Thursday, August 27, 2015

Color Crush: Apple Red

Maybe it's the New York air, maybe it's the extra shot of espresso I've been adding to my morning coffee, or maybe it's just the changing of seasons- but I've been feeling extra bold lately.  At work we're in the middle of two large installations, and huge decisions are having to be made swiftly and confidently.  Living in a new city also makes even the most mundane tasks feel like an adventure because all my surroundings are new and exciting.   I also feel more like myself than I have in a very long time, so maybe that's giving me a certain assurance, too.  Whatever the case may be, I'm feeling upbeat and confident- and that's translating to my wardrobe and design sensibility, too.

As a firm believer in Bloody Marys, I'm always down for a deep red cocktail.  This Raspberry Campari & Whisky Smash recipe has me drooling:

I love a pop of vibrant red among softer, more muted colors:

Or as an eye-catching accessory added to a neutral outfit:

But is there anything better than a "little red dress?"

This recent fondness for red might also be due to college football season starting, and my beloved OU Sooners will need me cheering in my crimson and cream. 

So tell me- are you an apple red fan, or is it too bold and demanding for your taste?

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Travel Guide: Tulum

It seems like Tulum has become the trendy place to escape to in Mexico, and now I understand why.  It only took me 3 days to completely fall in love with the laid back, bohemian town.  Two weekends ago, I checked in to Dreams Tulum Resort & Spa with 3 of my girlfriends for a girls getaway. We ate well, we drank well, and we relaxed well.  

I became familiar with two of Tulum's hottest boutique hotels, Be Tulum and Coqui Coqui, while perusing Mr. & Mrs. Smith.  However, my friends and I love a good deal, so we chose to stay at an all-inclusive resort right on the beach.  While typically I enjoy the unlimited drinks an all-inclusive  hotel provides, the food usually leaves a lot to be desired.  However, we were all pleasantly surprised by the quality of food, drinks, and service at Dreams.  They even had an amazing coffee bar we visited every morning on the way to claim our lounge chairs by the pool.


Having heard fabulous things about Hartwood, we decided to head over Friday night for dinner.  But when we pulled up in the taxi, we sadly discovered the restaurant was closed until November for renovations! Luckily, our second choice for dinner- Gitano- was a short walk away.  

{the chic restaurant entrance, with Linds in the background!}

Our dinner experience was unforgettable. If you visit Tulum, you MUST go to Gitano and get a Kisses in the Car cocktail- Mezcal, Passion Fruit, Tangerine, Habanero.  It is out-of-this-world delicious.   For dinner, we shared small plates, including the truffle mushroom and black bean avocado tacos.  Throughout the evening, the staff would walk around spreading incense.  Tiki torches, tea light candles, and a disco ball glittered in the night. It was truly magical.

Saturday, Lindsay and I headed over to Coqui Coqui for a deep-tissue massage. Even if we didn't stay at the resort, we definitely wanted to experience it's beauty.

We climbed 3 flights of stone stairs up to a beautiful indoor cabana that overlooked the ocean for our massages.  It was perfect.

Coqui Coqui also has a perfumery and boutique, and you can also buy their covetable candles on Net-a-Porter.  I couldn't leave the boutique without purchasing the Floplum scent, which combines notes of jasmine and orange blossom, and have been burning it after work in my NYC apartment.  The scent always puts me in a good mood as I remember our time in Tulum.

After our massages, Lindsay and I walked down the beach to Taqueria La Eufemia, a cute taco shack on the beach.  It's slogan, "Relax and Enjoy Some Fucking Tacos", could honestly be my life motto.  The restaurant's baja-style fish tacos and pina coladas were delicious.   Later that day, we all walked around the shopping strip in the main part of town and were drawn in to a small open-air bar that served coconut cocktails.

Our bartender even went so far as to create faces on our coconuts out of fruits and veggies before serving them to us!

Our last night, we stayed at the resort and enjoyed a delicious French dinner.  I got in to the boho spirit with this Mara Hoffman crop top and skirt:

 I wish we had had one more day so we could explore the Mayan ruins, but there just wasn't enough time.  At least that gives me an excuse to go back!  Until next time, Tulum.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Friday's Worthy Links

TGIF!  I'm headed to Montauk this afternoon with Gabby and Lauren, and I can't wait to  spend all day relaxing at the beach tomorrow.  Why is it so hard to get back in the work groove after a great vacation?  After having an amazing time in Tulum last weekend, you'd think I'd be more than rested. However, I feel like I've been dragging through this week. Not that I'm not having fun- being so new to the city, I feel like I've been socializing every chance I get- and honestly, the tiredness could be due to a few too many cocktails.  While out in Montauk we're staying at The Crow's Nest Inn and taking a cooking class at The Surf Lodge. I'm excited to experience it for the first time with two girlfriends who know the ropes.  For all you seasoned Long Islanders, any recommendations?

