Infusing grandeur into otherwise drab Mondays with five things/ideas/events for the week:
I. There’s nothing better than homemade ice cream on a hot summer evening. Despite the advent of bikini season, I’ve been experimenting with new flavors nearly every week since April. Finding rich flavors like Burnt Orange and Candy Apple too filling, my concoctions lately have centered around icier granitas and sherbets - my favorite being this Pink Mint Sorbet recipe from a Marie Antoinette-themed girls dinner I threw years ago. I used the sorbet as a palate cleanser at the time, but it’s equally delicious paired with a glass of sauvignon blanc as a replacement for dinner when it’s too warm to cook (less calories than an entire meal means it’s diet food, right?).
II. I have a seemingly never-ending itch to make bold redecorating decisions late at night. The latest among them, was to paint my entire foyer black. The space has troubled me since I moved in nearly four years ago. While I’ve painted every other room in my apartment at least twice, the entry area and long windowless hallway to the bathroom left me uninspired. In January, I replaced the pendant light with a lucite chandelier, added an oversized beveled mirror, and re-purposed a wire garden basket as a mail and magazine holder. But at 10PM last Wednesday, I decided the space needed a more significant change. Doubtful that I could buy paint at that hour, I was thrilled to find out that Home Depot is open until 11PM in Emeryville. I raced to my car and spent the twenty-minute drive to the East Bay agonizing over a matte or semigloss finish. By the time I arrived, I’d picked matte (more dramatic), decided to buy gold spraypaint to give my DIY art piece an edgier upgrade, and ordered an Ed Ruscha poster with warm gray matting and bronze frame for a pop of color. Though the sun came up before I finished my project, I’m still thrilled with the result almost a week later. Now I just have to figure out which room needs updating tonight…
III. With a record number of friends who have babies on the way, I’ve started fielding questions from soon-to-be parents about how to decorate a room for someone who hasn’t been born yet, let alone developed any sense of personal taste. Let’s be honest, as much as you want your offspring to be stylish from the start, your beautiful newborn could not care less about the Alexander Calder-inspired mobile above her crib or the Tiffany Teething Ring on his nightstand. Focus on the basics: pick a crib first (it’s the focal point of the room), keep the decor uncluttered (toys will fill empty space faster than you can imagine), don’t feel the need to conform (your baby’s room should be reflective the rest of your home aesthetic), and make sure there’s lots of color. Unlike hearing, which is fully developed at birth, sight matures gradually over the first eight months. There are numerous studies indicating that exposure to different hues (particularly blues, purples, and reds) will help foster your baby’s ability to differentiate color. I’m a huge fan of inexpensive prints from budding artists for this purpose. Current favorites are Megan Carn, Evelyn Henson, and anything from the curated print site 20x200.
IV. My current obsession for more adult decor is patterned fabric. In the past few days, I’ve ordered at least two dozen fabric samples in complementary colors to reupholster vintage pieces for clients. After living through our parents’ nightmarish 70′s plaid and 80′s Laura Ashley, our generation has been less willing to play with patterns. That’s changing now that a new crop of designers have emerged with the absolute chicest fabric lines for furniture. Dana Gibson is my go-to fabric creator - her collaboration with Society Social for these gorgeous ottomans is simply beyond… If you aren’t inclined to drop $1k on foot furniture, it’s easier than you think to find fabric you love (Discount Fabrics and fabric.com are phenomenal resources) and recover a plain ottoman with nothing more than a staple gun. There are also beautiful ready-made options from Target and Cost Plus. Tip: matching side-by-side ottomans instantly add both extra seating and a luxe feel to your living or bedroom.
V. At any given moment, someone you know is going through heartbreak. Be it from the loss of a best friend, an untimely Game of Thrones death, or the realization that the person you can’t live without is doing just fine living without you - we can all benefit from words of wisdom to get us through the darker times in our lives. Que the TED playlist Talks to Watch When Someone Just Stomped on Your Heart. Ranging from rethinking jealousy and infidelity to comedic relief from a poet advocating auctioning your broken heart on eBay - the collection of six videos will make you think, laugh, cry, and realize that you aren’t alone in your misery. Or, at the very least, provide an excellent distraction.
Have a wonderful week! xx tt