Wednesday, November 13, 2013

polyvore meetup!

Exciting news to share. Last week I attended a Polyvore Meetup, a two day event where I and 12 other members were spoiled, praised and showered with gifts. I've been a member for 5 years, and Polyvore remains my favorite online diversion. It's far more than a shopping resource; it's a one of a kind creative community that allows me to express my style ideas and get welcomed feedback. When I was invited to attend the meetup I was surprised, and thrilled... and nervous! I'm a very shy person. Talking to new people does not come easily. But there was no question, I had to go.

 View from the Hotel Valencia via Polyvore

We stayed at the Hotel Valencia in San Jose, California. I was the only Bay Area local in the group. Polyvore flew in members from Austria, Switzerland, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Canada, and across the states. The first evening we were treated to manicures at Lavande Nail Spa, where we also met and mingled with the amazing Polyvore staff. What fun! I never get manicures, ever. And I rarely bother with doing my own nails. I usually just keep it simple. But five days later my nails still look great, so that may have changed. I never knew that perfect, colorful tips could be so pleasing. 

Gifts and handwritten notes made us feel special. 

The next morning began with a very nice breakfast at the hotel, where Polyvore's CEO Jess Lee joined us. We went around the table and each person introduced themselves and shared how they discovered Polyvore and what it means to them. Hearing everyone talk, I realized how rare it is for such a diverse group to have this one definitive thing in common. We all have this need to create, to express ourselves and share our ideas, and we are united in having discovered the perfect outlet for that in Polyvore. I think that is truly special.

Next we headed to the Polyvore headquarters in Mountain View. When you enter the building, the first thing you see is the Polyvore motto on the wall (seen below in a photo by Ana). This is not just pretty typography. They take these values seriously. Everything about the meetup experience reinforced these words, from the personalized touches and attention to detail, to the enthusiastic and friendly staff. It was mentioned that even though they would love to invite a lot of members to the meetups, they choose to keep the groups small so that they can actually spend time with everyone. Another example, Carlie brought up an issue with the activity page and engineer Kenson Yee actually fixed it within an hour. Wow! 

Say Ya! Photobooth fun and gifts from Bare Escentuals.

The lineup for the rest of the afternoon included a presentation by Jess on the history of Polyvore, an introduction to the new iPad app, a Q&A with Polyvore staff, and demonstrations by some members on their approach to set-making. It was wonderful to gain insight into the company's background, the various teams, and learn the differences and similarities between members' set creating styles. Later in the afternoon we were all pampered (again!) with "make-unders" from Bare Escentuals. A lovely girl named Alba did my makeup, and she has quite a following on Instagram and YouTube. The Bare Escentuals team also gave us gift bags with tons of take home goodies. I learned that the gifts were customized to our tastes based on our Polyvore profiles - how sweet!

Personalized name badge with one of my sets, and more gifts!

I can't believe how many gifts we received throughout the meetup. As if everything I've already mentioned wasn't enough, we were given another bag (a Polyvore tote!) with awesome stuff inside, including a red knit infinity scarf from ModCloth, Cockatoo Brooch from Reiss, Catherine Michiels pendant from YLANG|23, Julep nail polish, gift cards for Neiman Marcus and Asos, and generous discounts for Joie, Current/Elliott and Equipment. Amazing, right!?

A sincere thank you to the Polyvore team for making us feel so special. It was an honor to be included with such a talented group of ladies. I will treasure this experience!

Please have a look at everyone's Polyvore profiles:

Sunday, October 20, 2013

the return of domino!

Domino is back in new form and I couldn't be happier! Like many, I was saddened when the magazine folded in 2008 - a result of the economic crash. This was my go-to design mag, a reliable source of inspiration and pretty, feeding my decorating dreams. And there was nothing else like it. The pages of Domino featured fun, creatively styled homes, and decor of varying price range. I couldn't relate to what other magazines were selling: luxury, maturity or strict design styles. Domino filled a niche by appealing to young women looking for stylish and budget-friendly decorating ideas.

