International World Traveler… sort of

Everyone has a budget.  Some of us just have a slightly smaller or larger one.  Over the last few years, I’ve become pretty good at stretching our Ikea budget to match our Pottery Barn taste.

So what’s the secret?  Mixing, matching and looking for a sale!  You can buy 95% budget-friendly items, but you can’t get them all from the same place or everyone will know you just raided the entire Hemnes section of Ikea.  And when you throw in a few vintage finds, you can nail that coveted, eclectic style that’s all the rage.

Don’t get me wrong, we still buy a lot of Ikea; but it’s the pieces we mix in that make all the difference.  One of my super-secret budget friendly mix in spots: Cost Plus World Market.  (Note this post is NOT sponsored, I’m just obsessed with them!)

World Market Logo

I first learned about them when I stumbled upon the store at the Grove a few years ago while hunting for props for a short film; it had the perfect eclectic mix of home goods my place (and my short film) had been missing.  Since then, Jefe and I have become quite the World Market connoisseurs.

Why do I love it?  You can get an all-leather storage ottoman for $200 that has worn beautifully.  You can get every serving piece you could possibly need to host your first Thanksgiving and still have money left over for that festival fall runner.  And it all holds up beautifully; the furniture is definitely a step up in the stability department.

In the spirit of sharing is caring, I’ve taken the liberty of picking a few of my favorites for you.  It’s a great mix of items we already own with others I’ve got my eye on.

The Natalie Bed – I have to admit that this may have been a recent purchase as I’m so obsessed with it.  Our Ikea bed was not going to make its 4th move and this beauty caught my eye.  And lucky for you, it’s currently $240 off!

Natalie Bed

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Charcoal Oscar Chair – I have the prefect corner ready and waiting for this stylish arm chair.

Charcoal Armchair

Black Windowpane Andrea Mirror – Is your home a little dark?  Lacking windows?  Why not fill up an empty wall with this windowpane mirror!  Fake window and more light all in one.

Windowpane Mirror

Wood Parat Bowl – One of a kind and a beautiful accessory for a console table, a bookcase, or an entryway where you can stash your keys.

Wood Parat Bowls

Espresso Bi-Cast Leather Storage Ottomon – This updated version is the perfect multi-functional piece for any home.  Stylish nailhead trim, supple leather, and plenty of storage.  If it’s anything like the one we bought a few years ago, I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Leather Ottomon

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Milk Bottle Vase with Wood Rack – Crushing hard on Joanne Gaines or is that just me?  I’m obsessed with Fixer Upper.  Sometimes her style verges a little on shabby chic, but her more rustic decor makes my heart pitter patter as does this milk bottle vase!

Milk Bottle Vases

Campaign Desk – So stylish and versatile.  The color of wood is the perfect complement to the greenish-grey of our new home office walls.  As we haven’t finished unpacking yet, please excuse the old picture.

Campaign Desk

Office - Desk Detail

Blue Villa Stripe Table Runner – This needs to be spread across my dining table immediately.  It’s a perfectly classic linen for anyone’s space that can be mixed and matched with other linens.

Blue Stripe Runner

Antique Black Verona Bookshelf – You know how the world was heartbroken when the Expedit was discontinued?  Well ours bit the dust during the move.  Guess it’s time for a stylish upgrade to THIS beauty.  I definitely think it’s an improvement however I’m not so sure about my significant other’s decorating choices on those top 2 shelves (although his styling game on the bottom few make me so proud!)

Verona Bookshelf

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So there you have it, my full-fledged, undying love for World Market.  Anyone else a fan?  If that’s not  your jam, what’s your secret go-to for budget-friendly eclectic pieces?

Ellen’s Design Challenge – Finale Recap

Most of you are probably thinking WTF if you happened to catch this week’s finale episode of Ellen’s Design Challenge.  I admittedly was putting it off (have you noticed my lack of recaps the last two weeks?!) because I honestly have become rather bored with the show.  I was also pretty peeved after they gave Carly the boot for that stellar couch.  But with all the hype about “a shocking final twist” to this week’s episode, I figured I’d better tune in.

