May 31, 2011

Photo of the Day

Does life get much better than a box full of bookish cupcakes? Yeah, I didn't think so either.

{Photo via Flickr}

May 24, 2011

Cozy Simplicity

If there was ever an example of somebody's home reflecting one's own sense of personal style, I'd say Kerri Russell's exemplifies this concept beautifully. As seen in the June issue of Elle Decor, Russell's Brooklyn brownstone is as understated and elegant as she is. Cozy, yet totally chic, and absolutely a place this blogger would be happy to spend some time.

Don't you just want to dive into that bed? The sheets are from Matteo (my dream bedding). And I can quite happily while away an afternoon in her closet. The color palette is so soothing.

A vase brimming with vivid flowers packs the right punch in spare, neutral kitchen. For more images, click here.

{Photos from Elle Decor, via The City Sage}

May 21, 2011

Multipurpose items: A vanity at a glance

Confession: the tabletop on which these items are pictured is not, technically, a vanity. It’s actually a writing desk that I’ve sort of reshaped into a general nesting area for jewelry, perfume, and small photos and things of that nature. As you can see, I've grouped similar items together. For instance, earrings delicately hang from the top of a silver jewelry tree (see top photo), while rings sit in the tray below; a mirror becomes an excellent hanger for larger, more dangly earrings(see below).

Watches and a gold-linked bracelet lay atop a Jonathan Adler soap dish (re-imagining different uses for items increases their functionality, so I've learned).

Long necklaces are laid out flat so as to prevent entanglement (unsnarling a knot of necklaces is not how I like to spend my free time...been there, done that).

Perfume bottles huddle together in solidarity (see first photo). Below, sample perfume vials--it's an obsession--are stored inside the packaging of an old perfume and is separated into two scent categories: spring/summer and fall/winter.

May 17, 2011

Making a home with books

To say I'm a bibliophile is something of an understatement. My devotion to books is no secret--I've extolled the virtues of reading many a time here on this blog--so it’s no surprise that I look to books to help make my living space more cozy and homey.

When it comes to organizing a bookshelf, it’s important to keep in mind its purpose. For a more stylized look, you can try organizing books by color (spines of pink, red, orange, for example) or flipping the books around so that the pages face the room,
which creates a more uniform effect. If you’re a serious reader like I am and are constantly reaching for books, a more functional approach would be to simply organize by author or topic. Personally, I like to group my books into genres (or by publisher if it’s a niche house) for easy retrieval and reference. For example, I've grouped my Jane Austens together, and then further organized by publisher (I might, ahem, have more than one copy of Pride and Prejudice...don’t judge me).

Books by UK publisher Persephone (which reprints forgotten classics by 20th century women writers) are tidily stacked in front of a row of books by or about author Virginia Woolf. It's also important to keep some space on the shelves for future acquisitions (something I grapple with, but am getting better at doing). Purging shelves of books you don't see yourself re-reading or that no longer speak to you removes the clutter, both physical and mental.

Incorporating beloved knickknacks—especially if they are of a bookish nature—adds a bit of personal flair (see first picture above). No other creature is so synonymous with books and learning quite like the owl. In this photo, a bespectacled owl perches comfortably with a book.

Extending beyond the bookshelf, these postcards by Penguin feature vintage 20th century book covers, and when framed, make a charming visual display.

These night-themed book covers below are particularly appropriate for a bedroom and certainly play a part in conjuring a restful night's sleep.

May 13, 2011

Some Pig

Meet Cinders. She's the rare pig who suffers from a curious case of mysophobia, according to A Word a Day (AWAD), a handy dandy email service that I've been subscribing to for the better part of a decade (they send you a fancy new word to learn every day, ranging from the practical to the super obscure). AWAD defines mysophobia as "an irrational fear of dirt", and by way of example, have appropriately included this adorable photo of little Cinders in all her glory in today's email. It appears as though Cinders's caretakers, the Keebles, have taken pity on her and have kindly outfitted her with mini Wellington boots so as to protect her precious feet from the mud. And just when this story couldn't possibly get any cuter, the BBC reports that Cinders has been fully accepted into the Keebles' home as a family pet and not as a potential meal. Rock on, Cinders.

{Image from AWAD via BBC}

May 11, 2011

A little hair worship

I recently cut my hair into a shortish bob somewhat similar to the one above. Except it rarely, if ever, looks as insouciant and effortlessly lovely as this (even though we have similar hair color and texture going on). But a girl's gotta keep trying, right? Le sigh.

{Image via here}

May 6, 2011

50 never looked so good

Today George Clooney turns 50. He's half a century old, and yet still as handsome, charming, graceful and dapper as ever. This man gives new meaning to the maxim "getting better with age". Happy Birthday, big boy.

{Image via here}

May 5, 2011

A fragrance fit for a bride

If you're a perfume addict like I am, you may have been wondering which fragrance, if any, a recent royal bride wore on the big day (I may have a slight case of royal wedding fever, if you haven't already noticed). Lord knows the details of every other aspect of Kate Middleton's wedding to Prince William, from the exact route of the royal carriage procession to which dress the bride slipped into for the reception, has been dissected and discussed by the media to the nth degree, so it's no wonder that the subject of her choice in perfume is now creating a stir. It's recently been reported that Kate wore White Gardenia Petals by artisan perfume company Illuminum. Unsurprisingly, according to the Lucky Scent website, the perfume is now on backorder until late August, but can eventually be yours for a cool $140. Never underestimate the power of celebrity. Especially when a princess is concerned.

May 2, 2011

The Stuff of Fairytales

Last Friday, like countless other questionably insane Americans who eschewed a restful night's sleep for a little bit of storybook glamour, I stayed awake through the wee hours of the morning to watch the live televised broadcast of the English royal wedding of Prince William and his bride Kate Middleton (now officially the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge). I have to admit, it was rather fun to participate in something so historical, so teeming with importance (depending on your view of the British monarchy and its place in society, of course; being an American and therefore rather like an observer looking into a very colorful fishbowl, I am somewhat intrigued by the royal family). I doubt I will ever do the same for another event of this calibre ever again, so I figured I may as well try it on for size now. And I have no regrets. Despite - or maybe even because of - the state of the world right now, it's a lovely thing to witness an act of true love on such a grand, magnificent scale.

But apart from all that, it's just fun watching a parade of pretty, flowy dresses and fantastical hair adornments in what can only be described as a circus act of colossal proportions. Best of all, the bride looked exquisite in her Alexander McQueen gown, designed by Sarah Burton. Elegant, graceful, and serene, Kate was already a queen before it was made official last week. I wish them both much luck and love.

P.S. The grumpy bridesmaid in the first photo just might be my favorite part of all - the icing on a deliciously decadent wedding cake.

{Images via NY Mag}