North of Chic

Fall 2016 Trend Report- Part 1

My Summer break is officially over ūüôĀ¬† I had such an amazing Summer of traveling and relaxing.¬† I¬†am excited¬†to share my experiences from London, Barcelona and Paris in upcoming blog posts.¬† I was so inspired by the beautiful architecture and culture of each place I visited.¬† Oliver Wendell Holmes said ” A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions”.¬†¬† When I travel,¬†I feel that each place I visit and each experience I have changes me in the most profound ways.¬†It creates a new filter by which I view everything new and old.

So, its back to reality for me ūüôā

It is hard to believe during this oppressive heat wave here in the Northeast, that Fall is right around the corner.  Sooner than we would like, Summer will wind down and each day will become just a bit shorter than the last.  Soon we will be sailing into September; salty air and sandy toes will be a (not too) distant memory.

Therefore, now seems a good time to preview fashion and home trends for Fall of 2016.  Even though New York Fashion Week was in February for the Fall/Winter season, I can never wrap my mind around planning two season in advance while I am still wearing snow boots and a down jacket.  Dreaming of Summer in February is the only thing that gets me through the Winter; I refuse to disrespect Summer!  It is only right that Fall waits her turn.

Fashion-home decor posts are among my favorites; the parallels one can draw are endless.¬† There have been¬†many times when I am designing a room and contemplating¬†color schemes¬†that I ask myself “would I wear that if it were an outfit?”¬†¬† I draw much inspiration from fashion, and it definitely informs my design choices.¬† There are so many trends I am loving for the Fall that I am making this a 2 part post.¬† ¬†Here are the first few trends for 2016 that I am loving:

 

  1. ¬†¬†Pinstripes– Menswear is always chic.¬† Crisp tailoring and¬†a rich¬†navy are as¬†flattering for one’s wardrobe as they are for one’s home.¬† Navy pairs well with yellow, camel, orange and gold.
Image via Elle

Image via Elle

2.  Velvet РThis textural powerhouse creates a soft sheen that is as beautiful to the eye as it is to the touch.  It is a rich fabric that elevates any piece it adorns.

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

 

Ethan Allen Baldwin Settee, West Elm Cross Base Ottoman

3.  Patent Leather РAdmittedly this is a hard fabric to make the jump from runway to real life.  Its glossiness adds a smooth surface that reflects light beautifully.  The key to making this look work is to use it in small doses.  Picture frames, stackable trays or boxes are a great way to incorporate this trend without making a big commitment (although, a statement piece of furniture is the way I would go with this trend). Pick a classic color such as the cream or black as shown below, to make this trend more employable.

 

Image via Elle

Image via Elle

4.¬†Statement (faux)¬†Fur –¬† This soft fuzzy texture conveys warmth and boldness.¬† Adding fur in unexpected colors adds a fun element to any space. There should always be one thing in each room that people want to run their hands over.

Image from Style Caster - NYFW

Image from Style Caster – NYFW

West Elm Mongolian Fur stool, Lulu & Georgia Dekla pillow

5. Ruffles Рthis feminine trend is very flattering if the ruffles are structured and strategically placed.  Adding small touches to drapery or pillows is a great way to incorporate this trend.

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

Image via Style Caster -NYFW

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

One of my favorite apartments in Paris

Evelyn Drapes, Flounce Pillow

6. Gold Metallics¬†– Gold is my favorite metal.¬† I could (and probably will) devote an entire post to gold.¬† It is warm, compliments¬†every skin tone¬†and gives a luxe feel to any outfit/space.¬† This trend has been going strong for quite a few years now and doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.¬† If you are still wary of fully embracing this metal, try using a champagne hued gold which will allow you to still incorporate silver into your space.¬† The list of colors that gold pairs well with are endless.

Image via Style Caster - NYFW

Image via Style Caster – NYFW

MGBW Pillow, MGBW Vase

Great design can be much more obtainable if you view colors and patterns like you would when putting together an outfit. ¬†Pay attention to the scale of each pattern you choose, as well as the intensity of the colors you are pairing. ¬†A good rule of thumb is, if you wouldn’t wear it together, don’t pair it together. ¬†Most of all, have fun with it. ¬†Trends are a guide, not a directive. ¬†Choose a classic style that incorporates fun trends in small ways.

