Thursday, June 18, 2009

Summer Style

Now that the hot weather is here, it's always amusing to see how it affects people differently. I can just spend a whole afternoon people-watching, and admire those who really know how to pull off a great summer outfit, while wondering why others simply don't have a clue. Here are some practical tips I wanted to share with everyone, to help you be one of those admired...

  • Keep it light. Light, airy fabrics are made for summer. Great pieces are made of cotton, linen, and (for ladies) sheer chiffon.
  • Wear comfortable clothing. There is nothing less sexy than a woman hiking up her strapless every two minutes, just because she thought it looked cute.
  • Lighten up your wardrobe. This is the time to wear playful, colorful clothes. Ditch the grays and dark browns for now, and bust out the soft blues and pinks (yes, even for men). The only exception to this rule is our universal black -- that never ceases to look chic!
  • Wear summer shoes. Sneakers are made for running, not for shorts. Men - Do invest in a nice pair of sandals you can wear with slacks or shorts. Leather ones are optimal, for a nice night out. Ladies - Flaunt your summer pedicure with metallic and stylish flat sandals, and if you want to wear heels, keep them strappy.
  • Overexpose. Keep the bare skin to a minimum; please leave something to the imagination, ladies. Fellas - this is not the time to bare your gut, unless you are blessed with abs of steel!
  • Roast. A summer tan is still very sexy, but the lobster look is not. Please be responsible when tanning, and don't forget the sunscreen.
  • Lose yourself in accessories. This is the time to be easy, breezy, nice and easy--and that means less is more. Don't pile on the accessories now. Keep the focus on simplicity, and live with the fact than one great pair of hoop earrings is sometimes all you need.
  • Dehydrate yourself. Even when you're out at a pool party, don't forget the importance of hydration. Drink lots of water when you're out by the pool or golfing. Not only will this help you party longer, it also helps your skin look a lot nicer.
  • Here are some summer looks that are perfect this season. Find these at one of my favorite stores - Banana Republic. Have a great summer!

Inspiration: Citrus

Here are some thoughts around a design scheme based on a citrus theme. The design is for an adjacent living and kitchen area I'm working on. The palette is neutral, with creams and light furniture, accented by yellows and greens -- inspired by citrus fruit! There is also a fireplace in the area that would be beautiful whitewashed, as the one shown in the photos.

It's funny how once you start looking for a certain color palette, it seems to be everywhere. Most of these photos are from Pottery Barn and Crate & Barrel, but you can find bright, sunny items just about anywhere these days. I hope this color palette brightens up your day!

Wanted: Glamorous and Chic Office

I have been working on a new design scheme for my new home office, to better suit my style and personality, so that it becomes more inviting and fun to be in. My inspiration is taken from Domino's Book of Decorating (shown above). It is very feminine and glamorous, and I love the black and white balanced with the soft blue.

Right now, my office is painted a soft yellow and my desk and filing cabinets are a dark cherry red wood, while my large bookshelf is black. I am going to repaint my desk and cabinet black, to modernize the look, and plan to rearrange the furniture again to open up the room a bit. Once I've moved the furniture around I should have plenty of room to create a small seating area, which will also make it more inviting for others. This could also be a small reading corner for me on the days when I just want to relax. Here are some seating ideas I have, from Ikea and Target, respectively. Have not yet decided whether I'll want two small chairs or one small sofa...

Another item I want to bring is is a large mirror, so I can hang it over my desk when it's facing the wall, to give the room depth and to give me a bit more peace of mind by still being able to see the door behind me. I like these structured mirrors I found, from Martha Stewart and Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams.Once I've made these changes, I will bring in some chic white and acrylic accessories to lighten the room up some more. I'm still looking for a great light fixture as well -- preferably a nice pendant or chandelier lamp.

Here is a picture of my office, as it looks now. Hopefully, it won't be long before you can come back and see how I've transformed DRAB into GLAM!