Here are a few links I loved this week...

-I found these 15 Career Tips from Smart Women to be incredibly inspiring.

-The most expensive-looking Ikea hack you've ever seen.

-It's back to school time, and here are 22 reasons I'm sad I'm no longer a student (sorry, I had to).

-My family is coming to visit me in NYC later this year, and I can't wait to take my niece to the newly-opened Seaglass Carousel in Battery Park.  Instead of horses, this carousel consists of a seemingly under-water experience as a fish.  

-The food capitals of the world, according to Instagram.

-I'm so thankful I'll never have to be his publicist.  I wish I knew who she or he was so I could send over a few bottles of wine.

-Our firm was featured in the September issue of House Beautiful!  Amanda shared a snap of the article on her Instagram here.

Happy weekend, everyone!  Here are a few things I'm planning on taking to Montauk...

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Sam Loves: 4

The end of summer is one of my favorite times of the year.  I've always been a warm-weather gal, so I savor the last few months of patio cocktail season while looking forward to fall.  Even though my school days are long gone, the start of a new school year still feels like a fresh start to me.  My August mood board is full of bright color and a cocktail recipe I'm dying to try:

Sam Loves:

A deliciously sweet cocktail recipe:  Spiked Vanilla-Coconut Pink Iced Tea Lattes

A statement-making neon necklace- Fluoro Tassel - $44.

Ryan Korban's coffee table book is one of my all-time favorites.  His work is at once luxurious, cozy, and inviting.  

Even with iCal, I still like to keep a planner in my purse.  I can't help it- I get a weird gratification out of writing down to-dos and crossing them off my list.  I plan to buy's adorable Gold-Foil Planner, $20, for 2016.  

When it comes to chairs, what's better than a brass frame paired with blush leather?  Eric Trine's Rod & Weave Chair, $1950, is available via Trnk

I'll never tire of tassels.  I thought they might be a hot-then-not trend of 2014, but it seems we are all still crazy for them!  I love Bauble Bar's designs, and their prices are even better.  These drops are only $32!

Speaking of cocktails, tonight I'm meeting a college friend for a drink at Mother of Pearl in the East Village.  It's marketed as "postmodern polynesian"- which is, as my friend said, "basically my dream!"  Has anyone tried it out yet?  Have a great Tuesday!

Monday, August 17, 2015

Featured on Style Me Pretty

This weekend´s vacation to Tulum was exactly what a vacation should be - relaxing, beautiful, fun, and reenergizing.  The journey home, however, was not.  After having my first flight delayed (therfore missing my connection), I had to cancel and reschedule all flights at the Cancun airport.  It was a headache, but I´m back home in NYC and all is well.  Since I got home so late last night, I thought I´d leave you with a fun interview and a house tour of my Houston townhome featured on Style Me Pretty Living here.  I discuss the 3 things I think a home should always have, the 1 thing I'd bring with me to a desert island, and how I went from blogging about design to turning it in to a full-time career.  

Can you tell I have a thing for pink?  See more photos of my Houston home in the feature here.

{all photography by Molly Winters}

Friday, August 14, 2015

Off to Tulum

Happy Friday! Lindsay and I (as well as two of my best high school friends) are currently unplugging in Tulum for the weekend.  Although I've been to Mexico several times, I've never experienced Tulum, and am excited to see the Mayan ruins.  We also plan to eat dinner at Hartwood (I've heard amazing things!), possibly go zip lining, and do a lot of girl talking over mojitos by the beach.  With the new job in NYC and the craziness of transitioning to a new city, I am really looking forward to a chance to unwind.  I'm sure I'll be posting updates of our travels on instagram (@peakoftreschic), so I hope you'll follow along! Then next weekend it's off to Montauk with Lauren and Gabby.  Have I mentioned how much I love weekend getaways?

If you've been to Tulum before, let me know what's not to miss!



A few Tulum essentials...

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Currently Coveting: Satchel Purses

One thing I've noticed while walking around NYC is how many women carry cross-body satchel purses.  Since most people carry a separate work bag with their heels for the office, work out clothes, and spare umbrella, a satchel is the perfect size to carry other essentials like a wallet, keys, and lip gloss. I've always been drawn to classic, timeless design, and the satchel is no exception.  Originating as a fashion statement in the 1600s, the satchel went on to become the "it" schoolbag of the 20th century- and it's still prevalent in fashion today.

When I picture a satchel handbag, I always think of Chloe's Marcie bag:

Available in multiple colors and sizes, it's an investment piece that's stood the test of time.

If you're after the classic satchel look in a smaller size, ASOS has several affordable options, including this and this.

