Table Tiles!

I’ve been happily working away this week, but trying to find time to stop over with some quick, pretty shares. It’s the last Friday of July and we should all relax with a glass of wine and a home-cooked meal and the latest issue of Glamour [we’ve] been neglecting for two weeks. For my fellow lovers of vino and cute perches for said vino:

Tile Coasters,Set of 6 $21.50 | http://www.etsy.com/shop/TimelessCreationsLLC

These are created with the design of your choice with eco-friendly, non-fading ink and a soft cork backing to protect your beautiful furniture. Enjoy your Friday!

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Fresh Take: Guest Bedroom by the Sea

“Peace – that was the other name for home.”  Kathleen Norris

Today’s Fresh Take features a cottage guest room which bears truth to Kathleen’s words above. The simplicity and practicality of this space are embodied in the wood walls, the casual flowers, and the unpretentious linens. This space is perfect for its purpose.

Photographer: Deborah Whitlaw Llewellyn

Title/Source: Guest Bedroom, Coasting Living
First Impression: Serenity achieved.
Mood+Feel: This space is cozy and soothing. Perfect for a night’s rest.
Function: A quaint retreat in which to drift off after a long day at the beach.
Why I love it: The neutrals don’t appear colorless! Instead, I see so many subtle hues of green, yellow, and even lilac in the plank walls. Also, that little chair adds so much charm.
What works: The designer didn’t overdo it with art and accents in this space. Instead, hints of color and pattern in the bedding (love the yellow in the throw pillow!), fixtures, and flowers compliment the texture of the walls.
Room for Improvement: I had to get picky with the staging since there’s, well, nothing I’d add or remove. This scene is a little too casually messy. The flopped pillow and the draped wrap?
Sustainable Style: This style can be adapted using organic bamboo, cotton, and linen fabrics for the bedding. Even better, relieve strain on the environment by mixing collections you already own!
Features: The wrought-iron twin beds are similar to Restoration Hardware’s French Academie bed which I featured earlier this summer in my post Blissful Beds. They add a sturdy, yet delicate and gate-like element to the space, juxtaposed nicely with the soft bedding.
Get this look: The bed is above, but I wanted to find you some affordable and similar accents. Here goes in 3 parts! 1. Accent pillow, 2. Organic Bedding in dusty, drift-wood hues, and 3. Mini Chair like this one with storage below.

The Best Zodiac Pillows

The title of this post says it all! Here’s the lowdown: Zodiac throw pillows are a growing trend and for good reason – they’re not only super cute, they’re meaningful and personal. In fact, they are one of my top picks for thoughtful housewarming or birthday gifts. Just for fun, I’m sneaking in my horoscope for today from California Astrology. They are creepy-accurate with almost all of their signs and I am usually Miss Skeptic when it comes to the signs and the stars and the gods. Eh, fun to peek once in a while, right!? Here’s my June 27 Pisces thought for the day.

“During this time, you will concentrate your thoughts on your own individual direction. You aspire to put your creative planning and intelligence into outlets which enhance your self-image and meet with approval from others. This is a favorable period to assert your personal ideas.”

And the best zodiac pillows, in my humble opinion:

Pillows, $58 for cover, $88 for entire pillow | Serena & Lily http://www.serenaandlily.com

Needlepoint Pillows, $98 | Jonathan Adler | http://www.jonathanadler.com

Burlap Pillows, $20 | Ecarlate Boutique, Etsy

A daily reminder of fortune, sense, karma, and fate… Or a reminder of your birthday and individuality. Hmm, I like a little of both! Whatever your reason, these would look so playful on your sofa or bed!

Style and Sense for the American Wife

A few (many) months back, one of my closest girlfriends sent me a very intimidating box of about fifty novels to read. I, of course, had requested some book recommendations resulting in this gesture. Some for me is about 2. Some for most everyone else is between 5 and 23. Having narrowed down my borrowed library to a manageable 3 books, I neatly stacked them on my nightstand for some entertaining pre-slumber tales.
Book one: American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld. I love reading about American wives, mothers, and daughters from the 1940’s, 50’s, and 60’s. The idea of the quintessential housewife with her methodical chores, her style, her yearnings, her struggles, and her poise intrigues me. The small gestures expressed by Alice Lindgren’s mother in American Wife – her thoughtful placement of pretty new ribbons or treats on her daughter’s bedspread – add warmth to the home and are indicative of the power of the little things.

As I dive into first few chapters of this book, I can relate to Alice’s appreciation for her mother’s simple, yet profound influences. Having read Sittenfeld’s book Prep, I am accustomed to and fond of her writing style and increasingly lost in this unfolding story. Sittenfeld takes her time in painting a picture to tell a story – like a slow conversation on a breezy, southern afternoon.

If I were to adapt my picture of today’s modern housewife with inspiration from Alice Lindgren’s mother, here are a few items that might make Mama Lindgren’s life a little easier, a little richer, and a little sweeter.

