Archive for the ‘ inspiration ’ Category

Oh fashion, how I’ve missed you.

Let me set the record straight: I love, love , love my job. I also love, love, love fashion. My job however, does not love fashion. Therefore, since joining my current employer in January, I have pretty much abandoned fashion for the sake of practicality.

Running after kids, doing arts and crafts and playing basketball (well, “playing” is a relative term) don’t really lend themselves to amazing shoes, beautiful blouses and tailored dresses. Well, I’ve had enough. Summer is over, fall is upon us (NY Fashion Week!) and it is time to get out of this “famine of beauty!” (to quote Andre Leon Talley). Let the inspiration begin! Here are a few of some of my favorite looks from some inspiring fashion bloggers. Enjoy!

So I did a little shopping this weekend and literally had to stop myself from buying more sequins. Considering I no kidding have like no pants in my closet, I don’t need to build a wardrobe full of sequin tops, skirts and dresses. It looks like I’m not the only one though who is in love with sequins and the instant glamour they bring. They are everywhere and I love how Emily from Cupcakes and Cashmere pairs her sequined skirt with forever chic and ultra utilitarian equestrian boots. This whole mixing of sequins with tough girl wear is all over the place right now.

Ok, so while I am not sure if I can pull this off (but you better believe I’m gonna try), I am LOVING this look.  The whole “socks as statements” thing that I’ve been seeing all over the place has really grown on me. There is something so demure and sweet about this look but paired with aviators and the kind of confidence that only a grown woman can pull off, the look becomes fierce. Yep, I said it, Fierce! This lovely lady runs an unbelievably Euro-chic blog Rebel Attitudes with a ton of inspiring (and beautifully shot) photos.

So speaking of fierce…Um, homegirl is rockin her look! Not only is she pulling off the previously mentioned socks look, but her dress is absolutely adorable! Her skin looks amazing, her shoes are out of control, the hair, the face, the jewelry, ugh I can’t even take it! Too cute for school. This is the reason I love style blogs and websites like Chictopia, you can look at everyday people, check out their style and get ideas for how to wear things. It also helps if you are at all like me and think in your mind something will look cute but aren’t sure if it is wearable. Well as you can see here, it pays to take risks in fashion. This girl has such a great eye for funky bohemian style, I can flip through her Chictopia StylePantry profile for hours!

OM double G. I’m living for this right now. So simple, yet so chic. All I want is for one, moderately cool and rainy day in San Antonio so that I can bust out my Banana Republic trench. Obviously I will also need to seek out a bright colored draped dress to pair it with. I love that if she totally buttoned up the trench, you might assume she was wearing more conservative colors underneath given the black tights and understated shoes. Of course you would assume wrong because once that coat comes off—hello sunshine!  Jessica from What I Wore always has such cute stuff. She has some great guest bloggers right now because she is getting married, congrats!


9 by Design

I was SO excited about the premiere of the new Bravo show, 9 by Design. I will admit that my must-see tv roster has greatly declined over the past several years. I really just don’t watch that much tv (besides Lost) but when I do, I enjoy watching either super nerdy stuff like National Geographic, Travel Channel or design shows on HGTV. Whereas I used to spend hours watching television, I now prefer to spend the same number of hours reading books and magazines at bookstores and libraries. One such book I recently enjoyed was Downtown Chic by Robert and Cortney Novogratz and when I found out they were getting their own show, I couldn’t wait for the premiere.

You see, the Novogratz are awesome. They buy houses, totally re-do them and transform the most undesirable buildings into amazing family homes for them and their seven (yes, seven) kids. Their previous home (they just recently moved into new digs on the West side of Manhattan) was an abandoned gun shop in NYC that they turned into an amazing townhome complete with a rooftop  basketball court with a dome (because you shouldn’t have to worry about basketballs going over the fence and onto the street below). Now I know that they aren’t the first fiscally superior couple to renovate their homes, but it is their sense of style and creativity that made me like their design aesthetic. They mix high, low, modern, vintage, art and rummage and create a comfortable family atmosphere that is uniquely representative of them. And that is what good design (and style) is (in my humble opinion): it is an outward, creative reflection of you.

Whether you are into architecture and/or interior design or not, you gotta check out their new house overlooking the Hudson River.

