eclectic design inspiration

Monday, June 25, 2012

Week 24-25: Don't Miss 'Ems!

Wow what a weekend it's been! (For the sake of being on top of this blog, let's pretend it's still Sunday.) First of all.... my sister is getting married!!! Her boyfriend popped the question on Saturday and it's been non-stop phone conversations, and smiles, and Pinteresting, and teary eyes, and texts with the fam and friends ever since. Maid of Honor, right here!

On top of that, I've been trying to get all of my ducks in a row for a long anticipated girls' trip to San Francisco! The five-day funfest begins on Wednesday, so if you have any recommendations of where to go or what to do, please let me know! I haven't been to SF since a family trip in 8th grade and I sort of want to see and do everything. (Except Alcatraz...   just sayin')

And before it gets too far away from me, a wrap up of my favorite things over the past couple of weeks from the blogosphere:

This photo accompanying one of the best interviews I've ever read, of food/travel writer and stylist David Prior, by The Design Files

This kooky but oh-so-fun Queen Elizabeth's Dress Hues Pantone Color Wheel via Design for Mankind on

Chloe Sevigny's currently-on-the-market house tour via The Aestate

A nice-looking way to hang organize via Affaire With Interiors

DIY Gold Tube Bracelets by Honestly...WTF

This lovely tour of Jessica Comingore's eclectic home via Design*Sponge

This jaw-dropping NYC rooftop via Gild and Grace

This cute and playful bathing suit on Elsa Hosk via Oracle Fox

An airy and bright dining area via Gild and Grace

These simple succulents in such elegant silver goblets via My Design Ethos

This stunning beach photography by Massimo Vitali featured on The Aestate

A ridiculously creative bedside table via The Decorista

 This sassy stripe ensemble via Look Closer

This super-stylish living room via Apartment 34

Everything about this look on Oracle Fox's Mandy Shadforth

A delightfully charming office space via Five Kinds of Happy

This standout look worn by my girl crush Taylor Tomasi Hill via Because I'm Addicted

This adorable "Save the Date" by Souther Fried Paper (favorite business name ever

This does-it-get-any-better? kind of room via The Decorista

Which of these images has you most inspired?

And more importantly, what is your must-see, must-do, must-eat, must-shop in San Francisco!? 
I need tips!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

awesome art that won't break yo bank!

For a while now I've been wanting to share a few of the artists I've fallen in love with as I've slowly started gathering pieces of art for the awkwardly blank wall above my bar table. It's a gradual process, but I finally feel like my money's going to something better than random things I don't need from Target or fedoras from Gilt Groupe that don't even end up fitting - final sale in fine print. (It was some kind of weird day when I thought a fedora was my style. Blessing in disguise.) Anyway, thanks to the wonderful world wide web, finding awesome art on the cheap has kind of fallen into my lap.

And there's really been no better time to do this post than now, because last Friday I received this super pretty watercolor print by the talented Laura Trevey of Bright Bold and Beautiful in the mail. This is the kind of art that makes me so happy to be a girl. It's elegant, colorful, and fun and has lotsa pink. The best part is that I actually won the print through a giveaway on Laura's blog, and included with it was a hot pink shade of Essie nail polish! Total score - thank you Laura! I can't wait to get this lovely piece of art framed and hung on the wall.

And some of the other artists I'm so happy to have discovered...

Alexandra Valenti Photography. (You may have heard me talk about this talented gem before.) After flipping out over Alexandra's work featured on Design*Sponge, I immediately purchased her "Rope Swing" print and began following her professional page on Facebook (slightly obsessed). I now find myself falling head over heels for every new photo series of hers that pops up on my minifeed. Girl does not disappoint! Her mysterious, bohemian, black and white portraits are shot in the most interesting locations, and the colorful "painting" on top makes them especially unique. Truly stunning stuff.

Another discovery via Design*Sponge (I'm soooo original), I found the perfect piece of modern art for my collection in "thepairabirds" work on Etsy. I was struck by their geometric designs of faceted gemstones created with colorful woodgrain. Funky right? I chose the amethyst print because it's my birthstone and I'm sentimental like that. I do hope to get a few more of the gemstones in the future - if I don't have them on my fingers, I want them on my wall!

