Archive for May, 2010

We are so close to the end! “Oyster Gray” is the second-to-last color in my series on the Pantone 2010 Fall Color report (via Fashion Trendsetter).

“Oyster Gray” is an incredibly interesting color in this series. Clearly, it functions as a neutral, but the color is actually more complex than that. At first glance, it seems to be a simple dove gray, but on closer inspection, its not. In fact, the undertones of this gray are a pinky-orange rather than the more typical blues or greens that are usually the base colors for a light gray. As such, I found it exceedingly difficult to find items for the accents board that match this tone. Almost everything I tried was more of the blue-green gray! So apologies for the lean board. In real life, however, if decorating a room with this neutral, it would most likely serve as the backdrop for more vibrant colors, and so matching probably would not create much of a problem!

Oyster Gray Inspirations

All images from Flickr. Clockwise from top left:

Mystery Bird in Flight by homer4k

A Job Well Dome by jaxxon

Blackfield by photographer padawan *(xava du)

Ghost Stairs by splorp

Oyster Gray Accents

Background color: Behr paint in Smoked Oyster (780A-2) I love it when the color I pick on tone alone matches the title of the Pantone color

Grace Pillow in Silver from Z Gallerie

Lorac Baked Matte Satin Eyeshadow in Chic from Ulta

Spa Day 4 wall art from Z Gallerie

Type Z Colleen in Grey Suede from Zappos.com

Sutton Sofette from CB2


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Dior’s Resort collection came out recently, and I don’t think it could be more different than Chanel’s collection. Whereas Chanel’s collection was all airy, tropical, mature; Dior’s collection was tailored, urban, and young. It just goes to show how two collections from a single, often pigeon-holed season can diverge so drastically. I loved many pieces from this collection, but had a much harder time finding interiors that reflected the garments; many of Dior’s pieces were quite monochromatic in unusual colors, which I love for clothes, but aren’t necessarily as accessible for interior design. Still, I was able to find a few great ideas in this collection.

Dior Look 3

Dior’s third look. Image from Style.com

Living room from iHouse Designs

Dior Look 13

Dior’s thirteenth look. Image from Style.com

Room from Jordan Guide Design. Its part of the LEGO offices. How cool is that?

Dior Look 21

Dior’s 21st look. Image from Style.com

Living room from Completely Coastal. Could either of these looks be any more aggressively girly?

Dior Look 26

Dior’s 26th Look. Image from Style.com

Room from Apartment Therapy

Dior Look 44

Dior’s Look 44. Image from Style.com

Room from Out in Home

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Cooking! Lentil Soup

Soup is probably my favorite thing to cook. I love the simplicity of tossing everything in a pot and letting it simmer for an hour or more. Plus, if you haven’t figured out, I am a leftover fiend, and soup certainly delivers on the leftovers!

Lentil soup is one of my favorites, simple, nourishing, and tasty. I like to serve it with some sort of crusty bread. Yum!

Hearty Lentil Soup (Vegetarian or not)

  • Optional: 1 lb. Italian sausage in casings
  • 2 celery ribs
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Optional: 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 6-8 cups water
  • 1 28-oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 cup dry lentils
  • 2 Tbs. Chicken soup base, chicken bouillon granules, or veggie bouillon
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried rosemary, crushed
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • dash Tabasco
  • 1 Tbs. Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup carrots, thinly sliced
  • Optional: 1 cup shredded swiss cheese

If using Italian sausage, cook sausage in a large soup kettle. Remove sausage, saute celery, onion, and garlic in the drippings. Slice the sausage into 1/4″ rounds. For vegetarian soup, skip the previous steps; saute the celery, onion, and garlic in the olive oil until tender. Add water, tomatoes, lentils, soup base, oregano, rosemary, pepper, and Tabasco; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until lentils are almost tender. Add more water if the soup needs thinning. Add carrots; simmer for 15 – 20 minutes until carrots and lentils are tender. Stir in Balsamic vinegar. Sprinkle each serving with shredded cheese if desired. Makes about 2-1/2 quarts, 8 – 10 servings.

So, I know Balsamic vinegar in soup sounds really weird, but it is actually pretty much the ingredient that pulls the whole dish together. It brightens up all of the other flavors in the soup, and helps the dish only get better with time. Also, Joe says it is one of his favorite dishes I make, so it is frequently in rotation at our house. Writing about it makes me want a piping bowlful right now!

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Another day, another post about the  Pantone 2010 Fall Color report (via Fashion Trendsetter). Slowly but surely we head to completion; 80% done. Today’s color is “Woodbine.”

