friday eye candy

I must have woken up in a nautical mood today as I put on a navy blazer, bright red shirt, and my favorite Coach navy + white boat shoes when I got ready for work.  Fridays make me happy, and anything and everything nautical makes me happy, so I suppose it makes sense.

For today’s interior eye candy I’ve decided to showcase Jonathan Adler’s room designs in the red and blue color scheme.  While Adler’s designs are not exactly sea-inspired, at least the colors are!


Jonathan Adler Barbie Malibu Dream House bedroom (Xinhua/Reuters photo)

Adler designed Barbie’s Dream House bedroom in 2009 in glorious shades of red and pink.  I love the red tufted headboard and the way the white duvet cover pops against all that pattern and color.


Jonathan Adler, Brian Colby sketch (via

The above Adler sketch is a re-imagination of  Obama’s White House Oval Office.  The red, white, and blue color scheme screams “USA” and the design is completely modern and fresh.  I’d love this for my living room (minus the oval shape).


Jonathan Adler red living room (via

The above Adler-designed interior is more muted in palette (not typical for him) but still piques interest with the myriad of patterns and the abundance of comfy-looking furniture.  It looks like a great place to hang out and relax with friends for the perfect Friday night (in London perhaps? Lots of Union Jack flag pillows in there…).


design for less: the classics

There has been an ongoing debate in the design world over whether or not that small and elite group of pieces that have reached “classic” status should be remade, redone, recolored, or mass manufactured and sold at Ikea for $100.  While I hope Ikea doesn’t start selling Saarinen knockoffs anytime soon, as long as the classics are reproduced with care and thought in regards to the history of the product, it is a great way to allow more people to experience the joy of owning one of these iconic masterpieces. While many are against this I can’t help but think that good design should be available for all.  As a recent buyer of an Eames rocker lookalike (can’t wait til it arrives next week!) I cannot argue that the classics should remain untouched.   West Elm has a new collection called “Respectfully Revamped” and it is a great example of some archetypes being redone in great fashion.

West Elm Modern Windsor Accent Chair, $399

West Elm’s version of the windsor chair, above, is a stylish take on the classic design at an affordable price.  Meanwhile, a handmade vintage windsor chair will cost you somewhere close to $1,000, like the one below, which is approximately $895:

Handmade windsor chair, $895

Another great revamp from West Elm is their Elton Setee which looks oh so similar to the classic Florence Knoll two-seater…

West Elm Elton Setee, $699

For the cost of the original, you could purchase the West Elm version 8 times over:

Florence Knoll Two Seater, $5,741 (

Lastly, my own recent purchase, the chair that is omnipresent in any design-savvy person’s home, the famous Eames rocker chair.  I got mine at a super-low price since I bought it during a Hautelook flash sale, but the “fake” is made by California Modern Classics and usually goes for $350.

California Modern Classics Plastic Molded Rocking Chair, $350

California Modern Classics Plastic Molded Rocking Chair, $350

Now, take a look at the original, below, designed by Charles and Ray Eames for Herman Miller.  Is it just me or do they look identical? 🙂  Guess I scored myself a great bargain!

Eames® Molded Plastic Rocker, $479 (

trend report: fashion and furniture

Home décor isn’t my only passion- I am also very much interested in fashion as well.  But since becoming a homeowner I do feel as if my attentions have shifted much more to shopping for home items than for haute couture (well maybe I never shopped for haute couture, but you know what I mean).  To take a line from the newly nested Carrie Bradshaw in last year’s SATC2 movie, “I feel like I’m cheating on fashion with furniture.”  However, I realize that my two loves can be combined.  While poring over recent runway pictures from last week’s NY Fashion Week I found some wonderful similarities between what’s going to be hot in clothing for fall and what is currently in vogue in home design.

Saturated color on the fall runways (image via

As you can see above, bright and bold primary colors were all over the fashion designer’s canvas.  This can be easily translated to home decor by adding pops of bold colored accessories to liven up a room.  The outfits above pair a bright eye-popping color with a more toned down neutral to tamper the effect.  Below, the bold blue of the walls, red door, and pop of pink in the lampshade are tempered by a white ceiling and black and white tiled floors :

Bold interior foyer (image via

The best way to introduce so much color to a room is to do it in a hallway or a foyer, as seen above- this way you don’t feel like you’ve taken too much of a risk if you absolutely hate it- and it is confined to a small area.