Every modern mother deserves simplicity, efficiency, comfort, style, and a little decadence. From the stylish and convenient herb pot to the disguised laundry sorter to the tropical truffles, these hand-picked items make everyday tasks a little more special. I also included cute canisters for stashing said truffles from wee ones.

The loot: 1. Cookie Cutters, $8 | Sur La Table; 2. Bristol Canisters, $60 | Williams Sonoma; 3. Bake by Numbers Pie Plate, $38 | Anthropologie; 4. Mrs. Meyer’s Laundry Detergent and Hand Soap, $4-12 | Mrs. Meyer’s; 5. Bee Tumblers, $50 Set 6 | Maison de Kristine; 6. Throw Blankets, $60 | West Elm; 7. Laundry Sorter, $180 | Home Decorators; 8. Herb Pot Trio, $45 | Huset; 9. Table Runners, Pricing on Request | Bev Hisey; 10. Toast Coconut Rum Truffles, $19 for 7 | Katherine Anne Confections.

Wild Happy

This painting by Sonia Semone makes my soul happy. Wild happy. The colors are so deep, so energetic – I find myself lost in Amaryllis Abstract. By now, you know how I feel about art. It’s expression. It’s essential. It’s therapeutic. And what should it do? Move you. In the spirit if happiness, see below for some sharing.

Amaryllis Abstract by Sonia Semone, $350 | http://www.gallery7517.com

Web: Today’s Google Page Today, only! Here’s a more permanent link.

Tune: “Alligator Sky” by Owl City (MotoMan and I give 4 thumbs up!)

Sips: Raspberry Mojito from A la Carte Kitchen. Raspberries added to grocery list! Sprinkler rehydrating mint in garden! Check, check!

Words:You will find as you look back upon your life that the moments when you have truly lived are the moments when you have done things in the spirit of love.”Henry Drummond

Shtuff: Fresh new flip flops, hot breeziness, twitching kitty nap, Amish egg noodles, fresh basil, fabric samples, ice cold milk, Lip-stain, Coconut lotion.

Reads: Maine by J. Courtney Sullivan

The Refined Raw

It’s rare that I find artists like Sunyata, The Elemental Alchemist, who invoke the following mess of praise: “{gasp} Wow. Consider my mind blown. I’m in puppy love. {swoon}. (Insert lots more ga-ga like this).” Literally, I grabbed one patient MotoMan by the arm and made him revel in every ring in this fab Etsy shop while I gushed. So, when I discover the Sunyata’s of the world – they deserve a bump to to top of my “bloggables” list.

The Elemental Alchemist is such the appropriate name as it perfectly describes the successful integration of soft brushed, raw metals and incredibly colorful stones. Sunyata’s eye for innovative design shows in her unique approach to rebellious shapes and snarly, yet gentle prong settings. Enough from me. Feast your eyes, darlings.





The organic, smooth metal circle containing the wild, edgy quartz above peaked my interest. I love the paradox of her designs. And the colors. And the wearable sculpture. And the natural elements. And may I just mention the composition of the photographs? An artistic eye arranged and captured these mini sculptures. Since this is a blog associated with interiors, let’s find a way to sneak this in. Ok, here goes. Go to Pottery Barn. Find this jewelry box. Display new quartz ring collection. Done. Storage, jewelry, and art.

They remind me of something my mother would have designed if she practiced metal-smithing today – modern, raw, restless, yet somehow refined. (Hi, Mom!) They’re just… delicious eye candy. Mm. /star-stuck babbling.


Decor Muerte

When I was 14, I vacationed in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was hot. There were exceptionally teeny bikinis. And colorful, dirty favellas. I rode in a rickety van to the top of Corcovado Mountain and stood in awe at Cristo Redentor (Portuguese). But those memories aren’t the only ones calling me back. I cherish one folk museum vividly and fondly. The carved and painted wooden figures, the instruments, and the rustic furniture – each piece was so much more than an object.

This experience influenced my appreciation for symbolism. Decor is deeper than beauty – the significance, presence, and story to be told brings life to a space. Take Dia de los Muertos, a holiday celebrated in Latin America to honor the dead. Morbid thoughts aside, I love this vibrant holiday. In fact, on this day, morbid thoughts are aside. Sugar Skulls, marigolds, crosses, food, and figurines signify remembrance. Skulls of the dead are no longer solemn symbols, draped with darkness and fear. It is truly beautiful and profound – this juxtaposition of death and dancing, pulsing life.

Above, enjoy my hand-picked collection of whimsical objects for your home. Dasher Muerte is my favorite – I laughed out loud. Then I added it to my Christmas wishlist. In July. I digress. Always. Consider them to be daily reminders that life – though, at times dark and solemn, has a way of letting the sun back in again.

