Fashion Over Reason: Ask FOR #7: My Space, Part I (My Favorite Things)

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Ask FOR #7: My Space, Part I (My Favorite Things)

Ask FOR My Space, at home, my favorite things

I got an email back in the winter from a reader (hello Melissa!) who was inquiring about lifestyle and home decor. She was curious to know if my love of aesthetics went beyond fashion or it it flowed in other areas of my life, like interior design, asking for tips on the matter. Well, the answer is as simple as can be: my keen style eye (wink!) reverberates in my house wares as well, and to that I will add that my penchant for style permeates all areas of my existence, from clothes, to home decor, to beauty, to travel, to food. I am never not thinking about how something is presented, if it's a reflection of me, if it's the best it could possibly be, or look.

And with that in mind, I decided this: why not just show you? In the first of a 5 part series, I invite you in my home, showing you a few of my favorite things, as well as how I stay comfy-chic when I'm indoors. First up, I am sharing some of my favorite items, fashion or other, which include shoes (duh!) and a few home accents, like nostalgic framed prints, mason jars as vases, fresh flowers, vintage gold plated votives and fun things like a mirrored tray and a Turkish rug.

When it comes to making my home feel like one, I try to stick to a certain approach, which I've learned from experience. The following guidelines offer a fail proof way to make your abode beyond humble:

- To develop your taste and to get a more specific idea of what you're looking for, or which style you want to try to emulate, source as much inspiration as you can from magazines and Pinterest. Having concrete visuals offers tremendous help and it's the most efficient way to convert an abstract idea into something tangible. The more references you have, the better.

- Try to think outside the box when it comes to certain items. If you like a vintage piece but don't necessarily have any use for its original function, there is definitely a way to find an alternate purpose for it. For example, we had an old wooden pool ball holder that I absolutely loved, but I wasn't too keen on the idea of having pool balls hanging on my wall, so I turned it into a DIY photo tree (see it here).

- If you have access to someone handy, whether it's yourself, your boyfriend, husband, wife, sister, brother, father, neighbor, whoever -- make good use of them. Have them strip an old chair or dresser, build some DIY shelving out of reclaimed wood, put together a custom closet to maximize space. Make them a big meal with lots of wine for their trouble and everyone wins.

- If you fall in love with a piece of furniture that you simply must have but is geared toward the 1%, don't give up. The affordable version exists somewhere, guaranteed. Or see previous option of using someone handy.

- Lastly, i try to stick with the three following mottos: 1) the more pillows on the couch, the better: it's such an easy way to add more spirit to a room and nothing looks more inviting than a couch full of extra padding. 2) Rugs are everything -- I like an area rug in, well, every single area. It dresses the room and makes everything feel more homey. 3) Personalization is the icing on the cake: I'm a big believer that home is where the heart is and scattering photos of loved ones on your walls or coffee table is the perfect individual touch. Go one step further an frame a print or quote that holds a special meaning to you. It's important that your space be a reflection of you in order for it to be a comfortable living nook!

Some of my favorite places to shop for home goods are One Kings Lane, ABC Home, Resoration HardwareWest Elm, Anthropologie, and, of course, flea markets. My home is filled with treasures that have been unearthed in the most obscure flea markets and from antique dealers. It pretty much guarantees your interior style some unique flare. I also like to pick up things at 
John DerianMichele Varian and Love Adorned  in NYC, and online at Etsy, Amazon and Society6.

Nina Ricci satin slides, Navy satin mules, mirrored jewelry tray, zara gold metal choker, silver votive vases, vintage ballerina sequence print, asos double pearls
I got these Nina Ricci mules (similar) last summer following months of lusting for them. Their navy hue with that beautiful satin won me over instantly and I'm still so in love with them. The Zara metal choker (similar) and the ASOS double pearl earrings (similar) are acquisitions from the fall. I always say that the perfect way to update your wardrobe without breaking the bank is by switching things up with your accessories. These high street options did the trick and I've been wearing both to death since they came home with me.

