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Friday, May 30

Color Crush: Coral & Blush

Do you ever see a trend in your pinning? I can't be the only one. Whether it's a type of space, a design aesthetic or color combinations I tend to go on little riffs every once in awhile. The latest, I've noticed, is a slight obsession with the combination of orangey corals and the palest of blush pinks. It's terribly summery and cheerful, no? And now I'm off to the flower market after staring at this first image far too long. Flowers on the brain. I am my mother's child even if I don't share her love of chocolate. 

Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7

Wednesday, May 28

All White Bedding

This is a public service announcement - if you are purchasing a queen-size bed for any space other than a first floor ranch home, do yourself a favor and just pay the extra $100 for a split foundation. Resultant aggravation is just not worth it. The backstory is that after years of requesting a move up from the twin-size bed I had at my parent's summer house I was finally supposed to have a new, larger bed on Saturday. Yay, just in time for the long weekend, right? Ha. A certain CFO thought we had plenty of clearance for the foundation which turned out to be incorrect. Back everything went to be redelivered Tuesday morning. Cut to yesterday morning and the split foundation arrives without the mattress. A comedy of errors. Eventually after much back and forth the mattress showed up later that day. So now my only dilemma is what bedding to use. I was leaning towards this blue duvet and euro shams but the all white basics I bought actually look really amazing and cozy...

What would you do? Keep it simple or add in some color?

Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Tuesday, May 27

My Daily Uniform

I'm a creature of habit when it comes to day-to-day dressing. It's a uniform, really. If I'm not wearing the dress and jean jacket combo the key pieces in my wardrobe are chambray shirts, t-shirts, patterned skirts, and scarves. This is hands down my favorite but, no joke, I have a chambray shirt for every day of the week hanging in my closet. Once it starts warming up I trade in the jeans for fun skirts that can easily be dressed up with sandals and a colorful scarf or dressed down with a pair of converse for running around town.

Wednesday, May 21

I Just Need A Moment

Apologies in advance if you came to be inspired by something lovely posted today but I need a place to unscramble my thoughts. 

I just need a moment.

Yesterday had a great start. But upon opening my email after lunch I learned that a very dear friend, a sister really, had departed this world. The chest-wracking dry-sobs of shock started immediately followed closely by a long, ugly cry. And though I was alone in my apartment, I wasn't truly alone. A quick login to Facebook concluded that my entire class (and then some) from Miss Porter's was reeling from the news in just the same way.

And within this place of shock, disbelief, grief came something wonderful - a reminder that we Porter's girls are so much more than friends, we're family. No matter how far we are all scattered across the country and the globe, we will always be there for one another. I can't help but think that CB, with her loving, open heart and beautiful soul, would have wanted us all to rediscover this sense of family. What a way to honor and celebrate her life. You see, CB had this miraculous ability to befriend anyone. She was friends with everyone in our class, as well as girls from others, not something everybody can claim in the innate cliquish environment created by teenage girls.

The river of grief ebbs and flows. One minute I'll be busily distracted by work and the next moment a memory will hit. I'll never read a new witty Facebook post, never see another ridiculous selfie or picture of her many fur-babies, never see that she's once again stubbed a toe or knocked over a lamp after a raucous solo-dance-party (most notable were those danced to One Direction.)

My heart is heavy at these memories but from time to time I'll catch myself smiling and I can only hope that as I grieve there will be more smiles from memories of CB than tears. She shone brightly here on earth, making it a better place for all whose lives she touched. I like to think that she still shines down upon us all, family and friends, a bright star in the night sky, a ray of sunshine peaking out through a cloudy sky.

I take comfort knowing that she's been reunited with her beloved father, a loss she mourned deeply. And I know that one day we'll meet again. And she'll be wearing her MPS Spirit Squad sweatpants.

My prayers are with her family during their time of mourning and healing. Though I cannot be at her memorial tomorrow I'll be sending thoughts of love, courage and strength to her family and friends in attendance. I'll miss you CB but I'll carry you forever in my heart.

Tuesday, May 20

Stripes for Summer

I may be ever so slightly obsessed with stripes. This past weekend I dropped off a load of dry cleaning and the look the clerk gave me silently suggested lady, you've got a lot of striped dresses here... It probably didn't help that I was wearing a striped dress at the time -- this one from J.Crew which I could live in it's so comfortable. My take is of all the weird obsessions out there, my love of stripes is pretty tame. Here are some of my favorite striped pieces for the warm weather.

Inspiration Images 1 / 2 

Monday, May 19

Plantation Restoration

When you see the above image, it's hard to imagine that this adorable cottage was ever anything but a southern charmer. But scroll a little further down and you'll see proof of what the owners started with when restoring the original 1820s home on their Mississippi Plantation, Laurietta. Three years of restoration were well worth the effort, the exterior and interiors are the perfect mix of formal parlor and country cottage. For some reason I'm particularly drawn to the laundry room which also serves as a linen closet. Keeping sheets and towels tucked away in baskets under the counter seems so effortlessly sensible in one of those why didn't I think of that? moments. Of course I'm also enamored with the white & wood tone design scheme. 

