Friday, June 30, 2017

Friday's Worthy Links- 6.30.17 & Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July weekend!  I hope you have some exciting (or relaxing, whatever's your speed) plans and get to see family + friends. 4th of July is my favorite holiday because I am thoroughly a summer girl and love being outside (preferably with watermelon and a glass of rose in hand).   I also have great memories of growing up at family parties by the pool and watching fireworks at night.  I am about to hop on the train at Penn Station and head out east to the Hamptons.  This will be our last weekend at the share house we've rented for the past 6 weeks, and I want to soak up every minute.  We plan to brunch at The Maidstone, stop by the One Kings Lane pop-up store to see Mark Sikes, and dance to the Rakeim Walker Project at Gurneys.  


{Design by Annie Anderson}

Friday's Worthy Links

-Now that I'm settling in to my new apartment, I've begun looking for a sofa.  One that, due to space constraints, cannot be wider than 77".  So yes, essentially a settee.  This and this are cute options, and with West Elm 20% off all in-stock furniture this weekend the prices are even better.  - West Elm

-Loving this classic piecethis duo, and these pretties for the 4th of July weekend.  This silk top is 50% off and comes in two great colors.  - J Crew

-5 guys that successfully got out of the friend zone.  Holler.  - Man Repeller

-The most valuable thing you can do for your kids.  - Huffington Post

-A 75-year Harvard study reveals the single greatest factor in determining happiness. - Idea Pod

-Where personal breakthrough really comes from.  I've been doing the exercise David shares in this post and it's already making me change my spending habits. - Raptitude

-This story from Elizabeth Gilbert warms my heart. -Oprah

Have a lovely weekend!

XOXO,

Sam




Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Needing, Wanting, Loving: Tiled Bathroom Walls

Last week I shared my new favorite trend for kitchens, so today I want to share what's been making my heart palpitate in the realm of bathroom design:  tiled walls!  Why reserve tile only for the wet zones or floor when it's dying to make a statement on the walls? To me, it feels instantly glamorous and chic- like you're in an expensive hotel or a spa.  Architect Brian Sawyer of Sawyer Benson opted for glossy Prussian blue subway tiles from floor to ceiling in his West Village abode, paired with an Urban Archaeology washstand:


Delicious.  There's nothing better than Prussian blue tile.  If I had the funds, I would immediately cover my bath in them.  I'm not sure if I'd go the traditional route and do subway tiles as Bryan did, or something with more visual interest like these scallops: 


I loved seeing how Houston designer Bailey McCarthy carried the wall tile she chose for her son's bathroom on to the floor.  The glossy finish is chic chic chic:


A tried-and-true timeless combination is white subway tiles with dark grout.  Let's face it, this pairing is never going out of style:



The great thing about selecting white for your walls means you can choose utterly any color for your floor tile- like a happy, poppy design:


Or, choose to be adventurous and pair a colored wall tile with a patterned floor:


Small hexagon tiles read more modern.  Opt for a matte finish for a more casual/transitional space, like GRT Architects did in the bathroom below; choose glossy for a glamorous, luxe look.


What's your favorite style of tile for a bathroom wall?

Monday, June 26, 2017

New Beginnings

A few weeks ago I schlepped all my belongings up 5 avenues to my new home in the Upper East.  After nearly two years (TWO YEARS!) of breaking myself in to New York life living with 2 roommates, it was time to carve out a little space of my own.  I'll miss coming home to them and lamenting about the work day, the weather, the old lady who bullied me out of my seat at the bagel shop (yes, that happened) and so on.  I'll certainly miss our Bachelorette watch parties and I don't think the 3 of us will ever forget the horror of watching election night unfold before our eyes as we sat stunned on our petite sofa.  There is something so comforting about sharing a space with 2 other people when you're fresh in a new city.   If you ever move somewhere new, especially to New York, I highly recommend it.   I moved here when I needed big changes in my life, a fresh start, new inspiration, and new challenges, and I'm happy to report the city has not left me disappointed.  I feel that I've already lived a thousand lives in the past 22 months and I've grown immensely as a person.  I've toughened up but also softened up, if that's even possible.  I've worked alongside some of the most talented designers and watched in awe as they created magical spaces seemingly out of fairy dust, and in the process I've learned how to look at the world with new eyes.  

{photo of my 1st NY bedroom, taken by Sean Litchfield, more photos to share soon}


I've at times felt scared, elated, lonely, stunned, in love, at peace, energized.... but most of all transformed.  I've had lots of time to examine my 20s, to heal and to grow and to relax and honestly to laugh at the sometimes absurd experience of life.  There have been countless "Is this really my life?" special moments, and I'm writing them all down in a journal to keep track of them so maybe I can document them here one day.

“...quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person who ever touches you and you never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out out of the West and reached the mirage.”   - Joan Didion 

New York... I'm not tired of you yet, not in the least.

