Niche Style…Design

Today I felt like posting about the Niche Style esthetic, the laid back, West Coast vibe with the East Coast attitude.

I’m a child of the ’60’s and 70’s (and ugly ’80’s) so I love the clothes, designs, architecture and furniture from those eras. Living on the East Coast with all of it’s Colonials and Cape Cod style homes it’s rare to come across much from the eras I love.  I do love the hunt though! While much of what I show you will seem like it has a lot of white, I do love color.

The Niche Style uses a neutral background and brings in the color with accessories and art. It uses a mix of vintage and new items with lots of contrasts of textures. Kilim rugs, leather, wicker and rattan, warm, natural woods, bright textiles all come together to make it work.

Do you like the Niche Style?


Uggs are back…Ugg or Ugh?

Vogue just declared the Ugg boot is back in style.

Some of you may say Yay, some Nay, and some may say it never went out of style. But when Vogue says it, they aren’t usually wrong.

It’s along the line of the ugly shoe trend, like the Birkenstock craze of last summer.  Of course they have rules to this reintroduction.


1. Wear with no make-up

2. Tracksuit bottoms are off the menu

3. Be clever (or sexy – try fishnets) – this is all about subverting the yummy-mummy expectations

4. They look great with a vintage dress and chunky knit. “That’s how I wore mine in the South of France last summer,” says Vogue’s Laura Weir. “Spend three weeks in a camper van hopping from the surf to beach BBQs, and they’re the only thing you want on your feet.”

5. A long white tunic or tux shirt, bare legs and the black Ugg mini is a strong transitional look.


Vogue actually did two articles on this subject, Secret’s Out: Confessions of Vogue’s Ugg Addicts and The Return of the Ugg Boot.  These boots were initially made to be worn after surfing so the look Vogue suggests is a laid-back, boho vibe (which they say is going to be H U G E  this summer). This can be achieved in the winter also. Try chunky sweaters and vintage inspired tops with skinny jeans or beat-up boyfriend jeans.

This is the picture Vogue used but, it doesn’t really work for anyone over the age of 25.


Here’s some more age appropriate looks:

Sienna Miller is the Queen of Ugg

Summer Looks

Throw on some Uggs with this cute look.

I love this look but substitute a low pair of Uggs!

This with longer shorts, obviously.


I have to confess I’ve never worn or owned a pair of Uggs until I received Ugg slippers for Christmas. They’re so comfortable I barely take them off! So when I read these articles I got a bit excited because I thought I missed the trend.  I’m now considering buying a pair….

Will you jump back on this trend?


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Hard Rock

Marble, I’m a huge fan! Love it for counters in the kitchen and every surface in the bathroom!

Now retailers are using it to make household accessories.

It has a trendy and traditional feel at the same time.

Check out some of the items I found while surfing the net…

Adjustable Marble Uplight from West Elm $79.99. Love this light with it’s mix of metals and marble!!

Small Pilar Lamp by West Elm $99

Strata Marble Tile Wallpaper $229/roll West Elm

Marble Cleat Boxes $24-$36 West Elm

CB2 Rosie Table Lamp with Marble base $149

4×6 Mable Picture frame from CB2 $19.95

Marble bathroom accessories from CB2 $9.95-$19.95

Crate and Barrel Marble candle holders $7.97 on sale

Tiger Hand Tray $49.97

Rigsby Marble 2-Tier Server $59.95 Crate and Barrel

The marble looks great next to brass, wood and painted surfaces. This light from West Elm is both contemporary and vintage and could be used in many different style homes.

Do you like this marble trend/style?


Pics from retailers’ websites and top pic from Smitten Studio blog.

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The New Dining Room

Dining rooms have come a long way since our grandparents and even our parents. They used to be formal spaces saved for company and holidays. Now houses are built as open concept without a dining room or large kitchens without a spot to sit down to eat. The dining room as we used to know it is becoming obsolete. I know some of you will disagree because there are still some formal dining rooms. Eating and dining has become more informal so the areas we do it in have too. When I use the term dining room I don’t necessarily mean you have to have a “room”.  And for those of you without a designated space, just make a small spot for a table and chairs to entertain.

Looking at home and interior design magazines and blogs, the trend in dining room style is mix-and-match table and chairs with an eye catching chandelier. It’s a more collected, eclectic look.  Now if you already have a matching dining room set don’t fret. You can change out the captain’s chairs, add cushions, pillows and throws to get a similar look. Or maybe you don’t like this trend, that’s fine too.

The first element is the dining table. The shape and size needs to fit your room. Measure and re-measure!! There’s nothing worse then a table that is too big or too small for a room. Or the wrong shape!  Square and small rooms call for square or round tables. Long rooms call for rectangular tables. There should be 42-48″ clearance from the table at all sides to the walls and furniture so people can get up and move around.  Pedestal tables provide more leg room so you can add an extra chair if needed. The style of the table is really up to you and your existing interior styling.

Chairs are a bit harder to pick, especially when buying vintage because everything was made smaller. I recently bought these at Ikea to use with my vintage table and luckily they work.  You need to sit in them to see if they are comfortable and measure to make sure they are the right height for the table. New chairs are usually fine if you are pairing them with new tables, but vintage chairs are sometimes shorter. Standard width for armless is 22″, 20-24″ deep, 18-19″ height and 12″ from seat to table and most tables are 29-30″ height from the floor.

Last but certainly not least is the chandelier. These can be found vintage, new, used, etc. Look for that wow piece, the jewelry for the room.  And hang it at the right height, this is a huge pet peeve of mine! The rule is 30-34″ above the table. Certain ones can be hung lower, but never higher. Contracters always have them up to the ceiling.  Do yourself a favor when you install it and put in a dimmer at the same time.

The trick to achieving this look is subtle, an antique table with more modern chairs but maybe both have the same wood tone. A rustic farm table with white Eames molded plastic chairs or Phillipe Stark Ghost Chairs. It’s a yin and yang thing, Like pairing the beautiful model with the old rock star. My dining room table and chairs look similar to the picture above except my table is oblong and vintage. The chairs are from Ikea, super comfy and cool looking.

There are many places to get this look without selling a kidney.  Ikea, World Market, CB2,,, Crate and Barrel, and my new favorite for vintage, Chairish.

Here’s some inspiration for you!!

Do you like this mix-and-match dining room look?


winter blues

Enough already!

I’ve had it with the subzero temps!

My skin has had it! My psyche has had it!

I need hot and humid and I need it now!

I don’t even care if I relax, I’m willing to work for it.

Diagnosis: Winter Blues.

Well enough with my complaining and onto the point of this post.

Gray Malin, the “it” photographer.

 He’s known for his aerial beach photos, but his photos are both whimsical and stunning.

He’s a self proclaimed, tongue-in-cheek, jet setter and interior designer besides being a world famous photographer.

He’s taken pics all over the world! (so jealous) The antarctic, on safaris, tops of buildings, from planes,  beaches, farms, you name it.

So here’s a treatment for the Winter Blues via Gray Malin…

Now some inspiration for the home. These are pics of the photography used in Gray Malin’s own home.

You can see photos from Gray Malin’s other series here.

Are you feeling better yet? I’m not, but I still love his work! And want one!

Stay warm!!