Wednesday, January 26

What's your ideal bookshelf?

Jane Mount was a classmate of mine at Davidson, and I am so happy to see her artwork get a lot of press.  I have been admiring her Ideal Bookshelf series for a while (and was just reminded of it on Matchbook).  Maybe someday I could get her to do one on my Chip Kidd collection....


Worth the wait

I am so excited that Matchbook has finally launched.  Chapeau, Katie Armour and Co.

How green is your love?

I haven't visited Laura Vinroot Poole's store, Capitol, in more than five years, so when I saw this wonderful installation by French botanist Patrick Blanc that she commissioned featured in the latest issue of Garden & Gun, it made me think that it might be time to haul my cookies to the Queen City for a look see.  Oh, my - check out Capitol's website for another breathtaking photo of this piece.

Monday, January 24

A touch of sage

Now that I've found this treasure, I just need someone to hurry up and have a birthday. I am a big fan of using kraft paper to wrap presents - especially during Christmas when I try my best to avoid using any red or green paper.  Such the contrarian, I know. When I was in Lowe's today, you can only imagine my excitement when I came across this green masking paper in the paint aisle. A roll will only set you back $5, and, unlike traditional kraft paper, which is so thick that it requires glue or other strong adhesive to keep the edges together, this masking paper is the ideal weight for wrapping presents - any 'ole tape will do the trick. And the sage color is perfect for my post-December 25th projects.


WWAK - What would Ann keep?

After visiting Ann Mashburn's store in Atlanta's West Side district right before Christmas, I rushed home to do what my husband has been begging me to do.  No, not that - edit my closet.  Throw out anything that wasn't a navy skirt or a crisp white shirt or French ballerina flats. Re-examine all of the pieces that I thought looked great in the Target dressing room and give away anything that wasn't well-tailored. Think of it as my rubber bracelet for 2011 - What Would Ann Keep?  In the interest of full disclosure, even with a week off for snow and ice, I haven't gotten around to the editing part.  But thanks to my fabu sister, Lisa, and a little birthday gift cerce to Ann's fabulous shop, dressing the part of a French girl this spring just got a little easier.

(Photo: via

Oh, Happy Day!

Happy Birthday to my cute mom who turns 63 today! I thought I would post this fitting card from Rifle Paper Company.  To borrow words from my husband  - she is the ringmaster of our family - the one who makes sure we all are working together.  We all love you, Mom!  Happy Birthday!

Photo Source: Rifle Paper Company - via Katie Armour

Saturday, January 22


I may miss the bright lights of a big city, but I am finding out that there are definitely benefits to living in a small town.  Flash back to the night before the Rodarte for Target launch in late 2009.  The fashionistas predicted that both online and bricks and mortar stores would sell out of this stock in seconds flat, so this nut job set her alarm for six a.m. on the Saturday of the launch, thinking I would strike from my keyboard while all of NYC was just crawling into bed.  Not so much. So, I took a chance and drove to my local Target.  Since it was already ten a.m., I was not optimistic.  After walking around the store several times, with no signs of Rodarte to be found, I asked a lady in red if the line had already sold out. "RO-WHO?," she responded.  Once I explained what I was looking for, she told me that indeed there were several racks of fancy clothes in the back that had yet to be rolled out. "Do you want to take a look?" Did I ever.  She went into the stockroom and rolled out racks of black bow dresses, bright pink tulle skirts, French sailor striped tops, and kimono-print raincoats.  I think I just may like it here.

A room full of flowers

I saw these Jane Tran felt flower hair pins in the January 2011 issue of InStyle.  Think they are adorable, but in my hair? Not so much.  I'm thinking of pulling a few of the red and bright pink flowers together and fashioning them into curtain tie backs.  Until I win the lottery and can use Elsa Peretti's silver bone cuffs to hold those curtains back, these will do the trick just nicely.

Wednesday, January 19

Baby Amélie

I mean what's not to love about this French chou chou? Except that she can use "donc" correctly in a sentence, and I can't. (And I've had like ten more years of French than she has.)