XOXO,

Sam

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Sam Loves: 23

Happy Summer!  With yesterday marking the first day of my favorite season,  I thought it was the perfect time to discuss what's on my "love list" going in to July: A classic, lightweight handbag that will certainly age well, a home that is delicious down to the last drop, and easy, breezy style:


Sam Loves: 23:

1.)  Where I'd rather be today..../

2.) The "it" bag of the year:  Gucci Soho Textured-Leather Shoulder Bag, $980/

3.) A quote that's making me a little misty eyed...

4.) Inside a Designer's High-Style, Kid-Friendly Manhattan Home (and don't forget to visit her store)!

5.) Olivia Palermo looking chic in a white tee, white skirt, and polarized sunnies/

6.)  J. Crew Bow Top with embroidered Trim is the perfect mix of effortless and feminine- $42/

7.) Dreaming of a Paris vacay with a mandatory stop at Holiday Cafe.  Who wants to join me?/

8.) Mystique Fringe Slide Sandals, $158/

9.) I added Out East to my coffee table book collection this week, and next up I want to order Kate Schelter's new book:  Classic Style: Hand it Down, Dress it Up, Wear it Out-  $25/


Have a great Thursday, everyone!

XOXO,

Sam



Monday, June 19, 2017

Kitchen Trend I Love: Two-Toned Cabinetry

I know we all think of "trendy" as a dirty word, so let's pretend my title says "kitchen element" or "kitchen style" instead.  5 years ago, all we saw were completely white kitchens.  Although I always have and always will love the simplicity of an all-white kitchen, after a few years it was time to shake things up a bit.   Then, about 2 years ago, gray became the preferred kitchen color.  Some brave souls were even pairing it with brass fittings!  In more recent months, designers and homeowners have gotten considerably more brave and opted for rich, statement-making colors- like emerald green or bright blue.   If the idea of slathering your entire kitchen in a bold or dark color terrifies you a bit, a convenient alternative is to combine the color with white upper cabinets:


Our eyes are typically drawn to a kitchen's backsplash and upper cabinetry before we register the lower cabinets.  This gives the other color a chance to accent the white and simply add interest to the overall look.


Keeping the hardware consistent on both the upper and lower cabinets helps to unify the look:



Toronto designer Tommy Smythe carried the black color from the lower cabinets in this kitchen on to the adjoining french doors.  Because the door's panes mimic the upper cabinetry fronts right next to it, the black color differentiates the door and keeps the design from feeling repetitive:


This two tone kitchen brought the green paint color up to a few of the upper cabinets, while leaving the glass-front panels painted white:


If you want to keep your upper and lower cabinets the same color but like the idea of having a "pop" of something,  choose a rich paint color for your island:




What color combinations (or lack of color combinations) do you prefer to see in a kitchen?

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Fashion File: Still Loving Maxi Skirts

I once thought being seen in a maxi skirt was only acceptable if you were a devout Mennonite or a Pentecostal woman.  I was surprised to see them in lots of style forecasts a few years back and now it appears they are here to stay.   In fact, I've grown to love this universally flattering garment.  However you define your style and whatever occasion you're dressing for, there's a maxi waiting to work it's magic on you.  For work or other nice occasions, opt to go with a more structured maxi:


Love this look?  Here's a similar casual option, and also a similar midi version.  Pair a structured maxi with a crop top for a night out:


 Polyester maxis are versatile.  To me they're that "in between" style where you easily dress them up or down based on your mood.  For a more put-together look, pair the skirt with heels and a cool leather jacket:

{Zanna Roberts Rassi, Sr. Fashion Editor at Marie Claire}

Or, dress it down by pairing this maxi with sandals and a tank:

{Glam Radar}


Sporting a maxi is also great for casual situations.  Running errands, relaxing with friends on the weekends, or traveling calls for a linen or cotton relaxed look:


...and here's my own take on the maxi skirt:


I wore this Zara floral number this past weekend in the Hamptons. It's supposed to be a "midi" skirt, but even in heels it looks like more of a maxi on me.  Oops!  #shortpeopleproblems.  I wore it with these sunnies, this tank, and these heels.  That hair tie around my wrist is très chic, no?

What's your favorite maxi style?





Monday, June 12, 2017

Karen Elson's Nashville Home Tour

I visited Nashville for the first time this past winter with a few friends to celebrate the New Year.  It was a bit of an odd choice for us because none of us particularly like country music, but we wanted to see first hand what the hype was all about.  I was surprised to discover the city's rich diversity as well as all the little gems (like Rolf and Daughters, Poppy & Monroe, and Abednego to name a few). I also found the nearby community of Belle Meade to have some of the most charming houses I've ever laid eyes on.  I was reminded of my jaunt to Nashville when I saw British supermodel and musician Karen Elson's home featured in Architectural Digest this past April.  First of all, in what world is it fair for someone to be both a supermodel and a respected musical artist?!  But I digress.  Karen grew up in Manchester and had been on the lookout for a place to call home in Nashville.  When she spotted the 1940s house she now inhabits, she felt an instant connection to the exterior because it reminded her of an English cottage.


