BITS & PIECES

The Pursuit of Style

As if on cue, the painting I mentioned in last week’s post was waiting on my doorstep when I came home from work on Friday. I don’t think I’ll ever not act like a 3-year-old on Christmas morning when there’s a package involved–it’s always going to be a race to see how quickly I can tear into it.

Like any kid with a new toy, I excitedly showed the first person I saw, which happened to be my sister who was visiting for the weekend for some bridesmaid dress shopping.

Further proving that beauty really is in the eye of the beholder, when I asked: “Doesn’t it remind you of Papa?” (our grandfather) she said: “No, but it does remind me of the rapist in The Lovely Bones.” Awesome…

Now every time I look at it I’m sure I’ll laugh thinking about her reaction. Which, of course, only makes me love it more. I’ll take a home with some personality over a show house any day!

Photo by Lindsay Souza for The Pursuit of Style

AT HOME WITH KATE AND ANDY SPADE

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

Steven Sclaroff | Kate and Andy Spade

I recently found this amazing vintage oil painting on etsy for such a steal I just couldn’t pass it up. Never mind that it quickly got me the side-eye from Garrett because we currently have no less than eight pieces either waiting to be hung, or to be taken to the framers (where I’ll fork over a month’s rent and my soul.)

As you can imagine, we’re quickly running out of wall space in our tiny DC apartment. I’m all for leaning art for casual display, but ours is currently leaning against the wall in the stairwell landing, to the side of my nightstand, laundry hamper, and closet door. Chic, right?

Thinking about art placement reminded me of Kate and Andy Spade’s Southampton home designed by Steven Sclaroff. Formerly the home of William Merritt Chase’s Southampton Art Colony, founded in 1892, it’s only fitting that the walls are covered from wall to ceiling with pieces from the Spade’s enviable collection.

A Spade home (or store) is always enough to bring me back from the ledge just when I’m ready to declare that I’m done with salon style walls. They (with the help of Sclaroff) have mastered the collected look I’m so partial to. Aren’t you curious to hear the background behind each piece?

photos via

REQUIRED READING

Required Reading | The Pursuit of StyleDecorate Fearlessly | One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood | Gypsy: A World of Colors and Interiors | George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic

I’ve got an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my wallet, but thankfully I have a wish list a mile long for just such occasions. April is going to be a good one for my bookshelves (err end table). I already have four new titles in the pre-order queue, and if I were to judge a book by its cover, these are bound to be winners.

This WSJ article tipped me off to the impending release of George Stacey and the Creation of American Chic and I have to admit, my interest has been piqued. How do I not know more about the designer who inspired many of my own idols? Next up, I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of Decorate Fearlessly. Author, Susanna Salk, definitely shares my MO.

Back to that whole judging a book by its cover thing, Gypsy: A World of Colors and Interiors, has one of the best I’ve seen lately. Mark my words, we’ll be seeing that one in a million artfully styled Instagram photos (remind me to put my foot in my mouth when I inevitably share one of my own). Lastly, I buy everything Julia Reed writes so One Man’s Folly: The Exceptional Houses of Furlow Gatewood was an obvious choice.

So what am I missing? Anything else I need to add to the queue?

RETAIL THERAPY

Retail Therapy | The Pursuit of Style

Wisteria Moroccan Drum Table | Zara Home Jute Border Pillow | World Market Cadiz Chair | H&M Home Zebra Pillow Cover | Target Campaign Side Table | H&M Home Tablecloth

Between work, personal projects, and the never-ending wedding planning (can I just be married and skip the guest list part?) my creative tank has been running on E by the time I get around to this ole’ blog. I hate feeling that way and don’t want you to think I’ve forgotten about everything we talked about here and have started phoning it in.

Some fresh content is in order and the first new series I’d like to introduce is Retail Therapy.  A lot of you asked for budget friendly, accessible design and I’m more than happy to deliver. The truth is, most budgets don’t allow for exclusively custom pieces, and sometimes it doesn’t make sense to invest in pricier items depending at what point in life you’re at.

For example, I would love nothing more than a custom sofa but the dimensions in our apartment (that we rent and likely won’t live in for more than more 2 years) are completely wonky. Rather than sacrifice size on a custom piece I’d like to own for much longer than the next two years, the answer for now was retail.

It’s all about the mix and there are plenty of items with big style at big box stores; the trick is knowing where to look, what’s chic and what’s just cheap. So here’s the deal, I’ll do all the hunting for you and share what I think is the best of the best. Here’s what caught my eye this week:

An inlaid Moroccan table that could be straight from the souk; a jute trim pillow in the punchiest shade of pink; outdoor chairs that have me longing for a patio; a delightful dupe for a much pricier pillow; campaign nightstands perfect for a guest room (bonus points if you switch out the hardware for brass); and a tablecloth thats been separated at birth from one of my favorite Quadrille fabrics.

I hope you’ll enjoy this new series, and as always, I welcome your feedback!

DOLCEZZA GELATO

Dolcezza Gelato | Washington, DC | The Pursuit of Style

Dolcezza Gelato | Washington, DC | The Pursuit of Style

Dolcezza Gelato | Washington, DC | The Pursuit of Style

For a second this weekend, it felt like Spring. We had blue skies and sunshine and the threats of yet another snowstorm seemed laughable. But more importantly, we had gelato.

Dolcezza celebrated the grand opening of its factory this weekend which happens to be in dangerously close proximity. If you’re visiting Union Market, make sure you hit up Dolcezza on your way out–it’s right up the hill behind the market building.

The gelato, or course, is delicious (this might turn into a weekly habit) but the design was also unexpectedly inspiring. If you’re ever wondering how to make a warehouse space feel warm and inviting, this is how it’s done.

The crate installation and painted tiles offer the perfect juxtaposition to the more industrial elements, and there really isn’t much a few coats of high glass paint won’t improve–hellooo stairs!

P.S that delicious mess in a cup was called Fruity Pebbles–Singing Dog Vanilla topped with candied citrus and Marcona almonds. It’s my new crack.

Photos by Lindsay Souza for The Pursuit of Style