Kelly Christakos Stivers


6 books to add to your bookshelves right now

There are a bunch of beautiful new design, garden and entertaining books hitting bookshelves this spring, which excites me to no end because there just is nothing I love more at the end of the day than sitting with a glass of wine and getting to flip through the pages of a beautiful new tome.  Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home, the latest from blogger Emily Schuman, found its way to my mailbox yesterday and I devoured the entire thing last night!  It's really good, guys and I couldn't believe how affordable the price, either! Here are five other picks that I'm loving lately; there is so much inspiration in each and every one and they are great gift ideas, too!

Windsor Smith Homefront; Design for Modern Living - I've been a huge fan of designer Windsor Smith since I first laid eyes on her navy blue kitchen and this book is a beautiful collection of some of her most famous client projects as well as her own home.  If you love timeless style with a touch of glamour, this book is right up your alley!

Camille Styles Entertaining:  I've followed Camille's blog for a while now, anxiously awaiting her first book and it's definitely been worth the wait!  It's chock full of gorgeous photos, tips for effortless entertaining, stress free recipes and creative party planning.  A must-have for the perpetual hostess or entertainer!

Cupcakes and Cashmere at Home:  Emily's second book is so relatable and a very quick and easy read!  She includes lots of easy decorating and entertaining tips for both homeowners and renters, with DIY suggestions and multiple suggestions for common decorating dilemmas.  LOVE!

Tracery: The Art of Southern Design: Designer Paige Schnell's relaxing, welcoming yet elegant decorating style is showcased in her first book through 19 client projects throughout the country, with lots of inspiration on the art of living well.

Charlotte Moss: Garden Inspirations:  If you love to garden, take pride in your own landscaping skills or love creating flower arrangements, this is a must have!  This is truly one of the most beautiful books I've ever read and Charlotte is the queen of chic, inspiring garden design, including tips for elegant flower arrangements, entertaining in the garden and gardening lessons she has learned over the years.  If you only purchase one book this summer, this should definitely be it!

India Hicks: Island Style:  I blogged about India's new book a few weeks ago here but love it so much I thought it was definitely worth a second mention.  A story about her life, what it's like to live in paradise and how her home has evolved into what it is today, her book includes beautiful and inspiring images of the home itself, the island and her family and lots of design, decorating and entertaining inspiration.  A must have if you love beach living!

What books are you guys loving lately?


halcyon house, cabarita beach

My sister-from-another-mister lives in Australia (by way of South Africa) and she is one of the most amazing, interesting individuals I've ever met; not only is she a jet pilot for the Australian Air Force but she's an amazing momma to two littles, too!  She had her baby girl three months after I had Lydia and we've been talking about getting our girls together to meet ever since.  It's my turn to pay her a visit and so, when images of the newly renovated Halcyon House in Cabarita Beach, Australia, popped into my Pinterest feed the other day, I texted her immediately, requesting this to be our meeting point!  While I won't be making any treks across the world anytime soon, I can still swoon over images of this fabulously chic oceanfront hotel, designed by Anna Spiro.  Her signature blue and white color palette is absolute perfection here, from the floor tiles to the wall coverings and all the gorgeous textiles in between, and a healthy dose of brass accents and fresh greenery are the perfect compliments! The navy and white striped oversize poolside lounges are heaven.....relaxed beachfront luxury at its finest:

And since I couldn't stop there, I had to post some detail shots from their instagram (@_halcyonhouse) feed! 

That blue and white floral wall covering is to die for:

Gorgeous navy and white tiles are reminiscent of beach umbrellas, don't you think?

More delicious wall coverings and hints of brass:

These gorgeous French bistro chairs popped up on my Pinterest feed and are what originally drew me to Halcyon House.  Aren't they beauties?

Who wouldn't love waking up to this every morning?

A landscape oil painting and lush green philodendron are perfect accessories for a beach house/space:

Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

Fiddle leaf fig / Ginger jars / Striped outdoor umbrella / Seagrass basket / French bistro chair / Coral

Sconce / Surf print / Pillow / Tray


summer pillow picks

You guys know I never met a throw pillow I didn't like and Spark Modern is killing it lately with their beachy, bohemian-inspired selection!  Block prints, ikats and florals in moody blues, deep purples and creams are perfect for infusing a little color and bringing a fresh, casual vibe for summer and have me itching to switch things up a bit myself.  There are a few Etsy shops I turn to time and time again for fabulous throw pillows and Spark Modern is definitely one of them!  I've sourced them many times for clients, they always have the best selection and their customer service can't be beat!  New throw pillows are one of my favorite and inexpensive ways to add color, texture and interest; I definitely recommend checking out their selection if you're wanting to change up your look for the summer.  Here are a few of my favorites - all of them mix and match effortlessly! 

 Happy Shopping!


my favorite blue/gray interior paint color

Ever since I posted pics of my living room a few months back, I've gotten a ton of emails about the wall color.  I shared it a few years ago in this post, but since so many of you have asked recently, I thought I'd kill a few birds with one stone and post it today.  It's Newcastle Gray from ICI paints, mixed at 50% strength. I think it's the absolute perfect gray/blue:

I can't tell you how much I LOVE this color.  It changes throughout the day with the light, from pale gray to soft blue, and it's so soothing, which is exactly what I was going for!  And white trim and cabinetry look so crisp against it.  We've now been in this house for five years and I have yet to get the impulse to re-paint, which is really saying a lot because, in our last house, I re-painted the living areas three times in six years! 

Some of you have emailed saying that you haven't been able to find the brand; ICI is actually a Glidden company, a line that Home Depot carries, so you can definitely get it there, but all paint stores, including Lowe's, Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams have all competitor's paint colors in their system.  That means you can get any color, no matter the brand, in the company's paint.  So, for example, if you're at Benjamin Moore, you can get an ICI, Sherwin Williams or Lowe's color, mixed in Benjamin Moore's paint.

I'm shamelessly re-posting pictures from the previous post about my living room because, in all honesty, with a 16 month old hurricane blowing through here every day, it's been a while since it looked so perfect, haha!  I took these pictures in the afternoon when the light was perfect:

Hope you're all having a wonderful day!


obsessed: judith gigliotti on OKL

I hope all of you Momma's had a wonderful Mother's Day and that you're all off to a great start this week!  It's HOT here.  As always, we seem to skip right over spring in the south and jump right into summer, and, naturally, it's got me thinking of the sea.  Oversize photographic prints of it, specifically.  My obsession runs deep (in case you haven't noticed by the amount of posts I've dedicated to the subject!)  This entry situation by Amber Interior Design has had me swooning since it popped up on my Instagram feed a few weeks ago; how bananas is the print above the bench?  The large scale is such a dramatic focal point:

The print is called, "Jump", and it's by photographer Judith Gigliotti and is available on One King's Lane right now in two different sizes!  I love Judith's work; like Gray Malin's pieces, her overhead views are so interesting and I love the colors and movement.  She's got quite the beauties on her portfolio, including a series of whitewashed beach and sea photos that are so stunning!  Here are a few I'm loving lately that are available on One King's Lane right now:

Happy Monday!