The deets (from top Left, clockwise): The Evie Chair, $115 | The Pebworth; Skulls Wallpaper | Beware the Moon; Dasher Muerte, $60 | Mi Vida Creations; Skull Pashmina, $445 | Alexander McQueen; Necklace, $85 | My Salvation; Pillow, $20 | Mi Vida Creations; Tray, $60 | Mexican Sugar Skull; Skull Fabric, $12.50/yard | Mexican Sugar Skull; Framed Day of the Dead Skull, $15 | Emvee; Dispersed Wooden Skull Beads, $5 | The Forest Glenn.

An Icon (and a Teaser)

Here’s little peek at tomorrow’s fun post! I’m wildly busy with mounds of fabulous designing and sourcing and comparing and shopping but I want to thank you for your love and devotion with promise that tomorrow’s worth the wait! Also, I am sharing a bit of why I love the late, yet timeless Alexander McQueen and why he will always be my most inspirational designer when it comes to pushing the limits and keeping it classy! (Oh, did I just reference Anchorman?)

Cherry/Violet Skull Pashmina, $445 | http://www.alexandermcqueen.com

An excerpt from Lee Alexander McQueen’s biography: “Alexander McQueen shows are known for their emotional power and raw energy, as well as the romantic but determinedly contemporary nature of the collections. Integral to the McQueen culture is the juxtaposition between contrasting elements: fragility and strength, tradition and modernity, fluidity and severity.” 

I love that McQueen embodies hot pink and purple and gold skull bracelets and studs and feathers and yet, also a classic princess’s wedding gown. I love that the morbid and solemn image of a human skull is expressed with cherry-pop and playful fringe. I love that while McQueen’s life ended far too soon, he’s still very much alive. Read on..

Like that of most successfully captivating designs, McQueen’s are based on movement and balance. The eye should travel around and across a space or garment and never hone in on one painfully uneven element. While a focal point or accent is essential, it should flow and work with the rest of the design. For instance, one would not paint a fireplace bright purple without repeating purple or some other equally present color elsewhere in the space. Alas, like McQueen, I’m definitely up for influencing a purple fireplace…with gold skulls. Break some rules, but keep your balance and those once-scorned concepts will become iconic. -WTI

Posted in Art

Peachy Pick-me-up

Today, MotoMan came home from work feeling pretty drained (and it’s only Monday, the horror!!). I fed him a tasty lunch consisting of leftovers from our delicious patio dinner with some really cool friends. This isn’t usually the case, but the morsels tasted so much better today! I mixed up the saffron/cilantro/lime orzo and black beans with the seasoned chicken and veggies we grilled – it was so light and satisfying on this steamy day, the onset of a week-long heat wave. Extra fresh lime juice gave it some kick and I prepared some of The Bread (Oh, yes.). Still, this lunch didn’t feed MotoMan’s need for energy and cheer. I gave him a cool wash cloth while he rested on the sofa, then I rounded up my red blender and some fruit.

Photo Credit: Lauren Kennedy Photography

I couldn’t let him leave feeling so down, so I made the following smoothie, hoping it would improve his physical slump and his broken mood.

The Loot:
1 Juicy, ripe Farmer’s Market Peach
1 Cup o’ crushed ice
4 Strawberries halved
1 Cup of 2% fresh milk from the farm
A drizzle of sweet honey

Serves: 1 forlorn husband in need of some oomph!
Snazz it up: Serve in icy glasses with a sprig of fresh mint and a small dollop of home-made whipped cream for guests.

What I did in 3 minutes: Blend the ice first, then add the sliced peach, strawberries, and milk. Puree for about 2 minutes, then add the honey and set for 30 seconds more. If you want more peach flavor, add more peach and less strawberries and milk. For added protein and a nutty flavor, throw in some unsalted almonds (about 5). Just as I had hoped, this sweet, juicy smoothie did the trick. Inspired by the effects, I set out to find lovely images of fuzzy peaches and was very successful. The simple image above spoke to me and now I want it in my house. Huge. Framed. Stat.

Bunny Bin!

This bunny bin is the perfect spot to stash a box o’ tissues in a nursery or in your family room or anywhere for that matter! I don’t make the rules in your home (unless you insist!). Any normal side of me would insist that this is a nice alternative for an Easter basket, but because its July and I’m not here to tell you things which might have been useful 4 months ago, here are a few unique ways to enjoy this cute accessory any time of year (below photo):

Bunny Bin in Oatmeal Linen, $30 | Hoganfe (www.etsy.com/shop/hoganfe)

One:
Fill with one-sies, nursing blankets, or baby bath products as a thoughtful shower gift.
Two:
Store wipes and ointments for a hidden supply on the changing table.
Three:
Place a potted plant or flowers inside for display in a window or on a corner table. Soft, playful, & organic.
Four:
Store crafting or scrap-booking supplies in reach and in style on your desk or work table.
Five:
Fill with home-made mini-muffins, hard candy, or cookies and present as a housewarming gift.