Friday, October 30, 2009


this was one of my favorite sights on our trip to woodstock a couple weekends ago, and i figured today was the perfect day to share it. i love it so much because it's such a funny and interesting mix of influences - which is exactly what woodstock is. a pumpkin with a peace sign carved in it, found, with others, on the bar of a chinese restaurant with streamside dining. in woodstock. go figure.

i'll have many more pictures to share of our trip next week now that i finally got my camera cord back from the emerson, where i dropped it. and tiny treasures will also be back.

the best purchase we made on this trip was a peace sign car magnet i had been pursuing for literally a year. it's gray and big, just like our car, and we finally found it on tinker street in woodstock, fittingly.

peace out everyone.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

a room for all seasons

isn't this screened-in porch wonderful? it looks like an all-season favorite spot. i love the idea of it in spring and summer on starry evenings to end the day, and bundled up on the couch in the fall and winter, perhaps inhaling the smell of the fireplace in the next room or from the neighbor's house next door.

i'd love to have a space like this one day.

photo from designer robert stilin's website

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

ghost of ghost chairs past

just when i felt like ghost-style chairs were becoming so ubiquitous that they were approaching boring, i found the thalya. love love love. it's from kartell and i love it. did i mention that?

it would look incredible at a deco looking vanity like the hayworth from pier 1.

or how about as a point of contrast with a much more traditional one like this one from west one bathrooms?

the thalya chair also comes in several other colors, including smoke which is my second favorite.

and the smoke would look great with this vanity. and so would the red, for that matter.

apparently i'm into these chairs with vanities.

photos from,,

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

loving lavender

since the start of fall, i've been having a lavender moment. while i don't favor it as a personal scent (much preferring my neroli and patchouli options), i love it as a home smell because it is refreshing and soothing at the same time (lavender is known for its calming qualities), and doesn't have a distinctly seasonal bent which so many smells do (like coconut, though you know how i love my coconut). the lavender is light enough for spring and summer and doesn't smell out of place in the cooler months. i also find that it blends with other seasonal scents unobtrusively.

as you might remember, the very first tiny treasure was the mrs meyers lavender room spray and i seriously do think its the best thing you can purchase for your home for $5. i spray it in my bedroom when i'm in there cleaning and organizing or watching tv or getting into bed and its transforming. seriously, i can't overstate my love for it (though i can try).

along similar lines, i really like the mrs meyers countertop spray and hand lotion, which i use as body lotion right out of the shower (label removed, obvi). i like the dish soap too, but its too lathery and ends up feeling like too much comes out every time. i much prefer the lavender and chamomile dish soap from trader joe's (can't find a picture) and they make a hand soap version too.

also from TJ's, avalon organic's hand and body lotion. the reason i love all the TJ's products is because they actually smell like lavender in its herbal form and not a perfumey version of it. and they're a steal.

i also really like the method french lavender products. generally i find them pretty interchangable with the mrs meyers products, except they're a brilliant purple hue which sometimes strikes me as pretty, and sometimes as fake seeming - depends on my mood. they're also more readily available at most drug stores and grocery stores, while mrs meyers is mainly sold at whole foods and similar places.

my favorite new lavender find has been sort of random - baby magic lavender and chamomile baby bath. it smells like comfort and bedtime. that's the best way i can describe it. i got it at shop rite but i know they carry the line at cvs as well. as soon as i see it, i will definitely get the calming lavender lotion they make.

to me, the little moments in my day where i can treat myself to a little bit of nurturing and calm are very important. so for moments at a time - a spray here, a lather there - i am transported to a relaxing and lovely smelling little place.

photos are from,,,,

Monday, October 26, 2009

a picture of organization

so, with packing and moving and unpacking on the brain, i am already relishing how this move will give us a fresh start on organization. i've always maintained a degree of it in our current place, but as i'm sure we all know, it's difficult to implement systems once you've been someplace for a while without them, and there is nothing like a new place to breathe new life into one's routines and strategies.

so here are some pictures of organization (literally) from martha that are inspiring me right now. if not literally, they at least represent some ideas i would like to test out. hope these spark some ideas for your home as well.

