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High Five for High Gloss!

I am so behind the ball on this it’s embarrassing, BUT you have to forgive me because I have been working 7 to 9 the last few days at my “day job”, though it’s taking up way too much of my nights lately … the exciting news I have to share is … a new e-zine! High gloss! SO exciting (Erin Gates of Elements of Style – my favorite blog – is one of the creators). It launched on February 1st with it’s first issue, peruse it here.

Great interior design features …

And great shopping and style features …

Plus tons more! Please check it out. Love …

Now I’m going to fall asleep for five days …

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heavenly bedroom

One of my absolute favorite blogs … okay, okay, my FAVORITE blog is Elements of Style and I was just catching up with it when I came across her bedroom! WHAT? This is amazing. Blog owner Erin Gates, has shown tid bits along the way as she and hubby moved into this new apartment and have been decorating, but this is too much. It’s amazing. I love, love, love.

Check out these incredible images and a recent interview with her on Kelly Moore’s blog. I can see Erin’s experience styling her spaces for photo shoots coming to life in these, fantastic! It looks amazing Erin, I’m storing ideas in my mental file and I can’t wait to paint a wall black too!

The black feature wall in this room is to die for and the use of various patterns and textures in the bedding plus that beautiful bench is genius. Plus, a sunbeam mirror like that sets off the space perfectly – I’ve seen lots of good mirrors in this style at Home Goods.

Gorgeous Colette Bed from Crate & Barrel (I love anything with nail heads), Dwell Studio Peacock Duvet in Dove, with Ikat dot pillows from Fabricadabra … top it all off with a monogram and you’ve got my knees buckling!

A gourd lamp is always good, again if your looking for this style, try Home Goods, and I love the double pulls on each of the drawers! Hardware can be an inexpensive way to update pieces and make them unique like this nightstand.

PS – Yay for the book “Catching Fire”! If you haven’t read the Hunger Games series, go buy them NOW.

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Special Delivery: New Lonny!

One of my absolute favorite places for inspiration is Lonny Mag, it’s an online magazine focusing on interior design along with some great tidbits on fashion, decorum and personal style. Love, love, love. The new issue came out yesterday, so here are some of my highlights!

Doesn’t this bed look like a dream? It looks so comfy and cozy and I love that it’s slipcovered in linen, this looks like laying in it must feel like vacation. You could accomplish a similar look with this bed from Ikea for $379.

I’m really into raw wood tables like this plank table below. I love how it brings the outside in. 

Funny, I picked this photo and started writing about what I like in it and then realized it was the same room on the cover, man, I must have good taste. Great use of art and a little zebra is always a good thing. This simple palette of black, white and  wood/sepia is so fresh and chic. 

Fantastic grey paisley wallpaper. Dare I say, I love grey?

Now what girl wouldn’t just die to have a closet like this? And I’m not even talking about all the things in it, just look at the organization! The little type A girl inside me is squealing!

Chalkboard paint feature on the the refrigerator doors – chic and cheap.

Loving this shade of blue, what a fantastic peacock blue color … it’s Calypso by Benjamin Moore. 

For more inspiration from Lonny, click here to view the full issue.

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a little therapy

Sometimes, you’re having a rough day and you need a little therapy session. While we all can’t go knock down our shrinks door and unload, we can help ourselves with a little something in our décor to lighten the mood. This is just the thing!

I have this version in my office because it is so perfect for my job – it hangs above my door so only I see it, but when I look up and am thinking “Please God, these people are making me insane!” It makes me laugh and not be so serious.

See, here it is in the view from my desk …

What the heck … while I’m at it, I might as well give you the tour. I had been waiting until I got rid of that nasty bookshelf in the back, but it seems to be pretty content where it is and I can’t find it a new home. Believe me, if you saw the before pictures (I lost them when I got a new phone), this would take your breath away!

View from the doorway

Detail of desk and wall

Detail of console/file cabinet

The console/file cabinet is pretty genius and is from Ballard Designs for only $160 – the 3 drawers hold hanging files and can handle letter or legal size folders. The shelf below provides an inconspicuous place to put nasty ugly desktop printers. As for the other items in here, the frames are from Ikea and I just picked out some favorite album covers that I googled online and printed them on 11″ x 17″ paper. The yellow desk tray is CB2, the Moroccan tile rug is Pottery Barn, the lamp is Target and the chairs are West Elm and the pillows are a Home Goods find. The amazing piece of art above the console is from CB2 as well and is incredible – it’s from India, made of woven strips of newspapers and the center is strips of hand painted Bollywood movie poster canvases. You can find the coolest things written in the type and each one is unique: mine has a personal ad for a woman seeking “a man open to my education”, a lot of American political stories including “Obama’s Message” and a story about an execution in which “not to many were saddened by his death”. It’s a pretty crazy glimpse into another world and a moment in time.

