Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Etsy Spotlight: Moonlight Bindery

My little 'hood of Capitol Hill here in D.C. had an Oktoberfest street festival last weekend. Filled with families, pets, food stations and local vendors, it was a lovely way to spend a Saturday morning (we got there before the downpour). One of the booths had these beautiful journals and notecards, made by a local bookbinder. Moonlight Bindery carries graphic prints and whimsical images that look fresh on these high quality handmade journals and notebooks. Her Etsy shop carries some of the highlights.

A fun place to jot down ideas and notes throughout you day. I always have a notebook or two in my bag and I love ones that look chic when I pull them out of the tangle of papers and other "life necessities" that I haul around with me all day.

I love these bold graphic images on the notecards. Useful for everything from thank yous to invites to last minutes birthday cards.

The cork covered wine journals were also great. In two different sizes, one has room for a label and description of each bottle you've enjoyed, the other categorizes by type for easy recall.

P.S. She's also a blogger!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Yea for Fall!

As I sleepily stepped out my front door for a morning walk with R&B, I was met with a chill in the air, a slight breeze, and the undeniable assurance that Fall has arrived! My absolute favorite season for everything from food to fashion, I wanted to skip up and down my block with leaves falling all around me.

Bring on the colorful peacoats (J.Crew), tall boots with everything (Bandolino) and of course...

Spiked Hot Coco!

(Image by James Allen Walker: Make sure to check out his website, the photo are amazing)

Monday, September 28, 2009

Design Idol: Barbara Barry

Catching up on some reading over the weekend, I came across this article in the Washington Post Home section about the details of a stylish life from none other that the impeccable Barbara Barry. It reminded me just how much I admire this style and design maven.

(DC Locals--Do you read the Home section? I actually still get the print version of the Post for the delight of running to my doorstep on Thursdays to see what's featured. Sorry Mother Earth-I promise I recycle them. I love the local retail sources they feature and would love to see more local design talent highlighted. I had heard gossip about loosing the Home section, but I tried to ignore all of it and go with the ignorance is bliss motto. So far, so good.)

Barbara and her designs always convey a timeless, classic grace while still looking fresh and modern. A true tastemaker, I also loved this article from Town & Country Travel about her favorite London shops and spots. (Top 2 photos from TCT).

A seamless combination of neutral colors, clean lines and good construction means that each of her rooms will not only stand the test of style time, but also hold up to being actually lived in. I would feel eternally chic penning correspondence, while drinking tea at this desk.

What I really admire Barry for is her business sense as much as her style. To be able to gracefully navigate the market that she has worked her way to the top of, is no small feat. Translating her design to retail, she never looses sight of the core elements of her style.

And just like Barbara...I love me some chairs! Her collection for Baker Furniture includes an array of lust worthy chairs of all shapes. Some of the little lovelies:
Upholstered Lounge Chair

Deco Classic Lounge Chair

Tufted Chair

Oval X-back Chair

And about those teacups I would be sipping out of while sitting at that chic desk...I can't decide between the Curtain Call or the Embrace.

A new product line I noticed on Barry's own website was a collection of home fragrances, complete with her iconic chairs. No wonder I love her!

Monday, September 21, 2009

As a frequent reader of design magazines and books, I come across all kinds of details and ideas that I want to try in my own space. While I'd love to try them all in every place I live, it would end up looking like an over-designed hot mess. Good editing sometimes is a girl's best friend. Here's a round up of the top ten elements I'd like to try.....someday!

1) Big round center entry table--I love a big round table for flowers or stacks of books topped with a favorite trinket

My notes say this pic is from Better Homes and Gardens-?

2) Stand alone bathtub--For long soaks in lots of bubbles.

Spotted on Pink Wallpaper

3) Center Doorknob--a large round doorknob, right in the center of the door, so chic!

Miles Redd

4) Dark, glossy walls--I love the contrast of these dark walls with the caramel colored chairs. And the fact that it's a library makes me want to curl right up in this deep, rich color.


5) Art Gallery Walls--A hallway or entryway filled to the edges with frames of all shapes and sizes is my dream. I particularly love having half of the pieces hung and the other half leaning on shelves to be rotated at whim.


6) Wall-o-books--I have a lot of books. Way more books than a couple of measly bookcases can stand. I need a whole wall filled floor to ceiling with shelves. Or in this case, with some cabinets on the bottom to store necessary but not so pretty pieces.


