Friday, February 24, 2017

Friday's Worthy Links- 2.24.17

It's been a hot minute since I've done a Friday links post and there's lots of inspiration whirling around in my brain, so I figured it was high time to share a few good tidbits with you.

Friday's Worthy Links:

-Anyone else struggling to stay on track with their New Years goals? I for one have been slacking on exercise and indulging in a few too many Javelina quesos, so after a period of self-loathing I've gotten back in to the habit of wearing my Fitbit.  Seeing all your wellness data in one simple app is so helpful and motivates me to get to the gym, get enough sleep, drink enough water, etc.  Read more about how Fitbit has upped my productivity here

-A thought-provoking article on cities and ambition- and why living in a larger city earlier on in your career can make all the difference. 

-A steady news diet- is it better to be in-the-know, or healthier to opt out?  Five things you notice when you quit the news

-A kiss cam celebrating unbiased love.  I dig it. 

-Just ordered this book from Amazon and I'm excited to start reading.  As Caroline Donofino put it- "Anna, like Oprah, seems to know ALL OF THE THINGS and has an incredible gift for presenting them eloquently and wisely. This book reads like a wonderful conversation with a friend, that will soothe and inspire you time and time again."

-Needing, wanting, loving: this, this and this.  And a great look-alike to our favorite Gucci slides.  Also dying to try these self-tanning drops.  You add them to your moisturizer for a gradual, radiant glow.  If Joanna from A Cup of Jo swears by them, they're good enough for me. 

Wishing everyone a lovely, relaxing weekend!



Thursday, February 23, 2017

Color Crush: Bits of Green

Pantone's Color of the Year for 2017 is Greenery- and I'm digging it.  Pantone says, "A refreshing and revitalizing shade, greenery is symbolic of new beginnings."  Who doesn't want a new beginning? I'm drawn to cooler tones when I decorate, and I love the impact a bit of unexpected moss or olive green can bring to a space. 

A few delightful dabs of green:

Green is Good (Top to Bottom, Left to Right): editor Leila Yavari looking fly in an olive green jumpsuit.

Lundy Hang light fixture designed by Martin Brudnizki for Urban Electric Co.

Loving the curves on Jayson Home & Garden's Chinoserie Bench.

Zara continues to be the Queen of chic, affordable finds for me.  I loved this Top with Frilled Sleeves, $39.95.  A smart color and a transitional shape.

I'm drawn to furniture with geometric cut-outs, like these 1969 Arnes Jacobson-designed dining chairs (which have sadly, sold!)

Green-tiled bathroom walls pair nicely with a floor by Exquisite Surfaces- one of my favorite places to look for endless floor beauty.

Kate Spade "One in a Million" Business Card Holder, $30- because crumpled up biz cards are a serious faux pas. 

My favorite candles in the world are Cire Trudon.  They are my biggest guilty pleasure... well, one of them. ;)

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Chic Shop Alert: Decor NYC

One of my favorite ways to shop for clients and for myself is on designer furniture consignment websites. You get the best of both worlds:  A beautiful, (often) one-of-a-kind piece, and a lower price.  Every designer wants the rooms they design to feel special and include items with great history and quality, rather than just ordinary hum-drum pieces from big box stores.  That's why I love consignment!  When I discovered that Manhattan had an actual brick-and-mortar designer furniture consignment store, I was there before the week had ended.  Decor NYC is located in New York's Garment District at 159 West 25th Street and includes over 6,000 square feet of gently-used high-end furniture and accessories, like a Markham Roberts custom silver blue button-tufted sofa:

The owner, Bruce Tilley, opened Decor NYC in 2012 when he realized that between low-end thrift store pieces and high-end antiques, there was quite a gap in the marketplace.  Bruce has great relationships with several furniture stores and designers in Manhattan, so when a piece doesn't work out in a client's home or a store doesn't sell something before it's time to bring in new inventory, the treasures go to Bruce!  Each piece that is accepted by Decor NYC has been vetted by Bruce, researched, and priced competitively- because they want the inventory to move:

I was delighted to discover a pair of Alexa Hampton for Hickory Chair nightstands marked at $2,000/pair.  This is one of my favorite pieces in the entire Hickory Chair collection- the brass sabots are so good!

My turquoise-loving heart fluttered seeing this pair of Murano glass lamps, priced at $1,595 for the pair:

Pretty ceramic lamps, all in a row:

This olive velvet rocker from the mid 1800s was a fun find in their downstairs seating section:

I was a bit starstruck when I saw a few classic design pieces on the floor, like this set of 8 Giac Mark de la Vega Chairs and this Eames 3-Seat Black Leather and Teak Sofa.   

If you don't live in New York, not to fret- you can shop Decor NYC's entire inventory online here.  And if you do live in the city, be sure to stop in soon to see all the treasures.

