Home Tour Part 1: The Two Bedrooms

It's here! Part 1 of the long promised home tour - despite the fact that it probably has not been long awaited... :)  All the same, it's something I have been working at diligently - just trying to get the apartment to feel like home. It seems to be an ever evolving thing for me, but right now I am happy enough with it to capture it and share it. So without further ado, here are the two bedrooms.

Bedroom #1

My love for grays and golds took over in this room, while I attempted to deal with some incredibly awkward windows. I actually added in much longer curtains that necessary - this has actually helped to make the space feel much larger and as though the ceiling is actually higher. It's a strange effect, but one that is cool to note.

Home Tour Part 1 - Bedroom - A Detailed Palette

This bedroom really mirrors the color palette of the living room and dining area, but I aimed to make it a much more restful space - this means a much more limited/minimal approach when it comes to decor.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

The nightstand is, admittedly, not always this neat. The tray (from west elm) does help to keep everything much more organized. The mercury-glass lamp from Wayfair is one of my favorite elements of this room.

The gold speckled/brushed pillow is meant to complement the gold accents of the nightstand styling. A tufted velvet headboard - which was purchased after a disastrous attempt to DIY such a headboard, is the single most impactful piece in this space. It adds a touch of traditional, with button-tufting details, but also an element of luxury. I really dig this headboard and every time I see it in the room as a whole, I am reminded of how much of an impact changing just one thing can have for the total look and feel of a room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Golds, grays, and a mix of wood finishes play together. I think it works and helps to keep the bedroom from feeling too prescribed/matchy-matchy. That said, I recognize that mixing wood finishes is something that still causes some people to twitch - hopefully this isn't twitch-inducing!

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

A storage area that acts as a sort of vanity to some degree, as it's part of my routine each morning... a huge reason why this print is placed there. It's always good to have a reminder and to put things into perspective at the beginning of every day, even if it is when you're picking out your jewelry for the day.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

The overall shelving unit is styled, but still incredibly practical.

Bedroom #2: The Guest Room / Craft Room

The second bedroom has been kind of a catch-all until recently when I decided to streamline everything and really make the most of the space that I had to work with. It is one of Reggie's favorite places to hang out, which will soon be very apparent in the photos below! :)

 

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Another favorite purchase that stands out - the Eames plastic chair. Although if I am being totally candid, it's a mock design as a true Eames is a bit beyond my current budget.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

To complement some of the more rustic wall paneling (which was not my choice), the headboard is a bit warn and a quilt-style blanket was selected for a very homey, warm, and welcoming feel.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

This sewing machine doesn't get nearly enough use, but I am determined to step up my game by attempting to sew some curtains for this space - a detail currently lacking in this room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

This chair was giving to me by a friend who owned it previously and knew how much I loved it because I always complimented it profusely whenever I saw it. I added it to bring some more color and comfort to the room.

Home Tour - Part 1 - A Detailed Palette

Combined with a shelving unit, the chair makes for the perfect little reading spot.

I think it's quite clear to see the differences in each room, with the first bedroom having an emphasis on being restful and soothing, while the second is more welcoming, lively, and colorful. Much of this was intentional, but the rooms also lended themselves to this kind of separation, what with the different paint colors and different wall treatments. I am happy with how each has turned out.

Hope you enjoyed seeing into the two bedrooms as part 1 of the home tour. Part 2 to follow soon!
Have a wonderful Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

 

NeoCon 2016: Trends and Some Favorites

Some of you may remember that I was able to attend NeoCon last year due to the fact that I was at that time working for a mid-grade office furniture retailer. While a lot has changed in a mere year and while I was unable to attend, Neocon will always hold a special place in my heart because it was not only my first tradeshow ever, but because it also helped me realize my love for design/styling.

Just for a bit of background: Neocon is one of the largest office furniture tradeshows in the country. It's in Chicago (in the Merchandise Market, to be specific) and all of the big, classic names in the office furniture world show up to showcase their new and their most popular designs. We're talking Herman Miller, Knoll, Steelcase - basically, if they make office furniture in any form, there is a good chance they're attending Neocon.

After taking a look at some of the coverage from the event, I collected some of my absolute favorite designs and styles from the tradeshow and noticed a few emerging trends that I am all for.

Bringing on Texture and the Great Outdoors!

