Monday, September 29, 2014

It's Back Ya'll: The Poncho

They are everywhere. And pretty much the one thing you need to buy this fall. I am really close to scooping up the Zara number below. I hate stuffing sweaters into the sleeves of a coat, which is why I love this style. The hottest ticket this year is the Burberry version that SJP is modeling below. I came up with a few that are a little more wallet friendly. Get it on, ladies.





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Monday, September 22, 2014

New House Files: Lighting

I'm already obsessing about the lighting in the new house. Truth be told, I've been looking at lighting options since the beginning of the summer. Because there are millions of things and I have to see every last one. Because I'm thorough insane. And lighting is very, very important. In the last house we built, the lighting budget was teeny tiny. Because, well, we had to make room for more important things like walls and toilets. But this time I get to make a few rather awesome lighting decisions. Here are a few that are on my short list…



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Friday, September 19, 2014

Cottage Envy

Designer Schuyler Samperton knocked it out of the park with this cottage featured in this month's House Beautiful. I read and re-read this feature five times. It reminds me of my beloved Ruthie Sommers' style. The people who live here are probably totally awesome. I love a house that doesn't take itself too seriously. Genius.


kensington cane chairs






Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Packing List

As a reformed over-packer, I have finally streamlined my packing process after many years of lugging a too heavy suitcase and making myself miserable. A long trip, especially overseas, is hard to pack for. I've found the key is lots of neutrals and layers, layers, layers. Fall and Winter is especially difficult because everything is so bulky. But if you think smart, you can get a lot of outfits out of a few pieces. Basically I am packing everything you see below. And that's pretty much it. Well, and about 5 more Zara t shirts.

Rain gear. A necessary evil. I bought this shorter Hunter boot to take up less space than my regular pair. Also, that red rain jacket folds into a tiny pouch so you can stash it in a bag! Yes! And I always stress about shoes and end up taking way too many. But this time, I'm only taking those 3 pairs. All super comfortable and equally stylish. By the way, J Crew is on the money with their sneaker collection right now.

Let's get down to leather jacket business. If you don't have one, get one. Worth the investment. I travel with mine everywhere. This one from Zara looks like a million bucks and it's not even real leather. Slow clap for Zara everyone.







One thing I didn't mention was jewelry. A necklace or a pair of earrings are sometimes just enough to make an outfit special. And those are easy to pack and take up zero space. Here are a few things I might have to add to the suitcase

J Crew

Kendra Scott


J Crew





Friday, September 5, 2014

Paris By Way of London

Every few years the hubby and I try to take a big trip, alternating between who gets to choose where we go. Two years ago the hubs chose Mexico so this time, I'm up. And my motto is, go big or go home. So London and Paris it is. We are going next month...I know, last minute much?….but we are trying to get it in before house building craziness starts. And honestly, who wants to wait 6 months for a trip anyway? So we are leaving in 6 weeks. Carpe Diem! I have never been to London and I am so excited I can't stand it. Naturally I have been researching hotels like a crazy person. I prefer to stay in small boutique style places rather than large, 200 room mega hotels. I live and die by Trip Advisor. I read reviews until my eyes cross, but I. Love. It.

For London, the Dean Street Townhouse. Pretty much exactly what I wanted. Small, English, historic, well-designed, awesome.





Yes, yes, and more yes. Yes to all the things.

We are in London for 3 days, so it's basically a "hit the high points" trip for me. The hubs has been there twice so he is just tagging along for my benefit and letting me call the shots. And by "shots" I mean hitting up Stella McCartney, drinking lots of Pimm's Cups, and hoping I run into Kate Middleton. I think we would be besties.

And then a two hour train ride to my favorite place in all the planets.
Paris.

We are staying again in my favorite area, the 9th arrondissement. It's non-touristy with neighborhood fromageries, boulangeries and cafes. Emphasis on the fromageries. My love of french cheese knows no bounds. Last time we stayed there we walked down the sidewalk with a class of 6 or 7 year old schoolchildren dressed in peacoats, hats, and knee socks, giggling with each other in French (probably about us silly Americans). It was like someone looked up "Paris" in a Google image search. And I was instantly hooked on that neighborhood. I might have even checked out real estate listings. And then was instantly depressed at the euro to dollar conversion. So the fact that we are going back there makes me giddy with happiness and glee. 

This time around we are staying at Hotel Joyce. It's quirky and unpretentious and right up my alley. Dare I say it even looks spacious? Last time we were in a room the size of my dining table. But honestly who really cares. It's Paris.





I'm looking forward to Paris the second time around. We've done all the touristy things, Eiffel tower, a brisk walk through the Louvre, Notre Dame, etc. So this time I really just plan on hanging out. And taking a trip to the flagship Chanel store. And buying a lovely piece of art in Montmartre. And eating lots of cheese. Fantastique!










Wednesday, July 23, 2014

New House Files: A Design Board Already?

Yes. This is probably jumping the gun a bit, but I couldn't help myself. I'm sure you all have seen the photos of Peter Dunham's home making the blog rounds. I'm just as much a sucker for it as everyone else. The walls! The fabrics! It's all so delightful. So then of course I wanted to do this myself, and what better recipient of this awesomeness than my 4 year old. Yes, the house is still just a schematic on paper, but my brain is already decorating. I am into this so hard that I bought those curtains on Monday (sadly the 96" panels are now sold out). And I don't even know the layout of her room. Crazy?Probably.




The inspiration:

To lend softness to the living room, he used a milk-paint formula from SafePaint on the walls — White with 10 percent Barn Red

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Chintz. Yes, really.

I'm baaaack! We have settled in the rental house and I finally have internet. I don't know how I lasted so long without it. So now it's on to designing, building, and decorating a brand new home. Being the way that I am (neurotic) about decorating, I've already been scheming up ideas for the new house. I am having a bunch of pieces either reupholstered or slipcovered (10 dining chairs, 2 bergere chairs, a banquette, possibly 2 wing chairs) so I kinda have to get started.

I am thisclose to pulling the trigger on this Schumacher Pyne Hollyhock fabric. Chintz is back people. And better than ever. Although some would say it never left. This pattern has been around for, I don't know, 60 years or so, and it still looks amazingly fresh. That's what good design is all about. And I think it would look ah-may-zing on my banquette.
settee in Schumacher Hollyhock chintz in tobacco from designer Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home blog.Schumacher’s Pyne Hollyhock Chintz
I'm eyeing the Tobacco color, which is pictured in the first photo. It looks great against the white walls I plan on doing. It also comes in blue and grey colorways. It's normally sold to the trade, but I found a website where you can order it. Get your chintz on.


Pyne Hollyhock Tobacco

Pyne Hollyhock Charcoal

Pyne Hollyhock Indigo