Ring in the New Year with a little gold...

Nothing says fun and festive quite like metallics, especially gold.  It's becoming a huge trend in home decor and I love that it's not just being pulled out only for the holidays anymore.  Take a peak at some of my favorite gold decor pieces out there...

If you are planning a party and are in need of table numbers, how adorable is this set of gold foiled cards?!  They can so easily be used party after party and then later take a few significant ones like your house number or wedding date, and frame them to hang on the wall in your home.

Starburst mirrors are still all the rage and I have to agree they really do make such a beautiful statement on a wall.  Remember seeing the deep hued blue walls I love so much?  How stunning would this gold mirror look layered on top?!  This one is from Target for $69.99 too!
I have had my eye on these place mats & table runner (especially the runner) since I first saw them in Barney's housewares section during NY's fashion night out.  But I have since seen them at Bloomie's and Bed Beth and Beyond as well!  The maker is Chilewich and these pieces in particular are actually made from rubber so they won't slide once on the table.  It's in this intricate coral cut work pattern and is so beautiful.
No one plans party's quite like event planer for-the-stars, Colin Cowie.  But with a little help from him and his new HSN line you can easily transform your table with amazing gold knotted napkin rings and crocodile chargers like these.

I thought the chargers would be great paired with something a little different like these ornate vintage gold-leafed dinner plates.  I love mixing old with new and this really makes your table looks like a million bucks!  Who's to say these plates weren't passed down in your family generation after generation? ;)

This next find is from West Elm.  I am absolutely loving that they now feature new found designers regularly!  These particular glass tumblers are from an artist by the name of Jason Polan and I thought aside from a toothbrush holder they'd work great as flower vases.  Now back to Jason.  He's most recently written a book that is a guided tour of the MoMA (Musueum of Modern Art) here in the city.  He also sketches random New Yorkers in the subways, museums and restaurants and then posts them on his blog.  We should probably all take a peek right now just to make sure our mugs aren't on there, ha!  He's a super creative individual and I love that he'll be getting quite a following now due to these pieces in West Elm.

Lastly, I know I've mentioned this before, I love creating little vignettes.  On tables, a cluster of decorative pieces and maybe a little bud vase thrown in really warms the place up and gives it that finished, well put-together look.  I found these gold trophy statues and thought they'd make for a great decorative accessory in the mix.  They're from target, for $10.99!
I'm getting ready to head to my design-bestie's house tonight for a fun little dinner party.  We hit the flower district together this morning and I'll be heading to her place early to create a festive table arrangement.  Stay tuned for how that turns out next week!  You know there will be some metallic! :) 




I've been on a whirlwind this month....as I mentioned already the FL wedding, plus tons of temp work, and numerous holiday parties.  I want to extend my apologies again for the lag in posts but I've definitely got lots to share now.  During the second week in December, I helped my two girlfriends set up for their job's loft-warming work party.  They both started working for an awesome company called Purpose a couple of months ago.
In layman's terms, Purpose creates 21st century movements in an effort to help solve major global problems.  The company is such a change for all of us after having worked in the fashion world for so long.  It is seriously a J.O.B. good for the mind, body and soul!  It's gotta be so nice for them to be part of a group working towards such amazing, world-changing goals.  The company is currently working on a few large projects...they are launching a transnational LGBT rights movement, starting an education-based movement on bullying, as well as creating the groundwork for a consumer movement into the transition to electric cars.  They consistently partner with exciting players in the green and social economy like Dove, Livestrong and Nokia in order to reach the largest target audience possible with such lasting and progressive causes.  A lot of what they do is still a little hard for me to fully understand after spending such a short amount of time with them but here's their website so you can check it out some more.

Now on to the party!  They recently moved into an amazing loft space in Nolita and instead of doing a typical holiday party they wanted to have more of a "loft-warming" soiree and christen the space.  I helped pickup and carry a bunch of the materials as well as put together and arrange all the food platters. It was a blast for me- you know how much I love to entertain!

Check out the space- isn't it amazing?!  It's an old warehouse building with a freight elevator.  I took this shot from the upstairs that houses the kitchen and lounge-like eating area with a couch. 

This is the light fixture in the upstairs space.  It's really neat and super industrial looking.

This was such a neat idea for a guest book.  It's just large sheets of craft paper and a tall vase for guests to leave their business card.

All of the employees are so creative.  We had used every single bowl in the office to hold chips and snacks so one clever fellow ended up making a festive pyramid out of the clementines, no bowl necessary!  I loved the pop of color it added and was a sweet gesture for guests to grab one on the way out if they wanted.

Now here's the party getting started...

The large prints framed in gallery-esque frames were hung all along the long right wall of the space in between each set of windows.  They looked so great and easily became a conversation starter between guests at each food station.

The entire space is very laid back and comfortable not only for Purpose peeps but their guests too.  It really proves that a laid-back atmosphere doesn't encourage laziness because these people work their butts off and are truly brilliant!   