Herman Miller seemed to really lead the pack on this one with an installation of plants and furniture right as you entered the building. I also enjoyed these more nuanced approaches that feel homey, yet entirely balanced in the best way possible with plenty of organic elements and lots of texture.

Herman Miller - Neocon 2016 - A Detailed Palette
IMAGE VIA HERMAN MILLER

IMAGE VIA HERMAN MILLER

The wireframe sofa above is one of my ultimate favorites! I just love both of the installations above.

Offering Modern Designs with Modern Boundaries

Nearly everything that I saw come through was incredibly modern, with straight lines and a minimalistic approach to design. That said, there also seemed to be a desire and an emphasis to capture some sort of "private space". If you will - the focus seemed to be on furniture that was modern and simple in profile with the promise of a personal bubble. A design from Haworth that definitely fit this description really stood out me. Not only was it listed as a best of neocon design, but I think it perfectly embodies the trend of the streamlined yet still separate approach.

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

Keeping It Simple

I also loved the Z-bar LED pendant lighting below from Koncept Inc. It has such a unique look - and for those of us who have had to suffer under flourescent lighting... we know just how much of an impact good, stylish lighting can have. I'd love to see this in person, and it again falls very much within the modern/clean lines trend that dominated the show.

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

IMAGE VIA CONTRACT

What do you think? Would you take any of the above for your own office? I know I would!
Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

Lately: Back from Bonnaroo

Bonnaroo Ferris Wheel - Summer - A Detailed Palette

You guys, I am back home and finally getting back into the swing of things. Bonnaroo was on the 8th-12th, meaning I was working the weekend - hence why I am still a bit behind on my regular posts. I had some time off last Wednesday, but I ended up sleeping most of the day! 

Photo van spotted at Bonnaroo!

Photo van spotted at Bonnaroo!

Working and providing social media coverage at an event like Bonnaroo was never something I thought I would have the opportunity to do, and it ended up being a great experience. Minus my sun burn and a few minor glitches when it came to internet connectivity, everything went pretty smoothly. For those who aren't sure what Bonnaroo even is, no worries - it's a four-day long music festival on in Manchester, TN. The line-up this year include BORNS, LCD Soundsystem, and Chainsmokers - happy to say that I was able to see all three while there! We also were able to take a short break to ride in the Ferris Wheel pictured at the very beginning of this post - a staple on the festival grounds.

I had actually never been to Tennessee before this trip. We drove through Nashville, so I got to see a few glimpses of it from the car, and I definitely want to go back for a real visit.  We did make one stop for lunch though; my co-worker took me to the BEST BBQ place ever called Edley's. Highly recommend it if you are in Nashville or visiting - so delicious... and this is coming from one of the pickiest eaters of all time.

In other news...

1. I am still finalizing my gallery wall. It just takes so much time to find just the right piece of artwork and the right frames. I am currently attempting a DIY artwork solution, but I am totally aware that things could go horribly wrong. If they don't (fingers crossed!), I will be sharing it all, step by step, here.

2. I got this adorable coffee mug, pictured below, from Colectivo, and it has helped to make my days a little bit happier.

Coffee Mug - A Detailed Palette

Part 1 of the Home Tour will be next week! Stay tuned!
-xo, Rachel

Bedroom Organization: Foot of the Bed Solutions

The foot of the bed: it's one of those spaces that is difficult to decorate. Some opt for leaving it clear of anything at all, but lately I have noticed some more creative solutions for this specific space. These solutions always seem to combine style and organization, helping you to make the most of your space. I am currently looking for a storage solution to add to the bedroom - especially when it comes to storing throw pillows. Here are a few options that I love.

I really love the idea of having a bench + bookshelf. Of course, I could use this and still customize it to allow for some storage space for our throw pillows. And it's the perfect excuse to buy even more books.

IMAGE VIA Apartment Therapy

 I really love the idea of having a trunk at the foot of the bed. It's the perfect storage space, and it offers a lot of vintage charm and appeal. The bedroom below is such a fun, eclectic space with a combination of modern and vintage vibes.

I really love this idea too - more open storage that tucks neatly next to the bed while keeping pillows, blankets, and a few other decor pieces organized and accessible. 

IMAGE VIA Pop Sugar

IMAGE VIA Pop Sugar

June Home Decor Trends

Here are a few of-the-moment finds that I am loving right now.

