Stylin' Mammas: Tahoe City

Thursday, August 30, 2012

This summer finds us in Tahoe City, CA for two sun-soaked weeks.  Days are spent bouncing from the pool, where my son hones his swimming skills , to the rocky Commons Beach where my husband can take a spin on the kayak while the kids clamber around the adjacent playground, to the bike path where I take my daily walks while my daughter snoozes in the stroller.  We finish with meat on the grill and white wine spritzers as the kids fight to keep their eyes open long enough to eat dinner on the deck.

Tahoe elevates casual to an art form: the term "no shirt, no shoes, no service" does NOT seem to apply to the general populace.  But Stylin' Mamma takes no breaks on trying to look her best.

For active days, a go-nowhere swimsuit is a must.  If Kristy Walsh can play Olympic beach volleyball in a triangle top, surely I can wrestle my son in the pool in one.  For activewear shopping and paddleboard rentals, look no further than Tahoe Dave's  on the main drag. 

To go from beach to burgers at the Bridgetender , throw on a soft camp shirt, and easy denim that shows off those tan gams.  Flatforms are edgy but comfy for strolling the town.

Tahoe's snowboard-to-paddleboard locals are high on eyewear.  You can't swing a cat without hitting the latest and greatest Oakley has to offer.  Oversized, bright colored: this is the place to rock your more daring sunnies -- with polarized lenses, of course! 

For date night, the River Grill serves up seafood alongside the Truckee River, where the last of the rafters are taking a sunset drift as the Alpenglow sets in and the guitarist strikes up at the fire pit.  Come prepared to hum some Fleetwood Mac -- and bring a cozy sweater to throw over those crisp white khakis.

Accessories are minimal...if worn at all.  And skip the watch: you're on Tahoe Time now.

- Jaime

The House: Kitchen Concepts Part Two

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

So, as I mentioned in my last post about the massive kitchen renovation we are undertaking, well, part one of the massive renovation involves re-thinking the layout of the kitchen and moving a powder room.  Part two is the fun part that involves the selection of materials and finishes and hardware. Well, the hardware is obvious - we are using Nest Studio's baubles of course and adding a touch of glam by going satin brass.  From there I had to bring in the brass elsewhere with a satin brass faucet from Newport Brass, an over the sink vintage pendant from Restoration Hardware.  White Shaker cabinets and a subway tile backsplash keep our cost down and the look clean and grey marble countertops add a touch of class.  Because the wood floor in the kitchen (under the old linoleum) is pretty beat up and a different species than the rest of the house, we are going to sand it down and paint it.  I'm actually really excited about this. It's both economical, unique, and durable. I might do a pattern later on a la the bottom photo.  Also bringing in another retro pendant in the breakfast niche from Circa Lighting and doing a custom brass island to fit in our narrow space - similar to this one from Crate and Barrel that I photoshopped the finish on (but cleaner and with shelves below).  And if you're extra curious you can follow all my ponderings and selections for our new house on my pin board here.

Fall Fashion Wish List

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hi, all!  This is Soyoung from Dogear Press, and I’m happy to be popping in over at The Eagle’s Nest while Jess is busy with renovations on Chez Davis East.  I don’t know about you all, but I can’t wait to see how their house turns out… I thought I would kick off my Eagle’s Nest visit by sharing a few items from my fall fashion wish lists.

It’s hard to believe that summer is drawing to a close.  While I will be sad to see the long sunlit days go, I can’t deny that I am looking forward to the fall.  I love the first hints of crisp air, the changing colors of the leaves, and the prospect of my favorite holiday – Thanksgiving.  I am also an absolute sucker for fall fashion.  The September fashion magazines (ah, 900+ page Vogue) and catalogs (hi, J. Crew) are my absolute favorites.  For this year’s fall shopping, my goal has been to restock some of the basic pieces in my wardrobe.  I tend to be drawn to neutral colors and classic silhouettes, so I’ve been trying to liven up my new basics by looking for some pieces with a bit of a twist – whether it’s via bright colors, or a slightly different shape (loving the smoking loafer as a new go-to flat).  In my alternate reality I’d be making some more extravagant purchases.  Below are items on my fantasy and reality lists.

Alternate Reality

Replenishing Basics

4. Sam Edelman aster loafer

Art that looks like interiors...

