Monday, September 26, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Safari Chairs

Happy Monday!  Did you all have a good weekend?  I hope so.  It was a gorgeous few days in New York and I'm happy I got to spend a good amount of time outside.  Speaking of outside... I'd rather be in Africa on a safari than working inside today.  The rugged outdoor landscape, the earthy colors, the exotic animals- it sounds like a perfect getaway.  The safari chair, originally released by Danish designer Kaale Klint in 1933, represents the beauty of that African outback landscape and has become a mid-century furniture staple. It also represents the epitome of the Danish furniture movement- clean lines, exceptional craftsmanship, and fine materials:

Scandanavian designer Arne Norell took Kaare Klint's safari chair and relaxed it a bit, creating the "Sirocco" safari leather chair in 1965. It has leather-slung arms, a more angular back, and a frame constructed of rosewood:

As you can see, the safari chair and the Sorocco safari chair are still often used in home design today. Here are a few replications currently available for purchase:

The safari chair-  Danish/Scandinavian design at it's most beautiful, if you ask me!

Friday, September 23, 2016

Friday's Worthy Links

TGIF!  Today's links are a good mix of 1 part humor + 1 part fashion + 1 part politics.  Add a dose of cute animals and career advice, and stir well.  Enjoy!

-How charming does Katie Armour's new Copenhagen living room look?  

-Justice being served.

-15 Career Tips From Smart Women.

-I have my eye on this black lace clutch, wouldn't it be the perfect accessory for the fall/winter season?

-A Look at Simone Rocha's Home in London. 

-Angelina Jolie's divorce is not the end of the world.    

-Hilary Clinton on Zach Galifanakis's "Between Two Ferns" made me truly laugh out loud.  It's a must-watch. 

-Thinking of scooping up this, this, and this for next summer.  The prices are too good!

-Adorable animals to get you through Friday.

-A big thank you to Vive for interviewing me for their Innovator Series.  Vive is an app that let's you book blowouts on the go (and at the drop of a hat) at one of Vive's vetted network of salons. It's so easy- schedule and pay through the app! Use my code "Samantha" for a discount of your first few!

Happy Friday!!  Have a great day and a lovely weekend.



Tuesday, September 20, 2016

NYC Travel Guide: Upper East Side

 I am excited to launch what I hope will be the first of many Manhattan guides covering different pockets of the city.    As I have now lived and worked in the Upper East for a little over a year, I feel it's the only place I can confidently guide you through at this point, so that's where we'll start.  There's a reason Truman Capote, CZ Guest, Holly Golightly, and the Rockafellers all chose to call the Upper East Side home-  it's beautiful, relatively quiet, and home to the Museum Mile as well as Central Park.  I for one love living in the UES, even if all the cool people love to reside downtown. While it once was known to be rather snobby, I find it delightfully welcoming, neighborhood-y, and inclusive.  Read on for a list of my must-see places:

Monday, September 19, 2016

My 5 Favorite Leather Sofas

Leather sofas across the board often get a bad wrap, but I don't think they should!  A well-made leather sofa can bring instant character and charm to a space, and is definitely worth the investment.  A good metaphor for the kind of leather sofa you want to invest in is a confident, sexy man.    He isn't trying too hard, he isn't flashy-  he's clearly comfortable in his own skin and attracts others innately:

A BAD leather sofa is like Pauly from the Jersey Shore.  Desperate for attention, too shiny and glitzy, trying to be something it's not, and before you know it, that couch is falling apart and you've got buyer's remorse:

So how do you avoid buying a "Pauly" leather sofa? 

1.) Buy a leather sofa that doesn't have a ton of shine.  Obviously investing in a vintage sofa will help with this as it will have patinaed over time. But if you can't afford to buy vintage, there's still hope!  Room & Board, West Elm, CB2, and Anthropologie all have sofas that come in leather options that feel a bit softer.  Most of these stores will provide you with swatches to view the leather options before purchasing.

2.)  Look for tighter upholstery and timeless shapes.    Whether you lean towards a more traditional sofa shape or clean, contemporary lines, make sure the overall bones of the sofa feel natural and beautiful.  

3.) When in doubt, buy a chesterfield-

It's classic, beautiful, and there are always several options on the market- like this, this, and this

A few more examples of leather sofas done right:

I'm also having a moment with what I'm calling "saddle bag" sofas- where the upholstery wraps around the sides in the shape of a saddle bag (see second sofa below).    I love the shape and Danish legs, too.   Here are 5 of my favorite leather sofas right now:

From top:

1.) Standard Sofa by Michael Felix
2.) Anthropologie Premium Leather Rhys Sofa
3.) Anthropologie Premium Leather Mina Sofa
4.) West Elm Origami Leather Sofa
5.) ABC Home Chester Leather Sofa

That last ABC Home sofa makes my mouth water.  The leather is delicious, the upholstery is done well, the shape is cool and inviting.  Which one is your favorite?

