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Chinese Money Plant

What has two black thumbs and loves plants? THIS GIRL! HEY-O!

I’m the botanical angel of death.  I’ve sent countless plants to their early graves, and can confidently assess that their aggregate numbers would culminate in a fairly large cemetery.  Although I recognize my poor caretaking skills, I can’t resist purchasing more doomed plants — only to repeat the cycle of destruction.

My twisted love has now turned its attention to the enchanting Chinese Money Plant (proper name: pilea peperomioides).  This fascinating specimen hails from China’s Yunnan province, and was introduced to Scandinavia by Agnar Espegren, a Norwegian missionary fleeing the Japanese World War II attacks on China.  The plant was slowly passed along generations of friends and families so that it became quite common throughout Europe.  A rarity in the States,  I’m desperate to have one of my own, even though I’ll probably kill it within days.  If anyone has any leads and has no qualms about sending a beautiful plant to a premature death, please reach out! And if you want to learn more about this plant’s amazing history, head over to Wild Chicken.

Photos courtesy of:  Gardenista  At Swim Two Birds | Joyce Stolte | Wit & Whistle | Multo Multo | Moon to Moon | Lisettes Perler | Erleperle Randia |  Supermama | Black Jungle Terrarium Supply

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Stockholm Syndrome

Why are the Swedes so good at everything? They are supremely beautiful, athletic, insanely musical, fiercely intelligent and gifted with impeccable style.  When I visited Stockholm two years ago, the constant presence of towering, lithe blondes with finely-sculpted features awakened my dormant inferiority complex.  Throughout the duration of my trip, I couldn’t help but feel like an obese idiot-midget-troll incapable of ever achieving the heights of their intellect or physical perfection.  And their exquisite aesthetic, which pervaded everything from restaurants to train stations, trumped any other country I’ve seen since then; even the Swedish Visitor’s Center had nuanced, sophisticated décor.  

I wish I had discovered the Ett Hem prior to my European getaway.  Located in the heart of Stockholm, this boutique hotel’s design is so good it makes me angry.  Originally a private residence, this 12-bedroom house was converted into traveler’s lodging with sleek décor emanating an inviting warmth so prevalent in Scandinavian design.  From the lush garden to the serene bedrooms, every corner of the space was thoughtfully planned with an immaculate eye, and judging from the reviews, also the perfect setting for rest and relaxation.  I’m already planning my return trip! Who’s in? 

Photos courtesy of Ett Hem Hotel | Architectual Digest Espana | The Coolist | Elitism 

Above: The marriage of that striped couch, pale pink Knoll-like lounge chairs and minimal task lamps is so good.  

Above: These two vignettes are my paragon of organic modernism.  I want my entire apartment to feel this way. 

Above, left: I love the cozy vibe of the library, topped off with a Lindsey Adelman chandelier. So good.  

Above, right: Traditional Swedish fireplaces typically resemble a column, topped by a crown symbolizing the country’s monarchy.  If I ever own my own house or apartment, I’d love to have one of the babies in my living room.  

Above: This color palette is tops.  

Above: Oh my god. This room is everything. I want to jump into that bed right now!

Above and Below: I’m dying over this bathroom.  That tub! The double sinks! That brass hardware! 

Above and below: Can we talk like Tevin Campbell about how I want to live in this greenhouse situation? 

Above: As we trudge through the last legs of this brutal NYC winter, I fantasize about sitting in this garden with a pitcher of sangria while feeling the sun’s warmth on my face.  #Dreams 

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The Elephant Man

French photographer Charles Freger captured these stunning images during the Elephant Festival in Jaipur, India. The highlight of this event is a competition in which riders, known as mahouts, paint, dress and bejewel themselves as well as their elephants to compete for the honor of best dressed pair.  Mahouts are not only a rider, but also the trainer and keeper of the elephant.  Typically, they are born into this profession, paired with their elephant from a young age, and bonded for life.   Absolutely compelling, no?  I’m entranced by these beautiful traditions, sumptuous colors and the fascinating dynamic between mahout and elephant.  Anyone interested in taking a trip to India with me?     

