Friday, November 30, 2012

Trimmed with Tassels

This weekend, why don't you trim your Christmas tree with homemade tassels?  Inspired by this pair of Oscar de la Renta earrings, I used a spool of silver string that I had tucked away in my craft box to make large tassel ornaments.  They look just lovely on my tree but come December 25th I plan to take them down and use them instead of bows on some of my Christmas gifts.  Below are the steps to create your own tassel-trimmed-tree:

ONE wrap the string around the palm of your hand to create a loop.  The thickness of your tassel will depend on the number of times you wrap the string around your hand--I did around 150.

TWO with the string still wrapped around your palm, take a 6 inch piece of string, feed it through the center of the loop then tie a knot to secure the pieces.

THREE remove the loop from your palm and lay it down on a flat surface. Take another 6 inch piece of string and wrap it around the bundle several times--this should be about a 1/4 inch from the top. Once you have the look you want knot the string and trim off the excess.

FOUR hold the tassel by the top string and use scissors to trim the bottom loops.

Ta-da...a tasseled tree in less than an hour!!

(images by kristin kerr for simply smitten)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Many Thanks!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I did a little rearranging around my apartment this weekend and snapped this picture of a vignette I set up on my bedside table.  One of my goals is to start sharing more original content on the blog so please bare with me as I try to perfect my photography skills!  I'm so thankful for the comments you leave on my posts so I would love it if you'd let me know what you would like to see more of here on Simply Smitten.  Any and all feedback is welcome!  See you Monday!

(Image by Kristin Kerr for Simply Smitten)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Closet + Casa | Swiss Miss

.Dotted Swiss: a sheer, crisp cotton fabric, embellished with woven, flocked, or embroidered dots. 

Although my J.Crew swiss dot sweater is no longer available you can get the look in your casa with this very stylish and affordable duvet cover.  I'm planning on buying the shams and mixing them with my gray linen duvet.  This whole look reminds me of Nicole Cohen and her fabulous Tobia Scarpa chairs--it's a classic pattern that feels oh so modern!

Monday, November 19, 2012

My Weekend in Pictures

I was thrilled to see these Lulie Wallace paintings hanging in Anthroplogie! I had seen Lulie's work online but now after seeing it in person I can say I'm completely obsessed. From the vibrant color palettes to the bold brush­strokes and geomet­ric forms, they are just perfection!
I have not taken off these Gap loafers since I bought them.  I love the way they look with my Cabernet toothpick cords.  Can you say Fall uniform?
My vintage credenza was finally delivered!  I can't find a good "before" picture but image a very unattractive brown wood.  I had the piece stripped then stained ebony--I wanted it to have a Jacques Adnet feel so I added some blinging brass ring pulls in the center of the doors.
Business on the outside and party on the inside!  The interior was painted a shocking citron yellow.  Oh and have I mentioned that I'm a magazine hoarder?
I took this picture of the Chicago Botanic Gardens when I was a junior in high school...10 years later I finally framed it and hung it up next to my new credenza.
And on Sunday I celebrated Thanksgiving with all of my best friends.  I am so very lucky to have such a close knit group of friends here in Chicago.  We have been celebrating Thanksgiving every year since we graduated college and although people have moved away and relationships have changed it's the once day a year we all make an concerted effort to attend and catch up.  I love it.  Thanks for hosting Lynch!  Oh and that's just a small glimpse at her fabulous apartment!

How was your weekend?  I feel like I have so much to do before Thanksgiving on Thursday but I like to think I work better under pressure!  What do you have planned for this short holiday week?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Happy Friday!

Wow, what a week!  Can you believe it's almost Thanksgiving?  I had planned on sharing a Turkey Day tablescape post today but life got in the way.  I'm rushing out the door to go check on my newly refinished credenza (I posted about it here and it's finally being delivered tomorrow!) so be sure to check back on Monday to see some before and after shots!  And if time is on my side, I'm going to try my very hardest to post my last-minute Thanksgiving tablescape ideas later today or tomorrow.  In the mean time, here is a lovely little vignette that I recently snapped a picture of while shopping for a client.  The green malachite, yellow, and black and white color palette is a nice little follow-up to yesterday's post, right?  TGIF!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Mad About Hue | Emerald

.Emerald + Tan In my mind Miroslava Duma can do no wrong--that tan and emerald color-blocked shell is killer and instantly reminded me of the leather pedestal sink and dramatic Fornasetti Malachite wallpaper in Nate Berkus' powder room.
.Emerald + Navy Why is Emma Stone so stinking cute?  The Burberry emerald sequin skirt and navy peplum top that she wore to the CFDA Fashion Fund awards this week is going to serve as inspiration for my holiday ensemble. This rich combination also makes for a warm and welcoming kitchen like this one à la Lars Bolander.
.Emerald + Yellow Valentina Siragusa from Factory Style Blog accented her black and white dress with a pop of emerald and yellow.  Designers Courtney Coleman and Bill Brockschmidt used a similar scheme in this moody Manhattan bedroom.

Did anyone else watch Flipping Out this week?  I loved the scene when Jeff's Grandmother described herself as a "fall color person".  There have been times when I've jumped onto the pastel color train but and the end of the day I'm a fall color lover through and through.  Emerald is currently the fall color at the top of my list because I just I love that it's bold and fun without being flashy. Above are a few emerald items I'd love to incorporate into my wardrobe and home. What type of color person are you?