First off, the show as so overproduced.  How many times and in how many ways do they have to recap all of the past episodes and our final designer’s past pieces?  I feel like I lost 5 minutes of my life I can’t get back.  Even Jefe noticed.  It was like they didn’t have enough content to fill the 60 minutes of the episode and needed to find something to fill the missing time.  But it’s reality, there’s hundred of hours of footage so I’m sure that wasn’t the case.  So it really boils down to bad editing and final say by the producers.

Now on to the actual episode.  To begin, the intro with our designers visiting The Reef – it seemed so set up and scripted.  It didn’t really make sense to have them travel there and be greeted by an audience (is this the same audience we see 3 days later?  Did they sleep there?  Or did they all just come to the Reef for 15 minutes of applause?  Inquiring minds want to know!)  Also, it seemed weird to travel to the Reef, that contains a plethora of design, and not integrate it in to the show somehow.  What was the purpose of that?  And let’s get real – no on in LA rides in those silly looking limos anymore.  A non-marked black SUV or town car will do.

Limo Ride

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Now on to the construction phase.  I loved Katie’s initial inspiration (her uncle’s trunk and its many uses) and how that evolved in to her design.

Katie Designing

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And her picking the the zebra and purple heart wood?  It was just so HER.

Purple Heart Wood 2

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Now for Tim – I really didn’t feel like they delved in to his inspiration much at all.  Maybe that was intentional editing in post based on the final outcome, but I felt like I wanted to hear more about his inspiration (or is it “inspiration”?)

Tim Designing

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The final judging and deliberation seemed to drag on unnecessarily just to add drama.  It was a nice added touch to bring in the final designers’ families but their interactions all just seemed awkward, like so much of this show (I think next season, if there is one, could benefit from some better casting for more TV friendly personalities).

Family Intros

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For the actual pieces, I thought they were both rather inventive while being multi-faceted.  But they were both console tables with other functions which made it seem like they had a specific challenge to fulfill instead of the wide open “make something original” blanket statement.  Both pieces did scream their designers’ personalities though.

Katie Final Design

Katie’s Final Design (source)

TIm Final Design

Tim’s Final Design (source)

In the end, the judges chose Tim as the overall winner, which I totally disagreed with.  I felt like Katie challenged and stretched herself much more than Tim while creating an innovative, aesthetically pleasing AND functional piece.

Judges

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Tim’s was functional and stunning, but to the judges’ point, you can’t put anything on top of it based on the way it opens up.  But in the end, they thought his piece was more of a standout.  Tim went on to win a $100K cash prize from Wayfair and a spread in HGTV magazine.  Why Wayfair didn’t offer to create a custom collection for the winning designer is beyond me.

Now, on to the controversy.  I’m going to preface this with the knowledge that I work in the entertainment industry and have a lot of experience with the in’s and out’s of reality shows, particularly competition shows.  In the days following Tim’s win, someone (that remained nameless) discovered that his piece was a near identical copy to a piece by a European designer.

Copy Piece

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The show faded to black and cut to one week later where Ellen meets up with Katie and crowns her the winner due to Tim being disqualified.

There’s very little explanation about what happened.  And for a contestant that was clearly a frontrunner from the first episode to be disqualified with no additional information was infurating to many fans.  He was not my favorite but I certainly understand the sentiment that the series really left the viewer hanging.

As for the actual situation, that’s on the producers.  It should have been handled better and then addressed properly in the show.  They bragged about how many designers were in the audience of the finale – how did not ONE of these professionals recognize a copy?  And where was the behind-the-scenes staff during deliberation?  They should have been researching their butts off to ensure that they crowned the true winner who earned that title.

In the end, it seems Tim did replicate an existing piece.  So that’s on him.  However, the show really did a disservice to its viewers and to its self for future seasons by the way they handled all of this.  For a show I was already on the cusp of canceling from my DVR recordings, its left a bad taste in my mouth.  Not to mention you shouldn’t have an A-List celebrity advertise the hell out of something and only show up a handful of times.  Ellen, I love you, but your lack of on-camera contributions was dually noted.

So – what did you all think?  Did you feel gypped and let down by how the show handled the “scandal”?  Were you disappointed in Tim?  Or did you just feel like the last few episodes have been a waste of time that you could have spent watching Fixer Upper (omg, I’m obsessed and want to be Joanna Gaines when I grow up!)

