Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Extreme Home Make-Under

Every once in a while I get all mopey and start to complain about how I hate my current furniture because most of it is from Craigslist and didn't cost more than about $150 total and is definitely not what I would have chosen if I had more money and therefore more say in what goes in my room. But from now on, I will shut my face because Charlie Krazer from Kentucky has proved that a room can look awesome even if you own little-to-no furniture and/or a sorta ugly couch. Cost of a package of sharpies? About $10. Transforming your room into a magnificent oasis of style and grace? Priceless.

this little piggie went to market

Even though I suffer from sporadic explosions of interest in the entire circus aesthetic, I've always been secretly terrified of them. The reason is three fold:

1) As a child, I saw Dumbo and it forever ruined any circus-related enjoyment due to the onslaught of crippling grief it instigated.
2) In high school my boss at the independent bookstore brought in the authors of The Circus Fire and some of the remaining survivors to walk us through the harrowing tragedy that occurred in Hartford in 1944 as the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus tent caught on fire trapping thousands of people and hundreds of animals inside.
3) Junior High. School Carnival. Creepy pervy janitor dresses up as clown to make balloon animals but is forced to return to his day job half way through the festivities when some kid pukes mountain dew and cotton candy all over the stage. I am suddenly confronted in an abandoned hallway with a crazed clown running towards me at high speed, ready to use the mop as a javelin to prevent any congealment of said vomit.*

Traumatizing childhood events aside, I still harbor an ardent love of the yellow/red combination, think tightwalkers are insanely sexy and giggle with delight whenever someone hands me a balloon fastened into a giraffe. 

Perhaps that's why I am so enamored with this piggy (doggie) bank. Well, that and I REALLY love Jeff Koons Fun, yet practical. Whimsical yet glamourous. And SO much better than that ugly oversized pig I had the honor of gift-wrapping for a VIP who shall remain nameless but may or may not have their own media empire. 

I'll tell you one thing, it sure beats the old cracked mug of pennies on my bookshelf!

*Also around this time, I was trapped at a slumber party where the featured films were The Poltergeist and IT

Image: Artlook

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Tables R Us

I'm not sure why I insist on repainting every piece of wooden furniture that comes my way, but I do. I could blame it on my mother and her zealous aspirations to what she calls the 'early americana' aesthetic, causing our home to look like the Amish were running a presidential campaign but I will restrain myself. Really though, how many wooden objects painted with a faded American flag can one handle? One time I joked that we had so much wooden furniture in the house, we'd have nothing left if I chose to start playing with matches and she actually teared up at the thought.  I had to explain I wasn't actually a moral deviant plotting to burn our house down and she put the box of matches high up on top of the refrigerator where I could not reach them.

But I digress.

I came across this table today and even though the honey colored wood is quite beautiful, I cannot help but picture it painted a bright green and used as an occasional table. Or perhaps it's screaming to be coated robin's egg blue and used as a bedside table. Maybe I would simply dip it in a glossy white, situate it in between two comfy armchairs and declare it my new tea table. Black and in the entryway? Red as a small desk? I could go on and on...

Monday, September 22, 2008


A lavish gift for any writer, reader, editor, grammarian, or person who likes to play with their food....

Typeface chocolates! Gah! Now the only question is, what to use as ink... The possibilities are endless. 

Image: Typolade

Oh some finds

Remember this post?* I must be crazy about multitasking because I saw this today and feel very very strongly that it belongs in my kitchen. Plus, it sorta looks like a duck. Instant points.

*I also came across this randomly. So cute! So functional! 

Images: NotCot

Sunday, September 21, 2008


I'm not sure what I would possibly do with these but I love them nonetheless...

Saturday, September 20, 2008


I've spoken before of my ardent love of accessories of any kind (and my adventures finding proper storage) but anyone who knows me at all knows that my love of jewelry extends past simple costume jewelry. When I was younger I made beaded rings before graduating to woven friendship bracelets and then finally to paperclip bracelets in 7th grade, right as those Lip Smacker necklaces were au courant in the midwest. By the time I hit high school, I had given up on my jewelry design aspirations in favor of loftier goals like one day owning a Thierry Mugler dress. Anyway, my brief foray into the magical world of accessories instilled in me a great appreciation for those who actually do it well and I feel it is my duty to support those artisans by owning as much beautiful jewelry as possible. (Pay attention people, the holidays are coming up....)

