Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Faves

Happy Friday! I couldn't be more over the moon jazzed that it's friday even though it looks like THIS today in NYC.

I'm absolutely OBSESSED with this little ad campaign with Bryce Dallas Howard (a beautiful redhead!) for Kate Spade. How gorgeous is she, and how fun and happy are these colors? You know I love color and nothing is making me happier than this. Except one thing, today is my last day at my current job and I feel like this picture looks. I've accepted a new job to work for one of my favorite interior designers (not an architect, like my current job) and I can't wait to get started!

This little interior makes me think of spring and warm weather. Lounging around with fresh air coming in and out of that huge window. Alexandra Angle.

This soft yellow is so calming and beautiful. This stunning interior is by Muriel Brandolini whos portfolio I HIGHLY suggest scanning through. It's surprising and different, yet I still love it.

Wish me luck in my last day working for a firm who's main color scheme is grey and black with pops of stainless steel and moving forward to a firm who loves color just as much as I do! What is new with all of you, my presh readers?? Weekend plans?

Alicia B.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Curious about what I do at school?

I've been literally crazed lately because of school, my job, and wedding stuff that needs to get rolling (thank GOD my mom has a handle on it!). I thought I'd share some of my project that I'm doing for my Contract class. We're designing an office space for a non profit arts association for aging Babyboomers (yes, Babyboomers, we all get old, face it.) in New York City.

It started out with a bubble diagram mapping out the room requirements on the empty floorplan.

And then become this! The main reception area is a spiral shape as my inspiration was Robert Smithson's Spiral Jetty.

Amazing environmental art by Robert Smithson in Utah.

Next I made this model out of chipboard. It took a lot of patience, a lot of scoring, and a little band aid.

And this is what I'm working on right now--my sections. I'm trying to show the feeling of a spiral in these views, though a little unsuccessfully. I think the addition of built-ins might be the key--what do you think?

I barely have time for this but it's basically my first priority right now. I'm really into it too. Some of the students in my class "hate" their project but I LOVE mine. I love the challenge and the process of overcoming the challenges. I may or may not have woke up last night and started hallucinating that I had wallpaper in the pattern of my floor plan, but that's besides the point. Remember THIS this week, too! Have a great Tuesday!

Alicia B.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A break from interior design: NEDA Week

I'd like to take a break from interior design talk to address very serious issue. This week is National Eating Disorders Awareness Week.

You may think, "Alicia, this doesn't apply to me", but an estimated 12 million people suffer from an eating disorder, so you probably know or have known someone with an eating disorder, even if you were not aware of it. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate out of any mental illness and is still on the rise. This whole week (it should be all year round!) is about awareness, which I think we should all take the time to acknowledge. The most important issue is actually talking about this disease (anorexia, bulimia, Binge Eating Disorder and EDNOS), as uncomfortable as it may be, it brings awareness to it and can help those who are suffering.

I've been in contact with Elizabeth Showers recently (above), as she is a spokesperson for NEDA, and also the daughter of Jan Showers. You might recognize her name because she is a very talented jewelry designer of some of the most beautiful jewelry pieces I've seen. Her creativity shines through each piece and she has been recovered from an eating disorder for 19 years. Here are some of her thoughts that she shared with me on eating disorder recovery...

"My purpose in life is to remind all women to feel great right now. Don’t wait until you get your career started, until you are in the “perfect” relationship, until you have children, until you make a lot of money, until your children are out of the house, until your body “looks perfect” (because there is no such thing), and especially not until your life is perfect, because that will never happen. Life is messy. Life is imperfect. Life is about progress, not perfection. Even after almost 19 years of being recovered from anorexia, I still have to tell myself on a regular basis to lighten up. Because when I am too serious, it weighs me down, and is a barrier to my success, in business and personally. When I resist, I am pushing against the flow of life. When I was acting out in my eating disorder, I couldn’t even make sense of one moment to the next. As soon as I started eating all full meals on a regular basis, the cobwebs in my brain started dissipating, and I could let myself feel true emotions, and I could be present in this very moment. Not long after eating normally on a daily basis, going to 12 step meetings regularly, talking with a healthy mentor consistently, changing my playground of friends to those who could empathize and be supportive, and regular group therapy with other women with eating disorders, my light began to shine. And I started feeling happiness and self-confidence, and peace and love for myself and for others. I began to see the world more as it is, and not as much through my own personal eating-disordered filter. And then I began to discover my purpose of helping others, of which I now believe that is the primary reason I went through a living Hell otherwise known as an eating disorder. I now know that when I let my light shine, I give others permission to do the same."

I think this is great advice for anybody, if they are struggling with the disease, or an addiction, or not. What an inspiration she is! (and SO talented)

The National Eating Disorders Association has put together a great schedule of events HERE which you can follow! Please visit the site HERE and talk about it! Talk about it with coworkers, on twitter (social media activism!!), and with your friends and family.