Fixer Upper Joanna

I feel like she & I are kindred spirits 😀 (source)

Minted Is My Favorite Flavor

Artwork.  It’s a tough one to tackle.  It’s hard to justify the expense when you’re on a budget.  The usual haunts – Ikea, Target, World Market – you can’t rely on them for this category like you can for cheap accessories and fiscally-conscious furniture because no one wants to walk in to their aunt’s home and realize that Verna’s got the same fake painting over her couch as you.  Art stands out MUCH more than if you both, say, have the same Nate Berkus serving tray.

Usually I turn to Etsy, but let’s be honest, their site has become such a HUGE place for artists, that it’s often difficult to find something if you’re just in a browsing kind of mood.  It’s great if you know what you want, but what if you just want to peruse or are in the mood to maybe discover some new artists you never would have stumbled upon on your own?

Etsy 4 Million

4 MILLION options!

Enter MINTED.  They recently contacted me about checking out their site.  And I can honestly say with 120% certainty – WOW.  It’s an incredible resource for independent artists to showcase their work as well as us design-savvy folks looking for a bargain on an original piece.

Minted to the rescue

But it’s not just pretty pictures you guys – Minted has a TON of categories to offer, all created and curated by these lesser known, but oh-so-talented artists.  You’ve got your basic photos, paintings, etc. but you can also get custom art, unique stationary (including wedding invites and their latest addition: Save-the-Dates), fabric and home decor!  Had I discovered them a month ago, I totally would have ordered my holiday cards through them.  And honestly it was only a matter of time before I stumbled upon them on my own.  So in the vain of trying to provide you guys with new, exciting suggestions for decorating on a budget, I decided to give them a whirl.

As my apartment is really coming along and I rarely use stationary, I decided to focus on artwork for my much-needed, very bare walls.  After a little perusing I found the best part about the site (aside from the actual artwork) – if you find a print you like, they offer a TON of moderately priced, custom framing options.  No worrying about sorting through a crate of frames to find an un-dinged simple black number from Ikea!

Frame Options

Ladies and gents – you can now order custom-framed artwork from the comfort of your couch, in your matching flannel jammies, ON A BUDGET!  Not that I did that or anything….(yes, I was wearing the matching set version of this while watching the first episode of Agent CarterHayley Atwell, I want to be you when I grow up.)

So what caught my eye?  There were LOTS of options, many more modern than others.  My favorites weren’t necessarily Jefe’s favorites so I had to compromise.  I did end up selecting two photos, one that was perfect for framing in the kitchen and another one without a frame because it reminded me of home just too much to pass up.

Bottles with Frame

Open Door

(I ordered this one without the frame, but left on here to show the edges)

And who can turn down a stunning black & white photo for $20?!  I also decided to test out some of their other categories, so I picked up this new notebook for the office.

Arrow Journal

Overall, the site was super easy to use.  You can customize your searches based on style, shape, type, and color of the artwork.  They also have curated sections that include limited edition pieces.  Also most of the artwork can be shipped in multiple sizes which is great if you find something but are looking to fill wall space that is slightly smaller or larger than the original piece.  Once you select the art, you have ELEVEN different frame options including such awesome styles as reclaimed barn wood, whitewashed herringbone, and my personal favorite: distressed indigo stain.   I did, however, notice that for certain photos or artwork, certain framing options weren’t available, yet that same frame was for other photos.  Not sure what that was about.

Minted Frame Options

As my selected photo was intended for the kitchen, I knew I had to chose a frame wisely.  The distressed indigo stain was coincidentally a PERFECT match to my Melrose Trading Post chalkboard in the kitchen.  That alone was totally worth the cost and honestly, you’d pay just as much for a nicer frame from Aaron Brothers that you have to insert the image (with no matte) yourself.

The first item, the notebook, arrived about 5 days after I placed the order.  Apparently they ship as each piece is ready.

Minted Notebook 1

Minted Notebook 2

Minted Notebook 3

Minted Notebook 4

A week later I got my framed photo and was pleasantly surprised with how thorough the packaging was.  No doubt that it could have been thrown around and jostled heavily and it would have stayed in perfect condition.