Domino resurfaced in April 2012 with "Quick Fixes", seasonal special editions that made ample use of previous photography. This recycling of old material garnered much criticism. Now, Domino has once again received a makeover: quarterly magazine (with new content!) and e-commerce site. This new incarnation seems like a smart move, as online sales will (hopefully) support print production. In the Pinterest era, having pretty pictures and original product may be the key to Domino's success. I'm crossing my fingers that Domino sticks around for a long, long time.

My favorite room from the new issue:

Gorgeous, right? The chandelier and gilded mirror are ultra glam, and yet the sofas are understated and inviting. I also love the high and low gallery wall arrangement - and that lamp! With Domino's new e-commerce setup, readers can shop featured rooms for exact or similar furniture and decor pieces. The Hartwell Vintage Brass Floor Lamp is an impressive match to the one in the story.

Here's a Polyvore set with a roundup of my favorite decor from the new issue of Domino:

Parlor Picks: Domino Magazine
one / two / three / four / five / six / seven / eight

How do you feel about the new Domino? I'd love to know your thoughts!

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

i'm in the mood for ethereal, with some edge

styling by hans blomquist

Sometimes I'm in the mood for interiors that are a bit... theatrical.  I studied film in college, and at one point considered getting into set decorating. This appreciation for drama influences my interior tastes from time to time. Right now I want to create something ethereal, mythical, but with some edge. The room above is a good start. The high windows, classical architecture and white-grey color scheme have the pale ambiance I'm looking for.

Love that lamp! It has a whimsical shape and it's solid white. Objects that are solid white always remind me of art sculpture, both modern and ancient, and this look is influenced by both. The mood board in my mind has images of Greece, the Guggenheim... and the lair of the Childlike Empress.

one / two / three / four / five

Definitely need some geo patterns and texture. The chevron mosaic would make a nice focal wall, or floor tile, or both. The porcelain wall hanging by Heather Levine adds intrigue and an element of nature. Picture some dripping white candles on the Agate Platter. And let's talk about those stools by Gregory Bonsera. They remind me of giant chess pieces - very theatrical. I would use them as tables, and scatter them around the expansive room.

More fab finds for the walls: 

The Jose Levy mirrors add more geometry, but I want to complement them with additional pure white art: a horse figurine print from HYSJ, and an original sculpture from artist Sarah Best.

It's hard for me not to complete the picture. The cinema student in me always wants to assign a soundtrack and "costume" to every idea. So, in case you're wondering, we're listening to Zola Jesus and Bj√∂rk, and wearing:

This look is all about pale hues, clear and reflective surfaces, whimsy, and geometric elements. Here's a mood board presenting a realistic way to achieve this look:

Ethereal, with Some Edge

Furniture: Finley Tufted Sofa via One Kings Lane, Louis Ghost Armchair by Kartell, Pandora Glass Coffee Table from Lamps Plus, and Worlds Away Debra Ice Glass Side Table from Layla Grace.

Textiles: H&M Linen Curtains, Faux Sheep Skin Rug from Urban Outfitters, Chunky Tassel Throw from West Elm, Sheesha Pillow from Jayson Home, Crewel Embroidered Zigzag Pillow from Urban Outfitters, and Metallic Silk Cushion from Zara Home.

Decor: Universe Terrarium from Need Supply, Stray Dog Designs Blum Wood White Floor Lamp and Peacock Objects d'Art from Zinc Door, Sculptured Chrome Table Lamp from Homebase, Wendell Castle Cloud Wall Shelf from 1stdibs, Gold Geo print by Cute & Co via Society6, Rose Quartz Bookends from House of Onyx, and Arched Mirror via One Kings Lane.

