Saturday, January 2, 2016

A new year, new beginnings

It is a new year, a time to reflect on the past year and think of new beginnings. 2015 was a year of many changes, of victories and challenges. New jobs, new projects, new people entering our lives, and time spent with those that were already there. It was a busy year, perhaps too busy. At the end of it, we find ourselves tired, happy at all that we accomplished, but still tired. We want 2016 to be a year of renewal, a year to nourish our bodies and our souls.
This year, we will:
1. Get healthier. Last year, we weren't the best in watching what we ate or in exercising or in taking time out for ourselves, and it showed. The old cliche says, health is wealth, and that is so true.
2. Be grateful. We sometimes forget to count our blessings in our rush to the next thing on our list. We are much more likely to count our shortcomings or what we haven't done. In 2016, we want to take the time to celebrate the beauty in life, even if it is the perfect cup of coffee or the first white rose of spring or a dancer twirling or a saxophonist playing an ode to joy. We will celebrate the victories and our loved ones, and we will be thankful for all the good things in our lives.
3. Be creative. We will write and we will paint and we will photograph and we will create beautiful spaces. Last year was a start, with one of us entering and winning a photography contest, and in 2016, we want to continue to dream and create.
4. Be mindful. We want to take the time for what matters, to strip away the nonessentials, and be present in our lives. We want to be conscious of how our actions and our words affect ourselves and others, and to be our better selves.
5. Give back more. Everytime you look at the news, the world seems to a dangerous place, full of strife and wants. We could retreat into our safe lives, but we have been lucky. We will give back more  for even small gestures can make a difference.

Resolutions show us what we want to do, bright glittery things full of hope, but then we wrap them up and put them away and bring them out once a year, with our Christmas ornaments and the New Year's confetti. We are careful with them, but then we forget them, and we let another year go by, and we stay our old selves. This year, we will check in every 3 months to see how we are doing. We will stay accountable. We will love and we will live, we will hope and we will dream, and we will be better. We hope you will join us.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A new year and an old year

Tomorrow, it is a new year, a time to start again and a time to look at what has gone before. There have been grand successes but also times that we could have done better, been better. A new year is such a bright and shiny thing, a blank page where we can write new stories, new hopes, new dreams. Everything that has come before, good and bad, shapes us, makes us the people we are, but we are still creating what comes next. Some things may be outside our control, but how we react to them is within us. Each year, we set our resolutions to be better, healthier, to maximize ourselves and our talents. This year, we want to be mindful--of those we love and who love us, of what we've done, of who we are. Even as we set out our new resolutions, we will be thankful for what we do get done, and for the people in our lives, and not just look at what we don't get done.

This new year, we will:
1. Get healthier--exercise more, eat better. This last year, we have eaten a lot, but not always what is good for us (even if it tasted incredibly good). This new year, we will be better.
2. Do something creative--Work got incredibly busy with amazing projects and responsibilities and opportunities...but we need to feed our creative outlets because that feeds our souls. One of us signed up for an art class last year (so proud), but one of us (ahem) spent more time complaining about a project than writing. This year, the artist will continue to paint, the writer will write something, and the antique dealer will pull together a cool and funky curated collection.
3. Curate our collections--We will never be minimalists. Much as we love places with 5 perfectly chosen objects, that will never be us. However, that doesn't mean that we shouldn't get rid of things we have outgrown, no longer like, hide in our closets or basements, or use but not with pleasure. We need to become ruthless in what we get, and what we keep. We will also get to our secret collections project ('s a secret but will be supercool if we do it)
4. Refine our personal style--Like our collections, we need to look to our closets, and get rid of clothes that we don't like and get things that fit who we are. We know the look we we need to get there.
5. Give back more--We have been very fortunate...and others helped us get to where we needed to go, sometimes without even knowing it, with the right advice, or just with a belief in what we can do. Life is short, and there are decisions you make as to the type of person you want to be. We are so grateful to the people who treat others well, even when they don't have to, and sometimes at risk or inconvenience to themselves. There are many people who are only there when the times are good or when it suits their purposes. Those are not the people we want to be.

For the next year, we wish for all a wonderful year. May it be the best year outshined only by the years to come. xoxo

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year!

