Friday, December 18, 2015

Friday Crush

My favorite Christmas present so far - maybe ever - is this. My monogram, hand-lettered and designed by my insanely talented friend and fellow designer Melissa Brody. There were tears when she gave it to me (die-cut on gold paper and framed) - I think it's beautiful and I can't wait to use it all over the place. The timing is perfect too - don't we all want a fresh start in the new year? Seeing my name boiled down to a simple mark like this gives me a personal boost to rev things up a bit in 2016.

Alright, the countdown is on. This weekend is about wrapping presents, watching Christmas movies and general merriment and revelry. Hope it's a fab one for you...see you next week!

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nutcracker Birthday Party

The bright spot of last week's madness was Ana Claire turning three.

I have yet to figure out when our little lady grew so much. But denial aside, three has arrived ("Mommy, I'm not two I'm THREEEE!") and after our Nutcracker-inspired Halloween costume, we (I) decided to continue the theme for her birthday party.

My dear friend and photographer Crystal was in attendance so I am BLESSED with some beautiful pictures of the event to share with you:

All photography by Crystal Downs


Ana Claire had two pieces of cake, a cupcake, and a marshmallow pop. And I said not a word because it's impossible to indulge too much on your big day.

The party menu included ham and cheese sliders, broccoli casserole, a potato chip bar, honeydew melon, strawberry cupcakes, pink lemonade, and peppermint fudge favors to take home. These homemade birthdays are a lot of work, people. I always regret it when I'm in the thick of favor-making/cake-baking/lantern-hanging, but then when I look back on darling photos like these my heart surges with pride that my little girl had a pretty, sweet birthday party at her house.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Buffalo Check for (Christmas) Breakfast

Home of Betty Peachey, Design by Randy Luken, Photo by Daniel Feldcamp for

Oh, to have a breakfast nook surrounded by windows where you can cozy up with a cup of coffee in your pajamas on a cold winter morning. And when I pine for this type of space, the image in my head usually looks something like this one above. 

I am 100% on board with the color blue at Christmas and its role on these chairs is stunning. And hung wreaths are so timeless and beautiful, especially when hung with a pretty ribbon. I love simple spaces that pack a delightful punch.

Y'all, last week was c-r-a-z-y-town. I'm shocked I survived, to be honest. But I did...though I peaced out on the blog last week (sorry if you noticed and/or missed me). I'm committed to fully enjoying the next two weeks of Christmas because I know I'm going to blink and my favorite holiday will be over!

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Applique Christmas Tree Skirts

If you like your Christmas to be a kaleidoscope of color, may I recommend these whimsical, fun, detailed and beautiful appliqué tree skirts?

The skirts are handmade by Peruvian artisans and the best part of purchasing them is that part of your spend goes to aid UNICEF. Win, win.

These are truly beautiful, heirloom items but their colors and friendly motif keep them casual and fun...your kids will love them. I could see a tree decorated with those trendy colored ball ornaments in shades of blue, pink, red and green with a big yellow star at the top.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

The Chinoiserie Collective

Over Thanksgiving (p.s. how was yours??), I discovered a new-to-me Instagram account that is now my absolute most favoritest ever. So. Much. Inspiration.

If you love punchy Chinoiserie, you must follow The Chinoiserie Collective. Now.

This is just a tiny dash of what this stylish lady has to offer her followers. I love finding these creative accounts that get my own artistic juices flowing.

Any accounts that you've come across lately that I should be following? Let me know in the comments!

Hope your turkey day was fab.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

My Jewel-Toned Turkey Table

I got it together and styled my Thanksgiving before the holiday in the hopes of helping you gather some inspiration for your own table.

As you can see, color takes center stage this year on my turkey table:

It all started with Caspari's Kilim Spice napkins and their kaleidoscope of juicy color. I fell in love with all of the berry jewel tones punctuated with soft yellow, orange and turquoise.

And naturally, I paired the napkins with some of my favorite Caspari paper plates...I actually wanted to go back to using my china this year but the napkins were non-negotiable and mixing them wasn't really working.