A royal wedding of sorts

No, not that one.  When I got married in 2009, I moved from my apartment in Atlanta into my husband's house in Gainesville.  We both wished that we could have picked a new house together and started from scratch.  But times being what they were/are, there was no way to sell it, so we had no choice but to stay put.  Slowly (but surely!), I have added what I affectionately call "Royal Tenenbaum" elements around the house.  I haven't been able to get him agree to pink walls or zebra wallpaper - yet - but I've been able to sneak in a few sconces, some requisite antlers, a trophy (that I didn't win), a couple of flea market paintings, and even a Cameroon juju hat. So far so good. Fingers crossed.  

Pretty in pink

I pretty much love everything about this Tab Energy commercial - the music ("Cobrastyle" by the Teddybears), the fashion, and especially the color of the drink! Even the can design was pretty great.

Holding court

When I visited my little sister's apartment, I saw Sibella Court's book Etcetera on her coffee table.  I was reminded of an old episode of Man Shops Globe: Australia that featured the fabulous Sibella Court's studio and shop called The Society. She has an amazing eye. And I think even Keith might have a little crush. Click here to watch a snipet of the episode.

Silver and old

Isn't this a fresh way to display a collection of silver? I saw this on The Selby's spread on Kate and Andy Spade's apartment and thought it was a great look.  I also love the simple graphics on the book and spent more time than I care to admit figuring out that it was an art monograph by Hans Richter. See mom and dad? That art history degree DOES come in handy after all.

Tuesday, January 18

I ALWAYS judge a book by its cover

In 1989 or 1990, I purchased Katherine Dunn's Geek Love because I thought the cover was spectacular. I loved the orange and purple color combination, the font, pretty much everything about it. Next on the list was Donna Tartt's The Secret History - an acetate jacket folded over images of ancient sculpture? Sold. I am almost embarrassed to admit that it took me about five years (or more) to realize that I was slowly amassing a collection of books with great covers designed by the same person - Chip Kidd. Once I connected the dots, I would regularly visit bookstores and walk through the new release sections to see if I could pick out covers designed by the Chipster. Identifying Kidd covers became a kind of obsession game not only for me, but also for other members the family. I still get calls from my mom (usually in the middle of a meeting) while she is pouring through racks of used books at the Salvation Army to find one Chip Kidd. I'll see her cell number come up and, fearing the worst, pick it up. "Do you already have a copy of Let Nothing You Dismay?" My answer is always "no." While the game has lost some of its intrigue with the launch of, Chip Kidd's website along with his Greatest Hits Volume One book, to this day I can still be found in new release section of any bookstore, looking at the back flap of a book cover for the name of the designer.

Monday, January 17

I want, I want

Right before Christmas, the New York Times featured these fabulous "Wicked Step Scissors" (their name, not mine) from Sublime Stitching in a gift guide.  I thought these would make for hilarious stocking stuffers for my two stepsons (or maybe just for me). But by the time I wandered on over to the site, they were gone, gone, gone. Finally they are back in stock - a perfect gift for next year.

"Whatever happened to style" Chrysler commercial from 2011 Golden Globes

Forget the dresses and the hair - how about this great commercial?

Something borrowed and blue

My wedding bouquet
Our wedding was a very simple affair - on a Friday morning with only our immediate family present. I had always loved my mom's wedding dress from 1967, but since a dry cleaning mishap left it in shreds, all we had left was the beading from the collar and sleeves.  The fabulous Bonnie and Chris from Pollen Flowers in Atlanta wrapped a piece of the beading around my bouquet and gave me a little bit of my mom as I walked down the aisle. Love.

Photo: Jody Fausett

An Object of Beauty

This book had been on my short list for a while, and when the snow came, it seemed like the perfect time to read it.  It follows several characters in the NYC art world from the early '90s to almost present day.  I give it a thumbs up, not just for the color plates inside (I'm a visual girl who needs to see things, not just read about them), but also because the two main characters are art history majors at Davidson College, my alma mater. I had heard that Steve M. had recently married a Davidson graduate - what a great shout out.
Photo from

I think everyone else was writing about this three years ago, but...