This vintage ballerina sequence print (similar) is one of those things I knew needed to be in my home when I saw it: I am obsessed with ballet and this old photograph has something so goofy and nostalgic about it. The mercury candle holders (similar) and the mirrored tray are the perfect example of simple things making a space more beautiful. They're all from One Kings Lane.

Grace Coddington autobiography, Bauble bar Opal Galactic earrings,YSL rouge volupté in forbidden nurgundy, ASOS double pearl earrings, Essie nail polish in Sew Psyched, Zoya in Normani, OPI in The World is Not Enough
I don't do my nails very often because a) I'm lazy b) I happen to like the natural look and c) my nails have a tendency to split in half when there is nail polish on them for too long (probably a form of quiet rebellion, certainly). But, like any young lass, I enjoy a good mani once in a while. I tend to like nude colors (surprised? ha!), however, these three are currently the more pigmented options I'm crushing on: Essie in Sew Psyched, Zoya in Normani and OPI in The World is Not Enough (similar). The earrings are from BaubleBar and reminded me of Edie Sedgwick so I had to have them. One of my favorite lip colors this winter was the YSL Rouge Volupté in Forbidden Burgundy, but now that it's summer, I'm craving brighter hues. If you're reading this blog, I am assuming that you like fashion? Then I suggest you pick up Grace Coddington's memoir, it's kind of a must-read. 

White metal wire bed frame, striped long sleeve shirt, white distressed denim
I like to come hang out and read in our guest bedroom because of its relaxing, white everything, shabby chic vibe. It has good light and you feel like you're a bit of in a French country home. Here's a funny thing about this bed: I have had to buy it three times over! The first time was for my apartment when I still lived in Montreal. On the second occasion, it was for my apartment when I moved to NYC, since I didn't move my furniture with me from Montreal, I had to start from scratch. A few months later, I moved in with my boyfriend at the time (who is now my husband), which means I had to sell my stuff. Which brings me to the third time I purchased this exact bed: when we bought our apartment and had to furnish an extra bedroom, I thought it would be the perfect cot for our guest abode. It's from Ikea and the best $300 I've ever spent (100 per time). The sheets are also from Ikea.

When I'm home, I cannot be bare feet -- I must have slippers on at all times because my feet always get so cold, even in the summer. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I have a little collection of house shoes. These dog slippers (similar), no matter how silly they are, hold a special place in my heart. I bought them at a cheap store in Brooklyn when I still lived in Montreal for my best friend to keep at his house, that way I wouldn't have to travel with slippers every time I would come visit. When I eventually moved to New York, we ended up living together and I still have the slippers. It's a little token I like to hold on to.

The necklace I'm wearing is from Forever 21 (similar) and it's also dear to my heart because of how it came to be mine. My amazing friend Stephanie was the first person to come visit me in Brooklyn in the summer of 2011 and she had just scored this necklace at her local F21. I fell in love with its surfer-chick-meets-navajo vibe and was completely floored to learn that it was from Forecver 21, as it looked way more expensive than that. We went on a man hunt, but alas, none of the NYC stores carried this necklace. A couple of weeks after we left each other, I got a care package in the mail: she had tracked it down back home and secured one for me. She's the best. I will love that necklace forever (21) - ha!

My jeans (similar) and top (similar) are both from Zara. My rings are Chic Peek (here and here) and my bangle is by Coordinates (similar).

Lena Dunham on Vogue US, Daria Werbowy on Harper's Bazaar US, Kate Moss on Love Magazine, YSL volume effet faux cils, NARS the Mulitple, gold pellet necklace, marble counter
Anyone who knows me will attest to the fact that I have an obsession with magazines. It's been on a bit of a decline these past years, but you'll still definitely find at least 10 current issues of various fashion mags in my home at all times. She got a lot of flack for it (or Vogue did, I should say) for this cover, but I loved the Lena Dunham issue. I thought she looked beautiful and that the photo conveyed her sense of comedy perfectly. It was a far stretch from her Hannah Horvath and it felt refreshing to see her in another light.

