Thursday, May 31

To style or to stop? When staging goes too far...

Interesting new site I came across called "Fuck Your Noguchi Coffee Table". You know, this table that every class A designer has:
This tumblr pretty much makes fun of every on-trend interior design concept, from chalkboard paint to terrariums to everything union jack. This is a great release for those of us that are tired of all things "keep calm and carry on".

It brings up an interesting point- are we too styled, too trendy, too affected by shelter mags and blogs? The ever on-point Raina Cox called it the "Pinterest-fueled race to the bottom of individual expression" in her post on the subject, and I think she has a great case: since when is arranging your books by color the convenient, functional, or logical way to manage your reading material?

Jamie Schwaberow for The New York Times
A recent NYT's article, How to Tell if You're Living an Over-propped Life, touches on this idea as well. Their rant on bar-carts was questionable, in my humble opinion (we all know I love bar carts):

Ah, the bar cart. If there’s one thing that typifies the self-consciously styled home, it may be that. Evoking a mythical Hollywood Regency glamour, the bar cart telegraphs that the resident leads a life as rich as a socialite in a Slim Aarons photo and is constantly entertaining at home, though in reality it’s a prop that mostly collects dust.

But, like, wait. I love my bar cart. I LOVE it. I may not roll it on out like a stewardess over the Atlantic, but we do store all our booze and bar-ware on it, keeping things organized. And it looks cute! What's wrong with looking cute??

I think their main criticism was staging that doesn't seem practical (books you can't find) or cohesive (deer antlers on the walls of your down-town loft). What do you think?

Wednesday, May 30

Resort Recap

So I never shared how great our golf resort weekend was. It was SO FUN. Just one of those weekends when things just work out: weather was amazing, conversation was flowing, jokes were abundant, sun-screen application was liberal, food was yummy, you get the picture.

We started off with a little bubbly to get the party started Friday night, then went out to eat at the resort- yummy food and good conversation had by all.

There is a bonfire space outside, so we relaxed there both nights to relax and talk. One night we interrupted a pretty real-deal couple fight (there were many weddings going on, so there were quite a few guests our age at the resort), but the second night we made some friends by the fire. Great sunset too!

The first day was for the pool. They had a few- we mostly hung by the one with the waterfall, which was close to the one with the slide. Score! We got poolside drinks as well, tasty (we all got drinks, but I'm the only one whose face should be on the blog :) )

Some of us used the proper amount of sunscreen (me), while some of us needed to cover our faces with towels due to our under-application (K)...this doesn't count as a face, right?

Some quick work at the driving range, delicious BBQ, some hilarious drinking games, and a tipsy rendezvous at the bonfire rounded out our Saturday night. 

Sunday was for golfing...I think we've all played better (ha), but we couldn't have asked for sunnier weather or a more beautiful course.

K and I gave up on the last few holes (we were TIRED and sunburned), but the boys kept at it.

Overall it was a great trip, and I can't get over the low cost ($90 per person for a two night stay and 18 holes of golf). I fully recommend the deal-website adventure trips from Groupon, LivingSocial and the like. Let me know if you find a good one!

Monday, May 28

Monday Funday

Lets talk about things that rule.

Like our service men and women. Power to you today (and every day).

Like my alma mater winning the college lacrosse national about good publicity.

Like different versions of awesome songs, such as this or this. That's one great club banger turned baby maker.

Like the fact that we have a four day week. Yay!

Like the huge batch of sangria we made this weekend. Yummm

And one thing that doesn't rule: D is in Europe for the week, which means I am all by myself. Plenty of time to do all the things he doesn't love (thrifting perhaps?)

Happy Monday friends!

Friday, May 25

Link it up.

Paint chip DIY coming your way soon...have had stormy weather, awful lighting, and a super-last-minute trip to NYC for work this week.

In the meantime, here are some things from around the interwebs that I found amazing, inspiring, or delicious. It is HOT in D.C. this weekend- wear your sunscreen and blend up some margs!

I'm going to have to make these healthy (ish) mozzarella sticks STAT.

What an incredible DIY for ombre painted walls. The instructions sound so easy too!

I love all of Elizabeth Dye's wedding gowns, but this one is just too precious.

How about 33 things you didn't know about Toy Story? What a classic my friends.

Speaking of margs, I could drink these this weekend, no problem.

