Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Love Her Style (Gwyneth Paltrow}

I have always admired Gwyneth Paltrow's style, but lately I feel like we have been seeing a bit of a Gwyneth-revival given all of her red carpet appearances recently.

First there was that orange dress at Elle's 17th Annual Women in Hollywood tribute (October 18).

Then Gywneth rocked the Country Strong premiere in this Ralph Rucci dress, matched with Lanvin shoes (November 8).

...And again she looked spectacular wearing this one shoulder number at the Annual Country Music Festival (November 10).

Also an indication we are experiencing a Gywneth revival is her incredible performance on Glee. Have you seen it? 

I love her cover of "Forget You", just brilliant!

Images: via Zimbio

Monday, November 29, 2010

5 Minutes with Summer Thornton

Happy Monday lovelies!

Today I am thrilled to share with you an interview with Chicago based interior designer Summer Thornton.

I stumbled across Summer through Twitter some months ago, and luckily I did because it didn't take long for me to become completely enamored by her work and philosophy. Summer describes her approach to interior design as 'making design unpretentious, fun and fresh', and looking through her portfolio this thinking really shines through.

{one} How do continually find inspiration to create amazing interiors?
I always enjoy finding new types and sources of inspiration, but it hasn't really been difficult to do so far.  It's more like the moment strikes.  I might see a little bird chirping in a tree and notice the color of its beak, or I might see an old metal fence that has a unique pattern, or a photo with layers of texture that just strikes me.  For me though I usually see something, develop an instant obsession, and then I can't sleep until I've figured out a way to reinterpret it into a design.  

I would also say that it is imperative to be engaged in the moment to find inspiration - multitasking and having too much going on doesn't allow the brain or the eyes to wander, explore, and see new things.

Summer saw this tree last time she was in LA and loved the rounded shape and molding/form to it.  
This was one of those 'obsession' things she was talking about for days.

{two} What has been your favorite project or the project you are most proud of?
That's such a tough question to answer.  I love all my projects for different reasons.  Sometimes it is most gratifying when I'm able to encourage a client to take a bit of risk with their design, and in the end they're thanking me for it.  I love when that happens.  I'd say with each project I work on I'm always hungry for the next one.  I thrive to create, and once I'm done developing the concept, I'm always anxious for the next one.  I keep learning, stretching and growing with each project...so they keep getting better and better in my opinion.  I'm most proud of the latest project I did...and I'll probably be most proud of the next one after that.

{three} Who have been your greatest design inspirations &/or mentors?
For interiors, Miles Redd is always pushing the envelope and doing interesting work that inspires me.  I'd love for him to be my 'mentor'.  

I've also always appreciated Kelly Wearstler's work.  They're at the top without a doubt, but I'm oftentimes finding inspiration through non-interiors creative minds, particularly those in fashion, photography, and art.  

Editorial spreads produced by Grace Coddington (Creative Director at Vogue) always challenge and inspire me.  I'm always amazed at how many cutting edge things she can create that are so far ahead of the style curve...and I'm not talking about the clothes, I'm talking about the set, the theme, the broader idea of the shoot.  She's pure creative genius. GENIUS!

"Alice in Wonderland", Vogue Dec '03.  Creative Director: Grace Coddington, photographed by Annie Liebovitz.

"Alice In Wonderland by Summer Thornton"
Photo of this green malachite wallpapered room was inspired by "Alice in Wonderland" photo spread in Vogue Dec '03.  

{four} Do you think design blogs have changed the landscape for interior designers?
Without a doubt!  Design blogs have been a huge blessing for me as a designer.  It's been a great way to share my work, my vision, with a much broader audience.  

Design used to be a business primarily built on family/friend referrals, but I think the design blogs have really opened the doors to a greater awareness of design.  Similarly I think it has helped push better design to the forefront in a much faster fashion.  While I'm a sucker for all glossy pages (I LOVE physical magazines), blogs are instant, fresh, and can fit a variety of unique taste preferences.

{five} I love your piece of advice to ‘do at least one thing your mother wouldn’t' in your home – what did you decide to do?
Everything!  I probably take that further than most people would, but the main point is that you have to be YOU.  Every time my mom comes to my place she says, "There's so much stuff in here".  
My mom's more of a minimalist.  I'm a maximalist.  I love layers and layers - my bookshelves are absolutely covered - looking at them right now I've got a bronze helmet, books, candles, glass domes, an obelisk, a bust, silver urns, geodes/rocks, boxes, lamps, marble eggs, a taxidermy butterfly, a doll head, mirror, carnivale mask, vintage hot air balloon prints, antique photographs, and more.  I also have curtains that have snakes and birds on them - definitely not a mom-friendly pattern!  

My mom also loves all things light and airy, but I'm about to begin a kitchen/bath remodel and I'm doing the kitchen with black lacquered cabinets.  I don't think my mom has anything black in her entire house, and to do the cabinets in black would terrify her.  But I can't wait - they're going to be sleek and sexy!  And while I love my mom, and I even love her style, it isn't mine.

