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Interior Design

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i am a born and bred northeasterner. i doubt i’ll ever move out west. i don’t love san francisco, california doesn’t call my name, and i’ll be visiting los angeles for the first time this spring. but all that being said, i fell hard for patrick dempsey’s home, as featured in this month’s architectural digest. the home is an original tin (tin!) structure designed by the inimitable frank gehry in the late 1960s; dempsey and his wife updated it with the help of interior designer estee stanley (also the brains behind one of my favorite new interior sites, domaine, as well as justin timberlake’s other half in the homemint collection). estee epitomizes california cool, so it’s no wonder i love this home, even though it’s way out of my design style and comfort zone.

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i’m especially in love with the living room, what with those gorgeous clean-lined sofas (custom pieces, of course) and beautiful reclaimed wood pieces. that oversized mercury glass lamp is calling my name (try anthro’s silver etched lamp bases for a similar look). also, we can’t not talk about the stacked wood situation going on on the sides of the fireplace. i mean, HELLO, statement. i’ve seen this done quite a bit over the past few years, but mostly on a much smaller scale. here, stanley really went for the gold (ahem, wood-toned), and it totally works. your eye immediately goes to the fireplace, then gets drawn upward by that antique mirror. love the finish on that, and how it’s just a few shades away, but very much in the same family, as the mercury glass lamp on the side table.

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also, can we talk about this room? it’s dempsey’s wife’s art studio. the architectural in this space is beyond. the couple has a few kids, and i like that the studio also includes a comfortable seating area for the family (and perhaps potential clients?). again, we’re seeing lots of reclaimed wood, and hints of industrial style scattered amongst the more california bohemian pieces.

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i’m surprised at how much i like this kitchen. it’s way too modern for my taste, and yet, i would LOVE to cook a meal in here. those concrete slab countertops are so crisp and fresh, and i love the way the sun drenches the space in light. a true gehry traot. i’m also loving the wide-plank wood floors. it almost, almost, gives the space a bit of a northeastern farmhouse feel.

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and of course, who could forget that they have an AIRSTREAM TRAILER in their backyard? i mean…uber cool. the raised beds hold flowers, veggies, and herbs. all the better to cook fresh food in that gorgeous kitchen, of course.

love it. do you?

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i’m a huge fan of note to self, a blog penned by sarah tolzmann. sarah has an incredible eye for design, typography, and all things pretty (as her day job, she works as a web design for ralph lauren. cool, right?), and has been sharing lovely bits and pieces on the interwebs since 2009. i’ve been a reader of note to self for basically as long as i’ve been reading blogs, and a fan of sarah’s aesthetic since day 1, so when she launched her print shop on society6, i ate that ish right up and promptly ordered a few pieces for my gallery wall. it’s been almost a year since i redid my dining corner, and i’ve been thinking that perhaps my wall needs a bit of love in the form of new prints. lucky for me, sarah recently updated her shop with a few new pieces, and i am LOVING them. my favorite, in particular, is tucked, a fashionista-in-a-striped-shirt rendition that would look so cute against my grey walls.

just for fun, i put together a little board of the new prints i’m loving – all in black and white.

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{jayson home moroccan wedding blanket parson’s bench}

a story about me and morocco.

the year i was bat mitzvahed, my grandma took my entire extended family (my cousin and i are the same age) on a 2 week trip to morocco. though i had traveled a bunch as a kid (lucky me!), morocco was a whole other world. literally. for starters, it was in AFRICA. i mean, hi, exotic locale. it was also a place where girls with blonde hair and hazel eyes were things to be bartered for. my price was equivalent to a few nice rugs and some steaming mugs of mint tea. it was a place where the old world still had a firm hold on things, where lifestyle glossies like vogue had yet to traverse the terrain, where rivers of mud and discarded trash ran straight through the streets. marrakech, specifically, was a visceral feast. the sights, the sounds, the smells. and don’t even get me started on the leather tannery we visited one day. talk about smells, or should i say, stenches. holy moly, did i have to hold my nose at that one.

as blessed as i feel that i’ve visited such an incredible place, part of me wishes i’d made the trip when i was a bit older. i think i would appreciate the country a lot more now than i did then. i suppose that’s why it’s important to travel as an adult – because your brain has formed enough to truly wrap itself around the amazing experiences that sojourning around the world bring. one thing i’m sure i would appreciate now more than i did than is the amazing color and style of moroccan interiors – from the colorful tilework to the gorgeous moroccan wedding blankets that have become all the rage in interior design over the past few years.

also known as handira, moroccan wedding blankets are traditional cape-like nuptial garments of the Berber women. these gorgeous pieces, worn by brides at their wedding ceremonies, are handwoven by a bride’s relatives, and can take weeks to complete. these days, you’ll see them hanging on walls, atop crisp white sheets being used as bedspreads, beneath dining tables as rugs…the design possibilities are endless. a bit sparkly, a bit sequin-y, and a whole lot of pretty, moroccan wedding blankets are a beautiful, versatile piece that the interior world can’t get enough of.