And lastly, PLEASE someone buy this.  Charming AF. 

Friday, September 16, 2016

Friday's Worthy Links

A few interesting + noteworthy things for you to peruse this weekend:

-Last Sunday marked the 15th anniversary of 9/11.  On such a gloomy occasion, I was touched to read The 9/11 Children:  What can they teach us? 

-A popular summer activity in New York is to head out east to the Hamptons and share a rental house with friends for multiple weekends.   This Southhampton home designed by David Netto was featured last month in Architectural Digest and is DEFINITELY the share house of my dreams.

-7 Small Habits That Will Steal Your Joy.

- I couldn't agree more with Man Repeller's post entitled Carrie Bradshaw Almost Screwed Up Relationships for Me.  Translation:  Aidan > Big.  But was Aidan right for Carrie either?  I have my own doubts.  I'm curious to know, what's your take?  

-How to be tough

-Who are you really?  So excited to see these illustrations each week on A Cup of Jo. 

-Someone please buy me this.

-Obsessed with these custom lampshades Furbish Studio just released.  I want this one for my bedside lamp.

-Although going to the store is cringe-worthy, I do love the occasional piece of smartly-made Ikea furniture.   According to this New York Times article, 1 in 10 Europeans are conceived in an Ikea bed!

Have a great weekend, everyone!

{Image Above- fab street style spotted at Milan Fashion Week 2015}

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Sam Loves: 15

A few things currently on my inspiration board and wish list...

Top to Bottom, Left to Right:

-When it comes to rug buying, I love a little pattern and color. This Guatemalan 5' x 8' 6" Handwoven Geometric Rug is on Chairish right now for $425 (and 10% of the proceeds go to covering the school costs of the artisans)!  

-An entry with a unique tile pattern designed by Holly Mathis. 

-A black Vegan leather handbag that converts to a backpack- functional AND chic  $58

-Precision Small Square Flush Mount in Brass, designed by Kelly Wearstler - $525

-Although I'm dying for a pair of bonbons, it's hard to justify the steep price tag.  A more affordable (but equally darling) alternative are these Pinata Tassels Drops- $36

-Amy Berry designed this mirrored bath- and I'm drooling! House Beautiful named her a Next Wave Designer last year, and I love following her work. 

-Hands on the steering wheel- via Glitter Guide.

-A combo of black + gold always wins me over.  Loving this Salgado Saucier Black Footed Center Bowl from the Viyet website-  $330

What's caught your eye lately?

Monday, September 12, 2016

Ellen Hanson's Fifth Avenue Apartment Tour

Designer Ellen Hanson's Upper East Side apartment was featured in Vogue in the fall of 2015,  but I only saw it for the first time last week!   I love how Pinterest, Instagram, and perusing other blogs can lead you down a rabbit hole of endless inspiration.  Ellen works as a designer in New York City and her gorgeous apartment is only steps away from the Metropolitan Museum of Art on Fifth Avenue- talk about a dream location!  She studied art history at Cornell University and began her career working in the textile industry, but eventually she became a sought-after interior designer for her sumptuous, layered rooms:

In the foyer, Ellen displays smaller pieces from her extensive art collection on a picture rail. More colorful pieces are hung throughout the living room, too:

When designing a space, Hanson favors the unpredictable, quirky, and even odd over the pretty.   She also believes in sourcing vintage and sustainable furniture where possible, adding in interesting combinations to give items a new life. 

A kitchen featuring reddish-orange cabinetry is something you don't come across every day, but it is clear Ellen doesn't shy away from bold color.  

The breakfast room again groups more of her small artworks and features beautiful chartreuse leather chairs (that appear like they might be Knoll vintage?).  I love the chartreuse mustardy tones that are carried throughout the home.

Compared to the rest of the home, the dining room feels more soothing in tone, and I love the two Brutalist brass chandeliers hanging above:

Ellen's bed was custom-designed by Steven Gambrel, and coordinates with the black lacquered bedroom and closet door. 

My favorite part of the entire apartment is her master bathroom- how fabulous are the marble walls?!

I love the amount of veining in the marble and the variations throughout the stone.  I also love that she chose to continue the marble around her bathtub and vanities for a seamless, rich look:

To die for!

See more of Ellen's work here.

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