Wednesday, October 3, 2018

A Charming Palm Beach Home by Ellen Kavanaugh

The cover of House Beautiful's October issue really spoke to me.  Rich lilac and amethyst hues, a cheeky chinoiserie wallcovering, a hint of a channeled bench upholstered in a playful pattern, a shirred lampshade trimmed in pink: I had to find out the story behind  this stunning room that contained so many things to love!

Designer Ellen Kavanaugh is based in Palm Beach, Florida, and was taxed with renovating and styling a classic Mediterranean home in to a more fresh, livable space.  The construction and renovation process had to be completed in a very short time span, as is typically the case.  Ellen was careful to maintain much of the beautiful interior and exterior architecture, like the columns throughout the rooms, while making the home feel fresh with the furnishings and decor.

In my opinion, the most delightful part of decorating is getting to design custom, dreamy lampshades.  I love that Ellen paired a light blush glass lamp with a lilac shirred fabric shade in the living room (similar options to buy here).  And the channeled bench reupholstered in an ikat is very bohemian chic:

I always appreciate a good mix of high and low- like these wicker Serena & Lily chairs with a trestle dining table (and how great is that wallpaper?):

Moroccan-inspired tiles line the kitchen walls, with a Greek Key border following the perimeter of the window:

Ellen's take of the design direction for this house is summarized in the story:

“The client, who’s a former art teacher, wanted the quirkiness and retro-nostalgic pastels of a Wes Anderson movie…what’s cool about his cinematography is how it nods to childhood the way it’s remembered, not the way it was lived, so the visual style is singular and very fun,” Kavanaugh shared with House Beautiful. “It’s the same with these rooms. They are elegant and playful and don’t take themselves too seriously.”

Friday, September 14, 2018

Palette Cleanse

New York has been incessantly rainy and gray for the last two weeks, and now that Labor Day is behind us, the reality of fall is settling in.   As usual, I'm definitely not ready to say goodbye to summer.  This one was particularly sweet- I had two design installs, spent a few weekends in the Hamptons and one in Nantucket, and I fell in loooveee.  Nevertheless, a change in season is always the perfect time to step back, re-access goals, and cleanse the palette for a fresh start.

{Alexa Chung}

{Delphine & Reed Krakoff}

Shop This Board (from left to right, top to bottom):

Vince Brown Suede Boots (already have my eye on these for winter snow)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  I'm off to Tulsa for the weekend to see a high school best friend tie the knot!

Thursday, August 9, 2018

Designer Crush: Elizabeth Bauer Design

The studio image that took the design world by storm- Elizabeth Bauer's NY apartment featured in a 2010 issue of Lonny Magazine was a show-stopper:

From the Rose Cummings "Zebrine" wallpaper, to the dramatic tufted headboard + mirrored ceiling combo, to those coral pleated shades- it was a stunning mix.  And the vibrancy didn't stop there- below is a linear image of Bauer's studio apartment, showing more pattern and color.

I remember being so drawn in by the unabashed mix - I now know personally how hard it can be to merge function with beauty in a small one-room studio.  

A few days ago, I haphazardly came across Elizabeth's instagram and was reminded how much I adore her style.  Here are a few particularly inspiring snaps:

{headboard design in a punchy pink ikat}

Glossy green tiles bring to life this stunning kitchen that's in work:

Inspired by this custom nautical headboard Elizabeth thought up for a beach house:

A shower curtain in a Flat Vernacular textile to match the wallpapered bath walls:

To me, what makes a great designer stand out from a good one is the meticulous attention to detail- the removal of the obvious and the addition of the meaningful.  And Elizabeth does just that. 

She  also has an antique and home goods store on Nantucket called Store No. 2.  I plan to stop in and check it out when I'm on the island for Labor Day.

See more of her work on her website here.




