April 30, 2009

Party Time!

I love love love cute stationary, and whenever I look at it, I always wish I wrote more letters or threw more parties!

So of course I fell for these lovelies created by Paperless Post.
Paperless Post is a new online invitation site similar to Evite, but so much chicer!

The invites resemble fine stationary complete with engraved-looking type, calligraphy, card stock options, and envelopes that open with just a click!
Guests can even RSVP with petite response cards!

Members of the website can send up to 12 invites a month for no charge. For bigger parties, users must purchase a "virtual" stamp per invite (a pack of 60 cost $5)

Photo Credits: Paperless Post, W Magazine

April 29, 2009

Out of the Closet

Lacking closet space?

I thought this was a pretty creative AND aesthetically pleasing way to add more clothing storage!

Photo Credits:Me Melodia

April 28, 2009

ACK Love

I've been thinking recently how much I would love to move to Nantucket for the summer. It's just that time of year that I used to pack up my college dorm room, and head to the island to work for the summer. Ohh those were the days!! shopping in town down the cobblestone streets...

beach picnics and fishing out at Great Point.. It's just so beautiful and relaxing!

And naturally when I start thinking about how much I love it there, I start looking at the real estate....

And I want this one!!! honestly I'd take any house with shingle siding and a widows walk.. but I'm a real sucker for huge decks...

and I LOVE pools.. and my god, this view of Nantucket Harbor!!! Why would anyone sell this place!?!? Ohh right, because it's listed for $8.5 million with J Pepper Frazier. In my fantasy world where I'd buy this house, it's perfect, because I wouldn't be happy just moving into a place unless I could do a few of my own design updates - and I think I would whiten up the kitch a bit, change the granite counter tops to marble. I love this room! The blue and white feels so Nantucket and I like the ceiling detail. The stair cases are beautiful. And apparently the house also has an elevator... how wild is that!?

I die!

I'd live pretty much anywhere to spend a summer on Nantucket again.. but I do really love this house!

Photo Credits: Flickr, Nantucket.Net, House: J Pepper Frazier

April 27, 2009

Beautiful Brides, Beautiful Home

Monique Lhuillier, the designer behind these gorgeous wedding dresses...

...is also the owner of this gorgeous home. She, along with her husband and CEO of her fashion house, and her young son Jack, recently underwent an 18 month renovation, which started as an attempt to update paint colors, and ended up touching all aspects of the house except for the pool where she finally called it quits!
She's done a stunning job with the home, and of course I adore the grey color scheme. Like many couturiers who spend their working hours dealing with brilliant brocades and dazzling silks, Monique explains in an Elle Decor interview, "We wanted an escape from color when we come home from the office.""It's very tonal, but I am really into textures,"
It's a given that I love these charcoal couch and chairs, but I'm also really admiring the petrified wood side table and the Donald Baechler collage above the fireplace.

The mix of modern and vintage furniture from the 1930s through the '70s is really nice. Such a good looking family in such a good looking kitchen!
I'm loving the darker color here in the study!The floor to ceiling curtains in the living spaces add elegance and height to the space. "Having separate bathrooms is the secret behind a happy marriage," the designer says of the divisions made in the master suite.
Wild wallpaper can add so much fun for a small space! I love it here, it's so unexpected.
Ooooh! Jack is such a cutie pie! And this is one of those cribs where the back side can turn into a headboard for his big boy bed...
The grey tones throughout the house create such a calm, soothing feeling, but it definitely helps to have this pergola as a place to relax outside.

Photo Credits: Dresses - Brides.com, House - Elle Decor.

April 24, 2009

Former spaces..

I love the character of old buildings that are converted into living spaces. New York offers many gorgeous apartments that were once warehouses, but there are also a lot of other beautiful conversions too!

This first apartment, located in the West Village was originally a stable built in 1909. The below picture depicts the space in it's original form. If you love the transformation, you're in luck, the apartment is on the market... that is if you have $19.5 million laying around to spend for this penthouse duplex!!! Architect Michael Haverland says "we mixed cool industrial equipment with exposed conduits and outdoor light switches with exposed steel on the stairs and windows and rich, luscious materials like walnut, to create a balance between warm and clean modern looks."This room shows what I love so much about old buildings - those ceilings and support columns add so much detail to the apartment. I'm loving the play of cool (concrete) versus warm (maple) materials in the dining room.
Looking at this apartment has made me start craving steel casement windows! They're so gorgeous here.

This next apartment, was originally built has a synagogue, but over the years, it also housed an underwear factory, a shower-curtain factory, the neighborhood still, a Chinese laundry, and a fabric store. The owners, Thomas Nozkowski, a painter, and his wife Joyce Robins, a sculptor, weren't looking for a cool place to live, but just somewhere cheap where they could both have studio space, and wow, have they lucked out!
Nozkowski and Robins hauled out five truckloads of trash and did most of the renovations, on a budget of $3,000. Renovations that included removing the dropped ceiling that covered the sky light and windows.
I love those balconies over looking the first floor and that sky light is an amazing feature. “The prayer books exude from the woodwork,” says Robins. Jewish tradition dictates “you are not allowed to dispose of them; they have to be buried,” she says. “So the congregation stuffed them in the walls. I collect them. I’m keeping them safe.

