Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Lighting Lust

One of my favorite ways to make an impact in a room is through statement-making lighting. In design school, it was drilled in to us that a room should have layers of light, rather than just one direct source.  Whether it be a combination of recessed cans, decorative pieces, task lighting (table/reading lamps), ambient (i.e. indirect), or kinetic (candles and/or LEDs) - a room should have at least 2 sources but at best all 5.  Of course, the most fun to shop for is decorative.  I feel like a lot of decor stores are really stepping up their lighting game- especially West Elm and CB2.  My personal favorite lighting sources are Oomph, Coleen & Company, and Soane.  Here's a round-up of my current favorite fixtures:

Shop This Board:

1.) Colleen & Company/2.) West Elm Large Mobile Chandelier in Brass $249 /3.) Black Wire Semi-Flush-Mount Chandelier $1,995/4.) Tole Tent Semi Flush in Blush $1,575/
5.) Harbinger LA Elsie Lantern $2,400/6.) CB2 Vega Flush Mount Chandelier in Brass $249/7.) Serena & Lily Marlowe Pendant $295/

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Chloe's Drew Bag

If there's one thing I love, it's a beautifully constructed handbag that can be paired with a variety of outfits.  While evening bags and clutches are fun accessories to browse, I don't own very many of them because they can only be used on a very limited number of special occasions.  I'd much rather invest in a bag that I can carry while headed to spin class, nice dinners out on the town, or simply every day to work.   That's why I love Chloe's Drew handbag.  The simple, round satchel design is accented with gold hardware and a gold strap chain for the perfect touch of luxe.  This style comes in a variety of colors and finishes, including a perforated option.  I personally would purchase the soft grey shade, shown below:

It's beautiful!  The Drew bag has been spotted everywhere, and I love the outfits these girls paired their satchel with:

What bag or accessory do you have your eye on for fall?

Monday, September 28, 2015

Lilly Bunn's Upper East Side Apartment

When I was in Montauk last month with Gaby and Lauren, we were discussing what interior designers best exemplify our personal aesthetic.  Besides my current firm, Amanda Nisbet Design, I immediately thought of Lilly Bunn Interiors. I love the way she infuses color in to her spaces to create a youthful, livable feel.  To me, her rooms feel well-thought-out and balanced, with the perfect mix of statement-making decor and classic pieces.  Her Upper East Side Manhattan apartment is a great example of a home that is both kid-friendly and adult chic:

{Don't even get me started on how cute Lilly is-  I have a major girl crush!}

Her living room features a Moroccan rug that anchors the seating area while creating fun pattern play.   She chose to go with a Moroccan that had shorter fibers, so she wouldn't be stuck fishing out her kid's crumbs from long shaggy hairs. I love that she chose to scale the table lamps a bit larger for added drama, and the frilly window treatments add a femininity to the space. 

A magenta juju hat pops against Hinson's splatter wallpaper:

Many different elements are at play in her dining room.  Black, lightweight bentwood chairs surround a modern pedestal table.  Lilly walked by a downtown lighting store admiring this crystal boat chandelier in the front window for weeks before she finally gave in and purchased it.  The natural striped rug was selected because it can easily hide her kid's stains and spills. 

I love the shape of Lilly's master bedroom headboard as well as the nailhead trim.  A gold Tiffany & Co. clock she received as a wedding present sits on display by her bed. 

Lilly and her husband Chris have 2 young daughters, Grace and Daisy.  Their rooms are playful havens filled with youthful textiles, and double as the girl's playrooms.

As always, fabulous job Lilly!  See more of her impeccable work here

{photos via One Kings Lane}

Thursday, September 24, 2015

NYC Bedroom Update 2

Today I am happy to bring you a NYC bedroom update, but I hope you weren't looking for a frilly, pretty post because the honest truth is that this is quite a process.  As much as I am loving NYC life (and that's the God's honest truth- everyone needs to live here at some point in their lives, the experience is indescribable), it presents obstacles a normal city would not.  A few weeks ago, a few of my artworks and throw pillows arrived from Houston.  As I unpacked the boxes and unloaded my things, I felt a rush of comfort.  It felt so nice to have a piece of my life from back home finally in NYC with me.  The next delivery I expected was an acrylic desk chair originally found at Mecox, but when I unwrapped the FedEx box, my poor chair had been broken in transit.  You can see it on the bottom right of the photo. Le Sigh.

There's always a silver lining to any cloud, and in this case I found a great restorer who plans to fix the chair for me and reupholster the seat.   This will be immensely less expensive than buying a new chair, and the FedEx claim money will more than cover the chair's facelift.  I decided on Bermingham & Co's Ikat silk fabric for the seat, and also plan to use this same fabric for my shower curtain and cornice.

My headboard is almost finished as well, which is exciting!  I had to have it custom made since my bed is so high.  Because I needed additional storage space, I used those risers we all love from the Container Store to make space underneath my bed.  Sometimes I truly feel like I'm back in a dorm room! 