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retro color inspiration

I’m so happy about the way style is going right now, it is so me! … which makes it hard not to want to buy everything, but sure makes life pretty to look at. I’ve always had a thing for things with a touch of age, vintage things mixed with new, retro chic and the like. There is just something about a more innocent time that I love. Things were more feminine, more playful and more elegant. This is why I am so exited by the J.Crew Spring collection! I know it seems too early to even contemplate spring as Fall has just begin and here in SoCal it’s alternating between pouring rain and record-breaking 100+ degree days, but look at these color palettes!


I love the use of two shades of the same hue together – gold and citrine, red and rust, pink and coral, bronze and tan, denim and cobalt … love it! J.Crew just has the best way of styling, everything looks so perfectly unplanned. Wouldn’t it be great to have a stylist put your outfits together every day? A girl can dream …

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Fashion Commandments: Fall 2010

Is it just me or is it hard to get dressed every day? I was strolling around Bloomingdale’s on my way to a dinner with girlfriends the other day and found myself saying, “If I were rich, I would be so cute!” … “Keep dreaming sister” is what my mind said to itself in reply. This got me thinking about how I have so many clothes in my closet, but why do I open the doors, staring at thousands of dollars of merchandise collected over the years and think, “I have nothing to wear”??? So I decided I need to think about my clothes differently. If I can’t go out and buy all the things that I see in the magazines, I need to really look at how the clothes are styled and just wear my old clothes in a new way. These are my 5 commandments to dressing on trend this Fall:

1. Commit to Contrast

Be a chameleon of sorts – make your outfit interesting by contrasting styles, never 100% one way or another. Try a little bit romantic with a lace dress paired with punky cheetah print heels and black tights, try a classic collared shirt under a sparkly sequin dress, or try a tailored velvet blazer paired with a slightly torn pair of skinny jeans.

2. Promise a Pop of Color

Fall is all about rich hues that evoke warmth and coziness  - golds, beiges, greys and blacks with deep bordeaux reds, eggplant purples, jade greens and navy blues. Stand out with a pop of color on a neutral backdrop.

3. Believe in Belts

It’s all about belts this fall: fat belts, skinny belts ribbon belts and scarf belts. So whatever you’re wearing, cinch it in with a belt around the middle to make it look polished and complete.

4. Thou shall Layer

It is Fall after all and while things are only getting hotter here in Southern California, it won’t be long before you feel that chill in the air and it smells like October … that day always happens to me … Here it is October 1st and I’m still waiting. Once it gets back below 90°, layers are a must. Add an undershirt peeking out, throw on a vest, layer a jacket … and don’t forget your coat before you head out the door. Would Jackie O. leave the White House without a classic khaki trench to protect her from the elements? No. So you my dears, even if it isn’t exactly snowing here, mustn’t forget. 55º IS cold … to me.

5. Trust in Texture

Leather skirt, fur vest, polka dot tights and a metallic belt? Yes, please. Mix it up. Fur and sequins don’t mean you have to be going out for a night on the town this season, take advantage and mix a little luxury into your everyday. You can wear sequins with a jersey t-shirt and fur with your blue jeans. Blending textures is an easy way to make your outfit interesting.

The truth is, it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money to dress on trend, there are lots of great deals out there and plenty of cheap and chic shops like H & M, Kohl’s, Target and more where you can get trendy items without spending an arm and a leg. The smartest pice of advice is to invest in classics and buy the trendy stuff at Forever 21. So for your timeless black pencil skirt, tried-and-true skinny jeans and classic white collared shirt, get out the plastic and go to the department store. But for the cheetah print heels, faux fur vest and sequin tunic, give the discount store a try.

UPDATE: I followed my own rules this weekend and got tons of compliments! Even one of my boyfriends buddies said “Wow, you are so well accessorized!” IT WORKS PEOPLE! No NEW PURCHASES REQUIRED!

