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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Helping in Sandy's Wake

Today, I am grateful to know that my friends and loved ones in New York and on the East Coast made it through Sandy relatively unscathed aside from a few inconveniences. Unfortunately, thousands of other people were not so lucky and have been devastated by Sandy. My heart goes out to those dealing with the disastrous aftermath of this monstrous storm. If you are like me and are not able to be there to help on the ground, I hope you'll find it in your heart to help by making a donation to the Red Cross. Text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation or make a donation online. Let's rally together to help those in need!

Style Showdown: Entryway Vignettes

While pinning away the other day, I noticed I had pinned three vignettes that were similar in color palette and design elements. Gold mirror? Check! White lamps? Check! Fabulous seating? check! In spite of the composition and similar design elements, each space is unique in its overall aesthetic. Naturally, this makes for an ideal “Style Showdown” post! So, let’s have a look, shall we?
{Look No. 1: Designed by Sandra Morgan, this entryway features a gilded mirror, beautiful chest with Greek key detail, a Louis chair, a pair of classic white porcelain lamps, and a modern, graphic touch thanks to the spectacular Cowan and Tout wallpaper and checkerboard wood floors. The look embodies what we’ve come to know as “young traditional”.}
{Look No. 2: This to-die-for space belongs to photgrapher Francois Halard and is filled with eclectic pieces from the Beni Ourain rug and Giacommetti plaster lamps to the Senufo stools, various pieces of art, and an oversized gilded mirror.}
{Look No. 3: This last look by Phoebe Howard is classic and handsome. The space is centered around perfect symmetry and impeccable attention to detail. Each item in this vignette looks so fine from the beautiful, curvy chair to the classic lamps, and the decidedly modern table.}
Which of these looks is your favorite?
{Image Sources: Look No. 1 | Look No. 2 | Look No. 3}

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Birthday Wishlist

I’ve had a few thoughtful family members and friends ask what I’d like for my upcoming birthday this Sunday. Usually, I am terrible at figuring out what I want, but this year, I actually have a few items on my wish list. Around the holidays, I’ll usually post gift guides and wish lists and my friends always tell me how helpful they are because they know exactly what to get me! I kind of wish my husband would start making wish lists because I always have a hard time thinking of what to get him.
Beyond anything material, I am so grateful to have the most incredible husband and best friend in Fabian, a wonderful family, great friends, my sweet puppy son, Tate, and of course, this blog and all of my fabulous readers. I feel like I really am living “La Dolce Vita”!

{Tory Burch Amanda Hobo: I need a stylish, versatile everyday black bag and this one fits the bill. I can wear it on my arm, shoulder, or across my body with the long strap. Love it!}
Factory retro frame clutch
{prd_id=845524441829001&FOLDERfolder_id=2534374302076505&srcCode=AFFI00001&siteId=QFGLnEolOWg-p9Q23fGOZpKYV3IgugxAbw">J.Crew Leopard Clutch: It seems I can never have enough bags or jewelry and this sweet little leopard clutch would be right at home in my closet. Since it’s from J.Crew’s factory store, it’s a pretty great deal, too!}
{J.Crew Classic Pavé Bracelet: I’ve had my eye on this beauty for over a year now and never got around to getting it after it was on backorder for a long time around last Christmas. This is the type of piece I could see myself wearing everyday. Easy, versatile, and glamorous.}
{Custom Monogram Wood Stamp: Like any good Southern girl, I’m a sucker for a lovely monogram! I love this stamp and especially love the black and gold combination, but I’m guessing you’re not surprised!}

{The Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd: If Miles’ new design tome is as magical as his work, I am in! I can’t wait to get my hands on this book.}

{Grace: A Memoir: I am so looking forward to Grace Coddington’s memoir. The Vogue editor is such an enormous inspiration.}
{A Weekend Getaway: All I really wanted for my birthday this year was to go to New York or Los Angeles for a few days. I’ve been to New York several times, but I’ve never experienced autumn there and I’m dying to. I try to get out to the West Coast, particularly L.A. anytime I can because I absolutely love it there. I love both cities so much and have felt like I’ve been in a bit of a rut lately and could use a change of scenery, even if it’s just for a few days. Unfortunately, with a hectic work schedule and with Fabian’s mom currently traveling in Argentina and unavailable to dogsit Tate, it looks like my much needed getaway will have to wait for a while. Sadly, with Sandy's aftermath, it's probably best that we won't be heading to New York this week. My heart goes out to everyone who was affected by the storm.}
With the holidays just around the corner, what’s on your wishlist this year?

