Friday, September 30, 2011

Hello Weekend!

Really looking forward to some downtime this weekend. Besides the kids' games, I have no plans other than to watch those overdue movie rentals (yes, I still physically 'rent' them) and eat eggs benedict with a side of sausage. Maybe I should throw a workout in there.

I'd love to sit around and read the papers in here. 

And when my husband offers to take his tired wife out for brunch, I'll be ready in this.

Have a nice, relaxing weekend!

Images: Adam Bram Straus' killer Hollywood Hills pad (via Lonny); my style board.

Thursday, September 29, 2011


That's pretty much how I've been feeling this week. Hence the tardy posts. But today isn't about my schedule. It's about the the joys of reading and displaying books.

There's something very comforting about shelves packed with books. Like a pantry stocked with food, it's a subconscious security blanket against cold nights one might be holed up at home--either by weather or by choice. Today let's focus on a few simple ways to up the chic factor of you bookshelves.

1. Vary heights and directions. One key to a visually interesting bookshelf is variation. Be sure to vary the direction you lay books, the sizes you place together and even the colors (unless you go for something like these images above. Gorgeous!)

Stand back and be sure you have balance, not just on each shelf, but overall. If one cove is crammed with books, the surrounding spaces should be left more open and airy, with a single vase or with larger art books, lying horizontally. Atop this flat stack, prop small paintings or other framed art with tiny easels or plate stands from any craft store. Framed art also works bookcase magic when propped against the back wall of a shelf.

2. Group like colors or items. Groupings always make single items sing. Group similar objects (like bottles, coral, shrunken heads, whatever you've got) and display books by collections. Penguin recently released these redesigned classics; some of the best reads of all time in amazing cloth covers. I've had these beauties bookmarked for months!

Wouldn't these smashing Penguin designs make fabulous gifts for any age or sex? (Holidays are just around the corner!)

3. Consider the way you'll use each book or object.  Remember my post about The Un-Staged Home, which addressed keeping it comfortable and functional? Well, it's especially important here, in this room where you'll cozy up to read and relax. When organizing your shelves, keep in mind how you use each object and which books you'll access frequently. Don't set yourself up for a high-maintenance situation or, worse, for an untouchable library. I love this look below for an avid reader's shelves. It feels chic, organized and super easy to maintain.

Love these lacquered bookcases with the silver tipped edge! And the sconces with silhouette shades. More on those later.

A well styled bookcase. (Though no one's cozying up in that chair!)

Next time I'll give you some great library lighting tips.

What are you reading this weekend?

Sources: Windsor Smith, Penguin Publishing, Pinterest, Kerri L. Kelly.

Friday, September 23, 2011

One (bargain) Blue and White Fabric--Three Ways

Thought I'd share this great look-for-less find. I found this beautiful (and crazy affordable) Blue and White Chinoiserie toile. It's rather "'inspired" by Quadrille's Lyford Pagoda Petite. But I have to say I like it almost as much as the original. I haven't seen it in person but I'm going to take a chance and order some samples. Not exactly a huge risk; it's $19/yard! I was so excited I put together three different mood boards in three different color schemes. 

The first is a scheme I've really been missing lately: red, white and blue.

I wanted to avoid the expected, so rather than using a Victorian upholstered headboard, regency fixtures and faux bamboo furniture, I went for a more masculine, clean metropolitan feel. And I kinda like it. Okay, so I threw in an orchid.

Here's a board in my favorite new color crush, blush and navy. (And, yes there's faux bamboo and Regency gold.) It's kept fresh with lots of block-printed fabrics and tropical greenery, balancing the delicate, gilded touches. It has sort of a romantic Indo-Chinois feel. I imagine this is how I'd style the French Indochine set for Marguerite Duras' "The Lover." (If I were the type to sit around and imagine that sort of thing...)

Navy blue with burnt orange, is a classic complimentary scheme. Here's a board for a guest bedroom which incorporates very traditional furnishings with the wit of a Billy Baldwin-esque side chair and a graphic rug. Lots of brass, warm woods and leather, like the Hermès Pippa console (pear wood with brass fittings--stunning!) Feels like a perfect place for tired guests to relax after a long day of riding. Or for your mother-in-law to crash after Thanksgiving dinner.

Email me for other sources or if you're interested in our e-decorating services.

