Friday, July 28, 2017

Friday's Worthy Links- 7.28.17

Happy Friday!  Any big plans for the weekend?  I head back to NYC tomorrow morning after a fun week of vacation in Seaside, FL.  I'll be sad to say goodbye to my family (especially my niece and nephew) after such a fun week together.  Thank you to everyone who emailed/tweeted/instagram commented and shared their favorite spots in the 30A/Seaside/Destin area.  I tried to visit as many as I could!  Before stepping in to my last full day on vacation, I wanted to share my favorite links from this past week.


Friday's Worthy Links:

Don't blame yourself. - The New Yorker

Get inspired by these absolutely elegant small bathrooms- My Domaine

Speaking of small bathrooms, this has changed my before-work routine.  I prefer sitting down at my makeshift vanity to do makeup with this now versus leaning over my sink to try and use my minuscule bathroom mirror. - Amazon

I've been reading this book on my Kindle app and have found it so fascinating.  Next up, I want to read this in preparation for the upcoming movie! - Amazon

After receiving the few items I ordered from the #nSale, this was definitely my favorite. I ordered a size small and it fits perfectly.  If you want a looser look, size up. -Nordstrom

What to say (and not say) to a grieving friend. - A Cup of Jo

-How to piss off every New Yorker in 36 seconds. - You Tube

-Feeling particularly inspired by this design firm's portfolio. - Studio Life.style.

-What I wish I knew before I became an influencer. - The Man Repeller

-This resonated with me.  - Raptitude 

-I invested in these recently and I can't stop wearing them.  They made a little appearance in a recent instagram snap here, too! -The Frye Company

-Can't stop listening to this song when I get home from work and am unwinding. -You Tube

Have a great weekend!

XOXO,

Sam






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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sam Loves: 24

This week I've been at the beach with my family and it's been just lovely.  We're in Seaside, Florida where The Truman Show was filmed and I completely understand why they chose this location:  it's absolutely dreamy.  We rented a beach house this week to celebrate my mom and dad's birthdays and we've all been going back and forth between the house's pool and the beach nearby.  Last night we made a low country shrimp boil on the back porch and today we're going out to a restaurant for dinner in 30A.  It's been so nice to get out of the concrete jungle for the week and enjoy the slow pace of vacation.  Because of vacation vibes, I'm drawn to soft summer hues like sky blue and sea green this week and a mix of textures that only beach life can inspire:



Sam Loves: 24 (From top to bottom, left to right):

Sundrop Earrings, $49.95/

Idyllic seating arrangement designed by Summer Thorton Design, featured on Circa Lighting's website.

Jenny Wolf's newly renovated Cobble Hill townhouse is perfect down to the last drop.  The guest bedroom features bedding by Leontine Linens and Farrow & Ball's Oval Room Blue on the walls./

20" x 26" Retro Mod Small Navy II Art Piece, $149/

Catalina Lace Up Dress, $170/

Urban Electric Harford Light Fixture hanging in a stunning kitchen, both designed by Steven Gambrel/

Kayu Coco Bag, $160/

Set of 10 Gold Greek Key Goblets, $275/


Happy Thursday!

XOXO,

Sam




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Wednesday, July 26, 2017

NYC Travel Guide: Flatiron District

I'm excited to bring you another comprehensive guide to one of my favorite pockets of New York:  the Flatiron District!  Generally speaking, the Flatiron District is bound by Union Square and Greenwich Village to the south, Chelsea to the west, 25th Street and NoMad to the north,  and Gramercy Park to the east.  It has long been associated with some of the best dining in the city, great home decor stores, and a few iconic structures- like the Flatiron Building and the Met Life Building.  Read on for my must-see spots in the district.


I have been working at 31st and Fifth for about a year now, so my close proximity to the Flatiron area has given me ample opportunity to explore and notate my favorite spots for you guys.  Read on for my favorite places to eat!

