02/10/2012 § 1 Comment
Tonight, I definitely recommend you watch the second part of the Half the Sky documentary on PBS at 9pm. Half the Sky, a transmedia project dedicated to transforming oppression into opportunity for women worldwide, turns its eye on 10 countries around the globe and confronts the issues of sex trafficking, forced prostitution, gender-based violence and discrimination and maternal morality with scalable solutions in the forms of health care, education and economic empowerment. Part one aired last night, but you can stream it on the PBS website here, through October 8.
Stemming from the book by the same name written by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the documentary shares the heart-breaking and inspiring stories of remarkable individuals around the world who persevere against daunting socioeconomic obstacles to better the lives of women and girls. I personally learned of the project via Olivia Wilde, who is a celebrity advocate for Half the Sky and was an emcee at the Global Citizen Festival that I attended in Central Park over the weekend, where I had the opportunity to see documentary stars Edna Adan and Urmi Basu speak in person about their amazing work. It is an important, thoughtful movement and I urge you to find a way to get involved.
To learn more please visit Half the Sky.
17/08/2012 § Leave a Comment
There’s something I love about organization on display, be it a closet, a curio, a bar cart, a gallery wall, whatever — a thoughtful and artistic arrangement of a collection of items will always draw my eye. I don’t mean to say that one should be a pack-rat, but there is definitely something about spaces where everything is all put away that just seems…sterile. Vanilla. Impersonal. Granted, to pull off some of the scenes in these pictures, you’d need a rather deep assortment of stuff and whatnot….and quite a bit of space to display it all, but why couldn’t you start small? A few books here, a small grouping of nick-knacks there, and you’re definitely on your way.
For organizational inspiration, a few images from my House & Home board on Pinterest, and a few furniture ideas (yes, I know, pricey indeed — I’ll personally be using them for guidance while I scour eBay and Craigslist for cheaper options). One of my very favorite spaces is the Manhattan apartment of Michael Haney and Brooke Cundiff, which was shot by Todd Selby last year — definitely check it out. Aside from getting to take a peek into their envy-inducing home, there are several interesting vignettes and arrangements that are bound to spark an idea or three.
French directoire style ebonized curio cabinet by Jansen (1940s)
Hollywood Regency gilt bamboo etagere (1950s)
Glass sided vitrine (1920s)
Lastly, if you noticed the adverse possession joke I snuck
into the title of this post, I’d like to salute you, fellow law nerd…
02/04/2012 § 1 Comment
“Harriet’s projects stitch together restoration and classic modern design; the 20’s hang out with the Edwardians, everyone is invited, just as long as you are well turned out. Her confidence and her playful nature with design allows rooms to be fun without the ridiculous, smart without dullness and most importantly a place you would want to be.” [via]
When the past is engaged in an active dialogue with the present, you already know my interest is piqued. Here, the mid-19th century late Georgian home of designer Harriet Anstruther in London successfully honors its architectural origins without a slavish adherence to Georgian decor, creating a statement home that feels fresh, yet nostalgic — and is completely personal. What I love about this space is its successful and seamless blending of so many different sources of inspiration without the sacrifice of comfort or personality. Neither a stuffy museum nor a stark exercise in modernism, its soaring white walls immediately call to mind a gallery space, a context helped along by the family’s art collection. Some of my favorite touches include the Penguin watercolor, the crystal chandeliers, the black stripes of the upholstery, the magenta skylight in the shower and — above all — the fire bucket sink and the Fornasetti wallpaper in the bathroom. Hello, lover.
Whereas our last discussion on interiors encouraged me to mix up my sources (IKEA vs. antique finds), I really like how this home illustrates a successful mingling of very different aesthetics. It’s got me inspired…and eying the Harper sofa by Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams. Thoughts?
All images via T Magazine.
23/03/2012 § 3 Comments
While it remains one of my absolute favorite pastimes to meander through the rich imagery of high-end design magazines and websites (for which my House & Home board on Pinterest has become an essential accompaniment), I personally am not yet a member of that rarefied club that can actually purchase such luxury items. Please note the “yet”! That said, I still think there is plenty of inspiration to be had by looking at gorgeous places (like the East Village apartment of Ralph Lauren Executive VP Alfredo Parades that I found over on Habitually Chic today — swoon!) for lower-budget households like my own. But what is absolute tops, is finding a home that is decorated not only in an aesthetic that I appreciate, but also with furnishings within the reach of my own pocketbook.
Whilst my head did explode upon my initial view of this lovely home, featured on Skona Hem, with its empire touches and rustic feel, it exploded a second time after I translated the text and discovered that this home had been furnished with a combination of antique treasures and new purchases from Ikea. Ikea, people! Does this not give you hope that with a little eBay stalking, flea market wandering and a trip to your local Ikea, you too could have such an amazing nest?
