Kelly Christakos Stivers


an oldie but goodie

Sometimes, the absence of color can be just as dramatic and elegant, especially when mixed with texture, soft linens, bold black accents and interesting antiques and artwork.  This Connecticut weekend retreat, designed by Lisa Sherry is a fabulous example and it's been in my inspiration folder since it first debuted in Lonny last year.  It can sometimes be tricky making vaulted or two-story ceilings feel comfy and cozy, but with a creamy color palette, oversize furnishings and a great mix of antique pieces, this home is as chic as it is welcoming! 

There is so much to love in this entryway, from the vaulted ceilings and gallery wall mixed with art and mirrors to the antique table, pair of brass porthole mirrors, turned wood floor lamp, layered rugs and Windsor bench - such an open, airy and inviting spot to welcome guests:

A stacked stone fireplace is a beautiful, rustic compliment to a pair of linen sofas and a tufted ottoman, all of which is killing it in the living room:

Bright white kitchen - another fabulous example of why all-white kitchens will never go out of style:

Be still my heart, black distressed Windsor chairs and round antique dining table:

Love the oversize vintage map, a great way to maximize vaulted walls without being too over the top:

Built-in shelving and an oversize chalkboard are as chic as they are utilitarian in a child's space:

Tufted arm chairs and billowy curtain panels create softness and fullness in the master bedroom, providing an ethereal spot to read and sip a cup of tea - so cozy!

More built-in bunks and book shelves:

Here are my picks for getting the look:

Washed wood floor lamp / Vintage framed map / Console table / Sunburst mirror /

Seagrass cube / la Fiorentina pillow / Tufted chair / Topiary / Windsor bench


inspired: thanksgiving spread

There are now less than two weeks until Thanksgiving - where has the time gone?  When I'm cooking for the holidays, presentation is just as important as the food itself, and to be honest, it can be just as stressful as planning the actual meal, but for me keeping it simple and easy reign supreme - and it can be just as elegant as a formal affair. This rustic table setting for Thanksgiving is so beautiful and inspiring; simple white China is complemented by more rustic, earthy elements like topiaries in crusty terra cotta pots, a burlap runner, candles and stunning black and white anemones and in between are simple bowls of nuts and cheese boards for snacking - unfussy and so refined:

Love the brown velvet ribbon wrapping the plates - and hello, mini cloches!!

Mini boxwood topiaries are a great idea for place cards and favors:

I mean, come this not one of the most beautiful spreads you've ever seen?

Mini terra cotta pots with moss would be a super easy DIY:

LOVE the distressing and shape of that gorgeous hutch!

Here are my picks to get the look this Thanksgiving; I added a little glam by way of some gorgeous matte gold flatware and a STUNNING agate serving dish with gold edging for a little spice:

Topiary / Rosemary breadsticks / Cheese board / Napkins / Glass cloche / Wood napkin rings /

Matte gold flatware / Stone pumpkin / White pitcher / Cake stand / White dinnerware

Have a great weekend!


affordable art: kai samuels-davis

Searching for art on Etsy can sometimes feel like looking for a needle in a haystack; you have to sort through an awful lot of crap to get to the good stuff, but once you find an amazing piece, it's so worth the time and effort! This is especially true of artist Kai Samuels-Davis of Windy Lane Studios - I'm so in love with his melancholy landscape oil paintings and moody color palettes of grays, deep blues, greens and charcoal gray.  The best part is that his work is super affordable; with Christmas right around the corner, any of his pieces would be an amazing gift for any art lover!  Here are a few of my favorites:

To see more of Kai's work, check out his website and Etsy shop.


greek revival

I'm such a sucker for anything nautical, so I was especially excited to stumble upon this shingle-style Greek revival in Sag Harbor, recently featured on Domaine Home!  For me, there's nothing more refreshing than when a home's decor doesn't take itself too seriously and between this beauty's traditional bones and colorful furnishings, it's such a fun, fresh and elegant take on a historic home! Classic details and subtle nautical details abound and up the ante big time on this home's charm factor:

Love how bold color pops against crisp white walls in the living room:

The kitchen is the star of the home and definitely where I would spend all of my waking hours - love the antique table, antique brass chandelier (bought for its resemblance to a ship!), not to mention all that natural stunning!

Hello, gorgeous unlacquered brass bridge faucet, soapstone counters and farmhouse still my heart!

Gorgeous cane-back chairs and a black-blue painted fireplace in the kitchen are to die for!

Bookshelves and built-in bench seating are a cozy, instant reading spot:

Intricate wave molding flanking the staircase is another stunning nautical nod:

Love those wide planked floors, no doubt original to the house...don't they look like something you'd see on ship?  And how about that fabulous settee?? 

Black and blue reign supreme in a little boy's room:

You can never go wrong with a classic blue and white color palette for a master bedroom:

I'm dying over this nautical-inspired wallpaper in the master bathroom, as well as that fabulous claw foot tub:

Here are my picks for getting the look:

Bedding / Black distressed dining chair / Ship model / Sailor's knot / Iron wall sconce /

Vendome sconce / Telescope floor lamp / Quadrille volpi pillow / Cornelia mirror /


sugar paper now at target + a fab studio tour

My love for stationery goods from Sugar Paper runs deep, so I was beyond thrilled to see that their line of calendars, planners, datebooks are finally available at Target in a bevy of color options! (The aqua and gold colorway is calling my name!)  With Christmas right around the corner, these pretties would make perfect stocking stuffers or gifts for coworkers, but hurry.....they are only available through the end of the year and once they're gone, there is no more.  Here is a little sneak peek of what's in store:

And while we're at it, why not take a little stroll through Sugar Paper's fabulous new studio?  I'm loving the bold black and white striped accent wall and the pops of gold and fucshia (hello, yummy gold polka dot wallpaper!), not to mention their fabulous gallery wall and crisp white shelving.   Such a beautiful space to design, create or greet guests, it's no surprise Sugar Paper's studio is as pretty as their paper goods:

All photos via Sugar Paper, Rue Magazine and Arianna Belle