Design Tip of the Week: How to Make Your Home A Sanctuary

Normally, I post a little design tip of the week on my Facebook. This week's design tip was a little too long to be a Facebook post, so I included on the blogger. In keeping with my stress-free new year theme, this week's tip is how to make your home a sanctuary. Our lives are stressful enough outside of the home, and you know exactly how it feels to come home from a long, busy day to find your house in shambles. There are also ways, besides keeping neat and orderly, that you can execute a calming look to your home. Some of these tips are from my dear friend, Dr. Weil.

Step 1: Bring the outdoors in. Green plants, fresh cut flowers, and pieces of rock, etc. are great ways to bring nature indoors, especially in the winter when it feels like you will never escape the walls of your home. I try to have fresh flowers in my house every week. It does wonders to your mood:

Adding seagrass to walls is also a great way to evoke a calming, naturey feel:

Step 2: Create an atmosphere of love. Display handmade or meaningful gifts or art that remind you of a happy time or place photos of family and friends around your home: 

Step 3: Clean out clutter. A low-maintenance home is refreshing after a day of hectic meetings, errands and chores. Fewer items can mean less frustration. Also, I have a rule I try to follow every night before I go to bed. Emphasis placed on the the word "try". Do a 5 minute sweep up. Put away everything that's not in its place before you go to bed. It literally takes 5 minutes and saves you an hour or more later trying to put a mess away that was created all week:

Step 4: Set aside a room or area for peace and calm. A place for spiritual reflection and meditation can provide shelter from noise and distraction. I think the world would be a much better place if we all had this bathroom to unwind in:

P.S. I have totally gotten into a bath ritual. I fill up my tub with bubbles and lavendar or chamomile bath salts, pop on some Adele pandora, set up a stack of mags, and light an amazing scented candle. I look forward to this like a kid going to Disney World. It's so easy to create a spa environment in your bathroom.

This is on my wish list to add to my spa bath routine. I'd love to check out the Diptyque store in NYC next time I'm there. I'd love the gardenia one. I have a gardenia that smelled like heaven when it bloomed and then quickly became the biggest ***** to take care of. What a high maintenance biotch that thing was...Anyway.
Step 5: Paint a room to suggest a mood. Blue = Relax:

Any ways you create a calming environment in your home?

Life's Little Lessons

Smile at perfect strangers.
Don’t wait for people to smile. Show them how. Let your guard down. Talk to someone you don’t know straight from your heart. Compliment them. Don’t anticipate awkwardness. Just be you in that beautiful way only you know and give them the chance to smile and connect with you.The more you smile at others, the more others will smile at you. And life’s a lot more pleasant when everyone around you is smiling.

I have to say I definitely agree with the complimenting strangers part. I still to this day remember walking into my grocery store, getting a cart to do my regular grocery shopping, and this woman shouting over to me as she was leaving,"Giiirl that purse is gorgeous!" in front of a bunch of people. Made my day...

A Fashionable Interior

Green and leopard, oh so chic:

And here's my other hair obsession, the sock bun:

Have a nice weekend!

A Gray Day

Not too much to report today. It's ugly and rainy where I live, which is why I had to put some pretty hydrangeas on my desk to keep me going:

Here's my outfit today. I'm quite obsessed with this thin knit leopard print sweater from Neiman Marcus Last Call. It's cropped in the front and so cute. Plus, it was an outlet find!

I had no time to do my hair this morning and remembered this little tutorial from Pinterest. Did it in 2 seconds! It's kind of falling out, which leads me to believe I didn't put enough bobby pins in it, but still a great arsenal to have when you're rushing around in the morning.

And on another note, what are all these rumors about Domino potentially making a comeback?? And with Lonny holding off their next publication with some exciting news to reveal, could it be true?? I would be the happiest girl on the planet. Mine are still on my bookshelf and I refer to them all the time.

Hope wherever you are, it's a sunny day, unlike here!

A Fashionable Interior: Black and Gold

Never underestimate the amazingness of an all black ensemble, especially when throwing in some dashes of gold:

A Fashionable Interior

Btw, have you seen the new home stuff at Target? Ahh I need a room to design asap! And if I was pregnant with a baby girl, you better believe everything in this aisle would have been purchased for her nursery:

Weekend Recap

Buon Giorno! How was your weekend? Mine was filled with being stuck at home due to a stupid snowstorm we got. I say stupid because my husband has to go out and plow all our rental properties so it's just me and the pom hangin' out. I guess it does look pretty afterwards:

I kept myself quite busy, though. Cleaned out all  my kitchen cabinets and now my spice cabinet looks so clean! I also baked my second batch of macarons. These little devils can either come out perfect, or make you want to rip your friggin hair out. The one batch I made had to be thrown out. So annoying. Then I found this awesome video and figured out I wasn't whipping my egg whites and sugar long enough. Who knew they could get so thick??