Friday, July 21, 2017

Friday's Worthy Links - 7.21.17

Tomorrow morning I fly to Florida to spend a week on the beach with my family.  I can't wait to hang out with my niece and nephew and just relaxxxx.  Is there anything as relieving as putting up your "out of office" message on email?  I think not.  On that note, if anyone has recommendations for cool things to do or great places to eat in Destin please do let me know (why am I already hearing crickets?).  Read on for this week's links!



Friday's Worthy Links:


A teenager's summer bucket list was found last week in an Urban Outfitters dressing room, and her list is simultaneously horrifying and impressive.  The New York Times rebutted with this fabulous 35-year-old woman's bucket list.   

Today the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale opens to everyone so let the mayhem begin.  I was personally crushed to find that many of the items I had in my cart where already sold out.   Thankfully, these, these and these are still available as I had my eye on all 3 since first scouring the sale. Also grabbing this which will be perfect for OU football games, Also: this, this, and this.

I've always had a bit of a crush on this guy.  He's making me want to travel to India, stat. 

Vacation or trip?  A Helpful Guide for Parents.  Even though I'm not a parent I found this very funny.

I plan to try this soon.  I've become acutely aware of how much time I spend mindlessly scrolling through my phone and it isn't adding to my life or making me happier; in fact, it's starting to make me angry.  I want to be more in the moment and content without needing to revert to opening my phone when I have a few idle minutes to spare.  My first step was disabling push notifications on Instagram and deleting the Facebook app.  So far, so good.  In fact, it's a bit relieving!  I think learning to curate how much time I actively spend on apps is the goal.  Does anyone else struggle with this?

Thank you My Domaine for including moi in your small space living article.

Have a great weekend, everyone!  


XOXO,

Sam



Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: My Home Decor Picks

On Monday I shared my favorite clothing/accessory selections from the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale, so today I thought I'd share all the great home decor I've found that's also part of this insane sale.  If you're new to the game, don't worry, I'll catch you up to speed.  The Nordstrom Anniversary Sale is truly one of a kind- each year, the store runs a sale that features all the hot items predicted for the coming season.  That means you can stock up on a Burberry jacket for nearly half the price, everyday booties that'll carry you through fall, and the coveted Le Mer miracle working cream at the lowest price you'll likely ever come across.   I love that home decor is part of the sale, too! My favorite discovery from perusing the home  section of the sale was the Dash & Albert rug offerings.  We specify Dash & Albert runners and rugs all the time for design clients because they are extremely durable and beautiful.  Many of their rugs are indoor/outdoor, which tells you just how functional they are.  There are other great vases, pillows, rugs, and even a bar cart included- see below for my picks.




Shop my Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Home Decor Picks:

1.) Wicker Barrel Picnic Basket $88.90 (Normally $134)

2.) Eightmood Drops Vase $62.90 (Normally $95)

3.) Dash & Albert Annabelle Rug in Gray $17.90-$679 (Normally $25-950 - I also love this one for all you leopard lovers, and this one would work great in a variety of spaces.)

4.) Dwell Studio "Lucienne" Sham $79.70 (Normally $119.99)

5.) Luigi Bormioli "Prezioso" Water Glasses $22.90 (Normally $35)

6.) Levtex Two-Tone Metallic Straw Basket $24.90 (Normally $39)

7.) Hobnail Glass Candle $20.90 (Normally $32)

8.) Sea Wave Framed Wall Art $25.90 (Normally $39) 

9.) Creative Co-Op Genuine Goat Hair Pillows $58.90 (Normally $89)

10.) Surya Scroll Wool Rug $148.90 (Normally $199)

11.) Metal Mirrored Rolling Bar Cart $149.90 (Normally $225)

12.) 400 Thread Count Organic Cotton Sateen Sheet Set in Grey Frost $65.90-95.90 (Normally $89-129)








Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Miles Redd's New Manhattan Office

