Check out Matters of Style Marketplace on One Kings Lane

Check out my latest vintage finds on One Kings Lane!

Monday, February 28, 2011

Just Listed on Mos Marketplace

Vintage metal trays for Florida, Montana, and California!  These trays highlight the famous cities and landmarks of your home state!

Click here for more details! 


We have also listed over 5.5 yards of navy Thomas Paul for Duralee Blossom fabric!  This modern floral pattern is such a chic way to update your home! 

Click here for more details! 
If you are interested in selling a piece of furniture, textile, or home accessory on MoS Marketplace, email us at mattersofstyle@gmail.com.  To see more of our favorite finds, check out http://www.mosmarketplace.com/


Dressed to Impress at the Oscars

While we were decidedly underwhelmed at the fashion choices at the Golden Globes last month, last night's Oscars did not disappoint in the style stakes. The colors were bolder, the the gowns were memorable, and so many women did a fabulous job of pulling off a "style" as opposed to just a dress.

Kate Blanchett in Givenchy haute couture- this wasn't a super-traditional red carpet dress, but it just stopped me in my tracks when she walked on stage. The beaded detailing was incredible.

 Reese Witherspoon in Armani Prive- this was more than just a dress- Reese pulled off an entire bombshell look with her huge cascading 60's ponytail and emerald green earrings. 

 Annette Bening - the photos don't do this dress justice- it was a glittering vision. And like Helen Mirren, Annette just seems to keep getting better with age.

 I may be the president of the "love to hate" Gwynnie club, but she looked awfully hot in her gold Calvin Klein- it was modern and quite stunning. Nicole Kidman on the other hand- WOW- this dress just looks so completely unsophisticated. It would have been much better without all of the beading and embroidery. This looks like Jessica McClintock circa 1994.

Sandra Bullock in Vera Wang- she looked flawless. Insanely gorgeous neckline.

 Jennifer Hudson in Versace - Weight Watchers is thanking their lucky stars that they picked her as their newest spokesperson- she looks incredible and good for her for showing it off!

 Natalie Portman in Rodarte - the night's big winner looked gorgeous. Why can't all maternity dresses be this lovely?

Any favorites we missed?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

New on MoS Marketplace- Thom Filicia for Kravet "Prospect" Fabric - 1 3/8 yd

Just listed on MoS Marketplace- Thom Filicia for Kravet "Prospect" Fabric. 1 3/8 yard. Click here to purchase! Perfect for pillows or to recover a chair or small bench- a modern ikat with soothing yellow green and gray.



Friday, February 25, 2011

Hooray! Meg Braff Fabrics and Wallpapers Have Arrived!

 We can't proclaim to have just ONE favorite designer here at MoS...but Meg Braff is unquestionably on our short list. The reason she's right at our tippy top? Her designs are classic and colorful, but always look fresh and inviting. They're unlike anything you've seen before, but make you still feel right at home. 

So we were THRILLED to learn this week that Meg Braff has launched her own line of wallpapers and fabrics. Statement wallpapers are practically her trademark, so it's only fitting that she lend a hand in their design. It's hard to pick our faves, but here are a few that caught our eye...

Brighton Your Pavillion- this comes in several colorways. It's a classic bamboo trellis print that will never go out of style. I would love this in a dining room or powder room. A+!

Up a Tree- a classic chinoiserie print, but reinvented in modern colorways, so it doesn't look at all stuffy.

Ferns. Perfection. Sort of like the classic palm wallpaper at the Beverly Hills Hotel, with a twist.

Sampan- red on silver mylar. Need we say more?

Cockelshells- reminiscent of that gorgeous handmade Italian paper.

Endura- this reminds me a tad bit of Alan Campbell's Petite Zig Zag...this is much more geometric. Again, comes in a million colorways- we are loving how you could then select a bold fabric to play off of this.

The fabrics are coming soon- but seems like they may echo the wallpapers. Meg, we LOVE your new collection and cannot wait to see it put to use!

Bon weekend, everyone!



Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sew Inspired

Sewing is making a come-back!  After last week's blog post about the skirted sink, we received lots of emails from folks asking us about how to get started learning how to sew, what kind of machine to buy, etc.  MoS Washington learned to sew several years before I did, and I took sewing lessons about three years ago.  We are both so glad we learned how to sew.  Not only is it fun and a good creative outlet, but it can save major money on things like pillows, curtains, etc.  I've never been big on sewing clothes and generally stick to home decor, but MoS Washington has done her fair share of altering and adjusting clothes, with good success!

