Favorites from the Emmys 2012

Posted 24 September 2012 at 5:03 PM | Comments (0)

There were at least twelve looks I adored at the Emmys last night, but I am pretty set on picking a top three. So here they are, in no particular order:

Emmy 2012 Best Looks: Kelly Osbourne, Tina Fey, Ginnifer Goodwin

Kelly Osbourne. There is so much about this look that I loved (including the matching hair!). I loved the dark lavender hue of her Zac Posen gown, which nicely represented a transition from summer to fall. I loved that she didn’t totally bling out, which would have been expected for an awards show; those few understated items in black and silver gave this dress her own spin and were completely in line with this season’s gothic trend.

Tina Fey. Whoa. This Vivienne Westwood gown was everything good: chic, glamorous, and hottt—I could go on. Plus, it was very much on-trend, which, in my book, always bumps up a red carpet look; both the burgundy color of the gown and the baroque details are supremely fashionable right now. Nicely done, Ms. Fey.

Ginnifer Goodwin. Wow, what a showstopper. Her tangerine Monique Lhuillier gown was unlike anything else on the red carpet, and I love her for it. How perfect were her Christian Louboutin pumps? And her super-simple adornment—costume earrings, boxy clutch, mod makeup—made her one of the most successfully styled looks last night.

Some honorable mentions:

Emmy 2012 Honorable Mentions: Emily VanCamp, Jane Levy, Lily Rabe

Emily VanCamp. She looked great in this J.Mendel gown, but as much as I love an undone look, this was a little too undone for me. I didn’t mind the casual hair and natural makeup, but it left something to be desired—sparkly earrings, perhaps?—so that it didn’t look like she went surfing in the morning and then just managed to make it to the show on time.

Jane Levy. I almost put her in my top three, but Kelly Osbourne beat her out only because this could have been last year’s dress. Don’t get me wrong, the Pamella Roland gown was gorge and total perfection next to Jane’s skin and hair, but when it came down to choosing one over the other, I chose the look that felt more right this minute.

Lily Rabe. Amazing, amazing Tadashi Shoji gown, sad, sad hair. This dress could have easily made it into my top three had it been styled better. But she got my attention and I’ll be looking to see what she does next time.

*Red carpet photos from US Weekly.

Home Renovations With Best Resale Value

Posted 23 September 2012 at 8:38 PM | Comments (0)

I love this elocal.com infographic, “What Renovations Have the Best Resale Value?” Not only does it include the average costs per job but the rates of return, too. So useful! (Click to enlarge.)

Home Renovations with the Best Resale Value

Fall 2012 Runway Trend: Side Panels

Posted 22 September 2012 at 5:20 PM | Comments (2)

I’m calling them side panels for lack of a better term. And this trend, my friends, is huge. So if you think of a better term, tell me.

So! Side panels were all over fall runways.

Side panels appeared along sleeves at Bill Blass, Missoni, A.L.C., and BCBG Max Azria:

Fall 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Side Panel Stripe on Sleeves

Down the length of pants at Celine, A.L.C., 3.1 Phillip Lim, and Christopher Kane:

Fall 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Tuxedo Pants or Side Panel Trousers

And cutting into sides of dresses at Bottega Veneta, 3.1 Phillip Lim, Rag & Bone, and Victoria Beckham:

Fall 2012 Runway Fashion Trend: Slimming Side Panel Dresses

I don’t know if I should rock the side panel sleeves because of my broad shoulders, but the dresses are supremely doable, since they—as I’m sure you’ve already noticed on many celebrities—are very slimming. And the tuxedo pants remind me of high school, so I want to wear them solely for that reason.

So who’s already wearing this trend, and who’s planning to shop for it?

Cute, Retro Kitchens with Aqua Cabinets

Posted 9 September 2012 at 1:05 PM | Comments (0)

These kitchens are cute.

If you need a kitchen makeover but can’t afford to replace the cabinets, this first image shows that a new coat of paint and sleeker hardware can do wonders. Hey, those 1960s kitchen cabinets were built [to last] out of solid wood, so if you have to keep them, then, by all means.

So it looks like these cabinets were painted in a pale aqua, the counters are white, and—correct me if I’m wrong—the walls are an even paler shade of aqua. So beachy!

Cute Retro Kitchen with Aqua Cabinets, White Countertops, and Pops of Red

I can’t tell if this second image has old or new cabinets, but they’re also painted in pale aqua and are contrasted with yellow walls. The butcher-block counters and stainless steel appliances make it look less retro and more like an updated cottage, but, besides the colors, there are other retro details—note the scalloped edge on the open shelves. Cute, cute, cute.

