Monday, May 23, 2011

The Art of Oscar

I’ve been meaning to post about Al Held's large scale expressionist black and white paintings for quite some time but never got around to it…then I saw Oscar de la Renta’s Resort collection – with its bold patterns and beautifully structured shapes – and couldn’t help but notice a resemblance. Uncanny, no?  I love how both Held's paintings and Oscar's prints are modern yet work so well with classic, tailored pieces. This fusion of modern and elegant is a dazzling combination I just can’t seem to get enough of...
Images:, roger davies for western interiors april ’09, design by c. renea abbott via This is Glamorous

Thursday, May 19, 2011

This + That | Moroccan Inspiration

On Tuesday I said that Elettra Wiedemann’s West Village apartment was my favorite home tour.  I spoke too soon.  Jessica Stam's home is, well, to die for.  My favorite feature is by far the beautiful hand-carved Moroccan doors leading into her bedroom.  It's hard to believe that the previous owner (a decorator from the Mandarin Oriental hotel) left these behind.  I honestly can't imagine finding such a unique feature in another home so this Myla mirror by Made Goods is a lovely alternative.  This beaut looks like it was hand-carved to resemble Ms. Stam's doors.  I picture it hung over a pedestal sink in a powder would you use it?
Photographed by Claiborne Swanson Frank for

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Why Don't You?

...upholster a folding screen?  It's a brilliant way to add volume, texture and a pop of color to a space. Coco Chanel is believed to have owned 32 folding screens, which she freely used in ways other than for what they were intended — she dressed her walls with them, like wallpaper, or used them to give structure to her private space.  In my new apartment I want to channel the warmth of this gorgeous coral screen from the J. Crew bridal boutique.  The mix of bright coral and mousy gray contrasting with the stark white is spot on.  Windsor Smith sells a lovely velvet screen in her home collection but if you're a girl on a budget, like me, check out Jenny Komenda's fabulous DIY version over at Little Green Notebook.
Images: Frank Oudeman for J.Crew

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Entry Inspiration

I love the home tour series by Lauren Santa Domingo on  I love it so much that I may just have to copy the entry set up in model Elettra Wiedemann’s >West Village apartment.  Normally I would put a console table and mirror in the entry but as you can see in the image above, the "foyer" in my new apartment is quite narrow.  Perfect for a louis xvi-style bench, if I do say so myself.
photograph: Claiborne Swanson Frank

Monday, May 16, 2011

Smitten | Katie Ermilio

I'm completely captivated by Katie Ermilio - her Fall 2011 collection is nothing if not a study in effortless chic.  With gorgeous peek-a-boo backs, exquisite tailored pleats and stunning hues of hot pink, ruby red, royal blue, and a creamy white, I can't think of a more ideal lady like wardrobe.  Katie's grandmother was Grace Kelly's personal clothier and it would seem she is carrying on her family's tradition of timeless workmanship with her own line.  I want it all!  

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mad About Hue | Brick Red + Blue

I can't seem to get enough of this punchy color palette - gorgeous blues mixed with brick red, black and a hint of green. Derek Lam’s use of dusty sky blue with red and gray made for a new, bright fall 2011 lineup and Robert Couturier perfected the palette with cobalt blue pillows and a Turkish kilim in his Manhattan living room. I'm usually not one for red but this rusty variety offers a bold contrast to more neutral tones and looks gorgeous paired with blue...who knew?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

It's Wednesday, Why Don't You...

...decorate your bookcase with vintage books and coral?  In the library above, Haynes Roberts styled white-painted bookshelves with vintage books and white coral for a rustic yet refreshing feel.  And don't you just love those 1970's barrel wicker chairs?  This feels like spring!

