Thursday, April 29, 2010

Vintage Etsy Finds for You

I always keep my eye on Etsy's vintage offerings...and in a recent search, I came across many a chic item that I wouldn't mind bringing home to the AO house.

This chandelier is my recent obsession...I love, love, love it and the price ($220 incl. shipping) is not too bad considering it is a unique piece that is not too easy to find. I like it as is, but you know this would look amazing with a coat of paint...

Or what about these cheery planters? I like their scale - they would look great with a plant or tree flanking a fireplace or a doorway. The yellow is very happy...

This headboard is fantastic...if you can get past the trees in the picture and imagine how chic it would make your bedroom.

And these prints are lovely...the bamboo frames are great with their black and gold finish and I think the etchings in black and white are beautiful. 

Do any of these treats strike your fancy?

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Stormy Sky

[click on photo to enlarge]
Photo by Chris and Cami Photography via

Reasons why I like this room:

1) It's in Charleston...and as we know, I'll take anything in Charleston. This particular room lives in the Charleston Symphony Showhouse (2009, I think).

2) The designer of this room, Evon Kirkland Interiors, is based in Columbia, SC, Carter's hometown and thus a place that I love. Columbia is a great city for interior design...remember this little gem I found while shopping? Hello Columbia family.

3) The ceiling. Doesn't it look like the most beautiful stormy sky? I am typically anti faux finishes on walls, but this ceiling draws me in...I find myself staring at it in the picture. And I like how the finish is carried down on to the crown to envelope the room.

4) Whatever is hanging over the mantle. I can't tell from the picture, but it kind of looks like a wreath of lustrous shells...I love the iridescent quality and the texture coupled with the stormy sky.

5) The color scheme...ask me a year ago if I liked purple in decor and I would have lied and said "When used well." But, now...oh, I do love some lavender. And the pops of yellow (especially that gorgeous lamp) are very nice.

6) Last, but certainly not least as it's my favorite element in the room...the curtains...made out of this fabric:

Palais Chinois by Osborne & Little...the perfect touch for the room. Well played, EKI.

I think I would prefer different seating and a swap of the console table behind the couch, but I do like how the neutral tones in these pieces help to anchor the room. What an eye-catching space!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

I want...


Ok, yes. I want many things, but I especially want this new book from House Beautiful written by Jennifer Boles who also pens (keyboards?) the blog The Peak of Chic.

I have yet to get my hands on it, but from what I've read, it's a great little reference for all things fabric - patterns, textures, colorways and how they all harmonize together. I know fabric can be a bit daunting - there is SO much of it in a vast array of options...oh, but it can be your friend. I always turn to fabric for inspiration.

If you've been trying to navigate the world of fabrics, I bet this little primer will go a long way in helping you decide what you do and don't like - and how to use the fabrics that catch your eye.

Anyone already have it? What did you think??

p.s. Jennifer was the guest on's live home discussion last week - and she talked about the book and answered some questions - including where to go online to find good fabric. Check it out here...

Monday, April 26, 2010

$5 Floral Fabric Find

How many fs can I put in my blog title...

I thought I would kick off your week with a heck of a fabric find if you like florals...

This fabric is called "Basquiat" by Robert Allen and is the "Patina" colorway...I adore the muted palette of aquas, whites, golds and greens and I think the large flowers make the pattern feel a little more modern and less grandma. I think this fabric would make the most divine curtains...

And the best part is that you can actually nab the needed yardage for curtains because the fabric is $4.98/yard! Of course I wanted to snap up a bunch of yardage at that price but I'm trying to control myself, as I have nowhere to use it...and that has not stopped me in the past, but I'm trying to be good  and not add to my piles of fabric here at home :)

So the next best thing is to share with you...

And there is this gorgeous colorway called "Teak" rich...

Happy Monday!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday Crush

I am loving the ingenuity of fellow bloggers this week. This wall o' mirrors is courtesy of Matters of Style...girl (1 of 2) went to Ikea and spotted a bin of these mirrors on sale for $3.99, and came home to create this with them. I absolutely ADORE this look...I'm a huge fan of mirrors, and these gold rectangular lovelies look perfect and the solution was so inexpensive for such a big look! Let us all learn to think outside the box (and inside the bargain bin)...

Another crazy week under my belt so I am really looking forward to the weekend...hope yours is wonderful. See you Monday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Let's Q, shall we?

I love the in QVC. I've bought lots of good loot there (makeup, clothes (yes, clothes), jewelry, etc). I used to watch it daily (and took a lot of heat from Carter for it) but I have curbed my QVC-watching quite a bit (mostly because I don't have time), but I do love to pop over to the Q online and keep up with the latest offerings.