Miles Redd always has been and always will be one of my favorite decorators.  His work is unabashedly bold, theatrical, inventive, and inspiring- all at the same time.   His coffee table book is one of my all-time favorites and chock full of glossy images.  When I lived in Houston, I tore out a few of my favorite pages from his book and framed them around the house.  Don't worry, I have a second copy of the book that remains unharmed.  To me, he epitomizes how fun designing a home can be if you stay true to your imagination and creativity.  A good friend of mine now rents the office space underneath his Nolita townhome for her business, Crowns by Christy.  When I found out who lived above her, I had a fan-girl moment.  Unfortunately, I have yet to meet Miles in person, but I know it'll happen eventually at an industry event (fingers crossed).   I was thrilled to see his new Manhattan office featured in Architectural Digest this month:


His new 1,800 square foot office located in Chelsea was designed in collaboration with architecture firm Bories & Shearron.  The front hallway, shown above, is covered in a linen fabric printed with branches and leaves.  The fabric is accented with a black grosgrain trim meant to resemble a tent.  The front door is covered in black horsehair as is the powder room door shown to the left.  The opposite side of the powder room door is my favorite element: jewel-toned silk velvets are pieced together to create a Cubist-like collage.  Brass nailheads are arranged on the door in a format that resembles paneling:


The creativity!  The genius!  I'm stunned.

The marquetry doors open on to a Saarinen conference table:


 Strips of antiqued mirror line on the framing of the bookshelves add a bit of zhush to the conference room:


The office's kitchen is covered in robins-egg blue Formica and framed in polished nickel.  The obtrusive pole is made a tad more chic when wrapped in rope:


Miles Redd and his team pose on a sofa in their office's main room, fittingly covered in a bold green silk velvet:


{See the full tour on Architectural Digest}

I love this excerpt from The Big Book of Chic.  I think it sums up what is so special about Miles' design approach:

“This is a book about dreams coming true; the curiosities in the rooms I have decorated; and the people, artists, and places that have inspired me. When all is said and done and I am long forgotten, maybe someone will find this book in a dusty library—if such a thing still exists—and glimpse a bit of the pleasure my life has given me. I want them to have the sensation of dancing across an MGM soundstage, silhouetted in a klieg light, because that was my intention with this book, a very personal blend of work and fantasy.”

Miles also recently released a collection of furniture with Ballard Designs.  I love that he put his unique, personal touch on items that are priced accessibly.  I can't get enough of the frill detail on this swivel chair skirt or the shade on this column lamp.

Have a great Tuesday!

XOXO,

Sam

Monday, July 17, 2017

Nordstrom Anniversary Sale: My Style Picks

The big Nordstrom Anniversary Sale has begun for Nordstrom card holders, and soon it will be open to everyone this Friday.  This sale is different than most normal sales because they slash prices on the hottest items from the approaching season.  After the sale is over, the items won't simply disappear from the website- they'll still be listed, but back at the regular prices.  When retailers have a crazy sale, it's typically because they're trying to get rid of items left in inventory that aren't moving at their current price.  Swimsuits 70% off at the end of August are great, but you likely won't be able to enjoy them till the following summer, when newer styles will be out.   I always utilize the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale to purchase essential pieces I know I'll wear all fall and winter, like a smart winter coat at 30% off or the designer "it" bag for nearly half off.  Here are a few other favorites from the sale:


Shop Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Picks:

1.) Madewell Checkmate Fringe Scarf $38.90 (Normally $59.90)

2.) Skagen Anita Leather Strap Watch $99 (Normally $155)

3.) Precious Metal Earrings $29.90 (Normally $46)

4.)  Kensie Skirted Tweed Coat $139.90 (Normally $218).  And I also love this guy.

5.) Halogen Corbin Genuine Calf Hair Slide $59.90 (Normally $89.95) 

6.) Wool Blend Missoni Scarf $139 (Normally $212)

7.) Rebecca Minkoff Small Love Nuback Crossbody Bag $149.90 (Normally $255)

8.) North Face ThermoBall Prima Lift Hooded Parka in Eggplant $169.90 (Normally $230)

9.) Vince Camuto Fileana Split Shaft Bootie $99 (Normally $149.95).  For a taller option to carry you through the winter, I love these.

