all that glitters

Though I’m not normally one to condone blending into a crowd with an outfit in general, I find that this time of year, it is even more important to find looks that speak to the merriment of the season!  As I recently prepared for some of my festive fetes, I wanted to find a look that could make the perfect statement, with a little bit of stun, a little bit of sophistication, and a whole lot of sparkle!

I found the most utterly elegant Parker top and instantly knew this could be an heirloom-worthy piece that would surely render a show stealing moment.  In the front, a demure silhouette gilded with luxurious sequin and beading detail.  Turned around, a dramatic open back, enhanced by that extra touch of shimmery embellishment.  I paired it with a simple pencil skirt, modest diamond studs, a fun cocktail ring, and my look was ready for that first glass of bubbly!

This seasonless top will prove to be effortlessly versatile.  It can be paired with jewel-toned faux leather pants, for feminine look with a little punch…. with simple jeans, a cardigan, and leopard flats for the “oh no big deal, I’m just being glamorous at the grocery store again” option…. and even with a sharply tailored wool suit for a fresh combo that is sure to boost your confidence as you make that climb up the corporate ladder.


They say you don’t really know what you’ve got till it’s gone.  It is because of this point that I’ve become determined to utilize all of my favorite summer staples to their fullest Fall potential.  When transitioning my summer items, I try to layer on tougher fabrics and chunkier pieces.  This balances the lightness of summer materials and adds the extra warmth needed for the cooling temps.  Check out one of my favorite summer skirts, transformed for the Fall!

H&M Navy Striped Bow Skirt paired with Banana Republic Corduroy Blazer | J.Crew Goldmine Sweater | Stuart Weitzman Nude Pumps (seen here)
And holding all the elements together: these perfect gold details.
Michael Kors Watch | Madewell Spike Necklace | Jennifer Zeuner Side Cross Necklace | Assorted bracelets and ring

There are also times when what you’ve got just needs an extra little oomph to get its swagger back.  The top of my dresser had recently become a graveyard for all things girly, sparkly, and candle-y.  When I found a great deal on these Moroccan-inspired lanterns at Anthropologie, I just knew I couldn’t hold back.  Though this exotic, bohemian style is not normally my go-to, the distressed, time-worn look is actually an unexpected complement to the prim silver and diamond embellishments.  They add a subtle layer of history to the more modern, feminine details.  Perfect finishing touch to make me appreciate what’s right in front of me!

putting everything on the line

Stripes are like a classic Chanel…Never out of style, always in season, and eternally glamorous.  As a modernist, I love all things clean, crisp, and simple, so I am obviously not afraid to show my stripes.  Verticals, horizontals, chevrons…just line ‘em up!

I recently ran across this dress.  I mean…dyyyyyyying!  It needs to get in my closet.  Immediately.

(via casualelegance)

I generally love juxtaposing the polished, ladylike lines with more unexpected, rugged pieces.  I also like pairing stripes with other bold patterns and colors.  I use the parallels to promote order, providing an enveloping and grounding effect to my outfit.

Utilizing stripes in a home, however, takes a little more gumption.

Stripes create intriguing visual tension and contrast, serving as a room’s instant focal point.  Horizontal stripes can fool the eye, allowing narrow spaces to suddenly look wider.  Vertical stripes exude confidence, creating illusions of height and palatialness. Large bold stripes need to be balanced with a more neutral color palette and simple décor.  Smaller stripes can support bright colors and can be paired with other patterns and prints.  A mélange of appropriately scaled and proportioned striped pieces and statements in a room can infuse the space with a lively rhythm of controlled chaos. Alternatively, one spectacular, dramatic striped wall or rug can act as an exclamation point in a room…!

Here are some of my favorite striped spaces:

Still a little risk averse? Consider these fool-proof tips for decorating with stripes, as featured in Real Simple magazine:

  1. Use high-contrast stripes in unexpected spots. For powder rooms and foyers (spaces where people don’t linger), strong stripes can be charming. “I love a brilliant stripe in a closet,” says Darryl Carter, a designer in Washington, D.C. “It’s like the lining on a fine coat.”
  2. Match the size of the stripes to the size of the room. In general, the larger the space, the wider wall stripes should be, because thin stripes in a big expanse can look like mere texture from far away. And in a small room broad, bold stripes can feel jarring.
  3. Blend striped, floral, and solid accessories. A foolproof recipe for throw pillows: Put together three or four designs that are clearly distinct but share a palette. Try a wide stripe, a narrow stripe, a dainty paisley, and a solid. The effect is cohesive, with just enough randomness to feel homey.

style focus | shock it to me

Now, don’t get me wrong…I love all things simple.  Clean, classic looks can really make a bold statement.  But nothing adds a little shock value like florescent tinged fashions.

I try to expand my palette and infuse brights into my wardrobe and home every chance I get.  Paired with nudes, blushes, and creams, these technicolor trends help me make an impact in any scene.

Check out one of my current outfit faves that I’ve been spotted sporting around town!

Zara Linen Blazer | Zara Skinny Red Trousers | J.Crew Stripe Silk Tee | Stuart Weitzman Nude Pumps | Stella & Dot Garden Party Earrings | YSL Rouge Pur Couture in 13 Le Orange

(btw, Zara has been killin it this season, no?!)

