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Friday, September 30, 2011

Fabulous Room Friday 09.30.11

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I think this space may have pulled me out of my recent indifference for the majority of the interiors I’ve seen as of late. The space is part of the living room in Veranda’s recent “House of Windsor” and it is nothing short of stunning. I love the gorgeous windows and abundance of light. While the space above is just a small portion of the overall room, it is definitely more than enough for me! The minimal color palette of rich chocolate and gold is perfect against the whitewashed floors and walls. The room, from what I can tell in this image, has just the right amount of “stuff”—it is neither cluttered nor sparse. The real stars of the show are the gorgeous vintage chairs! Does anyone know what this particular chair design is called? I would love to have some one day. Can you imagine how glamorous a dining room would look with a set of these beauties?

house of windsor

{This is the overall living room, in case you were wondering what the full space looks like.}

Fabian and I are off to Austin tomorrow for our friend’s 30th birthday. We’re heading to the Texas Wine Country to celebrate. It’s not Napa, but it’s sure to be fun. Happy weekend!

{Image Source: Veranda Magazine}

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Do Tell: What do you collect?

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I am not a big fan of tchotchkes or clutter, but I am a very sentimental person and give certain items sentimental value. I can’t really say that I collect anything at all, unless you count the piles of design books in my home. I would really like to start a tradition of bringing home something special each time Fabian and I go on a trip. We’ve brought home mementos from all of the trips we’ve taken together, but they don’t really fall into the same category. We’re going to Spain in November to celebrate my 30th birthday and I’m hoping to have a good idea of what to bring home to start a collection of sorts.

Do tell—do you collect anything? Modern art, gorgeous Waylande Gregory pottery (I’d love to start collecting this!), Hermès Birkin bags à la Victoria Beckham, little Eiffel Towers like Suzanne Kasler in the photo above? What do you currently collect? Is there something you’d like to start collecting?

{Image via Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles}

Currently Loving: Glamorous Lighting


One of the big perks of being Director of Marketing at Visual Comfort is that I get to feed my love of good design and my addiction to beautiful lighting every day that I am at the office. I am currently obsessed with our Trillion Flush Mount designed by Joe Nye and the Sunset Plaza Sconces designed by Barbara Barry. They would each be perfect in just about any room, together or on their own. What better way to greet your guests with a major dose of glamour than to design an entryway around them? I did just that in the image above. I’ve paired the Trillion and a pair of the Sunset Plaza Sconces with the Bennett Console by Cottage Style Furniture, Shelby Mirror in Gold Leaf, Kindel’s Serafina Side Chair, and a Plum Koniya Rug by Madeline Weinrib.


my inspiration


{Trillion Flush Mount in Crystal and Hand-Rubbed Antique Brass by Joe Nye for Visual Comfort – Available through Circa Lighting—The Trillion is also available in Polished Nickel.}


{The Sunset Plaza Sconce by Barbara Barry for Visual Comfort, shown here in Soft Silver with Ivory Pleated Silk Shade is also available in Bronze with Ivory Silk Shade.}


{I also love this gorgeous finish combination on the Sunset Plaza. This combines a black metal frame with Soft Silver mirrored backplate and a Gray Pleated Silk Shade. The combination is the embodiment of Hollywood Glamour meets Parisian Chic!}

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Style Profile: Summer Thornton


Summer Thornton is one of my favorite young designers. She has such a knack for creating luxurious spaces, blending rich colors and textures with bold patterns and classic silhouettes. Her designs infuse high-end interiors with modern elegance and a major dose of glamour. Based in Chicago, Summer has completed projects across the nation. After honing her design skills working at a high-end European textile company as well as working with several other interior designers, Summer decided to go into business for herself and founded her design firm in 2007.

One of the things I love most about Summer’s work is the fact that the spaces she designs are completely chic and luxurious, yet I don’t find them to be reflective of any specific age group. They don’t feel too young or too stuffy which is one of the defining marks of a well-designed home. I recently had the opportunity to visit with Summer about her work, inspiration, and her recently revamped website. Be sure to visit for an in-depth look at her gorgeous work. Her words of advice in her “About” section are priceless: “Reference the past, don’t repeat it. More is more. Use patterns and colors recklessly.”—I couldn’t agree more!


