I'm a little late in sharing, but the March issue of Redbook magazine features two stories I worked on. For tips from top interior designers on decorating with a little and a lot of color, see the slideshow from the article, featuring the room above, designed by Melissa Warner Rothblum of Massucco Warner Miller. I'm a little obsessed with that royal blue console in the corner.
The other story is a cute matchup of great, totally affordable armchairs and throws I found. This isn't online but it's the back page of the issue.
Hope you like!
images via redbook, photographs by philip harvey and alison gootee
I have this attraction to knit items, things with cable knit patterns, anything chunky and wooly looking. I don't remember if I've mentioned this before, but I'm basically allergic to wool. I can't wear sweaters with wool, even 10% wool content, for more than a miserable hour or two and cashmere is like sandpaper (truly) to my skin. I'm always drawn to clothing and home goods that incorporate chunky, woolen textures—I'm sure there's a psychological term for this. So of course when I saw these big, bright throws, I had to stop.
Loopy Mango, which also has a brick-and-mortar shop in Soho, was founded by two women who met at FIT. All the yarn is produced at the company's mill in Massachusetts and all the finished knitted products are handmade in NYC.
I love the Aspen Crochet Round rug, which unfortunately for me, only seems to come as a DIY kit currently. The kit is available in 20 individual colors but they also sell yarn on their website so you can choose additional hues if you wanted to recreate something something more mult-colored like this rug I saw at the gift show. The solid colored rugs are really chic and gorgeous, though.
The super-chunky finished throws come in eight colors, but again, you can buy your own yarn. They also offer custom sizes and designs upon request, so you can likely ask for a throw in any of the colors they offer.
In addition to various DIY kits, Loopy Mango also offers several free patterns on their website, in addition to links to their YouTube tutorials.
images are my own
I love this bright open bathroom by Tamara Mack Design. When we moved a year and a half ago, we went from a large master bath to a retro pink wonder that the two of us can barely fit in at the same time:
While we search for a house to buy or try to decide if we should buy this house and renovate it, I can fantasize about a new bathroom with a more modern look and such fancy amenities as a fan or a window that actually opens, and my true dream: double sinks and heated floors. This year's bathroom trends include upgraded fixtures and features, and a move toward greige and pale gray tiles, a trend I am squarely behind. I am obsessed with gray. Wallpaper and hardwood floors are huge for powder rooms, specifically, over other bathrooms.
Some remodeling-related bathroom trends for 2014 as determined by Houzz's survey of 7,645 homeowners:
I'm with the more than four on that first point: I had a great big tub in our last house (which you can't see in the above photo because my husband was standing on the ledge of it to get that angle), and in the nearly five years we lived there, I used that tub zero times. I'm just not a bath person, and rarely do I have the time to really enjoy it (though there was this one time I took the most amazing and relaxing bath, but it was at a resort).
I'm mixed on the rain shower vs. hand shower, but as long as it's not the chest or stomach level jets, I'm fine. I definitely agree with lots of light; the more natural light the better. A great deal of available natural light ties in with having a glass shower, which I love. The frameless is key, too, because keeping the frame clean was a pain.
One quarter of homeowners are enlarging their master bath but three-quarters of them are creating en suite masters. In each home I've owned with my husband, we've had an en suite bathroom, and I prefer the privacy of it. Something that people are split on is having the toilet separated from the rest of the bathroom as opposed to exposed as it is in both bathrooms above. Ideally, my husband and I would love to have the toilet in a separate room. It's more private, and it means the other person can be getting ready for the day or for bed without having to wait.
When it comes to cabinetry, white (36%) edged out dark and medium woods which were equal in popularity (21% each). I was a little surprised that lightwood (6%) was so unpopular. I really didn't like how dark the vanity was in our old bathroom, but when it's in a more modern setting, like the Kohler vanity below, I don't mind it as much.
Even though gold and brass are gaining in popularity, silver-tone faucets were the clear favorites.
More dreamy bathroom design:
While going through the Handmade section of the gift show, I found Philly area-based Michelle Ciarlo-Hayes, founder of MKC Photography. She offers a variety of products including digital collage prints, pillows, and table runners, but the product that most caught my eye were her growth charts.
There are five different styles available: boy sneakers, girl sneakers, boy alphabet, girl alphabet, and little poems, which includes whimsical gender-neutral images.