These are my favorite pieces.  Scattered around the office there are large old metal drawer units.  So great for storage and I love how they offset the whole white modern vibe.  They really compliment the old brick and wood floors in the space.

It's really nice that there are plants everywhere.  It's really important to add some green and make a otherwise cold & old loft space alive and inviting.  I also like the unexpectedness of some of the decor in the space, especially this wooden bear.  He is so cool and random, I love it! 

As I was leaving and waiting for the elevator to come, this was just another reminder of what a cool office it is...the old prewar stairwell with some of their coworker's bikes.

I guess I made a decent enough impression on the boss man at the loft party that I ended up being invited back in a temp role to fill in for one of my friends who would be traveling for a few weeks.  My next task at Purpose was to work on their storage closet over the two weeks.  They had ordered some white lacquer cabinets from Ikea and I got to go to town organizing.  It was right up my alley!  I wasn't able to get a picture of the whole room but here's a before and after of the cabinets. 
I'm really thankful to have had this opportunity with Purpose and just stoked that I continue to be immersed with such brilliant & talented humans everyday :).


Bradenton Market

My second favorite stop was finding the local market during our little two day vacay in Sarasota.  After driving around for most of the day in search of the weekly "Beach Street Market" we had read about we finally found it towards the end of the day, realizing we had only passed it twice earlier that morning, ha!
It was a quaint local market...lots of fresh produce and many crafters gearing up for the holiday season...

I loved the local farmers!  I caught these guys mid action loading up the balance of the watermelons.  I don't think they appreciated me snapping their photo in the midst of their hard manual labor but hey it was all in the name of capturing the full atmosphere for this post! :)

I thought this wind chime with these shells was really pretty, so natural and delicate looking.  It was hanging outside at one of the stores right down the block from the market.

We also stumbled upon this super creative "hippy dippy" store as my mom likes to say.  I love stores that feature talented local artists and really hope to be able to do the same one day with my own.  This particular artist crafted hanging sculptures made from frying pans and woks.  I thought these would be really neat to complete a cool industrial look over a bar or kitchen island.  Mini herb gardens or hanging plants sitting in each would be great.  I should definitely keep this idea in mind for any future restaurant decorating work, especially with the whole farm-to-table craze nowadays.

This is the store's back yard where they have a coffee bar and live music weekly.  Lots of brightly painted sculptures and branches everywhere...

And here's the little table outside our hotel room on the beach.  James sat there and ate stone crabs one day.  It was charming with a perfect view of the sunsets too.

Now can you see why it was so hard for us to come back to reality?...20 degrees and freezing and now even a blizzard too! :)


Bradenton Antiques

At the beginning of December James and I headed to a little town south of Sarasota, FL called Bradenton.  We had spent some time near there in Siesta Key where our friends live a few years ago for a Memorial day weekend and it felt great to be back.  The couples' wedding was during the day on Saturday, full of love and on the beach.  The weather was gorgeous!  All of our friends headed out of town early Sunday morning but James and I didn't have a return flight till Monday evening so we had some serious time on our hands.  By Sunday a cold front had come in so it was too chilly to beach it so of course the first thing I did was scout out all the little markets and antique shops. 

This was the first shop we found while exploring on our drive.  A local Antique shop that has many dealers...
They encourage people on the weekends to set up shop outside on the sidewalk in front of the store and in the parking lot too.  I was in heaven, you know what a sucker I am for outdoor flea markets!

I thought these benches were really great and would look perfect pulled up along either side of a farm-style table.  This is a great example of sometimes just having to look beyond the junk in order to uncover the treasures below.

Man, if I lived in FL I would most definitely take part in this!  Being immersed in antiques and sitting in your lounge chair getting some sun all day sounds just about perfect!

And inside the store, of course I found an endless amount of goodies.  All of which wouldn't fit in my suitcase so instead I took some snapshots for inspiration.  These small brass snails are adorable.  I love the use of nature in decorating, and these guys on a shelf I thought would be charming!  If you're not a fan of the brass, another neat idea would be to use primer to paint them white and give them a bisque-like pottery look.

I also am a huge fan of almost anything ethnic & tribal looking.  This basket would be great as a magazine bin or even small waste basket.

These are vintage mirrored buttons I could kick myself for not buying.  Especially at $0.25 each!  And I'm sure had I bought a ton I could have negotiated a little too.  I can't stop thinking about them and how much I would have loved to string them in a clustered effect on a necklace or bracelet.  The coolest part is the story behind them too...they were purchased  from a circus family in Sarasota!

Check out how different and fun is this vintage cow creamer is below.  I love when dishes are mis-matched and thought this would be a fun addition to anyone's china collection.

This is a vintage piece of luggage but what I loved was it's size.  It's a bit bigger than a sewing or cosmetic case, and taller than a hat box but it's smaller than an actual suitcase.  I wish I could remember what it's real purpose was now.  I think it's so great when beautiful vintage luggage is stacked in a room, on the side of a sofa or underneath an open-base entry way table.  This guy is really the perfect size for the top of the stack.  And also more than anything I love that it's covered in a tartan plaid wool (something different to mix with leather) and has those super industrial brass hinges.  I really should have used it as a toiletry case just to bring it back on the plane with me ;).

