Thursday, September 30, 2010

Colorful Office Supplies at Target

I was making some laps through Target last night looking for some office supplies (and other unnecessary loot) and found some darling file folders and notebooks.

Check 'em out:

Aren't they fun? Perfect for work. I tried to convince myself to pick up some additional items (including a hardcover notebook and a set of small pocket-sized notebooks), but I'm a web designer and the truth is that 90% of my work is electronic. The file folders were a bit of a stretch, but I'll figure out something to do with them!

Head to Target and check 'em out if you like them. The file folders were on a separate aisle from the notebooks so you may have to look around a bit to find the whole "collection".

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

OKL Space

I just caught the new landing page image One Kings Lane has up - I love how they change the image with that cute dog in a cool space for each season. And this room, well, I love it. So autumnal, rich and my eye was all over the place.

Reasons why I like this space:

1) The checkerboard floor in what I assume is the foyer. I don't think I will ever dislike this floor treatment - it's so classic and whimsical. I think in this case its marble, which is definitely my favorite material for the pattern.

2) The flower arrangement - I'm sure it's styled just so for the picture, but the colors in that arrangement excite me.

3) The fabric on the upholstered armchairs.

4) Hello orange geometric blanket. I need you in my house. Notice how the small touches of orange really set off the room.

5) The gold garden stool and the birdies on the entrance table.

6) Wood paneling. Done right, I looooove wood paneling. It's so warm and makes a room feel casual and elegant at the same time.

I also love basically everything else in this room. I'll be further examining this picture as I gear up for autumn chez AO.

p.s. Thank you all SOOOO much for the kind words and emails yesterday on the blog anniversary - they meant a lot and I was so happy to hear from everyone :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Year One

Today marks one year for Aesthetic Oiseau. One year of posting my thoughts on design [almost] daily. I wasn't sure if I would stick to it, but I have and it's been a joy. And the experience has been just as wonderful as I hoped it would be. I've learned new things, met new people and devoted myself to something I'm passionate about.

I've heard from so many of you - family, friends and strangers that are now friends. Thank you for the feedback, comments and emails - it's a thrill to hear from you.

And on that note, I'd love to hear from more of you on AO's bday. Let's connect! Consider following the blog if you don't already by clicking the "Follow" button in the right-hand column. Or, follow me on Twitter @aestheticoiseau (

I say it over and over again to Carter, my family and my friends, but I love this blog. My life has changed a good bit since this time last year - I think for the better - and I know the blog has a lot to do with that. It kept me sane during some rough patches and always provides me with a creative outlet.

It's my happy place.

Now on to year two...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Cottage Living

I'm kicking off the week with some gorgeous pictures from my weekend. I was once again in Charlottesville, Va. and had the pleasure of staying with friends at this charming cottage that they are currently renting just outside of Charlottesville.

The cottage is just as charming on the inside and the surrounding land and views are incredibly breathtaking. Carter and I seriously considered a move to the area...and we're still thinking about it! We fell in love all over again with the Blue Ride Mountains of Virginia.

Have a great start to your week!

The cottage, surrounded by rolling hills and incredible views of the Blue Ridge

The "main" house on the property

Just one of the many, many gorgeous views. Once the leaves start turning, this view will be awash with gorgeous fall color. 


Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Crush

Crushing on Friday courtesy of Megan Young Designs. I must say that I have grown to love the color blue. It has never been my favorite, but I've started to use it as an accent color and like the results. This room has the perfect shade of blue in the roman shade, rug and patterned chairs. Not a primary blue, not a baby blue...almost has a touch of periwinkle. And Megan is a master at mixing so many elements to create a layered look that is still pulled together. I love this space - this would be my ideal family room.

Can't believe it's Friday - this week just flew by. Have a fabulous weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Caspari: Chinoiserie Heaven

I had the pleasure of being in Charlottesville, Va. on Monday and Tuesday...the town that is home to my alma mater, the University of Virginia, and home to Chinoiserie heaven, a.k.a. the Caspari store.

Caspari has a deliriously beautiful storefront on Charlottesville's Downtown Mall. The store moved in after college, which is a good thing because had I been in close proximity to it during my college years I would have neglected my studies and bought stationary and home accessories instead of food.

If you've been, you know its glory. And if you haven't, and you love Chinoiserie (and/or colorful decor in general), you NEED to go. Trust me.

Walking through the Caspari store was a religious experience - I was awed by every single detail. The styling is impeccable. No object is overlooked. And the store is huge! Furniture, stationary, fine china, napkins, paper party products, gift wrap, design books, casual tableware...the list goes on and on.

