Archive for September, 2010

Our Little French Spot

Graham and I are creatures of habit…aren’t we all?  When we really love a restaurant and we have a great experience then we make sure to frequent the establishment often.  Usually, our favorite restaurants come about purely by happenstance and this place is no exception.  We were walking around town, thought this restaurant looked cute and fell in love with the food!  The decor is nothing to write home about but its eclectic style adds to the charm.

We happened upon La Sirene, a lovely, tiny French restaurant downtown last year.  It was the weekend of our first year anniversary and we had a lot to celebrate.  We are going back to our cozy restaurant to celebrate our approaching move to California.  It is BYOB, which is a great way to save some cash.  I recommend the cassoulet – it is extremely fatty, but it is worth every inch on your waist line!  Delicious!

Don’t forget Rue goes live today!  Be sure to support these amazing gals!  Also, my all time favorite designer is featured in the magazine…see if you can guess who it is and comment back here with her name.


September 16, 2010 at 6:58 AM 1 comment

Magazine Revitalization

I think most of us mourned the day that Domino magazine seized to be.  I mean it has been since March 2009 and we are still not over it (at least, I am not).  Now there is hope.  Nothing can fill the void like new decor magazines.  Oh sweet, sweet happy day – it is raining chic, approachable, delicious shelter mags.  Yippee!!

First of all, I”m not sure if you’ve heard the news floating around design blogs but there is a new shelter magazine coming out: Anthology.  And best of all, it is in print.  Do Not get me wrong, I LOVE me a an online maggie.  But there is something so nice about flipping through the pages of a large glossie with a cup of tea in hand.

Anthology will be a lifestyle magazine that covers home, travel, entertaining and culture.  It will be published quarterly and you can get an annual subscription or you can buy individual copies; you can sign up here.

Sneak Peak:

I just about fell out of my seat when I saw this bamboo settee.  That is one of the routes I had been pondering going for our new apartment but I was questioning the unusual-ness of my choice…and then here it appears.

I was afraid going this route would look too dorm roomish but with the right paint and some great upholstery – it doesn’t look that way at all.

Oh man…what I would do to have this zig zag rug in my place…yikes!

And don’t forget about Rue Magazine, (an online shelter and lifestyle magazine) which I first blogged about here.  My friend Crystal (the editor in chief)  is a genius and just about the nicest person you could ever meet so I KNOW that Rue will not disappoint.  Rue will be out Thursday!  I think I might stay up all night in anticipation for it. 🙂  Here  are the teasers they’ve been showing lately –

Isn’t this bedroom scrumptious?  The headboard, the pillows, the monogrammed bedding…the piece de resistance for me is the chandelier.

This is Crystal’s living room – I love the white sofa, the cowhide pillows and the coffee table.  Not only is she starting a glamorous online magazine, she is stylish to boot.  Now this girl has it all!

And the final tidbit of fantastic shelter mag news…Lonny is now available in print.  They are going to print out every issue and you can special order your very own copy.  They will be pricey – about $30 – $40 per issue but there is 200 or so pages of delectable decor in them.  Not to worry, Lonny will still be available for free online.

Now I tell you, is it raining shelter mags or what?!  LOVE!

September 15, 2010 at 6:19 AM 1 comment

US Open and Ralph Lauren Home

I tell you it is getting harder and harder to leave New York.  Lately, I’ve been desperate to get home, to get settled and to really work on building my design company.  However, these past three days have been awesome and I’m settling into this thrilling life very easily!  Last night, I went to the US Open Men’s Final Match with two girlfriends.

Rafael Nadal-Novak Djokovic US Open Men's Final

We were very spoiled because we got to sit in a suite and watch all the amazing athletic ability very close up.  It was an exciting game!  I was rooting for Nadal so it was great to watch him walk away with the big win!  To add to the frenzy of the night, we were in a suite close to Jeremy Piven, Tea Leoni, David Duchovny and Tony Bennet was sitting below us.

aburridos en la tribuna

A shot of David looking so excited by the game.  Two girls from our suite ran over and took their picture with Jeremy Piven; I’m kicking myself that I didn’t go along with them.

