I’m in a Craigslist conundrum. The cabinet I use to store my cocktail ingredients is overflowing, which can be a good problem to have — but my multi-month search for a more permanent home to the beverage station has turned up dry.
Bar carts seem to be few and far between, so I’m starting to expand my horizons for an alternative solution. These two pictures have adorable bar areas set up on top of bookshelves and dressers and are serving as my inspiration. Aren’t they chic?
I recently started using Houzz, a community and inspiration tool for home design enthusiasts; my first post on the site is a round-up of outdoor furnishings and accessories for stylish entertaining alfresco.
Bright colors and durable fabrics combine to make a whimsical landscape for sharing a summer night outside with friends. A few of my favorite pieces are here like the painted wrought iron chairs from Anthropologie and the colorful patterned outdoor rugs from Terrain. Click over and see all of the items I’ve included in my round-up.
Earlier this week I took a cupcake decorating class with my friend at Isabelle’s CurlyCakes in Beacon Hill. I learned invaluable skills like how to fill cupcakes with mousse, how to pipe icing, and how to speed eat cupcake scraps left on the counter.
We made Oreo cupcakes (with Oreo bits baked into the cake! and Oreo icing!), red velvet cupcakes, peanut butter cupcakes, oh and triple chocolate cupcakes that were filled with chocolate mousse, iced with chocolate frosting, drizzled with chocolate ganache, and dipped in cocoa puffs. Hungry yet? You will be after you see how decadent they look:
And if you’re not in sugar shock yet, click over to 101 Things I Love and read my guest post about baking Oreo treats!
PPS: Have you entered the Coral and Pearl earring giveaway? Click here to enter.
When I posted about the ELLE Decor Modern Life Concept House last week I was on a mission to find the adorable prints featured in the kitchen designed by Grant K. Gibson. They turned up in my search on 20×200 by artist Michelle Vaughan and I had to share them because I think they’d be a darling addition to a dining space — I especially admire the binder clip method of hanging. I’m eying one of each for my own kitchen, though given my adoration for salting, the salty print seems most fitting.
PS: Have you entered the Shabby Apple Giveaway for a 1940’s inspired bow skirt? Click here to enter.
Possibly my favorite event of Blogfest was the Lilly Pulitzer for Lee Jofa preview. A preppy girl at heart, I melted walking into the showroom. There were so many patterns and colors — the tassle-trim wallpaper border around the room with the chevron rug and all of the florals — and yet they played off each other so well. The showroom even featured a giant turtle that had a Lilly-patchwork motif modge-podged onto the shell!
Following the preview of the collection we had a very Lilly-inspired lunch in the showroom, complete with pink lemonade — a nod to Ms. Pulitzers juice-days. Given my penchant for spilling, I was quite nervous to be eating around all those gorgeous fabrics and show furniture!
I finished the day listening to esteemed designer Barbara Barry present her new collection for Kravet called Indochine. She came off incredibly intelligent and passionate, and I loved hearing about where she draws her creative inspirations from. I was sad to have to duck out early before the rest of the festivities but am incredibly grateful for such an amazing two days meeting great designers, creatives, and bloggers.
My first stop on day two of Blogfest was at the Kips Bay Showhouse; it was my first time so I was really excited to see some of the amazing designers featured. I’ll be the first to admit that not all of the rooms were my cup of tea, but that’s what’s so interesting about this event — there really is something for everyone, from traditionalists to modernists and everything in between.
I had two favorite rooms, and one of them definitely fell into the “hip” category: the stereo lounge designed by Brad Ford. I’m always looking for ways to hide electronics but this design beautifully embraced the stereo speakers and equipment and made it the focus of the room. The round white speakers almost looked like art on the walls, and I loved how a record player was actually built into the giant wooden coffee table.
Another one of my favorite rooms was on the opposite end of the decorating spectrum, total femininity and opulence, designed by Amanda Nisbet. The pink wall coverings and loud artwork were bold choices with an already ornately trimmed room.
Image 1 and 3 via Brad Ford
Stop number two on my whirlwind in New York for Blogfest was at the ELLE Decor Modern Life Concept House where we got a sneak peek of the designs. When I first walked in I was like a moth to the flame zooming towards this luxurious leather chair in a bright olive-green paired with stacks of design books on immaculately styled shelves.
Design was just one element of the spaces, the tables were set and the bureaus were styled — the rooms were all about the details. In the swanky 70s style living room with shag carpets they were setting the mood with the TV on — The Graduate was playing in the background.
And in the kitchen a black and white color palette and simple graphic art set a soothing tone that would certainly let the food stand out (I am on the hunt for those salty prints!). I loved the designer’s practical calling card, a big bowl of matches to grab and toss in your pocket.
I’m back from Blogfest and am almost fully recovered; chatting with so many amazing bloggers and designers can really wear a girl out! But I have lots to share and thought I would start with first part of conference held at Hearst Tower. The opening lunch hosted by House Beautiful was gorgeous — peonies were the unofficial flower of the event, everyone was taking advantage of their short season. And do you see those giant bags on the chairs? These were the swag bags of all swag — magazines for days and my favorite freebie, a copy of the new book, House Beautiful Blue: 360 Ways To Decorate With Blue. I already started to pick through it on my train ride back and it’s beautiful.
Following the delicious welcome lunch and after making lots of new friends (whose blogs I’ll share later in the week) we listened in on a panel discussion with Hearst editors Newell Turner of House Beautiful, Dara Caponigro of Veranda, and Mark Rozzo of Town & Country. All three were incredibly gracious and very open when talking about magazines’ relationship with blogs, they all agreed that there’s a place for both mediums in the space. In fact, they called on bloggers for being the beat editors that find trends and sources in the places that big magazines don’t have the time or staff to cover. My favorite moment of the day was when Newell Turner proclaimed he maintained a no-diva policy at House Beautiful, he doesn’t waste his time on that — which is probably why the magazine has such a down to earth feel to it.
Then we capped off the day with some champagne before we were whisked off to the ELLE Decor Modern Life Concept House … more on that tomorrow!
Before I head out for the weekend I thought I’d share a little craft I pulled together for the Bachelorette party I’m attending. I bought some clear button holders at the craft store, and picked up blingy engagement ring stickers from the scrapbooking section. I made a template for the buttons and cut out each piece of paper and added an “O” sticker. I hope the bride-to-be likes them; I will certainly be wearing one tonight as I order drinks!
PS: You can download the template here!