I’m looking forward to tackling Part 2 of Fall/Winter 2016 trends.

Let me know what trends for the Fall/Winter that you are loving.

XO

Laurie


5 Things To Buy In Multiples

Since going to Paris last year, I am obsessed with the Parisian concept of the capsule wardrobe (read about it here). ¬†Parisians believe in buying the best you can afford, but only buying what you need. ¬†When I was in Paris I saw very simple (yet very chic) clothing that was well made and fit beautifully. ¬†Don’t get me wrong, Parisian women love to dress on trend; however, they are not slaves to trends and would never be caught dead following more than a few trends each season. ¬†A Parisian acquaintance¬†of mine revealed¬†that women in Paris view simplicity and minimalism as “tres Chic”. ¬†Conversely,¬†Americans believe that luxury is acquiring as much as we possibly can. ¬†I admit, I fell prey to this way of thinking as well. ¬†My shoes were crammed on my shelves, I could barely fit one more hanger in my closet and I could go at least two months without repeating an outfit.¬†This past year I have done a complete 180. I finally realized that true luxury is in owning a few beautifully crafted items that are current with timeless appeal.

As seen in my post on the home-fashion connection (read here), Parisians feel the same about their homes as they do about fashion.  The key is selecting and showcasing pieces in a refined and restrained way . Their minimalist mentality regarding their home results in a home that is equally as chic as their outfits.  In a typical Parisian home you will find a few well made pieces of furniture, gorgeous fabrics and a few chic, well placed accessories or art.  As with my wardrobe, I have also seen the value of fiercely editing my home.

Below is a REAL Parisian apartment that my husband and I will be renting when we go back to Paris this Summer.  Although it is not professionally designed, it illustrates the chic, minimal and well edited design philosophy of Parisians.

paris apartment

 

So, with this concept in mind why did I title this post “5 Things To Buy In Multiples”? Because, while there is beauty and freedom in a well edited home, there is also a need for functionality. ¬†Spending time enjoying the company of our friends and loved ones is the truest extravagance. ¬†Therefore, there are things that help one in creating a beautiful environment, thus enhancing those special moments. ¬†My short list of items will undoubtedly make life more pleasurable and functional when entertaining those we love.

Here is my list:

  1. Stools/Ottomans:  I love any item that has multiple uses. Stools and ottomans are as beautiful as they are functional.  They can be used as seating or a landing place for a cocktail or small plate.  They are easy to store away when not in use, or artfully arranged to form a chic conversation area.

Here are a few that I love:

Serena and Lily Moroccan Pouf

Serena and Lily Moroccan Pouf

Pottery Barn Vince Stool, West Elm Cross Based Ottoman, Christopher Knight Rosalynn Ottoman, Serena & Lily Moroccan Pouf

2.  Picture frames:  Unless it is a showstopping piece, groupings always look better than a singular piece of art.  Therefore, using the same (or similar) frames creates a stylish and unified look. Read my post here on how to hang art.  The frames below are the ones I use most frequently for my clients. These frames are well priced, have professional quality mattes and are easy to hang.

Here are some of my favorites:

West Elm Mirrored Frames,  WS Home Gold Metal Frames,  Pottery Barn Black Wood Gallery Frames

3. Throw pillows: ¬†Surprise, surprise ūüôā There is no faster, easier and least expensive way to update one’s home than with throw pillows. ¬†The key is variation. ¬†Choose at least three pillows of various sizes, textures and patterns for your grouping. This is the perfect time to update your home with fun, bright accent pillows.

Here are some that I am loving right now:

Z Gallerie Modena Pillow,  Coco Cozy embroidered pillow, Lulu & Georgia Melia Pillow

4.  Lanterns:  Lanterns are such a fun way to make a statement.  They can be grouped together to create a dramatic centerpiece or scattered around to create mood lighting.  My favorite way to use lanterns is to place them along the edge of either indoor or outdoor stairs to illuminate the stairs in a dramatic fashion.

