Sick Day

Taking another sick day today.  I wish I had a night mask with eyelashes like Holly Golightly to make me feel better.  Sigh... Anyway, stay tuned for more beautiful things to come!!

Vogue Russia December 2010 via FashionGoneRogue

"You've got to have style.  It helps you get out bed in the morning."
-Diana Vreeland
 If only I looked this glamorous when ill...

Starburst Mirrors

It's no secret I'm obsessed with starburst mirrors.  I have one in my living room and one over my bed... I still want more!  To me, a starburst mirror is the ultimate wall decor for the modern sophisticate.

Nickel Starburst from Global Views

Whether you are traditional, contemporary, or even rustic there is a starburst mirror for you!   Take a look at the following collection of photos to see what I mean:

Kelly Wearstler

Kelly Wearstler table accessories for Bergdorf Goodman's

Suzanne Kasler
(So much more style than if a traditional mirror was hung over the chest, don't you think?)
Suzanne Kasler

Metropolitan Home

Sarah Richardson
(my dream bathroom)

Sarah Richardson
(The PERFECT starburst mirror, in my opinion.  I may have to purchase this before too long...)

Nickel Starburst pulls via NestInteriorDesign

Nickel Starburst pulls via NestInteriorDesign
(I really want to know their source for these.  Let me know if you know!)

Suzanne Kasler via Elle Decor
Italian Giltwood Circa 1930 via 1stDibs

Decor Pad
 Next time you have an empty space on your wall, consider adding a little polish and sophistication with a starburst!

A Very Tiffany Christmas

Whew! I survived Black Friday weekend.  Remind me to not work retail when I'm looking for my next job... I'm going to take today off to be sick and maybe put up a Christmas decoration or two.  I'll leave you with wishes that this upcoming Christmas season brings you happiness, joy, and lots of beauty!

Images via Tiffany and Co.

Can This Be Made Into A Room? NYTimes Winter 2010

One of the only good things about Winter is that it's an excuse to really dress fashionably.  It's a time to cover up and layer, which is something you just can't do when it's 80 degrees out.  To celebrate this change for the more fashionable, I'm designing a room inspired by this photo from the Winter edition of NYTimes Style Magazine.   Isn't it just ethereal? 

Winter Photo Shoot  for The New York Times Style Magazine.

I would use this look in a large living room with vaulted ceilings, two story windows and a large cast stone fireplace with a herringbone firebox.  I would flank the fireplace with two natural linen chesterfields (RestorationHardware) to add a clean fresh base for the room.  Chesterfields are definitely THE classiest sofas in history and will never date (good tip if you are looking to invest in a new sofa!).  Under the chesterfields, I would add a large and luxe sheepskin rug ( in tones of grey.  You know I'm a fan of fur!  Remember when I mentioned in this post about my Grandma being one of the most chic women I have ever known?  Well, she had a small sheep skin rug by the side of her bed and when I would go and visit, I remember laying on it after a long soak in her large garden tub.  It's one of my favorite memories of that home.  Anyway, I digress...

I interpret the rustic fence in the inspiration photo as naturally weathered woods.  I would add a vintage Indian cart (RestorationHardware) as a cocktail table and a x-based console (Arteriors) that reminds me of an old hitching post.  Include some cool wood pieces like a chunky log end table, a gnarly driftwood floor lamp, and some whimsical candlesticks (all from Arteriors) for rustic-ness. For the girly-ness of the chiffon dress, I would load the chesterfields full of delicate dusty pink pillows, all in different textures, all extremely feminine (and all from Eastern Accents) and add shimmering accents like the mercury glass hurricanes and a brass lotus flower (Arteriors).  The polished metals juxtaposed with the hearty woods will incorporate so much interest and personality in the space!  What vaulted-ceiling room would be complete without a chandelier?  The Durango 12 Light Chandelier from Arteriors tops off our feminine-rustic-winter-inspired room beautifully!

All I Want For Christmas, Part Deux

I may have lied a little when I said all I want for Christmas is a man's gold watch.  I may want more design books, too.  I don't know of a designer who isn't obsessed with design books.  We pile them EVERYWHERE.  Examples:

Charlotte Moss at her desk.  Notice the piles of design books behind her. Doesn't it make you feel better that a woman of such class can work in such chaos?  I've heard the most creative people are the least organized.  At least this is what I tell myself to make me feel better about my clutter...

Alexa Hampton's Dining Table

Kelly Wearstler's Desk
(I think she tidied up before this pic was taken because she's one of the most creative people I know of!)
So here's my personal wish list to add to my collection for the holiday season: (click on image to view more info at Amazon)

Les Musts De Cartier

I know, I know, I haven't bought it yet...

