Thursday, October 31, 2013

DIY: Ikat Pumpkin

In honor of Halloween, I have a fun DIY pumpkin project to share with you!  My creative friend Caitlin painted the gorgeous ikat pumpkin below, and is sharing 4 easy steps to recreate the design yourself:

What you need:
 1 pumpkin
3 colors of acrylic paint
small (thumbnail sized) angular flat brush
large poly foam brush
small poly foam brush

1. Select a color (I chose white) and paint the entire pumpkin using the large poly foam brush. Depending on the color you choose, you may have to apply two coats.  Allow these coats to dry completely.

2. Next, pick the color you want for your diamonds- I chose teal! Use the small poly foam brush and "dab" vertical lines in the shape of a diamond. Once you have made the diamonds, go back with just a little bit of paint on your sponge and fill in/mess up the inside.  You still want to be able to see the vertical lines around the edges, but the inside should be blurred or filled in a bit.  Allow your diamond paint to dry completely.

3. Take the angular flat brush & load it with your third paint color (I used gold).  Use the flat edge (not the point) to "dab" random little splotches on the edges and points of your diamonds, still following the vertical line pattern of the diamonds. This should not be too planned or perfect...just go sparingly at first, you can always add more later!

4. This is completely optional, but I used the gold pain on the stem and brushed a bit around the base of the stem in a "burst".

And... wa-la!  You have a fun + festive pumpkin to decorate with!  If only all Halloween decor were this chic.  Thank you, Caitlin, for sharing your process with us!

How To: Decorate Your Walls Pt. 2

Happy Halloween!  Are you dressing up tonight?!  For the first time in years I don't have a costume planned.  We have a Hollywood-themed wedding shower this Saturday, so my focus has been more on what I'm going to wear for that!  Anyway, today I thought I'd share some artwork I love as a follow up to yesterday's post about decorating your walls.  I know I vaguely mentioned that I like to look at One Kings Lane, 1st Dibs, Etsy, and Horchow for art, but I also love Sally King Benedict and Kate Mullins original artwork:

{Kate Mullin original artwork hung in her gallery}

Sally is currently doing a pop-up shop for Furbish Studio (one of my all-time favorite stores!) and there's only a few prints left.  One of my favorites is the Mustard Lip.  Here are a few more of my current favorite pieces:

Shop This Board: 1.) Sally King Benedict Mustard Lip Print $95/2.) Kate Mullin White Painting $600/3.) Dahlia Raspberry Framed Print $89.95/4.) Come Fly With Me Abstract Painting $500/5.) Slim Aarons' Sundowners Photograph, 1958, $2,100/6.) Tracey Sylvester Harris, Floating Painting $149-229

I can never resist a cheeky Slim Aarons photograph.  I also have a crush on paintings with visible, rough brushstrokes.  Where do you like to look for art?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

How To: Decorate Your Walls

One of the most frequent decorating dilemmas I hear from  friends, family, and acquaintances is how to decorate their walls. "Where is the best place to buy art?"  "What size of art should I get to cover the wall properly?"  "Is it best to do a series of panels or one large piece?" Since this seems to be a hard task for many, I thought today I'd share a few tips + tricks I've learned when it comes to wall decor.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

The View Through My Lens: 20

Happy Tuesday!  How is your week going so far?!  We are in the midst of midterms, so I apologize for my leave of absence yesterday.  Sam also just got back from a trip to Australia, so I've been showering him with attention (ha! He wishes!). Today I wanted to share a few snippets of my life as of late.  First off, I cannot put down the new Scalamandre coffee table book, Haute Decor:

It's a gem and more than just a pretty cover.  Trust me. All our favorite decorators are in there, showing off the Scalamandre pieces and fabrics they've utilized in their work.
Last week, I got a few new throw pillows for a project back from the upholsterer- covered in Kelly Wearstler's Feline and a neutral Schumacher Ikat: 

Continuing with the blues and soft neutrals, drapery and Bella Notte crib bedding were installed yesterday in a client's nursery design.  I'm loving the peaceful and classic vibe:

I also loved speaking on a social media panel at the Decorative Center of Houston a few weeks ago with these ladies- the lovely Meg LeSueur (who has since had her baby!), Paloma of La Dolce Vita, and Lauren Haskett of Material Girls:

We talked about the benefits of utilizing various social media platforms to enhance your business and blog.  It was an interesting discussion!  I will try to recap the highlights of the talk here on the blog soon.

