Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

I have some special plans this Halloween (more on that later!), but I hope you all have a spooky-good night.
Martha Stewart
Remember to keep your cats inside.
Via ...etc:
And try to resist the urge to do this:
                             Source: via DiamondsandTulle on Pinterest

(It is pretty freakin' cute, though!)

Friday, October 28, 2011

I'm Mad About...

Cooler fall weather has finally arrived—maybe this weekend I'll finally get to wear my new boots! Hope you're having lovely weather wherever you are.

Here are some things that caught my eye this week. Enjoy!
  • Slinky dog! Trader Joe's dog! Dreidel dog! Check out these pictures of cuteness from the Tompkins Square Dog Parade in NYC.
  • I know I'm way late to the Instagram party (then again, I'm always late ;-), but I finally downloaded it. I haven't had time to try it out, but I can't wait to! (And you can get posters, stickers and even tiny books of your Instagrams.)
  • I'll be boning up on my French and dreaming of a Paris getaway while reading this beautiful blog.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Color Me: Moody Blue

The color blue is associated with sadness, depression, pain. I don't know how it got such a bad rap, as I find it to be such a happy, peaceful hue. In fact, it's my favorite color.

There's a shade of blue for everyone, from warm turquoise to cool slate. And because it goes with just about every other color—orange, yellow, red, brown, green, pink, black, gray, you name it—it's practically a neutral!

Clockwise from upper left: bedroom, Seventh House on the Left; Butter London nail polish in Blagger; Le Creuset cookware;
hydrangea cupcakes, Glorious Treats; Rainy-day bow ballet flats, J.Crew; Everett Kantha chair, West Elm;
Tea and Toast butter dish, Anthropologie; dress, Trashy Diva, via Pinterest
So what's your favorite color?

Monday, October 24, 2011

LA (Shopping) Story

Even though we're less than two hours from Los Angeles, we don't get down there very often, mainly because of the dogs. I hate leaving them alone all day, and it's a lot of trouble to board them. But we happened to have a dog-sitter Saturday, so we took advantage of it and went for a drive.

The destination: the Westfield Century City. I had never been there, but it has some stores I've been wanting to check out in person and some I hadn't been to in a long time. Plus I love that part of town.

First stop: H&M. The only H&M store I'd been to was in London, and I was dying to visit one closer to home. And I wasn't disappointed—it was full of affordable goodies.

Erik said no to this dress (that's kind of a big deal, 'cause he almost never says no):
But these pretty frocks went home with me:

On the way to Madewell, we took a detour into Teavana, and I fell in love with two very different tea sets. This one in classic white with a bit of simple flourish:
And this, in all its gilded glory:
I love the idea of afternoon tea (must be the Anglophile in me), and I'm sure I'd make use of either of those sets. If only...

After a brief (and underwhelming) stop at Zara, I made it to Madewell:

Friday, October 21, 2011

I'm Mad About...

This weekend I'm looking forward to a day trip to LA and checking out some stores I've been dying to visit in person.

I also want to thank Danielle of Danielle Oakey Interiors for adding The Blue Room to her blogroll. Check out her beautiful blog, and be sure to visit her home tour—gorgeous! (And if any other design/fashion/lifestyle bloggers want to add The Blue Room to your blogrolls or follow the blog, I'd be happy to reciprocate!) Also thanks to everyone who has left such lovely comments lately. I really do appreciate hearing from you!

Now, without further ado, here are some things that have inspired me this week:
Chamberlain West Hollywood, via The Aestate

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

My 'Project Runway' Challenge

Fall made a brief appearance here a couple weeks ago, but just as I was getting ready to put my shorts and sundresses away, we were hit with a heat wave. This schizophrenic weather makes it hard to decide what to wear from one day to the next.

So to get a new perspective, I gave myself a little challenge. While watching Project Runway last week, I decided to create a look based on that episode's inspiration, Governors Island. My initial idea was to start with a sculptural gown, based on the artwork on the island.

But then I spotted this dress, and that was it. Graphic and steely, it evokes the city as seen from the island. Purple and gray is one of my favorite color combinations, so I chose a plum boot, and the studded clutch is just big enough to hold the essentials. Of course, the woman sporting this ensemble is enjoying an after-work cosmo.

