Our take on 2011 Oscar Fashion.

Although I find the Oscar show painfully corny at times, I always walk away in awe of the people that put these amazing films together. Hats off to the art directors, costume designers, set designers, etc… that work (incredibly hard) for the magic. It provides unmatched inspiration.

But on a lighter note… I must admit to entering into a temporary trance during the red carpet preview in the name of fashion! My husband passes by now and then, commenting on how extremely boring he finds award shows, and in humorous contrast I’m 100% engrossed. I try to explain that watching the dresses, etc… is for me, part of the design and color trend scene I love dearly.

I found this year’s looks to be a very mixed bag! Color themes emerged such as silvery white, nudes, and shades of red and lavender. From flawless to bizarre, the variety kept things interesting.

Personal favorites-


This was my #1! Loved everything, the hair, the simple silhouette, the shimmer. A forever fan of Calvin Klein and Gwyneth’s sense of style.


I thought Jennifer Hudson looked beautiful in this orange/red Versace gown, only wish her hair was paired down a bit…

Matthew McConaughey’s girlfriend Camila Alves, I don’t know much about her but thought she was stunning in this Kaufman Franco dress. It’s not a bold statement but upon first glance it’s a wow.

Moving on to the “I really wanted to like this look” category-

Dear Scarlett, I loved your hair and make-up. I really wanted to like your Dolce and Gabbana dress, the back was cut beautifully, but the color killed it for me. A shade that just feels very mother of the bride!


Hmmm, Amy Adams in this L’Wren Scott gown. The sleeve cut and neckline were a little strange as well of the necklace. Just a little off? It seems to be a love it or hate it…


I found Nicole’s look including the John Galliano gown, equally odd. I sort of liked the dress but wanted to change her hair and remove the necklace pronto! Even the shoes were a peculiar pairing… and I usually love Nicole’s selections.

So there’s my take, did you have a winning look?

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Coral Inspiration.


After a very grey/black winter in fashion (though I fully admit to loving the look)…


I simply can not take my eyes off this February issue of Marie Claire featuring Michelle Williams. That color! Take a look…


Coral with blond tones, pale pink, even the tiny pop of yellow in her shoes? Bright, happy, creative, interesting. Has me thinking about how this might translate to a room…

To put it simply…

Need a little help adding a touch of Spring color to your home? Contact me anytime!

(thank you Marie Claire, Chic and Cheap Nursery, luxeandlillies.blogspot.com, Ruthie Sommers Design, and Oh Pretty Shiny (Etsy Shop/print) for the photos)

8 Ways to Make Your Home Feel Good!

Have you walked into a home, business, hotel, or restaurant and experienced a quick negative reaction? Something about the place is just off and you knoooooow you don’t want to stay!

I confess to spending an unreasonable chunk of my adult life, attempting to keep my home, from first apartment to current dwelling, out of this category, ha. How about you?

I am a sucker for GOOD AMBIANCE. Nothing like being welcomed by a space that feels good. Clean, bright, and happy… good music, smells pleasant, a sense of vitality flowing through…

I believe this can be achieved in any space (even the humblest) with a little work. There are many tips available- but here are my personal favorites-


1. White Tulips. Fresh flowers in general… but there’s something about the simple white tulip (they blend in perfectly). Put a vase on your table and suddenly the place looks elegant and vital.


2. The Light/Bright Factor. Don’t get me wrong, I love a dark powder room here and there but nothing feels happier than a bright room with sunlight streaming in. Open your shades during the day and work on a nice lighting ensemble for evening.

3. Fresh Air Flowing. A little fresh air circulating goes a long way! Even in winter, when the temp. cracks 30˚, I open the windows for a few minutes and let the air blow through (especially in the bedrooms). It feels so good.


4. Wide Open Space. Often when I walk into homes, I’m struck by furniture obstructing good flow in a room. Like you need to sort of tip toe around couches and tables… In oddly shaped rooms it can be difficult to organize the space, but sometimes simply scaling back on furniture helps tremendously.

5. Goodbye to Clutter. You’ve heard this one before! I know as a mother, I’m often overwhelmed by the piles that accumulate. I try to set aside maybe one day a month to clear things out… and afterward I feel so much better! There are great storage options available, even purchasing a mail bin is a huge step in the right direction.


6. Candles (everywhere). I love a line of votives on the mantel or table, or candles in the fireplace. Even one instantly warms the place up- and talk about inexpensive!