Corner Mirrors
At first glance, the bedroom below (by Pennyweight blogger Elise Joseph) is gorgeous. I first spotted it in Domino. The thing that really caught my eye? That triangle mirror in the corner - the one that is perfectly placed

IMAGE VIA DOMINO

IMAGE VIA DOMINO


Wallpaper - Everywhere
Whether on the ceiling, a DIY project, or just the plain old walls, wallpaper is everywhere. And with fun new patterns and prints, it feels fresh, new, and vibrant.

June Home Decor Trends - A Detailed Palette

Image via Apartment Therapy

Sputnik Chandeliers
I mean, all you have to do is take a look at the previous two images to see that this type of dramatic lighting has really taken the interior world by storm. I still like the look though - it hasn't worn thin. I appreciate the angles and the mid-century modern vibe - not to mention the fact that I bet these lights really brighten up a space a night.

Have a great Thursday!

Friday Favorites: Summer Shoes

Happy Friday! Sharing a few of my favorite summer shoes today for this edition of Friday Favorites.

Tory Burch Sandals
My sister gave me these as  birthday gift. I am happy that I have finally been able to wear them. These are easily the most comfortable sandals I have ever had - and I love the more fun pattern.

Tory Burch Sandals - Favorite Summer Shoes - A Detailed Palette

Michael Kors Heels
These were gifted to me by one of my favorite people. She actually had bought them for herself but never wore them. I happily took them off her hands. I have worn them a few times - even once to work - and found them to be pretty comfortable for heels.  

Michael Kors Heels - A Detailed Palette

Halogen Pink Leather Flats with Studs
Flats can often times look dowdy - to avoid this, go the pointed-toe route like these. I also love the studs juxtaposed with the pink - sweet and feminine with just a tiny bit of edge. Certainly not dowdy or boring at all!

Favorite Summer Shoes - A Detailed Palette

 

Shop this post:

Have a great weekend!
-xo, Rachel

What I've Learned from 2 Years of Blogging

What I've Learned From 2 Years of Blogging

I've been blogging for two years now - a fact that is really surprising to me. It doesn't seem like it has been that long at all. With this in mind, I wanted to share a few things that I've learned over the past two years from blogging and about blogging. As a disclaimer, I am by no means an expert and there are things I learn every day - but these are a few key takeaways that I wanted to share with anyone else thinking about starting a blog or perhaps already blogging and looking for information like this.

1. If you're going to blog, invest in a good camera. We're talking DSLR. This was the best purchase I made for my blog and just for myself in the last two years. I actually got it before I started blogging and I am so happy that I did. Use it for all of your content, whether a post for your blog or for your Instagram account. Phone cameras have come a long way, but I maintain that they have nothing on the quality photo that a DSLR camera can produce.

2. Yes, Blogging can be a business, and no, it is not easy.  I think this is starting to become more "household knowledge", but there are still a lot of people who are surprised that others can make a living off of blogging. While I am not one of them, and this blog is purely a creative outlet, I do know how much work goes into mine, so I can only imagine how much work goes into those blogs that actually support someone's livelihood.

3. My blog motivates me and keeps me accountable. I am really terrible at making these schedules/to-do lists. I promise myself that I will follow said schedule.... and because it's only a promise to myself, and I don't always follow-through. It's a different story, though, when you're sharing it with others in a blog format or when you actually need to follow through or else you won't have anything to write about the next day. It's also motivated me to explore my home city in a way that I probably would not have.

4. Having an editorial calendar really helps so that you don't have days where you have nothing to write. Of course, the dreaded "I have nothing to write about, why I am even doing this?!" has happened to me a few times, but not too often and much less now that I keep an editorial calendar.

5. Create a shot list - this is something that I've been doing since last July when I traveled to Europe. I obviously wanted to capture a few things to share on my blog, but didn't want to be so busy taking photos that I forgot to actually enjoy the travel experience. I created a shot list based on each location I was going to - images I would take and share on my blog. It made the whole photographing thing go so much faster so that I wasn't just constantly taking photos. I do the same thing now for all of my posts - I create a running shot list of images I want to get (this includes examples of angles and styling) and then have mini photo-shoots in my house every other Sunday. If I'm traveling, I have the list on hand and try to capture what I have called out on this list. It really helps so that I am not just spending all my time taking pictures and I get the pictures that I want.

6. Use the schedule function. Most blogging platforms have a schedule function. I actually write most of my blog posts ahead of time (especially if I am traveling) and then schedule them out through out the week. This helps me make the most of my time while still blogging about 4-5 times a week.

