Friday, January 29, 2016

Sam Loves: 8

TGIF.  I've got a full weekend ahead with a few design events (including NY Now) and some get-togethers planned with friends.  Here's what I'm loving right now:

A fabulous bedhanging (with a lantern integrated in to the upholstery!) by designer Megan Rice Yager.

As I mentioned recently, West Elm has certainly stepped up their furniture game.  I adore their Roar + Rabbit Swivel Chair in the Dusty Blush fabric- $799

Kate Bosworth looked stunning wearing Boss for the premiere of her movie Still Alice. Kate and Sienna Miller are my 2 biggest style icons for their effortless beauty. (photo via  Who What Wear)

These mint + crystal statement earrings from Bauble Bar are perfect for winter parties (anyone else going to the NYJL Winter Ball?!?), and the cherry red faux leather shopper is only $58!

For all of you master DIY-ers, here's a great weekend project to make your staircase a little more interesting.  Jane with Oh Curiosity takes you through the step by step stenciling process to turn your stairs in to something special without the need for a carpet runner.

Any big plans for your weekend?  The snow has almost all melted here in NY, so no sledding in Central Park this weekend. :(

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Admiring a Classic: The Eames Lounge Chair

Last Monday I went to a friend's birthday dinner party at her newly redecorated apartment in the Lower East Side.  While the food was unbelievable (Vietnamese fare prepared by NYC chef Sung Lee) what really caught my eye was her Eames Lounge chair in the corner.  Hello, gorgeous.  Admittedly, I am not the biggest modern design fan.  I never really could get on board with Corbusier, but there are a few stand out mid-century pieces that just do it for me.  One is Milo Baughman's furniture for Thayer Coggin, and the other is- you guessed it- the Eames Lounge chair.

Designed by Charles and Ray Eames in 1956 and produced by Herman Miller, the Eames Lounge chair was inspired by the traditional English club chair.  Charles's vision for the chair was for it to resemble "the warm, receptive look of a well-used first baseman's mitt." Constructed of a 3-part plywood base, innovative hardware fastens the cushions to the shells without damaging the appearance of the wood.  While Charles and Ray were typically known for their desire to mass-produce quality furniture at a reasonable price, the Eames Lounge chair is an exception.  This beauty will costs a pretty penny, and like most high-end products, has attracted several knock offs.  But there's a reason the original has been around for 60 years now- it's sleek, sophisticated, and beautifully simple.

The chair has become synonymous with tasteful, modern design and is still in production today.  It was a staple on the Frasier set and was spotted in the office of Serena and Bass's apartment on Gossip Girl:

{Could Penn Badgley BE any more shaggable?}

I'll take mine in pink, please.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Designer Crush: Jennifer Barron Interiors

Typically my designer crush posts feature decorators I've admired from afar, so today's crush is extra special- this designer is actually a girl near and dear to my heart!  Jennifer Barron is a Houston-based residential designer who also happens to be one of my closest gal pals from design school.  Born and raised in Dallas, Jennifer went to undergrad at Vanderbilt and went on to work as a teacher in Chicago with the Teach for America program.  After finishing her 2 year term, she decided what she really loved was design.  We always bonded over the fact that neither of us set out to pursue a design career, but that our interest and passion naturally evolved after a few years post college.   When you've built 3D models, stayed up all night together rendering floor plans, and pulled together a comprehensive portfolio in 12 short weeks, you naturally become close to your classmates and I consider myself one of her biggest cheerleaders.  Jennifer is already taking the Houston design scene by storm, creating livable, fresh spaces that remind me of her Texas roots:

As a young designer, Jenn's spaces feel comfortable and transitional with just the right amount of quirk.  I can't wait to see what she comes up with next!  And I couldn't end the post without at least 1 photo of us from our design school days.  Here we are at our senior portfolio show, in the fall of 2014:

Love you, girl! 

To see more of Jenn's beautiful work, visit her website here.