Love me some Dorothy Draper.  I used her chest in my LV room, remember?

Gorgeous cover and I hear the content is amazing, too!

Forward by Kelly Wearstler!
What are you asking Santa for?

Happy Thanksgiving!

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the hightest appreciation
is not to utter words, but to live by them." 
-John F. Kennedy
image via Martha Stewart, edited by Brooke Jones

I am so very grateful for my faithful readers and I wish you all a very happy and safe Thanksgiving! 

Go Dark Or Not To Go Dark, That Is The Question.

I think I may have confused some readers with yesterday's post about going dark in a room, and understandably so.  There are so many different opinions about how dark one should go in a room.  Nine times out of ten, your everyday Joe will tell you to go light, which is great especially if you are concerned with re-sale value.  When a buyer is looking at your home the first thing they notice about a room is how light it is and the lighter the better!   This is why you need to paint rooms in lighter neutrals, pull open your drapes and turn on all your light sources when you show a house.  Light = Sales! (This is where builder's beige comes from.)

But what if you're not trying to sell your home?  How dark should you go?  I think it depends on a few things:

1. What kind of atmosphere are you trying to create?  Light and airy, sleek and moody, or somewhere in between?

2.  How much time do you spend in the space?  If it's a family room you spend a lot of time in during the day, you may not want to go for a dark saturated ambiance.  But a media room where you only watch movies on the weekends?  Go as dark as you dare!  Because a media room isn't a main living area, you won't grow as tired of the bold color. 

3.  What time of day do you use the room?  A breakfast nook used in the morning should be bright and cheery to welcome the new day, but if that same nook is only used to entertain guests at night, embrace the dark side! 

4. How much natural light does the room receive?  If a room has large beautiful south-facing windows I wouldn't try to compete with the sun by using dark colors or make it radio active by using bright colors.  A soft light color is appropriate here.  Recently, though, I was helping a client with a paint color for their basement hallway which had absolutely no natural light.  They were brave, took my advise and went with a dark chocolate, much to their neighbor's and painter's chagrin.  Now that it is finished, they get tons of compliments on how sharp it looks and they couldn't be happier with our choice (even the painter admitted it looked good!).   It worked because we embraced the lack of natural light and it's a transitional space where you don't spend a lot of time.  Another example, if you remember, was Katie Ridder's entryway for this year's Kips Bay Showhouse- saturated color with lots of pattern!

Despite popular belief, dark colors don't always make a little room seem tiny.  A lot of time dark colors do the opposite by diminishing boundaries, which I tried to explain in yesterday's post.  When a room is dark, it makes the objects that are not dark POP so that becomes the focus, not the boundaries.  Does that make sense?  Here's a few examples of dark rooms that POP:

Ralph Lauren Brook Street Collection

Elle Decor

Elle Decor
They key to all of these rooms is CONTRAST.  Beautiful, elegant contrast. 

A few more tips when it comes to selecting a paint color:

1. Don't be a slave to fashion trends.  Most people think they need to paint every wall in their favorite color du jour, but what they don't realize is that the walls are just backdrops to their favorite things.  So if you like turquoise, you don't have to paint your room to look like a Tiffany's gift box.  Painting your walls a charcoal or chocolate will make your turquoise drapes and lamps POP!

2. Always make a room that looks like the person living in it.  Nothing is worse than a room that doesn't feel like "you."  Your house will never feel like a home otherwise.

3.  I left this one for last because I can't stress it enough.  NEVER EVER EVER choose a paint from a chip. EVER!  Always buy testers in a variety of colors.  An easy way to do this is to take the color you think you want, then get samples in a few shades lighter and darker.  Paint LARGE swatches on your wall, live with them for a day or two and come back to them in morning light and evening light before you make your decision.  It is well worth the extra $20 in sample paint now then the extra $50-100 in paint plus labor costs for your painter or your personal time if you are a DIYer.  Here's a pic of my paint swatches I used in my Master Suite:

I ended up going with the lighter of the two swatches so my espresso stained furniture would contrast, not blend.

So do you agree with me or disagree?  Did this help clarify things or did I just confuse you more?  I'd love to hear your feedback!

P.S.  I thought I'd give you a little encore of my all time favorite dark room, Kelly Wearstler's kitchen:

Can This Be Made Into A Room? Harry Potter, Ministry of Magic

I, along with hundreds of thousands of others, saw the new installment of Harry Potter this past weekend.  Did anyone else notice that all the bad guys had the best interiors?  Maybe it was just me.  But the Ministry of Magic?  Come on.  It was the most sleek, stunning, and moody space I have ever seen.  I had a hard time paying attention to the plot because I was so mesmerized by the set!   Let's see if I can recreate the look for the everyday Muggle.

