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 Hardware, West 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 Derian, Michele Varian and Love Adorned in NYC, and online at Etsy, Amazon and Society6.
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.
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).
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).
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.
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.
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.
Photos by Ian Rusiana.
Do you have any home decor tips? Let's hear them!
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