Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Winter Warmth Inspiration

Red is everywhere in this living room from H&G.

Since the weather has turned cold (especially if you're in Chicago right now as I am), I've been very much inspired by warm cozy fall colored interiors. Plaids, reds, oranges, and mustard yellows have been making me feel very warm though I am shivering at the thought of going outside. Snuggle in and enjoy!

Nothing says warmth like animal prints (and fur). I love the feeling of enclosure in this room--time to settle in with my favorite design books and shelter mags...

The fire is lit and those two chairs look ready for some action. I love the rusty red of that rug with the woods in the room. By Eldon Wong.

I always equate Amanda Nisbet with bright and poppy colors and while this is still bright and poppy it feels warm and cozy. Her attention to little details like the backing of that slipper chair are genius.

I KNOW this is no NOT me, because let's be honest, it's all neutrals. Fur is practically my middle name though and I have a weakness for modern art like the painting over the long sofa. By Pamplemousse Design.

Summer Thornton, a Chicago Designer, adds a stunning blue and green tartan plaid to the dining arm chairs at either end of the table. All you need is the turkey and stuffing (and cranberries, mashed potatoes, more stuffing, and yams!).

You must take a look at Oscar de La Renta's fall fur runway collection. It's so gorgeous. I loved the purple paired with the salmony orange and the delicious fur.

Alessandra Branca is another Chicago designer (what an odd coincidence that I keep picking them while I'm here)! Gorgeous table setting and warm rusty red walls with a pop of geometric Greek Key pattern on the drapery. I might visit her store today!

I hope these have gotten you inspired too! As much as I would love to stay inside my sister's warm apartment today, I must attend to some Christmas shopping (Branca). Other small changes to make your home feel more cozy are tartan throw blankets on your sofas, fall/winter inspired table cloths, warm candles around a room, or changing the lampshade to a soft brown instead of a crisp white color. Have you done anything else to channel winter warmth?

Alicia B.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Time to be Thankful!

With Thanksgiving only 3 days away, I'd love to focus on everything that I'm thankful for. Health, family, and my all around awesome well being are the top things I'm happy that I have especially this time of year.
I'm super thankful for my blog. I'm really happy that I brought it back after a 6 month retirement. I've been getting such positive feedback too that it's definitively spurring me on! Also, my every expanding design business--e*design, photography, interior accessories. Thanks everybody.

I am really loving my new job as well. As much as I loved working in the D & D Building, it is thrilling to be working for an architect now! (No, I don't work for Frank Lloyd Wright but I AM making my way up to Oak Park today!!)

Online Design magazines like Rue, Lonny, Nesting Newbies, and High Gloss! I love all the new innovations in magazines and the level of creativity is astounding. High Gloss comes out in January and we are all eagerly anticipating its arrival...!

Glee. Yes, I love Glee. I'm not ashamed and it makes me ecstatic. Gwyneth Paltrow re-earned my respect in the latest episode. Check out whats playing on LOOP on my ipod HERE.

I'm very thankful for my friends--who are SO adorable and innocent and send me email saying "Have you seen this website--The Selby?!" HAHA Why yes, I think I might have heard of it. My friends are super supportive of pretty much everything in my life and I am thankful for that. (Group hug??)

Fabric. I'm working on a few throw pillows and new drapery for some clients and I'm LOST (not unhappy about it though) in a world of fabric swatches. Fabric is so much fun and you can do so much with it.

This is just a small smattering of what I am thankful for....AND...

As a side note (on the blog, not in my life), I'm thankful for my fiance! YES, I'm engaged!! The beau/love of my life proposed last Friday and we are SO so happy. You might see some fun wedding inspired posts as I'm planning it!

What are you thankful for?!!!

Alicia B.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Newport Highlights

I promised you last week that I'd show you some of my fave pics from our adventure in Newport so here are some! I can't believe its been a week already--this week has flown by, right?? Newport and the drive up had some of the most beautiful foliage I have seen all season. The leaf on the dashboard is one that we picked up. I'm the kind of person that pics up leaves, rocks and shells when I go places.

I fell COMPLETELY in love with this little house with a yellow door. It was built in the 1700s and was SO precious. I plan on moving into it in the next few years.

This house is right next door to it and also SUPER cute although it was larger and didn't have a yellow door. Oh well, you win some and you lose some, right?

All the big manses (mansions) had amazing rought-iron gates. I believe this one is at The Elms.