Here are a few of my favorites:

Pottery Barn Malta Lantern, Wayfair Iron Lantern, Pier 1 Bay Harbor Lantern

5.  Throw blanket:  Throw blankets add a well placed pop of color and pattern.  The flat weave throws also make perfect table covers.  I love to drape it in the center of the table and let the ends of the table show.

Here are a few gorgeous throws:

Jonathan Adler Greek Key Throw, Serena & Lily Brahms Mount Throw, Dot & Bo Lattice Throw

I hope this post helps you to reevaluate the way you think about decorating your home. ¬†I truly believe that design is an art and one’s¬†home is the¬†canvas. ¬†Challenge yourself to start editing out the things in your home that no longer serve you.

As  William Morris stated:

Have nothing in your house

that you do not know to be useful,

or believe to be beautiful. 

XO

Laurie


Happy Memorial Day!

Most holidays have a correlating color scheme. ¬†Some color schemes such as the red and green palette of¬†Christmas have a short life, while other holidays such as Easter have a scheme that can last for a whole season. ¬†Memorial Day falls in the latter category. ¬†It’s patriotic palette of red, white and blue looks crisp, fresh and can last from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

Memorial Day also brings some of the best home sales.  Pottery Barn is offering 25% off orders of $1000 or more with code: SAVEMORE (this is a rare sale for PB!  Need a new sofa? NOW is the time to order it!).  William Sonoma Home is offering up to 40% off bedroom furniture, Lulu and Georgia is also offering 25% off of $1000 or more with code: MEMORIAL25, Grandin Road is offering 40% off select outdoor items with code: MEMORIALDAY2016 and Ballard Designs is offering 25% off when you spend $750 or more!.

Here are some of my favorite items to help you ring in the Summer season!

Wishing you and your family a safe and happy Memorial Day!!!

XO 

Laurie


A Chic and Happy Mother’s Day!

My absolute favorite quote on Motherhood is by Elizabeth Stone. ¬†She writes, “Making the decision to have a child – it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking outside of your body”.¬†¬†It wasn’t until I became a Mother that I truly realized how both powerful and powerless I am.¬† The depths and range of emotions¬†that one feels after becoming a Mother is¬†immeasurable.¬† It heightens all senses to superpower levels.¬† We see, taste¬†and feel¬†things more than ever before.¬† We develop eyes in the back of our¬†heads, for God’s sake!!

Although Motherhood doesn’t define us,¬†it is undeniable that it becomes¬†a part of ourselves that resides so deep that it can never cease to exist and which all acts of love flow from.¬† Mother’s Day is a day to honor¬†and celebrate¬†that part of ourselves, as well as the women in our lives that helped shape us as Mothers.

Here are a few great gifts¬†for Mom to show her how much you love her and to add a little style to her life¬†ūüôā

Jo Malone Room Diffuser, Rosanna porcelain and gold mug, Kate Spade jewelry box

Kate Spade throw, Hampton Street vase, One In a Million necklace

Wishing all Moms a chic and¬†Happy Mother’s Day!

XO

Laurie

 


Stocked & Styled!…..Bar Cart Essentials

Can we all agree that¬†drinking is FUN? ¬†I mean really, is there an activity that doesn’t become more enjoyable¬†as soon as alcohol is added? The befittingly named ‘Happy Hour’ is just that, an hour of happiness and fun. ¬†The resurgence of the chic bar cart got me to thinking about all of the reasons why we drink: ¬†we drink to unwind, to socialize, and because we damn deserve it!

The bar cart dates back to the 1940’s. ¬†After prohibition ended there was no longer a need to imbibe¬†in secret. ¬†During the next decade people often entertained at home. ¬†They¬†loved the convenience of this mobile bar; they could serve their guests, while still mingling. There is a definite function for this hostess on wheels. So, let us discuss its form; ¬†shall we? To recap, here are a couple of my favorite bar carts:

Choosing a bar cart with wheels is essential; ¬†this caddy must¬†be mobile. There should be ample space to house all the essentials. There are quite a few things needed for a well stocked cart, therefore,¬†ample surface space¬†will save you time running back and forth getting fixings. The cart’s material should be sturdy and easily cleaned. ¬†Copious bottles¬†of liquid can be heavy and messy. ¬†A cart made of metal or glass will be essential in keeping your bottles safe and your cart clean.

