Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Trumpets

This Kate Spade ad makes me smile -- she looks like she's waiting for something, a bus maybe? And the sign should be a road sign, but it's a trumpet? Why no trumpets?! I always appreciate ads that tell a story, or in the case of this ad, start a story...what do you think she's waiting for?? Maybe somebody somewhere had a bad experience with trumpets -- or a trumpet player -- and now, no more!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Vicarious European Vacation

My sister is planning a trip to Europe in May, and I've been living vicariously through her. She and a friend will divide their week between The Netherlands and Belgium, so I've started looking out for hotels. The latest issue of Travel + Leisure had some great less expensive hotel suggestions...

The Hotel Patou in Amsterdam has this quote in it's home page:
'To be modern is to have the thought, the tastes and the instincts of the epoch in which one lives' Jean Patou (1880-1936)

I'm always drawn to more modern hotels, a kind of less is more thing. And marble sinks and white duvets are a huge plus.

I came across another hotel in Amsterdam that is very budget friendly -- the CitizenM. The website made me laugh -- if you go on a tour of the room, an illustrated gal will start dancing on the bed [see below].

Got any tips for hotels in either of those countries I could pass along to her?

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Missing the Sun

I wonder if my attitude toward the rain would change if I donned a pair of these bright wellies in it? This lady certainly seems happy in hers...

[Image from Hunter]

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Sugar, Sugar

I keep seeing articles in my magazines [Cookie, Elle] about the kid and parent friendly restaurant in NYC called Sweetiepie. The interior is quite charming, and the food looks scrumptious. I wish we had plans to travel to NYC soon, so I could take the boys there -- they would love all that sugary goodness [probably wouldn't think twice about the pink frills -- I could just focus them on the part of the mural with Star Wars stormtroopers!].

All the decadence reminds me of the movie I mentioned in this post. It would be fun to try and recreate the Sweetiepig [that enormous dish 'o treats] for a birthday party!

Ralph Lauren held a party there in celebration of his new Bleecker Street children’s store. Check out these carriages that transported the guests from Sweetipie to RL...honestly, could a carriage be any more lovely?

[above 2 images from Vanity Fair]

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Baby Designs!

Some new baby designs have been added at b.wise papers, and I just got some new photos back as well. I couldn't resist taking advantage of some Spring buds -- it seemed just right for baby announcements.

I've got a couple more up my sleeve, and then the 2009 Baby Catalog will be released! I've been a little preoccupied with our impending move to Florida in a couple months. Even though we moved numerous times, it doesn't really get easier trying to find a house, schools, doctors, etc. etc. So if posting gets a bit sparse, you'll know why!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Birds of a Feather

What is it with birds? They seem to have such staying power in the world of interior decor. I can remember them in fabrics in my grandmother's living room and in her collection of Rose Medallion china, and they are still as present as ever. Maybe it's because there are so many different species of birds, so many different colors and feather patterns, so many different ways to incorporate them.

Fromental does a beautiful job with their handmade wallpaper. All the designs are hand painted onto silk backgrounds. Their Chinoiserie and 20th Century collections both incorporate birds in a beautiful way -- one more traditionally, one a bit more modern, both elegant.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

My Goodness

In college, I studied in Florence for a semester. That St. Patrick's Day, some friends and I made our way to Dublin. It was a blast -- the entire city was out in celebration, and not in a cheesy, trashy kind of way, but the "it's such a huge tradition" kind of way. There was a big parade with amazing costumes and props, and of course, plenty of Guinness to go around.

While we were in town, we visited the Guinness brewery at St. James's Gate [I'm a big fan of dark beer, especially Guinness], and we had a blast touring a factory with such history. The brick walls are lined with the charming illustrated ad posters -- the "My Goodness" campaign is a favorite of mine. The posters were designed by John Gilroy in the 1930's, and portray various animals drinking Guinness and an exasperated zookeeper. Such a testament to the power of a clever slogan with an eye-catching illustration.

So, all this to say, Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Game Night

I have played Monopoly more times than I could even count. Have you ever noticed how this game brings out the competitive in everyone? My sister and I used to get in major fights during Monopoly, and my dad would always chant "here comes the money train" when he was doing well -- for example, when he was about to collect on Boardwalk with a hotel -- and it would make me so angry! I really like this redesign [although I'm curious where the board is?], and think it retains the classic image of the game, while adding modern flair.