It is the start of a new look forward to new beginnings and take stock of the think of who we would like to become...but also appreciate who we have think of new resolutions but also affirm old resolutions. This year, we would like to continue working on maximizing ourselves so that we become the best that we can be.

1. Get healthier--Eat better, get fitter. To get the energy to do all the things we want to do, we need to think about what we eat, what we do. While there are days that there is nothing better than sitting in front of the TV with a bag of chips or a carton of Hagen Daz, that's not going to get us to where we want to be. We all need some of those days...we just need more days where we eat our vegetables and go for a run or dance like a ballet dancer.
2. Actualize--We have many ideas. We don't always bring them to completion. We get distracted. We get bored. We get busy. This year, we will work on prioritizing our ideas and then completing them. It can be getting a business to the next may be a piece of may be a may be all of them. At the end of the year, we should be able to point to things and say we did year, we may do it better...but this year, we will do something concrete on an idea that we have.
3. Do something creative--We get so busy with jobs or businesses or life, but we also get joy with painting or writing. This year, we will complete at least one creative project [See resolution # 4].
4. Learn more about the things we collect--Without knowledge, our collections become scattered and unruly and hard to manage. We want to focus on the things we love the most and spend the time to learn more about them. This will help us maximize our collections by making them the best they can be.
5. Remember all that we should be grateful for--Studies have found that people who are grateful are happier. Focusing on just problems or complaints makes us more stressed. We love the idea of the World Gratitude Project, a crowd sourcing site which captures moments of gratitude and thankfulness from around the world.  Reminding ourselves about all that we have to be grateful for reminds us of all that is good and possible in the world, and makes us thankful for those who made it all possible.

This year, we will love, and talk, and laugh, and dream, and continue becoming who we want to be. Join us on the journey to an amazing year!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Places we love: Paris Apartments

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast--Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

We were speaking of Paris...and Paris apartments. Those bleached herringbone floors...those tall windows open to the light of an old city...pale silk curtains swooping down and caught up with tassels...chandeliers dripping with crystals...large gilded mirrors...fireplaces with carved mantels...plaster rosettes on the ceiling that rises far above...wrought iron balconies overlooking the the winter, these apartments can be cold and drafty and both hosts and guests wear coats and gloves indoors and hold their fingers to the fire but it does not matter, because it is Paris and everyone is beautiful and the wine is good, and the food is good, and it is Paris. One day, we will be there, hopefully one day soon, and we will drink coffee in cafes and eat where the locals eat, and we will wear black, and we will pretend to be Parisians, even if just for a moment, and even though we will never be true Parisians, there for generations, we can still dream of Paris.

One of my all time favorite rooms
Lou Lou de la Falaise's Paris apartment, via the Daily Mail

A flock of deer at 31 Rue Cambon
Coco Chanel's Paris Apartment, via Eye for Design

Sofia Coppola in her Paris Apartment,
 photography by Andrew Durham for Vogue Nippon, via This Is Glamorous

Designer L'Wren Scott's Parisian home that she shares with Mick Jagger, via Vogue

A modern take on a Paris apartment by Gabriel Wick and Oliver, via Design*Sponge
Darker tones than usual but the bones are still the same
via This is Glamorous 

A view of the Seine, via ParisPerfect (apartments for rent in Paris)

The Paris Apartment: Romantic Style on a Flea-Market Budget, by Claudia Strasser, available via Amazon. Visit her blog for more inspiration at TheParisApartment 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things we love: Timeless rooms 1

We love antiques...but don't want to look old fashioned. We love modern...but don't want to follow the latest trends. There is nothing more dated than when a trend passes. The art of the mix can be difficult, but when it is done right, it can be oh so perfect.
For instance, take the room below. The piece of abstract art, the richly colored walls, the persian carpet, the sculptures. Would you believe that it was done in the 1960s.

via houseandhome

This was the London living room of noted interior designer David Hicks. The walls were painted in a rich high gloss chocolate, a color he came up with when his wife, Lady Pamela, the younger daughter of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, last Viceroy of India and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, "began throwing glasses of Coca-Cola at him during moments of marital discord." Despite the drama, she loved him, and at his death, said "'He was an absolute volcano to live with, but so life enhancing...I already miss his slamming of doors. David filled your sails with his enthusiasms. When I met him, I was visually blind, always with my nose in a book. He opened my eyes.''
Space + richly colored walls + abstract art + 18th century chair + slipcovers + glass and chrome console + persian rug = timeless

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things we love: Velvet sofas

I love velvet sofas. There's a Seinfeld episode where George said he would drape himself in velvet if it was socially acceptable after he saw his girlfriend's velvet couch. I'm with George. I need to redo my sofa and I would love to redo it in velvet if I can find the right color.

