Archive for July, 2008

Coming Soon

July 23, 2008

Things are super busy today at work and at home, so in lieu of a
longer post I’ll have to just whet your appetite with the inspiration
image I have planned for tomorrow…

Showroom

Aren’t the colors here lovely? I don’t know yet what I’ll do with
this photo, but I’m excited to see where it takes me. The image is from
a brilliant blog I recently discovered called Things That Inspire; check it out–it’s loaded with tons of gorgeous photos and insightful commentary on art, architecture and design.

See you tomorrow…and if you’re stopping by for the first time this
week, be sure to take a peak at Monday and Tuesday’s inspiration
boards and tell me what you think!

Photo courtesy of Things That Inspire.

Take the Canoli

July 22, 2008

Here’s day two of my self-assigned, multi-disciplinary inspiration board project. Today’s image is from the portfolio of photographer Ellen Silverman–you may recognize her work from recent posts by sfgirlbybay and Desire to Inspire. Ellen captures interiors so beautifully, but her work with food is also worth checking out. Don’t you wish you could crawl into the crags on these canolis and eat your way out?
Picture_3_2

I originally planned to do a room from this photo, but the pastry shells immediately had me thinking of a fabulous pair of ostrich shoes… 

Cannoli_outfit_3

Kate Spade Dandy Ostrich Embossed Driver at Neiman Marcus; Laura James Jewelry Lapis Cocktail Ring; open-stitch cotton Brezza Cardigan, Anthropologie; Pocket Watch Necklace from Urban Outfitters; Cotton Darinne Dress by Velvet from Tobi.com;  napa leather Sloane hobo by Bottega Veneta; shaped-waist belt in cognac leather, Rachel Comey at Tobi.com.

I can just imagine wearing this outfit while strolling down Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach neighbourhood, popping into all those amazing Italian bakeries in search of the perfect canoli. At first I considered a glam ostrich pump, but canoli are a homestyle treat so I went with the slightly orthopedic driving moc instead; it helps that the shoes are the exact shade of the blueberries in the photo! That ‘nonna’s cooking’ ethos also informed my choice of the vintage-y necklace and cocktail ring. The gauzy white dress invokes the frothy, fluffy filling of the dessert, while a lightweight wrap pulls the look together and protects against that chilly wind off the Bay. I was thrilled to find a belt that hugs the waste in the same way that the cookie shell hugs the sweet pasty cream. And that to-die-for bag? In an homage to the canoli’s origins, it’s Italian, of course! 

Take the Canoli

July 22, 2008

Here’s day two of my self-assigned, multi-disciplinary inspiration board project. Today’s image is from the portfolio of photographer Ellen Silverman–you may recognize her work from recent posts by sfgirlbybay and Desire to Inspire. Ellen captures interiors so beautifully, but her work with food is also worth checking out. Don’t you wish you could crawl into the crags on these canolis and eat your way out?
Picture_3_2

I originally planned to do a room from this photo, but the pastry shells immediately had me thinking of a fabulous pair of ostrich shoes… 

Cannoli_outfit_3

Kate Spade Dandy Ostrich Embossed Driver at Neiman Marcus; Laura James Jewelry Lapis Cocktail Ring; open-stitch cotton Brezza Cardigan, Anthropologie; Pocket Watch Necklace from Urban Outfitters; Cotton Darinne Dress by Velvet from Tobi.com;  napa leather Sloane hobo by Bottega Veneta; shaped-waist belt in cognac leather, Rachel Comey at Tobi.com.

I can just imagine wearing this outfit while strolling down Columbus Avenue in San Francisco’s North Beach neighbourhood, popping into all those amazing Italian bakeries in search of the perfect canoli. At first I considered a glam ostrich pump, but canoli are a homestyle treat so I went with the slightly orthopedic driving moc instead; it helps that the shoes are the exact shade of the blueberries in the photo! That ‘nonna’s cooking’ ethos also informed my choice of the vintage-y necklace and cocktail ring. The gauzy white dress invokes the frothy, fluffy filling of the dessert, while a lightweight wrap pulls the look together and protects against that chilly wind off the Bay. I was thrilled to find a belt that hugs the waste in the same way that the cookie shell hugs the sweet pasty cream. And that to-die-for bag? In an homage to the canoli’s origins, it’s Italian, of course! 

