Friday, December 31, 2010

Party Time

Happy New Year Everyone!

2010 has been quite a year. Lots happened: I retired and restarted my blog, I switched jobs from working in a showroom to working for an architect, my business has grown, I discovered yoga after I hurt my knees, and I got engaged!

Being the positive person that I love to be, I have lots to look forward to in 2011. I don't LOVE New Years resolutions but I do love goals and thinking about the future. My main goals are to work on expanding my business, planning our wedding, and working on fixing my knees (I heart yoga).

2011 will be a wonderful year full of amazing design. Honeysuckle Pink is the Pantone color for this year and it's fun, festive, and pretty. These two pink tablescapes make me think of fun and tonight!

Have an amazing night celebrating the year that is now over and looking forward to the fabulous year that we have ahead of us! BTW, does anybody want to buy me those shoes from above? Thanks! Be safe and drink champagne.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

My Christmas Vaca in Pictures

I have become a picture taking addict. Some people find it annoying that I insist on documenting almost everything but they certainly thank me when they see the pictures afterward. I like to create a story in pictures sometimes, or catch people in a candid moment that can't be recreated.

I arrived home JUST in time on Christmas Eve to decorate the tree with my parents and younger sister! We were missing our older sister--she usually hangs this ornament!

This is our first ever Nativity scene; each figure hand carved from wood.

Beautifully (and realistically) wrapped presents which get sequentially handed out on Christmas morning. We don't like to break tradition.

Table Setting # 1: Christmas Eve with gorgeous raffia placemats, red table linens, and delicious tomato soup and some vino!

Tablescape #2: Christmas Dinner. I insisted on chargers and found these gorgeous red and gold ones that have barely been used in this house! Everyone had calligraphy name plates and a fun Christmas popper with toys and a tissue crown in it. some snow up here. Of course I took a ton of pictures of the fast falling snow because it was so beautiful. This tree is in our front yard.

After the blizzard let up (60 MPH winds!), it was time for clean up. Everyone up here must have a John Deere tractor, even non farmers.

Our wreath is beautiful all covered in snow.

And finally here I am shoveling snow, that, as you can see, is up to my fingertips! My father thought it was a good idea to document me shoveling snow because it was the first time it's ever happened! Harsh.

Now the hurdle of Christmas is over, sadly, but we must look forward to 2011! I have NO resolutions but a super positive attitude about the year ahead. What are your New Years Plans everyone? Do you have to work this week?

Alicia B.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Oh Christmas Tree

I will be going home in about 24 hours and I can't wait to see our Christmas tree and decorate it. This year, my parents have finally gotten rid of their metal stand from the 1940s, that makes my dad swear and makes the tree tilt to one side, and replaced it with a 2010 easy-to-use stand. Because it's easy, my parents are slightly un-trusting of it. Anyway, it got me thinking about different bases for Christmas trees and how I've been seeing so many interesting ways of standing those gorgeous trees up.

This wide basket makes a beautiful base for a tree, right? It also looks really stable--no tree tippage here. From Southern Living.

From Martha Stewart. Martha mounted a tree in the stump of a birch tree for a super woodsy look! I find the gold tree a tad abrasive but it's Martha so, I still love it.

This cute couple tried the same thing and I think it turned out really well. They took a regular stump of a tree, drilled a hole and put their tree inside it. I think this works only with fake trees as they have a thin end to them, which makes it easy to put inside the thick stump.

This is a great way to elevate a smaller tree if you don't have a lot of space. Sometimes if you want a taller tree, it has to be wider too, but if you put it in a bucket or on top of a cute box like this, you can show off your bucket and give some height to the tree. From Lisa Fern Creek.

Here is another bucket tree stand but this time in galvanized metal. I love how old fashioned this looks with apples hanging from the tree. From HERE--cute blog!.

If you have a crate, that also makes a great tree stand. Or an old flower box--just leave it natural or paint it white like this one from Homes and Gardens UK.

