Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Elegant Eclectic Client Selections

I am a big believer in mixing.  I love to see different styles of furniture working together for an eclectic, lived-in vibe.  Anything too matchy-matchy and I kind of freak out.  It's a delicate balance that can't really be formulated; you want to create an aesthetic that feels natural, fresh, and fun.  This past Monday I met with a client and together we finalized a living room palette that we are both thrilled about.  It's such a wonderful feeling as an interior designer to be able to communicate your vision in a way that excites your client.  As per my usual fashion, I kept the larger pieces neutral and brought in color through artwork and accessories.  The focal point will be a large abstract painting with a vibrant mix of blues, yellows and grays:

We decided on the Carlisle sofa from Pottery Barn to replace their existing sectional.  I couldn't resist the traditional English roll arm, and my client couldn't resist the comfort of it!  Mother of pearl lamps, faux bamboo side tables and a zebra hide will also be thrown in to the mix.  I can't wait to see it all come together!

Are you having a good week?  I am happy but quite exhausted- too bad it's only Wednesday!  I am really looking forward to that Australian getaway coming up in 9 weeks.... counting down the days.... ;) 

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Pretty Organization: Greeting Cards

It's been awhile since I have posted pretty organization inspiration, so I am happy to share with you my latest project today! I have always been a big believer in hand-written notes.   Whether it's a thank you, a birthday card, or just a little note to say "hello", it's such a fun surprise to receive one in the mail, or send one off to a friend!  In elementary school, I remember getting in trouble for using class time to write notes to friends and not paying attention to my teacher.  I guess old habits die hard!  Because of my deep love for the hand written note, I am always on the hunt for witty, unique cards.  Some of my favorite online retailers are Sugar Paper, Rifle Paper Co., and Oblation Papers:

My desk was beginning to overflow with random cards being stuffed in every drawer, and as an organization freak that wasn't going to do.  When I saw I Heart Organizing share a greeting card organizer, I had to make one for myself:

I found this cute blue box at The Container Store.  Then, I made labels with different card categories, such as "Thank you", "Holiday", and "Sympathy":

Now all my favorite cards have a home!

You likey?  Then make one for yourself!

Shop this board:

The Container Store Multimedia Boxes $22.99/each/The Container Store Colorful File Folders $3.99/each/You're The Cats Pajamas Card $4.50/Floating on Air Because of You/ Gold Striped Thank You Card $4.50/The World is Your Oyster Card $4.50/With Deepest Sympathy $4.50

How do you stay organized? 

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Stella and Dot Fiona Bib Necklace Giveaway!

I wanted to end your weekend on the right note, and get your week started off right!
Have you seen Stella & Dot's new spring collection yet?  It launched earlier in January and did not disappoint.  I have been a fan of Stella & Dot jewelry since the brand's inception-  the pieces are always well thought out, crafted beautifully, and right on trend.  Here are a few of my favorites from the Spring 2013 collection:
And lastly, my very favorite piece- The Fiona Bib Necklace:

It is so beautiful and makes quite a statement!  With Valentine's Day, spring parties, wedding season, and more on the way, what better time than now to give this pretty away? (And no, when that sentence began I had no intention of rhyming, but I'll go with it.)
Lauren Ciciarcelli, Stella & Dot Independent Stylist, wants to send a Fiona Bib Necklace to one lucky reader!  

To enter, all you have to do is visit Lauren's Facebook page and "like it."  Once you have liked the page, let us know in a comment below.  If you would like to earn additional entries, just follow the instructions below in the Rafflecopter.  

Good luck friends!

E A R N  E X T R A  E N T R I E S :
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Friday, January 25, 2013

February Fashion Staples

Can you believe February is almost here?!  I have heard there is snow and frigid temps in NYC and other northern cities, but here in Houston our summer is beginning!  Yesterday it was in the mid 70s.  Fabulous for now, but come June I think I'll be struggling.  Despite the nicer weather here, I know this time of year isn't exactly beautiful most places.  We all need a little color to keep us going through the end of winter, no?  Whether or not you believe in  Valentine's Day, you can't argue that red + pink is a cheery combo that should be worn in excess:
Shop this board:

Kenneth Jay Lane Agate Earrings $95/Etro Stretch-Silk Satin Top $480/John Lewis Oasis Sequin Skirt $15/Kate Spade Illaria Heel $358

Blooming Fondant Bib Necklace $48/J Crew Crepe Mini Dress $278/Snakecharmer Clutch $178/Madewell Ankle Strap Mini Wedge $118

Have a lovely weekend, friends!

