Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Grandeur Reconsidered

Kips Bay Showhouse is always a lesson in maximalism and I end up with 500+ photos on my iPhone every year.  This year was no exception, and I was particularly struck by Matthew Monroe Bee's petite sitting room on the fourth floor.  Each room typically has a story behind it, and Matthew's "Grandeur Reconsidered" was inspired by Drayton Hall plantation in Charleston, South Carolina.  Originally built in the 18th century, the estate is a classic example of Palladian architecture that has remained in tact for over 250 years.  The house is now a hisotrical preservation site and sits unfurnished, allowing the architecture of the home to be the main focus.

Matthew did a fabulous job paying homage to Drayton Hall within his room's details.  Fine antique pieces and valuable artworks are mixed in with relaxed southern touches- like the sisal carpeting throughout. If I had to describe my design aesthetic through a room, this would probably be it.  The room masterfully steps in to the present while keeping an eye on the past.  It was my personal favorite of the 2019 showhouse:




A few details shots I took on my iPhone while walking through the house- I adore the chartreuse pom trim on the curtains and the figure sketch:


Antique armchair uphosltered in a classic blue and white floral:



My favorite pieces in the room (although it's nearly impossible to choose) were these neoclassical bergeres upholstered in a cut velvet red and blue print, paired with the Scalamandre le tigre pillow:



Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic took this photo which perfectly encapsulates the level of detail Matthew considered when decorating his room.  A marbelized trash can, a silk-wrapped lamp cord, a marble baseboard, wall-to-wall sisal carpeting, and a whimsical chinoserie linen curtain panel:


{all photos, unless otherwise noted, via Matthew Monroe Bees}

“It’s no secret that Charleston and the Lowcountry’s architecture and interiors have been the sirens call to those both far and near for the better part of the last two centuries,” the designer explained in his show notes. “Now, the evolved aesthetic of a once colonial capital to one of the world’s top travel destinations is arriving at Kips Bay Show House. Where other places restore dwellings to a certain time period, Charleston has led the charge in preserving history as it is found. Inspired by the preserved rooms of Drayton Hall, a concept was formed.”

-Matthew Bee

Read more about Matthew's room here and here.


Thursday, May 2, 2019

Beauty Picks from Sephora's Insider Sale

I may never own an AMEX black card in my life, but I am a proud red card-carrying member of Sephora’s Rouge beauty insider program.  It’s not the life I chose, it’s the life that chose me:



{how much more chic is red than black, anyway?}

I buy every makeup product I use from Sephora, and those points accumulate over time.  Whether you're a beauty insider, VIB, or a rogue like me- this week is the week for *anyone* to stock up on your favorite products (or those you've been meaning to try) because it's the Beauty Insider Spring Bonus event for all through May 6th:






  • VIB Rouge Status (spend $1000+/year): 20% off April 26 – May 6 with code HEYROUGE at checkout
  • VIB status (spend at least $350/year): 15% off May 2 – May 6 with code HEYVIB at checkout
  • Beauty Insiders (anyone who signs up for Sephora’s free Beauty Insider program, even today!): 10% off May 2- May 6 with code HEYINSIDER at checkout
I wait for this event each year to stock up on the higher-priced items I love (such as Creme de la Mer and a 10-pack box of the SK-II Facial treatment masks) any new pricier products I've been wanting to try (like this), and my every day go-to's, which are these:





My Makeup "Go-to's":


1.) Naked Palette2 - My favorite eyeshadow tones are in this palette.

2.) Touche Eclat Brightening Pen - unfortunately I have perpetual dark circles under my eyes and have been using this brightening pen for years.  Nothing on the market can compare to it.

3.) NARS blush in orgasm - everybody's favorite, and for good reason

4.) Creme de la Mer moisturizing cream- I use this cream nightly.  It contains the Miracle Broth™ that La Mer is known for and smells/feels amazing.

5.) Dior Forever High Perfection Skin-Caring Matte Foundation - this is my go-to foundation.  I like a good amount of coverage while not looking "cake-y", and this is the perfect consistency to me.  It also has an SPF which is imperative!  I can't say enough good things about this product.

6.) Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Candle - my favorite Jo Malone scent.

7.) NARS Lipgloss in "Turkish Delight" - I started wearing this gloss color when I tried it at an LA NARS store in 2012 (while on a trip with Gab!) and haven't worn anything on my lips since.  It's a very subtle, light pink that looks natural.  Apparently it's Kim Kardashian's go-to as well, which I'm not sure is a good or bad thing... :)

8.) Sephora's Makeup Brush Set - good makeup application can only happen when you utilize a good set of brushes-  and these are my go-to's.  They aren't insanely priced and are a great quality.




This is my favorite flatiron, I've been wanting one of these forever, and you can't go wrong with these palettes.

Also, if you only buy one thing during the sale, make sure it's the SK-II Facial Treatment Masks.  These are definitely the best face mask on the market (and I've tried a ton)! Yes, they are pricey, but personally I believe they are worth every penny, and when you think about it at $13/mask, they are much less expensive than a facial.  They leave your skin so smooth while brightening and lifting, and they soften fine lines.  If you have a big event you are going to or want to prepare for, using this sheet mask a few days prior will work wonders.  I promise you- this is a miracle product.




In the mood to gift?  Now is also a great time to get your momma something special for Mother's Day!  I love these candle gift sets, and this bath & body setHere are more ideas.

