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Wednesday, July 31

Black, White and Green All Over

Even while I'm considering adding some colorful additions to my own apartment, I find myself drawn to this simple color scheme of black and white paired with pale and minty greens. Even with this simple look, the Charleston cottage of creative consultant Haskell Harris is anything but plain. A mix of textures, patterns and materials gives this traditional home a modern flair. 

I adore this mix of graphic, floral and ethnic black and white prints in this bedding. The drape of fabric along a plain upholstered headboard is perfect for creating a bold statement which can easily be changed out season to season. 

This image is everything. Black painting antique hutch with a minty green interior filled to the brim with vintage finds. Paired with a metal frame chair. Perfection. Why can't my home be this perfect blend of simple and bold?

{Images via HGTV}

Tuesday, July 30

Small Space Storage: The Bathroom

Since I struggle with storage solutions in my apartment I thought I'd share some real-life storage tips from my home to yours. We'll start with the bathroom, most often the smallest space in an apartment with the exception closets. My sympathies if your closet is minuscule, I don't think I could function without my full size one. But back to the bathroom and more specifically the Medicine Cabinet. You're looking at the sole piece of storage in my entire bathroom (I have a pedestal sink so no luck there)!

Let's step inside...

Behold. I may or may not have raided The Container Store the other night. My make-up routine is fairly simple day-to-day so I keep all my essentials in that cute little Liberty London cosmetic pouch on the bottom shelf, along with washcloth storage. I have another small pouch of fancier make-up, more on that later. The second shelf is dedicated to items I reach for daily with a little help from an acrylic riser and round lucite canisters that chaos is contained but at my fingertips. The second shelf is reserved are beauty products, my collection of nail polish, and an odds and ends box. 

I used to amass small arsenals of bobby pins all over my apartment, but now, thanks to this little gizmo they all have one place to live. This means less time searching my apartment for a cache and more time to savor morning coffee.

But wait, what about that extra make-up pouch, first aid essentials and lady products? I have a collection of pouches stored beneath my towels in this lovely little basket. Ta-Da - within reach but not within sight! Well, except for the first aid pouch. I can count on both hands, literally, how many times a kitchen knife has savaged one or more of my fingers. 

Sorry for the kindergartner photos. I think my three year old niece might be able to take better photographs with her mother's phone. Goal 40,511 of 2013 is to learn how to use my camera. 

Friday, July 26

Vintage Soapstone Sinks

One of my clients discovered several antique soapstone sinks in the basement of a town home they are renovating. We're talking vintage pieces, probably from the home's original kitchen or laundry from the late nineteenth / early nineteenth century. There's one particularly well preserved three basin sink that we're hoping to use in the back garden as a potting sink and as giant ice buckets when they entertain. Aren't they gorgeous and so versatile - kitchen, mudroom, garden or bathroom?

{Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 }

Thursday, July 25

Picks of the Week 7.25.13

My picks of the week are a few bits and bobs found on my travels around the internet this week. All have a lovely vintage flair, wether they're considered vintage or brand new. I am particularly eying the rug from Stark and those gorgeous, minimalist brass candlesticks. Also those vintage glass sea floats would be amazing corralled in a bowl in a beach house, no? 

Sources // 1 Invitation Clutch in Python via J.Crew / 2 Vintage Brass Candlesticks via One Kings Lane / 3 Vintage Japanese Sea Floats via  One Kings Lane  / 4 Stark Annali Flat-Weave in Sky/Ivory via One Kings Lane / 5 Steff Pillow via Shoppe by Amber Interiors

Wednesday, July 24

Small Space Eclectic

Those of us who live in small city apartments and condos should take note. This charmingly eclectic southern bungalow is only 700 square feet! There's a reason this homeowner is a professional stylist, her own home is a masterful mix of colorful patterns, textures and artwork. 

There's one of those amazing fiddle leaf fig trees! Much to my despair my home doesn't get enough sunlight to keep one of these beauties alive. Anyone have any sources for a high quality silk tree? 

Love how she uses throws and textiles to easily change up the color accents on neutral slipcovered upholstery. 

And then theirs the front porch, the architectural feature that makes bungalows so appealing! I'm in love with the black and white strip on the rattan chairs and the crazy amazing stenciled floor! Get the look of expensive encaustic tiles with just a little elbow grease. 

{Images by Brie Williams for BHG}

Tuesday, July 23

Summer Is For Picnics

One of my favorite summertime activities are picnics. In the city. In the country. At the beach. And even, when the weather is too hot for venturing outside, setting up shop in my living room in front of my maxed-out air conditioner. While it's fun to plan and prepare a delicious menu and pack a vintage basket, many a delightful impromptu picnic has been made by grabbing some of your favorite take out foods and simply heading to the park. Below I've added my go-to menus for a quick-prep picnics. My old standby for summer beach days are sandwiches piled high with local veggies and cheddar cheese with just a hint of herb mayo. My love of avocados was acquired eating these sandwiches during summer weeks spent with a friend's family on Nantucket. One of my favorite new menu recipes involve cured meats, cheeses and jams; variations have been enjoyed at outdoor concerts at Boston's Hatch Shell every Wednesday. 

