Thursday, April 30, 2009


Well folks, it's official. I have finally launched my photography website at I've always had an interest in photography and have been working on my portfolio more intensely lately. Please take a moment to check out my work and email me if you have any inquiries! I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have. My email is For now, it will remain separate from the blog, but don't fret--the blog will still be here! Thanks everyone for your support, encouragement and help!

Pull up a beach chair, and ENJOY.

Alicia B.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Entry Foyers for Mini Spaces

James Michael Howard. Perfection in a foyer.

Entry foyers are an important space in the home. They set the tone for the rest of your living space. They should be welcoming but also say something about you. I have an extremely mini entry hall and as you may know I just set up/restored a chest to go in it. After much research, I have come up with some great ways to maximize your space and still have it look gorgeous!

The first element is the mirror. Mirrors have an amazing way of making the room look larger than it is--crazy right??! You can do one large mirror like I did, or several arranged in a fun way!

Pamela Banker used an octagonal mirror here which works quite harmoniously with the wallpaper!

In this foyer by James Michael Howard, he used many small mirrors and arranged them around pieces of art.

This is my sister and BIL's foyer in her apartment in Chicago! The gorgeous console is from Gumps, and I appreciate their symmetry here. Perhaps they could add something under the console? A bench or a ceramic stool?

Another important factor is storage. The entire reason that I needed this wardrobe chest was so that I could store my fabrics and other craft/design supplies. You might not have a chest, but a console. This is okay too because there so so many attractive storage containers out there now! Nobody likes clutter so you can easily store shoes or other things that might have a way of "living" in your foyer.

Robert Stilin put an oversized basket under this console--great for mittens and scarves?? Or maybe tennis raquets?

From Country Living, this designer used vintage suitcases as attractive storage.

Secondary elements should be added to your foyer as well to add interest to the space. I'd love to add this adorable little caned seat chair I saw at an antiques store but I don't have a lot of room. You can also add something functional like a cute umbrella stand or a plant stand.Amanda Kyser placed an intense red modern chair next to her console table. I love the contrast of modern and antique--the table is swaying down because it's so old!

From House Beautiful, Schuyler Samperton placed a stool (on an angle) to counteract the perfection of the scene. Having things look natural is also super important because the front hall is actually a very busy space!

The last part to this is adding objects to the console or chest or table in your front hall. I've decided to put some stacked design books (some of my absolute favorites), an etched brass bowl next to a ceramic candle stick, and possibly a plant. I'd love to add some green to the room. Right when you walk in you say, "Alicia loves design and she sure knows how to kill a spider plant!" See below.

This is just a sneak peek at my newly restored chest! I am quite pleased with what I've done, but it's a work in progress. I have three of my fave design books including Mariette Himes Gomez's Houses, an antique white enamel pitcher, two brass antique candlesticks, and a mirror. I know, the mirror is LEANING and not hanging, but I seem to be handling the trauma of it well. Deep breaths.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Round Windows into My Soul

I've always had a "thing" for certain architectural details like thick mouldings, but lately I've been just obsessed with round slash oval windows. What's beyond them? They're so pretty and just plain interesting! At "my" house in the country, we have an octagonal one over the first floor and I literally (not really) have dreams about it. Enjoi.

Three windows equals three times the beauty of this house! I love the symmetry in this white stucco house. I wish I could see what is on the other side of each of those windows. By Suzanne Kasler.

Wow, she's killing me with the exteriors of these homes. I love the Palladian window over the door, too!

WOW. Look at the mysterious shadow this one casts on the floor. Also, they used a chair with a round back to mirror the round element. By Randall Powers.

A round window doesn't always have to be traditional; this one is clean and unadorned and is a nice contrast with the hard angles of the roof. This gorgeous pool house is by Jed Johnson.

I would wash dishes forever if this window was over my sink. How gorgeous is the green and the green tile backsplash? By James Michael Howard.

How calming and therapeutic was that? I feel so much better--the beauty of that little round window is so captivating. The glow that comes through, the smooth curves--woah this is going a little far.

Alicia B.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Sunday Afternoon Beauty

Sunday was a lovely day. I spent the majority of it lying out in the park reading the newspaper with some random guy I met (my bf). It was absolutely lovely so I'd like you to see a few of the pics I took of some of the most mind blowingly (yeah, that's a word) beautiful flowers I've ever seen. Ever. In the world.

