Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Summer Entertaining Ideas

Summer is right around the corner and I love to entertain! Here are some fantastic ideas and creative ways to serve drinks, set tables, etc. to create the perfect summer gathering!

For more fab ideas, visit these websites: Martha Stewart, Pottery Barn & Domino Magazine.

Spring Blooms!

There's nothing like a bunch of your favorite fresh flowers displayed on your coffee table or console! I like to add fresh flowers to my apartment any chance I get. And remember, any container can transform into a vase - the more unique, the better! I'm loving the biscuit and tea tins as vases for these beautiful bunches of flowers (shown below)!

I love the teapot used as a vase and the teacup with saucer is the perfect vessel for the beautiful ranunculus bunch. Remember to get creative with what you display your flowers in and try to add a fresh bunch to your favorite space any chance you get! Tip: by displaying an arrangement of the same flower gives a bold pop of color and creates a fresh, updated look.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Ilse Crawford

In the May issue of Domino, they did a spread on London-based Interior Designer, Ilse Crawford. I did a post on her book, Home is Where the Heart Is, a few months back. Ilse bases her designs around the philosophy "form follows feeling" and every time I flip through her book or read up on what her latest projects are, her down-to-earth, no-nonsense approach to design makes me take a step back and re-evaluate the way I approach a project. In the the article she says, "I think there's something quite weird about having someone design your house and fill it with everything." I find this to be true in so many cases - as designers, we sometimes tend to want to fill up a home with lots of "stuff" to achieve a certain look and we forget about the client's needs and the practicality of it all. We can actually make things more complicated than they should be. Ilsa takes into consideration the way her client lives and functions then bases her design around that. She included some fantastic tips in the article and I'd like to share a few...

1) " A room should be really good at one thing, rather than try to do three." A functional space will lend itself to other activities and uses.

2) "Hang on to the pieces you love most." Some of the best designs are created by mixing in the old with the new. If you really want to hang on to that old, tattered chair, go ahead but have it refinished and upholstered in new fabric!

3) "The floor is the spine that holds a place together." Keeping your flooring consistent throughout gives your home a sense of continuity and flow.

4) "A successful design is about your life, not a look." Bravo! This quote speaks for itself :)

"To me, interior design is not about the latest trend in sofas. Instead, I begin with a simple question: How do you live?" -Ilse Crawford

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pottery Barn

I received the new PB catalogue today and found some fab items I thought I'd share. Although I'd never want to create a space that's completely made of Pottery Barn (too matchy matchy), they do have some fantastic furniture and accessories, as well as great inspiration photos!

The crisp white Bridget Mirror & Rustic Elm Mirror which would look cool if you stacked (4) on a large wall (they;re 36" square).

I like the semi hand painted look of the Somerset Striped Cabinet; These large scale Napa Lanterns would look great on a family room cocktail table or outside! You can also hang them.

The Priscilla Daybed is hand painted and lightly distressed for a casual, timeworn look.

I want one of these Arlington Armchairs (shown in green apple tile print)! I love the crisp geometric pattern. The interlocking Iron Circles wall art measures 28"h and 40"w!

Queen Anne Chair - available in 7 colors and lightly distressed, this traditional chair has an updated look that you could mix with a modern table.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

ma maison

I decided to do a post on my little apartment here in Orange County, CA. My husband and I moved in last June and the place is slowly but surely coming together.
My little "corner" office in our family room. The Audrey Hepburn canvas is from Ikea.
I love fresh flowers! I cut these from the little planter on my balcony and placed them in this cute little chandelier mug. Who says you have to use a vase?

Family Room Before...everything was beige galore! However, I was very excited about the crown moulding.
Family Room After! We painted the main wall a warm mocha color to accent the room. I wanted to keep with a fairly neutral color scheme because I get tired of things quickly. This way I can change it up with new pillows and accessories. We had the sectional custom made and the pillows are a mix from Crate and Barrel and Ikea. The small espresso stained coffee table is from Ikea's actually not that bad for a $60 table! I still want to get an area rug to bring in some texture and depth.

I love having these tall windows - they let in a lot of light and keep our apartment bright and cheerful! I opted for simple side panels in an off white linen fabric.

Funky little counter stools from Palecek; Stack of magazines (I have stacks and stacks everywhere!!!); My cookbook collection - I love to cook; Oliver bathing in the sun on our balcony.
Our bedroom...this is one area that still needs some help. We don't have an actual bedroom set so I use an Indonesian trunk, which I found at a swap meet a few years ago, as my nightstand. It's nice because it stores extra blankets and linens. The bedding is from Macy's Hotel Collection (wedding gift) and the piece of art was free from a past job! We painted the walls a soft gray-aqua color that's really quite soothing.


This great little website, shopSCAD, exclusively features the artwork and designs of students, faculty, staff and alumni of the Savannah College of Art and Design. It's a great way for "soon-to-be-discovered" artists and designers to display and sell their work. What a fabulous idea! Starting from the top: Let Me Go necklace; Totes for Notes; Nest Card stationery; shopSCAD lipbalm - handmade and comes in 4 yummy flavors; shopSCAD fizzing bath melt - available in rosemary mint, green tea and lavender basil. Click here to view lots more fantastic items from these very talented artists!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Fawn Galli

Recently featured in Domino Magazine's domino 10, designer Fawn Galli, is truly an inspiration! By mixing old and new, vintage and modern, she creates unique and memorable interiors. Shown here are photos of her Brooklyn brownstone. Enjoy! (P.S. - I'm on a business trip to sunny Palm Springs until Thursday, so check back at the end of the week for more fabulous posts!).

To see more of her amazing work, click here. Photo credits: Domino Magazine.

John Derian Company Inc.

John Derian creates beautiful decoupaged plates, platters, lamps, bowls, vases, etc. He combines elements of the many things he collects into unique eccentric collages, which are reprinted and pieced together in layers under glass accessories. His designs are lovely. Shown above are photographs from his booth at the NY Gift show and retail shop, The John Derian Company, which carries table linens, antiques, imports, and quilts alongside his decoupage.
Photo credits: John Derian Company Inc. (website).


Wonderful finds from Marimekko! Spring fabrics, clothing and handbags that are vibrant, bold and beautiful! Marimekko is based out of Finland and continues to be a leading clothing and textile company, manufacturing high quality clothing, interior fabrics, etc.

Click here for a shop locator. All images from

Art Gallery

I was browsing a few art sites and discovered some really cool pieces that I thought I share...

Artist Niccole Ugay. Featured pieces (clockwise from top left): a) Life Attracts Life, b) Love, c) Dolce, d) Beauty
Artist Aaron Jasinsky. Featured pieces: a) Absinthe Minded 2, b) Urban Angel 2, c) Portrait of Cat