For the design, she entrusted two of her close friends who's style she admired- Louisa Pierce and Emily Ward.  The duo started the home's transformation by adding in architectural details reminiscent of an English country house, like arched doorways.  Elson wanted her new home to feel collected and a bit quirky, so Pierce and Ward scoured local Nashville antique shops for decor.  The chairs above were recovered in the emerald green fabric and sit in front of a fireplace clad in Moroccan tile by Alyse Edwards

The butler's pantry features a faceted pendant and a layering of interesting textiles:


In the kitchen, the cabinetry is painted in Sherwin Williams' Underseas and Danish modern counter stools surround the island.


Shades of green continue in to Elson's sitting room and a cool tiered coffee table acts as a center piece, anchoring the room:


In Karen's boudoir, fellow redheads dance along her walls while a   The cheeky wallpaper is designed by illustrator Constanza Theodoli-Braschi:


A barley twist drop-leaf table from Gaslamp Antiques sits next to Elson's bed in her master bedroom:


The bathroom vanity area includes brass hardware and a Moroccan bone inlaid stool.  I love the eclectic mix throughout the spaces- even with all the layering of differing periods and styles, the home ultimately feels comfortable and pulled together.


Karen scored the Italian chandelier hanging above her soaking tub on Ebay:


“It’s transformed my life,” Karen says of the new home. “I love my home, I love entertaining, when I come from traveling I’m so happy to get back into my house. I know it’s just stuff but I gotta say... it’s such a luxury to have a beautiful home.”

Read more about Elson's home in the original article here.

Have a great Monday!

XOXO,

Sam

{Images and quote above via Architectural Digest}






Friday, June 9, 2017

Saturday's Links

Happy Saturday!  I'm so excited to have my best friend from college, Grace, in town for the weekend.  We went to the Polo Bar on Thursday and yesterday we drove out to East Hampton to lie on the beach.  She's my ride or die and I miss living in the same city with her.  We haven't seen each other since New Years!  Crazy how time flies. Before signing off for the week, I wanted to share a few links I love and think you might, too:



Saturday Links:

-The Functional Piece of Art You Need to Brighten Your Home. - Architectural Digest

-3 Women on What They've Learned in Their 70+ Years of Life. - The Man Repeller

-Loved my friend Gabby's article on common decorating mistakes.  She shares easy ways to fix these errors in 15 minutes or less. - My Domaine

-Drooling over the minimalism and simplicity of this vintage Hawaiian cottage designed by Roberto Sosa.  The hexagon tiles in the bath is my favorite part.   Even better is that the cottage is available to rent (for a pretty penny)!  Who wants to go to Hawaii?! - Remodelista

-Digging this sweet two-piece.

-Speaking of two-pieces,  I can't get enough of Mara Hoffman right now.  How great is this number?  And I'm dreaming of the day I can afford this (for now, though, I'll stick with my Target suit).

Have a great weekend!

XOXO,

Sam

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Currently Obsessed: 5 Things

A few things I'm swooning over this week...

1.) Emily Henderson's patio makeover:


Do you follow Emily on insta?  I've never met her but I've got quite a girl crush from watching her stories.  Home girl keeps it real with all her followers.  She might have a design empire at this point, but she never hesitates to level with her audience and share how hard the hustle can be, especially with two young kids- and I really dig that.

2.) The Rules Do Not Apply by Ariel Levy



I bought this book on my iPhone and have been reading it on subway rides, before I go to bed, while waiting in line at lunch, and any other time I have idle minutes to spare.  Author Ariel Levy is a staff writer for The New Yorker and recently published her memoir, The Rules Do Not Apply.  The book chronicles a period of her life in which she experienced significant losses- both the loss of a marriage and of an expected child.  Ariel's writing is so beautifully raw that I've found myself absolutely mesmerized by her stories. You can read more about the book in this New York Times article.



3.) How to Murder Your Life by Cat Marnell


Another memoir that captured all my attention for the 3 days I read it is Cat Marnell's How to Murder Your Life.  Cat, at the age of 26, was the beauty editor at now-defunct Lucky magazine and lived a seemingly glamorous life.  However, behind the scenes, she was struggling with a prescription drug addiction and doctor shopping all over Manhattan.  Cat shares her years of balancing a life in the beauty industry with the self-destruction and sabotage she was going through behind the scenes.  Although the subject matter is very dark, Cat's writing is witty, candid, and often hilarious as she takes us through the privilege and destruction that painted her teens and 20s.


4.) This quote is everything to me right now:


5.) Loving the St. Frank pop-up shop in East Hampton.  If you go out east this summer, be sure you stop in and check it out.  While there I had to walk away with this keychain. It's full of gorgeousness:



Shop pillows here.



Shop their framed textiles here.



Shop juju hats here.


Have a great Wednesday!

XOXO,

Sam




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