Wednesday, January 25, 2012


... that I actually have sources for most of the images I've posted lately? I discovered an awesome trick recently that's helped me find sources for tons of images that I saved years ago. Here's how it works:

1. open Google, then click on "Images" to pull up Google Image Search:

Then locate the item on your desktop that you're trying to search for. Start dragging it and you'll notice Google tells you to "drop image here" right below the text search box.

Release your mouse once the icon is hovering over that blue box, and it will upload your image:

Google will find every instance of the same image posted in other places online, as well as identifying the subject of the image (in this example, taken from a recent post, a black tufted headboard) and searching for that.

Almost invariably, one of the first image results will be the original source (often a company or magazine's website). In this case, someone uploaded a number of scans from Elle Interior (that's the Swedish version), along with credits for the designers, stylist AND photographer!

Is this one of those things that everyone already knew about? Am I way behind the times (apologies for this waste of a post, if I am), or is this a new discovery for some of you, too?

Friday, January 20, 2012


Some of my favorite purchases and presents of the past few months!

First, the big one: I bought this coat for myself in November as a present to myself. I've been so happy to have gotten such steady design board requests since I decided to start offering them, and I thought I deserved a little reward not only for supplementing my sad little paycheck, but also for making my work life a little less terrible by doing something I love in between real workdays. This is really m
y first grown-up purchase – I think it's the first well-made thing I've ever payed full price for. And considering that I've worn it literally every day since, I think it was worth it!

J. Crew Townhouse Trench

Santa was good to me this Christmas! Lovely things and practical ones... 

quartz earrings from the fiancé from
Persona Jewelry (the wonderful jeweler who made our ring!)

J. Crew Edie purse. Thanks dad!

Rob Ryan plate set

Victorinox SwissCard

And of course, despite the big pre-Christmas purchase, I couldn't help doing a little January discount shopping.

Sam Edelman loafers, $20 (originally $199)

Diane Von Furstenberg dress, $30 (originially $345)

tortoiseshell highballs, $2.99 each at HomeGoods

Any fabulous recent purchases? 

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Looking ahead to the coming year, I'm a little excited and a little terrified. 2012 is going to be a big year, involving getting married (and changing my name?), turning 25, a long-anticipated but saddening family transition, my first full-fledged decorating gig, and a job change - if not an actual career change. 

Thankfully, last week was my belated holiday vacation and in addition to spending lots of time freaking out about how much there is to do before the wedding, I gathered the courage I'll need to tackle my first big project of the year: building a headboard! 

Our bedroom is getting a bit of a mini-makeover, with new bedding and a new headboard. I love the screen, but despite paying only $25 for it, I'm starting to feel guilty for how many scratches, holes, rips and bad touch-ups it's collecting. So a real headboard it is. Remember that fabulous headboard in the Plantation ad that I made a Look for Less from a while back? It was a tufted variation on this, if you don't remember:

Don't those wings make you want to jump in with a good book and stay there forever? I've always been obsessed with canopy beds because of their feeling of protected coziness, but the process of searching the internet for lookalikes of the Plantation bed inspired a full-fledged love affair with wingback or "wrap" beds. They're amazing. Not convinced yet? This gorgeousness should do the trick...


Nuevo Estilo

Magnolia Lane

Melissa Warner

Renovation Style via La Dolce Vita

Eric Kohler

Nuevo Estilo

Elle Interior


Mine is probably going to be closest to that last, from Lonny - tall (well, not quite that tall), untufted (as much as I love those gorgeous tufted examples, my DIY skills aren't up to that yet), with small, straight wings. Everything but the wood has been purchased and is waiting in the corner of our bedroom:

not pictured: two packages of nailhead trim

Cross your fingers that I'll be able to pull this off!

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

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


This is the second in my series of gift guides, composed entirely of picks gathered from my favorite museum gift shops! Part I in the series, posted yesterday, is here.

Today I've rounded up some adorable things to dress up your desk. Whether you work from a cubicle or the couch, dressing up your workspace can't help but make the day go by a little faster!

clockwise from upper left:
The Fly Push-Pin by Donata Paruccini, Cooper-Hewitt shop, $23 for 24 
Meissen Floral Ceramic Travel Cup, Met store, $20
Baldessari 'Wrong' Eraser, LACMA shop, $5.95
Vera Butterflies File Folders, Met store, $12.95
Telephone Dial Smartphone Case, Met store, $18.95
V&A 'Waterfall' iPhone Skin, V&A store, £12
Frank Lloyd Wright clock, Met store, $75
William Morris Morning File, V&A store, £15
Junghans Table Clock, Cooper-Hewitt shop, $360

Tuesday, November 29, 2011


Yes, I took another unannounced little hiatus from the blog. Despite working all the days that most people were on holiday last week, I had an entirely lovely time showing the fiancé's family around Boston for the first time. Getting back to everyday reality is never fun, but the holidays are sneaking up on us and I'm beginning to get excited for finding the perfect gifts! There have been so many amazing gift guides in blogs and magazines this year that I'm not even going to try to compete. So I decided to narrow the playing field and use a resource that's close to my heart. 

As some of you know, I majored in Art History and have spent most of my college and post-college years working in museums. I'm passionate about expanding museum audiences, and a lot of museum shops have been trying to support that goal - often tapping into their collections' design highlights. So here's the first of my four-part gift guide, collected entirely from ... museum shops! Not only have I found a ton of fabulous things, but they all support the wonderful cause of keeping museums afloat and vibrant in this difficult economy.

First up: a fabulous collection of baubles and beads.

Clockwise from upper left:
Gold Bow Brooch by Sarah Cavender, £75, V&A Museum store. 
Portland Vase Scarf, £35, British Museum store.
Gold Half Penny Coin Purse, $38, V&A Museum store. 
Egyptian Snake Drop Earrings, $65, Met store. 
Sterling Bow Studs, $50, ICA store.
Waterfall Earrings by Alexis Bittar, V&A Museum store.
Ice Crystal Tree Earrings, $55, Met store.
Turquoise Tassel Earrings, £55, V&A Museum store.
V Dip Dye Scarf, £40, V&A Museum store.
Egyptian Chevron Ring, $33.75, Met store.
Vera Abstract Scarf, $60, Met store. 
Icon Watch by &design, $70, Cooper-Hewitt shop.
William Morris Persian Watch, $70, Met store. 
Ribbon Scarf, £10, V&A Museum store.
Boulder Ring by Helveta Vyotlag, £50, V&A Museum store.