7) All white kitchen--no need for further explanation, I think my love is well understood. (I do love the one black piece of counterwork here for a little contrast, though)

Robyn Karp

8) Chalkboard walls--I've been dying to paint a wall in my kitchen or bathroom with chalkboard paint. The possibilities abound.

??-Anyone recognize

9) Guest cottage--A quaint little escape in the back yard for houseguests (or me!)

Morgan Hill

10) Daring entryway wallpaper-to make a statement as soon as you step in the door.

Ashley Whittaker in Domino

Friday, September 18, 2009

Inspirations from the To Read pile

By now, you're all well versed in my sometimes chaotic organizational methods. Here's another example of just how I roll. I'm an avid reader, of anything and everything-newspapers, magazines, books, fliers they hand out on the Metro. And I'm a thorough reader. I read with a pen, highlighter, and pack of sticky flags in my hand. Not just for books, for everything. In fact, my roommate came home yesterday to find me in the kitchen, bent over the paper, furiously highlighting away in the local calendar section (it was local home tours, in my defense). Often, I come across things I was to read, but don't have the time to fully devote right then. Enter, the To Read pile-an ever present stack of all the things I'm currently reading. It's a bit of a joke for those who know me well because 1) the pile tends to get a little out of control at times and 2) I often end up lugging it around with me in big bags to read on the go.

Here's the To Read pile as it currently stands in my living room.

Working my way down in the pile yesterday, I found this little article in the October issue of Glamour. Do you ever come across a home that so perfectly fits your personal style you want to pack up your makeup bag and move right in? This is mine....

We all love Nate Berkus, and I've always loved his work. Apparently, he has a 20-something younger sister who could be my style twin. Nate, if you're reading, we should all be friends.

I love the eclectic but polished mix of this living room with the larger pieces done in neutrals and the accessories bringing in splashes of color and texture.

Wouldn't this sofa at the end of the bed be a nice spot for me to snuggle up with my big To Read pile. I also adore bedrooms like this that are soft and feminine, but still comfortable enough for both genders to live in.

Love the color and layering in this table vignette. I'm also a big photo leaner as I tend to move things around on a whim. Sorry for the less than stellar image quality. I couldn't find these pics on Glamour's website, so I had to settle for scans. If you come across them, please pass them on.

A little organizational gem to pass along. Try keeping your evening clutches in magazine files to keep them organized in your closet. Genius. I wonder where Marni keeps her To Read pile???

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Thursday Tabletop: The Anywhere Table

This edition of Thursday Tabletop is brought to you from House Beautiful all the way back in Jan 2008. This table reminds me of the grown up version of setting up a table in the living room for an impromptu takeout dinner party. One of my favorite activities as a kid was when we got to eat our pizza in the living room at the card table while watching movies on Friday night. And I still love the idea of breaking out of your dining room and taking the table with you.

Here's what you need to make it work well:
  • Any kind of folding or lightweight portable table--does not need to be pretty or nice
  • A big table cloth or piece of fabric to brighten up your party and cover your table
  • Chairs for all--no need to match in my opinion, that's what's fun about the rouge dinner party
  • As always--real stemware, silverware and dishware.
  • Candles--Depending on your setting and the stability of your portable table consider electric
  • And of course, good friends or family and lots-o-wine!
Happy Thursday Everyone!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Kitchen Envy

To Market, To Market

A few weeks ago, over the long holiday weekend, I stopped by a flea market near the Jersey shore while R&B slept off their big morning. Never one to pass up digging through piles of discarded goods to find a hidden treasure, a big parking lot full of pick up trucks and card tables was like Disneyland to me.

Is this not the most adorable little vintage fire truck you've ever seen! I stood in front of it for a full 10 minutes contemplating how I could justify buying it without that pesky requirement of having a child to put in it. The best I could come up with was trying to make Roxy sit in it, so sadly it had to be left behind.

There were dozens of these wood painted signs around that morning. I loved the Cattle Dealer sign and thought it would look great juxtaposed against some shiny white subway tiles leaning up against a chic kitchen backsplash.

I couldn't tell if it was this old hearse that was for sale by owner, or just the stuff in front of it and the hearse was how they hauled it there. I tried to ask, but missed something in the jersey accent translation.

Loved the decanters, especially the big square one.

I also lusted after this old kitchen croc and imagined it as a big catch-all for wooden spoon and shiny silver serving pieces. Then I remembered I already have just that already sitting on my counter and shouldn't buy it again.

A strong weakness for vintage bar ware, shared by my friend, means this tray now resides on my island as a catchall for keys, mail and small bud vases.