one of the many great things about the new place is how many cabinets and drawers are in the kitchen - definitely more than we are used to - but there are fewer closets, so that will be a challenge since we got very comfortable using our many closets for all manner of storage and use. but, we're also not bringing all our stuff, so i think the proportion of space to stuff will end up working out nicely.

another thing i'm really excited about in the new place is that we have a real little entryway, which our current place does not. so we'll be able to have a little table and the coat closet right when you walk in, which i think is so cozy. it's like an immediate and enveloping homecoming when we walk in from the world.

on a less warm and fuzzy note, we are one full bath down from our current house, but there is a big linen closet in the full bath that i am very excited about. it will be a great place to store all the things that normally find themselves under the sink and so easily become disorganized.

now i just have to remember all these lovely images while furiously digging through boxes for sweet and low or q-tips.

all photos from

Friday, October 23, 2009

not your grandmother's silver

and don't get me wrong, i love my grandmother's silver. but i have to say, crate and barrel is really nailing it these days with stainless and aluminum pieces that are shiny and festive looking, but newly grounded in a modern aesthetic. they are also much more sensible in terms of weight, maintenance and cost, and can easily be mixed in with older, more traditional pieces you've inherited from your grandmother (and anyone else with good taste).

as you know, i love crate and barrel's partnership with nambe, which i posted about earlier in the week, but my absolute favorite in their "silver" arena are the russo platters pictured above. i just really love how light and airy they look, and how the ripple looks almost free-form. i really think almost anything would look pretty on them, including all kinds of food, candles, small flower arrangments and other botanical elements.

i would love to use them with another crate and barrel standby, my set of riviera dishes which always look great mixed with silver elements.

i also love these three ring napkin rings because they are so simple and tailored, and they remind me of rolling rings which i love. sometimes associations just work that way, and i guess it goes to show that a tasteful and timeless design can work in more than one application.

i think the arden candleholders are an elegant accent to a dining room table for a holiday or for any other evening, and i love that they come in varying heights. they're sold individually, but they're also available in a three piece set, one of each height.

it's definitely a modern take on candleholders - rather than being designed to be a set of 2 identical ones, they're made to be versatile. while the traditional look is certainly something you can achieve by getting two of the same size, you have other options. thinking of it that way, you could create options out of the ones you already have, including the more traditional silver ones you might have had for years - mixing up the height and the sequence in which they sit (even mixing silver and brass!) would totally modernize any candlescape. yeah, i said candlescape.
on a slightly more industrial note, the shorty cake stand feels to me almost like it would be in a bakery rather than a home, and it's appealing in that way. i could see a dessert buffet table looking great with a few of these and then some pretty, understated dessert plates like these or these. i love a mix like that - hard and soft, or like jen rosenthal said in my conversation with her, sweet and salty...

well i'm definitely sweet on crate and barrel's shining silver accents. had to get my pun of the day in. and another thing...none of these items costs more than $60.

riviera photo from; all other photos from

Thursday, October 22, 2009

a (new) place of one's own

we really love the house we live in. it's more than enough space, ample outdoor space, large rooms and tons of closets. it's the first house we've lived in as a married couple. our neighbors are the first couple we've befriended as "the rothbergs" and not previously belonging to one of us. it's where we said goodbye to our first shared pet, and where we adopted our first mutually acquired pets, where i had my first experience with gardening, and our first dinner parties (with everyone actually sitting). and we're moving out of it.

it's not all bad though. yes, it was a hard pill to swallow when we realized that we needed to downsize, but it quickly became a relief. we don't own the house we live in, and there is no reason to be house poor in a rental. just no reason at all. we want to be able to do things and go places and to save. so we move. 2.2 miles, to be exact.

of course, i'm thrilled to have a project...and i have so many ideas. there are definitely challenges - the new place is much smaller. we have one less bathroom and many fewer closets. and sadly, we will lose much of the outdoor space we have come to love. BUT...there is a balcony off the master bedroom, which has become probably my most favorite part of our current home. i will, straight away, set up some birdseed and birdhouses and let them know there's a new spot in town...maybe my bird friends will find me :)

i am painting in shades of gray, since there is gray carpeting pretty much throughout. i figured i might as well work with what's already there, rather than work against it or in spite of it, and it gives me a great opportunity to do a color scheme i've been sniffing around for a while. i'm planning on doing the living/dining room and possibly both bathrooms in charcoal (mitchell almost threw up when i told him that), and a lighter, moodier gray for the bedrooms. below are some pictures of molly sim's soho apartment featured in instyle magazine a few years ago. i've been poring over them for years and am excited to finally try out a gray look, though ours will be darker.