All above images from

Because all of the black is so dramatic, there are only a few rooms in your home where you could pull this look off. Think powder rooms, laundry rooms, formal dining rooms, and other rooms where you don't spend a lot of time.  I wouldn't recommend tiling a formal dining room in high-gloss tile, but I would recommend wrapping a dining room in a black tone-on-tone Greek key wallpaper (DesignYourWalls).  There are two schools of thought when it comes to going uber dark in a room: it either closes a room in, or makes a room seem larger.  I tend to lean towards the latter.  When walls are that dark, they seems to disappear into the background, expanding a space.  Don't be scared of saturated color!  To continue the geometric motif, I would layout a gold and black Greek key rug (Surya) in the center of the room and then soften these hard visual lines with black dupioni silk drapes (HalfPriceDrapes).

For the furnishings in this room I wanted to go traditional and lacquered with lots of gilding.  1st Dibs, as always, came to the rescue!   The table is Louis XVI from France (with the hefty price tag of $24,000! This is definitely a fantasy room) and the side chairs are hand painted klismos Colefax & Fowler chairs, all circa 1940's.  I'd swap out the leopard upholstery (shocker, I know) for some luxurious pleated gold silk (Duralee) to keep with the gold and black theme.  Now this is where it gets exciting.  I found the most PERFECT chairs to use as captains chairs.  I don't think I could have custom designed more appropriate chairs!  They are 19th century English gilt-wood armchairs with ebonized owl-form arm supports and upholstered in black silk.  Here, let's take a closer look:

Aren't you just dieing over these?  Amore.   And what would a formal dining room be without a bar?  I would add Suzanne Kasler's tuxedo cabinet (HickoryChair) to add some drama and height and flank it with gold sconces with black shades (PotteryBarn).  I would add a large gold chandelier (Arteriors) over the table and set the table in gilded china (BedBathandBeyond) and flatwear. 

Do you think I was successful in creating a usable room for us Muggles or should we leave this look for the Death Eaters?

All I Want For Christmas

I was saving this post for after Thanksgiving, but Rue Magazine just came out with their new issue and this is their cover:

It must be the blog gods telling me it's time, so here we go!

All I want for Christmas is...  a man's gold watch.  I know, it sounds odd, but bare with me.

 In Amanda Brooks' book, I Love Your Style, she says, "I love the tomboy feeling of a men's watch on a woman's wrist sticking out from under a rolled-up shirt sleeve."  Whether you have sleeves or not, I love the proportion of a chunky watch to a woman's delicate wrist.  I think it is the accessory equivalent of wearing a man's dress shirt as pjs.  Hot. So Hot.

Let's take a look at who agrees with me:

Rachel Zoe

Victoria Beckham via

Charlize Theron

Elizabeth Hurley

Jennifer Anniston

Taylor (an ex-member of the Rachel Zoe team)
Did I mention Victoria Beckham wears one?

In all honesty, I want a vintage Rolex, but then again, who doesn't? 

18K Yellow Gold Porcelain Dial Zenith Daytona by Rolex via 1st Dibs
They won't even list this price, lol.
Rolex 18K PG Oyster Perpetual ref. 6551 c. 1958 via 1st Dibs
This one is a bargain at $7,850

Rolex 18K PG Day Date President ref# 1803 circa 1970's via 1st Dibs
It can be yours for the small price of $13,950! Naturally, this is the one I like best.
 Amanda Brooks continues in her book, "There are some incredibly beautiful and expensive watches out there.  We've all drooled over them, but I have seen Swatches and Timexes look just as chic."  Whew!  Let's look for some more realistic options now:
Michael Kors 'Bel Aire Chronograph' Watch via Nordstrom
$250 and GORGEOUS. **hint hint to the husband**

Nixon 'The Time Teller' Watch via Nordstrom
Timeless styling, simple, and $100.  Can't beat that!
**hint hint,again, to the husband**
Timex Vintage Gents England Made Watch circa 1958 via Bonanza
Needs some TLC but is a really cool vintage piece for $65!

Do you think I hinted this to my husband subtle enough?

{I'm not sure about the credits for the celeb images.  I've been collecting them for awhile now so let me know if you know where they're from!}


It's been a few days since I first posted the above, but I have found another drool-worthy vintage watch.  Check it out!

Seiko circa 1970s watch via Etsy for $180.
Love.  And I would pair the watch with this bracelet:

Vintage Mesh Bracelet via Etsy