Saturday, December 24, 2011


Since I'm working every day through these last couple weeks of December (except Christmas Day), we're staying in Boston this year rather than visiting family. Between working and last-minute shopping and post office runs, I pulled together some last-minute holiday decorating a couple of days ago, consisting almost entirely of things I already had.

candlesticks, glasses and goblets that I already had (goblets are for the wedding!)

Marimekko wrapping paper from Crate and Barrel

Tree skirt is a Ralph Lauren bedskirt that I found
for $7 at HomeGoods years ago. I painted last
year's urn glossy black to change things up a bit.

Like I said, almost everything I used was from last year's decorations or bits and pieces of glassware and decor I had lying around. The only new piece is the gold garland hanging over the mantel, which I made while watching TV the other night. I couldn't find anyone selling evergreen garland near my apartment, and I've always loved the look of magnolia or bay leaf garlands, so I came up with this easy way to recreate the look in a glamorous gold version. I only needed two materials: gold wrapping paper and thin gold wire. Cost? About $10, and that's only because I bought a ridiculously overpriced $8 roll of wrapping paper. Here are some step-by-step photos, in case you want to recreate something similar next year!

materials: wire and leaves cut from wrapping paper (I made mine
pointed at one end and blunt at the other)

1. poke the wire up through the leaf at one end,
about 1/2 inch from the blunt end

2. poke it back down, close to the blunt end of the leaf

3. pull the leaf you've just attached down the wire,
then begin again with the next leaf, this time at a slightly
different angle

4. continue threading leaves onto the wire,
alternating the angle to create a natural effect

the final product!

Happy holidays and have a lovely weekend!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


I was looking through my files recently when I rediscovered this fabulous series of bloggers' designs for Ralph Lauren Home. With such gorgeous pieces to work with, it's no surprise that all four rooms are fabulous - but the one that really stood out to me was the bedroom designed by Marisa Marcantonio from Stylebeat. She brought an eclectic, colorful edge to the very luxurious and traditional Ralph Lauren pieces. 

The catch, unfortunately, is that everything in this room is ridiculously expensive. No surprise there. But since most of these pieces are so classic, it wasn't too hard to put together a lookalike space for a fraction of the price!


Francis Bench at Coco Blanca | Left Bank Bench at Home Decorators
Bungalow 5 Anjelica Lamp in orange at Harlow's Nest | Style Selections orange lamp base at Lowe's
Melanie Parke's Sun Cloud at Emily Amy Gallery | Abstract painting on paper by juliabrucker on Etsy
Jardins et Fleur stool, no longer available | Urban Trends Ceramic Stool at Wayfair
RLH Tabley House Floral wallpaper in Porcelain | blue floral wallpaper at Steve's Blinds and Wallpaper
Oly Studio Sea Urchin | Micro Porcelain Urchin Bowl by elementclaystudio on Etsy

Although most pieces aren't perfect matches, the unusual but fabulous color scheme translates wonderfully to a budget version. I chose the Surya rug over Ikea's famous black and white Stockholm rug with the identical alternating stripes, for instance, because I felt the color was more important. Although I like the replacement dresser, I'd love to see nailheads added to a thrifted campaign dresser - a relatively easy DIY that could have fantastic results!

The sources aren't all listed, but I improvised a little and gathered these accessories to approximate the styling of the room:

clockwise from upper left:
Vintage Silver Plated Teapot, $35 from BBBDesigns on Etsy
Couleur Nature Bleuet tea towel, $12.99 at I Dream of France
Pocket Botanica weekly planner, $8.48 at Franklin Covey
Faux Bois Cup and Saucer, $24 at Laura U Collection
Ritva throw, $7.99 at IKEA
Diod glass, $2.99 at IKEA

What do you think? Would you love to cuddle up in this room, or is it a little too busy for your taste? What's your favorite deal of the bunch?

Monday, December 5, 2011


With winter fast approaching, I'm looking forward to decking the halls and sipping tea by a warm fire, but starting to dread the solid few months when my wardrobe will consist of flat black rubber boots with black tights and some more black on top. I hate this inevitable rut, but it's hard to be creative when your walk to work regularly involves snow up to your knees. And I've been noticing lately that I'm already falling into my winter habits, before there's even any snow on the ground. I'm trying to nip it in the bud and inspire myself to get through winter with more creativity - so here are some ladies who are staying warm and looking good doing it.
rows, top to bottom:
raquel zimmermann by inez & vinoodh for Vogue via {a glamorous little side project}
Jenna Lyons by Courtney D'Alesio for Elle
via Snippet & Ink
Filipa Fino by Marko MacPherson for Vogue
Amanda Ryan
Facehunter via Habitually Chic

What's your winter uniform? Do you find yourself sacrificing style for comfort when it's coldest out?

Friday, December 2, 2011


This is the fourth and last in my series of gift guides, composed entirely of picks gathered from my favorite museum gift shops! Here are parts I: For the FashionistaII: For the Workaholic, III: For the Hostess.

Some people can never have enough little black dresses - and some of us can never have enough chairs, trays, or candlesticks. For the decor fanatic, here are some truly innovative and inspired designs from artists historical and contemporary...

rows, top to bottom:
Screw Table, $1950, RISD Works
Less Lamp, $499.95, MoMA Store
Masters Chair, $244, MoMA Store
Mughal Elephant Plate, $20, Met Store
Candlesticks by Eva Zeisel (6", 8", 11", bowl), $55-70, Cooper-Hewitt Shop
"C'Mere" Hand Hook, $80, ICA Store
Family Chairs, $1295, MoMA Store
Duck Mirror, $70, RISD Works
Footed Bowl, $25, Met Store
Artist's Ribbon, Suzani, $20, Cooper-Hewitt Shop

And that's the last installment of the gift guides! Which was your favorite pick from the past week's collections? Are you planning to pick up anything for a loved one - or add anything to your own wish list? Or, better yet, did any of these designs inspire you to visit your local museum?

Thursday, December 1, 2011


This is the second in my series of gift guides, composed entirely of picks gathered from my favorite museum gift shops! Here are parts I: For the Fashionista and II: For the Workaholic.

From what I hear, grown-parties require the invitee to bring a gift slightly classier than a 6-pack of Bud Light. For the glamorous slew of holiday parties and their glamorous hosts/hostesses, here are some suggestions for thank-you gifts that they'll actually be thankful for!

Clockwise from upper left:
Pantone Mug, $15, SFMOMA Store
Rorschach Coasters, $18, New Museum Store
Pod Box, $40, RISD Works
Venus Apron, $28.95, LACMA Shop
Kaol Mints, $12, Cooper-Hewitt Shop
Botanical Plates, $8.95, The Getty Museum Store
Chess Bottle Stops, $18, RISD Works
Artist's Ribbon, Cooper-Hewitt Cutlery, $18, Cooper-Hewitt Shop
Inset Salad Servers, $22, LACMA Shop
Salt Cellar, $40, RISD Works