Category Archives: design

feeling dotty

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polka-dots have been EVERYWHERE recently, and as much as i love the print, i never feel like i can pull it off without looking too “five-year-old girl in a dress that her mom made her wear.” some of these photos definitely give some ideas of how to dress up the dots (in neutrals? mixed with neon?), but i’ve been thinking that the best way to get in on the trend is in the home decor arena, where the pieces can be the star of your scenery now, and a cute quirky twist once we all decide to get serious and return to the real world.

here are a few of my favorite ideas that i’ve rounded up, mostly DIY, some purchaseable, ALL allow you to take the dot trend as far as you feel comfortable.

looking past this man’s overly-suave smile, i LOVE this idea of putting polka-dots all over your walls and floor for a party, and then leaving them up forever. best part? use metallic contact paper and you can take these down with no paint damage! perfect for polka-dot commitment-phobes and those with landlords who just never understand your desire to personalize. martha, you always know how to solve our problems…

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dotted wall art, made using either gold and glittery cardstock or a home-made potato stamp, lets you pick your colors, the size of your dots, the arrangement, there are almost too many options! not to mention it’s a super quick project. anyone have 20 minutes this weekend?

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once you have that art up on the walls and you want to show it off to all of your friends, why not emphasize les pieces de resistance with some dotted drinkware? whether you’re going for big-girl glam or home-grown quirky, here are two options to fit the bill. now if you don’t feel like buying the glasses in #1, i think that recreating them using the methods of #2 on clear plastic glasses with gold paint would look great too. OR, use leftover contact paper from the wall dots above to spice up your own glasses for an evening. mix it up!

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while we have the ball rolling, why not make your invites dotted too? and how about some good old fashioned outdoor games? i’m always down for lawn twister. bonus – customize the colors to match your party!

somehow this turned into a party-planning post, i really was thinking home decor at first, i swear. but what can i say? the dots are just so festive!


office space

lets face it, most of us “working professionals” spend the majority of our days at a desk — at home or at the office — whether we like it or not. architecture in is its essence is shelter, so using design to create a personalized work spaces will stimulate you emotionally and mentally. i truly believe the more time you take to build a space that is beautiful to you, the more the space will inspire you back as you work. your office space should not be put together based on whats trendy in home decor, but rather what will nourish you. to do this, you must understand your lifestyle and what comfort means to you. without being comfortable and at peace, your brain will not be able to think, create, or work to its highest potential. so, what kind of work space do you crave? obviously we do not all have the luxury of paint and large scale decor, so look at the details. look for the minute elements that give you a sense of comfort, serenity, joy, inspiration, creativity, peace of mind, etc., and brainstorm on ways to incorporate them into your space. here are some office spaces that awaken me:

temporary living

i’m moving! though it’s a very temporary spot, i hope that it will be a jumping off point for a more permanent situation as soon as i can get myself really settled in san francisco. the house is very nice, and in a cute area (though a little out of the way), but my main concern is how to personalize my space without putting in too much effort for the 3 months i plan to live there.

i am definitely the kind of person who is hyper-aware of their environs, and i like things to look nice and neat. in college i was not able to study at all until my desk area was clear of clutter and there was a candle lit/flowers displayed/a pretty painting in my view. to that end, i don’t think that i will be able to exist happily in a room that doesn’t jive with my design tastes. am i too picky?

the space comes furnished, and is not what i would usually choose for myself, but i have been brainstorming ways that i can make it feel as homey as possible. luckily, a lot of decor modifications are easily removed and transfered, perfect for when i move on to the next place!

here are some of my ideas, easily modified to fit apartments, dorms, bedrooms if you have particularly picky parents etc…

hanging photos and art is a surefire way to make a place your own. without drilling any holes, here’s how to get some pictures on those walls!

and easy art you can make yourself…

flower DIY here      heart DIY here

tissue paper flowers in any color and a wooden heart, what more could a girl want? but seriously, i have had these flowers in my room in so many different forms, hanging from the ceiling, making a shape on my wall, scattered above my desk, the possibilities are endless. they will definitely be in my new room.