Two of my favorite beauty products (also well-documented on this blog: the YSL Volume Effet Faux Cils mascara and the NARS Multiple. And two necklaces that I love and definitely should wear more (similar).

Turkish rug runner, Adidas Gazelle sneakers in burgundy, J.Crew camo Macalister shoes, Sandro Anaconda slip-on sneakers, Chanel leather loafers, Alexander Wang Anouck boots
This runner was almost the One That Got Away. I saw it on One Kings Lane and fell in love immediately, but I couldn't commit to the price. I watched it every single day of the sale to see if someone would snatch it up, putting it in my cart and then not going through with the purchase. Eventually, the sale ended and I missed out, which I regretted immediately and every single day for the months that followed. Then, one day, I saw that One Kings Lane was having another sale for runners and THERE IT WAS. I did not hesitate the second time around, no ma'am (similar).

I used to only wear high heels, 4 inches being my sweet spot. However, my lifestyle has changed dramatically in the past couple of years and I now spend the majority of my time in flats. I never thought this would happen. Some favorites here, from left to right: Adidas, J.Crew, Sandro (similar), Chanel (similar) and Alexander Wang.

Dog slippers, china print teapot sheets, Chic Peek rings, Coordinates Collection bangleAlaïa eyelet patent leather booties, burgundy Bailey of Hollywood wide brim hat, beige linen pillows, vintage stripped raw meterial wooden chair
Do you guys remember Home Mint? I do (RIP). They had the best selection of pillows at a really good price point, which is where these beige linen ones come from (similar here and here).

This chair is a doozy. It's a vintage piece that my husband's aunt wanted to have reupholstered, so she brought it in to be stripped by this master carpenter in the New Paltz region. He did some incredible work refurbishing it, but before she could pick out some new material, she decided that she was moving and no longer had use for this chair. Needless to say, we snatched it up and kept it raw and bare. (similar one here)

The hat is by Bailey of Hollywood from Salmagundi Boston (similar), the most amazing hat store I've ever stepped foot in. The boots are extra special to me because they were my gift to myself when I graduated university. They're Alaïa.

Favorite knits, Kate Moss framed print, Restoration Hardware reclaimed wood dining room table
This dining room table is the Flatiron from Restoration Hardware. We looked so long for the perfect table and this undustrial-looking reclaimed wood one fit the bill. A stack of some of my favorite knits, from top to bottom: H&M, Ralph Lauren, Forever 21 mens and Gap. In the background is a frame of Kate Moss in a dress from her first-ever Topshop collection from a Vogue UK spread. I loved the pic so much, it just needed to be on my wall.

Forever 21 spike statement necklace, navy and white striped shirt, coordinates collection gold cuff bangleChristian Louboutin patent leather nude Pigalle pumps, J.Crew pony hair leopard pouch, Saint Laurent Arty ring, Resortation Hardware wood dining room chair
The chair is also from Restoration Hardware. We were going to get cushions for them and then decided against it once everything was is our space and we saw the bigger picture.

This J.Crew leopard pouch (similar) is a favorite, it goes with me everywhere since it holds all my little trinkets in my bag. It was one of my Christmas gifts from the hubs. The ring is also very special: he gave it to me for our first marriage anniversary. It's the Saint Laurent Arty ring, in case you're not familiar. The shoes are Louboutin (clearly) and definitely in my top three.

Pink Miu Miu box, vintage pearls, gold plated votive, Zoya nail polish in Normani, Essie in Sew Psyched, YSL rouge volupté, Bauble Bar opal galactic pendant earrings, window sillJimmy Choo Lance silver metallic sandals, single sole heels
These shoes will always be special because I wore them to the Oscars. They're by Jimmy Choo.

