Oct 16, 2011

Cozy Fireplaces

I don't have a fireplace, but the past few nights have me wishing for one as the temperature falls outside.  Whether they're super rustic, a little feminine, traditional or contemporary - I'd take any of these....











And I'd love to plan a quiet fireside-supper like this one... 

Wishing you a cozy week!

Photos from:  Lonny Magazine, House Beautiful, & Elle Decor

Jul 29, 2011

Touring historic homes is one of my favorite pastimes, and it's kindof crazy that I don't spend all my weekends doing just that when you consider how many of them we have around here.  One recent Sunday, I decided to forgo tackling the laundry and visited Russel Wright's home instead.  I was immediately reminded of just how fun a peak into a unique, well-designed home can be.  (Even my husband liked it!)

The exterior of Wright's home looks as contemporary today as it did nearly half a century ago.
Russel Wright was a highly successful commercial designer; his mass-produced tableware, furniture, and fabrics were found in households across the country throughout the '30's, '40's, and '50's, and are considered collectibles today.  He designed and built his home, known as Manitoga, just north of Manhattan in Garrison, NY.  Wright and his wife were at the forefront of the concept of "easy living," and he designed his house around their notion of a casual life - - it featured an open floor plan & kitchen, soaring glass windows, and a unique mix of natural elements with industrial materials long before any of those were popular ideas. 

It feels really contemporary and very cool in a James-Bond-y kindof way, don't you think?
The Kitchen, Dining Room, and Living Rooms are all open to one another for easy entertaining.  The 3-Legged Eames chairs were custom-made for Wright to work on the natural stone floor.  Feel free to swoon.

That IS a tree in the middle of the Great Room - Wright's architect used an old trunk found on the property as one of the main support beams for the house.  The curved staircase is all natural stone.


Wright designed this luxe bathroom for his daughter complete with sunken bathtub and sliding glass doors to her own private patio.  And, oh yeah, her private patio had an outdoor fireplace too.  Lucky Girl.

The first glimpse you catch of Wright's home on the tour - there's an old quarry that he turned into a swimming pond at the base of those cliffs.  It's a bit dark & murky now, but must have been divine when the Wright lived here. 
 If you're interested in learning more about Manitoga, check out my lastest River Journal column  and book a tour through the Russel Wright Design Center.  I suggest making a whole day out it -  schedule a morning tour, then head a few minutes up the road to Cold Spring for a little lunch and some antiquing.  Ahh... sounds like a good Sunday.

Jun 11, 2011

Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa

Lilly Pulitzer's new line of fabrics for Lee Jofa is on full display in the Lee Jofa showroom at the D&D.  Her trademark bright preppy prints feel just right this time of year, but a little Lilly goes a long way...  if you're not up for a completely Lilly-fied room like this one, the space still has a lot of fabulous ideas you can use at home...

Obviously, I LOVE the monogrammed chair backs (See old post on Monograms).  And the framed fabric swatches on the back wall are such an easy, inexpensive way to add a new print or color to a room - major impact without a big commitment. 

Piping is the key to this vibrant seat - whether you're trimming a neutral fabric with navy or going bold like this chair, piping gives a basic piece of upholstery that extra something special.  Worth every penny.

Flank artwork with brackets and sculptures for an extra layer of dimension - if parrots are too palm-beach, try urns or simple vases.   Want to show off your rug?  This lucite coffee table keeps the focus on the prints, not the case goods.

I can't help but love this swinging chair - my Grammy had one at her house in Florida, and I've always longed for one of my own.  Outdoors or in, it's the perfect perch for enjoying an arnold palmer - don't you want one too?

Mar 11, 2011

A Cozy Bedroom on a Gray Day

Another day of rain, mud, and gray skies in New York...  The kind of day that makes you want to stay in bed all day.  Doesn't this one look appealing?

