Friday, December 30, 2011

And we mean it...

lots of love,
Jenny, Michael, Gracie, Claire and Evelyn

Thursday, December 29, 2011

We're Back!!

Hi friends!

We're back in New York and wading through a round of the flu. I guess it's to be expected after all that airplane time and the stress of the holidays. Despite the fevers and chills, I'm happy to be home and sort of working again.

Isn't this week SO EXCITING!? I loooooove the New Year. It feels so fresh and so full of possibilities. A wonderful excuse to celebrate accomplishments and an opportunity to plan for the future!

We're just hanging out with some friends for NYE, but I'm still hoping to do some little party decorations. My assistant Colleen and I rounded up some of our favorite New Years decor ideas here.

Also, here's a little tip - the next two weeks are AWESOME for thrifting. People are cleaning out their homes to make room for the new Christmas acquisitions and there are treasures all over the place. Even though I didn't have a pound to spare in our jam-packed suitcases, I did some thrifting in Mesa before we left town and HERE'S what I found.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

All I want for Christmas... for this vacation to never end. It's been the perfect mix of adventurous and relaxing.

I also wouldn't turn down a few more design books to add to my library. I tried to be really thoughtful while putting together a list of these favorites to share with you guys (you know, in case you need some really last minute gift ideas), but I feel like I'm missing some special ones. Do you have any very favorite design books you'd love to get or give?

Check out my list HERE.

Monday, December 19, 2011

DIY Leather Tassel Keychain

I'm forever losing my keys in my bag, so I decided it was time to make a keychain. I love the look of leather tassels on keychains - it feels expensive and chic. Luckily you can make your own for less than $10, even when using really high quality products. Here's how:

If you're here in the city, JEM Fabrics in Tribeca has an awesome pile of leather to hunt through. It's only $6 per square foot, and there are sooooo many colors and textures to choose from. Also, you can easily find leather scraps for sale online for just a few dollars. You'll need about a ruler's worth of leather for each tassel. I would steer clear of suede or super thin leathers.

You'll also want to grab a pretty key chain for your new tassel. I'm obsessed with brass, so I found a solid brass option at Gracious Home for about $5 that I really love.

Mine is a trigger snap so it cost an extra dollar or two, but this one is also a great option.

To make the actual tassel, just cut a piece of leather into a 3"x7" rectangle, though you can make yours as short or as long as you like. Then using a heavy duty scissor (I used kitchen shears), cut fringe into the leather, leaving about half an inch uncut. My fringe pieces were teeny tiny and I totally recommend going that route rather the fat, stiff widths. Try to be uniform in the widths, but it's not a huge big deal if the fringe is not all exactly the same size.

Next, cut a 1/2"x3" piece of thicker leather. This will be your tassel's tab top. I used a darker, contrasting leather for some color interest.

To assemble the tassel, simply fold the tab top piece in half and glue the very ends with Magnatac to create a tab or loop for your key ring. Then lay down a thin layer of Magnatac on the inside of your fringed leather. Tightly roll your tab top inside the fringed leather. You'll want the tab to be sticking out about 1/2"-3/4".

Keep lightly gluing while tightly rolling.

I used a scrap of kelly green leather to make a little belt trim for my tassel.

I just cut a little piece and glued it around the tassel. I love the pop of color, but it also really helps to cover up any inconsistencies in my fringe-cutting.

I tapped in a mini brass nail head to secure the ends of the rolled leather (you'll want to use the really small nails that are just over 1/4" diameter - this site sells them, but I would check your local hardware store first). I love how the little shiny bit helps the tassel look less DIY.

And that's it! This takes only about 15 minutes to make. I've been enjoying mine for a couple weeks now and at least a dozen people have asked where I bought my tassel keychain. Success!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Jill Malek Wallpaper

When I went to visit Corrente last week, I fell in love with their back wall. It was papered in a really cool, abstract patterned wallpaper by Jill Malek.

Isn't it pretty? The colors are so soft and in person it has this really lovely hand-painted quality. It's like little floating light bubbles.

PS Don't forget to enter the wallet give away here and like Corrente on FB for another chance to win!

Happy weekend! xoxo

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Vacations Rule

I love being a city girl, but there is just something so grounding about being outside all day, no buildings in sight.

We're in heaven.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

John Loecke

I recently stumbled across the work of John Loecke, a Brooklyn-based design firm - and I'm in LOVE!

We all know I like to use color in decorating, but I also think there should be balance of neutral tones and also plenty of vintage/antique pieces. When everything is new and matchy-matchy, the color becomes garish and tacky. These guys nailed it. I mean, check out that pink door! Amazing.

I love Zuber hand-painted wallpapers so much. And I wish I could copy the garden stool with ginger jar planter idea but that would get knocked over in about eight seconds in my house! :) Maybe I could epoxy them together??

This shot is from an interior of an armoire. Love the orange.

One of the only times I've liked furniture on the diagonal! Purple perfection.

Who needs big box store decor when there are vintage beauties all around to be had? Let's make our homes interesting and unique.

What is happening on this headboard here? Custom embroidery maybe? Or maybe a found textile made into a headboard? I looooove it!

Custom banquettes verging on mini-sectionals are such a great solution for townhouses.

Holy geode in the fireplace! SO COOL! And I am definitely going to copy them and start a little collection of busts.

This shot gives me heart palpitations. Those DRAPES. The artwork!!! And whatever's going on with that console table. The color and pattern play is genius.

I'm feeling like this room must be done with stencils and that the border is just paint. I really love it. That rug is really cool too. Such a good reminder that if every piece in a room is beautiful on it's own, the whole look will be amazing together regardless if the colors match - it's the collected look.

Most images are from here, but don't forget to check out John Loecke's portfolio site and blog.

Vintage Scarf Pillow

Last weekend I found this amazing vintage Gucci silk scarf at the flea market. It had been ingeniously sewn into a pillow.

I am so inspired by the way they folded up the corners and sewed in a zipper diagonally. SO great, right?

The colors in the pattern are so incredible in person, and of course I love the drafting tools!

I want to pick up another pretty vintage scarf or two and try to make a pillow in the same way. I did a round up of some pretty scarves on etsy that caught my eye. Check them out here.

(PS Please send happy thoughts my way! Today we're flying to Hawaii with SEVEN kids under the age of six. Heaven help us, and grant our fellow passengers plenty of patience (and good noise-canceling headphones!).

Monday, December 12, 2011

Giveaway: TWO Corrente Wallets

On the Lower East Side is an adorable little shop on Orchard, just south of Houston, called Corrente, that sells all sorts of lovely handbags, clutches and wallets.

All of the Corrente products are made locally in Brooklyn from the highest quality materials.

I got to stop in to the shop last week and see all their beautiful pieces in person.

The Italian leather they use is like buttah. Oh so nice.

Some great, classic pieces in exciting colors.

And I love the art deco twist in many of their designs.

While I was there I picked up a lovely Travail bag (in black!) to use as a laptop case for our upcoming trip. It it gorgeous and so well-made. I couldn't be happier with it.

Today, my friends at Corrente are giving away this wallet to TWO lucky readers in their color of choice (black, brown, olive, blush, cobalt, or gray).

To enter, visit the Corrente online shop and then leave a comment with you wallet color choice. A second wallet will be given away to those who like the Corrente Facebook page and leave a comment saying so. Contest ends Sunday, Dec 18 at midnight. Good luck!

PS Corrente is also generously offering 15% off in-store and online with the code LGN15. Happy Shopping!