Sunday, July 31, 2011

Conquer your Closet: Before and After

Well, my "One Busy Weekend" from last weekend finally caught up with me, and I came down with an irritating respiratory infection.  Attempting to recover, I spent this weekend laying low at home.  I was honestly kind of glad to be in the house, because every year about this time I like to do a bi-annual cleaning of the closet.  I usually do this in August, but Monday is August 1st, so why not!  Fall lines are about to hit the stores and the magazines are reporting what we should be wearing in the upcoming season.  I like to clear out the closet in anticipation of new pieces and use that time to organize what I'm keeping.  Before cleaning out my closet this weekend, I looked for inspiration and ideas to get me going.  I found some amazing examples.  Even if some of these closets are not a reality for you, they show some great ideas for organization.  I think it's safe to say that most of us suffer from a lackluster closet at times. Hopefully, these will motivate you if your closet is in need of a pick me up. 

Blair Waldor's closet in Gossip Girl, courtesy of CWTV
courtesy of Pinterest

Ralph Lauren's closet at his home on Long Island
Real Housewife of Beverly Hills' Lisa Vanderpump's dressing room

courtesy of Melanie Fascitelli

courtesy of Annie Schlecter Photgraphy

courtesy of

If any of you were wondering how my closet turned out, I took some before and after shots.  It's not perfect, but it's a vast improvement from before.



I think the lamp and rug helped transform the space.  I can actually walk into the closet now!  I filled one bag to give to Goodwill, and my shoes are now organized across the top shelves and off the floor.  There is one small detail that I think makes a huge difference, and that is matching hangers.  I love my Joy Mangano black hangers.  The boyfriend gave me an entire set for my birthday last year.  Best gift ever!  

What are your clever closet design ideas or organizational tips?

Friday, July 29, 2011


Looking for that perfect place to stay in New York?  How about the newly renovated Tiffany Suite at The St. Regis New York?  This 1700 square foot space features floor to ceiling windows overlooking Fifth Avenue.  Caroline Rippeteau, senior designer for the hotel brand explains "We brought a contemporary feel and fresh look to the suite, creating a true representation of Tiffany's modern aesthetic."  For a cool $8,500 a night, take a look at what you will enjoy.

Tiffany jewelry influenced the intricate mirror in the entry.  The console was designed to represent Tiffany's most known piece, the engagement ring. 
courtesy of Luxury Travel Magazine

Like that mirrored side table below?  West Elm has the same "Faceted Mirror Side Table" for $199.  Notice the Tiffany blue on the sides of the chairs.

The 14th floor suite's view of Fifth Avenue and Central Park. I spy Bergdorf's!

  The dining room was designed to look like the Tiffany blue box.  

courtesy of Business Insider

 Don't forget the Tiffany blue petits fours!  Yum!
courtesty of Business Insider

Monday, July 25, 2011

One Busy Weekend

Sullivan's Island, Magnolia Plantation, Downtown Charleston, Sullivan's Island again, then Kiawah Island pretty much sums up my weekend.  If I were a member of foursquare, my check-in status would have been off the charts! 

Family was in town for a wedding at Magnolia Plantation.  Taking place at the Carriage House and surrounding grounds on the Ashley River, it was a wonderfully simple wedding.  You don't really need much when the surroundings are so beautiful!  I enjoyed a few refreshing watermelon cocktails in an attempt to stay cool, but it was HOT! 

The parents stayed at The Inn at Middleton Place and raved about the pool situated on the bank of the river.  Talk about an amazing view! I just the love the modern design of the Inn, which is such an interesting contrast to the plantation homes in the area.

We were able to squeeze in some meals at two of my fave local spots - Al Di La in West Ashley and Fat Hen on John's Island.  Food was delicious at both, as usual!  Later on, venturing out to a totally different area,  I wanted to meet up with some friends on Sullivan's Island.  While there, I was able to check out the latest hot spot, Taco Mamacita.  Stumphouse did the interiors, and I was thorougly impressed with their lighting choices.  Lighting is huge for me and it can make or break a space.  Not only are these fixtures eye-catching, but they provide just enough lighting - not too bright, not too dark.

Photos courtesy of Vivere.  Please excuse the photo quality, as I am still using my old camera while the new one is being repaired.  Lighting is hard to photgraph with this ancient camera.