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let’s do some math

I’ll confess, in the battle between geometry and me, geometry won. I was great at math until that level and that class absolutely defeated me … it’s the only C grade I ever got in school. Perhaps this has something to do with why I’m obsessed with geometric shapes, perhaps not, but either way I L-O-V-E geometry in design. I was looking for some wallpaper patterns last night while I was watching TV and this caught my eye … a single frame from the trailer for the new Matt Damon film “Hereafter”.

Never mind the woman who’s crying her eyes out on the stairs, just check out THOSE STAIRS! HELLO! They are amazing and I’m going to start crying over how gorgeous they are right now. I went crazy trying to find this pattern in a wallpaper so I can use it on my sisters stairs, but I found a lot of similar, but different ones. I also found a lot of incredible octagon influenced design and décor, which was surprising, I never realized. Also surprising was what else comes up when you google “octagon”, but I’ll let you peruse that for yourselves. Seeing that my audience is pretty much all chicks, I don’t know that you’ll get much enjoyment out of that but … whatevs.

Incredible private bowling lane in the penthouse suite at the Hard Rock Hotel Las Vegas …

Gorgeous vintage art deco octagon diamond ring and earrings …

I’m loving this new octagon bedding from West Elm, I just wish it came in more colors. Really, I love some orange, but it’s just not for everyone, am I wrong??? I would have loved to have seen a black and white or charcoal and white option …but that’s just me.

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step it up

My sister recently tasked me with finding some solutions to step up her décor. She has a problem that befuddles most of us, she’s got the foundation of a beautiful, well-designed home, but it lacks the finishing touches that make it look completely polished. It’s like putting on a fantastic pair of shoes, great jeans and an adorable top, but forgetting to add the necessary jewelry, skinny belt and clutch that really make the outfit look styled. So, I am putting on my designer hat and looking for some ways to accessorize her home and make it look like it’s out of the pages of a magazine.

I’m going to save before and after pictures for once we’ve done whatever it is we end up doing, but here is my idea I’m most excited about right now … custom stairs!!! I think this is a great place to add something really special. Right now the stairs are just white faces with dark wood steps. Don’t you think this would be an amazing place to add some pattern or color? I love the unusual location and I think it’s perfect! I’m quite excited about my own idea!

I’m thinking of finding a great graphic wallpaper pattern or painting stripes on the faces, it’s a great place to add something and can easily be changed without too much effort required. Hmmmm, the ideas are spinning in my head!

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my personal stylist

So I was watching The Rachel Zoe project with my sister this morning and I started thinking, man, I really need to start trying a little harder. It is so tiring to do your hair and makeup every morning, but I have gotten way too lazy. I took the whole “Whitney Port” mini bun on top of my head as an excuse to not even bother brushing my hair (although have gotten compliments on this ‘do) and I do my makeup at red lights while driving to work. It really doesn’t say much for my “look”. Truth is, Rachel Zoe is a brand and how she looks every day represents that brand. I attended a lecture once about personal brand and part of it is that how you look and present yourself to people is how they will perceive you. Now, do I really want people thinking I am haphazard? That I make things look reasonably nice on the surface, but underneath they are just a mess? I kind of remind myself of that line in Clueless when Cher says, “She’s like a Monet, from far away she looks beautiful, but up close it’s just a big mess.” I’m probably being too hard on myself, but I have always wished I was one of those “put together people”, you know, we all have one in our lives. That one friend that looks glamorous even in her PJ’s with her hair in a pony tail. So in honor of my Rachel Zoe morning, I actually curled my hair today. I still did my makeup at stop lights, but I tried  a little harder … and guess what? Within the first hour of work I got a “Wow, you’re hair looks cute!” and a “Dang, you’re looking fancy today!” People, all I did was wear something with some bright colors and add some jewelry, which I am often too lazy to think about. I guess this means that it doesn’t take that much effort to look more presentable.

Anyhow, I came across the below images on reader Michelle’s blog, Colour Blogging, and I fell in love. If I could have Rachel Zoe style me, I’d ask her to take inspiration from these outfits. They are a divine confection of Mad Men style meets glamour meets modern color and I love each and every one of them. I invite them all to show up in my closet. Oh yeah, these images are from October’s Vogue Nippon. Don’t you love how they are all posed upside down, it makes it all so sexy … although I don’t think I should do that at work.

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words to live by

I came across this online and I love it, I think I’m going to have to frame it.

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