Friday, July 29, 2011

Smitten | Golden Wheat

Smitten doesn't even begin to explain how I feel about AurĂ©lie Bidermann's wheat jewelry...more like obsessed.  Aurelie brings simplicity and luxury to this organic motif by drying out real wheat then dipping it in gold. I love the idea of wearing something real. And I'll admit, the fact that wheat is the symbol of prosperity makes this collection all the more desirable. I'd like one of each but if I had to choose I think the ring worn by Vogue Fashion Writer Esther Adams is quite divine.
Images: 1, 2

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Jaguar Velours Soie

An enduring favorite of decorators, pick up just about any good design magazine and you'll see some type animal print.  Among the best known and my personal favorite is Clarence House's Jaguar Velours Soie, a silk velvet that is hand woven in Venice.  You may recall from yesterday's post that Ted Tuttle used the fabric throughout his beautiful and sublime home.  The luxurious velvet popped against his crisp white walls and upholstery...but as I've said before, animal print is a neutral and really goes with just about any pattern and color.  I would die for the two chairs in the Miles Redd designed room pictured above.  Unfortunately at a staggering $600-a-yard I can only dream of laying my head down on even the smallest of pillows.  So for now I'll admire it from afar and add it to my ultimate wish list....
Jaguar Velours Soie seat cushions with a vintage suzani tablecloth in a Miles Redd designed dining room 
Miles also used it for pillows throughout this house featured in Town and Country
Nick Olsen used a small pillow to pop against a purple chair in the July issue of House Beautiful...
he also used it in his own home, featured in Lonny
Tory Burch (above) and Palmer Weiss (below) both used the fabric with a green sofa - love this look!
Images: 1-3, 4, 5, 6, 7

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

White Out

To paint or not to paint, that is the question and currently my new home dilemma.  I moved into my apartment almost a month ago and I'm starting to think I could live there until I'm ready to buy a place. When I signed the lease one of the first questions I asked was if I was allowed to paint the current white walls (seen here). The owner said yes, as long as I repaint them white when I move out....what a hassle, right? Who wants to live with white walls...Not I! Or so I thought until I saw this gorgeous home designed by Ted Tuttle.
He used Benjamin Moore’s Super White on all the walls and trim and it looks incredible. This particular shade of white, he believes, has a lot of depth and is “still as rich at night as it is in the morning.” So what's a girl to do? Do I keep the white walls and add depth and interest with things I can take with me when I move or paint and have it repainted when I move out? That whole temporary 'I'm-not-going-to-change-a-thing-for-the-next-three-years' thing drives me nuts but so does the thought of having to pay someone to paint twice. What do you think? I'm torn!
Photographs by John Granen for Elle Decor July 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Currently Coveting | Twist A Twill

These ‘Twist A Twill’ wool blankets, by Danish designer Tina Ratzer, are gorgeous!  I think the dark green or gray one would look perfect in my living room.  It may be hot and HUMID in Chicago today but I know the chilly fall weather is just around the corner...

Monday, July 25, 2011

Brace Yourself

I'm trying to decide what to do with the large wall behind my dining room table. The space isn't big enough for a piece of furniture and there isn't much room in the budget for a large/expensive piece art.  I want something with big impact so I'm thinking a grouping of wall brackets might look nice. I like the look of Miles Redd's design pictured above. He used plaster wall brackets to display Celadon vases from Middle Kingdom. I like the repetition and how the monochromatic vases add depth to the wall. Steven Gambrel also used plaster brackets in his design pictured below.  Although nice, there's something about the arrangement that is throwing me off...maybe the lack of symmetry.
Celerie Kemble used acrylic wall brackets from plexi-craft to display a group of small potted plants.  I like how they sort of disappear and make it look like the plants are floating.  Plexi-craft sell these shelves in a variety of sizes on their website.  At $12/each, it would be fairly inexpensive to recreate this look, I'd just have to kind a way to keep the plants alive...
(Images: 1, 2, 3)

Friday, July 22, 2011

My Topiary's Twin

I bought this topiary at Jayson Home and Garden a few weeks ago and it seems to be holding up quite well considering my fellow forgot to water it while I was in Maine. I think it adds the perfect dose of sophistication to my kitchen counter. I've had a thing for topiaries since I was a kid so I was pretty pumped when I spotted my topiary's twin in the new issue of Lonny.  Great minds think alike ;)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Design Hunter | Portland, Maine

