Flowers for the temp!

How lucky was I to temp on the day after Thanksgiving?!  Not only did I cover reception for an empty office and get to surf the internet all day, but I was fed delicious Italian pastries that a famous bakery sent and I also got to take home the insane flower arrangements they get on a weekly basis! 

Everyone who knows me well enough (poor James :) knows that if I'm sent flowers from a florist I almost always pull them apart.  One of the first Valentine's arrangements I ever got I completely changed.  I took the baby's breath out, cut the roses down short and ended up making two smaller arrangements out of the single large one.  This past Friday was no different. 

Here are the flowers I got to take home.  The camera on my phone did not do this arrangement of orange lilies justice at all.  The color was super vibrant and there were a million!  The thing was massive, I couldn't even lift it.  Good thing I wasn't allowed to take the vases ;).

This arrangement is made up of these red tropical plant-like flowers.  Does anyone know what these are?  I have to ask the guys in the flower district next time I'm there. 

So I wrapped up all the flowers and big palm leaves in The Financial Times (way better use than reading it ;) and was on my way.  Once home, I got completely inspired to spruce up my boring vases.  These arrangements really called for rustic and natural looking pottery which I didn't have but I remembered I had a bunch of twine and thin rope. 

So I ended up taking my spray adhesive glue and spraying 2-3 coats on each glass vase (till it looked fogged like in the below picture).  Then I wrapped the twine or rope around the vase and pressed in against the vase firmly as I went around, ensuring each layer was compressed to the bottom one so there were no gaps.  You could even use different colored yarn and layer colors- that would look great too!

Upon completing the vases I began to fill them but there were just way too many flowers.  So I pulled out another two small glass vases and instead covered the inside of the glass vase with palm leaves to give it a super tropical look.  The trick here is to put the leaf in first then add the water so it almost sticks to glass.  These were very structured so even after cutting them they molded to the vase well.

Here's how they all turned out...

Seriously, our apartment looks like a jungle right now!  I even used small vintage bottles I had as vases for the single palm leaves I had left.  Adding a bit of green in the bath or bedroom really gives such a fresh feel. 

Crossing my fingers I luck out with another temp assignment just like this one again very soon! :)


JK Place...Firenze

Hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  I had a quiet day of relaxing, full of Taylor Swift, and shared it with my sweet girlfriend and lovely chef & turkey extraordinaire-boyfriend.  I wanted to say how blessed I am for everyone in my life and for all you guys who constantly show your support and encouragement.  THANK YOU a zillion!!  It most definitely was a day to give thanks and reflect.  

On that note, I also want to give a special thanks to Michelle Adams right now.  She's the the editor of Lonny Mag.  For those of you who remember Domino (*RIP, tear*) she had worked for them and then when they closed thankfully gave us all a glimmer of hope by delivering the most precious gem of an online magazine, called Lonny.  This particular Oct/Nov edition just took me right back to one of my favorite stops on our summer get-away.  Let the reminiscing begin!!...

It was to Florence and I fell madly in love with this city after we spent just a couple of days there.  Florence was the one city on our trip that we didn't have a hotel booked beyond the first night.  We thought we'd be adventurous and find something for the remaining days once we got there.  J.K. Place was the chic-est hotel I'd ever come across...literally we stumbled upon it walking through the Piazza Santa Maria Novella.  

It was right up my alley, "a boutique hotel" as they say, with a neutral color palette mixed with tons of vintage & modern decor.  Not only is the decor amazing (which I will show you in a minute) but I freaked out because it's James and my initials...layer on the cheese now, haha!

I'm so excited Lonny Mag did a whole article on it because after we inquired about the price per night there was no time for me to get into full blown tourist mode and snap a bunch of pics before the door slammed behind us ;).  It was definitely a dream hotel because of the price but I highly recommend if anyone's work travel budget allows it or if it's for a very special occasion.  

Here's the entrance.  Quite honestly I thought it was an awesome antique shop!

The building used to be a deserted condominium.  The owner made sure to preserve original architectural details like the ceilings shown here.  The contrast between how sweet and rustic the original ceiling is against the dark and traditional rich library-feel of the room is absolutely amazing!  This room is actually the reception, which can be found down the antique-filled hallway and off to the left.  It's disguised so well to mask the typical "hotel feel" of a receptionist.  There's a beautiful table stacked with books which hides the computer and desk.  I love this! 

Breakfast is served around an oval-shaped dining table under a glass-domed courtyard where the setting encourages guests to talk amongst each other and swap travel stories.  The room used to be a floral shop.  Now can you see why I loved it so much? ;) 

Here are the hotel's lounges.  There's one downstairs and another upstairs.  The entire hotel was designed and decorated to make you feel like you were staying at a friend's beautiful home.  