Home shopping channels have definitely started to tap interior designers to offer "ready-to-wear" lines to their (vast) viewership. I think HSN wins because they have Nate Berkus and, for me, his interiors are amazing. But, QVC has brought on some home decorating items of their own from some names in the biz.

Now, I am not familiar with Tracy Hutson , but I did catch some fun items in her line:

Pillows... (in a color/pattern near and dear to my heart)

And more pillows.

And a cute, colorful little throw (also in a blue colorway)

And we all know Genevieve Gorder from TLC-fame...she's also pushing her loot which is a very soft and neutral line and includes lots of bedding. I'm not really into bedding because I like everything white on a bed, but she does have some white accent pieces that caught my eye:

Like this ogee vase set (this color is actually Silver Blue)

And these quirky, also hobnail-ish owls. These guys are adorable.

The Q also offers a line from Kenneth Brown (although I haven't seen new merch for a while) and some home pieces by Isaac Mizrahi (and possibly more that I just haven't seen). They also have a KILLER collection of Dooney & Bourke personal weakness.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Proof that you can DIY anything

My dear, talented friend Camila of High-Heeled Foot in the Door just finished up a room for her sister (named Daniela!) and she DIY'd something in this room...

Any guesses? And if you read her post yesterday you can't play.

Camila made the rug! Now, I have heard of people painting sisal and getting crafty with rugs, but I'm not sure I've seen someone actually make a rug out of inexpensive fabric and supplies.

You MUST read Camila's post about it here.

Rugs are SO pricey, and even the inexpensive ones just never seem to be in my budget. I personally love a hardwood floor and no rugs, but sometimes, you just need a rug. And although this might not hold up as well over time as a $1K persian, at least it's a great fix in the meantime and makes a stunning statement.

I was thinking that outdoor fabric might be perfect for this kind of project since it is treated for moisture, dirt, etc. And they have SO many great outdoor patterns to choose from these:

Most of these fabrics are less that $10/yard! You can find them all here...go get crafty!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Serena & Lily

Serena & Lily is a new brand for me...I've only heard of S&L since joining the blog world, but the peeks I've had at their loot here and there don't disappoint. I was just at a baby shower where the mom-to-be received the most adorable layette from S&L, and yet they also sell these:

Did these nesting tables catch your eye in the recent issue of House Beautiful? They have a distinctly Moroccan shape, but the colors also remind me of Mexican art. These would make such a statement in a neutral room or as a great focal point to tie a room with several colors together.

A little trip through Serena & Lily's website came up with some other favorites for me:

Let's be honest, I was digging a lot on their site, but these pieces especially caught my eye...color, whimsy and sophisticated lines - a great combo.

Monday, April 19, 2010

On the road...

I'm (as we speak) on the road coming back from a wonderful weekend celebrating my brother-in-law's birthday...I didn't get a chance to write a proper post but I wanted to pop in and wish you all a happy Monday!

Hope the start to your week is fantastic and I'll be back tomorrow!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Crush

Photograph by Patrick Cline

My favorite image from the current issue of Lonny - Ashley Putnam's Houston home. I've been in fits looking at this house...I want it. I'm especially impressed by the use of so many dark tones, and yet the house feels open, young and welcoming - quite the balancing act. I know we've heard it all across blogland, but this issue of Lonny is super good - I'll be "leafing" through it a couple more times before I'm over it.

We've got quite the busy social calendar this weekend, so there will be little rest but lots of fun. Hope you all have a stellar weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Gettin' Ziggy Wit It

Na na na na na na na...

Is that a terrible blog post title? Sorry. And I'm probably not the first to think of it, but I couldn't pass up the chance to invoke Will Smith whilst speaking of zig zags.

I love a good zig zag, although I have not used any zig zag prints in my home. I am very fond of geometrics for fabric, but zig zags are definitely a statement pattern. I find my dear stripes are classic and safe, whereas a zig zag pushes the envelope a bit more.

But, my thoughts are consumed by our bedroom at the moment as I'm trying to put all the pieces together - and my main enemy is time. It's been painted for what seems like eons...I just have to get my sewing machine out and make the fabric accessories that will help finish it up.

So, back to the zigs - I came across a print that I think might work..and our bedroom has a much more traditional feel than the rest of the house, so it might be a good place to inject a little 'tude.

Recall that my inspiration fabric whose color scheme dictates the room is this Schumacher print:

And I'm trying to pull out the smoky blue color on the ducks in touches such as our lamps...and I think this Premier Fabrics zig zag might do the trick as the seat cover for my vanity chair...

The colorway is gorgeous and subtle and it lets me use just a whisper of a zig in the room. Many other colorways are available here.

Now if I could just find some time to actual follow through! Hopefully I'll have "after" pictures of our bedroom sooner rather than later.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

New Chinoiserie from Schumacher

Have you seen the new divine Chinoiserie prints from one of my favorite fabric houses, Schumacher? I got the scoop form this post on Gorgeous Shiny Things, and boy are they lovely.

