August 31, 2010

A Little Jonathan Adler to Tout Your Zodiac Sign



Decorating doesn't always have to be super serious and these pillows from Jonathan Adler say just that. Instead of placing this kind of pillow in the living room, I'd recommend one in a child's bedroom or a home office. Versions in all the different signs are available on Barneys.com for $98 each.


August 26, 2010

Michelle Adams on Tory Burch's Blog

Wonder what the editor in chief of Lonny, Michelle Adams, has in mind for a stylish fall? Check our her feature on Tory Burch's blog.

West Elm's Pebble Lamp

Pebble Table Lamp, West Elm, $179

One of the easiest ways to add a touch of glam to a room is with a stylish lamp. This number from West Elm would mesh well with just about any color scheme and the silver glass base gives it a nice bit of personality. It's also a great option for those who tend to shy away from colorful accessories, but still want to incorporate some kind of eye candy into a space.

August 24, 2010

Favorites of the Moment

A few things I'm loving at the moment...

* anything with navy and white stripes

* rugs from Dash and Albert

* vintage aprons (Boojiboo's Etsy shop has some adorable ones)

* doormats (who says they can't be personalized?--check out the styles this company offers)

* ferns (although they never last in my place)


Photo: Ralph Lauren/Macys.com

August 23, 2010

Vogue's Book of Etiquette


There's nothing more frustrating than bad manners. Originally published in 1948 and written by Millicent Fenwick, Vogue's Book of Etiquette is a must-read if you need tips for proper decor when it comes to:

* furnishing/decorating a house and making guests feel welcome
* cocktail party planning
* formal entertaining
* letter writing

It's full of guidelines on these topics and so much more. I find myself using it as a reference time and time again. eBay has a few copies listed for sale here.

August 20, 2010

Score Vintage Pieces at Obscure Object in Williamsburg

The next time you're in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn, make it a priority to trek over to Obscure Object (646.251.3862, 20 Broadway, Brooklyn, NY 11211). I happened upon the store recently and could've spent a few hours looking through all the unique treasures, ranging from rare magazines and books to china and wood furniture. It just opened in April and the owner, Jess, frequents estate sales in Vermont to stock the shop. The displays throughout the space are inviting and Jess is super friendly. And the best part is that the prices are reasonable and when you purchase anything, instead of printing a receipt, Jess logs the transaction into her iPhone and e-mails your receipt. Don't you love it?

Here are a few photo highlights to give you a taste of the shop:












August 19, 2010

Green Cleaning with GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning's Saudia Davis



I recently had the pleasure of chatting with Saudia Davis, the brain behind GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning, a New-York based green cleaning service. Saudia started her business in 2006 after her grandmother, a professional cleaner, passed away from cancer. Saudia believes her grandmother's health declined as a result of inhaling harsh chemicals in cleaning products over the years. For this reason, she set out to spread the word about sustainable living through her green cleaning service. "Think about how you interact with the world and how you can make better choices," Saudia says. "You'll be surprised that green living is not a hard process. It's about incorporating green elements into your life in simple ways."

Here are some of Saudia's green cleaning tips:

Clean a little bit every day. This will make cleaning more manageable for you and more importantly, you can lower your stress level by keeping spaces neat and clear of clutter. Having a clean space also decreases the probability of developing illnesses.

Try natural cleaning solutions. A mixture of vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean ovens, bathtubs, glass and even chrome. Ketchup can be used to clean copper. And if you couple vinegar with olive oil, you can use it to clean wood furniture. Using natural solutions doesn't mean you need to discard the cleaning products you currently own, Saudia says. "Using them up is actually a better solution because once they're dumped, they end up getting into the soil, which then means it'll end up in our water."

Invest in an air purifier. Indoor air quality can be just as toxic as outdoor air quality, especially in the New York area, where most people live near busy streets. Maintaining the air quality in your home can help you breathe and sleep better, control allergies and prevent migraines and other pains. Saudia recommends Hepa air filters/purifiers.)

Know what's in the cleaning products you purchase. Many advertisers are guilty of green washing, so to find out if the cleaning products you buy are truly eco-friendly, secure an MSDS (material safety data sheet) for information on a product's contents. Just because it comes in a pretty bottle and mentions that it's biodegradeable doesn't make it good," Saudia says.

So what's the cleaning strategy for someone who runs a green cleaning service? "Everything I bake, cook and clean with are all in the same place and are all interchangeable," Saudia says. "It should never be that I'm using a product and feel I can't breathe."


