The more things change, the more they stay the same…

As our house gets pulled together, and we put money into larger investment pieces (a couch most recently) I spend a lot of time thinking about my taste, how it’s evolved, and how it’s stayed the same.
If you’d asked me a year ago  how I felt about “modern” pieces, I would have given you a never-in-a-million-years look, but now I appreciate, and even love a lot of modern (gasp, yes modern) and mid-century modern pieces… my house will never be full of cold, angular furniture, but I have an appreciation for a little bit modern here and there… whether its a side table, or light fixture, I find that it adds depth to a space.

But where my taste has changed in some areas, there are some things that I always come back to… clean lines, light colors, and a good mix of interesting neutrals.

Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE color – but I never tire of of light colors. I am drawn to them – I love how pale walls, and clean light or white furniture, open up a room, and make it so pretty.

By the way, what is the wall color in the above photo??  I need to know – it’s the perfect “putty” color, and would be a really great choice if you liked the look of grey walls, but had lots of tan, furniture…

Everything in this room is perfection… lots of oatmeal going on, but the interesting textures (tweed, woven fiber, etc) keeps it from looking stale and boring.  The natural wood coffered ceiling doesn’t hurt either…

I have posted this room before and I will post it again… this side table is absolute perfection, and the warmth in the brass is a nice addition to all the cool grey tones going on… light walls keep everything from feeling too heavy too…
And of course… the inspiration for the rug that is currently in our living room – Kelly Wearstler can do no wrong, and I still LOVEEEE this room.  On the hunt for a new coffee table, I’m thinking a brass base and glass top might be nice… or something with a rustic aged wood?
Notice anything else about all of these spaces??  Classic to the core.  While there might be a few modern aspects to them, I am still drawn to classic lines, simple details, and a long floor to ceiling curtain never hurt anyone…

Happy Weekend

Happy Friday!  I’m checking out for the weekend since I’ll be here…

Go on… feel a little jealous…

I’ll be in Tahoe for one of my best friend’s bachelorette parties – going boating on the lake, soaking up lots of sun (and margaritas) and celebrating the impending end of her “single” life…

Happy Weekend!
xo

Dining Room Revamp – No, I’m not Crazy (yet)

Hope you all had as good of a long weekend as we did – we spent most of it outside, soaking up the warm weather, bbqing, sun bathing, and watching a few fireworks. 

I also spent a few hours doing this:
Yep… that is paint my friends (Side note: can you believe how gross the color of the trim was before??? UGH. That swatch of white paint against it really shows how dingy it was!)  
I had an itch on Sunday and decided that the trim in the dining room needed to be painted immediately, and so I busted out the tape and my paintbrush and went to town… Kris came back from the coffee shop to find all our furniture in the living room, and me knee deep in paint.  Despite his concerns over my mental stability, I kept at it, and a few hours later, the trim was bright and white and clean, and I was able to let out a sigh of relief!
Have you ever read the book “When you Give a Mouse a Cookie”?
If you haven’t, please do, because then you will fully understand what has transpired since I taped and painted the trim in the dining room.  Once the trim was painted, I wanted to paint the rest of the room… even though it’s been painted once already.  I’m thinking a light grey…
Well with ideas of a light grey, simple room, I decided that the seat cushions on our chairs would need an update (something a bit more contemporary), and that with the grey walls, the curtains couldn’t stay as is (they wouldn’t match).  I also decided that with the bookshelf out of the room, it felt so much larger, so perhaps we should get rid of the big bulky bookshelf and install some open shelving…
Oh the domino effect!
I decided to corral all my ideas into an inspiration board, and here’s what our dining room is soon going to look like:
Light and bright, and sophisticated with a color palette of black white and grey.  I want to bring in some black brush stroke art, fresh white curtain panels, and some bold graphic stripes.
I’ve really enjoyed the light blue color we’ve had, but since the rest of the house has neutral walls, it feels disjointed, and after almost two years with that color, I’m ready for a change.
Actually, there won’t be THAT much changing in here… just a few small tweaks to change the look and feel – the table will stay, but I’ll finally get around to installing the chandelier I bought LAST NOVEMBER (remember this post??), roll out the rug that’s been sitting in my office for the last few months, and pull the trigger on the cowhide rug.  I’ve already placed an order for the striped fabric that will recover the cushions, and the white curtains just require an easy trip to Ikea…
You guys – for once, a project I’m not sitting on!  I seriously can’t wait for before’s and afters 🙂
Happy Monday!

