Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Things that make me smile...

I love the twinkling of lights at this time of year, the warm glow they cast over a room making everything look and feel so cozy and inviting. 

Monday, November 28, 2011

A quick and easy holiday diy...

Hello!  I'm back from a long relaxing holiday weekend.  I hope everyone who celebrated Thanksgiving in the States had a wonderful and memorable day.  We certainly did, Mike and I spent the weekend with my parents at the beach and it was absolutely perfect!

We followed our yearly tradition of picking out our Christmas tree this weekend and we've started decking out the house for the holidays.  I will be sharing some sneak peeks of our decor and lots of holiday projects over the next few weeks leading up to Christmas.

I'm always drawn to Scandinavian design and decor, especially when it comes to holiday decor so I've taken inspiration from interiors like this one to decorate our house this year.   Lots of red, white, and wood tones and lovely and simple diy projects like these paper stars.

christmas paper stars diy

scandinavian paper stars

scandinavian paper stars diy

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

For those of you who are celebrating Thanksgiving today have a wonderful holiday!  Mike and I will be spending the day with my parents.  I'm really looking forward to a few days of relaxation and rest spent with the people I love.  As is tradition in my family, tomorrow we will be picking out our Christmas tree and the holiday season will officially begin!

Monday, November 21, 2011

House Beautiful

My issue of House Beautiful showed up over the weekend.  I fell in love with this gorgeous mid century modern house - for me it is everything I want in my own home.  It's modern but maintains a sense of warmth and has a very lived in feel.  The house is full of Moroccan rugs, kilim pillows, and suzani throws which bring such an amazing color palette to the space and also give the house a great organic and bohemian vibe that I love.

Another thing I am kind of obsessed with are the floors...it's making me re-think my whole concrete floor option for our house.  I never thought I would love tile but I really love this tile.  It's this sort of greige color that would totally accent our furniture without overpowering the rooms or taking away from the current design aesthetic.  If I can find a similar match I think I might go for it!  What do you think?

house beautiful

house beautiful

house beautiful

house beautiful

Friday, November 18, 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Paul & Holiday Traditions

The much anticipated holiday issue of Sweet Paul magazine is out and I've been obsessing over it for the last couple of hours.  It's full of beautiful and inspiring Christmas imagery.  I literally cannot wait to begin decorating the house for Christmas next week.  Mike and I always pick out our tree the day after Thanksgiving.  Initially this tradition had to take a little convincing as Mike thinks it's a bit too early but I'm like a big kid when it comes to Christmas and can't wait to start decorating.  What are your traditions for decorating?  Do you wait until December or start as soon as the Thanksgiving leftovers get put away?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Fashion Files - Thanksgiving Dinner Outfit Inspiration

I've definitely got the holidays on my mind - I'm so excited that Thanksgiving is next week!  I love a reason to get a little more done up than usual and Thanksgiving is the perfect time to put on a fancy outfit and eat way too much food.  Today I put together three outfit ideas for three different holiday dinner scenarios.  Hopefully this will give you a little inspiration...

For some of you, this holiday may be the first time you are meeting your significant other's family or if you've only had a few awkward encounters up til now, this may be the first time you'll be spending real quality time with them.  You will want to look and feel confident and cute.  A simple dress with tights is a great option, it's casual but not fussy and you will by no means be under dressed.  A few great but understated accessories are key, a smart looking handbag and sexy but conservative heels will make you feel your best.

outfit ideas for the holidays

Sources: 1. Navy Silhouette Tunic via Oasis / 2. Year of Color October Ring via Kate Spade / 3. Scotch Naturals Flying Scotsman via Spirit Beauty Lounge / 4. Lee Angel Five Strand Bracelet via Intermix / 5. Biennial Satchel via J.Crew / 6. Sternlein Organic Opaque Tights via Polyvore / 7. Gatsby Shoes via Fergie Shoes