And the weekend before last, I visited Lindsay in Kansas City.  To say her guest bathroom is chic is a massive understatement:

How great is the Osbourne & Little Foxglove wallpaper?  Sadly, this colorway is now discontinued.  While there, I got to meet Melanie of KC Style Scout.  Beyond being drop-dead gorgeous, she was also hilarious and sweet as can be.

It's been a fun filled but busy few weeks/months.  What have you been up to, lately?

Friday, October 25, 2013

Color Crush: Dazzling Blue

Pantone, the authority on color, recently announced that Dazzling Blue is the color of choice for spring 2014.  Described as a "preppy shade of cobalt," Dazzling Blue was seen all over the 4 major fashion weeks.  In fact, it was featured in a total of 29 shows. Personally, I find it a welcomed change from the usual dainty pastels and floral patterns we see for spring.  It's going to be a bold start to the year, my friends.  I love the hue in interiors, and a few of my favorite designers apparently love it too:

{Amanda Nisbet}

 {Lilly Bunn Weekes}

{Amanda Nisbet}

{Sally Wheat Interiors}

And how chic is this lacquered cobalt blue storefront in Paris?!

Just in case you'd like to bring in the hue to your wardrobe or decor, here are my favorite finds in hues similar to Dazzling Blue...

Shop This Board:

From Top Left to Right: DL Rhein Greek Key Pillow $70/Colette by Colette Dinnigan Printed Silk Maxi Dress $410/Marc by Marc Jacobs Pretty Cosmetics Case $59.75/Hilary Thomas Jewel Lamp Finial $65/Zanotti Suede Heels $695/Kendra Scott Marisol Cobalt Necklace $165/Gorjana Graham Sunset Leather Wrap $65/Jonathan Adler Mrs. Godfrey Swivel Chair $1695/Serena Chandelier $1,100

So what's your take- love it or leave it?  As I type this I have cobalt blue nail polish on... so I'll let you guess how I feel about it!  

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Designer Crush: Tracy Hardenburg Designs

Today's designer crush is goooood.  I stumbled upon Tracy Hardenburg's work haphazardly, while looking through the Quadrille site. Based in Highland Park, Texas, Tracy has been creating gorgeous residential spaces for over 20 years.  Her attention to detail and love of color and texture is so evident in every room she designs.  I love the tailored feel to each of them:

A bed suspended from above?  How ingenious! The whimsy of it fits in well with the bohemian touches in the room- it almost reminds me of a hammock on vacation:

One seriously lucky girl lives in this room.  How fun is the hanging pod chair?

Often times I'll find a great deal of inspiration from 1 or 2 rooms in a designer's portfolio.  But in Tracy's case, there isn't a room in her portfolio that I don't find enticing.  Each one makes me stop, stare, and think about it's composition or use of color.

I hope you find her work as breathtaking as me! Go see more here.

{All images via Tracy Hardenburg Designs}

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Albertina Loves: A Touch of Fur

{You || fur coat | pants | necklace | heels | bag | ring}
{home | you }

So happy to be here at The Peak of Tres Chic again!  This is Albertina from Mimosa Lane, back for our eleventh installment of the "We Love" series where Sam and I swap posts for the day.  Today Sam and I are focusing on adding A Touch of Fur.  Furs add texture to a space and make it more organic. For me, it's the epitome of coziness- a touch of fur is perfect for this time of year for both you and your home. 

I'm in love with Ikea's sheep skins- they look good everywhere and just make whatever seating they rest in so inviting and plush (the price is so convenient too!).  We have one and my daughter loves having breakfast in the chair where we keep it.  Aren't these black and brass chairs divine?  Someone grab them quick! And to kind of mimic this feeling of coziness nothing says fresh and warm like a white fur coat (faux or not) I just want to curl up in a coat like that. And what about this stunning necklace? pretty, pretty.  And the bag is so classic and elegant, which I love.

How do you feel about adding a bit of fur to your home and to your wardrobe? 
Come see what Sam's fur picks are over at Mimosa Lane!

Monday, October 21, 2013

The Peak of Tres Chic Speaks: Slow Your Roll

Did you have a good weekend?  I hope so!  Lindsay and I had so much fun catching up and hanging out this weekend in her hometown of Kansas City.  Seeing a good friend does wonders for the soul.  

