Silver and Gold Animals

They are whimsical...they are cute...they are silver and gold...I want them.  I like that the penguin is functional too.  What a cute idea to use it as a bookend and rest wine corks there.  Touches like these make a huge difference when creating little moments around your house that are very "you."   I will have to keep my eyes peeled at the thrift stores and flea markets for these beauties.

images: sparkles and pretending tumblr, My Father's Daughter cookbook, high street market on etsy


Escape the Heat

If you are in the LA area then you know that it has been hotter than hot.  With temperatures in the upper 90's and even into the triple digits it is time to search out ways of staying cool.  One of my favorite things to do after surviving a day of heat is to take an evening walk to cool off.  I love summer nights because everything is quieter and more peaceful.  Spending anytime outdoors and getting fresh air after you have been sweating all day is amazing.  I can't wait to have my little outdoor space done so that I can sit out there and enjoy a little lemonade or an after dinner popsicle.  The style I'm going for is vintage, bright, and maybe even a little parisian.  What do you think?

**Recipe for Honey Ginger Lemonade**

images: Happiness Is blog, Lottie and Doofhomeinspiring.com, keeneqlibbys.blogspot, domino mag, the contemporist, casa sugar, house beautiful


Ways to Display Mirrors

A great way to reflect light and make a room feel larger than it is, mirrors can really transform a space.  Take a look at all of the ways you can use mirrors of different shapes and sizes to really make an impact in an area of your home.  I can't decide which one is my favorite.  I'm such a sucker for antique mirrors.

images: desire to inspire, jamie meares- flickr, apartment therapy, inside-outdesign.blogspot ,country living, homegoods.com, horchow, pinterest


DIY: Stepping Stones

Wow!  What a great idea. I saw this cool stepping stone DIY online and had to share it with you.  Oh...if only I had a garden (sigh).  I'm also wondering what kind of leaf that is.  It's HUGE!  Sorry that this is an inspirational DIY post.  I don't have specifics about the "how to" because it was all in Swedish.  However, you can read more about doing simple concrete pours at eHow, or watch a video at HubPages
images: Hemmariket


Ironwork in the Kitchen

This is so great!  I love that they were able to take old ironwork and turn it into something practical and useful in the kitchen.  It's added elegance, character, and architectural detail to this otherwise nondescript space.  Another way to incorporate iron elements into the kitchen is to find old brackets and use them as supports for open shelving.  You can find metal pieces like this at local architectural salvage yards, flea markets, or even craigslist.

image: desire to inspire


Cut Paper Art

This artwork is incredible.  I have such a respect for people who have the ability to do this sort of work.  The time, patience and diligence to keep on working on such intricate pieces completely amazes me. This is way beyond anything I would attempt at home, but I thought you may get a kick out of it.  I will be highlighting more "doable" paper projects for the home in the next few weeks.  Have a great weekend!

There are many books out there highlighting paper cutting, but here is one of my favorites.

images: Karen Bit Vejle, Julienne Harrison, famille summerbelle, Aoyama Hina, Rob Ryan's studio via confessions of a design geek


DIY: Modern Planter

"Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value."  Wikipedia
With the growing concerns about the environment, it becomes each individuals responsibility to do their part.  By reusing objects, or upcycling, you are not only helping the planet by seeing the potential in otherwise useless objects, but creating something special and unique within your home that can be a topic of conversation.  Go to readymade.com to see more great recycling ideas and to post your own projects. 

What You'll Need:

1. Cookie Container
2. Spray Primer (for metal)
3. Gold Spray Paint (for metal)
4. Potting Soil
5. Succulents / Plants
6. Decorative Plant Sand
7. A Few River Rocks / Stones

What to do:

1. Clean container so that there are no particles left on the outside.
2. Set up a spray station outside or in a well ventilated area, make sure you have proper safety gear including protective glasses and a respirator or dust mask.
3. With a drill, make several holes the size of a pencil's eraser into the bottom of the container for drainage purposes.
4. Spray the container and lid with primer ( I used Valspar White Interior / Exterior Primer)
5. Let dry. Add more layers of primer if any of the original color is peeking through.
6. After dry, spray container and lid with gold spray paint, or other color of your choosing ( I used Gold Rust-o-leum) 
7. Add more layers of paint if necessary.
8. Let dry completely.
9. Place lid under container to catch plant drainage.
10. Fill bottom of container with small amount of potting soil.
11. Remove plants from pots and remove excess dirt until all that remains is the root system and it's surrounding dirt.
12. Place plants in the planter in an attractive way.
13. Fill in areas around plants with more potting soil.
14. For additional touch, fill in top of planter with decorative sand (found in the plant section of a home improvement store-got mine at Lowes) Spread sand around using fingers until it completely covers dirt.
15. Nestle river rocks or other stones in with the plants and sand to create a desert look.



