A Simplified Summer

image via the line...

"Hot as hell" and "summer in Texas" might as well be interchangeable, so you'd think my go-to summer uniform would be one of those barely-there sundresses below... And yet, my daily get up veers decidedly more in the direction of that dress over jeans action above.

See, in my line of work, a typical day can involve a fancy client meeting (add a blazer and some wedges), a muddy site visit (ditch the blazer and swap the wedges for some rubber flip flops that I can rinse off), and some serious schlepping and hauling (keep the flip flops, sweat my ass off, and hope for the best). It's pretty much foolproof friends.

Inspired by a Q&A over on the Anaise blog in which designer Mary Chan of Studio Bartleby shares her summer essentials (rose water and tea tree oil, cotton dresses, sandals, straw hat, sparkling water, orange juice, pesto), I thought I'd go beyond the dress over jeans and share a few other things that are currently helping me get me through the hot as hell, ahem summer in Texas.

Herewith the survival kit...

cherries. holy kombucha. dr. hauschka clarifying day oil. milky chance. a big stack of turkish beach towels (they dry fast, and we spend a lot of time in the pool). lime topo chico. elta md uv clear spf. my library card. toasted sesame seeds. air conditioning(!)

(Did I mention it's as hot as hell?)

What's on your list?



Adam Silverman's drool-worthy custom vases for Chateau Marmont...

Summer dress perfection from Horses Atelier (but really, everything they do is perfection).

Jenni Kayne's book stack goodness (and that little smattering of pottery isn't half bad either).

Brook Morgan's gorgeous Bent Not Broken at Nomad Collective.

OPENHOUSE magazine via You Have Been Here Sometime. A magazine exploring the intersection of design, art, and food and the spaces where the design/art/food action gets created by interesting, inspiring people... Ummm, yes please.


New Necklaces Over On Vee Caravan

Hope you are having a lovely Father's Day friends.

If, after the celebrating of your hubby and/or pops, you happen to be in the mood for a bit of retail therapy this fine weekend, I have new batch of tassel necklaces, a smattering of beaded tassel bracelets, and a few new black ceramic and brass bead necklaces available over on Vee Caravan.


From Inspiration to Reality (Or 1530 Main -- The Joule Hotel's New Publication)

One of the best parts of working at a multi-disciplinary design studio is getting to toggle between such varied creative projects and do a little left brain/right brain switch-a-roo. While my days are largely filled with interiors endeavors, I also jump in on event design (a whole other animal) and some of our branding projects.

Friends, I looove the branding stuff. Love. It. I also happen to love magazines -- reading them, looking at them, re-reading them, making them. (I especially enjoy the making them situation.) So the fact that one of our most kick-ass branding clients, The Joule Hotel (a new website it also in the works), asked us to help them create a publication for their guests, well, was pretty much nirvana.

The result, 1530 Main, is pictured above, from brainstorming session to birthed piece. It was collaboration at its best. Can't wait for issue two.


Wisdom...According to Jesse, Jeana, and Louise

image via Ye Rin Mok via Apiece Apart

I found myself scrolling through Apiece Apart's lovely Product Stories for far longer than I'd like to admit this weekend. (Hey, it was rainy, Internet binging is acceptable on rainy days, yes?)

Especially good are the profiles, with their gorgeous voyeuristic photos and poignant little nuggets of wisdom. My favorites below...

On balance and simplicity via clothing designer Jesse Kamm:

In my life, I know that I deserve to be a sane person, and I do not want to take anxiety medication to survive my year. I know that I need time away to be sane, so I take it. Not because I am spoiled, but because I value my existence as a happy, balanced person. Everyone deserves this.

These are a few things I do during the year, so that I can afford to spend it elsewhere: I buy fine pieces that cost more, but which are well built, because I know that the price-per-wear will end up in my favor, and I do not shop frivolously. I don’t go out to lots of fancy dinners. I don’t get manicures and pedicures. We all choose how to allocate our earnings, and I choose to save mine for leisure, because that is what makes me happy. My life is luxurious, but not in the way most people see luxury. It is luxurious because I have freedom, and for me, freedom is wealth.

image by Stella Berkofsky for Apiece Apart

Fearless creating and the secret to marriage happiness per artist Louise Bonnet:

A painter friend sent me this link to a letter Sol Lewitt sent to Eva Hesse and it basically is the best thing relating to work I have ever read. In short: not being afraid to make bad stuff, just do it. Not trying to be cool, but making your own uncool. To shock yourself at how bad you can be and see where it goes. Also important for life; go on date night. A babysitter is cheaper than a divorce lawyer.

image by Laure Joilet for Apiece Apart

Photographer Jeana Sohn's golden rules:

Be polite. Learn everyday. Always treat people who work for you well. Give.


Lise Silva (i.e. the maker of our current obsession)

We have a tendency to fall into group obsessions at the studio. Recent objects of our collective fixation have included Topo Chico,  staghorn ferns, Raquel Allegra, the Evan with chicken at Taco Joint, and Le Labo Santal 33 (we're all about the high/low).

Of late, Lise Silva's knotted necklaces have joined the list.

