Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Eve

New Year's Eve is one of my favorite holidays because I have so many happy memories associated with the night.  The last few years I've celebrated it more low key, but before that I did NYE in Times Square, NYE in Las Vegas, NYE in Miami, and NYE in Aruba (that was 2007, when I made the wild decision to be a vegetarian).   I love the build up and focus on a new, untouched year.  At the same time, sometimes with so much energy and focus going in to one night, it can be a let down.  I think it's best to approach NYE like you would approach a first date- ready to have fun but not necessarily needing or depending on a perfect situation to have fun.  I'm heading to Austin to celebrate with my best friend Katy, and we plan to join a few friends at a party at the W.  I even went so far as to order a few Rent the Runway outfit options for the evening- a black Rachel Zoe jumpsuit and a Parker red and black knit dress, depending on my mood.   Of course I love any excuse to dress up, but New Years always puts me in the mood to wear gold or black. 

Shop The Post:

Outfit 1: Elara Earrings $34/Rachel Zoe Emilie Jumpsuit $75 Rental/Mini Faux Leather Clutch $48/Silver Stuard Weitzman "Nudist" Sandal $398/

Outfit 2: Parker Intasia Sheath Dress $40 Rental/Long Leather Tassel Necklace $40/Mayanna Gold Clutch $54.95/Topshop Ravish Laser-Cut Sandals $90

Any fun plans for New Years Eve?  Who's ready to leave 2015 in the past, like me?! ;)

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Designer Crush: Anna Spiro

I've been crushing on Brisbane-based designer Anna Spiro since admiring her house tour featured in 2009 on Apartment Therapy.  The girl has mad style.  I love that she chose an Allyson Reynolds moth painting for her home, just like designer Sara Gilbrane did in yesterday's post:

And I'm sure many of you domino addicts remember her eclectic bathroom vanity featured in their coffee table book (it's one of my favorites!):

Anna's design firm is Black & Spiro, and in addition to homes, they do hospitality projects as well- like the boutique hotel Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach:

The hotel features a healthy dose of beachy blue and whites, and reminds me of my good friend Gaby's style- modern, eclectic, and effortless in the best way possible. 

The Brisbane Mr. & Mrs. G Riverbar was another one of Anna's hospitality projects.   She worked closely with owners Andy and Marcia Gorges to create a bright, beautiful bar with a nod to their Mediterranean roots:

If designing brilliant spaces wasn't enough of a calling card, Anna released a line of 3 divine wallpapers in 2012 through Porter's Paints- I remember it nearly broke the design internet. The first is a fun whimsical pattern called "Round and Round the Garden":

The second is Rosey Posey Trellis (my personal favorite):

And the third is Higgledy Piggledy Stripe:

All of Anna's wallpapers can now be purchased through her online store here

Anna also released a coffee table book named after her design blog, Absolutely Beautiful Things, in 2015.  I have yet to buy it myself, but it's on the wish list. 

So inspired by you, Anna!  Keep up the fab work. 

{all images via Black & Spiro}

Monday, December 28, 2015

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Bullion Fringe

I am so glad to see that bullion fringe, a detail once thought to be stuffy and dated, is making a comeback.  Bullion is a type of trim made with rope-like twists of thread, often silk, that outline upholstery and occasionally draperies.  I have always felt that it gives a custom piece of furniture that extra bit of "oomph":  

{Bunny Williams}

Because it is often used in more traditional applications, I love the quirk of seeing it on modern pieces, like Liv Tyler's mod purple sofa:

And the tight-backed swivel chair in Lilly Bunn's apartment:

Designer Philip Gorrivan used it on a contemporary club chair, which I would never think to do.  I think this application is stretching it a bit, as I don't think this piece is refined enough for bullion to make sense.  Nevertheless, I love that Phillip went for it, and the entire Toronto home is worth a look.  

As I've blogged about before, Charlotte Lucas paired bullion with a quirky Quadrille fabric, and I love the pop of yellow tape to separate the two elements:

I LOVE the bullion fringe on this crushed velvet sofa designed by Sara Gilbrane.  This shade of turquoise is probably my favorite color to decorate with, and I love the moth painting by artist Allyson Reynolds:

While bullion is usually seen on upholstery, I love seeing it used on curtains.  Designer Alex Papachristidis uses it often on his draperies, and the result is gorgeous.  These may be some of my favorite draperies ever spotted:

So what's your take?  Do you like bullion or is it too traditional-feeling for you?

Friday, December 25, 2015

Friday's Worthy Links

Merry Christmas ((and happy Friday))!  I hope you are enjoying the day relaxing with family + friends.  There's nothing better than the holiday season.  Somehow my mom convinced me to wear matching pajamas with her and my niece, but how could I say no to these two? 

A few noteworthy links for your Christmas afternoon perusal...

-Who has a better beard than Santa? These guys

-The secret to being a great boss. 

-New Year's Eve is around the corner and Paloma's post about holiday heels has me in the mood to glam things up.  I even ordered a Rent the Runway jumpsuit in preparation for the 31st!

-Who's listening to Season 2 of Serial?  I'm already hooked.  

-My new hero is 5th grade teacher Emily E. Smith, founder of the Hive Society. She's on a mission to give her students a different kind of learning environment that includes watching TED talks, analyzing infographics, and reading The Rolling Stone.  I love it when people are this passionate about their jobs.

-Go. See. This. Movie. Now.  I saw it last Sunday and it was SO good!

