Monday, October 31, 2011

Nate Berkus likes to save space.

A few weeks ago, after I finally admitted I was sick and went home from work, I decided to veg out and watch tv. I caught The Nate Berkus Show and thought I couldn't take my eyes off his hair and his super fun attitude. I love how he upgrades thrift store junk and actually acknowledges small space living. Which brings me to my next point. I've been made aware that Nate Berkus is doing a show on small spaces this Thursday! He will reveal his (GASP) Top 5 favorite space saving products. Here are two awesome ones.
FLOR Rugs. I love buying new things, don't you? I just recently proposed a FLOR rug to a client of mine and I thought it would be a great space for her tiny studio. The bright colors play with the depth of the room and leads your eye through the space
I liked the awesome new patterns they offer and you can make it smaller or larger just by adding more squares! Martha makes some really fun ones too. From HERE. Marimekko Pillows! I"m really obsessed with Marimekko lately. I even have a new Marimekko mouse pad at work (buh bye Obama). They opened a new store in the Flatiron district, too.

Nate likes the fact that Marimekko has bold patterns that draw your eye to them. A focal point, if you will. You want to look at the precious dog but you look at the fun bright pillows instead! From HERE.

Check in on Wednesday for one more RAD product that Nate thinks you should buy. I'm thinking of calling in sick on Thursday to see the show! Ahh to live like a lady of leisure. The show airs on Thursday, GET EXCITED! (like Nate's hair).

Alicia B.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Happy Halloween!!

Happy (Early) Halloween!!

I saw this Herend Skull in the Scully & Scully Catalog a few weeks ago and thought, "WHY didn't I register for this!?" It is a 24 Karat painted skull and is pretty much the most fabulous Halloween decoration I've ever seen. It comes in pink, green, orange, etc and at $220 each, I'll take one in each color!

I'm off to MN for the weekend, wish me luck in the frigid North!

Alicia B.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Antique Book Nerd

I love love love design books. I have them everywhere around our apartment: on the coffee table, in the shelves, on my desk, you get the idea. I really love antique books, though. I don't have a ton, but the ones I do have are arranged strategically in my bookcase so that they look like art--which they sometimes are.

From Houzz. I have collected antique books from thrift stores or tag sales and have received some as gifts.

Recently while I was shopping for gimps (yeah you know it!) at Claremont, I spotted this AMAZING screen with a bookcase display on it. It is a Piero Fornasetti screen designed in the 1950s.

Nate Berkus designed this classic but not stuffy looking living room with bunches of books arranged strategically on the bookcase. They are quite chunky so it is nice to break up the books throughout the bookcase.

Kathy Abbott designed this sweet little room in the Kips Bay Showhouse in 2010. She stocked the bookcase with beautiful encyclopedias.

Of course, Bunny Williams has some gorgeous antique books. This bookcase is packed full with no room for objects or sculptures. Just the books in all their glory.

Robert Kime has set you up here with this traditional bookcase and displays it with a set of encyclopedias or antique books.

I know you can buy books by the yard but I find that...tacky. Books should be selected for personal reasons, not by the yard, for looks. I HAVE bought books because I thought they were beautiful and DID judge them by their cover but also for their content. My favorite is a book with marbled paint on the inside of the cover and a book my friend bought me called "Book of Etiquette Volume II". Amazing.

Alicia B.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

I want my world to be The World of Muriel Brandolini

Amazing designer Muriel Brandolini has always caught my attention but now she's about to release her first book and I am borderline obsessed with her. Her rooms are so unexpected but incredibly beautiful. She uses deep rich colors and amazing furniture pieces. She is half Vietnamese, and half French/Venezuelan and she actually started out in fashion in New York. I read a great article about Ms. Brandolini in the WSJ about her style and her upcoming book "The World of Muriel Brandolini."

In the article, antiquarian Louis Bofferding says "She plays old against new, mixes colors boldly and selects materials in ways that wouldn't occur to other decorators." Truth. Image from her website.

