Monday, May 30, 2011

Home Goods. In NYC.

Yeah, you heard me. I'm sure you all knew, but I found out this glorious news last week and nearly flipped my lid with happiness. So I got out early on Friday afternoon and went up with my friend from college and, well, we had some fun.

We got there, walked downstairs and were...a little unimpressed. Not for long though because things got good!

A bright poppy pink slipper chair caught my eye right away, though I hardly need anymore furniture--just a pouf. My mission was to find a pouf or a small upholstered ottoman, at least.

Extra large cloches for $29! I'm still holding out for a hand blown antique one, but these were great and tres affordable.

These little white end tables were great--don't need them but if you did, they'd be great. I loved the turned legs and there was a console version too.

I consider this trip a success because we both left with something we loved. My friend Ashleigh got this adorable sunny yellow slipper chair for $160. YES. Great price and it's good looking too. I still needed my pouf though...

Mission accomplished!! I found my pouf and sat on it before anybody else could take it. This was the moment when my friend said, "Okay, I'm going to take another picture, but this time, try to sit like a lady." So this is me sitting like a lady on my pouf. More on this later if you know what I mean.

Moving on. I love this coral lamp, and the base is adorable. If i needed it, I would have bought it, and painted this baby white.

Ghost stools!!

Great pale apple green gourd lamp. I think it was only $40 or so but a great deal and a nice drum shade with it. I wish I needed a lamp but my Martha Stewart one from college hasn't died yet!

At this point, we realized it was time to go home.

The best part was that they delivered our things THAT NIGHT and for only $14.99! Such a steal because as you know, hauling things in NYC is cumbersome and embarrassing on the subway. We all have to do it sometimes but if it can be avoided it makes life a lot easier. I know most of you who live in the suburbs have the luck to go to Home Goods anytime you please but this was definitely a treat for us. Have any New Yorkers been? Tell me more!

Alicia B.

Happy Memorial Day!

I've been all over the city and out on a boat (not a yacht) for this gorgeous Memorial Day! Yay America!

I hope you all had time to relax and enjoy Memorial Day with your family or friends. Next: Home Goods in NYC?? YES.

Alicia B.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Good Pouf vs. Bad Pouf

As you know, poufs are ALL the rage. I rarely go along with trends, but I'm pretty charmed by these little Moroccan stool/ottomans. I've been looking high and low for an affordable and attractive one and I've seen some awful ones and some awful(ly) cute ones.

I've seen a ton of these types of poufs at Jonathan Adler and we actually bought two for a client in yellow. I sat on one yesterday at an installation and it was rather comfortable! This room is by Daniel Pafford from Lonny.

I love the old leather and kilim type poufs. I feel like they were put together with remnants--they feel casual and beautiful. From Bohemia Design. Good pouf.

I saw this on Style Hive. I'm going to go with a resounding BAD POUF. This is like taking all those felt rock that were so "cool" a while ago and mashing them together like a bunch of dirty socks and telling someone to sit on it. Was that too harsh?

Houzz. I LOVE these little crocheted poufs! They are like warm chunky sweaters in this cold scary room.

Katie Ridder's room designed for Design on a Dime has two raspberry poufs that are a fun pop of color and look tres inviting!

Christien Meindertsma designs these poufs. What do you all think of them? They are like the sweater poufs on steroids...

Besides the felt rock one from above, I think this one from Urban Outfitters gets my award for worst pouf. As Raina pointed out, it could work in a kids room maybe but I'm just not feeling it. It looks cheap and if you get that, you might as well get a small bean bag and call it a day, you hipster. BAD.

And for the last, this was absolutely the best pouf I have ever laid eyes on in my entire life. Guess where I saw it! Bunny Williams Garden House tour from Trade Secrets. Isn't it beautiful? You're one in a million, pouf, and Bunny has two of them!

I'm still mixed on whether I should go with a modern or metallic pouf for a bit of fun and contrast in my apt or go with a kilim style pouf as they look the most authentic and they are certainly less ubiquitous. Tell me what to do!!

Alicia B.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Shopping at Trade Secrets

Weaving my way in and out of the different vendors at Trade Secrets was super fun. I'm not going to show you ALL the goods, but just some of my faves...the highlights. Plus there are only so many rusty garden benches you can look at.

LOVE me some vintage watering cans. From Hunter Bee.

