Experiments in home decorating, DIYing, and vintage furniture collecting.


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My name is Colleen Bordeaux, and this is my blog. I'm a deal-hungry DIY-er who has spent the last seven years moving around the country using my sad little rentals as blank canvases for my amateur interior designs. I started Chateau Bordeaux* because I want to help other people like me (with real-life budgets and serious rental woes) turn their homes into unique, amazing spaces by sharing the ideas I've picked up (or learned the hard way) along my journey.

My first real apartment was, ah, very old - a pre-war two-flat in Georgetown with "original" (so, 80-year-old) everything but had parking, so I signed the lease. I spent hours Googling ideas to improve it, but all the sites I found were either way out of my price range or well beyond my skill level (and my landlord's appetite for 'improvements'). So, I learned to spackle, sandpaper, paint, do basic electrical work, scour flea markets and thrift stores, and make friends with Lowe's employees. The rest is history.

Maybe it's just me, but there is something about a barely legal apartment with limited square footage and a lackadaisical landlord that gets my creative juices flowing (like the somewhat frightening 'before' picture of my D.C. apartment below... in case you're curious, here's the after version). I hope that this blog inspires you to be more willing to hunt and get your hands dirty, dumpster dive, collect power tools, and create a dream space that you can afford to love.

Still reading, are you? Well, since you've decided to visit this page and already invested this much time, here is a huge list of facts about me:

1. I have five siblings - three sisters and two brothers - who have done a really great job over the past couple of decades keeping me honest about my strengths and weaknesses. This has definitely helped me build self esteem of steel, and may or may not have resulted in a lack of empathy in my personality (but only time and additional performance evaluations will tell).

2. I'm married to a Southerner named Wes who is my perfect match. Except when it comes to laundry, tactics for avoiding jet lag, who has funnier jokes (he does, but I'll never admit that), appropriate timing to depart for the airport, level of spiciness for Thai takeout, etc. He is my biggest supporter and also my best friend. The first year of marriage was, as they warned us, really kind of rough. But, we slowly got better at it and now I dole out marriage advice like I am a 75-year-old woman. More to come on that...

3. There is a 35-lb boxer mix named Sophie that sleeps in my bed, eats my food, pees on my feet when she gets excited. She calls all the shots in the Bordeaux house, and usually outwits me at keep-away. I like to talk about her until I see peoples' eyes glaze over, then go on for five more minutes.

4. My real job is working as a management consultant, which means I travel Monday through Thursday and am kind of a big deal at the Marriott. Or, lately, the Sheraton.

5. Bikram yoga changed my life, for real. I've been practicing for more than 5 years and it tones down my intense personality and also tones my body in general (in all seriousness, it's a great way to stay fit and I dare all you yoga-haters like my husband to try it and weep).

6. My friends are really amazing and am so thankful to each and every one of them. If you're my friend, there is a 100% chance that you are a closeted weirdo because those are the people I attract. You are also charming, witty, have a distaste for Lilly Pulitzer for inexplicable reasons, and are changing the world in your own way.

7. There are several alternate career paths that I contemplate on a weekly basis: freelance writer, interior designer, wine distributor**, Bikram yoga instructor, behavioral psychologist, or entrepreneur for one of my million-dollar ideas that many of my above-mentioned friends have told me already exist. (Haters gonna hate, right?)

8. Writing is something that I really love, and I am extremely thankful to a number of editors who went out on a limb for me and my pretty bad writing samples. The confidence I now have in my writing skills is owed to Refinery 29, the Washingtonian and Chicago's Sun Times News Group.

9. I've been running a separate blog about personal style for years, but my posts about interior design were taking over so I started this one. What can I say, I love to compartmentalize. And blogs are free, so why not have two?

10. Photography, PhotoShop CS5, HTML, SEO, and other skills involved in running a successful Web site still elude me. But there are many people who have helped me scrape by and get to a point where I can make some passable posts and to them, I am forever indebted.

If you made it this far, you're probably my mom. (For the record, her name is Mary Lou and she is the most wonderful woman ever.) Hope you enjoy the blog!

*Fancy name, isn't it? I credit my mother-in-law for coining it.
**I should specify, a for-profit wine distributor. Currently, I forcibly distribute wine every time someone comes into my home.