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Entries in Interior Design (201)

Wednesday
Oct192016

get the look: meg ryan's new york kitchen

Did anyone else gasp when they saw Meg Ryan's kitchen in her New York City loft in the latest Architectural Digest?  I love me an all-white kitchen, but a black and white kitchen with warm wood accents is right up my alley, as it's what I tried to create in my own home!  There are so many great elements to this space that make it feel clean, classic and super chic, like the to-the-ceiling subway tile and built-in shelving in the eating area, the vintage lighting and the antique dining table and Windsor chairs, but there's also a few unexpected touches that keep it light and modern, like the marble backsplash and matching open shelves.  I can't tell you how many times I've flipped back through it just to see it all again and again.   I also love how she added photographs to personalize an otherwise utilitarian space.  The stainless steel double doors add a fun touch and a pop of interest.  I only wish they would have shown the kitchen in its entirety because you can see a corner of what appears to be a fabulous range hood peeking out! 

Here are a few picks that I think can help create a similar look without resorting to replacing cabinetry with open shelving or installing floor-to-ceiling built-ins:

Pendant light / Bread board / Number art / French wine glass / Taper candle holders / Glass cloche

Pitcher / Marble and brass serving tray / Candle / Blackburn vase / Windsor Chair

Dining table / Basket

Happy Hump Day!

Thursday
Oct062016

my favorite entertaining books

We're back from our whirlwind road trip to Newport for the wedding of the centurey and I've been so excited to get back to blogging!  Amidst the bags to be unpacked and the mountain of laundry to be tackled, I've also got to plan a menu and table setting for a small get together this weekend for some good friends, but, of course, the latter is all I can think about right now!

I think the only thing I love more than playing hostess is searching for great entertaining ideas and inspiration!  Pinterest and, of course, Instagram, are neverending sources of gorgeous images and tutorials but my favorite way to brainstorm new entertaining ideas, whether it be for a small and intimate dinner or an over-the-top birthday bash, is through books.  For me, nothing can compare to flipping through page after page of beautiful images, dog earing my favorites and then pouring over how I could put my own spin on something particularly inspiring and timeless.  There are so many beautiful entertaining books out there, but there is particular handful I turn to time and time again.  Here are a few of my favorites:

1.  Barefoot Contessa Parties - I love everything about Ina Garten - her recipes, her show, her barn, her gardens...the woman is the epitome of rustic, earthy and chic table settings and meal plans that are so easy to execute and that never fail to impress!

2.  A Boat, A Whale and A Walrus - While this is more of a cookbook that is split up into seasons, it's also chock full of personal stories, menus and favorite recipes of author, chef and restauranteur Renee Erickson.  The images are beautifully simple and the settings are always casual, which I love.  This is one of my favorite books to gift, as well as reference!

3.  Camille Styles Entertaining - Organized by seasons with inspiring ideas and tips for everything from flower arrangements, favors, parties, desserts and signature cocktail recipes, this has become one of my go-to's when I'm really trying to get creative or when I really want to impress guests (I especially loved her mini bottles of tequila, paired with a key lime in a tiny burlap bag as favors for a Mexican fiesta!)

4.  Hamptons Entertaining - I'm obsessed with all things Hamptons, so it was only natural that I would love this tome, as well.  Author Annie Falk features 18 parties with recipes, tips for table settings, alcohol pairings and menu ideas but you also get little peeks of the gorgeous Hamptons estates and gardens as well!

5.  Great Parties: Recipes, menus and ideas for perfect gatherings: the best of Martha Stewart Living - My aunt gave me a copy of this for my birthday years ago and practically every page is dog eared!  Not only are the images gorgeous, but there are step-by-step instructions for hosting the perfect party, from small and intimate to grand and elegant. 

6.  Pret-a-Party: Great Ieas for Good Times and Creative Entertaining - If you're looking for some fun, fresh and modern entertaining ideas, this is definitely for you.  While a pig roast on a rooftop garden may not be practical for many of us, author and fashion designer Lela Rose's tips on decorating, table settings and menu plans are spot on and, with a couple trips to Hobby Lobby or Michael's, easy to replicate!

What are some of your favorite entertaining books?  I'm always looking to add to my collection!