Friday, February 17, 2017

Take Me Away: The Refinery Hotel

The Refinery Hotel is hands down one of my favorite places to visit in Manhattan.  When I previously lived in Houston, I stayed at The Refinery once when weekending in New York and loved the entire experience.  First of all, their pricing is very competitive when compared to most of Manhattan's other high-end hotels.  Also, the rooms are beautiful (I can't get over the bathroom finishes) and the beds are insanely comfortable.  The hotel is located in midtown at 38th and 6th Avenue, making it a convenient happy hour spot for New York locals:

I'm always pulling friends to the Refinery's downstairs restaurant and bar, Parker & Quinnas well as the Refinery Rooftop.  Last weekend, I had a friend in town and I thought it'd be fun for us to grab a drink at their third bar, Winnie's Jazz Bar, because I had yet to check it out.  It sits right across from the lobby, and when you walk in to the lounge you first see the gorgeous, well-lit bar:

One you walk past the bar, several cozy seating areas are tucked away and illuminated by candlelight. When we visited, the live jazz band made our experience extra intimate and fun.  The jazz singer took a liking to one of the girls I was with and basically serenaded her for a few of his songs!  The drinks were delish, too. Their menu features a well-edited list of cocktails like the Struggle Buggy: Mezcal, anis, honey, ginger, tamarind, and pineapple.  

Also popular is the Refinery's Rooftop bar.  During the summer, the space is open and has a breathtaking view of the Empire State Building and the downtown New York skyline:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Sam Loves: 20

Happy Valentine's Day!  In honor of the holiday of love, my inspiration board is full of varying shades of pink.

Sam Loves: 20 (Top to Bottom, Left to Right)

A delightful light pink entryway by Elsie Larson of The Larson House.

The perfect relaxed tee, dressed up just enough to pair with trousers and wear to work:  $35/

I'll never tire of agate accessories.  Kathleen Walsh used agate napkin holders from Kim Seybert for her Orchid Dinner table setting, and I also love this pair of agate bookends: $69/

I'll also never tire of photographs of women smoking.  I love this photograph of beauty Georgia May Jagger, taken by Tim Walker.

A good reading nook is key to creating a cozy house.  Kathryn Ireland decorated this Cape Cod Beach House, which used to be Jackie Kennedy's favorite vacation spot.  

No "Sam Loves" post would be complete without at least 1 pair of statement earrings.  The Barbados Drops, $32, are new from Bauble Bar and combine my love of pom poms with my love of gold details.

A stunning arrangement of florals- I love the mix of hues.  

A puffer jacket in a blush hue?  My winter game just stepped itself up.  This is too good to be true- Topshop Emily Puffer Jacket, $79/

One of my favorite quotes by author Emery Allen, from the book Become.

Have a beautiful day and know that I love you all!  And also, if you're feeling lovey dovey, here's one of my favorite songs for you.  If you're in more of a girl power mood- watch this for old times sake.



Monday, February 13, 2017

McGrath II's Latest Design Project in Tribeca

One of my favorite design firms to watch is the mother-daughter duo of McGrath II.  I've always been drawn to their highly edited spaces that feel both livable and luxurious.  I feel that they balance incorporating splashes of trendy elements, like the Hinson "splatter" wallpaper in the powder bath below, with timeless pieces that will translate well over the years-   and their recent Tribeca project is no exception:

The apartment featured one long living room space, and the girls felt it was best to break it up in to two separate living spaces- a more casual living room (as shown above) and a formal living room, with lots of seating options:

The custom rug, fabricated by Holland & Sherry, features horizontal stripes that give the illusion that the space is wider than it really is.   The silk wallpaper featured on the back wall by the kitchen is Teal Equinox by Phillip Jeffries.  Slipper chairs are a great seating option for tight spaces because the seat width is small while still remaining comfortable, and there are no arms to take up additional space.  

Connected to the long living room is the open kitchen.  McGrath picked Benjamin Moore's Cliffside Gray as the cabinetry paint color, and the hardware is from Colonial Bronze.  I love that McGrath chose glass fronts for a few of the upper cabinets, so that pretty dish ware could be displayed:

The master bedroom has a soft sage green throughout the space that creates a soothing effect.  The wallpaper was created in a custom shade from Farrow & Ball, and the club chairs were done in a custom Quadrille toile pattern.  I love the Swedish dresser most, though:

Bed linens are by Matouk:

The calming tones continue in to the master bathroom, which feature fittings and a custom mosaic floor by Waterworks.  The stool is from Ballard Designs (my fave)!