Minted Packaging 2

Minted Thank You

And it came with a thank you note and free gift tags!  (Although I’m not sure why I got holiday ones since I order these pieces in January.)

Minted Thanks and Tags

I’m still waiting on the black & white photo, but I wasted no time in getting the other one hung.  My one gripe is that they pre strung the frame for hanging, only allowing me to hang vertically.

Prestrung

Now I know certain photographers and artists will say that they did that so the image can be hung as the artist intended HOWEVER not everyone abides by that.

Framed Photo

The photo I chose for framing I specifically wanted to hang horizontally to better fill the wall space I had intended for it to be placed.  I am not a fan of not at least being presented with the OPTION.  Now as Minted prides itself on supporting independent artists, I get that they strung the image as it was intended.  But that was not my intention when I bought it.  So they lose a point for that one.  They gain back a point for the sheer quality of work:

QUALITY!

Now for the grand reveal in our kitchen!

Minted in the Kitchen

Minted in the Kitchen 2

Minted in the Kitchen 3

I love the image and think that combined with the frame are perfect for the little nook above my stove. However, I wish I would have gone a size bigger.  Regardless, I still love the photo and am so happy with Minted’s service.  I will definitely be using them again.

And just for comparison, my Minted frame’s detail:

Minted Frame Detail

And our our chalkboard.  Very happy accident.  (And yes, Jefe’s aware that it’s his turn to change the message on the board….)

Chalkboard

So head on over to Minted and get yourself some art!  Or stationary!  Or anything really!  And they’re currently offering 15% off Valentine’s Day cards with code HEART as well as 20% off foil art and Valentine’s Day cards with code FOILLOVE!

Say It Ain’t So! Goodbye Expedit

Unless you’re an avid record collector (who for now are the most irate), you may not have heard the news.  Ikea may be discontinuing the EXPEDIT line (rumored here, here and here).  The whole thing.  For the time being, it’s said to only be relegated to Germany, but most things I’ve read speculate that it’s only a matter of time before it hits the rest of the world.  A petition on Facebook to save the favored shelving has already reached over 15K likes.

They are replacing it with another, similar style but I feel like this is an end of an era and possibly a huge misstep on Ikea’s part.  I don’t think they realize how widespread the use of that line really is – I’ve seen it used everywhere from a starter dorm room to high-end, luxury celebrity homes.

What are we going to do without this serious work horse piece of furniture?  I scoured and found the below image of it’s supposed replacement, the ‘Kallax’.  What do you think?

Ikea Kallax

I’m not a huge fan and think it’s too similar to other styles.  The Expedit had that thick frame – very Parsons-like that so many people adored.

There have been many blogger odes to this marvelous wonder, but today is sadly more of an obituary.  So in honor of its final days, I’ve rounded up some of my favorite uses for the EXPEDIT.  Enjoy.

BHG - Stacked Expedit

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BHG - Stacked Expedit 2

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Loving the stacked look from designer Meg Lonergan.  And the mirror hanging in front makes it look oh-so-chic and gives it a built-in quality.

Apt Therapy - Mega Expedit Wall

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This entire wall was created with a combination of different Expedits.  It’s a bibliophile’s work of art.

Apt Therapy - Office Expedit Parson Style

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I’ved loved this photo for as long as I can remember.  It pairs with a Parsons desk perfectly and the lack of a backing lets the dark and moody paint color shine through.

Live Creating Yourself - Expedit Turned Bar

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Everything Everygirl is perfection to me.  Alaina Kaczmarski styled this piece for her dining room – display storage for her beautiful plates and glassware with an added place to include a bar.

BHG - Expedit Display Shelving

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An Expedit is a great way to display a collection.

BHG - Expedit Room Divider

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A perfect example of two of the most-used reasons for the Expedit – room divider and color-coordinated bookshelf.

Elle Decor - High End Expedit

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Elle Decor showcases how an Expedit fits in seamlessly when paired with more high-end furnishings in the home of Jayson Home’s Devin Kirk.

