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Friday, June 29, 2012

Hot Hot Hot

It's going to be a hot hot hot few days in the Queen City. 

Speaking of hot hot hot, we have just listed some FABULOUS fabric on MoS Marketplace!  Brand new Jonathan Adler for Kravet!

Check it out here!

and here

We are adding lots of fun new (old) pieces to MoS Marketplace, so keep checking back here

Friday Vignette

Bathroom of my dreams.

via Elle Decor

Thursday, June 28, 2012

MoS Decorates an Office, Part 1

One day I will write an emotional post about how I am really living my dream, doing what I always wanted to do but never dreamed I would actually do, what has led up to it, etc.  But after being without air conditioning for the past 4 days along with everything else, I don't have the time or energy to write that post now.  So I'll jump right into how I am currently decorating my office in our (finished) basement. 

Creating an office that is happy and full of life can be a challenge in a basement in a north-facing house.  So I'm using white furniture, bright colors, and mirrors mirrors mirrors.  I want it to be fun and peppy, more Meg Braff than Phoebe Howard (although I am certainly not comparing my little project to the work of either of those legendary women, both of whom I adore). 

Yesterday I stumbled upon a faux bamboo dresser.  It is one of those typical 1960's Florida motel cast-offs, nothing special, but it's exactly what I want to use for storage in my office.  The drawers are dovetailed, and the quality is good, so for $40, the price was right, and I picked it up.

(I didn't take a "before" picture, but mine looked just like this one.  Thanks, Circa Who).

As soon as I unloaded it this morning, I started painting.

I sprayed it a glossy white.  It isn't fine furniture, so I just painted it myself with some Rustoleum.  If it was going upstairs in my house, I would probably splurge and have a professional do it.

I painted all the hardware black, for contrast against the glossy white drawers.

My husband helped me cart it in.  I added a big mirror and my favorite blue and white dragon lamp.  FYI, the wall color is going to change...

It is perfect for all my paperwork and office supplies, and it's nice to have a surface where I can lay out fabric samples and paint colors.

Stay tuned as I reveal more of my office and playroom makeovers!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

To Dot or Not?

I can't decide how I feel about polka dots.  I want to love them, but I am just not sure.  Maybe it is too many Pottery Barn Teen catalogs, but sometimes polka dots leave me feeling like they belong in puffy pink tween bedrooms. 

Let's take a look.

I so badly want to love this little vignette, but I can't help but wish that these stools were any fabric other than polka dot. 
House Beautiful

I *think* I like polka dots on this French tub chair.  I think.

I don't mind dots in this Sarah Richardson nursery.  They seem appropriate for a nursery, especially when paired with other "mature" fabrics.

In a modern home, I do like this polka dot art piece, paired with sleek midcentury furniture.
via Metropolitan Home

One way to ease yourself into using polka dots is to find a fabric with abstract dots that don't have perfectly circular lines.
House Beautiful

Brunschwig and Fil's Les Touches is part polka dot, part animal print.  I love it.

I used abstract dot fabric in my little girl's nursery.

For clothing, I do love small swiss dots. 

And tonal dots.
Image via Sartorialist

And I am tempted by this navy and white Old Navy top (although being tall and curvy, I am not sure if I can pull it off.  Maybe it's best left to petite, gamine body types).

Do you like true polka dots in your home and wardrobe, or do you prefer less literal, more abstract or tonal versions?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

MoS Obsessions: Navy and Coral

Coral and navy are my latest favorite color pairing.  Navy is such a good neutral- it is hard to think of any color that doesn't go with it.  Coral has always been one of my favorite colors (my bridesmaids wore coral 7 years ago), and I absolutely love how it pops against a crisp navy backdrop.

Here are some of my favorite ways to use this color combination.

Massuco Warner Miller

House Beautiful

Absolutely Beautiful Things

Style at Home


House Beautiful

Isn't this fabric from Tobi Fairley just amazing?

I also love this Lee Jofa Persian Print.

Are you loving navy and coral, too?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Cover Girl

I'm not sure the word "shocked" can really describe my reaction when I pulled the latest issue of Elle Decor out of my mailbox and saw Food Network's Sandra Lee on the cover. 

If you aren't familiar with Sandra Lee, she hosts a show called Semi Homemade Meals with Sandra Lee where she often cooks in costume and serves up fine cuisine like "Kwanzaa Cake," which is a store-bought angel food cake frosted with store-bought icing and decorated with canned apples, corn pops, popcorn, and candles.  How festive indeed.

Of course, I can't neglect to mention that Sandra Lee's boyfriend is New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, so perhaps that has something to do with why she is on the cover of Elle Decor.  After seeing pictures of the home she shares with Cuomo, I think it *must* be the fancy boyfriend that landed Sandra Lee a cover girl spot, because it surely can't be based on the merits of her home decoration. 

It isn't that the house is completely offensive.  It just seems lightyears away from the inspired spaces we are used to seeing in Elle Decor.  Elle Decor, which is generally considered "the authority on interior style and design," has taken some serious steps backwards with this feature.  Let's take a look.