Shall We Spoon?

July 21, 2008

One of my favourite Domino mag columns is ‘Can this Outfit be Turned into a Room’.
I love seeing how one discipline, be it fashion, interiors, photography
or otherwise, can inspire and inform another. It’s eye-opening to see
what the talented team at Domino comes up with, but it’s also a fun
exercise you can do at home to challenge your creative impulse. Just
pick a source of inspiration—an outfit you love, a photo that strikes
you, even a single object that’s caught your eye—and combine seemingly
disparate elements to build an homage to that source.  It opens the
door to a more layered and multidimensional design approach, but at the
same time establishes boundaries to work within.

So I thought this week I’d push myself to do one of these
inspiration boards a day. The first is a room inspired by a photo I
just adore from David Prince.
David’s work is gorgeous,  with timeworn elegance juxtaposed against an
underlying rawness. This image of antique spoons with salt really
exemplifies that tension.

Picture_10_2

Here’s what I ended up with…

David_prince_board

Snooze Sofa in elephant gray nubuck from Ochre; DIY instructions for salt dough vessels from Anna at Food+Flower+Style; George Cocktail Table with iron base and resin top by Oly Studio; Trail Hemp Pillow in Espresso from Amenity; Layla wool pillow at Crate and Barrel; Borghese mirror at Z Gallerie; Mercury Glass Canister from Beach Dwelling; Eliza Chair by Hickory Chair; Atelier Task Lamp from Restoration Hardware.

I stuck with the black and mixed metallic shades of the original
photo and tried to select things that echoed the patina of the still
life. The mirror, the mercury glass, and the chair, I also incorporated
to instill that aged and deconstructed tone. Other elements, like the
legs of the table and the patterns on the pillows, were inspired by
thinking about what salt and other compounds look like at the molecular
level. Some things are working better than others for me. For example,
I love the chair and think it’s perfect for this vignette (those brass
nail heads: drool!), but I’m not sure that pillow in the middle is
quite right.

What do you think? Did I pull it off? What would you keep? What would you switch out? I’d love thoughts and comments…Thanks!

Shall We Spoon?

July 21, 2008

One of my favourite Domino mag columns is ‘Can this Outfit be Turned into a Room’.
I love seeing how one discipline, be it fashion, interiors, photography
or otherwise, can inspire and inform another. It’s eye-opening to see
what the talented team at Domino comes up with, but it’s also a fun
exercise you can do at home to challenge your creative impulse. Just
pick a source of inspiration—an outfit you love, a photo that strikes
you, even a single object that’s caught your eye—and combine seemingly
disparate elements to build an homage to that source.  It opens the
door to a more layered and multidimensional design approach, but at the
same time establishes boundaries to work within.

So I thought this week I’d push myself to do one of these
inspiration boards a day. The first is a room inspired by a photo I
just adore from David Prince.
David’s work is gorgeous,  with timeworn elegance juxtaposed against an
underlying rawness. This image of antique spoons with salt really
exemplifies that tension.

Picture_10_2

Here’s what I ended up with…

David_prince_board

Snooze Sofa in elephant gray nubuck from Ochre; DIY instructions for salt dough vessels from Anna at Food+Flower+Style; George Cocktail Table with iron base and resin top by Oly Studio; Trail Hemp Pillow in Espresso from Amenity; Layla wool pillow at Crate and Barrel; Borghese mirror at Z Gallerie; Mercury Glass Canister from Beach Dwelling; Eliza Chair by Hickory Chair; Atelier Task Lamp from Restoration Hardware.

I stuck with the black and mixed metallic shades of the original
photo and tried to select things that echoed the patina of the still
life. The mirror, the mercury glass, and the chair, I also incorporated
to instill that aged and deconstructed tone. Other elements, like the
legs of the table and the patterns on the pillows, were inspired by
thinking about what salt and other compounds look like at the molecular
level. Some things are working better than others for me. For example,
I love the chair and think it’s perfect for this vignette (those brass
nail heads: drool!), but I’m not sure that pillow in the middle is
quite right.