Interior Design by Ashley Putnam, Photo in Lonny Mag April/May 2011



Feb 27, 2011

Small Steps to Getting Organized

For my latest River Journal article, I had the pleasure of interviewing my favorite professional organizer, Pernille Nils Ebbesen of Collage, and she shared a great tip for getting your house in order - Start Small.  Nils Ebbesen stresses the importance of picking a relatively small area to tackle first.  You'll be more likely to start the project (and more likely to finish it!) if it's a manageable project like creating a system for your mail pile or re-organizing your clothes closet as opposed to, say, cleaning out the entire basement.

With that in mind, here are a few photos that have inspired me to get my small spaces in order now...  I'll leave the big spring clean for another week.

Command Central:  I think this would be a great way to sort mail - tuck a shredder into one of these cubbies, a basket for recyclable ads/mags, and use these see-thru baskets to sort your bills, periodicals, and outgoing mail.  I'd replace the chalkboard with a big bulletin board and calendar - write down and pin up invitations and events as soon as they come in.

 Photo: House Beautiful , Closet Design by Erinn Valencich




Photos:  Originally shot for Domino Magazine

Photo:  Annie Selke's closet as seen in House Beautiful 

Ahhhh...  the dream closet.  Some of the best tips I've received for organizing your closet are to:
1)  Use identical hangers - Keeps everything looking neat, even when it's not.
2)  Use  shelf dividers  to store your handbags upright and keep them from falling over when you pull one down.
3)  Use shadow box picture frames to store your prettiest necklaces and earrings - hang these shadow boxes on your closet or bedroom wall to free up space on your dresser & enjoy your jewelry even when you're not wearing it. 

For more organizing inspiration, including more tips from the fabulous Nils Ebbesen, please check out my Around the House article.  Happy Organizing!!  

Feb 5, 2011

Chic Workspaces - Part III

For the final installment of the Chic Workspaces series, I'm moving in a more masculine direction.  I love all the sleek, glossy lines of this desk and chair.  The mirror  placement is a great idea for those of us with our desks shoved against a wall (me me me!), because the only thing worse than sitting down to tackle emails is to do it facing a dark corner.   All these reflective surfaces might be overwhelming without the textured grasscloth wallcovering - it absorbs light and softens the overall look.  But it's the mix of vintage and contemporary furnishings that really give this workspace its sophistication.  A great manspace  - if the man is a tidy man and doesn't have much paperwork.


Interior Design by Ron Marvin as shown in Lonny Magazine Oct/Nov 2009



A few pieces I'd use to create this effect at home....


Clockwise from Top Left:  Burl Frame Mirror from Pacific Connections, Table Lamp from Arteriors Home, Sprinkbok Trophy from Jayson Home & Garden, Vintage Classic Saarinen Executive Chair from Las Venus at 1stDibs.com, Vintage Oushak rug from Jayson Home & Garden, Wastebasket from Matahari Home, Mason Desk from William Sonoma Home.

Jan 27, 2011

Chic Workspaces - Part II

Workspace #2 - Contemporary Eclectic

For this installment of the Chic Workspaces series, I'm drawing on this contemporary, eclectic mini-home office.  I love the simple lines of the desk, the occasional pop of bright yellow, the bold lamp.... it feels hip and youthful and would be completely at home in the corner of a family room.



I like this mix-up of colorful, graphic pieces - none of them are "matchy," but they totally work together and are stylish enough to use if your desk has to be in a "public" space like your living room.  Even the bulletin board is special thanks to its nailhead trim.  And I'm kindof obsessed with this lamp.


Clockwise from top left:  Pencil Cup from Anthropologie,  Burlap Bulletin Board from Ballard Designs, Table Lamp from Arteriors Home,  Parsons Glass-Steel Table from Crate & Barrell,  Magazine / Newspaper Bag and  Fireworks Area Rug from Anthropologie,  Paper Storage Boxes from The Container Store.