After a delicious brunch at Fat Hen, I headed out to Kiawah to visit a good friend in town from Atlanta.  The beach on Kiawah was a nice quite retreat at the tail-end of a jam packed weekend.  Sorry for no feature on a gorgeous Kiawah beach home, but I just needed some downtime.  However, I did pop into Vincent's Pharmacy for a milkshake.  If you haven't been to Vincent's in Freshfields Village, it is one of those retro pharmacies with all sorts of fun items.  They have a soda fountain with delicious malts, shakes, sundaes, grilled cheeses and burgers.  The interior of Vincent's is retro cool with white and gray marble counters, stainless counter stools, and bright aqua accents .  It's a fresh twist on the original soda fountain.  Awesome light fixtures were in this space as well!

Hope all of you had a great weekend!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

LOO IN NEED OF LOVE? Simple Ways to Revamp Your Bathroom

When was the last time you renovated or redecorated your bathroom?  If it was recently, I doubt you are planning to do it again anytime soon. Why should you when you put all that time and money into it?  Over time though, even the most elegant and timeless bathrooms become a little tired.  Here are some simple ways to revive your master bath, powder room or guest bath.  After all, we spend an average of a year and a half of our lives in the bathroom! 

Mirror Makeover
Switch out your standard mirror for a statement maker. 

                       Uttermost "Demarco" & Uttermost "Almont" (above)
         Uttermost "Caissa" & Bungalow 5 "Chloe" (below)


Lose the basic vanity fixture and replace with pendants or sconces on either side of the mirror.  Obviously, we need ample lighting for our daily routine, but don't shy away from sconces.  Just make sure you find one with enough wattage.  On a side note, I'm loving this bathroom!  The gold is fabulous!

Circa Lighting "Snow Mass"
Robert Abbey Mary McDonald "Leopold" & Circa Lighting "Ava" (above)
Robert Abbey "Beehive Belljar" & Currey & Co. "Wiggins" (below)

There are so many fabulous cabinet knobs and pulls available.  Pick something with flair in place of your basic hardware.  While you're at it, switch out your other accessories - new towel rods, toilet paper holders, everything. 

courtesy of Artisitc Designs for Living

     Nanz Company No. 8018H  
                                                       Waterworks "Boulevard" round knob
    Kohler "Pinstripe" towel ring
                                                             Bellacor Ring Pull

Monday, July 18, 2011

West Village Vibe: Southern Roots meet New York Chic in this bright, airy space

I recently had the pleasure of helping a client with her new place in the West Village. Upon moving to New York, she found this Greenwich Street jewel, so there was no furniture from a previous residence to work around. It was great to work off of a completely clean slate and help her find exactly what she wanted. The pieces selected are all items that she can build off of in the future and add to like a collection. The place is fairly urban and we were not allowed to paint, so we worked with fresh white walls. The painted exposed brick adds to the urban downtown look. We wanted to play that up by creating a loft-like minimal feel with windows exposed. Also, it was hard to do floor length window treatments because of radiators under the windows. While creating an urban feel, the goal was to also incorporate her southern background and love for glamorous pieces into the design. The outcome: An open, light-filled space with plush, luxurious pieces and a great base to continue adding one-of-a-kind items as her life continues in New York.
Luxe velvet and Mohair upholstery warm the space, especially in those chilly winter months. The client wanted an extra comfortable sofa to lounge on, so we chose thick, rich Mohair for the most plush feel. It's hard to tell from the image, but the sofa is extra long, perfect for stretching out. The TV was mounted on the wall opposite the sofa.

A pair of Audubon prints and a map of Coastal South Carolina were important Southern touches the client wanted in the space. Another coastal map rests in the window of the previous image. The great thing about these white walls - she has plenty of space to add more prints that remind her of home and create a beautiful grouping.

A pair of these chairs are perfect side chairs, but also work to easily pull up to a table for dining.  All of the pieces in the living area needed to be mult-functional to work within the space. 

This little bedroom is so chic! You just want to curl up in that bed. My client wanted a bed that was glamorous and sleep-inducing. Notice, even this upholstery has a lush velvet pattern to add softness. The sleek table and lamp and cowhide rug add the urban touch.

Throughout the design process, the client stressed quality not quantity, and I couldn't agree more.  It is smart to begin with select quality pieces and add to those over time, instead of choosing average items to complete the space in a certain time frame.