Here is an overview of what you need to get started.  Some people can read the manual and teach themselves how to use a sewing machine.  I REALLY benefited from taking a sewing class.  I also think taking a class is a good way to see if sewing is a good fit for you, before investing in a machine and all the gear.  If you are in Charlotte and want to learn to sew, I highly recommend Marcia Young with Sew Inspired.  She teaches out of her house, using her bonus room as a sewing lesson room and has set up 3 or 4 sewing machines on tables for students to use for lessons.  She is so kind, patient, organized, and talented- I really would recommend her to anyone (she has no idea I am blogging about her and probably doesn't even remember me).  Her prices are really reasonable ($15 for a 1.5-hour session I believe), and it's a fun activity to do with friends.  I went with two of my friends every Thursday night for a couple of months, and in that time frame I learned enough to make just about anything for my home.

Once you have decided that sewing is a good fit for you, you need a machine.  I have a mid-range Singer, available at Hancock Fabrics.  It has more bells and whistles than I will ever use (you end up using 2-3 stitches 90% of the time), but it is easy to work with.  I definitely don't think you need to start with any machines made for quilting, embroidery, or monogramming (although that would be nice).
MoS Washington has a Baby Lock that she has really enjoyed.  Check out the Baby Lock website to see where they can be purchased. 


Once you have a sewing machine, you need a place to sew.  The kitchen table works if you don't mind taking your machine in and out of storage.  But if you have the space, a designated sewing area is nice.  I use a wooden desk for my sewing machine, but a shiny white parsons desk would work great, and the middle drawer is great for storing essentials like pins, shears, thread, and measuring tape.  You want a desk or table with an open base so you have a place for the sewing machine foot pedal.
Good lighting is very important when you are sewing.  Your machine will have a light, but an additional lamp on your sewing table is very helpful. 

Staying organized is always a challenge with you are dealing with multiple threads, fabrics, bobbins, needles, and trims.   And I am the first to admit the market lacks really cute sewing organizers and accessories (hint hint- someone needs to make cute sewing accessories!).  However, this little kit from Anna Griffin is adorable and is just the right size to store your essentials.
Anna Griffin Sewing Kit, available at http://www.overstock.com/

If you plan to move your machine in and out of storage, you need a good way to transport it.  This rolling kit is fantastic.  My MIL gave me one of these, and it makes it easy to take my machine on weekends in the beach or the mountains, when I know I'll have free time to work on some projects.  This particular case is nice because it has so many compartments to keep everything organized.

Every seamstress needs a pin cushion.  If you don't want the traditional tomato, Etsy has some cute options.  Some are a little more homespun than I would prefer (where are the Kelly Wearstler pin cushions when you need them?), but cushions made of fun fabrics and trim do exist!

A good pair of shears is essential.  I have Gingher shears, and they have been great.  Please note that you shouldn't cut ANYTHING other than fabric, thread, and trim with your sewing shears.  They stay nice and sharp that way.

While you definitely need a tape measure for cutting fabric, a hem gauge will be your go-to tool when you are actually pinning and sewing.  It helps you make those straight lines and get the hem exactly right.  You can mark with either chalk or a sewing marker, which has disappearing ink.

And of course, pins.  I prefer quilting pins to regular pins, because they are bigger and easier to maneuver.

For thread, I prefer Coats and Clark cotton thread.  The quality is good, and it is inexpensive.

Go ahead and buy some spare bobbins as well.  You can load them with your different thread colors, and it makes sewing so much quicker if they are ready to go!

I hope that is helpful for those of you interested in learning how to sew!  There are lots of other accessories you can buy, but I think those are the essentials I use most frequently.  You can check your local community college or even Craigslist for where to take sewing lessons.  I have made curtains, pillows, and bed skirts for my whole house, which is both fun and economical.  And it's always nice to be able to hem a pair of pants if you are in a pinch!  Happy sewing!