Photos courtesy of National Geographic 

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Sarah Jessica Parker’s Home Tour

In the mid-2000’s, I lived directly across the street from Sarah Jessica Parker in the West Village.  Whenever she stepped out of her gorgeous brownstone, I craned my neck to catch a glimpse inside.   Yesterday, Vogue posted a mini-house tour with SJP, and my years of waiting finally paid off.  Unlike a lot of celebrity homes, Parker’s decor is warm, inviting and comfortable; the baby gate, well-worn velvet couch and bookshelves teeming with dog-eared books indicate that its residents actually live there.

Since I’m a home decor junkie, I watched the video about 25 times to nab the following screen captures for my interior design Pinterest board, but you should definitely watch the interview below.  I’ve also included a small product round-up showing how to emulate the look — which is surprisingly very affordable and easy to accomplish.

PS – Pardon the blurry and fuzzy shots, it was a little tricky to get clear footage!

All photos courtesy of Vogue 

Above: Oh, don’t mind my Emmy on the bookshelf…

1. Ikea Besta TV Storage Combination – If don’t have custom-built shelving around your TV, fake it till you make it with some Ikea. I’d probably lose the creepy glass doors and also the opaque white ones to give it more of a bookshelf feel.

2. Lulu & Georgia Waterway Rug in Watermelon

3. Room & Board Stella Sofa

4. Benjamin Moore Seaweed Paint, 2035-10

5. Indian Kantha Quilt

6.  Ikea Billy Bookcase

7. Vintage Bar Cart via Soulful Vintage on Etsy

8. From left to right: Magic Cabin Illuminated GlobeLand of Nod Illuminated GlobeIlluminated World Globe from By Grass Doll on Etsy

9. Sofa.com Avalon Chair

10. Urban Outfitters Laboratory Lamp

11. Wisteria Sunburst Armoire

Above: I would really love to have room for a ping pong table.  I mean, right now I’d be cool with 200 more square feet.

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Dreamy Williamsburg Home

I’m in love with Anthony Goicolea‘s renovated Williamsburg rowhouse. This stunning, four-level structure encompasses a basement studio, first floor kitchen and living room, second floor study and living room, and a third floor comprising two bedrooms.  If that’s not enough, Goicolea’s impeccable decor only drives the pangs of jealousy deeper into my heart.  

This is the size of my entire apartment.  No joke.  I cry as I type this sentence. 

These two vignettes may be my favorite corners of the house.  I die for that Restoration Hardware Versailles Chair, and double showerheads are the lofty, impossible NYC dream.  

I’m a sucker for a dark bedroom and sumptuous floor-to-ceiling drapes.  

I love everything about this bathroom shot.  I must have that fish sculpture, and something tells me a chalkboard near a toilet could definitely come in handy.  Ha ha! And let’s take a moment to enjoy the expertly arranged art kissing the top of the stairs.  So good. 

In my future mansion, I hope to emulate the airy, organic quality of this kitchen. 

Ugh. I don’t have a single staircase in my tiny apartment.  One of these days…

via The New York Times

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2014 Oscars’ After-Party Fashion Recap

“Then after the show it’s the after party, and after the party, it’s the hotel lobby.” 

- R. Kelly

The Oscars’ red carpet was disastrously dull, with no real risk takers apart from Cate Blanchett and Lupita Nyong’o.  But what about the after parties?  Let’s take a look. 

Above: I was pleasantly surprised to see a good amount of oxblood-colored dresses at the Vanity Fair party.  Model Crystal Renn vamped in a glamorous Zac Posen gown, Behati Prinsloo rocked a modern and minimal look, and Sheryl Crow beamed in laid-back, bohemian Roberto Cavalli.

Above: Deep crimson was another popular hue. Jaime King nailed it in a unique and stunning Ulyana Sergeenko dress.  And I will begrudgingly admit that Khloe Kardashian looked great — the fit and color of the gown, hair and makeup perfectly suited her.  Naomie Harris was elegant, but her ensemble was missing any sartorial punch. 