PR Challenge

Happy dressing!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Inspired by: Gallery Walls

As a rule, I like symmetry. It's calming, orderly, and a primary component of classic beauty. But let's face it—symmetry can be predictable. Uninspired. A bit sterile.

Lately I've been drawn to asymmetrical gallery walls: pictures of varying shapes, sizes and subjects thrown up in what appears to be (but when done well really isn't) a haphazard way. The look reminds me of an English country home, comfortable and inviting.

Here's an example from Kate Spade's London pop-up shop:

                                              Source: via Zelma on Pinterest

This is from the book Decorate:

                                                 Source: via Beth on Pinterest

Oh Joy! blogger Joy Cho's living room, styled by Emily Henderson, is cheerful and fun:

I'm awed by the oversize raven in this room from the Hampton Showhouse, done by the Jeffers Design Group:

                                                    Source: via Beth on Pinterest

The color of the art picks up on the decor in this living room:

Via Good Girl Gone Glad
Love the animal-inspired art here:

Do It Yourself
Classic simplicity:
Domino via Sacramento Street
I love, love, love everything about this room:

Better Homes & Gardens
This little niche could easily have been overlooked:
Photo by Diana Kellogg via Alice in Designland

Friday, October 14, 2011

I'm Mad About...

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Animal House

By VII Custom Design
Love dogs and design? Check out these amazing doghouses from Barkitecture 2011. The Austin show featured canine cottages from Dog Whisperer Cesar Milan and custom home builders.

P.S.: October is Adopt a Shelter Dog Month. It's a great time—before the rush and crush of the holidays—to add a loving animal in need of a home to your family!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Amazing, Ephemeral Art

This weekend was the annual Via Arte Italian street-painting festival. It's one of my favorite festivals of the year (even though it doesn't revolve around food!).

Dozens of supremely talented people (professionals and amateurs of all ages) create intricate chalk designs on the asphalt in the parking lot of a nearby shopping center. It's dirty, hot, backbreaking work, I'm sure, and the results are temporary—the chalk washes away after the festivities end.

But for those us lucky enough to see it, all that work is worth the effort. The weather was nearly perfect Sunday, and we brought Bitsy along. She did plenty of sniffing and made a few friends.

The artists end up covered in chalk and dirt. And I can only imagine how sore their knees and backs must get.

Animals were a common theme:

And beloved cartoon characters:

There were plenty of tributes to Steve Jobs:

Friday, October 7, 2011

I'm Mad About...

                                                    Source: via Beth on Pinterest

Thursday, October 6, 2011


                                  Source: via Ez on Pinterest

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Evolving and Collecting

I came across these two quotes on the same day, and they really sum up my experience:

"Now, I love my home. But if I had to create a new one, it would excite me because I continue to evolve, and the things I gather around me exhibit that evolution."
—designer Eva Jeanbart-Lorenzatti in the September issue of Lonny

"It would be wonderful to design a room by going out and purchasing everything in just a few stores, but in order to have your home feel personal it needs to be collected. Add in treasures you found while traveling or frame a quote your grandma would always tell you – it’s all about personality and you want it to shine in your home."
Sacramento Street blogger Caitlin Flemming,
interviewed on Interior Connector

Monday, October 3, 2011

Everyone's a Decorator

Have you noticed the proliferation of virtual decorating services? From Anthropologie to Ethan Allen, it seems every retail furniture site wants to show you how to pull a room together (with their products, natch).

I think it's a great idea. While some of the advice is pretty simplistic, it's a great way to get inspiration from your favorite furniture stores. Maybe I can't afford that gorgeous chandelier, but perhaps I can find ways to bring some Anthro style into my home.

Pottery Barn's Design Studio offers tips on furniture arrangement and entertaining, complete with recipes and iTunes playlists! Its advice on accessorizing doesn't give a novice much to work with ("Shelves offer opportunities to present interesting vignettes." Really? I had no idea!), but its room-planning feature is fun and easy to use:

Everything these days is about socializing online, and Pottery Barn is no exception. It has a place where people can post questions, and galleries where budding Candice Olsons can upload pictures of their own rooms.