Friday, August 24, 2012

1. Dining Room by Stephen Shubel
2. Dining Room by Arbre De Matisse Lourdes Gutierrez
- Lauren

New York International Gift Fair Roundup

Thursday, August 23, 2012

So Kelly from Studio DIY and I hit up the NYIGF on Tuesday at the Javitz Center.  We were both new to the gift fair and it was about as overwhelming as we had anticipated.  Luckily we wore sensible shoes and only made the mistake of bringing a few heavy items along with us.  I think the stationery in the main show and the home decor items at Pier 94 were my favorites.  I'm so excited to sort through all the collateral I got and sign up for trade accounts at some of the great lighting and accessory companies that I came across. As usual, being overwhelmed by all the visual stimulation, I didn't take enough photographs, but here are a few instagrams of some of my favorite finds.

Stylin' Mammas: The Party of My Decade

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's August 2012, officially, meaning my 10th anniversary is fast approaching!  One decade, five apartments, two continents, two kids...we've been busy, to say the very least.
In honor of the occasion we are throwing a strictly grown-ups cocktail party in about three weeks.  Mommy needs an outfit that says "10 years older, and better than ever".  At the moment I'm torn between two looks: relaxed bohemian hostess -- inspired by The Ice Storm, complete with vintage "dead stock" jewels, or 80's-inspired glamour girl, with a pearl-and-diamond costume choker that references my wedding jewelry.  For the buffet, some elegant card holders describing the food; for the champagne, some vintage-inspired barware.

Bohemian-hostess wife:

Modcloth Local Muse Dress
Sam Edelman Sophie Sandal
Banana Republic Dome Button Earrings
Decades Vintage Necklace
Bronze Place Card Holders
Champagne Flute

80's-glamour wife:

Modcloth Wave to the Crowd Dress
Boutique 9 Kimberly Pumps
Anne Taylor Necklace
Pearl Studs
Essie Stylenomics Nail Color
Elephant Place Card

- Jaime

The House: Kitchen Concepts

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

So, the largest, most detailed renovation we are doing in the new house is the kitchen.  Currently the kitchen is a bad flashback to the 50's and there is an overly large powder room at the back that is modeled after a meadow of screamingly colorful flowers (sans the flower scent).  Here is what it looks like now.

And what it looks like in plan.
We're thinking we will widen the kitchen opening to the dining room, close up the door to the living, and move the powder room to the original fridge and pantry location. This gives us a more open space and allows us to create a set of french doors that will open onto a future deck.

More concepting to follow (think white shaker cabinets, grey marble and some fabulous hardware from Nest Studio).

Upstairs Patio Redesign

Monday, August 20, 2012

Recently my friends Kellie and Adam asked me to help them with the design of their upstairs patio. I had previously helped them with the interiors of their home, so I jumped at the opportunity to work with them on an outdoor space.  They're out in LA, but since I'd seen their patio before and knew their style, I figured it was a challenge that I could tackle (and Kellie provided some thorough photography and measurements).  Here is what the patio looks like right now.

As you can see, it's a bit of a dust bowl and could use some TLC.  Adam and Kellie generally use the patio for lounging, reading magazines and enjoying a cocktail.  They like having lounge chairs that they can move around to take advantage of the shifting sun and shade throughout the day.  Here is the plan I came up with.  Two wide, comfortable chaises, a few ceramic stools as cocktail tables, a small flexible umbrella (mainly to shade the dog), a storage bench for cushions, and a cocktail cart.
The overall look has a Tuscan feel. Nancy from Weeds Bloom Landscape Design is helping with the planting and using economical wine barrels as well as salvaging some of the existing zinc planters for a rustic wine-country feel.

Rain Rain

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Well it's been raining cats and dogs here lately. I'm definitely looking forward to the rain when I have my new garden up and running, but for now it has me confused. Four and a half years in LA and I have no idea how to dress for summer rains.  My basic warm weather rain uniform for trekking around in the city has been a t-shirt, shorts rubber flip flops and an umbrella.... not exactly something you'd want to run into anyone important while wearing.  In LA I could wear suede wrapped wedges and not even stop to think about how impractical they were weather wise.  Between trekking around with a stroller in a monsoon (the first time we were in NY I had to use a plastic bag to cover Bryan's feet because I didn't have a stroller cover) to dealing with a torrential downpour while navigating the Pulaski Skyway, New York in the rain is challenging.  What do you do to stay stylish while beating the weather? What's your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow?

A little update....

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

I apologize for the bouts of blog silence recently. I imagine it will continue for the next month or so with so much going on. We closed on our new house on my birthday (Monday).... I couldn't have asked for a better present!  AND we start demolition on Friday to make way for a new kitchen, bath, new HVAC, refinished basement, and back deck among other things.  Today I got my new business cards in the mail, just in time for a visit to NYIGF on Tuesday with Kelly from Studio DIY.  Looking forward to seeing all the wares that people will be hawking this year. 

