Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Designer Crush: Kirsten Kelli

I first became acquainted with design firm Kirsten Kelli when the pair decorated a bold and bright drawing room at this year's Kips Bay Showhouse.   Their second-floor room featured a posh purple sofa, a blue Yves Klein coffee table, and artwork by Damien Hurst and Roy Lichtenstein (oh, and gilded logs in the fireplace):



The saturated color and proportions of the pieces in the room are lovely.  Sisters Kirsten Fitzgibbons and Kelli Ford opened their design firm in 1990 and now have offices in Dallas, Greenwich, CT, and New York City.  Their work is often characterized by large-scale artworks, clever color combinations, and plenty of glitz and glamour- like lacquered floors and upholstered bedroom walls.  I love the Parisian vibe this New York townhouse sitting room exudes:


A Keith Haring painting and ebonized floors serve as the backdrop to this Dallas home's family room.    I find it fascinating that Kirsten Kelli seamlessly combined a set of Moorish bone inlay chairs and an eclectic side table in the family room with more traditional French bergeres in the adjacent sitting room.  Even with all the mixture of periods and styles in this photograph, that space somehow just works:


Another example of Kirsten Kelli's bold color choices: a navy sofa, a cobalt blue arm chair, an upholstered coffee table, and two club chairs with charcoal stripes make up this living room's seating arrangement:


A Dallas residence's library is filled with layers of classic blue and white:



And in the living room, things get a bit funky with Milo Baughmann chairs upholstered in leopard velvet and a blush pink sofa:


And a few more KK spaces my color-loving heart is crazy for:




See more of Kirsten Kelli's work here.





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Friday, September 15, 2017

Recent Press

As I mentioned earlier this week, I’m finally coming down from the craziness of the summer and getting settled in to my new place in the Upper East Side.  With all of my summer travel, I never got a chance to share 2 decorating stories that were published in August about my first NYC apartment.  I moved to NY in the summer of 2015 and was connected with two girls who were looking for a third roommate.  The rent was (relatively) inexpensive for New York living, I’d have my own bathroom (a big deal when sharing an apartment in the city) and I’d be able to walk to work.  It was a no-brainer!  I loved living with both girls for 2 years, but eventually the lack of space began driving me crazy and I wanted to have my own place.  However, I honestly had a blast creating a fun bedroom and bath design over the 2 years.   When I moved in, the bedroom had no overhead light and the bathroom was terrifying- which makes for a fun before and after situation.  You can read a post I wrote this summer with details about the design and “before and after” photos here.


"This Apartment Makeover Proves That Rentals Don't Have to be Boring"




"How to Make Your Teeny Tiny Apartment Feel a Million Times Bigger":



It's so gratifying to see the finished photos and to share the design process in these stories.  When you move to New York everyone tells you, "yes New York apartments are tiny, but you're never home anyway!" I've found this to be true, but when I was home I would've gone crazy if I didn't love every square inch of my space.  My new apartment is a studio but it is alllll mine and has a huge sunny window and I can’t wait to share the design decisions I make along the way.  While it’s typically my priority to allocate funds towards décor before anything else “fun”, I’ve decided instead to plan some trips for 2018.  Therefore, the design on my new place will be a much slower process.  Nevertheless, I do hope you’ll follow along and share your thoughts with me. 

Have a great weekend, everyone!

XOXO,

Sam



A huge thank you goes out to my good friend Victoria of Victoria Marie PR, a stellar publicist who helped me refine my story and pitched it out to the right editors.  You’re a gem, Vic!

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Etsy Furniture Steals

A few months ago I moved in to a new apartment.  While I don’t have a lot of space (it’s NYC after all), I definitely have more space than I did at my last apartment which I shared with 2 friends.  Now that I’ve finally had time to settle in and I’m back from lots of summer travel, I’m starting to think about a few pieces I want to buy and a few décor decisions I need to make, like window treatments.  Most importantly, I need a small dining table and chairs and a new rug.  I’ve started looking around at the retail store offerings, and I feel a little disappointed.  While I don’t want to spend too much money on these pieces, I definitely do want to invest in items that feel special and unique and have a little character.  It seems like I see the same styles over and over again at the large big box stores and even though the prices are low, I just can’t bring myself to buy something so basic.  One solution I’ve found is scouring Etsy, Chairish, Viyet, and Highboy.  I love Chairish, Viyet and The Highboy because they offer designer pieces that have been gently used and are offered at pricing much below their original retail value.  Exploring Etsy feels like a treasure hunt and the prices are unbeatable.  I rounded up some of my favorite finds today in the event someone else might be looking for something special, too!

Wingback Chair in fabric of your choice- $650/each:



French Provincial Vintage Bench- $150:


3'7" x 5'-6" Turkish Oushak Rug, $268:



Rocking Chair in Pretty Floral Fabric (perfect for a nursery!)- $425:


Grasscloth-Wrapped Coffee Table- $200:


Design Your Own Custom X-Bench, $385:



Faux Bamboo and Cane Settee, $425:


2'-6" x 1'-4" Turkish Pastel Rug/Door Mat, $89:


Vintage End Table, $74.99:


Azalea Embroidered Throw Pillow, $48:


Happy Shopping!

