Wednesday, 18 July 2012 09:47

The Perfect Beach Send-off

The Perfect Beach Send-off

by Sara Lowman

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My friend, Raquel, is a perfect host. It was no surprise when spending time with her at her beach house that she had lots of clever ways to make a guest feel welcome. I loved what she came up with to provide guests with the towels they needed for their daily trip to the beach. She set up a vintage suitcase and loaded it with bright towels for you to grab on your way out. No rummaging through the closets—everything you needed was beautifully displayed out in the open. I thought it looked so lovely that I had to share!

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 26 June 2012 09:12

Au Naturale Week: Finding the Perfect Planter with Sara Lowman

It's day two of our Au Naturale Week and today we have the very talented Sara Lowman sharing a little insight on finding the perfect planter for your backyard.

Enjoy!

Stephania

 

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Flower Baskets

By Sara Lowman

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Looking for the perfect planter to welcome guests into your home or yard? I was so impressed when I stumbled upon this little ensemble while upstate at my parents’ house. By housing an ordinary planter in this hand-woven basket, they made something that looks both rustic and refined. Because baskets are often associated with the indoors, it adds a touch of whimsy when placed outside. Mom and Dad scored extra points since the basket was made of sustainable rattan.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 04 June 2012 07:52

Our Favorite Things: Cute Hosting Essentials

Happy Monday! Well it was quite the busy weekend! We had a big photo shoot for our upcoming guest post with Casa Sugar, Ophelia learned two new commands in her puppy class, and I learned that I'm going to have a niece! Naturally, I am already gathering ideas for my stepsister's baby shower and a few new hosting essentials for myself.

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1. Cutaway Vase - Etsy: Up in the Air Somewhere  2. Salad Server Set - Calypso Home 3. Square Tray - West Elm  4. Corsica Napkins - Serena & Lily  5. Tumblers - Horne

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 30 May 2012 08:38

Hosting Must-Haves by Sara Lowman

This week we're giving you summer hosting tips to help make your gatherings stylish, delicious, and stress free.  Today we have the lovely Sara Lowman here sharing her must-haves for your summer get-togethers.

Enjoy!

Stephania

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Host Must-Haves

by Sara Lowman

We all know those people who seem to do it all. They juggle work, kids, relationship, friends, and they can throw a perfect dinner party without blinking an eye. While some of it can be chalked up to natural talent, most of it comes from having the right tools at their fingertips and being prepared. To help you entertain with ease, here are my top five must-haves for hosting décor.

 

1. Great Glasses

There’s nothing like putting a drink in your guest’s hand as they walk through the door to put them at ease and make them feel welcome. A simple cocktail can be dressed up with a pretty glass. My favorites for summer are these colored cut glasses from Anthropologie or a classic julep cup.

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Photo: Anthropologie Mint Julep Cup

2. Beautiful Dishes

Even ready-made snacks look elegant when displayed properly. I’m loving Jan Burtz’s thin and one of a kind dishes right now.

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3. Lovely Linens

While paper napkins are convenient, linen place mats and napkins add more elegance to your table. With simple dishes, a pattern can add a touch of fun or go the classic route with neutrals.

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4. Vases

When you have a nice vase on hand, it’s easy to make a beautiful arrangement. I fell in love with these recycled glass vases from ABC Home. Only one or two stems will be enough to fill them due to their skinny mouths. If you don’t have time to get flowers, they’re beautiful even as decorative objects.

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5. Fun Flatware

I love the element of rusticity in this forged iron flatware from West Elm.

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Photo: West Elm

If you’re not up for doing dishes, these utensil sleeves from BHLDN are a great way to dress up your disposable (biodegradable, of course) utensils.

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Hope this has helped you to create your shopping list. With these basics on hand, it’s easy to put a beautiful gathering together without breaking a sweat (or the bank for that matter). With plenty of food and wine, you’re sure to be a gracious host with happy guests.

- Sara

 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 16 May 2012 15:11

Show Your Stripes with Repurposed Grain Sacks by Sara Lowman

One thing I know Sara and I share is an absolute love for stripes. I am always blown away by how she works them into a room, even in the most unexpected spaces and today's post is no different.

Enjoy!

