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5/31/13

Minor Obsessions


Back in April, the New York Times ran a feature entitled, The High Spark Of Low Heeled Shoes.  As someone who struggles with walking (at least like a normal person) in sky high heels, the whole article really resonated with me.  Don't get me wrong, I have a shoe closet full of four inch stilettos and wedges but these hardly, if ever, get worn.  I also have all sorts of cute slip on flats and flip flops.  But, completely missing from my shoe wardrobe (and most notably this past weekend) are the of the moment mid range heels.  I'm loving the idea of adding at least one pair of neutral-go-with-everything low heeled sandals to my shoe collection this summer.  They all look as comfortable as they do chic.  And, with all the great sales going on, I'm thinking at least one pair of these is heading my way in a UPS truck soon.  Which one is your favorite?

5/30/13

Prince Among Prints

This past Tuesday, I had hinted a bit on Instagram about some exciting happenings here...the fact is we had a whole day of shooting with professional photographer David Prince, his crew and stylist Molly Fitzsimons.  This was all done under the direction of Family Circle Magazine.  It was a full house with the publication's Home Style Director, Judy Prouty and Photo Director, Tina Anderson.  All in, the whole day was so much fun for me and my family.  Since I can't share the actual photos David took this week, I thought I'd share some of his spectacular work from his portfolio.  A big personality, David has a great eye and managed to make the day fly by with his antics all while still remaining intensely professional.  Hopefully, the next time I blog about this day will be in mid August, when the September issue (that we are scheduled to be in) of Family Circle comes out!

5/29/13

Wednesday Wants

earrings

Last week I had lunch with one of my very close friends, a former buyer for Neiman Marcus, it's always so fun to see what she's wearing...and what this friend is wearing is always so good! I couldn't help but admire her pretty gold earrings aloud, at which point she moved her hair aside to allow me to get a better look. From where I was sitting, I was sure these were really expensive clovers (possibly Van Cleef and Arpels?) but my friend couldn't wait to tell me that these chic little flowers were in fact Tory Burch's Shawn Metal Stud Earrings and only $78.00.  I love them so much, and the silver option is pretty cute too!

5/28/13

New A-Muse-Ments

Today I'm sharing some of the latest work from Muse Interiors.  If your new to my blog, Lauren Muse helped me with the renovation of my own home back in 2009 and we are currently working on bringing my tired family room back to life.  So, obviously, it's safe to say that Lauren is one of my favorite designers.  Speaking of favorites, I think I spy some Martin Lawrence Bullard fabric on those dining room chairs...delicious.

5/27/13

Monday's P.O.P.

patriotic purple

Hope you're all enjoying a lovely Memorial Day...the weather in the New York area is at last cooperating with us today, it feels so good to finally get a feel for summer.  I'm taking the day off from the blog to spend some time outdoors with my family, but I wanted to let you know about a fun giveaway going on here all week AND to remind you that today is the last day to take advantage of the zhush.com Memorial Day Sale (enter SUMMERTIME at check out for 15% off everything!) Now is a great time to stock up on all those teacher gifts, wedding and shower gifts and also hostess gifts that you just know you are going to need this summer! 

image via: StyleMePretty

5/26/13

Sunday Giveaway!



Leave a comment below for a chance to win this highly entertaining audio book about a fictional lifestyle blogger's personal drama.  Giveaway starts today and will stay open until Friday, May 31, 2013.  Winner announced Saturday, June 1, 2013. Open to continental US residents only. Good Luck!

“Bestseller Andrews is at the top of her game, delivering a smart, funny perfect-for-summer read with a hopeful heart.” – Publishers Weekly, Starred Review

LADIES’ NIGHT
By Mary Kay Andrews
New York Times bestselling author of Summer Rental and Spring Fever
Read by Kathleen McInerney

TAKE A SPLASH OF BETRAYAL, ADD A FEW DROPS OF OUTRAGE,
GIVE A GOOD SHAKE TO PROPER BEHAVIOR, AND TAKE A SIP OF A COCKTAIL CALLED… LADIES’ NIGHT!