This was my absolute favorite spot in the hotel, on the back left hand side of the first floor was an elegant exposed stair case and to me that just made it feel even more like a cozy home.  I died over the paintings sitting on each step too.  So chic and not one bit fussy!  Really pictures and words can not express how beautiful this place is!   

The weather this week's been a bit gloomy...Black Friday's got a whole literal meaning going on today ;).  With the new year approaching, it's really gotten me in the mood to reminisce.  I think my next post or two will be more about all of the inspiring decor I saw along our trip this past summer in the sun so stay tuned! 

Have a great weekend everyone!  Happy shopping and may the force (tons of patience) be with you if you're braving it out there today! :)


Around the world...

There is something about using globes in home decor that I absolutely love.  I've (sub)consciously bought and staged one in three apartments that I've decorated so far.  One on a vintage tripod stand I found, one mounted on it's own short pedestal stand and one propped against a few books on a shelf with a brick wall behind it.  Maybe this will end up becoming a design signature for me, who knows?  Here are two of the vintage ones I've found...

I originally bought one for myself a few years ago at a flea market because honestly, I am a little geographically challenged.  I had the most boring social studies teacher in school (no lie, we called him Boring Barry!) not to mention, I'm the type of person who if someone takes directions from me they should almost always go the other way ;).  After working in production and communicating daily with our HK and Italy teams I thought it was time to grow my knowledge of the world and get a feel for where exactly these offices were.  And now after having my globe for 3 years, I can honestly say it's done me well...that is, as a decor statement item only!  I've gotten tons of compliments.  It's a great conversation piece in the corner, on the old tripod stand next to my desk, but I almost always google a place out of habit instead of actually using it :).

So in case you're in search of your own, here are some great ones I've found...

On One Kings Lane right now they have a great selection from Spherical Concepts starting at just $35.  Here are two of my faves...

This one is dual-purpose since it's a light as well.  It's a vintage piece I found on Etsy.

I love any container that could be used to house a terarrium and this one could do just that!  It could also be great to hold souveniers you pick up along your travels- shells and stones from beaches, match books, wine corks, etc.

Plant-it Earth Sphere

Another really cool idea instead of a standard round globe is this one below from IWantOneOfThose.  My design-bestie has this in her own home.  It is a scratch-off map (how cool!) so you scratch off the places when you visit them.

As Columbus would have suggested on this day before Thanksgiving, go and conquer the world! (or at least add one to your own home decor :).


Circular clustered wall art

So as I'm researching and getting inspiration for creative decor ideas to use in my new projects I've been catching myself repeatedly gravitating towards big wall statements.  I've been noticing a large trend in hanging ethinic-inspired circular woven baskets and now even, ceiling medallions.  I am totally digging these large scale wall art collections assembled from decor items that are used in a very non-traditional way.  Not to mention, they're an extremely reasonable way to make a huge statement! 

Check out the images I've found...

This is my fave.  In a lobby of a hotel, floor to ceiling neutral-toned baskets along the wall.

Bigger baskets here...creating a very sweet vignette over a bench.

In this image vintage ceiling medallions were painted in hues of yellow and hung organically along the wall...

Here, more of the ceiling medallions vintage-state is preserved by painting them all in a white bisque.

And here are some spots where you can find these great woven baskets and celiing medallions.

On Etsy search "African basket" and "ceiling medallion" to find these....

Click here on West Elm's site to find these....

And here on Lowes to find these great paintable/stainable medallions...

Crossing my fingers my client's will like them as much as me so that I get to try out creating my own! :)


Modern + Vintage + Austin= HEAVEN!

There's nothing I love more than mixing modern with vintage...and oh, have I mentioned Austin, TX?!  Thank you Apartment Therapy for yet again showing me the best of both worlds that I can't currently have! ;)  In all seriousness, this house tour is amazing.  A super modern structure decorated in a very whimsical way with lots of french-inspired textiles and antiques.  The eclectic feel just radiates although the color palette is so soft and simple.  It looks as though the house would smell faintly of lavender, doesn't it?  Check it out....(Beautiful) Austin Home

Make sure you don't miss all the little details like the wrought iron framed kitchen table and the rustic chair, broom and tiny bird by the fireplace!  Absolutely charming!

One of my favorite items used in decorating more and more these days are old apothecary or metal curio cabinets.  They're such a refreshing update to a hutch or typical wood shelving unit.  I love how it instantly turns your trinkets into beautifully showcased museum-worthy pieces!  Sometimes a little pricey and tricky to find, but totally worth the hunt!  Isn't this one great?!....

