Living in Lavender

Posted 3 July 2011 at 5:37 PM | Comments (0)

Maybe it’s because I’m surrounded by boys all day, but I have a sudden urge to roll around in pretty shades of lavender.

Lovely Lavender, Lilac, Purple Sitting Room

Exotic Unicorn-Themed Bedroom

Posted 4 June 2011 at 10:32 PM | Comments (3)

Much to my good friend’s chagrin, her daughter wants a unicorn-themed bedroom. “Do I have to give in?” she asked me. “Can’t I just put up fuzzy pink drapes and call it a day?” So I offered to come up some ideas that would satisfy her ten year-old and her own worldly tastes.

My starting point was this unicorn print by Etsy seller serpentmandalas, which is more colorful-tapestry-storybook than pink-glitter-rainbow (1 point: Mojan). I then built a room around that style with pieces that are equally colorful and appropriate for a ten year-old girl—and acceptable for a world-traveled mom.

Exotic and Bohemian Unicorn-Themed Girls' Bedroom

Halfway to Glamorous

Posted 27 May 2011 at 2:19 PM | Comments (0)

I miss a lot of things about the Western world, like Taco Bell and Target, pretty stationery, quiet libraries, designer showrooms, big parking lots, vibrant theaters, art galleries, and options. Oh, how I miss options! But one thing I only just realized that I miss is glamour.

We live in a notoriously casual place, where beachy furniture, breezy fabrics, and Birkenstocks reign, where people walk slowly, talk leisurely, and sit lengthily. It’s a great place to be raising my kids in these early years, because I have so few distractions. But now I see there’s a gaping hole where there should be silk drapes and crystal chandeliers.

Looking at Crate&Barrel’s Chloe Chair, I imagine a living room that’s glamorous-casual, halfway between the life I’m living now and the glamorous life I used to live (take that statement with a huge grain of salt. Remember, I’m four and-a-half years out, so everything about my Chicago life seems glamorous now):

Chloe Chair, Glamorous Casual Living Room

Oh, so my husband saw this image and said he couldn’t imagine us living in this room. So note to self: create an inspiration board for the kind of room my husband could live in. You know, cozy, cabiny… against all my natural instincts, but I’ll try to make it work for both of us.

Sushi Dinner Party in Modern White and Acid Green

Posted 12 February 2011 at 8:58 PM | Comments (0)

Fast Company’s design blog featured this clever little serving dish yesterday. It’s called the Double Dish, and it’s from UK-based kitchen product company, Joseph Joseph. One look at the Double Dish and I could already envision it in my home, since we’re big on pistachio nuts and edamame around here.

Then, by happy accident, I came across the CB2’s Dunk Sushi Plate, another clever entertaining solution. You place maki on the outer part of the dish and soy sauce on the inner part. We often order Japanese takeout, so it’s another win.

And then, well, one thing led to another, and I found myself creating a whole green-and-white sushi dinner party theme.

Sushi Dinner Party Set in Modern White and Acid Green

Perhaps the most exciting find in this whole set is the table linens. Paper Cloud’s Petunias Field pattern is fun and quirky, and the linens are hand printed with water-based inks on organic cotton. Love!

Blue and White Inspiration from Greece

Posted 19 January 2011 at 3:29 PM | Comments (3)

Our trip to Rhodes last month put me in a major blue-and-white mood, thanks to this entrancing view of the Aegean Sea:

View of the Aegean Sea from the Acropolis at Lindhos, Rhodes, Greece

I love the idea of decorating in blue and white, but I wouldn’t want it to look too nautical nor too English country. I’d want it to have the same clean, chic yet eclectic, and bold yet feminine style that I love. So here’s my sunlit corner for reading, writing, and drinking tea (yes, please!):

Greece-Inspired Blue and White Reading Corner Decor

On another note, I’ve been thinking a lot about what my goals are with this blog. I know that I don’t want it to be a resource for new products (a lot of design blogs seem to take that route), and I know I don’t want it to be merely a journal of my own work. The direction I seem to be naturally taking is a library of design ideas to inspire me, and hopefully you. That means design ideas for your home, your wardrobe, your wedding, your life. What I’ve been publishing here is pretty much exactly what I think about every day.

Of course, this blog will probably evolve over time. In fact, I hope that it does. And I’m sure I’ll often stray from my own standards—

but hopefully you’ll forgive me because I’ve already warned you.

A Thousand Dreams

Posted 11 January 2011 at 4:24 PM | Comments (0)

When people say things to me like, “That’s my dream living room!” or “That’s my dream bed!”—I think to myself: “Which dream?”

I have so many that I’ve lost count. For instance, take the Eames Eiffel chair, designed in 1948. I love this chair so much that my heart goes aflutter just mentioning it. You could say it’s my Dream Chair—my Midcentury-Modern-Florida-Beach-House-Dream-Chair, to be specific.

So when I came across Anthropologie’s On-A-Whim dinnerware yesterday, I got very excited because it fits my Florida beach house fantasy perfectly.

