Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Tea Party

My love of fine china is no secret on this blog. I'm obsessed. But I think my absolute favorite piece of china is a teacup - so delicate, feminine and usually the cornerstone of a pattern.

Several years ago, a friend of my mother-in-law's was redoing her dining room and wanted to get rid of a collection of mismatched teacups she had collected over the years - guess who was there to happily take her donation? So I am blessed to have a sweet little collection of cups ranging in pattern and color - thanks, Mary Kay!

And when I saw this spread in Southern Living's March issue, I wanted to whip out my collection, throw on a shift dress and a cocktail ring, and have my girlfriends over for tea. This spread is SOOOOO good y'all (Southern Living is killing it for me these days):

Hell yes.

Don't these images just fill your eyeballs with inspiration??? Before I go any further, major props to these people:

Produced by Mary Allen Perry
Photos by Jennifer Davick
Prop Styling by Lydia Degaris Pursell
Food Styling by Marian Cooper Cairns

They are talented and this article should win every magazine award available. So should the tablesetting spread that was in the December 2011 issue, but I digress.

So now that you all want to throw on your own shift dress and have your friends over, consider purchasing a lot of teacups off eBay (or Etsy) - it's a great way to kickstart your collection:

Other things to consider:

- You don't have to buy a lot set to start a mismatched collection (especially if the set is pricey) - teacups are really easy to find at second-hand shops and flea markets and usually not that expensive. Or consider buying a teacup every time you travel as a souvenir.
- If you are getting married, register for 12 different teacups. Your guests will think you're a little nuts, but it will create a fun collection and you'll actually remember who gave you each piece because they will all be different.
- Next time you have a dinner party, serve dessert and coffee on your bar cart! (Because I'm sure you have one by now) You will look super-swank rolling out to the living room after dinner.

Don't even get me started on my feelings about miniature tea sets - thus far, I have shown constraint. But all bets are off if I ever have a daughter.

Party on with your tea.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Portola Lantern

Speaking of luxury items that recently caught my attention, I found the lantern that I will one day use in a pair over a large kitchen island:

I call it the Festoon Lantern. Its manufacturer, Troy Lighting, calls it Portola. I ADORE the dandy shot of feathers at the top and the lovely scroll detailing. And this particular silhouette, with its more squat proportions, is perfect to hang in a pair over my one-day kitchen island.

The lantern also comes in different silhouettes, all with the same style:

The ones above would be so nice in a foyer. Troy also offers outdoor options perfect to adorn your home's visage.

» Click here to see the collection from Troy
» Click here to see the collection for purchase (they seem to be widely available online)

Monday, February 27, 2012

Chinoiserie Sinks from Sherle Wagner

A shelter-magazine-reading marathon this weekend led me to these incredible hand-painted Chinoiserie sinks from luxury hardware and bathroom accessories designer Sherle Wagner.

I would love to use any of these in a powder room...can you imagine designing a space around one of these??

I adore finding special pieces like this that create one-of-a-kind spaces. If you installed one of these pretty sinks, all your bathroom would need is a striking paint color and some nice towels. Granted, I'm sure these sinks are not in my budget (or the budget of most bathroom renovations) but I'm happy to know that they exist on this earth and that someone out there actually has one. And hopefully one day that someone will be me!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Friday Crush

Image via House to Home UK

Well, someone took a risk and it certainly paid off. How stunning is that lavender subway tile?? I don't think I have ever seen purple put to good use in a kitchen and I am a complete fan. I spotted this image over on Dear Heart DC (formerly known as Department of the Interior) - Jenn's images are always so soothing and lovely and the pop of color and quirk this one offered was too good not to share.

Dear Heart DC and Aesthetic Oiseau - as well as several other DC-area blogs - shared a lovely recognition this past week! We were selected by Refinery29 DC as some of the top interior design bloggers (and pinners) in the Washington DC area.

Thank you to Refinery29 as counting my blog among the great list - definitely was the highlight of my week!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend...see you Monday!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


Ok this one might be a stretch, but go with it. We all remember Melissa Warner's banging apartment featured in House Beautiful a while back, yes? I was recently reacquainted with it when I saw this image floating around the interweb:

Photo by Victoria Pearson via House Beautiful

This image is quite stunning and was one of my favorites in the spread. But this time around, it reminded me of something and I couldn't put my finger on it....hmmmm....

Waitholdthephone - the console reminded me of another (retail) console that I recently spotted and flagged for potential use with a client. 

Do they look alike, just a wee bit? Not the colors, but the feel?

You may or may not have strong feelings about Angelo Surmelis, designer of this piece and host of some HGTV show that I can't remember. I usually don't dig crossover-TV-personality-to-furniture-designer pieces, but I liked the look of this particular item. I really liked the quasi-limed look of the finish and thought the front detail was fun with the wee ring pulls. And the price is good, which always gets my vote.

Anyhoo, my brain made a connection. Do you like my "look-alike" piece, or it's not doing it for you?

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Zebra Wallpaper

During my recent search for this wallpaper, I came across this fantastic zebra wallpaper by the same manufacturer:

Like my unknown wallpaper, this one is also by Robert Redding for York Wallcoverings. I absolutely LOVE its dusty hues with the first colorway being my definite favorite. I'll point out the obvious that it's reminiscent of Scalamandre's iconic paper, but this one has a more serene quality to it (though it could be made to feel just as quirky depending on its use).