So I finally broke down and watched Sex and the City 2 while we were snowed in.  I told myself it would be worth the $5 on-demand price just to look at the fashion and decor.  A day later and I'm still thinking  - "Now there's two and and a half hours that I'll never get back..."  I've decided that it isn't just the camp that makes me sad for SJP and Co, it's also Carrie and Big's apartment. Was it beautiful? Yes. But more than a little soulless.  And as any fan of the SATC series knows, our girl is anything but soulless. I know I'm not the only one who loved Carrie's original West Village apartment (don't get me started on the remodel of this in the first movie); I think I remember an early Design*Sponge post about the vintage Marimekko curtains by her desk.  I loved her apartment because it was tidy, but not perfect - fashion magazines and books stacked on shelves and the radiator, dresses falling out of her closet - and it certainly had personality.  While some may say that Carrie and Big's aspirational, whitewashed apartment represents her newish married life with Big, I'm not convinced. I miss our girl.
(photo from

Sunday, January 16

A Weekend of kerplunk, kerpluie

I am one of those nutty types who keeps design notebooks full of ideas for the kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, you name it.  For kitchens, I especially love the ones featured in movies like It's Complicated and Something's Gotta Give - lots of bright light, white marble, and open shelving.  But wouldn't you know it, when I found myself with a broken kitchen faucet on Friday afternoon (unfortunately to be followed shortly by a dishwasher on the fritz and a computer meltdown) AND a husband who was willing to run to Home Depot AND install the faucet, I intentionally left my notebooks at home.  Get 'er done became much more important than searching for the perfect piece and waiting a week for something fabulous to arrive in the mail.  (Photo from

Saturday, January 15

I want, I want

In my household, we have been working with the boys to switch from saying "I want this" to "I like this." BUT, since they will never read this blog, let me shamelessly say - ME LIKEY this Kelly Double Tour bracelet from Hermes. While I may never have a Kelly bag, maybe I can have a little piece of Grace for my wrist. 

Hearts for a Spade

Andy Spade
While I love me some Kate and think David is hilarious, my heart belongs to Andy Spade.  Maybe surprising since he is definitely not a "refaire" kind of guy; he is visionary of the highest degree.  The type of idea person I wish I could be when I grow up.  I've quietly stalked him over the years, collecting a number of the books he published for Kate Spade and now at Partners & Spade.  My friend Ben introduced me to the PBS special "The Persuaders," which featured a segment on Andy's work as a brand consultant to Song.  I am sad that the airline concept didn't fly (sorry, couldn't resist) because it was such an interesting marketing and branding project. Take a few minutes and watch Andy Spade in "The Persuaders".  If I ever win the lottery, top on my list is to come up with a project where I can hire Andy to just dream.

Photo via

Gimme Shelter

 Anthology Magazine
If you ask any member of my household to name my favorite magazine, without skipping a beat he will reply "Domino." This answer is often followed by a little snicker or sometimes a sympathetic hug, depending on the mood of the hour. (I live with three boys.) While nothing can replace my dearly departed magazine in my heart, I must admit that I am loving online shelter mags like Rue and Lonny. And I was thrilled when my husband gifted me with a subscription to Anthology for Christmas. My first issue arrived yesterday!

Friday, January 14

Grace and the Greenbrier

My appreciation for Grace Kelly -- and all things related to Grace -- began over twenty thirty years ago, when my parents took me and my sister to see Rear Window at the Garden Hills Cinema in Atlanta in the early '80s. Oh, how I wanted her wardrobe, her pearls, her handbag, and most certainly her Mark Cross overnight bag. (Still do.) Not to mention dinner at 21 with a handsome man. Other films starring Grace such as To Catch a Thief and The Philadelphia Story only made my love grow stronger.  I'm not sure if I can put my finger on exactly why I am so intrigued by GK. Maybe because she seemed like a princess before she was truly a princess. When we visited the Greenbrier last year and came across this portrait, my husband had to pry me away from this room.  Love her.