Today I wanted to talk about something I've been grappling with and mulling over for a few weeks now. I began to think about it after seeing this Huffington Post article, entitled "Why Gen Y Yuppies Are Unhappy".  If you haven't read the article, I suggest you do, but I'll go ahead and summarize it for you:  The author purports that Gen Y's (people born between the late 70s and mid 90s) are largely unhappy career-wise because we were raised by Baby Boomer parents who instilled in us a sense of optimism and unbounded possibility.  

 As the '70s, '80s, and '90s rolled along, the world entered a time of unprecedented economic prosperity, and the Baby Boomers did even better than they expected to- leaving them feeling gratified and optimistic about their careers and the world, and they passed this optimism on to us, their kids.  Because our parents told us we could do or be anything, our career expectations are set wildly high.  What is more, whereas our parents had the expectation that they would need to put in years of hard work to eventually achieve success and financial stability,  Gen Y'ers simply believe being immediately successful and fulfilled in our career is "our right."  

Although mildly offended at first, I feel the article does bring up some valid points.  Before I delve in to that, I do want to make a comment on our generation's supposed unfounded optimism and sense of self-worth.  Contrary to the author, I think having a positive outlook on life and your ability to shape your career path is vital to happiness.  Nowadays, with more time spent at the office than at home, I think doing something you feel some pride in and passion for is a necessity. When I made the decision to leave my "stable" oil and gas job to go back to school and work part time for an interior design firm, I was met with a bit of understandable skepticism from coworkers and acquaintances.  My salary was immediately chopped in half, I no longer had health benefits, and there was no guarantee for longevity in the interior design field.  The only thing I truly had was my own positivity and belief I could eventually make it.  Sure, maybe it was a bit foolish in the eyes of some.  But, as one of the commenters underneath the article said,  

"If I knew it would take me almost 20 years of hard work to start feeling successful, I might have given up. Optimism is hope, something everyone needs and guards against becoming jaded to the weight life puts on you."  Of course, that doesn't mean we should feel as if we are superior to our peers or that we don't need to put in the hard work and time others before us have.  Which brings me to my next point:

I often forget that most everyone who has achieved a significant level of success spared blood, sweat, tears, and years of hard work before getting there.  The article talks about Gen Y's sense of urgency to be immediately successful, and I can relate to that.  I think this urgency is sometimes propelled by the blogosphere, where bloggers can gain a large following seemingly overnight and turn their site in to a full-time career.  I also think it is perpetuated by Facebook and other social media outlets, where we are constantly "image crafting," comparing ourselves to our peers and their supposed successes.

 I've noticed that since restarting my career and going back to school, I've set some pretty unrealistic expectations for myself.  Sam regularly says to me, "You need to learn to stop and smell the roses." Although we joke about my workaholic tendencies, it really is true that I don't have much patience.  I've become obsessed with trying to create a blossoming business for myself RIGHT THIS SECOND.  It was only recently that I thought to myself, "Why the rush?"  I have my entire life to build and develop my career.  That doesn't mean we shouldn't work hard or strive for achievement; just that we should adjust our expectations a bit and realize building our career takes time and experience.

So I've made the conscious decision to stop putting unrealistic pressures on myself to achieve a level of success that isn't practical at this point.  I'm brand new to the interior design industry, I'm no expert, but I'm excited to learn and grow.  

Read the article, share your thoughts below, and join me in slowing my roll.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Weekend Getaway + Friday Links

Today I am off to Kansas City to spend the weekend with Lindsay of Sadie & Stella.  We're planning to go to the OU vs. Kansas game tomorrow (Go Sooners!) and enjoy some much-needed girl time.  Before I sign off, I did want to leave you with some of my favorite links I came across online and in the blogosphere this week:

-I had a lovely time speaking alongside Paloma of La Dolce Vita, Meg of Lesueur Interiors, Lauren Haskett of Material Girls, and Sarah Eilers of Lucas-Eilers Design Associates at the Decorative Center of Houston's Fall Market.  Leslie Carothers curated the panel, and we discussed the role of social media in today's design world.  It was a great experience, and Meg snagged a photo of us, which I shared here: here. I hope to share the highlights of our talk in a blog post, soon!                                                    

-This article on Huffington Post cracked me up and basically broke down everything we all love to hate about fellow Facebookers' status updates.  Want to be insufferable on FB?  This will tell you how.

-The One Room Challenge is back, and I'm loving Gaby's brass details in her bath. 