Fornasetti: The Complete Universe | Missoni green bar glasspillow | Gold and emerald thin ring | Suede and leather satchelMined stone knob | Diptyque Holiday Candle | Decorative chain link | Silk screen printed paper by Lalkonik

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Design Guide | Headboards

It feels like I've been working on decorating my bedroom for so long now--I just haven't been able to make up my mind about a headboard! As you can see from the images above, the options are endless: square, curved, nailheads, no nailheads, fabric, color, height...the list goes on and on. Last Christmas by parents gave me money to buy a headboard (that money is long gone) and now, after almost a year of thinking about the style I've finally made up my mind. So dramatic, I know, but I want something classic and that will stand the test of time. Maybe I'm the only one out there with this issue but just in case I'm not, I thought I would share my design process:

.shape I'm going with a classic square shape. I considered my boyfriend in this decision--I thought about doing a triple arch but in the end it just seemed a little too feminine and trendy. A classic square shape makes a statement and can easily be changed up over time with a simple slipcover or by placing a beautiful antique textile down the center.

.dimensions High headboards are in and I get the appeal but knew I wanted to hang one large piece of art over the bed. I went back and forth about the height so I finally just taped a faux headboard on the wall (see above) and lived with it for a week--the visual representation made it click. Based on the height of my mattress, pillows, bedside tables/lamps and want to hang art I decided to make my headboard 57" high.

.fabric One word, solid. There are two reasons why I didn't want to use a pattern 1) I want my bedroom to be relaxing...the thought of hating the pattern a year from now would give me anxiety and cause sleep deprivation. 2) A standard queen headboard is 61" wide, standard fabric is 55" wide--matching the pattern can be tricky and expensive because you have to buy additional yardage. So solid it is--linen, cotton, velvet, it's really up to you.

.nailheads Since I don't want my headboard to be completely boring I've decided to add a double "x" pattern across the front. I thought about tufting but I have a tufted ottoman and I swear those tufts produce their own lint--I literally have to vacuum that thing twice a week. So again, back to the relaxing bedroom thing, the thought of having to vacuum my headboard twice a week would likely give me anxiety and cause sleep deprivation.

So there you have it, my guide to picking out the perfect headboard! Feel free to leave any additional pointers in the comments section below!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Smitten | Ilse Crawford for Georg Jensen

Intrigued by the nature of daily rituals, Ilse Crawford created a functional yet poetic line of products for Danish brand Georg Jensen. The collection, built around this concept of daily ritual, includes two bowls, two vases, three boxes and a candleholder, designed to house objects deemed special by virtue of their daily use. To explain this concept filmmaker Justin Anderson follows the water jug, metallic bowl and candleholder through a choreographed series of daily rituals in the whimsical short film above. Ilse's designs add beauty to even the most mundane tasks and with the holiday's right around the corner what could be better than giving the gift of everyday beauty? I've added the candleholder to Christmas list--which object do you like best?

(Images via Yvonne Kone, Georg Jensen)

Monday, November 12, 2012

My Weekend in Pictures

I started down a new path in my life last week and set up shop at my dining room table.  There are check lists galore going on over here.
A new path means establishing new spending habit but I just had to treat myself to one last splurge.  This YSL clutch has been on my lust list for quite some time and I can finally say it's mine.
I set a new personal record and was fifth in line at the Jayson Home warehouse sale!  It was crazy crowded but there were incredible deals to be had.
I didn't purchase anything for myself but I did find this gorgeous settee and vintage pillow for my sister.
I spotted this Elizabeth Peyton book at J.Crew and was instantly drawn to the rich colors on the cover.
Paul and I went to dinner at Silver Palm.  Anthony Bourdain declared their Three Little Pigs Sandwich the "greatest sandwich in America" and I couldn't agree more!
On Sunday we went to the Bears game.  All fashion rules get thrown out the door when you tailgate in the pouring rain for two hours.  The Bears lost but I still had an absolute blast!

How was your weekend?

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Why Don't You...

Why don't you frame vintage thread charts and hang them in your closet? I was instantly captured by the pop of color that the vintage charts pictured above added to the J.Crew bridal boutique's neutral gray dressing room.  Feminine and unique with a sense of history...really, what's not to love? Jayson Home currently has 10 framed vintage French charts for sale but if you're like me and like the hunt keep your eye out for some on ebay or the next time you hit up a flea market! Très chic.

(Image by Kristin Kerr Luber)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Bugging Out

I fell hard the first time I saw this photograph of Elsa Schiaparelli wearing a black stole and an oversized insect pin.  The photo was taken in 1952 and now it seems that insect bijoux are crawling back into fashion.  I was looking through street style photos from the couture shows that took place in Paris earlier this year and amongst all of the chicly dressed people the one stylish creature that stood out above them all was a larger-than-life beetle bedecked with pearls and an opulent iridescent coat.  Delfina Delettrez created the playful piece for Shala Monroque, who pinned the eye-catching metallic insect to all but one of her outfits that week.  It was this bold statement that brought each and every one of her looks to life. I'm bugging and Jason Wu is too--his resort 2013 collection was topped with Swarovski bug taxidermy.  I'm thinking about adding this Delettrez bee brooch to my fall wardrobe--it would look great pinned to my coat.

And I've always loved the look of natural curiosities at home. The other day while browsing West Elm I was immediately drawn to a pair of framed butterflies they're offering from artist Christopher Marley of Pheromone. The Pheromone collection at West Elm is limited but their own site offers a stunning variety of specimens from butterflies to beetles, geodes, urchins, and more. I normally find the idea of framed insects a little creepy, but I must admit, the butterflies displayed in the living room above are more pretty than freaky. But if you still find the idea of putting dead butterflies on you shelves (and really - who could blame you?) how about displaying this brass fly or hanging this vintage brass beetle sconce from Jayson Home?

(Images via Street Peeper,  Jason Wu)