Thursday, November 24, 2011

retail therapy: Formal Dinner Guest Attire

If you're not busy in the kitchen today, then perhaps you are lucky to be the guest at a dinner event. This flowy gown is so gorgeous and so perfect for any fall special occasion. You definitely need something to cover up your arms and shoulders so layering this faux fur jacket adds lush texture. The jewel toned purple cuff and shoes bring an unexpected pop while a soft, braided updo keeps your look romantic and earthy. You'd be sure to turn heads and look ever so elegant.

Badgley Mischka gown at Last Call Neiman Marcus on sale! River Island jacket at Asos on sale!
Braided updo how-to on Seventeen | Cuff from Anthropologie | Betsey Johnson shoes at Endless

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

decor accessories : Thanksgiving

1. table by Pottery Barn / 2. pumpkin casserole by Crate&Barrel / 3. tea stained wreath by lyndeknight on Etsy / 4. recipe box by Rifle Paper Co. / 5. owl coasters by UptheCreekStudios on Etsy / 6. metal and wood server by Nell Hills / 7. harvest leaf vases by Pottery Barn / 8. dessert plates by West Elm / 9. tea and crumpets apron by Anthropologie

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

design feature: The Old Painted Cottage

When I think of crisp fall weather and the warmth that it makes you long for, I don't really think of anywhere besides New England in the US. So as I researched inspiring design spaces to capture this mood, I was pleasantly surprised when I came upon this little cottage in San Luis Obispo, California. I kept coming back to the photos and I started falling love with every piece of furniture, fixture and accessory in each room. 

I love neutrals and the owner does an amazing job of making sure that it still feels comforting and is chock full of character. A style after my own heart. Jennifer Gray actually has an online antique home decor shop and she even features before & after photos of her home as well as a cottage of the month. So charming!

Jennifer Grey traditional living room

Jennifer Grey traditional living room

The Old Painted Cottage traditional living room

Living Room traditional living room

Master Bedroom traditional bedroom

Our kitchen traditional kitchen

Dining Space traditional dining room

Hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Source: houzz

Monday, November 21, 2011

afternoon inspiration: A Cozy Autumn Day

Living in California, you can't really tell when the seasons change. Life gets busy and before you know it, you look up at the calendar and another year has gone by. I grew up in the Northeast and one of the things that I always miss is the transition between each season, a sign that it's time to get excited for what's to come.

There is nothing that says autumn more than the fiery colors of tree leaves. Now that I don't get to see it anymore, I appreciate the beauty of nature even more.

I never cared too much for the color orange, especially in the typical fall combination of brown and orange. It just seemed almost too rich. I never imagined orange with gray but I love this look! Gray is my signature color, I wear it practically every day. It goes with everything! The major pieces in this room are modern yet classic and the accessories really add a subtle flair that you can change seasonally.

Independence, MN traditional bedroom

Source: weheartit, houzz

history lesson: The Pilgrims & Wampanoags

Just like the first day of school, I figured I would start this new blog with a Monday morning history lesson. Yes, this is supposed to be a design blog but design is inspired by so many different things. Design is not just about the material things that look, feel, sound, smell & taste beautiful. It is influenced by history, culture and tradition, all of which are things that I want to learn and be passionate about.

As we are almost on the eve of Thanksgiving, it is only fitting that we start with the story of the Pilgrims and Native Americans or, as they prefer, the Native People. We all know that the Pilgrims came on the Mayflower and settled in Plymouth. But how much do we know about the Wampanoags who taught them how to farm? Here are some of the very interesting things about the "Eastern People" or "People of the Dawn".

Wampanoags inhabited the land that is now known as Massachusetts and Rhode Island, including Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard. Wampanoags moved seasonally to fixed locations and lived in wetus (also known as wigwams) made of bark in the shape of domes. These structures were built and taken apart within a couple of hours to simplify moving. Strict boundaries were set for hunting and land was passed on matrilineally, mothers to their female descendants, regardless of marital status.
The Wampanoag diet consisted mainly of what they refer to as the "three sisters"--corn, beans and squash--along with fish and game. The first Thanksgiving menu included lobster, swans and seal! While the feast shared together in 1621 is known as the First Thanksgiving, both the English and Native People have celebrated the tradition of thanksgiving before then.

The peace treaty between the two groups was only honored until Massoit's death, the sachem or leader of the Wampanoag.

a wetu on the Wampanoag homesite on the Plimouth Plantation

Saturday, November 19, 2011

weekend wisdom: Self-Discovery

The New York Times partnered with VisualDNA to develop a personality quiz in order to make their audience experience more relevant and relatable to each of their readers. Here is what they said about me.
You’re a Trendsetter
You have a tendency to spot small, beautiful details and are most drawn to the unusual that have their own sense of unique history. It’s your ability to see hidden beauty in all corners of the world that makes you such a style maven to all your friends. There’s a strong, thoughtful element to your character that means you love anything with a sense of intrigue to really get your heart racing.
Lively and confident, you’re someone who likes to make a big impression. You understand that first impressions count and that you won’t always get a second chance. You’ve got great taste and strive to be one step ahead of the crowd...
Spot on.
The key is to allow yourself to appreciate life’s journey while holding fast to that which matters most to you. 
Take it here.