quick gift: for the designer

December 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

Pantone Ornaments

Enough said.

gift guide: pets

December 2, 2011 § 1 Comment

Now that we have this little guy:

Nico!

we have someone else to buy a special gift for. He even has his own stocking. And while Nico is already a stylin’ guy on our street, he could always use a little help. Here’s a few ideas for your furry friend (that don’t involve silly outfits and will actually look cute in your home.)

1. Etsy | 2. Crate & Barrel | 3. Martha Stewart Pets | 4. A Dog’s Life | 5. Posh Living

kt inspiration: colorful kitchen

May 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

I always thought that I wanted a white and gray kitchen. Every picture in my inspiration files is white and gray. The kitchens I save from HGTV on my dvr are white and gray. Clearly, I love them and can’t wait to redo my nastiness of an 80’s kitchen.

But then I saw this today:

{source: collected}

Love the mix of teal and wood here. It actually reminds me of the jaw-dropping kitchen in The Proposal. Well every room in The Proposal house is jaw-dropping. But you catch my drift here. The black backsplash (say that three times fast!) is unexpected and dramatic, and by keeping the cabinets flat or in the classic Shaker-style, it looks modern and elegant…not over the top or kitschy.

I’m not sure we’d ever be brave enough to try this (or give up my dream of the perfect white and dove gray kitchen) but it might be a nice look for a butcher-block countered island!

house updates

April 27, 2011 § 4 Comments

It’s almost been a year since we bought our house. Craziness!!!

We worked really hard all last summer to make the house more ours, but when wedding planning kicked in full force in October we really lost steam and it was a few months before we could muster up the energy to work on fixing the house again.

The first project we tackled in 2011 was our bedroom. It was nasty. The same boring beige as the rest of the house was before we painted the teal and gray in the living room, dining room, and hallway. I don’t have any before pics with our stuff in it, but here’s what it was when we bought the house.

clearly not our stuff.

I don’t have any pics of the new blinds in that room, but they are now gorgeous dark wood plantation blinds that match the dark stain of all of our furniture. So pretty. We painted the walls a nice middle gray color and after deliberation took out the closet doors (that you can’t see in that pic). They were ugly and cheap and didn’t really work right. Not to mention that with sliding doors, you can only get into half of the closet at a time.

So we were left with a closet without doors. What to do? Young House Love to the rescue! We decided to add in a curtain to soften up the space and add a pop of pattern into the room. The color scheme of the room is now gray, white, black and yellow, as seen here in the final pics of the curtains (sorry for the phone pics. All I had.)

Like I said, please excuse picture quality. I love the round, black-and-white pattern. It looks so wrought iron-esque. Our duvet, which I don’t have pics of sadly, is similar to the lamp — mostly black with a few quilted white stripes. Once I get the decorative pillow situation figured out and hang art behind the bed, I will reveal! How’s that for a tease. Anyway, I am really in love with the curtains and they are so much easier to use than the stupid doors. To hang them we used a simple shower curtain rod that screws into the walls for more stability. All it took was about an hour (and of course my wonderful mom’s sewing expertise!) and we had a lovely feature that adds a boutique hotel vibe to our room.

The next big change we’ve made is to the horrible light fixtures that we inherited. I can’t lament over these enough. We affectionately referred to the two we had as “the lantern” and “scarface.” The lantern was hanging in our dining room and seriously looked like it belonged in a New England beach shanty. When the light was on, it cast these really weird shadows on the walls and was just all around ugly. Scarface was this horrible product of the 80s, a brass and acrylic (no, not even glass) nightmare. It was blindingly bright when turned on and had NOTHING redeeming about it. This is what it looked like.

I’ll wait for you to finish shuddering.

After searching for modern fixtures that fit in our (meager) budget, we settled on two replacements that really fit the spaces better and match the look and feel we are going for. Up first, the lantern.

These were also taken pre-blinds I guess. The airiness of the fixture is great since that room is not very big and the lantern was really overpowering. It has made a huge difference in the feel of them room, even with the old farmhouse style table and chairs (hopefully to be updated shortly as well).

The biggest change is Scarface’s replacement. I don’t have a picture of it hanging because really that is just grotesque. Here’s the new look!

I have pretty much been obsessed with the artichoke light…forever. It was once thing I immediately knew I wanted to change in our house and I’m so glad we stuck to it. It’s Mid-Century Modern to the max! It looks really amazing against the gray of the entryway and shines the perfect amount of light when lit, unlike the blinding force of the scar. One thing that was at first daunting is that you have to build it yourself. All those littleĀ  white leaves (?) come flat and you have to fold them and piece them together. I honestly felt like I was in school again! It turned out great and it makes us smile everyday!

So there are the main changes we’ve made. Little projects can and do make a big difference while you’re saving up for the big endeavors (like a lower level remodel…) A last little bit of fun I had this weekend…decorating with flowers and Fiesta!