7. Blogging can help your career. If a blog is truly a passion project, I say craft it and use it when applying to jobs that fit that passion. Let's be real - every employer wants someone who is passionate about their work. Yet, it's pretty easy for anyone to declare a passion for something. You almost have to be able to show it for it to really stand out... and what better way to showcase your passion for a topic than to blog about it every day? It's a pretty compelling piece of evidence. I have my blog listed on my LinkedIn for this exact reason - and I have been working for companies with interior design focuses ever since.

8. Niches aren't necessary. I am going out on a limb by saying that because it contradicts a lot of what you may find elsewhere. Niches are recommended by many others because there are so many blogs are out there - a niche helps you stand out and find the right readers. While that can be true, I think niches can be more limiting to the blogger than they are helpful to the reader. Now, I think everyone should have a focus, or a passion, that their blog showcases. For this blog, it is clearly home styling and interior design, but that's not the only thing I write about. This is mostly because it's not my only interest. We're all multi-faceted people, and I think that it's totally okay for blogs to highlight that. Now, that is nothing against the very targeted and niche blogs. These blogs are great because you always know what to expect - it's comforting and nice to have from time to time. I just don't stand by the idea that every blog should be so specific or that it has to be niche in order to be successful.

I also just wanted to say thanks to all who read this blog, whether it's every day or just from time to time. We're all super busy, and I appreciate you taking the time to read. :) Thank you!
-xo, Rachel

A Few Thoughts on Apartment Hunting

Apartment Hunting - A Detailed Palette

Firstly, this post was supposed to be up last week... but the internet provider had other ideas. After trying to figure out for three days why our internet service had been disconnected, it's now finally back. Needless to say, blogging was out and that last week without the internet was sadly quite tough for me. It's crazy how much we have come to depend on it. So, in short, I am sorry for the radio silence that was last week. Now on to the post!

As an immediate disclaimer, the lease for the current apartment was just renewed so I will not be going anywhere. However, despite the fact that I love where I'm at, I did do some apartment hunting due to my really long daily commutes to work. Driving an hour is no big deal in the summer (I've actually found myself enjoying it), but in the winter, it is quite a different story. It's actually kind of scary and way too long, as I am sure anyone in Wisconsin can appreciate and understand.

Either way. my commute will be the same as I am staying put. Apartment hunting even for just a little bit really did make me realize that we're pretty lucky to be where we are. There are some apartment must-haves that go beyond the typical that I considered every time I looked.

1. Dog-friendly - Because I am obviously not going anywhere without Reggie. This is surprisingly difficult to find, even with Reggie being so small and, for the most part, well-behaved.
2. Natural light - this is huge for me. All of my places in college were so dark; one year, my bedroom didn't even have a window, making it a veritable cave. Lots of natural light just makes rooms look better and feel better.
3. Minimal Carpeting - this one may sound over the top, but the last time we had carpeting, I found it dreadfully difficult to keep clean. Reggie just sheds so much and the vacuum never seems to get everything on the first couple of passes. I felt like I was vacuuming my life away.
4. Access to good running paths/locations: By good, I mean not only pretty, but also safe and dog-friendly.

Apartment Hunting - A Detailed Palette

Thankfully, we get all of that in our current place. While I do wish the kitchen was more my style and that we had a new refrigerator with better shelving/organization, these things are minor to me compared with the four things above. If you're currently looking for an apartment and are more focused on the technicalities of the place, you should check out this list by The Everygirl - pretty comprehensive and what I used a few years back.

Have a great Monday!

Life Lately: June 2016 Edition

Life Lately - June Updates

Welcome to June! I hope you all had a great, long Memorial Day weekend. I did some knitting, bought some fresh flowers, and caught up on some reading, as you can see above. In effort to honor and remember, while having some quiet time with nature, I went hiking at Devil's Lake with my friend. Although I suppose I should say that it was only semi-quiet time. The lake was packed with people because the weather was surprisingly wonderful all weekend. For anyone who has never been, it's an incredible hike - quite tough too. I think it's one of the more challenging hikes that we have in Wisconsin.

Devil's Lake - A Detailed Palette

While I didn't take Reggie hiking with me, we did get in some miles on the trail. While he can't go too far, he loves running and it's so nice to have an enthusiastic running partner... even if he does get distracted/will want to stop to smell/pee on something about every 5 seconds.

