Thursday, June 30, 2011

What's in my travel bag?

Today I'm sharing a little peak inside my travel bag. These are the things that are an absolute necessity when I travel - a comfy pair of socks to keep my feet warm on the plane, a notebook to jot down ideas and inspirations I find when traveling, a fabulous scarf to dress up my outfit when I land.    I don't like to check bags so I try to keep it simple and pack light.

My flight takes off in a few hours and I'm finishing up a few last minute things before heading to the airport. I have some guest bloggers lined up in my absence that have created some truly beautiful and inspiring posts that I know you will love. Have a wonderful week and a fun and safe July 4th for those who live in the U.S.  I'll see you all back here next week with lots of stories and pictures from my trip!


Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Fashion Files - Picnic in the English Countryside

I'm drawing a lot of inspiration from England right now so I decided to put together this week's Fashion Files post with an outfit made for picnicing in the English countryside complete with Hunter rain boots and a London Fog umbrella, just in case your day gets interrupred with a bit of rain. 
picnic in the english countryside style board

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Things that make me smile...

Just two more days until we depart for England! I am beyond excited and today, all things England related are making me smile...

vintage suitcases

England village fog

union jack rug

london eye


Monday, June 27, 2011

Entertaining with ease

There is no doubt that we all do a little more entertaining over the summer.  I love having people over and over time I've developed a list of go-to items I always keep on hand and tips that make the whole process of entertaining much easier.  The key is to always be ready for the unexpected and to make it look effortless, this puts both you and your guests at ease.

favorites items for entertaining
No. 8 Radius wine

Keep a few bottles of your favorite red and white wine on hand.  In fact, find one you absolutely love and buy it by the case (most vendors will give you a discount).  Make this wine your "house" wine, the wine you serve at every occasion and always have at the ready when guests stop by.

dresser turned into bar

Keep luxurious chocolate bars, fancy jams and crackers, gourmet jars of olives and nuts, and varieties of fine loose leaf teas in your pantry so at a moments notice you can put together a beautiful spread that looks like it took a ton of time to prepare.

tea time

Don't serve things in the jars or packaging they came in.  It will seem more thoughtful and add a more personal touch to your table.  I love Weck jars and always keep some on hand.  Not only are they great for giving as gifts (I give my favorite loose leaf teas as gifts in them) but they also make beautiful containers at the table for Nutella or yogurt.

antipasto platter

Most importantly, make people feel at home and like they can help themselves by making everything ready and accessible - A bar set up with mixers, garnishes, and spirits.  Bottles or pitchers of water on a credenza with glasses nearby.  Cocktail napkins and appetizer plates on hand near the snacks.

martini bar

Friday, June 24, 2011

Interior of the Week

I am in love with this week's interior.  The white walls and white floors really make the beautiful ethnic textiles and eclectic furniture have so much more impact. 

Thursday, June 23, 2011


One of the things I love about Pinterest are all the amazing diy projects I find.  Here are some of my favorites.  Do you have any great diy's you are working on right now?



clutch tutorial

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Travel by Design - Fjäll

Fjäll, located in Australia, is a cozy alpine retreat in the mountains that perfectly blends rustic and modern.  I love the wood tones, soft textures and muted color palette.  It looks like a wonderful place to relax indoors and watch the snow fall outside after a long day of skiing. 

fjall resort

fjall resort

fjall resort

Fjall resort

fjall resort

fjall resort

Monday, June 20, 2011

Reno Diary - Our Living Room

This is a very raw before of our living room, which I shared a while back. It doesn't look like this now, we've replaced light fixtures, ceiling fans, closet doors - basically all the hideous brown pieces your eye goes right for in these photos.  We've painted the walls a very light gray and the couch and chairs have also been replaced by this, and this.  The room is still so far from where we want it to be and needs a lot of styling and accessories to help make it cozy and more a reflection of us. 

living room before

Here are some spaces that I found for inspiration.  In the room below I love the mixture of old and new and the use of display - the mini gallery wall with different frames, the beautiful storage solutions, the books laid casually on the shelf next to the collection of candlesticks. It's functional and beautiful but it feels so effortless, which I love.

We have a huge collection of records that need a home and a small but growing collection of artwork that needs to be hung on the walls.  I really like the use of  the long shelf with the old wooden crates underneath which could be used to store our records. 

In this space I love the mix of textiles with varying patterns and textures.  They really help to add a layer of warmth and coziness to the room.  There is also a nice, understated mix of vintage pieces on display (like the old globe) which helps add a touch of nostalgia and playfulness to the space. 

I really want to incorporate some ethnic prints and textiles into our living room (maybe a fabulous rug from our trip to Morocco) or something with a rich and colorful ikat pattern.  There's a lot of gray going on in our space right now and we need some color and texture to help keep it fun and interesting.

It wasn't clear to me at first why I was so drawn to this room.  I was searching for lamps at West Elm and came across this image on their website and I just kept going back to it for some reason.  I think I am really drawn to the mix of vintage furniture in this room.  To me, this is a really good example of mixing vintage with modern in a subtle way that seems to work very well.  I love the vintage wooden cabinet (searching for one of these like crazy now) and the old wooden stool used as a side table.

Here is a design board I put together for our living room incorporating some of the design elements I like from the inspiration rooms.  living room design board
No. 7 tables 1, 2, 3

Friday, June 17, 2011

Interior of the Week

Searching for a hotel in Morocco for our upcoming trip, brought me to this amazing riad in Marrakech.  Sadly it doesn't appear to be for rent but it is breaktakingly beautiful and I've enjoyed drooling over the gorgeous pictures...

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Travel by Design - Paris

We leave for Europe in just a couple of weeks!  I am really looking forward to skipping town for a few days and exploring another country.  Our original plans were going to include a quick stop in Paris but after talking about it, we decided that it would be way too much to cram into such a short trip. We are now planning on spending our entire trip in the Cotswolds and possibly a night or two in London.

Admittedly, I was a bit bummed when we first decided to cancel Paris.  I was really looking forward to it since I've never been, but I guess the city and I will just have to meet some other time.

Prior to canceling our Paris leg, I was on the hunt for a charming, quaint, and affordable place to stay when I stumbled upon this little apartment for rent.