Each growth chart is printed on removable and reusable vinyl so if your child changes rooms or you move, you can take the chart with you. Whenever I see other people's growth charts marked in pencil, or lines in someone's door frame discreetly marked, I always feel guilty that we don't have a growth chart. As I wash, fold, and pack away a size of baby clothes now too small, I feel the passing of time and my heart feels a little heavy. I think that's why the chart with the little shoes in ascending sizes hits so close to home.
I think it's just one of those times you go through as a parent where it all seems to be going so fast (I know it always seems like that), and it catches you off guard. We're looking into early intervention for Sunshine because she's 15 months and still not standing, cruising, or walking, though she's made a lot of progress in the last two weeks. At the same time, we're starting to register Cupcake for Kindergarten and it seems as though she's the one that just started walking.
These little reminders of the passage of time: the increasing sizes of shoes and shirts, the lines on a growth chart, transitioning from bottles to sippies and utensils, they're tangible markers of the (truly remarkable) changes and progress these little people are making every day, and how they're changing us too. And how we hope our best is good enough. I know being a parent isn't for everyone and I can understand that, but I sure am glad I am one.
top image via mkc photography, other images my own
Happy Valentine's Day! I had a great time at my daughter's preschool party today, it was so much fun seeing their faces light up as their bags were filled with cards and candy. We're dropping the kids off at my parents' and winging it because we don't have reservations anywhere. But it will be nice to eat our own meals without first having to cut up someone else's food (though it's good practice for our old-age future, I guess).
Hope you all have a great evening, and if you're flying solo tonight, just think of it as a great opportunity to eat what you want, go where you want, and do what you want because making yourself happy is just as important as making someone else happy sometimes.
photo via hello naomi
Life's been a little crazy lately and I feel the blog has gotten the short end of the stick for sure, so thanks for hanging in with me even though there've been a lot of days without posts. I decided to do another throwback-style post today and share something I worked on three years ago.
Trad Home, Traditional Home's digital magazine was still under wraps and being produced during the early months of 2011. There was a lot of industry buzz around the issue and it was a very exciting time. We were really trying to turn people's notion of "traditional" on its head. At the time, I was also producing my first major trend feature story completely on my own (plus a bunch of other stories) for the print mag, so I actually didn't have a lot to do with the digital version, but this was my contribution.
Each editor had to select a color and source several products for the premier issue. The thing I like about this story—aside from the sorely-needed shot of sunshine it's providing—is that I would absolutely choose all of these products again. None of them seem dated; they're all as classic and relevant as they were three years ago. And not only would I choose them all again for the editorial, I would actually choose each of them in my own life. Sadly, DVF Home no longer exists. I really liked a lot of their tabletop and bedding pieces, so that's a shame.
Another thing this does is illustrate that even if you're afraid of a lot of bold color, there are small-scale ways to bring in some brights in order to add interest without overwhelming yourself. I'm a bold color girl, but I can appreciate that some might like to keep their house toned down. (A little surprise here and there never hurt anyone, though.) A bright yellow business card holder, aside from being chic, is practical, too, for finding-it-in-the-abyss-of-your-purse purposes.
In addition, you get to see what I look like with a blow-out and my head tipped at an angle, so there's that, too.
photo: my own
When I was in high school, I really wanted to take the rainbow marshmallows from Lucky Charms, coat them in something clear and make a necklace out of them. Many moons later, someone has done nearly that. Glitterlimes artist Debbie Tuch takes real candy and fruit and encases them in glitter resin. Real gummies, hard candy, chewing gum, and cross-sections of fruit are preserved for wearing pleasure.
I love them for the bright colors and nostalgia-factor. They're a bit kitschy but that's what makes them great. The Fruit Stripe gum is really cute and makes you forget that that gum actually tastes really terrible. It might actually taste better covered in glitter resin. Did it always taste terrible?
Spree, Conversation Hearts, candy corn, peppermints, sprinkle licorice, and more have all been remained as rings, earrings, necklaces, cufflinks, hair barrettes, and pins. Tuch started with Rock Candy (which was featured in Lady Gaga's Workshop at Barney's) and went from there.
In addition to the newer candy pieces, she also works with various fruits, especially citrus, and some nuts, including metallic Jordan almonds. All the different fruits remind me of when my mom was dehydrating oranges and apples for her various crafts back when I was a kid. The dragon fruit slices, in particular, I find so interesting: Their white and black, or purple and black, centers with pink border and the irregular shapes are very eye-catching (left photo, center of the bottom shelf). What do you think of these sweet pieces?
images are my own
Over the weekend I helped my four year old make her valentines for her preschool class. Last year she was the only one that brought in handmade valentines. I know how busy everyone is, and it's certainly just easier and quicker to sign names on the pre-made cards with popular characters on them, but I'm really glad that we're still making our own, at least for now.
