rachel

Besties

3cb1476b5af8504434d9e4efdf410761

I’m off tonight to spend the long weekend in Charlottesville with a few of my closest friends from college.  I love that New York always feels exciting, but it also can sometimes be tough and going back to Charlottesville just feels like a warm hug.  Most of my friends from college live in the South and I really don’t get to see them as much as I’d like, but whenever we catch up it’s like no time has passed.  I’m really looking forward to endless girl talk, wine tasting and maybe some crazy nights we won’t share with anyone else.

Playing with Lighting

I’ve lived in my NYC rental for two and a half years.  Right now, it looks like I’m going to be staying put for a bit so I want to fix up some of the things that have always bothered me.  One of these constant annoyances is the light above my dining table.  It’s a simple frosted globe pendant that’s not offensive, but for some reason it was installed about a foot away from the wall and therefore isn’t centered above my table.  Besides just being unattractive, it is also positioned perfectly to bump your head into.  I’d love to switch the pendant out for something a bit prettier and something I can actually position above my table.  Since I’m in a rental I don’t want to any real electrical work so my current plan is to install a light where the current one is and use a chain and ceiling hook to swag it over the table.  Here are some of the pendants I’ve found that I think would work:

table light3

 

From clockwise:

Imogene Brass Pendant / Dominique Chandelier / Milano Chandelier / Amelia Wood Bead Chandelier / Marlowe Pendant / Anya Blown-Glass Chandelier

Also my current table and chairs

A European Adventure…

IMG_4802

This week I booked round trip flights to Paris in July.  To say I’m excited would be an understatement – Paris has always been on the top of my list of places I want to visit.  And the more research I do, the more exciting it all is.  My current plan is to spend 4-5 days in Paris by myself and then my boyfriend will join me for 8 days and we’ll rent a car and travel to either Burgendy and Switzerland or Brussels and Cologne.  That part of the plan is still in the works, but for now here are some of the things I’ve been reading about Paris:

Hey Natalie Jean’s recent Paris recap – she also traveled alone and I have to say I’m so glad that’s what I’m doing!  No one to get tired of shopping and art and gardens!

Reader recommendations on Design Darling – making lists now of all of my must go-to’s

Earnest Home’s complete itinerary – especially helpful since she also recaps Burgundy

Victoria’s city guide – she lists all of the market streets to check out!

 

Photo

Party Pics

Following all of the red carpet pictures from Monday’s Met Gala, I really enjoyed these by Daniel Arnold posted on Vogue.  They are the opposite of what you see on E! and they are completely un-posed.  They actually make the event look like a party!

01daniel-arnold-met-ball

03daniel-arnold-met-ball

05daniel-arnold-met-ball

07daniel-arnold-met-ball

09daniel-arnold-met-ball

10daniel-arnold-met-ball

12daniel-arnold-met-ball

14daniel-arnold-met-ball

15daniel-arnold-met-ball

17daniel-arnold-met-ball

21daniel-arnold-met-ball

Working Girl: Volume 1

I work in finance and as much as I love the creative style roundups I see on other blogs, I can’t wear most of it 5 days out of the week.  Here’s a quick round up of a few items I can (and would love to) wear:

Picture2

A blazer with a little edge to keep it from being too conservative

A sling back heel that will never go out of style

The classic DVF wrap silhouette dress

A watch that mixes gold and silver, so you can wear either with your other jewelry

The perfect silk blouse

A tailored tote for carting laptops, files and more

Renewed Interest

All of a sudden, I need to wallpaper something in black grasscloth.  I know grass cloth became a big trend a couple of years ago, but I wasn’t really into it.  It looked sort of beachy or preppy in a way that’s not really my style.  But then today I stumbled upon this picture…

1-sara1_060

This is Sara Ruffin Costello’s apartment (see it here) and the grasscloth looks amazing.  It adds texture to a room full of neutrals.  Then I kept going down the internet black hole and re-stumbled upon this picture…

BA002436

Alison Cayne’s apartment was originally shot for Domino (pictures here) and then again recently for One King’s Lane (here).  Her apartment (apartment? It’s really a house – in Manhattan!) is also amazing, but I loved the black walls in her bedroom.  They remind me of Jenna Lyon’s Brooklyn bedroom, but with more texture.  It looks like she used a special paint or technique to get this effect, but I think the overall feeling could also be achieved by using black grasscloth.