XOXO,

Sam





Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Chihuly at the New York Botanical Gardens

Since Saturday morning was beautiful and I didn’t have to be anywhere until 5 pm, I felt like it was the perfect opportunity to finally go and visit the New York Botanical Gardens.  The gardens are currently exhibiting some of Dale Chihuly’s glass-blown creations and I was intrigued by the rave reviews I’ve been hearing.   The exhibit and the grounds themselves exceeded even my highest expectations.  Living in the city can feel overwhelming at times, and wandering through the 350 acres was pure bliss.  Sprinkled throughout the gardens are 50 of Chihuly’s sculptures, and they were truly breath-taking:


 {Blue Polyvitro Crystals by Dale Chihuly, 2017, in front of the Botanical Garden's Library}

{Seaforms by Dale Chihuly, 2017}

{Serenity in the Native Plants Garden}

{Sapphire Star, Dale Chihuly, 2017}

{Orange glassblown bowls in the Botanical Garden's Library}


{Sol de Citron, Dale Chihuly, 2017- this sculpture sits front and center outside the conservatory}

{Red Reeds on Logs, Dale Chihuly, 2016}

The Chihuly exhibit runs through October 29th and I implore you to go see it - whether you’re a NY resident or simply visiting the city.  My day there is one experience I won’t forget anytime soon, and I’m already scheming about the next time I can get back up there.  There’s a direct train out of Grand Central that goes to the garden grounds for only $6.75 one way, or you can take the 4 train up to the Bedford Park Boulevard stop and walk about 20 minutes to the front gate.  Tickets are $28 for all-access on the weekends and $23 for all-acesss during the week.  You can purchase them online or at the front gate.  Read more about the exhibit here.

XOXO,

Sam

Friday, September 8, 2017

Friday's Worthy Links: 9.8.17



Friday's Worthy Links:

I'm a serious Larry David enthusiast (can't wait for the new season of Curb Your Enthusiasm!) and grew up looking forward to watching the latest episode of Seinfeld every Thursday evening with my family.  That's why I truly enjoyed this documentary, Jerry Before Seinfeld. -Kottke

New York bartenders share their wildest stories.  - Man Repeller

Speaking of bars, here are 5 sommelier-approved wines to try for fall. - My Domaine

How to answer the question, "So when are you having a baby?" - Life Hacker

Dying over Carole Radziwill's duplex makeover, originally featured in Architectural Digest.  The famous sofa got a facelift, but I honestly miss the tattered Salamandre Le Tigre fabric! - The Simply Luxurious Life

Tory Burch's Southhampton home is exactly as chic as you'd imagine. -La Dolce Vita Blog

Loving the idea of zero-dollar days.  -Refinery 29

The best part about fall in my mind?!  New seasons of all our favorite shows (yay for SNL!).  -Refinery 29

Have a lovely weekend!

XOXO,

Sam

{image above via Tamara Magel Design}

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Thursday, September 7, 2017

Current Mood

Happy September!  I always have mixed feelings this month because as much as I love the weather cooling off and football season starting, I'm always sad to see the summer go.  This one is no exception- I had an amazing time celebrating my last summer as a 20-something.   Only 3 months til my big 3-0!  Is it weird that I'm kind of enjoying getting older?  I feel like I get wiser and more comfortable with myself as the years pass by.  Anyway- with the season changing, my current mood can best be described as reluctantly optimistic.  I'm drawn towards warm, rich jewel tones and luxurious textures right now- no more jarring bright hues.  Here are a few things on my fall moodboard...


Chic fall Outfit Idea #1: A tweed dress with a suede Chloe bag and stud sandals...

Loving this Hudson Valley guest house living room that's dripping with charm:


Chic fall outfit idea #2:  Black cami + black jacket + black sunniesgold bar necklace:


Loving the burnt orange sofa and mix of art in this room designed by Nickey Kehoe:


Chic Fall Outfit Idea #3: Chunky knitted sweater (another optionjeans, and a Chloe bag...


Alexa Hampton's bedroom in her Manhattan apartment is dreamy.  The purple walls are so good:


This quote from design crush's instagram:


A sassy bar design by Courtney Giles Decker:



Can't put down this book:



Chic Fall Outfit Idea #4: Jewel-heeled booties (or pearl-heeled booties) + leather pants:



Happy Fall!

XOXO,

Sam





Friday, September 1, 2017

Happy Labor Day Weekend!

This week I watched in horror as many of my friends and aquaintances in Houston shared photos, videos, and stories of the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.  It is such a helpless feeling to be thousands of miles away and to feel like you don't know how to help tangibly.  My heart goes out to the city I used to call home and to any of you who have been affected by this hurricane.  One way to help, regardless of your location, is to consider making a donation to the Houston Flood Relief Fund.   This fund was started by Houston Texans defensive end JJ Watt. I was happy to hear Drake made a donation of $200,000 yesterday, Ellen Degeneres made a donation of 1,000,000,  and many other celebrities and public figures have donated as well.  Every bit helps as the city begins to rebuild.  All my love to my Houstonites.


As much as I love New York, there are so many things I miss about H town.  The Tex Mex, the warm weather, the people.  I'm thinking about all of you....  and sending love.  

Noteworthy Labor Day sales...

My favorite fall jacket is 40% off this weekend.  I got this guy in burgandy fudge and I've been wearing it in my office every day ... both when it's cooler on my walk home at night and when the AC gets chilly.

Another recent purchase I'm OBSESSED with are my Frye Gwen perforated slides (instagrammed here)- these babies are so comfortable and chic, and 25% off this weekend on top of already being on sale (enter code 25OFF at checkout).... when I visited Lindsay last weekend she tried them on and couldn't get over how comfy they were.  

Etsy is having it's FIRST EVER Labor Day sale!  I love this monogrammed keychain and these tassel earrings for under $10. And let's be real, as the Office's #1 fan I have to get this.

65% off Rag & Bone- love these, this, and these.

30% off Urban Outfitters-  including apartment finds, like this transitional rug and this woven one, and this cute carved coffee table.



Have a good weekend!

XOXO,

Sam




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