Shopping Diet: One Month to Go

Posted 31 July 2012 at 3:38 PM | Comments (2)

I can’t believe it’s the end of July already. And I thought I would never survive this shopping diet!

The most important thing I’ve learned throughout this process is that I don’t need anything. Nothing at all. Alright, so I only have one pair of shorts. And one sundress. And I’ve been wearing each of those items at least twice a week all throughout this swelteringly hot summer. Who cares? Do the people I run into every day actually care that I’ve worn the same dress twice this week (and last week, and the week before)? If they do, well, then it’s too bad they don’t have something more productive to think about than my wardrobe. Am I right?!

So when September comes, do I even need to buy anything? No, but I probably will.

Because even though I can continue wearing that one pair of shorts and that one sundress and those two skirts, I kind of don’t want to anymore. I need a new option.

So watch out! Options begin on September first.

Continuous Blue Ikat Theme

Posted 30 July 2012 at 11:25 PM | Comments (2)

I really like how this designer, Linda Woodrum, repeated a blue ikat textile throughout the first floor of this home. Starting in the foyer:

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Front Door Foyer

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Foyer Armchair with Blue Ikat Fabric

HGTV Dream Home 2012 View From Foyer to Great Room

And then in the great room:

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room High Ceilings

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Stone Walls

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Coffee Tables

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Fireplace

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Ceiling Beams

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Gingham Armchairs

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Great Room Small Ottomans Beneath Console Table

And also in the kitchen:

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Kitchen Sink and Stove

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Kitchen Cabinets and Island

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Kitchen Dining Table

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Kitchen Dining Chairs in Blue Ikat Fabric

HGTV Dream Home 2012 Kitchen Dining Table with Rocking Chairs

I love this kind of subtle continuity. I hope I can incorporate it in my own home someday.

*Images from HGTV Dream Home 2012.

Annual Room-By-Room Deep Clean

Posted 29 July 2012 at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

Yesterday we started our annual room-by-room “deep clean.”

We always start in the living room. Every single item is moved to another room (and I take a moment to relish the emptiness of the space), then we clean the empty space from top to bottom. Items are not returned to the living room until they, themselves, are thoroughly cleaned.

Simple Wood Sideboard with Art Leaning Against the Wall

It’s hard work, but it feels so good sitting in the living room—our most used room in the apartment—knowing that you could eat off any surface in here. (Not that I want you to.)

So! I thought I’d take this opportunity to open up the doors of our sideboard and show you what’s inside. It’s one of two places in our home where we store toys.

Simple Wood Sideboard for Organized Toy Storage

People always ask if it actually stays this organized. Honestly, it does. My boys, young as they are, know exactly where things go and are terrific at returning toys to their location. I chalk this up to one thing only (no, not magic): habit. We all know that children absorb everything, right? Well, they’ve absorbed my penchant (an understatement, I know) for tidiness. They see how I put things away, and they do it, too. Sometimes it takes a little nudging, sometimes it takes a lot; the point is, they’ve learned.

Think I can leave the dining room deep-clean to them?

Lime and Taupe Living Room with Birch Tree Wallpaper

Posted 21 July 2012 at 8:35 PM | Comments (0)

Confession: For many reasons, I haven’t stopped thinking about birch-tree wallpaper since I wrote this post last December. So I finally decided to channel my obsession productively and create an inspiration board.

Lime and Taupe Living Room Inspiration Board with Birch Tree Wallpaper

It feels like a contemporary ode to the ‘70s with its organic shapes and earth tones, doesn’t it? So I added the sleek glass lamp and French Deco coffee table to keep it fresh, to avoid digging too far into that decade.

Alright, so I was hoping this inspiration board would get the birch-tree wallpaper out of my system, but it didn’t work; now I just want to create another one. What’s a girl gotta do to eliminate an unhealthy obsession? Make a wallpaper voodoo doll?

Ankle-Strap Platform Sandals

Posted 20 July 2012 at 4:03 PM | Comments (3)

While everyone else is still loving on their sky-high wedges, I want to look more high-fashiony in a pair of these. On my list.

Polyvore: Ankle-Strap Platform Sandals

Coco Rocha’s Well-Curated Bookshelf

Posted 19 July 2012 at 4:19 PM | Comments (1)

Oooh. Speaking of mint green, check out supermodel Coco Rocha’s bookshelves.

Coco Rocha's NYC Mint Green Bookshelves with Teapots from Her Travels

I know some people like to see their bookshelves packed full of books (eh-hem, Husband), but this more my cup of tea: bookshelves as a wall of art, where books are mixed in with beautiful, treasured objects. Coco Rocha’s treasured objects are actually teapots collected from her travels.