It started with that ivory "vibration knot" action above. I almost bought it at Christine's pop up shop a few weeks ago, but in a rare moment of responsibility and frugality, I decided to abstain from purchasing. Sam showed up at the same pop up a couple of hours later and snapped it up. Catie also coveted the "vibration knot" but ended up ordering the "entrance knot" online.  She and Sam eventually traded necklaces and currently have them in heavy rotation. Watching the two of them sport their Silva's has made me totally regret my initial decision. (Who am I kidding... I'm jealous every time I see one of them donning that groovy fiber goodness.)

I may have just purchased my own Silva.

Photos forthcoming.

Lise Silva's Double Coin Knot Blue Moon and Trio of Double Coin Knots at Vee Caravan.



image via style.com

Narcisco Rodriguez Resort

ebay (And sadly, no longer available)...

photo by Brittany Ambridge via Domino Magazine

Georgia O'Keefe's house... (A visit is officially on my bucket list.)


If Money Were No Object...

It would be all about the Céline.

Just sayin'.


Low Maintenance Girl Crush: Leslie Fremar

images via into the gloss

As I was parked in front of the mirror this weekend, clumsily wielding a curling iron in an attempt to approximate some messy cool-girl wave action into my otherwise volume-challenged hair, I was envying Leslie Fremar. Big time.

The stylist is decidedly low maintenance. In fact, I think it's safe to assume that the former protégé to Anna Wintour and Tonne Goodman (another poster girl for the less-is-more beauty ethos) doesn't even own a curling iron.

Other things Fremar doesn't do:
  1. Wash her hair every day 
  2. Wash her face (this one I can't really get behind... I am obsessed with the face washing)
  3. Wear makeup very often

But the real mind blower (and, let's face it, key to the whole low maintenance equation) is the fact that when she looks in the mirror with nothing on, she thinks, wait for it, she looks fine.

Revolutionary, yes?

And if she's tired, she just throws on those black specs above to detract from the whole situation and calls it a day.

Leslie Fremar you are my hero. Well, with the exception of that whole face washing thing. But, everything else. Yes and yes.


Some Recent Work... (And Some Client Love)

One of the most rewarding things about my job is getting to work with such varied styles. Some of our clients are happiest in bright, airy spaces punctuated with the occasional hit of color, some like a moody, more glamorous vibe, some fall in the middle of the spectrum... At the end of the day, it's not about imposing our style on our clients but about facilitating and collaborating and refining (and sometimes pushing) until we get to a result that feels like a total reflection of them.

But every once in a while you get to work with people (like, say, the three above) that happen to love the exact. same. things. you love, and you have the opportunity to create spaces that, well, you want to move right into.

That's when you mix up a cocktail, high five your partners in crime and marvel that you actually get to do this action for a living.


Readin' In The Rain

above images via jean stories...

tonne's home from the september 2001 vogue via habitually chic

A rain-soaked Memorial Day weekend (we're in deluge territory here friends) ruled out your grilling and pooling and, well, all other requisite "beginning  of summer" holiday activities. Never fear, there were still burgers, they were just procured from our favorite neighborhood joint and consumed while partaking in a particularly epic Gilmore Girls binge with Audrey.

When not immersed in antics of Lorelai and Rory and the good citizens of Stars Hollow, I read... and read and read. No novels, mind you (it's Memorial Day weekend people, beach-esque reading only); it was all about a towering stack-o-magazines. I've been ripping out inspiring tear sheets and articles like it's my job -- at the top of the heap, Holly Brubach's article about stylist Tonne Goodman and her two sisters in the April issue of W.

The piece had me at Tonne (her style and aesthetic sensibility being pretty much off the charts -- see exhibits A-D above), but by the end of the piece, it was her mother Marian who I'd fallen for. Hard.

Specifically there was this:

Marian made sure the children got the full benefit of growing up in New York—taking them to the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum, the New York City Ballet, an Ike and Tina Turner concert, musicals and off-Broadway theater, including some productions (Hair, The Boys in the Band) other parents might have deemed unsuitable for kids. “These were things I wanted to go to, so I took them along,” Marian says. “And they seemed to enjoy it.” 

 Tiger mothers looking to raise girls who grow up to rule the world would do well to consider Marian Goodman’s style of parenting. Though all of her daughters...have succeeded in careers requiring visual imagination and a discriminating eye, she did not teach them to draw or even encourage them to study any subject in particular. Stacy says what strikes her now as most remarkable about their childhood is the “mixture of discipline and freedom” that their mother cultivated. “The household was very organized, but there was also the chance to pursue your interests. Never this pressure of ‘What are you going to become?’” On Friday afternoons, Marian took them to Central Park, set up her easel, and painted while the children scampered around her “like puppies,” Stacy recalls. That Marian made time to do what she loved left a lasting impression. Though the girls credit their mother with experiences that formed the foundation for their own creative education, Marian insists there was no master plan. “I wanted them to find their own way,” she says.

I've written of my admiration for this particular style of mothering before. Marian and Talia, I do believe you are soul sisters.

Thanks for the reminder.


We Interrupt This Break in Blogging to Plug my Necklaces Over on Vee Caravan

Oh friends... I have been a very bad blogger. Full stop.

I will make up for it. I promise. In the meantime, I'm just gonna do a little pop in to tell you about the handful of baubles (above) that I made for my amazing friend Christine's shop Vee Caravan.

You can see them (and purchase, if you so wish) here, here, here, here, and here.