{six} Finally, just for fun; what 5 lovely things can’t you live without?
While I'd hate to lose some material items that are my favorites, I'm sure I could live without them after some mourning, so while some of these may seem cliche, they are really the most important things in my life...

#1 My husband.  He puts up with my crazy design obsession, constant changes to our decor, the explosion of fabrics that used to cover our house, he listens when I need to talk through a design plan, and he challenges me to be a better person.  We met when we were 17, and I'm sure he didn't know what he was getting into at that time.  Plus, he's handsome!  What could be better?

#2 My cousin and co-worker Whitney.  She works with me and we've been best friends since we were babies.  Working with her every day is beyond fun.  How many people get to work with their best friend every day - it's amazing!  She's the perfect compliment to me - she's great at the technical details, she loves cabinetry and plumbing (areas that are much less exciting to me), and she actually enjoys CAD (which I loathe).  Together, we're a great team!  I couldn't do it without her!

#3 My parents.  They've been my constant encourager and they have supported me in my wildest dreams and ambitions.  Beyond providing a great moral foundation, fun childhood, and just being great friends and mentors, they've also helped me so much in my career.  When I was young they let me paint their house, redo their rooms, and make mistakes - it was the best learning experience I could have ever had.  We still laugh about the time I painted a bedroom what we kindly refer to as 'shamrock shake green' - talk about a lesson learned - eek!  Then they put up the initial $500 to get my business started when I was basically broke.  They're amazing parents, and I'm still learning great lessons from them.

#4 Now for some material items...My bedroom lamps.  I found them at a run down old junk store.  They have no actual value, but I'm a lamps fanatic and they are my favorite...bought the pair for about $150 I think, but I wouldn't sell them for anything.  They're these big oversized white ceramic urns with gold detail.  Totally tacky and over-the-top in every way, but that's what I love about them.

#5 My french bergere chairs.  They were a birthday present from my husband a few years ago.  I'll keep them until I die, and I literally think I'll die in one of those chairs.  Now that's a weirdly morbid ending to a question...How about I love those chairs so much and I can't wait to see how many times I reupholster them with different fabrics throughout my life!  Hmmm, that gives me an idea, ha...


Thank you, Summer!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Update: Project Well Done

A little while back I posted about an initiative amongst a few bloggers, Project Well Done, to spread the word to help raise much needed funds for one student's goal of reaching $5,000 for Charity:Water

Well, I'm excited to update you that this goal has now been reached! 

Thank you to everyone for helping to spread the word about this amazing cause and digging deep to donate. 

The $5,000 raised is going to go a long way in improving the lives of people less fortunate that us, and enable them to access the most basic of necessities: clean water.

Have a blissful weekend my dears!

Image credit: Flickr via Pinterest

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Inspiration {Alfresco Dining}

Hello lovelies! The weather is definitely warming up here and it's starting to feel a lot like Summer. One of my favourite things to do in Summer is dining outside. 

I love these gorgeous alfresco settings, so perfect for a summer afternoon of blissful eating, drinking and being merry!

To all my American friends, I wish you and your families wonderful Thanksgiving. 

I would also like to welcome new followers to the blog; I am very thankful that you like what I post and appreciate your support. I hope I continue to inspire and share my passion for interiors and all things lovely with you.

Image credits: Style Me Pretty; Want Lust Love; Pretty Little World.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Dream Kitchen

It was love at first sight when I saw this kitchen. 

The white cabinetry, the dark-stained polished floors, the warm grey walls complemented by coral coloured fabric accents, the marble counter tops...

... All absolutely incredible, don't you think?

Designed by Christopher Peacock & Sophie Thibon via Traditional Home.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Rue Lovin' {Oh the Glamour}

I'm sure you will agree that Rue issue #2 had plenty of utterly gorgeous inspiration - a whole 297 pages of glossy goodness!

My favourite feature? It had to be the home of interior designer Windsor Smith; oh the glamour, the style!

What caught your eye in Rue?

If you haven't already taken in the Rue #2, go now; grab a cup of tea and digest all of the sweet loveliness.

Image credits: Rue Issue #2

Monday, November 22, 2010

5 lovely things I can't live without {The Alternative Wife}

Hello my dears! How was your weekend? Mine was not long enough of course, but hubby and I have been busy planning our latest house project, re-tiling our apartment balcony; and organising our U.S trip. It's still 6 months away, but I'm already counting down the days.

This week I'm very excited to introduce you to Dawn from The Alternative Wife. Dawn's blog is beautiful and always filled with so much exquisite fashion, editorial and interiors inspiration. If you haven't visited her blog yet, I definitely recommend it! 


{one} Macbook Pro/iPad - Chances are if you were to encounter me, I would be attached to either one.  They're kind of a natural extension of me.

{two} C.O Bigelow Ultra Mentha Lip Shine - I am so addicted and usually have at least 3 different tubes within arms reach.  It's a clear, super shiny, super delicious minty lipgloss that is the ultimate pick me up. Because of the peppermint oil in the formula it actually enhances the natural color of your lips without having to wear a colored gloss. 

