GET THE LOOK: A COLORFUL & COLLECTED BAR

Miles Redd | Domino

Get the Look: Miles Redd's Bar | DominoAn internet outage waylaid my best laid blogging plans last week but I’m back up and running and come bearing fresh inspiration!

Every year ‘Entertain More’ ends up on my resolution list and I’m embarrassed to admit it’s a repeat offender for a reason… it rarely happens. Apartment living is tough for the aesthetically inclined; rife with internal debates over when to invest and when to make-do because, after all, it is temporary.

Our kitchen makes me say a Serenity Prayer, but I’m eliminating perfection as an excuse for not entertaining in 2015, and who better to turn to for inspiration than Miles Redd?

Any old surface will do for a bar (of course, an intricately carved, marble topped, cabriole leg table à la Miles would be ideal…) as long as you accessorate with abandon.

A white ginger jar pops against pink walls–try Benjamin Moore’s Glamour Pink. A glass ice bucket, tortoise tumblers, and monogrammed cocktail napkins dress up the bar and decorative coral branches on lucite always look chic.

We used a giant clamshell c/o Kenroy Home similar to Miles’ to collect cards at our wedding, but I think I need to steal it back from my mom and incorporate it into our decor. Perhaps we’ll start serving our champagne on the half shell?

Will any of you be joining me in finding more reasons to celebrate in 2015?

A VISIT TO THE HILLWOOD ESTATE

It was a gloomy, rainy weekend here in DC which gave me the perfect opportunity to kick start one my intentions for the New Year and make a visit to the Hillwood Estate & Museum. The former home of Post cereal empire heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post, the Hillwood Estate is one of DC’s hidden gems–figuratively and literally.

The Cartier exhibition (ending January 11) is what finally prompted me to check Hillwood off of my DC to-do list. The jewels, as to be expected, were dazzling–Marjorie had exceptional taste and commissioned jaw dropping sets of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, turquoise and coral as one of Cartier’s most important and prolific American clients.

I’ll be pulling out my copy of Cartier in the 20th Century for more inspiration and company history–it’s obviously so much more than the ubiquitous love bracelet so often seen on the arms of fashion bloggers today.

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

The estate itself–a Georgian mansion filled with 18th century French antiques and the largest collection of Russian imperial art outside of Russia–is pure opulence. Imagining the level of wealth required to fill a house with such treasures–not to mention maintain it (with the help of hundreds of staff, of course)–is almost unfathomable.

Some of the details that caught my eye included Marjorie’s insane collection of turquoise Sèvres porcelain (not pictured). Her kitchen was filled with hundreds of sets of exquisite china, and as evidenced by her immaculately set breakfast table (first photo) it’s no wonder she was revered as one of Washington’s finest hostesses.

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

Custom lavender velvet sofas with pop-up trays for drinks and snacks served as seating in the pavilion which housed a projector screen for after dinner entertainment. Velvet upholstered walls envelop the room and have an added bonus of sound proofing. Wouldn’t those sofas still be amazing today? keeping them in the memory bank!

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

No surface of the home was without ornamentation. The floors in two small anterooms flanking the first floor library were inlaid with brass sunbursts, doors were decorated with gilded carvings, and–my favorite detail–the brass ‘Do Not Disturb Resting’ signs on guest rooms.

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

Photos weren’t allowed in the Cartier exhibition, but the diamond set in the last photo showcased in Marjorie’s dressing room should give you an indication of how Marjorie rolled… dripping in diamonds.

Hillwood Estate | The Pursuit of Style

If you’re in the DC area, put a visit to the Hillwood Estate & Museum on your to-do list. It really is a fascinating glimpse into the life of extraordinary wealth.

I’m planning to visit again in the spring to see the gardens, but in the interim I’ll be picking up a copy of American Empress to learn more about Marjorie’s fabulous life.

CHEERS TO 2015

The Pursuit of Style | 2015

When I reflect back on 2014 it’s hard to bring the year into focus in my mind’s eye. So much of it is a blur. It started on the highest of highs as we celebrated our engagement just a week before ringing in the New Year which took us on one wild ride over the next nine months as we planned our Martha’s Vineyard wedding long distance.

Inevitably–as anyone who has ever planned a wedding will tell you–there were lows, but they were completely overshadowed by the unadulterated happiness we felt on our wedding day and during our Charleston mini-moon.

Though the blog was put on the back burner for much of 2014, I was thrilled to have the opportunity to collaborate with brands I admire: curating a sale with Chairish, creating a paint palette for DC with Farrow & Ball, and traveling to colonial Williamsburg with Benjamin Moore.

One of my proudest accomplishments in 2014 was focusing on my health. I kicked a life-long addiction to Diet Coke cold turkey and transitioned to a primarily wheat, dairy, and sugar free diet after this program changed my life last February (I’m on day 4 of my second round if anyone wants to join!)

Professionally there were changes as well. I juggled a new 9-5 with incredibly rewarding personal projects from Cape Cod all the way to Kentucky. Expect to see more from those projects in 2015!

In retrospect, 2014 was a building year for me; laying the foundation for the goals I hope to bring to fruition over the next year. So, what do I want from 2015?
In short, everything.

Travel: I want to invest more in experiences and take more adventures both near and far. We already have a South African safari on the docket for our honeymoon in early October and plan to extend the trip to include stops in Morocco and London, but I also want to take more spontaneous long-weekends closer to home. The Greenbrier has been on our list but I’d love to hear your recommendations!

Professional: my career goals are a major area of focus for 2015 and my biggest hurdle will be to get out of my own way. It’s time to silence those negative, doubting voices and bet on myself. Let’s make it all happen!

Education: whether a formal class on Photoshop/Illustrator, or finally working my way through A Field Guide to American Houses, I plan to be more intentional with how I spend my time in 2015. More visits to the museums that are at my finger tips and fewer Netflix marathons.

Be Well: both mentally and physically. I plan to continue the healthy habits I laid the groundwork for in 2014, but also focus on eliminating destructive thoughts and behavior. No more comparing my behind the scenes to other people’s highlight reels.

I’ve gotten a little more personal with my goals than I have in years past, but I’m genuinely thrilled to be starting what feels like the next chapter this year. So I’m not alone in laying it all out there, I’d love to hear one of your goals/intentions for the New Year in the comments.

Cheers to 2015!

BITS & PIECES

I’m signing off for the week–we’re headed up to the Cape this afternoon–but wanted to take a moment to wish you and yours the happiest of holidays!

Thank you for taking time out of your busy days to check in, share your thoughtful comments, emails of encouragement, and for generally joining in my obsession with all things aesthetic.

Cheers to many exciting things to come in 2015!

BY THE FIRE

Wit & Delight

Wit & Delight

Wit & Delight

A minimalist I am not, but if there was anything that could compel me to consider the merits of paring down my palette, Kate Arends’ holiday decor might be it.

 A healthy dose of greenery, interesting mix of materials and textures: brass, wood, seagrass, linen, and wool combine to create an interior that is anything but cold; which, I admit, is the feeling I generally associate with minimalism.

I think Kate’s beautiful space proves that reigning it a bit doesn’t have to be ascetic. Being more intentional with our décor choices can lead to a home that is just as cozy as the layered spaces I generally tend to favor.

Now I can’t wait to get home and light a fire–have a wonderful weekend!