Just so you know celebrities who read my blog (all none of you), I will be at The Spotted Pig tonight in the West Village.  I hear it is a celebrity hotspot during the week, so feel free to stop by and I promise to stare at you as inconspicuously as I can.

Spotted Pig.

Moving on to decor…yes, I realize this is a decor blog…Ralph Lauren was one of the sponsors for the US Open. Thanks to Heather of Habitually Chic, I’ve learned that Ralph Lauren Home will be opening a new store this fall on Madison Avenue.  Since I will likely be gone by time of the grand opening, I’m happy it is all accessible online.

Out of his three new collections, I am partial to the Brook Street Collection; take a look and let me know what you think about it.

Brook Street:

I love the dark masculine colors of the Brook Street collection that is at times paired with feminine elements, such as the lines of the desk and the hardware on the dresser.  Painting walls black has been done over and over again in decor magazines.  Yet it still never seizes to amaze and dazzle me.  I love it!  What do you think of dark walls?

September 14, 2010 at 6:45 AM 6 comments

Fashion Night Out Recap

Fashion Night Out lived up to the hype! It was truly fabulous. The night began with a little shopping spree in my own closet. I pulled out some pieces that were five years old (not quite vintage, but we’ll call it that) and mixed it with some trendy H&M pieces I’d bought at the beginning of summer; I threw it all together in the most daring way I could think of and I pretended to be high fashion. I asked my friend Jaclyn if I looked high fashion or just weird…she graciously went with high fashion and since I always love her look and trust her opinion, I went with it. (The outfit consisted of a black Nanette Lapore blazer (five years old), black silk Banana Republic racer-back tank, silky H&M gray shorts, black leggings and black peep toe heels, a black patent vintage envelope clutch and a chunky necklace I got in Africa years ago and I wore my hair in a high bun.)

Once dressed, I was out the door with two girlfriends and we were ready to revel in the scene. Our first stop was Pookie and Sebastian. where we snacked and checked out their sale.

Next stop was Searle; with some delicious tequila, we admired the beautiful clothes. We met designer Kristi Vosbeck; I took a picture of her on my I phone in one of her beautiful dresses…

Next stop was Tod’s, here we had some champagne and knoshed on delicious meatballs. Of course, there was a shoe there that I’m still dreaming about; they stole my heart for the night. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a picture of it on the internet but it was a black and white spotted pony hair lace up bootie.

Next stop was supposed to be Barney’s but there was a line around the block that we were not about to wait in. I missed out on beloved Jonathan Adler making pottery.

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Next stop Prada, where we got to hang with…okay, stare at…celebrites. The A listers included Dakota Fanning, Grace Coddington, Seth Meyers and Jessica Szhor.

Seth Meyers (L-R) Actors Dakota Fanning, Jessica Szohr, Seth Meyers and Grace Coddington, Creative Director of US Vogue attend the Prada celebration of Fashion's Night Out at Prada 5th Avenue on September 10, 2010 in New York City.

Dakota Fanning wore this awesome Prada dress from their Fall 2010 collection


Next stop Henri Bendels. There were so many accessories that I loved, the best were the custom shoes by Tuccia Di Capri. My cousin got the white snake pair last week. Lucky girl!
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At Bendels we saw Olivia Palermo, Karen Craig and Frederic Fekkai. Olivia was the peak of chic – what else is new?! They had a special service where you could get a make over by Olivia but by this point, we were ready for some din dins.

Olivia Palermo Karen Craig, Federic Fekkai and Olivia Palermo attend the Henri Bendel celebration of Fashion's Night Out at Henri Bendel Boutique on September 10, 2010 in New York City.

There weren’t any cabs available. So we decided to leave the fashion portion of our night with a rickshaw ride and it felt like the perfect ending to the glitzy portion of our night. We finished off the night with dinner and dancing downtown.

Jaclyn, Ashley and me riding the rickshaw to dinner.

Oh yes, New York, I do love you! Anyone else attend any Fashion Night Out events? How was it?

September 13, 2010 at 5:39 AM 3 comments

Happy Friday!

Ready ladies?  It is swoon time.  Tonight is the night to throw caution and guilt to the wind and let those AmEx’s do what they do best.  Swipe it.  Tonight is the night to gather up the fall goodies, wrap yourself in plaid cashmere capes and faux fur vests.  Dare to wear.  Tonight is the night to sip martinis, sway to DJ New York and mingle with Gisele, Sarah Jessica and Victoria.  Flaunt it.

