Tag: ws home

The 3 Places Designers Shop (Frequently), But Don’t Want You To Know!

The internet has completely changed the landscape of design on so many levels.  Being able to hunt for the perfect piece from dozens of retailers in one sitting has allowed us to expand our reach, and thus our vision as both consumers and designers, tremendously.  We are no longer limited by geography.

While at the Salon today, I was chatting up my stylist about the parallels of fashion, hair and home (see my posts here and here on this connection).  She was lamenting about how she was ready to redo her home and how hard it is to find good quality furniture.  I have this conversation (or some variation) on a weekly basis.  To which, I usually ask: “when was the last time you bought a sofa?”  The reply is always within the past 5-7 years.  My point being, we are such a disposable society that we no longer keep or pass down heirloom furniture.  We should not look for furniture that could survive a nuclear war, or that our kids will want 20 years from now.  Most of us will go through 2-4 major style changes throughout our adult life; therefore, it is just fiscally prudent to save on furniture and decorative items for your home.  The most successful and interesting design is ALWAYS done with a high/low mix.

In this powder room below, I used a wall paper that is insanely expensive, but the mirror is from PB Teen, and the agate art I actually made for about $60.

Below are the three stores designers can be found on a weekly basis:

  1.  IKEA – If I had a dollar for every time someone turned up his or her nose at the thought of purchasing anything from IKEA, I would be a rich, happy girl lounging poolside with my bestie (my beverage butler 🙂 While I don’t advocate outfitting one’s entire home in IKEA, there are undeniably stylish pieces and décor staples that I go back to over and over again.  I need to do an entire blog post on all of the IKEA hacks I’ve done that ALWAYS end in “I can’t believe that is from IKEA”.   The key to successfully using IKEA furniture is the way in which it is assembled.  Each piece has to be reinforced with screws, and the dowels (most pieces come with) must be glued in. This retailer is a great resource and should not be overlooked.  Here are some of my favorite pieces from this retailer.

The modern classic Tulip table, need I say more?

Pedestal table, DWR Pedestal table

This rug is ICONIC; so much so, that other companies knock off this design, repeatedly!!  It is also one of the most pinned rugs on pinterest!

$300 for an 8 x 12

IKEA Stockholm Rug

I have used the Besta Storage buffet (shown below) more times than I can count.  I’ve painted this piece (gray, black and left it white), added beautiful hardware and voila!…a really nice piece for an entryway, dining room or family room!

Besta Storage, brass pull

I LOVE this rug for a kid’s room!!!  Its color scheme is very versatile.

The other things I love to get at IKEA are towels, faux succulents and art.

towels, succulent, art

2.  ZARA HOME – We all know and love Zara’s clothing store.  I have two pairs of jeans I wear on repeat (seen here and here) both are from this retailer.  This fashion powerhouse defies all that we think we know about fashion.  This brand is known world wide and dictates almost every trend we see each season.  However, most people don’t know that they have a home division as well.  Zara Home has a very minimalist vibe that is big on style, but not on price.  Below are some great staples from this retailer.

decorative coral, WS Home Coral

Love this starburst mirror!  We have seen this classic shape done in metal many times, but this style done in a completely mirrored surface is a unique interpretation.  The beveled “rays” add a high end detail.  At this price, this mirror is a must have.

mirror

Some other great stapes: cabinet knobs, accent table, hotel bedding and stool.

Mother of Pearl knobs,Marble accent table, Hotel banded bedding, hammered stool

3.  World Market – You are guaranteed to find something at World Market.  It is extremely trend driven, so this is a great source if you want to update your home with on trend pieces.    I love their selection of outdoor furniture.  Outdoor furniture can be very expensive, and even if it’s kept covered, it still looks worn and faded after a few years.  World Market’s price point lets you get good looking furniture that you don’t have to feel bad about replacing in a few years. Below are some pieces that are a great find!

The French bistro chair is always a classic and can be used indoors or outdoors.  Serena and Lily has cornered the market on this chair; however, this piece from WM looks likes a pretty good dupe to me.

World Market Bistro Chair, Serena and Lily Bistro Chair

Sectional sofa, Stool, Adirondack chair, Wicker chair

Interior Design is really about creating a space that captures the spirit of those who inhabit it, while respecting the identity of the space itself.  I love the quote by William Morris, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful”.  If you adhere to this, you will never go wrong.

I would love to hear about your secret sources, or the stores that you know will always have what you need.  Also, let me know what you want to read more about!

Happy Weekend!!!

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 🙂 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