Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Music Festival Attire

Next week I am traveling to San Francisco for work and to visit friends and family for the long weekend. I have been told that next weekend is one of the best times to be in San Fran as it is the US Navy's Blue Angels Show and there is a free music festival in Golden Gate Park. There is nothing I like hearing more than the words "free" and "music festival"!! 

A picture I snapped of my sister-in-law, brother, and two of 
their children on Golden Gate Bridge a few years ago

For music festivals, I prefer to wear non-designer clothing and shoes because the potential of ruining them is pretty high. I have put together two potential outfits for next weekend's
  "Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival" October 5th-7th.  

No item is over $100, and both outfits cost less than $400! Not bad, if I do say so myself...
Which one do you prefer?
You can shop my outfits on my Olioboard by clicking here.

If you need me next weekend, you can find me wearing one of these outfits while jammin' out with The Lumineers, The Civil Wars, Elvis Costello, Poor Man's Whiskey, The Head & The Heart...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

It's a Jungle Out There!

When I was growing up, my stepfather Frank would always remind me before I left the house that "it's a jungle out there Maggie, be smart and use your best judgement." As a teenager and young adult I never took his corny saying too seriously, but I now realize how important trusting your instincts can be when you want to incorporate animal prints into your home or wardrobe. If you don't feel confident about selecting the right animal print, here are a few pointers to remember...

1. Don't go overboard....there is too much of a good thing!
2. Smaller scaled animal prints are a sure win

To learn more about the items above, view them on my "Jungle Fever" Olioboard here.

DVF via Architectural Digest
 Ashley Stark via Elle Decor
 James Aman via Elle Decor
Max Mutchnick & Erik Hyman via Elle Decor
 via Elle Decor
via Lonny Magazine
via Pinterest 
Via Pinterest

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Online Interior Design Tools

Photoshop has always been my go to software when I create "mood boards" for projects. First, I will sketch out my concept for a room. Second, I will take a picture of the room and upload it into Photoshop. Once the room is in Photoshop, I can change the wall color, remove walls, change the floor finish, add light fixtures, etc. Next, I insert the furniture selections and manipulate them with the scale, rotate, perspective, distort, warp, or skew function so their size and perspective align with the room. Then, I  manipulate their fabric or finish by adjusting the hue, saturation, color balance, or by filling them with a specific pattern (i.e. the fabric I am proposing to recover the piece in.)

I am sure this sounds easy, but in reality it takes a while to master and years to hone your skills so you can be efficient with the time it takes to complete a room.

I have a friend who is always in the know about the latest and greatest gadgets, gizmos, websites, apps, companies, etc. He is always sending me websites that are geared towards interior designers or the do-it-yourself crowd. I have never had the need to stear from my trusty Photoshop, but I realize that not everyone wants to spend $500 on Photoshop software nor take the necessary time to master it.

I decided to give Olioboard a chance. Olioboard is a website that offers users a platform to create 2D or 3D  "mood boards". The Olioboard "Community" is stocked with furniture from several stores and hundreds of blank rooms to use as a canvas. If you can't find a specific furniture piece or room background from their library, they let you upload your own, but you have to enter in a description for each piece you upload.

In this economic climate there are more and more freelancers out there who are converting extra rooms in their homes into office spaces. I decided to put together a scheme for a soft, chic, inviting, and functional interior design office.  

To shop my Olioboard above, click here. 

I did not purchase the upgrade for Olioboard that allows you to put together an overall budget and shopping list for each room, but the standard version does allow you to "shop the room". When you shop the room, you can scroll over an item and click on it to get the link to the store where you can purchase it online. I tried to do a 3D room, but there is not a function that allows you to change the perspective of the furniture pieces, so you are limited to pieces where the photograph of the item is already set in the correct direction as it would be in your room.

I hope you all enjoy my office scheme, presented to you via Olioboard.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Italian Flashback

A year ago today, I was exploring with my adorable mother the historical sites and beautiful country side all across Italy, from Florence to Rome, and all along the Italian Riviera. It has been brought to my attention that I have been hoarding all the wonderful photography I took from the trip. 

My mother was there to paint landscapes and quaint scenes from the romantic cities.  I was there to finally see firsthand all of the historical buildings and cities where some of my favorite design styles and crafts originated. It took some convincing, but I finally convinced her to board a train to some of the lesser known villages. Chiavari and Carrara were on the top of the list because of their iconic brass chairs and stone quarries. 

As we rode the train along the Italian Rivera I insisted that my mother take a break from her Nora Roberts book to glace at the majestic white mountain faces of  Carrara, Italy...