10.) Mother Denim High Waist Crop Bootcut Jeans $149.90 (Normally $235)

11.) Rebecca Taylor Cotton Shirtdress $196.90 (Normally $295)

12.) J. Crew Tipped Pajama Shirt $57.90 (Normally $78)

13.) Michael Kors Mixed Media Hooded Jacket in Khaki $109.90 (Normally $168)


Happy Shoppin!

XOXO,

Sam


Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Before and After: My 1st NYC Bedroom

Who's ready for a little before and after action today?  I'm so excited to finally show finished photos of my first NYC apartment bedroom.  It has recently been covered on domino magazine here, so it's safe to share my own back story on the design process as well.  I moved to the city in July of 2015 for an amazing job opportunity and spent a few weeks living in a hotel while looking for an apartment.  After viewing some truly horrific studios, I was serendipitously connected with two girls through a sorority sister who were looking for a third roommate in the Upper East Side.  I'd have my own bathroom, get to live with two seasoned New Yorkers, and would actually be able to afford the rent- so it was an obvious win-win-win.  However, I was a bit nervous to be moving in to such a small space with 2 relative strangers, especially since I was used to living on my own in a much larger space in Houston.  The process of downsizing taught me a lot- I had to channel my inner Marie Kondo and pare down my clothes, shoes, and sadly, furniture.  I couldn't part with some of my furniture and art collected throughout my 20s, so I left those pieces behind in my parent's attic - confident I'd eventually make it to a larger space once again at some point down the line.  Even so, the process of cleaning out and starting fresh was revitalizing.  I had an opportunity to design a new space, and I had so much fun doing it.  To give you an overall idea of my bedroom, I drew up this quick floorplan:


My roommates had already decorated our living room and kitchen, so I went all out on making my tiny bedroom and bathroom fun and loud.  Here's what my room looked like when the previous girl moved out, i.e. the "before" pictures:



It's hard to even look at these before photos because my room looks so sad.  My first order of business was re-painting the walls, doors, and trim.  I chose Benjamin Moore's Revere Pewter for the walls, and Simply White for the trim and doors.  This image  shows my tiny closet and my other window on the curved portion of the wall:


The image below shows the corner of the room where I ended up putting my bed. I marked out the bed with blue painter's tape to get an idea of how much space it would take up:


I ended up turning my bed the other way, to come out straight from the left wall in the image above. It gave me a tiny bit more of walking space when you entered the room:


Monday, July 10, 2017

Skirting the Issue

Not to completely denounce Corbusier, but details that are decoration for decoration's sake (rather than function) are usually my most favorite. Give me fringe framing the edges of pillows, a luxe appliqué monogram on hand towels, and an intricate bone inlay chest before you give me some sort of simplified Corbusier leather chair that belongs in Patrick Bateman's apartment.  Form doesn't have to follow function, right?  One decorative element that makes me particularly rosy in the cheeks is a skirt.  Whether it be on a sofa, swivel chair, vanity table or entry console, there are endless styles and fabrics + trims to choose from when dressing up a skirt (pun intended):



Colefax & Fowler's Bowood fabric looks chic on this chesterfield sofa's slipcover:


Bowood is a popular fabric and has been one for quite some time; since the 1930s to be exact. Talk about timeless! I think the chintz pattern is "granny chic" at it's best.   In this Manhattan bathroom, a slipper chair with a pretty bullion fringe add a bit of comfort:


There's nothing more feminine than a skirted vanity table.  Designer Margaret Kirkland paired a white silk skirt with a chair upholstered in Sister Parish's Dolly fabric in this Park Avenue pied-à-terre.  And what's that in the background?  Bowood wallpaper, of course!


Ruthie Sommers went ultra-feminine in this Illinois home's guest bedroom by covering the walls, vanity skirt and chair in Cowtan & Tout's Amelie:


Are all these chintzes and frills a bit too much for you?  Straight, tailored skirts create a more streamlined look:



Have a great Monday, and if you wanna talk skirts, I'm down! Tweet me @peakoftreschic.