Grace Stanton’s life as a rising media star and beloved lifestyle blogger takes a surprising turn when she catches her husband cheating and torpedoes his pricy sports car straight into the family swimming pool. Grace suddenly finds herself locked out of her palatial home, checking account, and even the blog she has worked so hard to develop in her signature style. Moving in with her mother, who owns and lives above a rundown beach bar called the Sandbox, is less than ideal. So is attending court-mandated weekly “divorce recovery” therapy sessions with three other women and one man. When their “divorce coach” starts to act suspiciously, they decide to start having their own Wednesday “Ladies Night” sessions at the Sandbox, and the bonds that develop lead the members of the group to try to find closure in ways they never imagined. Heartache, humor, and a little bit of mystery come together in a story about life’s unpredictable twists and turns. Ladies’ Night will have you raising a glass and cheering these characters on as they rise, fall, and make amends throughout this delightful summer read.

The audiobook is read by the very talented Kathleen McInerney, who has narrated several of Mary Kay Andrews’ bestselling novels to much acclaim, making this audiobook the ideal beach listen this summer!

 

5/24/13

5/23/13

Another Story

Have you been to the Kips Bay Show House or read any of the reviews?  I haven't made it into the city to see this, but I do know that show houses in general can be a tricky thing. The room designed by Sara Story received a lot of (controversial) coverage, enough to prompt me to go back and re-visit the Sara Story Design portfolio.  I had written about Sara's work before and sure enough it's still as lovely as I remember it...maybe even more so!  Plenty of fresh, modern inspiration and Sara now has a new wallpaper line that also looks very enticing.  This all sort of reminds me of a decor version of "runway to reality"... are you getting that too?

5/22/13

Wednesday Wants

http://www.thezhush.blogspot.com

Have you seen the new Jennifer Meyer jewelry collaboration with J.Crew?!  I have to admit, most of these designer collaborations really don't do it for me, but this one blew me away.  I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Meyer's jewelry and can often be found stalking her line at Barneys.  Of the four pieces that Jennifer designed for J.Crew, these Edith cuffs are my absolute faves...I think I need them both, right?  Any cool new collaborations catching your eye these days?

5/21/13

Rustic Modern Chic

I was recently asked to describe my personal style in three words or less..."rustic" and "modern" did not even make the top five.  But, that was before I saw this stylish townhouse designed by Amy Aidinis Hirsch, in the latest issue of At Home magazine.  I love the easy, breezy, chic vibe of this home so much, that now I want to redact my original style answer and start all over...(I'm very design fickle impressionable this way).

5/20/13

Obsession Du Jour: Jane Beiles Photography

I first became aware of the beautiful work of Jane Beiles Photography only just a few months ago, after a style stalking post I did about Nightingale Design.  A few emails back and forth later, I was excited to learn that not only does Jane live and work in the next town over from mine, but we even know some of the same people.  Up until now, I had naively thought that all the really great photographers that specialized in interiors live in big cities.  Now that I know that Jane is so close by, all I can think about is collaborating with this talented lady on something special.  Stay tuned...

Monday's P.O.P.

pleasing purple

Image via: Veranda

5/18/13

Sponsored Post: The Perfect Rug


Cleaning Natural Fiber Rugs: Sisal, Jute and Seagrass

 *This post was written by ThePerfectRug.com

For many, cleaning up around the home or apartment isn’t one of the most fun activities to participate in – but it’s necessary! However, some items are more difficult to clean and require some know-how. Natural fiber rugs, for instance, tend to keep relatively clean but can be difficult to manage because they accrue hard to remove dirt buildup as they age. Whether you own a sisal rug, jute rug or seagrass rug, let’s take a look at some employable maintenance habits for sustaining the health of their natural fibers.
1.     Rug Location: Because natural fiber rugs absorb water easily, you should place them indoors in a location with limited moisture exposure. Excess moisture increases the likelihood of mold growth and causes the fibers to deteriorate. A dry location will help improve your rug’s lifespan.