La Dolce Vita: What inspired you to begin your career in interior design?

Summer Thornton: Looking back it seems rather obvious that I would end up doing interior design.  I can still remember picking out my own wallpaper for my bedroom as a very young child, I was always fascinated by pretty restaurants & light fixtures, and unique furnishings, and I always loved helping my mom with our family home.  But it never really dawned on me that I could make a living appreciating, collecting, and designing those beautiful things until I was in college.


LDV: What do you love most about your profession?

SD: Where else can you get paid to shop with someone else's money?  I'm not sure what could be more fun than that.  Ha.  But actually my favorite part of the job is being able to create, to stretch my mind with new color combinations, new patterns, new textures, and weave them all together into a cohesive and stimulating final product.  My favorite days are the days where I get to just purely think of new design plans/ideas, and the days where we actually install and complete those plans - the first is where I see it in my head, and the latter is where it actually becomes a reality and everyone else can see it the way I envisioned it.


LDV: How would you describe your style?

ST: This is probably the toughest question to answer for me.  Part of my design sensibilities are to never do the same thing twice and to have every project look unlike any other that I've done before, so pinpointing a particular style is tough.  I really love being able to provide a range of different aesthetics - that's what keeps my interest and allows me to feel challenged.

One way that I tend to describe my style is "cultured irreverence".  To me that's a matter of understanding the prestige of certain pieces, knowing the 'rules' of period and style and color, but intentionally breaking those rules so as to create tension and modernity.  It's about being comfortable enough with who you are to place a $10 flea market find on top of a fine antique, or to mix traditionally 'clashing' colors or competing patterns in the same room.  Together they give a home more personality, intrigue, and unpretentiousness while still feeling chic and luxurious.  All in all, my style is about beauty and a little bit of glamour without taking oneself or their home too seriously.

With that said, my style does have a few general tendencies.  Oftentimes I use traditional shapes or architecture, particularly those with influences from France, and I contrast it with more modern patterns.  My designs are typically a bit towards the glamorous side - I love deco.  And I'm absolutely a maximalist...that whole 'less is more' thing has never resonated with me.



LDV: Who are your style icons?

ST: In terms of interiors, I always appreciate the work of Miles Redd, Todd Romano, and Kelly Wearstler.  But oftentimes I find my style inspiration outside of the interiors world.  Tom Ford, Grace Coddington, Karl Lagerfeld, and Tracy Reese come to mind. 


LDV: Where do you turn for inspiration?

ST: Oftentimes my inspiration comes from editorial and fashion photography.  I'm an avid magazine reader and pull inspiration from Vogue, the World of Interiors, Elle Decor, Architectural Digest and House Beautiful pretty regularly.  Of course I love blogs too - there are too many good ones to mention them individually but I've got a list on my site of a few of my favorites.

With that said, I'd say the majority of my inspiration comes from travel.  This year I traveled to Russia (Moscow and St. Petersburg) and Prague.  The year prior was France and Italy. Before that was India.  Those deep immersions into other cultures, customs, and aesthetics really stretches my imagination.  And as much as I hate to say it, I think there's a greater appreciation for creativity, aesthetic, and impracticalities oftentimes in Europe than there is here in the states.


LDV: Which celebrity would you most love to design a home for?

ST: I'm not sure if she's a 'celebrity' in the traditional sense, but Grace Coddington, the Photo Director of Vogue magazine has been an inspiration to me for many years.  She's a visionary, she loves romanticism and etherealism but also understands pop and modernity.  I envision her home as an enchanted forest with lace and patina and unkempt wildness but contrasted with hyper-saturated colors and quirky shapes.  Call it granny-chic meets pop.