{image via Monika Hibbs, who officially wins the award for best holiday decor.  You go girl.} 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Swing Arm Sconces

I know I've posted about swing-arm sconces before, but I wanted to do a follow up post since there have been quite a few creative new releases on the style in the past 2 years.  The swing arm adds both an element of interest and a unique conversation piece while helping to save on space. They are perfect for adding valuable task lighting above a small reading nook, a kitchen sink, or at your bedside:

{Francisco Costa's Library Photographed for Elle Decor}

Most of the swing arm styles I'm drawn to lately are more modern in form.  They often feature a longer arm, a funky shade, and are a bit more modular.  However, there are also many new releases in the traditional style of swing arm that feature new finishes and unique touches, like the lucite and brass pair below.

Swing arm sconces- are you a fan?  Which style do you most gravitate towards?

Monday, December 21, 2015

Sam Loves: 7

Monday rolled around a lot faster this week.  Our design firm was on an install in Charleston last week, and we didn't get back in to New York until Friday at 11 pm.  Needless to say, I spent the entire weekend off my feet, last minute Christmas shopping online, and Netflix and Chilling in bed.  I'm ready to knock out this 2-day work week and head back to OKC for Christmas!  Here's what my inspiration board is looking like this week-

1.) I'll be ringing in the New Year with my friend Katy in Austin, and I've been looking for the perfect outfit.  I know I want to wear some statement-making earrings, and these Bauble Bar Verbena Earrings combine two of my favorite elements- crystal and tortoise shell.  

2.) One of my favorite looks from Fall's Paris Fashion Week was this wintery white number.  The monochromatic look featuring a fitted top and a sassy feathery skirt is perfection.  Via Buro.

3.)  A stylish quilted black tote under 50?  Sign me up.  

4.)  Speaking of a New Year's outfit, strappy heels in a snakeskin pattern (or in black!) seem perfect for meeting 2016.  Need them for Christmas?  The good news is Nordstrom is providing free 2-day shipping as long as you place your order by 3 pm tomorrow. 

5.) I'm all about bold color and texture, and Pierre Frey's Inspiring Interiors coffee table book has a cover that's a piece of art itself. 

6.)I'm dying over the green apple shade of lacquer designer Christina Murphy did in her Park Avenue client's hallway, featured earlier this year in House Beautiful.

7.)  Antica Farmicista is one of my "go-to" brands for candles and soaps/lotions.  Their latest candle release, the Champagne Black Label, comes in a chic shiny black with a gold border trim.  I've been burning it in my apartment and the smell is both luxurious and fresh!

Shop This Board:

Bauble Bar Drop Earrings $36/BP Quilted Satchel $48/Topshop Resort Strappy Heels $50/Pierre Frey Inspiring Interiors $43/Antica Farmica Champagne Black Label Candle $44/

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Winter Fashion

The weather in NYC has been oddly warm lately.  I keep bracing myself for the infamous New York winter everyone has warned me about, but in the meantime I'm enjoying my uniform of light jackets, dresses and flats.  To be honest I am so thankful my first introduction to the New York winter has been gradual and mild.  It's given me time to build a bit of a winter wardrobe (I moved here with 2 pairs of pants and 0 winter boots) and adjust my style to fit a colder, busier lifestyle.  I learned very quickly that heels are to be carried in your bag and put on once you get to work, dinner or wherever you are going.  I've also learned how to layer pieces and accessories to create a unique look with a few everyday basics.  Here are a few outfits I love that suit these (mostly mild) winter temperatures: 

I LOVE that over-the-knee boots are back in and think they look incredible with tunics/oversized sweaters and skinny jeans.  Capes and belted jackets are stylish alternatives to the typical puffy coat.

What winter pieces are staples for your wardrobe?

Monday, December 14, 2015

Gift Guide for the Dudes

Happy Monday!  When it comes to holiday shopping, no one is harder to shop for than the typical male.  Why? Guys often don't even know themselves what they'd like to receive as a gift.  And if they really want something, they'll typically go out and buy it on their own.  So what's the solution?  Choose to buy the men in your life something so stylish, useful, and/or cool that they won't be able to help but love it.  As Steve Jobs said, "Most people don't know what they want until you put it in front of them."  To help you think of something, I rounded up a few of my favorite gift ideas for the dudes this Christmas:

Shop Gift Guide for Men:

Ray Ban Wayfarers $150/J Crew Garment Dyed Shirt $49.50/S42 Stainless Tube Watch $399/Novel Duffle Bag $80/Book of Golf Courses Leather Book $115/Neighbors Notch Top Lapel Coat $199/Beats by Dre $299/Yeti 20oz Tumbler $30/Chuck Taylor Canvas Sneakers $69.50/Ash Wood Bottle Opener $29/

Favorite Websites for Men:


Home Goods:



TRNK is my go-to for home decor, furniture, rugs, and art with a masculine aesthetic, and Mr. Porter is a great website for men's fashion and style.  

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Designer Crush: Hallie Henley Design

Happy December! I thought starting the last month of the year with sharing the work of one of my favorite Houston designers would make for a great start.  Hallie Henley Sims is a fellow OU Sooner and worked for a brief time with me at Courtney Hill Interiors (another favorite Houston design firm).  Haley went out on her own as a designer in early 2014, and has since been featured in Luxe Interiors + Design Magazine as well as online at Domaine Home.  I have always been smitten with Hallie's tailored aesthetic and her acute attention to detail, like the gorgeous ceiling wallpaper in this nursery, and the French doors painted in a statement-making charcoal:

I love the vibe of this light-filled kitchen.  I've always had a soft spot for a predominately white kitchen, but I love that Hallie chose to mix it up a bit with the dark blue bead board island:

I can't wait to see what Hallie comes up with next!  She always manages to wow me with her creativity and sense of style.  

{all images via Hallie Henley Design}
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