This next idea is creativity at it's best!  I've experienced that window treatments are one the most difficult parts of decorating.  Everyone's windows are so different and a standard rod and drapes doesn't always cut it.  Especially in these new modern spaces!  This owner handmade fabric covered panels customized to her windows so she could slip them in and get more privacy whenever she wanted.  So cool!

I also loved the organic feel of how these frames and art are just sitting on top of this bench, not hung, just propped against the wall.  Not quite sure how I feel about the butt cast up top though...you can decide for yourself :).

I'll leave the rest for you to see for yourself, definitely don't want to spoil everything!  

Have a great weekend everyone.  I'm going to my first college football game in Maryland!  Yay for the hometown crowd...crabcakes & football baby, that's what MD does!  Wish me luck ;).


Timorous Beasties

My ears are ringing!!!  My design-bestie and I just had a total ESP moment!  The title of today's blog post is actually the name one of the most interesting wall paper companies I have ever come across. Here's their website: Timorous Beasties.

I decided to venture into the NYDC (New York Design Center) recently and roam around.  Now that I have my business license I am privileged to buy from these "to the trade only" designer furniture, decor and textile showrooms.  I was like a kid in a candy store roaming through this building!  During my first pop-in to a modern showroom I perused through the wallpaper hangers in the back and a sales guy brought over all of the Timorous Beasties books for me to look through highlighting this one specific toile they had.  My ears perked!  My design-bestie had just told me over dinner that she wants to wallpaper her country cabin's bathroom and to be on the lookout for a toile in a green colorway.  This toile in particular is really unique.  Unlike typical french toiles where there are dainty pictures of intricate trees or people picnic-ing, this toile is of London's street action.  Police cars, gangsters, and guys drinking.  One vignette even depicts a guy pulling a gun on someone.  Like I said, not your typical toile!

Here's your typical toile...

And here's Timorous Beasties' London Toile...

Here's a close up of one of the vignettes in person...

I texted her immediately saying I had found the most unique green toile and I couldn't wait to show her and then she called me within minutes to discuss.  She had found the exact same one online the week before!  We were totally floored!  Out of all the toiles you could possibly choose we both picked this crazy one?!   There's two amazing things about this besides the whole ESP occurrence.  The first is that this really would be the best conversation piece in a home because unless you get up close you really can't make out what's going on.  And the second is that I found out the designer is coming out with a New York version next year!!  Seriously, what could be better than that?!!  Love my design-bestie and can't wait for the day when I get to step foot in her finished cabin bath.

And so you can see that the company makes other great designs besides this toile here are some of my faves...

They do beautifully detailed florals both small and large-scale...

This floral is on vinyl (super durable, easy to wipe clean and long lasting)...

I especially love their Entomology Collection with butterflies & bees...

I thought this pheasant print was so soft and whimsical.  Great for an entry-way, bedroom, powder or dressing room.

And all of their papers come in 3-4 different colorways!

Hope you all enjoy this just as much as we have!  


Flower District Inspiration...

Thanks to the Mark event I found some other great ideas for future floral design and decorating projects and thought I'd share.  Check 'em out!...

Gold sprayed peach roses.  How different & elegant, right?!!  They're alive too, not dried!!  I had to ask! 

Beautiful horn bowls and cups...the bowl would be amazing as any entry way piece filled with a neat beaded necklace or wooden bracelets.  I love when beautiful ornate jewelry is out in a home.  It's art so why not put it out on display!  I thought the cup would be great filled with the roses above or maybe some amazing pheasant feathers or porcupine quills!

Here are some super inexpensive and beautiful woven rugs and seat cushion covers.  What an awesome way to add a sophisticated worldly-touch to the home! 

I was rummaging around in the back and look what I found!  This floral supply store sells super chic metallic curtain finials too!

These are beautiful barnacles.  I love using nature in whatever way possible when decorating.  I am toying with the idea of doing a romantic dusty purple bedroom and just think this would be such a perfect accent piece on the dresser or nightstand.  

I was ecstatic to find these silver julep cups...they make a super elegant vase for flowers, especially white roses!

Lastly, I found these great birch wood tiles.  I thought using these to cover the top of a table or dresser or even backing bookcases or a buffet would be really cool.

I can't tell you enough how awesome it feels when you are in the zone for one project and then all of a sudden your mind is flooded with tons of ideas for others thanks to all the creative elements around.  I love finding materials that make me push my limits too!  Such a successful trip to the flower district...I can't wait to use some of these ideas in my upcoming projects.