January 31, 2013

Beauty Meets Decor: 3 Tips on Organizing a Medicine Cabinet

Photo: Martha Stewart

I've been on this organizing kick lately and need to make the time to freshen up my medicine cabinet. When it comes to getting a medicine cabinet in order, the key is to maximize space (that is if your cabinet is compact like mine). I was thinking of how I'm going to whip mine into shape and thought I'd share three quick pointers if you also need to get this job done.

1. Remove the clutter. This is so important in making a space as functional as can be. Only keep the products that you use on a daily basis. There's no need to have five face moisturizers and multiple tubes of toothpaste. Choose those you're using at the moment and stash the rest away for later use. Also scan the expiration dates on cosmetics and toss those that have reached their shelf life.

Photo: Into the Gloss

2. Gather a few canisters or jars. These are so useful for holding anything from Q-tips to toothbrushes. And for products that come in unsightly packaging (you know what I mean), there's no better way to make them look more presentable than by stashing them in a simple canister. I've found great options at the Container Store and Pottery Barn.

3. Think about placement. To save a little more time in your day, keep like items together and position them according to how they're used. So have your contact lens solution next to its case, your daily face cleanser near its moisturizer, all prescriptions together, and so on. Also think about which shelf is best for certain items. For example, the highest shelf in my cabinet has things like bandaids and face masks that I have no use for on a regular basis. The bottom shelves have the items I reach for every single day (vitamins, etc.).

Happy organizing!

January 29, 2013

Fab Find of the Day: Donna Wilson Fort Tray from Horne

I live for tracking down stylish home accessories, and so you could have imagined my excitement when I landed upon this beauty from Horne. Magenta, royal blue and baby blue come together in a way that would make this tray the star of any party. Don't you agree? I'd even use it on a vanity to hold jewelry or just a few bottles of perfume. The tray, which was designed by Donna Wilson, also comes in two other colorways (red and sea), but this is my favorite.

January 22, 2013

Fab Find of the Day: Oval Jar Colonial Candle

I love, love, love scented candles because they are one of the easiest ways to make a home feel cozy. I was recently introduced to Colonial Candle and am so in love with the company's 8 oz. oval jar candles. They are the perfect size for my coffee table, burn really well and come in a wide range of scents like Cranberry Cosmo, Grapefruit & Wheatgrass and Sea Spray.

Lately, I've been burning the vanilla lavender candle and it just fills my home with the most light, beautiful fragrance. Can't get enough.

January 18, 2013

What I'm Reading

Jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher's fab office space. 
Photo: Rima Campbell, Matchbook Magazine

Matchbook magazine. It's been a while since I've checked out Matchbook magazine. I read the latest issue and especially enjoyed the feature on how to channel your inner French girl with a roundup of fashion, home and food items. The images of jewelry designer Jennifer Fisher's office are also stunning.

Twelve Secrets to Living a Life You Love by Tonya Kerry. It's always nice to have a reminder to continue pursuing your life goals with loads of energy and drive. I came across this book in the bookstore at my church a few years ago and remember not being able to put it down once I began reading it. I just started reading it again the other day and it's amazing. It talks about setting clear goals, maintaining joy in your life and being more aware of the lessons that life imparts.

Vogue Daily: I've been loving Vogue magazine's blog lately. The roundup of beauty products featured are always perfect and it gives me quick highlights on the latest fashion trends. I highly recommend it. 

January 15, 2013

Fab Find of the Day: Furbish Studio's Shiny Gold Elephant

One of my favorite memories of traveling to India a few years ago is of riding an elephant. As terrified as I was, I had the time of my life and it really did make my trip feel a little more special. This gold elephant that I spotted on Furbish Studio would look pretty on my desk or bookshelf and would serve as the perfect reminder of my trip. And you can't beat the $42 price.

January 14, 2013

NYC Interior Designer Sarah Sarna Shares Her Career Tips

Sarah Sarna

It’s so refreshing to chat with creative people who have a strong passion for their work. I had the opportunity to speak with New York City-based designer Sarah Sarna on how she started her business and she reminded me of just how important it is to be brave enough to follow your dreams. Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out her fab blog.

Decor Musings: How did you come to branch out on your own as a designer?

Sarah Sarna: I had been working in the interior design industry for 10 years and felt like I had enough experience to go out on my own. I worked at Sara Bengur, Shawn Henderson and Pembrooke & Ives. It was about a two-year decision before I actually pulled the trigger [in 2011] and began telling people my business was official.

DM: How would you describe your decorating style?

SS: I love to travel. I’ve been to France a couple of times and my husband is from India, so I’m drawn to both of those countries in terms of their aesthetic and history.  I often pull from images related to French design and Indian fashion. Both have an impact.

DM: What was the most challenging part of going out on your own?

SS: Taking the leap of faith. Collecting ideas and data and thinking about how you are going to make it work. At a certain point, you have to realize you kind of have to just do it. The hardest part is telling someone you have gone out on your ownmaking it known and thinking what if it doesn’t work out. All your work will pay off, but it takes time. You have to enjoy the process. Otherwise, it becomes overwhelming.

DM: Any other challenges in working for yourself?