{three} Leopard scarf - To be honest I have quite a few but my favorite one I've had for years. It's huge, oh so soft and comfy and is just the ultimate accessory & finishing touch to any outfit.

{four} Philosophy Pure Grace - I develop fragrances for a living but the only fragrance that I will wear day in and day out year round is Philosophy Pure Grace.  It's clean, fresh, just stepped out of the shower scent is my signature.

{five} Gucci cashmere hoodie - The ultimate in casual luxury.  It's so soft and warm and toasty yet the fact that it's a heathered grey and a hoodie makes it casual enough to wear to a hockey game.  I love the versatility of it.  It can dress up or dress down almost any outfit.


Thank you Dawn! I think you will agree Dawn's list is utterly lovely.

Hope your week is off to a great start my dears :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

A Week of Lovelies {what inspired me this week}

Hello lovelies, happy weekend; albeit a little late!

This past week I have been getting into Pinterest. I registered for the site a while ago, but never really used it; but now that I finally spent some time looking around, there is so much gorgeous inspiration. 

Here have been some lovely discoveries...

Are you on Pinterest? Please let me know any tips you have on who to follow!

Credits: Pinterest via Flickr; Shimmer Like Gold; Desire to Inspire; Flickr; Steph Modo

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Interiors Inspiration {Sara Tuttle}

Ever since stumbling across Sara Tuttle's portfolio yesterday I have continued to go back and reference it over and over again. 

The extraordinarily talented designer who hails from from Washington D.C, has a fresh and modern style and shows a passion for colour, as well as creating well-balanced and livable spaces. 

Truly inspiring, don't you think? Take a look at her full portfolio here.

Hope you have had a wonderful week lovelies. I'm just counting down until the weekend arrives!

All images via Sara Tuttle

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Online Glossy Goodness

The glossy-land of online interior and lifestyle magazines is heating up and is creating a whole new avenue of inspiration for readers to delight and absorb countless hours of glossy-goodness. For me, the more delicious inspiration to fuel my passion for interiors, the merrier. 

So just who is creating a buzz in the online glossy-land?

Hot on the heels of Rue Magazine’s premier issue in September saw the launch of Adore Home Magazine created by Australian designer Loni Parker. Parker aims to charm readers with “beautiful homes from across the globe, tips and design advice from interior experts, as well as easy online access to the latest home treasures”.

Features in the latest issue include a profile on stationery designer Christina Re; a peek inside the office spaces of Julie Richard (Belle Maison), Dana Hughes (Yellowface) and Rebecca Orlov (lovinglivingsmall.com), plus a tour of the lovely Louise's home (Table Tonic).

Rebecca Orlov's office space via Adore Magazine

Louise's home via Adore Magazine

Earlier this month, Australian duo Melanie and Elizabeth (who also pens the blog Chic Chi & Luxe) launched Ivy & Piper Magazine. The magazine focuses on modern glamour and provides readers with inspiration for the home, travel and fashion; they coin their collaboration “quirky, fun and truly unique".

Kimberlee Brown from Brown Button Trading shares her home that she decorates with 'white & colour' in Ivy & Piper's launch issue.

Lucky for us, Ivy & Piper is not only an online interiors magazine, the brand also extends to a gorgeous range of homewares which includes beautiful couture cushions (my favourite!) and monogrammed cushions and napkins.

 Cushions from the Ivy & Piper range (IvP Baby Couture, left, and Coco Couture, right)

Due to launch in January 2011 HighGloss will make is online glossy debut. Readers are in for a treat with promise of "inspiring interior design, fabulous fashion, entertaining ideas and swoon-worthy travel destinations". Um, yes please, I'll take two!

 HighGloss gives readers a sneak peek from the launch issue

Founded by Paloma Contreras who blogs over at La Dolce Vita and edited by Erin Gates (Elements of Style), Shannon Wollack (life.style), Kyle Knight (Knight Moves), and Lauren Rauter (Rock Paper Scissor) - all very successful blogging ladies - we can be rest assured that the launch issue will not disappoint.

And in news just in today, Matchbook is due to launch in January 2011.

Phew! This glossy-lover can hardly keep up!

Tell me, what are your favourite online magazines that have launched? And what are you particularly excited about seeing in this new wave of glossies? 

P.S Stay glued to your screens because the 2nd issue of Rue is out on November 21!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Navy Blues

Have you heard the Washington album? I didn’t initially like it, but after giving it some time I am getting rather into it. One of the songs “Navy Blues” is so catchy and has been in my head all day, so how could I not dedicate a post to navy today? Enjoy!

 David Netto styled this gorgeous bedroom for Teen Vogue.

Interior Design by Michele Bonan via Lonny

 Interior Design by Ashley Putnam via Lonny

On a side note, I reached over 100 followers today (!!!) and I wanted to say a big thank you to you dear readers for reading my blog and all of your lovely comments - they truly make my day and make this blog what it is. Thank you :)