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My New Adventure in Blogging

20 Apr

I’ve recently discovered a great blog that touches upon all the things I love – fashion, food, decor, events, Boston and charity. I’m excited to say that not only have I become a devout reader but I have also just signed on to be a contributor! Miss A is one of the largest and fastest growing online destinations for women. Miss A covers the intersection of charity and style in 21 major U.S. cities and offers informative content on a woman’s well-rounded lifestyle and interests. With a team of more than 30 editors and hundreds of writers, Miss A includes the latest and most relevant information on fashion, beauty, entertainment, food, family, city events and exclusive advice and recommendations for nearly one million unique visitors each year. Through authentic, informative, and witty editorial voices of writers in-the-know across the United States, Miss A informs, inspires, and entertains an audience of more than 95,000 unique visitors monthly. Miss A continues to grow organically by building a powerful online network of women.

 To follow my posts and those of my peers, please “like” our Miss A (Boston) page on Facebook. I’d also love for you to “like” the main Miss A page and follow us on Twitter @AskMissA.

Check out my first feature here!

Wink,

Style Girl

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A Playroom for Bebe

16 Apr

Oh the little ones grow up so fast. Just over nine months ago I held my precious newborn in my arms. Today he is crawling around my house like a little truck (or as my husband says, a little Swiffer). Since my son is now too old for hour-long cuddles and stationary play, it was time to take his darling little nursery which held a twin bed  and significant hidden storage and make space so he can have some adventures of his own. As a reminder, our final nursery design looked like this first picture.

We needed to do a few things to make this space more kid friendly.

  • We needed to remove the bed to create floorspace
  • We needed to get shelving for books and supplies
  • We needed a changing table (we were able to avoid this initially by using a change tray on the bed)
  • We needed to find fun toy storage so that toys were kept tidy but accessible
  • We needed more floor coverage so he could get better traction as he crawled about

So, to start, we moved the bed out and got a decent looking changing table that provided ample shelving. I found ours on Overstock for under $200. We then bought a few fantastic canvas bins from 3 Sprouts which add color and character to the room. After searching high and low I found a great rug by Dash & Albert. Their rugs are versatile, affordable and washable – perfect!

I wanted to make this space functional and inviting – on every level. So I realized that we needed some floor seating. In addition to finding a great kid-size beanbag from Land of Nod, I purchased two blue and white poufs which can be seen in the pics I’ve posted here (I actually got a very good deal on One Kings Lane but you can find a million poufs on Etsy). I also purchased some letter pillows from Serena & Lily. For some visual fun, I placed his simple wicker toy chest in his new red wagon. The shiny new wagon was just sitting in our basement and since he’s still too young to enjoy it outside, I figured he could admire it inside.

The room will continue to change as his needs, interests and toys change. I love how this space is bright, colorful and inviting. He loves to play in his room but really who wouldn’t?

Wink,

Style Girl

Take a Seat

1 Feb

I love chairs. They can instantly change a space and add so much interest to a room, particularly when they offer a punch of color or unexpected pattern. I am on the lookout for a new set of chairs for my living room. Nothing too crazy because I don’t want them to compete  with my rug (the focal piece of the room). I want something substantial but not as hefty as a full club chair. Here are a few that I have stumbled upon online that I really like. Some more luxe than others but all of them perfectly suited for my space. Hmmm….