If you can't tell, I think the visit was the highlight of my year. I of course snapped some pics to share with you, though they are from my phone so not amazing. Rest assured that the store is incredibly beautiful and these pics are only a preview of what you would see in person.

I wasn't kidding. The Caspari store is amazing and a must-see for any Chinoiserie lover. I almost walked out because I was so overwhelmed by it all - my heart was racing. And then I realized that would be ridiculous. So I took a deep breath and continued to take it all in.

Charlottesville is an amazing place, so you should plan to visit anyway (fantastic restaurants, wineries, the University, Monticello, Blue Ridge Mountains, etc., etc.), and while you are there, make your own pilgrimage to the Caspari store. The only other retail shop Caspari has is in Paris!

p.s. Several rolls of gift wrap and dinner napkins came home with me.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

For Your Consideration

I am currently in the car, blogging from my phone (oh, the wonders of technology). In lieu of a proper post, I present the above chair, in all of its colorful Chinoiserie perfection, for your consideration. It is merely a taste of some great eye candy I captured during my quick trip out of'll love what I found, to be shared once I'm back at a proper computer.
p.s. Do any of you have a favorite Blogger app for your android phone?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I had a thought on bedskirts. I think a lot of people see them as an afterthought, which is a shame. I'm assuming this of others, but I find that many people pick out bedding and bedroom textiles that they love and then pick a bedskirt that will play a supporting role as demurely as possible. They don't really want the bedskirt to be noticed.

And, to be fair, many bedskirts are pretty heinous and can quickly render your gorgeous bedroom ugly. But, I actually prefer bedrooms where bedskirts play a leading role. I subscribe to the school of thought that bedding should be white and pretty simple, so for me, the bedskirt is the perfect place to add some color or pattern.

This picture below is what got me thinking about this. I love the bedskirts in this room by Phoebe Howard. Their deeper tone and fullness draw your eye and make the room for me. If the skirts were blah and toned down, this room would be missing its magic.

In our own bedroom, our bed actually doesn't work well with a traditional bedskirt, so I opted for a boxspring cover. But, the idea was the same to use the bottom portion of the bed as an opportunity for pattern. If I did something plain to cover the boxspring, I think this room would lack some pizzazz.

If you like the cover, I wrote instructions on how to make your own - click here. I really like the look and plan to do it again in a guest bedroom.

So, if you are decorating your bedroom, think of the bedskirt as an opportunity! That's my message for the day.

What are your thoughts on bedskirts?

Monday, September 20, 2010

Fashion Loot

This is not a fashion blog, but I interrupt the regularly scheduled programming to bring you this dress.

I bought it this weekend for $11. And I kind of want to just hang it up on a wall...and look at it. I love the colors and the pattern. This dress would make killer pillows, which I would contemplate sacrificing it for if it wasn't my favorite silhouette these days. I'm sure I will wear the heck out of it through the fall with boots and cardigans and next summer as is.

I've said it before, but I'm not a fashionista. I buy what I like and hop on a trend here and there. And when I see an item that reminds me of all the pattern and color I love to see in interior design, it usually comes home with me. I like wearing inspiration.

Hope you had a great weekend!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Eddie & Jaithan in DC

Calling my local DC-area readers...Eddie & Jaithan are in town at the DC Big Flea in Chantilly tomorrow to take a small group of shoppers around the flea market to dish about vintage wares and antiques.  I was slated to go, but had to unexpectedly go out of town. My ticket is up for grabs for the 11 a.m slot (which I believe is sold out) - the ticket is $50 and from everything I have heard, shopping with the dynamic duo is tons of fun and very educational.

If you'd like to take my spot, email me at daniela (at) and we'll work out the details.

Happy weekend everyone...see you Monday!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lonnymag Dot Com

Did you see the news that Lonny has a new website?

Browsing through their archive of pictures (our favorite part) is a bit easier now and they have also added a blog, which I'm sure will be a good read. I see a couple of quirks, but I think the site is moving in the right direction toward becoming a website resource (and not just an online mag).

As a web designer, I know user feedback on a new site is really important. What do you think of the redesign? Any feedback for the Lonny team?

p.s. In other news, Rue is set to launch today, which you may want to check out if you haven't heard. And Anthology is a new print publication on the design beat getting buzz.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Mirror, Mirror

I love mirrors. As you know, I'm equal opportunity and throw around the L word a lot when it comes to home decoration...but really, I LOVE mirrors. Every room of my house has a mirror (or two). And I'm constantly looking at mirrors, like other women look for shoes.