I also blinged out the table with some awesome golden touches. First up is a pair of Addison Weeks' Dewey Cups (next to last picture) - gorgeous brass julep-type cups encrusted with a gigantic jewel. They make the perfect bud vase but I could also see them holding straws or cocktail stirrers on a bar. So chic.

And those awesome cheetah napkin rings are from Annapolis shop Strawberry Banke Studio, a recent find that I'm so glad I know about. Their curated website is perfect for your upcoming lady gifts - a tray for you sister, a clutch for your mom, a silver bud vase for your best's all there.

Now, I am no flower arranger. I hope to one day hone in on that skill, but I can pick out flowers based on color and shape and I adore how the carnations (always my go to) looked bunched together in the Dewey Cup. And the pink flowers in the middle (I'm not sure what they are called) had the loveliest drape but needed some height, so I threw in some feathers - always appropriate at Thanksgiving.

Hope your table is coming together if you are hosting. I would LOVE to see pictures of your own table in the comments or on Instagram (use #aotable so I see it)!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Jeweled Thanksgiving

This is where my head is for the table that I have yet to set for Thanksgiving:

Jewel tones all the way. I have had these Caspari Kilim Spice napkins on the brain for literally years and I have decided this Thanksgiving is finally their time:

And, recently, Addison Weeks and their AMAZING jeweled-brass Dewey cups came into my life and you know how much I love a julep cup on my table. Especially a brass bejeweled one.

Deep pink, shades of lavender, lots of brassy gold, pops of orange...maybe a touch of black. This is how I'll treat our turkey this year. But a busy schedule (and an Amazon delay!) mean that this table is still only in my head.

Are you setting a table? I would love to hear your details!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Friday Crush

Photo by Jennifer Davick for Southern Living

There is nothing like the delicate touch of antique silver on a table. Love the scalloped placemat here and the peek of Tiffany's Cirque Chinois. A simple place-setting where every element packs a quiet punch. See more of this lovely table here.

I'm afraid my own table planning has been slow-going as I've been so crazy busy. The hope is not to throw it together minutes before guests arrive...especially so I can show you some ideas before the actual holiday. We'll see if I get it together this weekend to put my table together and post it here early next week. Hope your holiday prep is going well and that you have a lovely weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Watercolor Candy

My latest art crush comes in the form of these watercolor depictions of our favorite sweet treats by Etsy artist Jo Jo la Rue.

I'm still searching for art for Mac's nursery and my most recent search led me to this can get them in various sizes but I think any of them would be amazing blown up really large as a single statement (assuming she can print them could inquire about a custom size):

The Smarties one would be lovely blown up above a crib in a pastel-hued nursery. Can you tell my mind is all about kid spaces these days?

You can see the candy collection at various sizes by clicking here and check out the whole shop with lots of fun watercolors here.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The Leafy Chandelier

Luxury lighting purveyor - Colleen and Company - has caught my eye once again. Say hello to the Leafy Chandelier:

Whimsical, sophisticated and drop dead gorgeous. And though the price firmly puts it out of my realm of possibility, this is the kind of fixture that would carry a room. Imagine white walls, simple wood furnishings, and that blush fixture in a nursery. Yes, please.

Have you seen this fixture used in any room photography recently? Would love to see it in situ. 

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Movin' and Shakin' (In Someone Else's Shoes)

Friends, Eddie Ross and Jaithan Kochar were in town. So I had to meet them.

I would like to think that I live the life of a chic design blogger, jetting off to hip events every week - and though the invites are plenty (because I'm on every PR email list known to mankind), I rarely find the energy to attend.

But this duo is behind so much tabletop, design and styling that I LOVE...there was no way I could miss it.

And as you can see, I'm pretty thrilled I went. I got to connect with many design/blogging friends that I haven't seen for years. Literally years. It felt so good to catch up.

That's the money shot of the evening - Terri Sapienza, me, Liz Levin, Eddie, and Lauren Liess - solid group right there.

And a special thank you to Liz, who let me borrow her shoes. Because at the 11th hour I realized that the sweater-legging-boots getup I wore to work that day would be woefully casual so I ran into H&M to grab that dress and earrings...and Liz came to the rescue with black pumps.