As you can see, I never lack finding something while antiquing.  So there's still lots more finds to go ;). 

I recently decorated an apartment and the concept the owner and I came up with was a chic nautical vibe.  The next few pieces would have totally worked, too bad that project's complete!  This was a beautiful large piece of natural coral in a really nice dusty purple hue. 

These are brass anchor book ends.  Again, painted in a bisque white they would read super modern on a book shelf!

I love these fireplace end irons.  I would either leave these as-is in the brass color for a vintage look or paint a high-gloss blue or red for a great modern lacquer effect. 

I'm a huge sucker for conversation pieces.  This hoof I believe was from a water buffalo.  Actually I may be making that up, it's been almost a month since I first saw this thing, but hey that'll do, right?! ;).  So this vintage water buffalo hoof was turned into an ash tray but easily could be used as a catchall on your entryway for keys, a match book holder, etc.  It's so neat!

This picture doesn't quite resemble a typical FL house these days, but seeing the whole block of homes was much more telling. What a state of disarray the whole housing market is in there.  I saw it worse than ever this trip and during my time home for Xmas last week and really can't get over it.  Isn't there a saying like "with hardship comes creativity"?  Actually here's one I just found, "Creativity- like human life itself- begins in darkness."  Hoping that'll start to take shape for people there sooner than later.  Anyway, with my immense love for distressed and vintage finishes came my yelling at James to turn around and go back to this house as we drove by.  I had to get a close up of this homes' door.   

I do believe these homeowners were actually in the process of refinishing the door, probably getting it stripped and just hadn't let it go (which is what I initially thought ;). I loved how castle-like and old this crackling and chipping effect made the door feel and would absolutely love to recreate this look on a more modern home or even a barn.  This is definitely one to add to my archives for the future!

Stay tuned for the rest of our trip and the local market we came across.  I'm hoping this puts warm thoughts in your head...thinking about the beach and the sun wherever you are.  I know even Florida's cold right now!


"Oh Xmas time oh Xmas time"

I can't believe it's really here!  Now it's time to bring out the festive cheer!  With 21 days left, I thought I'd share my little Xmas tree and some fun decorating ideas.

This is the closest we've gotten to a full-sized tree in New York.  It's very exciting! 

So much so, I had to put it in front of our windows so every night when I get home and plug it in hopefully our neighbors can enjoy it too :).

I love the star!  I found it at one of the floral supply stores in the flower district I frequent for $4.99!  It's made out of twigs and glitter.   I was worried that I was going to have to wrap wire around it to get it to stay but we literally just slid it between two branches on the top and it's super secure!

I didn't have a tree skirt but always have tons of fabric scraps laying around so I took some old burlap feed bags and cut them up and draped around the stand. 

My favorite part is that I found these little glitter acorns in the flower district too, a whole box for $5.  I sat some on branches here and there and then sprinkled the rest on the burlap.  James came home that night and said, "Babe, all your acorns fell off the tree!"  hahaha, hello- intentional!

Recently five famous interior designers: Jonathan Adler, Thom Filicia, Laura Kirar (who I met this summer!), Kelly Wearstler and Vincent Wolf were asked by The NY Times to choose 10 photos each from the Times' archive for which the public can purchase at The NY Times store.

Let me share some of the photos with you.  Now that I'm becoming more familiar with these designers it was so neat to see how each collection of 10 photos really did embody the aesthetic and design-style of each particular designer.

Kelly Wearstler's all had a feeling of art deco, with gold metal shavings and strong structured lines, lots of geometric shapes.  Each time I see her work I am in awe.  She chose two different photos of the outer facade of this super modern building in Chelsea that I drool over every time we are driving on the West Side Highway.  It is so awesome!

Thom Filicia is all about brighter colors and contrast and incorporates a lot of nature in his designs.  The pictures he chose of trees and a yellow taxi cab did just that.  Every picture was an outdoor scene too.

Laura Kirar has a love of antiques, probably just as much as me.  This summer I volunteered for her and her team during a chairty event and I helped sell the items in a space she decorated, most of which were vintage pieces.  Here all of her photos were black & white and extremely whimsical.  She
chose one of a dismantled dinosaur and a bulldog, even a great shot of the parachute jump, a ride at Coney Island.  

You can check out the rest at The NY Times store.

Now for my idea and how this relates to our tree.  So I want to cut these photos out from the newspaper because they are all small, around 2"x3", rectangles and then I want to clip them onto our tree using festive clothes pins which I'll show you below.  I think it's really important you make your tree yours and not copy straight off the page of a magazine.  Any little things that embody you and your family are important and could be used...baby's first pair of shoes, old black & white photos, funny photobooth pics, feathers or shells from a beach trip.

And to make it easy on you around this busy time, if you'd rather just buy the festive clothespins instead of making your own, Etsy has a great selection.  I loved these.

Happy decorating to you & yours!!