 See those "white mountains"...
Looks like snow doesn't it? But take a good look at the three images below of Mont Blanc (left); Mount Saint Everest (center), and Mount Kilimanjaro (right). all three of these mountains are white because their peaks soar high up into the sky and are covered in snow. 

The Carrara mountains are not even high enough to have snow capped peaks
Instead their white faces are a result of their core being made of beautiful white marble! 
Believe me....it isn't snow, it is marble!...Carrara and Calacatta Marble to be exact.

Carrara, Italy is where all of the gorgeous kitchen counter tops that grace the pages of Elle Decor and Architectural Digest each month originate from. All of the quarries cut slabs of "Carrara" and "Calacatta" marble from these pristine mountains. 
There are so many variations and there are no set rules for what you can and cannot call a slab so each vendor or stone yard might have the same name for two very different looking slabs.  This is why it is so important to see a slab in person before purchasing it!

I was reading one of my favorite blogs WOMANISTA by Cassie McConnell Kelly. Cassie and I attended high school together many years ago in Nashville and she is not only a beautiful "womanista" with amazing style and a warm smile, but she is a very driven individual and her blog exemplifies her fabulous taste and some very valuable information in regards to travel, beauty, fashion, decor, food, wine, and music. I was beyond impressed with her educational post on the difference between Carrara and Calacatta marble, especially considering she is not an interior designer.

As I read the post I laughed because her post included all the same "educational" information I had tied into this post about my trip to Cararra, Italy...Even her self-deprecating story about mispronouncing Calacatta  as "Cal-cutta" with her Southern accent, I can 100% relate to because I can remember working at my first job at a high end architecture studio in NYC and being corrected by a senior designer for the same incorrect pronunciation. 

Below is  a link (click the image below) to Cassie's blog post about her personal account of learning the difference between Carrara and Calacatta marble during the remodel of the home she shares with heartthrob and country music singer Charles Kelly of Lady Antebellum...

Just in case you haven't had enough Marble101, here are some great looking applications of both Carrara and Calacatta marbles...

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Erickson Beamon

What a treat I stumbled on today! I was feeling a little bored and decide to search the web for the new designed of one of my favorite cocktail jewelry designers, Erickson Beamon. Low and behold, I came across their new affordable line for Club Monaco! Don't you just love it when one of your favorite designers does a collaboration that allows more of the mass public to be able to enjoy their bespoke style?

Erickson Beamon for Club Monaco:

Some more fabulous pieces for all of you Magpie's out there that love shiny things as much as I do...

Erickson Beamon

Erickson Beamon crystal necklace / Erickson Beamon dangle earrings / Erickson Beamon pearl dangle earrings / Erickson Beamon chain earrings / Erickson Beamon chain jewelry / Erickson Beamon gold plated jewelry, $475 / Erickson Beamon post earrings / Erickson Beamon ring, $345 / Erickson Beamon flower jewelry, $235 / Erickson Beamon chain jewelry / Vintage jewelry / Erickson Beamon crystal jewelry

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Feeling (Yves Klein) blue...

 The fun and excitement of Summer is coming to an end and it is time to face the Fall...

If you need a little pep in your step as you enter the next season of the year or even the next phase in your life, then try transitioning the brilliant blues from your summer wardrobe with the traditional fall hues of black, grey, chocolate, and caramel.

Yves Klein Blue

Kelly Wearstler boatneck top / Joie animal print top, $325 / Goldsign denim skinny jeans, $280 / Rachel Zoe slip on shoes / Azzaro blue clutch / Moschitto Designs geometric jewelry / Erickson Beamon oversized ring / Rebecca Minkoff tech accessory / Essie blue glitter nail polish

Clients and contractors are always noticing that I tend to wear outfits or articles of clothing that "match" the room or house. Of course, I never purposefully do so, but it happens so often that I am no longer surprised when I walk into a room and look down and I am wearing the same color blouse, shoe, or bag as the curtains, sofa, or rug. Even this blog post matches my work as you can see in the photo I took on my phone this week of the curtains that were installed in a client's beach house...look familiar?

I have put together a yummy Pinterest board with some flirty fashion finds, bright furniture accent pieces and entire rooms that are the color of what the design world describes as "Yves Klein Blue", named after the french artist of the Nouveau réalisme movement founded in the 60's. Many of Yves Klein's series consisted of paintings, sculptures, and decorative art pieces in this brilliant sapphire+cobalt+lapis color combination.
Yves Klein sponge relief
To see more of his work, click here.

Want more Yves Klein Blue? Then follow me on Pinterest by clicking the "follow all" button on my profile page, or click here. Below is a teaser of images from my Pinterest Board..

Miles Redd

Thom Filicia