One of my favorites is Suzannah Murray's Lark and Lotus line. The New Orleans-based designer has amazing attention to detail and her pieces are enchanting and graceful. The collection is a delicate blend of elegance and refined drama; it has a vintage sensibility yet from a contemporary point of view. The ornate art nouveau pendants and nature-inspired earrings and rings are beautifully crafted and reflect an intuitive understanding of the spiritual and cultural mythology of the region.  My favorites are the Kalfu Ring and Necklace and the Cicada Wings Ring (which I have seen in person and it is superb.)  I love that they are glamourous and laid-back all at the same time and I think any piece would be a great statement for those days when you need to spice up the basic jeans and t-shirt combination. 

Just think what fun it will be to nonchalantly murmur Suzannah's name when people inevitably come looking to copy your exquisite taste!

Check out her enticing website here.

Images:  Lark and Lotus

Dessert of the Week

Last night I added an extra blanket to my bed and slept under the covers so it is officially Fall in my book. Now that the air has changed, I can commence my annual bout of summer nostalgia. My favorite part of this particular summer vacation was a short trip I took to Maine. During my stay I did a lot of things. I sat on display furniture and considered owning a cherub-laden settee, I walked across a terrifying bridge at night with the Winslow 7 waiting to stare me down on the other end, I drank Gin and Lemonade and read decorating books to my heart's content, and last but certainly not least, I ate a lot of food.  (Nothing new here) Most of it involved blueberries--I felt it was appropriate for both the locale and the season.

One culinary delight I did not consume is a Whoopie Pie! Inherently stylish and oh-so-yummy, this precursor to all things Little Debbie was in abundant supply in Waterville and the surrounding towns. I saw some that were about as big as my head. I probably would have eaten the entire thing and felt sick the entire trip home but nonetheless, I am yearning for one now. Luckily, Martha Stewart can provide us with the perfect recipe straight from Maine's Cranberry Island Kitchen

Get the recipe here.

Image: Martha Stewart

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Raves and Faves

It's been a busy week y'all but it's almost over! In lieu of something thoughtful and entertaining, I thought I'd phone it in a little today and simply share a few of my bookmarks from the Design Sponge sneak peek archive. 


Images: Design Sponge

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

New Obsessions

1) Colorful stripped curtains
(please ignore the obnoxious sign that should be replaced with several round mirrors of varying sizes)

2. Red Lacquer
(Also the chair, rug, and ginormous collage. So basically everything)

Images: M. Interiors Design Inc.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Office Space

I've had office supplies on the brain lately and I'm not talking rubber bands and paper clips here. I mean serious business. I refuse to be one of those people who winds up decorating their cubicle with post-its and empty cans of diet coke. Since there is no shortage of stylish desk accessories, here are a few of my favorites...

Images: Calendar Canisters-Spoon Sisters, Make-up Bag- Flight 001, Mug- Amazon, Staplers- Kate's Paperie, Clock- Moma 

Monday, September 15, 2008

What a girl wants

Sepia is an uber chic new restaurant in Chicago. It is also the home of these alarmingly elegant chandeliers. I'm loving how ornate they are while still creating a sleek, modern effect.  Obviously, I want 10 of them.

Check out their website, complete with appropriately remixed jazz music and a killer cocktail list here

Image: NotCot

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Old Favorites

I know I just proclaimed the merits of wallpaper alternatives but I just can't handle how fanfrickintastic this floral print is.  Except guess what???

This is not wallpaper. 

This print is HAND PAINTED!


With a bright apple green on the bottom and an old-fashioned floral above the glossy white chair rail, the entry way of interior designer Meredith Kleinman's colorful abode makes my hit list.  I'd love something like this for a breakfast nook or bathroom and suddenly find myself gravitating toward sunnier floral wallpapers. How much do I love Meredith Kleinman right now? A lot. 