And last but not least, an Ideal Bookshelf print by Jane Mount was another instant (midnight) purchase (for a baby gift!) after I stumbled upon some of her wonderful work featured in a Camille Styles post. Does seeing that top photo give you a really big smile like it gave me? Quite simply, she paints collections of books that one might find on any old bookshelf - everything from Goodnight Moon to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (however I did not see Fifty Shades of Grey so calm down). I got way too excited when I saw the bookshelf above - The Brothers K? My favorite book, and very few people have read it. I highly recommend it. If you are one of those cool people who has read it, you better leave a comment below.     ;)

Have you discovered any artwork that you couldn't live without on the web? 

fyi: all images are from the artists' websites 

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Happy Father's Day!

I hope everyone is having a great day with their dad! Since my dad's in Texas and I'm in Oregon, I just get to wish my dad a Happy Father's day over the phone, but I think he appreciated the gift my siblings and I got him since he spends a lot of time outdoors and has a thing for hats!

I've already honored my dad a little bit by going estate saleing this morning (something he also enjoys) and I think I'll continue celebrating Father's Day by listening to The Byrds and perhaps watching some Charlie Chaplin - he used to make my siblings and I watch CC as a kid and I think I might appreciate it more now. ;)

Here are some entertaining pics of my Dad over the years, beginning when he was a child. While you can't see it in full-effect from these photos, I think I got my tendency to ham it up in front of the camera from him.

 Halloween 1955

My dad in the middle, around 1957 


Galveston, TX (I think) not sure the year - high school?

Austin, TX 1973  (my dad's in the back on the left with that wild long hair and beard)

El Paso, TX ... late 70s

around 1980 

About ten years ago, working on his parents' property in Montecito, CA

My siblings and my dad and I several years ago

Hope everyone has a wonderful Father's Day and wrap-up to the weekend!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Favorite Kitchens Friday

Woohoo we've made it to Friday! Go ahead and give yourself a pat on the back.

I thought I'd celebrate the weekend by sharing some of my favorite kitchens ever, because isn't a kitchen the happiest place in a home? I mean, it's where the food is, so....

Hope you have a fantastic, fun-filled weekend!!

Which kitchen is your favorite? 

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Last-Minute Gift Guide: Father's Day

If you're a procrastinator like me, I hope you'll find this list of Father's Day gift ideas helpful as you try to find that perfect gift for good ol' Dad before Sunday. As I did on Mother's Day, this list is made up of things that I think my own dad would like to receive, or has been excited to receive in the past. And to give you a sense of what my dad is like, I have a disclaimer right off the bat: my dad is not a sports guy. He couldn't care less and I bet I'd still have my $20 if I told him "I'll give you $20 if you can tell me what sport Kevin Durant plays. LeBron James? Uhhhh Kobe?" But the apple doesn't fall far from the tree so don't ask me any sports questions that are unrelated to the NBA. Unless there was a scandal, then I probably know about it. My dad is into other things that a lot of other dads are into though, such as books, movies, music, current events, the outdoors and traveling. So as long as your dad does not live, breathe and eat sports they would probably enjoy some gifts in common. Alright, here is the list. Fingers crossed something is right on target.

1. A subscription to The New Yorker. This is what my dad always asks for for Christmas, and if he doesn't get it, he'll shell out the $60 for an annual subscription as a present to himself. The New Yorker, Netflix and Costco are the only things my dad will financially commit to, so I put this at the top of Father's Day gift ideas.

2. Concert tickets. One of the things my dad and I connect on is music (he may have gone to the same Blink-182 concert that I did when I was 15; hell no we did not go together or find each other while we were there), so tickets to a summer concert makes a lot of sense for a Father's Day gift. (And that was a fluke in his music taste I swear - he has a legit man-crush on Bob Dylan.) So... Crosby, Stills and Nash, Jimmy Buffett, Santana, Steve Miller Band, and my personal favorite, Rush, are all playing tours this summer along with many others. Even if your dad's favorite band only plays at casinos in the middle of nowhere now, he still may want to go. Just do a Google search and see what's up. And get 2 tickets, obviously.