My Favorite Room: Veranda Interiors

Good day LDV readers! It is Melissa here from Veranda Interiors and I am very excited to share with you a glimpse of one of my favorite spots in our home. We are on a small acreage just outside of the city and completely surrounded by towering trees. The the spot I decided to share is where I unwind after long days, usually with my boys and a few great books to share. We also love to see what animals and tracks we can spot in the fresh snow down on the yard...we tend to get a lot of critters out here, from fox to moose, & this is a perfect space to scope them out.

The built in day bed is used all the time, either my myself or the boys. It is also a great hiding space for all of their toys, there is a small Logo village tucked away in those drawers...which are perfect for quick clean ups!

 Since we have such an amazing view from every spot in our home I wanted to minimize window coverings but I still needed something going on. I decided to have the windows grills painted black to contrast and stand out from the white wood work throughout the home, it was the perfect combination as they balance so well to all of the doors in the home that are painted the same color.

Well, that is a tiny peek into one of my many favorite spots in our home. One thing I did learn from this post is that no space is ever done, I wanted to share numerous areas with all of you, but either my photo skills were lacking with the light or I just simply wasn't 'done' with that room. Then again, are we ever done decorating a space? Thank you so much for having me Paloma, and thank you LDV readers for coming into my home! Mel xo

Monday, October 29, 2012

Sponsor Spotlight:


Interior Designer, Jamie Herzlinger has established herself as a sought-after and well-respected member of the industry. With offices in New York and Arizona, Jamie’s practice has grown considerably in recent years and she has enjoyed some fabulous press as of late, including earning entrée into Traditional Home’s list of the Top 20 Design Firms in the country. Jamie is known for her polished, yet exuberant style. She embraces color and bold statements, but the fact that her aesthetic is rooted in the classics, renders the spaces she designs timeless. In addition to running her design firm, Jamie also publishes Jamie Loves, a monthly magazine filled with her current must-haves, she writes a blog, and she recently launched, a luxury online interior design buying service.

{Office Designed by Jamie Herlzinger}

Through, Jamie gives members and clients access to luxury goods that are typically only available to the trade. Says Jamie “Not only are you given access to the Interior Design industry, I am inviting you to participate and partake along with me in the design of your project. I will guide you through a successful experience and I count on your participation in the design process to imprint your personal style on your project.” Jamie guarantees that her team will help you from the time you request a quote until the time the furniture is placed in your home through White Glove delivery. Members of are automatically considered clients of Jamie’s nationally renowned interior design firm and will enjoy exclusive access to “to the trade only” manufacturers. In addition, there are no contracts or hourly fees, so this is a fabulous resource for those who want to spearhead their own design projects or who may not have the budget to bring on an interior designer for a full-scale project.

{Dining Room Designed by Jamie Herlzinger}
Through, customers save a significant amount off of retail prices while accessing goods that are typically only available to trade professionals. To learn more and become a member of, visit the website here. La Dolce Vita readers will also enjoy an additional perk! Use promo code “LADOLCEVITA” when placing an order and save up to $500 in free shipping.