In my¬†last post on things you can quickly add to your home to up the chic factor, the bar cart was my first recommendation. Therefore, I can’t advise you to purchase a chic cocktail caddy without¬†helping you to style it.

Here are your bar cart essentials:

Emmie Decanter, Tory Burch Candle, Cornelia Bowl, Hexagon Bottle Opener, Newport Ice Bucket, Deco Barware, Geo Bottle Stoppers, Rosy Glow Flute, Hampton Street Rosebowl vase, Art Deco Barware, Monogrammed AcrylicServing Tray

Below, are a couple of cocktail recipes that are crowd pleasers and my personal favorites:

Now that you have your bar styled, let’s get it stocked. ¬†Let’s start with the alcohol:

Here are some great mixers:

 

 This cocktail below is my go-to drink.  This is the one you will see me with most of the time:

No Hangover Vodka Club (I like to add two limes for extra flavor)

Tides Beach Club in Kennebunkport, Maine is one of my FAVORITE places.  I love everything about this quaint beachfront Victorian hotel (it was also decorated by one of my favorite designers, Jonathan Adler). Everything about this place is amazing!  It is low key, yet uber chic!  The lobby bar is fantastic people watching.  They also have the MOST amazing cocktails!

Tides Beach Club, Kennebunkport, ME

Tides Beach Club, Kennebunkport, ME

Tides Beach Club Lobby

Tides Beach Club Lobby

Below, is the recipe for one of my favorite of their cocktails:

I hope you have as much fun reading this post as I had writing it. Hopefully, stocking and styling your bar cart just got a little easier. Let me know what you think of the cocktails listed.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

 


Happy Easter!…..Pastel Color Palettes

In the spirit of Easter, here are a few Easter inspired rooms. ¬†Using pastel colors in one’s home fosters a sense of lightness and airiness. ¬†These colors can make a room feel fresh and bright.

The rooms below make you feel as though you are getting a secret home tour of the very private and ever elusive Easter Bunny.

Image via In Color Balance

Image via In Color Balance

HGTV House Tour 2016 Media Room

HGTV House Tour 2016 Media Room

Image Via Young House Love

Image Via Young House Love

Pastel Pink Front Door - Image from Home Edit

Pastel Pink Front Door – Image from Home Edit

Image via House Beautiful

Image via House Beautiful

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Hope this post brought a little brightness to your day! ¬†Wishing all of you a “Hoppy” Easter ūüôā

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

 


How To Have A CHIC Home Instantly…….ONLY 3 Items Needed!!

It is usually the small things in the right places that give one that extra touch of style and chicness.  It is the string of pearls, the diamond studs, the addition of truffle oil or champagne, that will take things from good to great. Every so often our home needs the same boost.

There are really only a handful of items that can immediately up the chic factor of any space.  When a small but impactful update is in order, these three items will be all you need!

A BAR CART

Veanne Bar Cart, Misha Bar Cart, Jacques Bar Cart, Vince Bar Cart, Gerard Bar Cart

Check out this chic outdoor bar cart

Horchow Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart $795

Horchow Tamsin Chinoiserie Bar Cart $795

This bar cart is my favorite; it is stocked, styled and ready to go!

Image Via Elle Decor -Nicole Gibbons

Image Via Elle Decor -Nicole Gibbons

CHIC LIGHTING

People usually think to add unique lighting in the kitchen.  However, I feel that pendant lights and chandeliers make an even bigger impact in more unexpected areas like the living room or hallway. Here are a few that have major style.

 Roxbury Pendant, Crystal Drop Pendant, Lucia Semi Flush Mount, Olive Leaf Pendant

Image via Coastal Style

Image via Coastal Style

Don’t have an electrician on speed dial? ¬†Here are some table lamps that will also do the trick.

Lamps I Love:

Madison Crystal Lamp, Ripley Geometric Lamp, Diamond Omega Table Lamp, Alexis Lamp, Loring Table Lamp

STATEMENT MIRRORS

I love the use of mirrors for so many reasons. ¬†They are the design equivalent of Houdini. ¬†They can give the illusion that¬†a space¬†is larger, ceilings are taller, rooms¬†are brighter and make a space look as though there are more windows than there actually are. ¬†Without a doubt, mirrors are a designer’s best and most used tool.