This is the gate (one of a few) that lets you into the Breakers!

Along the harbour there were the cutest shops and restaurants. Don't hate me but I'm not a chocolate lover, though I liked how they were making it in the front window. Very charming.

I may or may not have taken about 1000 picture of boats but I love boats and there were lots of beautiful sailboats sitting in the harbour. Plus there was coast guard station right there!

If you've never been to Newport I HIGHLY recommend it. I had been one other time (besides when I grew up in The Breakers) with my family but that was a long time ago. It was nice to see it in full Autumn bloom with all the leaves turning too. It makes me love New England even more.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The New Bee Line Home

Bunny Williams is a truly great designer. She has a very traditional style but she knows how to keep things fresh and interesting. I've always loved her interiors, her store Treillage, and her own line Bee Line Home. I clicked onto BeeLine Home today though and was blown away. Blown. A. Way.
A simple night stand with this gorgeous diamond detailing on the drawer and simple fluting on the legs.
How much do you love the nailhead detailing and low reflief carving in the legs? I love it a lot.
This is a fun twist on a standard cocktail table. And it's appropriately named, the Bottoms Up Cocktail Table.

I know this has been in Bunny's collection for a while but I love it. The blue color is just beautiful. Emerald blue is so hot right now because of Kate Middleton/Prince William!
These ivory lattice backed chairs would be perfect in my imaginary country home. I think they'd look so fun with a bright poppy fabric.
A nice looking wastebasket is impossible to find. I always end up modifiying the ones that I buy but this one is a beautiful stained wood--no need to change it!

Could this possibly be more creative? A little spiral makes something icky (rain) into something fun and springy!

Nailhead sofa! This sofa is pure perfection. End of story.
Anyway, this was just a little fun--well a lot fun. There is so much more on her website and maybe you didn't like what I liked so...check it out. Alicia B.

Monday, November 15, 2010

I fell off the wagon, and landed on One Kings Lane.

I usually hold out until after Thanksgiving to let myself get excited about Christmas but whom am I kidding, I've been secretly listening to Christmas music (pop and otherwise) for about a week and a half now. And I know I'm not alone, because they were playing it ON THE RADIO (!!) in the car on the way to Newport this past weekend. Anyway, my point is, let's not hold back because nobody else is; especially One Kings Lane. They KNOW that we need the holiday spirit; Christmas, Hanukkah and other holidays right away. We need to shop and feel warm and great--right now! If you're not a member, it's easy and SO worth it. Sign up through me HERE!

Bar tray as in the picture above--PERFECT!

One Kings Lane is having a Holiday store event and I'm going all out. I love Christmas, and Thanksgiving, and holiday/family spirit! I also love tasteful decor and appropriately themed tablescapes and you'll find all the accoutrements for that HERE.

I love nice stationary--seriously, there is nothing better, but what really gets me is the inside. If the envelope is lined with some beautiful unique paper, I'm in. I'll take 20 of those please...HERE. Also, I love getting letters--who doesn't?

Or these holiday party invitations. I might just throw a party so that I can buy these that okay? I love the one on the left--chevron pattern! Or the quatrefoil on the right...eesh hard decision!
These highball glasses aren't anything I would go for normally but they are SO perfect for Thanksgiving cocktails, don't you think? Red and gold--so pretty!

This year my older sister is hosting us all in Chicago for Thanksgiving (SO proud of her!) and I know she has some really great Thanksgiving and Christmas serving ware but maybe she needs some new fun things! If you like anything fun, or holiday inspired then you'll LOVE the One Kings Lane Holiday section--they even show inspirational pictures. Check them out HERE. Also, OKL isn't paying me or giving me anything--I'm just a fan. A super-fan.

Alicia B.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Friday Faves

Guess who's back!? Friday Faves is! Friday faves is a mini round-up of a few of my favorite things: fashion, design, and life to get you through to the weekend. Friday can either be very short or very long and I'm just trying to make it short.

I've always had a pretty serious obsession with this house in Newport RI. It's John Peixinho's 1730's home and maybe I'll get to see it this weekend! Newport is home of The Breakers and Marble house, which we'll also be seeing, but I'm secretly most curious about this one!

I couldn't resist. This is another shot from the above home. This shelf is amazing--gorgeous shape, and I love collections like this. If you want a collection like this, you don't need to already have it, just head on over to a flea market and collect the ones that catch your eye!