Stephania

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Repurposed Grain Sacks

by Sara Lowman

In honor of one of my favorite patterns, stripes, I wanted to share my current obsession with you--vintage grain sacks. Made of hemp and thick linen, they were originally used to transport flour, sugar and grains to market. The variety of colors, patterns and even monograms helped to differentiate between each farmer’s goods. Now, their durability and the beauty of their worn quality makes them the perfect addition to a classic décor.

Repurposed for upholstery:

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Both images from http://theaccessorator.com/2010/02/furniture-upholstered-in-vintage-grain-sacks.html

As Pillows:

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Love the vintage button detailing! Both images from The Dill Hall Emporium.

As table runners:

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     Photo: Houzz

DIY with fabric by the yard:

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Both images from: Etsy

Repurposing fabrics is not only a responsible choice for the environment, but it also lends a timeless quality to your décor. Choosing vintage grain sacks for your fabric option is a smart and elegant way to show your stripes!

~ Sara

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 09 May 2012 08:34

Our Favorite Things: Garden Party with Mom

Each year on Mother's Day my mom forces us all out to the backyard for a day of gardening.  It's the one day of the year that she knows we can't give her any grief about anything.  Now that I'm in New York and can't always fly home, I really miss those long days digging up tiny hole after tiny hole of dirt.  This week's Our Favorite Things is all about beautifying your backyard just the way my mom would like it.  

Happy Mother's Day to all of you!

xo,

Stephania

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1. Bird House from Anthropologie 2. Euclid Side Table from West Elm 3. EcoSmart Firepit from Room & Board 4. Perch 9" Pot with Saucer from Crate & Barrel 5. Port Stripe Outdoor Rug from Pottery Barn

xo,

Stephania 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 08:21

Our Favorite Things: Salt & Peppa Shakers

I've been going through a bit of a re-nesting stage with my home and am finally to the point where now I just need to add a bit of decor to perfect the space.  Ever since we started this site, I have become a little obsessed (okay a lot obsessed) with learning how to pick the perfect little piece for each little nook in my house.  My most recent obsession is salt and pepper shakers.  Here are a few of my favorite...

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Photo: Etsy - Paulova Ceramics

These would look adorable on a large kitchen table.  I'm especially swooning over the blue glazed bowls.

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Photo: Jonathan Adler

Jonathan Adler is always sure to bring a little quirkiness to your life.  My stepsister gave me these for my birthday and they're so cute I put them on my fireplace!

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Photo: LEIF

This pair is simply beautiful.  I had seen these around various blogs and couldn't resist including them in this roundup.

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hoto: Anthropologie

Such a cute vintagey addition to a kitchen.

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Photo: MOMA

One piece that you switch with like a light switch. Genius.

 

What's your favorite pair?

xo,

Stephania 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Thursday, 26 April 2012 08:34

Our Favorite Things: Cute Nursery Decor

As a soon to be aunt, I have been obsessing over nursery decor ideas and inspiration.  Here are a few that I think my future niece simply cannot live without.

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Photo: Ubabub

If there is one thing I've learned over the last few years about kids' rooms, it's that it must be full of inspiration for creativity.  I love this playful pop of color print from Ubabub.

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Photo: Land of Nod

A simple wall decal is a great way to go for your growing baby girl.  If she decides she wants to be like Fancy Nancy one day you can go with this chandelier decal and if the next month she loves elephants, you can go with this one here.

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Photo: Babble

And could you ask for a cooler bed?! 

 

xo,

Stephania 

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Wednesday, 25 April 2012 09:51

Where the Wild Things Are by Sara Lowman

Kid week is one of my favorite themes because it always means that we get to take a look at Sara's ideas on how to pull together a kid's room that is not only whimsical and totally cool, but also completely functional for parents and their little ones. 

Enjoy! 

Stephania

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Where the Wild Things Are

by Sara Lowman

I love decorating nurseries. They give you a chance to be more playful and creative. My latest obsession has been incorporating animals into elements of nursery décor, and here are a few of my favorites.

 For busy moms, you can never have enough hooks. Anthropologie has a great selection, and I adore this little herd that can either serve as wall décor or a place to hang your hat!

 

 

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Photo: Anthropologie

I fell in love with these beautiful animals by Kusafune:

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The Kusafune site is mostly in Japanese, but they do list retailers who carry their products here.

Of course my go-to for lighting in kid’s rooms is Jonathan Adler:

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Whether you’re using animals as springboards for stories or imaginary friends, they are a great way to bring a sense of whimsy to your nursery. Remember that you’re decorating for little people with big imaginations, so let your creativity go wild!