I did make a quick trip to Atwater Beach in Milwaukee as well, which has one of my favorite views of Lake Michigan.

Atwater Park - A Detailed Palette

And lastly, I have to admit that I did take advantage of some of the sales - Nordstrom in particular. I've been told that they have amazing customer service when it comes to shoes so I felt okay splurging a little bit on some Halogen pale pink leather flats. I can wait to wear them when they finally arrive!

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Some Bedroom Details

Happy Friday!

I wanted to share some of the bedroom details, as they have been changed around quite a bit, yet again.

The vanity area, now on top of the repainted cube bookshelf. Includes a vintage vase and an antique gold mirrored tray - both pieces were found while antiquing. A calligraphy print, as well as milk glass details, finish of the vignette. To keep things functional, jewelry pieces, perfume, and favorite nail polishes are stored here.

This jewelry storage pyramid from Bauble Bar has been everything I hoped it would be. Necklaces are on display and are easy to select. The storage design keeps pieces from getting too tangled or too dusty.

Bedroom Details - A Detailed Palette

The TV fits perfectly with the small gallery wall above it.

Bedroom Dresser - A Detailed Palette

The unicorn jewelry tray is now placed on the dresser, where it gathers earrings that I frequently wear, along with some other decorative items, like this gem found during my travels in Arizona.

Bedroom Details - A Detailed Palette

A new duvet was purchased due to the fact that the other one was leaking some feathers. It was well over ten years old, so I suppose it was a bit expected. The new duvet, covered by the west elm duvet cover, is super fluffy - a fact that Reggie definitely appreciates. :)

Sleepy Dog on Bedding - A Detailed Palette

Have a great weekend!
-xo, Rachel

My Time in NYC

I was in New York City for the fourth time ever last week. I was there for work, and while I did share some of the Kips Bay Show House (the real reason I was there), no trip to NYC is complete without a little bit of sightseeing.

Since I have done the whole tourist side of things (Times Square, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, etc.), I decided to stick to Central Park this time around. It is easily my favorite of the big touristy spots in NYC. There are so many people everywhere in the city, but in Central Park, it doesn't bother me one bit. I actually wish that more cities had something even mildly comparable to Central Park.

Central Park New York City - A Detailed Palette
Central Park - New York City - A Detailed Palette

I stayed at The Rodgers Hotel, a boutique hotel in the Upper East Side. I loved the vibe and the decor - just a really great modern and eclectic space. The rooms were small, as I suppose must be the case in NYC, but super nice and the location was exactly what I needed.

The Rodgers Hotel in New York City - A Detailed Palette

I did a lot of walking on Madison between my hotel and Central Park. I obviously had to stop and do a little bit of shopping. I picked up a shirt from J. Crew and a jacket from Michael Kors.

Michael Kors Jacket - A Detailed Palette

The best part of the trip was having some time to get dinner and catch up with my friend Stephanie, who now lives in NYC. We haven't seen each other for about a year or so, maybe even longer, so it was just so lovely. Ultimately it was a quick but productive trip.

A recap of my trip to Arizona will be on the blog next week.
Have a great Thursday!
-xo, Rachel

Rocksbox Review - May 2016

Rocksbox May Review - A Detailed Palette

My Rocksbox for May arrived last week. It looks like they may be doing some rebranding - and I LOVE the new color choices for the box.

For May, I received a necklace, a pair of earrings, and a ring. This is the first ring I have gotten in these boxes. The earrings are not my favorite, and I honestly have yet to wear them.

Rocksbox Review - May

The ring from my May Rocksbox, which you can see below, is one of my all-time favorite pieces of jewelry. I have a very difficult time with rings. Due to the fact that my hands are quite clammy (I know, super gross) any of the cheaper metals will turn my skin green after only an hour or two of wear. It's really disheartening and means that I have to spend a lot of money on the higher quality rings if I don't want it to happen. And sadly, sometimes even the rings that are advertised as being better quality still turn my skin green. This ring, though, has not done that at all and I am so happy about it. It is one of the few rings that haven't after some wear.

