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Monday, December 31

Downstairs, Upstairs

I've always loved the historic charm of brownstones but often the kitchens are retrofitted at the garden level while the main living spaces remain upstairs. The kitchen in this Brooklyn brownstone, the home of Pilar Guzman, editor at Martha Stewart Living, and family proves otherwise at the heart of the home's parlor level. And so stylishly, too. 

Most of the appliances and dishware are housed in what resembles a historic, built-in cabinet accompanied by a large, serviceable island. Not usually a proponent of dark cabinetry, I'm actually loving this look of the stained wood and carrara counter. It only adds to the kitchen's edwardian feel. 

While the architecture and kitchen fittings retain their historic foundation, the rooms modern furnishings such as the light fixture, saarnien table, galvanized stools and pop-art prints keep it fresh, preventing it from feeling overly stuffy. 

{Images via Matthew Hranek}

Wednesday, December 26

Merry Christmas

We didn't have a White Christmas here in Southern Florida but it was festive and merry all the same. And let's face it, if we had had snow Al Gore would have been running around screaming "the sky is falling!" We also didn't have a Christmas Tree this year but our other decorations more than made up for it and Santa had no trouble finding us. I've included some images from my parent's kitchen which was decked out in ivory, golds and greens. 

 I spent the greater portion of yesterday sitting on the lanai devouring chocolate and some new books, especially Janelle McCulloch's guide to the creative-side of Paris. You should really add this to your library too.  I'll be vacationing through the new years but hope to continue with blogposts while I'm away, perhaps not everyday but since I cannot stay away from online inspirational resources for very long there will be a few posts here and there.

{Images via Allison Whittemore}

Thursday, December 20

An Enticing Entry

Much like my bland dining room, my entry hallway could use a little love. I've been pretty focused on decorating my living room that this space has remained underwhelming which is unfortunate as it's the very first thing guests see when entering my home. I'll be keeping my console/bookshelf since it works beautifully as a hall table while also proving much needed storage for personal and business items. But I need just about everything else, including a new mirror, lamps or sconces, and artwork to turn it from boring to fantastic! Dressing up this space isn't just for guests, I want to come home and feel wowed rather than winded from flights of stairs. Here's some recent inspiration for an enticing entry. 

Loving the large, round mirror!

Can't really make use of awesome wallpaper as my hall isn't separated from the rest of my living space but I love the print in this funky traditional foyer.  

Encaustic tiled floors! One day...

Ideally I'd have some kind of bench to assist with wintering up {it's incredibly difficult to put on boots while standing, don't you agree?}. Loving the teal velvet of this settee.

Again, statement wallpaper! Genius use of space having stools beneath an open console. 

Simple and lovely.

{Images via Pinterest}

Wednesday, December 19

Festive Holiday Tables

Hosting on Christmas Eve or Christmas day? Stuck on your table setting? It's not too late. I put together two different looks, one more rustic and one a bit more glamourous, both featuring a hefty dose of gold accents which I'm loving right now. The rustic holiday table uses a Green & Gold scheme with a nature -inspired centerpiece of garland, birch pillar candles, pinecones sprayed gold and found (or faux) antlers. I'm imagining a long trestle table for this look. 

The glamourous table features a Red & Gold scheme using a slightly playful red Ikat fabric instead of a more traditional table linen. For some reason in my head I picture this at a round table with a "glowing" centerpiece of varying candlesticks and other vessels. 

Tuesday, December 18

Red & Pink

Unless it's the month of February,  I've tended to cringe at the combination of red and pink in any significant fashion. I've gone ahead an used the past tense in the previous sentence because it may not be true anymore. Imagine my utter, slack-mouthed shock when I pinned the below images in the other day. What? I pinned rooms with red and pink color schemes? But I think they're lovely. Don't you agree? 

Apologies for the late post today. I leave at a rather ungodly hour tomorrow to spend the holidays in Florida and have a long list of to-dos before then. Including packing, which typically entails packing, unpacking and repacking several times! Holiday table settings on the blog tomorrow. 

{Images via Pinterest}
{Designers: Kathryn Ireland (first and last) & Sarah Richardson}

Monday, December 17

Wrapping for you Table

I ran into Paper Source yesterday to pick up some last minute gift wrap and made a genius discovery - wrapping paper for your table. Yes, that's right, printed paper table runner; and the gold chevron is a  touch more classy than the white kraft used as canvas for kiddos's art at a local pizzerias.  I was hosting a holiday cookie exchange for book club that afternoon so I grabbed a roll to dress up my coffee and dining table. I loved the festive look so much that I left it on my coffee table to enjoy during holidays. 

{Images via Paper Source & Moi}

Friday, December 14

Candle Sconces

After the Holidays I plan on tackling the bare walls that are my dining room. I have an inspiration board and an empty frame and that's about it, pathetic I know.  I'm thinking of getting a pair of candle sconces to flank my inspiration board, similar to the image below of the former dining room of The Everygirl's Alaina Kaczmarski 

While exploring the options I decided that I preferred the mirrored sconces but that's as far as I've narrowed it down. Do I want a circular sconce, an oblong, or a rectangle? A pillar or tapered candle? Guess I have a couple of weeks to mull this over. Which do you prefer?    

