INSPIRATION

Marvellous in every way

I recently watched the Emmy-award-winning TV show Marvellous Mrs. Maisel and man, what a great show! Crackling dialogue and a wonderful set of actors. The chemistry between the characters of Susie and Midge is pure comedy gold. The show is a joy ride. As is the set decor. As characters enter and exit, and float and flourish through the rooms, your senses are on high alert. What caught my eye from the get go was Mrs. Maisel’s equally marvellous New York apartment. Plush, optimistic, vibrant! An embodiment of it’s time (the 50s).

I thought it’d be fun to pull together a scheme inspired by her apartment, but updating for today’s times. Here goes!

 
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Comfy mid-century modern furnishings - like this tufted Crate & Barrel sectional & Joybird club chairs.
Chintz (Brunschwig & Fils) & velvet throw pillows for a bit of grandma chic
Porcelain blue duponi silk drapes.
Add on some antique-style accents - a Baroque mirror & these regal candle holders.
Abstract art (love the work of Alexis Walter), paired with a Hollywood regency chest & gold lamp.
Glass top brass cocktail table
A plush velvet ottoman.
A hand-painted screen like this chinoiserie landscape on grasscloth (adds life to the room!)
Eva Zeisel vases. How can vases look sensuous? Eva Zeisel shows us how.

The Extraordinary Work of Carpenter & MacNeille

I came across the work of Boston-based architecture & interior design firm Carpenter & Macneille through an Instagram post a couple days ago. And am I glad I did!  They have an extraordinary body of work that's super duper inspiring. 

It all started with the most serene, award-worthy master bath I’ve laid eyes on, popping up in my Insta feed. She had me at hello.  The most perfect trim and panel work on earth. I went down the rabbit hole of exploring their projects further and I’ve learned a thing or two from simply dissecting images of their work.

Have a look -

Who else wants to lie in this bath like forever?   The paint on the trim is Farrow & Ball’s ParmaGray. It’s actually a cool blue, but let’s not digress into the ever fascinating topic of paint color names! :))

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Beautiful millwork on the upper deck & the french doors below.

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This porch is literal perfection.

A beautiful blend of materials and colors. A warm wood floor, white columns, an antique bench, urns and that statement black door - I love it down to the last detail (don’t miss the door knocker!). Crisp yet casual. Very New England chic.

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The entry to the same house. And extension of the warmth into the house.

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A bright, neutral kitchen - I like the paint color on the island and around the fireplace - a subtle contrast to the white walls and cabinetry.

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The closet that leads to the stunning bath in that first picture

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And here we have it! (this image is closer to the actual color of the paint). Dream bathroom.

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Another beautiful bathroom - all white, with polished nickel finishes.

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Love the wall tile in the shower (marble?)

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The countertop in this kitchen has beautiful edging - (it’s a triple-pencil edge if you’re wondering!) - a great detail. Substitute marble with a marble-like quartz and it would still look beautiful.

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A very dramatic entry.

Wainscotting up to the ceiling, a bold serpentine mirror, and a peppering of blue rugs & upholstery - pretty darn perfect.

 
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A warm and colorful bathroom with that custom backsplash. .

 
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I’m sure I’ll be coming back many times over to their portfolio. I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did!

Current Favorite Dining Table & Chair Combos

Selecting a dining table for the home can be tricky business! It's a pretty important purchase and one that's going to serve for years to come. In our family home, it was the place we kids did everything - meals, school work, craft projects  & general faffing around!   Whether for family dinners or friendly gatherings, a dining table that's functional and sturdy and has a certain timeless quality to it, is a wonderful thing. 

So I thought I'd share a few dining table and chair combos with you this week!   Ranging from a rustic modern farmhouse table to one of my favorites, the classic tulip table. For families of 4 to a party of 12.   A roundup of dining table and chair pairings that complement each other, without being too match-y. Across a range of budgets and styles.

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1. tablechair  - the classic tulip table

2. tableend chairside chair  (a similar look for less at Target and IKEA herehere & here)

3. tablechair - a sculptural table like this is interesting and keeps it light and airy

4 table (love, love, love this pedestal table at ZGallerie - it's on the pricier side of the scale, but how beautiful is this base!), chairs with a nail head trim

5 tablechair - a fretwork table with pretty peach chairs - feminine chic! 

6  This gorgeous cherry wood Ethan Allen table (a steal for $250 on Chairish) with buffalo check chairs

7 A vintage mahogany table with these chairs. Painting them white and reupholstering with a zebra print fabric would look pretty fabulous.

