Wednesday, October 31, 2012

French Romance in a Bedroom

The other day I got a very kind email from a reader telling me she had purchased a bed just like mine and was wondering if I could put together a board with some room inspiration regarding surrounding decor.  OF COURSE, I said, because nothing makes me happier than a little room board.  I switched it up a bit by using a different headboard design, but in the same colors.  I also went with a more romantic, traditional vibe, incorporating a lot of French-inspired pieces.  Ever since I spotted the Aidan Gray Bristol sconces, I have been lusting hard.  I think we were made for each other:
 
 
 
How delicious would they look next to an upholstered headboard?  Parisian romanticism at it's best, no?
 
 
I can see this design working well for a guest room or a bachelorette.  Or really for any situation (in my book).  My future husband will have to learn to live with a dash of pink.  No ifs, and or buts about it.
I hope you like!! Oh, and Happy Halloween!
 
 XO, Sam

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Not Your Grandma's Tile + Bathroom Update

You guys- I have a new obsession.  In today's day and age, tile and countertop options are endless.  However, I must say I haven't truly fallen in love with a mosaic or decorative tile company until now.   

New Ravenna Mosaics  is a designer and manufacturer of stone and  glass mosaic tiles for both residential and commercial installations. The company’s products are handcrafted mosaics that are fashioned into decorative borders, murals, field tile and medallions.   You have probably seen their work floating around pinterest and on various design blogs...



You must know my metallic-adoring heart jumped when I saw the image above.  This mosaic is pamir jewel glass in quartz and mirror in an ikat-inspired pattern.
Other favorites:





I love this geometric backsplash for a clean kitchen look. 


I came across New Ravenna when searching for a special backsplash and shower tile for my parent's new home.  The entire aesthetic of the house is clean, without a lot of fuss or frills, but I felt the one place to go a bit more glam was the master bath.  Here's the look we're going for:


The cabinets will be mirrored with nickel pulls and nickel faucets.  There will also be a freestanding tub.  We decided on this one from Baths of Distinction:


We are on the hunt for the perfect mosaic for the shower wall and floor.  This is the one I am thinking would be perfect for the shower wall focal point:

{Dervish by New Ravenna}

And for the shower floor, I am thinking Ganesha's "Silk Road" pattern:


There are so many beautiful options, though, that for once I am having trouble making a decision!  If you want to spend some time drooling, be sure to check out New Ravenna's collection.  Serious eye candy.  And have a fab Tuesday!!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Friday, October 26, 2012

The View Through My Lens:13

Last week, I had the pleasure of attending the Texas Contemporary Art Fair opening night, thanks to Houston Cadillac.  They treated me like a VIP and culturally enriched me at the same time. ;)
The TCAF event was a huge success with over 3,000 attendees.  Here are a few pictures from my night:


On the top right, Alison Schnik's "Black Flowers", on the bottom left, Kelly O'Conner's "Rise and Fall" exhibit, on the bottom right, Nicolas Africano sculptures.
Here are a few more shots from the night- including a shameless self-y:

On the top right, the VIP lounge was decorated with red umbrellas and exercise balls for seating.  Very contemporary.  On the bottom right, a sculpture entitled "Layer Cake" and on the bottom right, a work from the Pool NYC Gallery.  Can anyone help with the artist name? I'd love to give credit but forgot to record the name.

In other news, I recently made a stop at Memorial Antiques & Interiors, as I like to do often-  you may remember me mentioning the store in my last post- what can I say? It's good for my soul. One of my favorite booths is curated by Sally Wheat, of Sally Wheat Interiors.  The two pictures on the left are from her booth.  Isn't the contemporary, playful vibe so refreshing?


And lastly, my iPhone 5 finally showed up in my mailbox, after being backordered for a month.  That's what I get for not standing in line at 3 am the day of the release!


 I'll say, it's worth the wait!  This thing is so light and seems a million times faster than my old phone.  Did you see this HILARIOUS SNL episode about the iphone 5?  It cracks me up & is worth a watch:


Have a fab day, friends!!



