Monday, December 5, 2011

Holiday Cheer

A couple thought starters for your holiday decorations. That is, if you aren't already done like some people I know.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gift Guide: For Her... or Me

Yet another guide from a blogger, but it's become one of my favorite parts of the holidays -- seeing what everyone puts together from around the internet. And it might just have the convenient side effect of making me digest all my thoughts about what I've seen lately. I have the bad habit of getting brief fleeting moments of "Ohh, I love that," and then just as quickly as it came in to my head, poof, it's gone. And you would be lucky to get more than a blank stare from me if asked what I wanted for Christmas or my birthday. But, these are a few things that have caught my eye for ladies lately.

While this first thing isn't specifically for ladies, I think it's tops on my list. My older sister brought hers to Thanksgiving (it was an early birthday gift from her husband, but seeing as how the box is marked KINDLE FIRE on the outside, there was no way of concealing it's contents, shoppers beware). The price point ($199) is amazing and as Amazon is my go-to for everything, it makes way more sense to me to have a tablet like this than an ipad, especially since it can run Flash (major downside to the ipad... gotta say).

I've really been loving the versatility of an oversized clutch, I think it's so easy to throw it in another bag if you need to, and then take it out to dinner or whereever you need to look a little polished. This one from nordstrom is a good buy and much like my obsession with it in interiors, the python makes me love it here, too.

Shopbop has some incredible stuff right now, but these pyrite studs caught my eye. They measure in at an inch long, so we're not talking "daytime earring" for many people (although, I do wish there were smaller so they could be) but can you imagine how striking and unusual they would be on someone? And for the bold, daytime would be so pretty. I think they're a great price too, in comparison to other earrings of the same size and impact: 197.50.

And I had to throw these in because they are insane, but I think it's an error on Shopbop's site because the photo doesn't match the description for these earrings, so it's tease! But how incredible are these little Chanel studs? I love them, and I think I would never take them off.

And because clearly I'm in a jewelry state of mind -- this set of stackable rings from Micheal Kors is a knock-out and looks truly high end. It looks like the sizes are being snapped up quickly, which might end up being the downside.

And lastly, I love the idea of a case of wine for a gift. I think it's totally indulgent and something a woman rarely does for themselves unless they are in a vacation state of mind (you know it's happened to you at some tasting somewhere -- all of a sudden you're buying the farm and you have no idea how to get it all home) but sometimes there is a really yummy value wine that would make the perfect luxury gift and a great wine to pull out for the day-to-day, no guilt! These two are favorites and aren't in shops all the time, so it's a bit more special than a trip to TJ's, but still deals. Segura Viudas Brut Rose is light and summery, Carpineto's Dogajolo (cab-sangiovese) is perfect for winter carbs and is so drinkable, after ordering it at a restaurant, I love it.

More to come with gifts for the home and maybe more for me or her as I stumble upon them...

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Houston Tested

I love my design magazines. I especially like to revisit them to see what still resonates with me or if there's something new/relevant for a project that I missed the first time around. My office it stacked high with issues of every shelter magazine from the last couple years. It's a magazine hoarders paradise.

Mary Brown's house in Houston, which was featured in Traditional Home, is one that still resonates with me months after the initial viewing. I love houses that are beautiful and functional, but most of all comfortable/approachable. A house should be lived in and not off limits. She did a beautiful job of creating that kind of environment for her husband and 4 boys! (if you need to test any home products - a house of boys is a great place)

I love the simplicity of this room. Not to mention it has my favorite elements, sisal and shiplap. I love the bold choice of her grandmothers settee covered in white cotton duck. White makes people so nervous but it is so livable and fresh. Love the pop of turquoise and lavender to make the room come alive
She repeats the color palette of grey and off-white throughout most of the house which helps make all the transitions seamless.

The barn doors in the family room are insane. It's nice to see the traditional X pattern instead of a modern barn door. The brick herringbone floors that were salvaged from her grandmother's house add history and visual interest.

The open kitchen and casual dining that leads to the butlers pantry and the dining room. Simple and elegant.

I'm currently obsessed with skirted buffets and they are the perfect complement to all the wood in this room. Lovely.

But, the Master Bedroom is my favorite room in the house. The color palette is too die for - lavender, grey and white. Those bed linens and bench (swoon).

Which carries over to the sitting room and the Master Bathroom.

I also love the more formal library with it's painted grey mouldings, tonal curtains, English arm chairs, citrine x-benches and Lucite end tables.

The young boys room is preppy and fun

While the oldest boy's room is a little more urban hotel chic. The grey walls, white antler, and grey flannel give it a touch of sophistication while still tying it to the overall color palette of the house.