It is New York’s Fashion Night Out and this year’s party promises to be even bigger then last year’s.  The second annual fashion night out will touch more than 100 cities, with its hub being New York City.  Tonight is a night to celebrate fashion and to honor the second largest industry in New York City.  Fashion provides over 175,000 jobs and $10 billion dollars into our economy annually.  Also, while you are on your shopping sprees, pick up a Fashion Night Out t-shirt, proceeds go to NYC AIDS Funds.  But most of all, have a fabulous Friday!

September 10, 2010 at 7:05 AM 2 comments

Sofa Colors

With the prospect of buying a new sofa, I have many decisions ahead of me to make.  One of the drawbacks of working in interior design is that I have access to too many choices.  But I do have time to ruminate on the many choices.  One big choice is what type of fabric to choose.  (I have not chosen the type of couch as of yet which also contributes to fabric choices).  I could go with a pattern….


Image via Absolutely Beautiful Things

White is always soothing to the eye and sophisticated


Image via Elle Decor

Image via Country Living

Image via House and Home

Or then there is the drama of a darker couch like one in chocolate or navy:


Image via Moderndecor

Image via Elle Decor

Image via DIY with ADD

Sex and the City 2 set

If I had my choice and my husband had absolutely no choice, I think I would bite the bullet and go pink…I always love the look –

Image via Decor Pad

We also have two gray barrel back chairs that will be going in the living room.  However those may not always be with the sofa and a brown and cream rug.  I will share pictures of both once I am back in San Francisco.  Yesterday, I was leaning towards brown or navy; today, I’m all about pattern. What do you think?

September 9, 2010 at 7:40 AM 4 comments

Herringbone Floors

In my dream world, I would own a home with Herringbone hardwood floors .  This type of hardwood flooring was very popular in the Edwardian Era; it is a classic look that seems to be very popular again.

Source: Petit Trianon

Source: Suzanne Kasler

Source: Apartment Therapy

I believe there has been a renewed interest in herringbone floors with the rise of zig zag and chevron “trends” in decor.

Photo Source: Apartment Therapy

Zig zag is everywhere, from trays to couches so of course it would be on floors as well.

Porcelain tile: source – Supercozy

If you were feeling very daring, you could paint each layer of your floor a different color so it would look like a Missoni print.  From this Missoni pillow

Missoni Home Humbert Cushion

to these pink floors.

pink herringbone wood floors

I don’t know that I could live with those floors.  But they sure are inventive.  What do you think of the classic Herringbone look?

September 8, 2010 at 7:40 AM 6 comments

Craigslist Tips

Craigslist is one of the greatest places to go shopping on a budget.  You can get some terrific finds and can often times bargain the price down quite a bit.  Besides, my Jonathan Adler Lamps, I picked up a gorgeous 8 by 11 Madeline Weinrib rug.

With one professional cleaning, it will be as good as new and at a price I can afford.

A friend of mine asked me, how do I find such great finds?  Well, I will be the first to admit that it takes a lot of perseverance and clicking on the good, the bad and the UGLY.  But here are some tips:

1.  Use the search bar at the far left hand side of the home page.  This will search all for sale/wanted categories (including the antique sections).

2.  Search for stores that you love but may find too pricey.  For example, in New York, my favorite store is ABC Carpet and Home, so every day I put that “ABC Carpet and Home” into my search terms.  Today, under that search, a “huge house sale” posting popped up with these fabulous pics.

image 1926204772-2

image 1926204772-1

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 Two Room and Board sofas, a Crate and Barrel off white comfy chair and pendant light.  If I lived in the area, I would snatch up those zinc planters from Smith and Hawken with two healthy boxwoods.

3.  This may seem obvious but put into the search terms, items that you are looking for.  If you have a specific look or color, be sure to type that into the search terms.  For example, I would love a faux bamboo dresser so that is exactly what I type into the terms.

Unfortunately, the dresser I’m on the hunt for did not come up.  However, a great thrift store did come up with a link to photo bucket and everything they have for sale.  That lead me to these two beauties that I might spray paint white and put out on a porch area.