2.     Vacuuming: Possibly one of the most overlooked steps in the cleaning process, vacuuming serves to pull loose debris from the fibers. Unlike other rug materials, natural fibers require several passes with the vacuum to maximize dust and dirt extraction. Nevertheless, you should vacuum frequently because excess foot traffic, over time, will compact loose debris into the fibers, making future cleaning much more difficult.

3.     Stain and Spill Removal: One option to remove stains from smaller rugs is through the process of dry cleaning. For larger rugs, although this may sound counterintuitive, create a liquid cleaning solution (one teaspoon of vinegar, one teaspoon of detergent and 2 quarts of water). Once prepared, dampen a towel or washcloth with the solution and blot the area. It’s important to never rub the area or use regular carpet cleaning products, as they will damage the fabric. Furthermore, if the consistency of the spilt fluid is thick, you should gently scrape off the excess residue prior to using the solution.


4.     Drying: As mentioned previously, natural fiber rugs sustain damage in wet conditions; so drying your rug is of the utmost importance. If left to soak, the wet fibers will shrink, deforming the original dimension. Quick ways to absorb liquid include rolling the rug up into a towel or using a blow dryer (without heating the air).
Now, if you live in a dry, arid climate, it doesn’t hurt to give your rug a very light misting to maintain fiber flexibility. But don’t overdo it! There should be no visible water droplets. 

5.     Preventative Maintenance: Tactics like flipping the rug once a year will help extend the rug’s life. Also, the application of fabric protectors will aid in preserving the materials. Fabric protectors create a water resistant seal and simplify the cleaning process.
If properly maintained, a natural fiber rug can outlast many other styles and types. 

*All images via The Perfect Rug blog


5/17/13

Minor Obsessions


It seems that the art-deco-jazz-age era of The Great Gatsby is back with an everything that's old is new again vengeance.  Including the movie itself...which I know I'll be seeing...just maybe not at the movies.  I can't even remember the last movie I saw in an actual movie theater.  Until then, I'll be getting into the flapper spirit with these fun fashion accessories, chic urns for champagne in some old school coupes and I'm even contemplating re-reading the book or even better, re-watching the Robert Redford and Mia Farrow version. How about you? Will you be catching this at the box office soon?

5/16/13

Modern Glamour

I fell hard for magazine editor Cynthia Frank's Southampton home in Elle Decor...(real hard) after going back to gaze at these interiors about five or six times, I figured it was time to just post some of these lovely images here.  From the location to the soothing color scheme of black, white and blue and of course the incredible artwork collection, there is not one thing I would change. Old world glamour meets modern luxury, by the sea...what's better than that?

5/15/13

Accessory Spotting

From time to time, I love to do a little round up of the images I've been collecting (pinning) that beautifully feature the same items that we sell here at zhush.com "in situ," especially when these very same accessories are styled really well.  Seeing these, always inspires me, even more so, now that I'm contemplating putting together a newer and bigger look book this summer. I can't believe it's been almost two years since we shot the last one ~ crazy!

Wednesday Wants



This past Mother's Day I received a very cool and thoughtful gift from my family, the UP bracelet by Jawbone. It's one of those things that I didn't know I needed, but now I'm obsessed!  Do you know about these hi-tech tracking/health devices? With the up bracelet, you put it on, download the app to your iPhone and then you can start tracking how much you move and how well you sleep, etc.  In the few days that I've owned this I've absolutely been motivated to move more, a lot more...which can only be a good thing. Now I'm hoping all this activity will translate into better quality sleep, something I need to work on, but how? What healthy obsessions are keeping you up?

5/14/13

Your Beautiful Laundrette

Back in 2008, when we renovated our home, our original laundry room became what is now my office.  We had to create a new laundry room using a very small space.  I had high hopes that this new room could be as chic as it was functional.  This was before pinterest and all the images it affords us as inspiration and as a means of illustrating your hopes for your own home to others, namely contractors.