Fourth of July Style Guide

Happy 4th of July!!  Hope you all have fabulous plans for a fun celebration – I’m going to be laying poolside at my friend’s new condo – is there anything better than a rooftop pool on a hot day?? I think not!

Here are a few looks perfect for celebrating America’s Independence in style… Happy 4th!

HANGING POOLSIDE (OR BEACHSIDE):

beach day

Seafolly bathing suit, $53 / Charlotte Russe swimwear / Nine West flat / Calvin Klein tote bag / Fat Face , $31 / ATHENA PROCOPIOU Cover-up

Bring your sunscreen, a cute cover-up, and a big floppy hat – the “red” in your red-white-and-blue outfit should not be coming from your sunburn!

A PATRIOTIC BBQ:

bbq

bbq by beckyc1923 featuring a maxi dress

Splendid maxi dress / Wood Wood striped boatneck shirt / Christian Louboutin high heels / 10 Crosby Derek Lam / GUESS chain necklace / Gold belt, $7.61

Eat all the ribs you want – this dress is forgiving, and with the length, you can comfortably sit on the ground, cross legged without showing your lady bits… bring a casual stripe sweater to throw over your shoulders if the weather cools off in the evening, a smart cross body bag to hold the essentials, and you’re set!

WATCHING THE FIREWORKS:

fireworks

J.Crew j crew top / AG Adriano Goldschmied super skinny jeans, $330 / Soludos espadrille, $38 / Brooks Brothers / Loop scarf

I’ve spent many a 4th of July shivering at the fireworks after the sun goes down – wear a cute sweatshirt disguised to look like a cute cardi, a striped scarf, and some comfy espadrilles for walking around – you’ll thank me later!

Sand Between my Toes

I spent last week in Miami for a work conference, and it made for a great little break.  While we spent every day in an overly air conditioned conference room, I managed to sneak out for a little beach time…

I mean LOOK at that water… how could I not?!

It was so clear, and sooooo blue.  That perfect tropical color that seriously does not exist on the west coast!

On a few days, I snuck out to the beach over our lunch break, and parked myself in a chair for a little sun, and the feeling of vacation… even if it was for just an hour.  The warm sun, and a cold beverage was just what I needed…

And… THIS was the view from my room at the W in South Beach…

 I’ll just say… it didn’t suck 🙂

It’s a breezy 60 degrees in San Francisco, and just posting these pictures makes me crave the balmy weather, and room service.  I wish there were a freshly stocked mini-bar in our apartment… and a maid to give me fresh towels daily.

Side note: what is it about hotels that makes me go through about 5 towels a day??  Ugh, if only we had a fairy that came to our house and swapped them out for us every day…

I was so good – one morning I even got up early for a run, and to watch the sunrise…

And then I was bad, and had a few cocktails by the pool… it would have been wrong of me not to take full advantage of Miami!!

… and everyone needs a good tan in South Beach…

All in all, a fabulous week away – even if it was for work!!

Flamenco Fancy

There is something so fun about hot pink… flamenco pink to be exact.  
I’ve seen some fun flamenco prints floating about in the blog-world, and with that inspiration in mind, I took to collecting some of my favorite things in this hue. It’s a fabulous color that would certainly inject some much needed life into… well… everything.  From fashion to art, fun chairs, pillows, and sofas, it’s a very South Beach, I-don’t-take-myself-too-seriously kind of color.  I’m determined now to incorporate this fun shade into my life.
I love these french doors that echo the fun pink in the flamenco framed print… and if you love this print, you can find it here.
How fun are these trousers.  Perfect for spring, and sprucing up an otherwise very simple outfit.  Love the high waist, and love the belt.
Our bathroom is tiled in what I refer to as “pepto bismol pink”… there is literally nothing left to do but embrace it, and I’m thinking that this flamenco print would be a fun thing to add.
This fun roll pillow awakens this formal space, and the greek key trim keeps it modern – not girly.
Now THAT is a pink sofa.  I could not love it more if it tried! 
I’ve always been a fan of the vintage print… and this one is no exception.  Sunny and fun – this would bring a breath of life into our entryway, or even the gallery wall that has finally made its way up in our living room!!
More to come on that…
If I could choose one pair of totally non-practical shoes, these would be the ones… the perfect stiletto heel, pink tassles and an ankle strap.  A party for your feet if you will…
And this fabulous Louis XVI chair – it would make a great DIY with a little fabric paint if you came upon a sad run-town version at a thrift store…