Horchow has some of the best mirrors I've seen that are sold retail. They are for the most part out of my budget unfortunately, but I like to look at them and then keep my eyes open for similar shapes at my favorite discount shops, or better yet, vintage finds (which many of the upscale mirrors are based on these days). H is especially good when it comes to the Chinoiserie mirror silhouette.

Feast your eyes on my favorite pieces...

The last mirror has to be one of my top five favorite mirrors of all time. I adore it. Would look incredibly glamorous situated on a wall above a bar. Or in a crazy good powder room.

No, Horchow hasn't paid me. They just have good loot that I like, though pricey loot. I do get lucky and find $$ catalog items at places like HomeGoods sometimes...and the hunt for the perfect piece at the right price is part of the fun!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Black Candles

I know Thanksgiving is still far away, but once September hits, I like to start thinking about the holidays. And the October issue of House Beautiful has a beautiful tablescape that is inspiring my thoughts for my Thanksgiving table.

Photo by Luca Trovato, House Beautiful October 2010

Excuse my cruddy's a stunning photo once you see it in the mag (pg. 84). The table was designed by Janice Feldman, founder of JANUS et Cie and I love it. I stared at it for a while - taking in the various pieces - and the last thing I noticed was the black candles. I've never thought about using black candles, but aren't they stunning? Especially for a fall table?

Once I got over the coolness of the black candles, I started to once again review the elements of the table. I think the variety of objects on the table is what is so eye-catching - the various candlesticks, the different plates, the glasses, and most of all, the small floral arrangements scattered throughout the table.

The pic got me thinking how I have several items that I can combine for a similar feel to my own table. I have bud vases, mint julep cups and tortoise tumblers that would be great to use for similar floral arrangements. If you look closely, you'll see the table has some fantastic brass faux-bois-ish candlesticks, which are very similar to the pair I bought earlier this year from Nate Berkus' line for HSN:

These candlesticks are gorgeous in person and I'm so glad I got them. I would gladly share the link, but sadly I don't think HSN has them any more. Boo. I hope they bring them back because I could another set or two!

The candlesticks will be beautiful to mix with other candlesticks that I have...and it would be super easy to pick up an inexpensive pair of wood candlesticks somewhere like Target and paint them white or even stripe them like the ones in the picture.

Once I mix in my own china, crystal, color palette and details, I think it will make a great autumnal table. And I'll definitely be considering some black candles this year.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Bookcase Love

Photo by Justin Bernhaut, design by Annsley McAleer, featured in Domino, via Flickr

Now that I am the proud owner of some fantastic built-in bookcases, I'm trying to wrap my brain around how to decorate them. Our living room doesn't have many surfaces on which to display photos and knick-knacks (of which I have many), so I know our bookcases will be a display space as much as a space to hold reading material.

Although the items we will display will be personal, I like studying photos like this one above to narrow in on what appeals to me as far as color contrast, arrangement, etc. This photo is one of my favorite bookcase examples so far (not to mention that I LOVE the chairs and the lucite end tables) - I like how colorful the displayed items are but the look stays subtly uniform by the emphasis of a turquoise and red color palette, created with well-placed accent pieces in these tones. 

So, although this bookcase appears to be a hodge-podge of items, it is quite pleasing to my eye because of its subtle color balance - making it feel less "messy". Am I over-thinking this bookcase? Maybe. But I like it.

I'm going to have fun arranging our bookcases. And since they provide non-permanent display space, if I tire of a look (which has been known to happen), I can change it in a snap.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Friday Crush

Busy day, and late post! So, last week I came across two AMAZING orange Chinoiserie bedrooms on two of my favorite blogs. Last week's Friday Crush was the first one, and I saved this phenomenal bedroom for this week. It is designed by Domicile Interior Design and was featured on Chinoiserie Chic. There is literally not one thing I would change about this room. I am a big believer in orange interiors but actually never thought how the color could work in a bedroom, until I saw both of these examples.

This room is fueling my obsession for Chinoiserie panels, which I desperately covet. And I am giddy over the end tables (love the stacked pillows underneath the right one). This room is perfection and so inspirational...just my style!

Have a stellar weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

An Autumnal Interior

I love fall. It is hands down my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the activities and the feeling of renewal - like life can start over again in September.

On a clicking spree, I came across this great pic below on Southern Living's site.