Get your hands on Eddie and Jaithan's book, Modern Mix. It's bananas and literally the perfect Christmas gift for any design lover (or newlywed or single professional) in your life:

Huge thank you to hostess Lynni Megginson and Baker Furniture for the wonderful evening!

Friday, November 6, 2015

Friday Crush

Design by Ashely Whittaker, Photo by Beatriz da Costa for House Beautiful

This is just really catching my eye at the moment. It's warm, masculine, striking and back to warm. That star pendant is setting it off that Clarence House paper (Tibet). When I grow up, I definitely want a house with a butler's pantry or bar area like this...a little break from the rest of the house that I can glam up any way I please. And can you see the ultra feminine dining room at the back? Love the juxtaposition.

I'm literally shocked it's November. And for some reason it's 80 degrees today which is completely unacceptable. I love Fall but start to get sad when I realize it's progressing too quickly for me to enjoy. Must slow down and smell the leaves...but we have lots to do on Mac's nursery this weekend. Hoping to have a couple of posts lined up in the coming weeks to let you in on the plan. Have a great weekend...see you next week!

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Lamp Goals

I can't get this lamp out of my head. Due to the luxurious price and my 0% need for it, it will not be coming into my life but, as I always say, the next best thing to getting it is sharing it with you.

LOVE the bamboo nod without being overly bambooey. But that blue color is what is spectacular and different. It's just such a lovely hue that would set off any room. A pair of these flanking a dresser would be insane. Or just one on a nightstand would make me happy.

I literally have been thinking about it for weeks. Does that happen to you? Lamps don't leave your mind and thoughts? This is the world I live in.

If you have a 100% need for a beautiful blue lamp it's on OKL here...and if you buy it, please tell me about it.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Turkey Plate Tables

Thanksgiving is like the table-setting Olympics for me. It's a big deal in my table-setting-obsessed world.

I'm still a big fan of last year's table so I've been thinking for weeks now how to top it for this year. I will likely be using Caspari again because the patterns are just too good....and then Southern Living came along and put together these amazing turkey-plate scenarios for contemplation...

Photos by Laurey Glenn for Southern Living

THAT BLUE + MAGENTA. Woah....a vibrant palette that holds on to the holiday with that lone turkey plate. And it works.

And then an arrangement of brown turkey transferware with gorgeous chartreuse and crimson touches. LOVE the gold flatware. And the buffalo check/gingham combo, of course.

It's all being filed away as I concoct this year's you have inspiration all set for your own table? Please share it in the comments!

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy Belated Halloween

Just a quick Monday hello to show you the Shuffler children in all of their Halloween finery. We opted to mix holidays and went with a Nutcracker Ballet theme - Ana Claire was Clara and Mac was her nutcracker.

Ana Claire's eyes have been opened to the world of candy. And we can never go back.

Hope your holiday was wonderful!

Friday, October 30, 2015

Friday Crush

I am 100% on board with the blue and white Chinoiserie pumpkin these dazzling examples from The Relished Roost on Instagram. Imagine piling a whole collection of these pumpkins in different sizes and patterns on a dining room sideboard for the fall. Would be amazing!

I hope you and yours have a fun and festive Halloween! I know Ana Claire is ready to score some candy...and I am ready to eat said candy after she goes to sleep. Will try to snap a pic of both kiddos so you can see their costumes. Enjoy the holiday...see you next week!

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Antique Bed Twin Bedroom

Friends, my latest design project is a TWO BED BEDROOM. My client Pam (hi Pam!) has a lake house and as with most vacation homes, the more beds the merrier. If you've read my blog for a while you know twin bedrooms (ie. bedrooms with two beds) are my most favoritest. So I'm pretty into this assignment.

I've been researching Pinterest for art arrangements and came upon this picture...which is actually not at all going to serve as inspiration for our project but THOSE BEDS:

Photo by Robert Benson for New England Home

I assume they are antique. And the pillow arrangement is on point (I can't tell you how much I search Pinterest for bed pillow arrangements - it's like once a week). And the checked bed skirts. And that trunk.

The art is actually my least favorite part but the arrangement is killer.

The space does not have the vibe I'm going for in my project but it was too pretty not to post. Long live the two bed bedroom!

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