Thursday, June 16, 2011

Making a Statement. . .6/16/11

No one makes a statement with chunky jewelry quite like Olivia Palermo, New York socialite and reality star. For starters she is alarmingly beautiful, nay stunning, so I'm certain a trash bag and a necklace made of macaroni would look fabulous on her and end up starting a trend, but beyond that her name has become virtually synonymous with high style and more importantly, the statement necklace. Here are some of her stand out pieces.
Soft make-up and a demure top keep this harsh necklace classy and not overwhelming. TIP: It's important to remember that when getting gussied up to go somewhere, throwing on a statement piece means keeping other things toned down. Miss Palermo is the perfect example of knowing how to pair jewelry.
Clothing? Perfection. Hair? Perfection. Jewelry? Perfection. TIP: Trying something that wouldn't necessarily go together at first glance can actually create the perfect marriage of eclectic and unexpected, but make sure there isn't an over stimulation effect meaning that if someone were looking at you they couldn't decide where to look first, it's overdone. The idea is that the entire outfit feel seamless and effortless. Again, applause to the style maven above.
I am coveting this entire look!! Keeping the colors on her boat necked tee and necklace the same allowed her freedom to throw in a ruffled topper and not appear overly styled ;)

Here are a few more images to whet your tongue. . .and the best part is that the trend that started a few years back only seems to be gaining steam rather than waning so GO! Go invest in a few pieces but choose wisely so you can take each piece from summer to spring to fall. . .
Not sure where to shop for "statement" necklaces like the ones above? Try J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, Charming Charlie, Francesca's, and many many more. . .I like to scour antique shows sometimes for a fabulous vintage finds now and again. Here are some of my own pieces that I love. . .there are a few more in my wardrobe. . .I do love fun jewelry!!
This is a new one I can't seem to stop wearing!! I wore three times in one weekend with three different outfits. LOVE it!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Children's Spaces. . .6/15/11

My home is, in my opinion, serene. It's monochromatic; simple; clutter-free. So when it came time to decorate my children's bedrooms, I got a little more creative - still staying within the confines of my own style of design. My daughter's room is sweet perfection to me, even if there are still a few things left to complete the look. My son's room is not overly styled either. It is simple, boyish and most importantly, theme-free.

Here are some photographs of fabulous children's rooms/spaces that I've collected over the last couple years. . .I might need to become a fan of Pinterest because for the life of me I cannot remember where I found these pictures?!
Love the bunk beds built into the wall. Love the bead board. Love the submarine nautical lights in the bunk. This is a great idea for space-saving too! Check out the drawers at the bottom.
The table and chairs in this photo are GORGEOUS!! They're probably antique but with a natural wood canvas this look can be easily created. The large chalk board makes this bedroom one to covet!! And the green walls take a bedroom from boring to vibrant!
Here's another bunk bed built into the wall. . .looks like bead board is the way to go?!
This little princess room is fun, modern and classic. The ladder has a chippy, antique look while the desk and chair are modern and new. I love how the colors are light but the decals/painting on the bunk and wall add whimsy :)
What better way to house a large brood of children than in a large bunk house like this one?? The drapes can be pulled back for privacy. This might be my plan for grand kids some day ;)
This photo I'm pretty sure I found from a home listed on HAR. I think I saved it because the crib was so divine and the children's drop leaf table was unlike anything I'd ever seen in a kids room. I didn't know they made those table in kiddy size?? Where can I get one?!!!!
This room is so simple. The canvas is blank, clean and white but a splash of colorful pillows and a banner above the bed and across the room, it's cute and creative. I especially love that this room is non-committal. This furniture is gender free so if you grow tired of the bedding/decor or want to move a different child into this room, changing it up is as easy as pie!

If YOU have a great kids room, email a photo to thekelleys9305@aol.com and we'll feature it on La Vie Abondante.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Obsessions. . .6/13/11

I found this beautiful antique buffet and hutch above at an antique fair two years ago. It was not only the bluish/gray paint that initially caught my eye but the delicate scalloped edging of the shelves as well. I also really loved the vertical bead board and the doors. Beautiful it was but space for it I had not so I passed it up knowing full well that I needed that piece like I needed another hole in my head.

An hour later, I found myself back at this same dealer. . .standing in front of this piece. . .staring at it. . .tilting my head at it. . . examining it from every angle. . .taking a photograph of it with my cell phone. . .trying my hardest to imagine a place for it in my home. I couldn't! "Buffets and hutches are for kitchens," I kept thinking. "They are for platters and kitchen-ware on them". . .right? Hmmmm. . .maybe not.

After contemplating it for nearly 15 minutes, I walked away for the second time. On my way out of the fair a few hours later, I wandered back to the dealer. It was still there, which was shocking actually considering how darling and well-priced this piece was. I took this as a sign that I was meant to be its owner ;) So I called my husband, as if he cared, and asked him what he thought that I should do. He sighed and eventually asked me the question I'd been wrestling with all day: "Where are you going to put it?" Blerg! We had no room in our breakfast area; we already had a HUGE buffet and hutch in our dining room too. Where would I put it?? "I don't know," I said to him. "I can't think of a single place for it but I do know that I love it. And I mean I really love it and if I leave it, I'll regret it. I'll find a place for it." I hung up knowing three things: 1) that somewhere on the other end of the phone line my patient husband was rolling his eyes thinking, "Here she goes again. . . " 2) when I think and think and think (nay obsess) about something like this it always means that I genuinely and truly love it and 3) I still didn't have a clue as to where this rather large piece would live. Didn't matter. "I'll take it," I said.

