Thursday, January 17, 2019

Ruffled Up

Allow me to indulge my feminine side today and discuss one of my favorite design surface details- the ruffle.  I promise to supplement this post with a more masculine, tailored design post in the near future, but today I wanted to share a discussion of the history of the ruffle as well as some of my favorite rooms with ruffled upholstery or curtains:

Friday, January 11, 2019

At Home in Marrakech

I finally booked a trip to Morocco next fall after dreaming of traveling there for many moons.  I've specified dozens of Moroccan leather poufs, Beni Orian rugs, and Moorish tiles during my design career and always planned to eventually explore the colorful city in person.  So, I was thrilled to open this month's Elle Decor and lay eyes on the modern, colorful Marrakech riad of Caitlin and Samuel Dove- Sandes.  The LA-based couple moved to Morocco twelve years ago, intending to stay for only a year- but within weeks, they had purchased an 18th-century home to renovate:

Every touch of their new home feels bespoke, and much of it is- created specifically for them by local Moroccan artisans.   The painted blue stripe on the stair feels like a chic runner, and the floor tile pattern was designed by the couple.  Once they began collaborating and working with the Moroccan craftspeople on their home's design, they were inspired to open their own decorating firm and tile shop, called Popham Design.  More recently, the couple has launched Popham +, which includes furniture, lighting, and accessories.  They used many of their new products in the riad's design:

The kidney-shaped mirrors and stool in the couple's bathroom on the right are from Popham +.

{To read the original story, go to Elle Decor}

Monday, December 10, 2018

Frank Gehry's Cross Check & Wiggle Chairs

Today I wanted to discuss two iconic chairs that have both funny names & interesting, undulating designs- the cross-check chair and the wiggle chair, both created by the legendary Canadian architect Frank Gehry.   Frank is known for his international design work, including the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA, Guggenheim Museum in Spain, and 8 Spruce Street ("New York by Gehry") here in NYC, among many others.  He is one of the most prolific and sought-after contemporary architects of our time, credited with spearheading the Deconstructivism movement in architecture and design.  Deconstructivism is characterized by a non-rectilinear approach that typically distorts and fragments the exterior of a structure. Take one look at the Vitra Design Museum and you'll understand.  While Frank's architectural achievements are nearly too numerous to count, today I wanted to discuss his furniture design, specifically the cross check and wiggle chair:

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Gift Ideas for Her Under $50

I can't believe this is my first Christmas gift guide post of 2018!  I've clearly been slacking.  I wanted to kick things off with chic gifts for her [under $50]- because, not surprisingly, there's a lot of options (and a lot of options that appeal to me ;) ).  Whether perusing for a gift or a stocking stuffer, here are a few of my favorites:


BP Faux Leather Black Tote, $49/

Rianne Drop Earrings, $22 (50% OFF RIGHT NOW)/

Malin + Goetz Travel Set, $45/

Faux Fur Gloves, $39/

Pattern Knit Sweater, $35/ - I've been wanting this sweater after seeing how cute Natalie looked in hers!

Leather Zip Monogrammed Pouch, $49/

Agate Moscow Mule Mug, $30/

Nest Bamboo Classic Candle, $42/

Outdoor Monogrammed Stemless Wine Glasses, $49/set of 4

Trace Studded Mules, $32/

Also adore these

In general, my favorite sources for great gifts are Mark & Graham, Uncommon Goods, Nordstrom, Anthropologie,  and Etsy.

Monday, November 26, 2018

Cute Boys' Rooms

One of the most fun spaces to design (in my opinion) is a child's room.  You often get to infuse more color, pattern, and quirk than you do with an adult bedroom - and it's fun to tailor the room to the child's unique personality.  It can also be a creative challenge because it's important to make the room versatile enough to grow with the child and transition with them as they get older.  Today I wanted to share some of my favorite boy's rooms- and a few design pieces that I think are great staples:

The bedroom above, designed by Kapito Muller (now Alyssa Kapito Interiors), is neutral enough to carry a child through to college.  Obviously, a Hermes blanket is great if you can splurge on one- but what I love most in this bedroom is that the bedside table functions as a desk, too.  The sconces are strategically placed to provide additional reading light at night, either in bed or at the desk.    I also like the sconce style and placement in the twin bedroom below.   One kid's room element shown in this room that will never go out of style are bobbin beds:

{similar sconces here, bobbin trundle bed here}

The overhead light fixture above is a design classic as well- the Serge Mouille light.

More bobbin bed goodness below.  I love the simplistic bookshelves, the airy white walls, and the mid-century style nightstands.  Also, the antlers are a cool, creative touch for above the bed.  This Etsy shop makes similar styles.

Martyn Lawrence Bullard designed the graphic red and white bedroom below for Tommy Hilfiger's Miami house.  The best part is the banana scratch -n- sniff wallpaper (from Flavor Paper) in the adjoining bath.  Obviously, this is more of a statement-making bedroom than a versatile one- but the upholstered bed and monogrammed duvet could work in any room!

Another classic element for a boy's room is a daybed.  Often with the lack of space in a Manhattan apartment, a daybed is ideal for a kid's room.  They are often custom designed with either storage or a trundle underneath:

I love the cool mix in this bedroom, designed by Martha Angus and Phillip King for the Metropolitan Home Idea House in 2009.   The orange retro floor lamp and Brillo box are fun accessories in the space. The Saarinen desk chair and parsons-style desk are both classic elements perfect for boys (or girls, obviously!):

Stephen Sills designed this Fifth Avenue boy's room with a cool striped wallpaper, a caramel leather bed, and a blue upholstered Saarinen womb chair:

Favorites for Boys:

Bedding & Sheets: Serena & Lily
Artwork and Photography: Minted
Cool Lighting & Accessories:  TRNK
Quirky Touches: Uncommon Goods

Any good sources I'm missing?