Petal Mirror, Frederick Wall Mirror, Evie Geo Mirror, Cassia Mirror, Studded Mirror

My favorite:

Quatrefoil Mirror $347

Quatrefoil Mirror $347

These mirrors below not only make a statement, they serve to balance out a wall with a single window!

Image via Pinterest

Image via Pinterest

Napoleon Hill said “If you can not do great things, then do small things in a great way”. ¬†I hope this post¬†inspires you to the make small,¬†impactful additions that will elevate and revitalize your home.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie


Green With Envy!

Green can be a precarious color to decorate with.  It is bold and demands attention.  However, it is one of the few bold colors that can actually serve as a neutral.  We associate this color with life, nature, growth and renewal.  It can also be associated with greed, jealousy and money.  Whether you have an affinity or an aversion to this color, there is always a place in any room to make this color work harmoniously.  With a myriad of variations, there is a shade of green for everyone.  Green plays well with navy, gray, brown, gold and black.

If green is a favorite color of yours, you can make this color the¬†star by¬†using it on larger pieces such as¬†bedding or upholstery.¬†¬†However,¬†if you’d rather use more restraint when decorating with green, you can use¬†it on your accent pieces such as pillows and throws.

In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day, here is my post on all things¬†green.¬† I hope this serves to¬†inspires some new additions to your home.

 

Below, these rooms utilize this color successfully.  The first room shows this color used with a black and white palette. This palette is bold, graphic and masculine.

This dining room is a more refined use of green. This color is just used on the drapes and accent pillows.  It is paired with gray, cream and gold.  It is a more sophisticated and feminine use of green.

Image via Pinterest - Blogspot

Image via Pinterest – BlogSpot

I hope you enjoyed this post.  I leave you with this Irish blessing:

May your troubles be less

and your blessings be more

And nothing but happiness

come through your door

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie

 


Interesting Pillow Talk! A Chic Conversation About Styling Your Bed!

As I get older, I find that a lot of things in life serve as a microcosm of other things and events. ¬†I find parallels in the most surprising situations. I have finally realized the richness and complexity of subtext. ¬†I guess I have age to thank for this new found wisdom and perspective. ¬†This must be the universe’s consolation prize for all the years of mundane and at times,¬†unpleasant responsibilities of adulthood.

Making one’s bed is one of those tasks¬†that serve as a microcosm of other more important events. ¬†it is time to stop throwing the covers up in the morning and walking away. ¬†This ¬†video (seen here) is my favorite explanation¬†from a Navy Seal of why making one’s¬†bed in the morning is so important. ¬†As Admiral McRaven¬†so accurately states in his commencement speech, “if you can’t do the little things right, you will never be able to do the big things right”. ¬†¬†Making one’s¬†bed (and design for that matter) is not just about placing pretty pillows in the right spot, or choosing the right patterns and colors, it is about taking as much pride in one’s home as in one’s appearance. ¬†It is about doing the things we should and putting forth effort, even when no one is looking. ¬†I spent many years suppressing my desire and urge to design. ¬†It was a profession that was “too shallow” and not “cerebral enough”; however, I came to realize I was wrong. ¬†I was too narrowly focused. ¬†It is not about the “stuff” we surround ourselves with. ¬†It is about the feelings this “stuff” evokes in us. ¬†Think of the pride you felt when you finally swapped out the furniture you had from your college apartment. There are countless studies on how our surroundings effect our mood and relationships with those around us. ¬†This has proven true countless times in the clients I have worked with over the years.

So, make your bed in the morning.  Take an extra 60 seconds and pull the blankets tight, arrange your pillow and take a moment to relish in your first accomplishment of the day.

Now,¬†we have established the “why”, here is the “how” of arranging one’s pillows.

 

Pillow Layouts For Queen or King Beds

Pillow Layouts For Queen or King Beds

The key to successful pillow placement is in the graduation in the size of your pillows.  You can lay your sleeping pillows down flat and layer your decorative pillows in front of them; or, you can stand your sleeping pillows up and layer them behind your decorative pillows. For a simple look, keep your decorative pillows in the same color family, varying the tones you use.  It is important to vary the shape of your pillows as well.  Use both square and rectangular pillows.  You can add bolster pillows (cylinder shaped pillows) as you get more confident.