I've always loved Galbraith & Paul, the textiles, rug, and lighting store, and I came across this picture on their website. I love the soft muted colors and the greyed out zebra fabrics. This room is the epitome of warm and soothing right now--or quiet confidence as the title states. Casually confident?

Calico Corners has always been a great source for traditional inexpensive fabrics but did you know that Iman has designed a collection for them? This is one of them and I've ordered a sample in hopes of turning it into a pillow for a client! I'm looking for another client for something more geometric and I've found the perfect fabric for that too!

As you know, I'm off to Newport for the weekend to enjoy New England before it turns to Winter, and to get out of the city a bit. What are you up to? Anything design related? I'll be taking lots of pictures of all the mansions that we see, don't worry. Have an amazing weekend!

Alicia B.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Inspiration from Foreigners

My (lucky) parents just got back from a trip to the south of France, drinking fabulous wine, seeing the Caves of Lascaux (swoon), and bringing us girls presents from afar! My favorite gift (aside from knowing that my parents had a much deserved amazing time abroad) was a design magazine, Maison & Travaux my mother picked up for me at a tabac! Even if this isn't a great magazine in France (I have no idea, really), it is GOLD to me right now. I love to see what the other part of the world is doing and much of this was crazy interesting to see! Take a look.

Lyon? Don't mind if I do. There was a whole spread on old stone houses like this one many of them dilapidated. AMAZING.

They had a whole faux bois section too which was VERY cool. After that...things got weird.
See below:

This spread was a home with lots of modern, cool architecture and amazing rooms but...there was this very sinister paint dripping from different corners of each room.

Here is the kitchen...

And a paint murder/accident in the bedroom.

More dripping paint in the bedroom. I think the idea is cool and VERY original but in some cases it looked like the painter forgot to cover up a mistake or something very horrible happened on the floor above and it was seeping down.

What do you guys think? There was LOTS more amazing French design wisdom, but this spread realllly stuck out for me as you can imagine. I'd actually love to see more of this. I think paint drip wall paper might be really incredible, no? Oui? Mais oui! Check out more from this really cool magazine Maison & Travaux HERE.

Alicia B.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'm LOVING the new Arch Dig

The cover of the latest AD. BTW some lunatic is trying to sell this for 5.99 on ebay...Bid here.

I knew Margaret Russell would be just the one to whip Architectural Digest back into shape as it was the most boring yet well respected shelter mag out there. I just picked up the latest copy because it wasn't desperately trying to attract me with a celebrity on the cover but a beautiful looking interior instead.The spreads inside were colorful and different, not monotone bad modern homes that nobody could relate to or overly done overly traditional messes (Gerard Butler's home).

My favorite spread in the December issue is a tiny 12,000 square foot home by Stephen Sills. It's. Major. The home is in CT, the facade traditional, but the interior is fresh and interesting. Also if you look on the lawn there is the CUTEST little dog.

The large library is filled with beautiful antiques and fabulously faded wallpaper; "burlap hand-painted in a faded ottoman design" by Patricia Arnillas. I mean it looks just A-MAZING. There are little wooden mushrooms crowding around the coffee table, books galore, a library table that looks like it's propped up on frames, a small niche by the fireplace, and a gorgeous lantern. All that's missing is an invitation for me!

The living room is just as large, with tall windows and more beautiful antiques and soft calming colors. I'm still waiting for my invitation...

The study, a slightly more modern looking room looks cozy, don't you think? The white cut-out screen (LOVE) is surrounded by paintings of Islamic pottery. Love the shape of the bookcases--these people like to read.

An antique pineapple hangs over the breakfast table--why wouldn't it? The view from this room is incredible don't you think? I'd never tire of looking at all the beautiful objects and textiles though.

The bedroom is so surprising. There is hardly any real furniture here--I was expecting some upholstered club chairs--but I love the addition of the two modern hanging chairs and how they contrast the ornate frames above them. The large oriental rug and the dog bedside table are exquisite.

I've always loved Stephen Sills' design work--he's SO talented. You must must must go pick up or resubscribe to Arch Dig right away. This spread is one of many in this months magazine.

Paige Rense will always be the "legend" at Architectural Digest but let's face it--we were all pretty bored by the magazine. Margaret Russell has already made this into an interesting and UBER dynamic mag and I'll be hoarding my parents' copies once again.

Alicia B.