Images via Country Living

Wednesday, May 14

Floating Sinks

Seeing this first image on my Pinterest feed had me reminiscing about my old Milan apartment. Well, the windows did. That apartment had the exact same gorgeous window-and-a-half that overlooked the building's central courtyard. That, sadly, is about where the similarities end. That apartment's charm was carried heavily by the foundational architecture. With the Milanese's love of modern interiors, this floating sink and concrete countertop would have been right at home in that narrow bath. Instead the natural sunlight was utilized by the toilet. Who planned that place? I will find you. And as fellow pinners know one image of a floating sink quickly turns into several. For all my traditional tastes, I'm kind of digging the modern edge and airy vibes. 

Images 12 / 3 / 4 

Tuesday, May 13

Around the Web: Spring

It happens every spring. You start emerging from the mourning colors of winter and begin coveting the latest in bright and cheerful hues offered by local retailers. You can't wait to frolic around in dresses, like this breezy gingham number, even on days when the temperature barely reaches 55 degrees. For those other days I tend to favor loosely knit sweaters and maybe even a less structured pant. And a little new bling is never declined. I treated myself to this bracelet the other week and completely love it. It goes with pretty much any spring or summer look. 

I've also amped up my make-up routine a bit since coming out of hibernation. Lots of pinks and corals. Currently, I'm obsessed with both this line of sheer lip color as well as this tint for both lips and cheeks. I'm also counting down the days until weekend beach trips with a little help from a sea salt spray to get those salty sea-kissed wavy locks. Last summer I discovered this spray which not only provides instant texture but,  I swear, it smells just like the beach. 

Monday, May 12

The Sleeping Porch

I would not usually classify myself as a napper but every once in a while I'll give in. Usually this occurs while I'm on vacation at my parent's house in Florida. They have a large covered lanai filled with chaise lounges and even on the hottest days there's always a pleasant breeze filtering in through the screens. Grab an oversized pool towel from a nearby basket and goodnight! A covered porch, better yet - a sleeping porch - is something I wish they had at our Cape cottage. After a weekend morning spent playing tennis and hitting the beach I feel that same drowsy pull of an afternoon nap but their open deck gets full afternoon sun and is hotter than hades underfoot. Wouldn't one of these covered, screened in porches be so much better? Perhaps outfitted with several throwbeds from Hedgehouse?   

Images 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 

Thursday, May 8

Inspired Design: Bright Bold Blue

 Just in case it may have escaped your notice, I'm very partial to shades of blue. Some people may associate this color with sadness as in "I've got the blues." I however find it both calming and restorative. I seem to share this love of blue with interior designer and stylist, Emily Henderson. Everything I've seen from her lately in the glossies and on her blog I instantly love. This week's inspired design comes from her recent appearance in Country Living with her take on a family friendly retreat in Upstate New York.

I'm more than a little obsessed with that rattan swing. It reminds me of the one on my childhood best friend's porch. And its early 90s floral cushion. Comfortable, yes - chic, no. Skip the cushion and throw a sheepskin on it to keep from walking around with those oh so attractive red impressions on the backs of your legs. 

Wednesday, May 7

Bedding Refresh

Theres nothing like ordering new bedding for clients to make you feel like your own bedroom needs a little sprucing up. Now there's nothing wrong with my current bedding. I still like the pale aqua color, the pattern and it has held up well to washing. However, lately I've been feeling the need to hit refresh in my bedroom. My current thought is adding a bit more tones of blue into the mix as well as a linen duvet. I'm obsessed with this one from Anthropologie, whenever I see it, it calls to mind midday sun showers, the smell of salty air and summertime. Can you tell I grew up by the ocean? I'm also crushing on these sheets from Matouk pictured in the image below. A trip down to the outlet is definitely on the books. 

Images 1 / 2 / 3 

Tuesday, May 6

Transitioning Florals

Let me introduce you to your new favorite dress. This little green and blue floral number has made appearances on several blogs and Instagram feeds recently so I decided to try it on a few weeks ago on a whim. Twirling around in front of the mirror I knew there was no way I was leaving the store without it. Not only is is crafted from extremely comfortable cotton but it's also one of those summer essentials that can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your day. 

Last week I wore this dress three times - don't judge, it's that comfortable. Once to a charity luncheon with a simple sweater, a second time out to a casual dinner with friends paired with a denim jacket and a third time with fancy pumps and sparkly jewelry to a rehearsal dinner. 

And did I mention it has pockets? 

Friday, May 2

Delightful Design: Lakeside Happiness

Country Living is one of those magazines you often forget about but when you rediscover love everything inside its pages. You don't find it in too many grocery store check out lines in the Northeast so I wasn't reacquainted until browsing the racks of Magazines at the Charlotte airport earlier last month. I was instantly drawn to this lakeside cabin retreat. The exterior and interior architecture of rough-hewn logs is the perfect backdrop to white and light furnishings. I don't know what it is about neutrals and raw wood that creates both a calming and luxurious environment but I love it, pure perfection in my eyes. 

You know you're one-hundre percent in love with a design when even the laundry room seems luxuriously appealing in all its cottage glory. Now, how to convince my condo building to renovate the laundry room just exactly like this... 

{Photography by Max Kim-Bee for Country Living}