Kelly Christakos Stivers
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Thursday
Oct162014

girl crush: meredith melling-burke

Can we take a little detour from interior design and decor and talk about style for a little bit?  Fall is my favorite time of the year to dress - lots of soft, comfy layers, riding boots, muted neutrals mixed with jewel tones, lots of navy and tan and, of course, pops of gold here and there.  Meredith Melling-Burke, a former Vogue editor who recently co-founded her own fashion consultancy, La Marque, has been all over my Pinterest page for a while now, as much for her flawless fashion sense as for the fact that she makes it look so effortless.  For a new momma with not a lot of time to devote to hair, makeup and getting dressed, that's SO KEY.

Melling-Burke is queen of taking classic staples like the perfect pair of jeans and a camel coat and elevating them with interesting pieces like a pair of gorgeous heels and a fabulous leopard clutch.  Simple but timeless and so incredibly chic.  She's a touch bohemian with the way she mixes things up, but also very glamorous. Her style reminds me a lot of Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy, another blondie whose style (and hubby!) I was in love with back in high school. Here are a few looks she's rocked that I absolutely love, all of which are perfect for Fall. 

These are two of my all-time favorites; a camel coat, skinny ankle jeans, black strappy sandals and a leopard bag - absolute perfection!  And a gorgeous white eyelet dress with nude sandals; throw a jean jacket over it and it's still perfect for early fall (well, maybe just here in the south, but still....):

 

Here are my picks for getting an everyday version of Melling-Burke's fabulous style:

Icon trench / Three quarter sleeve perfect shirt / Black leather Lotus bag

Blank relaxed leg straight jeans / Michael Kors Lexington Watch

JA Herkimer Crystal Prong Studs / Clare Vivier Leopard clutch

Whose style are you crushing on?  I'd love to know!

Wednesday
Oct152014

8 amazing entries

We're about to give our entryway a little love and make some easy, inexpensive changes for some serious impact (can't wait to show you!) As a result, I've been stalking my way through pinterest getting ideas and really, just satisfying my thirst for eye candy in the middle of the night when I've been up a million times and can't get back to sleep.  For me, the entry is the most important room in the house because one, it's the first room people see and two, it sets the tone of what's to come in the rest of the house. Here are eight amazing entryways that caught my eye and have me super excited to get our revamp underway!

This entry by Steven Gambrel is, hands down, my all-time favorite (and if I'm being honest, it's the inspiration behind our little entry revamp!)  The gray-blue walls and trim painted one shade darker, the blue painted doors, the oversize convex mirror and antique table are just divine.  The wicker trunk and sea sponge fingers add texture and just the right amount of a nautical touch:

Formal entries usually aren't my thing, but I just can't stop drooling over this one by Carpenter and MacNeille architects.  Another Dutch door, this one with a view to the sea, gorgeous millwork, built-in console tables and blue and white ginger jars is just perfection:

I love layered spaces, but sometimes the simpler the better.  White walls, a wood pedestal table, a round jute rug, fresh greenery and a bench is stunning in its simplicity in this entryway:

This oceanfront home by David Netto is absolutely spectacular but the entryway takes my breath away!  There is so much to love about this space despite the size (it's bigger than my first apartment!) - that fabulous black Dutch door and ceiling painted to match, the built-in bookcase with orange painted backing and beautiful molding details mixed with more modern and casual elements like a gnarled wood table and a striped dhurrie keep the ginormous space feeling fun and fresh.  The travertine floors keep the space light and airy:

Just because you don't have a lot of space in your foyer doesn't mean you can't make a dramatic impact.  This narrow entryway via Elle Decor gets serious wow factor from contrast: white board and batten walls are so crisp against a high gloss black banister and ebony floors.  Clean, classic and stunning:

It's all about symmetry (and an amazing ikat settee!) in this entryway by Timothy Whealon, between matching topiary, brass floor lamps and gorgeous millwork.  I love the idea of seating in a foyer - it's a great way to be functional while also introducing fabulous color and pattern, as well:

Planked walls, a simple console table, eye popping artwork and beautiful slate floors in this entry by designer Scott Sanders are simple but classic.  Another great example of making a big impact in a small space while still being functional:

White and bright is my go-to for entryways, but this high gloss, all black entryway featured in House and Home a few years ago makes my heart skip a beat!  Paired with checkerboard floors, nothing else is necessary  - high drama with just a few simple elements.  Perfection:

Thursday
Oct092014

pillow picks for fall - cc deux vie

I don't know about you guys, but the (somewhat) change in the seasons has me wanting to tone things down even more in my house and add some muted, tone-on-tone color.  My first thought is always to swap out some of my throw pillows for some fresh new color and pattern that's just a tad bit moodier than my regular palette of light gray/blue and khaki to slate blue, charcoal and greige.  Just a little cozier for the colder months and not so drastic that I need to change other parts of my decor. 

Etsy is my preferred place to shop for new pillow covers and I always check out CC Deux Vie first to see what she's got in the shop.  I'm never disappointed, either!  I love how unique each of her covers are; her patchwork is gorgeous and she takes simple stripes to a whole new level by sewing them on the bias and then adding contrasting trim/welting for a sophisticated, elegant and tailored feel.  Her color palette is perfect for fall right now; from jewel tones and bold black and white to creamy whites, champagne and a little leopard print for good measure.  And each one is so affordable!  Here are my favorites, each one perfect for adding a little fall color and texture:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12

What are some of your favorite places to shop for new throw pillows?

I'd love to know!

Wednesday
Oct082014

diy: antique brass paint finish

My favorite DIY's are those that take the least amount of time and are virtually impossible to mess up.  This paint technique satisfies both requirements and the results are pretty impressive!  I've heard a lot of wonderful things about Modern Masters metallic paints and have been wanting to give them a try for a while; after wanting to add a little warmth to my mantle for fall, I ordered a small pot of the brass color way and gave it a go to a small round mirror I had laying around.  I can totally see what all the hype is about with the paint; it covers like a dream and has a more believable metallic quality than I could get out of a can of spray paint.  After a few coats, I loved the color but still wanted a more "antique" feel, so I brushed on some walnut stain, wiping it back messily and leaving a little bit of stain in corners on the molding.  I love it.  Here is how I did it:

1.  Prime your piece.  I use Sherwin Williams Multi-Purpose Primer.

2.  Add two coats of Modern Masters paint, waiting to dry completely between each coat.

3.  Using a foam brush, brush on some walnut stain, wait a few minutes and then wipe it off with a clean white cloth. 

That's it! 

Happy Hump Day!

Tuesday
Oct072014

inspired: navy blue, camel + gold

Thank you all so much for the sweet (and helpful!) comments on yesterday's post!  I'm always so appreciative of feedback, especially in the case of getting little miss on a regular napping routine! 

And speaking of routine, it seems like I write a lot about my love of all-things-navy blue, but if you've been reading my blog for a while now, you know it's my all-time favorite hue.  While navy and white is my go-to color combination for spring and summer, a slightly moodier version paired with camel and gold accents is my absolute favorite for a fall wardrobe.  And even though my home is decorated head to toe in light gray/blue and neutrals, every year when the temperatures start to dip I dream of swathing a room in a deep, dark, almost black navy blue and accenting it with natural materials, soft linen fabrics and antique brass accents for a crisp, tailored feel.  With the change in seasons, I thought a little reading nook would be the perfect spot for this color combo to curl up on a buttery leather chair with a good book, a glass of wine, a soft blanket with the windows wide open and the crisp air flowing in!  Here are my picks for getting the look:

Bruno leather chair / Benjamin Moore Hale Navy / Nixon throw

Vince accent stool / Blue and white ginger jars

Sisal rug / 90 degrees of stripe pillow / Audrey lamp in navy