The exterior of the house remains period-less. Just like the inside.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Rustic Love

Checking out Pinterest this morning, I ran across these images of a chic lodge restaurant. I was immediately captivated and wishing I was headed there this weekend for a little R&R. This is how I like to see Rustic done. Living in the Northwest there is an overkill of natural honey wood, plaid, fishing images and Cabella's log furniture when you think of a cabin. You don't have to decorate with an obvious theme to get an amazing cozy retreat.

The greyed/limed logs, bleacheded antler chandeliers, rich chocolate and camel leather, fur pillows and trim on the drapes (amazing!) combined with chocolate velvet and white linens are so peaceful. I could sit here all day and sip a hot chocolate or Kahlua and cream.

I'm not sure where this Restaurant is, but I want to go. Wishing you a wonderful weekend.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Mix Master

It feels like it's been a long week and it's only Monday. I needed some inspiration and came across this beauty. I love the simplicity of this room and it's eclectic nature. A little french, a little modern, a little metal. Best of all is the unexpected color palette - so serene yet fresh.

Of course it's from the mix master himself, Nate Berkus. His work is always refreshing and inspiring.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Metallic hides

I'm loving the metallic zebra and cowhides. They are so subtle yet add the right about of glamour and texture to a room. Great for someone who's a little nervous about the traditional hides OR for someone who wants the next HOT home decor item.

House of LoLo in Portland Oregon uses one to glam up the boutique. The boutique was featured in the new issue of House of Fifty magazine.

I love the color and sophisticated statement they make. I can't wait to use a metallic hide to add a little unexpected glamour to a room.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Lazaro Rosa Violan's Barcelona kitchen made me rethink the American standard of a kitchen: Why can't it look like a great, interesting space as long as it can still function as a kitchen and gathering space?

It's been crammed down our throats that a kitchen has a working triangle, it has to have a laundry list of "super durable" things like solid surface counters (although a lot of people can't even imagine a marble counter as they've been incorrectly told its too high maintenance (they actually get better with age and wear -- it's why they've been putting them in for hundreds of years!)), a tile or stone floor ("heavens no on hardwood") and a huge island with lots of seating.

Our kitchen blueprint has become gigantic- literally everything, including multiple kitchen sinks, multiple dishwashers, multiple eating areas. And it makes great sense until, well, until it doesn't. When you see how others live and you realize it can be unnecessary and all-consuming.

This kitchen has soul and it reflects the lives of the owners. It breaks all the rules and I love it. Herringbone wood floors (I DIE) and a wood counter island. No upper cabinets - just lower shelves with all the necessary tools in reach. An island without bar stools -- what a refreshing sight. A funky support column that adds character instead of being dressed up to look like a theater set. An unfinished open beam ceiling that marries beautifully with large scale crown moulding and a tabletop lamp instead of pendants. But the piece de resistance - the Asian screen that is the backdrop for the entire room. The room is stunning in an unconventional way.

This is a kitchen I want to cook in, celebrate in and just hang out in. It's so beautiful that it makes you want to create beautiful food. Maybe we should re-think the rules of what a kitchen is supposed to be and start creating kitchens that reflect who we are and what we need.

Everyone, meet my soapbox, but I'm a woman inspired.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Coffee Heaven

I've been thinking about espresso machines for over a year. I can't function in the morning without a cup of coffee. I literally can't even shower until that first sip hits my mouth. And with the Fall weather (I mean rain) in Seattle, I knew I needed something stronger to get me through this season.

So I did some online research and talked to everyone I could before walking into Sur La Table one day. I walked home with this new dreamy machine. The Nespresso & DeLonghi Lattissima. It's the BOMB. It's literally changed me life. I put in a pod, push one button and it steams the milk for me and makes the perfect espresso. It's idiot proof - which is what I need in the morning.

I don't know how I ever survived without one. Sorry Starbucks, you won't be seeing me in the drive through twice a day anymore now that my coffee at home is so much better and cheaper.

Try it. Maybe it will change your life too. It's the little things in life that make you the happiest. And I'm one happy lady with my Grande Vanilla Latte in my own kitchen anytime time of day I want.

Happy Monday.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Mixed up art

I love symmetry and order, especially when it comes to art displays and gallery walls. I think it must make me feel like everything in the world is right and under control. But lately I've been loving art walls where everything isn't placed just so. Spaces where they've mixed different sizes, different genres and different colored frames. It's so much more interesting and it feels so friendly and approachable. Like the art is your friend and they just want you to curl up and stay awhile. Maybe it's because it's Fall and I want to hibernate, but these rooms really speak to me.

What do you think? Do you like your art orderly or a little mixed up?

All images from my pinterest
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