Notice how the bed is not facing directly at you and there is a little seating area (can you sit there??) in the foreground next to the bed. A little more fun than the typical bed, table on either side and a bench at the end. MB.

The color that I dislike, purple, (in this case its more like raisin) is the color that brings the room together with the midnight blue walls and the very very yellow rug. This room is full but it doesn't appear cluttered. MB.

This chair is literally a work of art. Imagine designing this chair--the panels, the tassels, the backing...

I LOVE the blues that she uses. This abstract rug is exquisite. WSJ.

This is a lighter, yet just as rich feeling room. Have you ever walked into a hotel lobby and seen one of those round sofas and thought, "No, never." Well this time, it not only works but it makes the room.

Is this why I love Muriel Brandolini? The bold blue door molding? The wallpaper on the ceiling and walls? The beautiful chandelier? All of the above.

Is there anything this woman isn't great at? She has a line of fabrics at Holland & Sherry which I wish I could use all the time. This one is called Pearl Grey 4.

Love this bold chevron pattern fabric, Tobac 1.

Her use of color and pattern is extraordinarily inspiring and I'm dying to meet her. She is giving a lecture at Philips de Pury Auction house and I would love to go. Muriel Brandolini is fearless when it comes to color which is probably why I love her work so much. So, who wants to buy her book for me?

Alicia B.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Alicia B. at Etsy!

Designing my wedding was one of the most fun projects I've ever worked on. Calling it a project feels weird but in terms of a design idea, it was. I wanted to create a fresh nautical but country inspired look for the Bridal dinner with milk glass and hobnail vases and blue and white table linens. Well, guess what!? All the vintage vases and accessories and hand made linens are available to you at my Etsy store. I collected these vases and bowls and made the linens from fabrics I found on

Set of 8 hand sewn square napkins. They look amazing with the ones below it mixed in.

Wow, so nautical!

This little bowl has the most beautiful detailed edge, right?

You. Are. Gorgeous.

This basket is one of my favorites. It's so sweet and looks amazing with flowers overflowing from it. Or candy!!!

Gorgeous hobnail pitcher.

I have a few pairs of pretty 8" tall vases. I love the detailing on these.

Here they are in action. It was a beautiful perfect night (not as perfect as our wedding day but HEY).

I love that you can use milk glass at any time of year; summer, perfect for Halloween actually, and they would really look so beautiful on a winter inspired table with lots of whites and greens. I'll be adding more items to my shop all the time so check back. Word on the street is that some mint julep cups will be arriving in the shop soon. Take a look!

Alicia B.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Bookcase Re-Org

This post should really be titled: Stuff I do when my husband goes out of town. I tend to break out the craft box, sew some pillows, and generally do small decorating projects (when I have 7 mins to spare) when my husband travels on biz. Hes a biz man traveler. Anyway, things get crazy and I do things like this:
I took out all the books, novels, art books, and yes, that says "Intermediate Accounting." That is a book of my husband's. We have a lot of books though between us so the organization of them is important.

These are more of MY books; DVF autobiography, a Twilight book, and a gorgeous book about chandeliers. I have a lot of large sized art and design books which should be displayed with their splines facing outward and stacked one on top of another.

Even if you have a lot of books, you can still make a cute bookcase display. It doesn't have to be a few books and tons of objects! You just have to keep it simple LOOKING. With lots of novels, line them all up by height.

Stack up your art and design books. They are beautiful, so show them off! I love antique books and have a few really small ones so I stacked them on my design books like objects themselves. Putting them on a diagonal helps.Here it is in all its book-full glory next to my full length mirror and my gorgeous framed DVF magazine.

When my husband came back (from China), he gave me a jade elephant statue for our bookcase display! Next time he goes away I'll probably paint the back of the bookcase a fun bright color. Or switch the living room with the bedroom--we'll see. Just kidding, that's crazy.

Alicia B.