 

Now I can’t stop searching for rooms with black grasscloth.  Here are a few of my favorites so far:

Beim-40

Celerie Kemble

kroeger005

Susan Kroeger

sbegIuEBt4Px

Lonny

Goyard in NYC

goyard-nyc_2014_12.0

 

Did you know there was a Goyard store in New York City?

Neither did I until today.  The brand has practically no PR or social media presence (read about that here), is unavailable for online purchase and only sold in a few, very select stores in the U.S.  But that exclusivity only makes the brand more appealing.  Goyard is over 150 years old and its iconic, hand-painted chevron pattern is definitely swoon-worthy.  I haven’t been yet, but I can imagine the store is definitely worth a visit.  It is located in the Upper East Side at 20 East 63rd Street.

 

hideaway6

Images: OneTwo

 

Inspiring Women

Picture2

Just a few women who have inspired me lately…

 

1.  About a month ago I went to the Helena Rubinstein exhibit at the Jewish Museum.  I knew practically nothing about her going in, but her story of coming from Poland and the determination she had to become one of the first successful female entrepreneurs was inspiring.  She was a true innovator for her time.  Plus, the exhibit was filled with her beautiful clothes, artwork and (somewhat strange) dollhouses.  My favorite moment were the Picasso portrait preparation sketches.  Helena went to Picasso and demanded he paint a portrait of her.  When she refused to leave him alone, he drew preparation sketches in which she looks terribly angry and he had no intentions of turning them into a finished portrait.

 

2.  I walk to work every morning and it is blissful to have time to clear my head and stretch my legs.  Lately I’ve been listening to podcasts instead of music and a recent favorite is Aisha Taylor’s Girl on Guy.  She has a cast of characters that she brings in as guests and asks them interesting questions that will really go anywhere.  I loved her interview of Amber Tamblyn if you need a good starting point.

 

3.  Working in finance, I’m always eager to hear about female business success stories and one that is new to me is Natalie Massenet, the founder of Net-a-Porter.  This article provides a great read into Natalie’s background and how she started one of my favorite companies to online window shop.  When Natalie came up with the idea to create an online luxury marketplace, she had just failed as an Editor at Tatley.  I think this is a great reminder that your greatest ideas and innovation can come out of your lowest points.

 

4.  Betty Halbreich’s book, I’ll Drink to That, was fun and inspiring from someone who has lived a very full life.  Betty is the original personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman and has been there for nearly 40 years.  She’s worked with everyone and has amazing stories to share about her experiences.  Her memoir also dives into her past and her privileged lifestyle and family difficulties.  She talks about shopping a lot, but also points out how shopping can be (and often is) a vice to hide from bigger problems.  Still, the way she describes clothes is almost magical as someone who clearly has a true appreciation for their beauty.

Dream Kitchen

kitchen1I love imagining how I will one day renovate my own home and whenever I think of my dream kitchen, this one from Michelle Smith always comes to mind.  I found Michelle through features on One Kings Lane and Lonny and I am absolutely in love with her aesthetic.  She uses a lot of neutrals, but her spaces are far from boring.  Her New York City kitchen is especially inspiring to me, because when I do get the chance to renovate my own kitchen it will probably be a small galley like hers.

kitchen3

kitchen2Here are a few pieces I can’t wait to put in my own kitchen one day.  I want warm gray cabinets, white quartzite counter tops and touches of gold.  Patterned cement tiles could keep things from being too neutral.

Sources:

Light | Stool | Tiles | Paint