Shiny Happy People

Nov 29, 2011

As if we needed more evidence that we were cruelly separated at birth from one of our all-time favorite bloggers, Victoria of sfgirlbybay, she had to go and post twice on a beloved topic: shiny things. A bit of shine goes a long way, but since it’s one of the keys to the Refined Romantic style and the holidays, we give you our blessing to glimmer, glow, and sparkle . . . just not in an angsty-teenage-vampire kind of way. Here are a few other pieces on our wish list:   ...

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Cameo Comeback

Nov 29, 2011

It’s hard to believe, but cameos, those mainstays of twentieth-century granny couture, have been around since before recorded history. Back then, they quickly became a convenient (if you can call painstakingly chiseling faces into rock convenient) way to depict stories or personal loyalties, and by the height of the Greek and Roman empires, were often carved into onyx, agate, and other hard gemstones to illustrate gods and goddesses, admired beauties, and mythological themes. For a time, they...

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Bathing Beauties

Nov 29, 2011

Who doesn’t dream of a bathroom with a great, big tub you can sink into and soak away the stresses of the day? It’s also an easily identifiable element of a Refined Romantic bathroom, but it’s not the only one. Read on, intrepid design fans, for tips on how to create your own romantic bathing sanctuary. In this photo, a bathroom in Annie’s former Berkshire home, she used large white tile squares on the floor to set the clean, streamlined tone. She added fleur-patterned wallpaper and an...

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Stick It To ’Em

Nov 22, 2011

We’ve been adults for, oh, just a couple of years now, but somehow, we’ve never lost our fascination for playing with stickers. Luckily, we’re not alone. Meet Payton Cosell Turner, granddaughter of the late, legendary sportscaster Howard Cosell, and Brooklyn-based artist who gets her jollies from painstakingly covering bedroom, living room, and even gallery walls with a cuckoo-cool collection of dime-store stickers. From daisies to dragonflies and double-decker buses, nothing’s...

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Three’s Company

Nov 22, 2011

Combining two patterns in your bedding is a piece of cake, right? Pick a main print—say, a splashy floral—then pair it with a more delicate design, like a pinstripe, in the dominant color from the print. But we can’t get enough of a good thing, so we’re advocating that you let loose your decorating dervish and mix it up with three (or more!) prints. It’s a fresh way to show a little character, and it’s a whole lot easier than some people think. Print master Annie shares these tips...

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Exit Through the Gift Shop

Nov 18, 2011

What do we love more than shopping for home décor, clothes, and accessories? Shopping for home décor, clothes, and accessories at stores so vividly colored and brilliantly merchandised that the walls practically giggle when we stroll through. If you’re on a happy-making mission for holiday gifts or personal goodies in New York City, we suggest a couple of special stops. C. Wonder, the brainchild of entrepreneur and Tory Burch co-founder Chris Burch, is a charisma-packed, candy-colored SoHo...

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Kitchen Quest: Color

Nov 17, 2011

There’s a mantra we like to repeat: Go big or get the heck out of the kitchen. Whether you’re a fanatical foodie or a casual cook, your kitchen should be both practical and full of fun, splashy tools, appliances, and accessories you can’t wait to use when whipping up everything from a quickie breakfast for one to a holiday extravaganza for the entire family. Try a few of these playful, colorful...

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Big Cheese

Nov 11, 2011

Holiday party season is officially on its way, and we can’t wait to get cooking, plating, and sharing (and did we mention sampling?). One of our favorite ways to kick off a holiday celebration is with a cheese platter filled with selections guests are . . . let’s say unlikely to find on the office-party deli platter or at their local market. We checked in with our fromage frère Matt Rubiner, owner of the wickedly fabulous Rubiner’s Cheesemongers and Grocers in Great Barrington,...

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The Butler Did It

Nov 11, 2011

There are interior designs that make us giddy, that leave our jaws slack with awe, or that inspire wild shopping sprees to amass all the incredible pieces we see in pictures. And then there are designs that reduce us to gibbering piles of decorating lunacy, ready to gut our homes in an effort to replicate a room. This kitchen, friends, is one of those rooms. Featured in the November 2011 issue of House Beautiful, this Birmingham, Alabama, beauty, masterminded by Bates Corkern Studio, is pretty...

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How We Do

Nov 11, 2011

If there’s one room of the house that must—not should, not could, not perhaps maybe when I feel like—be as streamlined as possible, regardless of decorating style, it’s the kitchen. Think about it: without a clean design, easy-to-access (and customizable) storage, and efficient use of every square picometer of space, this room can quickly go from cooking haven to chaos. But never fear. Danes Henrik Thygesen and Sebastian Jorgensen, the prodigiously talented gray matter behind We Do...

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A Cut Above

Nov 11, 2011

After scrolling through a variety of wish-we’d-thought-of-that DIY blog projects all year long, this is about the time when we get nutty with inspiration for holiday entertaining and gifts. We spied these gorgeous cutting boards on Centsational Girl, where Kate, a simple girl with a simple dream (who happens to be darn handy with a jigsaw), notes, “I had this vision in my head of a thick slab of wood with a lot of character that could become a focal point on a table.” After choosing a...

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Prepster Paradise

Nov 4, 2011

What don’t we love about this Hudson Valley hideaway, with its geometric shapes and plethora of vintage preppy accents, featured in the October 2011 issue of The World of Interiors? Nada. So let’s indulge in a bit of interior envy, shall we? At the entrance to the kitchen, where the winding staircase opens into the bright whiteness of beadboard walls and tongue-in-groove ceiling and floors, sits a custom side cabinet and a trio of three-legged furniture—including a long-and-lanky 1960s...

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