I know it looks VERY tall, but once it's behind my bed and my shams are installed, the scale should look correct.  

As you can see in the picture above, I also got a few art pieces hung up- the Slim Aarons photograph is the first thing you see when you walk in to my room, and Kelly O’Neal’s Rhombus painting is hanging on the opposite wall next to my bed. 

Here's what's left to buy:

I plan to put this shelf by my bed to serve as both a display AND as a bedside table for my book, water, and phone.

2.) Coleen & Company Taylor Lantern

I bet you wouldn't believe me if I told you my room has no main ceiling light.  Right now I have a CB2's Tripel floor lamp with three bulbs that I'm using as a make-shift track light to bounce off the walls and provide as much light as possible, but I have finally caved and asked my super to install an overhead light.  To keep with the colorful, fun feel I'm going for, I plan to buy Coleen & Company's Taylor Lantern.  They have the best lighting!

3.) Oomph's Tini Table

I also need a petite table on the other side of my bed.  There is maybe 12” W available, so I’m thinking Oomph’s tini table would be perfect.  The best part is choosing the top finish- raffia, snakeskin, shagreen, or even a Quadrille fabric.

Despite the decor hiccups, I am having an absolute blast here.  My roommates are great, my coworkers are incredible, the projects we are working on are unreal, and I’m getting a nice little muffin top from all the dirty martinis and avocado toasts.  Life is good!

Follow this process from the beginning:

1.) I Found the Space
2.) Week 1 In the Books
3.) Bedroom Update

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Honoring the Greats: David Hicks

Undoubtedly one of the most (if not the most) influential interior designers of the twentieth century was David Hicks.  In fact, nearly any geometric print, whether it be Cole & Son's infamous Hicks wallpaper or Mary McDonald's geometric rug collection, is inspired by David's original designs. Hicks was known as a firecracker, both for his explosive personality and his bold design style, and was something of an English celebrity during the height of his career in the 1950s, 60s and 70s.

Hicks was born in 1929 in Essex, England and graduated from the Central College of Art in London. His first job out of college was working for an advertising agency, drawing cereal box designs.  Meanwhile, Hicks was redesigning his mother's London home on the side.  Everything changed for David when House & Garden published a glowing article featuring Mrs. Hicks refreshed home in 1954-  David realized his true calling, and become a full-fledged decorator.  

David soon became THE authority on English design during the 1960s, most notably for his electrifying color combinations and his mix of antiques and modern furniture with pop art and abstract paintings.  He deplored chintz, which was the popular Victorian motif of the day, and doused rooms in strong magentas, reds, and chocolate browns with tightly woven geometric patterns.  When I picture the swinging 60s in England (i.e. Austin Powers), I immediately picture David Hicks. 

His clientele were a mix of fashion icons, media celebrities, and the aristocracy.  He did projects for Vidal Sassoon, Mrs. Conde Nast, and decorated the Prince of Wale's first apartment at Buckingham Palace.  His love of fame was perpetuated when he married Lady Pamela Mountbatten, the youngest daughter of the 1st Earl Mountbatten of Burma.  Together they had three children, model and designer India Hicks, architect and designer Ashley Hicks, and Edwina Hicks.   Lady Pamela once told the press that David's affinity for high gloss brown walls came about after she began throwing glasses of Coca-Cola at him during moments of marital discord. 

{David Hicks pictured with a bikini model. He became a fixture in British high society during the 60s and 70s.}

By the 1970s, David Hicks, Ltd. was producing wallpaper, fabric, and carpets that mirrored his regimented yet bold aesthetic and showcasing them in boutiques and offices in 8 countries.  

"My greatest contribution as an interior designer has been to show people how to use bold color mixtures, how to use patterned carpets, how to light rooms and how to mix old with new." - David Hicks

Want to learn more?  David's son, Ashley Hicks, has written a few books honoring his father's work and legacy, and David himself wrote 8 instructional books on design and decoration during his life.  This is my personal favorite

Check out my previous Honoring the Greats posts:

Monday, September 21, 2015

Inspired by: De Kooning

This past Saturday, I finally had the opportunity to visit the new Whitney Museum of American Art in the meatpacking district with my roommate Kate.  If you live in NYC or are visiting soon, it is not to be missed.  We spent several hours wandering through the 7 floors (and taking pictures on the 8th floor rooftop), and I left more inspired than ever.  The current exhibition, "America is Hard to See", showcases artworks from well-known American artists and amateur artists alike throughout the twentieth century.  Walking through the exhibition was a refresher in U.S. history, as many artists were reacting to social and political issues of their time- the Industrial Revolution, World War II, the Vietnam War, the AIDS epidemic, and of course, the mid-century surge in consumerism and materialism.  My favorite part of the exhibition was the movement that put American art on the international map for the first time- the abstract expressionism works.  From Pollock to Gorky, I love the intense, wild brushstrokes and energy of the style.    I particularly loved Dutch-American artist de Kooning's paintings that were on display.  The colors are so vibrant and inspiring. My favorite work shown was Door to the River, which he painted in 1960:

Shop This Board:
Bauble Bar Dreamcatcher Bib Yellow Necklace $22/Arteriors Nina Lamp $360/Soane Venus Chair $Price on Request/Satin Stripe Turban $38/Cashmere Scarf in Ivory $98/Monica Flat $119/

Abstract Expressionism was a post-World War II art movement that took inspiration from Surrealism- emphasizing spontaneous, automatic, or subconscious creation. 