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Best of Black Friday Sales - 2018

What would Thanksgiving be without Black Friday?  Admittedly, I do this post for my mom- who is the QUEEN of finding the best discounts and deals on anything.  I'm not the best at cashing in when the moment is right - but I'm slowly learning from Lisa Penner.  Please find below an exhaustive list of my favorite Black Friday deals & steals.  With my birthday nearly a week away, it was also fun to compile a b-day wish list from all the insane sales:

Shop This Board:

1.) Camel Sweater with Tie

2.) Bold Evolution 40 mm Black Watch

3.) Chloe Nile Small Quilted-Leather Handbag

4.) Bernardo Leather Moto Jacket

5.) Rayban Aviators

6.)Stateside Mixed Media Hoodie

7.) Kinzey Booties

Best of Black Friday Sales:  My Favorites...

ANTHROPOLOGIE: Up to 30% off sale, and free shipping on orders of $150 or over (as usual)!  Great gift ideas for under $25 here.

ARIANNA BELLE: My favorite pillow source- Arianna Belle, is offering 20% off today and tomorrow with code HOLIDAY20 at checkout.  My favorite styles are this and this.

CARBON 38:  All my favorite workout gear, 30% off during Cyber Week (now through Nov 26th) with code INDULGE30.  Loving these tie-back tanks, can never have enough of these,  and I find this coat pretty chic. 

J. CREW FACTORY:  This is the biggest sale I could find.  80% off with code ADD2CART.

MATCHES FASHION: Up to 50% off sale happening now.  Now is the time to invest in the designer items you've been eyeing.... like this Valentino bag,  these slides, and the Golden Goose sneaks

NARS: 20% off with code TAKE20 now through 11/27.  Now is the time to stock up on our favorite blush

NORDSTROM: Up to 60% off for Black Friday.  Loving this, the color options for this, and DON'T MISS the best (and most economical) over-the-knee boots.

REVOLVE: Up to 15% off.

SHOPBOP: Save up to 25% with code MORE18 at checkout. Love these, these, and these are so chic. I plan to stock up on these because I wear them almost every day. 

Show Me Your Mumu: Up to 40% off using code SHOPBLKFRI. SMYM clothing encapsulates the Cali bohemian I always dreamed I could be- and this, this skirt, and this dress are calling my name. 

WEST ELM:  Up to 30% off everything with code SAVEMORE.

Happy Shopping!



Monday, November 19, 2018

Best Buys of 2018

Stepping in to 2018, I had made up my mind that I was going to curb my shopping habit tremendously.  I was tired of haphazardly buying things that I inevitably felt indifferent about 2 weeks later.  I wanted less stuff in general in my studio apartment, and I wanted everything "fun" I purchased this year to feel intentional.  I didn't succeed 100%- living in New York is expensive, and while I don't shop for "things" a lot, I did spend a lot of money on weekend getaways and eating out at restaurants- and I want to be better about this next year.   Nevertheless, I do feel that I was able to change my outlook on shopping this year- thanks in large part to this book, this podcast, instagram accounts like this one, and my own desire to feel more financially secure.  With that being said, there were a few select purchases I made this year that I am still pleased with- and wanted to share them.

1.) The Snowdrift Reversible Coat from Anthropologie.  I am officially obsessed with this coat.  It's comfortable, chic, very warm, and reversible. This one runs a little large- I purchased a size XS and it's still a bit roomy on me:

{also have had this black MZ Wallace handbag for 3 years now and can't say enough good things about it- it's my purse/gym bag in one and is just the most functional bag ever.}

2.)  Bandier lustrous leggings in black:  These are supposed to be just for working out (I think), but I keep wearing them under sweater dresses and skirts as regular leggings.  They are so comfortable and flattering.

The La Mer Moisturizing cream made the list last year, and it's here again- because even with it's price tag, it's pretty life-changing.  It has the best texture and just melts in to your skin.

Besides the fact that I lose them at the bottom of my purse on a fairly consistent basis (and forget to put them in their handy floss-like case), I love the Apple wireless ear buds.  It's so nice not to have to untangle headphone cords, or hold a phone up to your ear when walking and talking. 

Tortoise iPhone case - a simple, inexpensive purchase that I just love (this one is cool, too):
My general shopping tips for more mindful spending:

1.) Don't go just to "browse" somewhere.  It's too tempting and you'll likely end up spending money on something you don't need.

2.) If you really are tempted to buy something, never do it in that first moment.  Give yourself a few days to consider the purchase, and if you still want it in a week and can afford to buy it, then make the purchase.

3.) I actually prefer shopping places in person than online because you can try on.  95% of the time when I try to buy clothes on a website, I end up sending them back because the item doesn't fit perfectly and I don't want to spend $$ tailoring unless I REALLY love the piece. So, I do my best to avoid browsing retail websites. 

4.) Have a budget in place.  Admittedly, I didn't start keeping a budget until my late 20s and I'm not sure why I procrastinated for so long.  I do a simple Excel spreadsheet and log my expenses a few times a month to make sure I am staying on track.  I actually love the freedom a budget gives you- it feels empowering to know exactly where all of your money is going- how much you are saving, what categories you could improve upon next month, and how close you are to reaching goals.



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