Getting My Closet Visit On

All images via Jeana Sohn

We spent the better part of this weekend ripping out my collapsing closet, and I mean literally collapsing, as in I opened the door earlier this week and every blouse/sweater/clutch/pair of jeans/shoes I owned was on a definite downward trajectory.

At first I worried I was seeing things, or perhaps I was dealing with a brain tumor situation (I have a bit of the hypochondria friends), but no, it was just, you know, the hardware (shelves, rods, et al) completely detaching itself from the drywall. Good times. But hey, on the upside, health crisis averted. (Whew.)

So we (and by we I mean Bryan) ripped the whole thing out. And faced with a completely blank slate, I convinced him to not only replace the sad white particleboard shelves with pretty, earthy unfinished wood but to also throw on a new coat of paint and switch out all the rods and hardware. (I have a really good/patient/kind/loving husband.)

Never mind that my clothes are jammed into sundry closets that are not my own, and my handbags are in my bathtub (don't ask) and my shoes... you know I can honestly say I don't know where the hell my shoes are. What matters is that in a week (or three -- B is awesome but slow) my closet will be a blank slate of clean, pristine awesomeness.

You know getting that bad boy in order is one of my goals this year, and the great closet rebuild is inspiring some serious next level action. I'm getting ruthless here people. Only the good stuff is going back in. I'm in take no prisoners mode.

I'm getting inspired by going through all of Jeana Sohn's genius past Closet Visits. I'm fastidiously studying Roxanne and Kayten and Sue and Momo and all the other cool girls with thoughtfully edited, interesting but wearable wardrobes, hoping some of it rubs off on me.

Until then there will be painting and fishing handbags out of the bathtub and trying to find my shoes.

Wish me luck.



Jessica Hans' crazy beautiful ceramics. (Fellow Dallas peeps can see a smattering of her pieces in person at TENOVERSIX.)

Maya Brenner's shark tooth diamond ridge necklace. A totally rockin' layering piece...just sayin'.

Frame Denim's SS15 ad campaign shot by Erik Torstensson and styled by George Cortina (spotted via keep it chic). Love the art direction, love simple styling, love the juxtaposition of fashion and nature, love it all...

The perfect clean, minimal beige varnish (calling it varnish just makes it feel infinitely more chic, yes?)

Helen. Full stop. (Helen Frankenthaler, Sirocco, 1989; Ann Kendall Richards, Inc.)


Some Scenes... From The Week

We're in the middle of back-to-back installs at the studio, so it's been all about the prep (notice how I managed to avoid saying the "b" word in that sentence?). A lot of said prep (and here's the not so fun secret of interior design) is logistics -- a meticulously (though not always graceful) choreographed dance of movers/installers/electricians/painters/carpenters/drapery makers and the such. Thankfully I have a rather kick ass project manager that makes all this go down pretty spectacularly (I love you Sarah).

The other part of the prep (and this friends is the fun part) is procuring the accessories. This is where I get to satisfy my shoppin' jones with boxes of books, pottery, plants, and other pretty things that I then get to use to create vignettes in someone else's home. It's really the greatest. thing. ever. I'm not gonna lie.

If we're lucky, we also have the privilege of creating art for our lovely clients. This is, without a doubt, a group affair; we brainstorm and divide and conquer pieces based on the team's individual talents, and, honestly, I'm usually so occupied (please note the absence of the "b" word again) with other aspects of the install that I've leave the painting and drawing to my more artistically talented cohorts.

But this weekend I got my paint on, and dang it felt good. It reminded me how in the midst of the planning and procuring and whatnot that sometimes you just need to make things (or at least I do). It's a pretty restorative enterprise.

Now I just need to remember that the next time the girlies ask me to stop balancing the checkbook (yes I still use a checkbook) and make cookies with them...


Loving... (The Variations On A Theme Edition)

This week's loving list is all knotty, ropey, braided goodness, staring with the most beautiful, artful macrame I've come across (and I've come across a log of macrame of late) courtesy of Himo Art. May, I am officially obsessed; You are a rope art genius lady. Full stop.

While not technically a braid or a rope or a knot, Vivian Westwood's still killer "Squiggle" wallpaper for Cole and Son was inspired by her 1981 "Pirate" collection, and Pirates are all about ropes and knots, so that counts, yes?