I've also thought it would be great to design for Rachel Zoe.  She throws caution to the wind, is a 'more is more' kind of gal with her fashions, and we both say 'Major'...though I can honestly say I was saying it before her, ha.  But I'd particularly love to design a home for her because I feel like her homes don't reflect her true lifestyle or design sensibilities.  They're sleek, modern, simplistic...but her life and her fashion tendencies don't seem to match that in my opinion.


For more of Summer Thornton’s stunning design work, be sure to visit her freshly revamped website!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Dream Home: Scandinavian Chic

Today’s “Dream Home” comes to us courtesy of the gorgeous Dagny from Scandinavian Chic. Dagny writes one of my favorite European blogs and infuses everything she does with her beautiful style. Enjoy!
I'm so happy to be guest blogging at one of my favorite US blogs again, La Dolce Vita. Like I said the last time I was here, Paloma is one of the first design bloggers that took her blog to another level, and I still admire her for what she's achieved.

When Paloma asked me to share my dream home, I accepted the challenge, but little did I know that I was about to spend hours upon hours figuring it all out. See, I usually design based on emotions, and very often on impulse. I get an idea, and then act. Most of the time it works, and some times it absolutely doesn't. In my professional life, the process is the oposite, but just as fun none the less ;)

I know that the architecture of the house I chose is pretty special, and definitely unique, and this definitely influenced the rest of my choices. Most of the rooms have been picked from a different time period and a different style, but try to picture them in the surroundings and architecture you'd expect to find inside this house.

Now, I know this home looks a little bit spooky, but I would have changed that part about it. :) It would have been a happy home, with happy colors. In the most respectful way. And the garden would have been filled with flowers in an informal, but elegant manner. My two young girls would have been running around, and the patio would be filled with colorful furniture that compliments the architecture. What I love about historic architecture, is the attention to details. New homes today, at least in Norway, have no personality and NO details. None. They're like minimalist boxes. And I most certainly don't believe in minimalism. If this was my house, I would probably change up the color palette, and bring it back to it's original shape, which was probably colorful and intricate (houses like these often had at least five colors in the palette).

The doors would get new hardware, and I'm totally smitten with these European style door handles by Swedish B&B. Unique, and modern, but with a clear attention to detail.

The entry would have this gold / metal thingy hanging on the wall paired with the Tom Dixon lookalike pendants below:

The hallway has a gallery wall that leads towards this kitchen: (only larger, hehehee)

We're actually in the midst of a kitchen remodel, and this photo is my inspiration. It really has some pretty amazing design elements. It's even an IKEA kitchen! We didn't pick IKEA, but we're going for the same high gloss finish with brass hardware. The marble and subway tiles paired with the walnut herringbone flooring completes the look. Swoon!!

Our living room HAS to have books. And mismatched chairs. Love this look, but would throw some more colors in the loop. Like paint the back of the bookshelves and definitely the chairs (but in the same color), and the living room would most certainly not have white walls (HATE white walls. Seriously)

Our living room would be a mix of the two rooms above. I want fun and humor paired with elegance and rich, deep colors.

The master bedroom would have the same feel as this pic. De Gournay wallpaper is on the top of my list, but to achieve a more modern expression, I would have added some streamlined elements to play up the contrast. This color scheme would have been perfect.

{Image by James Carriere for House Beautiful

Love, love, LOVE this bathroom. Always have. So happy and cheerful, it only misses one thing. Storage. Would have looked like a complete mess if it were mine, but MY dream bath has plenty of storage to the left and to the right ;)

The walk in closet is a little departure from the bedroom, but I would keep the glam factor with gold sequin drapes (I know, can potentially look very tacky, but would play down the rest of the decor to make it work)

The girls bedroom would look something like this. Chic, colorful and with a genius color scheme. Melissa Ruffty totally aced this room, and the matching is very refined.

Our house guests (family and BFF's) would be staying in guest rooms that have this look and feel to them. I'm thinking we would have two or three rooms reserved for guests (we tend to have guests quite often, I would have LOVED to have room to fit them all in :))

The guest bath would probably have been my secret hideaway too... Swoon!!! (want.that.floor!!)