Big items from Ikea include the canopied bed and the couch. Really love the restrained palette here, which calls to my mind sepia photographs, and the open storage of the china, in varying shades of off-white. The space is a hodge podge, but one with continuity.
In fact, I’m rather ashamed to admit that I thought Ikea didn’t really have anything to offer me, other than picture frames and Swedish meatballs. Obviously, I need to take the water taxi to Red Hook and put my creative hat on. I also must mention another source I’ve recently come across that is oriented toward affordable decor: Copy Cat Chic. Best part? When founder Reichel chooses a high-end home item (rug, chair, lamp, etc.) and then finds a virtually identical, more affordable item.
What about you?
Got any secret decor sources you’d be willing to share with me?
03/01/2012 § 1 Comment
I know this campaign is nearly 30 years old and all, but can someone please invent a time machine and bring me back every single thing Yasmin Le Bon is wearing in these photos from the 1985 Ralph Lauren fall campaign? The pleated stirrup pant, the paisley scarf and the herringbone duster are the most urgently needed items, if you have to prioritize. Many thanks.
All images via the Style Registry.
11/11/2011 § 2 Comments
I found myself in an Art Deco sort of mood this week. While sometimes a bit too glamourpuss for my taste, Art Deco’s simultaneous obsessions with luxury, eclecticism and aerodynamic lines are always alluring to me. I’m just not confident I could live completely surrounded by it. This notion was seriously challenged when I happened upon the Fall 2011 One Fifth Collection by Ralph Lauren Home.
A new look indeed from Ralph Lauren Home. I expected duck decoys, plaid and burnished leather (nothing wrong with that, mind you!), but I received a dramatic pairing of black and gold, chevron patterns and sleek piles of velvet and fur. However, I suppose this departure from de rigueur should have come as no surprise once you reflect upon Mr. Lauren’s glorious Spring 2012 collection. Interestingly though, where Collection Spring 2012 was weightless shimmers and light, Home Fall 2011 is solidly, albeit luxuriously, grounded — jewel-box deco.
If you’d like to peruse the One Fifth collection, head here.
It seems Mr. Lauren and I are not the only ones with the 1920s on the brain. This last weekend the Washington Ballet revived Septime Webre’s production of The Great Gatsby, an original ballet based on the Fitzgerald novel set to live 1920s jazz, for a short run. Looking at the production stills, I kick myself for not hearing about this sooner and making my way down to DC to see it. I’m hopeful they’ll bring it back in short order.
Doesn’t this look great?!? So jealous.
I’ve decided the best way to comfort myself for missing out on the ballet, is to head over to the Brooklyn Museum to catch the new exhibit Youth and Beauty: Art of the American Twenties. Featuring 140 works by artists including Aaron Douglas, Edward Hopper, Georgia O’Keeffe, Alfred Stieglitz, and Edward Weston, the exhibit examines how American artists represented the Jazz Age. I’m going this weekend, but if you happen to attend on the evening of 17 November, there is a free live jazz performance. Find more details here.
200 Eastern Parkway
Brooklyn, New York 11238-6052
14/03/2011 § 5 Comments
I have been finding interior inspiration in all sorts of places lately. I am loving dramatic lines, bright colors, luxurious fabrics and exotic hides, cherie, and I have been thinking about one of my favorite films, Indiscreet (1958), starring Ingrid Bergman and Cary Grant. Indiscreet is a lovely film about a famous actress (Bergman) who has given up on the hope of finding and marrying her true love. She then completely falls in love with a suave American business man (Grant) who leads her to believe he is married, when he in fact is not. The truth is discovered and hi-jinks result. It’s a completely lovely film, but the reason my bold interior inclinations have reminded me of Indiscreet is because of the gorgeous living room of Bergman’s London apartment.
Completely in love with the mixing of modern art, bright colors, classic shapes and obvious luxury. You can see a wonderful little clip of Grant and Bergman in white tie attire engage in a bit of witty repartee in the darling living room here. (Bergman’s best quote: “I like a man with a glass in his hand, it’s becoming.“)
I’ll also include the following clip, not only because you can see a good deal of the living room, but mainly for the following quotes: “Oh, shut up!” “How dare he make love to me and not be a married man!” And of course, “Daaaamn!”
My mind is being drawn on a colorful, glamorous safari and I’ve got a bad case of spring fever, most definitely! I think some bold pretty things are essential for le maison, and I have been stalking the treasures on 1stdibs for ideas. Yes, the beauties below are definitely spendy — hence I’ve placed them in my inspiration files and not on my shopping list — but I’ve also included some less expensive “real life alternatives” alongside my finds below to help kick start your creative flow.
