Friday, November 21, 2014

Beauty Just Because: Plus Grinder From DWR

The Plus Grinder ($75.00) from Design Within Reach is adorable. It looks like children's blocks and it cracks pepper. Win/win. Xo.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thoughts & Tips: Replacing Doors With Drapes

The subject of space saving came up with a client the other day, and so I thought I'd re-post about the simple trick of removing doors and replacing them with a curtain. 

It's funny how the things you take for granted, like a door, can become a stumbling block when trying to gain space. Doors are great for slamming when you're upset, but really, we're not sixteen year old girls anymore (not to self: stop acting like a sixteen year old girl). Of course, if there is a need to shut out sound, or you need complete privacy, then yes, keep your door. But if all a door is doing is staying open and blocking three feet of perfectly good wall space behind it, lose it and hang a drape

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

I am super excited to be working with the fabulous Rachel Dratch on a new web series called Eyesore! And we are looking for our first round of contestants. 

Could that be you?!

Do you have a great space, but can't figure out how to fix that one problem area? Maybe it's a cluttered bookshelf, or you still don't have any art up because you've been too intimidated to put that first nail in the wall. Maybe you have a room that has become a catchall and you dream of making it an office, or your once pristine living room is now cluttered with kid toys and you need a way to contain it. If this sounds like you, you might just be the person we want to help!
SO... if you live in or near New York city and have an eyesore you need some help with, email me at:

smarteralec@outlook.com
Include a brief description, and attach clear pics
of your home AND of your eyesore.
Be sure to put "Eyesore!" in the subject box.

Now, remember, this is NOT for folks who want a full home makeover. It's for people who have worked hard to create a beautiful space, but have that one spot (that eyesore!) that they just can't make work.

We will pick our first four contestants by the end of the month.  Xo.

Monday, November 17, 2014

High/Low: "Rangoli" Rug

I will say these two are a shock side by side, since one is literally ten times more expensive. Both seemingly based on Rangoli patterns, can you tell which is which? My give-away hint is that I DO think the much pricier one is better. The answer after the jump.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Unattainable Beauty: 11 Artist Models

These Artist Models, available on 1st Dibs are amazing. The eleven unique French beauties are dated between 1890-1900. I am pretty confidant these guys will NOT come alive at night and terrorize your soul, but you never know. That's the risk you'll have to take (assuming you have the $85,000 to purchase them). Xo.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Five Things: Outdoor Mats As Rugs

I have mentioned the genius of using an outdoor rug inside before. They are practical, can be super economical and are sleek alternatives to a shag or other pile. Here are Five Outdoor Mats I am crushing on right now:

Monday, November 10, 2014

Gun! To! Head! (Video Edition)

Look guys! It's a new episode of Gun! To! Head! (video edition!), the game where I flip through a catalog and pick the one thing I'd buy (gun to head) before throwing said catalog into the landfill. Enjoy. Xo.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Five Things: Leather & Wood Chairs

I love leather in a room, but for me a little goes a long way. Not a fan of most leather couches or recliners, but a beautiful leather and wood side chair can be just the thing to give a room that sophisticated, sexy touch. Here are five leather and wood chairs that I am crushing on right now.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Boo! Happy Halloween

While I am not one of those adults who still lives for Halloween, I do love a carved pumpkin, and I love a little cutie all dressed up. So go on and have a blast. Get spooked. Be safe. Happy Halloween. We'll talk about design on Monday. Xo.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Five Things: Colorful Kitchen Stuffs From MoMa

I love shopping the MoMa store and I am loving some of their New Houseware Items that are chock full of color and style. Click on through, and feel free to add to the list!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Gio Ponti's Superleggera Chair

Gio Ponti is one of the great architects and designers of the 20th century. Much of his furniture is super Italian in its lush and sensual shapes. But one if his most iconic chairs is the most simple and elegant ever: The Superleggera. Designed in 1957, the Superleggera, which translates to "super light",  is just that. You can find vintage versions on sites like 1st dibs, and Cassina, the original manufacturer is making them new and they're available in endless colors.

And PS, the picture of the little boy lifting the chair with one finger was part of the original advertising campaign. Fantastico! Xo.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Beauty Just Because: The Rigaud Cypres Candle

The scent of a burning Rigaud Cypres candle will forever be my touchstone to the holiday season. In the late 80s, I was all about over-the-top pattern mixing, English chintz, and the wafting scent of a Rigaud Cypres-scented candle. For me, the scent reeks of New England style and old England posh (yes, I know its French). Super lux. Super elegant. Super. Xo.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs

The Matisse cut-out show at MoMa is about as thrilling as it gets. For me, Matisse's colors are to joy what Rothko's colors are to melancholy. And while I always thought I leaned more towards the sads, these Matisse cut-outs gave me a lift that I still haven't come down from. 

Monday, October 20, 2014

Thoughts & Tip: Time To Bring The Outside In

Without a doubt, Fall is my favorite time of year. Best. season. ever. It's the time to start bringing the outside in. Apples and gourds and branches and pine cones. For me, these are all the decorating you need for the start of the holiday season. There's really no way you can go wrong. No arranging, just dump a bag of apples in a big pretty bowl and put it out. Go for a walk, gather up some pine cones and put them on a nice wood tray on your coffee table. While you're out, breath in that fresh clean autumnal air and rejoice. Unless you live on the coast where seasons don't exist. Then, I don't know what to tell you other than to buy a scented candle that smells like fall and try to trick yourself into the change. Xo.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Five Things: Getting Art On The Walls

After posting the other day about how to use posters as an art alternative, it got me thinking about other ways to get art up on the walls. So, here we have it: Five ways for everyone to be surrounded by beauty. And remember the number one rule: A painting DOESN'T have to match the color of the couch! Art is art. It stands alone. Let your color themes be echoed in the little touches around the room. Let you art just be.