Check out the rest of her house on Design Sponge

Also, sample the rest of her work on her website.

Image: Meredith Kleinman via Design Sponge

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Renter's Lament

I will probably be a life-long renter. I wish it were otherwise and dream of the brownstones I would buy and decorate but let's be real here: I will never make enough money to own my own place. As a renter, you come to terms with certain facts-of-life. Want to paint your walls black? Well you can't, because it will be a pain in the ass to paint them back to their original eggshell white when you leave.  Want a bigger closet? Deal with it. You'd better weed out your wardrobe because there is no way in hell your landlord is going to allow that renovation. Want to cover an entire wall with your collection of ornamental plates commemorating the Kings and Queens of England? Good luck with that one buddy, and have fun spending an entire weekend filling those holes to get your deposit check back.


Maybe the Rolling Stones were right. You can't always get what you want. I want walls and walls covered in brightly colored wallpaper, but sadly, it would have to be stripped off when I leave the apartment. Is it really worth the effort of choosing and applying wallpaper only to strip it off within a few years and leave it mutilated in the bottom of the trash? 

Here's a great alternative that I saw a few months ago and haven't been able to forget. The three framed panels of  decorative paper are bold enough to make a statement but don't overwhelm the room. The paper can be swapped out whenever the mood strikes you and a simple change of frame could drastically alter the whole style of the space. Plus, it does virtually no damage to the walls! 

Two thumbs up!

Photo Courtesy of: CasaSugar

Dessert of the Week

Since I know Hanna is a sucker for Earl Grey tea, (Hanna! Where are you? We MISS you!) I thought I'd tempt her a bit with these scrumptious Chocolate Earl Grey Truffles. I don't know what the other stuff on the plate is all about, but those truffles sure do look good! I think of box of these goodies would make a wonderful birthday gift or a great companion for a rainy Sunday movie marathon!

You can find the Gourmet recipe here.

Image: Epicurious

Thursday, September 11, 2008


A new trend! Bold colors on the window frames!

Loves it. 

Not only does this save on paint, but it also allows even the most conservative of homeowners/renters to experiment with color. Of course it all depends on the type of window, but I would definitely consider bright red window frames in a white-walled room. In fact, I've always dreamt of living in a place covered with decorative moulding that I would paint a glossy black. I picture it to be very Parisian with lots of mirrors and pink flowers throughout. And omfg, what if I had a BAY WINDOW! 


If only it put a roof over my head...

What on god's green earth was Orla Kiely thinking when she designed this new furniture collection? Like I don't already have my hands full saving up for one of her fabulous bags! Now I have to add this beautiful side table to the mix!?!


Luckily for me, the furniture is sold only in Britain through Heal's and it also costs £495.00. That's almost $870!! Excluding S & H. So basically I could either buy this table or I could pay my rent.


Image: Orla Kiely via  Heal's

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Europe Rocks

Remember this post about the flower carpet in Brussels? Well if you liked that, you loooove this...

The Bavarian town of Weilheim in southern Germany enlisted 500 of its citizens to paint over 8,000 flagstones in the market square, recreating a large-scale copy of Vassily Kandinsky's 1909 painting 'Weilheim-Maria's Square'. 

It beats my driveway chalk drawings any day!

Images: CBS News and The Telegraph

A is for Awesome

A few years ago I went to a conference in Philadelphia. It was my first time in the city and instead of paying respects to our founding fathers by visiting historical sights or concentrating on the actual topic of the conference, I found the nearest Anthropologie and shopped.  In all fairness, it was our afternoon off so I wasn't skipping a lecture or doing anything that irresponsible! The highlight of my trip involved this journal. This journal is spectacular. This journal will change your life.