Adore Mag - Expedit Closet Style

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Have too much closet space (is that an actual problem?!) without enough shelving?  Display those heels and handbags like the works of art they truly are.

I have had my Expedit since I moved to Los Angeles 6+ years ago (I can’t believe it’s been that long!) and don’t plan to get rid of it any time soon.  It’s a storage monster and an absolute necessity in our home.  So who would like to raise a glass and toast the amazing, incredible Expedit with me?!

*Update:  The Huffington Post has confirmed with an Ikea spokesperson that this is true.  It’s a sad, sad day.

February Lust List

February has arrived.  And unfortunately for many of  you loyal readers, I hear Punxsutawney Phil prescribed a LONG winter yet to be had.  (To which my Jefe lovingly asked “who is Punxsutawney Phil?!” and I immediately whipped out Groundhog Day.) So while you’re bearing the inches of snow  and blustery wind Mother Nature is still sending your way, cozy up with a cup of hot cocoa and Bailey’s and do a little window shopping with me!

Here are some of my latest design crushes:

February Lust List

1)  West Elm Hexagon Mirror – I’ve had my eye on this puppy for my hall entryway for quite some time and it’s now reduced from $149 to $79.  I may have to convince Jefe that we need to pull the trigger…

2)  West Elm Elton Settee – Although we are not in the market for any sort of love seat, I’m in love with the subtle curved lines, traditional tufting, yet overall modern feel of this piece.  And the blue fabric is to die for!

3)  Nate Berkus Lamp – I can’t believe this beauty will soon be available at Target.  Yet again, Nate Berkus knocks it out of the park with this modern piece of glam.  Look at those lines!  The inner shade’s lining!  GORGEOUS.  Also reminds me of the little Land of Nod lamp I used for my Dorm Room Decor Round Up!

4)  Lulu & Georgia Print – Is there anything Jenna Lyons isn’t right about when it comes to design?!  Now about the $300 price tag of those calf hair leopard flats I want….

5)  Nate Berkus Hexagonal Wood Tray – I’ve already seen this piece explode across the blogosphere and I am totally jumping on the band wagon.  If it had handles, it would already be in my apartment looking for a permanent place to live and corral things.  And after having seen it in person, I honestly was astounded at the quality of the piece for the price.  Bravo, Mr. Berkus.

6)  Sam Edelman Cheetah Loafers – So about those JCrew shoes… I’ve found your younger sister and my wallet loves her so much more.  I happened to see a coworker wearing these with a simple, jersey knit heather grey dress and it was the perfect mix of comfortable chic for the office.  I must have.

7)  Baublebar Slim Bow Pendant – I’m obsessed with costume jewelry lately.  And Baublebar has such fabulous sales (and credit for purchases made) that I never pay full price.  This one had me at hello so I snatched it up for $10.  It’s the perfect accent against my favorite emerald silk blouse.

8)  Magic Carpet Yoga Mat – Yes.  Yes.  Yes.  I’ve been wanting to get back into my yoga practice and this is the PERFECT incentive.

9)  Baggu 13″ Polka Dot Laptop Sleeve – Last weekend I was at the Apple Genius bar for a tune up for the old laptop.  This adorable case caught the corner of my eye.  Five minutes later I was walking out with it.  It also happens to PERFECTLY complement the Baggu I got for Christmas (and yes, I actually kept and have been using the iPad case too!  It’s a perfect little set, although a little tough to get the iPad in and out).

10)  Baggu Small Leather Pouch / Gold – So I’m a little Baggu obsessed right now. But as my wallet won’t fit in my new Kate Spade purse, I need something to corral my cards and (small) amount of cash when I’m on the go.  This gold little pouch would be perfect!

Well there you have it, February’s Lust List.  What are you lusting after these days?

….And a happy new year!

So I blinked.  And December was gone.  Just GONE.  I literally have no idea where the last 5 weeks went; all I know is that 2 weeks at home was still not enough time to recharge.  Turns out my Jefe and I were running on some very faint fumes towards the ends of 2013 and two full weeks away from LA was STILL not enough time to recharge…. but on to a new year and a fresh start including my #1 resolution – GET MORE SLEEP.  I’ve actually been doing a decent job of that in the last week and I can honestly say it makes a world of difference.  Who knew how much an extra hour of sleep could help?!

