Between this and the last post, you might think you're seeing a pattern. And though the last couple weeks have definitely made me want to indulge in a little wine more than usual, I'm really not much of a drinker. However, I do love having parties and hanging out in the beautiful outdoors, which is where this little baby comes in. I'm totally into this Party Bucket with Table from Pottery Barn.
It's fun, it's functional (times two), and it's pretty attractive. The bucket is made of galvanized steel and fits into a hand-woven all-weather wicker handled piece. I think you can imagine as easily as I have how great this would be at a party or casual cookout, and ease is what good summer entertaining should be all about.
image via pottery barn
When I think of my own style, I always think of a mix of sophisticated and tough. From my vaguely gypsy-slash-rocker chick style in high school and college to the things I gravitate toward now (similarly rock chick chic), I love pieces with a little edge and hardware. Last night, I stumbled on this beauty online at Hudson, long a Boston design destination.
This ice bucket isn't inexpensive, but what a great statement piece (a much better statement than "I get tipsy off half a glass of red," which is sadly true in my case). Made of reclaimed teak wood, iron, and stainless steel, this will keep more than your wine bottle cool.
image via hudson
Are you enjoying all of the sunshine as much as I am? The weather has been beautiful and I couldn't be happier about it.
I am very excited to share that Arhaus Furniture and I had so much fun working together on my guest post for their blog the greenhaus, that together (and via Arhaus' extreme generosity) we are giving away their fantastic tabletop pieces to one lucky winner!
If you win, you'll receive exactly what I used for my family dinner (pictured above):
To enter, use the widget below; there are a few different ways to enter:
Fine print: Total retail value of products is $1,392.12. No purchase required. No likes or follows required, though they're welcome! Sweepstakes is open June 4, 2014 through June 9, 2014 at 11:59pm. Winner must be resident of the U.S.; Void where prohibited. There will be one (1) winner chosen at random within two days of the end of the contest. Please use the widget to enter and submit your entry, there are multiple ways to enter and the more ways you enter the greater your chances of winning. For complete rules, click here.
If you're like me, you spend nearly every lunch at your desk, trying not to get crumbs in your keyboard or condiments on your papers. It can be costly to buy your lunch every day as most of us did in Manhattan. When I was pregnant, I was very good about bringing my lunch and extra snacks from home. Now that I'm working at an office part-time, I don't want to spend the money to buy lunch or the time to go out in search of it. So I bring my lunch and sometimes my breakfast.
For the last couple months, I've been happily using Island Picnic's insulated organic lunch bag set. It's a four piece set consisting of an insulated lunch bag with hidden handle, sandwich bag, snack bag, and napkin, all made from 100% certified organic cotton.
While they have their place and purpose, zipper-lock plastic bags make me crazy. Instead, I use a mix of the bags from the set and plastic lunch containers I've amassed from various places. Island Picnic doesn't use any plastic materials to line their bags, but rather un-dyed, unbleached organic cotton sateen. The lunch bag insulation is 100% certified organic cotton batting.
You can use these bags for nearly any kind of food, even messy PB&J sandwiches which I often do. Just brush off the crumbs to use again tomorrow, or flip the bags inside out and toss in the washing machine. All the pieces are machine washable. I usually put a handful of baby carrots in the snack bag and even though they're wet from rinsing when they go in the bag, the outside of the bag does not get damp and it doesn't affect any of my other food. The lunch bag is big enough to fit extra bags or containers and I like that I don't have to rely on paper napkins.
There are a bunch of fun color and pattern options and if you're not in the market for a full set, the snack and sandwich bags are available in a separate set of two.
Do you bring your lunch to work (or play)? What do you use?
images via island picnic
'Tis the season for limited-edition collaborations! If you read shelter magazines regularly, you know that Farrow & Ball is the high-end paint brand widely favored by magazine editors and interior designers. And if you read fashion magazines, you've likely seen the handbags by The Cambridge Satchel Company in both classic and neon colors. Now the two British companies have joined forces on a small collection of exclusive bags that has just launched.
