Wednesday, March 31, 2010

A New Kind of Shower: Chocolate and Champagne at Co Co Sala

This past weekend Nate and I flew to DC for his sister's wedding shower. To anyone who has ever been to the generic and typically too long bridal shower, the two-hour soiree we attended was a pleasant divergence from an afternoon spent sitting around white tablecloths, pink candlesticks, and finger sandwiches. His aunt hosted the gathering at the chic and modern Co Co Sala - a chocolate bar - located in downtown Washington D.C. We enjoyed bubbly cocktails, savory treats, zero bridal games, and were kicked out after two-hours (versus spending two long hours watching the bride and groom unwrap every gift - we've all been there). I know this is the new trend in wedding showers and all I can say is thank goodness for that!

The room the shower was held in was modern with a hint of swank - golds and reds accented the black furnishings while curtains and modern sculptures adorned the walls. Oh, and all of the art was made of sugar. Crazy, I know.

It felt like somewhere Carrie Bradshaw and the girls would have visited on one of their fabulous nights out. Maybe that's why I drank so much champagne...

The main room of the bar/restaurant has a very lounge-y feel.

That tiramisu was all for us.

There was an original and a dark chocolate variety.

They don't call it a chocolate bar for nothin'.

The mini cupcakes in the middle were to diiiieeeee for.

I particularly liked the tiny chocolate balls - they were crispy and delicious. And I promise there is NOTHING ELSE TO CALL THEM but tiny chocolate balls.


Childhood photos of the bride and groom made up the centerpieces on the tables. Adorable without being too cliche mainly because we weren't all forced to sit with the lights off and stare at a never-ending slideshow.

The photo of little Emily all dressed up and sitting on her dad's lap was my favorite. Is that not beyond precious?

Darling favors - hot chocolate and a tiny whisk.

Sometimes Nate tries to out-girl me in pictures. And succeeds. This makes me laugh.
(My shirt - Anthropologie, pants - J.Crew Minnie, flats - Gucci)

Does anyone else snap random photos in the bathrooms at parties? Because I do. I LOVED this: the sink and counter were all one piece. So cool. So pretty.

My other favorite design element in Co Co Sala was the lighting above the main bar. Bubbly chandeliers. Like the bubbles in my champagne. You can get a similar look for a lot of money here or for a lot less money here.

An afternoon of chocolate and champagne.
I commend you, Aunt Lori!

And congrats Jon and Emily! I cannot wait for their wedding at Martha's Vineyard this summer. I'm guessing I'll have several albums worth of photos to show you from that trip. All in good time...

*all images my own*

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Book Art, Take 2

Just saw a bevy of new novels in the Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguin Classics series are now available on Amazon. At the reasonable price of $13.50, I purchased Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Emma, Lady Chatterley's Lover, and a copy of The Odyssey to add to my collection. Several of these titles won't be available until September 28th, but you can pre-order them today. If you haven't already started collecting this iconic series, I recommend you do! They not only shnazz up any room they're placed in, but they're some of the best titles to have on hand in your home. Guess that's why they call them classics! (Click image to see cover designs in detail.)

I already have eight books in the series, most of which were Christmas gifts this past year. Can't wait to add more to my shelves!

*images from Amazon and my own*

Monday, March 29, 2010

DC Prints Now Available at LCYgraphics and We Have a Winner!

The DC Series has arrived!

Three new prints from our nation's capital have been added to the LCYgraphics Etsy shop! Illustrations of the Washington Monument, the Capitol Building, and the White House are all for sale in the same colors as the other travel prints: white illustrations on pink, Domino teal, light blue, and black backgrounds or a black illustration on a white background. All sized 8 x 10 in. and cost $15 a piece, or $40 for the set of three (plus shipping).

And the Capitol Building... this was my Everest.
It is available on either a vertical or horizontal style.

The White House shown here in Domino Teal

The Washington Monument shown here in pink
*all images my own*

And we have a winner!
*image from West Elm*

Congratulations to Micah from The Yellow Front Door blog for winning the West Elm throw pillow giveaway! Please email me your shipping address and color choice out of these four beautiful pillow covers, all of which were designed by PATCH NYC for West Elm as part of their new spring line. Thanks to everyone else who signed up!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Who said horizontal stripes are unflattering?

Because I couldn't disagree more.

In fact, I looove the look of thin, horizontal stripes on a boatneck top for the summer.

Which is why I bought this darling, lightweight "vintage bateau top" to go with the faded denim Minnie pants from J.Crew for the spring and summer seasons.

I'll be wearing this grey ensemble as I venture to DC this morning. Nate and I are headed there for his sister's wedding shower. Have a good weekend, everyone!

Monday I'll announce the winner of the West Elm pillow giveaway AND the newest additions to my Etsy shop.

