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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Love it in 2014, Leave it in 2013

It's hard to believe that another new year is upon us. Does anyone else feel that the older we get, the faster time goes by? It's crazy. Thankfully, 2013 has been a great year of personal growth, fostering my new design business, cementing new friendships, and a few travel adventures. However, I always welcome a new year with open arms as it seems to be a beacon of hope with its promise of a new, clean slate. It's a great time for introspection, reflection, and goal setting. I'll get into all of that in a more personal post tomorrow about my goals and resolutions for 2014, but today, we get to dive into the fun stuff!  Last year, I did a post called "Love it in 2013, Leave it in 2012" which everyone seemed to really enjoy, so we're doing a new version this year!

What do I think will be big in 2014? You won't find anything too surprising here since my taste is mostly rooted in classic, timeless things. This year, I think you'll see pared down palettes of various neutrals mixed together in both interiors and fashion-- think camel, grey, and white or chocolate, black, and ivory. A touch of sparkle helps to ignite these combinations especially in the form of mixed metals. I also predict that you'll see sleek lines and glamorous pieces done in a very modern way-- think Maison Jansen mixed with Billy Cotton or Apparatus Studio chandeliers. On the home front, I predict that while furnishings will veer towards neutral palettes, cabinetry and millwork will enjoy a dose of rich, classic colors. Imagine grey, navy, and army green kitchen cabinets-- a departure from the white cabinets that have reigned supreme for the last ten years! Radiant Orchid may be Pantone's "Color of the Year",  but I am not a fan of the color at all. I'd rather see various shades of green this year-- moss, emerald, olive, and kelly green. While on the topic of green, I predict that sleek, European-style gardens will gain in popularity stateside. Lastly, on the pop culture front, I hope that we'll see a lot more of Prince George and his lovely parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge in 2014. As I mentioned in yesterday's "Currently Obsessed" post, I am newly addicted to Scandal and can't wait for the show to come back. It is SO good!

I have quite a few things I'd like to see left behind in 2013! I am so over Kim Kardashian and Kanye West. They must be the two biggest egomaniacs on the planet, so they definitely deserve each other. I guess Kanye doesn't care that the fact that he considers himself God's gift to this green earth is incredibly arrogant, but seriously, why do people add fuel to the fire? Why on earth was he allowed to speak as an authority on design and architecture at Art Basel? I feel sorry for their poor baby. While I like some of Miley Cyrus' music, I am sick of her and her act. Yes, she is talented and is obviously a brilliant marketer, but she could have found other ways to push the envelope. I hate that young girls look up to her and emulate her. Miley, please leave the twerking and your ridiculous tongue in 2013! I also hope that the 90's, grunge-inspired style that has influenced fashion this past year is over with. Let's go back to pretty things, please! On the decor side, I don't care for radiant orchid one bit. I also hope that industrial-inspired pieces can be put to rest for a while. With the exception of some pendant lights, this is a style that has been done to death. I also think chevron needs to be retired for a while as it has appeared on just about every surface one could name. It's not that I dislike it, I'd just rather be given the opportunity to miss it. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I put out a call to hear from you on the topic of what to love in 2014 and what to leave in 2013. Here are a few of the things you guys can't seem to get enough of and want to see more of in 2014 along with the things you'd like to leave behind in 2013. A big thanks to everyone who participated!

Nicole Gibbons of So HauteI'm seeing a huge rise in popularity in marbleized prints and patterns as well as products in home decor made of natural stones such as marble, agate, amethyst and malachite. We saw a bit of this trend last year in higher end design and fashion but I think in 2014 we'll see much more of it in the mass market and it will be everywhere, which is great because I think that these kinds of stones and the patterns they create are so luxe and fabulous! What would I leave behind in 2013? Moroccan Rugs and Fiddle Leaf Fig Trees! This is a tough one because these are two things that I think are beautiful but I wouldn't miss seeing another fiddle leaf fig tree or a Beni Ourain style Moroccan rug! I think they will always have a place and somewhat of a timeless quality in home design but I have seen these two design elements used ad nauseum in the shelter magazines and on blogs so I think we need to give them a break! 

