Tuesday, October 28, 2008

West Coast Chic

Seriously, it rained cats and dogs all day here in NYC. I couldn't believe at 9:00 a.m. the sky looked pitch black! To channel some sun, my thoughts turned to the gorgeous California home of Karen Kimmel and James Bond found via Apartment Therapy.

Carefully considered but not overwrought, this cozy home is the perfect antidote to today's torrents. Enjoy!

Photo credit: Jonathan Lo for Apartment Therapy

Friday, October 24, 2008

Tinkering With Time

Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise. - Benjamin Franklin

Good afternoon my practicalistas! Hope everyone is feeling psyched about the weekend. I sure am. Lately, I've been super-busy with my real job (freelance writing/PR) but no fear I'll still be sneaking in some fabulousness this Friday! :-)

By the way, I have a confession. Since last month's earnest promise to tuck in early my words have haunted me. Here's the skinny: I . Just. Can't. Do it. Unless I'm terribly ill or suffering from severe exhaustion, my night-owl tendencies simply threaten my resolve to hit the sacks early.

A couple nights ago however, I tried something different and I'm liking it. To give me a buffer between busywork and bedtime, I've taken to curling up with a good read before drifting off to sleep. It's so wonderful I actually look forward to getting into bed - something I dreaded before. I've also rescheduled my bedtime to around 10:30 p.m. - a more realistic time based on my well-documented nocturnal struggles. :-)

Hopefully this little tweaking will help. In the meantime, I think lovely timepieces like the ones above would inspire me to stay on track. Anyone else in the same boat?

Friday, October 17, 2008

DIY Fridays: Medallion Wall Art

[Photo credit: Better Homes and Gardens]

Today's quick-and-easy DIY idea comes from Better Homes and Gardens via CasaSugar. Here, large (but lightweight) ceiling medallions are painted varying shades of yellow to create bold wall art. I really love how these rosettes provide a fresh alternative to mounted plates or baskets - a perfect unexpected touch! For more quick projects click here.

Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Finding Family-Friendly Digs

[Photo credit: Michael Falco/New York Times]

Happy Tuesday everyone. Hope you had a wonderful Columbus Day!

I actually spent yesterday afternoon catching up on a ton of reading. One article that caught my eye was a New York Times piece on city families and the trials of apartment-hunting. It was really interesting to see other families sharing similar challenges like trekking up and down flights of stairs; worrying about bothering the neighbors; and having enough space for storage or play. The Times also offered some great tips for finding kid-friendly apartments. You can check them out, here.

In the not so distant future our family will definitely require more space as the kids grow-up and need to spread out. On my wish-list: a backyard! Really, it's all I care about and it's the most practical of all my desires. To be able to open the backdoor and say "go run" is a heaven to me. In fact, I'm still drooling over the modern Brooklyn backyard (below) featured in the May 2007 issue of Domino. Definitely my idea of an urban retreat!

[Photo credit: Domino/Lucas Allen]

Another nice extra would be a bay window. So fantastic! I imagine myself outfitting it as a cozy reading nook like Victoria from sfgirlbybay.

[Photo credit: Sfgirlbybay]

Oh, and a large dining area to accommodate a Big Sur dining table - seating for all! Ok, enough day-dreaming! :-)

[Photo credit: Crate and Barrel via Trendir]

If you're looking to make your next move, what's on your wish-list? And if you are already in your dream home, what do you love most? I'm excited to hear what you have to say!

Monday, October 6, 2008

What I'm Loving Now: Moroccan Poufs

[Photo credit: David Netto for Teen Vogue]

I saw it the other day via Desire To Inspire. It called out to me. It yearned to be mine. Do you see it? There. That little red-gumdrop-of-a-pouf tucked under the sleek white desk. Yes, that's the one. I haven't stopped dreaming about it ever since.

While some may dismiss Moroccan poufs as a trend that's so last year. I think these ottomans are in fact a beautiful basic - fun and functional for everyday living. And, I've rounded up my faves just for you. From the pricey square orange ottoman that will make your room to the smaller scale (and budget friendly) camel patchwork ottoman that's great for kids.

Clockwise from top left: Chocolate brown pouf, Mosaik$295; orange cylinder, Tazi Designs $120; red pouf, John Derian $265; camel patchwork pouf, Yurdan $25.50; orange square, Tazi Designs $450. See anything you like? They are all so yummy!

Last, but by no means least, a big thank you to Ancil at Kicker Inc. for the new Pretty*Practical banner. I love it! And of course to all of you, Happy Monday! :-)

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Too Cool For School

[Biscuit cards (left); Over the Rainbow Notebook]

With all the talk of 'bailouts' and 'buy-ins', some good old-fashioned window-shopping seems in order. So today, we'll travel across the pond to England to take a peek at Present and Correct an amazing paper goods store featuring a host of unique finds.

Born out of a "long term obsession with stationery", P&C is a design-lovers paradise. Really, there is so much to love here! But if pressed, my faves are those yummy Biscuit cards; the sweet XYZ print; and that adorable Smile Pen. See anything you like?

[XYZ print (left); Paper and Brass Clock]

[Big Boy Wraps (left); Smile Pen]

[Colouring Chalk (left); Animal Drawing Cards]