When Ben and I were first married, we used to have couples game nights on a regular basis. In fact, there was one couple who we'd play Monopoly with and the guys would get so competitive that me and the other wife would end up talking while they duked it out for hours [I am not exaggerating -- one time she left her husband at our house because they would not wrap it up!]. All this to say, I think it's time we revived game night -- maybe that will be my goal when we settle in our new digs!

What games do you enjoy playing with a group?

[Images from thedieline.com]

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Visual Feast

[If I had a little girl, I'd be tempted to plan a birthday party inspired by this picture!]

Since we are on the topic of movie sets, I couldn't resist posting about a movie that I enjoyed watching so much -- and would want to watch again just because of the costumes -- Marie Antoinette. The movie is a visual feast from the dresses to the hair to the food on the table. It's like a pastel paradise!

Watch and see if pastel colors and floral patterns don't pop up in some new b.wise baby designs!

In the Library

b.wise papers was just recently added to the Library at Elizabeth Anne Designs. If you are planning a wedding, you should definitely check it out. It's a well-organized and categorized list of all kinds of wedding vendors -- flowers, photographers, stationery [obviously!], venues -- you get the picture! Plus, there is a place for vendor reviews, which is always helpful for people to read when they are trying someone/a company out for the first time. The whole site is a great resource, plus there is also a blog, with daily doses of creative ideas...

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

An Apartment Fit for 27 Dresses

Yesterday, Erica posted a fun question on her blog: what movie would you have liked to be a set designer on? Do you remember the apartment on 27 Dresses? I wasn't crazy about the movie, but something about that apartment stuck with me. I think partly because we've lived in so many apartments that I'm always focused on a well designed one!

[I've got my grandmother's sofa in my parent's basement that is shaped exactly like this one. It's in need of a serious fabric makeover, and I like how this one has been updated]

[Any room with molding like this gets me every time, and I really like that paint color and those sconces, too]

Click over to see what other people said!

[Images from Apartment Therapy]

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A Bowlful of Color

I can't seem to get enough color lately...I think it has something to do with the warm weather outside. Aren't these bowls amazing? They'd make a centerpiece all by themselves!

[Log Bowls by Loyal Loot]

Friday, March 6, 2009


I'd like to recreate this look in a house -- the off white stone and shutters, iron work, delicious marine blue, and the number painted on the side of the building [middle left side]. Don't be surprised when my door is painted blue!

[Image scanned from Loft Life magazine]

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Catalog Day

Yesterday was catalog day at my house -- I kid you not, 7 showed up in our mailbox. Curious what I tore out?

The Land of Nod has amazing storage options. I'm digging the colorful organization of this kid closet. Sadly, at my house, it wouldn't look like that for long before the boys tore into it! A girl can dream, though.

Oh, Anthropologie. I can always count on a clean, creatively formatted catalog from them filled with all sorts of eye candy in the form of pretty patterns, textures and cuts.

I tore out this page [above] because I've got my eye on these shoes...

They are made by Frye, and I'm wondering how comfortable they are?

Pottery Barn always gets me with their organization accessories -- I can't imagine if I had a wall like this in my house. I'm wondering if keeping the organizing wall organized would stress me out, though?!

I liked the theme of J.Crew -- kind of like a road trip across America. This ensemble in particular caught my eye, but let's be honest -- there is no way in the world I could wear that silk skirt and it not look disastrous after 10 minutes. Still, orange, gray and gold -- does it get better than that?

And lastly, this new catalog, Cambria Cove, carries Claus Porto soaps [not cheap, I know, but I love the packaging]:

And some beautiful stationery [also pricey, but the designs are lovely]:

That's all the catalog inspiration I've got for now! What catalogs do you look forward to receiving in the mail?

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Have a [Yellow] Seat

Could you do it? Part of me really wants to take the plunge, and buy bright yellow chairs. The other part of me is afraid that I would love the chairs for a bit, and then be totally over them. What do you think? Could you commit to so daring a color for more than a few months?

[If you could, these chairs are currently on sale at West Elm -- they come in a spring green, too!]

Monday, March 2, 2009

Wedding Bells

I've been thinking a lot about Jennifer and Dave this weekend -- they just got married in Costa Rica, and I so wish we could've been there to celebrate with them. We received the most amazing wedding invitation from them last summer that included a silk-screened print of Playa Negra. I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it in our new home!

The invite came in this huge envelope -- such an exciting way to receive mail...

Cheers to Jennifer and Dave -- can't wait to see pictures!
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