Friday, July 27, 2018

My Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks

I always love when the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale rolls around.  I think a lot of people feel like it's overkill when every blogger known to man promotes the sale- so consider this my preemptive apology for contributing to that.  The sale is so noteworthy because it includes new fall pieces (as well as summer favorites) and even designer items.  Prices are marked down 40% through August 5th- here's what I've got my eye on:

Shop My Picks:

1.) Rebecca Taylor Stripe Midi Dress, $325 $194
2.) Red Leather Clutch $79.90 $49.90/
3.) Kenneth Cole Wool Jacket $230 $149/
4.) Rag & Bone Skinny Jeans $159 $129/
5.) Lace-Up Ruffle Cami $59 $38.90/
6.) Rag & Bone Wool Hat $149 $130/
7.) Pave Round Stud Earrings $98 $64.90/
8.) Gray Halogen Scallop Edge Sweater $59 $39.90/
9.) Leigh Melange Wrap Dress $56 $37.90/
10.) Vince Camuto Movinta Bootie $150 $99.90 (also loving these and these
11.) Leith Rib Wrap Sweater $59 $39.90

A few other favorites from the sale-

My favorite workout leggings of all time 

Cute sunnies
a classic bucket handbag and a great leather tote
this is a must (and so are these).

Happy Friday!  I'm currently on vacation with my family in Seaside, Florida- we've been doing a share house on the beach together the past few summers, and I love getting to spend a week hanging with my niece and nephew.  



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Best of 4th of July Sales

Today after work I'm heading out to the Hamptons to celebrate the 4th.  My friends and I have been getting a share house for the past few summers near Montauk and it's always my favorite time of the year- it's fun to lay by the pool, relax, and just catch up outside of the city.  I wish I could stay for the entire week, but I have a big design install next week in Martha's Vineyard that I need to prepare for- so going up for the day will have to do!    If you're in the mood to shop, I've shared my favorite 4th of July sales below for your perusal...

{john robshaw's country home}

Best of 4th of July Sales...

Anthropologie- Take an extra 25% off already-on-sale items.  I've been eyeing this for awhile, adore this, these, and these.

Barneys- Extra 35% off select items.

H&M- Select pieces starting at $4- my picks include these sunnies (or these), this swimsuit, and this.

J. Crew Factory- 50% off everything!  Love this, this suit, and this top.

Madewell- Take 20% off summer must haves with code SPARKLER at checkout.  Lusting for this, these,  and this.

Rebecca Taylor- Take an additional 30% off sale items with code JULY30 at checkout.  This dress, this,  this, and these are calling my name. 

Happy shoppin' & happy 4th!



Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Sam Loves: 30

My favorite time of year is summer- there's no question about it.  With Memorial Day behind us and July 4th almost here, I'm loving everything red + white + blue.  I have trips to the Hamptons, Martha's Vineyard and Seaside, FL coming up in the next few months (by the way- any recs for Seaside or MV would be much appreciated, I've only been to each place once!) and here's what's on my wishlist for my travels:

Sam Loves: 30 (top to bottom, left to right)

Chambray Smocked off-the-shoulder Dress $15// Strappy Bow Wedges, $128/Embroidered Red and White Table Runner, $35/Lisa Marie Fernandez Crepe Bikini, $98 per piece (THIS is cute, too!) / Cult Gaia Bamboo Bag, $230/Oversized Mixed Bead Earrings $42/Ippolita 18 karat gold earrings $450/White Wrap-Front Romper, $80/

Monday, June 18, 2018

Take a Chill Pill

Last week one of my childhood best friends, Sarah, came to visit New York with her mom and we all shacked up in my cozy studio.  Neither Sarah or her momma had ever been to Manhattan, so they had a packed schedule of events and sights to see while I was at work.  After work, we'd meet for a bite, go to a show (we fit in both a trip to Comedy Cellar and last minute tickets to the Broadway show Waitress), and inevitably I'd make them walk a lot further than they wanted to after a full day.  I'm famous for chirping, "one more block and we'll be there!" when in actuality we have 6 blocks left.  I believe it is all about positivity and encouragement when you are dragging NY tourists around far too many places.  On our last day, I showed them the Guggenheim and we stopped in for awhile to explore the gift shop.  While looking around, I fell in love with a piece by Ray Geary called "Pill Explosion":

I love any art form that has an irreverance and humor to it- especially if it pokes fun at society- and 30 colorful pills cast in resin are certainly no exception.  But that price!!  I imediately began contemplating whether or not I could re-create something like this myself (highly unlikely).  The DIY version would mean having to sweet talk a few old ladies on the subway in to opening their pill boxes for me- and that is no easy feat.  For now, I'll have to just remain an admirer of Ray's work:

I started researching other artists who'd made pills the subject of their art, and found some very cool stuff.

Society 6 has a lot of cool pill-inspired artwork, too- for very affordable prices:

And then I came across the work of Susie Freeman:

Might I suggest you take a chill pill (or get a shopping high) to start your Monday?



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