Mallory Shaw Design:, leopard, colorful ceilings, wallpaper, laid back luxury. Leave..chevron, oil rubbed bronze(maybe it's just a Nashville problem), twerking, Kanye West.

Hitha Palepu: Love smoking slippers, Jennifer Lawrence, and off the beaten path travel in 2014. Leaving skorts, the paleo diet, and the Kardashians in 2013.

House of Pemberley: Love leopard, stripes, monograms and black and white. Leave burlap, distressing and birds.

Jenny Tucker: In 2014 I'm loving gray, gray, and more gray, high heels with bows on the toe, and great books adapted to the big screen ie: Gone Girl. I'm leaving bronze hardware, leather leggings and Miley Cyrus in 2013.

West 23rd Vintage:  Love...intentionally collected and curated spaces that mix high/low, old/new, modern/traditional - and that incorporate vintage and personal artifacts... block print textiles and kantha quilts ... malachite and amethyst ... vintage barware...abstract art and watercolors...burled wood...overdyed rugs. Leave ... Justin Beiber, wall decals and decorating for resale. Decorate for the way you want to live and not for some future buyer!

ellivenstudio: Love: black window frames, grid print, sisal, agate, incorporating vintage pieces, mixing pieces and loving dark walls & lacquer. Leave: rooms without personality.

Susie Bettenhausen: Well personally...I would LEAVE beige walls, stainless appliances, granite, chevron, ikat, quatrefoil, upholstered headboards, moroccan poufs, black electronics, starburst mirrors, vinyl wall decals and Facebook. I would be LOVING sleek, modern, and  minimal furniture mixed with vintage pieces, bold bright oversized minimalist art and accessories, framed maps, bright jeans, mixed metals, navy and blues. At least that's the top few!

happypair11: Love in 2014 - recipes and entertaining from beautifully photographed cookbooks; discovering well written pieces from independent magazines; revisiting classic movies with your love; buying hand crafted high quality finds for home an friends; clogs; more travel! Leave in 2013 - leather jeans, cut off shorts, midriff bearing or cut out tops, Miley Cyrus.

Laura O'Neill: LOVE: dark floors, white walls, super oversized art. LEAVE: open shelving in the kitchen. Reality check, it looks messy and dishes get dusty.

SouthernDistinctions: Loving hand blocked fabrics, vintage Turkish rugs and brass for 2014. SO over chevron fabrics ( let's transfer it to wood floors), white upholstered furniture (beautiful, but short lived in real life) and chunky heels. They can stay in 2013.

FalmouthGirl: I'm sure I will be in the minority here but I'm hating Radiant Orchid. Pantone's Color of the Year. Leaving it already! Loving indigo, and will never stop loving grey and white in any form, texture or pattern. Leaving the Kardashians and hope they take all the Radiant Orchid paint, material and whatever else with them!

elhubs: I think it's time for me to leave chevron behind. Always love Greek key trim, malachite, leopard and hand printed Indian fabrics. Will always love seagrass. Loving dark wood floors and strie walls. Over monogrammed rooms can stay in 2013 in my opinion.

domesticate: I'm loving that everyone else is loving hand blocked prints. Me too! (Especially since my new fabric line will be all hand blocked and painted) I feel the pendulum is still swinging towards smaller run, handmade items.

Marianne Strong: Loving: Natural materials, soft neutral stains, rich color and pattern, anything navy, oversized art, materials that naturally patina, off beat touches that reflect your personality without being over the top, shopping local. Leaving: cheap knockoffs without character and all white everything- pretty in pictures but leaves me wanting more in person.

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with our picks? What will you love in 2014 and what do you want to leave behind in 2013?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Currently Obsessed: December 2013

Can you believe that tomorrow is the last day of 2013? This year absolutely flew by! The older I get, the faster time seems to fly. I hope you all had a wonderful holiday season. We had a lovely Christmas, but I came down with an awful cold this weekend, so I am feeling pretty miserable today. I'm hoping to feel better by the time we usher in the new year. In the meantime, here's what I am currently obsessed with.