My daughter is really into art projects and sticker crafts. Every time I go through the craft store, I grab a pack of foam stickers so she can do her creative work. I saw this pack of foam valentines and stickers at Target for $5 and brought them home for her.
I helped her a little, but I was really proud of how she carefully put her friends' names and the decorative stickers on each one. We had some pieces left over, which I obviously commandeered to make the valentine above.
Last year, I found card stock shaped like large cupcakes (always a cupcake theme with her) and we put each kid's name on it in white foam stickers. Then I wrote "You're sweet, happy Valentine's Day" and then she signed them. Craft stores always have paper or foam in fun shapes and most have adhesive backing so you don't even need to mess with glue if you don't want to.
I know there are a zillion cute ideas on blogs and Pinterest, and I really do like the one that looks like your child is busting a lollipop through from the second dimension into the third, but I think sometimes attaining (or thinking that you need to attain) that styled perfection can be more stressful than inspiring. If you're not into commercialized characters (I'm not) or spending a fortune and you want to spend a little extra time doing something hands-on with your kids, here are three ideas I literally came up with this morning while fully intending to post links to other people's great ideas.
Parents of young ones probably have most of this on hand. I did not shop or pre-plan for this (which may be obvious when you see them), every last bit came from something I already had in my house. I've mentioned before I'm not super-DIY girl, so these are pretty simple. But that's the thing - these are little kids, they're not trying to reinvent the wheel. They just want to have fun: To them, punny sayings are still novel and giggle-inducing. And making something themselves gives them a sense of pride and extra practice on the motor-skills. So give yourself a break, mom and dad, and if you want to shoot for something slightly more ambitious than store-bought, try these:
We happen to have foam shapes that we use when finger painting, but if you're handy with scissors and short on shapes, you could make a heart from an old kitchen sponge.
I used finger paint to coat the sponge, pressed down, et voila. Then I simply pasted (I actually used double stick tape, but you can glue, too) the original square I cut out onto another colored sheet of construction paper. Your child can write the 'to' and 'from' names on it and leave as is, or embellish as he or she likes.
More construction paper and some left over lollipops here. But even if you don't have Dum Dums hanging around, they're only 10 cents each in the bulk bin, so it's really cheap.
I cut out a 6 x 6 inch square of blue paper, a corner of a sheet of yellow paper to make the sun, and cut the cloud out of white paper. I glued the lollipops on with a bit of clear Elmer's to make it look like a balloon had escaped the bunch. I tied the yarn bow on after gluing, it was much easier than tying them first.
Insert pun about soaring hearts, and you're done!
A take on one of my favorite valentines.
This required the most work (i.e. tinkering with my printer). First I grabbed a toy train and a piece of green construction paper and wrote the message in black Sharpie. When you write your message, try to leave yourself at least a half inch border of blank space at the bottom. I propped up the train with a few small foam stickers so the wheels would look straight.
I took a picture of the train on the paper and printed it out on 4 x 6 inch photo paper (make sure you choose the borderless option). Then I glued the cotton balls on the photo paper to look like the steam from the engine. If you don't want the valentine to be 3D, you could put the cotton balls on the construction paper and then take the picture before printing, getting basically the same effect.
If you make any of these, let me know!
images are my own
Hope everyone is staying warm and lifting with their knees when they shovel, it's crazy out there lately. I drove down to New York last Friday to attend NYNOW, formerly NYIGF, the gift show at the Javits Center. In two and a half days—and 2700+ pictures later—I walked every single aisle of the show and saw some great products.
Mostly, I was really excited to be back in New York and to see a lot of the vendors I haven't seen in a while, since I missed the last three shows (not sure how that time flew so quickly). It was great to catch up with people and this was my first time experiencing the show since they changed the format and rebranded. I think it worked out well to have all the home companies under one roof, though as I walked the show, I realized there were several brands that I didn't see. I'm hoping they'll be there in August.
At any rate, I'm looking forward to sharing the things that I saw over the next weeks and months. In addition to new and interesting products, the booths themselves are often styled creatively. Here are just a few fun things I noticed:
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
© 2014 | mrkt