Like the new sidetable? I got it for free (!) and spray painted the bamboo bright yellow. Love the shape and how the new color really makes it un-Grandma-y!

Does anyone else have some fun and small Spring home projects to share?

a little late…

February 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

but a last minute add to my homage to Kate Spade.

It’s no secret I also have a love for our fabulous first lady. I think she’s pretty awesome. And her style is no exception. She effortlessly matches designer goods with ready-to-wear from J Crew and other clothes real people can buy!

Evidence:

Sorry for the horrible screen shot, but how adorable is she? And how Kate Spade-y does she look? I love the black-and-white polkas (from H&M no less) and the mix of red and sunny yellow accessories.

Hero.

PS – I promise this will be my last Kate Spade post. Ok, I can’t promise that forever. But for now. It’s a deal.

kt inspiration: kate spade, part deux

February 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

I know I said this would be up yesterday, but this silly little thing called work got in the way. Shocking, I know.

So to recap, I heart everything about Kate Spade and desire a wardrobe designed exclusively by her, but alas, I do not have that kind of budget.

After planning a wedding last year, I am still in an event-planning mindset. I still love thinking about striking color combinations and finding magical table settings among the bridal blogs that I still read (and only feel a little bit of shame.) That got me thinking how bright and cheery a Kate Spade inspired bash would be:

sources: lonny, fpo, and once wed

The pops of whimsical color and hints of vintage styling would be just perfect for a surprise birthday party or a fun and laid-back wedding in a modern art museum or a cool park. The graphic designer in me especially loves the typography on the different invitation suites, especially the bold, condensed sans serifs and the funky, stylized script. I can just picture tables set with different-sized chunky, square and rectangular vases filled with bright fleurs like tulips, dahlias, pincushions, and the always fun yellow pom-poms!

Twinkle lights might just complete the look.

Ok, let’s be honest. I think they, much like sparkles and sequins, complete any look.

Finally, as I’ve found myself recently, I am most inspired by my house/interiors. Now, I do not fancy myself an interior designer in any way. I know the perils of a profession where people who have a bit of technical skill call themselves a professional. I’m looking at you “designers” who learned photoshop and magically learned everything I did in 5 years of school. I do however, like to think that some of the design principles I learned carry over, such as color, form, proportion, space, etc.

sources: unsure, probably lonny or rue

The images really say “Kate Spade” to me. I mean, the one literally does say it, but you get what I mean. I love the pattern, the color, the peppy “hello sunshine” pillow…it’s all good. To me it’s more proof that nothing has to match exactly, but it all has to fit in the family – whether that’s color or patterns or time periods. And who’s to say that what was old can’t be made new again? Those cuckoo clocks are based off a traditional design and shape, but made in a modern and sleek way. Same with the snappy painted chairs and beautiful turquoise doorway.

So now we’ve detailed my girl crush. It’s time to live colorfully. And always add in the sparkle!

kt inspiration: kate spade

January 31, 2011 § Leave a comment

As a designer, I find inspiration from many different places – other designers, interiors, event design, fashion, music, photography/fine art. But I really love it when I can find different facets of inspiration from one source. Enter today’s source: Kate Spade.

If I could have one person dress me for the rest of my life, it would be Kate Spade. Her “about page” says it all: utility, wit and playful sophistication. Her motto of sorts this year is “live colorfully,” which I love. It’s such a designer-y way of saying “live boldly,” or, “live passionately,” but it really speaks to me. Not to mention that each month this year, they will pick a new color to “live.” I really love it.

You could say I have a girl crush.

I noticed a week or two ago, this little treasure:

source: kate spade

It’s a little “book” on the site that is so adorably designed (how great is the magenta page with the ampersand? I would totally frame that.) It got me thinking about what sort of mood boards I could divine from the theme of “living colorfully.” I’ll post one board here, and present the others tomorrow. Just for giggles.

The first here is probably the most obvious when it comes to Kate Spade and what she designs, though it might be my favorite right now. Inspired by Miss B, I am feeling this urge to create a personal style for myself as an adult. Sadly, it’s time to leave college “style” behind. I’m purging what doesn’t work for me anymore, and only buying what feels right and feels like it is the clothing of the girl I want to be. This part is obviously very personal, as I know no one has exactly the same taste in fashion, but I love the playful sophistication (with a hint of Mad Men vintage) in this mood board:

source: kate spade and style me pretty

I love the simple, classic clothing mixed with bright and whimsical accessories like the colorful tights and enamel flower pins. The owl purse had me at hello. What I also love about this is that though some pieces are “on trend” (read: tights), most are timeless and perfect in their proportions, thus, can be worn and remixed for seasons without looking staid. So though I can’t afford Kate Spade (tear), I have begun to think about these looks as I shop. Most recently, I found this adorable blue color-blocked dress and bright, lemon yellow sweater that fit perfectly in this theme. Though not at the same time.

That might be living too colorfully.

Until tomorrow…kt

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