Monday, November 30, 2015

Hello 28

Hello 28, goodbye 27.

{My dad and I, circa 1988}

Today is my 28th birthday.  I hear a lot of football teams say "it was a rebuilding year" when they have a scrappy season.  Well, I'd like to think of 27 as my "rebuilding year."  That isn't to say it wasn't filled with a few milestones and lots of fun memories...

I graduated with my BFA in Interior Design last December. My mom and I posed for a pic before the ceremony.

I spent a memorable Christmas in OKC with my family, and got to see my baby niece grow up a bit!

My niece really is the cutest baby on the planet.

My good friend Katy moved in with me at the beginning of 2015. We shared a lot of home cooked dinners- cooked solely by Katy of course.  I still can't cook!  Katy was such an integral part of the last year of my life- some of the best times I've ever had I experienced with her by my side.

I met Usher while in Atlanta for a design install in Buck Head.  I'm still waiting for him to call me- where you at, Usher?

In July I made the big decision to relocate to NYC to work as an interior designer with Amanda Nisbet.  My rents came along for the NY apartment hunt, which was truly terrifying. 


In August, I went to Tulum, Mexico with a few of my best high school girlfriends.

And Lindsay came along, too!  We had the best time.

One of my best friends, Grace, came and visited me in NYC in early October.  We were attached at the hip in Houston and I'm still going through withdrawals- thank God for FaceTime.

Then, my whole family came and visited at the end of October.  We took Baby Lily to Coney Island and by the time this picture was taken she was over posing for the camera.

So what was being 27 like?  Lots of adjusting and confusion and growing up.  Lots of seeking and striving and developing a stronger sense of self.  For the first time in a long time, I had to stop and really look at myself and where I was headed, and recalibrate my priorities.  I experienced some of the highest highs and the lowest lows last year.

I think when you're in your early 20s and still new in your career you can be pretty impressionable.  When I started over in design after working for a few years post college, I was excited but also a bit insecure.  In some ways, I let the opinions of others cloud my judgement and to a certain degree my design sensibilities, too.   When you are new to something, it's easy to just follow suit with what everyone else around you is doing.  I think a lot of us are guilty of doing that in other areas of life, too.  But it seems like my whole 27th year was the process of rediscovering what I truly wanted out of life.  

With all that being said, the coolest thing happened a few days ago.  I was lying in bed reflecting on this past year's ups and downs,  and for the first time in a long time I realized I was 100% content with where I'm at in life. Even more than that- I felt pretty damn proud of the progress I've made.  I think that has a lot to do with relocating to New York.  I loved Texas but at this point in my life, New York just fits me so perfectly.  There's a rawness and an energy to it that excites me every day.

28.... I'm ready for you.  Let's do this.



Friday, November 27, 2015

Decor Black Friday Steals

Happy Friday!  Did you guys have a good Thanksgiving?  I enjoyed seeing my extended family and celebrating my niece's 2nd birthday, but I swear I'm not eating for a week.  Do you have any Black Friday shopping plans?  These days, I'd much prefer shopping online to fighting the crazed crowds.  I love when something for your home that is truly useful and beautiful doesn't break the bank.  I'm a big believer in ignoring sales or marketing schemes that might tempt you to buy something you wouldn't normally purchase simply for the price cut.  So today, on the biggest sale day of the year, I decided to round up a few favorite home decor items I'd happily purchase at their full retail value, in case the love is mutual:

Shop This Board:

1.) Camille Notched Headboard $329/2.) Shaken not Stirred Photograph $199/3.) Tortoise Ice Bucket  $45/4.) Ascher Ceramic Lamp $149/5.) 50 Shades Coffee Table Book $32/
6.) Pair of Agate Bookends $65/7.) Lucite Bar Cart $495/8.) TRNK Black-Dyed Brazilian Cowhide $428

Sales + Steals to Check Out:

Furbish Studio- 20% off all items with code CYBER (through 11/30)

TRNK- Up to 30% off furniture, lighting + art.  This site is geared towards the guys, and has lots of great gift options for the men in your life. 

Serena & Lily- 15% off $100, 20% off $200, 25% off 500+ with code CELEBRATE  

One Kings Lane- Up to 85% off furniture, decor, and lighting

West Elm- Up to 25% off with code MOREISMORE

Wayfair- Up to 80% off

Happy Shopping and have a great weekend!