*images by Kate Powers and J.Crew*

Thursday, March 25, 2010

My French Guru

If you do not already know who Garance Doré is, allow me the honor of introducing her. She is equal parts photographer, illustrator, and blogger, all packaged into a fabulous and effortlessly cool French woman who travels the world documenting fellow fashionistas. In other words, she is my French guru.

Hey, Elizabeth Gilbert had her yoga guru. And this is my version of that.

Doré's eponymous blog is more like a daily journal, documenting her adventures in the world of fashion and fashionable beings. Trips to Aspen... fashion week in Milan, Paris... a day on the streets of New York... she captures all of it... Jenna Lyons... supermodels... strangers on the street.. with a flick of her tousled curls, a flash of her trusty camera, and a slow, cool puff of her cigarette. (I'm 24-years-old and can proudly say I've never put a cigarette to my mouth. Now I have my guru making it look so darn cool.)

The lady of the hour: Ms. Garance Doré.
She is lovely. And what did I tell you about her smoking? Cool, yes?
You can read more about her here.

I have to say my favorite part of her blog are the illustrations. They don't pop up in posts nearly as often as I'd like. I wish I could draw as effortlessly as I imagine she sketches these. Makes me want to run out and buy a notebook, colored pencils, and sketch, sketch, sketch until I get it. Or at least sign up for a drawing class. Any suggestions as to where I can do that, fellow Chicagoans?

And to add salt in my wounds of how much cooler she is than I'll ever be, all of her illustrations are a gagillion times more stylish than anything I've ever managed to put together. And while you might say, "But Alaina, they're not real. They're just drawings." I would reply, "Well, dear reader, actually they are real." Followed by a sad face. Yes, nearly all of Doré's drawings are inspired by some person she knows or, at the very least, saw on the street.

See? There's the real-life inspiration. Humph.

I'm just kidding. I'm really not jealous. Kind of.

But enough of me obsessing. Let's get on with it.
Here are some of my favorite sketches of Doré's, for your viewing pleasure:
When are big, 80's-styled glasses combing back in style? And I mean prescription glasses. Not Nicole Richie, Lindsay Lohan bug-eyed sunglasses.

I like her eyes.

and her hat

and her bun

and her wispy, low-ponytail

and her red nails

and her chunky headband

and her yellow blouse

and pretty much everything about her.

Now do you see my obsession with this talented lady? If you're not yet convinced, well first off, shame on you. Secondly, get your butt over to Garance's blog now.

*all images by Garance Doré*

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Midwesterners Can Be Stylish Too

I am loving the retro meets modern design of this new home I saw in Chicago Home + Garden magazine - and it's in my neighborhood! Homeowners Steve Bruss and Frank Golstin - designers at Hudson Home in Chicago - purchased the single-family house before it was completed two years ago and transformed the contemporary albeit run-of-the-mill space into the unique, style-packed house you see here. By mixing their collection of vintage and iconic furnishings, they created a space that subtly defines masculine glamour.

I love and want this 1970s chrome and glass coffee table. Great lines.

I don't see any use for having two sets of these Stendig armless chairs but that's kind of why I like it. I imagine it's a fun place to cozy up and enjoy coffee and the paper on a lazy Saturday morning. Or a good spot to play chess and drink wine (fun fact about me: I love chess).
Other than the lighting fixtures - which I can think of about 100 other options I'd have like to seen in their place - I have nothing to complain about in this dining area.

the bottom piece of "art" on the wall is actually a huge slide rule - kind of cool

*Inspiration* I really like the look of horizontal art stacked on top of one another. Might want to try this some time soon.

The chrome(?) and glass banister reminds me of the 1970s coffee table in the living room. The black moldings are pretty badass too.

I have to say, I do not care for the cabinetry in this bathroom, but the pretty teal tiles and that darling table next to the bath make up for it. On another note - why are large square tiles like this so rarely nowadays? Oh, I know - the overused and trendy subway tile. My mom has white tiles like these in her bathroom, and they make the room look so clean and pretty. I definitely recommend them if you're in the process of renovating.

I love so much about this bedroom. I mean, obviously - it's grey and white. But just to name it all for you: I'm digging the bold art, the black 1970s chair, the leather bench, the Colette headboard, and of course, the four-legged friend named Charlie who completes the picture.

Love everything about this vignette. Particularly the two great furniture makeover pieces: the old dresser that was painted in glossy white and the chair that was reupholstered in white leather and painted with a white lacquer finish. Also notice the green of the plant and the green in the art ties together perfectly.

*Inspiration* And then there's THIS mid-century dresser that was ALSO painted white lacquer. I just bought a vintage dresser from a thrift store nearby and plan on recreating the same look.

...and I'll leave you with this last image because it is so baller. I just said baller - hehe.
I'll let the writer of this magazine article tell you what you want to know, "a Fortuny Moda floor lamp from Lightology stands in front of a collection of pieces ranging from a close-up photograph of JFK by Andy Warhol to a tortoise shell from a Michigan antique shop."

*all images by Nathan Kirkman for Chicago Home + Garden*


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