Green is Good

It's official, I have a home (with a dining room)!  On July 1st I'll be leaving my cozy Lincoln Park apartment and moving to River North.  It's a big change but change is good, right?  So now that that's settled, it's time to start making decor decision.  First up, the dining room!  In the 4 years since graduating college I've lived in 3 apartments, all of which have had zero space for a suitable dining room.  I honestly can't tell you how excited I am to set the table every night (a chore I hated as a kid) and eat dinner with my boyfriend.  I've been saving up to for a Saarinen table (my mom calls it a spaceship haha) and I've decided that I absolutely must have colorful Louis XVI-style dining room chairs.  Now the question remains, what color?  I really thought I wanted yellow but these green chairs used in Kelly Wearstler's Vogue photo shoot and Grant K. Gibson's San Francisco Decorator Showcase dining room have me seriously reconsidering. What color would you go with?

Monday, May 9, 2011

Lake Forest Showhouse 2011

Yesterday I had the great pleasure of touring the 2011 Lake Forest Showhouse with my Mother and sister.  Located in the picturesque historic Chicago suburb that is known for its sprawling estates and lovely manors, this year's chosen residence, Thorndale Manor, was built 1916 by renowned architect Howard Van Doren Shaw. The manor house features 25 rooms, 6 bedrooms and 5.5 bathrooms. Despite the grandeur and beauty of the manor my favorite room was actually located in the smaller (5,500 square foot) Coach House.
The Study, pictured below, was designed by Walker-Simmons Designs. I Love how the bold large-scale gingham wallpaper by Schumacher sets the tone for the room and plays off the more modern ikat pillow and cowhide ottoman. The Moorish-inspired cornices, layers of neutral accessories and skirted console soften the space while the rich tones of the pillows and tripod lamps add the perfect punch of color. I could see myself cozying up with a cup of coffee and a good book in this room which in my mind makes it a huge success.

Photos by Kristin Kerr for Simply Smitten

Friday, May 6, 2011

Oh, to be Iris

It's official, when I grow up I want to be like Iris Apfel.  Fashion icon, decorator, cofounder of Old World Weavers, "geriatric starlet" (her words), this 89-year-old woman injects her personal style with a distinct point of view and makes the effort look, well, effortless.  A true original, her Park Avenue apartment, featured in the June issue of Architectural Digest, is filled with objects as colorful, eclectic and exuberant as the accessories she wears.  Everywhere there are exquisite French chairs, books, monkeys and much, much more – all unique and acquired over time.  Can't you just image the stories that go along with her treasures?  It's inspiring beyond belief.
Images: Roger Davies for Architectural Digest, scanned and edited by moi

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Pinterest....more addictive than chocolate.  Have you tried it yet?  It's the perfect place to create an online inspiration board.  I'm hooked!  Here are a few of the random things I'm loving this week.  My favorite?  A incredible brass button tufted headboard...pinned to "Need it Now!" What are you loving/needing this week?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Why Don't You...

...cover the back of your bookcase with a copper leaf wall covering?  Whether a bookcase, a hutch, or a built in, being creative with the interior is a great way to add a little sparkle to a space and to the objects which one wishes to display. Here Steven Gambrel shows how using a contrasting reflective surface can add life to a mahogany bookcase and help showcase precious objects and beloved books.  It's Dazzling!
Image: William Waldron for Elle Decor

Monday, May 2, 2011

Bathroom Butler Tray

Raise your hand if you hate moving!  I spent the majority of my weekend a) searching for a new apartment and b) dead on the couch with food poisoning - I honestly don't know which was worse.  I have a laundry list of must haves for my new home but I've come to realize that as a renter it's unrealistic to find the perfect place.  With that said, since I'm moving in with my boyfriend I'd LOVE to find a master bathroom with a large vanity, double sinks, and a medicine cabinet- I hate nothing more than a cluttered bathroom.  Most of the places we have looked at are vintage and unfortunately the words master and vanity don't really seem to embrace the pedestal sink I will!  Here, Windsor Smith skirted her sink to hide clutter and added a butler tray for extra storage — unsightly to unbelievable, just like that!

Image: victoria pearson for house beautiful