I actually saw a lot of mushrooms. At more than a few vendors. I thought these hand carved wooden ones from Hunter Bee were the most beautiful. Each one is different and they have an amazing handmade quality.

Botanicals! In an antique window frame! Hunter Bee has amazing pieces--especially that white chair.

I'm hoping that hats are going to make a big time comeback, you know, because of the royal wedding. Tracey Tooker Hats had the most gorgeous hats I'd seen in a while.

Aaaaaaaaaand I want this one.

Next I admired round industrial mirrors casually stacked up against each other softened by traditional textiles around it and reflected in it.

Susan Oostdyk had the most beautiful and fun linens. They're also amazing in quantity. See the next image.

A stack of fabulous faded linens...tied in a ribbon. YES.

SO I had a ton of fun people watching and dreaming of my converted farm house in the country that I would fill with distressed (real, not faux) benches in the front hall, and faded beautiful linens tied in ribbon. Up next I'll show you some favorite gardens! And some that were lame/a bit of a let-down. Which one will it be??!!

Alicia B.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The Book Signing...

I had an incredible weekend touring the Trade Secrets sale and touring the garden but I promised you a book signing, right? Johnnycake Books sponsored the book signing. Check out who I met!

Matthew Patrick Smyth, Annie Kelly, and Tim Street-Porter. I introduced myself and Annie Kelly said she read my blog! Exciting moment.

It was exciting to meet some amazing designers who gave up their time for a fun book signing! I'm really enjoying my Annie Kelly book, Litchfield Style which has some of the most beautiful interiors around. I was bummed not to have see Carolyn Roehm or Florence de Dampierre but what are you going to do?

I'll update you on the garden tours tomorrow because I'm EXHAUSTED! I had a gardenny weekend, spent time with my little sister (and my parents and fiance), and am now back in NYC, relaxing.

Alicia B.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trade Secrets Book Signing

If you know me (you know me by now), you know I LOVE a good book signing. I love to have all my precious design books signed by the designers. It makes it special. Above are just a few of my signed books: Bunny, Bunny, Albert Hadley, Barry Dixon, Vicente Wolf, and Celerie Kemble. Anyway, enough about me. When I heard that there was going to be a book signing at Trade Secrets, I was SO JAZZED. There are EIGHT designers who are going to be there at the Johnnycake Books table (could that name be cuter??) between 10 and 1 to sign books. Besides Bunny Williams, I'm most excited about Carolyn Roehm because I've never met her and love her classic style. I own one of Florence de Dampierre's books as well and adore her. I can't wait to see the garden designers though as well. Gardens and landscape design is something I don't know a ton about but I find it totally fascinating. A beautiful landscaping job can make a home when you first approach it.

For more info about this, visit the
Trade Secrets website. Okay, off I go to tour the gardens and see all the beautiful people!

Alicia B.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Trade Secrets Weekend!

This weekend I'll be doing what I do EVERY YEAR on this date...going to Trade Secrets! If you don't know, it's an annual garden tour and sale in beautiful Sharon, CT in which the proceeds go to Women's Support Services, a non profit organization to help victims of domestic violence. Design idols like Bunny Williams (who actually founded Trade Secrets) and Martha Stewart have been spotted there as well.

Bunny's house is on tour every year and her gardens are spectacular and incredibly charming. I'll give you an update after I see them! This year the new designer is Lynden Miller, a landscape designer who specializes in public gardens.

Intriguing, I know. If you live in NYC (of if you've been there), you've probably been to a park that she helped design or rehabilitate--Central Park is one of them. She heads up the Conservatory Garden of Central Park. Above is a shot of a garden at Battery Park City in lower Manhattan.

Who knew there was such a garden in NYC? Above is the British Garden at Hanover Square.

I'm excited to tour her garden home up in CT--don't worry I'll report back to you all! Have any of you been to Trade Secrets?

Alicia B.

Monday, May 9, 2011

I'm still alive...

Sorry for the silence, but I'm finishing up my semester tomorrow and have a huge project to present and I've been drowing in it for about 3 months. I designed a restaurant named Ciaroscuro based on a Caravaggio painting and I have been drafting, rendering, and modelling my butt off. Here is a snapshow of the model I made.

The walls are lined with a black moire fabric, the red tissue paper is a red capiz chandelier, there are insets with custom made (by me) and painted wallpaper made from black and gold marbelized paper and yes, I made wooden spiral stairs in which I stained my own wood. YEAH.

Wish me luck tomorrow!

Alicia B.