This office is just sad.  The custom bookshelves might as well be from Ikea, and the way they are styled with white books, countless geodes, and urns from Homegoods seems so uninspired.  I thought that desk could make any room fabulous, but that is not the case.

Equally uninspired is her living room.  First off, it drives me crazy to see that mirror hung horizontally.  And while none of the pieces are necessarily unattractive, there is just nothing special about this room.  It feels lifeless.  I love neutrals and have seen numerous chic neutral rooms.  This isn't one of them. 

Her husband's boyfriend's "man cave" is edgier than the living areas, but once again, it doesn't strike me as Elle Decor material.  By the way, have you noticed all the 3-ring binders in this house?  You can see them in the study, in the living room, and in the "man cave." 

The dining room bores me to tears.  I appreciate that she didn't want a stuffy, formal dining room, but this room looks like it is straight from a Pottery Barn catalog.  The choices for this room are very safe (solid chairs, solid natural fiber rug, solid walls, Restoration Hardware table, billiard style chandelier), and it makes the room boring.  I like the Lee Jofa curtain fabric, but it isn't enough to make this room inspiring.
Images via

Goodness knows my house isn't perfect, and I realize this blog post is snarkier than usual.  But it's the job of the editors at Elle Decor to bring readers the very best in style and interior design, and it seems to me that this home was featured because of whose home it is, not because this home is representative of the best in style and interior design.  That makes me disappointed in Elle Decor.  I cannot imagine that this story would have run under Margaret Russell.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Vignette

Flamingo love.

Pinned Image

Nancy Ramirez

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thursday's Cheap and Chic

As I was walking through Home Depot the other day, something unexpected caught my eye- a starburst mirror!  

It has a 30-inch diameter, which is a good size, and I like the lines of it.  And it is $35!  Between this mirror and the versions you can always find at Homegoods, there really is no reason to spend big bucks on a starburst mirror.

Check it out at your local Home Depot!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Painted Molding

Painting molding a shade other than white is a wonderful way to add coziness and depth to a room.  It is an unexpected detail that makes a room unique.  There are so many ways to use non-white molding, as we will see below.

Painting the molding several shades darker than the wall color creates a cohesive look and isn't as risky as painting the molding a completely different color.

via Elle Decor

Glossy chocolate brown molding highlights the texture and more saturated hues of grasscloth wallpaper. 
via Palmer Weiss

Another option is to paint the molding the exact same color as the rest of the room.  This is especially smart when you aren't in love with the lines of your molding or really want your furniture to pop against the walls. 

Every surface in this closet, including the molding, is highly lacquered for a glamorous effect.
via Elle Decor

Keep window treatments very simple (or even non-existent) by painting the molding a contrasting color from the walls.  You really notice the large windows in this room, particularly when paired with neutral furnishings.
via Elle Decor

It takes a bold and fearless decorator to use glossy black paint on the molding.  But it looks amazing in this red dining room.

Black molding makes this bedroom crisp without feeling stark.

I don't have any non-white molding in my home, but I would love to be brave enough to try a color one day.  Do you have non-white molding in your home?

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekend Finds

We had a busy weekend with a wedding, Father's Day, etc, but I had a little bit of time to do some shopping for the store and for myself.  I wanted to share a few of the "for myself" finds!

I fell in love with this vintage turquoise leather clutch at first sight.  The gold faux bamboo clasp makes it even better!  I even carried it to the wedding Saturday night.

This huge gold leaf mirror is perfect for my entryway.  I love the lines of it and how thin it is against the wall, since we pass through that hallway so frequently.  I especially love that the same mirror is on 1st Dibs for $2,400.   

I've been gradually starting to work on my little boy's "big boy room" and have been searching for lighting.  This cylindrical polished brass lamp will pair perfectly with his midcentury modern furniture.   I especially love the oversized finial!

Finally, I bought this vintage green trunk on a stand.  I may use it as a coffee table or at the very least for chic toy storage.  Inside one of the compartments in the trunk, I found the most hilarious letter, written in beautiful scripty cursive that you don't see anymore.  It is written from a mother to her son, and I have to admit, I would love to know this mother because she seems like a riot (the last couple of paragraphs are hilarious in context with the rest of the letter). 

Here is what the letter says, written in a mother's beautiful penmanship.

I want you to keep this.
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better – whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier because you lived.

This is to have succeeded.

“The clock of life is wound but once and no man has the power to tell just when the hands will stop at late or early hour. I shall pass through the world but once; any good therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any human being, let me do it now. Let me not defer it for I shall not pass this way again.”

By the way, if you ever send another card, and not say a word on it but your signature, I am just going to quit writing. Mrs. Cannon said to tell you that you could at least just tell me "Mike lit a fart" or something.
Love to all,

Mom and Dad

P.S. Former Mayor Burns is going to run again for governor and I’m going to vote for him. The other one in office STINKS.
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