Photos by Ian Rusiana.

Do you have any home decor tips? Let's hear them!

Shop my favorite things:


Margaret Dallospedale said...

So beautiful!!!!
Lovely pics Helene.
Maggie D.
The Indian Savage diary

Suvarna Gold said...

thanks for the lovely comment :)
I love your hair so much :)
hug from Germany

Unknown said...

You look so pretty! I like your hairstyle! :)
Those shoes are so lovely and elegant!

Rinako said...

i am in love with these jimmy choo shoes and those stone earrings...!!you look pretty..!!
follow you on G+, Gfc & Bloglovin, hope you add me back
keep in touch

Unknown said...

Hi!!! beautiful pictures!! I love your bed and the bed sheets you have!
looks very cozy.
Xo, Belen

Natalia | Look-A-Porter said...

Loved your portrait photo so much. The slippers made me smile - I love fluffy animal slippers, too (and cannot be without slippers at home either). And what a beautiful collection of shoes - so lucky to have those Alaias! x

taislany said...

loved ur room! there's a lot of character :D


Unknown said...

i envy your life.

mon |

Style Sense Moments said...

This is such a lovely post, it really tells a story about you! xoxo

A Very Sweet Blog said...

We love the same things! OPI, Miu Miu, Magazines, cute slippers. Loved this. Thanks for sharing.

MITCH said...

love all you favorite things. the slippers are too cute <3


Jade | The Jade Aesthetic said...

I was practically gleeful reading that this is going to be a 5 part series because I am sooo nosy. This is like the expert mode of "what's in my bag"! I'm not even surprised that your home is filled with beautiful things; I wouldn't expect anything less. I have to say my favourite thing from this post are the Wang boots. Every time you wear them my heart twitches a little! And I had that bed last year. Pretty headboard but NOT good if you have long hair because it WILL get tangled and pull when you're sitting up and leaning back.

Jade | The Jade Aesthetic

Samantha Mariko said...

that's so neat! I really enjoyed this post, and it made me want to redecorate my room a little bit :) love your choice in furniture, accessories and mags!

Manasi said...

You look beautiful dear!

Bárbara R. Portela said...

Great pics!!
Lovely stuff :)

ALLIE NYC said...

Hey your favorite things look like they could be my favorite things. And I have so been wanting to read that book by Grace Coddington. And when the time come for me to buy my condo I am going to gather some of my favorite NY bloggers together to help me decorate and you will be one of them!

Allie of ALLIE NYC

Harija said...

Nice and thank you so much for your lovely thoughts on my past post!!
Deeply appreciate it ;)
My Lyfe ; My Story

Alexis Grace of North On Harper said...

I love getting to see inside your home and read a bit about what inspires you. And these photos are fantastic!

Sam said...

This is a beautifully documented and photographed post, I love your collection of favorites, you have amazing taste. Thanks for stopping by, I always value your opinion!

Manhattan Image and Style said...

I love all these pieces sweetie! You have such a chic style! ;)

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Johanna said...

Those sapphire heels are amazing!!

UrbanChiqueNess said...

Love your style. I too feel the same way about some of my special things. Still love the pants I wore to the Oscars when my bro in law, Christopher Nolan, was first nominated for an Academy Award for Memento. I still cherish them as if they were new.

Unknown said...

Hey beauty love ur new post .Keep posting .
Regards from Bosnia ♥

The Isolated Queen said...

Absolutely loved everything, but my favorites where the navy blue shoes! So gorgeous!

Lisa said...

Love these post about your home. I was definitely so inspired by your style of home decor that I definitely used it as reference for when we moved to our apt. You and John definitely have an amazing eye! Who would've thought to keep the chair bare and raw-- really adds character to your guestroom, which I absolutely loved when I stayed over by the way. ;) Can't wait to read the other installments of this series!