Putting the Fab in Pre-Fab

I am kind of obsessed right now with modern architecture, design and art. Through my internet hunting I have come across a bunch of innovative, and surprisingly appealing pre-fab houses. Now don’t get it twisted, these aren’t your grandmothers pre-fab houses. Long gone are the bland designs of old school Sears pre-fab homes or the cheap, trashy stigma associated with mobile homes. The first time I really became familiar with the new generation of pre-fab houses was at an exhibit at MoMA in New York while I was a PR intern. While that opening night was an awesome, overall only one of the pre-fab houses looked like a place where someone could comfortably live. The other two were more like concept homes than a potential residence. But these houses I found online, I actually want to live in. Shockingly well-priced (especially when you factor in the savings on energy costs and the low maintenance of the building materials) and surprisingly warm and inviting, I can totally see pre-fab houses popping up more rapidly in progressive cities like Austin over the next ten years. The followng pictures are from Austin based modular design firm Ma.

Ma is a modular home design firm out of Austin. It is actually a subsidiary of a larger firm, KRDB which has amazing modern custom homes which typically cost more than the pre-fab homes of Ma. I love how the homes have large expanses of glass and take advantage of outdoor space. The homes are just so light and airy, contrary to what many people think of when they hear “modern design”.

If you are just as obsessed as I am now, check out

When I grow up

I want to be my friend Amanda.

Last weekend I went to visit my friend Amanda in Longview, Texas while her husband was on a boys only fishing/kayaking/something else that boys do trip. I left Friday from San Antonio and roughly seven hours later arrived at her truly adorable home in East Texas. As you may know, I am somewhat obsessed with design blogs and when I read them I can’t help but day dream of my future self with my future husband living our future lives. Design blogs are the kind of things that bring out the most girly all-I-wanna-do-is-get-married-and-make-lots-of-babies side of me. Little did I know that one of my dearest friends was living this fantasy of mine (minus the making lots of babies part).

Like a total creeper, I totally took picture of my friends home, a beautiful work in progress and asked if I could share them here in hopes that anyone who reads will be just as inspired as I was.

Their kitchen is adorable! Amanda’s husband Jim did it all himself, the cabinets and the concrete countertops. And I don’t mean he went to Home Depot and picked out cabinets that he assembled himself, he constructed these himself. I couldn’t believe it when Amanda told me that. “Well he had sketch” was her response. Oh ok, well now that you mention that, I guess you are right, anyone can just draw a picture and whip up a kitchen too. Note to self: my future husband is gonna need to be able to do stuff like that too. If he can’t already, I will send him for a weekend woodworking camp with my dad and Amanda’s husband. No exceptions. They are going to put in glass and shelves in the cabinets and then they will be complete. Awesome job guys! I also love the cute welcome board, so sweet and typical Amanda. If I am not mistaken, that is the same blackboard from their wedding in November…

This entryway is amazing. Amanda has such a great eye for things, besides having impeccable taste, she does a great job of mixing high and low and new and old together. The chair at the desk she got for under $10 dollars at a garage sale or something.

LOVE this living room! Their home is a sort of mid-century ranch style and they do a great job of mixing in vintage inspired furniture and accessories with modern and contemporary fixtures. Also what I love about their home is that it really is their home–you can see Amanda and Jim everywhere in the artwork, the furniture and the construction. And to me, that is what makes a house a home. The chair in the center of the photo? Yea, Jim made that. The awesome coffee table? From an old doctor’s office, I think she said they got it at a flea market. My favorite part? The floating display above the green chair. This was made by Jim as a gift to Amanda (I want to say for Christmas), they both agreed they would only spend a certain amount on each other for Christmas and so he used his budget to create an amazing piece of art. I like it because obviously it is personal to both of them, but also it is practical, it creates a nice separation between the entryway and the living room but doesn’t take up too much visual space thus leaving the area still feeling very open and inviting.

So there you have it, what an adorable home! It was so lovely of Amanda to invite me over for a weekend getaway and it is always a wonderful time being with her and seeing her family in nearby Pittsburg, Texas. I truly love roadtrips and spending time lazily exploring small towns and it is the icing on the cake when I get to be with wonderful company. Thanks Amanda for a wonderful weekend and I look forward to my next visit!

Inspiration: Typographic Art

I am kind of obsessed with typography artwork right now. It reminds me of being in college and seeing my friend Amanda work on her graphic design projects. I love art and the simplicity of words and how they are arranged can be so interesting and make your interior space look unique. Plus as a young person without the kind of income to invest in major art pieces, it is a great way to get something that is different from the stuff your friends have but not put a dent in your bank account. The pictures are some of my favorite pieces that I have seen and have definitely provided some inspiration for my decorating plans!