Cute Retro Kitchen with Aqua Cabinets, Yellow Walls, and Butcher-Block Countertops

Note that neither of these kitchens have tiled backsplashes. Sometimes I think we get too caught up in what we “should” have that we don’t stop to question necessity. If a kitchen can function without a tiled backsplash, and if you find that you’re spending too much time agonizing over the cost of the prettiest ones, why bother? We didn’t have a tiled backsplash in our Chicago condo, and I promise you, food was not flinging all over the place. And if it was, it was washable.

Also, I apologize for not being able to credit the source of these photos (though it looks like the first one might be from MarthaStewart.com). I never wanted to make this blog a personal version of Pinterest, where I just post random images and say, “Ooh, isn’t this pretty?” No, I don’t want to saturate your life with more unattainable visuals and then have you sit back and sigh; I never intended to make this a space for fantasy.

Instead, I hope that you can take something away from this space, mostly in the form of knowledge. Knowledge about how to decorate, how to organize, how to shop, how to train your eye to see how one design element impacts another…

Whether or not I’m achieving that goal—well, I guess that’s more your call than mine. But at least now you know my intention. Ha!

Anyway, I feel a little guilty posting these images without credit to the designer or publication. For one, you should know who produced these things of beauty, and second, you should be able to return to the sources for more information. I’ll try to redeem myself this week.

Chunky-Mid-Heeled Ankle Boots

Posted 5 September 2012 at 10:37 PM | Comments (2)

Yesterday I mentioned wanting a pair of mid-heeled ankle boots. Lucky magazine described this fall trend best: “Polished, but not so polished you can’t rock them at a music festival.”

True dat.

Fall 2012 Fashion Trend: Chunky-Mid-Heeled Ankle Boots

Favorite from the Anthropologie September 2012 Catalog

Posted 4 September 2012 at 9:30 PM | Comments (0)

Thanks to this image from Anthropologie’s September catalog, I now know what my fall uniform will look like.

Colored skinnies, mid-heeled ankle boots (on my shopping list), great printed top (also on list), super-soft cardigan, and chunky-knit scarf (list).

The Perfect Everyday Look for Fall 2012, from Anthropologie's September Catalog

I wonder if I’ll also need that flaming red hair to make this uniform look as good on me. Hmm.

Living Room in Shades of White and a Spot of Teal

Posted 3 September 2012 at 8:56 PM | Comments (0)

I’m timid about admitting that I am madly in love with this sitting room. Madly. In. Love.

Why am I timid about it? I don’t know, probably because I couldn’t find a room that would interest my husband less than this one. He’d prefer a cozy, woodland cabin. Something more Hobbit Shire than modern high-rise.

I think there’s a part of me that’s also embarrassed to admit I love this kind of stark elegance. What’s trendy these days is layers upon layers of pattern and paint, and this room is stripped of that modish DIY-look that has everyone drooling.

But this is more my speed.

White and Teal Elegant, Bright, Contemporary Living Room

Reasons to love:

Well, I’ve already told you about my obsession with teal velvet furniture, tall vertical windows, and an all-white space, but there’s also the singular, statement-making painting (which, no doubt, inspired the velvet chairs) and the alluring mix of masculine and feminine (hard lines paired with soft fabrics, for example) that are absolute necessities for my dream home.

Except, realistically, I will have to make compromises.

So maybe my dream home will include a cozy, woodland outhouse somewhere in the back, back, back yard.

Pretty “New Mom” Portraits

Posted 2 September 2012 at 8:01 PM | Comments (1)

We don’t have plans to have more children (boo), but if there was ever a chance I might get pregnant again, I’d love to have a maternity portrait taken like this:

Soft Maternity Portrait, Pregnant Silhouette in Front of Window

And a mom-and-baby portrait like this (I love the light and the bare skin plus strong eyes):

Gwen Stefani and Baby, Sweet Mom and Newborn Portrait

Unfortunately I can’t credit the source of these photos, because somehow they got lost in the mix (boo times two), but I hope they inspire some of you moms-to-be!

Shopping Diet: Way Over

Posted 1 September 2012 at 10:45 PM | Comments (5)

At 8:00 pm tonight, I decided to get in the car and go H&M to see if the dress I was eyeing last month was still there. It was. I bought it.

H&M Summer 2012 Fuchsia V-Neck Sheath Dress

Shopping diet? Doneskies.