Wednesday, May 23

Inspiration [paint chip DIY projects]

Okay people. Who hasn't been exposed to some paint chip art? I'm talking about getting those itty bitty cards of color from a home improvement store and doing something with them other than agonizing over what shade of white looks best on your baseboards. Of course I've got some inspiration images ready to go. Hang on to your orange aprons, I've got some great ideas coming your way.

Paint chip boxes...YES. Put some presents inside and consider your wrapping all wrapped up.

How About Orange
This one is pretty intense- if I was going to try something on this scale, I'd maybe order some rather than just snagging them at your local home improvement store (though, in my experience, the employees come out and help you collect colors when you're gathering cards).

Original Unknown
What a great idea for coasters! I'd want to do way brighter colors than these, but the idea is fantastic and her instructions are perfection.

The Crafty CPA
This one is the closest to what I did myself...I love her original take on the paint chip wall art we've seen so much of- the shapes make it so fun!

Two Girls Being Crafty
Thought this idea was adorable for some holiday decorating. Couldn't be easier  too!

Modern Parents
Of course I've incorporated my own version of this lovely idea into my own home- in my opinion, you just can't beat the price and the vibrancy! Check back tomorrow for an easy DIY wall-art project using paint chips by yours truly :)

Tuesday, May 22

DIY [displaying the jewels]

Let me preface this by saying that, if you are lucky enough to have real jewels, you probably won't find this viable, interesting, or intelligent. For the rest of us, here's a cheapy cheapy way to show off that costume jewelry!

This is actually a $1 placemat that I got at the Christmas Tree Shops. These stores are EVERYWHERE in New England (since they originated in Cape Cod), and they're always delightfully kitschy- shaped like massive barns, lighthouses, seriously you have to see it to believe it:

Sagamore, MA
Anyway, there are many creative ideas for displaying jewelry. I love the wire netting within a frame, like so:

Or the vintage type-tray re purposed to hold all your baubles, like so:
What other affordable ways can you come up with? Anything with holes can be used, either free-standing (like my placemat, attached to the wall) or stretched within a cheap frame. I'm thinking wire netting, of course, but also lace, thin fabrics, cork...

Friday, May 18

Bag it Up [resort style]

Happy Friday friends. Anyone up to anything good? D and I, along with our roommates K (remember her DIY ombre art project?) and C are heading out to Leesburg, VA to stay at the Lansdowne Golf Resort. We got the deal on Groupon: for $90 each, we get two nights at the resort (multiple restaurants, multiple pools with slides, all the good stuff) and a round of golf. The greens fees are typically over $80 alone, so it's a good deal for us. Nice to get away for a quick and cheap weekend, isn't it?

In preparation, for this trip and many summer adventures, I've done a bit of shopping. Did anyone else check out the Anthropologie clearance sale? They only do it twice a year, so get in there for some great deals!

I got these ankle length chinos from Pilcro for $40. Lilac and Khaki are still available online.

Pilcro Ankle Chinos
I've been needing a new professional-looking bag, and as I'm starting a new job on Monday, now is as good a time as any. The inside is a really cute print, and if your laptop is 13" or smaller, it can fit in here. It's less shiny in person? I keep thinking of the Newsies.

Satchel Bag
I got a moulinette soeurs dress as well, can't find an image online but it looks like this one and the material is divine. Pick up your sale stuff now, as they will price adjust for a few weeks and these may get marked down further.

I needed some new beachwear too...I've always loved Victoria's Secret bathing suits, but they're just too expensive. I found $4.95 suit-separates at H&M (!!!), and had to get the cute skirt to go with it. $4.95 people! It looks pretty much the same on her as it does on me, FYI.

Bathing Suit
Hope you'll all be getting as much sun and fun as me this weekend! Summer is coming...

Wednesday, May 16

Deal Alert [Kate Spade]

Get on it friends- Kate Spade New York is having an online sample sale through midnight tonight. Click here to check it out- I picked up these little beauties for $25! Below are a few more pieces I wouldn't mind owning...let me know if you get anything fabulous.

Putting On the Ritz Large Stud Earrings
Essex Scout in Orange
Chantal Sunnies
Portola Valley Janine
Big Time Statement Necklace

Farryn Wedge
Head in the Sand Melinda

Fashion Forward

If you're a man, or know a man, you/they should check out Dappered, an affordable men's style blog. They share deals and discounts, give advice on appropriate dress for all occasions, share tips on accessorizing, and all that fashion goodness...but they do more, like travel ideas, cocktail recipes, grooming advice, and all that good manly stuff. I attribute exposure to fashion blogs (I include magazines, like GQ) to D's advancement along his fashion trajectory.