For my home, one of my favorite places to shop for punchy home accents is CB2.  The store is filled with affordable modern finds in both neutral and saturated shades.  And now, with the opening of a new CB2 store in my neighborhood, I’ve had a VERY hard time staying away.  Take a look at some of the best bright finds!

I recently purchased the switchback rug for my living room… adore-ahblay, right?!!!

style focus | perfectly paired prints

One of the hottest Spring trends that is sure to spark fear in even the most avid fashionistas is prints.  But fear not!  This season’s runways were bursting with perfectly paired prints.  Designers showed consumers how to mix and match patterns to easily avoid the crazy lady  look. From exotic ikat motifs to bold graphic designs, prints were piled on with ‘anything-goes’ ease.

The same trends can be translated to the home.  Vivid, analogous colors and bold prints can be paired to create slightly maximalist, but always admirable looks.

Remember the following Mixing, Matching, and Getting it Right techniques:

  • Plan and experiment: Start gradually. Begin with a vibrant pillow, then as the shade grows on you, consider where else you can tie it in. When you’re comfortable with the color, try it on one wall.
  • Pick prints you love: Select a large-scale print with several colors since this will give you multiple options for mixing and matching. Then, each pattern you subsequently choose should be gradually smaller. Don’t go too small, however, since the pattern will tend to look washed-out from a distance. Also, each pattern should be distinct from the others but not overwhelm them.
  • Don’t overdo color: The fabrics should build off the colors in your original large-scale print. In rooms with many patterns, keep a narrower color scheme.
  • Vary texture: Texture can create visual depth, but it’s the tactile qualities that foster interaction.
  • Create balance: Counter big, bold patterns with areas of solid color or neutrals. The more patterns you mix in a room, the more you need to layer in visual relief. Use solids to maintain harmony and highlight the patterns.

Design strategies and images: Kit Kemp via Elle Decor

a real housewife’s crib

Bravo’s The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is, by far, the best mix of mansions, cars, diamonds, and electronic cigarettes on tv right now!

The best part of the show is getting to see how each housewife translates her luxurious style into her home.  My favorite is Kyle Richards, former child actress and aunt to Paris and Nicky Hilton.  She mixes modern, structured elements with ultra feminine pieces to create very zen-like, sophisticated look.   And she definitely lives the “Design in Decor” lifestyle, by “having a little piece of jewelry for each room!” Take a look this tour of her home!

Kyle Richards’ Crib

And check out what she has to say via twitter!

rocker gone luxe

Are you dying for these shoes right now?!  ME TOO!  When I first spotted these tactile treasures on Kim Kardashian and Heidi Klum a couple months ago, it was love at first sparkly, spiky sight.

However, at about 285% of my monthly rent, although 100% necessary in my life, these Pigalili Louboutins are sliiiiiightly out of reach.  :-/

So instead, I’ll settle for some rocker gone luxe pieces that can adorn my apartment.  Check out these great items I found at Z Gallerie, available at any price point!

look on the bright side!

In these dreary days of winter, immersing yourself in a sea of neutrals is pretty inevitable.  So how do you go from drab to fab?  Try accessorizing with some hot hues!  Shoes, jewelry, scarves, bags, belts…shocking your outfit with one of these items is sure to bring life back to your look!

And in your home?  Don’t be afraid to also splash some colorful accessories throughout the space.  Consider the following tip, courtesy of HGTV.

“When decorating a particular room, divide the colors into percentages:

  • 60% of a dominant color
  • 30% of a secondary color
  • 10% of an accent color

When you think about it, this color breakdown is similar to a man’s business suit: 60% of the outfit’s color is the slacks and jacket, 30% of the outfit’s color is the shirt, and 10% of the outfit’s color is tie. Translated to a room setting, it typically means 60% of a room’s color is the walls, 30% of a room’s color is the upholstery, and 10% of a room’s color is, say, an accent piece or a floral arrangement.”

Still stumped?  Try this easy DIY wall art project that is sure to spark some color envy from your guests.   This canvas is simple, modern, and definitely makes a statement!  (BONUS!  It only costs ~$25!)

You will need:

To start, mix water with the paint in a cup to create a thinner, creamier consistency.  Next, hold the canvas vertically and pour the paint slowly at the top of the surface.

As the paint drips down the canvas, feel free to move the canvas left and right to manipulate the paint path and create curvier lines.  I kept it simple and let the paint run naturally.  Continue to pour the paint at the top of the canvas until you have reached your desired look.  Let it dry.  Hang it up.  Show it off!!

suit yourself. and your home.

Power pitches.  Strategic core competencies. Synergistic solutions.  If these corporate clichés are incorporated in your standard lexicon, chances are you’ve got a well-tailored suit or two in your closet to get you through the grind.  So how do you incorporate these luxurious textiles and sophisticated color palettes into your home?  Check out this fabulous pinstripe treatment idea from HGTV Design Star winner, Emily Henderson!

Creating a pinstripe statement wall:

  1. Apply a first layer of navy blue paint with a roller.
  2. Apply 2” inch painters tape down the wall, making sure it is perfectly vertical.
  3. Apply a second layer of navy blue paint on top of the tape.  The paint is bound to bleed, and, in this way, the navy will bleed onto the navy.
  4. Once the navy blue paint dries, paint with silver in between the tape.
  5. Let it dry, peel the tape, then go ahead…show them who’s boss!