Another prevailing trend seen on the runways was the billowy and silky rich blazers, skirts and pants done up in a shade of Yves Klein blue. 

Yves Klein blue outfits (image via

This monochromatic yet rich look can be translated beautifully into a room.  The Yves Klein blue-colored painting in the room below really gives the space a sumptuous and luxurious feel.  After all, it’s so close on the color chart to royal blue that  the overall effect has a glint of royal luxoriousness to it.

Yves Klein blue artwork pops in a neutral room (image via

I saved my favorite runway looks for last: rustic preppiness.  There is nothing that makes me happier than plaid (except for maybe several bottles glasses of pinot noir) and layers.  This look was all over the runways, and while plaids usually call for a muted palette, their print is anything but.  The heavier nubby texture lends a feeling of warmth and coziness- perfect for cozying up to a fire on a chilly fall day. 

Plaid looks ruled the runways (image via

Similarly, an interior clad in plaid makes you want to spark up a fire and lounge about in comfy coziness inside.  The plaid wallpaper in the interior below brings a welcoming and homey vibe to the front entryway of this home:

Rustic plaid entryway (image via

So there you have it.  To my delight, fashion and home decor can be combined.  What’s in style on the runways is often well-translated into the home.  Whether it’s a bold shot of blue or a whole room wallpapered in preppy plaid, fashion and design are not incongruous entities.

weekend project: avant-garde(ning)

While most of the country is still mired in the miserable winter weather (the northeast got more snow today!?) I am lucky enough to be in sunny south Florida enjoying the warm air and 80 degree days. Not to worry- in three short months when everyone else is rejoicing spring’s arrival, I’ll be wiping the sweat from my brow and awaiting the return of autumn and winter. But in the meantime, I’ve been taking advantage of the weather and getting some outdoor projects crossed off my never-ending list of to-do’s. First up, planting a mini garden in my front yard.

Mini garden

Projects like these enhance the curb-appeal of your home, which in turn increases property value. When I moved in to my house over a year ago this area was filled with ugly weeds and plants that never met their full potential. So, I ripped these all out at the root, headed over to Home Depot for some new flora, and TA-DA my new mini garden!

Hibiscus plant

I planted pink and yellow hibiscus plants in the back row of my “garden,” planted golden shrimp plants in the front row for some variety, and flanked these by two simple green leafy plants on either end.

Golden shrimp plant

Then, I covered the dirt surrounding the plants with mulch. The upkeep is fairly simple- water the plants 2 to 3 times a week, prune them when dead leaves or flowers show up, and fertilize every three months (this will vary depending on the type of fertilizer you buy- see the packaging for directions). The most important thing to remember is to find out exactly how much water/sunlight/fertilizer the particular plant that you chose needs and then to follow these guidelines for a healthy garden. Most of this info can be found on the fact sheet that comes with the plant or flower when you purchase it. For additional information, simply Google it– there are tons of helpful web sites out there for the clueless gardener.

While I am on the subject of plants- don’t forget to add some indoors.  They bring a breath of fresh air  and calmness to a space.  To bring the outdoors in I chose a european fan palm- it requires very little upkeep or watering, all I have to do is put it near a window so it gets adequate sunlight. 

European fan palm

before + after: painted love

There is nothing that can transform an item, a room, a wall, (hey, even your hair), better than a fresh coat of color. Recently I transformed a yellowing old dresser that I found on Craigslist into this navy and white masterpiece that completely coordinates with my bedroom color scheme. I simply sanded the outside of the dresser, painted it with primer paint, and then did three topcoats of both navy and white wall paint. (I took the drawers out to make painting easier). I did navy on the drawers and white on the base for a nice color contrast.  In addition, I unscrewed the drawer knobs and spray painted them white, and then screwed them back on. Total project cost: $60.