Oh dear Schumacher, I love you so. Which one shall I pine over first?

Shantung Silhouette (you KNOW I love a good silhouette)


Mineral (my favorite)


And meet Nanjing



Jade (such a rich green!)

And last but not least...

Our dear Chiang Mai Dragon all dressed up in a new colorway - Mocha

Schumachers spring 2010 line is phenomenal - see more of their eye candy here.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Kelley Proxmire

I left out one highlight from my post yesterday about the DC Design House preview party, and that is that I met DC designer Kelley Proxmire. I nabbed a moment to introduce myself as Ms. Proxmire walked by me (with the most divine scarf about her neck, I might add) and I told her I wrote a blog so she gave me one of her press CDs with pictures from her room at the might have seen this little darling making the rounds in blogland...

I think Kelley is a master of color. She uses it in ways that are so pleasing to the eye and make such an impact in a room. She uses accessories, fabrics, paint, trim - all to create the most pulled-together, cohesive looks. Kelley mixes looks - old and new, traditional and contemporary - but her spaces are always unified and have that well-thought-out quality that attracts many of us to good design.

Kelley was also recently asked to design the lobby of the DC Design House and my little CD had a picture of that project as well:

I have LOVED digging into the portfolios of some local DC designers, and Kelley's especially...her rooms totally do it for me...classic, colorful and elegant...proving you can have it all. Below are some of my favorite shots from her portfolio - see these and more pictures on her website at

All photos via

Monday, April 12, 2010

DC Design House Preview Party

I failed you, dear readers. I volunteered to help at the preview party Friday night for the 2010 DC Design House, and I didn't take any pictures! I know, I know...bad blogger.

But, I wanted to share my evening because it was so fun! Highlights include:

1) Being "stationed" in Sally Steponkus' room...literally every single person that walked in sighed, awash in the relaxation that the room exudes. Truly, this room is a beautiful, monochromatic wonder...140 yards of custom-dyed Quadrille fabric...gorgeous. And I got to hang with Sally, which is always a bonus!

2) I had a wonderful, delightful, long chat with Wanda Crossley and Kevin Chadwick of Matthews House & Garden, an amazing home and garden shop in Upperville, VA. Michele of My Notting Hill did a great blog post about their shop - read it here. I can't tell you how much I enjoyed meeting this duo - they were so nice and are so talented. I've been meaning to see the shop since I read Michele's post, but after meeting the brains behind the operation, I'm so excited to go! I'll let you know when I'm coming, Wanda and Kevin :)

3) Another wonderful conversation I had was with Nestor Santa-Cruz, who I "met" over email last weekend, but actually got to meet in person at the party. He was charming, gracious and entertaining and I enjoyed spending the evening with him. I'm hoping to bring you more of Nestor's work on this blog.

4) I finished out my evening with a glass of wine and a chat with Michael Hampton and partner David Kantor. I've mentioned that Michael writes his own blog, but the duo also write a foodie blog - Michael and David's Adventures with Food, which I hear is mostly David's endeavor. Michael's room at the Design House is fantastic (I'm running out of positive adjectives, here, but trust me that this room deserves them all)...the color palette is wonderful and the finishing touches and details are just divine.

Photos via My Notting Hill of Michael Hampton's room:

I promise that next time I attend such a fun design event, I'll take pictures! Until then, the Design House is officially open for business, so buy your tickets and go!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

For A Good Cause

I'm chiming in on a Saturday with a non-design related post to ask for your help. Here in Alexandria we have one (very large) public high school - T.C. Williams...did you see the movie Remember the Titans? Same school. This year, I've had the pleasure of working with an organization, the Scholarshinp Fund of Alexandria, whose mission is to support T.C. graduating seniors by providing need-based scholarships to help them pursue their post-secondary education.

My role is as a volunteer on the committee for their spring gala, their primary fundraiser, and we have each been tasked to sell raffle here comes the pitch - Wanna buy a raffle ticket to win a fully-loaded 2010 Toyota Prius?

A maximum of only 700 tickets will be sold, and the drawing will be held on Saturday, May 8th. (The winner need not be present to win.)  They are $100 each and your odds of winning are very good! 

By buying a ticket, you will be helping send a kid to college who may have otherwise not had the funds to go. For more info, visit the SFA’s website at

If you are interested in buying a ticket for this great cause, please email me at daniela(at)aestheticoiseau(dot)com!

p.s.For nearly a quarter century, the Scholarship Fund of Alexandria has helped Alexandria public school students achieve a college education, regardless of their economic means.  Since its inception in 1986, the Fund has provided more than $6 million in scholarships to over 3,100 Alexandria students!
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