XOXO,

Sam





Friday, April 26, 2019

One Month of Fithouse

Dark, neon-lit rooms, lots of sweaty, toned midriffs showing, EDM blasting out of the speakers.... no, this is not a Brooklyn warehouse party.  This is FitHouse, a new-ish fitness studio in NYC that offers a multitude of classes including HIIT, yoga, barre, dance, and sculpt.  Last month I partnered with Liquor Lab and FitHouse for weekly workout sessions at their new Union Square location.  FitHouse originally opened last spring in Tribeca, and has another location in Union Square.


What makes FitHouse different than other group fitness companies in Manhattan?






Thursday, April 11, 2019

Shopbop's Insane Sale Ends Tomorrow- Here are My Picks!

Who else is ready for sundresses and sandals?  Unfortunately, I’m still having to carry a jacket with me each day because the New York weather is staying cool.  It's days like this I miss living in Houston, Texas where there wasn't any need at all to own a coat.  However, I know sunshine is right around the corner, and a look at Shopbop’s spring sale this AM has me extra excited for warm days ahead.  The sale is pretty unbelievable in terms of savings- 20% off all purchases with the code “EVENT19” at checkout, and 25% off all purchases over $500.  Unfortunately, the savings end tomorrow so it’s time to get shopping…!  I pulled together a few of my favorite pieces from the sale below:





SHOP MY PICKS:  
(Please note, all pricing below takes in to account the 20% discount code of "EVENT19" at checkout.)

1.) Light Blue Wrap Dress, $118.40

2.) Orange Watercolor Floral Dress, $388

3.) Furla Black Mini Crossbody Bag, $238.40

4.) Blue Vince Ribbed Pullover Sweater, $276

5.) Karen Walker Tortoise Sunnies, $200

6.) FEMINIST Soludos, $68

7.) Overalls, $48

This is cracking me up.  So glad these classics are part of the sale.

These are adorable for upcoming summer parties (or Memorial Day!)

loving thisthis, and these, too!




Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Industrial Pendant Lights

Selecting light fixtures is one of my all-time favorite things to do for any design project, and lately I’ve been very drawn to factory-style pendants.   Although visualizing industrial lights hanging above crowded factory workers in the early 1900s isn’t ideal, these lights did ultimately stand the test of time- both in style and function.  I love to see them in unexpected areas, like kid's rooms:




And in entryways:


Of course, we have most often seen them hanging in kitchens over islands, which I've always loved:




What we don't often see is factory-style lighting in large living rooms, like Steven Gambrel did here in this funky barn he designed:

{Steven Gambrel}

Love the look, too?

Here are a few of my favorite sources for great factory-inspired lighting:






XOXO,

Sam




Friday, March 29, 2019

Color Crush: All Things Purple

I just got back from a family trip to Walt Disney World, which could've been one of my favorite vacations to date.  I know it sounds crazy, but watching the pure joy in my 5 year-old niece and 3 year-old nephew's faces when they experienced the parks for the first time was really special.   I'm feeling inspired today by my niece Lily's favorite color: purple!  I don't usually gravitate towards the hue, but I've come across a few spaces lately that are killer and happen to have violet in them.  The first is this bedroom designed by Jeffrey Bilhuber (one of my favorite designers ever):

{Jeffrey Bilhuber}

Another Jeffrey Bilhuber stunner (I'd take a purple sectional over a beige one any day):


{Jeffrey Bilhuber}

The other space with purple touches is this drop-dead gorgeous bedroom  in Alexa Hampton's New York apartment:


The mix of reds, mauves and purples is just divine here.  I love the juxtaposition of casual batik textiles with Fortuny bedhangings and upholstered walls.


The scalamandre le tigre on the neoclassical chair above is one of my favorite fabrics  (here's a pillow version I love), and it looks stunning amongst all the purple hues.

Here are more touches of purple to love...



Lighter lilac tones are soothing, especially so when in t-shirt  or pajama form (these sheets seem incredibly soft, too!) And it's even better when they have price tags like this and this.  

I also stumbled upon Target swimwear and learned that currently they are offering a buy one get one 50% off sale- which means I might have to snag this and this, which feel universally flattering.

A touch of purple here and there in the home is lovely, too.  I love thisthis, and these particularly.  Anthropologie also has a lot of gorgeous rugs with purple tones in them.

Next up, I'll get around to writing a travel guide post for Disney!



Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Chic Shop Alert: La Double J

Do you suddenly feel like you're in the magical technicolor world of Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory? Are you thinking you might've accidently downed some of grandma's "special pills?"  Are you beginning to question whether or not you're on the set of Austin Powers?  Well then, my guess is you've probably just encountered the happy chaos that encompasses Italian brand La DoubleJ:





This sort of brand could only exist if it were being run by a creative genius - and it is.  JJ Martin (street-style star, journalist, and contributing editor at Harper's Bazaar) launched La DoubleJ in 2015, originally as a platform to sell her vintage clothing.  The site quickly took off and Martin now works with top Italian textile house Montero to produce clothing donning vintage prints from their archives. The brand has recently stepped in to the realm of housewares and furniture, too.  Here are a few pieces that caught my eye...


Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

Apres Midi Skirt, $490/

One piece swimsuit, $285/

Hand Pochette, $150/

Soup and Dinner Plates, $110/each/

Rossa in Acrylic Stone Necklace, $330/

Bellini Dress, $995/

Kaleidoscope Napkin Set, 6 for $110/



Yes I knowwww the pieces are insanely expensive.  Yes I knowwww many of these outfits are over the top.  But in a world of restraint, neutrals galore and overhyped minimalism, I'm finding their lack of restraint pretty damn refreshing.  See more here and here.


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