Thursday, February 11, 2016

Faves: Fabrics

Continuing on with my faves series, I'll touch on my favorite subject...fabrics. I am a complete fabric junkie. I am constantly buying yardage of fabric that I may or may not have a use for but that I feel the need to hoard in my collection. I usually only get a yard or two. Just enough to make a few pillows or recover a stool. I change out pillows in my house like other people change socks.

So here we go. A few of my favorite tried and true fabrics. Some of these I've used a bunch of times, some of these only once but they made such an impression that I feel they warrant a spot on my all time favorites list.

1. Celerie Kemble Betwixt 
This fabric has gone the distance for me. I've used it in Stone, Black, Biscuit, and Zinc. It always works.

Schumacher| Betwixt| Stone/White| Fabric
Betwixt in Stone/White

2. Braemore Jamil Natural 
My absolute favorite animal print fabric. Just a little dab'll do ya. I've used it errrrrwhere.

Jamil neutral

3. Ralph Lauren Nanking in Blue
Classic. Like a crisp white shirt. 
RL Nanking


5. Brunschwig and Fils Les Touches
A great fabric to throw in the mix. Works wonderfully as a neutral. I love all the colorways, but I'm partial to the brown and ivory. 

6. Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock
A decorating institution. Shown below in charcoal, but a winner in every color.

174450 Pyne Hollyhock Print Charcoal by FSchumacher
Pyne Hollyhock 

I spy another of my faves in this photo. 

6. Schumacher Chiang Mai Dragon
A showstopper. For those who are fearless and fabulous.

So there you have it! I could have made this list much longer, but maybe we do a part 2, huh?

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Faves: Coffee Table Books

I get asked every now and then what my "go to" _______ is. Sometimes it's a store, a fabric, a source for art, etc. So I thought I would start a little series of my favorite or my go-to items. The first is super easy and readily available and something everyone should have in their home. Books. Lots and lots of books. There is no such thing as too many.

I am a self-diagnosed coffee table book hoarder. I love them. I go through them in a very specific manner. I quickly thumb through back to front (I don't know why, but it's important for me) and stop at the pages that catch my attention, and then I go through and read all the text, and then I start over again and look at every single photo in order. I know. It's probably borderline psychotic but I feel like I have to digest every single thing. And yes I look at all my books over and over again. It's one of my favorite things to do when I have a quiet chunk of time alone. Well, that and Real Housewives marathons.

Here are a few that I have looked at multiple times and are a wonderful addition to your library.

Once Upon a Time - Slim Aarons

Little Black Jacket - Karl Lagerfeld 

Modern Mix - Eddie Ross

Absolutely Beautiful Things - Anna Spiro

Alex Katz

Cy Twombly Paradise 

Paris Views

And I just ordered these two....

Happy Times - Lee Radziwill

Allure - Diana Vreeland

Friday, January 8, 2016

The Switch

It's been a while since I've done a products post. And for a pretty good reason. I recently made the switch to safer skincare and makeup. Whaaaa? Yeah, safer skincare and makeup because my old stuff was trying to kill me. Ok, maybe not so dramatically. But it was not. good. at. all.

I'm not going to get on a soap box and preach to all of you to throw away all of your beauty products and buy new stuff. BUT I do want all of you to take a minute and maybe search a few of your beloved products (I'm looking at you Nars blush…tear) on this handy website…

It's easy to use. Just type in the name/brand of your product. You will see the score of the product on a scale of 1-10.

Basically the grand ol' USA has, like, 7 ingredients that they consider hazardous and illegal to use in skincare and beauty products. For reference Europe has over 1,300 ingredients they consider hazardous and Japan has about the same amount. No laws have been passed in the US since the 1930s (!!!???)  regarding cosmetics. So what do these chemicals mean for us? Cancer? Probably. Immune system issues? Maybe. Birth defects? Yes. Allergies? Nailed it.

Now I'm the first to roll my eyes at crap like this. Really. When people say "I did [insert something] and it changed my life and now we only eat kale and my life is so awweeesssooommmmeeee you should [insert something] too!" Just, no. But I feel like no one knows about this. I didn't know about it. Why would we know about it?

So just take a look and maybe do a little research. It won't hurt. You will be a better consumer for it.

Just so you know these are the products I have made the switch to. And yes I switched the whole family. Y'all, we are using this horrible stuff on our kids too. And on a personal note, I usually have pretty terrible excema on my arm and legs that flares up considerably in the fall/winter. Since I have stopped using my shampoo and body wash it's gone. Maybe it's a coincidence. Maybe all the chemicals seeping into my body during every shower was making my skin insane. But I feel much better knowing what I'm using is safe. Once you have the knowledge, you can't go back.

