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Monday
Aug312015

at home with lotta nieminen

Designer and illustrator Lotta Nieminen currently lives in New York and has made it big time, but these photos were taken five years ago at her tiny Helenski studio. To me, it's the pinicle of modern, feminine Scandanavian design. The bones of her home -- white walls, warm wood furniture -- are typical of many Finish dwellings. It's the addition of personal accessories in good taste that make Lotta's studio irresistable. I can tell that she's a graphic designer: type, color and branded elements tie the space together. Truth be told I don't even mind the burgandy kitchen and bath (though you know if she had it her way, she'd make it clean and white!). See the Design*Sponge feature in it's intirety here. P.S. How cute is the name Lotta?!

(photos by Maarit Hohteri)

Thursday
Aug272015

at home with haleigh walsworth 

California-turned-Parisian Haleigh Walsworth is living my dream. She recently purchased and gutted an apartment in Le Marais in Paris. The elements of a classic Parisian apartment are there (stone walls, charming wood beams, worn wood floors...) but with modern updates. I'm smitten. She did a wonderful job of updating and decorating on a budget, and allotted her budget wisely (you can read more about her renovation process here). That being said, the space's most luxurious aspect of all is it's abundance of natural light. In the past, I've chosen apartments with limited light because the rent was on point. Never again! I'll follow in Haleigh's footsteps in the future.

Photos by Marissa Cox for The Everygirl

Wednesday
Aug192015

needle in the haystack 

House Beautiful’s 2011 piece on this cheery Manhattan apartment by Nick Olsen remains one of my all-time favorite editorials. I love this space because it’s well-done and looks tres expensive but was fabricated on somewhat of a budget. The headboard is slipcovered, the standard fridge is decked out with polaroids, the curtains are sheers with just a dash of panache... Chic, but obtainable and livable. And it’s unmistakably Olsen. Just look at the trompe l’oeil paneling in the bathroom!  

Don’t get me wrong. What designer wouldn’t love to have an endless budget to do everything he or she would like to do, and more? I can think of several $4,000/yard fabrics that I’d like to use on a sofa someday (dream big!). However, I think there is magic in picking up a piece at a thrift store and transforming it into something beautiful. Editorials like the one above remind me that creative, out-of-the-box thinking is a necessary skill and must be consistently practiced/honed. When I visit a Target or a second-hand store, I like to play a game with myself called “Needle in the Haystack.” Can I score a cashmere sweater to rival or exceed what I’d find at Neiman Marcus? Can I find bed linens that are a dead ringer for Olatz? Sometimes I lose! But sometimes, I find a set of Portault towels for $60.

(all photos via Nick Olsen's beautiful website!)

Monday
Aug032015

chez emily butler

Emily C. Butler, a talented interior designer living in New York, is one of my favorite people to follow on Instagram. I was thrilled to get a little glimpse of her apartment when it was featured on Apartment Therapy a few weeks ago. Isn't it beautiful? She has great taste. I'm drawn to it's warm color palette, and the framed Wayne Pate prints paired with blue and white china... I could easily live here myself!

Tuesday
Jul282015

chez lisa curran

This summer, I had the privilege of interning with Lisa Curran, a talented Kansas City interior designer who focuses on high-end interiors. I’ve known Lisa for over ten years – she is the reason why I chose to enter the world of interior design. Her beautiful residence, shown above, is like my secret garden. It’s a jewel box brimming with French antiques, vintage design books, blue and white vases filled with blooms, art in gilt frames. Working out of her home office was an absolute treat.

A former ballerina, Nelson-Atkins docent and trained artist (she studied fashion illustration in Paris!), her taste level is off the charts incredible. While high-end interiors are specialty, her clients often look to her for etiquette and fashion advice. This summer, for example, she designed a gorgeous Jackie Kennedy Onassis-inspired gown for a client. She frequently assists her clients in throwing the most beautiful parties, picks out birthday gifts, chooses their art.

And I swear to you: Lisa glows. Her positivity draws people to her like moths to a flame. She returns her showroom samples tied with a pale pink ribbon. She bakes her electrician cookies. Everything Lisa touches, everyone she meets, is better for it.

These photos of Lisa’s home are from a Kansas City Spaces article published earlier this year. Written by the fabulous Patricia O'Dell of Mrs. Blandings, it’s a lovely piece. I encourage you to read it here.

Thank you, Lisa, for a beautiful summer. You are a wonderful mentor and close friend. I’m so grateful for you!