{all photos taken by Molly Winters, all design and styling by Jennifer Barron}

Monday, January 25, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: A Pink Sofa

There's something so refreshing about seeing a sofa upholstered in a bold color.  Most of us tend to stick with a "safer" option when it comes to a main furniture item because we're afraid going with a strong color will feel trendy or dated before too long.  But I feel that always seeing an assortment of neutral tones in a living room or bedroom can feel boring and uninspiring.  The room itself can get lost amongst the varying shades of beige, gray, and white. The key (as it always is) is finding a good balance.  Softening a room with calming neutral tones and then creating an unexpected focal point with a bright, bold sofa tugs at my designer heartstrings.  As a bachelorette, I've always dreamed of having a bold pink sofa and pairing it with a moody black wall:

I love the richness of pink velvets- like on this mod sofa:

Emily Henderson chose a hot pink for the corner sofa at The Fig House.  Set against a mint green wall with brass accents, the sofa is a dream and it's hard to believe it was vintage before being reupholstered:

Leave it to Kelly Wearstler to upholster a sofa in Scalamandre's Le Tigre fabric and have the result be undeniably chic:

I prefer a more modern sofa shape for my dream pink sofa. It feels unique and unexpected:

Does a pink sofa make you sweat a bit?  If so, how about a pink club chair instead?

{Idea Magazine}

If the idea doesn't make you sweat at all, then up the ante with a rich chinoiserie wallcovering a la Caroline Seiber:

Shop this Board:

Pink Ikat Pillow $65/Louis XVI Chair $975/Payton Acrylic Trunk Brass & Lucite $499/Serena & Lily Paxton Tufted Loveseat $2,850/Phipps Heather Rug $1,199

I couldn't get over the minty green + bubblegum pink color combo in her living room.  The colors together are striking and elegant.  I got so inspired I had to create a design board based off the 2 hues!    I'm thinking a color crush post will be in the works....

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday's Worthy Links

TGIF!  While all of us here on the east coast are waiting out winter storm Jonas, I figured we could look forward and discuss what's to come in 2016:

-Pinterest 100 compiles the hottest trends predicted for 2016, based on the pinning habits of over 100 million users.  What's hot?  Traveling to Tulum  (glad I checked that one off the list last year!), bushy brows thanks to this product,  neutral hues and geometric patterns for the home, and paring down when it comes to your wardrobe

-My favorite home decor trend as of late? Spots- like the wallpaper in this adorable bathroom, the watercolor strokes on this bedding, or this Rebecca Atwood throw pillow.

-The Everygirl shared 10 Fashion Trends to Expect in 2016.  My favorite is #2!

-So looking forward to tuning in each week for the new Modern Love podcast-  A highlight of my week is reading the latest Modern Love essay on The New York Times website, and I know the podcast will be just as good.

-Speaking of Modern Love, here's an interesting take on cultivating desire.

-My new favorite Instagram account, @theacademynewyork, posts a series of 3 images each day with a specific theme.  It's such an interesting change from the perfectly arranged/posed photos you normally see all over the app these days. 

-Just ordered this book and can't wait to get reading.  What's on your reading list these days?

I hope everyone has a great weekend!  I can't wait to sleep in and relax.


{image above via The Everygirl}

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

NYC Bedroom Update: 3

It's been nearly four months since my last "NYC Bedroom Update" post, so I thought it was time to share an update on the process.  Although my bedroom is roughly 100 square feet and my adjoining bathroom barely allows one person to fit in it comfortably, I have been taking my time and really being methodical with the design.  First of all, my entire lifestyle has changed and that has caused me to rethink and recalibrate how to best utilize my space.   For instance, my closet is roughly 3' wide, which means it cannot hold a great deal of clothing, and especially can't hold anything I "might" wear "one day."  There's only room for the essentials, and since it's winter I have 1 under-bed drawer full of my summer clothes.  And even the "under the bed" space is sacred- I only have a full bed, after all!  A progress post wouldn't be complete without a few sagas along the way.  As you may recall, my acrylic desk chair arrived from Houston broken, and Fed Ex denied my claim because apparently I was supposed to save the life size box it came in until the claim process was complete.  Total bummer.  Thankfully, I found a restoration company in Long Island City who could repair it and re-glue it back together, so I had a good friend carry it out to their shop in a taxi on his day off.  Again, it takes a village to decorate here.  Once the restoration company fixed it, I had the seat reupholstered in Quadrille's Nomad Green on Tinted Linen.  The result makes me so happy:

