White summer accessories

I love adding white accessories to any outfit – they go with any color and, especially for the summer, add a little fun and brightness. Here are some of my current favs.

What’s your favorite accessory? Or what’s your favorite summer color (ooooh, yellow would be a close second for me!)?

Row 1: (1) Botkier 'Elliot' Snake Embossed Satchel, $575, Nordstrom (2) Tasha 'Tulayla' Flower Clip, $28, Nordstrom
Row 2: (3) Tasha 'Rock Candy' Headband, $48, Nordstrom (4) Openwork Luster Scarf, $29.50, The Limited
Row 3: (5) August Hat 'Sparkle Stripe' Floppy Hat, $38, Nordstrom (6) White Cabochon Cuff, $48, White House Black Market
Row 4: (7) Rivera Watch, $175, MARC BY MARC JACOBS (8) French Connection Chunky Multi Beaded White Collar Necklace, $42.27, asos.com
Row 5: (9) RALPH Stripe Aviator Sunglasses, $99, Nordstrom


Chalkboard wall calendar

I have loved chalkboard paint since I first found out about it.  But I didn’t know that you could mix your own shade of chalk…until I saw this project on Martha Stewart (I know...but she has some good ideas!).  Apparently, creating lighter shades of chalkboard paint is as easy as mixing black chalkboard paint with varying amounts of white chalkboard paint.  Makes sense.  And the result looks pretty cool and custom.  Now making perfect colored squares for a wall calendar…that sounds like a bit more complex.


Wooden MacBook skins

Cool accessories for your MacBooks and iPads. They are from KARVT and range from $30 (for the simple wood ones, gorgeous) to $50 (for the artsy ones).


Air-cleansing plants

There are some plants that have been proven to purify the air…by NASA. Good information to share, huh. Note that any plant is great for your house, but here is the list of the top 10 plants that are the best at removing pollutants from the air (such as Formaldehyde, Benzene, and Carbon Monoxide):

Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea Seifritzii) / Mass cane/Corn Plant (Dracaena Massangeana) / Janet Craig (Dracaena “Janet Craig”) / Marginata (Dracaena Marginata)

Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema Modestum) / Mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Laurentii) / English Ivy (Hedera Helix) / Warneckii (Dracaena “Warneckii”)

Pot Mum (Chrysanthemum morifolium) / Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) / Gerbera Daisy (Gerbera Jamesonii)


Fashion trend: monotone outfits

Although I love adding a splash of bright color to almost any outfit, I have noticed a trend of dressing in monotone shades. I have seen lots of white/beige and grey/grey, but also noticed a few colored outfits, such as a red dress with red shoes. I can’t say I hate it…I guess as long as you mix texture/materials, you could come out with some really cute monotone outfits.

I experimented with my own version of a monotone outfit last week…in yellow!


Sea fan art work

I came across this beautiful artwork: framed sea fan on linen at art.com. Simple square aluminum frame and naturally sporadic and tangled sea fan laid out on neutral linen fabric. What was not so beautiful about it: the $199.99 price tag!

As I started to mentally disassemble this artwork to see how it could possibly be so pricey, I decided that this is just a simple hand-crafter project! I found a plain white square 12”x12” shadow box at Target ($9.99), a natural 5”X7” sea fan from the TheNatureCompany.mybisi.com ($3.95), silver spray paint from Home Depot ($5.98) and some linen fabric from Hobby Lobby ($0.49). That’s a whooping grand total of $20.41! Done and done.

I also found this complete tutorial at Freckles Chick if you want to attempt to create your own version.


Modern personalized canvas art

Name Your Design is a line of personalized and unique canvas art that successfully sustains a flair of “urban chic.” The problem with many other companies I have seen that personalize and frame letters/names is that the final product usually comes out looking childish or “country” – neither of which appeals to me.

Name Your Design has come up with designs that I would LOVE to customize and hang up in my own modern-styled home. Bonus: this works for couples who live together (ME!) and would be a fun gift to newlyweds with their wedding date celebrated in a fun and artsy way.

Their canvas is gallery wrapped, so, once you receive it, you just hang it right on the wall. Prices range from $95-180 (not the cheapest, but definitely the chic-est).

