March 27, 2011

All-Time Favorite Posts

                                                                      Photo: Ana Flores poster via

I thought it would be fun to highlight a few of my favorite posts to date. Love, love, love these, and I hope you enjoy them as well:

Five Decorating Don'ts

Fall Decorating Tips from Jabbour Linens

Green Cleaning Tips from GreenHouse Eco-Cleaning

Round-up of Design Coffee-Table Books
(Apartment Therapy also picked this up--see it here)

March 24, 2011

On My Shelf: Matthew Patrick Smyth's "Living Traditions" Book

At last week's Architectural Digest Home Design Show, Vicente Wolf and David Easton held a seminar on mixing traditional and modern pieces in homes they've decorated. Piggybacking off this same style of decorating is the new book Living Traditions from interior designer Matthew Patrick Smyth, who credits Easton as his mentor.

Smyth draws some of his inspiration from France, Paris in particular, and believes in the idea of a home being decorated to suit its architecture, as well as its residents' needs and personalities. He likes to decorate with pieces from different centuries for visual interest, yet he follows a refined, simple approach of pulling a space together. The book highlights a varied group of homes, including a Greenwich, CT, colonial to his very own Paris retreat, which displays a well-rounded view of Smyth's capabilities as an interior designer.

The book goes on sale April 19, and I totally recommend it.

March 21, 2011

Decor Musings Speaks with The Decorista's Ashlina Kaposta

One of my absolute favorite things is having the opportunity to chat with the people behind the blogs I read regularly (which isn't a very long list). Of those blogs is The Decorista, run by Ashlina Kaposta, who is also an interior designer based in New York City. I had the pleasure of connecting with Ashlina to learn about her spring decorating suggestions and her upcoming advice book. Enjoy these snippets from our chat:

Decor Musings: In terms of decorating, what should people keep in mind for spring?
Ashlina Kaposta: Wood is on-trend right now. I'm seeing a lot of looks incorporating exposed wood. Pink, especially along the lines of watermelon and pomegranate, is also another trend I'm seeing.

DM: Is there one item people should invest in?
AK: It's so hard to pinpoint one item, but amazing artwork is key.

DM: What advice would you give to people who are looking for a better sense of direction with their decorating plan?
AK: When I'm working with a client, I like to examine their color scheme and see what mood they want to convey with their home. Do they want a spa-like feel or a hotel vibe, for instance? Another thing I've noticed that's missing from many people's homes is fabric. I like to dress windows with curtains, incorporate wallpaper and a nice rug. I love to work textiles into a space.

DM: Can you share some of your go-to sources for home products?
AK: I love a one-of-a-kind find so 1stDibs is perfect for this reason. HomeGoods does a good of making the hottest items available to people at affordable price points. I also like ABC Carpet & Home in Manhattan, all the little vintage shops in the Nolita area and the flea market in Chelsea.

DM: You've done very well with your blog, The Decorista. What advice would you give to an up-and-coming design blogger?
AK: My advice would be to find what you love and write about it. Get out there, take pictures and try to find something unique. I like bloggers who discover things I'm unfamiliar with. Also, if you want to make your blog accessible, posting once a week isn't going to help.

DM: What's next for you? Any exciting projects coming up?
AK: I'm actually working on an e-book about how to turn your blog into a business. It will be available at the end of April.

March 20, 2011

Favorites from the Architectural Digest Home Design Show

For the second year, I attended the Architectural Digest Home Design Show here in New York, and once again the event didn't disappoint. From custom tiles produced by Artsaics to a David Beahm-designed table set-up inspired by Prince William and Kate Middleton as part of DIFFA's Dining By Design, there was something for just about every design lover.

Don't you just see these tiles in a fashionista's bathroom? They're custom from Artsaics by Nelson Londono and so full of personality.

Here's another tile design from Artsaics. I love the white flowers against the black backdrop.

DIFFA's Dining By Design--My Favorites

David Beahm designed this table, drawing inspiration from Prince William and Kate Middleton. The green plates against the wood table would be perfect for the royal couple.

Green isn't at the top of my favorite colors list. However, this creation by Donald and Katherine Ianziero works so well for the spring season and could be a fun way to entertain guests over dinner.