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Admiring a Classic: The Queen Anne Chair

Happy Thanksgiving!  Since most of us will be sitting around a dining table today surrounded by those we love (or choose to put up with), I figured today was as good a day as any to honor a timeless dining chair- The Queen Anne.  As you can likely guess, this style of chair originated in Britain during the reign of Queen Anne in the early eighteenth century, although was not referred to as "Queen Anne" furniture until a few centuries later.  Considerably lighter and more feminine in form, with the curved, cabriole leg and partially opened back, Queen Anne chairs are still used by designers today and can translate well in a variety of settings- like an airy dining room:

Designer Kerry Michael Howard used a variation of the Queen Anne chair in the dining room above.  You can tell it's not a true Queen Anne because the legs are straight rather than the typical curved cabriole. 

Miles Redd used a few Queen Anne chairs as extra seating in this bold hallway...

And Nick Olsen used it as a desk chair in this Brooklyn brownstone.  I love the pop of cherry red leather against the greens:

In college when I lived in my sorority house, I used a Queen Anne chair as my desk chair, and refinished it in a turquoise blue.  I wish I had a picture of it for this post, but that was before the advent of iPhone cameras, and I managed to lose my digital camera years ago.

Queen Anne furniture began appearing in colonial America around 1715 and remained fashionable throughout most of the eighteenth century.  You can read more about the style here.

I hope everyone has a restful and happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 23, 2015

Guest Post: My Design Chic

I recently came across Pippa Holt's Dublin home in Moda Familia, and her lively, stylish living room stopped me in my tracks.  Pippa is a contributing editor to British Vogue, and her style is both colorful and chic.  I love the elegant mix in her living room- a crystal chandelier and more modern standing lamps on each side of the sofa give the space a certain eccentricity.  I also love the mix of high and low- from the Hermes blanket and brass plated cocktail table to the durable jute rug.  I found a few pieces from some of my favorite sites that could help you recreate the look, and am sharing them over on My Design Chic today:

Go check out my post here.

See Pippa's full house tour here.

Thanks for having me, girls! Happy Monday!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday's Worthy Links

It's been an emotionally-charged week for many in light of the recent Paris attacks, and I think we can all sense the anger, sadness, and agitation among us.  I always struggle a bit to strike the right balance here in terms of what I post.  As I've mentioned before, this blog started as a personal escape for me, so I love the idea of others coming here for a nice, stress-free break in the day to view pretty interiors.  At the same time, I never want to shy away from writing about the harder aspects of life.  The only actionable thing I know how to do to help is to donate to UNICEF, the UN agency helping Syrian children by providing healthcare, nutrition, immunization, education, water, and sanitation. If having a baby niece has taught me anything, it's that a child is so vulnerable and impressionable and at the same time remarkably curious and open to life.  Despite our differences as adults, innocent Syrian children should not have to suffer. 

Now back to the "lighter" stuff.  A few links for your weekend perusal...

-Loved The Man Repeller's first Monocycle podcast discussing how to prevent artistic burnout.  Leandra poses the questions-  Are we all really burning out, and if so- why is that happening? And when did we forget that happiness is the goal?

-Loved seeing how Erin decorated her new baby Henry's nursery.  The space is so calm and soothing!

-The Norwegians put a positive spin on the impending winter. Maybe we can learn something from their outlook?

-One of my favorite textile designers, Madeline Weinrib, is hosting a sample sale with up to 40-60% off on her covetable rugs and pillows.  Shop the sale online or at ABC Carpet & Home here in New York.

This weekend I'm in Charleston for the first time.  Our firm is opening a satellite office here, so I've been working here for the past few days, but felt it was worth staying the weekend to really experience the city.  Any seasoned Charlestonians out there?  If so, let me know what is not to be missed!



Wednesday, November 18, 2015

More is More

If I've learned one thing since moving to New York and entering the design scene here, it's that more is more.  Because most NYC townhouses and apartments are smaller square footage-wise, it becomes increasingly important to utilize every inch.  And what better way to make a statement than with one bold color or pattern throughout the space?  Of course it's a risk, and can easily become distasteful, but if executed well the result can be breathtaking:

In the room above, decorator Tom Scheerer chose Clarence House's Vase wallpaper in blue to line the hallway walls and main stairwell of this Rhode Island home.  I think the busy pattern works here because these spaces are more of pass-through areas, rather than rooms where you would gather or sleep within.  

And in this breakfast nook, Lourdes Gutierrez used Quadrille's happy Arbre de Matisse fabric in jungle green:

I love the mix of the bright green with the sleek white Knoll Platner arm chairs and Saarinen dining table.   

And as a big fan of cherry red, I do love this sitting room by Miles himself.  The varying heights of the furniture as well as the over-scaled table lamp give the room a bit of quirk.

The impressive guest room at Michael S. Smith's Rancho Mirage home features a canopy bed, headboard and wall upholstery all in the same fabric.  Definitely a risky move- but I feel Smith executed the look seamlessly.