Thursday
Sep152016

the latest swoon worthy hamptons getaway by steven gambrel

Easing back into blogging slowly but surely, and I thought it was the perfect chance to share design genius Steven Gambrel's  latest project, a weekend home in Bridgehampton, which was featured in last month's Architectural Digest.  It's no secret I'm slightly obsessed with designer Steven Gambrel's impeccable style; everything he touches is absolute perfection; I don't think there's a single home he's designed that I haven't loved (his Captain Overton house and his own Sag Harbor Captain's Cottage are two of my all-time favorite home tours EVER) and while I tend to gravitate to homes on a much smaller scale, I still find this gargantuan family home super cozy and intimate - the perfect place for a dinner party, wine with friends or curling up with the family for movie night!  Of course, the pale blue, gray and taupe color palette, natural textures and jawdropping lighting doesn't hurt, either (nor do the fabulous outdoor living rooms!) It's been a little while since I've posted a house tour and I thought this one was swoon worthy enough to make the cut!

Hydrangeas, crepe myrtles and slate pavers make a simple but dramatic first impression to the house:

Love, love, LOVE Gambrel's signature pale blue color palette and iron hanging lanterns in the living room:

The vintage-inspired kitchen is breathtaking, from the floor-to-ceiling subway tile to the custom made enamel pendant lights and woven bar stools:

Now, that's what I call a butler's pantry!  The darker gray on the trim and cabinetry is divine:

The teal and emerald green in the study is not a color combination I would ever think to pair together, but it works so well here with the brass desk and sconces, not to mention the silk striped rug:

That pale blue tufted sofa is what my dreams are made of!  Swoon....

Blue grass cloth, crisp white window panels and woven Roman shade and brass accents in the bedroom?  Yes, please:

Pretty sure this master bath is bigger than my first two apartments COMBINED:

This outdoor patio is such a beautiful extension of indoors - I love the woven shades, the gorgeous teak furniture and outdoor kitchen with open shelving:

Wednesday
Aug312016

dowel rods as curtain rods

Everyone has their weaknesses when it comes to decorating; custom window treatments happen to be one of mine.  The only down side, unfortunately, is that they aren't cheap (and even some of the pretty store-bought options from Restoration Hardware and Pottery Barn can end up costing just as much).   I love to mix high-end with budget finds for a lived-in, loved look and that means, if your budget allows for some custom window panels in a fabulous fabric, GO FOR IT, because you can save money on the hardware and still make a big impact!

(A ten foot dowel rod, painted black and hung with a support brakcket over triple windows in my breakfast nook)

One of my favorite tricks is to use 1 1/4" or 1 1/2" unfinished wooden dowel rods from Lowe's and Home Depot.  When painted and paired with finials, you'd never know the difference!  You can buy them in 8 or 10 foot pieces and have them cut to the length you need for less than $15.  This is especially helpful for double or triple windows when traditional hardware, though gorgeous, can end up costing just as much as the window treatments themselves!

(An eight foot rod, cut in half for my dining room)

I've used them all throughout my own home and recently went through the whole process of priming, painting and putting them up in baby boy's nursery, so I thought I'd share how easy it is to do here on the blog.   I couldn't be happier with how they turned out and even better, they're substantial enough to accommodate lined panels (they're heavy!)

(Another eight foot rod cut in half, then painted and primed in Lydia's nursery)

I bought an eight foot rod and had it cut into two four foot pieces at Lowe's.  I also purchased two pairs of brackets (one pair for each window) and finials for the ends:

I always use this latext multi purpose primer because it sticks to everything and I didn't have to sand the finials or brackets, saving me an extra step!  I applied two coats to everything, even the rod, otherwise, it'll just soak up the paint:

Once the paint is dried and I'm ready to mount the brackets, I use a drill bit to drill holes in the ends and screw the finials in:

Happy Hump Day, everyone!

Friday
Aug262016

newport this fall

(From our first trip to the Waves in Newport, RI, 2006)

Our first trip as a family of four is right around the corner, as my cousin is getting married in Newport, Rhode Island, at the end of September and we are all in it!  Rhode Island is one of my favorite states to visit, especially in the Fall months, and also because my bestie lives nearby in Providence, but I have to admit, I'm slightly anxious about  a twelve plus hour drive with a toddler and a newborn.  Here's to hoping the boob will keep one content and an entire wing of FAO Schwartz will occupy the other! Have any of you made a long car trip with a toddler and a newborn?  Any advice, tips or suggestions?

Newport is, for me, the quintessential coastal New England town; my aunt and uncle live right by the water and I would give my right arm to live in the guest quarters!  For me, I'd be happy with a teeny, tiny little cottage with even the slightest peek of the sea.  Here are my picks for how I would decorate it - lots of natural texture and, of course, blue and white everything with pops of black and fabulous lighting:

Pillow / Clam shell bowl / Jamie Young rope chandelier / Dining table / Striped throw blanket

Framed racing boat / Blue willow dinner plate / Anchor door knocker / Hicks pendant light

Vendome double sconce / Bamboo credenza

Have a wonderful weekend!