By adding Crate&Barrel’s Everyday silverware, Alfi’s modern classic yellow carafe, and Chiasso’s serpentine fruit bowl

my sun-soaked breakfast table is ready.

Breakfast Table for a Mid-Century Modern Florida Beach House

Glamorous Prison-Themed Living Room

Posted 3 January 2011 at 4:29 PM | Comments (3)


That’s the sound I’m making as my head slowly makes its way to the keyboard. I’m drained, with a capital D. For the past two-plus months, my angelic four month-old has decided he no longer needs to nap, at least not longer than twenty minutes. My sweet and gentle three year-old has decided he’s finally ready to enter the Terrible Twos and throws public tantrums every time we leave the apartment. So I feel trapped. Trapped at home, and trapped by motherhood.

I started thinking about my “prison” and chuckled when reimagining my living room to reflect my mental state. I could turn my prison into a prison! A glamorous one, of course, with wallpaper and patent leather.

Glamorous Prison-Themed Living Room

I love the jail-bars wallpaper; the stiff daybed; the table lamp with a pendulum that I could stare at blankly all day; the tough-as-nails ottoman; the rug that looks like it could have been swiped from a page in my journal; the shuffling slippers, and the haunting photo of Alcatraz island that reminds me…

it could be a whole lot worse.

Cool Cupcake-Themed Bedroom

Posted 11 September 2010 at 12:44 PM | Comments (5)

The cupcake trend will eventually wane, but I don’t want it to. Perhaps I’ve been out of the U.S. too long (read: cupcake deprivation), because a cute, personal-sized, decorated cake in a pleated paper cup sounds like the best idea ever invented, and the thought of them fills me with delight and nostalgia.

A few days ago, I came across this set of four cupcake prints by Etsy seller teconlene. While I do love cupcakes, my favorite thing about these illustrations isn’t the subject matter; it’s how the subject matter is treated. Because it’s so easy to take a cupcake motif and make it overly saccharine, it’s impressive that this artist keeps it under control and actually makes cupcakes cool.

Cupcakes, Set of 4 Prints by Seller teconlene

In seventh grade, I sewed a cupcake-shaped pillow for my Home Economics class (by the way, how are cooking and sewing “economics?” Anyone? Baffling, isn’t it?). If I was still in seventh grade, I’d love a cupcake-themed bedroom, but the tricky part would be not overdoing it—just like teconlene manages to do in her prints.

Once I start thinking in these “what ifs,” it’s impossible for me to stop; so I went ahead and started pulling together some ideas for a cool cupcake-themed bedroom, using the set of four prints as a starting point. Then, to capture the sweetness and nostalgic quality of cupcakes, I chose items that are a little bit “cottage” and a little bit retro, with sprinkles, er, sprinkled, everywhere.

Cool Cupcake-Themed Bedroom

Oh, and because this is my blog and I can do whatever I want with it (hooray!), here’s a link to a great, four-minute segment on NPR, A Renaissance for Cupcakes, first broadcast a year ago.

Mercer, Mindfully Merged, and Midnight

Posted 17 August 2010 at 9:49 PM | Comments (2)

I have a particular fondness for Room&Board sofas, since the first major piece of furniture that we bought together was their 79″ Mercer sofa in celery. For that three and-a-half years before we sold it and moved overseas, that sofa was well-loved and well-worth every dime we spent on it.

When I saw Lindsay and Jeremy’s Mindfully Merged Space this morning, I was immediately swept off my feet by their inky blue sofa.

Lindsay and Jeremy's Mindfully Merged Living Room from Apartment Therapy

It’s from Room&Board, naturally—but I can’t seem to find it for sale. The closest thing I can find is the Clarke sofa.

…Which is also gorgeous, by the way. And would look amazing in front of Amy Butler’s Georgia Midnight wallpaper.

Room&Board's Clarke Sofa and Graham & Brown's Georgia Midnight Wallpaper

Spicy Mustard

Posted 14 August 2010 at 2:30 AM | Comments (2)

Mustard yellow is hot right now. I’m seeing it so much that it’s infiltrating my dreams; every night I close my eyes to images of blooming marigolds and streaming spicy condiment. The obsession was getting so out of hand that I finally dragged my toddler to the bus stop and made the long ride to H&M to buy a mustard yellow cardigan. Whew!

So, of course, a lot of my inspiration these days is coming from mustard yellow. I can’t show you the projects I’m working on, but I can show you why this color is awakening my creativity.

Mustard yellow in fashion (Fendi used it particularly well in their fall collection—gorgeous!):

Mustard Yellow in 2010 Fashion

Mustard yellow in home décor (I am envious of anyone in the market for a new sofa right now):

Mustard Yellow in 2010 Home Decor

And, because I can never resist creating a wedding inspiration board, this shows how glamorous mustard yellow can be when combined with black and white (somebody plan an early fall wedding, please!):

Glamorous Mustard, Black and White