Ten days in Europe in one carry-on

0c7717c9-b477-4388-a7dd-01390034dbfcThis summer we spent a glorious ten days in Paris and Brussels.  It was a magical trip and I’ll share more recs for each city soon, but in the meantime… packing!  I’ve had more than one request to share my tips for traveling (relatively) light, so here we are.

Due to both the hassle of wrangling suitcases on trains and metros and the airline fees involved for checking bags, we decided to only take one carry-on for each of us (plus my purse, of course).  It was warm and summery in both cities so I didn’t need to worry about bulky outerwear, which helped immensely!  I knew we were going to be walking quite a bit, so I planned outfits with that in mind.  Stylish and easy, with several options to dress comfortably for a day of sightseeing, or dress up a bit for dinner out.

Here is what I packed: Continue reading “Ten days in Europe in one carry-on”

Dreaming…

A recent CNN article reminded me that in some towns in Italy, you can buy a fixer-upper for ONE EURO.  That’s right, you read that correctly!  For just a little over $1, you can own your very own pied-à-terre in Italy.  The stipulations vary from town to town, but generally there is a deposit of around $3,000 and a time limit of a few years to fix up the property to a minimum level of livability, after which point you get your deposit back.

While the price tag is beyond tempting, I’m not sure we can jump into a renovation project on a different continent at this juncture in our lives.  That being said, I’m still dreaming!  All of these stunning spaces leave me inspired and longing for a pretty place of my own to relax abroad — even more so since we just returned from Paris.  Le sigh.

Via studiolowsheen  contemporist  lonny magazine  decoholic  ari signes  matisse nz  jetsetter

Five great stools under $100

With the 4th of July holiday weekend almost upon us, perhaps you need some flexible seating for guests?  A spot for a cold beverage?  Someplace to kick up your feet?  A stool or ottoman can be all of the above!  Here are five stylish options that won’t break the bank.

A sleek hourglass shape in matte black makes a quiet statement.

Cane and rattan are having a moment, and I love this pretty option.

As classic as you can get. Add a tray on top for the perfect book-and-a-drink landing spot!

Warm wood and a sculptural shape at a steal of a price.

Graphic and modern — just the thing to punch up a neutral space.

Things I’m loving lately

Obsessing over classic chair designs by Cherner and Bertoia lately, and mulling over beautiful dining chair combinations.

Applauding the genius of Jenny Komenda’s idea to use small dining tables as oversize end tables in a living space.  I just got this bistro table and am loving the look next to our sofas!  Maybe I should finally pull the trigger on this lamp to go with it?  I’ve been in love with it for months.

Thrilled with Bloomscape‘s easy-peasy way of letting you shop for indoor plants that will work with your space and lifestyle.  I need low-light, easy care, pet friendly options, which has seemed like a pretty tall order.  I’m so happy to know now there are plants that might do well in our home!  Their pots are also quite lovely, yes?  I see a couple of these in my near future.

Happy Friday!

Cali-Scandi cool

A friend and her husband have just moved into a new apartment, airy and bright and complete with a white brick fireplace.  Their last place came furnished, I should mention, so they are starting almost from scratch in their new home.  She has a great eye and loves a clean, Scandi sort of feel, with soothing neutrals and lots of plants.  Since I love pulling together a space, here are some of the ideas I’ve floated her way.

Mid-century and Scandinavian pieces in a mix of wood tones with neutral-colored textiles give a collected feel while still soothing the eye.  A variety of textures (caning, tufting, leather, jute) keep things just interesting enough.  Add a tonal rug that skews somewhere between traditional and beachy California cool, and you’ve got a layered space ready to relax in.  Maybe try stacking some beautiful design books on the coffee table?  With an equally beautiful candle?  (Here’s one to try.)  And don’t forget tons of planters and vases to bring in ALL the greenery.

Since they have so much to buy all at once, I tried to skew on the end of readily available and relatively inexpensive, without sacrificing beauty and function (looking at you, sofa and leather pouf — swoon).  Enjoy!

Leon sofa  Wyatt coffee table  faux fiddle-leaf fig  half-circle pillow  organic lamp  Skye rug  Austin arm chair  leather pouf  caned TV stand  jute pouf  floral print  dipped vases  triangle table  platform bed  textured planters  hanging planter  geo pillow  white nightstand  wood lamp

 

You guys! It’s here! A+

Stop the presses, everyone!  Anthropologie has finally expanded their size range to include both petites AND larger sizes.  Their new A+nthropologie items go up through a size 26W, and I could not be happier.  Over 120 new items, including dresses, tees, jeans, blouses… I am thrilled.  The only caveat is that their expanded line is only available in select stores and online, but I am hopeful that Anthro will expand availability in the near future.  In the meantime, I love that they have a great assortment of pants especially — tops can be easier to find, but a good pair of pants can be hard to track down, as can a well-cut dress.

I have to say, I am so pleased with the styling of this collection.  The models look wonderfully confident in their own skin, and they are seamlessly integrated into catalog photographs and ad space.  The clothes can easily be found by size, but they have not been shuffled off to a sad corner to exist in a silo — pieces are integrated well into the existing product line-up.  Bravo, Anthro.  It is encouraging to be seen and included.  A few of my favorites, below:

buttoned top  slim jeans  patterned tee  gingham dress  relaxed chinos  pocket joggers