Thursday, September 17, 2015

The View Through My Lens: 27

Now that I've been in NYC for almost two months, I figured it was time to share some pictures of my time here.  If you follow me on instagram (@peakoftreschic), then you know my life lately could be summed up as:  walking, eating, drinking, and not sleeping.  Ever.   This really is the city that never sleeps and I do love the energy.

{One of my great Houston friends, Julie, came in town last weekend and we went to my 1st Yankees game.  Of course I had to rock the NY hat!}

 {yellow roses from Amanda after a long week of installations brightened up my bedroom}

{Speaking of my bedroom, I'm making progress.  My coffee table books and Slim Aarons photographs made it up to NYC.  I will do an update post soon!}

{Brunch at my favorite Upper East Side spot- Penrose.  The avocado toast + bloody mary was incredible}

{Lauren, Gaby, and I visited the Hamptons Designer Showhouse a few weeks ago, and the pool + cabana were unreal}

{I love that many bloggers are in town for fashion week.  I had a dinner date with Mackenzie, Ali, and Lauren at Palma in SoHo}

 {The restaurant was open above on the patio, and lights strung across the railings above made everything so beautiful and intimate}

{Speaking of fashion week, Target + Vogue threw an epic party, complete with a carousel and "real life" unicorns}

{My roommate Kate and I took the ferry over to Ikea in Brooklyn to get a few shelves for our apartment.  While in Red Hook, we ended the day at Brooklyn Crab, toasting to the simple fact that we survived Ikea}

{Speaking of drinks, hands down the best cocktail I've had in the city was at Grand Banks- vodka, Aperol, lemon, and cucumber}

As you can see, I've been very focused on indulging myself.  I'm trying to balance between letting myself try new places while exploring and meeting new people, and not over extending myself.  I'm hoping to start getting more sleep and exercise in the near future as I get in to a routine, but who knows how realistic that is.  

I hope you guys have a great Thursday!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Friday's Worthy Links

-I'm a big fan of The New York Times' Modern Love columns, and yesterday's essay, "The Perils of Not Dying For Love", really resonated with me.  Writer Clair Jia explains, "As I dated more, I learned that big love and big heartbreak come seldom... We're told love isn't love until he's begging on his knees, and that heartbreak isn't heartbreak until you've lost your mind.  We think we want love, but we've rarely seen it, because love is a boundless unknown that no romantic stereotype can capture."  Beautifully said.  

After reading One Kings Lane's article featuring Heather Clawson of Habitually Chic fame, I've decided we could be BFFs.  Not only is she a fellow Upper East Sider, she also admits to having "more champagne than food" in her fridge.  Read the article and see her stylish apartment here

I'm a summer girl through and through.  While I have an appreciation for fall, (hello football tailgates, crisp, clean air, and my birthday!) it's winter I truly dread.  That's why I found Man Repeller's "How To Cope With the End of Summer" article so useful.  I plan to continue drinking rose and frozen margaritas while bundled in my winter coat.  

-Bri released a line of iPhone 6 cases featuring her "Dress Your Tech" designs.  Since the Palms are already the background on my laptop, I plan to purchase the matching iPhone case, too.

-Early September reminds me of the back-to-school days and how fun it was to shop for new school supplies.  If only they had had this epic pencil case in 1996!

-Get it girl.

Happy Friday!  I'm so excited to have a few friends in town this weekend from Houston.  Do you have anything fun planned for this weekend?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Currently Coveting: Desks as Nightstands

I'm all about maximizing functionality in a small space- especially now that I know what it's like to decorate a NYC apartment bedroom (hello 10' x 10').   Furnishings that can have multiple purposes are key- for instance, I'm using CB2's TPS cabinet as both storage for jewelry, files, and notecards- and plan to add a cushion on top to work as an extra seat.  Another option I am considering is to use my new waterfall console desk also as a nightstand. I've seen it done many times before, and here are a few of my favorite arrangements:

Another space saver I've taken advantage of is under-bed storage.  The Container Store's under bed drawers are a lifesaver.  Are you a fan of the desk as nightstand set-up?  I hope everyone manages to get through the work day after such a nice long weekend!

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