TV Show(s): I am newly obsessed with Scandal! I binged on all of the episodes on Netflix and Hulu and watched every episode so far in about 10 days. I can't wait for it to come back. It's juicy, full of suspense, and Olivia Pope's wardrobe is fabulous.

Song: I spent most of this month listening to Christmas music. My two favorite Christmas songs of all time are Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" and Brenda Lee's "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree".

Instagrammer: I am so hooked on Instagram. I just love the visual aspect and getting a sneak peek into what people are doing. I follow quite a few people and have a lot of favorites, but lately, I've been loving Miguel Flores-Vianna's account. Miguel is an incredibly talented photographer who has shot for every important shelter publication and who lives a jet set lifestyle, regularly visiting and capturing some of the most beautiful places in the world through his lens.

Pinterest User: Gabrielle Savoie of Savvy Home always has fabulous pins and I find that we have very similar tastes.

Fashion Muse: Kate Moss. Sure, she's made some unsavory choices in her personal life, but her style is flawless.

Inspiring Designer: While Aerin Lauder isn't an interior designer, she has done an extraordinary job of building her lifestyle brand, AERIN over the past year with her foray into home decor. Her collection includes exquisite fabrics, rugs, furniture, and lighting proving that she can go way beyond beauty. Aerin's first book, Beauty at Home was released this fall and is my favorite new book of 2013.

Color: I'm currently loving various shades of green-- more on this soon!

Inspiring Quote: One of the quotes featured in my "Wise Words for 2014" list from this morning is currently resonating with me as the new year approaches: "Never allow waiting to become a habit. Live your dream and take risks. Life is happening now."

Drink du Jour: Lots of sparkling water

Triumph: I think I did a pretty good job with the gifts I got for family and friends this year. It makes me happy to give thoughtful gifts and to see the recipient enjoy them!

Bane of Existence: This heinous cold. When my husband asked me how I felt this morning, I told him that yesterday I felt absolutely miserable and today I feel terrible, so I am getting better slowly but surely.

Favorite Accessory: I've worn this green tassel necklace from a bientot quite a bit this holiday season. I love it!

Trips being Planned: Fabian and I are currently planning a trip to San Francisco and Napa in either February or early March. We love both places and haven't been there together in a few years, so we are really looking forward to it.

This Week's Quote: Wise Words for the New Year

2014 is all about positivity, planning, and growth for me. I'll share more about my goals and resolutions on Wednesday, but in the meantime, I will leave you with some words I will be repeating to myself often in the New Year. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Friday, December 27, 2013

Fabulous Room Friday 12.27.13

Good morning! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas with your families and friends! It was nice to have a couple of days away from the internet, but I am glad to be back. Last week, ELLE DECOR released their list of the "Best Rooms of 2013" and I was honored to be among the tastemakers who were asked to share what their favorite room of the year was. I love the room so much that I thought it was worth featuring again as this week's "Fabulous Room".

I love the master bedroom in this pied-à-terre designed by Steven Gambrel at New York's famed Plaza Hotel. While Gambrel employed the use of several vibrant shades of blue and yellow, the room has a very calming nature. I am crazy about the beautiful mix in this space-- the colors, furniture from various periods and multiple styles, and a fabulous combination of textures-- the velvet on the lovely tufted settee, the linen on the curtains and spool leg chair, the silk in the carpet, the mercury glass lamps, the marble-topped directoire table, and so on. The most special thing about this bedroom is that it has no sense of time or place. It could just as easily be in a chic apartment in Madrid or a centuries-old house in the English countryside. The decor would have worked fifty years ago and it will continue to look beautiful and fresh fifty years from today.

My dear friend, Mark D. Sikes, one of several blogging friends who was also featured in the "Best Rooms of 2013" round-up, has a canopied bed with beautiful curtains in his guest room and after staying at his home during recent visits to L.A, I can attest to the sumptuous, inviting quality they possess. It’s like sleeping in a chic cloud. I love that the room’s overall palette is soft and neutral, with hints of color in unexpected places—pale blue moldings, yellow window frames, and pale Robin’s Egg Blue trim on the bed’s canopy. The gorgeous chocolate tufted settee at the foot of the bed is one of my favorite pieces in the space. Each piece is a stand-out on its own, so naturally, the combination of all of the pieces is gorgeous. The overall look is layered, collected, and totally chic. What’s not to love?