These two pictures below, illustrates this concept beautifully. I love how pattern is used in the same color family to give the beds a layered look.

Images via New York Spaces - Barclay Butera Bedding

Images via New York Spaces – Barclay Butera Bedding

Image via Home A Rama House Tour 2014

Image via Home A Rama House Tour 2014

 

In these two pictures, the bedding is kept simple and crisp with two accent pillows serving as the graphic pop to each bed.

Image via the Bee's Knees

Image via the Bee’s Knees

Image via HGTV

Image via HGTV

In the images above, I purposefully kept the arrangements simple with simple colors and patterns.  As you gain confidence in styling your bed, you can play with color, pattern and texture.  A good rule of thumb is the more pattern you have in your duvet or bedding, the more simple the pattern and colors in your pillows should be (and vice versa).

Let me know if this was helpful.  I will post again in the future to expand on this topic.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie


Sneaky ways to find Fab and Affordable Décor!

Designers have to be pretty resourceful¬†when it comes to managing a client’s budget; therefore, we are always looking for the biggest design bang for our buck.¬† Below, are a few tips I use when trying to save money.

  1. ¬†Shop Kid and Teen websites.¬†¬†Kid’s decor is¬†much more stylish and chic than it was¬†even a decade ago.¬† These sites are a treasure trove (and often overlooked) place to look for¬†stylish decor at a fraction of the price.¬† These sites are my go-to when a project’s budget is tight.¬† Below, are a few items that I am loving now:

PB TEEN

PB Teen Gypsy Nailhead Mirror $179

PB Teen Gypsy Nailhead Mirror $179

This is a fantastic price point for a mirror!

Here are some great furniture pieces from PB Teen:

Another website I love is RH Teen.  Restoration Hardware is notoriously pricey;  however, not everything on their site is a fortune.  Here are a few items that are a great deal.

2.¬† Buy Art online. ¬†Art can undoubtedly elevate any room. ¬†It can also elevate your credit card bill. ¬†Most of us are not art aficionados, but that does not mean that we can not curate a gallery worthy art collection. ¬†One way to keep costs down is to buy prints online. Minted.com is one of my favorite sites for art. ¬†This site lets you browse by color, style or content; which as a designer, lets me find exactly what I’m looking for quickly. ¬†Their prints are also reasonably priced, and give you a myriad of¬†options for frames. ¬†With blush being so on trend for Spring (see my post on this here), I am loving this¬†print and this print. ¬†Another one of my secrets¬†is to buy prints from one retailer, and then buy frames from another retailer such as West Elm or Pottery Barn (I love this¬†frame and this frame). ¬†Another tip is to buy stretched canvas pieces which are typically less than framed art. ¬†Art.com has great selections at great prices. ¬†Below are some great prints from Minted.com.

3.  ETSY!!! Etsy is a global marketplace of online artisans and entrepreneurs.  With 1.6 million (yes, MILLION) sellers, you are sure to find anything you could ever want.  I have found hard to find fabrics, unique furniture and whimsical light fixtures.  Because there are so many sellers, prices are competitive.  I found this light fixture for a client who wanted a rustic chic vibe for her home.  For another more modern client, I chose these lucite handrails.  Both of these items were unique, hard to find and reasonably priced.  Etsy is a treasure trove of well priced and unique home decor.  The items below are some things I am loving right now from shops on Etsy:

Pillow cover in Kelly Wearstler fabric $55

Pillow cover in Kelly Wearstler fabric $55

Beautiful geometric vases from StudioArmadillo $74

Beautiful geometric vases from StudioArmadillo $74

Self adhesive vinyl wallpaper $36/sheet

Self adhesive vinyl wallpaper $36/sheet

There are so many great resources for saving¬†money. ¬†Albeit, it does take patience to find the perfect piece at a great price. However, one need not sacrifice style when minding one’s budget. ¬†One of my most popular posts was the post I did on how to score designer pieces for less¬†(read here). ¬†This will surely be a topic to be revisited in a future post.

Thanks for reading!

XO Laurie