Favorite Ring - Rocksbox Review - A Detailed Palette

Have a wonderful Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Gallery Wall Update

I am slowly, but surely updating the gallery wall. It's currently the only big project that still needs to be complete before I share my home tour. I found a few new pieces, but I am still looking for about three more photos/pieces of art to complete the entire thing. As you can see below, I found a large, horizontal piece (the colorful irises - artwork from TJ Maxx) for above the TV - although I am still look to fill in the space directly below it with two more small frames.

Gallery Wall Update - In Progress - A Detailed Palette

When it comes to the more blank side of the TV, I'd really like to find a large vertical painting to fill that space. I am currently thinking something black and white - preferably a zebra painting.

While I like both above, I am looking for something that has more of a painted feel to it so as to match the other artwork that makes up the gallery wall.

That's really all for today - hope you have an amazing Tuesday!
-xo, Rachel

The Rise of the Neutral Room - And Some Favorites

It seems to me that people used to be very wary of neutral rooms. Thinking back on my childhood home and on the homes of all of my childhood friends, color was the name of the game. One of my friend's homes boosted deep burgundy walls - and I remember thinking it was the coolest thing ever. There seemed to be an aversion to neutral tones, especially that of beige, because it felt too safe, too boring, and perhaps most of all, too corporate. 

When it came to the the kids' bedrooms back then, everything had to have a "theme". One of my best friends had a garden painted on her wall. Another had suns and moons. Regardless of the theme, it was always heavy on the color.

Today, my tastes tend to lean more on the neutral side of things. I do like color, but I tend to tire of bright and vibrant shades really quickly and usually gravitate towards the more neutral tones when making large purchases. I don't think that I am alone in my preference for a more neutral space over that of one with bold color. Okay, correction, I know I am not alone, thanks to Pinterest and Instagram where these sort of rooms can be found easily by the thousands. This is partly because neutral rooms have been completely turned on their heads. Instead of boring spaces that feel straight out of the movie Office Space, we see chic, clean, and put-together spaces that prove neutral colors are anything but boring when done right. They offer an elegant simplicity and an opportunity to blend in little bits of color here and there.

Here are some of my favorite neutral palette rooms:

The exposed brick does so much for this space - and notice the smart placement of the mirror that allows for the look of the exposed brick to continue on further into this space. Simply genius.

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

IMAGE VIA DANIELLE MOSS

When you have a space with a neutral palette, textures become that much more important and noticeable.

IMAGE VIA WEST ELM

IMAGE VIA WEST ELM

IMAGE VIA PINTEREST

IMAGE VIA PINTEREST

IMAGE VIA KATE LAVIE

IMAGE VIA KATE LAVIE

Have a great Monday!
-xo, Rachel

May 2016 Reads

May Reads - New Kindle - A Detailed Palette

Last week, I decided to purchase a Kindle, as you can see above. I have always loved real, actual books - the ones you can hold between your hands, the ones that you can collect and display proudly in your own little library. I think that it's powerful stuff, holding on to a book and staying still (except for turning the pages) while your mind and imagination transport you to somewhere else entirely. Anyone who is a fan of reading most likely feels the same. I do think that part of that magic is lost when it's all digital - hence my resistance to purchase a kindle at all, despite being an avid reader. All that said, books are heavy. Books are especially heavy when traveling... and this is the main reason why I decided to get a small Kindle. Another contributing factor was that they were also on sale.

Another benefit - Amazon offers free books each month for download, meaning that I have quite a few already at my disposal. Here are the books I am hoping to read throughout the month of May.

Helen of Sparta by Amalia Carosella - A different take on the Trojan legends. I am really excited to read this because I love any sort of fiction that takes legends you think that you know and turns them into totally new stories.

Guardians of the Night by Alan Russell - Mystery/crime solving story that focuses on a detective and his German Shepherd. I am a little nervous - the dog better not die!

Wreckage - This book is about what happens to two individuals after both being stranded on an island and eventually rescued. I have already started this one, and there is definitely an element of mystery - I hope that the end proves worthy of the build up. I also appreciate how realistic the author has made this novel so far.

Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

 

New Decor Additions

My Living Room and Home Office - A Detailed Palette

I've recently added a few new things to the apartment - a few items were given as gifts, while the others I found while traveling/perusing the aisles of Target and TJ Maxx. As you can see above, I actually swapped out one of the pictures with a new one in a gray frame. This new addition is actually a sketch of Reggie that Andy's mom created and gave to me for my birthday. You can see it fully below - it looks just like the Pomeranian sketch I had listed as one of my possible additions to the gallery wall I am working on for the living room. I decided that it looked great above the desk, and I absolutely love it. It is simple, but has so much sentimental value. Plus, even in sketch form, Reggie is just adorable.