If you are lucky enough to be attending this year's dinner as a guest only, all you really have to worry about is finding a great outfit and the perfect hostess gift.  Wear a cute fitted blazer with something sexy and shimmery underneath.  A scarf and some killer heels will elevate the look and make you feel dressed up.  A few great accessories and the perfect shade of pink nail polish will complete the look.
outfit ideas for the holidays

Sources: 1. Boyfriend Blazer via Topshop / 2. Gold Lurex Tank Top via My Wardrobe / 3. Ankora Gold Triangle Earrings via Max & Chloe / 4. Moto Bordeaux Cord Skinny Jeans via Topshop / 5. Glasses via H&M / 6. Clutch via H&M / 7. Scarf Nice C via Mango / 8. Camel Platform Sandals via Stylebop / 9. Jade Rose Nail Polish via Chanel

If you are hosting the big day, you will no doubt be working your ass off before your guests arrive but will still want to look effortlessly chic and put together.   Simple and elegant is the key.  Short sleeves are best, especially for last minute dish washing and prep work.  Wear something shimmery and slim fitting so you still feel sexy even after you've had your hand up the turkey's unmentionable area.  Keep a fitted blazer on standby to throw on before guests arrive and wear a cute (and comfortable) pair of flats since you will have undoubtedly been standing for the last several hours in the kitchen.  A simple gold watch will allow you to keep track of anything waiting in the oven. A few strands of gold necklaces elevate the look and a dark shade of nail polish is the perfect finishing touch.

outfit ideas for the holidays

Sources: 1. Boxy Flecked Roll Sleeve Tee via Topshop / 2. Black Blazer via Topshop / 3. African String Necklaces via Calypso St. Barth / 4. Skinny Jeans via The Outnet / 5. Mallachy Ballet Flats via Topshop / 6. Gold Bracelet Watch via Debenhams / 7. Scotch Naturals Hot Toddy via Spirit Beauty Lounge

Monday, November 14, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner, Two Ways

With all the stress that ensues when taking on the task of hosting Thanksgiving dinner, sometimes the last thing we remember to do is create a beautiful setting for the big day.  I created a couple of design boards that will hopefully give you a little inspiration for putting together a Thanksgiving table that your guests will remember for years to come. 

The first look I created has a rustic and organic feel while still staying very clean and sophisticated.  The idea here is to bring the outdoors in with nature inspired elements and a neutral color palette of browns, whites and creams. 

Dress your table with potted herb plants in galvanized metal buckets.  Use burlap and linen fabrics and light colored and rustic woods like mango and birch to help accessorize your look.  Dress the turkey on a simple white platter with figs, grapes and herbs for a beautiful presentation. 

rustic thanksgiving table inspiration

Sources: 1. Enchanted Forest Platter via Not on the High Street / 2. Lettered Wine Carafe via Terrain / 3. Petrified Wood Trays via Jayson Home / 4. Mophead Hydrangea via Terrain / 5. Burlap Vases via Jayson Home / 6. Napoli Napkin via Jayson Home / 7. Thrown Stoneware Tray via Terrain / 8. Damascus Handblown Tumblers via Toast / 9. Terrain Dinnerware via Cb2 / 10. Mandara Pine Bowl via Jayson Home / 11. Rosemary Tree via Terrain / 12. English Beeswax Candles via Toast 

The second look I created is a modern take on tradition using a simple color palette of black, white, and gold.  Black and white may seem like an unusual choice for Thanksgiving but using gold accents helps to tie in the colors of the season and the combination makes for a sophisticated look with a modern flair.  The idea here is understated elegance.  Fill the table with mercury glass gold votives to set a mood.  For a simple centerpiece, spray paint small pumpkins with enamel white paint or lacquer for a modern, high gloss look. 