3. A well-made hat. Did I mention my dad is somewhat of an adventurer? When he came through Portland to visit me on the way home from an extended stay in Thailand, not only was he decked out in traditional Thai clothes but he would not take off his safari hat. He said that when he wore it he felt "like Leonardo DiCaprio in Blood Diamond." Yeah he said that, and he doesn't read this blog, so I can repeat it. :) If you consider getting your dad a hat for Father's Day, remember that it can be any kind of hat - baseball, fishing, hunting, golfing, safari - but make sure it's a good quality one that will last forever.

source unknown :(

4. A good TV series on DVD. Have you seen The Wire? Have you seen The Sopranos? Dad will be happy for a long time if he has one of these amazing shows in his possession (and you will too if you're still living at your parents' house). While these are officially the two "greatest shows ever created" according to their Wikipedia pages and people with good taste, I've heard there are some other good ones out there but I can't vouch for them because I haven't seen enough of them: Breaking Bad, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Band of Brothers (a miniseries), Boardwalk Empire, Six Feet Under, and of course, Mad Men (which I have seen and can say that it's great). Go get your dad a good TV show on DVD and help keep Best Buy in business. Ahh memories...

5. Something leather. Men just like leather, don't they? Especially worn-in, rugged, natural leather. So manly. This gift could be anything from a travel bag to a pair of moccasins to a watch with a leather strap. Find a leather item in your price range and go for it.

And that's all folks! I hope this Last Minute Gift Guide gives you some new ideas for Father's Day this year, and that you have a fantastic day with the fam on Sunday!

How do you plan on celebrating Father's Day this year?

Monday, June 11, 2012

Week 22-23: Don't Miss 'Ems!

It's been one of those weekends where I played hookie from my chores and now I'm up past midnight doing laundry and blogging - but that sentence isn't meant to be read in a whiny tone. The sun was going strong in Portland today, so after meeting up with some friends for brunch I walked down to the waterfront to check out the navy ships (full of sailors) docked here for a short duration of the summer Rose Festival. It's called "Fleet Week" and it's kind of a big deal to all the single ladies. After snapping about 45 photos of the ships (that kind of all look the same), the beaming sun forced me to continue being unproductive and I met up with some friends at Laurelhurst Park, which was packed. And luckily, the best kind of packed: Portland's circus crowd was casually practicing their seven-at-a-time hula hooping skills and monkey climbing gravity-defying circus yoga skills. Picture a an awkward game of Twister + cheerleading + Jenga. You should come visit Portland some time, we clearly know how to have fun here!

And last but not least, below is some of my favorite inspiration from the past two weeks! Hope everyone has a fantastic Monday. :)

this darling London dining room featured in Elle Decor via Spicer + Bank 

this funky, Madonnaesque piled-on jewelry worn by Jen at Made By Girl

this simple summer tables spread via Emily A. Clark 

 this cool DIY invite by Design for Mankind

this effortlessly chic ensemble via Fashion Gone Rogue

this serene bedroom at Byron View Farm in New South Wales discovered at Concrete and Honey

this I'm-totally-nerding-out-right-now (sorry I'm not sorry) satellite image map via A Lot of Moving 

this spectacular marble bathroom via Because I'm Addicted 

 this delightful Parisian bedroom designed by Robert Couturier via The Decorista

this jaw-dropping (oldie but goodie) Balmain dress via Pretty Ugly Design

this enchanting Greek architecture via La Vita Dolce

this cheery London kitchen featured on Bright Bazaar

this whimsical "small world" artwork by Kristina Klarin

 this delicate pastel skull top via Wild Things Run Fast

this awesome sitting area designed by Lori Andrews via Designwali

this life of the party high-waisted Mara Hoffman bikini via Raney Town

this dark and alluring living room via The Decorista

What was the best part of your weekend?