One of my pet peeves in a home is a shabby laundry room. My current laundry room is probably the most glamorous rooms in our house, just how I like it ;) What I like about this room, is how the designer has worked with mixing patterns, and also the black&white striped rug, which is a nod towards the Hollywood Regency movement. I would probably have nixed the chrome and went for gold and a little bit more of a polished look, but this is the perfect inspiration pic :) Gorgeous!

In by job as a Creative Director, I need a home office. I always have an ever changing moodboard when working with next seasons collections, new lines and our inspiration magazine.

This patio is actually MY patio. It's my current home. This house is a Norwegian timber house from the 90s, and the architecture couldn't be further from my dream house (at the top). I still love the color scheme here, and how cozy and welcoming it is. I would probably have wanted to recreate the colors and probably the fabrics, but with different, and more elegant furniture. Image courtesy of Fargerike.

Hope you enjoyed the tour!

Thanks again for having me, Paloma!!


Monday, September 26, 2011

Fall Inspiration: Crisp and Classic

{This ensemble by Taylor Sterling may just be the perfect fall outfit! I love every piece. The lines are clean and classic and she’s added personality with the leopard bad, spectator pumps, and stacked bracelets. Love it!}
Unfortunately for me and anyone else living in Houston, the summer heat is not yet a thing of the past. I have been seeing so many fabulous fall outfits and desperately want to break out my riding boots, but the temperatures have persistently stayed in the 90-100 degree range. I guess I’ll have to save this inspiration for my upcoming trip to High Point Market next Month and our trip to Spain in November.
As usual, I am feeling very inspired by a “classic with a twist” sensibility, which I gravitate towards in both home design and fashion. Each of the outfits in this post is built around classic, tailored pieces and a few fun, fabulous touches to add a bit of glamour and personality. I would love to replicate all of these ensembles in my own wardrobe! Which outfit is your favorite?

{I love to dress in head to toe black, so this is right up my alley. The red Tory Burch belt, leather gloves, and fur vest up the ante.}

{Classic, Tailored, and Elegant}

{I love this little jacket and the Chanel clutch. Doesn’t this girl look like Blake Lively?}
{Model Miranda Kerr in a Simple and Polished Look}

{How great is this coat? Such a great look!}

{I’m not crazy about the shoes here, but the rest of the outfit is casual chic perfected. It’s a great look for sightseeing in a foreign city.}

{Another Polished, Casual Look—Perfect for So Many Things}
{Images via Pinterest}

This Week’s Quote

Friday, September 23, 2011

Fabulous Room Friday 09.23.11

kara mann

I am currently loving the “masculine-with-a-glamorous-twist” aesthetic of this living/dining room designed by Kara Mann. This stunning apartment on Chicago’s iconic Michigan Avenue makes a bold impact by mixing symmetrical space planning and classic pieces with irreverent, eclectic items like the fabulous Jean de Merry Lumiere chandelier. Pairing the clean, modern lines of the sofa sumptuous textiles like the luminous velvet upholstery and the rich, chocolate colored rug give the room a glamorous vibe.kara mann2

I love the mix of elements in the dining room. The Jean de Merry chandelier looks fantastic paired with the handsome table. I love that the chairs are completely upholstered in velvet. Their shape is modern, but the upholstery selection is reminiscent of Hollywood Regency, further increasing the glamour quotient.

Thanks for your readership and comments this week. Have a wonderful weekend!


{Images via Kara Mann}

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Love it or Leave It: Layered Bracelets

{A Chic Take on Layered Bracelets via Michael Kors}

What are your thoughts on the stacked bracelet look? This seemed to be a huge trend in the summer with people mixing rhinestones, gold, and neon colored bracelets. Now that fall is upon is, the look seems to have veered in the direction of gold. I love jewelry, but I can’t bring myself to layer so many pieces together, though I do love the look in the photo above. Is this a trend you’ve embraced? Do you think more is more or are you from the Coco Chanel school of thought that states you should always take off one piece of jewelry before leaving the house? Do you love this look or would you rather leave it?

{via The Glitter Guide}

{via Mackenzie Horan}

{via Pinterest}

{via Pinterest}