This armchair from West Elm looks really comfy and I like the “sweep” arms

I like the long legs on this chair from Room & Board. The look is a bit unexpected. Could be very pretty in “cement”

Crate & Barrel has stylish, decent quality furniture at good prices. If I’m going to buy two chairs, I may want to keep C&B at the top of my list. I like the look of this chair – the scale is right for the room. That being said, if I go with only one chair, this one is a favorite. I love the old-school parlor style and the color is gorgeous. I would opt for the Petrie style altogether but it’s the same as our couch and I don’t want everything too matchy-watchy

This chair from Mitchell Gold is great. I love the 60s look and it seems comfy as well. Again, I don’t think I could do two of these due to space constraints but I do think this would look great with my couch. Mitchell Gold has great fabric choices too

I am in love with the “Louise Chair” from Serena & Lilly. There are some great fabrics to choose from. I especially love the Night leather, Mist Linen and Mushroom Linen

You know, a little color never killed anyone. This chair in Twill Indigo or Orphelia Green is fun. Ballard Designs has a million upholstery options and it’s affordable so I’ll spend some time browsing around here

This chair offers a nice, subtle pattern and could really compliment the other pieces in my living room. It is also super inexpensive!

Now this chair from DWR is more like a little loveseat but it would look great. I love the soft leather

A pair of these tufted slipper chairs would look amazing

Two tips on buying chairs – always sit in them before you buy them and be careful of scale. You don’t want them to overpower your sofa and you don’t want them to be so large that they can’t be moved around easily.

Wink,

Style Girl

I Heart Etsy

26 Oct

For most of you, Etsy is certainly not a new go-to site but just because it isn’t new doesn’t mean it isn’t fabulous. I love, love, love Etsy. I love that I can find creative gifts on Etsy. I love that I have fun browsing through Etsy. I love that all the items I have gotten from Etsy have been ordered and delivered hassle free. And I really love that Etsy provides a platform for creatives of all types to come together and market their art. It’s just that cool.

If you’re unfamiliar with the site – check it out. A warning that the search tool can be tricky so you may need to keep search terms to a minimum in order to get the variety of results that you’re looking for. Other than that, the site is a breeze to use and “membership” is free. You all know I love to find treasures. Well Etsy is one big treasure hunt! I am always surprised with the things that I find and am marveled by the talent out there (I’ve got to find some!).

What treasures have I found recently?

A mobile for my son’s nursery – I hate plastic mobiles and most other plastic baby things. This pretty little mobile (pictured above) is vibrant, soft and generally non-offensive

Pretty glasses – juice, water or hell..even vino is made much more fun in these colorful little wonders

Cozy cowl – I just got this in the mail and am in love. A cowl is a great way to keep warm without bulking up on heavy sweaters!

Gorgeous pillows for my bedroom – The quality of these pillows far surpasses the price. I would have paid much more in a boutique

This amazing lamp – I wound up buying this lamp (in cream) from the designer himself (Lawrence McRae – he’s local to Boston, see my earlier post featuring his work) but much of his line is carried on Etsy

Thank you cards – It’s easy to find pretty cards now that letterpress is so commonplace and stores like Paper Source have saved us from the big box greeting card lines but I can’t help but feel good supporting the independents out there

And most recently I ordered a fun print for my son’s room – “Keep Calm and Love Dogs” – is the key to happiness really that simple? Maybe…

I plan to head back to Etsy in a week or two to find some creative holiday decor. Until then – happy treasure hunting!

Wink,

Style Girl

Store of the Week: One Lemon

18 Jul

I love a good entrepreneurial venture. One Lemon is a great new online business that was started by an old high school friend of mine. The company carries beautiful textiles. The cotton is organic and all products reflect the company’s core values of distinctive quality, unique design and fair trade. Inspired by her time living in Singapore and traveling through Asia, the products beautifully represent the culture and traditional knowledge of the region. The business venture is both socially and eco-conscious – offering products that are good for the people who make them and for the people who buy them. Read more about the company here.

Upon perusing the website, I instantly fell in love with the elephant pillow and decided it would play along well with my nursery theme. See the picture of the finished product (and my wee one) to the right. As an additional surprise, I was sent the duck & bubbles bathtime towel. Both products are gorgeous. The detail is impressive, the cotton is super soft and they both washed well. The price points are also reasonable.

So if you want something original and sustainable then One Lemon is the perfect place to look. A home collection is also about to launch. I’ll be watching for that.

