It seems that velvet is having a major moment right now. I'm spotting velvet in fashion, footwear and plush decor pieces and the velvet vibe feels more fresh and modern, interpreted differently than in the 90's. I've been a fan for many years. It's comfortable and luxurious to wear if done right. I'll never forget my emerald-green off the shoulder cocktail dress from the 90's. I'm hoping to add a pair of velvet booties to my collection this year. How do you feel about velvet?Read More
Every so often, it can just feel like it’s time for a change, especially if the interior of your living space has looked the same for a long time. It’s easy to have a vague picture of a newly designed room in your head that will make your decorating itch go away, but it’s an entirely different challenge to make that dream part of your home. There are many different challenges that people face when deciding how to restyle a room, but there’s no need to worry about any of them. Each can be met with ease if you approach them with thoughtful decisions. The key is to take your time. If you want your room to be perfect, you can’t rush it!Read More
With sparkling crystal chandeliers, vintage velvet couches, luxurious linens, time-worn books, a pastel collection of vintage plates, whimsical accents like a jaunty top hat, and a touch of animal print, the details of this apartment are charming. The skeleton wall, meticulously restored, is a nod to the early history of this charming space.Read More
After donating my leather pumps, a chic little handbag and a stylish suit in this color, several years ago, this shade suddenly seems fresh again. I’m talking about the color navy blue. The one dress I bought on my recent trip to Paris was, you guessed it, a chic shade of navy blue. It felt so right for Paris and for fall in California.
It was one of those moments, and I can still see it in my mind’s eye: moody lighting, rich, warm, worldly scents, flickering candles and eye-catching objects of desire. I return to that moment often in my mind, it’s the perfect escape. Have you ever visited a place that just sticks with you in a completely sensory way? If you close your eyes you can conjure up the fragrance, the quality of light, the sultry temperature, the whole mood of a place.
I was recently asked about my must-haves for creating a cozy, relaxing space. If I had to focus on one starting point to create a cozy space, I would say alwaysstart in your bedroom. Let's get down to basics and focus on the most important element, the bed. We spend a large portion of each 24 hour period in our beds, sleeping, relaxing, reading, dreaming, napping and connecting. It's an important space to invest in layers of high quality luxurious sheeting, comforters, blankets, throws, pillows, and comfy details. I'm all about layering and a feeling of luxury in the bedroom.
The great 'pillow' debate lives on in our house. Scott bemusedly wonders, "Why do we have so many pillows?", but I can't live without them. I have pillows for comfy support, for creating just the right angle when I want to read or type on my iPad, and decorative pillows for a little style. My Savvy Sleepers satin pillow case (see the silky number above?), is a must-have for the anti-aging and smooth morning hair benefits. I'm addicted to mine (and buy in bulk for gifts)! I am also super excited to be carrying Savvy Sleepers in my Stylemindchic Boutique (online).
Back to cozy comfort. My first high quality purchase of a sheet set was the gold standard Frette brand, while traveling in Italy. Luxury linens make such a difference in quality of comfort and sleep. And let's face it, even with sleep issues, like many of us have, comfy sheets help us feel pampered (as we toss and turn). My Frette sheets are still luxurious,12 years later, but I've never wanted to spend the money to invest in another set. Recently, I've been pleased to discover a newer brand, stateside, that rivals the luxury of European linens, with more reasonable price points. Parachute was developed by Ariel Kaye from California. Her experience with European linens was similar to mine. "Years ago while traveling through Italy, I found myself in a picturesque hotel on the Amalfi coast. After a long day, I got to my room ready to unwind. I pulled back the duvet, arranged the pillows to my liking, crawled into bed...and found perfection that I didn’t know existed. Those sumptuous sheets were softer than anything I had ever experienced." This young entrepreneur from Los Angeles started her own line of luxury bedding, with more accessible prices, when she saw the need. The company also gives back, which is a plus.
See more luxury at the Parachute website.
Beautiful linen sets
Along with my linens, pillows, and a faux fur throw blanket, layered to create a nest of a bed, I add lightly scented candles, a fragrance reed diffuser, and a linen spray to add a freshness to the sheets, to my bedside table. My current favorite is here from London.
I love to add elements that have meaning, like the framed mirror that hung in our family cottage at Lake Tahoe for years, and the gilded dish my mother brought me from her honeymoon in Europe last year.
Scott and I purchased this chandelier at the Clignancourt Flea Market in Paris, during that same trip when we bought the Frette linens. Another element of cozy comfort for me is mood lighting. I love a chandelier, candlelight, and lights on dimmers, to set a mood in the bedroom. By the way, not every element has to be expensive. The wallpaper in our room is from Lowes, the European Square Pillowcases & curtain panels are West Elm and the chair was on a major sale at TJMaxx.
I appreciate little details like framed photos, sentimental items and, of course, fresh flowers.
Al Fresco Life
The al fresco lifestyle is all about taking life outside. It's finally spring (joy!) and that means we are gearing up for the season of throwing open our windows, carrying our movable feasts to dine alfresco, the alluring possibility of lazy afternoon naps on the patio and warm evenings under the stars is on the horizon.
In Italian alfresco means "in the cool". Love that!
It may be a fresh, sleek space with natural elements
or a classic, luxurious elegance with warm wood tones and a roaring fire.
There are elements of each photo that appeal to me. I've done outdoor living spaces of different styles over the years~from South of France to Cottage Garden to a sleeker, more modern version in our current space. We are working on an update and I will share more on that soon (yep-a do it yourself project-more honestly a do it 'himself' project).
No matter what my style of outdoor living space becomes I do have some essentials:
*Candles are a must to create an ambiance in my outdoor spaces.
*The sound of water~ a water feature, water fall or even a tabletop fountain~ creates a relaxing mood
*Fragrant plants (citrus, night blooming jasmine, tuberoses are all lovely)
*A throw blanket to ward off an evening chill
*A pot of herbs to pick for grilling or adding to alfresco dishes
*I love to add a curtain to a deck or patio space to soften the look-even in sleeker styles
*A fire element. Yes, to candles and the next step would be a flickering fire bowl or fireplace to set the mood.
What is your favorite style of outdoor living? Do you spend time zhushing up your space to get it ready for the season? Any tips?
What are your must-haves?
Here's to our upcoming al fresco season~are you like me? Can hardly wait!
It's a rainy Sunday at home and lattes for two, chill music and snuggling up by the fireplace with a favorite book or 2 sounds just about perfect.
For design books my current fav is Kelly Wearstler-
Modern Glamour: The Art of Unexpected Style
~she's always up for an intriguing twist and pop of color. She is into yellow which is my current go to fun color. I recently redecorated our master bedroom with color inspirations from her luxe, glamour filled pages. For now it's time for a little relaxation and catching up on some favorite blogs.