Home Office Gallery Wall - A Detailed Palette

I've also added/rearranged the vanity tray that's in the bedroom on the cube shelves. This is one of the first places I go to in the morning as I am getting ready so as to select jewelry for my outfit, and I just love this set up. It includes most of my go-to accessories.

Vanity Mirror Tray - A Detailed Palette

I've also made a few changes to the living room. While I was in Arizona, we stopped by a shop in Sedona. It was there that I found a Himalayan Salt lamp - something I had seen at the yoga studio where I go to practice. While these lamps not only look really cool, they are also supposed to help make indoor air cleaner, as they are negative ion creators. I just think these lamps are incredibly neat, so I decided to get one. It's now on the TV stand.

Himalayan Salt Rock Lamp - A Detailed Palette
Living room - A Detailed Palette

As you can see above, the gallery wall is also still in the process of being built out. I have two more pieces to hang up and three more pieces to find/purchase before it will be complete.

What do you think of the new additions? 

Have a great Tuesday!
-xo, Rachel

2016's Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse

While I was in NYC, I was able to tour the Kips Bay Showhouse before the doors opened - something that I do not take lightly and was made possible due to my job at Kohler Co., which includes social media coverage of various events like the Kips Bay Showhouse Opening. I wanted to share some of the photos of rooms and designs that I loved. Disclaimer: All the opinions in this post are my purely my own. I am not speaking on behalf of Kohler Co. or in any official capacity whatsoever.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the Kips Bay Showhouse, here's what you need to know.
1) It's a showhouse in NYC - the location changes every year, as each year talented designers are invited to come to the home and work their interior design magic. After it's open for about a month, the home is then sold.
2) All proceeds go to the Kips Bay Boys and Girls Club - a club that includes many famous alumni, including Jennifer Lopez and John Legend.
3) The home is always a large property in NYC.
4) The designers invited to take part are always changing so as to showcase both established and new emerging talent.
5) This is the 44th year of the showhouse.

I was able to meet quite a lot of the designers, including Suzanne Kasler, Alex Papachristidis, and Phillip Thomas, while touring the home, all of whom were lovely, gracious, and had such great stories and inspirations behind their rooms. 

I absolutely adored everything about the dining room and sitting area by Alex Papachristidis. I especially loved the stunning, swoon-worthy wallpaper and all of the gold.

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

He even had a dog bed + a cut-out of his dog, Teddy New Yorkie - I mean, how can you not love that? He said lovingly that the dog was "the only dog that could be in two places at once!" It was really such a formal and elegant space - a space where dogs and pets are usually forgotten by design, but I so appreciated this inclusion. 

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

Note: The designer let me know that what appears to be cushions on the floor are actually pieces of furniture. I sat on one and they are actually quite comfortable!

Alex Papachristidis - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

Suzanne Kasler's living room was beautiful, with a soft color palette and perfectly curated details. 

Suzanne Kasler - Kip Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette
Suzanne Kasler - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

An unintentional mirror selfie below shows one of my favorite vignettes in the entire home.

Suzanne Kasler - Kips Bay Showhouse 2016 - A Detailed Palette

The "Lady Lair" by Phillip Thomas Inc. was incredibly bright, colorful, and cheerful. If you follow House Beautiful, you may recognize this room, as it has been featured quite a lot on their social channels. It's a really fun space - and just so perfect for the fun and colorful editorial that makes up House Beautiful.

Lady Lair - Kips Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette

I also really loved the Napolean Room - a sitting room by Garrow Kediglan Interior Design where the entire wallspace was actually all covered in chalkboard paint + chalk designs. Such a cool idea! Plus, I just know this would be the perfect place to sit and read.

Garrow Kediglan - Kips Bay Showhouse - A Detailed Palette

A few trends that I noticed:
1. Gold - it's still everywhere.... and doesn't look like it's going anywhere. It is, though, being mixed with other metallics, including Rose Gold and Copper.
2. Armless Sofas - these were everywhere in the showhouse and looked incredibly chic.
3. Walls Going Beyond Paint  - Whether the chalkboard wall, the graffiti wall in the "Lady Lair", or gorgeous wallpaper - the walls all had stories to tell that went behind color. The walls were unique, textured, and were indispensable to the overall design approach - something that isn't too common now, but becoming more and more of a trend.

