Saturday, March 31, 2012

Creative Storage & Shelving --- Organize with Flair

From Better Homes & Gardens
Storage doesn't just have to be practical---it can be pretty too!    I absolutely adore the look of customized storage & shelving, and it's right on trend at the moment.   One of my next DIY projects is going to be installing small spotlights in the bookcases in our family room, along with lining the back of the inset shelves with patterned fabric.    

There are so many different ways to beautify and customize shelving and storage areas.   Wallpaper (usually on the back or interior of shelves), paint, baskets, decorative knobs, crown moulding, glass doors, and adding hanging picture frames/mirrors are just a few ways to spice things up.   Especially since most people feel that they never have enough storage, it's very important to make the most of what you've got!   Here are some great examples that I got inspiration from.


Courtesy of

Photo from,
featuring the IKEA Expedit bookcase
Photo from
Photo from

By M Design LA

Martha Stewart
Photo from

Design by Olivieau,
photo from

Design by Ruthie Sommers

Photo via

The Traditional Home online

From the IKEA website
Photo from,
Featuring the IKEA Expedit bookcase

From the lifeofarealochousewife.blogspot

I'm thinking that using a stencil to create a custom pattern would be really beautiful too.... how cool would that look on a wall behind floating shelves, or on the interior of bookcase cubes?   Another thing that inspired me about these pictures is the WAY that things are arranged on the shelves.  Instead of just organizing books vertically, try stacking them on their sides to create little horizontal book towers.   You can use simple and colorful organizing containers/boxes to clean up the clutter, re-purpose glass and decorative scupltures as book-ends, and hang framed pictures on the shelves to dress up the storage vignettes.   

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lilly Pulitzer comes Home!

If you're a lover of all things Lilly Pulitzer, you should check out her home furniture and accessories line.   I'm a fan of Lilly, but the idea of having all-over prints in my home didn't really appeal to me at first.   But when I took a look at her furniture designs and fabrics designed especially for the home, I fell head over heels in love!
picture from Lilly Pulitzer home collection preview

 The best way to describe her home line is 'Lilly inspired '.   For the most part, it doesn't look like a Lilly fabric factory threw up all over someone's living room ;).   The pieces are upscale chic, and have a more grown-up Boca Raton feel to them.   And as you might expect, bright white is a common theme in her home collection.   You also see a lot of bamboo caning details, asian architectural influences, and pops of Lilly's signature pink, sunshine yellow, and soft blue.   Very fresh and fun.

picture from Palm Avenue boutique
If you fall in love with Lilly's new venture just like I did, be prepared to spend big.   The sticker prices of her Lilly Pulitzer home collection put her in the high-end furniture spectrum, with couches and chairs running in the two to four-thousand dollar range.   Then again, she also has things like placemats, mugs, napkin rings, and pillows that are all under $100.  

Online, you can find her collection at places like,, and   I've also noticed that a lot of the Lilly Pulitzer "via" shops (merchants authorized and licensed to sell Lilly Pulitzer, who buy their products wholesale directly from the designer) are starting to carry furniture collections.   The idea is to create a Lifestyle boutique for brand loyalists to be able to buy everything from clothes-to-home all in one spot.   Either way, if you have the opportunity to see these in person, do so!   Just like her clothes, everything in her home line is very well-done with impeccable attention to detail.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Kate Spade Shoe Fetish

I think that my love of Kate Spade shoes has officially become an obsession.   Fortunately, for my husband's sake, the closest kate spade NEW YORK boutique is in Charlotte, NC over 3 hours away.   Now that I think about it, there is also a Tory Burch boutique in that mall (my other obsession, but i'll save that for another day).   So basically, if we ever move to Charlotte, my husband is screwed, along with our bank account! lol  ;)

But I digress.  Back to my intense K.S. addiction:

Even though Kate started out designing handbags, it's clear that she has incredible talent for designing women's shoes too.  Helloooooo, how can you not love these??  Her style seems to be largely fresh & modern, a little bit 60's deco, with a splash of fifties housewife influence.  All in all, it makes for super 'makes-you-wanna-open-your-wallet' cute shoes! 

One of my favorite things about Kate Spade is how she makes the "Events" dress shoes so elegant and eye-catching, yet practical at the same time.   As opposed to designers like Louboutin, these heels strike a nice balance between form and function.   Kate Spade's stilettos are beautiful and whimsical, and it's very easy to envision yourself wearing them on a regular basis!   Reading this, it sounds like I'm a spokesperson for the brand (which obviously, I'm not).   For anyone that knows me, I'm not a luke-warm opinions kind of person.   If I love something, I really love it.   If I hate it, well........I probably won't stop until the whole world knows I hate it.   Fortunately for Kate Spade, I'm a big fan:)   And in my opinion, one of the best compliments that you can give is personal testimony and recommendation.

If you're a ballet flats kind of girl (like me, 75% of the time), then you'll be happy to know that her flats are just as fab as her other styles of shoes.   Granted, her ballet flat selection is more limited compared to other styles that she offers, but she makes up for it by offering multiple color options.   My current personal favorites are the Tabitha (pictured at left), followed closely by the Juliana Too (the hot pink jelly flat at the top of the page). 

the designer herself: Kate Brosnahan Spade
My Mother will probably kill me for saying this, but her general budget for a pair of shoes is $30.   She thinks that the $200-$300 range is an obscene amount to pay for a pair of shoes, and I know that she's not alone in this.   Listen up kids:  I promise you, there is a HUGE difference between the quality and construction of these shoes and what you would find at someplace like Nine West or DSW.   I know, because I've owned both.   You're going to get twice the wear out of Kate Spade's shoes, and as long as you don't get something too trendy, you'll still want to wear them 5 years from now.   Just one thing: After you buy your first pair, please don't come hunt me down and blame me for getting you addicted too.  Thanks :)