Wink,

Style Girl

A Room for Bebe

13 Jun

Early last year I transformed our second bedroom into a pretty, boudoir-like guest room adorned with bright colors and mirrored accents. Then I got pregnant. Well, I live in a two-bedroom condo and the baby surely can’t sleep in the tub so goodbye guest suite and hello nursery! What did I want? A fun, bright kid-space that would inspire. What didn’t I want? A pastel laden land of teddy bears.

I cannot start a design project without some form of  inspiration. In this case, the gorgeous wallpaper that I had in the bedroom had to stay (my love for this wall runneth deep) but I needed something more than just that – I needed something special, something just for my little one.  A friend of mine introduced me to the work of JHill Design and that’s where I found my “E” – my bright, happy, elephant print. Now I was ready. That’s when I called Jenna of JC Interiors. She’s my creative sounding board and she’s always up for a challenge.

We decided – this would be a hip, bright nursery. We were going to channel my love of India and top it off with a preppy cherry. Working with the existing Morrocan-esque wallpapered accent wall, we flanked the opposing wall with inspirational “E” , which we had blown up and printed on canvas; thus setting the tone for the room.  
 
We chose a bold blue paint color to accentuate our star artwork, and carried the Indian influence to the crib’s bedding by Rikshaw Design, which features darling mini-motifs of elephants, monkeys, and paisley. Knowing that the room needed to stay as functional as possible, we managed to keep all the large-scale practicalities in the space: crib, dresser, glider, temporary guest bed, etc. Since the room had so many furniture items, we kept the design aesthetic fairly monochromatic, with blue and white, so it had a clean and tailored appearance.

For the windows, we opted for blackout roller shades (hello nap time!), banded in blue. We then tied everything together with custom valances and pillows all in the same bohemian inspired fabric. To save on visual space, we opted for a sleek floor lamp with funky drum shade (matched with a ceiling drum too), and brought in a much needed round element in the form of a blue rug in the center of the room. There’s nothing more fantastic and impractical than a three-inch shag rug for a nursery! Top it off with leather elephant bookends, bright children’s books and a Jonathan Adler piggy-bank and voila! A clean, vibrant, hip nursery – exactly what I wanted.

All that’s left is for this little boy blue to make an entrance! Without Jenna leading the creative path I would have never been able to tie a room together like this (especially since she is a textile queen!). If you’re interested in learning more about how Jenna approached the room or how she can help you shape something special of your own – send her an email: jenna@jcinteriors.com 

The countdown continues!

Wink,

Style Girl

It All Comes Around Again

16 Apr

I’m always amazed at how things come in and fall out of style so quickly. I’m also amazed by how quickly things come back around. Last night I spent some time perusing the latest home decor catalogs (yes, I still get catalogs). You know – Pottery Barn, Crate and Barrel, William Sonoma Home – and it struck me that even in home decor, trends are boomerangs. They always come back. They may come back in new and different ways but they really do come back.

Case in point – sea inspired home decor. A few years ago you couldn’t walk in a mall without seeing coral and shells on everything. Coral napkin rings, pillows, framed art…you name it. Fast forward to 2011 and surprise! It’s back. You can buy this, or this, or this or any of this and chances are you bought something similar not too long ago.

Another example? Decorating with white. In 2007 and 2008 this was a major trend. I hope you kept your white pillows and throws because white  is back (you may remember that I wrote about this recently in another post…) For some great white accessories check out West Elm, Crate and Barrel, Lekker and Jonathan Adler.

Another blast from the past? Floral. There are more floral sheets and curtains out there than one person can handle. I personally don’t favor the look, particularly when it all goes a bit country,  but that’s ok – there’s a place for it. For pretty floral numbers, check out Pottery Barn, Target and Garnet Hill. A tip for decorating with floral – don’t overdo it.  Too much floral can turn from pretty to putrid very fast.

The moral of the story is to keep things that you love. There’s a good chance it will come back around.

Wink,

Style Girl

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