I think it's almost always a no-brainer for great fashion and home brands to match up and offer a tactile combo of both their strong suits. With this partnership, you get the benefit of the exceptional craftsmanship that is a hallmark of both brands: a chic durable leather bag in a bespoke shade formulated by color experts.
One of Farrow & Ball's latest colors, Stiffkey Blue is inspired by the remarkable color of mud found at the beach in the hamlet of Stiffkey on the north coast of Norfolk in England. I would love to know what makes the mud this unique shade!
The nautical/beachy background of the color makes the satchel perfect for summer and beyond. The shade is a bit moody, which you know I love, and it will go well with other neutrals, metallics, and brights as well.
The bags are handmade in England and will be available in four sizes as a limited edition of 200; each piece will be embossed with a number inside.
I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! We were very happy to run around and play outside, both on land and by the water.
Several years ago, when I interned at Bridal Guide magazine, I was responsible for photocopying important pages from magazines we received at the office that our EIC wanted for her files. Fashion ideas, interesting page layouts, anything that triggered a thought for the future. Rather than just go up to the Xerox machine, do the copies and file the magazines, I would pore over each one, and often I'd make a second copy of certain pages for my own files. This was a great way to learn about the other magazines but also a different way of reading magazines because I was looking at ideas and trying to think of how they could be adapted for a different market.
Though the name of the magazine and exactly what else was in this article escapes me, there was an article in a woman's magazine, and the gist was something like, what piece of clothing changed your life? And that sounds like it could be superficial, but one response was from a woman who talked about her first Marimekko dress in the 1960s. It's been so long that I can't remember anything else she said about her style or the pattern of the dress (though I'm pretty sure if I delved deep into my own files, I have a photocopy of this article somewhere), but I distinctly remember that when she wore the dress, it totally transformed how she saw herself as a woman. Ever since then, I've had an interest in Marimekko. I've also loved mod 60s style since I was a child watching reruns of 60s comedies.
So, I was very interested to belatedly learn that Marimekko and Banana Republic have teamed up for a limited-time summer collection. The collection just launched a few days ago and is selling out very quickly already. These two pieces are some of the few still available online and in select stores.
Of course, there's always the real deal, too. I love these new dresses available on Marimekko's site:
Have I mentioned how much I love cuff bracelets? Probably. I think it stems from a superhero power band place (in high school and college I used to cut the tops off tube socks and wear them like power bands on my wrists). I pretty much like them all, whether they're big and chunky or elegant and minimal, like this 'Eileen Gray' cuff.
Handmade in the USA, the cuff is adjustable so it can fit on any wrist. The shape is very simple and architectural. If you aren't familiar with designer Eileen Gray, this is the iconic table she is so well-known for. You can see the direct inspiration between her design and the cuff.
Eileen Gray was an Irish designer who lived in Paris and worked as an interior designer, architect, and furniture designer throughout her career. This table was created by Gray and her partner Jean Badovici for a home in Roquebrune, France. They placed it bedside, but the table is often more likely seen now next to chairs and sofas.
Ever have those days where you can't find something important in your bag and you look and look and it's not there?You search the whole house and finally you find it, when you check your bag again.
Or, is your place too small to have a table by the door and so you don't have a consistent, convenient place to leave your keys, sunglasses, etc?
Elefunction's newest products will take care of that for you; their tagline is Design That Never Forgets.
The Elephant mounts on the wall very easily and can become your command center to corral your things.. The strong cord holds glasses, sunglasses, phones, mail, and other small items, while super magnets embedded in the 'trunk' take care of your keys (even if you're a janitor, I've seen it in person).
Available in walnut or ash, and with or without an edge color, these products are all handmade in Colorado.
If you like to check your hair/teeth, or throw on some last-minute lipstick before you run out the door, the Echo mirror allows you to do that and has the same organizational function as the Elephant. Echo comes in walnut or ash.