Are you a fan of the satchel? If not, what bag are you lusting after this season?

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

NYC Bedroom Update

It's my 2nd full week in NYC (last week I was back in Houston to tie up loose ends), and I've wasted no time making my new room feel like home.  As I mentioned a few weeks ago, I moved in with two great girls (friends of friends) in the Upper East Side who had their third room become available right when I was looking!  It was the perfect fit- 2 subway stops from work, a Starbucks and Drybar across the street, and a 5 minute walk from Central Park.  I also love that I live with 2 girls who know the ins and outs of the city and are helping me get adjusted.  The first step in sprucing up my new space was to give the walls, doors and trim a fresh coat of paint:

I painted the walls in Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter and the trim in BM Simply White.  It's amazing how fresh a space can feel with just a new coat of color.  In terms of furnishings, I was in a predicament I've never found myself in before- a tiny 10' x 12' room!  At first, I was a tad bummed to go from a spacious townhouse in Houston to a tiny NYC apartment room, but now that I've lived here a few weeks I'm finding it to be a fun puzzle to solve.  Also, it really makes you pare down and focus on what you love and have to have.  So what does that translate to in terms of furnishings?  One store- CB2.  I have always been a fan of their infamous peekaboo coffee table, but I'd never been in their physical store until I got to New York.  The sister store to Crate & Barrel, I love their minimalist aesthetic that's perfect for small space living.  I purchased the peekaboo acrylic console (only $349!) to act as my new desk, and the tripel floor lamp for light.  While the lamp is a bit more modern than I'd like, I wanted to maximize the light output and the fact that this light had 3 separate bulbs was hard to pass up.  My first 2 pieces:

I'm having some items shipped up from Houston, and plan to pair this Mecox acrylic chair with my desk.  The clear finish on both pieces help to create the illusion of taking up less space, which is key here!

Another item I brought up from Houston was my zebra hide rug. In Houston it was under my dining table, but now it's the perfect proportion to go under my full-sized bed- which, right now, is only a mattress and box springs, so I'll wait to share that until I decide on a headboard.  I did decide on bedding, though.  Because the space is so small, I went ahead and splurged a bit on my linens.  While browsing Gracious Home, I came across Matouk's Lorelei line and loved the scalloped detail, so I ordered the coverlet, shams, and boudoir pillow and plan to add a fun monogram.  One of the shams is shown below underneath the snakeskin tray:

I'm planning to add a cornice box with roman shades to each of my windows and a custom shower curtain, so I'm trying to choose a fabric for those.  Quadrille's bold, bright ikats are always a fun option and what I'm currently leaning towards.  One of the ways I'm maximizing storage is underneath my bed, so I'm also planning to design a fabulous bedskirt.  Here are some photos in my bedskirt inspiration file:

{A bedskirt created to coordinate with the headboard}

 {A bedskirt trimmed out in a coordinating color}

{A ruffled bedskirt trimmed out in a coordinating color}

Which style is your favorite?  I am thinking of doing it in a clean drop with a trim or cord to balance out the scalloped edge of my bedding. 

I hope you'll stay tuned as I continue to share my progress and work on my new room!

Monday, August 10, 2015

Chic Shop Alert: Oomph

As a designer, we are often challenged to find new, unique sources that offer affordable pieces with just a touch of flair or customization.  With all of the affordable home decor stores out there already available to the public, like Zinc Door, Restoration Hardware, or Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, it's often our task to find ways to add unique features, special finishes or custom details to an item that makes it feel one-of-a-kind.  One online shop that allows customers and designers to create pieces a step above the norm is Oomph.  From scalloped details on furniture, mirrors, and lighting, to backgammon tables in several lacquered paint color options, to case goods with sassy tassels- Oomph's furniture adds vitality and funk to any space.  I also love that on many of their pieces, you can choose the fabric or finish from their curated options that include a few designer fabrics from Quadrille and Lee Jofa, like these twin headboards:

I love seeing Oomph's Newport mirror in white against this graphic pink wall covering:

Their lighting collection includes interesting lanterns, wall sconces, and gourd lamps, like the Palo Alto lantern shown in this kitchen:

Here are a few of my favorite pieces from Oomph Online.  I am contemplating adding the Rowayton etagere to the right of my bed in my NYC room.  That way, it could act as a storage piece as well as a bedside table for my water, chapstick and book.

Shop This Board:

1.) Tiny Table IV $375/2.)Rowayton Etagere $3,800/ 3.)  Carved Newport Mirror $1,540/4.) Fenwick Coffee Table $1,825/5.) Hobe Sound Lantern $3,095/6.) Raffia Scalloped Chair $1,785

Happy Monday!  I hope everyone has a fun, productive week!
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