This Week's Quote: Dream Job

{Image via Pinterest}

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Starting Over

Hi everyone! Today a long time La Dolce Vita reader and friend, David Altman will be sharing tips for starting over after a move and making a house feel like a home. David leads a luxury digital consulting practice by day and is a style connoisseur by night. His design savvy was honed from a career at Neiman Marcus, Victoria’s Secret and Bath & Body Works. Image “We better call the moving company!” Do these words cause excitement or fear? What’s the new town going to be like? Will the neighbor’s be fun to hang with? Will my favorite things fit in my new home? From a Colonial in Bronxville, to a Mid-Century in Columbus to a faux-Hollywood Regency Townhouse in Dallas, I’ve made a lot of money for moving companies over the past 10 years. Pieces have come, others have gone – a few great ones have traveled with me wherever I’ve gone. They may have moved from room to room, reupholstered or fitted out with difference accessories, yet they have adapted and looked great in each home. With a little preparation, some imagination and a touch of fearlessness, the house will become your home in no time! Look for 4 helpful tips at the end of this posting. Image The Family Room in Columbus was a wide-open space that needed oversized scale. I found a bold red abstract painting to hang over an equally oversized ultrasuede sectional paired with the iconic Knoll Barcelona couch. Image Image Fast forward to Dallas! Some of the same pieces – Barcelona couch (check!), red abstract (check!) hung in different direction by accident (oops but cool!) all found a home with a vintage Waylande Gregory sculpture courtesy of eBay and a few coffee table books. You can tell a lot about a person from their choice of coffee table books? Image Image Mixing centuries and continents, a vintage Sputnik chandelier and Modernist oil painting hang above an antique Chinese altar table from ABC Carpet & Home that made several round-trips between NY and TX. The same chandelier and painting made the Texas Two-Step into the master bedroom. Image Remember that Chinese altar table? It got a whole new look in the Dining Room with a collection of blue & white porcelains that I had stashed in the basement. I love it when you can shop from your own closet (or basement). Image Image One room that guests loved the most in Columbus was one of the smallest – the Powder Bath with Schumacher zebra wallpaper, high gloss Kohler black fixtures and a collection of antique pencil sketches found on eBay. The sketches found a fresh home in the Dallas foyer along with a driftwood lamp I dragged back from Stellar Union in Southampton. The Saarinen table has a few of my all-time favorites which I see every time I walk in the house – the Steuben Frog Prince (he’s out there somewhere), Tibetan prayer wheel (a gift from an old boss) and a mystical Lingam stone said to increase vitality & pranic energy. Image Image Sometimes all you need is a few yards of fabric to give new life. Slipper chairs with their original mid-century upholstery fit the bill in front of the Columbus fireplace. A smart blue & white stripe gave them a different look in the Dallas den. Image I have treated myself to a few new treasures – a groovy 1960’s Zodiac Mirror and Tortoise Shell scored at Round Top’s Marburger Farm Antique Show, one fine 100-degree October day. Image Okay, I’m a big ol’ softie but it wouldn’t be home without Jeffrey, my trusty chocolate Labrador who I rescued in Ohio 6 years ago. He’s made the cross-country trips without a peep, made me smile every step of the way and has made his mark on every sofa, bed, area rug. Image You’ve just called the movers – here are some helpful tips:
  • Take pictures of the bigger pieces and write down the dimensions so you can take them with you when you look for your next home. Will that sofa fit? Now you’ll know!
  • Keep an inspiration notebook (yes mine is still old school for now) or create boards on Pinterest.
  • Don’t be afraid to mix things up – move items from room to room, repaint, refinish, reupholster.
  • Shop from your basement or storage room. Old pieces that you haven’t seen in a while look fresh again. Put other items away – they’ll look great when you discover them again in a few years.
Starting over in a new home is a great way to shake things up a bit and give yourself a new look for the new home. I feel another move coming on myself – heading to the Coast!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fabulous Room Friday 10.26.12

Interiors Ruhlmann
This week’s “Fabulous Room” is a glamorous salon, or living room by designer Lynne Scalo. The dramatic space features several standout pieces. My personal favorite is the stunning Klismos chair in brass and woven saddle leather. You’ll also notice the custom Chesterfield-inspired sofa, a pair of cocktail tables by Oly Studio in complementing aluminum and shell finsihes, along with a silver-splashed cowhide rug, a pair of Ruhlmann Sconces, and a gorgeous gilded mirror. The large space is divided into two seating areas to promote intimate conversation. The wheat sheaf table in front of the fireplace was inspired by the tables Coco Chanel favored in her own salon. The space is dressed in a serene palette of blue, grey, and silver which is ideal for maintaining some restraint with so many statement-making pieces in one room. Which element is your favorite?
Have a great weekend!