In describing Woodbine, I would say that it is more of a retro color than some of the other colors in the collection. It feels very earthy and natural, and I feel it hearkens back in some ways to the botanical color trends of the 1970’s, in particular the infamous supercolor–avocado. Of course, Woodbine is a calmer, more traditional take on a naturalistic green than its ancestor. It would certainly not look out of place in a historical home. However, for more modern sensibilities, I feel woodbine needs to be paired with another, more modern color in order to escape a more stuffy, formal feeling. I think it would pair particularly well with another color in the series, Endive for a modern monochromatic look.

Woodbine Inspirations

All images from Flickr. Clockwise from top left:

Asparagus asparagus (can you do the fandango) by itsjustanalias

Exponential Green by eflon

kale almond pesto by elana’s pantry

Green Spring Growth by Petirrojo

Woodbine Accents

Background color: Behr paint in Scotland Isle (410D-5)

hour/15 minute glasses from CB2

Linen Hemstitch Napkins and Placemats in Cactus from Pottery Barn

Garden Plate by Crate and Barrel

Born Peony shoes in Meadow from Zappos.com

Green Fleur Tealight from Z Gallerie

Curved Pots from Crate and Barrel

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Bunting is everywhere these days, and I cannot say that I, too have not been bitten by the bunting bug. There is just something so exuberantly happy about bunting–for me it inspires thoughts of parties, carnivals, and ice cream colors.

But on the other hand, I have found that I struggle to incorporate such a cute and simple trend into my apartment. I see photos of people having hung bunting in their homes, and I just cannot see it fitting in, nor can I even think of a place where it would work in my home. So no wonder I am completely obsessing over this bunting necklace:

Bunting Necklace

At Eden & Eden. Found via design is mine.

I love the vibrant colors, the “statement-ness” of it. Statement necklaces are big now, but most seem too ornate or romantic for my tastes. This necklace is not just loudly proud, but has that casual fun humor that I love so much. Now if only I had a couple of hundred dollars for such a splurge…

Or maybe I could go a little more simple (and affordable) with this one from plasticbat on Etsy:

More bunting!

Actually, I may have to buy this one…

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So. Fashion. My not-so-secret enthusiasm. I have been “into” fashion for quite a few years now. As a kid, I loved fashion books, paper doll books, books about the fashion industry. Years ago I was a costumer for theatre productions. And these days I try to keep up on fashion; I love spending an afternoon looking at hundreds of images from the latest seasons’ shows. And although making clothes is not a skill I have in my sewing repertoire, I find fashion so inspiring–not so much as clothing to wear (I am a jeans-and-t-shirt kind of gal) but as works of art, as pattern, color, and texture.

Thus, in a seemingly natural extension of this inspiration and interest, I thought I would do a feature on translating fashion to space and decor. For full disclosure, the idea for this feature is from delight by design. I think it is only fair to give her credit for being the first to do this (as far as I know.)

On to the designs. Chanel was the first show of the Resort 2011 season. “Resort” season is a growing season, considered less traditional than the spring and fall collections. The season was originally formulated to appeal to wealthy vacationers heading to the tropics, but over time the season has changed into more of a distinctive third fashion season. (There is a wonderful article from Time magazine a few years back here) I find resort season to be the most accessible and wearable. Resort tends to focus on classic pieces in breezier fabrics. With Resort fashion, it is easy to imagine incorporating similar pieces and the general ideas into a budget-conscious wardrobe. The fashion is far more “real-world,” more translatable for everyday wear. I also find designers tend to choose more exuberant colors and patterns, which I find immensely appealing. The freer use of color and pattern, and the simpler designs really seems to translate well to interior spaces.

So, here are four of my favorite looks from Chanel’s 2011 resort collection translated into decor. The collection was very tropical-inspired, filled with the colors of exotic flowers, feminine details, but with a little bit of rock-and-roll edge.

Chanel Look 1

Chanel’s first look. Image from Style.com

Bath from Cerise Pink

Chanel Look 5 (Click for bigger version)

Chanel’s fifth look. Image from Style.com

Bed room from The Style Files

Chanel 38th Look

Chanel’s look 38. Image from Style.com

Living space from decor8

Chanel 47th Look

Chanel’s look 47. Image from Style.com

Bath from Apartment Therapy

I love the way that fashion and design can influence one another, and how easy it is to see how one thing that you love can be translated to another passion. It really highlights how design principles can be found in different iterations of creative outlet. And more than that, it just makes me happy!

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Repetitive triangle doodle

Today is National Doodle Day. Coincidentally, I have recently gotten back into doodling. In school, I was constantly doodling, which may actually help with concentration and information retention! My go-to doodles tend to be geometric shapes filling a space: squares, swirls, stars, circles, or triangles. I also should plug my favorite pen in the whole world: the Sharpie brand pen. All the smooth, wonderfully dark lines of a regular Sharpie without the smell, or bleed-through. Seriously, they are pretty much the best pens ever, in my opinion! So regardless of your pen preference, take time today to do a little doodle!

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