Thursday, October 25, 2012

Rediscovering Simplicity

I'll admit it- I'm just a neutral kind of girl.  I think neutrals (beiges, whites, linens, wood, etc) get lots of bad press in the blog realm.  Some consider them "boring" or "drab"- but not me.  And you know what?  They endure.  They stand the test of time.  You may remember me posting my living room a while back, showcasing just how much I love my neutrals:


My love was rekindled when I picked up a new coffee table book at one of my favorite stores, Memorial Antiques and Interiors.  The book is called Segreto: The Secret to Finishing Beautiful Interiors, and was written by Leslie Sinclair, a local Houstonian.  Leslie owns Segreto Finishes, and does some of the most beautiful work I've seen.  With a staff of 25 artisans, the company has become a well-known finish design firm with work featured in most major design publications.  The entire book is full of architecturally rich homes to drool over. 


 Just to give you a tasting, here is some of the work of Segreto Finishes:










French country details+soft woods+Turkish and French pots+plethora of neutrals?  That sounds like my recipe for divine design.  Speaking of French pots, how fabulous is this one, in a dining room designed by Pamela Pierce and walls and ceilings by, you guessed it, Segreto Finishes!

{featured in Antique Shops & Designers November 2011 issue}

Those drapes just do it for me.  I love full, pooled drapes. 

Essentially, if you love traditional design with timeless elements, then you will love this coffee table book as much as me. Read any good coffee table books lately?  You know I am always on the hunt!
Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Express Your Style: A Bachelorette Escape

Hi friends!  Thank you all for your positive feedback on the costume idea yesterday.  For those of you who thought the blonde hair will trip me up- rest assured I found some brown hairspray at the costume shop that apparently sprays your hair a brunette shade and washes out in the shower.  Let's hope it washes out, because that's my strategy. ;)

One of my all-time favorite home decor websites is Layla Grayce.  They carry a wide array of furnishings and decor items from several fabulous vendors.  So when I heard they teamed up with Jonathan Adler (another personal favorite) for a contest, I had to partake!
The "Express Your Style" competition challenges you to design your dream living room using items from both Layla Grayce and Jonathan Adler.  I stretched myself and went for a bold bachelorette pad with cheeky pillows, a stocked bar cart, and a lot of turquoise.  What do you think?

Shop the Look: 

It's my perfect bachelorette escape.  Booze+ pink Moroccan puff+ no wire hangars & a dash of Jackie O?  Yes please!

I'd love for you to vote for my design here, & you can also enter the contest yourself!  
Happy designing!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

My Halloween Costume

So I have officially decided on my Halloween costume for this year:  Holly Golightly!  I know what you're thinking. "Sam, you're blonde, you're short, and you don't look like a ballet dancer.  How are you going to pull this off?"  To which I respond, "So what?!  It's Halloween.  We all get to pretend to be something we're not."


Truman Capote was a true genius.  Breakfast at Tiffany's has immortalized itself in our hearts, and who couldn't love the carefree Holly?  I know I'm not alone in my love for this movie.  I could watch it again and again and again, and never get tired of it.  I love how Holly is initially presented as an easy-going, freedom-loving young woman, but as the movie progresses we see the depth to her character.  We see her fear of commitment, of being hurt, or living an "ordinary" life.  And let's not forget how Audrey made us idolize the LBD on a completely new level.


The best part about this costume is that I already have most of the pieces- pearls, cat eye sunglasses, LBD, and black pumps.  Plus I get to hold a vintage cigarette holder all night.
I am going to wear a brooch in my hair, similar to the art deco one below.  For the necklace, I plan to clip another brooch around a strand of pearls:



Charm & Chain Art Deco Brooch $195/The Row cat eye acetate sunglasses $445/Fallon Jewelry 3-Strand Pearl Necklace $115/Kenneth Jay Lane Crystal Brooch $209/Black Dress $276/Black Evening Gloves $30/Vintage Cigarette Holder $2/Modcloth Black Pumps $30/

What are you going to be for Halloween?!  Admittedly this is my favorite holiday, and I can't wait for the parties this weekend.  

Happy Tuesday!!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Tufting Decisions

Happy Monday!  Another beautiful week has started- which means another dose of design dilemmas has come along, too!  A client and I had found the perfect tufted headboard for her bedroom on One Kings Lane a few months back, and were anxiously awaiting it's arrival.  Unfortunately, when it showed up it was 9" longer than listed and didn't have the proper hardware! Yikes.  Back to square one we went.  The colors planned for the room are beiges, pewter, chocolate brown with touches of turquoise.  She loves the tufted look, so today I thought I'd pull together a few rooms I love that incorporate tufted headboards, in hopes we can get inspired again.