My journal is hot pink (obviously). It has thinly-lined cream colored pages. The cover is embossed: A to Z Subject Journal. Inside there are tabs for everything from Art to Gifts to Utopias to something strange called 'Zen'. 'Zen' is where I tend to take note of any home goods I find while out and about. Though there are also the tabs  'Inspirations', 'Shops' and 'Loves' for this. I carry this notebook around with me everywhere I go so whenever I am on the subway and think of a random movie I should add to my queue on Netflix, I can add it to 'Films'. If I have a good wine at a dinner party, I write it down. And when someone suggests I check out a specific restaurant, in it goes. This journal is so good, it even has a section for 'Yoga', which I appreciate even if I only write down the dates and times of classes I am too lazy to attend. Curiously enough, the only tab I don't utilize is 'Kids'.  Who needs that anyway? 

Check out other versions on the Daisy Arts website or at Kate's Paperie

Image: Daisy Arts

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Another White Couch...and more!

Let me just say that the first thing that popped out of this heavenly living room in the Domino Galleries is the magnificent horse sculpture in the background--and it's not just because I saw Equus last night. I'm loving how bold it looks compared to the lucite lamp next to it and how well it complements the dark coffee table and side chair. Oh what the hell-- I adore the entire room. The bookshelves! They are so organized! The couch! It is so white! The colors! They are so vibrant! It all reminds me of the Florida beach home I secretly plan to own and to which I plan to retreat in the dead of winter in order 'to work' but really 'to read magazines and drink arnold palmers'.

Also in the Domino Galleries? This photo which is basically me in the English country estate I plan to buy in order to host lavish weekend parties, wear beaded gowns to dinner, and secretly hope someone dies so that Stephen Fry might show up to solve the mystery. 

Monday, September 8, 2008

Variation on a Theme

Look! It's the light sofa/colorful pillows combination I've been lusting after! 

Photo Courtesy of: Domino Magazine

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Color Wheel

Sometimes I like strange color combinations and no one really understands the beauty of it but me. When I announced I might possibly use navy and peach as wedding colors, I received many a raised eyebrow. And it wasn't just because I am not even engaged. Luckily, some of my other favorites are more mainstream--red and turquoise for example. I love red and turquoise so damn hard it is not even funny. This kitchen, while a little too bold even for me, perfectly captures the retro yet modern feel of the combination. The red is slick and glossy and the turquoise is soft, radiating an almost translucent feel.

I'm craving a melange of printed pillows on a light grey or white couch paired with a few solid red upholstered arm chairs. OR in a bright white tiled bathroom, I'd paint the walls turquoise and use red for all the accessories. OR I would find the palest, softest turquoise bedding and use it against a fabulously vibrant red headboard in the bedroom. I could go on and on...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Welcome to the Dollhouse

One of my good friends has a thing for small rooms. Her last bedroom, which is currently sitting empty in my apartment awaiting our new roommate, was so small it fit only a full-size bed, a dresser made for small children, and a tiny bedside table. I don't know how she did it, but she managed to decorate the room in such a way that it felt warm and cozy, not cluttered and overwhelming as I imagine it would be should I ever inhabit it. (For the record, I visit the empty room quite frequently these days and daydream about claiming it as my office. I envision it magically fitting a parsons desk, a chaise lounge and two bookshelves over a sisal rug)

There's something so wonderfully whimsical about small rooms though. They remind me of my childhood and forts and tree-houses that I always refused to climb up into because I was pretty sure it would involve bugs. I used to have a fairly large walk-in closet in my bedroom that my mother quickly claimed as her 'sewing room'. When she wasn't paying attention, I reclaimed the space for myself and set about rearranging the bins of fabric and buttons to suit my new life as a small-room inhabitant. No sooner had I settled in, when my mom would kick me out. 

This happened at least 16 times over the course of my 7 years in that house. 

But I grew up, acquired more stuff (mostly books and shoes) and now I just cannot picture myself in a tiny room. I came upon this delightful bedroom on Marie Claire Maison and it made me reconsider my stance. 

Bright and colorful and exploding with patterns of all shapes and sizes, it's reminiscent of a Betsey Johnson ad from the mid-'90s. I'm ready to forfeit my dream of an office for this as a guest-bedroom.  Think my new roommate will mind?

Reading Rainbow

Magazines are a huge problem in my apartment. We currently have two large plastic bins in our living room to hold our reading materials and they are almost always filled to the brim. In my bedroom, I keep a carefully curated collection of my favorite periodicals in magazine files on my bookshelf, although a large pile of more current issues can frequently be found on or under my desk.