modern thanksgiving table inspiration

Sources: 1. Set of Two Brass Birds via Sanford & Daughters / 2. Edge Wine Glass via Crate and Barrel / 3. Organic Rimmed Dinnerware via West Elm / 4. Black Place Cards via Artzy Fartzy Invites / 5. Large Gold Paper Bowl via Gretel / 6. Gold Mercury Glass via Cultural Intrigue / 7. Marble Salt and Pepper Cellars via Jayson Home / 8. Acorn Table Napkins via One Sydney Road / 9. Wishbone Platter via West Elm / 10. Soapstone Wine Cellar via Terrain / 11. Linea Ice Oro Five Piece Place Setting via Gretel

I hope I've given you some ideas and inspiration for making your holiday table stand out.  The idea is to keep things simple and sophisticated and to have a little fun!  Add your own special touches and the day is sure to be both beautiful and memorable!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Est Magazine

Have you seen the new-ish online magazine Est, an Australian shelter mag full of amazing inspiration and ideas?  The other day I was feeling completely uninspired and was even considering unplugging for a few days to try and regain some of my creativity when I happened across Est.  I was so inspired by the feature on black and white spaces.  I keep pondering the idea of a black and white room for my studio but am afraid to make the commitment.  After seeing the spread in Est, how could I not at least consider it?!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Two years ago today...

Mike and I are celebrating our two year wedding anniversary today.  I can't believe it's already been two years!  It's gone by so fast but it's been amazing...Being obsessed with all things French, I recently bought this cookbook and Mike and I are going to make a recipe from it tonight to celebrate.  The name of the recipe is "Pumpkin stuffed with everything good" and it's basically pumpkin stuffed with cheese, cream, garlic, bacon and herbs...sounds amazing doesn't it?  I can't wait! 

Photography by Kyle Hale

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Creating a mood board

Creating a mood board or design board is extremely easy.  I was inspired to make mine by a piece of MDF board that I had left over from another project.  The board was gathering dust in my garage when I finally decided to grab it, paint it with chalkboard paint and bring it inside.

thanksgiving mood board

 I like the idea of having a design board that can move around - right now I'm pulling photos for a rustic Fall/Thanksgiving table and I can easily move the mood board into my dining room for reference when I am ready to start turning my inspirations into reality.

To begin making your board you will need a piece of MDF or plywood which you can pick up at your local hardware store and have them cut to your desired size.  I was a bit limited with mine because it was cut from another project so it's larger than I would have liked but oh well - all the more room for inspiration!

I chose to paint my board with chalkboard paint.  Of course you can choose any color that inspires you, I would say a neutral tone is best so your images really stand out and aren't competing with your background color.  I personally love the contrast of the black chalkboard paint against my photos and I can write little notes or ideas in chalk next to pictures.  Another option is to paint the base with magnetic paint and then paint over that with chalkboard paint.  That way you have a magnetic and writable surface. 

thanksgiving mood board

Originally I only painted one side of my board but I plan to go back and paint the other side - this way if I'm working on a couple of projects I can keep inspirations and clippings on either side of the board and just flip to the side that I need to reference.  The entire project was less than $30 and took an afternoon to prepare!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Welcome November!

I'm really looking forward to the holidays this year, especially after putting together this month's design board!  When I was finished I noticed that all my picks were mainly white and wood tones which I really love together. Do you ever notice a theme in something you are doing after you do it? It's like somehow subconsciously your brain is piecing together a color story without you even realizing it! 

november design board
Sources: 1. Bon Appetit napkin via Terrain / 2. Olive wreath via Crate and Barrel / 3. Wood grain pitcher via Terrain / 4. Olive wood paddle board via West Elm / 5. Woven cornucopia via Terrain / 6. Thanksgiving platter via West Elm / 7. Lucite antlers via Jayson Home / 8. Mango wood candle holder via Williams-Sonoma

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Things that make me smile...

I hope everyone had a wonderful Halloween...I'm so glad it's finally November which means my two favorite holidays are right around the corner!