What do you think? Did I pull it off? What would you keep? What would you switch out? I’d love thoughts and comments…Thanks!

PB Surprise

July 18, 2008

Yesterday I received the new Pottery Barn catalogue in the mail. I opened it expecting to be bored and unimpressed, but was pleasantly surprised instead. For the first time ever I wanted to rush down to the store and pick up a bunch of “gotta have it” items.

To begin with, the catalogue’s styling feels so much more fresh and up-to-date. I used to associate Pottery Barn with soccer moms who love oversized couches to go with their oversized tract houses (no offense to soccer moms). But there’s nothing pedestrian about the nifty exposed brick and designer-y wall hangings in the below photo.

Img76l_2

Old-school apothecary cabinets have such appeal, but they seem like a waste of space—who has use for dozens of teeny, tiny drawers? Pottery Barn solves that problem with the Campton media console; the tiny drawers are just a façade that disguises regular size drawers! Though I wish it came in a worn, rustic white instead of red or dark brown…

Img39m

The Blanca Settee in yellow ikat upholstery combines two trends I’m loving right now: global influences and pops of juicy color. This piece would be such a sunny addition to an all-white color scheme like the one on the right.
Yellow_bench

I’m not usually a chandelier person, but this Edison chandelier certainly caught my eye. Can’t you see it over a kitchen island? The exposed bulbs—with their visible filaments—have such an air of authenticity. Hang it above an antique butcher block or a weathered garden table for a workspace with panache!

Chandelier3
My number one favourite is the Benchwright Dining Table. It looks straight from an old factory on the Hudson! The heavy-duty iron bracket and the deeply grooved surface give it that great salvage look, but you don’t have to spend hours combing antique stores to get it. Not that I don’t love antique stores, but curbside delivery is such a timesaver. I’d mix and match seating with airy, modern pieces to offset the weight of the table. A few wire Bertoia numbers and my beloved Perriand chairs would do just the trick!

Table_3

Maybe a trip to PB is in order this weekend…Happy Friday!

PB Surprise

July 18, 2008

Yesterday I received the new Pottery Barn catalogue in the mail. I opened it expecting to be bored and unimpressed, but was pleasantly surprised instead. For the first time ever I wanted to rush down to the store and pick up a bunch of “gotta have it” items.

To begin with, the catalogue’s styling feels so much more fresh and up-to-date. I used to associate Pottery Barn with soccer moms who love oversized couches to go with their oversized tract houses (no offense to soccer moms). But there’s nothing pedestrian about the nifty exposed brick and designer-y wall hangings in the below photo.

Img76l_2

Old-school apothecary cabinets have such appeal, but they seem like a waste of space—who has use for dozens of teeny, tiny drawers? Pottery Barn solves that problem with the Campton media console; the tiny drawers are just a façade that disguises regular size drawers! Though I wish it came in a worn, rustic white instead of red or dark brown…

Img39m

The Blanca Settee in yellow ikat upholstery combines two trends I’m loving right now: global influences and pops of juicy color. This piece would be such a sunny addition to an all-white color scheme like the one on the right.
Yellow_bench

I’m not usually a chandelier person, but this Edison chandelier certainly caught my eye. Can’t you see it over a kitchen island? The exposed bulbs—with their visible filaments—have such an air of authenticity. Hang it above an antique butcher block or a weathered garden table for a workspace with panache!

Chandelier3
My number one favourite is the Benchwright Dining Table. It looks straight from an old factory on the Hudson! The heavy-duty iron bracket and the deeply grooved surface give it that great salvage look, but you don’t have to spend hours combing antique stores to get it. Not that I don’t love antique stores, but curbside delivery is such a timesaver. I’d mix and match seating with airy, modern pieces to offset the weight of the table. A few wire Bertoia numbers and my beloved Perriand chairs would do just the trick!