I adore this wide galvanized metal bucket tree stand from Country Living. This probably makes watering it really easy because you don't need to worry about protecting the stand or having leaks!

I know we'll just have a traditional stand with a skirt around it which will look beautiful, but do any of you, my lovely readers, have creative stands like these? A basket? A bucket? I'm sure everyone is traveling today so be safe and enjoy yourselves. Don't put too much brandy in your eggnog!

Alicia B.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Time to wrap presents.

I LOVE to wrap presents every Christmas. I pride myself in being a great "wrapper" and love to come up with fun ways to wrap presents or use fun wrapping paper and ribbons. I'm usually asked by my dad to wrap his presents for my mother but in past years my job has been usurped. Here are some inspirational images of some GORGEOUS wrapping jobs.

Have extra doilies left over from Valentine's Day? Who doesn't. You can use them for your presents now. They sort of look like really beautiful very embellished snowflakes! From room remix blog.

This style of wrapping a gift with a piece of clothing (also a gift) has become very popular in the past few years. This is a super cute idea but then you're stuck buying 2 gifts. Up to you! From Shelter.

Martha. You're a genius. I love the one on the left with a little box wrapped over and over with a ribbon. Cut outs in wrapping paper are also a great idea. I have a few Martha Stewart cut outs that I might use this year.

There is almost nothing I love more than sparkles and sequins this season. Glittery gift wrap is RIGHT up my alley. Again, Genius Martha.

Do you have tons of high end wall paper sitting around like I do? (I really do) I used to work next to the Farrow and Ball showroom and have some discontinued remnants in my apartment. I could wrap some Christmas gift for my MOST special recipients (you're all special, don't get jealous) in this gorgeous wall paper. From designer Lynn Bryne's blog.

I love the simplicity of this. Sweet Paul's simple elegant and somewhat country aesthetic for this wrapping job is spot on. I think topping a gift with an little ornament is just darling.

I guess my next step is to actually buy my gifts! I've been SO SO busy and I had finals this past week so LAY OFF. These images are lovely but if you receive gifts from many different relatives and friends, you can't exactly control how they look underneath the tree. You can't very well re-wrap gifts so that they all look coordinated. Can you? Seriously, I can be OCD...can I?

Alicia B.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Not enough room for a tree?

If you're like I am, and live in shoebox apartment, sometimes a Christmas tree can be a bit overbearing. Last year I got a mini tree but this year I'm really loving Poinsettias. I think they are the perfect alternative and a nice one is only about $10-15 !

From Homes and Gardens UK (best magazine ever), branches and poinsettias are put in this beautiful pottery vase. This looks so simple yet creates such a beautiful effect with the contrast of white and red.

Martha Stewart was inspired by poinsettias and fashioned a beautiful wreath out of ribbons made to look like flowers. To attempt this insanely involved how-to, go HERE.

Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home put a small white poinsettia in an antique trophy on to of her mantle. She has many more adorable Christmas decorations--take a look at them HERE. Her house is beautiful.

Oh look, a white Christmas. Or ivory/silver. I don't recommend getting a metallic tree but I love the idea of different white and metal tones here. Is that little pot mercury or pottery? From Country Living.

Fellow blogger, Aesthetic Oiseau shows off her adorable tree and instead of putting a star (or an ill fitting Santa with Rudolf) on top, she put a poinsettia! It's basically perfect in my book.

From Country Living, they put these poinsettias in silver urns and added some decoration underneath the console table. True, they had room for a big tree and branches in a vase, but whatevs, nobody's perfect.

If you're like I am and live in shoebox apartment, sometimes a Christmas tree can be a bit overbearing. Last year I got a mini tree but this year I'm really loving poinsettias. I think they are the perfect alternative and a nice one is only about $10-15 ! Side question: How many of you pronounce it "poinsettEEA"? Anyone? Do you have poinsettias in your home this year?