A Park Avenue Princess (in the making)

My whirlwind week in NYC has come to an end, and I have so much to share!  To say that New York captured my heart is a complete understatement.  It’s a full-blown love affair I’m afraid.
The flight there was a little rocky, but I made it in one piece, and after a HUGE coffee (and a little bit of concealer), I was feeling a bit more like myself, and ready to take on the role of “tourist” for the afternoon.
First stop… my fabulous hotel on Park Avenue.  Sort of the perfect location for my first visit to New York.  My hotel was on Park at 38th – literally one block from my office, just a few blocks from Grand Central Station, a block from Madison Avenue (which for someone in Advertising was VERY cool), and two blocks from the fabulous shopping on 5th.  OMG, don’t even get me started…  back to my hotel….
The rooms were very Hollywood regency – lots of fun splashes of color and mirrors everywhere you turned… LOVE!

LOVED the tear drop shaped lamps, with their crisp white shades, and black trim.  Loved the mirror topped side tables, and the metallic pillow on the all white bed.  The room was small – not at all surprising for New York – but the plethora of mirrors opened it up, giving the illusion that it was much larger than it was.

How fabulous is that pop of hot pink??  And the x-leg parson desk.  That was gold.  I wanted to steal it and take it home with me!

The side table closest to the window had a mirrored top, and leather upholstered drawers with studs.  Nothing I would have ever chosen myself, but I loved it!

And the window treatments were really simple but super impactful – black valences with a crisp white stripe… and you all know how much I love a good stripe.

A cool starburst art installation on one of the walls was very Jonathan Adler, and I’ve actually wanted something like this mini desk lamp to light up one of the dark corners of our living room… it was maybe 13″ tall, and had a blown glass shade.  This picture doesn’t showcase it well, but it was really pretty and unique in person.

Can I go back already???

Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?!

I have been traveling for work and completely MIA recently – I was down in sunny LA last week to meet with clients, and sync up with my team down there.

By the way, how FABULOUS was the view from my room of Santa Monica and the ocean beyond??

And the rooms at the Huntley Hotel??  Amazing.

I was loving the tufted headboards and simple decor.  Don’t even get me started on the sheets – they were like a million thread-count, and absolutely heavenly.  I could have lived there forever and ever.

This week, I’ll probably be completely absent from my little blog again – I am flying out to New York VERY early tomorrow morning…  getting up at 4am to catch my 6am flight!  Eeek!!  When I found out I was flying on Easter, I was admittedly bummed, but since I’ve NEVER been to New York, I got over that real fast.

I’m sure most of you are like, she’s never been to New York??????????  That’s the reaction I usually get… Unfortunately, it looks like I’ll be heading into some cold weather for the next week – the weather forecast says that the high in NY this week will be around 45, so this California girl is in for a SHOCK!  I was hoping for mild spring weather, so I could trot about town in some cute full skirted numbers, a la Sex and the City.  No dice!

Despite the cold, I have a lonnnggggg list of things to check off my NYC list (when I’m not busy working).  Here are my top 5 must do/see things while I’m there…

1. Take a run through Central Park

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I was hoping for a sunny scene like this one while I was there, but I suspect, it will be another month until the city is warm and blooming.  I’ve also been battling a pretty god awful cold this last week, so my little central park “run” may be more of a brisk walk.  The bonus is that our office is on Park Avenue, so being just two blocks from the park couldn’t be more convenient for checking this off my list!!

2. Go to the Top of the Empire State Building

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Totally touristy, but I’m a tourist, I couldn’t care less.  I want to have my Sleepless in Seattle moment, even though I’m sure it will be elbow to elbow crowded, and I’m not meeting my secret pen pal up there… the empire state building is just so “New York”… I have to cross this off my list.  I’ve also learned that buying your tickets online (here), and paying the extra for the express ticket allows you to skip the lines, and head straight to the front!  Ka-ching!

3. Eat Pizza

People swear New York has the best pizza… I’ll be the judge of that.  I’ll be using Time Magazine’s List of Top Pizzerias as my guide.  And wearing stretchy pants.