i'm planning on doing the foyer, staircase and hallways in either a light or medium gray or an accent color, like a pink, salmon or coral. i do love how molly sim's apartment uses purples and blues ("haberdashery blues" as i remember the instyle feature calling them), but no matter how i slice it, blue feels cold to me on a wall, and i'd rather incorporate it in textiles which can bring softness. so i still have some decisions to make, but should be decided by the weekend.

i am looking forward to the challenge of making a new place into a home. luckily, we have a place to store all the things we don't need for now, so that we can live on a scale that makes sense in the new space that is our home. i guess that's the theme here - living on a scale that makes sense. it will be an adjustment, but then most good things are.

molly sims photos from; and

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

stack some sugar on me

so remember in yesterday's conversation with jen rosenthal, i raved about her stacking rings? well, one of them (the one with the citrine) was from italian jeweler pomellato which i learned from jen was the originator of the style popularly attributed to paloma picasso's tiffany "sugar stacks" collection (tiffany collection pictured above and below).

well, i did my research on pomellato, and decided that theirs are definitely my preference, because there are so many varieties of the same general concept, so it makes the idea of the stacking ring come to life. with each new occasion, you can add a piece that truly revolutionizes the set you already have.

so here is the pomellato luna collection, with cabochons (rounded stones) just like the tiffany one. even though they're very similar, i love the roundness of the pomellato ones.

here are some stacked, so you get the idea:

i really love the style jen was wearing which was the nudo -- faceted rather than rounded on top, as pictured here:

but THEN, here are some other styles pomellato makes that can be easily stacked with the solid ones.

these are like big chunks of candy!
another thought i couldn't help but have... as w magazine asked in an article last year, "who says engagement rings have to be colorless solitares?" i actually love the idea of getting a totally showstopping ring like one of these with a proposal and then adding to it for the wedding, maybe adding another when you have a baby, etc. for a non-traditional wedding set, i totally love this.

and i totally love this:

how about THAT for an engagement ring?

and how about THIS for a non-traditional wedding band?

in my internet searching, i found other "pomellato-style" and "sugar stack-style" rings at a full range of prices, many of them very nice. here are just a few.

from ylang 23:

from overstock silver: from shop bop:

from net-a-porter
from coach:

the point this really all drove home for me is that everything is a "copy" of something else in some way...and there's really no way to avoid that, so just wear what you like and don't worry about it. it reminds me of the scene in the devil wears prada when meryl streep schools ann hathaway on how the color blue she was carelessly wearing actually came from somewhere:

...but what you don't know is that that sweater is not just blue, it's not turquoise, it's not lapis, it's actually cerulean. you're also blithely unaware of the fact that in 2002, oscar de la renta did a collection of cerulean gowns. and then I think it was yves st laurent, wasn't it, who showed cerulean military jackets? ... and then cerulean quickly showed up in the collections of 8 different designers. then it filtered down through the department stores and then trickled on down into some tragic casual corner where you, no doubt, fished it out of some clearance bin. however, that blue represents millions of dollars and countless jobs and so it's sort of comical how you think that you've made a choice that exempts you from the fashion industry when, in fact, you're wearing the sweater that was selected for you by the people in this room. from a pile of stuff.


but interesting and true. it just shows what a waste of time it is to try and avoid trends or "cheap" versions of's all about buying and wearing things that make you happy and feel good...regardless of how many versions of it there are or how many other people have it.

often, when something really different becomes ubiquitous, i find it kind of depressing, but what's nice about the fact that what was at one point a novel concept has become somewhat mainstream here is that you can try out the look and dip your toe in without spending a fortune. maybe right now, you can afford two $40 "sugar stack-inspired" rings to get started, and down the road, you might find yourself adding a citrine or moonstone and diamond to your stack. life is long, might as well get started!

photos from,,,,,

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