or a badly decorated Chinese-themed hotel. So we'll see. I've been scouring photos on the web to draw inspiration from, and I have definitely settled on the look I am going for. Check out this amazingly decorated home I found on Apartment Therapy.
That's just the living room. I love the warm colors, how it looks homey and cozy but also amazingly decorated, with interesting pieces that make you wonder the story behind them. The statement piece that keeps drawing my eye in that photo is definitely the Beijing cabinets.
You can see more pictures of this amazing house here.
We've purchased a few things recently in our quest to recreate this sort of look in our own living room (when we move back to the U.S.) I'm using the picture as a guide - I was afraid that if I didn't have a guide like that, I'd end up buying a bunch of things that may not work well together.
We bought this table at an antique shop near my hair salon. This place is like a treasure cove... I really want to go back and buy a chest. This table is from sometime in the early 1900s and is made from Elm wood. Supposedly. Who knows in China?! We don't care whether the stuff we buy is an antique or not - so long as we think it looks good and is well-made.
Close up of the carving details
Funny story about this bowl
We bought it for about 250 Kuai (a little over 40 USD) at a small shop at Gaobeidian furniture street. At Beijing's 798 Art District the other day, we saw this same exact bowl but the smaller version being sold for 2600 Kuai! OMG! Are you kidding me?!! That made us feel reaaalllll good!
These next two pieces are just small little basins that look cool strategically placed on the floor. The first one is a wash basin that used to be used to wash clothes or dishes in. It's made of walnut wood. Every time we buy something like this, the seller tells us we can raise a fish in it, and other Chinese people look at us like we are crazy for buying these things.
This is just a bucket, made of willow wood, and you can still see people in the countryside using these to carry water.
I did some research online and decided I wanted to check out an antique store (that also produces reproduction furniture and custom designs) in the Tongzhou part of Beijing. So, my husband I jumped in a cab and off we went... after driving an hour and ending up in the middle of nowhere, we realized it was a lot farther than we thought. The cab driver gave us a big smile and told us he'd wait for us... which I was very grateful for, there would have been no catching of the cabs way out there! I told him if he didn't wait, we'd end up sleeping there, which he thought was very funny coming out of my mouth. When we arrived, we stepped out a little like, now what? It was deserted.
We eventually found someone to help and purchased a Beijing cabinet, and a chair.
This is made of elm wood and is not too old, about 80 years. We are going to purchase another chest to put on top of it, like in the picture of the Beijing cabinet in the "inspiration picture" I posted above. We did not purchase the colorful chest on top of it.
And our chair, made of walnut wood... I love the geometric shape of it.
I plan to place it somewhere off to the side, with a simple piece of artwork above it, like this.
So, over all I think we are off on the right foot in creating a unique space for our house when we return to the States.