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Gift Guide 2010 Alicia B. Style

These polka dotted ceramic trays ($48) from Apartment 48 would make the perfect gift. Apartment 48 has the most amazing gifts--visit their store in Manhattan if you have the time. They have amazing horn accessories!

Every year now all the bloggers come out with "Gift Guides" for Christmas, Hanukkah or other holiday events, which are basically all about, "look at me and what great taste I have!" Right? Well, now its my turn. I'm not going to suggest to you where to find ANOTHER ikat pillow, or a sparkly clutch, because the answer is Pottery barn, and J Crew. Or Etsy and Etsy. I have fun ideas and a little bit unusual taste. Here is what I want if I could buy it all for myself.

Stationary is always a hit. I love this one with the Florentine paper envelope liner. One Kings Lane has TONS of great gift options--cashmere throws, beautiful candles, and cards!
Ask yourself (literally, out loud), who wouldn't LOVE an oversized acorn? It would make the perfect coffee table accessory or bookcase display objet. This is from my new favorite store that I discovered down in Tribeca around the corner from where I work, Just Scandinavian.
I'm pretty standard when it comes to jewelry, and I should really jazz it up with some costume pieces. This Zebra ring for only $38 is designed by Rachel Roy my old roommate's designer flavor of the month.

Another great gift that rarely gets re-gifted are tea towels! How cute and Scandinavian is this one with fish on it?! Find it HERE at Just Scandinavian.

I'm really into these little bouquet necklaces. This one is from Boden: Boden Corsage Necklace for $64.

Have you checked out the Kate Spade Home section lately? Do so immediately. These plates, designed by Bella Foster for KS are just adorable and they have a corresponding hors d'oeuvres plate.

Scarves are fun all year round, so this is really the perfect gift for anybody (or me). This Lilly Pulitzer Murfee scarf is $118.

My fiance has been gabbing about how much I would love this book that I'm wondering why he hasn't bought it for me yet. Syrie Maugham has so much style its amazing that they were able to put it in a book. I will have this book, thanks!

I'm the middle in our family, so this wine label "Middle Sister Wines" really spoke to me. They're based in California and have such a cute concept. I gave a few bottles to my older sister for her birthday this past year! Wine is ALWAYS (almost) the perfect gift.

So if you're looking for a gift for pretty much anybody, take your pick from the choices above! I'm super behind this year on my gifts. Life gets hectic but you always have to be thinking of others at this time of year. The time for giving. Anyway, no ikat pillows or sequin clutches here although those are great gifts too! You can fine some cute pillows at MY store, as well. How about you all? Are you behind like I am?

Alicia B.

Kate and Will Change The World...

...of interior design. Ever since Prince William and Kate Middleton got engaged (and stole our thunder.), there has been SUCH a buzz about sapphires. I suppose when the most influential people in the world get engaged with a 1000 carat sapphire, it will come into fashion in a very big way. I love Kate's style as well as her ring--she always has cute dresses and hats. I read an article that said that sapphire blue interiors would be everywhere for the next few years. I'm on board.
We could all do with a few more hats like these, right?

A wonderfully organized office. I love that pillow on the chair and I can't wait until the day that I have rolls of in a woven basket in my office. Homes and Gardens UK.

J. Crew. SUCH a pretty and simple dress. This is a great shade of blue and this dress looks so comfortable, too!

Eddie Ross designed this room with toile panels and this lovely fabric on the bed--love it.

Silk embroidered linen fabric by my favorite company, Vaughan!

SUCH elegant interiors by Mary McDonald. Blue and white interiors are incredibly timeless.

Here is a more mod-squad interior from Elle Decor with a deep blue striped floor--quite fun! I wish I could see more of that bed, it looks bright.

Okay so let's face it, blue is timeless no matter what shade it is. Will Kate and Will change a lot? Yes. I hope so. I do love that deep sapphire blue color--I hope that there are tons of shades of it everywhere in fashion, fabric, and design (you know, more than usual!).

Alicia B.