All images via 1stdibs
Vintage dream: Hollywood Regency chairs in gorgeous striped silk
Real life alternative: Reupholster a Craigslist find
Vintage dream: Bronze sea horse from the front of a Venetian gondola
Real life alternative: Cast iron horse bust
Vintage dream: Billy Haines faux-bamboo mirror
Real life alternative: Vintage faux-bamboo mirror
Vintage dream: Zebra ottoman
Real life alternative: Zebra stenciled cowhide rug
Vintage dream: Pineapple lamps
Real life alternative: Shiny chrome lamp base
Vintage dream: Art Deco clock
Real life alternative: Art Deco clock
Vintage dream: Antique crocodile trunk
Real life alternative: Vintage steamer trunk
Vintage dream: 19th century Chinese porcelain vases
Real life alternative: Hand painted Chinese vase
Do you have a few bold pretties? Where did you find yours?
17/02/2011 § 4 Comments
I am seeing shades of Fellini…
Photos by Vincent Peters, via FGR.
Indulge your inner femme fatale in this slick stretch
satin dress from Agent Provocateur, available here.
Guido won’t know what to do with himself.
Finish off the look with a dramatic eye. DiorShow Blackout mascara is my go-to for ridiculously long, inky eyelashes. Go for the non-waterproof version, which is much easier to get off at the end of the night. Or the next morning, depending on how the night goes, I suppose. Available here.
26/01/2011 § Leave a Comment
I am hunting for interior decor inspiration! I have pledged to entirely redo my apartment and last weekend, my inspiration quest took me to the 2011 Winter Antiques Show at the Park Avenue Armory on the Upper East Side. This year, the show is in its 57th year and has 75 exhibitors offering items that hail from antiquity through the 1960s. Not a flea market with picked-over bins of well-loved bric-a-brac (my, that was quite a few hyphens), the show is a treasure trove of museum quality pieces for only the deepest of pockets.
Aside from the antiques, I was interested in seeing the stately Armory itself. Not very far from where I used to live on the Upper East Side, I have always wondered what the building might look like on the inside. Completed in 1881, the Armory is notable for both the construction and size of its soaring hall and its collection of 19th century interiors — but unfortunately the show took up the majority of the hall and the interiors were not on display. Also unfortunate (but understandable) was the “no photography” policy, but luckily most of the exhibitors can be found online.
I had an excellent time viewing the antique arms and armor exhibited by UK dealer Peter Finer — question: does anyone know why most daggers are left handed? — and the New England and marine antiques of Hyannis Port dealer Hyland Granby Antiques. There were oil paintings and ornate silver tea sets and eyes from an ancient Egyptian relief and a petrified walrus skull, complete with huge ivory tusks. I watched darling older ladies try on magnificent jewels as they murmured all of the fabulous places they could wear them. All interesting and wonderful to look at, but I was not finding the inspiration to feather my own nest.
Until I spied a perfect pair of table lamps…
Gleaming silver in a happy, modern-looking boutique, I knew I had finally found something to love. These silver palm trees were created in the 1930s – art deco? perhaps Hollywood regency? – and they are fabulous! I had Liz O’Brien to thank for my decor epiphany. Her gallery, on the Upper East Side, focuses on design from the 1940s through the 1970s, as evidenced by all of the beautiful pieces she had available – but the lamps stole my heart! Don’t they look like something Greta Garbo would have? Can’t you just see her disappearing into the darkness as she turns them off in the dusky evening light? I’m not confident I will be able to exactly replicate them, but I am definitely feeling more inspired! If you are able to stop by Liz O’Brien’s exhibit at the Winter Antiques Show, or her gallery on the Upper East Side, you definitely must! Especially if you are as in love with these darling lamps as I!
306 East 61st Street, between 1st and 2nd Avenues
New York, NY 10065
If you are too far away from New York, she also has a virtual shop on 1stdibs. Find it here.
12/01/2011 § Leave a Comment
Another amazing shot by The Sartorialist…
QC High Notes: use of color, dramatic red lip and strong eyeliner, equestrienne chic, gamine androgyny–the tie! the shoes!
It’s no secret that I frequently look to menswear for sartorial inspiration (recently evidenced by my post on my beloved Common Projects oxfords). Starting with my beloved grand-père, there has yet to be a man in my life that I haven’t pinched a few choice pieces from. Lads, guard your closets! As a tie wearer myself, I am definitely inspired by this raggaza di Firenze to step my game up. I’ve not been back to Firenze since summering there in ’06. I must return! With a special stop just to tell this girl how lovely her outfit was, of course. J’adore!