Ah, just the prettiness I needed to see in the midst of a Monday morning.
Back to the drawing board we go. :)

Have a great week, friends!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Getting Nasty

So I guess I've been living under a rock.  Or just oblivious.  I was flipping through my latest issue of Elle and the headline "Talk Dirty to Me" grabbed my attention.  As I read on, I got the full scoop on the LA-based online retailer Nasty Gal and how it evolved from 28-year-old founder Sophia Amoruso simply selling vintage and thrifted finds on ebay.



       In case you are new to the brand like me, Nasty Gal sells streetwear that falls on the more risque end of the H&M and Topshop spectrum, all mostly priced under $100.  But, as the article said, "the site also promulgates an ethos: a blithe, sexy spirit that feels 100% Californian in its riffs on surf, skate, and music-festival cultures and its emphasis on the fearless and enthusiastic display of one's body. "



The interesting and exciting thing about Nasty Gal is it's exponential growth with little advertising or outside investing.  The article states, "They are succeeding in the very niche where many brick-and-mortar companies fail.  In the age of social media, if a brand's communication doesn't seem authentic, it's almost worse than not communicating at all.  For the Gen-Y consumer born roughly between 1980 and 2000, the whole culture is about transparency and honesty, and identifying with real individuals that you can relate to."  And for founder Sophia Amoruso, she doesn't have to hire a consultant to tell her how to talk to her customers in an aspirational yet down to earth voice- she just is one.


 Amuruso said the original motivation for selling clothes on ebay was to keep her from having to work for anyone else.   She said in the article that she wasn't a career person, and I think Nasty Gal's clothes reflect that carefree spirit.  She started out by scouring Goodwill, then photographing and styling her finds on friends and models she found on Myspace.  The secret, she feels, was in her styling.    Instead of presenting the pieces by themselves, she remixed vintage from disparate eras in a modern way- quickly learning the rules of perceived value.  One neon kids sweater with a hole in the armpit sold for $500- largely due to the advant garde way she presented it.


The company name was borrowed from the hypersexual 1975 Betty Davis album.  Davis was a 70s punk-funk and was beyond merely sexy or strong- she was defiant, uncompromising, an original badass.  Amoruso says, "I think it's pretty obvious to our customers that some big corporations isn't behind something that was named as flippantly as my business."


Although Amoruso states that her company isn't about feminism (that's too preachy for her liking), most of the employees feel it gives them a certain confidence.  The mantra around the office is that "Nasty Gals are not sexy for someone else- they are sexy for themselves."

I find this story so inspiring because it reiterates the point that nowadays you don't have to slave away making a living doing something you don't want to do.  Amuruso had a penchant for remixing vintage with modern, knew how to style clothes, and knew what she liked- and she eventually built a successful business out of it.  As women become more and more prevalent in the workforce, I find it refreshing to see a woman who never really saw herself 
as a "career person" now running a company that is very natural to who she is.  It's not a large retailer selling women's clothes that is run by a bunch of men (ahem Victoria's Secret). 

 Ok, enough career talk for Saturday night.  I'm off to the Red Hot Chili Peppers concert.  And I wish I was wearing this Nasty Gal dress. ;)


*all pictures via Nasty Gal Facebook Page.
*I was not compensated in any way for this post about Nasty Gal.  All opinions are 100%  my own. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Making A Statement

Hi lovelies!  Yesterday I shared some accessory inspiration on Little Bits of Lovely, one of my all-time favorite blogs.  I thought I'd recap it for you today to give you a little something sparkly to look at before the weekend.
With the changing of seasons upon us, I wanted to talk about a great way to spice up any ensemble- no matter the weather- a statement necklace.  Whether it be in cooler weather....




 or warmer weather...



A statement necklace can always work well and leave an impression.
My eye has been drawn to some fab statement necklaces recently...


Which one is your favorite?!

Check out Rachel's blog here.  She's pretty fab.
TGIF everyone!  Have a fab weekend.