Another interesting technique is to blend the wall coverings with the window treatments, like Michelle R Smith did here:

While I'm not normally drawn to orange, I do dig this bedroom.  I do have the urge to pop in a contrasting color to break it up a bit though, like cobalt blue or palm leaf green.

Speaking of leaves, how fun is this tiny bathroom?  Even the Matouk towels have a green piping detail.

I think the most fail-proof space to do a bold pattern or color is the powder bath or guest bathroom.  Since these spaces are tiny and enclosed, a loud look can really pack a punch without spilling over and having to work with adjoining rooms. 

So what's your take- are you a fan of pattern or color saturation?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Designer Crush: Katie Emmons Design

Discovering Katie Emmons and her design work was a happy accident.  Our firm has a textile line, and when orders come through I always love to look at the name of the designer who purchased the fabric out of curiosity.  If I'm unfamiliar with them, I'll often look up their work just to get a sense of their style.  Katie's company recently placed an order, and looking through her site made 1 thing clear- this gal possesses an innate talent. Each space is beautifully curated, with an overall sense of tranquility and attention to detail:

{roman shade in AND Positano fabric}

It's no wonder I love Katie's style- she started out as a Texas designer, too!  

Read more about Katie and her work here.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Raising the Bar

There aren't many things in life I find as satisfying as a stiff dirty martini after work on a Friday.  With martinis on my mind, I wanted to celebrate the art of drinking and barware.  The original liquor cabinet was called a cellaret, and was a small, movable wine cooler that came in to fashion in the 1700s.  They served as an important fixture in the stylish parlors and dining rooms of the Victorian elite, and made their way to the American colonies.  When the flow of alcohol was curbed in the 1920s, the need for secure storage proved all the more important.  Bar cellarets and cabinets kept alcohol out of sight, but never out of mind.  Alcohol consumption did not reach pre-Prohibition levels again until the 1960s, when alcohol was seemingly prevalent everywhere, even in the office for entertaining clients- a la Mad Men.

Whether you prefer to keep your barware and liquor under raps with a bar cabinet or on display with a bar cart, the stylish options are endless.  Here's how I styled mine:

Shop This Board:

1.) Carry on "Moscow Mule" Cocktail Kit $24/2.) Pop Rocks Glasses $14/3.) "Please Don't Tell" Cocktail Book $654.) Downing Bar Cabinet $999/5.) Rablab Agate Coasters $68/
6.) Lilien's Dessert Cocktail Swatchbook $10.27/7.) Gibson Bar Cart $470/8.) Ketel One Vodka $35/

TGIF!  Is it 5 o'clock yet?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

28th Birthday Wishlist

My big 2-8 is a few weeks away, and I am so lucky that a few of my closest girlfriends are coming to NYC for the weekend to celebrate with me.  What would a birthday be without a good wish list (although, let's be honest, all funds are really going to pay the NY bills), and I've created a "save" list as well as a "splurge" list, just for fun.

Save Edition:

1.) Dark Marble Case $15.90/2.) I Love Bad Bitches Pillow $68/3.) Barbie and Ken Sunrise Dip Photo $30/4.) Gold Tassel Earrings $34/5.) Brene Brown's Rising Strong book $15.72/6.) Nest Candle in Pumpkin Chai $38/7.) Monogrammed Makeup Bag $23/

Splurge Edition:

1.) Bella Silk Satin Sleep Set $310/2.) Fendi Peekaboo Tote $4,700/3.) Gala Fringe Gloves $175/4.) Sam Edelman Suede Over-the-Knee Boots $250/5.) Cire Trudon Gabriel Candle $105/6.) Burberry Check Wool Scarf $395/7.) Intermix Holiday Dress $In stores onlysimilar here

The Cire Trudon Gabriel candle is the best smelling candle you'll come across during the holidays, although I've got a soft spot for Nest's Pumpkin Chai as well.  And I MUST have that bad bitches pillow.  

So who's feelin' gifty? ;)

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Designer Crush: Lindsay Cowles

If there's a modern day Renaissance woman amongst us, I'd say it's Lindsay Cowles.  The Richmond-based contemporary artist is known for her abstract expressionist works of layered color, textured brush strokes and energetic movement.  One of her paintings was recently selected by Reese Witherspoon for her new Nashville store, Draper James.  In addition, she has a well-known wallpaper and textile line that has become a favorite amongst interior designers.  Her wallpapers feature many of the motifs from her paintings, as Lindsay is able to digitally manipulate the patterns in to wall coverings and textiles.

Shop Lindsay's Wallpapers

One of my favorite fellow bloggers and interior designers, Alex Kaehler, used Lindsay's Peach 718-1 wallpaper in her Grand Loft project, and I've been smitten ever since.

See more of Lindsay's artwork and wall coverings here.
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