This entire brand is safe and non-toxic. My Christmas gift was a box full of the Countertime products. I'm switching to the makeup slowly but surely. It's a process for sure. Read their story. If you only take one thing from this post, go to this website and read.

Citrus Daily Moisturizing Shampoo - Carina Organics
Citrus Deep Conditioner
This is our new shampoo and conditioner. There are a few different brands out there but this, I felt, was the best bang for your buck. And it's a 1 on the scale. It ships from Canada so it takes a while to get to you. And yes it cleans just as well as the other stuff.

SheaMoisture Coconut & Hibiscus Body Wash

Body Wash. This line is readily available at Target, CVS, etc. 

Go forth and research. Take everything I have said with a grain of salt and form your own opinion. Knowledge is definitely power. Your body will thank you, your skin will thank you. Honestly I was very angry after researching all of this. I hope you will be too.

Monday, January 4, 2016

A (sort of) House Tour

Ya'll. Forgive me, but the last few months have been craaaaazy. But to make it up to you I finally took a few photos around the house. It's coming along nicely. Phase 1 is pretty much complete…which was basically "get all our shit in the house and arranged so I don't go insane and OH MY GOD WHY ARE WE HOSTING HOLIDAY PARTIES HERE, WE JUST MOVED IN" phase. I'm calling Phase 2 the "Man, I need to get curtains up" and "I think I need a rug here" phase. Phase 3 is usually my husband saying "Are you finished yet?" to which I laugh and laugh.

So enjoy these crappy iPhone pics I took around the house this morning. One day I'll use my real camera.

The entry. Easily my favorite room in the house. Mainly because it's the only room that finished. Oh, except for a pillow. But also because of that AMAZEBALLS settee. Remember this post? It's just so much better than I ever thought it would be.

Dining room. She is a sexy lady if I do say so myself. It's right next to the entry so that color with the Schumacher fabric on the settee is giving me liiiiiife. Here is the post I did for the dining room. I stayed pretty true to my original vision. The color went more forest green than olive green as I had originally planned. And also yes I went wood for the floors, obvi. The seats haven't been recovered yet and I think I have changed my mind on the fabric, but that's a saga for another day. 

A peek at the kitchen. The rest of it has breakfast still scattered everywhere so this is what you get. That range is the butter to my bread and sometimes I just catch myself staring at it. Black and brass for the win for everything in life ever. Also, all tile should be herringbone tile. Just, yes. 

Formal living. A quick note, I don't normally have fresh flowers scattered all over my house. Who am I? Lisa Vanderpump? Although, #goals. These are (surprisingly) still hanging on from New Years Eve.  You can't see the left side of this room because it's a huge white wall that is killlllling me. After our Christmas tree left, all I can do it stare at it and wish something would appear. What is that something? I DON'T KNOW! 

A gallery wall that's shaping up nicely.

Powder room. Guys, it's really hard to take a photo of a powder room. How to photographers do it?! 

One side of the bar. After living in the house for a bit I've decided to wallpaper this little area. It's right off the dining room and needs a bit of drama. This will probably get done in 7 years because it couldn't be lower on the list of things to do.

This is the den. AKA, where we sit our butts and watch way to much TV. That's it on the left. About the ottoman, it's a craigslist find that I paid $20 for and had recovered in a blue/gray velvet. Craigslist forever!! Also, that Alexa Hampton lamp was found at Homegoods (!!!???!!) and when I saw it I ran to it like a lost child being reunited with his mother. I grabbed it and it's twin and happily walked to the checkout where I was asked by 2 different people if I was definitely buying them. I laughed in their faces and swiped my card. I didn't even know if they would work or not. Spoiler: they did. Moral of the story, always go to Homegoods. Oh…and you can see the bar area in this photo right where the ginger jars are. Wouldn't wallpaper be great there?

So that's what I have for now! I'll do bedrooms next time! Stay tuned. 

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Kids and Your House

Not my house, but I feel for these parents.
A phrase I hear all too often is "I don't want to invest in a [insert] sofa, chair, table, rug for my house because my kids will just ruin it." I usually just don't say anything because what people choose to do with their house and/or money and/or kids is their business. But I heard that phrase for about the 3,324 time yesterday and I started thinking about it. Now, I grew up in a house where my mother was very much into decorating and took a lot of pride in the way her house looked. But I also had friends whose parents really didn't seem to care whether or not the drapes were lined or if the sofa looked good with the chair...and in both of those cases, we were certainly not allowed to ruin anything.