Photo by Robbie Caponetto via; Design by Anne Turner Carroll & Fran Keenan

I am typically not drawn to predominantly rich tones like chocolate brown as a foundation color, but I love how this all works together in this room. The gallery wall (in a nice, high-ceilinged room) is so eye-catching.  The curtains are rich and elegant, but they are tempered by the bamboo blinds and light wall color and rug color. I love the wingback chairs, and of course, the garden stool. Those lamps are pretty amazing as well. I think the only thing I would change is the coffee table - I would love something brassy and leggy to bring out some of the golden tones in the room.

Everything seems collected, like it has meaning, but each piece works together to create an interior that is perfect for this time of year.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Another Chair for You

I'm a tad bit obsessed with chairs. Seems like I am always finding one (or a set) that I want to bring home, but alas, casa AO is definitely packed to the gills with chairs. A week or two ago I posted an awesome chair I found on Etsy, and I just found another terrific option from the same seller.

Ummm...right. This chair is fantastic. I LOVE the cane back, the legs, the overall lines/style and it even has greek key detailing. This is a perfect accent chair to sit by itself under a window, or perhaps beside a chest or table in a living room. Since it is not fully upholstered, recovering the seat would be a great DIY job for those up for the challenge. Although I'm actually a fan of the pink velveteen, assuming it's in good shape (the pink would be perfect in a dressing room).

It's not inexpensive at $350 (plus shipping), but much like the other chair, I find it special enough for a splurge if your budget permits. Click here for the Etsy link...someone bought the other chair last time, so pick this one up if you like it (and then tell me what you do with it!).

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Yellow and Gray Bedroom

Everywhere I look, I see the color combo of yellow and gray, and I love it. I think it works great in a bedroom (I love gray in a bedroom, don't you?) -

Image from Domino via Flickr

I actually tried to do yellow/gray in one of our guest bedrooms, but it didn't quite work out. I couldn't find the right fabric combination that I liked...until now (although I've already gone red/gray in that bedroom).

I think this fabric combo below would be dynamite for a bedroom - and the fabrics (from Waverly) are all under $15/yard, so they should fit a smaller budget nicely.

I would use this floral fabric (Bliss Silver Lining) for an upholstered headboard and bedskirt, much like the photo above. I would keep my sheets classic white with perhaps a mustard colored blanket and a large decorative pillow in an accent color.

I would use this stripe (Sidewalk Stripe Silver Lining) to upholster an arm chair (like a wingback) and pair it with a small end table and floor lamp.

And I would use this fun geometric (Cross Section Charcoal) for curtains.

Pair the combo with some great art and lamps like the inspiration photo, and voila! Instant bedroom chic.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Friday Crush

The perfect orange Chinoiserie bedroom. Designed by Sara Story and seen on MLHP this week - you must read Alison's post (if you missed it) - it's chock full of orange and husband commentary. This bedroom seems like a great combo of masculine/feminine - clearly the walls adds a female touch, but the colors are rich and the dark accents really level it out and don't make it feel froo froo. I'm in. Sign me up.

I'll be spending the weekend with my bff Margaret and thoroughly enjoying the holiday and saying farewell to summer. I'll be taking Monday off, so see you Tuesday! Enjoy the holiday!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Fireplace Mantel is Done!

I'm so thrilled - our fireplace mantel and bookcases are complete and they are everything I ever wanted and more!

Please excuse sconces that aren't quite hung properly - I just threw them up there on some old hooks to see how they'd look, and I like them!

And just for a refresher, this is what the space looked like before we moved in:

Quite the difference, right? Complete props go to Carter and his dad for building such a gorgeous part of our home. It looks so fantastic in person, the pictures are not doing it justice. Carter painstakingly primed, sanded and painted the mantel and bookshelves - 4 coats in all, and the results are beautiful.

Of course, now I'm staring at a huge blank canvas, including the large expanse of wall above our built-ins, and my mind is racing with how I will fill the space. It's a tough job, but someone's got to do it.

Progress pics of this project are here and here.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


One of my favorite Etsy shops, High Street Market, is having a buy one get one half off sale that starts today at noon (and only lasts 24 hours). I would be a bad friend if I didn't tell you about it.

Kelly (who also writes a great blog) has a keen eye for vintage loot, and I always love perusing her shop (which is known to have a good foo dog and Chinoiserie item now and again). I was planning to take a looksy at what is in the shop now and give you my picks, but I think she has closed the shop until the sale starts....but she did share a sneak peek on her blog, and the items look great:

The lobster (to perch atop some books), the yellow lamp (to sit on one side of your couch) and the turquoise pitcher (to use as a vase) are my favorites. This shop never disappoints, so if you are in the Market (no pun intended) for some vintage touches for your home, go get your bogo on.
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