Saga #2:  My headboard.  I fell in love with Serena & Lily's Octavia headboard last year, and couldn't get the simplistic design out of my mind. I wanted one for my NYC bedroom, but the height would not work with my bed frame.  I have risers on my bed (like we all did in our college dorm rooms), so the top of my mattress height is roughly 32".  The headboard height is 55", so once I added my shams the headboard would've disappeared.  Thankfully, I found Susie Marks on Etsy, and she built a custom full headboard for me at 72"H to work proportionately with my abnormally tall bed:

I am hesitant to even show you a picture of my bed linens at this point, because I feel they are such a random assortment thrown together.  I couldn't part with my old sofa pillows upholstered in Schumacher Shock Wave, so for now they are mixed in with my Matouk Lorelei linens and hot pink mohair lumbars.  Figuring out my bedding situation is still on the to-do list.  

You might be asking yourself- what about the above headboard story is saga-worthy?  Well, let me get to that.  The first headboard Susie sent was damaged in transit, so she had to start over and make a new one.  The wait was worth it, but the second issue was the delivery.  The headboard alone weighs about 75 lbs, and I live in a fourth floor walk up with no elevator.  I wouldn't mind helping the deliveryman get the headboard up four flights of stairs, but unfortunately he could only deliver during business hours, and I couldn't leave work to help.  Fortuitously, next door to my apartment building is a laundry service where I drop off my clothes to be washed/folded/dry-cleaned weekly, and I've come to be friendly with the couple that owns the shop.  I told the husband my headboard predicament, and simply asked if I could have the headboard delivered to their storefront and I could worry about getting it up the stairs after work.  To my surprise, the husband ended up lugging the headboard up all the stairs and it was waiting outside my apartment door when I got home that evening.  I love my village!  

Next, I worked with Liven Up Design to design a shower curtain and cornice box for my tiny NY shower.  The shower (as you can tell) was literally cut in to the wall with no moulding or tile border of any kind around the wall.  It felt neglected and I wanted to do something to give it a little oomph. We used Quadrille's Nomad on Tinted Linen fabric for a fun, bright pop of color:

So what's left?  Finishing my 2 windows with roman shades in white and lining them with a pink tape trim, adding a framed photograph from Stephanie Novas, adding my Coleen & Company fixture, finding a fun bedside table lamp, and waiting on my Sarah side table from Fabulous Things in Atlanta:

I'm adding a few Nest Studio knobs to my closet doors and one for the bedside table pull. They have such gorgeous hardware!

I'm hoping my next update post for you will be the room completed with lots of photos of the details in a few months.  Obviously the room will never be completely done,  but I'm looking forward to feeling a bit more settled. Thanks for following along on the process!

Monday, January 18, 2016

Needing, Wanting, Loving: A Black Kitchen

Although I'll always have an attraction to the beauty and simplicity of white kitchens (hello Carrera marble, glossy white subway tiles and soft, soothing hues), being a New Yorker has made me appreciate the bold and the daring.  Dark, moody bars, rich lacquered walls of Park Avenue apartments, and the glittery lights of the city have me craving interiors that pack a serious punch. Kitchens that predominantly feature darker elements are my latest fixation- Whether it's black lacquered cabinetry, black marble countertops, or a rich backsplash set against steel-framed windows:

Apartment Therapy featured Jeff and Halle's 1,250 square foot East Village apartment last year and I fell hard for their lively kitchen.  The backsplash features lively tile by Urban Archeology that incorporates my favorite shade of sage.  They chose Benjamin Moore's Mopboard Black for their cabinetry- I love the matte black finish:

Speaking of matte black, how dreamy are these streamlined uppers and lowers, and that black marble!  TDF.