First I thought of olive velvet...and even bought two lots from Fabric Guru. Unfortunately, I couldn't get enough of the olive I really liked, and the other olive was just darker and clashed with my rug.

                                                        Miles Redd, House Beautiful

Then I thought of gray...charcoal or silvery.

                                           Washington School House Hotel, Park City, Utah


I haven't been able to find the perfect gray, so the search continues...

The Tourist was not the greatest movie, but wasn't this the most awesome red velvet couch? It would make anyone sitting on it feel oh so glamorous (Not that Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp need much help in looking amazing). Unfortunately, red doesn't go with all my other stuff, so I don't think my sofa will be red.

I don't think yellow works with what I have, but isn't this sofa from J. Crew's Jenna Lyon so pretty? For years, my sister had a yellow sofa in her family room in her old house in Dallas, and it was such a happy color.

                                 Jenna Lyons home, Domino magazine, via Habitually Chic

I think I've finally settled on blue. A deep rich indigo blue.  'm in the mood to go bolder. Besides, since I am not going for patterns, I think the blue can still work as a neutral so long as I keep the rest of the colors subdued, allowing me to change things up when I feel like it (that's my practical side speaking, or the side that knows I will want to change it up often).

                                                            Anthropologie Amelie Sofa
Sex and the City 2, Carrie and Big's apartment, via Elle Decor.
(Funnily enough, I have a similar painting I bought years ago that is currently hanging over my sofa. I won't be able to use it over my sofa once it is reupholstered without looking like I was totally ripping off the movie. I bought my painting before the movie, I swear).

So blue it is...I think :) I need to stop by the fabric store to see if I can find the blue I want. I'll also stop by online sources such as fabric guru to see if they have anything. Since I need more than 10 yards, it needs to be a good price per yard as well. Keep my fingers crossed...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things we love: Black and White Photographs

There is just something about black and white photographs--a sense of mystery, drama, a certain depth that you don't always get in color photographs. Perhaps, it is that sense of a story that you need to dive into, that you don't get to see everything, that you have to close your eyes and imagine the colors. There is also a feeling of another time, another place. The pure lines of black and white photographs can work well in a modern setting, but can also modernize a home filled with antiques. Black and white photographs can go with any color. They can calm a vibrant palette or sharpen a muted color scheme. They can be massed for effect, or they can stand alone. The images can be of anything, pictures you have taken and pictures you have collected. Play with light, shadow, subject matter, size, frames and displays so that it is personal to you, so that it is your collection, and not anyone else's.

                                    Among my first purchases from ebay from years ago
Photographs from 1940s India from a man whose father served in India during WWII.
One of my most memorable family holidays as a kid was in Kashmir, with a view of the Himalayas. I love the idea that his father may have looked out at the same view so long ago.

                                                 A gallery wall via House Beautiful

Curated photographs add a cool vibe at the Hotel NoMad, via NYT

Love the small touches of color against the black and white color scheme
                                                       Metropolitan Home via DecorPad
        Leaning photographs against ledges, chairs, and walls allows for quick switchouts
Vincent Wolf's home in Veranda

Black and white photographs serve as a focal point in the living room
Ellen Pompeo's home in Elle Decor

An oversized black and white photograph adds drama in the kitchen
Ellen Pompeo's home in Elle Decor

Black and white photographs + paintings + prints + dark walls make for a great art wall
Source unknown, via designdumonde
Black and white and sepia toned photographs look stunning against dark bathroom walls
Feirstein & Heckman, Lonny Mag, via DecorPad
               Flowers pop against a black and white photo collection via Maryam in Marrakesh