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{Image Photographed by Maia Harms

Thursday, December 13

A Four Poster with Attitude

While searching for trestle table options for a client I stumbled upon Noir Furniture, a line of classic home furnishings with a hefty dose of attitude. One of my favorite finds was the Ferret Bed which I feel I've seen all over the place in magazines and blogs recently. Though, of course, I can't remember where at the moment. But I'm in love with the slightly edgy,  dramatic flair given to the traditional four poster bed. I decided to up the drama using a red and blue color scheme with block prints, inlay and polished silver accents.

Dramatic & Classic Bedroom

I choose a warm cream color, Benjamin Moore's Collingwood,  for the wall color but not after much deliberation. I was torn between a light color and a darker, warmer gray which could really amp up the drama. 

Wednesday, December 12

The Art of Inlay

It's been a trend for several years now and while some may thing it's fading out I still think inlaid furniture is a fantastic addition to any home. Whether it's a chest of drawers in your entryway, a bedside table or mirror over a vanity the result is a gorgeous, slightly eclectic style boost.  The intricate designs using bone, shell and sometimes metals turn a routine piece of furniture into a piece of art for your home. I'm on the hunt for a light grey chest of drawers to serve as a media stand for my living room. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, December 11

A Study in Black & White

I may have gasped when I saw this home in December's Lonny. I may have wanted to move immediately to Denmark, despite Danish being a particularly difficult language to learn. The home of design duo Marianne Brandi and Keld Mikkelsen of Day Birger et Mikkelsen, this 19th century oceanside stunner is a case study of black and white is done right. I'm especially dying over the black stained floors and trim balanced out by the bright white walls. And the gold accents, oh those gold accents. And the mix of antiques and contemporary furniture. Oh, okay, I'm dying for everything. 

See more images in this month's issue of Lonny

{Images by Gaelle Le Boulicaut for Lonny

Monday, December 10

Festive Boughs

I'm loving the idea of using hanging branches to display holiday ornaments rather than {or in addition to} a classic Christmas tree. This earthy element brings an touch of the modern to any space but my favorites tend towards dining tables and kitchen islands. Next time you trim trees in your yard keep a few boughs for the holidays. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Friday, December 7

Sh*t Interior Designers Say

That's just what throw pillows cost these days.

Just what I needed to for a midday laugh. Thanks to Traditional Home and designers Amanda Nisbet, Carson Kressley, Nick Olsen, and Eddie Lee for this hilarious look into the glamourous lives of interior designers. 

Thursday, December 6

Just for Laughs

Even with my excessive use of purell and my small child evasive maneuvers, the stomach bug still found me. I hate nothing more than being sick in bed especially when my dining table is covered in work that needs to be completed asap. I did manage to stay sane thanks to my mini command station of kindle-ipad-iPhone. But some good did come of this confinement, I discovered an amazingly funny tumblr site, Your L.L. Bean Boyfriend. The captions are hysterically perfect, I found myself laughing so hard that tears were coming out of my eyes.

Now go read through all of them. I promise you'll never look through those Beans catalogs the same way again.

Wednesday, December 5

Music as Artwork

I came across this image in my Pinterest feed the other day and haven't stopped thinking about using sheet music as artwork. I love the idea that you can translate a meaningful piece of music into a fabulous, somewhat abstract piece of art for your home.

And it couldn't be easier to do it yourself using a scanner, the architectural plan copier at your local print center and an oversize frame. Or achieve a similar look with smaller reproductions on a creamier heavyweight paper. I've been looking for something to fill up some prime wall real estate in my dining nook and I think this may be the answer. The only questions left is which piece to use? I'm thinking it may have to be Liszt's "Sospiro" Etude

{Image via Pinterest}

Tuesday, December 4

Little Lost Earring

Somewhere in my travels home from a friends Christmas party this past weekend I lost one of my pearl earrings. I wont pretend that I felt nothing at the loss, there were tears shed. Mostly because these earrings were gifts from my godparents when I graduated high school. But also a bit because these weren't simple round pearl studs; they had an delicate gold setting based off a design from the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Collection of Roman and Etruscan jewelry. Sadly, these are no longer in production and I haven't had any luck finding them on Ebay. And so I've started looking for new gold and pearl earrings. 

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I don't know that I'm sold on any of these options... yet. I think I'll keep searching.  

Monday, December 3

The BG Follies

Tis the season for the wondrously fantastic holiday windows at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. I've posted about the dreamy windows of 2010 and 2011 but I have to say that this year's, inspired by the provocative and lively entertainments of the 1930s, are even more spectacular.  Since seeing these images on Bergdorf's blog 5th/58th I've been trying to find a way to rework my December schedule to get to New York and see them in person. The BG creative team have such a talent for creating these opulent visual tableaux.

Check out the 5th / 58th Blog to see more images and read about these visual stories. Once you've done that log into Instagram and search #BGWindows {If you don't have Instagram, view here} to spend an hour or more viewing more details of these amazing displays. 

{Images by Ricky Zehavi}