My blog has moved!

You will be automatically redirected to the new address. If that does not occur, visit
and update your bookmarks.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Study Study Study

Hello everyone, I'm so sorry for not posting in the last couple days ... things have gotten really crazy here. With less than two weeks to go in the semester, I do little else but school work ... so I'm sorry if it seems that I have been lax in my posting. Unfortunately, I think this trend will continue through May 7th--so don't get upset if you only get a couple of posts between now and then! The photo above is courtesy of the UPenn Archives and Records center, I can't say that I am looking this pulled together as of now, but I am working as hard as they are! 

So, if you are wondering where I will be ... it is here ... at the Fine Arts Library by Furness & Evans (1890).  So look out for some UPenn architecture related posts! 

Friday, April 23, 2010

In a Studying State of Mind

You have to excuse some of my posting tardiness over the next two weeks, final projects are due and its kinda crazy! In the vein of all the studying I'm doing, I came across this rattan desk at Ballard Designs that I just love. You all know my love of all things bamboo, and this really fits the bill. 

The perfect size for a chic little writing desk! Don't you just love the shelf at the bottom? its great for a small stack of books, or even a little printer ... just be sure to hide the cords. Ballard Designs seems to be outdoing themselves lately ... I'm really pleased because their price point is not as high as some other catalog stores, and I think they have some great traditional designs. 

I really like the worn finish on the desk top. Sometimes reproduction pieces that try and achieve finishes like this can look cheap, but I think this looks really good. Although I have not seen it in person so it remains to be seen. Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Winging It

Ever since Windsor Smith's LA home was featured in House Beautiful, I have been really obsessed with the kitchen. Most importantly, I have been obsessed with the idea of a skirted wing chair at the head of a dining table. I have always loved a good wing chair, but the idea of skirting it, and taking it out of the living room and bringing it into the dining room or kitchen has really got me excited. 

Something about the latent formality in a wing chair, coupled with the casual and flirty nature of a skirt, looks perfect at the head of a table. Below are some options for skirted wing chairs. 

This one is from the Windsor Smith Home Collection, and definitely the costliest one in the bunch. It is the one that is in Smith's own kitchen, and is what got me excited about this concept. I love the pleated skirt ... so feminine. Not sure how I feel about the Monogram, I get it on bags and things like that, but do you really need to identify your own chair? 

Restoration Hardware. Not a traditional wing chair per se, but a skirted dining armchair nonetheless. It has the whole belgian linen aesthetic that Restoration Hardware has become so obsessed with as of late, so I worry if this is a "look" that will get dated fast. Also, not so cheap. 

Finally, my fave. Ballard Designs, always a good place to stop for traditional-ish upholstered furniture at decent prices. I love the tailored traditionalism of this wing chair, and I think it would look fabulous at the head of a dining table, or maybe a few of them if you had a round table. What do you think? 

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Attempting to be Cheap and Chic of the Week: LBD

Audrey Hepburn
What is it about the "little black dress"? Its so iconic, so stylish, so simple, and yet seemingly unattainable. 

Grace Kelly
I have an event coming up in NYC that is a black tie event for which I have absolutely nothing to wear. Obviously being the poor student that I am, this causes quite a problem because I am not exactly rolling in the dough. So, buying a long, true "black tie" dress was out of the question, because I won't exactly have many occasions to wear it in the near future.  Anything I buy needs to work for many different things over and over again.  

Marilyn Monroe
I decided that what I needed was to get a little black dress that was black tie appropriate, and could be worn to many cocktail parties over the next few years. In essence the perfect LBD. 

Audrey Hepburn
Who knew that something so seemingly simple, could turn out to be so exhausting, and not nearly as simple as one would think. 

I started my search on the low end ... scouring the likes of Ann Taylor Loft, Ann Taylor, and Banana Republic, hoping to find an amazing deal on a diamond in the rough. It was not to be. 