For some reason, despite the small size, no one seemed to get the gist of what I had planned for this room.  I was discouraged from getting a counter top over the machines as it was deemed a hassle in the event that the washer or dryer needed repair.  We had a major leak from an incorrect fitting within a week of installation and the tiles had to be re-done, at which point, an awkward trough for holding leaks was constructed.  Above the machines, faulty cabinets had to be re-done twice, only to be removed permanently, it seems our laundry room was cursed.  Now that it's been almost five years later, you'd think I'd be over this small design bump in the road...I mean the rest of our house came out great.  But no, I still find myself staring at beautiful laundry rooms on pinterest and wondering how it is that everybody else can get this room so right?  The last image is our laundry room, it's not awful, I love the wallpaper, but still...Do you ever torture yourself like this?

5/13/13

The Designers Designer

I've been taking a little informal poll with some of my designer friends, asking them which designer they turn to the most in terms of inspiring their own work.  A cagey bunch, it was hard to pry an answer...(pinterest, magazines, blogs and travel were not acceptable, I wanted names!)  The one name that did seem to come up the most was Spanish designer Lorenzo Castillo.  I've featured his sophisticated interiors here before, and by posting a few more favorites here today, it's easy to see why so many find his interiors so compelling.  Do you agree, who do you turn to the most for inspiration?

Monday's P.O.P.

purpliest perch

5/10/13

Minor Obsessions


Between attending the ENK accessories show in New York and catching up with all the Met Ball gala coverage this week, I feel my personal style slowly expanding into new directions.  For example, I set foot for the very first time into a Loft store and was pleasantly surprised by the selection of vibrant Boho inspired accessories.  I walked out with this "perfect-for-spring" scarf, spending only $34.50 made me as happy as the paisley and stripe print.  It's always fun to see what new colors Essie will come up with for summer and Essie's Neon Collection 2013, just might be my favorite yet...I can just see myself donning Saturday Night Disco on my toes with a slight tan and my favorite neutral/naturale K. Jacques (pedi-perfection!)  Keeping with the brights, this neon endless summer clutch by Camilla, caught my eye, as did these chic safety pin earrings designed by Genevieve Jones, clearly I've been inspired by all the pretty in punk looks from the Met.  Finally, remember this top?  I think it was my gateway drug to floral prints...and now I'm obsessed with this Tibi tank.  What obsessions are you focused in on this week?

5/9/13

Turnkey To My Heart

A friend of mine has been house hunting for a while and has remarked on more than one occasion how hard it is to see past all the bad design choices and clutter.  We started talking about the genius of beautiful interior staging and how sellers and builders that hire top notch designers to style their homes are often few and far between.  Then I remembered the amazing job that Lynn Morgan Interiors, did on the model homes in the Kensett development in nearby Darien, Connecticut. So smart in every sense of the word. Couldn't you just move right in!? (I could!)

5/8/13

Wednesday Wants


Yesterday, I was at a fashion accessory trade show in New York all day.  Only to be followed by walking around Manhattan for several hours afterward...needless to say, my feet are not feeling so great right now.  Picking the right pair of shoes for these trade shows is always a bit tricky for me (and I can't bring myself to wear sneakers, no matter how stylish),  of course I don't wear heels...but some how after hours and hours traipsing around, even my go-to comfortable yet cute flats start to literally rub me the wrong (blisters on the back) way.  While I was leaving the show I ran into a friend...she was looking so cute in these flats (and not hobbling and complaining like me) that I instantly had a shoe envy moment.  When I complimented her on these very shoes (found online this morning!) my friend told me that these were her "show shoes" and she swears by them...lucky for me, they are now on sale.  I just scooped up a pair as an early Mother's Day gift to myself, and hopefully these will become my trusty new trade "show shoes" as well.  Do you have a pair of go-to flats for days when you'll be on your feet for hours?  Do you do the sneaker thing?