8 Some outdoor inspiration!  A white trestle table and all-weather wicker chairs. Inspired by this dreeeaaamy outdoor dining loggia designed by Bunny Williams.

9 tablechair - for a more contemporary feel. A great table at an excellent price.

10 tablechair - simple & stylish

 

Once you have your table & chairs picked out, there's lotsa ways to accessorize & make the space come alive. A statement chandelier, an interesting rug, some art to set the mood...

For instance, a fun, contemporary dining space like this might be perfect for a city condo.  Starting with a tulip table and acrylic chairs. Adding on some soft sheepskin (love it's pairing with the acrylic, like here). This mismatched striped rug is very chic and the starburst chandelier brings in the oomph. I found this "cheers" neon light on Zulily - how cool would it look mounted on a wall in the dining/entertaining area.

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Inspired by Mindy Kaling's LA Home

Who else is excited about Ocean's Eight?!

I saw the trailer last week and flipped out.  It's got 2 of my favorite people - Mindy Kaling & Helena Bonham Carter. And it features that annual event that launched a thousand best-and-worst dressed lists - the MET Gala.  I can't wait to see this 8-women action / adventure / comedy play out. Also, Mindy Kaling who's a thorough entertainer on every level and whose book  "Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?" I read in a single sitting on a plane ride, always, always makes me laugh. 

Architectural Digest featured Mindy's bright and cheerful LA home earlier in the year. Like Mindy, it's vibrant and full of personality. What caught my eye though, was this fun tropical wallpaper in one of the powder rooms.  

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How fun & funky is that! 

For some reason it made me think of all the fabulous tropical islands I need to go to, like Turks & Caicos and the Maldives. Aaaaah, I'm dreaming of sea breeze and ocean spray.

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Well, if you can't go to the tropics, you can always bring the tropics home!  

So here's what I came up with.  A tropical, paradise bedroom. Gorgeous Seychelles wallpaper complemented with soft, serene greens. Clean lines, gold accents & a hint of leopard keep it modern. Natural fiber and seagrass bring in texture and a relaxed feel.

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Seychelles wallpaper / headboard / bordered duvet set / accent pillowcurtain rod / curtains / nightstand / natural fiber rug / mirror / dresser / leopard trayhydrangeas & roses / art / seagrass tray

 

Alright folks, and on that note, we're going to close out 2017 and welcome 2018!

If you're looking to refresh & rejuvenate your living space in the new year,  I'd love to help you do that. A few days ago, I told you about  "Step into Style",  a decorating & styling package I'm offering.  Be it your home, a condo, a rental apartment or a room,  we will get creative and crafty and imbue it with personality.

I don't believe decorating should mean getting rid of everything you already own and buying a whole bunch of new stuff!!   Nor should it mean buying every single piece from a catalog. Na-hah.  Instead, I believe it's about mixing,  newer purchases with treasured antiques, enhancing what you already own, and doing it in a way that makes sense for your life and family.  There's nothing more appealing than a home with a distinct personality.

And there's ways to achieve that without breaking the bank.  

For instance, giving store-bought curtains a lift with a custom trim, like this...

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JCPenney silk curtains ,  Samuel & Sons coral interlock trim

 

or reupholstering an antique chair you own, and modernizing it with a pretty fabric, like this...

 
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Premier Prints zebra pink, P Kauffman buffalo check

 

...or renewing your bookcase with a splash of paint! Like this deep Hermes orange or geometric paper,  a lively backdrop for all your favorite reads.

 
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Everyone deserves to feel in harmony with & proud of their living space! Give me a call if you think I can steer you in the right direction & freshen things up for you as we step into 2018.

I am very grateful for every one of you who reads, comments, shares, talks back, and is part of my life through this blog.  I appreciate you so much, and I value your interest in what I do. 

Sending a lot of good juju & positivity your way!  May you have a healthy, happy New Year & I'm thinking of you today. I hope you're up to something fun tonight. As for us, we're still "making plans"!  Welcome 2018.

 

Image Credits: Architectural DigestReal Simple, Pinterest

Gift Wrapping Mix and Match

With the rush of all that last minute gift shopping (who else is waiting in long lines practically everywhere?), I thought I'd share some easy gift wrapping combos - paper, ribbon, tags and embellishments - from our usual spots. Target, World Market, The Container Store, JoAnn, Walmart & 1-2 choice finds on Etsy.  Maybe it'll inspire you into getting creative with your wrapping this weekend! :) 

I recently discovered the double wrapping paper technique (via the fabulous Elements of Style), and I love it. You basically use a combo of two papers and run a strip down the center,  placing one above the other. The layering looks suuuuper cute!  I've included a few examples below.

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