Thursday, December 26, 2013

Dissecting the Details: Ashley Whittaker

Hello lovely LDV readers! Nancy of Marcus Design here, back with an installment of Dissecting the Details. Today I'm sharing the foyers designed by Ashley Whittaker. Entryways present an opportunity to really make a statement for the whole home - and Ashley uses every opportunity to the fullest! Let's dissect 4 key elements that she incorporates in her spaces:

I'd have to say this is quite possibly my favorite foyer look to date - a round central table creates the perfect opportunity for a fabulous vignette. Be it with flowers, books, or sculptures, it's a look that always seems grand and captivating.

Whether they are Chinoiserie garden-stools, or a pair of chic X-benches, this look provides balance and symmetry. And it's a practical addition as well; a spot to perch or to place your things as you come in the door!

There's nothing quite like good bones. It sets the tone for the rest of the home and is the perfect back-drop to any entry way furniture. LOVE the grid paneling in the examples above.

The entry way can be seen as a perfect spot for a POP of whimsy, and Ashley carries this through with such sophistication. Bold paper is eye catching and certainly will leave your neighbours curiously wanting to see more.

And there you have it, a few key features that Ashley Whittaker uses in her entryway design and décor. Wishing you all a wonderful Holiday season!

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas, everyone! I will be taking the next few days off and will be back later this week. Thank you for another year of readership, friendship, and support. It truly means the world to me. I I hope that this holiday season has been filled with peace, love, and joy for each of you.

Monday, December 23, 2013

A Cozy Winter Home

The other day, I was perusing the Houston MLS, looking at homes in some of my Houston dream neighborhoods when I happened across a listing for this charming home in River Oaks. Built in 1938 by renowned architect, Charles Oliver, the home was recently renovated by Bobby McAlpine and Susan Ferrier. The house is on the small side for its price tag of $1.9 million, clocking in at 2,698 square feet with two bedrooms and two and a half bathrooms. While it may not be the biggest house on the block, it has charm and character to spare. I am glad that the extensive renovation left many of the home's original architectural features in tact and that it was done in such a thoughtful way.

While this home would be beautiful on any given day of the year, something about the current owner's furniture immediately brought winter to mind. The house feels like a warm, cozy respite from a chilly day with its mix of textures-- velvet, cowhide, lambswool, marble, and antique mirror in a palette of cool grey accented with pops of gold and silver.

{Charming Courtyard}

{The Stairs are Swathed in a Leopard Runner}

{The living room really evokes chic scenes of winter, doesn't it?}

{I love the gold console table in this hallway.}

{I can't tell for sure if this is a formal dining room or a breakfast room off of the kitchen. Either way, it's lovely. I love the oval Saarinen Tulip Table with the chairs with gold frames and blush velvet upholstery. Be sure to take a good look at the stunning marble fireplace on the right side.}

{I love the color of the cabinetry in the butler's pantry and the fact that it matches the walls and moldings. It provides great contrast to the Calcatta Gold Marble.}

{The kitchen is decidedly sleek and modern, but maintains the warmth that permeates the rest of the house. Notice the back wall which is covered in a Calcatta Gold Marble slab. So luxurious! I also love the waterfall island.}

{I like that the simple window treatments which do not detract from the beautiful windows.}

{I wish there were more photos of the library because it is one of my favorite rooms. I love the simple Parsons-style desks, Kubus-covered desk chair, and wall of built-in bookshelves.}

{The master bedroom is calming in its various shades of white and grey. I do think it's kind of odd that there is a ceiling fan in the corner of the room.}

{The master bathroom was beautifully renovated. I love all of the marble, the cabinetry, and the cabinet hardware.}

{The second bedroom is being used as a nursery by the current owners.}

{The backyard features an alternate view of the beautiful house with painted white brick and black shutters-- my favorite!}

Am I crazy or does this house make you want to curl up under a blanket with a cup of tea, and a good book on a cold winter day? To see the real estate listing, click here.