When I get them down perfect, I'll be sure to share my process. I went for pink vanilla this time:

I also made a delightful Sunday morning breakfast. I don't know why I never thought to use frozen fruit in the winter. Duh.

We ordered a pizza Saturday night and I was seriously like a child. We never order pizza since A. we go to my bro-in-laws to get it or B. my hubs makes it at home. We ordered from Dominos (I know, wow so fancy) and got a thin crust veggie pizza. Have you seen this tracker device?? You can order it online and the pizza is updated on a tracker so you know when they're prepping it, when they're putting in the oven, etc. I was screaming to my husband every step of the way where our pizza was. He was not as impressed as me. I then was waiting by our window like a kid on Christmas until he pulled up. Hey, I was home all day in this snowstorm. Believe me, it was exciting at the time.
I also got to practice the "blogger bun". If you don't know what I'm talking about, it's basically just a large bun on top of your head that bloggers seem to enjoy. I got my tips from The Daybook blog. I love this chic. She's hilarious and always has such fun posts to read. Here's her how to video:

The Bun from Sydney Poulton on Vimeo.

And here's my version! I had it bigger over the weekend when I practiced, but decided it probably wasn't best for the office. Especially since my husband came home from plowing and asked what happened on top of my head.

I found this awesome blazer/sweater thing at H&M this weekend, as well as the peplum tee:

It is not the H&M one that I was lusting after from This Time Tomorrow. I couldn't find it, but close enough I guess. Although my search is not over.

How was your weekend? I love to hear what people amuse themselves with in a snowstorm!

Life's Little Lessons

What the heck is up with that title? Yea I know this is a blog geared towards interior design and fashion, but if you read my heartfelt 2012 resolution, then this new regular post makes sense. Taking life lessons from an interior decorator? Sure, why not?

Pretend today is going to be a great.

Do so, and it will be. Research shows that although we think that we act because of the way we feel, in fact, we often feel because of the way we act. A great attitude always leads to great experiences.

Jacket Trend

Needing to try this layering jacket trend asap.

What a great way to prolong your spring jacket wear into winter!

A Fashionable Interior

Happy Friday everyone! It's been awhile since I took a pic of my own outfit, so here ya go!

White with Pops of Color

White is the perfect backdrop when you're looking to use a lot of color, but don't want it to be too overpowering:

P.S. Can we notice the use of Aztec prints in all these rooms??

P.S. I have to say Tory Burch is awesome. I ordered my leopard iPad case that came back in stock (only 2 were left, I snagged it!!) and then immediately afterwards was emailed a 10% coupon. I called the 1-800 number and someone answered it immediately like you had called someone's house. I was speechless! They gave me the 10% off without a problem. It arrived today and the packaging is so cute. I think that's a necessary marketing tactic that more companies need to employ. Kate Spade does a great job, too. You feel so special when you open the box. Ok that's enough of my salesman pitch. Go Tory!


I am loving this colorblocking trend, and if it consists of black and white, sign me up fo sho. Ann Taylor and J.Crew are just two retailers pushing it heavily for Spring. And if you don't have anything in your wardrobe that's on this trend, it's easy to do by just pairing a plain colored shirt with plain colored pants or a skirt, and walah! Super trendy...

How amazing is this idea for your walls?? Also, very smart to create the delineation at the point that they did. If your ceiling heights are not too high and you paint the colors different halfway up the wall, it can make the ceiling height appear even shorter. And bonus, it's a super cheap way to create architectural interest.

This shower used tile to create a colorblock look:

Beautiful color block curtains:

Yeeees, black and white skirt:
Late Afternoon
I found this amazing store on Etsy. She sells to die for leather clutches. Plus they're made in New York. Gotta love buying local:

And again, I'm gonna hit ya up with an another amazing Old Navy find. And now if you order online, it's 30% off, but only until tomorrow!

I am so obsessed with this trench from Ann Taylor:

And wait for it:

The black part zips off and can become a cropped trench!! I am such an easy sell...

Oh, Annie T, how is it that you get me every time. And are those pointy toes??? Gah!

This is what I was referring to earlier about choosing solid colored items to pair together. Such a cute V-day look, too!