Aaa. Park Avenue flowers.

I swear New York flowers are bigger than flowers anywhere else in the US.

In the park, I had to lie out in the shade because I may or may not have burned myself to a little crisp on Saturday. Oops.

Now it is Monday, but I think that Spring is finally here, and Summer is JUST around the corner! Something to look forward to, right? Did you all have a nice weekend? What did you do?

Alicia B.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Rando Design Inspiration Friday!

ADORABLE flowers from this great blog I found, Nestledin.

It's that time again! FRIDAY. This is a new section I'm doing because it's Friday, we've had a long week, and we just need to kick back and relax with some nice images to help us through the day. I've had a rough go of it this week: adopted a cat, fell in love with him, and then returned him the next day because he viciously attacked me twice, jumped on my back, and began stalking me around my own home looking to attack again. Heartbroken. And yes, you can laugh.

How delightful is this little scene in my dear little CT? I wish I could see more of that sweet looking rug. And I DIE for the caning in those chairs. By Philip Gorrivan.

Tea time with Jackson Aaron? Yes, please. Only If I can face the wall though at all times because I can't take my eyes off those thick grass cloth panels.

Yeah yeah, I'm predictable. I love the new Lilly Pulitzer collection.

I love when things are out of scale like the giant 1930's factory clock that takes over the ENTIRE wall here. This room can pretty much do no wrong in my eyes, especially with the two non-matching armchairs with salmon pink fabric. By Jay Jeffers.

This kitchen is by Barry Dixon. Personally this is a LOT of island for me but I am absolutely enthralled by the lantern over the table--I love the perforated holes.

Word on the street is that it's going to be in the 80's this weekend in NYC. This means I'll be lying in the park reading the last book in the Twilight Series, Breaking Dawn (don't judge me!!), and as many design magazines as I can get my hands on. I might try again on a kitten too...though I'm pretty emotionally scarred. What are your plans for the weekend??

Alicia B.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

OH. Well, these look like nice places to get clean...

I've always had a design obsession with bathroom spaces. Don't make it weird, but I really love them. They are places to get clean and refresh yourself. Start anew. They are centered around water and light and can be your own personal sanctuary if you do it right (like these designers).

Everything in here is so ethereal/perfect. It's the perfect mix of femininity and rustic style with the antique chair, the glow of light from the one window, and the exposed wood beams of the ceiling. This bathroom screams, or whispers rather, relaxation. From Marie Claire Maison.

This would look so great in my bathroom in the house I just bought on Nantucket (I'm really over the Hamptons)! What I love about this precious but glam room is the round lantern! A glow of beauty hovering over the antique nickel plated tub. By Mabley Handler (I think this is actually in the Hamptons.)

From Living Etc, I love the green tub! The doors make me think there's a lovely natural overgrown terrace outside with a pool. And that I'm in the countryside of England.

The marble floor and mosaic tiles inside the shower make me think of somewhere exotic. I'd love to have that many towels at my disposal too. Yum. James Michael Howard.

This bathroom has a little more modern look to it--but BE SURE not to miss the gnome holding your towels! It's easy to miss because you're probably staring at the oval window. Swoon. By Irwin Weiner. Double swoon.

This round upholstered chair is absolutely gorgeous in this space. Can't you imagine yourself in a bathrobe putting your feet up on the tub to give yourself a pedicure? I can! From House Beautiful. Also, a butterfly framed on that adorable table!

This looks like the ultimate relaxing sanctuary. You can draw the light curtains to have a little bit of privacy in this moody bath nook. By Greg Lanza.

I didn't notice until I was finished, but all the images that I chose (except for the one shower) were all tubs separate from the room with either little claws or a more sleek modern look but they are all free standing! I think a bathroom is nice because it's centered around water, rejuvenation, and most importantly, cleanliness.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Painted Furniture Adventure

In my quest for the perfect color for my new painted wardrobe (I can't very well call it my "new chest," can I?), I thought I'd take you on a little painted furniture quest. I actually am a bit of a painting nerd as I have a green painted kitchen table and chairs, and a blue distressed dresser! I have also painted my desk a light green and is has distressed naturally on it's own due to a life with me! Many designers use painted furniture. I think it can be a very chic look, but also quite relaxing looking.
Martha has a project here where she painted this pretty/traditional pattern on this caned head and foot board to a bed. So very country and sophisticated. I am so jealous of those wide/irregular floor boards.