Table_3

Maybe a trip to PB is in order this weekend…Happy Friday!

Chakra Check-Up

July 17, 2008

I have a love-hate relationship with Aveda. Love because their stuff
smells gorgeous, works great, and turns my shower into a mini spa. Hate
because it’s expensive (sour grapes!), and because in spite of the
company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and
cradle-to-cradle ingredient sourcing, they still formulate their
products with potential nasties like dimethicone and phenoxyethanol.

But like a lover spurned, I always go back for more. Today on my lunch break I popped into an Aveda store to try their new Dry Remedy line
so I could review it here (having a blog is a great excuse to shop, as
if I needed one!). The summer sun fries my hair  and leaves it
scratchy as straw, which in turn leaves me susceptible to the promise
of a penetrating ‘Deep-Moisture Complex’…

Av_a414_162_3

After I
chatted for a moment with the sales rep about the benefits of buriti
oil, things got interesting. The rep asked, "Do you have time
for a moment of wellness?"

As if I would say no to a question like that! Of course I had
time for a moment of wellness! Though I wasn’t sure what sort of moment
and what sort of wellness she had in mind…

She guided me to a comfy chair and proceed to introduce me to another new product line they’ve just released: Chakra Balancing Body Mists.
It’s a collection of seven different blends of organic essential oils,
combined in such a way as to stimulate the seven energy centers of the
body. I know a bit about Chakra theory through my yoga practice, and I
love the idea making this abstract (airy-fairy for us Westerners!)
concept more accessible through something concrete like smell.

Bnr_chakra_2

(image courtesy of the Aveda website)

According to my girl at Aveda, each spray has been blended by
Ayurvedic masters in India, and all the plant oils are grown and
harvested sustainably at small farms. She presented me with seven
cards, one for each Chakra, and asked me to choose three that appealed
to me based on color and on the word written on the card. I chose
"wisdom", "insight", and "groundedness". She then let me smell the
scents associated with those three words and I picked the one I liked
best, a subtle, soothing scent belonging to the Crown Chakra.

My work in the moment of wellness was done. She had me close my
eyes, spritzed the air around my body with the Body Spray, and gave me
a heavenly neck and shoulder massage. I repeat: a FREE MASSAGE. I can’t
remember the last time I got anything for free, let alone a massage!

Av_a2yy_162_2

Free-ness aside, my ‘moment of wellness’ has me wanting to collect all seven Body Mists. I’d keep number
five–grapefruit, rosemary, ylang ylang–at my desk to spark creativity
and self-expression. Then I’d sprinkle sandalwood, orange, and geranium
on my bedsheets to stimulate the second Chakra, the center of vital and
sensual relationships. Plus I adore the thought of those medicinal
brown glass bottles sitting neatly in a row with their labels arranged
in rainbow order.

And my on-again/off-again thing for Aveda? Maybe it’s the freebie
massage talking, or maybe it’s the enlightening angelica oil balancing
my seventh Chakra, but I think I’m in love.

Chakra Check-Up

July 17, 2008

I have a love-hate relationship with Aveda. Love because their stuff
smells gorgeous, works great, and turns my shower into a mini spa. Hate
because it’s expensive (sour grapes!), and because in spite of the
company’s commitment to environmental sustainability and
cradle-to-cradle ingredient sourcing, they still formulate their
products with potential nasties like dimethicone and phenoxyethanol.

But like a lover spurned, I always go back for more. Today on my lunch break I popped into an Aveda store to try their new Dry Remedy line
so I could review it here (having a blog is a great excuse to shop, as
if I needed one!). The summer sun fries my hair  and leaves it
scratchy as straw, which in turn leaves me susceptible to the promise
of a penetrating ‘Deep-Moisture Complex’…

Av_a414_162_3

After I
chatted for a moment with the sales rep about the benefits of buriti
oil, things got interesting. The rep asked, "Do you have time
for a moment of wellness?"