XOXO,

Sam





Friday, July 7, 2017

Neon Vibes

There are few things in life as delightful as a 3-day work week.  I'm planning to spend my weekend getting random things done around my apartment and hunting for a new rug.  Since moving to my new apartment, I've been having a bit of decision fatigue regarding the design palette- do I go traditional with a light oushak and add in a few French begeres, or do I infuse the space with some funk by adding a neon sign and a punchy Persian?  Personality wise, I feel like I'm a mix of these vibes-  I like the peace and calm of a softer palette and the gentleness of traditional lines, but I also love to take risks and explore the unexpected.  Because it's [almost] the weekend, I thought today I'd delve in to my more daring side and share the neon hues that've caught my attention... 



S H O P   N E O N  V I B E Z ....


1.) Meri Meri Tassel Basket, $35.  Love this little guy too!

2.) Neon Spool Earbud Headphones, $24/

3.) Pucci Bandeau Bikini (60% off!),  $190/

4.) Neon Tear Drop Earrings, $38/

5.) Babou 1 Shelf in Neon Yellow, $55/

6.) Ice Cream: 100 Contemporary Artists Book, $60/

7.) Gola Neon Coaster Sneakers, $68/

8.) Oliver Gal "Love" Neon Sign, $360/

9.) Tory Burch "Minnie" Travel Ballet Flats, $225/


Rug shopping stops:  ABC Carpet & Home, Ace Vintage Rugs, The Rug Company, Studio Four, and Crosby Street Studios.  

Cheers to a fab weekend ahead!

XOXO,

Sam



Tuesday, July 4, 2017

In Praise of Rattan

Happy 4th of July!  I'm writing to you today from underneath a striped lounge umbrella by the pool.  I was feeling particularly inspired by all the classic preppy design I've seen throughout the Hamptons this weekend and thought I'd share one design element today that I always love to see in coastal interiors - rattan.  I suppose it's a bit ironic to be discussing rattan today, because the material is not something that comes from America. It's a naturally growing vine-like species that is native to tropical regions of Australia, Asia, and Africa.  Rattan is ideal for furniture construction because it is flexible and durable while also being lightweight, and it provides an interesting texture to a space.  One popular rattan piece is the Hanging Rattan Chair:


The hanging rattan chair is equally fitting for adult spaces, like the sunroom above or this outdoor patio below:


As well as nurseries and kid's spaces:


I love how interesting and unexpected a rattan headboard can be (here's another inexpensive option):


Victoria from sfgirlbybay shared her LA pad a few years ago on Refinery 29 much to my delight.  Her space is thoroughly Cali boho, with wood plank ceilings painted bright white, a slouchy linen sectional perfect for entertaining, and a rattan daybed of course:

{sfgirlbybay; her daybed shown here is from Elsie Green}

Becki Owens brought in a touch of rattan to accent this sleek white kitchen she designed for her Estillo project.  Rattan Counter Stools (another, more modern option here) are neutral enough to work nicely with most color palettes and add a warm, coastal touch.  I also love the Rejuvenation black pendants chosen for the island:


Another take on rattan counterstools, by JN Interior Spaces:


Mark Sikes utilized rattan stools in this Palisades kitchen, adding in a bistro touch with the blue woven back (another option here):


So you might be thinking- isn't rattan the same thing as wicker?  No!  I often see people use the word "rattan" and "wicker" interchangeably, and they simply are not the same thing.  While rattan is a material, wicker is an ancient weaving technique used to create objects out of natural materials, like rattan.  The materials are wetted to make them more malleable and  manipulated in to interesting baskets or furniture pieces.  Archeologists have found wicker furniture dating back to 3000 BC, when wicker baskets and chests were found in the tombs of prominent Egyptian pharaohs.  Talk about a timeless technique!  I distinctly remember visiting my great grandmother in Denton, Texas and sitting in her white wicker furniture on her porch in North Texas as a little girl.  Now I'm dreaming of adding in a rattan wardrobe to my new studio:


Or maybe just an occasional chair?


In reality, it might just have to be an ice bucket, a la Phoebe Howard:


Have an inkling for something rattan?  Check out my favorite picks below...and have a lovely 4th holiday!

XOXO,

Sam



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