SS: There is so much that is unknown. Working as a senior designer at a firm, for example, you are managing projects and don’t have a full understanding of marketing yourself, handling accounting and all the other things besides the design work. So being out on your own means all the little things you had coworkers doing before are left to you.

DM: How did you go about securing clients when you first started?

SS: It’s really word of mouth and friends of friends. A lot of designers start with friends. To trust someone with your home and the way you want to live, you hire people you know or feel you can work with.

DM: How do you stay on top of the latest trends in interior design and keep your skills fresh?

SS: I subscribe to all the shelter magazines, which are great. There’s something amazing about curling up with a magazine. I also subscribe to about 75 blogs that I receive in my e-mail. I don’t have time to read them all every day, but they are fantastic and are always ahead of the magazines. I’ll read about something on a blog and then see it in a shelter magazine the following month.

DM: What are some of your favorite blogs?

SS: I read coco + kelley as often as I can. I also like LaDolce Vita, This is Glamorous and Le Catch. I really like fashion blogs, because there’s a lot of back and forth between fashion and design.

DM: How fulfilling is your work for you?

SS: Going out on my own is probably the best decision I could have made. Every day is exciting and new. It’s really gratifying.

January 11, 2013

Beauty Meets Decor: 6 Beauty Products Every Home Needs

Beauty Products for Every Home

The collection of beauty products in my home continues to grow and that's fine with me. I have bins of products that I've either purchased, have been gifted, or snagged at some magazine beauty sale. I'm one of those people who splurges on basics like sweet-smelling soap and body creams that are full of moisture. It's the small things that have this luxurious way about them. Don't you agree?

I thought it would be fun to share a few of my favorite beauty finds that I believe every home (and beauty lover) should have right now. I doubt that I'll ever be without any of these items.

Laura Mercier Crème Brûlée Soufflé Body Crème: I can't remember the last time I've come across a moisturizer this amazing. It has a very light fragrance and just melts into your skin like you wouldn't believe. After applying this, my skin feels so, so soft. I'll have you know that it's $55, but I have no issues with the price because it really is that good. Promise.

Mistral Wild Blackberry French Soap Bar: First of all, this smells like fresh berries with a touch of vanilla and what's not to love about that? It lathers so well and has this creamy feel to it, which I'm sure is due to the organic shea butter it contains.

Creamery Creek Goat Milk Soap in Cocount Cream: I have dry skin during the winter and I've found that this soap really soothes it. It lathers really well and the coconut fragrance gets me every time. I also love the idea of supporting a family business, as the soap is made on a small farm in Utah. I always love receiving my order because the owner, Shelley Shumway, usually includes a handwritten note in the package.

Neutrogena Refreshing Shower and Bath Gel: I have to admit. I rarely look to Neutrogena when it comes to bath products. That all changed when my mother gave this to me recently. It's hard for me to describe how this smells because it's really unique. It's a light herbal musk kind of scent (guys would love it, too), but what I really like about this product is how squeaky clean your skin feels after using it. It's fabulous.

Jurlique Lavender Hydrating Mist: After applying my makeup in the morning, I usually spray this in the palms of my hands and pat it all over my face for a quick pick-me-up. It's a nice way to give my makeup a dewy feel without the oil factor and really makes me feel refreshed. I sometimes use it before applying my night cream as well.

Bath & Body Works Eucalyptus Spearmint 3-Wick Candle: When I don't feel like splurging on a candle, this is my go-to. This candle has a fresh scent that'll leave your home smelling like a spa. It burns so well and I like that it has a nice lid to contain the scent when it's not in use. Also, Bath & Body is having its semi-annual sale now and there are a ton of 3-wick candles on sale for up to 75% off.

January 8, 2013

Fab Find of the Day: Dwell Studio Labyrinth Journal

As a blogger, ideas for posts can hit you at any given time. That's why I usually carry a notebook with me on days when I don't just want to rely on my phone for note-taking. My notebooks always have some sort of fun design on their covers and my motto for them is the brighter the better. This DwellStudio labyrinth journal ($10) is perfect, right? I always love seeing yellow and fuschia together and the design is so very pretty. Sold!

January 7, 2013

Check Me Out on Houzz

Every month, I share a roundup of stylish home decor products with Houzz, a website that features a wealth of information on home remodeling and decorating. This month's feature is on emerald home accessories. Be sure to check out my roundups so far. It's so much fun finding fab products for the home at great prices. I hope you like them.

January 4, 2013

Beauty Meets Decor: Makeup Cases for Design Lovers

Stylish Makeup Cases

I love to see pattern around my home, whether in the form of a throw pillow or a great rug. 
It's no different when it comes to my makeup bags. I never go for simple solid colors. 
They always have to be bold with some sort of pattern. Here are a few stylish bags 
that are perfect for carrying your makeup goodies around.

Small Zip Cosmetic in Sumatra by Stephanie Johnsonstephaniejohnson.com

John Robshaw Marine Dopp Kitjohnrobshaw.com
Boucle Make Up Bagtopshop.com
Jonathan Adler Everglade Avenue Cosmetic Bag in All Newjonathanadler.com
Tory Burch Brigitte Coated Poplin Cosmetic Casesaksfifthavenue.com
Jetsetter Leopard Medium Dopp Kithenribendel.com