Well I am just plum, tuckered out this week. Apparently new jobs and life altering decisions just wear a girl right out, and all I can think about is a nice soft place to rest my pretty little head.
Aerin Lauder's Bedroom
There is nothing, and I mean nothing more relaxing to me than a big, soft, fluffy, WHITE, bed. I love, love, love them. The bigger and fluffier and crisper the better. However, I also love my two (not white) dogs who sleep glued to my side, so the crisp part is a bit of a juggling act.
Remember the renovation preview from a while ago? Well it's ready for the big unveil. A good friend was looking for a fresh look in her living room. With her amazing person style, I knew this was going to be a fun project and would turn out spectacularly. So in a couple of shopping trips and one long weekend, we went from this.......
Gillian and her beau, Boe
Gillian had never liked the color of the brick on her fireplace and wanted the biggest makeover we could do with minimal construction and time commitment. So, we crossed our fingers, picked up the paint brushes and dove into to transforming the fireplace.
We sourced existing art, prints, family photos and travel souvenirs from around the house to create a new spread on the mantel, and then just mixed and matched until it felt right. It really came together when we mixed in the black and white photos with the more traditional artwork.
We were lucky enough to hit up the Target Home Design event during the sale period and score this garden stool with a Chinese pattern in a cheery color. The existing zebra covered chair stayed because it was a personal favorite, and really zebra is a neutral!
We also pulled up the existing mosaic tile in front of the fire place and replaced it with sleek, black granite that makes the whole room glow in the firelight.
Gillian and Boe are both avid travelers and adventurers and have brought back pieces from all over the globe. Stacking the travel pieces around the room bring in pops of color and make for good stories during cocktail parties.
We used Behr Warm Glow paint on the walls. As a big believer in the name of your paint having some significance in the room, this seemed like a perfect option. It was also light enough to make the room feel completely different, but vibrant enough to stand up to the other saturated colors throughout the rest of the house.
A low wooden coffee table allows for a constant rotating display of personal objects.
A console table behind the couch doubles as an entryway table for keys and such, and also make a nice spot for some fresh tulips, perfect for this spring ready room.
A large cabinet conceals tv and electronic equipment and allows for artwork to lean up against the wall adding height to the room. Even the cats love the zebra chair!
A combination of hanging and leaning of pieces keeps the mixture interesting and allows for easy rotation.
File this under the...this is genius, why didn't I think of that...category. Are you not always in a struggle with your paperback to keep them comfortably open while reading? I for one hate resorting to the old book fold technique because then they get all tattered. Problem solved!
Today I start out on a new adventure. A new job opportunity that takes a personal passion and melds it with daily reality. Not a complete change of course, but really just an evolution of sorts. A new door opening at the top of a very steep hill. After many years spent coordinating everything from Sunday night dinners to full scale weddings for friends, family or anyone who would let me hold a clipboard and look like I was in charge, I've come to a realization. I love events.
Like many educated, motivated women, I can be good at most things I do. But what am I really great at? What excites and challenges me every morning when I wake up? For me, it's every single detail that goes into making any kind of event come together. For me, it's seating arrangements, menu selection, schedule coordination, napkin color. For me, it's the hushed whispers that people exchange when they walk into an event and realize it's going to be better than they expected.
To me, events are more than parties with bite sized appetizers and monogrammed napkins (don't get me wrong, I love me some monogrammed napkins). An event, like a room or a piece of fashion, is something we live our lives in. The art of a great event is that it seamlessly intensifies the special moments of our lives. And in events, like life, we get to continually reinvent ourselves. Tear down and start again, learning from past missteps and building on past victories.
I did not set out in life to coordinate events. Quite the contrary, I was supposed to be something very different. I was supposed to be something very academic, with lots of scientific facts and figures. Except, there was a creative voice inside me somewhere that I could never quite tune out. And as I got older, that voice got stronger, until it was so loud that I could no longer pretend I didn't hear it. Sometimes I like to think that the events just seemed to find me.