A few months ago, Architectural Digest featured Nate Berkus's and Jeremiah Brent's Greenwich Village townhouse, and I fell hard for the kitchen.  The solarium-style window allows in a healthy dose of natural light and the black lacquered cabinets are chic and timeless (and take a look at that detailed ceiling!)

Brittany (the fab blogger behind Brittany Makes) renovated her kitchen and included Sherwin William's Cyberspace as the paint color for her cabinetry.  The dark, moody shade juxtaposes well with the crisp Carrera marble countertops and the brass hardware:

And what's even more daring?  Adding an opulent chandelier directly over the sink, as designer Tobi Tobin did in this modern farmhouse.  The cabinetry is painted in Farrow and Ball's Pitch Black:

Adding simple task urban lighting, an old school refrigerator and deer antlers gives this kitchen a quirky personality.  Who says it has to be 100% utilitarian? Can't it be decorated with pretty details as well?

While I love the drama this dark shade creates, I find I prefer it with a dose of white or white-washed wood mixed in.  Whether it's just a simple white subway tile backsplash separating the upper and lower black cabinetry, or perhaps upper cabinets painted in a lighter shade, I prefer when the light balances the dark.  Designer Naomi Stein featured a delicious black + brass hood and stove among a white kitchen, and the result is fabulous:

So what's your take on black kitchens?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Red Hot at the Golden Globes

I know the Golden Globes red carpet style has been discussed ad nauseam in the blogosphere at this point, but I cannot get over how fierce J Law looked.  When I saw her in real time on Sunday night I thought to myself, "this look will be all over the best-dressed list." From her 156 carats of Chopard diamonds, to her swept back hairstyle to THAT dress, I can't get enough:

Holy abs.  And the GG red prettiness doesn't stop there.  Amy Adams looked svelte in her geranium red Versace gown.  I loved that she left her hair down a bit tousled and her makeup soft to offset the fanciness:

Emmy Rossum was a stunner in silk crepe Armani Prive dress.  I love the vampy crimson lip color and that Vancleef & Arpels diamond necklace is killer.

And to fuel the red obsession, I rounded up a few favorites in the hot hue:

Which red carpet look was your favorite from this years Golden Globes?

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Bachelor Decor

In the past year I've helped a few guy friends with their apartments, and in the process I've realized how few decor sites cater towards a more masculine aesthetic.  Sure there's West Elm, Restoration Hardware, and CB2 (all stores that I truly love), but what about for more unique items- like vintage artwork, creative accessories or kilim rugs?  One site I came across recently and love is TRNK.  Started in Brooklyn by two male roommates turned friends, the website features furnishings, lighting, barware, and decorative accessories with men in mind.  They saw a gap in the marketplace and wanted to make the experience of shopping for home goods fun for guys, rather than tedious and stressful.  Before I share a few of my favorite products from TRNK, let's delve a little in to the masculine aesthetic.

Bachelors- whatever your goals are with women or in life, there are few things more impressive than a guy who has put a little TLC in to his home or apartment.  This doesn't necessarily mean you need to spend lots of money on your home either- just give it a little thought and a few nice touches.  Some easy ones are adding a rug underneath your bed if you have hardwood floors (no one wants to step out of bed in the morning on to cold wood), adding a few cozy throws, and incorporating 1 or 2 statement art pieces or photographs

Neon signs are pretty cool, too- just as long as they aren't advertising your favorite American beer.

I love this woven headboard- it gives the space a bit of dimension and adds some character.  And don't get me started on the lucite leather bench:

I put together a board of a few of my favorite furniture and accessory items from TRNK. Their sofas are amazing too, but the men I know won't drop $4,500 on a sofa- so I threw in a good option from West Elm instead.  Why didn't anyone tell me West Elm is killing the sofa game lately?  I love this, this, and this.

Shop This Board:

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