Sunday, October 24, 2010

1123: glimmers of progress

stopped by the house yesterday after a LONG day at work (that's right...on a saturday) and was delighted to see some major progress in our bathroom. here are some pics of our new vanity (from restoration hardware) upon delivery, then installation.

the vanity bottom. sitting in our master bedroom. that's a whole 'nother story.
ignore the ripped out floors. and the toilet in the corner.

the vanity topped. again, in the master. yowza.

sweet installation! you'll note the fresh paint and baseboards.
we're getting there!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

1123: keeping our eye on the prize!

so i'm learning that home renovations are a little scary. and require lots of trust. and a complete shutting off of emotion, it has to get worse before it gets better, right?

like, imagine discovering this under the old washer.nasty.

but there are little rays of light along the way. like these lovely new floors in our bathroom.white matte hexagon with gray gloss dot. classic, yet so modern and fresh that i can look past the lack of baseboards...and paint...and toilet. :)

we'll get there!
...happily sophisticating...

Thursday, October 14, 2010

aaaaaand we're homeowners.

so apparently the last time i wrote was june. shameful. i have lots to catch up on, including pics from a few unbelievable weddings i had the privilege of coordinating this summer...but in the meantime, i have to share the reason for my disappearance. we bought a home. a cute one :)

i give you the "BEFORE" pictures of 1123 north lowell street. we have lots of plans for this little 1934 2&1 charmer. but we think what we're starting with is pretty spectacular as well :) LOTS more to come as we renovate, reinvent and restore our new home!

...happy sophisticating...

so, over the coming months, this blog will become renovation central ;) looking forward to sharing with you how we sophisticate our home, little by little!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

design obsession: bookcases + crown molding!

i have been so blessed to be working with a fabulous interior design client for the past few months. we will be working on her living room, dining room and bedroom through the end of the year. one of our first projects was a huge risk and ended up being a huge reward.

we wanted to accomplish this look:
ballard designs

but all we could afford was this:

so after a trip to home depot, a few long evenings with a miter saw and some wood glue, we ended up with this:

just goes to show that with a little creativity and some hard work, you can sophisticate anything!
...happy sophisticating...

omg: emersonmade

i've been missing in action. emphasis on the action. too busy for words. however, i'll be making up for it with about a million little tidbits. starting with this one--i am currently obsessed with all things organic, rustic, industrial, etc. TWO blogs that i follow led me to the unbelievable emersonmade.

these linens kill me. they are simple, sophisticated, and oh-so-fabulous. i want, like, everything they make.
...happy sophisticating...

Friday, April 23, 2010

omg: miss dior cherie & sofia coppola

i can't believe i've never written about this before. here's my thing--i take issue with perfume. i can't stand musky. i can't stand too fruity. i can't stand grandma floral. and i have one of those strange body constitutions (or whatever) that makes perfectly lovely perfume smell horrid. but then i discovered miss dior cherie. so feminine. so light. so lovely. just the perfect amount of...well...everything.

add to this my OBSESSION with sofia coppola and you can understand why i am sharing this. an extended cut of her delightful commerical for miss dior cherie. utter perfection. it's like everything i love...on the screen. i think i might burst. hope you do too.

...happy sophisticating...

Sunday, March 28, 2010

omg: voluspa elysian garden candle

okay--so scented candles. sometimes they can be amazing, sometimes they can be an instant "grandma-fier" to your house if you do not choose wisely.

i don't tend to like scents that are too floral or too musky. i'm constantly looking for that perfect, light, clean, luxurious scent. the kind of candle that instantly makes you feel like you live in a chic boutique hotel...or at anthropologie :)

enter the voluspa elysian garden candle. it smells like spring--but not the "all-of-these-flowers-are-growing-and-aggravating-my-allergies" spring. just fresh and pure. if i had to describe it as a color, i would say " mossy lime." if i was allowed to use adjectives, i would say "the most heavenly, glorious, light, airy, sophisticated scent ever created." just buy it.

close runner up: anthropologie's classic "capri blue volcano" candle. yes, the voluspa is even better than that.

...happy sophisticating...

ps- purchased this fabulous candle at "A Market." more to come on that later. anticipate anxiously.

sophistikitchen: roasted brussel sprouts

i know what you're thinking. "no blog post for weeks and you give us brussels sprouts?" well, i promise you that if you give this recipe a try you will eat your words. pun intended ;)

i went to a girlfriend's house the other day and she made these. i, too, was skeptical, but let me tell you-- yum-my. they roast so long that they get dark and crunchy and oh-so-delicioso. the recipe is from the one and only barefoot contessa, so you KNOW it's going to be the most chic and sophisticated preparation of brussels sprouts around. serve alongside a simply grilled chicken breast and a fresh arugula salad--trust me. just trust me.
...bon appetit & happy sophisticating...


1 1/2 pounds of brussels sprouts
3 T good olive oil

3/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper (i don't mean to be a snob, but the "freshly ground" really does make a difference)
a little parmesan cheese


preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

cut off the brown ends of the brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. pour them on a sheet pan and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. sprinkle with more kosher salt, and serve immediately.

Friday, January 29, 2010

design obsession: ceilings

happy new year, all! we are almost a month in...can you believe it? i've already been consumed with lots of event and projects, but i wanted to make sure i passed along a little inspiration this month.

nestled among my five pages of new years resolutions (no, i'm not exaggerating) are heaps of design ideas for the glorious day the husband and i move into a place with a little more, shall we say, freedom when it comes to make the home our own. among those ideas? ceilings. the pleasant little surprise for those who take the time to turn their attention upward.

are they the first priority? certainly not. but what a fun, indulgent way to add a little sophistication to your space.
...happy sophisticating...

well, the chandelier is fabulous, which goes without saying, but i LOVE this graphic black and white print. a bit of a commitment, but could be f.a.b when used appropriately. notice how the other elements of the room are all white to keep it from being overwhelming.
featured at this is glamorous.

ladies and gentlemen, i present the coffered ceiling. if you're not lucky to own an original, never fear--you can create your own. head on over to "my design dump" to see exactly how it's done. the before and afters are unreal.

what a great way to play up original architectural details--a rich and dreamy sky blue. the color really lets the ceiling and chandelier pop.
featured in house beautiful july 2009.

love Love LOVE! so subtle but adds such a sense of sophistication. gorgeous.
featured in house beautiful january 2009.

i am all about rustic chic these days. so fabulous. the cream adds a depth and sophistication that might have been lost in all white. (sidenote: how fabulous is the fireplace. shut. up.)
featured in house beautiful january 2006.

a little much for me, but so fun. maybe for your teenager? houndstooth. on the ceiling. how cool is that? (i'm not gonna lie, though...i hate the carpet. HATE.)
featured in house beautiful december 2006.

glorious. rustic italian elegance. the bronze-y brown is applied in a ragging technique, which adds depth. and those beams! omg. perfect shade of cream. so warm. LOVE this.
featured in house beautiful august 2009.

if you're going for a shabby chic/rustic look, i love the all white room with a dark ceiling. very cheeky. a little dominating, but the wood is just so fabulous i don't think it even matters. if you find a home with a ceiling like this, buy it. like yesterday. the chandelier is a perfect choice for this space.
featured in house beautiful.

i think andy warhol just might love this. definitely requires a solid commitment to a color palette, but very nicely done. proving that wallpaper is not just for walls!
featured in house beautiful september 2009.

wowza. love this. again, a bit much for me--i think this would look amazing color on color. matte finish with gloss? but definitely a conversation starter. beautifully done.
featured on apartment therapy.