Thursday, April 19, 2012

Seeing Red

Neon is hot this year.  Let's be honest, it's on trend almost every summer.  But something about neon brights positively unsettles me - they're almost a tad too bright, overly flashy,  a wee bit painful to look at, even.

So my go-to color this season?  Glorious, classic RED!

Maybe it's my complete adoration of all things Minnie Mouse, but red is a tried and true favorite.  It's romantic, a bit classic, whimsical at times, and always very exciting.  My one fantasy fashion item?  A red quilted Chanel bag; the time-honored style just so sigh-inducing in fire engine red.

But back to reality?  What are the items I plan on picking up this summer?

Well, for starters, there is a fun version out there, and at a fraction of the cost.  Kate Spade's quilted leather shoulder bag has a very similar vibe - but with a punky twist thanks to her chunky metallic clasp.

Feeling a little less adventurous?  A dash of this gorgeous color could be just the thing to pep up your wardrobe.

Joan Rivers makes a fabulous necklace, and clocking in at under $50 on (and under $30 on, it's completely budget friendly.  Always a huge fan of her statement jewelry, her line is always a must-see for affordable, weighty dazzlers.

And let's not forget at the pool!  I got a taste for fun bathing suit attire last summer during a ladies-only trip to the Jersey Shore - my 1950's style halter bikini from Victoria's Secret adorned with a lovely set of white vintage beads can only be trumped by this Beach Ray perfect polka dot silliness.

While I'm in Miami this summer at a friend's bachelorette party with, of course, everyone in town donning the dreaded neon, I will be coquettish and delightful at the very height of Minnie-style.

But the piece I'm most excited about?  Well, I have been searching for the perfect red trench for eons.  Partly because I have a wicked Halloween costume idea every year that never seems to come to fruition.  Mostly, though, how oh so lovely would it be in the midst of a gloomy, grey rain shower to see a vision gliding down the street in rich red?

And, finally, I found it.  With puffed sleeves to boot.  Squee!

I absolutely adore the pleating in the back, and even better, a vertical line of buttons cascades down the back of the coat between pleats (not seen in photo).  Classy with surprising, fantastical extras, it is sure to be a wonderful closet addition.

So look out summer, I will certainly be making some statements this season. 

And this Halloween?  Oh yes - Carmen Sandiego costume, here I come!!!!

Chanel quilted bag,
Kate Spade NY quilted leather shoulder bag,
Joan Rivers 'Make a Statement' 28" necklace with 3" extender,
Beach Rays one piece polka dot swimsuit,
Kenneth Cole NY cotton trench in sangria,

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Doing it Yourself - My Attempt to Save $399

What would you do with bunches of money?  With Mega Millions fervor sweeping my little city all last week, I knew without hesitation what my first stop would be - Brocade Home, of course!

I have pined for virtually everything from their shop since the beginning of time - that glossy wooden chair for my computer desk?  Yes, please!  Those achingly gorgeous damask stools?  No doubt about it.

But the one item I've truly yearned for is their lace pattern wall art.  A laser cut, delicate dream, just perfect for a fanciful headboard.

The only catch?  $399 big ones.

Luckily, after hours spent sniffing out a thrifty alternative, my friend came upon an inventive solution - do-it-yourself rubber mat wall art!

We quickly took to the world wide web, and scored the perfect pieces to attempt to make our very own budget friendly versions.

I ended up with two sets - some rubber scroll doormats for the living room, and a set of three fleur-de-lis mats to liven up my bedroom.

Having an absolute dearth of arts and crafts projects since my school days (save adding some fun, vintage fabric to an Ikea frame for the hallway; well, if that can even be called 'crafty'), I was a little skeptical - could this really turn out as stylish and lux...but for less?

With some antique gold paint and a dollar store shower liner in tow, we began our great painting experiment!  I scooped up a can of Design Master Metallics quick drying goodness, so the mats really only needed a fast single coat, front and back, for that heirloom finish I so craved.  My friend, on the other hand, wanted hers to look more uniform, so she did a few coats to even out the color.

And the results?

Dazzling, unique pieces for the cost of a can of spray paint and a few bargain mats!

The fleur-de-lis pieces are now set up as a headboard in our master bedroom, while the scroll doormats found a home in our living room between two sconces.

For such minimal effort, and with a time clocking in at less than an hour (depending on amount of coats per mat), it's a total no-brainer. And such a rich look while saving hundreds to boot.  I couldn't be more over-the-moon giddy about our new decor, and the nostalgic fun I had getting back to my crafty roots makes me curious to go on ever more complex DIY adventures in the future.  Pinterest, look out!

Proving, as always, chic just doesn't have to be costly.

Lace pattern wall art,
Kempf rubber scroll doormat,
Fleur-de-lis recycled step mats,
Brocade picture frame,
Design Master Metallics antique gold spray paint,
Rubber door mat wall art,