-Scientific research has proven this small task can significantly increase your level of happiness.  The video is worth watching- it gave me chills!

-Coco+Kelley inspired me with her blog post on black walls & pink blooms, including the picture from Domino Magazine above.  Such a beautiful color and texture contrast.

-Bradley of Luella & June shared a few snapshots from her Rehearsal Dinner, and it was nothing short of chic! (what else would we expect from her?!)

Have a fab weekend lovelies!  I am sure Linds and I will post a few instagram updates this weekend, so feel free to follow along!  


Thursday, October 17, 2013

Color Crush: Gold + Pink

I can always tell my latest color crush by scanning through my recent pins in my Pinterest boards.   Although I have always had an affinity for gold, I've become much more sensitive to using it in proper scale. If overdone, it can quickly feel stuffy.  If too understated, the beauty can be missed.  This is especially true when a shade of pink is added to the mix.  Finding a balance of the two hues takes skill, but when done right, the result is to die for. Here are four rooms I love that utilize gold and pink in varying intensities.  All designs balance the colors well to create an unforgettable interior: 

Courtney Hill creates a focal point in this dining room with this beautiful gold chandelier and serpent mirror.  A touch of pink through the peonies adds a special touch.

Meg Lesueur utilized a to-die-for chinoiserie wallpaper in this powder bath, and picked up the hints of gold through the mirror and sconces.  

Tracy Hardenburg keeps this sitting room crisp and clean through the neutral fabrics and clean, unornamented lines. A pop of pink is brought in through the lumbar pillows, and a tiny hint of gold is seen in the fireplace details and the metallic mirror.

This antique sofa has a gold gilt frame that is accented with the side table.  The splashes of pink from the throw pillows, vase and florals creates a lovely balance.  What I am loving for the home almost always translates to what I am loving fashion-wise.  Isn't it funny how that happens?   Here are a few of my favorite pink and gold picks:
Shop This Board:

Marc by Marc Jacobs Metallic Gold Clutch $240/Mr. and Mrs. Cocktail Glasses $18/Alice + Olivia Cutout Dress $396/Glimpse Framed Stretched Canvas Art $407/Arteriors Vintage Brass Bar Cart $1260/David Hicks La Fiorentina Throw Pillow $78

What do you think of this color combination?  Is it too girly for you, or do you share my love for the luxe + bright palette?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Quadrille Wallpapers

One of my favorite designer showrooms is Quadrille.  The fact that we don't have a physical showroom here in Houston baffles me.  Luckily, I can still drool over their collection of fabrics and wallcoverings via their website, and there is a showroom in Dallas I've been meaning to visit.  Quadrille has a youthful, whimsical aesthetic consistently expressed throughout their collections.  The colorways are often vibrant and bold.  
I can't get enough of this gorgeous Sigourney wallpaper, especially in French Blue:

 {Tracy Hardenburg}

And here it is in a more neutral shade.  I am truly smitten with the dome shape in the middle of the built-in bookshelves,  AND that the designer did not choose to put the TV here!

For a more traditional feel, San Marco wallpapers are perfect:

For a smaller, geometric look, I love the Fiorentina Collection:

The Edo collection also provides a contemporary pattern that livens a space:

{Phillips DeVeer}

Tom Scheerer used his Lyford Trellis wallpaper in this lovely bathroom.  I love the light, airy feel it gives to the space:

{Tom Scheerer}

Go devour the rest of their fab papers here.  Which is your favorite?

Monday, October 14, 2013

Back to Basics

Fall fashion for me is all about bringing back the basics.  Certain pieces are classics for a reason- they just endure the test of time.   Of course, a touch of leopard or cheetah doesn't hurt, either!

 I am a big believer in saving up to invest in classic pieces rather than to spend $20 on the latest fleeting trend.  Lightweight tees, denim, a satchel purse or clutch, a classic pair of pumps, and a tailored dress are some of my favorite basics for my fall wardrobe:

Shop This Board:

Alice + Olivia Navy Peplum Dress $264/Madewell Satchel Bag $168/Splendid Gray Cotton Tee $53/Camel Zebra Handbag $425/Burberry Hooded Trench $750/Paige Denim Skinny Jeans $255/Zara Ballerina Pointy Toe Heels $59.90/Madewell Gold Bracelet $38/Zara Heels $99.90

What's your favorite basic piece? Are you looking forward to trying out a new trend this season?
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