In the coming weeks, I’ll be going back in time as I recap the insanity that was the holiday season at chez Sledge including my second attempt at cooking an entire Thanksgiving meal and my DIY table runner, some cross-continental Christmas decorating (say that 3 times fast) with ideas for next year, and a run-down of all of the awesome things Jefe and I were lucky enough to do (including celebrating a VERY big birthday for yours truly).

But on today’s agenda, I figured I’d ease us out of the holiday season with a glimpse at what this girl was lucky enough to find under the tree from the jolly fat man as well as a few things from the birthday fairy (you know us December babies are accustomed to the combo gifts, so why not a combo list?!)

Interiors Now 3

1.  Interiors Now 3 – This was a great gift from my co-worker who knows how obsessed I am with interior design (maybe it’s all those blogs I’m reading during lunch…)  It features some great international spaces as well as Jonathan Adler’s retreat with Simon Doonan on Shelter Island.

Gold Rhino Bookend2.  Gold Rhinoceros Bookends – These incredible pieces of awesome were actually a gift from the boss lady who really has pretty impeccable taste.  It took some serious Jefe convincing as his style is less whimsical mammal and more “real”, but he knew he couldn’t say no with how much I truly loved them.  So they’ve already found their place, albeit a low, more out of site one, but they’re on the bookshelf nonetheless.

Mastering the Art of French Cooking
3.  Mastering the Art of French Cooking (2 Volume Set) – New Years resolution #2 (ok, I lie, #2 was drink more wine, but this came in a very close 3rd…) was to learn how to be a better cook and to do it more often.  Jefe’s response: “I can get on board with that.”  Ever since I saw Julie & Julia, I’ve been dying to learn the art of a creating the perfect boeuf bourguignon and how to poach an egg.  I started reading the first few sections in the days after Christmas and I can’t WAIT to try my first recipe.  It’s really a book for a beginner – I love that she goes in to the details of the types of cooking gear you need, including what is and is not really necessary as well as definitions of words commonly found in recipes which until now I had just been pretending to truly understand.  Needless to say, I’m so excited to finally have this set in my kitchen arsenal.  I have, however, made the definitive decision to skip the section on aspics…..

Kate Spade Cross Body Bag

4.  Kate Spade Crossbody Purse in neon orange (Similar stye here)- This one was a huge surprise from Jefe’s brother and sister-in-law, Rachael.  For both my birthday and Christmas this year she picked up on a few things that I was really crushing hard on thanks to Pinterest.  Next thing I know, I’m unwrapping them.  Amazing.  And the bag is exactly what I need – it’s small so there’s no fear of it turning into a Mary Poppins situation and it lays perfectly in front of you so it’s easy to pull anything you need in and out.  And due it’s size, it’s SO MUCH LIGHTER.  It makes travel a breeze.  I’m obsessed.

Vista Explorer Tripod

5.  Vista Explorer Tripod – Less of a resolution and more of a goal was to take better pictures for the blog (and life in general).  Its become apparent that that could not happen with these two shaky hands.  So thanks to this gift from Momma Sny, I have no excuse.

WeekendBag_SailorStripe

6.  Baggu Sailor Stripe Weekend Bag – For those that don’t know, I have tourettes syndrome when it comes to stripes.  Jefe knows there is no stripe that I don’t like.  I saw this bag while we were browsing some of the little shops along 3rd Street in West Hollywood awhile back and he knew I just had to have it.  He’s kind of amazing like that.

Ipad_SailorStripe

7.  Baggu Sailor Stripe iPad Case – And what’s a striped bag without a matching iPad case?!  This one unfortunately was NOT a keeper as it only fits naked iPads (I have the smart cover and a clear protective backing on mine) but I loved it SO much and really wish I could have kept it.  I did, however, get to keep the third part of the striped gift explosion: Striped Zipper Bags.

H9270

8.  Cocoon GRID-IT Organizing System – Do yourself a favor.  Trust me.  You should never lose a cord again while traveling with this thing.  Its already made life SO MUCH easier.

Kendra Scott Elle Earrings

9.  Kendra Scott Earrings – Another Rachael find in one of my favorite colors that has been on my list for the last 2 years.

