Thursday, March 31, 2011

Green Thumb

Rooms like these make me wish I had a green thumb. I love the color and shape plant life brings into the home. Alas, I have never been able to keep a plant alive. Granted, I've only tried two or three times, and my first plant-friend fell victim to the mischievous paws of my puppy. But the other two were entirely my fault. And one was bamboo. Isn't bamboo not supposed to die? Help me, readers. What can I do to get a little fresh oxygen pumping through my apartment? Any advice on easy-to-care-for plants?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Black, White, and Read All Over

I moved one of the sapien bookshelves that had been in my office out into the living room. The fact that I've always liked the look of books in living spaces combined with my ADD for rearranging my own home made this an obvious choice. But my brightly colored books were too saturated for my neutral living room decor, so I made a bold - yet perhaps crazy - styling decision.

I decided to show only the books with black spines, and turn around all others so that their white or yellowed pages faced outward.

I added in a few accessories: a vintage camera and an antler, both of which I picked up from last year's Randolph Street Market, and black and white box from Jo Malone that I thought was pretty and decided to keep.

And voila! Neutral-colored bookshelves for my black, white, and grey living room. I know it seems silly not being able to see the names of the books but 1. I've read all of them already anyway so it's not often I find myself reaching for one and 2. the openness of these shelves make it very easy to flip a book around and see what's hiding.


Note: My vertical spine shelves were from West Elm, but they no longer sell it. You can find a similar style at CB2 or Design Within Reach.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Home as a Reflection of You

I really love the charming, disheveled look of this Berlin home. The pretty blonde Swede living here is Malin Elmlid, head of sales at Wood Wood, who was born in Sweden, grew up in Ohio and New York, and now resides in Berlin. This world-traveller pays homage to her somewhat gadabout life with vintage furnishings, clothes, and even cooking ingredients she's searched out on her many trips around Europe and the rest of the world. Her home, simple and feminine, is everything it's a supposed to be: a collection of things she loves and a true reflection of herself.

To see the rest of the home tour, click here.

Also, be sure to check out the nursery design I put together for Bailey on her blog today. It's a good follow-up to yesterday's post about the joys of decorating and living with little girls! Think pink, pink, and more pink!

This is why I want daughters.

I don't know how else to explain it. I mean, if I was a little girl, I would refuse to wear anything but these tutu dresses from Ruffles and Cream. I especially love the huge Carrie Bradshaw flowers. And the little nugget in the short purple tutu. Ohhh! So cute. I know a couple ladies with baby ladies on the way, and I wonder if they would kill me or love me for such a gift? I vote love.

Friday, March 25, 2011

I blame you, Pinterest.

Let me preface this post by saying I love Pinterest. It's more helpful than I ever could have imagined when it comes to saving images and permalinks to use on the blog. Images of interiors, graphic arts, and fashion editorials pop up before my eyes, and saving them to my Pinboard is as simple as clicking a button. But then images of delicious, pastel-colored desserts appear amidst the French country kitchens and mid-century living rooms, and I find myself equally inspired.

Inspired to eat Funfetti. I mean, pictures like this can only lead to one thing...

... baking a heart-shaped Funfetti cake on a Thursday night with my best friend.

That is almost half-eaten by the end of the night. Blast.

I blame you, Pinterest.

Happy Weekend, all!

We will return to our regular scheduled Friday programming of Fashion vs. Furnishings next week.

Sources/Recipes: 1, 2, 3

Thursday, March 24, 2011


My favorite look for any guest room consists of two twin beds with matching linens and a single night stand and lamp between the two. This polished appearance is welcoming and homey, reminding me of both a chic hotel and grandma's house at the same time. I especially love it for a house that often has kids visiting - ahem, calling all you grandparents, aunts, and uncles out there. And when it comes to adult house guests, I think it can be a nice break not having someone bump into you throughout the night. Invest in quality mattresses or feather-bed mattress toppers, and your guests will swiftly drift into dreamland, not realizing they're in a smaller bed than they're accustomed to. Sweet dreams!

Do you prefer having a larger bed for guests? Or do you think the two twins is a better option?

Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A Girl's Best Friend

You all probably remember this image staring back at you from virtual page 120 in the newest issue of Rue. It's going to be a favorite in blog world, guaranteed. It's the closet of my dear friend, Bailey McCarthy, blogger behind Peppermint Bliss and designer of Quin B Studio.

Now get ready to be jealous. I had the privilege of helping out with this shoot. Yes, I've set foot in this awe-inspiring closet most of us only dream of having. Here's my not-so-professional shot of the same view. Want some more yummy pics from this perfectly girly closet that I consider to be a girl's best friend? Of course, you do.

Cashmere sweaters piled high are an essential staple in any Chicago gal's wardrobe. Winters. Are. Brutal. Sparkly frocks might be less practical, but I encourage everyone to invest in one either way.

Pretty ballerinas all in a row. Oh, and I literally screamed when I saw the neon polka-dotted Marni flats in her closet. Screamed.

Her color-coded, feminine wardrobe dangles on plastic gold hangers, naturally, begging to be worn.

But of course my favorite items in her closet are those smothered in sparkles, of which there are plenty. Can you imagine how much fun baby girl McCarthy is going to have playing dress up in her mom's closet? I might have to join her...

Now quit whatever you're doing and go check out the rest of Bailey and Pete's sweet, funky, colorful pad. It starts on page 104.

And while you're at it, go over and congratulate Bailey, designer extraordinaire! Let me emphasize, she did not just pick out furniture and wallpaper. There was NOTHING but four brick walls when she started on this project.

Quite literally. So everything you see - all the floors, walls, room layouts, archways, trim - everything - she chose. Girl's got skillz. With a z.

Monday, March 21, 2011

West Elm's Summer Kitchen

Is it just me or does West Elm get better every season? This summer, they are expanding their kitchen line, adding industrial-looking furniture pieces that include the rustic acacia stool ($199), the adjustable stool ($169), and the acacia and steel kitchen island ($499). Other new accessories include the flow stoneware collection and the Scandinavian pop collection. The former offers organic-looking, glazed ceramics while the items from the latter collection add splashes of color to your countertops. Two of my favorite new items, both shown above, are the wire drink caddy and the test tube spice rack. The last time I saw a test tube was my tenth grade chem lab. Talk about bringing charm and whimsy back into the kitchen this summer. Hats off to you, West Elm.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Fashion vs Furnishings | 3.21.11

The battle of two overpriced investment pieces.
The nude designer pumps that go with everything
or the versatile and centuries-old design for your home?

For the sake of argument, let's pretend money isn't an issue.
Which would you buy?

see sources for last week's fashion vs. furnishings here


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