When I got it home, it sat in my living room for three whole days. Aside from still not knowing where this lovely piece would go, I discovered that it was EXTREMELY heavy. Real antiques tend to not be made of plywood ya know. . .

Having nowhere but nowhere to put it on the first floor, I decided that it was ultimately going to live upstairs and if I couldn't make a proper home for it now, it'd stay somewhere awkward until we one day moved to a home where it had a special dedicated place all its own. In ended up in my guest bedroom and I love it there!! Buffets and hutches are not just for kitchens I decided. . .and if they are, then I'm breaking all the rules and making up new ones. P.S. - I also wear white/cream after Labor Day! So, here is my lovely buffet and hutch in our guest room. I'm still in the process of playing around with decorations and styling it - nothing on there is permanent except the basket of flowers and the books. . .

As the moral of this story, let me say this: my mantra has ALWAYS ALWAYS been to never buy anything big that you don't have a place for. . .I even follow that mantra when it comes to most small items as well, but every now and again you come across something you really love and you simply must make an exception. So if you love, love, love it (and I mean capital "L") and if it's well-priced, don't pass it up friend. . .trust me that when you do, you regret it deeply. Bring it home.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Baby Couture and Shopping!!. . .6/7/11

It is inevitable to want to shop until you drop in Italy. There are beautiful things at every turn of every corner. Not necessarily something you couldn't find in the states so it brought up the debate of whether it was worth it to spend the money when the European exchange rate for Americans is so unfavorable and the issue of lugging everything back home relevant. . .I did however make a small stop in honor of my impending birthday (at the time) to my pal Louis Vuitton in Venice ;) That was worth stuffing in my luggage.
This handbag was divine!! I was in love with it!! It felt like the perfect summer handbag but alas I left her in Firenze :( I'm a little (or a lot) regretful that I didn't take it. I loved the colors and the woven straw. The store I found it in was just gorgeous too!!
A precious display of beautiful finds.
This store in Florence was incredible!! Alas it was closed and we were late for dinner with some people we met in the city so I had to take a quick picture through the glass (as with most everything since store owners aren't too keen on their things being photographed) and run!!
At every turn I stopped to take a picture. . .my husband and our new friends were a little frustrated (and starved). . .but it was all for YOU reader!! I couldn't NOT share this beautiful sight!! Look at that ruffled linen chair!!! I could die!!! And that floor!!
I have a little boy and a little girl so I could not resist the incredible children's clothing in Italy!!
Are you kidding me??
That might be one of the finest looking bassinet's I've ever beheld.
If I could dress my kids this way every day I swear you to I would. what darling little princesses and princes these would make.
This store was gigantic (even by American standards) but certainly by Italian standards. It was like a museum. . .the ceiling was covered in frescoes and the clothing. . .let's just say your hands had better be incredibly clean or you are buying the clothes you touch in here.
Orange is my favorite color so it's no wonder this grouping caught my eye.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Paper and Lampshades. . .6/6/11

In Italia everything is an expression of art. From the food to the gardens; not to mention the millions of precious pieces of artwork including sculpture, frescoes, paintings, architecture, and ruins that make the country one of the most breathtaking tourist attractions in the world. One of the loveliest things I noticed, particularly in Venice, was the amount of shops that showcased spectacular half shades. Check these out lamp shades below. The detail is so fine and they are so delicate. I loved them!
Look at the beautiful monogram half shades above. And the mini sconce shades. . .
These above and below are more along the lines of classic Italian. . .made with Fortuny fabrics.
Another oh-so-fine product I couldn't stay away from was the Italian decorative paper. I even stood in one store watching a shop owner create one of these gorgeous boxes. The precision and care was impeccable. . .no wonder a small box cost a small fortune!
This small notes and enclosure cards were just too delicate and beautiful to pass up. Perhaps some of you will see them in your next birthday gift. . .or maybe I'll keep them all to myself and stare at them from time to time ;)
These Italian hand and dish towels were amazing!! This particular store in Venice (which has chains in other Italian cities, such as Florence) is called Il Papiro. In the three days we were in Venice I visited this store 5 times. . .not to buy, just to stare and admire.
There's just something about paper: the weight of it, the beauty of finely constructed things like these. . .take a peek at the beautiful frames, pencil holders, file folders, etc. Just beautiful.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Apologies. . .6/5/11

Readers, please let me apologize for my infrequent writing as of late. I have been extremely ill and even spent time in the emergency room (on my birthday no less)!! I promise to come back soon and post as much as possible. . .hopefully this week!! Thanks for your patience, your wonderful encouraging comments and most of all for reading my blog!!