I LOVE this! This is a perfect example of why I love this type (no pun intended) of artwork. This is the geographic shape of Brooklyn and its neighborhoods displayed in such a fun and creative way. The artist has other cities in the collection including Manhattan, Boston, Chicago, Washington DC and Los Angeles. There are also two other works of The Heart and The Brain. Check out Ork Posters for the full collection and to order. This Brooklyn screen print is only $27 and if you get the poster version, its $19! Unbelievable.

This I saw on the blog Sparrow\’s Nest and it comes from the Etsy site Lyrics and Quotes. You can customize and put lyrics of your favorite songs or your favorite quotes into these unique pieces of wall art. Love it. Also makes a great gift—like the grown up’s answer to the mix tape. Maybe give it to your significant other with “your song” on it. Or as an anniversary for your spouse with the song you danced to at your wedding. Or maybe just to a friend with the lyrics to their favorite song. The options are endless.

Hello! Bonjour! Hola! How many ways can you say hello? Jennifer Ramos did a great job with this! I just love how the english word “hello” is displayed in gray throughout the other languages. So great! She also has a piece that does the same thing with the word love. I think this is great for an entryway or living room and would be amazing in an office too. Her blog MadeByGirl is a daily visit for me, check out her new home office, I LOVE it!

Home Shopping

No, not the corny television home shopping, I mean shopping in your house. Going through old clothes, that linen closet that somehow manages to hide dozens of treasures. Digging through boxes in the garage and uncovering gems that you forgot all about. These are a few of my favorite things.

I was searching through the garage for the shower curtain from my old apartment. I lived in my apartment for almost a year before I found the perfect chocolate brown, understated yet chic shower curtain that wasn’t absurdly overpriced (as shower curtains often are). I finally found it and it made all the difference in my old bathroom. Now that I have taken residence in my parents house, I am re-doing my old bathroom and need that darn shower curtain! The colors will be that perfect, spa blue (ladies you know exactly the color I am talking about) offset by my chocolate brown shower curtain and dark wood cabinets. Sadly, the shower curtain remains M.I.A. however, I did find (or rediscover) these treasures so all is certainly not lost:

Among these amazing items are ballet slippers (so amazing no explanation is necessary); my radio with iPod docking station and CD player; my brother’s knockoff Rayban sunglasses (shh don’t tell! I’m just gonna hold onto them for now and keep them in a safe place…like on my face); small wooden crates and glass jar that will find a home in my bathroom makeover; candlesticks (gifts from a friend that since moving from my apartment haven’t found a home, but I now have a great idea for them!); wicker storage basket; and the greatest overnight bag EVER! Seriously, I love that faux croc skin duffle and I always get compliments on it when I travel (shh don’t tell anyone it was a gift with purchase at Bath and Body Works like four years ago). And last but not least, bubbles. These were actually not with my stuff in the garage, but were part of what appeared to be a go-to supply of bubbles. I grabbed a bottle because honestly, today I was having a bad day which was the nail on the coffin of a pretty crappy week and I just felt like blowing bubbles. A perfectly grown-up way of coping with stress, I know.

My daydream in pictures.

Lately I have had an overwhelming desire to be domesticated. Ok, that sounds like I’m some sort of exotic animal. What I mean is I have been thinking a lot about getting married and having a baby. I have heard that this is a direct result of watching Away We Go over and over again. I daydream about myself married (to John Krasinski of course) and living a super cute, casually chic J. Crewesque life in Austin where we live in a traditional bungalow style home that was recently renovated and is now energy efficient and we do things like send our kids to montessori schools and take volunteer vacations where we spend half our time building schools for Thai orphans and the other half lounging on the beaches of Phi Phi Don. I don’t know if guys do this sort of thing at all, but I wouldn’t go so far to say its a girl thing either. When I talked to my best friend about “those days when you just dream of being married with children”, she seemed to think I was smoking crack. Anyway, maybe after she sees my fantasy life in pictures she will understand….







*sigh* I can’t wait until the day that J.Crew starts making maternity wear and designing home furnishings and textiles. Then all of my dreams really will come true. Also, I’m gonna need horses just wandering about freely during my effortlessly chic outdoor wedding. If horses aren’t available, we can hire stand ins. Also, I imagine if John and I were to procreate, that our child would look something like that adorable J.Crew kids model. *sigh*