No boring, forgotten guest rooms in this house!  The guest bedroom is jazzed up with Quadrille's Abre de Matisse wallpaper and a punchy orange headboard.  The side table is by Chelsea Editions:  

The kid's room includes pretty pink touches, like the leading edge trim on the draperies, the bedside table lamp, and the Serena & Lily Gobi sheets.  The framed watercolor is by Kim McCarty:

See more lovely McGrath II design projects here, and buy their best-selling book here

Happy (early) Valentine's Day to all my loves. 

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Essentials for Unwinding

Today it is blizzarding in Manhattan, and as I watch from my window it actually looks very peaceful.  Something about seeing snow fall while you're inside and warm is lovely.  Also, barely anyone is out on the streets today, making the city feel uncharacteristically calm.  Today is a great day for an at-home spa day, so I wanted to share my favorite products with you as well as the steps I plan to take to unwind this evening.

Step 1: Revitalize Skin with a Mask: I swear by My Beauty Diary Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating Mask.  $13 dollars gets you 10 masks- not only are they relaxing, but you can see a visible difference in your skin afterwards.  My Houston friend Kathleen Jennings also loves these guys, and did a detailed review here.

Step 2: Soothe Eyes: I swear by La Mer's Illuminating Eye Gel.  This guy can actually be applied before eye shadow too, but I like to use it at night.  After a long day of staring at my computer screen, the gel soothes and replenishes my eyes without feeling as heavy as an eye cream (and who wants milia?)  It also brightens and illuminates tired-looking eyes with Miracle Broth.

Step 3: Lather on Body Butter:  I've raved before about my love for AERIN's line of body creams- the lotion is thick and luxurious, and feels amazing on dry skin.  My favorite scents are the Ikat Jasmine and the Gardenia Rattan.  I've also been meaning to try the Rose de Grasse cream.

Step 4: Light a Few Candles:  Jo Malone's Pomegranate Noir candle is the perfect scent for winter and one of my candle staples.  The fragrance is light, crisp, and layered, and lasts forever.  There's a reason it has 12 5 star reviews on Nordstrom!  I also love this, this, and this.

Step 5: Lounge in Style:  Giselle Shorty Pajamas by Eberjay are the softest PJ set I've ever owned.  I got them for Christmas and haven't really been able to take them off since.  I've seen other bloggers rave about them too, so I know I'm not alone in my sentiments.  I'd love to have the long-sleeved set today, too!

Step 6: Wrap up in a Throw: West Elm's  Faux-fur Ombre Throw sits at the end of my bed, and I love curling up with it when I go to sleep.  It's so soft and cozy.

Step 7:  Read a Good Book:  I'm excited to start reading The Princess Diarist, written by Carrie Fischer about her experience working on the set of the first Star Wars movie.  I also still need to read this book

Stay warm, everyone!



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Ballard Designs Wins Again

One of the first home decor + furniture websites I discovered when I was younger and decorating my first apartment was Ballard Designs.   Although I probably get about 50 home design catalogs in the mail a month, I throw all of them immediately in to recycling- except for Ballard's.  I feel it is one retail website that not only manages to stay ahead of emerging design trends, but also provides endless customization options for many pieces.  As a designer, this is ideal because you're able to put your own twist on a piece while keeping the overall price point down for your client.  Also, most retail furniture companies (think West ElmCrate & Barrel, etc) don't allow you to send in your own fabric, but Ballard Designs offers most of their upholstery pieces in COM ("customers own material").  Last night, I was flipping through my latest Ballard catalog, and was nearly giddy with all their new offerings, like this Milo Baughman-inspired Robbie Upholstered Chair:

Or the Amal Slipper Chair, shown below.  You can customize this piece by choosing a different fabric for the lumbar pillow and a different fabric for the welt:

And a few more pieces I think are fab...

Another piece that has been in their collection for a while but is worth revisiting is the Felicity Acrylic Coffee Table:

Ballard released a tabletop collection with Bunny Williams back in 2014, and I discovered when looking at their website last night that Bunny also designed a few furniture pieces for them, like this screen:

And how cute is this brass pineapple ice bucket?

Happy Shopping, guys.

*This post is not sponsored by Ballard Designs, & all opinions are 100% my own!

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Travel Guide: Miami

One great thing about working in the design industry is that most firms and companies stay closed between Christmas and New Years, allowing everyone to take an extended vacation.  This year I took advantage of my time off after Christmas by visiting friends in Houston, spending New Years in Nashville, and finishing with a few days in Miami before heading home to New York.  My college bestie Grace met me in Miami on New Years Day, and we checked in to the Loews Hotel on South Beach. We had traveled to Miami together 7 years ago to see OU play in the Orange Bowl, but hadn't been back since.  It was so fun to rediscover the city and relax on the beach before heading back home to face reality.  To recap our experience and share my favorite spots with you, I've compiled a Miami travel guide below!

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