This morning I was browsing through the Danish website Rice and I found these colorful Raffia baskets. I love their effect on a simple white shelf and I think they would be a perfect solution for my current storage woes.  I'm tempted to order a few extra to store toiletries in the bathroom, scarves and gloves in the foyer and detergents and dryer sheets in the laundry room!

Images: Purple Area, Rice

Friday, September 5, 2008

Dessert of the Week: I scream, You scream...

I haven't had much ice cream this summer. Growing up, it was the highlight of my week to walk to Brown's Homemade Ice Cream Shop for a waffle cone of Spumoni, which I thought was soooo much more sophisticated than the simple Rocky Road or Cotton Candy my friends got. At least mine was Italian. I couldn't get enough of it. Sadly, the summer has come to a close and so I thought I'd sneak in one last tasty treat while the summer berries are still around.  

This Strawberry and Pistachio Ice Cream Cake is perfection--cold and creamy and topped with oodles of whipped cream! I'd add in an extra layer of chocolate and I'm practically back to my Spumoni days! Even without the chocolate, this cake would be excellent paired with a chilled white wine.  

Check out the recipe from Miss Martha Stewart herself here.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Party Planning: Chestnuts Roasting by the Open Fire

I know it's not really winter yet. Hell, it's not even Fall yet--it was about ninety degrees here in NY! But I found this the other day and have been dreaming of chilly nights ever since. I can't wait for those first few crisp autumn evenings that inaugurate the new season and since they will soon be upon us, I'm thinking a celebration is in order.

Here is what I'd like:

A long line of these candleholders running the length of a rectangular table on my terrace. After a dinner of something involving Butternut Squash,  my old chums and I shall linger over a full-bodied, slightly spicy red wine and s'mores made by roasting marshmallows over the candles and sandwiching them between dark chocolate Le Petit Ecolier cookies. Sound good to you?

Images: Uncommon Goods, LU Biscuits

Color Me Pink!

I am one of those people who unabashedly quotes Diana Vreeland at will and I'll do it again right here and now:

"pink is the navy blue of india"

It is also the story of my life (see practically every post on here) and how I plan to win the I've Got Color! contest at some point in the next few years. Sponsored by Apartment Therapy and Crate & Barrel, the annual contest celebrates people who embrace bright colors and use them throughout their cleverly designed homes across the country. Once entries are submitted readers can vote for the 4 best entries in each region. After the contest is narrowed down to the top 16, judges will vote on the final 4. Check out last year's winner here and try not to be blinded by its awesomeness.

One of my other favorites from last year was Courtenay & Jeff's Vancouver abode which boasts, among other fabulous touches, an amazingly cute cat. Obviously, my true favorite part of their home is the pink dining room. But aside from the dazzling pink walls, I adore the round wooden dining room table. I would also KILL for the amazing vintage poster featured behind the table but unfortunately, a quick google search priced it at $600.** 

Other things I like about this apartment? 

* The cool chair-rail in the bathroom with a retro vibe and Tiffany colors. 
* The masculine bedroom with a fantastic dresser positioned at an angle in the bay window.
* A  bold use of contrasting colors opposite exposed brick throughout the apartment.

Stay tuned for coverage of this year's I've Got Color! contest whenever it comes along...

**Ok I would not literally kill anyone or any thing for that poster. That is unless it was, you know, softly and with my love.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Frankly, My Dears...

I'm just kidding! I always give a damn about everything! But I am just too exhausted today to write much of anything so I'll let these pictures speak for themselves....

Acrylic Pillar Umbrella Stand by Aaron R. Thomas

Tea Towel by Ferm Living (A great store and a fabulous blog! Read it! The umbrella stand above has been featured on their blog as well!)


This dress is made of paper. Can you make dresses out of paper? Me neither. Paper artist Zoe Bradley will be showcasing her designs at Kate's Paperie (Holla!) in Soho starting Sept. 5th. If you aren't lucky enough to be in NYC, check out her other work here.

Images: (from top) ARTC, Ferm Living, and Design Sponge