IMG_9216.jpg $125 Pair Mid-Century Round Wicker Porch Chairs w/ Cushions picture by TagSaleMaps_Trading_Post

For $125 for the pair, they are a steal and I love the fabric!

4.  If you like a certain look, type that into the search terms, such as “Hollywood Regency” or “mid century modern” or “lucite”

Here is a faux bamboo bench that came up with the “Hollywood Regency” search terms.  This would be so cute recovered and put at the foot of a twin bed.

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5.  If I am searching for something that I know there will be a plethora of on Craigslist, I narrow down my results by putting in the maximum price.  For example, I found our headboard by typing “headboard” into the search terms and putting $40.00 as my maximum.  There were only about ten heardboards that came up and the one I found was a steal!

Here is a beautiful Queen Anne headboard that came up today with those search terms…

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Finally, check every day.  Things come up all the time and be patient!  Do you have any other tips?

If you have a craigslist treasure, you would like to share, please e-mail me:

September 7, 2010 at 5:30 AM 1 comment

Happy Friday!

Happy Friday everyone!  It is a three day weekend; really, is there anything better?

Labor Day weekend is a great time for bar-b-ques, gingham tablecloths and wildflowers.

It also seems to be a time when love is in the air.  Graham and I were invited to three weddings this weekend, and while we wish we could be at all of them, it wasn’t physically possible.

I am so excited to be going to my cousin Tom’s wedding…

I love Tom and Mina and all of the love they share for eachother and others; it is inspiring.  This will be a very special wedding because it will be held at our family ranch and my brother will be the officiant and another brother is a groomsman.  We are all a very close family and this is the last cousin on my dad’s side of the family to get married.  I’m sure that my dad and Tom’s dad will be smiling down on the day.

I’ll be thinking of Daniel and Rosella

Daniel is Graham’s cousin and he and his beautiful fiance live in London.  I finally got to meet them last year in South Africa at another one of Graham’s cousin’s wedding.  We hit it off immediately and I loved spending time with them.  Their wedding will be in Italy on the Amalfi Coast this weekend and Graham’s parents will be there joining in on the special occasion, wish that we could be there as well.

I’ll be thinking of Stephanie and John

Stephanie and John are mutual friends of Graham and mine.  Graham worked with John and I am friends with Steph since college.  John and Steph met at a GMAT class.  John kept talking to Graham about this girl (Stephanie) and Steph mentioned to me that “there was this boy in her GMAT class” (John).  Fate already had it that these two lovebirds would fall for one another, but Graham and I like to think we helped to bring them together.

We will be thinking of all three couples and working on some sort of time machine so that in the future we don’t have to miss anyone’s special day.

What are you up to this weekend?

September 3, 2010 at 8:40 AM 5 comments

Spencer Sofa for Sale

Yesterday, I met the movers bright and early at our new place to start the moving process.  All went smoothly except for one major snag.  Our sofa will not fit up our stairwell!  The movers tried everything they could as I cheered them on but to no avail the sofa is a no go.

We have loved this sofa for the one year that we owned it.  I am sad to see it go.  I seriously caught myself holding back tears at one point, which I knew was completely and totally unwarranted since it is after all a piece of furniture.  However, it is frustrating to let a piece I love go.

But I would love for my sofa to go off to a happy home.  So if you are in the San Francisco Bay Area and in need of a couch, send me an e-mail at:


The sofa is the Spencer Sofa from Pottery Barn; it has beautiful nailhead detailing; it is in a brushed canvas upholstery in walnut color.  It looks like they now only sell the sofa in the every day suede; mine is upholstered in a higher quality fabric then the every day. It is easy to clean and super comfy.  And I love the look of it.  Here are some similar sofas in other homes that had me fall in love with English arm roll sofas way back when I set out on a quest for my first “grown up” sofa.




To be totally frank after a long day of moving, I haven’t figured out what I am going to price it at yet.  But if you send me an e-mail, I will send you all of the nitty gritty details.  By the way, if you haven’t noticed, I am sooo sad about my sofa, at least we’re moving to SF and I LOVE our new apartment!  That makes all the difference in the world.  Stay tuned for updates on the newest chez Belchers!

September 2, 2010 at 8:28 AM 2 comments

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