As if I would say no to a question like that! Of course I had
time for a moment of wellness! Though I wasn’t sure what sort of moment
and what sort of wellness she had in mind…

She guided me to a comfy chair and proceed to introduce me to another new product line they’ve just released: Chakra Balancing Body Mists.
It’s a collection of seven different blends of organic essential oils,
combined in such a way as to stimulate the seven energy centers of the
body. I know a bit about Chakra theory through my yoga practice, and I
love the idea making this abstract (airy-fairy for us Westerners!)
concept more accessible through something concrete like smell.

Bnr_chakra_2

(image courtesy of the Aveda website)

According to my girl at Aveda, each spray has been blended by
Ayurvedic masters in India, and all the plant oils are grown and
harvested sustainably at small farms. She presented me with seven
cards, one for each Chakra, and asked me to choose three that appealed
to me based on color and on the word written on the card. I chose
"wisdom", "insight", and "groundedness". She then let me smell the
scents associated with those three words and I picked the one I liked
best, a subtle, soothing scent belonging to the Crown Chakra.

My work in the moment of wellness was done. She had me close my
eyes, spritzed the air around my body with the Body Spray, and gave me
a heavenly neck and shoulder massage. I repeat: a FREE MASSAGE. I can’t
remember the last time I got anything for free, let alone a massage!

Av_a2yy_162_2

Free-ness aside, my ‘moment of wellness’ has me wanting to collect all seven Body Mists. I’d keep number
five–grapefruit, rosemary, ylang ylang–at my desk to spark creativity
and self-expression. Then I’d sprinkle sandalwood, orange, and geranium
on my bedsheets to stimulate the second Chakra, the center of vital and
sensual relationships. Plus I adore the thought of those medicinal
brown glass bottles sitting neatly in a row with their labels arranged
in rainbow order.

And my on-again/off-again thing for Aveda? Maybe it’s the freebie
massage talking, or maybe it’s the enlightening angelica oil balancing
my seventh Chakra, but I think I’m in love.

The White Stuff

July 15, 2008

In February when I think ahead to summer, I picture myself
breezing through those carefree months without breaking a sweat.
Of course, the reality of summer is very different from my distant
winter memories of it. Lately I do very little breezing and an awful
lot of sweating—the steamy city heat has me dashing from one
air-conditioned interior to another.

In my imagination, July requires only a closet full of that
warm-weather staple: the white dress. As with summer in general, the
reality of the white dress (pit stains, anyone?) makes a mess of the
fantasy. But what’s a summer without daydreams…?

Theory is a standby resource for classic, wear-anywhere pieces, and this stretch linen dress is no exception.  Simple and straightforward with gorgeous pintuck detailing that keeps things interesting and leans out the waistline—I’d slip it on with my new Keds for an afternoon of flea-marketing.

_5566930

I envision this shirtdress from twenty8twelve
on a high-powered magazine editress. She wears it to the office for a
Friday half-day, pairing it with platform Louboutins and diamond studs.
After a morning of meetings, she pulls a pair of strappy leather
sandals from her red Birkin Bag and heads for the Hamptons. The dress transitions seamlessly, of course.

0478564373098_astl_300x400_2

This gauzy voile number by Joie
would make a perfect cover-up at the beach. Toss it on over your bikini
when you start to get too much sun, or use it to hide trouble spots as
you stroll along the sand. Just be careful not to drip gelato on it
when you grab that triple-decker cone on the boardwalk!

Joiea2012910343_prod_zoom_front_v1_

James Perse is the t-shirt king, so it should come as no surprise that his jersey dresses
look equally soft and comfy. In my summer fantasy life I hop out of bed
on a Saturday morning, throw on this dress and my purple Havaianas,
clip my (imaginary) puppies onto their (imaginary) leash, and head to Blue Marble for some Fair Trade coffee. Ah…(imaginary) bliss!

Jamewd144_v1

Remember about five years ago when Da-nang came out with those nifty silk cargo pants? Well, here’s their white dress equivalent.
I’m especially mad for the great button detail up the back. That’s the
beauty of white; it’s never boring, always crisp, clean, effortless. And like summer as a whole, it
doesn’t take much to elevate it to the realm of
something really special.

White_dress