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Elusive Paint Color + Elegant Eclectic Living Room

Anyone who has tried to pick out the perfect paint color knows how frustrating and stressful the process can be.  What you see on the fan deck can be quite different than what you ultimately see on your walls.  Everyone is always searching for that "magic bullet" paint color that will look great in all circumstances.  Unfortunately, there is no such thing.  How a color is perceived in an interior is dependent on the amount of light (both exterior and interior), surrounding furnishings and finishes, and details that are specific to your home.  Most interior designers are trained in color theory, so if you struggle with what paint color to choose it's always beneficial to get some professional help.  If your budget can't afford to hire help, one useful alternative is to purchase a sample of the colors you like and paint a poster board for each separate hue.  That way, you can see the color on a larger scale before fully committing to it.  I have several boards I have painted that are great visuals for clients:

Grays are particularly tricky.  What would typically be considered a standard gray can often look blue when painted on a wall.  If you are wanting to avoid that, try to look for grays with brown undertones.  For instance:  I love Farrow & Ball's Skimming Stone paint color and think it would work wonderfully in a current client's entryway and living room.  We are looking for a gray that has brown undertones because we will be utilizing a lot of neutral browns and beiges in the furnishings.  If you saw the paint card only, you would think I was out of my mind for thinking this was a good gray option.  It looks almost pink:

However, look at these rooms that have all been painted Skimming Stone and see how different it looks:

Again, it's best to see the color on a board in the client's home before making any final decisions.  In addition to paint color selection, I am also working on the furniture floor plan for their living room.  With a baby on the way, the client wanted to stick with a darker fabric for the sofa and avoid any sharp edges:
Things are coming along slowly but surely!  

Have you experienced the frustrations of paint color selection before?  

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Boudoir of the Day

Today's boudoir of the day is a lovely respite of gentle colors and soft finishes.  What takes this room from ordinary to memorable for me are the 2 silver gilded Louis Phillipe mirrors above the bed.  It adds an interesting focal point above the headboard- I've never seen a grouping of mirrors like this work so well.

What do you think?

My Temporary Workspace

Happy Tuesday!!  There's so much to look forward to today, but first I wanted to share my latest little project.  While in the process of working on my home office, I needed a small workspace to blog/design/study from in the meantime.  Nothing special or elaborate, since I'll hopefully be utilizing the office sooner rather than later.  You may have seen my instagram photos from this past weekend when I found an antique upholstered King Louis chair for $395- in a fabric and color I loved!  I had to scoop it up.  For the time being, I paired it with this shagreen desk in my entryway for a convenient space to pay bills, blog, write notes, sort mail, and study:

The instagram version pales in comparison to my DSLR camera, but I thought I'd share it for an additional look:

What would a desk be without a little accessorizing?

I have a serious thing for mercury glass...

Nothing special, but it'll do for now!  

In other news, the fabulous Sally Wheat of Sally Wheat Interiors is hosting a tastemaker tag sale on One Kings Lane today.  You may remember I interviewed her in my "Design Diaries" series a few months ago.  Her sale is full of fab finds that represent her elegant, eclectic aesthetic.  Check it out here!

And lastly, the Valentine's Day issue of to & from magazine has launched!  The brain child of Meg Biram and Modern Eve, this online publication gives you all kinds of gift ideas for the upcoming holiday.  If you make it to the last page, you might even discover my favorite romantic movie! ;)  

Monday, January 21, 2013

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Shagreen

Happy Monday!  Did you have a fab weekend?  I hope so!  As per usual, I spent mine hunting antique stores and furniture shops.  Shagreen-covered accessories and tables seem to be everywhere these days, and I can't get enough of them.  They have become my new favorite way to spice up an interior.  Did you know the material is the pebbly hide of a stingray or dogfish?  Today, we typically see faux-shagreen pieces. I love how the texture takes clean-lined and simple objects and imbues a sense of glamour in to them.

Due to its extreme durability, shagreen is often used on furniture.  I love this shagreen-covered desk:

There are an array of shagreen-covered trays out there.  I think a tray is a great way to add just a touch of the material to your decor.  I love this one and this one.  They add a little luxe to an everyday vignette:

Are you wanting (needing) shagreen as much as me?  If so, here are a few shagreen-covered pieces that I just love and I know you'll love, too:

1.) Shagreen Pillow Cover $90/2.) Zagliani Green Shagreen Faye Clutch $2,950/3.) Olivia Ivory Grey Shagreen End Table $1,099/4.) Shagreen Console with Nailhead Trim $2000/5.) Pink Shagreen iPhone Case $98/6.) Sergio Rossi Barbie Shagreen Ankle Booties $447.50/7.) Furbish Studio Shagreen Jewelry Box $150

That pink iPhone case is too much.  I adore it.  And I've had my eye on the Furbish jewelry box for months.  Which item is your favorite??

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Zoe Pawlak Giveaway Winner

We have a winner!  One lucky commenter has won a free Show Me With Your Eyes print from contemporary Vancouver-based artist Zoe Pawlak.  Before announcing the winner, let's feast our eyes on some of her beautiful work:

Congrats to entry #97- Meg!  

