Oct 31, 2008

Last Minute Contest Update!

One thing we forgot to let you all know about the MG/Swank Lighting contest, is the time it ends! 11:59 pm on Saturday night! (Thank you Lana!)

Oct 30, 2008

"Sweetish" Seating For Tots!

We just got a sneek peek at some of the new November catalog for Wisteria and we adore the new Swedish Style Children Seating- bench and chair.

This furniture has a distressed finish and cotton/linen ticking stripe upholstery.

What a sophisticated and sweet little arrangement for your tot!

Oct 29, 2008

Tis the season for contests!

Wanted to let you all know about 2 great contests that I have learned about recently...

One is a contest over at The Galiway blog where you can win your favorite boxed holiday greeting cards. All you have to do is post a comment on their blog post stating which of the Galison greeting cards is your favorite- easy as that! Contest ends November 13th!
My favorite are the vintage "Dear Santa" cards...so adorable!

Another contest that comes a little earlier this year is the one hosted by Blogging Top Design. You all are invited to design a room around one of these fantastic crystal chandeliers from Swarovski's Crystal Palace collection - just like the designers did on the show!

And...the celebrity judge will be...(wait for it).....Margaret Russell herself from Top Design and Editor of Elle Decor! The contest starts immediately and all entries are due by Friday, November 7th. More info on it here!

With all these contests on the horizon- what is a girl to do? Participate of course! We love these!

Deals and Steals!

Today I decided to take a visit to the new Horchow Finale on Inwood/Lovers in Dallas...didn't expect to find anything and certainly not buy anything...are you crazy? In this economy? I am trying to be more frugal these days about where my money goes...(unless of course "a deal of the century" type thing comes up and then that previous statement is definitely negotiable)

^Mirror before hanging

While perusing through the mirror department, I stopped upon one that I absolutely loved and one that would be perfect for my dining area...it was marked down from $300 to $175! Wow what a deal I thought...I confirm this with the sales lady...no, it is not $175 marked down...that was the first markdown- it was now $30! I kid you not. Deal.of.the.century.
I had to get it? I can sell my old one on Craigs List?! Luckily, I had my mother with me (who is probably the worst influence ever and tells me to buy everything) and she confirmed that it was in fact the deal of the century. Mother knows best, right?

So glad she "convinced me" because the mirror is really gorgeous in person....although incredibly heavy.
Anyways, just wanted to give you all a heads up on their sale...you have to dig around to find stuff (and my mirror had a tiny crack at the bottom left) but for the most part, I was astounded at how low they dropped their prices....sale ends November 3rd and is only at the Inwood/Lovers store- go take a peek! You might just find your deal of the century.
Some other mirrors still available (as of earlier today)

The three above were all 75% off apparently (which I want to say made the first mirror around $40 and the second mirror was around $100) not so sure about the third..

I loved this venetian one also but it wasn't marked down- just at regular outlet price!

Tis the Season!

Just want to pass on some festive news; I was out shopping the other day and ran into one of my favorite stores Anthropologie. They had some really great crystal and mercury ornaments, check out their website for more ideas http://www.anthropologie.com/

Great TableWare Settings for the Holidays

I love this time of year, getting ready for the holidays, finding great recipes to cook for friends and family and decorating the table with beautiful tableware. Here are a few sources that I love to use, they all offer very different aesthetics and affordable prices. The fun part about decorating your table for dinner parties and events is that you can have alot of fun with it..there aren't any set rules, mix up pieces, add a spark of color with the linens you choose or festive glassware. The possibilities are endless...

La Cafetiere, is a wonderful shop located in Chelsea New York with a casual elegant vibe, the owner is from France and offers traditonal yet polished accessories and homeware. Check out her website at /www.la-cafetiere.com.

The above items are from Anthropologie home collection, I love this store, it is such a great go-to place for pulling any table together, they offer everything from traditional to modern at great prices. Stores are located all over the United States so please check out their site; Anthropologie

Juliska is another great source for tableware, offering fanastic ceramic pieces. Stores located throughout all major cities; Juliska

Oct 28, 2008

Blank Walls? No Problem!