5/7/13

Fabulous Mirror Giveaway With DENY Designs


Today's giveaway is a lot of fun, as it's coming from such a creative and inventive design company, DENY Designs. Have you heard of DENY Designs already?  If so, you're definitely in the know, as DENY has been featured in HGTV Magazine, Elle Decor and Real Simple, to name just a few!

Much more than just a home decor company, DENY works with over 90 hand-selected artists from around the world and uses their art on its' products.  The best part is that the artists receive a portion of the proceeds, enabling customers to support art communities all over the globe. How awesome is that?  It's a different business model that's really taking off and all of DENY products are printed in the US!  

A few weeks ago, DENY launched the new Spring Wall Collection which includes magnet boards, clocks and these fabulous mirrors. Today, one lucky reader will get to win a medium size mirror of their choice!  All you need to do is head over to DENY and fill out this form here, and that's it...you've entered!  Open to the U.S. only. This giveaway will run until Friday, May 10, 2013, winner announced Monday, May 13, 2013...good luck!



5/6/13

Peeking Into Designer's Homes


It's always cool to see how people who successfully create for a living, live.  The Georgia home of Susan Hable of Hable Construction, did not disappoint. Lauren Muse, first introduced me to Hable Construction's "retro sensibility and vibrant color schemes," back in 2008, when we selected some bright yellow throw pillows for my outdoor furniture.  Since then, I've become a big fan of this eclectic line, especially the Hickory Chair collaboration. It seems the Hable aesthetic is all about embracing tradition without ever taking itself too seriously, and what's not to love about that...to see more of this joyfully appointed home, head over to Elle Decor.

Monday's P.O.P.

purple peek

Image via: HouseBeautiful

5/3/13

Minor Obsessions


This week just flew by!  No doubt that all the beautiful sunshine we are experiencing here in New York helped to make the days seem to zoom on by...and here we are at the start of the first weekend in May, not to mention, Cinco de Mayo on Sunday!  So naturally, festive accessories are really catching my eye, both in my personal purchases and what I'm featuring in the store these days (there is always a lot of overlap here).  While my clothes tend to be basics...chambray tops, white jeans, v-neck tees, etc...once the warmer months arrive, it's fun to experiment with accessories. This season, there is a lot to choose from...

What bag wouldn't look cuter with a pom pom tassel attached to it?  Bright button earrings in of the moment emerald green.  Pattern, texture and color all in one versatile tote.  Mint and navy and monograms all look so right together ~ obsessed with this key chain. This chunky, faceted ring would work so well with all my summer maxi-dresses.  A tote that seems to imply happy times~pink fuzzy trim, pom-poms and a really fresh shape...love! Sandals that were made for summer soirees, gold heels, beaded straps and all.  Feliz Cinco de Mayo mis amigos!

5/2/13

Style Stalking: Terrat Elms Interior Design

These style stalks are easily one of my favorite posts, and May is absolutely one of my favorite months.  Fresh and happy, two adjectives that not only remind me of spring, but also clearly apply to the design work of Boston based, Terrat Elms. Check out all the inspiring rooms they've put together and let me know if you agree!

5/1/13

Gifts For Grads

 

Gifts for Grads, Moms and even Dads!  We've got you covered for all your upcoming gift giving needs...

Wednesday Wants

 I have so many happy memories tied in to this landmark, iconic store...getting my haircut on the top floor, after hours, when I was just starting out in New York (at the time Frederik Fekkai trainees offered a deeply discounted deal AND you got to sneak into the store after closing!)  enjoying a lovely brunch with my "maid of honor" hours before my wedding, celebrity spotting...Anna Wintour (rode alone in the elevator with her...twice!) Sarah Jessica Parker, tried to stalk her in ready to wear, until she was whisked away to a private fitting area...well, the list goes on and on, and every New Yorker that loves fashion probably has a similar one, which is part of the appeal of this movie! Really want to go see this...it's opening in a few days in NYC.  Until I get the chance, I'll gladly take the book as a primer (Mother's Day hint alert) Blogger field trip anyone?  Who's with me:)

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