For some reason, the York website doesn't properly link to the product, so do a search for pattern #NT8964 to see more information -

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

An Alexandria Home

I was thrilled to see this home featured in The Washington Post because it's in Alexandria, Va. (where I live), it's gorgeous, and it uses lots of green! The article has it just right - this is definitely a traditional home with a refreshing youthful twist thanks to the work of designer Kelley Proxmire.

Photos by John McDonnell for The Washington Post

Green has been tapped the "it" color for the season thanks to the latest issue of House Beautiful (which is fantastic - go buy it if you don't get it) and the living room and dining room of this home use the color to absolute perfection. This exact shade of green is what we use in our own living room and dining room and I think it looks grand in all scenarios - it makes a room feel classic but young simultaneously.

And one of my favorite pairings with this apple green as of late is french blue - like the fantastic bathroom of this home. A flush-mount ceiling fixture can look amazing! Who knew?

Check out more of this delightful home over at The Washington Post.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Elephant Urn

Just a little morsel to delight you this Monday morning...

I spotted this decorative urn on Overstock a while ago and fell in love with its yellow palms and elephant motif. So unique and gorgeous and would make a beautiful statement on a bookshelf or a table.

Happy Monday/President's Day!

Friday, February 17, 2012

Friday Crush

Photo from Kristine Kennedy via My Way Home blog

THAT WALLPAPER! Twitter again delighted me yesterday when I saw a tweet by Kristine Kennedy, Wayfair's new Editorial Director, about an article she had written for Wayfair's blog. She started her post with this view from her closet and my jaw dropped looking at that wallpaper. I immediately tweeted Kristine (I'm @aestheticoiseau, she's @wayfairkris) to ask about its source and she was kind to oblige, letting me know it is by Ronald Redding for York Wallcoverings.  I have yet to track down the pattern name, but I am on a mission! If any of you know it, do tell please!

Have a fantastic weekends, friends. See you Monday!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Chinoiserie Slow Cookers

That is a bizarre post title, isn't it? Thanks to Southern Living's Twitter feed, I was introduced to these slow cookers designed by Dana Gibson for Hamilton Beach:

Aren't they brilliant? I looooove my slow cooker - but it stays in a closet because it's not exactly jewelry for my counter. But these decorative cookers would look so lovely while you're entertaining - serving stew or a hot dip - they become part of the display ensemble!

I can't think of a more perfect domestic wedding gift...or Thursday treat.

p.s. I didn't know Dana Gibson is based in Richmond, VA (my hometown). That is very exciting.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Catalog Pick: Apothecary Floor Lamp

I really love the look of a pharmacy floor lamp tucked behind an arm chair, like so:

Photo by Patrick Cline, Design by David Cafiero, via Lonny, via everything LEB

I spotted a good-looking and affordable option for one of these classic lamps in the latest Ballard Designs catalog- their Julian Apothecary floor lamp - available in oil-rubbed bronze, brass, and silver for only $69.

I really like the simple shape and classic good-looks of this lamp. And the price is really great - these lamps are usually $125+. I would of course go for the brass...which would you pick?

Monday, February 13, 2012

Yellow + Gray + Pink Nursery

I am once again designing a nursery! This time for my dear friends Katy and Brian (there is something in the water in my inner circle). Their baby girl is due in April and we're creating a slammin' yellow, gray and pink nursery.

Katy really loves the look of sophisticated gray paired with sunny yellow, but she also loved the idea of a pink nursery. So why not use all three colors! Yellow and gray will be our primary palette, but we are adding bits of blush here and there to keep the nursery feeling very feminine.

I'm happy to report that much of the room is already coming together, but I thought I would create a designBoard to show you some of our inspiration pieces. We haven't stuck exactly to these items, but the board was a great way for me and Katy to start pulling together the room.

And, BONUS, I created an ideabook with these products (and more) over on Houzz with an explanation of how I would use them.

» Click here to check out a list of resources and links 

p.s. The only item I think is missing from my ideabook is the yellow bookcase, available at Urban Outfitters - here's the link.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Friday Crush

Office of Dallas Shaw, via

My post on room screens the other day prompted a comment asking how to style these screens in a room. I think the screen in this home office is a perfect example of how to use one - the screen is simply used as the decoration for that slice of wall. Ms. Shaw could have hung prints on that wall, or a long mirror, or really anything - but instead of wall decor, she opted to visually fill the space with a screen to wonderful effect. 

Use screens anywhere you need height. Yes, they work very well to visually divide an open space, but I think of screens like wall decor - anywhere you would hang a piece of art or otherwise need something higher up on a wall (like a headboard) is an opportunity to use a screen instead (like using a screen behind a sofa instead of art). And the bonus is that a screen also offers dimension and texture to a space.

Have a wonderful weekend. See you Monday!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Black Chinoiserie Pillows via Etsy

An Etsy search led me to these wonderful black pillow covers done in a Cowtan and Tout print by seller Martha & Ash. Don't you love the black background? Would look amazing on a black couch, if such a thing exists.

Buy them here...

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