i am a huge fan of candles. my mom always said that it is because my sign is lacking fire (right…), but i do find that they help me work and make me feel more cosy on the gloomiest of days. here are two ideas that i have seen floating around that i would love to try. i think that the muffin pan candles could be improved upon by adding a few drops of essential oils into the cups without candles. it should work as a diffuser right? and the second, with the coffee, perfect for those rough mornings. a double-whammy of invigorating odor and candle warmth. original inspiration here and here.

and one of my favorite easy decor tips is find large paintings or mirrors and just lean them against the wall! so little effort!  anything that large is bound to make a statement. i’ve been doing this with a full length mirror, but i would love to add some large art pieces to my collection. this one in particular. flea market anyone?

wouldn't this make getting dressed so much more fun? painting by Michael Carson

i’m sure with some of these ideas i will feel comfortable in my new place. then i can move on to the fun stuff, entertaining!

follow the signs

outfit envy

there is nothing more inspirational to get your creative juices flowing than looking at and/or creating dream outfits. whether over the top or plain practical, the exercise is just so simply fun and invigorating. the process of seeing the puzzle pieces that are different elements of the outfit slowly but surely fit together to form a cohesive piece of art makes me smile. here are some outfits that i’m completely envious of.

oh, and if you cannot tell, i’m definitely one of those “neutral palette” oriented friends t talks about below. guilty as charged. clicking the individual photos after each collage will give you product information!

The new natural

Inspiration: Monika Jagaciak

my heart is locked...


Having A Dream

lace for days

i’ve had a predilection for lace as long as i can remember. it is divinely classy and oozes femininity and simplicity. the dichotomy between the texture and delicacy of lace is what makes it come alive as any statement piece. the beauty of lace is that it has enough presence and personality to be worn alone, while it can also serve as a sumptuous, textured canvas to showcase accessories. check out some inspirational photos of outfits that showcase the wonder that is lace:

inspirational/investment pieces:

white lace

Cap sleeve dress
$450 –

See by Chloe scoop neck dress
$420 –

Dorothy Perkins sleeveless a line dress
$44 –

Lace dress
$96 –

Glamorous dress
£30 –

H M flare dress
£20 –

Phase Eight lace top
£59 –

TIBI sheer lace top
$265 –

Marni no sleeve shirt
$1,275 –

Oasis lace top
$70 –

Cropped tank top
70 AUD –

Etoile Isabel Marant racer back tank
$255 –

Bird by Juicy Couture scalloped skirt
£68 –

NW3 cream skirt
£79 –

By Malene Birger scalloped skirt
£229 –

Highwaisted shorts
$64 –

Rosamosario elastic waist shorts
$220 –

White knee length skirt
$35 –
colored lace

Christopher Kane sleeved dress
£855 –

Ribbon dress
£30 –

Giambattista Valli shoulder pad dress
$2,340 –

Slip dress
$700 –

Milly dress
£110 –

Milly camisole top
$364 –

Short sleeve shirt
$115 –

D G floral shirt
$330 –

Erin Kleinberg lace top
$79 –

Diane von Fürstenberg high waisted skirt
$285 –

Rosamosario scalloped shorts
£140 –

TIBI gathered skirt
$119 –

a sentimental feeling

i met up with one of my best friends for a quick coffee date this sunday. while caffeinating we decided to pop into nordstrom so that my friend could replace a necklace she received as a gift but lost. i’d seen my friend wearing her cute, simple feather necklace before, but didn’t think much of it other than it was both very her and very cute. then, just tonight, i went to meet up with a different friend and saw her wearing the same brand necklace with a different charm. so, clearly methinks this brand resonates with women and deserves its moment in the blog-spotlight!

the necklaces are part of a series of necklaces by “Dogeared” (sold at Nordstrom and other jewelers) that feature a small “symbolic” charm on a simple, sterling silver or gold dipped chain. sound plain? that’s where the packaging comes in! each little necklace sits upon a shiny piece of paper with a saying that relates to the charm on the necklace. check some out:

“make a wish and put on your necklace. a life that is full of love is full of endless possibility. wear our necklace as a reminder that with love, there are no limits.”