Ralph Lauren stuck with a summery theme that has Hamptons stamped all over it. 

Vicente Wolf's design--perfect for a wedding party.

Incorporating lamps into a table setting, as Diane von Furstenberg has done here, adds a dose of drama to the atmosphere in such a good way.

I see this design from Eric Walker being used to celebrate a graduation, birthday or special wedding anniversary. That lighting fixture is gorgeous.

This is a design by Kravet. A color combination of lime green and deep purple can appeal to both men and women, which I like very much for a dinner party. The orchids were a nice touch.

Also be sure to check out coverage of last year's show here.

March 19, 2011

Guest Blogger at The Garden Gates

I'll be contributing to The Garden Gates blog from time to time, sharing my decorating tips and tricks. I'll keep you updated on my posts.

March 16, 2011

Decorate a Home Office & Boost Your Creativity At the Same Time


When it comes to decorating a home office, my first recommendation would be to choose a lively paint color that is sure to help boost your creativity. If there's one space in your home that can carry a bright paint color (think along the lines of orange, green, even a canary yellow), it's the office. You want to walk into this space feeling energized every time and this is one of the easiest ways to accomplish this.

And of course you might think of displaying your diplomas, awards, and the like, but also consider showcasing pieces of art that speak to you personally or propping special family photos up on your bookshelves for an extra dose of inspiration. Elements that can keep you calm while you try to meet deadlines and fulfill work obligations are key.

Another way to pick up the energy in the space is through fun desk accessories and supplies. There are tons of affordable outlets (one of my favorites is See Jane Work) that offer more stylish options way beyond the standard black stapler or silver metal letter tray, for instance. Get creative with your accessories. You'd be surprised how an element this small can amp up your creativity level.

Get to work, and happy decorating!

March 13, 2011

A Taste of the Pier Antiques Show

I attended the Pier Antiques Show in NYC on Saturday and had such fun checking out the vintage jewelry (especially the brooches), magazine covers and ads, clothing and, of course, the furniture. Here are some of the pieces that caught my attention:

March 6, 2011

The New Lucky Kids Magazine

For the Lucky magazine fans who've always longed for a children's version of the shopping title, your wait is over. Lucky Kids is now on newsstands with a cover feature on actress Angie Harmon and her experience raising her three daughters in their North Carolina home.

There's something for everyone in the issue--from a feature on fashion designers who are creating children's versions of their staples to the items the magazine's editors now have on their list of must-haves. But my favorite, of course, is the feature on how Lela Rose decorated her nine-year-old son's bedroom. It's quite modern with a clever mix of high- and low-end items and fun pops of color. I also like the "All About You" section filled with beauty tips for busy moms.

The spring issue of the magazine reads very much like the adult title with an emphasis on where to purchase the items featured and just the right amount of descriptive copy to make you want to plan your next shopping trip right away. The next issue will be available in the fall. It's a fun read.

March 1, 2011

How to Get Out of a Decorating Rut

Everyone goes through a period where decorating is the last thing they want to think about. If you ever happen to be stuck in a decorating rut--be it right before beginning a massive home renovation or moving forward on a quick room update to complement a new season--step back and take a moment to recharge with these three easy tips:

Take stock of your current set-up. Walk from room to room, pinpointing the elements of your decor that make you feel good and those you'd like to change somehow. Think about any recurring themes that seem to be evident in your home. For instance, have you noticed that you always buy accessories in one specific color? Are you drawn to the same style when it comes to curtains? This will all give you a more clear idea on your personal decorating philosophy and help you determine what needs to be in place to complete your decorating project to your liking.

Reference the experts. Spend some time perusing shelter magazines, books, the online portfolios of your favorite interior designers/decorators and various home stores to see how different spaces are furnished. Sometimes all it takes is coming across that one striking image to reconnect you to your decorating plan.

Be observant of your surroundings. Most decorators will tell you that they draw inspiration from fashion, traveling, or just about any other field not directly connected to their profession. While following your day-to-day routine, pay closer attention to mundane things like how people are dressed, street signs and advertisements, or even the atmosphere in a restaurant. Believe it or not, inspiration is all around you. You just have to be mindful of it.

Happy decorating!