Category Archives: shopping list

reader redesign: studio sanctuary

reader redesign hague blue studioOccasionally I get emails requesting a decorating consult. I tried e-decorating for a bit before, but then I got a full-time job and stopped taking any clients. So now I’m trying a different tack this time: putting the decorating boards on the blog, so everyone can get some ideas, with the understanding these are not comprehensive decorating plans, just starting points.

So today’s reader redesign involves a Manhattan studio with about 270 square feet of living space. Sounds small, but isn’t that bad for the city. The budget is $6,000.


The only existing thing the reader wanted to keep is her rug. So using that as a starting point, I’d paint the walls Hague Blue for a cozy, unified room.

For the sleeping area, the reader already has a good headboard, so just I’d switch her bedding to something simpler, like Biscuit Home’s chartreuse duvet and shams. To free up space on her nightstands, I’d a install a pair of simple sconces. I’d also look for small chest of drawers on Craigslist to use as nightstands, just to maximize storage. The splurge item is a lovely armoire that’s not only statement-making, but super functional storage.

In the living area, a narrow console in shocking citron works well as an entry table, and can double as a small dining table when entertaining. Tuck a garden stool or two underneath it for extra seating. For the sofa, I chose a velvet that is close to the wall color to minimize its size. Look for a pair of small vintage tables to use in lieu of a coffee table, or bust the budget with this pair.


Total: $6,025

Interested in a redesign? Email me a few photos of your room, your budget, and a brief note about what you’re looking for in a room. Please include “reader redesign” in the subject of your email.

feminine sconces


Josette Sconce – Shine by S.H.O

I have been lusting after romantic, girly sconces for months. It’s silly since I don’t have any immediate need for wall lighting and yet, here I am.

My favorites are the not-super-functional ones–sure they put off light, but they don’t provide meaningful light like a library sconce or swing arm lamp. These aren’t work horses; they’re just really pretty and lovely.

veronica sconce

Veronica Sconce – Matthew Studios

crystal floral sconce

Aerin Lynn Wall Light – Circa Lighting


French Orange Lucite Sconces – One Kings Lane

So if you’re working on a romantic powder room or a super glamorous entry design, consider these, won’t you?

city picnic essentials

We had beautiful weather in New York this past weekend, which prompted us to stock up on rosé, and head into the co-op garden for a few hours of reading (and wine-sipping).

Though our garden was completely empty–a real luxury for city living–most of New York’s parks fill to the brim on gorgeous days. Everyone hoards the good days because, more often than not, summer in the city means oppressive humidity, inadequate air conditioning, and that oh-so-New York fragrance of urine and hot garbage. So when you find that perfect grassy spot, you want to park yourself there for as long as possible.

I know acrylic and melamine dishes are a little bit fuddy-duddy–a proper hostess of an outdoor soiree would no doubt use glassware. But for heading out to a picnic, I love nothing more than throwing a few acrylic glasses into a bag and picking up a chilled bottle of wine on the way to the park. With a little something to nosh on and the essentials below, you’ll be well on your way to wiling away a whole day at the park.

city picnic essentials {Sling Chair – Serena & Lily / Kate Spade Melamine Tidbit Plates Set – Bloomingdales / Market Basket – Design Darling / Stacking Acrylic Clear Wine Glasses – Crate & Barrel}

Shop even more acrylic glasses below:

putting winter away

sweater bag jeweled sweater sequin sweaterIt’s been a bit of a manic week here. Last week was bridal market in New York, and I covered a lot of the shows backstage. Lots and lots of hoofing it around the city, but I didn’t mind because it was beautiful out. (It didn’t hurt either that I got to sit front row at Jenny Packham and interview Monique Lhuillier!)

On Saturday the high was 70, and due in part to the blisters on my feet from the previous day’s show-hopping, I wore sandals to all my backstage interviews. The day started off pretty chilly, and I got some looks, but oh man, did it feel good to have my tootsies out.

But what really spurred me to pack up my sweaters is the utter disaster area that is our bedroom right now. My bulky sweaters take up two full drawers in my dresser–much-needed storage space now that I can start wearing lighter clothes again, clothes that are currently sitting out on any available surface.

I ordered cotton and PEVA storage bags–cotton so they can breathe–along with wool shampoo and spray. I washed some of the sweaters in a mesh bag on the delicate cycle with the shampoo, others I was less optimistic about and hand-washed. Once dry, I folded up all of the sweaters and spritzed them with the spray, which is supposed to be both a moth repellant and freshener.

I feel so damn organized.

6 cottage entry essentials

cottage console

Original image by Paul Whicheloe

I’ve been looking for entry inspiration, especially anything with storage that doesn’t amount to pre-school cubbies. So when I found Janet Gregg’s home in Cottage Living, I took note of this vignette. Lots of clever containers with laid-back style.

Jaeva Table Lamp – Lulu & Georgia / Atlantis Clam Shell – Z Gallerie / Mandarin Altar Table – Home Decorators / Elephant Hamper – Home Decorators / Java Tribal Ikat Pillow – Society Social / Tortoise Bamboo Chair – Maison Midi