We had rules about how we were allowed to live and also visit in those homes. My parents raised 3 children in their house and aside from an unfortunate confrontation with a bedroom door, I can't recall a time we ever ruined a piece of furniture. Because let me tell you…my mom would. not. have. it.  I didn't pay for one single item in my parents house. I lived there like a squatter who felt entitled to having my dinner prepared and my laundry done. We had rules. No eating on the sofa. No food or drinks upstairs. No shoes on the furniture. And if you want to fight, take that mess outside so you don't knock something over. We never wrote on the walls as children. Because I'm pretty certain it happened once and the wrath of my mother was burned into our brains for eternity. Because there is a 99% chance she painted that wall herself with a color she loved and seeing our squatter-hobo crayon marks all over it made her lose her shit. And rightly so.

When I was a kid I thought these rules were just the result of my mom being a total buzzkill and super bossy. I think she was just preparing us to learn how to treat our houses and the things in them with respect. Now that doesn't mean I don't want my daughter to play and enjoy her home, but in the end it is not hers. She will not be able to do with it as she pleases. She cannot jump on the sofa or paint on the coffee table or have a water gun fight in the living room. She can't play with or mess with certain things in the house and if she does, she gets in trouble. Some might say to just put it away where she can't get to it, but that's not how I roll. Kids have a very "everything is mine" mentality. I am here to break it to her that everything is most definitely not hers.

It was always very clear growing up that our house was my parents house. We just got to live there for free. And it's also worth mentioning that we are always able to go back there if the need arises, and live, for free. Just no shoes on the furniture, a phrase spoken by my father to me not too long ago when I was there for a visit. I rolled my eyes.

Friday, September 25, 2015

New House Files: Den Design Board

So I thought it might be fun to show the design board I put together for the den/keeping room/TV room/whatever you want to call it room that's right off the kitchen. Not all of this is happening at once, obviously. That is unless we find a pile of money hidden in the backyard.

The leather chair was ordered 6 months ago and has been hanging out in the rental house and the sofa will (hopefully) be here not long after we move in. It's not exactly that sofa although it's very, very close. I did my husband a solid and ordered him a leather TV watching chair. He is building the house after all. All the lighting is what I have chosen and is what is being installed in a few weeks. I love the idea of a blue upholstered ottoman and I have loved that West Elm rug for a long time. Everything else is pretty traditional and that rug and the art are just the things the room needs to keep it from venturing too much into snoozefest territory. I like the idea of a striped roman shade, and that one is a great price.

The credenza is very much up in the air at this point. In my dreams it's a brass and burl wood piece like the one below from Jayson Home. A girl can dream. I'm definitely going with 2 pillows in my old faithful "Betwixt" in Biscuit by Celerie Kimble. I've used that fabric many times in almost all the colors and it has never let me down.

So there you have it! Now that I keep staring at this I might have to just go ahead and order that rug…..

Monday, September 21, 2015

New House Files: Construction Update

I'm baaaack! With an update! We are in the home stretch. 98% of the cabinets are in, hardwoods are down, the entire house is painted….date to finish is about 3-4 weeks (!!!). Now is when everything is starting to come together so the photos are a lot more interesting.

 The front door has been painted since this photo (in a blue/gray that I can't for the life of me remember right now). And the front patio has been laid. Also that large weed and dirt pile is gone. For the front I am planning on doing 4 large boxwood topiaries flanking the french doors (which will have shutters at some point as well) sort of like thiiiissss….
So, so good.

The kitchen!! I love it so much I can't stand it. The windows are giving me life. Obviously we are missing the right side lower cabinets due to a measuring problem. Which happens. All the white cabinetry and trim in the house is Benjamin Moore's White Dove. It's a perfect white. No gray, no yellow, just soft white. The doorway to the right is the pantry (see below). That hood is awesome too, it's actually curved which you can't see at all from this photo. Should have taken a side shot. But it looks great (shout out to our carpenter Jessie who did every wooden surface in this house).  Two of these fab pendants are hanging over the island…

Rejuvenation Cone pendant

From this shot you can see the fridge area. And the amazing light that comes in in the afternoon. 

That room to the left is the formal living. And the space right in front of where I am standing is where the breakfast table will go.

This is the pantry right off the kitchen. I wanted something different in this little spot, so I went gray on the cabinetry. No doors yet obviously. This is where my collection of tableware and glassware will be living with lots of room to expand. Which delights the hoarder inside me to no end.

This is the shallow pantry shelving wall to the left when you walk in the doorway. The door goes outside to the back patio.  

And this is the dining room. It needed one more coat of paint when I took this photo, but you get the idea. It's such a dark green that it's almost black. It's very dramatic and very awesome. A shout out this time to Sherwin Williams for the custom color. 

Last stop on the tour is the master bath. Aaaaand more props to carpenter Jessie for taking my crazy sketches and making them a reality. This bath is gonna be gooood y'all. 

That's it for now! Things are moving quickly so hopefully I can show tile and countertops next!