Designer Profile: Ryan Korban

One of the best young designers out there right now is Ryan Korban, a 26 year old interior designer living in New York.  That's right, he is only 26!  Makes you feel so unaccomplished doesn't it?  He deserves all the praise that he has been receiving however. His intriguing work in both high-end residential and commercial spaces exude elegance, old-world sophistication, and a touch of irreverence. Perfect for those searching for a balance between edgy and polished interiors.  Working with an extensive list of celebrities and those in the fashion world, he will certainly be around for awhile and be someone to watch.  See more of his work HERE.


Colorful Clipboards

These clipboards look really interesting and are a cool way of separating your paperwork and tasks.  By filing things using color or pattern it helps you keep organized without the necessity of labels.  I can imagine using this patterned paper to create an awesome matte around photos as well. 

Take a look at the full DIY at Martha Stewart.com


Crate and Barrel Fall Catalogue

The other day I got a wonderful surprise in the mail.  Crate and Barrel has come out with their fall catalogue and I was happy to see that their look is evolving.  They are incorporating more natural looking woods and global decor which will add just the right kick to their contemporary collections.  Check it out! 


DIY: Colorful Doormat

This really cute idea is something I found on Pinterest.  If you are not on there already you are missing out.  It's a great way of sharing ideas and finding inspiration.  This project looks very doable, don't you think?  Taking this Martha Stewart doormat DIY project and then adding colorful touches is a terrific way to liven up a front or back door.  Although they used spring/summer colors, this project could easily be changed for a fall look.  It could even be translated into a more glamourous / modern accent using black and white.

images: martha stewartsayyestohoboken


Olive & Thyme

I'm happy to announce that there are some new restaurants moving into my neighborhood that are hip and eclectic...just the way I like it.  Olive and Thyme is one of the newest additions to the thoroughfare of eateries on Riverside Drive and brings with it the charm and warmth of a French bakery / country kitchen.  My fav!  The delicious coffee and pastries is enough to make your stomach growl, but they also have merchandise walls full of goodies like homemade coconut marshmallows, organic honey, and other gourmet foods.  Although their prices are a little more than you might typically pay, I would go in for a visit just to see the unique design of the store with its marble countertops, white-washed wood ceiling, bistro-style furniture, and stained concrete floor.  I wish I had a kitchen just like it.

top 2 images from olive and thyme


Saarinen Table

couldn't be more in love with this style of table.  One of the best designed and most popular tables on the market, the Saarinen table is a gorgeous looking piece of furniture that was designed back in 1956.  As any good design should, it has stood the test of time.  The Saarinen table has been used repeatedly in design magazines and even has it's own budget version at Ikea (DOCKSTA $179).  It's simplistic design enables it to compliment a variety of styles and goes with just about any chair.  Perfect for those like me who enjoy mixing their pieces. The price tag is not so desirable however, starting at $1300 for an end table and going up to over $5000 for an oval dining table. Yikes!  BUT if it's lasted 50+ years, then you know it will be a good investment.  In the meantime, drooling is definitely in order.

images:  elle decor, this is glamourous, sfgirlbybay, decorpad, tom scheerer, attic mag, houzz, domino mag, unknown, lonny, tom scheerer, domino


Patterned Storage Solutions

For those of you who have never been, The Container Store is the first place I go if I am thinking about organizing or storing anything.  They have a large selection of products and is the perfect place to get ideas for saving space in your home. It is the type of store where you go in thinking you only need a couple of things and leave with grocery carts full of stuff.  A dream come true for organization junkies like myself. This summer is a wonderful time to swap out some of the old shoe boxes that have been holding your treasures for something a little more sophisticated.  Check out the cool patterned storage options below.