{photo from Visual Vamp -- I think??} 

A very common decorating dilemma is the ever so daunting blank wall behind the sofa scenario.  I am constantly looking at how different designers address a wall that in my opinion, can make or break a room.  I have found the most common mistake people make is scale.  Scale is one of the most important design elements.  Always, always, err on the side of too big when it comes to artwork.  I much prefer larger pieces on a wall that make an impact over a scattering of things that are too small and random - major pet peeve.  A very favorite way to address this wall is a large Oriental screen as seen in the photo above.  When decorating on a budget (which as we say at work, everybody has a budget) these large pieces, especially screens can be tricky.  My friend, Katherine, let me in on a little secret...Horchow Finale.  She got her screen for a very  good price, and I have one over my sofa that I found in the clearance ding and dent section of the outlet for $200.  

Another way I like to see the wall behind the sofa addressed is with a series. Whether it be maps or prints, this look is very polished and symmetrical and allows other parts of your space to be quirky and a bit "off."  

I love these Paris Maps that Carolina scouted at the fabulous Houston store, Area. 

This (as seen in Elle Decor, May 2007) is a room I just keep coming back to.  It makes every part of me want to completely redo my living room and go all white and neutral (I'm a color lover, but I'm working towards this).  

{Photo by:William Waldron from House of Turquoise}

I love how Jan Showers used the architecture of the room to incorporate antiqued mirror flanked by a series.
{photo from Girl Meets Glamour}
I love how different pieces of art are hung on a framed mirror, genius! 

Like I mentioned, I am a huge fan of oversized {contemporary} art of the sofa.  

{photo via Habitually Chic}
I LOVE this piece, and talk about oversized!  

The art makes this room feel fresh, not stuffy.

Another no-fail trick is a fabulous mirror flanked by art/photos on either side. 

Love, Love, Love, this grouping by Ruthie Sommers. 

Symmetry is key in this Living Room designed by Scott Laslie for the Traditional Home's "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" Showhouse.  

Bottom Line: Think scale, think drama, and think symmetrically.  This will make your room balanced and allow you to experiment with your furniture and accessories. 

Oct 27, 2008

Chain, Chain, Chain

I have to confess something, I really cringe when I hear the word, "trend." To me that immediately signals the downfall of something I've probably liked for years that will now be everywhere, saturating the market, and I will be eventually worn down to the point that I fall out of love with it a little bit. Now, let me clarify... trends are fun, but I personally have more fun experimenting with them in fashion.  To me putting a trend in your home for the sake of a trend is a little too permanent.  Being a designer and design blogger it can be difficult/annoying to watch your beloved suzani be commercialized to the point of a sale rack at Target (not that I don't shop the sale racks at Target).  So when we talk about trends it is definitely a love/hate kind of thing!  

Interlocking links or chain link is an example something I have always liked that now seems to be everywhere (but right now in a good way). I love it because it is such a simple design with humble origins yet it has become iconic (Thanks to Hermes and Chanel).

The Chaine D'Ancre pattern from Hermes has an underlying equestrian feel.

Lauren Conrad carries a classic Chanel bag with the signature chain link straps.

Chunky chain gold jewelry is an accessory staple for me (J Crew bracelets).

This link "motif" has been around a long time. I LOVED these windows at St. Peter's in Rome.

This ingenious D.I.Y. shelf was showcased in the late Blueprint Magazine but I found it here.

These slinky chain metal curtains add amazing texture to this sleek room.

These bath mats are a pretty literal interpretation.  

Bedding on sale from Pottery Barn.

Glass Links chandelier from Z Gallerie.

Nate Berkus used a lot of chain link in his collection for the late Linens N' Things.

A favorite mirror from Mecox.

This neutral pillow is great if you want to add just a hint of the pattern.

Nordstrom "Etched Key" Vase.

I leave you with the immortal words of Billy Baldwin, "Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style."