And, no, I have no affiliation with Name Your Design (www.nameyourdesign.com), nor are they paying me to advertise for them (although that would be sweet!). Here are some of my favorites:


HGTV’s Green Home 2010

HGTV recently revealed their Green Home 2010 and, as always, they did not under-deliver. The house is located Plymouth, Massachusetts (eight miles north of Cape Cod) and carries all the charm and characteristics of this pine-filled, serene, and mature New England location.

I must admit that the house is not decorated in my style (although it’s very well designed), but I did find some elements that I can’t wait to test out in my own dwelling. Here are some pics of HGTV’s Green Home 2010 - and the red circles are the elements I am storing in my “design file” for future inspiration.


An outdoor oasis

Oh, the warm weather...it's so enjoyable, so pleasant, so relaxing.  But have you noticed that the amount of time you spend outside in the backyard directly correlates to the comfort and set up of your outdoor space? 

There are only a few key items you need to get started, such as a few lounge chairs and some side tables.  But as you expand your outdoor collection to patio umbrellas, fireplaces and planters, make sure you include and arrange pieces in a way that creates an environment that says "welcome" AND "please feel free to stay a while."

I compiled two separate looks that could work in any backyard (no pool necessary!).  This first look, I'm calling "Hot Summer Days" - it entices me to lay out all day long with a group of friend, just soaking in the sun and splashing around in the glistening pool.  I love adding natural plants around the pool area to bring that crisp green color into the mix of the cool blues.  The pop of orange: to die for! (especially in stripes).
(1) Mainsail orange umbrella, $399, cb2 (2) Meridian Maribel Indoor-Outdoor Pillow, $29.95, Crate and Barrel (3) Anjuna Bed, $2298, Amazon (4) Delano Single Chaise, $898, Z Gallerie (5) The Bahama Towel Company Original Bahama Oversized Beach Towel, $19.99, Meijer (6) Piped Outdoor Floor Pillow, $59, Potterybarn (7) shore planter, $69.95 each, cb2

The second look is titled "Cool Summer Nights" - even on a warm night, nothing beats making smores by the fire, getting comfy in cushioned chairs/pillows and enjoying a glass of wine (or tequila...who's judging) to unwind.  The cool look of stainless steel is an appealing contradiction to the warm feel of wood.  The glow from the (├╝ber-modern) fire "pit" and the very-necessary-but-also-very-pretty lanterns is soothing, peaceful and hypnotizing.  Just sit down and enjoy.
(1) Tillary Outdoor Lounge Chair, $269, West Elm (2) Pillow Covers, $24-$39, West Elm (3) Linear Burner 6’ System Outdoor, $6200, sparkfires.com (4) Teak Swing, $350, Design Within Reach (5) Solar Lantern, $39.95 small/ $49.95 large, Crate & Barrel (6) Chaise Cushions, $196, Potterybarn (7) Ona Large Bench, $962.50, puremodern.com (8) Butler Tray and Stand, $188, West Elm


Found at kids' stores, used in adult homes

I'll admit it...sometimes I peruse the "kid's section" of stores.  Not because I want kids, not because I have a baby shower to attend, but simply because there are lots of things "made for kids" that can definitely be used in a "grown-up" house.  

Here are some items I found and think would look great in a hallway or a guest bedroom.  Think you could use any of these items in an adult room?

Row 1: (1) Scalloped Mirror, $149, PBTeens (2) OXO Luau Light, $199.99, The Land of Nod
Row 2: (3) Double Dot Shower Curtain, $49, PBTeens (4) Dress Form, $199, PBTeens
Row 3: (5) nautical pillow cover, $19, baby&child Restoration Hardware
Row 4: (6) Mini Butterfly Mirrors, $19, PBTeens (7) Wall lamp, $9.99, IKEA


Darling accessories

You might need them or you might not.  Either way, these fun items are too cute not to share.

Row 1: (1) Bean Lighter, $150, Tiffany & Co. (2) Elephant lock, $330, Hermes
Row 2: (3) Paper Straws Box of 50, $3, kikkerlandshop.com (4) Silver Duck Mirror by David Dear, $75, Urban Outfitters
Row 3: (5) Apple Bookmark, $75, Tiffany & Co. (6) sailor knot bracelet in white and silver, $18, Etsy
Row 4: (7) Alessi Mediterraneo Kitchen Jar Collection, $30-34, allmodern.com
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