And for more blogging fun, hop on over to Hooked on Houses for a blog party!

Photo Credits: New York Magazine

April 23, 2009

Mini Home Makeover

Three years ago when I moved into my apartment, I bought a Lilly Pulitzer quilt and shams, and a green duvet cover. I loved it for about 6 months, and have hated it ever since. But, if I changed my decor every single time I got bored with it, I'd be completely broke! So I've had to stick with some of my "bad" decisions and have learned to evaluate every clothing and home purchase with the question "will I REALLY still want this in a year?"

As much as I would love to do a whole bedroom makeover, it's just not worth it right now as I may move within the next 4 months...
But, I realized that the part that was annoying me the most was the matching green duvet cover.. so I just took it off, and right now I have just the white duvet, and it looks SOOOO much better! Cleaner, fresher, not so matchy matchy.

So that's it, I removed one thing, at no cost at all, and now the room feels so much better! Is this the room that I would pick if I could completely redecorate.. NO! but I can live with it, and even like it! Sometimes all a room needs is 1 simple tweak to change it from a frustration to a livable space.

(And YES, my bedroom really is that small... that's NYC for you!)

Photo Credits: my camera phone - so please excuse the terrible quality!!

Fashion Faux Pas

My dad is a coach and athletic director, so there's always a lot of ESPN on at home, and while I was there the other day, I kept seeing this story about how the Washington Nationals baseball team misspelled their own name on their jerseys. Each time they would show pictures, I just couldn't help but laugh...

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN!? I suggest they get a new stylist! Rachel Zoe would never let them go out looking like this.

And while we're talking sports, I have to share the best advice I've ever heard. If you cringe knowing that your boyfriend, husband, etc, is going to disappear into the world of their favorite sports team for an entire season... start a fantasy team! If you were bored watching games before, now you have a reason to follow it, and when you win, you can go shopping!

Photo Credits: FanIQ.com

April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

The last time I really remember celebrating Earth Day, I was in kindergarten. As part of the celebration we received small evergreen trees to bring home. I planted mine in the yard, and it turned brown and died shortly thereafter.

I'm loving that there are so many beautiful eco-friendly decorating options available these days. With so many choices, you don't have to sacrifice style to create a green home.

Hopefully these earth friendly decorating ideas will be a little more helpful than my dead tree!

Cork is an eco-friendly flooring option that is as durable as hard wood. I love it in this kitchen because it adds dimension and texture in a neutral palette. It also adds cushion underfoot - which would be such a bonus for my sensitive feet!
Linoleum is another earth friendly option. While it sounds like it must be made of a whole much of bad synthetic things, it's really just composed of linseed oil, discarded wood flour and limestone dust. I thought that this kitchen showed a way to use linoleum in a fun, stylish way. The broad bands of color widen this narrow space.
This hallway shows an antique table sitting on a wood floor reclaimed from an old building. The walls were hand brushed with a chemical-free white wash. Sometimes the easiest (and cheapest) way to be green is to just reuse and repurpose existing materials. This cute living room features a hemp covered love seat finished with organic cotton twill tape, a coffee table covered in fabric made from the fast growing arrowroot. And don't worry, being earth friendly doesn't mean you have to miss out on the deer head trend; This one is made out of bass wood!
When I first saw this room, it took me a second to figure out what I was looking at; it's a glass wall! More natural light means less need for electricity. But what a novel concept for apartments without a lot of windows?! (There are curtains for privacy). This room is part of the first house in Illinois to earn gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED for homes) certification. The home incorporates photovoltaic cells, a green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, and recycled materials. To read more about it, click HERE for the article in Metropolitan Home.

You also don't have to make sacrifices to have an eco-friendly vacation. These pictures below are from Solage Calistoga, a resort in Napa Valley that utilizes many green designs.

The pool minimizes chlorine levels by using an ozone-based system to keep water clean, which mean yay! - no green hair or dry skin!
The bath products at the spa are made locally, using natural, raw ingredients and no preservatives.
The restaurant serves locally grown, organic produce, meats and wine. Carbon filtered water is served eliminating the need for bottled water. Rooms and common spaces are furnished using natural materials such as wool, jute, and hemp. Bamboo and reclaimed cedar, both sustainable materials are used for flooring. Amenities are made locally and delivered in bulk-size containers for dispenser refilling, so I guess you can't snag any extra shampoo to bring home!The resort offers bicycles for guests to tour the resort and ride into town. The bikes are also the main source of transportation for the staff.

What a fabulous place to take a vacation, and how much more relaxing knowing the strides they've taken to reduce their impact on the environment.

For more info on green design at Solage Calistoga, click HERE

Photo Credits:1-4 Domino, 5 Metropolitan Home, 6-10 Traditional Home.