There is an incredible web of support on the internet too--blogs, songs, and resources galore. If you want to contribute to this cause and don't know how, you can always give money (health insurance doesn't usually support treatment, so sadly many people go without)! If you have questions, please visit the site or you can contact me as well at

Happy Eating Disorders Awareness Week!

Be good to yourselves, and treat your bodies and minds with care.

Alicia B.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Diane Von Furstenburg literally does everything.

As you may know, I am a huge admirer of Diane Von Furstenburg. I think that she's a remarkable person and had done a lot in the world of fashion and as a woman. My sister gave me her autobiography for my birthday and I read her incredible story. She grew up in very favorable circumstances, knew the right people etc, but she didn't squander all that--she used these things to her advantage and built an empire.

It all started with her classic little wrap dress back in the 70's and now the wrap dress has become an icon. It's great because it's easy to wear and looks great on all body types--this is exactly why DVF loved it so much.

First of all, I love a good library and this one is exquisite. The fact that it requires ladders makes me want to climb up them and get all Beauty and the Beast on them.

Nothing is more inspirational than a designers office. Especially when she's wearing a wrap dress. The rug is incredible, right?

Oh look, another desk. I'd love a large table (and a design studio) like this for fabrics and clients' projects.

I think my heart is about to explode. Animal print rug? Globe on a stand? Trunk? Lip print?

Now shes gone and made all my dreams come true and come out with a home collection. I was invited (she called me up and told me i HAD to be there but I couldn't make it because of school) to the launch at Bloomingdales--did anybody go? I'm completely enamored with her collection and love nearly everything. I even registered for some items for my wedding!!

If you've registered anywhere lately, it is SLIM PICKINGS for cute napkin rings. These, however are ridiculously cute. They are perfectly summery and would be great on a fresh warm tablescape.
There is also a serious lack of attractive salad bowls out in the world right now. I love the rich dark color of the wood and the edgy gold accent. Gorgeous.

And oh, BEDDING. My favorite thing. Some girl like shoes; I like duvets. The Butterfly Duvet is on sale right now for $149!

I love this girly watercolor inspired duvet. Such a pretty color palette on Rainbow Garden Duvet.

What do you all think about her collection? I think we all know what I think. I just find DVF so inspirational. She too went through a lot of difficulties in her personal life and her career. I'm so glad that she's back and expanding her brand. At Fashion's Night Out a few months ago, my fiance and I dropped by her store and saw her and then Anna Wintour and she walked right by me! It. Was. Life. Changing.

UPDATE: Here is an amazing article courtesy of Raina!

Alicia B.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day !

Feed me some pink macaroons.

Today is about love!! Let's celebrate Valentine's Day with some pink, one of my favorite colors.

Make your valentine some cupcakes like Martha Stewart! YUM.

This is from Betsey Johnson's apartment--isn't it fabulous?! The soft pink and romantic crystal drop sconces contrasted against the modern hard chairs and gold candlesticks are amazing.
Dallas Shaw created this adorable valentine for Kate Spade. Cute!
I'm looking for a duvet, and if I needed a pink one, this would be "the one". From Lands End, which is ALL up on my radar lately for their hot new home collection!

A little pink goes a long way and dispersing it around the room like Cath Kidston is very effective and beautiful.

Pantone just made pink the color of the year because they just wanted to spread the love, right? To tell you the truth, this holiday sort of sneaked up on me this year and I haven't exactly (or at all) done anything for my fiance/valentine! Some people are single and really hate this day but just think of all the great candy that comes about on this holiday!! And...I'm wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! I love my readers!

Alicia B.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Crate & Barrel and West Elm are back in my good graces.

Let me define that: Crate & Barrel has never actually been in my good graces. I've always thought of Crate & Barrel as chunky dark wood furniture and primary colored fabrics (ick). They seem to be making a comeback with a softer look with great textiles and a little more style. As for West Elm I think they got caught up in the whole Parsons style everything and lost sight of...everything. Both companies are getting my attention lately--do you want to see why?

West Elm is now doing fabric by the yard. I love this print, the paisley, and a fun ikat that they're doing. Very pretty only $30 per yard.

I'm lukewarm on chalkboard paint--I think it's being over used. BUT, I love this desk lamp. You know I love color...and yellow, so this industrial task lamp is perfect for me!
This grey weathered wood is so hot right now. I approve of this Cucina Sideboard from Crate and Barrel. It has a nice wine rack in it and looks like it has actual character put into it.

I am looking to spruce up my bedding and duvet situation and this is pretty, yellow, and light feeling. Definitely on my list! From West Elm: Bazaar Duvet Cover.
A client of mine almost bought this chair: the Carly. I appreciate the grey wood and not dark wood used in this chair and the feminine fabric. Put a bird on it?