**A note for DC readers- a couple of people have asked for recommendations for sewing stores/classes in this area. I learned to sew before I moved here, so I'm not terribly familiar with options in the DC area. I'd start with G Street Fabrics, as I know they sell machines and also offer classes. They have a location in Rockville and one in Arlington (at 7 Corners). If you have any recommendations feel free to leave a comment**

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Can Anyone Recommend an Upholsterer in the DC Area?

*Update--thank you for your comments and emails, everyone...feel free to keep them coming. I'm going to compile all these recommendations in a post next week so everyone will have this info. Y'all are the best- thank you!*

Throwing this one our to our knowledgeable readers...my yellow chair has the most wonderful shape and beautiful wood patina...but I'm over the yellow fabric it came with. I'm looking for someone in the metro DC area to reupholster it. I have a car so the VA or MD 'burbs are fine. I don't think this is a terribly hard project- far less involved than reupholstering a couch or an armchair. If I were really ambitious and had the time I could probably tackle it myself- but I'd rather spend a bit of money and have it done right the first time!

Leave a comment or email mattersofstyle@gmail.com with tips. Thank you!


Highlights from the Washington Design Center Sample Sale

Last Saturday, the Washington Design Center threw its biannual Sample Sale. I've been wanting to go to one of these FOREVER, yet somehow have never gotten around to it. Since my mom was in town and she's also a design enthusiast, we decided it was finally time to check things out!



The sale is open to the trade only on Thursday and Friday, then to the public on Saturday. Not all of the showrooms participate, and the degree of the "sale" definitely varies by showroom. But since the Design Center is normally only open to the trade, it's a great chance to get a sneak peek inside and check out the gorgeous furniture, rugs, and fabrics. And admittedly, most of the furniture shopping I do is at resale stores and on Craigslist- so it's nice to survey the high-end market in person and see what's on trend.

Maybe it's just DC, what with our super famous obelisk...but obelisk pairs seem to be all the rage right now!

The true bargain basement items were rug samples (perfect for doormats!), wallpaper rolls, and some fabrics (though nothing in huge yardages). But I did notice some pretty good deals on upholstered furniture- I think this Anthro-esque fern chair was $700 or so. 


And these trellis chairs were around $800 each, I think...I was surprised they weren't sold!

 Hard to tell from the pic but this chair gave off a crazy Alice-in-Wonderland vibe- it was huge and had the most interesting lines. I think it was around $600.

This gorgeous trio of chairs at Duralee had me reconsidering my new apartment's color scheme...for a hot moment I was about to throw my muted blues and creams out the window and think PINK! These were around $600 each.

 This chair wasn't on sale but I just loved the lines and the fabric.

 Something that I saw in more than one showroom- tortoise! What an awesome trend- tortoise is one of my favorite finishes. These were in the Century showroom- I think they were from the Oscar De La Renta collection, which I was of course drooling over.

 And, correct me if I'm wrong (which I may well be) but I believe these tortoise chairs were at Kravet.

All in all, it was a wonderful morning at the Design Center. Even if you don't expect to buy anything, it's a fabulous way to gain some inspiration and see what's on the market. There should be another sample sale in the fall and we'll definitely post about it as soon as we find out the date!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Nautical Flair

This weekend I stopped by J. McLaughlin to check out their AMAZING sale (50% off the lowest price, which was already at least 50% off the ticket price!).  Of course, a full price item caught my eye- a white and navy weekend bag with luggage leather detailing.  It is made of sail cloth with sturdy brass hardware.  Isn't this the perfect bag to pack for a weekend at the beach?  This bag combined with unseasonably warm weather in Charlotte has me thinking about one of my favorite springtime color combinations- navy and white.  Here are a few of my favorite navy and white picks for spring!

This striped tee adds a touch of French style to your spring wardrobe.  Just add white jeans!

I fell in love with these navy and cream J Crew spectator flats over the weekend.  They are on the way!

This summer day dress combines stripes with such a feminine style.

Topsiders are great with a short white jean skirt.  I love this style in navy leather with seersucker sides!

If you aren't ready to splurge on Saint James, this tee from Old Navy is super soft and has adorable roll-up sleeves with button detailing.

These shorts aren't styled very well in this stock photo, but I checked them out this weekend in person, and they are adorable, made of super comfy knit cotton.  They also come in a little girl size which would be so cute for your little fashionista.

We can't wait to get out our favorite navy and white nautical styles this spring!
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