JCrew Kiki Studded Ballet Flats

10.  Shoes, shoes and more shoes – Jefe was the shoe fairy this Christmas despite the fact that he’ll now have to empty out a bit more closet space to make room for these beauties…  I’m not so sure he thought this one through but I love him all the more for it.

11.  Gift cards galore – One of which was an exceptionally generous card for Barnes & Noble from Jefe’s parents.  I fully intend to pick-up a few of the other books that were on my Christmas list including Nate Berkus’s newest The Things That Matter as well as Barefoot Contessa: Foolproof by Ina Garten which I’ve been longing after seeing numerous delicious recipes featured over on Jenny Hobick’s blog.
So there you have it – the highlights of the 2013 Christmas haul.  I was very lucky this (and every) year for such a generous family and my Jefe.  Next year I think I’m adding an extra week with all of them to my Christmas list.  It was so nice being home!

Crate & Barrel Meets Mallorca

One of my old bosses used to call me Mallorca.  I’m a fan of nicknames: Sledge, Champ, and Red just to name a few, but I was kind of indifferent towards this one.  That all changed this week when I was introduced to Paola Navone’s stellar collection for Crate & Barrel, which just so happens to be inspired by this very island.  Yes, geography was admittedly not my strong suit in school and no, I had never done my homework on this GORGEOUS island until now.  Thanks to my quick Googling I’ve come to realize that I should have taken the nickname as a serious compliment; Mallorca is absolutely stunning and has earned itself a stellar position on my list of places I have to visit some day.

Conde Nast Mallorca

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Conde Nast Mallorca 2

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But back to Paola.  She’s a world-renowned architect, decorator, artist and world traveler who was inspired by Mallorca, along with Como and the French Riviera for this casual yet chic collection of dinnerware, table linens, decoration and furniture.  Starting with her Como Dinner Plates, the deep cobalt blues and organic designs really exemplify what this collection is all about.  Their only purpose in life is clearly to be used for a fabulous al fresco dining over bottles of excellent wine.

Como Dinner Plates

And what is a great dinner party without some hors d’oeuvre?  What better way to show off these little bites than in the Como Spoon Bowls?

Como Spoon Bowls

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Let’s begin with setting the table.  As a base, I’d start with the Como Gauze Linen Tablecloth.  It’s light and airy while packing a serious punch of color.

Como Gauze Linen Tablecloth

Then I’d pull a few of these Como White Woven Chairs up for my guests.

Como White Woven Chair

For a little ambience and an accent of red, I’d layer on the Como Loopy Candleholders.

Como Loopy Candleholders

We already discussed using these great plates and I’d top them with a set of the Mallorca Linen Napkins.  They have a range of colors, but I’d probably stick with the cobalt blue to keep the look seamless.

Mallorca Linen Napkins

For serving, I’d lay out a full spread with the Mallorca Oval Platters.  They’re so classy and simple and really could be integrated in to a variety decor styles.

Mallorca Oval Platters

And I adore the look of the Riviera Long Serving Set.  The pattern set within the silver reminds me of calm waves splashing on the beach.

Riviera Long Serving Set

My imaginary dinner party is looking pretty good.  Now I just need a great patio with an ocean view….

Mallorca Patio

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Fabulous Mediterranean al fresco dining isn’t the only thing Paola’s collection has going for it.  I’m totally enamored with this Como Bench.  It could be an incredible accent for a living room in need of a neutral piece of seating or pulled up to a long dining table.  It would serve as a stylish place to put on your shoes in a front entryway.

Como Bench

And personally, I’ve had my eye on this Mallorca Saucer to use as a small tray on top of my dresser to collect perfume bottles.  I think it will be the perfect companion to my West Elm Large White Lacquer Jewelry Box.

Mallorca Saucer

Overall, I think it’s a great collaboration for Crate & Barrel.  Paola Navone is on fire right now; she just did a VERY colorful 20-piece collection for Anthropologie this past spring.

paola navone anthro

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paola navone anthro 2

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So what are all of you lusting after from Paola’s collection?  I really would take the whole thing given the opportunity.  It’s 110% my style.