Marshall Watson shows us here in this sitting room that with this painted end table, you can create a modern look with a painted piece! Gorgeous drapery fabric on the right, too.

I was thinking of painting the wardrobe a cream color but the walls are also cream. This tone on tone is quite nice and soothing though. By Gunkleman Flesher.

I just adore this little nightstand painted yellow with wire mesh on the doors. By my hero Jamie Drake. I also love the purple from the flowers against the yellow.

This is the color I'm going for, but more blue and lighter! This gorgeous antique chest would be perfect in my fantasy Tuscan kitchen. From Country Living.

Oh! Look who else has a light green kitchen table! I love it with the different colored chairs. It looks like a light and relaxing country kitchen. From Country Living.

I think I've narrowed down my colors to two now. I'm deciding between Swan Sea, and Lotus Leaf, which I can't find online. Sorry. Any opinions? Can't wait to paint it tomorrow!

It's between the one alllll the way to the left (Lotus leaf) and the one on the left in the top row (Swan Sea).

Alicia B.

Busy Bee= Alicia B.

SO, over the weekend I had my bff from college up and THEN my parents kindly dropped off my foyer wardrobe. It's in pretty shaky condition so I'm busily restoring it on my own! I even bought...wood filler on Sunday! Can you believe it? Anyway, I'm working on picking out paint colors for it! My inspiration is Italian painted furniture. I don't know why I'm so drawn to it but I find it sweet looking, and I like the antique look of it. The room above is one of my faves by Hal Williamson and is the inspiration for the chest. I'm looking at blues with a hint of green in them and a little bit lighter than the one above. I can't wait to show you pictures later on this week!

Alicia B.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Rando Design Inspiration Friday

Gorgeous tulips from a story on John Willey in HB.

I've been thinking about this for quite some time now, and I've decided that we're going to have a moment each Friday of pure design inspiration. It's the end of the week, we've all been working very hard, so this is just pure enjoyment. No theme, no point, no shopping--just design. Well, I guess the only theme would be that I like it. Enjoy!

This room is by Tom Scheerer which I found when I was on a hunt for a round rug for my new apartment. I love the blue and brown combination there. Also I am trying to catch my breath over those exposed beams in the ceiling AND the walls.

This sitting room is by Phoebe Howard and I just adore the color palette. Greens, blues, browns, and that soft light flowing in from the window. I wonder what that is in the glass part of the hutch.

I think I was drawn to the uber patterning in this room by Martyn Lawrence Bullard Designs. Everything in here is just absolutely delightful. Isn't the coffee table fun, too?

More exposed beams! Maybe I did have a theme for today and just didn't know it. Also, I'd love to have a large door with a huge old fashioned handle like that one opening into my bedroom. From Living Etc.

I hope you all have a lovely Friday and an even lovelier weekend! It's supposed to be 73 degrees here in NYC tomorrow! What do you all have planned for the weekend? On Sunday, I'll be getting a delivery c/o my parents of the little hutch for my foyer! Then comes the project of fixing it up. YAY!

Oh and btw, if you're EVER having a "down" day, watch THIS VIDEO and you'll be happy for the rest of your life. Just watch it anyway, especially if you love The Sound of Music.
(Thanks to my baby sister who just turned 21!)

Alicia B.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Thursday Night Craft Project

At Easter we each got a super cute box (see above) from the Easter Bunny full of jelly beans, skittles, and chocolate eggs. Well, now that Easter is over, I wanted to get some good use out of this box. I saw THIS project for a remote control holder from Martha Stewart, and decided to give it a go. This will come in handy as I've finally decided to break down...and get cable (that I have to pay for).

I was FORCED to eat all my jelly beans right away so that I could make this box! FORCED I tell you!

I chose this great blue and white floral toile fabric, cut it to the height of the box plus about 1/4" extra on each side.

I then took fabric glue and adhered the fabric to the box! Next, I took this grey grosgrain ribbon from Kate's Paperie and put it on the inside to cover the raw edge of the fabric that I folded over.

Yay! Look how cute it is!

Here are the two remotes that I have. Don't they look comfy spooning in my new pretty box!?

Alicia B.