Above: Ladies in red.  Sienna Miller’s arm jewelry was so different and unexpected, but it’s a shame that her thrift-store-esque belt detracts from an otherwise chic ensemble.  I die for Lily Aldridge’s sleek, 60s-inspired dress, and based on her figure, you’d never know that Kristen Bell gave birth a few months ago.  Bravo, Gossip Girl! 

Above: Pretty in pink.  I loved seeing these bright gowns! Allison Williams’ dress looked odd from the front, I wish she had worn a big necklace or larger earrings to counter the high neckline.  I usually don’t care for Kelly Preston’s style, but she surprised me with an amazing Steve Khalil gown.  Everything about her look is so good: minimal accessorizing and simple hair offsets the insane draping of her dress.  

Above: Sparkly nudes in classic silhouettes.  These looks are absolutely stunning, but they’re missing a wow factor.  It’s like a supremely good-looking man lacking an interesting personality.  Nice, but nothing memorable. 

Above: Silver screen sirens.  In the film Empire Records, there’s a woman who says, “baby you are sex!” and that is how I feel about Miranda Kerr’s smoldering get-up.  Rumer Willis’ hair and makeup is a bullseye, but her dress is a little too crazy for my taste.  It’s a fine line between kooky and eclectic, isn’t it?  And Hilary Rhoda is a goddess in her vintage Halston.  

Above: America’s sweethearts.  Slinky black dresses with sweetheart necklines were another recurrence throughout the night. Purrrrrrrrrr

Above: Who knew that one-shouldered white dresses would be a trend?  I love Amy Adams to pieces, but I wish she had worn something akin to her American Hustle character.  Maybe she felt that we had seen enough of her breasts for one year.   

Above: There were many variations on the sequined, deep v-neck dress.  I loved them all.  

Above and below: I’m swooning over these badass sheer cutouts.  They lend a rebellious, adventurous sensibility to classic silhouettes.  This is what you wear to make your ex think: “DAAAAAAAMN.  OOPS.”   

Above: In the pink.  Taking a cue from the runways, pale pink dominated the red carpet.  Like her husband, Camila Alves easily won her category with an elegant Gabriela Cadena dress.  The hue and cut suited her perfectly, and the drape lent a sense of old Hollywood glamour.    

Above: Golden girls.  Vanessa Hudgen’s look was my favorite variation on this theme.  I loved the interesting fabric and cut of her dress, while Selena and Kristin’s gowns feel a little too Vegas-showgirl.

Above: Strapless black dresses with soft details.  Margot Robbie’s ensemble was everything.  Her hair! Her makeup! That bow! She perfectly channeled the spirit of a 1940s Hollywood starlet a la Veronica Lake.  And Emma Heming, Bruce Willis’ wife, is absolutely divine in a chic gown adorned with bows.  I’ve never seen pregnancy look so good. 

Above: Pastel party.  Rosie Huntington-Whiteley’s Cushnie Et Ochs gown made me gasp: it’s a well-done juxtaposition of feminine and classic, modern and badass.   I adore the unique color of Paz Vega’s beautifully-executed pale, blue-green number.  And Lupita Nyong’o showcases her impeccable taste in offbeat, sea foam green Miu Miu.  

Above: These were my favorite gowns that defied any categorization.  Model Doutzen Kroes radiated in a minimal black dress with pockets(!!!) and bejeweled heels that I desperately need to own. Anne Sweeney, president of the ABC-Disney Television group, chose a strapless, architectural navy-blue gown that fit her perfectly. I hope Zara or H&M makes a knock-off, because I absolutely need to own this dress.  Kate Hudson should give her stylist a big raise because she epitomized everything a Hollywood movie star should be.  She worked that step and repeat and shut it down.  

And with that, we bid adieu to awards season.  Until next year! 

Photos courtesy of: Zimbio | Just Jared | Fab Sugar | Vanity Fair 

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