Category Archives: pretty things

souk style

moroccan basketfuchsia moroccan poufmoroccan sequin basket
I’m going to interrupt my Morocco travel journal with some of the things I brought home from the souks. Surprise: poufs and blankets.

Bartering is not my strong suit, and it felt silly at times when the amount in question was literally a dollar. Some things were very inexpensive like the brass animals and the baskets. I’m happy with the price I paid for the wedding blanket, but it’s not as if it cost pennies. I probably paid a bit too much for pottery and the poufs in the end, mostly because the conversions get tricky. One dollar is equal to eight Moroccan dirhams–not the simplest amount to convert, especially when paired with bartering and a foreign language. It was an adventure though, and now I have a story about the time I got the hard sell on pottery in Fez.

So while I am not the one who will get you a rock bottom bargain in Morocco, I do have just one tip for souk shopping:

If You Love It, Buy It

The souks of Fez and Marrakesh are often described as “maze-like,” and it’s true. You might loop back past a particular stall, or you might not. If you come across something you just love, even if it’s the silliest thing like a tagine-shaped basket, buy it. I never came across another one of those baskets, so I’m glad I stopped when I spotted it.

Do you have tips for the souks?

carleton varney

carleton varney storeI’m very, very excited to see that Carleton Varney has opened an e-commerce store. He’s the heir to the Dorothy Draper decorating throne, and as such, embraces her use of color and pattern. I’ve stalked Brazilliance –in my mind the much prettier alternative to the ever-present Martinique print– for ages, and now I can get my fix. This is amazing.

The best part? Everything is extremely well-priced and reasonable. Accent chairs for $540, pillows for $100-$120–all of it using iconic fabrics. Now here’s to hoping more of those famous Dorothy Draper florals appear on the site soon!

Apollo Mirror / Abundance of Roses Needlepoint Pillow / Florence Blue Chest of Drawers / Brazilliance Throw Pillow / Carmen Armchair in Zebra Needlepoint

new cole & son wallpapers


“Fontainebleau” by Cole & Son

I’ve been quietly obsessing over the new collections from Cole & Son. Historic Royal Palaces came out last year, and the very latest is Folie.

I love the versatility of the collections; both include borders and friezes, so you can use a painterly faux paneling with greek key trim and a toile panel (if you’re so inclined!). I actually ordered a sample of “Palace Maze,” but sadly the colors don’t quite work for me–a shame since it’s a beautifully graphic pattern.

palace maze

“Palace Maze” by Cole & Son


“Tivoli” by Cole & Son

queens key

“Queens Key” by Cole & Son


“Rosseau” by Cole & Son


“Versailles” by Cole & Son

You can order samples through Decorators Best or check the Cole & Son stockists.

society social holiday shoot

society social holiday lookIn early November (the day after we moved, in fact!), I flew down to North Carolina to shoot this tabletop. Because of the complications of moving, I mostly ordered props online and had them sent down, so when I got to the studio I was very pleasantly surprised by what I had!

We wanted to do a holiday table, but something that felt very on brand. The color palette is totally a Society Social signature, but it also lets you get away with less in terms of decoration–hot pink and gold glitter goes far!

I wrapped small favor boxes with Gold Glitter Paper and tied them with either a hot pink satin ribbon or this lovely gingham ribbon I found in Brooklyn. Intimate parties are the perfect opportunity for small touches like this!

I found the linens at Zara Home on clearance. The quality was impressive and I think I spent $5 for four linen napkins, a total steal. The coupes were vintage on Etsy, but these are similar. I loved the bamboo shape of the stem, a little hint of chinoiserie.

To see more photos of the shoot, check out The Everygirl. They’re hosting a giveaway of two pairs of the Simone Chair!

{Photo by Lawrence Te / Resources: Numi Candleholders – CB2 / Cabana Stripe Place Cards – Society Social / Boxwood Garland – Jamali Garden / Berry Candles – Caspari / Signature Spade Dinnerware – Kate Spade}