I don't know if I would use this in my apartment myself but I think the open but geometric feeling to it is wonderful. It doesn't have to be chunky to be geometric. This is the Display Coffee Table from West Elm.

As a traditionalist at heart, I love this Windsor Chair. It's a fun modern twist on a classic style chair. I wonder how comfortable this is. Good work West Elm!

Not that this is a competition (even though everything is...), I think West Elm is coming out on top. They're brought a ton of character to their line while Crate and Barrel is bringing in a little bit of a soft feminine flair although I think they need to commit to it much more. What do you all think?

Alicia B.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

White and Yellow. White and Yellow.

As you may know, I'm planning my (I mean OUR) wedding for this Summer! My life revolves around weddings, design, and school right now so let's take a moment and talk about the wedding (and then loop back to design)! I love the color yellow so it might be color in the wedding. As usual, I have to relate everything back to interior design so lets look at some fun, preppy, and bright interiors, shall we?

The simplicity of this bedroom is stunning and sophisticated. Of course it's designed by Lee Kleinhelter, who has access to the most ridiculous antiques. From Lonny.

I always think of John Loecke when I think of preppy colors. these two yellow chairs look bright in this fresh interior. I'm pretty much obsessed with all the fabrics in this room.

This geometric yellow bedding is definitely on my list for my new apartment. From Jonathan Adler. Want it now...

Green and yellow are so fresh preppy together, don't you think? Love the ribbon detailing on the roman shades and the lampshade. DIY project for the weekend? INTERESTING... (I can't remember where I found this image...anyone want to help?)

SWOON. A gorgeous combination and a balance of white and bright vibrant blues greens and yellows makes this room feel color infused yet light and open. From Country Living.

Marie Claire France. I love stumbling into an old French mansion. This living room is bathed in natural light and painted a soft buttery yellow for a sweet airy feel.

It's almost too cold for words here in NYC, but some people have been complaining that it's even colder in Chicago...These warm yellow rooms are making me yearn for Summer more than ever! I have lots to look forward to though in more planning of the wedding--what do you think of yellow? Just an idea I'm playing around with.

Now that I have internet finally in my new apartment, my posts might be more frequent, so thanks for your patience. I'm also excited that I'll be meeting up with some actual real live design bloggers--I've never met anybody that is also a design blogger so this is going to be monumental and scary. Wish me luck and Happy Friday everyone!

Alicia B.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Finally right? Well, let me show you some RAW pictures of my apartment before I make it awesome. Right now I'm still hanging things and waiting to find the perfect coffee table so, it's a work in progress.

I said a not so tearful goodbye to my little shoebox apartment with the worlds smallest kitchen...

And said a HUGE LOUD HEYYYY to my new aparment with a full kitchen with new everything, marble bath, and an ipod dock with speakers all around the apartment.

This is the living night...on moving day. I finally got the movers there at 8PM and then rushed off to an engagement party for my BFF. Please excuse my purse on the HUGE counter-top.

Here is a mini preview slash hint. Remember my window pane plaid loveseat? I got an amazing Persian rug with reds, yellows, and blues in it and have used this to start my living room on its way. You'll see the final product when it's done.

Thoughts? I still need those bar stools--haven't had time to look for any since I'm working till 7 and schooling it nonstop (that means I'm still taking classes...I'm not "schooling" anything) but my design school friend suggested I take a look at some of the restaurant supply stores...have any of you been to those?

Alicia B.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Joss and hot right now!

Thanks to my gorgeous younger sister, I just discovered Joss and Main! Maybe I'm a little behind, and everyone has heard of it but if you haven't, it's along the same lines as One Kings Lane, selling housewares, fabrics, pillows etc. Today they have Trina Turk among other amazing brands. Take a look at my faves and join up!!

Since I moved I've been on the look out for great new furnishings and rugs. This bathmat looks ULTRA comfy from Christy Towels. Not feelin' that color? They have a bunch more colors to choose from and a ton of delicious looking towels.

I love a bright and fun table cloth like this one from Tululah. They have tons of other ones as well as aprons and placemats for the Martha types out there (ME). Also, this would be perfect for a sweet Valentine's Day Tablescape, no?

Trina. Turk. LOVE YOU. These are going fast but who doesn't love her bright preppy designs!?
Another reason to join is that they have brands like Le Crueset. End of story.

All I can say is that One Kings Lane better watch out. Joss and Main is definitely impressing me and let's face it, that's hard to do. (Not really, just wave some Trina Turk in front of my face and I'm yours.) As a side note, I've moved!!! Hence the reason I've been so touch and go on the blog but don't worry ya'll, I'm here, I just have patchy internet service. I'll be posting pictures of my empty space to get you excited for the before and after REVEAL!

Alicia B.