4. Swanky Drinks

I want a cosmo or a dirty martini somewhere swanky, dark, and oh-so New York.  I’ve heard good things about Little Branch, but I’ll likely go where the wind takes me…

5. Bergdorf Goodman

For any fashion lover, it’s a must.  I probably can hardly afford a key chain from there, but I will report back on the Jimmy Choo’s that I oogle over.

On my ultimate New York City to-do list… I would want to see a Broadway Show, eat at all the fabulous New York City haunts (Aquavit, Le Cirque, Pastis, and Jean Gorge), pop into Tiffany’s, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, rent bikes for the day in Brooklyn, find Carrie’s  brownstone from SATC, and of course become BFF’s with Sarah Jessica Parker.

I cannot wait!!

xoxo

Spring Style – The Wedge

Spring is here meaning one day it’s pouring rain, and the next it’s sunny and 70 degrees.  My allergies are in full swing, the tulips in the park are OUT OF THIS WORLD amazing, and the sun is staying out longer.  Overall, I’m totally stoked it’s spring (minus the allergy part) because that means it’s time for warmer weather clothing options.  I’ll be spending less days wearing my riding boots, and more days showing off my freshly manicured toes.

The wedge is the perfect shoe for spring, and it will carry you straight through to summer.  With cropped trousers (another favorite spring closet staple) wedges look smart and polished, and with a flippy skirt and jean jacket, they are perfect for warmer weather, and weekend wear.

A few of my favorites

If Money were No Option…

Spring Wedges

Christian Louboutin clear wedge heels / Givenchy strappy platform sandals / Rupert Sanderson high wedge / Missoni platform wedge heels, $705 / Burberry ankle wrap heels / Valentino platform wedge heels / Marc Jacobs canvas wedge / Marc by Marc Jacobs platform wedge heels / Kate Spade platform wedge heels

So yes, I realize that I cannot afford a single one of these shoes, but this is my little blog, and I can dream if I want to.  Trying to organized about it, I’ve grouped each row by wedge category for all other “type-a” people out there… for the classic, preppy wedge wearer, the first row will be right up your alley.

Delicate straps, brown leather, and nautical navy and white stripe details are perfection.  The second row is for the more adventurous, and after the dark colors of winter, who doesn’t want a little coral, tangerine or aqua happening on their feet.  Finally the classic espadrille – a little more casual, with natural fiber woven wedges and an earthy quality.

You won’t Max Out your Credit Cards…

Wedges - take II

Tory Burch platform sandals / Tory Burch shoes / 7 For All Mankind wedge sandals / J.Crew platform sandals / Steve Madden high heel shoes / Zara leather strappy sandals / INC International Concepts high heel shoes / Kelly & Katie sandals / RMK Tamique Turquoise Patent, $78

Welcome back to the world of reality… these are shoes we can all afford.  Each row is categorized the same as the first looks… classic, colorful, and espadrille.

Are you as obsessed with the ombre platform on the orange strappy wedge in the center?? And those stripes on the wedge to the far right, center row.  If only online shopping were a little less accessible!

Cherry Blossom Branches

Spring has sprung in San Francisco, and the freakishly warm days here have forced the cherry blossom trees in our neighborhood to bloom early.  The city now has big clouds of pink blossoms everywhere which makes me want some pretty blossoming branches to put in a big vase in our living room.  
How gorgeous and natural are these arrangements?!  Don’t tell me you aren’t wanting a big bundle of flowering branches now!

In a pitcher next to a big soaking tub… so very french provincial, no?

 This photo looks like it was taking in San Francisco (although I have no proof of that).  My dream home – lots of white, lots of light, and that beautiful crown molding   The branches get to take center stage with the simple decor.

Branches of cherry blossoms and tulips (from a tulip tree)  I’ll take it.  I actually saw a flowering tulip tree just a few blocks over, and had serious thoughts of tip-toeing over there in the middle of the night to cut a few down.  So wrong. I’m embarrassed to admit it!

Ahh, a big bushel of branches in my future home.  Well the future home of my dreams that is.  Wah!

Was the matching pink pillow planted here just to pick up the color in the blossoms?  Genius.  Feminine and masculine (with that black leather) all at the same time!

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And, here is the cutest little Easter tablescape in the history of the world.  Those little ceramic bunnies hopping about… the happy Easter egg ornaments hanging from the branches??  I love LOVE LOOVEEE it all!

Does this have you dreaming of cherry blossoms too now?