{Image via Interiors}

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Global Architecture: Los Angeles
Hello LDV readers! Brendan here of (BAD) Blog About Design. Los Angeles is a city full of architectural styles. Because of Los Angeles's proximity to the San Andreas fault line much of the city's architecture must be innovative. (ABOVE) The Griffith Observatory is in the Art Deco architectural style. The building was designed by John Austin and Fredrick Ashley in 1935. From the Observatory one can see the beautiful L.A skyline and surrounding structures. (BELOW 1) The Los Angeles Public Library has influences of ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean Revival architecture. The central tower is topped with a tiled mosaic design. The building was completed in 1926 and designed by architect Bertram Goodhue. This structure really reflects L.A. From the mosaic details to the simple, glamorous architecture, it's a wonderful place to visit. (BELOW 2) The Bullocks Wilshire Building was completed in 1929 and designed by architects John and Donald Parkinson. This building is too in the Art Deco architectural style. I love all the pops of turquoise against the stone facade. Which structure is your favorite?


THE FASHION: For the looks above I was inspired by the various architectural styles found throughout L.A. I was inspired by much of L.A's Art Deco architecture when selecting the Tucker Silk dress. The Lizzie Fortunato necklace reflects L.A's feel. The leather wraps represents the street culture of L.A and the gold represents the Hollywood, glamorous culture of L.A. The Kelly Wearstler jacket is absolutely fantastic. I love that edgy feel it brings to the look. The Nicholas Kirkwood heels represent the Hollywood glamour and natural landscape of L.A. Which piece is your favorite? (BELOW 3) The Los Angeles Theatre was completed in 1931 and designed by architect S. Charles Lee. The building is in the French Baroque architectural style. In 1994 the theatre officially closed its doors to the public. Isn't it a gorgeous building? So unfortunate that it's not used often! 3

Effortless Style: Black + White

{I don’t think I’ve ever seen Blake Lively look bad. Here, she looks stunning in head to toe, black and white Lanvin.}
It’s no secret that I love black and white. If you know me, then you probably know that I wear black a lot of the time and add color to my wardrobe through the use of accessories. While going through my “Fashion Files” board on Pinterest the other day, I couldn’t help but notice that I have majorly gravitated towards black and white looks lately. The looks range from feminine and glamorous to minimal chic. Do you tend to stick to basic colors like black and white in your wardrobe or does your sartorial style run the gamut when it comes to color?
{Along with Blake Lively, Olivia Palermo has been one of my personal style icons for a few years now. She always hits the nail on the head and this chic black and white outfit  is no exception. The look is easy, yet completely pulled together.}
{Victoria Beckham’s style has evolved tremendously over the last ten years. She’s gone from Footballer’s Wife/Pop Tart to one of the chicest celebrities in pop culture. She always looks fabulous! Does anyone know whose bag she is carrying? I love it.}
{This is such an elegant and timeless look. It works today and could have just as easily worked fifty years ago.}
{This look to me says chic badass. There are hints of soft, femininity like the peplum top, but the tuxedo jacket, cropped pants, and fierce heels give the look a polished edge. I don’t know who this woman is, but I would venture to say she is confident, accomplished, and isn’t afraid to say what’s on her mind.}
{Models off duty perhaps? These girls have legs for days! Their matching hairstyles make me think they may have just finished shooting together. I love the effortless ease of both of these outfits. The one on the left with the polka dot pants and cap toe flats is very Audrey Hepburn, while the black and white ensemble on the right is very modern.}
{While I don’t care for the sandals this girl is wearing, I love that she toughened up the pretty peplum sweater by pairing it with leather skinnies.}
{Do all roads lead back to Olivia when it comes to style? Here she is looking elegant and beautiful in a white mini, tights, and a feathered blazer. It’s such a chic, unique look for evening.}
Which of these looks is your favorite? Which are you most likely to try?
get the look

{Images via Pinterest}