Note: I didn't even get close to covering the full home. There are so many more beautiful rooms to see, including the bathrooms, bedrooms, and the kitchen - which you can see on instagram @kbshowhouse and @kohlerco or by visiting in person. 

Have a lovely Monday!
-xo, Rachel

My Time at Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

Antelope Canyon is located in Page, AZ, a city a few hours north of Phoenix, and is privately owned by the Navajo Tribe. Due to this, if you want to visit, you have to book a tour - you can't just drive up and explore, which is probably for the best. It is quite in the middle of nowhere and would probably be very difficult to find for those unfamiliar with the area. The story goes that a young Navajo girl actually happened upon the canyon quite by accident, finding it as she was herding cattle.

The canyon itself is beautiful and a great place to test out your photography skills. We also were lucky to have a wonderful guide named Leonard to take us through the canyon. He was so awesome and helpful, pointing out some really great shots for all of us - and even taking quite a few for us. He helped me with lighting on my own camera, and he really knew what he was talking about. Below are some signature sights of the canyon that he helped me capture.

The Heart of the Canyon

Heart of the Canyon - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Eye of The Dragon

Eye of the Dragon - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Flame

Flames - Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

A photo that Leonard (our guide) took of Andy and I.

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The Famous National Geographic photo

The Famous National Geographic photo

Our guide Leonard:

Antelope Canyon - A Detailed Palette

The way that the canyon is formed makes it almost quite a trippy experience, and I think most of the photos did a great job capturing this. It was such a cool place, and it was my favorite part of the trip (other than spending time with my sister and brother-in-law). Be sure to check it out if you ever find yourself in Arizona.

Have a great Thursday!
-xo, Rachel

Wellness Wednesday: Toning It Up for Summer and Beyond

Instead of training for another half marathon in an attempt to get into tip top shape for the summer months and beyond, I’ve decided to fully embrace the Tone It Up program after seeing one of my good friends succeed with it. This means cutting back on the miles and indulging, while stepping up the weight training and waking up early to get workouts going right away. It’s going to be my number one priority this summer, but I am hoping that the results and the changes that I will make will last much longer than just the summer.

Wellness Wednesday - A Detailed Palette

I’m also going to be attending hot yoga classes 2-3 times a week. I absolutely love these classes and cannot recommend them highly enough to those of you looking for a good workout that also allows you to unwind. The great thing about hot yoga is that I am so focused on the moves and the practice that I forget to worry about anything else. For someone who worries a lot and whose mind is usually going 100 miles per minutes, it’s a refreshing change of pace.

I actually used to rather dislike yoga - I found it entirely too slow. That actually still may be true for regular yoga, but the hot vinyasa sessions add a mental challenge as well as you have to deal with to 95 degree heat and crazy humidity. I always feel so strong, both mentally and physically, after each class. 

Here's to a fitness-filled summer! Have a great Wednesday!
-xo, Rachel

Eclectic Style - What It Is and Why I Love It

There are all sorts of different styles to choose from when it comes to decorating a home or even just buying furniture. While style mostly has to do with looks and aesthetics, I think that a style can also impact your mood. For example, a room decked out in the most traditional and glamorous trappings might create a sense of awe - it's certainly what many royals were going for when their palaces were decorated.

Even if you don't subscribe to a particular style, chances are your home conveys a message and a tone based on the styles that are present.

Eclectic style is one of my favorites. Eclectic is technically a bit of a mash up of styles - a collection, yet curated style that relies heavily on mixing and matching. It is not, however, just mixing a bunch of different elements, and hoping for the best. Instead, real thought and curation goes into every well-executed eclectically styled room.

Eclectic is also a bit easier, in my opinion, to manage. It can be tricky to narrow down your likes to just one style. I think eclectic allows for more experimenting and for more flexibility when it comes to what you like. Our likes are always changing a bit here and there - eclectic styling isn't too rigid, meaning that if you truly love something, you'll usually be able to find a place for it.

Here are some of my favorite examples of eclectic rooms.

I also consider my own apartment to be rather eclectic, due to the mix of different styles, including midcentury modern, modern, and even a few traditional styles.

Eclectic Dining Room - A Detailed Palette
Eclectic Living Room - A Detailed Palette
Eclectic Living Room - A Detailed Palette