Sophia Loren
Material is an issue when you are looking for a black tie dress, as the material needs to be formal enough.   Many of the dresses I came across were jersey or a cotton blend ... neither which are really appropriate. So I decided to set my sights a bit higher and start looking at some other stores that specialize in "party dresses" per se. 

Angelina Jolie for St. John
The trouble with looking for a simple little black dress, is that no one makes a really simple little black dress. All the styles either have some embroidery, a ruffle, a belt, one shoulder etc ... and when you're planning on wearing something as much as I planned on wearing this dress, memorable is not exactly what you are going for. In fact, you would prefer the less memorable the better, something that essentially acts as a vehicle for jewelry, hairstyle, or a clutch--that way people are less likely to notice that you have been wearing the same dress for every occasion year after year. 

First stop, BCBG. Love this dress, but a little on the risque side for the more conservative crowd at the benefit I will be attending. Too bad, because I think its terribly sexy. 

Next stop: French Connection. I have had great luck at this store over the past couple years, and there are always gems to be had. I really like this dress, but I think that it is lacking in the sophistication factor that is required for the type of event I am going to ... Too bad, because this is a great basic LBD.

On to JCrew, where I determined that this was the dress that I should buy. Perfect, not exactly cheap at $250, but it could have been worse. I love the ruffle neckline, and the cinched waist--great for a conservative crowd and a great dress for a fun necklace. Oh, but wait, this won't ship until the end of June! Bummer! 

Final stop, Milly. And the dress I bought. It has ruffles, and one shoulder, two things that I think are too memorable for the "go to" little black dress, but what's a girl to do, I had officially been on every website, and I'm in the middle of finals and shouldn't be focusing on this! This one really topped out my budget. Oh well, I did get a big tax refund this year ...  

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a Collection!

On Saturday night, I was lucky enough to attend the Philadelphia International Antiques Show World Collectors night. Held at Philadelphia's historic Naval Yard, this event was fantastic. Co-sponsored by Anthropologie, the event catered to a younger crowd and featured a map that could be stamped by participating booths which would put you in the running to win a prize at the end of the night! 

Not unlike the Young Collectors Night at the Winter Antiques Show in NYC, this event is in the evening, and allows people to peruse antiques while sipping cocktails. The building at the Navy Yard was absolutely fantastic. Such a perfect open space with beautifully high ceilings. 

Ok I may or may night have gone overboard with the antique pictures, but I just want to give you all a sampling of some of my favorite pieces of the night. I loved this drop leaf table with the scallop detailing. My horrible photo does not do the patina of the wood any justice, it was just beautiful.

I am always a sucker for a slant top desk, and this one was especially beautiful. 

I have a miniature obsession with these corner chairs. Re-upholsterd in something a bit brighter, this classical chair would seem almost modern. 

Such a beautiful set--and with the original paint still on the seats! 

W loves these, so mostly I took this picture for him, but I could see this fitting in with many of Amelia Handegan's interiors from last weeks post. 

I had an extremely emotional reaction to this piece. I absolutely love it. I am sorry I didn't take more detailed photographs, but there is an amazing greek key motif at the top of the bookcase that is so stunning. The back of the cabinet is made of painted bead board, some at least 16 inches wide. I stood and talked with the dealer for quite some time about this piece, and we discussed the fact that for a piece of this age, it is extremely large and tall! One would need a very large room to accommodate such a large piece of furniture--and we all know I don't have the space! 

Finally, the after party was held in the Urban Outfitters Executive Campus, in the most amazing building. I couldn't get over the fact that this is where people work! A perfect example of an adaptive re-use project.

And what a great party! Can't wait until next year when I can add more multi-thousand dollar antiques to my wish list! 

Saturday, April 17, 2010

And I Quote ...

Elsie De Wolfe 
"I believe in optimism and plenty of white paint"
So true. Headed off to the Philadelphia International Antiques Show today ... wait up for posts! 

