Friday, December 23, 2011

One Stop for Last Minute Gifts

I have your answer for a last minute gift: DVF. I was strolling through the Meatpacking district yesterday after our office Christmas lunch and went into DVF. As per usual, I found about 400 things I wanted but 0 that I should be buying for myself right before Christmas. These are practical but super chic ideas; no hipster bearded hats here (sorry those are hideous).

I picked this up and opened it and fell in love. I want this Raffia clutch.

I love this shade of green and this cute flirty lopsided heart belt buckle. Get me one.

I was totally blown away by their travel accessories. Luggage, ipad and computer cases etc. ALL good looking and nicely designed--typical. Look at that fun red interior!

A travel adapter in a zipper case with a tassel? Just amazing design. Only 98 dollars.

I would LITERALLY buy a $500 iphone to see this phrase every day. Only $28!!

I love a good old fashioned key holder too. Apparently this is for coins but I would link my keys to this. You would NEVER have to scrounge around your purse looking for it.

And also, WHO would like to buy this for me for New Years Eve? Thanks!!

These are great gifts, right? Perfect for a (high end) stocking stuffer or the 8th day of Channukah. Anyhoo, we are off to CT for Christmas for my first Christmas with my new husband! I'm so excited to be sharing my favorite holiday with him. Have a happy holiday, Merry Christmas, eat tons of cookies, give and receive graciously, and enjoy time with your friends and family.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Tree Topper Inspiration

Hi! I'm back! My husband and I went to Ireland and then things got busy. Anyway, we bought our first Christmas Tree together and though it's small, it's beautiful. I realized that we don't have a tree topper! I know, scandal. I grew up with a Santa and Rudoph on top of our tree and didn't realize how tacky it was until a few years ago, but we've had it forever and I feel like it would be a crime to change it.

This is our tree and I tied a pretty red and green ribbon on the top. I've tried to find a great tree topper but all I have found is tacky and scary. Yes, I made the world's smallest blue tartan tree skirt.

Here is a non denominational tree topper: a snowflake. It doesn't really feel like Christmas though but I appreciate the nod to winter. Canadian House and Home.

A nest! This tree is all about birds and nature with the nest as the topper and cardinal and pine cone ornaments. From Country Living.

Gold and blue color themed trees are pretty in concept but look a bit contrived in real life. I like the gold star on the top though--simple. Also from CL.

Oh look, another blue and gold tree. This one from Martha is covered entirely in glass ball ornaments (I had to retype that 3 times) and is topped with another gold star. I love the star on the top--thanks Martha!

This one is more my style. Just tie a bow of this fun upholstery ribbon on the top of the tree for a rustic and original DIY look. From Better Homes & Gardens.

Last but not least is the magnificent tree with a peacock on top. I just said PEACOCK. This tree is OTT--over. The. Top. Bananas. I love the idea of this but I don't know how one would find a mini faux peacock to put on a tree. HERE.

So, my husband wants to buy us a nice tree topper but I love the tartan red and green bow. I would love a star or an angel though so we shall see. What do you use on your tree?

Alicia B.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

There are so many things to be thankful for this year. My husband and I will be celebrating our first Thanksgiving as a married couple, alone, as my entire family seems to have fled to the midwest or can't leave the midwest. I will be sure to take lots of pictures of our first Thanksgiving.

Eddie Ross. Tasteful Abundance.

Anyway, I'm thankful for a lot of things: My husband, my (expanding--no, not me!!!) family, my health, my friends, stuffing and pie, interior design, the Christmas season, and so many other things that you would get bored. What are you thankful for?

Alicia B.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Glad for Plaid.

One of the many things I love about Autumn and Winter is that there is more plaid to be seen. I mean flannel, tartan, and plaid. Whenever I see it it looks cozy and warm and makes me feel like cashmere is wrapped around my heart. I recently had to shop for a client's Colorado house and saw tons of great tartan plaids. Very inspiring and festive.

I would love a day bed like the one here. This looks like a very relaxed sitting room--I guess my little loveseat will have to do for now with brown windowpane plaid.

What a great office. Betsy Burnham in LA has a fantastic workspace with a ton of books and a green tartan pillow! Pillows are versatile and you can change them out when summer comes and you want something lighter.

This is from Hank Azaria's house in AD and the drapery is Sandra Jordan! She had the best line of plaids but I can't seem to find them online. What a cozy office meeting room...for poker games.

As I used to work in a lighting showroom, I loved to see which fabrics designer's used on lampshades. These are very seasonal and the great thing about lampshades is that you can switch them depending on the season! From Living etc.

Ahhh, my favorite house in Newport RI. John Peixinhos's home is a constant inspiration to me. This is such a simple entry and I love the plaid next to the elegantly worn oriental rug. From HB.

Autumnal tablescape! I love the lavender and maize plaid blanket used as a table cloth here. Great idea.

Speaking of tablescapes, Eddie Ross designed this gorgeous Thanksgiving table. This is making me even more excited for Thanksgiving. The unexpected and non traditional Thanksgiving colors make this table really stand out.

Plaid, plaid, plaid and a little dog. Preppy and British looking, yes?

Are you going to add some plaid to your home this fall/winter? When in doubt, you can just add a pillow or a tablecloth. In the image above, the pillow is a green silk pillow with a huge plaid ribbon tied around it. That would be great decoration for a holiday party. Can't wait to decorate for our first holiday party!

Alicia B.

Friday, November 4, 2011


I have been completely obsessed with octagonal ottomans lately. I think they might just be the coolest thing since bricklayers coffee tables. I haven't seen a TON of them but I was able to scout out a few.

How incredible are the textiles in this room? They are all Robert Kime and Carolina Irving I believe. The ottoman serves as a coffee table as well and take a look at the detail below.

I'm not usually one for passementerie but I can hardly breathe when I look at the tassels and trim on this. Amazing details. Both images are from HERE.

This large Suzani covered ottoman is for sale on the Christies UK site. It is coming from an estate in Cotswold Manor so I'd better hop on my jet with my bidders paddle.

I think when it comes to an octagonal ottoman you absolutely must go all out with the fabrics. I love this ottoman though, it's large but with slender legs it doesn't appear so bulky. Amazing room by Daniel Sachs. This spread actually goes up there with my top 3 faves.

This ottoman is finished off with a simple nailhead trim in this more stripped down room. I love the simple aesthetic in this sitting room.

This image, taken from World of Interiors, has one of the most unique and stunning ottoman of the bunch. The whole room is full of Robert Kime textiles and is perfectly British/European.

The only company that I could find so far that makes an octagonal ottoman is Robert Kime. Robert Kime Textiles compliment the ottomans perfectly and there are so many to choose from. He has two versions; the paneled version HERE, and the open version HERE. I think I like the open version because it appears more like a table than a pouf. BTW this is not a plug for Robert Kime, I just happen to love everything about RK. What do ya'll think?

Alicia B.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Nate Show!

Don't forget to call in sick today to watch the Nate Berkus Show!

Nina Garrrrcia will be on today and I'm excited for more tips on living in small spaces. I know I've been living in a shoebox apartment (different ones) for about 6 years now and am the master at maximizing my space. Rumor has it that hes going to be giving things away to the audience! I love when people get free stuff!!

Come back to me tomorrow where I'll tell you MY new favorite thing. It'll be worth it but I won't be giving out free ones.

Alicia B.

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.