you can get the real thing by doing a bit of savvy googling, or you can snag mass market versions, which have popped up everywhere from anthropologie to jayson home (where the piece above can be found).

john-derian-new-york-city-home-apartment-the-selby-3i have a pinterest board titled “someday home.” on it, i pin rooms that i hope will, someday, be included in the home in which i live with my big, slightly rowdy but effortlessly clean family. the home in which we’ll eat stack upon stack of chocolate chip pancakes. the home in which a roaring fire will crackle all throughout the holiday season. a home with a cozy guestroom for two and enough bathrooms for all the kids and then some. a home with a large entryway and maybe even a leopard stair runner. living in new york, where space comes at such a premium, and saving is somewhat of a foreign concept, it’s hard to imagine that i’ll ever own a home of my own.

one of my goals for 2014 is to start really socking away money to buy a place, ideally, here in new york. somewhere that’s really mine, not a landlord’s. easier said than done, of course. but in the meantime, i’ll just pretend i live here, in john derian’s amazing east village abode.

{all photos via the selby}

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i fell pretty hard for cindy sherman’s eclectic farmhouse, as featured in AD. i don’t know that i could live in a home this color crazy 24/7, but i’d certainly stay here for a few nights, and take all that texture in. the space offers some serious inspiration in the form of layered, funky, bohemian patterns, and how to mix them all together. the sunroom below is so cozy and so chic. i love all the eclectic upholstery – the warm, natural wood of the walls and the bright light shining in from the windows allows for some crazy pillow mixing.

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meanwhile, the kitchen is actually quite ‘normal’, so to speak. a butcher block island is all clean lines, and is complimented by high, breakfast bar style modern seating. a farmhouse kitchen in all its glory, this room is.

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i die for this dining room. here is where the patterns get reigned in, and a simple color scheme does all the talking. this room is proof that simple blue and white can make magic. love that regency style chandelier, especially when mixed with fun, funky embroidered chairs, chinoiserie wallpaper and an antique wood table. simple, yet oh so chic.

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meanwhile, the master bedroom is the stuff of dreams. marled wood side tables bring the outdoors in, while the blue and white theme continues, this time, peppered with bronze and gold accents. how awesome are those scones? love.

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i mean, i would take a bubble bath in here. i would take nine million bubble baths in here. who wouldn’t?

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this is the one room i don’t love. the colors and patterns together just aren’t working for me. but hey – you win some, you lose some.

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ah, to be sitting outside with a cup of tea and a good book at dusk with this view. i can feel the serenity seeping out from the edges of this image. someday…

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is it just me, or have gemstones been having a moment lately? okay, maybe it’s more than a moment. they’ve been popular for at least a few years now, and don’t seem to be showing any signs of slowing. last year, when i searched for agate coasters, they were a bit hard to find. this year, they’re everywhere, from leif to jonathan adler. last week’s all that glitters guide highlighted gold, but this guide is about sparkle that comes in all different colors. there’s something so beautiful about what nature creates all on its own. amazing to think that these have been carved from the rock face somewhere. salt of the earth, to be sure. these pieces would make great gifts for the gal who loves to host, but even for those who don’t, you’ll find some fun accent pieces. a pyrite heart paperweight would be just as at home on a desk as it would on an etagere full of collected curios. druzy studs are sophisticated and simple, but offer a sense of eclectic edge. meanwhile, an amethyst candle holder will set a room ablaze in the best kind of way. and if all else fails: a chic wine stopper is always a good idea.

see other gift guides:

all that glitters

happy shopping!

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one | two | three | four | five | six | seven | eight | nine | ten | eleven | twelve

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i’ve told you before how much love i have in my heart for designer emily henderson. i’m a longtime reader of her laugh out loud hilarious blog. i adored her on design star. i’m pretty sure she and i are friendship soul sisters, what with our love of dumb celebrity gossip, quirky flea market finds and, of course, CATS. that’s right, mrs. henderson is a cat lady just like me. that’s some soul sister stuff in the making, friends.

emily is so currently so pregnant she’s about to pop (and might i say, she’s the coolest, most energetic-seeming pregnant lady EVER), but she somehow managed to find time to design a house for curbly, and while the entire space is pretty much to die for, i fell especially hard for this bright, airy, serene sunroom. try and say that five times fast! that paint color is the most perfect thing i’ve ever seen (sea salt by benjamin moore). and who doesn’t love a bertoia chair with a sheepskin? from hard to sit on to coziest thing ever in 10 seconds flat.

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the great thing about this room is that the look is totally achievable on any budget. henderson probably used a real saarinen table, but ikea’s docksta is a great copycat (i have it in my living room and love it). bertoia chairs are pricey, but scour craigslist and you can probably find a set of four for under $150. buy any color; spray paint is your friend. the sheepskins from ikea are uber inexpensive, and that exact pillow and throw can be found at west elm. snag a vintage glass blown vase and voila – a room of your own, just like this one.

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table | chairs | sheepskin | throw pillow | throw blanket | vase | paint color