Monday, August 26, 2013

inner sanctum: a bedroom library

When I laid eyes on this bedroom it was love at first sight. I've always wanted a bedroom with tons of shelving space, and this room has plenty. But I also like how the room is lovingly styled to emphasize the contents of the shelves. The monochromatic color scheme is so cool, and the books become the decor, especially when they are face-out displayed. Art and objects are mingled with the books, and there are welcome pops of green. (Still on a green kick.) The crisp white ambiance feels surprisingly cosy, though I think I'd throw in a rug (or two).

Here's a mood board with examples of more decor that I would add to this space:

Inner Sanctum: Bedroom Library

Inner Sanctum: Bedroom Library by deuxS on Polyvore

Furniture: French Martini Table from One Kings Lane and Plus Side Table from Bouf.

Decor: Mid Century Brass Elephant from One Kings Lane, Vintage Green Clock from ZuHauseBerlin, Missoni Home Ojus Bean Bag Chair from All Modern, and Ikat Pillows from One Kings Lane. 

Art: Canal Street 2012 by Mishka Henner and #45 1970 by Alexandre Hogue, via 1stdibs.

Misc: Solana Mug from Mikasa, H&M candle, and Vintage Books from One Kings Lane. 

Friday, August 23, 2013

i love this apartment

I'm into green more and more these days, so maybe that explains my immediate love for this home, found at Fantastic Frank. It's got just the right amount of homey vintage goods to give the space warmth and charm, mixed with modern curves and lines to create a casual yet stylish look. And can we talk about that plaid chair? The personality of this chair fits in perfectly here, but it could have gone very, very wrong. The person who styled this home got it spot on.

This apartment has an abundance of natural light and thriving plant life. To me, seeing rich green leaves placed in a mostly white environment is one of the most beautiful sights ever. I find nature in interiors so appealing that I created a Pinterest board called "Bringing Nature Home" (inspired by the book of the same name by Ngoc Minh Ngo). I think plants are an easy (and affordable) way to add beauty and grace to a room. Do you like decorating with plants?

(all images via Fantastic Frank)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

budget decorating with h&m home

one / two / three / four

News that H&M is finally available online to US residents has been making the blog rounds recently (see SF Girl By Bay's post). Around the same time Polyvore challenged the community to create an interior look with a cost of less than $1,000. So naturally, I had to use some items from H&M!

Below is a living room design concept, featuring items from H&M, Target, Ikea and others:

Design for Under $1,000

Design for Under $1,000 by deuxS

Furniture: Button Tufted Velvet Chaise Settee from Target, Ektorp Tullsta Chair from Ikea, and Klingsbo Coffee Table, also from Ikea. 

Textiles: Curtains, Pillow Covers (here and here) and Throw Blanket from H&M, and Metallic Bamboo Rug from Pier1. 

Decor: Black Genie Lamp from Pier1, Glass Vase and Candle Holders (here and here) from H&M.

Art: Dandy Deer Original Print, handmade by Orwell and Goode on Etsy

I think this is a pretty good starting point for someone with a limited budget. Over time, one could personalize the space with unique vintage or indie finds. And here's a tip: to fill the cushion covers simply recycle old pillows or hit up a thrift store! 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

get the look: boho rustic in norway

I came across this beautiful Norwegian home at Domaine. So much to love here - the unusual mix of styles and the color palette, cheerful jewel tones against a white and neutral canvas. And texture! I want to curl up with that luxurious purple throw, don't you? (Sip some coffee, listen to Sharon Van Etten...) I call the welcoming vibe of this space a little boho, a little rustic, with hints of industrial.

If you love this look as much as I do, then here's how to get it:

Get The Look: Boho Rustic

Items include: Gray Vintage Chandelier from Cost Plus World Market / KENZO Paris Violet Maze Pillow Cover / Toile Wallpaper from Home Depot / Lace Pillowcases from Lamps Plus / Dog Rose Botanical Poster from The Evolution Store / Monkey Garden Tapestry from Urban Outfitters / Xhilaration Plush Throw from Target / French 1930s Industrial Stool from 1stdibs / 
Surya Scroll Aqua Pouf from Zinc Door / Elio Chair via Houzz