And then there's just this straight up braid action, of which I will never be able to partake, but will happily covet. Via Her New Tribe.

I could however pull off this string art-inspired necklace from Mary Katrantzou's Spring 2011 collection, if (sigh) it was still available...

Finally there's The Row's gorgeous knotted and tassel-laden clutch -- interesting and richly detailed but still perfectly neutral (and you know I'm all about the neutrals).


Five Things I'd Like To Maybe Try and Possibly Do This Year (AKA My Attempt at Resolutions)

Alas, this photo has nothing to do with my resolutions, I just really like the crystal encrusted tumbleweed situation.

I am a list writing, intentions setting, resolution making girl to the core. It is, without a doubt, my thing. But this year I decided not to rush into the whole goal creation enterprise. Instead I channeled a "design-minded" approach to my New Year's resolutions and applied the oft-cited wisdom that you should live in a room for a bit before you decide what to do with it (i.e. see how things are going to shake out, how you're going to use the space and all, before you pull the trigger on a sofa that cost more than your first car.)

So I exercised a little restraint and allowed myself to marinate in 2015 for a whopping 14 days before declaring what I was going to focus on this year. What shook out were five things that pretty much address what I haven't been digging about my life of late. They're the things that consistently seem to nag at me/vex me/throw me off course.

In keeping with my slow and steady ethos, I eased into these bad boys for the past couple of weeks, and friends, I'm feel like they just might (might being the operative word here) stick. And if they don't, well then no sweat, there's always 2016 (see: # 5).

1. Learn Geography

via am visuals

I am more than a little bit embarrassed to admit that if you presented me a blank world map, there's an awfully good chance that I wouldn't be able to identify where Sweden is. Nu er det nok! (Or for those of you not fluent in Danish, this shit has to end.) It's shameful.

I'm done being geographically challenged. I'm done with the girlies going to Bryan when they need to know the exact location of Mali. Fin; Fini; Flippin done. I've downloaded some world geography apps. I'm studying the atlas.  It's going down.

2. Cook Something

via food 52

(Preferably with candied ginger involved.) This one is a bit of a no brainer. I like to cook; I'm (relatively) good at it; it's healthy; it's less expensive than eating out; my family digs it; it's cozy. And yet, I've found myself in our neighborhood Italian joint or staring down a pile of take out menus far more often than I'm comfortable with over the past year. I need to get all Nike on this action and just do it, yes?

3. Embrace My Closet

via my pinterest

I've been pretty meh about my closet for a while now. There's a lot in there, and I can confidently say (because I did that hanger trick) that I wear about 20 percent of it at best. Here's the thing, I know exactly how I want to dress. And apparently I'm consistent. Case in point, over the holiday break, Christine (easily one of my most stylish friends and an actual stylist) perused the "sartorial inspiration" Pinterest board I created several years ago. After some scrolling, she looked up and said "this is how you dress already," and then, and this was the real nugget of wisdom (obvious but so spot on, as most nuggets of wisdom are), "You just need more of what you love and less just so/so pieces."  Bam!

She also urged me to get over the fact that I don't wear color and just embrace the damn black. "Dress for yourself," she said. Full stop.

So in a revolutionary move, I have taken all of the so/so pieces out of my closet and moved them to the guest room. If I miss them, I'll go back for them. If I haven't touched them in 6 months, then see ya later suckers. What's left in my (delightfully sparse) closet are the greatest hits, enabling me to finally pinpoint where I need to fill in the blanks (and it's not with another black tank top). And since whatever I do purchase isn't getting shoved alongside a bunch of poorly made, average (at best) things that I only sort of like, the pressure will be on. The new stuff has to live up to its counterparts. I'm going hard core here friends. I've dallied with this closet business before. But this time it's on.

4. Switch It Up

via Vanessa Jackman

To shake up all that aforementioned sartorial consistency (ahem, black), I'm gonna keep things exciting by breaking out of my comfort zone a little on the bells and whistles. There might be some, say, red lip action, or perhaps the smoky eye will take a wee hiatus, or I might ditch all the jewelry (every last bit of it) for a few days. Watch out, I'm getting crazy here.

And, wait for it, I'm also taking this one outside of the personal arena (think: switching up my commute, not looking at my iphone first thing in the morning, eschewing my trusty morning almond butter-slathered english muffin, and other "keep it fresh" activities recommended by all those v. smart creativity experts).

