Kelly Christakos Stivers


entertaining with aerin 

I never grow tired of glimpses of Aerin Lauder's Southampton home; the grounds and outdoor living areas are among my favorites, so I was especially excited to see that she recently hosted a poolside luncheon to celebrate the launch of one of her new frangrances, photos of which were captured by Garance Dore.  Like her home and her personal style, she seems to entertain with the same effortless grace and eye for timeless design.  Never one to go over the top, simple reigns supreme to stunning effect in this outdoor soiree, with a clean white color palette, lots of texture and beautiful garden blooms.  This is exactly how entertaining should be - relaxing and oh, so chic!

Here are my picks for getting a similar look:

Rattan chargers / Bamboo flatware / Plate / French wine glasses / Faux hydrangeas

Wicker hurricanes / Raffia table runner / Votive candles / Monogrammed dinner napkins

Happy Monday!


adorable seating for the kiddos that blend in with any decor

I've been on the hunt for some pint-sized seating for Lydia to keep in our living room that is comfy enough to for her to relax in but that also doesn't stick out like a sore thumb from the rest of my decor.  Call me crazy, but I get enough "pops of color" from baskets of toys, books and puzzles everywhere to want to keep a little bit of calm to all the toy craziness!  There are a ton of super stylish options out there that I realized this wouldn't be a difficult endeavor to find one that I loved.  Here is a roundup of seating for the kiddos that are as chic as they are practical - I'm seriously considering pulling the trigger on buying the petite rattan beauty from Wisteria, and how amazing is that mini ghost chair?  Which one is your favorite? 

Petit Rattan Chair / Ghost Chair / Metal Chair / Hanging Rattan Chair /

Mini Chesterfield Chair / Bench / Woven Bucket Chair / Alseda Stool

Tabouret Stacking Chairs / Madeline Chair / Woven Accent Chair / Newport Lounger

Have a great weekend!


gregory shano's relaxed retreat by the sea

Take one look at Gregory Shano's relaxed Long Island retreat by the sea and you'll be completely smitten before you even hit the front door! Classic cedar shakes with crisp white trim and navy blue accents on the outside and the prettiest shades of the palest blues and warm, woven grass cloth on the inside are exactly what you hope to see in a Hamptons hideaway by the sea (at least I do!) Shano did a complete overhaul of the house and land, which is only one third of an acre but with a pool, poolhouse and an outdoor dining spot, lives incredibly larger.  Every last detail is beautiful and so well thought out:

An old garage that was converted into a pool house with cedar shakes and sliding barn doors is a beautiful backdrop for a slate outdoor eating area.  The navy and white accents and the hydrangeas and oversize ferns are beautiful compliments:

Oh, that pool.  Those hedges.  And another shot of that pool house. 

The living room is my favorite room in the entire house.  Planked walls, a capiz chandelier, striped chairs, a jute rug and blue-painted bookshelf backs are my idea of perfection:

I've always been a huge fan of grass cloth wall covering but, I think I may love the pale blue painted trim paired with it in the formal living room even more.  And those gorgeous glass lamps are divine.

A close up of that gorgeous grass cloth in the stairwell:

Pale blue reigns supreme in the master bedroom and the effect is so cozy and elegant.  Blue grass cloth walls and crisp white bedding had me at hello:

Read more about the complete overhaul of this house here.

Happy Hump Day!


4 baby/toddler purchases I'm so glad we made

If you have children, I don't have to tell you that babies nowadays require SO. MUCH. STUFF.  I chronicled the items that were my saving grace the first three months of motherhood in a post here and there have been many, many purchases since that I've loved, but the things that have made the biggest impact ended up not being items I registered for.  Here are a few items I couldn't have lived without and that still make life easier, not to mention prettier, which, let's be honest, is an added benefit to anyone with littles who have taken over every inch of space in their house!

1.  Daybed.  While technically not a purchase (Daddy made it for her), I never could have made it through the first year of motherhood without it.  Sleep did not come easy the first twelve months for me and baby girl; I've blogged before about transitioning her from our room to her crib and then how she woke up every 1 1/2 - 2 hours from the time she was 6 months old until she hit 9 months.  Having a bed in her nursery was my saving grace because I could get her used to her crib while being right there with her and then again when she woke up 500 times a night.  Although it's been a long time since I've slept in there with her, the daybed is still perfect for reading books and talking and playing with our stuffed animals when we're winding down at night.  And it will be perfect for when she outgrows her crib! (See plans for our bed here).

2.  Stokke Tripp Trapp high chair.  It took me FOREVER to make a decision on a high chair; I wanted something that would blend in with my decor, that would also be easy to clean and that I could stow away easily if need be.  I finally decided on the Stokke Tripp Trapp and am so glad I did!  It's got a low profile so it doesn't stick out like a sore thumb and is super easy to clean.  You can buy a tray attachment, but I really like being able to pull Lydia right up to the table with us when we are eating.  I highly, highly recommend!

3.  Custom crib bedding.   After searching high and low for the perfect crib bumper and skirt, I knew custom was going to be the way to go.  It turned out to be one of my favorite parts of the nursery; because I had it made, the bumper was way more fuller and plush than any I would have been able to buy and I had my seamstress do the skirt in three separate pieces (didn't need a fourth since the crib would be up against the wall) and then add ties to each piece so that I could adjust the skirt as I moved the mattress down.  All in all, it ended up costing no more to have it made than to buy an already made one, but the effect in the room could not have been matched, otherwise!

4.  Teepee.  Another gift, my dad definitely got his money's worth the first week we had this one from Land of Nod!  Its size is perfect for moving around easily - we've set it up in her nursery, the living room and even outside by the pool - and the bold black and white stripes fit right in in my neutral decor!  What's more is that Lydia is as excited to play and read in it now as she was when we got it for Christmas.

What are some baby or toddler purchases you couldn't have done without?


the breathtaking work of brynn weiermiller / beckoning art

There is art and then there is art that is so mesmerizing that it takes your breath away and leaves you thinking about it (and longing for it) long after you've seen it!  The sea-inspired oil paintings by Brynn Weiermiller definitely fall into the latter category - I stumbled upon her work recently on Instagram and am completely smitten! It's no secret I love paintings of the sea and these are just amazing; the movement and moody color palettes coupled with the large scale of each piece are so striking and make quite a dramatic focal point, don't you think?  I think what I may love most about her work is how the water in each piece is churning rather than still, representing how tumultuous and unpredictable the sea really is.....

To see more of her work, check out her portfolio and be sure to follow her on Instagram (@brynnweiermiller) and see all of her current works!

Have a wonderful weekend!