Jan 22, 2011

Chic Workspaces

Whether you already work from home, you're trying to get started on that novel you've always meant to write, or you just need a spot for sorting bills and keeping your paperwork in order, it's so critical to dedicate some space to a home office.  I just wrote an article about this for the River Journal, and have consequently got desks and office accessories on the brain...

Our home offices should be a reflection of our personal style, not just a reflection of what we do for a living.  (Because does anyone really want a space that screams "accountant"?)  They should surround us with inspiration while keeping all the paperclips and post-its we need within reach.

My next couple of posts will be of some super-stylized workspaces that I'd love to work out of and the pieces I would use to create them in my own home.  Hope they inspire you to spruce up your own desk!


Workspace Style #1:  Ladylike & Elegant

Interior Design by Angele Parlange, photo in Lonny Magazine  Dec. 2010






Give your desk a decidedly feminine feel with the Brocade Bulletin Board and Pencil Cup from The Container Store.






Since we're all tracking appointments on iPhones & Blackberries these days, there's not much need for a big calendar anymore.  This tiny desktop one from Lobird lets you know what day it is, and it's just so darn charming.


I love this mousepad from Anthropologie - it brings a little whimsy to your work.  And is hopefully the only mouse you'll encounter there.


Keep paperclips in pretty glass jars like this one from Anthropologie.


Jan 17, 2011

Rustic Winter Decor


I love a long weekend, particularly when all these snowstorms have my yard looking like a winter wonderland.  Ideally, I'd like to spend the afternoon sipping hot toddies around this outdoor fireplace....


Sans the lux covered porch set-up, I'd settle for cozy-ing up my living room with some of these winter accessories -  together they channel a similar, slightly glamorous version of this rustic lodge look...

winter glam-rustic accessories

Top Photo:  by Miguel Flores-Vianna for Elle Decor, Jan. 2011.  
& Lamp from West Elm, The Watcher owl pillow from Envelop, Antler Candlesticks from Roost.

This photo collage is my first step into trying out new things on my blog.  A big thanks to Erica Reitman of Design Blahg and Nicole Cohen of Sketch 42 - - a recap of their "Tricks of the Trade" presentation at last month's Lavish conference turned me on to Olioboard, the website that enabled me to make this collage.  If you are trying to pull together a look for a wedding, a new living room, or you're just one of those people who loves making mood boards, you must check it out.  The site is so intuitive, even I was able to figure it out pretty quickly!

Jan 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Happy New Year!!  I'm not a big one for resolutions per say, but I do admit to making a few "goals" for the year ahead.  One of mine is to keep blogging.

That said, while perusing some lecture notes from the Lavish un-conference for lifestyle bloggers, I  realize that I've unwittingly already broken the golden rule of blogging - consistency.  Apparently, every panel advisor and speaker at Lavish strongly recommended posting on a regular, frequent basis.... something I completely failed to do while taking a lengthy holiday hiatus.  Whoops.

So what's the whole Lavish un-conference thing?  A big gathering of lifestyle bloggers that took place in Atlanta last month.  I wasn't able to attend, but am grateful to Coco & Kelley blogger,  Cassandra Lavelle, for mentioning it in her blog so that I was able to track down some of the super helpful tips presented there (btw, her blog Coco and Kelley totally inspires me to get my act together and you should definitely check it out!).  Researching Lavish also introduced me to its founder, Shameeka Ayers, a girl I can't help but love for two reasons:  1) She writes a blog "The Broke Socialite" and  2)  She is author of a soon-to-be-released book called "Instantly: How Quickly I Realized I Hated My Job."  Love That.  So Much.

So I will try to blog consistently over the next 12 months and put all these new tips to use in an effort to bring you as many fun ideas for your home, your dinner, or your next party as I can.  Time to get to work.

Design by Jolene Ballard & Amanda Mallson of Domicile Interior Design,
Photo in Rue Magazine Nov/Dec 2010