So after a short personal hiatus and a cold, hard confrontation with life not always going the way you planned, I'm stepping out the front door again this morning. Picking myself up and dusting myself off, and not shying away from that voice any longer.
What it will turn into, who knows? But for now, I'm grabbing my hat (or chic head scarf), jumping on board (my Vespa that is) and speeding towards this new adventure. I am an event planner.
Who wants to be just like this french girl trotting down the streets of DC (well, she's technically in London, but this is a fantasy after all) to lead the impossibly fascinating and totally chic life that she must lead. I do!
I spent this past weekend at the family homestead relaxing with family and drinking one too many glasses of wine. One of my going home rituals is always to pour over the stacks and stacks of my mom's magazines and catalogs. While browsing, I fell hard for this console table from William Sonoma Home. Part glamorous, part rustic chic, this table has me wanting a clean, simple entrance when I open my front door.
Seeing this made me antsy for warmer weather when the flea markets and tag sales start to pop up on every corner. While this particular piece is way out of my budget, I think it could be recreated by painting a salvaged table white, adding a little distressing and swapping the top out for a piece of mirrored glass.
The formula seems to be white walls + interesting floor covering + rustic looking furniture + one fancy element = easy, breezy, fabulous entryway.
This may be the perfect entryway flooring. I love the pattern, it's dark enough to hide wear and tear from foot traffic and paired with some salvaged planters on the front porch it strikes a perfect balance.
Lined with a mixture of family photos and artwork in simple frames balances out this standout light fixture and ornate molding. Seeing pops of color through the kitchen doorway, keeps this neutral area from looking boring.
And in no way does neutral need to mean boring. A jute rug stands up to heavy traffic and multiple stools offer lots of places to drop your things. The ceramic wear and painted urns are an unexpected touch in an entryway.
Our favorite Martha/Top Design guy, Eddie Ross, is branching out into the world of Etsy! All those times that you read his Goodwill posts and think, "They don't have beautiful baby carriages at my Goodwill, Eddie!" are now over. Just pop on over to Eddie Ross on Etsy and scoop up the great deals.
Many newlyweds are bestowed with gifts of fine china to embark on their new life together. While I most certainly look forward to the idyllic afternon spent browsing through the shelves filling my registry, I just don't think all the really good stuff should be saved until then. What's a girl to do when she finds herself in her mid-twenties, just coming into her entertaining own. Wait until the man of her dreams appears to pick out her china pattern? I think not. Single gal china should be a registrable item as well. Ms. Bradshaw married herself and got a pair of Manolos. I'm just looking for a few cups and saucers to fill my new solo life.
Well, that's it. The mailbox will never hold the same kind of joy and hopefulness again. My last issue of Domino arrived today. How does the old saying go, "Men may come and go, but your design magazines will keep you warm forever," or something like that.
Tonight I'm going to do one last ritual of snuggling in to read the whole issue cover to cover. Except I'm going to have to upgrade my standard pot of tea to something way stronger.
This past weekend, a few girlfriends and I headed over to The Mayflower Hotel for a little Royal Tea celebration. What better way to spend Valentines' Day than with tea sandwiches, a little bubbly and sensational women. Tea is served everyday in the Cafe Promenade, a stunning room with muraled walls and sparkling chandeliers. If feels like a lux, relaxing, eastern garden. Here are a couple photos from the hotel's website.
This is the main chandelier and on the day we were there the round booth was filled with mothers and young daughters having tea with their dolls.
Royal Tea includes a personal silver tray of yummy sandwiches and sweets, including one of the best scones I've had in a long time. Some of the best tea companions ever, Ann and Nathalie enjoy their champagne before the tea service begins. We were lucky enough to share our table with a special little lady who was having tea for the first time. Annie enjoyed clinking her chocolate milk cup with our champagne flutes and sampling all of the cookies on the tea tray.
My grandmother's vintage clutch made an appearance as well and made tea time feel all that much more royal.
Sara and daughter Annie, myself, Nathalie and Ann had a wonderful afternoon.