I had great hopes of driving along one of Maine's antique trails but there just wasn't enough time. We did, however, spend a few hours exploring downtown Portland. First stop, Folly 101. I could've spent hours in this store. The merchandise is grouped by color and, as you can probably tell by my pictures, I contemplated buying everything in the neutral/gray section. I was shocked at how reasonably priced everything was. I bought two "silver" picture frames for $10...nuts I tell ya. I also purchased four linen placemats and dinner napkins that I plan to have monogrammed.
Next up, Blanche and Mimi.  I'm kicking myself for not purchasing the beautiful wrought iron and carrara marble garden conservatory table that you can see in the window. It was in better shape than this one for sale at Canvas and cost a quarter of the price. Would have made for a great nightstand or entry table.
Gorgeous Les Indiennes bedding.may make and appearance in one of my aunt's guest bedrooms
We went to Simply Home twice in four days.  The first time scoped things out then went back on Monday to look at sofas and order a chandelier for the dining room. I envy the owner of this showroom. They have a great selection of products including Lee industries, Farrow & Ball wallpaper and visual comfort can check out the entire list here. One day I'd looove to own a design studio/store like this. sigh.
I love the lines of this Verellen sofa - clean and simple.
Images by kristin kerr for simply smitten

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Weekend in Maine

I just returned from the most incredible long weekend in Maine. I ate lobster, explored downtown Portland, and even squeezed in a few hours at the beach. It was a fun working vacation. Yes, there was lots of work to be had. For the past two years I have been working with my aunt to help design her dream home. I started the project while I was still in school and although they have lived in the home for a few months we're just starting the fun part - decorating! This was my first time seeing the house and it was nothing short of amazing. Although I did not have complete control over the project many of my designs, ideas, and elevations were used and it was great to see them come to life. I would say that my aunt and I are on different ends of the style spectrum but with time we have found a way to meet in the middle. Of course there are things that I would have done different but it's not my house and I certainly didn't pay for it! So, two years, thousands of emails and hundreds of phone calls later we have developed a common vision for the interior of the home and it starts with this painting. Breathtaking, right?  
This painting holds a special place in my heart because my aunt and uncle purchased it while I was visiting them in Amsterdam. I know everytime they look at it they will think of their time spent living in the Netherlands. And since I think every design should start with something meaningful this gorgeous painting will be hung front and center over the built-ins I designed in the living room.
I'm going to use the colors from the painting to create soothing, coastal palette of cool blues, diftwood grays, greens and pops of orange and yellow. When I close my eyes I can picture the entire house furnished...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

A Sag Harbor Home

It seems I'm quite smitten with Sag Harbor this week. First it was Ruby Beets, then JED, now Steven Gambrel's gorgeous estate.  Last month the designer opened up the one-acre property, located on Upper Sag Harbor cove, for the Parrish Art Museum's annual garden tour.  If I would known sooner I probably would have booked a ticket to NY and shelled out $200 to participate in the "self-guided" tour.  I also would have tried to befriend S.G. and score an invite inside.  A little creepy but I've loved this home since the first time I laid eye on it.  The details are what make it so special, they all have a sense of history.  It honestly makes me think I could ditch city life and move to the country. Dinner parties in the stone barn, picnics on the lawn, antiquing in town...I just can't get enough of this former whaling town. 
Images: S.R. Gambrel

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Mellow Yellow

I'm kinda obsessed.  This lemon drop yellow Chippendale style settee would look delicious is my bedroom -- reminds me of Jenna Lyons' highly coveted sofa.  

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Ruby Beets

I'm considering planning a trip to New York just so I can go shopping at Ruby Beets.  Seriously.  I've read so much about this shop and have lusted from afar for too long - I need to see it in person.  I'm in the midst of creating a design scheme for a project I'm working on in Maine (I'm going to visit this weekend :) ) and I keep coming back to Ruby Beets' collection.  The shop, filled with "old & new", completely fits the coastal vibe I'm trying to achieve.  Below are a few of the pieces I'd love to use. 

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mission Accomplished

My weekend was a success because, despite the fact that I didn't win a single item at the Wright auction, I did buy this gorgeous brass bottle opener. I love it's simple lines and hexagon shape. Tell me -- is it not the chicest thing you've ever seen?!? I thought it would be the perfect housewarming gift for my beer-loving boyfriend. He has a thing for leaving our heinous bottle opener on the counter when he opens a beer...drives me nuts! Problem solved. This opener is so chic I actually want him to leave it out when not in use. Now all I need to do is find something to throw away his beer caps. Any suggestions?