Keeping your keys and glasses in one dedicated spot like this also keeps your keys from scratching the lenses of your glasses, which can happen easily in a bag. Plus, most importantly, you don't run around like a chicken with its head cut off looking for things when you're trying to get out the door to work or to meet friends.
Designer Brad Reed Nelson, founder of Board by Design - who I first met when I fell for his fabulous rockers at the AD Home Show a few years ago - initially started Elefunction as a way to keep track of his sunglasses. The product, the I Wear rack, was a simple board and tension cord (it and earlier iterations are still available). In the process Brad found that what they were doing was creating better relationships because people were happier, less stressed, more prompt, and more pleasant to be around all because they weren't wasting time looking for their things.
It's pretty powerful when a simple product can do that!
images via elefunction
I'm not the first person to be excited about Oh Joy!'s collection for Target, which just launched, and I certainly won't be the last. I have to say in all honesty, that Joy Cho is probably my favorite blogger of all right now (I even bought her book on my Kindle so I could learn more about blogging as a business, now if I could just find time to read it). In addition to having an insanely attractive family (I want to have a playdate with our daughters), her taste is fabulous, and she seems so down-to-earth and real; she's very positive, but she isn't afraid to peel back the layers and share her hectic reality. Somehow it was comforting to know that Joy struggles with a lot of the same things I do; you always know other parents feel the same way but it's reassuring to hear it anyway.
Her collection for Target is really lovely and feels very much "her"—as much as you can know someone from reading their blog, it feels like an accurate translation of who she is and her style. The products are very cheerful and feminine, and the shots from her LA launch party have so many great entertaining ideas and decor moments in them. The paper goods are adorable, but I especially love the entertaining pieces that have more longevity. The collection includes more paper goods, cutlery, decor items, cake toppers, and balloons.
The launch party in LA was intended to be an outdoor garden party, but rain drove them inside. I don't think the party lost much of anything by being indoors. There are so many great and easy entertaining ideas that I'm actually planning to blog about them tomorrow for my other job at the event planning company. But decor-wise, here's something I loved. We've seen this cocktail table around for years, but it's always in white. How fresh does it look in color? I love how they painted the tables to coordinate with the collection.
When you're adding global or ethnic touches to your decor, as many are wont to do, it's always nice if the pieces have an air of authenticity. Antique pieces often have a lot of personality, but new pieces can also bring great style to a space. Noted interior designer Sara Bengur recently debuted her newest products, which are inspired by her Turkish background and upbringing, as well as her extensive travels.
Sara has been in business nearly 20 years; her eponymous firm is located in New York. After hearing her name and seeing some of her work in publications for years, I finally had a chance to meet her at the gift show last month and she couldn't have been lovelier.
A lot of times when you ask designers what prompted them to create their own product line, the answer is that they couldn't find something they were looking for to use in their projects. "I often design custom pieces for my clients that have been inspired by either my Turkish roots or the location of the house I am working on at the time," she says. After increasing demand that she create her own line of products, she finally has.
Sara has spent a great deal of time studying and immersing herself in Ottoman designs. "The patterns have an organic quality and I love the idea of giving a new life to them in a different scale, form, and texture." Most of the products are made in Turkey, though the stoneware comes from nearby Malta. The collection features plenty of color because Sara believes rooms don't have to be neutral to be serene and cozy and she tries to encourage clients to follow suit.
Check out more of the new products:
Sara's favorite products are the peshtamals, more commonly known as hammam towels. "I call it my favorite travel accessory. You can use it as a shawl, scarf, towel, pareo, or blanket on the beach!" The peshtamals are woven by an all-women's cooperative in Southern Turkey.
My personal favorites are the covered bonbon dishes—love the scalloped edges—and the kilim runners shown at the top. A larger area rug incorporating the runners' designs is coming soon. Sara and I both share the opinion that the details and the layering of accessories are crucial to making a home more personal.
"My passion has always been to create the unexpected in interiors, something nobody has seen before. My hope is that through this line, people feel they own something unique and made just for them," Sara says.
images via sara bengur
mom, wife, market editor, crazy person.
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