“love is a dream come true! live and act in love, with an open heart and a dreamer’s spirit. believe in the power of love, and trust that you will find it.”

“what goes around, comes around… wear your necklace as a reminder to keep the circle positive, peaceful and loving…”

   “make a wish and put on your necklace. feathers are symbolic freedom. they awaken our curiosity and open our hearts and minds to possibility. wear your necklace as a reminder to follow your dreams.”

“make a wish and put on your necklace. women are powerful. we are the mothers, sisters, and friends that make the world go ’round! wear your ner your necklace as a reminder that each one of us is uniquely beautiful and strong.”

“make a wish and put on you necklace. the happy buddha symbolizes the good life… happiness, health, and longevity. whenever you see his smiling face,good luck will follow. wear your necklace as a reminder to keep him close!”

while i think the price tags for these babies are a little high for what they are, i swoon for anything with a sentiment and message. i love the idea of inspiring others and believing in the powers of love, fate, karma, happiness, etc. it’s a beautiful world out there and sometimes we need to be reminded to open our minds and hearts! i think these are a perfect go to gift for a friend or loved one. with an unlimited budget i would get copious amounts of the “believe in love” necklace for my single ladies on valentine’s day to remind them how much i love them and how much love there is out there in the world waiting to be theirs. i know i can think of multiple people that each necklace is applicable to. can’t you, too?

p.s. i also think these would make a great DIY gift. i’m picturing this: find a chain and charm that suits your gifting situation and come up with a witty catch phrase (or word), description of the charm, what it symbolizes as a gift from you, and what the recipient should be reminded of when they wear and think of it. then, put said necklace in a cute box on top of your message and add a cute ribbon.

p.p.s. upon more research of the brand, they put their karma to proper use by selling certain jewels to help support grassroots nonprofits that are passionate about social and environmental change: One Voice, Girls Learn International, Inc., Heal the Bay, Stand Up To Cancer, etc. okay, i concede, give them your money! i knew there couldn’t be anything wrong with a brand that is clearly so sentimentally oriented.

“stand up and join an unstoppable movement. wear this necklace as a reminder that we must rise together as one. wear it for your family, for your friends, and for everyone in the fight. this is where the end of cancer begins.”

“make a wish and put on your necklace. together, we will end breast cancer! wear your necklace as a symbol of courage, awareness, and hope.”

i’m (almost) a big kid now

it’s been awhile (read: years) since i had a bedroom that wasn’t a college dorm room or a transition room from my awkward childhood jungle safari themed bedroom (yes, there were stuffed animal monkeys hanging from the wall…). since living the dream and moving back home, i’ve been residing in a room that’s anything but aesthetically appealing for a variety of reasons, but mostly because a. i was moved into a small room that cannot hold all my belongings gracefully and b. living in limbo has left me uninspired to spend the ca$h monie$ necessary to decorate. consequently, this leaves me to spend the majority of my time outside of my room because i cannot stand its utter unattractiveness. moral of the story: it’s been a long time since i’ve had a bedroom that i feel is reflective of my design aesthetic and personality.

thus, i find myself falling asleep most nights thinking of what i want my next, big-girl bedroom to look like. the last space i “designed” myself was my dorm room, which though i fully admit was a “juvenile” space, is on par with the vibe i would want to achieve: a space with lots of light, femininity, clean lines but not sterile, pops of color, and scattered with various textures and materials.

i was lucky enough to live in a dorm full of architectural details (hello crown molding, mirrored cabinet, and tiles!), but without some delineation of space it would have been easy to fall prey to college dorm room chaos. it’s funny how much style can involve – in the year and a half since i moved into this space there are so many different aspects of the room that make me cringe and not want to post these pictures. ikea set frames with ikea mass-produced flower prints? shame on me. oh well, i’ll plead poor college student. anyways, don’t mind the clutter and check out some pictures i found of my previous space:



so, now the fun part … here are some images i’ve been collecting that i think are my big-girl dream room come true!




what’s your big-girl dream room look like? have you ever had a bedroom that is perfectly reflective of your style and personality? do you have a touchstone room that you’re drawn back to for inspiration? how do you define your dream bedroom? how has your own style evolved?