Is this practical, though? Are you really going to take a book off that shelf every day? Probably not. So perhaps this is better for my living room, where we entertain our guests and where I hate to see clutter, and perhaps the packed-full bookshelf (eh-hem, Husband) could be in our bedroom. A worthy compromise, no?

*Image from

1920s Hacienda Kitchen

Posted 18 July 2012 at 3:56 PM | Comments (0)

I love, love, love this remodel of Lucinda and David Schiff’s Pacific Palisades kitchen, which pays respect to the classic 1920s hacienda-style architecture of the house.

Lucinda and David Schiff's Pacific Palisades 1920s Hacienda Kitchen

Lucinda and David Schiff's Pacific Palisades 1920s Hacienda Kitchen Cabinets

Lucinda and David Schiff's Pacific Palisades 1920s Hacienda Kitchen Window Seat

*Images from the L.A. Times.

The Freshest Way to Wear Mint Green

Posted 12 July 2012 at 11:26 PM | Comments (3)

It’s interesting that fashionistas and style bloggers everywhere picked up on this color trend so strongly. Mint green showed up on the spring runways for sure, but it was nowhere near as explosive as light blue, and it wasn’t that consistent, either. Meaning it wasn’t just mint green—it was a huge variety of light greens, from mint to celadon, sage to spring.

Yet for some reason, it was mint green that resonated with the average consumer. I’m guessing it has something to do with our current fascination with anything that reminds us of childhood (see: sequins, cupcakes, and glitter). Whatever the reason, mint green went from being a color I merely noticed on the runway last year to being a color that’s in my face this summer.

Anyway, on to the fun part! My friends have been asking how they should wear this trendy color. So let’s go to my favorite fashion consultant, the spring 2012 runway shows.

Question: Which mint green pieces should I buy?

A Floaty Dress
Inspired by Philosophy di Alberta Ferretti, Jaeger London, Richard Nicoll, and Sportmax:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green Floaty Dresses

A Floaty Skirt
Inspired by Rodarte, Aquilano e Rimondi, Jill Stuart, and Veronique Leroy:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green Floaty Skirts

An Everyday Suit
Inspired by Christian Cota, Jill Stuart, Sportmax, and Fashion East:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green Everyday Suits

A Knit Sweater
Inspired by Alice and Olivia, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren, and Marc Jacobs:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green Knit Sweaters

Something Satiny
Inspired by Marc Jacobs, Rodarte, Christopher Kane, and Barbara Tfank:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green Satiny Fabrics

Something with a Mint/Peach/Yellow Ombré Pattern
Inspired by Paolo Frani, Etro, Christian Cota, and Alice and Olivia:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green/Peach/Yellow Ombre Patterns

Question: What should I wear mint green with?

With Pale Pink
Inspired by Ralph Lauren, Christopher Kane, Chanel, and Louis Vuitton:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green with Pale Pink

With Leopard Print
Inspired by Angelo Marani (x2), J.Crew, House of Holland:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green with Leopard Print

With a Jade Green Accent
Inspired by Massimo Rebecchi, Antonio Berardi, Rubin Chapelle, and Louis Vuitton:

Spring 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Mint Green with Darker Jade Green

There you have it! If you study these images closely, you’ll see that many themes and color pairings are repeated across categories, one of my favorites being the combination of mint green with either pink, peach, or yellow. But my absolute favorite recurring theme is the most unexpected one: pale green with a dark green accent. It’s the freshest look of all, and I’m dying to try it out.

I’m hoping to blog a bit more this month, so until next trend…!

Pillows for a Bold, Oversize-Floral Rug

Posted 11 July 2012 at 2:54 PM | Comments (0)

My friend, Heather, just bought this bold, floral rug from Overstock and a brown leather sectional. Now in the market for throw pillows, she came to me for advice.

I advised her against too many solid pillows, which can look blocky, and too many shiny fabrics/sequins, which, when overdone, can look cheap instead of glam.

Instead, I encouraged her to think contrast. An earthy or nubby pillow can look great against a soft, silky one; a stripe can look great against an ikat.

Also, I would steer clear of pillows with a bold, oversize-floral motif like the rug. The scale of the pillow patterns should contrast with the rug, not match it perfectly.

Something like this.

Mix and Match Throw Pillows with a Bold, Oversize Floral Rug

Can Gingham Be Chic?

Posted 10 July 2012 at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)

Never in a million years would I have considered answering yes to that question. Yet after coming across this black, white, and red living room in Ethan Allen’s July catalog, I think I might have to. Gingham? Chic? Absolutely. (Click to enlarge.)

Gingham Wing Chairs from Ethan Allen's July 2012 Catalog