I'm thinking I will do a little experiment with gold edge painting to really make them pop. And I'm excited about the way all of my packaging is coming together for my hardware shipments going out in early September.

Weekend Instagram

Monday, August 13, 2012

A few scenes from the past few weeks.....

Exterior paint colors

Thursday, August 9, 2012

So, I promised some progress / concept on the house exterior.  I had a tiny bit of time last week between packing for a family reunion, getting things squared away before closing, figuring out part time child care, etc etc etc.... to get some photoshopping done.  Here is what the house looks like now (photo care of my dad).

And here is what I'm sort of envisioning. 
The siding is vinyl, which I've found out can easily be painted. The issue is that if you paint it much darker than the original color it can absorb too much heat and cause the vinyl to warp.  So I'm thinking maybe a slightly lighter grey with some black trim around the windows and a pop of color on the door. So more photoshopping on that later....

Stylin' Mammas: Beach Babes

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Last weekend found us in Bodega Bay, hitting up the windy shore for some sun, salt air, and relaxation.  Up here in Northern California, beaches mean wetsuits and jeans more than skimpy bikinis...or perhaps a comfy cozy dress like this one.  (in "tempest")
If you don't own white Chuck Taylors, BUY SOME.  You will thank me.  

Are you a hipster?  Perhaps not.  But you can fool a lot people in these sunnies.  

I know it's a bit Kardashian, but I love my fedora

If your beach baby, like mine, sees sand as a meal alternative, you may need to hold her up for a while. ...although carrying Babygirl close to my chest means I usually forgo necklaces for some good arm candy like this Marc by Marc Jacobs bangle and leather wrap bracelet.

If I'm carrying the kids, my husband is charge of the bag.  

Black Dining Rooms

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

One of the things I am going to do in the new place (at least I'm pretty sure about this) is paint our dining room black.  I love a cozy / dramatic dining room.  Our guest room at Chez Davis West was black and it really worked out well.  I feel like dining rooms and bedrooms and powder rooms look great in black because you're not focused on getting a ton of lighting into the space and often they are rooms used more during the evening hours than during the day.  That's not to say that black doesn't look great in the daylight as well.  In fact, contrary to popular belief, because black absorbs color and therefore recedes, it can make a room feel bigger.  We have the white Eames Eiffel tower dining chairs, so I think they will really pop against a black backdrop.  Here's a little pinterest roundup of some of my favorite black dining rooms.

All image original sources via this pinboard

And the winner is...

Monday, August 6, 2012

Well, our edition of NJ House Hunters is about to wrap.  We on the Millburn house and have gone through all the rigamarole of inspections and negotiations and we are almost out the other end - closing and officially getting the keys.  Can't wait to start in on those renovations and show you what we have in store.  First on the agenda will be doing a little concepting on the interior and then maybe some photoshopping of exterior paint colors.

Illustrated Etymology: Wainscot

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

You know you've heard the term wainscot thrown around on those decorating shows and you may have wondered what in the heck they're talking about.  Even as a designer and art historian, this term confuses me.  Is it spelled "wainscoat" and pronounced "wainscot".... or is it spelled "wainscot" and pronounced "wainscoat"?  It's just one of those things I've never gotten straight in my head.  So I figured it was time to shed a little light on the term.

Wainscot or wainscotting is a type of paneling that is used on the lower portion of a wall between the baseboard and chair rail.  Now a chair rail is pretty straight forward; it's there to protect your wall from chairs and other waist-height objects.  Wainscotting's original purpose was to cover the lower part of walls, not so much from nicks and scratches but from dampness oozing up from the ground. With the advent of various water barriers and damp proof courses of brick, wainscotting became more decorative than functional.

Various types of wainscot paneling.

Originally wainscot paneling started off as a type of tongue and groove vertical paneling similar to bead board (in fact the original term wainscot referred specifically to a type of high-quality quarter-sawn oak that was used for that purpose).  However, nowadays wainscot can be made of vertical panels, raised or recessed panels and moldings or even just flat moldings applied to a sheetrock wall to give an effect.  Wainscotting is typically around 30-36 inches high but can often be made lower or higher to change the proportions of a room.  In the photo above, often in craftsman style houses, the wainscot is raised to give a sense of warmth and to create a plate rail higher up on the wall.  And, some of the houses we are considering have a low wainscot in the dining room and I love how it makes the ceilings feel higher.  Hmm... even if the house we buy doesn't have wainscotting, it could be a great DIY project.

What do you think?  To wainscot or not to wainscot? High, low or in between? Recessed, raised or beaded?