Town // Melin Tregwynt Navy St David's Cross Wool Throw via Liberty London / Rozzo Leather French Market Basket via Petite Provence // Country // Newbury Picnic Basket via Picnic Baskets / Xadrez Woven Throw via Terrain // Seaside // Hand Woven Palm Carryall via Kaufmann Mercantile / Turkish Towel via Design Darling

{Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 }

Monday, July 22

Delightful Design: Traditional Setting, Modern Pattern

Is there anything to dislike about this fantastic living and dining room? Perhaps I'm so drawn to because the gray wall color and gilded accents remind me of my own living room? I'm also loving the modern patterns of the all blue textile scheme. These patterns and the the pared down palette keep the traditional furnishings and {gorgeous} architectural details from turning overwhelming and stuffy in this London home. 

Oh how this marble fireplace surround makes me swoon!

{Images by Eleanor Busing for Apartment Therapy}

Tuesday, July 16

A Brighter Bedroom

You may remember that earlier this year I finally got around to painting and updating my bedroom. I'm thrilled by this serene transformation but lately it has started to feel a little too calm (read: boring). I'm thinking of adding a dew pops of color to help wake things up without completely losing the sense of retreat one should have in a bedroom. I decided to let an amazing photograph,  which has been on my wish list ever since seeing it in Bri Emery's home, be my color inspiration. 

Tulum Photography by Max Wanger | Oversized Adjustable Curtain Rod in Antique Brass via West Elm | Burmese Print in Sea Foam via Sister Parish Design | Threshold Drapery Clip Rings in Antique Brass via Target | Amana Brass Candleholders via Serena & Lily | Berry Border Frame Duvet and Shams via Serena & Lily 

Monday, July 15

Delightful Design: Budget Friendly Design

Once in a while I come across a room that makes me seriously consider selling all my furnishings and redesign my apartment big time. The Super Saver feature in August's Better Homes and Gardens did just that. I picked on the magazine on Friday and haven't been able to stop thinking about how I can implement a similar look without going too overboard. Homeowner, Mary Emma, very carefully and judiciously created this chic and sophisticated home, keeping the family budget safely intact. It's all about knowing where to splurge and where to save, check out the full article for her money saving tips! 

{Photographs by Kim Cornelison for Better Homes & Gardens}

Friday, July 12

Modern & Monochromatic

I love the design of this bathroom so much that I've pinned it more than once onto the same board. Unintentionally, of course, as Pinterest only recently added the "you pinned this already, moron" feature. It's modern and sleek which are usually not my favorite designs but I find myself mesmerized. Is it the gorgeous grayscale tiles on the floor, the beveled edged subway tiles? The sauna? Who am I kidding, it's all of those things that draw my eye! When I update the 1950's tile situation in my own bathroom I may not be bold enough to add a such graphic floor (resale value?!) but I know I'll definitely be using the beveled subways. They're so shiny and jewel-like. 

{Images via Linda Bergroth}

Thursday, July 11

Indoor Tree Take Two?

Do I dare? By another indoor tree? Stave, named by a friend when we picked him up at Ikea, my indoor palm tree lasted about three months. It's unclear whether the blame for his demise rests solely on my total lack of a green thumb or partially on where he was purchased. My sights are set on a Fiddle Leaf Fig tree though I'm torn due to my indoor plant record and the rather outrageous costs of these beauties. It's amazing how these trees with their sculptural leaves bring new depth to both a simple vignette and already fabulous rooms. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Wednesday, July 10

Summer Wish List

This morning I woke up to realize that I'd forgotten completely about writing a blogpost. Ruh-roh. I did a cursory run through Pinterest and was about to give up in defeat and blogger-block when my phone whistled at me. You know, that irritating whistle on iPhones when you have a new tweet waiting. Erin - most amazing designer, blogger, boss and friend - saved my bacon with her post this morning. Click on over to Elements of Style to check out the EGD Ladies' summer wish lists!

Tuesday, July 9

The Flower Recipe Book

I've been reading about this book all over the internet and in print publications, so armed with a coupon and little else to do on a Wednesday evening I ran over to the mall and picked up a copy of The Flower Recipe Book

Oh man, was I impressed by the floral essential explanations and arrangements within. I stayed up well into the night reading it cover to cover and planning ways to implement new-found knowledge into my amateur floral arrangements. And I finally learned the name of my favorite little spiky, waxy bloom, used in this bouquet (it's a Protea for those interested). Authors and business partners at San Francisco based Studio Choo, Alethea Harampolis and Jill Rizzo, are masters of floral arranging, turning even the simplest bouquet into a work of art. 

{Images via Studio Choo}

Monday, July 8

Antiques on the Ranch

Given it was so damn hot over the weekend that it was impossible to spend the entire day beachside I ventured to the local library and spent some time catching up on back issues of design and shelter magazines. One of them was the Elle Decor featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi's mountain retreat above Santa Monica. How did I miss this stunning property until now? A twenty-six acre ranch, the property features eight cabins, and several barns which now feature as the principal living areas - for both humans and equines. Filled to the brim with antiques, a penchant of Ellen's, I'm loving the white, black and brown palette used throughout. 

{Photography by William Abranowicz for Elle Decor