He use to wear stuff like this
(but was never as bad as this)

but now dresses like this

Oh dayummmm

Let's be clear that I was also an integral ingredient- and, I gotta hand it to him, he has a great eye now and a better understanding of style.

You may be wondering, wow, this website seems pretty cool, but I'm a lady and don't want to come out of this experience looking like Ryan Gosling. Well, there is now a female equivalent to peruse: Full Clutch. I can't say too much about how useful it will be, since it's new to me (and new to the world, apparently), but I have high hopes.

While we're on the topic of fashion, here are a few other style blogs I follow for your pleasure.

Capitol Hill Style- She's pretty darn snarky, but she has reason to be- her blog is a wonderful resource for navigating the mine-field that is work appropriate/happy hour ready/fashionable attire. "CHS features styling tips, beauty product reviews, and professional guidance for fashionable ladies with serious jobs.  Because as the very wise Johanna Cox once said, "a serious job is no excuse" to dress poorly." Amen!

Extra Petite- Jean is the sweetest, most genuine fashion blogger ever. Her daily outfits are a fantastic mix of highs and lows- she can pair an old navy dress with YSL heels and make it look like they were meant for each other. She also shares her purchases and her budget, which I think is both brave and helpful.

Le Catch-This lovely lady is the west coast editor of Lucky Magazine, so she knows a thing or two about fashion, trends, and photography. She often highlights a spectacular individual piece, then shows how she'd work it into a full ensemble. Tres beautiful.

Atlantic Pacific- This woman is a style genius. I would probably never wear any of the things she puts together (not just because she's size negative 12), but her daily outfit posts are amazing inspiration and definite eye candy.

Kendi Everyday- Another one for daily outfits. Those are probably my favorite type, since I like getting inspiration and hate posts that distract from the outfits.

Refinery29- Everybody knows them! Fashion and beauty trends, news, shopping, they've got it all. They post about a zillion times a day, so it takes some effort to stay on top of things, but I like 'em.

Tuesday, May 15

Feeling Abstract [about oversized art]

Feeling a bit abstract today? You've come to the right place.

Luis Bustamante- Abstract art on every floor!
I love abstract art, for many reasons. It can be nonsensical, colorful, bold, peaceful, anything you want without being tied to a specific portrayal or subject matter. My parents currently rotate art around the house based on the seasons- a "winter scene" gets swapped out for a "summer scene", and so on. Abstract art gives you more freedom of interpretation and therefore is less tied down to a season, style, decor, etc.

KFD Designs- all seasons rolled into one canvas
Especially over a couch or fireplace, abstract art can really be a focal point of a room and pull a look together. In an eclectic space, you can find art that incorporates all your color schemes and makes the space feel intentional, rather than random. The bigger and brighter, the better!


These days, every blogger and her mother is making one-of-a-kind masterpieces- "abstract" is a loose label that means you can do whatever the heck you want and call it art, so I think average joe's are a little less intimidated to dive in. Grab a canvas and some paint and get splotchy.

Interior Magasinet- casual but classy
Abstract art often looks less formal than traditional paintings, which I think gives you more options with framing. In the image above, for example, the canvas is hung right on the wall. That kind of no-fuss display works well with such a fun print.

Barrie Benson- pulling colors from everywhere in the room!
Abstract art is all about perception. It reminds me of ink-blots in that pieces read so differently to different people. In that sense, it's a very inclusive and holistic art form to have.

Smith Boyd Interiors
Many of the images so far are playful, and might read a little young- let's just say I can't picture my design-tame parents shopping at Furbish. Not all abstract art can hang in a preschool, however- below are a few images I love (love, love) that are more muted but still pack a punch.

Lonny Mag
La Dolce Vita
If anyone is interested, my deep abstract art obsession revolves around Michelle Armas. Her art has so much texture and color! The lack of uniformity and boldness of stroke is so well executed. I die.

If you have a spare few thousand dollars, and really like me, feel free to scoop up Effect Effect, one of my favorites of her new work.

Don't even get me started- this belongs over a dark gray matte wall with some punchy accents.