 

 

 

 

 

Scrumptious Orzo Salad

What you need:

  • 1lb orzo
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ head broccoli florets
  • 1 small red pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • ½ cup veggie broth
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup feta cheese (more or less to taste)
Note: Serve as a side dish with Lemon-y Grilled Salmon. Or add one 16 oz can of chick peas when you add the veggies to the skillet to serve as a stand alone meal.

What to do:

Cook orzo according to package directions. Drain and set aside. Combine olive oil and garlic in a large skillet and cook garlic until soft.  Add broccoli, red pepper, asparagus and sauté for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add veggie broth and lemon juice.  Cover and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes until broccoli is tender. Combine orzo and veggies in a serving bowl.  Add feta and mix well. Garnish with scallions.  Serve hot or room temperature.

Published in THURSDAYS Blog
Monday, 26 March 2012 10:06

Meet Robyn Waffle, Designer of Modallion Rugs

Before we kick off Birthday Week, we have one more 70's inpsired post to share with you from our new guest contributor, Miss Carli Vierke.

Take it away Carli! 

xo,

Stephania

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Meet Robyn Waffle, Designer of Modallion Rugs 

By Carli Vierke

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In celebration of this weeks 1970’s theme, I tried to seek out a creative mind who not only plays with the psychedelic motifs so definitive of 1970’s print, but also engages with ancient spiritual themes that helped to inspire the often otherworldly subjects of 1970’s culture.  Enter fashion-forward, cutting-edge artist and rug designer Robyn Waffle of Modallion Rugs.

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I don’t know about you, but when I think of rugs, what springs to mind are large slabs of beige and brown – mellow tones of wooly softness that subtly enhance and cozify private rooms and public spaces.  Waffle seeks to challenge this standard by turning the world of rug design on its ear. Rather than the buttery palates we’re used to seeing, Waffle designs intricate, wildly colorful explosions that are almost too beautiful too walk on.

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Her dynamic creations generated serious buzz at this year’s annual interior design show in Toronto, and landed her a full-page spread in the Toronto Star – and it’s not hard to see why. Waffle’s intersection of hyper-contemporary design, traditional technique and ancient motifs might just shift our perception of rugs from one of background subtlety to full-blown centerpieces that qualify as art.

 The process of turning an illustration on paper into a silken masterpiece isn’t exactly a simple one. Her designs must first be rendered with custom rug design software, where she matches the colors and structure of her sketch on the screen. This part is done on an enormous Dynex flat-screen TV with an attached keyboard and Macbook pro. The process can take up to three days and moves in roughly 8 stages. Since the program is not only incredibly complex, but also finicky and unpredictable, designs are often completed only after a healthy dose of trial and error. The rugs, once completed in the program, are sent to Nepal where a team of expert weavers turn Waffle’s imaginings into tangible reality.

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Waffle’s most recent rug “collection” is titled Across the Line. The vivid 4’6” prayer rug series comes in six different color variations and retails for approximately $2500 CDN, or $100 per square foot. The imagery is rooted in components of traditional rug design: prayer, panel and tribal motifs, and of course, medallions, are featured in most of Waffle’s rugs. “I was obsessed with the tradition of these rugs,” she tells me in her studio, “and I will continue using these themes for a while… they are a source of infinite inspiration for me.”

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In her prayer rugs for Across the Line, the skull medallion at the rug’s center is where one’s head would traditionally be rested and the “keyhole-like” blocks in the lower center are markers for where to kneel.

Panel rugs, such as this inspirational piece hanging in the Modallion show room (shown below) usually depict the changing of the seasons. Waffle’s panel rug shares similar conventions, but she has chosen to represent the circle of life in her imagery.

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The inroads made since Waffle started Modallion with business partner Jordan Reznick just over a year ago cannot be overstated – Waffle’s artistic skills and design prowess have quickly garnered attention from some of the top trail blazers of her industry. A recent collaboration with designer Glen Ploso and fashion guru Jeanne Beker are major milestones for such a young company.

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As an artist, Waffle is thrilled to have an outlet to showcase her work, while pioneering the cross between psychedelic art and rug design. “I don’t just consider it my most recent collection of rugs,” she emphasizes, “but my most recent collection of art.” I think we can all look forward to watching her star rise in the years to come.

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