Thank you to everyone who entered and helped make this giveaway a success.
And a big "Thank you!" to Zoe!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The View Through My Lens 15 + Worthy Links

I was looking through Kelly Wearster's new coffee table book, Rhapsody, the other day and read that she takes hundreds of photos a week of objects and furniture she finds during her curating process for a client.  They act like visual index cards.  I find it endearing that a multi-million dollar decorator still goes out in the field to get inspired.  It's very authentic. I believe it is so important to get out from behind our computers and go out in to the world to get creatively refreshed.  For me, the process of searching antique stores, showrooms, and furniture boutiques for just the right thing is so fun.  Here's some of my recent finds...

Python wallpaper, anyone?

If this piece of art was anywhere near my price range, it would've come home with me...

Loved this Swedish settee...

Lastly, I have begun working on my home office now that I decided on my desk!  I am probably the most decisive person you will meet.  I said I needed a desk on Tuesday, and as of today I have one!  Throughout the month of February, I will be sharing weekly updates as I transform this space from what it looks like now to what I hope it will become:

Worthy Links:

-So excited to hear that Sarah of Chevron & Stripes will be interning with Bunny Williams.  What a dream!  I can't wait to read about the experience.

-Can't get enough of Bradley's home tour on The Glitter Guide.  Seriously chic.

-Loving this Madewell outfit post from Karla's Closet.  Karla has a unique look that is very 50s pin-up.

-Hampton Hostess made me drool with several vintage Studio 54 images and memorabilia that will be auctioned off in Palm Beach this weekend.    I have always wished I could have experienced the club when it was in it's heyday in the 70s.

Have a fab weekend!!  XO, Sam

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Current Wardrobe Cravings

Happy Thursday!  I hope you are having a great week.  Typically the last thing on my mind in January is shopping for clothes.  It's too early to think about dressing for spring, and it's too late to stock up on winter wear.   But as I was casually browsing some of my favorite online shops, I couldn't help but lust after a few things.   The color + design of this embellished Sass & Bide tank makes me consider actually shelling out $180 for it.  Wouldn't it be so fun with this Milly feather mini skirt?  I'm sold.

Shop this board:

1.) Sass & Bide Side Kick Embellished Tank $180/ 2.) Clouded Morning Bra $12 3.) Milly Feather and Silk Organza Mini Skirt $350/ 4.) Vintage Chanel Earrings $770/ 5.) Marc by Marc Jacobs Hobo Handbag $438/6.) Anthropologie Mixed Media Heels $148

Remember how earlier this week I talked about my plan to create a home office?  Well I found my desk and it's being delivered today- I'm so excited!!  I will be sure to snap a picture of it today via instagram.  Have a lovely day!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Project Flirty Feminine

Hi friends!  How is your week going?  Surviving, are we?  I could do without the weather.  It's been overcast for days and I need some sunshine!  I've had to get my Vitamin D through punchy colors and prints these days.  Which brings me to...

Project flirty feminine, as I'm calling it!  

My good friend just purchased a condo and has asked me for a little guidance with her living room.  As if nothing could make me happier?!  Being a girly girl, I felt it was only appropriate to bring in lots of pinks, purples, glam details, and furs in to her decor.  Here's my first board of ideas:

Shop this board:

Large Sea Fan $38/Jonathan Adler Mongolian Lamb Bench $1,450/Bengal Bazaar Throw Pillow $89/Claybourne Sofa $3,060/Circa Lighting Oslo Sconce $420/Magenta Velvet Throw Pillow $75/Zebra Hide Rug $650/Sivya Light Gray Table Lamp (Set of 2) $259

Sara Kate Studios is one of my "go-to" websites for fun, unique accessories, so when I saw this large pink sea fan on her website, I thought it was such a fun detail!  The fur bench adds serious glam factor, as well as the tufted sofa.  I envision putting 2 of the fur benches beneath a console.  And of course every bachelorette pad needs a zebra hide rug!
What do you think? 

PS- Don't forget to enter the Zoe Pawlak Giveaway- the winner will be chosen tomorrow, on Zoe's birthday!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

It's Time for a Home Office

The time has finally come for me to create a home office.  I've dreamed about having my own workspace for years, and although my first space will most certainly not live up to those lofty expectations, you have to start somewhere, right?

I currently have an extra bedroom that is the perfect size for my new endeavor, however, there is much work to be done.  Find a desk, chairs, and accessories all while adhering to a rather strict budget.  Find a chic way to store fabrics and supplies (i.e. not all over my dining room table as they are now).  Create a fun and inspiring mood board to hang above my desk...

Of course it needs to be functional, but it also must be pretty!  I feel that a home workspace is kind of the female equivalent of a man cave.  I continue to see accessorized offices with lots of pretty details like fresh flowers, coffee table books, and candles.

I'll be sharing the process of turning an empty guest bedroom in to my office with you over the next few months- so please bear with me.  This could get ugly. ;)
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