7. Minimal Window Treatments. Really heavy window treatments kill a room quickly. They feel heavy and you loose the beauty of the windows. Maybe it’s just me, but my vote is for simple shades or panels!


8. A little Spritz. Here and there… a nice light air freshener- there are great natural options available. My personal favorites, lavender and citrus. Everyone loves a fresh smelling home!

So there you have it, my top 8 list. Ask your friends for their tips, it’s a fun conversation. I think many are used before entertaining. If you have any interesting additions- do share!

(thank you Martha Stewart, “feng shui your life” by Jayme Barrett, Martha Stewart, The Shade Company, and Squido for the photos)

Love for the Bachelor Pad.


What I did not anticipate, and have been quite pleasantly surprised by, is the number of single men interested in help coloring and decorating their homes!

Couples are getting married later, men have purchased nice places, and gone are the days when the halogen light, next to the hand-me-down couch, one enormous TV, and possibly a lone Ansel Adams poster was all we came to expect. It’s a new day for the bachelor pad!

I’ve helped men interested in vibrant color, strictly earth tones, decorating styles including “funky”, modern, classic, and conservative. Some have confessed they don’t have a clue where to begin, or they’re good with design but need help with the overall look, or they would like to purchase new things but shopping is their idea of hell. By the way, I’m more than happy to take on shopping responsibilities.

I do not push. Maybe a gentle nudge, but that’s about it. I think we should all be happy and comfortable with the colors/and things that surround us. So guys, don’t worry… I will not attempt to talk you into butterfly embellishments, or anything that makes your friends wonder if you’re “okay inside”, ha.

There are many great resources that help us maintain a balance between masculinity and warmth. I will share some photos, but in the meantime, if your pad needs a little design TLC, feel free to contact me anytime.


(thank you Washington Post, Nate Berkus, home-designing.com, Nate Berkus, and Room and Board, for the photos)

A letter from Sophie.


Dear Jessamy,

Would you mind if I asked you about the path you went down to become a designer? Did you get a degree in interior design? Did you do an apprenticeship? I’m at a crossroads. I’ve been in a corporate career for the last ten years and I’m looking for a change. Interior decorating is something I truly enjoy and have a desire to learn more about, but it’s difficult to know where to start. I’m currently taking an interior design class at a local design college and am thoroughly enjoying it, but I want more. I’m supposed to be working right now but all I can think about is ordering throw pillows and slipcovers…

Thank you,
Sophie

Dear Sophie,

I completely enjoyed your letter and thank you for writing. In some, “what are the chances” sort of way, I think you asked the right person. Because- the basic gist of my story is, I just went for it!

Here’s the scoop…

I do have a lengthy design history. I have loved design, art, color, visuals, since birth really :) They are a very important part of my life that I couldn’t live without.

I fell into an art degree, and went on to work as a graphic designer in advertising and merchandising. You name it I designed it- billboards, t-shirts, marketing materials, semi-graphics, wedding invitations, logos, etc… I enjoyed the work but it never felt effortless. Throughout the jobs I held, people commented on my color sense. That was one element of the work I enjoyed most.

At about the ten year mark (sound familiar?), I started daydreaming about other possible creative outlets… I had this paint color consulting business idea that I contemplated for a few years (not a lot of competition in the area), wasn’t sure if the concept would take? But the idea really excited me! And it seemed attainable.

So one day I was feeling lack-luster and thought, what am I waiting for? And that was it…

Time to get focused- I selected a paint brand, met with a really nice rep. (Benjamin Moore), learned the products, choose a business name, designed a website and card, and worked really hard (sometimes for free)… waited…waited… First call, second call, third call… I’m in business, yahoo!

I admit, I sweat out the first appointments (lol) and thought… what the heck am I doing? But- to my surprise, this work felt effortless! I loved/love every aspect of Color Zen especially the fact that simple changes like new paint colors, can completely change a client’s perspective on their home for the better. And that feels powerful.

I am really lucky, I took a chance and it paid off. The business is expanding and I’ve had a lot of “right place at the right time” experiences. I can say I’ve always been hell bent on loving my job so much, it doesn’t feel like work- and I believe that has happened, and for this I am deeply grateful.

And Sophie- I hope you go for it too, and the career shift brings you much happiness!

Sincerely,
Jessamy

(thank you Real Simple for the photo)