Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Thick Stone Countertops

The one room designers and architects are really pushing the limits on these days seems to be the kitchen.  From auto finishes, to bold paint color choices, to added features, the kitchen is quickly becoming the place to express creativity in design.  One trend I am loving is thick, hearty, stone countertops. They add richness and elegance to the kitchen and help to give the space a bit of personality:



While not a kitchen, I had to share this gorgeous bathroom by Rivera Fine Homes.  Hardware and fittings are the jewelry of the home to me, and the faucet here as well as the drawer pulls create a sense of glamour: 


Depending on the surrounding design details, thick countertops can blend seamlessly in to both rich spaces as well as minimalist ones, like the kitchen below:




I knew I would get in trouble if I ONLY showed thick Carrera marble countertops (my personal fave), so I added in this stunner by Steven Gambrel.  This 1912 Upper East Side home includes a kitchen with rich black lacquer cabinetry, black and white tiled flooring, and a stone countertop- tres chic.


As I mentioned above, designers are making kitchens that are more and more intuitive.  A built-in warming drawer in this kitchen island fits nicely with the surrounding drawer moulding:



So let's discuss- are you a fan of thick countertops?  What are your current favorite trends in kitchen design?

Monday, February 8, 2016

Color Jolt

While looking through the archives of designlovefest last week, I came across a trio of colors so divine I couldn't stand it.  Bri and her office created a metallic balloon DIY for their studio and the mix of fuchsia, neon yellow and turquoise blue has me inspired.  I've been on a chartreuse kick this year, which is odd because I've never really been a big yellow person- it's typically too jarring for me.  However, I keep noticing that I'm being drawn over and over again to this pretty yellow-green hue. I was going to devote an entire "color crush" post to chartreuse, but noticed I've already written about the color here and here this year- so I think an obsession is building. To change it up a bit, I wanted to focus on the color trio I spotted on bri's blog instead- with a dose of neon chartreuse in the mix:














Shop This Board:

ASOS Chartreuse Slip Dress $37.64/Mandra Euro Pillow $225/Yellow Sisal Tote $150/Pink Agate Bookends $68/Smart Satchel Bag $60/Claudette Perforated Pumps $78.95/Parallel Bar Ring $28/Neon Marrakech Basket $30/

{balloon image via designlovefest}

I'm loving those perforated pumps!  What color combinations have caught your eye lately?


Thursday, February 4, 2016

Famous Writers and Their Offices

I recently came across a story in Vanity Fair about Joan Didion and her rise to literary fame in LA.  She arrived in 1964 just shy of 30 years old, having recently married John Gregory Dunne.  Her first novel, Run River, was met with little success or fanfare, so she was out to meet and greet in Hollywood, hoping that her connections would lead to a healthy career.  And a blossoming career did come, much later- but I loved the image below, taken in her office with husband John by her side, before she became a well-known writer.  It got me thinking about other famous writers and what their offices looked like.

Joan Didion:

{Joan in her office, with husband John Greggory Dune}

"We forget all too soon the things we thought we could never forget." - Joan Didion


I love the photograph above taken of Joan and her husband, as well as their daughter Quintana.  Arguably her best work was her memoir, The Year of Magical Thinking.  Written after the death of her husband John, the book explores the tricks we play on our mind after we lose someone we love, and the process of bereavement.  It is one of my all-time favorite books.  

Truman Capote:

Truman famously wrote all his novels lying down, and even went so far to say that he was a "completely horizontal writer."   After rising to fame, he purchased a secluded house in the Hamptons and would often write from this wicker desk:


"No one will ever know what 'In Cold Blood' took out of me. It scraped me right down to the marrow of my bones. It nearly killed me. I think, in a way, it did kill me." - Truman Capote

Ernest Hemingway:

While Capote wrote horizontal, Ernest wrote best standing up: 

"Writing and travel broaden your ass if not your mind and I like to write standing up." - Ernest Hemingway


"All my life I've looked at words as if I were seeing them for the first time... It's none of their business that you have to learn to write.  Let them think you were born this way." - Ernest Hemingway

Stephen King:


“It starts with this: put your desk in the corner, and every time you sit down there to write, remind yourself why it isn't in the middle of the room. Life isn't a support system for art. It's the other way around.” - Stephen King

Nora Ephron:

The author behind "You've Got Mail", "Sleepless in Seattle", "When Harry Met Sally", and "Julia & Julia" was photographed below in her NYC home office:



"Maybe young women don't wonder anymore whether they can have it all, but in case any of you are wondering- of course you can have it all. What are you going to do? Everything, is my guess. It will be a little messy, but embrace the mess. It will be complicated, but embrace the complications. It will not be like anything you think it will be like, but surprises are good for you. And don't be frightened: you can always change your mind. I know- I've had 4 careers and 3 husbands." -Nora Ephron

"Summer bachelors, like summer breezes, are never as cool as they pretend to be." - Nora Ephron

Tom Wolfe:

Tom Wolfe is best known for pioneering "The New Journalist" literary movement, which sought to communicate facts through narrative storytelling.  He felt it was "possible to write journalism that read like a novel." In 1962 he began wearing a white suit year-round, which started a sensation.  Below, he is pictured in his office, sporting his signature look.  



"There are some people who have the quality of richness and joy in them and they communicate it to everything they touch.  It is first of all a physical quality; then it is a quality of the spirit." - Tom Wolfe

Happy Thursday!


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Designer Crush: Blair Harris

I first discovered Blair Harris's work when she was featured on House Beautiful's "Next Wave" column in 2012, only 1 year after launching her design firm.  Clearly she has an innate talent at pulling together a space and what I love the most is that no two of her rooms look the same.  Blair spent 6 years training under fellow NYC designer Noel Jeffrey, and believes every space should have at least one natural element to feel balanced:



I LOVE the shade of blue Blair choose for this bar cabinetry, but the antiqued glass accents are even better:










Love her rooms?  Her instagram is almost just as good!  I love her "sneak peeks" on projects and the inspiration she shares.  

{all photos via Blair Harris Design}

Monday, February 1, 2016

Design Finds (for Less)!

One of my close girlfriends always jokes that she'll never understand my love for Anthropologie. She actually saw this duster in the store being sold for $68, and snapped a picture of it to send to me.  "They can't be serious.  A cleaning product that can be bought for under $10 at the hardware store is retailing for $68 at Anthro?!"  I understand her point.  Some of the items are a bit ridiculous, but there's no store I'd rather wander through.  I remember studying the company in business school and learning that the store was purposely set up to feel like a treasure hunt.  Among the freestanding racks of clothing are small tables and niches with smaller items (i.e. impulse purchases) that allow your eyes to take a visual break.  While I love their clothing, I've always been drawn to their bedding, bath and furniture. While typically very pricey, I was surprised to come across these stunning lucite + brass bar carts for $698:



I thought my bar cart was a steal, and I still had to spray paint it to get it to be the shade of gold I wanted.  If I could do it over, I'd definitely go with one of the styles above because I love the lucite details.  Any time I find a good deal online, I always want to share it with you. It's rare that I find a beautiful furniture item or art piece that is somewhat affordable without feeling over-done or cheap, but it is possible.  Here are a few of my current favorites:












A few of my go-tos for chic art, lighting, and furniture:

Minted Art (fab photography and art for less, lots of framing options)

One Kings Lane (for unique furniture, accessories, and lighting)

domino (a great source AND a favorite magazine)

cb2 (modern, affordable furniture perfect for small spaces)

Etsy (the perfect place to get that custom, designer look for less)

Do you have a favorite online shop I failed to mention? Let me know, because I'm always out to discover new sources!





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