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Formality is the Best Policy

House Beautiful
Lately I have been into the idea of formal kitchens. I'm not sure if it was Richard Norris' dining room/kitchen that was the inspiration (shown above), but I feel as though its a trend that has been floating just under the radar for a while now. 

I think that the formality of a kitchen can be dictated by artwork and light fixtures, such as in Joan Rivers kitchen above, or in the cabinet work and architectural details. I just love the idea that you are cooking underneath these two 19th century figures, looking down on you from their lofty portraits. 

House Beautiful
Back to the Norris kitchen, which was a dining room, which apparently they thought they would never use. Although I love this kitchen's aesthetics, I wonder about actually cooking in the space ... I quite like having countertops on either side of my stove--that is when I don't live in a teeny tiny apt!
In an Amelia Handegan kitchen (see yesterday's post), she not only uses a portrait on the wall (one of my pre-requisites for a formal kitchen), but she also uses dark wood cabinetry that mimics a secretary. Additionally, the kitchen sports an amazing formal chandelier ... and a boar's head for good measure. I absolutely cannot get enough of this kitchen. 

Southern Accents
Don't you just love the tufted banquette in this kitchen? Formality is all in the details here ... the tufted banquette, the skinny double doors painted black with beautiful hardware, the antlers, the light fixture, the kitchen table ... the list goes on. I just love this.

Southern Accents
Finally, I absolutely adore this kitchen. And again, its in the luxe details that makes it one of my fave formal kitchens. Notice the oriental rug on the floor. Paired with my pre-requisite portrait, plus the beautiful gold mirror over the mantel (which in itself adds a little something). Throw some boughs of magnolia over the mantel, and call it a day. What a kitchen! 

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Charleston Classic

After my weekend in Charleston, I am feeling in a very Amelia Handegan mood. Based out of Charleston, this decorator, who often deals with historic homes, crafts the perfect blend of sophisticated and fresh designs.

This beautiful antique furniture, paired with a cool modern wall color, and chic patterned bolster pillow care the perfect combination in this traditional bedroom. 

Recently I have really been loving formal historical portraits in kitchens. I love how light and airy this kitchen feels. 

Although very traditional, the warm, neutral tones of this bedroom are more modern than 19th century. 

I love the Hicks-esque pattern on this bathroom floor. Handegan's designs are always very paired down--fewer pieces, more simple designs that don't require additional adornment. 

Again, the spartan nature of this bedroom, paired with this turquoise suzani is right up my alley. I also love the architectural nature of the valances.  

Antiques and neutrals. Less is more! I know that we are all on a bit of a Tony Duquette "more is more!" kick, but something about this really appeals to me. 

And finally, wall to wall sisal, orange ticking on the beds, and pumpkin on the walls--how fabulous is this? Traditional and yet indirectly modern. 

photos courtesy of and Southern Accents

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

If This House Could Talk ...

Prospect Hill Plantation, Edisto Island, South Carolina. Built 1800. I know my posts have been a little "house heavy" lately, but when I was in Charleston I picked up a copy of Charleston Home Magazine (one of my faves) and was thrilled to find this feature. 

Meticulously renovated by Charleston's leading restoration architect, Glenn Keyes, Prospect Hill Plantation is a perfect example of an historic lowcountry cotton plantation brought back to life through some tlc by its current owners. 

The owners decided to preserve the original plaster finish on the home's walls, and the effect is absolutely stunning. 

Although fully preserved, the house retains some of its "rough around the edges" feeling, which is inherent in the Edisto Island plantation lifestyle. 

I can't get enough of the finish on the plaster walls, years of paint had been applied and then carefully stripped away revealing a beautiful patina. Which provides a perfect backdrop to this antique footed tub. 

The ceiling height in this historic house adds such drama, even to a classically decorated bedroom. 

The owner's daughter was married under this tree last year, looking out over the same view that the original owners did when they bought the land in 1792. The romance of that, is part of why I love historic preservation.  

photos courtesy of Charleston Home Magazine 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...