Photo: Courtesy of GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning

August 18, 2010

Decorating Quote of the Day

Nate Berkus' Chicago home. Photo: ElleDecor.com


“I don’t care if you pick up something off the street or pick up a rock on the side of a hiking trail – you have to combine items of different ages and different styles. Otherwise, it gets really boring.” - Nate Berkus


August 11, 2010

Decorating Rules to Consider

I had a fun chat with a good friend of mine, Carita, the other day and we were sharing our top decorating rules. Step into Carita's place in Dallas and you'll see that she definitely follows a strict set of guidelines for creating a comfortable space. Every room in her home is super organized and well decorated without one detail being overlooked. It's the kind of place that makes you want to stay a while (a weekend in my case not too long ago) and that's what decorating is all about. Here are some of her tips:

Don't be afraid of color. Push yourself to incorporate colors that are outside of your comfort zone. Burnt orange, chocolate brown, green and grays are great options.

Make an effort to stay organized. Ikea has baskets in different sizes that work well for storing everything from jewelry to makeup.

Keep personal photos and decorative pillows to a minimum. These should be used as accents throughout a space and be sure to only showcase those that you truly love.

Keep TVs enclosed, if possible. An armoire is the perfect way to keep a TV set and all of its unsightly wires out of view.

August 10, 2010

World Market's 'Garden of Love' Prints


I spotted these "Garden of Love" prints from textile designer Kim Parker while browsing the World Market website the other day. The bright-colored florals give the work a Carribean feel that could easily uplift any space. And for $100 for the pair (including the practical black frames), I'd say it's a good deal. Happy shopping!

August 6, 2010

Elle Decor's Q&A with Anthropologie's Keith Johnson


My fellow Anthropologie lovers will appreciate this ElleDecor.com Q&A with Keith Johnson, the brand's driving force and star of the Sundance Channel's Man Shop Globe (a must-see, by the way). He shares some of the most memorable items he's purchased and the website also has accompanying pieces showcasing his New York City and Philadelphia homes.

August 5, 2010

Get Kontextur on Your Radar

Snow Shower Curtain Rings ($40, kontextur.com)


Bronzy Gold Petals Shower Curtain ($180, kontextur.com)


Looking for shower curtains or rings that are stylish and unique? Check out the designs from Kontextur. I especially like the "Happiness" line of curtains (the gold petal style is my fav) and the bamboo rings in white.

August 4, 2010

The Most Beautiful (and Expensive) Stove in the World -- Thanks to La Cornue

Now if this isn't a beautiful stove, I don't know what is. From French company La Cornue, this beauty boasts five gas burners, two ovens with side-swing doors and satin chrome accents. And as if that's not enough, the height is adjustable. Love, love, love. This will all cost you, though. This provence blue model goes for $8,600 a pop (not including shipping costs) via Williams-Sonoma.

August 3, 2010

Fall Home Decor Preview


Since summer is sadly winding down, let's get to a few things you should start thinking about now to update your home for the fall season in the coming weeks:

COLORS: Begin deciding on the major colors you'd like to showcase in every room. Do you always associate fall with orange, but personally don't like the color anywhere near you living area? Maybe you'd prefer a maroon shade instead then. If you decide on these kind of elements now, you'll save yourself time in the end.

TEXTURE: During the cooler months, you won't find me without a blanket, comforter or some kind of throw. Start scouring your favorite websites to get a feel for the kind of blanket you want to buy. There's nothing like one in a luxurious fabric.

BOOKS: We all have a stack of books that we haven't gotten around to reading as yet. If your bookshelves are still filled with a ton of beach novels and lighter fare, you might want to switch these out for the more serious books you're planning to read in the fall. And don't forget to accompany your books with personal items like photos, vases and other sentimental treasures, as they always do a good job of giving shelves some life.

More fall home decor tips to come...


Photo: iStock via WomansDay.com

August 1, 2010

How Will Chelsea Decorate Her Pad?

Am I the only one who's already thinking about how Chelsea and Marc will decorate their pad together? The couple tied the knot in Rhinebeck, NY on July 31 and I just can't help but wonder how they'll mesh their styles together to create a comfortable living space.


I happened to come across The Nest, which offers a ton of practical home decorating tips for young married couples. It's part of The Knot family and recently expanded from just a website to include a magazine. I personally haven't noticed too many brands offering home decor content for newlyweds, so if Chelsea and Marc care for a magazine suggestion before they get to work on their home, I'd suggest they turn to The Nest. The summer 2010 issue is on newsstands now and it doesn't disappoint.

Photos: People.com, TheNest.com