Happy Friday!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Emeralds and Black Leather

We've seen so much emerald green this year, and I couldn't be happier. No color is more uplifting or optimistic than this color of renewal, fertility and youth. It's the reason I love visiting Wisconsin in the Spring. The landscape is that intense, lush green of Ireland. (Of course, they've earned it after those winters!) I especially love emerald green with black and gold. Classic, crisp and just plain gorgeous.
I'm happy that it's still going strong on the runway this fall. You know I'm already Fantasy Shopping. Have a look at the things I've found, like this regal Versace military coat (a steal at $4,675) and emerald ring, which I'd pair with leather leggings and Valentino studded booties. (A lady with an edge.) The python clutch with gold coral clasp is the piece de resistance! Forget Missoni for Target. This is what I'm buying this week! In my dreams and on my blog.

Here are some spaces along the same lines. Love the way Europeans mix periods and styles with total nonchalance. Notice the Victorian ceiling above a very modern fixture and furnishings.

What can I say. I can't stop staring at this image above. Timeless. Who can guess what decade this is from? Bet you're wrong. Bet I'm wrong; I don't actually know. There are hints of the last five...and I'm still trying to source that fixture. Anyone?

A lovely vignette from Cristi Holcombe!

GORGEOUS! Though it wouldn't really work at the kids' hockey games. Unless! I wear that Versace coat!

This color combo even works well in bathrooms, where it goes from sexy glam to clean and fresh.

I love the way Miles Redd layered emerald paintings over the emerald walls. And speaking of paintings, here's one from my gallery, Green Elephant Studios, by a mixed media artist (paint, ink and tape - 19x19) {email me for purchase info}

Emerald leather works, too. Is this delicious or what! {email me for purchase info, Honey, 'cuz our anniversary's coming up and I'm just trying to help you out.}

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

She's A Lady...

Ever feel like the Universe is trying to tell you something? Last night tweeters were all abuzz about the Jackie Kennedy special, which I recorded to watch with the girls tonight. Then this morning I come upon this beautiful, ladylike vintage pattern (which I will totally knock off), followed by an image in my in-box of this book. Someone is either whispering that I'm a perfect lady or howling that I need to start acting like one. Either way, I'm game.

Here are some looks to get me started...

Sources: "Jackie" pinterest; Butterick-McCalls; painting by Halima Washington-Dixon; book, pinterest via Bri Emery; JCrew 2011

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Green + White Check Please!

It could have something to do with the fact that I spent Saturday afternoon watching my daughter's cheerleading squad in the blistering So Cal heat, the brown hills lying scorched in the background. But, as much as I enjoyed sizzling like a french fry in the stands, I've been seeking cool and fresh ever since. I went home and made watermelon smoothies, jumped in the pool, and almost subconsciously pinned a bunch of fresh rooms. I even revisited a few of my own. They honestly never looked better.

I wish I did this kitchen. Isn't it FABULOUS?

Sources: my portfolio, tininywhitedaisies, Country Livingsmoothie recipe FreshStartOrganicdining room with geranium paper, Thibaut,

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Navy + Pink Master Suite

File under color crush. This combination is tempting me everywhere I turn. I'm dying to do a master suite in navy and pink. I'd even feel satisfied with cobalt and blush. If I can't convice any clients to take it on, this cool color combo just might end up in my own home--like so many of my creative incarnations.

Hopefully, my man doesn't have a problem with a pink master bedroom. I think it's super strong, yet sexy; the perfect combination of yin and yang. And isn't that what the bedroom's all about? 

Check out my full inspiration board.

Lily Pulitzer showroom via Effortless Style
I love dark cobalt walls like these snapped by Camila at the show earlier this year.
 Just so afraid after a while they'd feel, well, dark.

I'd more likely go with coral pink walls and work in the navy and white. I've been drooling over this Mary McDonald image forever. I love the black and fruitwood console, the mix of deep navy prints and the shameless pink on pink.

Lily Pulitzer Showroom

 I'd add personality with lots of vintage modern details, like this metallic leather lamb (1stDibs) and a great gallery wall to keep it from going too traditional or feminine. Maybe a great graphic rug.

...and Quadrille fabrics galore.

I am manufacturing a similar velvet settee with a bench cushion. Look for it on our new site. (Ah, the to-do list...) It's the perfect shade of royal navy.

 If I get any gift in the next year, I want it to be this chair!

Sources: Inspiration board Alexandra Rae pinterest; second image via Kelley Moore; Lily Pulitzer showroom, High-Heeled Foot in the Door ; Mary McDonald room, Chinoiserie Chic; sputnik chandelier, littlegreennotebook; sheep,; pagoda mirror, Pieces; blue and white elephant, My Pinterest Board; chair, Pieces