5. Chill Out

via a well traveled woman

This one might be my most important resolution/goal/intention of the year, as I've been in desperate need of calming things down for quite some time. You already know of my whole rage against "the busy," but what I haven't shared is that along with "busy," "crazed," and "overwhelmed," my vocabulary is also heavy on the "I'm sorries."

Now apologizing in and of itself is obviously not bad, but apologizing because you're always late/haven't returned a call or an email or a text/forgotten your best friend/cousin/uncle's birthday (hypothetically of course) is not a good scene. And the attending stress that goes along with all the "I'm sorry" action is a real bummer (and I'm talking chest tightening, palm sweating, just this side of a full-blown anxiety attack stress here).

So chilling out a little this year is at the tippy top of my list. Here's my thinking. If I do less, say yes to less, and focus more on the really important stuff (like the action in that manifesto above), then I'll likely screw up less. And if I screw up less, I'll have to say I'm sorry less. And if I have to say I'm sorry less, I'll be less stressed. Thus chilling out accomplished. See how easy that was?

Here's to a home-cooked meal filled, well-dressed, red-lipsticked, chilled out, geography nailing year friends. Wish me luck.


Some Scenes...

I'm proud to report that the past week has involved an admirable balance of work, play (albeit of the slightly tipsy, laugh until your stomach aches variety), and recharge. It's been a good seven days, friends.

There was moodboarding, sourcing galore, materials ogling, and perusing stacks of fabric memos at the studio; fancy belated birthday lunch partaking with lovely cousin Erin; and a ridiculously fun/restorative Friday night dinner/dance party with Sara and Lucia that was one drink and a few hashtags away from total embarrassment (see slightly tipsy and laugh until your stomach aches), and a Sunday dinner out with some other mamas and girlies that was blissfully free of disaster (well the girlies did clog the restaurant's toilet, but minor considering what could have gone down).

Now I've just gotta keep this roll going...

Hope your weekend was splendid!



This lovely Maison Louis Marie perfume oil action via T Magazine, billed as "a sandalwood fragrance that smells remarkably warm like fig, yet also light and earthy — just right for modest ladies averse to the alcohol undertones of a traditional spray eau de toilette". Ummm, yes please.

And given the bitter windy cold snap we're in the midst of here in Dallas, I'm all about the oil of late. I am a lizard friends, I'm not gonna lie.

Next allow me to direct your attention to Heather's post on Paper Chase Press. That place is just insanely lovely in every way, yes?

This whole enterprise. And the fact that I'm loving it is not insignificant, as (I'm just going to go ahead and say it) I could do without all the reclaimed wood floating around out there in design land. For the most part I'm, well, totally over it, but then this little corner sneaks up on me and makes me reconsider my stance altogether. Although it could be the flowering branches and the perfect little bar tray and the orderly row of glasses...

Or maybe it's the wood.


(I can't for the life of me find the image credit on this one. If anyone knows, please shoot it my way.)

There is, however, no wavering on this bad boy. Oh how I'm loving pretty much every. single. thing. about this Somerset House situation via Remodelista. I mean that marble and those uniforms and that crazy gorgeous girl in the acid yellow dress. Perfection. (Thanks Janet.)

Finally there's the matter of Chicago-based design studio Sonnenzimmer's awesome hand-crafted posters. Obsessed. Full stop.


A Few Scenes From All The "Not Doing"

Millie's birthday doughnut tower (don't judge, it's hard to make a December birthday feel special)...

Rock goodness from our New Year's Eve nature walk...

Winter break reading material...

Preparing for the Christmas Eve feast

The fungus among us

Yesterday was my first day back in the studio after nearly two weeks "off" (I use this word loosely, as I'm a bit of a work all the time type of gal. I may have had a dream about wallpaper last night. Just sayin'), and I tried with all my might to temper the urge to hit the ground running with some take a deep breath/appreciate the moment action. Think: putting my phone down and actually making conversation with my studio mates during lunch and a serious dance party/board game enterprise (not at the same time) with Bryan and the girlies after work.

It's all about the balance, yes? Trying (trying) to squeeze in some time to connect, play, and recharge amid the get 'er done. Sounds easy in theory ;-)