I can never get enough of stylish dinnerware for entertaining. This retro 32-piece set from Jonathan Adler’s Happy Chic line for HSN is currently on clearance for $59.95! (down from $129.95!) It comes in both orange and blue and and is the perfect way to add a fun punch of color to your dinner table. Buy it here.
Since my episode of HGTV’s MY Favorite Place has aired I’ve gotten tons of emails, comments and tweets about some of the items from my apartment that were featured in the episode so I decided to devote a special edition of Ask Nicole to answering your questions. Read on to learn more about some of the sources I used to furnish my space!
Ralph Lauren’s Forde Abbey is one of my favorite shades of gray for interior walls.
Q: Nicole – I saw you for the first time on My Favorite Place. I LOVE everything I saw in your home but especially was drawn to your wall color. Would you consider sharing what color it is?
Linda O’Neill, Reston VA
A: The paint color is a beige-ish gray color called Forde Abbey from Ralph Lauren Paints. You can click here to find it at a store in your area.
Q: Nicole – The segment was wonderful. We felt your space was the most creative. Would you please share with us the resource for the invisible book holder?
L: The Sapien bookcase from DWR. R: CB2′s Array bookcase.
A: My bookcase was from West Elm and sadly they no longer sell it but lucky for you DWR and CB2 have identical options! The Sapien bookcase from DWR comes in both white and grey and is available in two heights and the Array bookcase from CB2 is available in a 5 foot tall silver version.
Pottery Barn’s Grand Embroidered Duvet & Shams on my bed as seen on HGTV’s My Favorite Place
Q: @SoHaute – Just saw your segment! Love your style and how you mix high and low pieces. Where did u get your bedding?
@DressMyRoom (via Twitter)
A: My bedding is from Pottery Barn! It’s the Grand Embroidered Duvet with matching Shams and I chose the embroidery color porcelain blue. You can view it here.
Keep Calm & Drink Wine Print
Keep Calm & Drink Wine!
Q: Hi Nicole! Where oh where did you get the “Keep Calm and Drink Wine” print? I need it in my life now. xoxo
A: I got the print from the Keep Calm Shop on Etsy! They have variations of the popular “Keep Calm” posters to suit any personality! You can shop the assortment here.
Meet Amber Lewis – LA based interior designer, wife, mother and blogger. After discovering Amber’s blog earlier this year, it quickly became one of my favorites. I loved reading about all of the uber creative DIY projects she’s tackled in her home and I instantly connected with her eclectic sense of style and her witty sense of humor. She seemed like a ton of fun so during a recent visit to LA I sent her an email telling her how much I loved her blog and the next morning I found myself at her super cute house in the Valley chatting it up in her kitchen and learning all about her journey in design.
Amber always knew she wanted to pursue a career in design so after high school she went off to study interior design at UCLA where she attended until life intervened and brought her straight out of the college bubble and into the real world.”I went to school got pregnant and never finished” she told me. Still, that didn’t deter her from pursuing her career so rather than go back to school she decided to start working right away and got a job working with Malibu based designer Kirsten Marie. She says she received a far better education working hands on in the design world than she ever could have in four years of design school and believes that true talent cannot be learned. As she put it, “sometimes you either have it or you don’t.” After working for Kirsten for nearly six years, Amber left this April to run her own design business full-time.
Nowadays, Amber has a seemingly perfect life. She’s the quintessential pretty girl with a handsome British rocker husband, an adorable baby daughter named Gwyneth and a growing career that she says has really begun to blossom thanks to the exposure she’s gained through her blog. Amber works from home which is a sunny and eclectic space that is layerd with lots of texture, pattern and colorful textiles and is full of affordable finds. She was kind enough to open up her home and I’m excited to share her fabulous house tour. It’s chock full of great DIY and budget decorating ideas!
Amber and her husband Mike puchased their home in September 2010 and before that the couple lived in a Santa Monica rental for 6 years before deciding they wanted buy and gain more space for their growing family. They chose the Valley where they could a better value than they could in the heart of Los Angeles.
Amber says her house had a dated 1960s interior when they first moved in so she decided to gut the space and start fresh. Here is a shot of her dining area which showcases two of her proud DIY projects. On either side of the table hangs her simple but brilliant “cloud art“made with photos of clouds that she took herself. She snapped the pictures out the window of her car while out on a drive with her hubby and had them blown up as large scale prints which she placed in inexpensive frames from Ikea. Another fab DIY project is the banquette which Amber and Mike built (see the DIY here) using inexpensive prefabricated kitchen cabinetry from Lowe’s and had a custom cushion made to fit on top.
Her dining table, she says, was a splurge from Restoration Hardware and the mid-century inspired dining chairs were a stylish steal from K Mart! She topped each chair with sheepskin rugs from Ikea and layered a suzani over the banquette cushion for a pop of color. She also incorporated custom throw pillows made from ikat and vintage Asian textiles she found at the the Long Beach flea market. On the floor, a vintage Turkish kilim rug purchased on eBay is layered on top of a natural fiber rug. (Haute tip: Layering rugs is a great decorators trick for adding depth and texture!) The lotus flower pendant over the table was a score from a vintage shop in Pasadena. It was originally a tacky gold color so she painted it bronze and now it suits the space perfectly.
Amber knocked down a wall that once divided the kitchen from the dining and living areas and created an open floor plan with an 8-foot caeserstone island at the center. White cabinetry and carrerra marble subway tiles lend a classic feel to this pristine kitchen. The stools are from Ikea and the pendant above the island was made out of old tire parts purchased at an antique store. The light fixture above the sink was made from a task lamp.
In the living room a sectional sofa provides a cozy place for the family to lounge. The dhurrie rug is from Ikea and the suzani covered ottoman was the result of a DIY makeover on a thrift store find. The white chair is from Ikea and the assemblage of throw pillows help brighten up the space. In the background Ikea curtains with a hand stenciled pattern frame the windows. (DIY here)
Here’s an opposite view of the living area so you can get a better sense of the layout…
Opposite the sofa is a vintage credenza which serves as a media stand.
The hallway leading to the bedrooms is features a collected assortment of artwork and other memorabilia that Amber and Mike have collected over the years. “The girl holding the bomb is a “Banksy” signed and everything. My Husband bought it in London at a place called Santa’s Ghetto in 2003. We also have some Ashley G prints from 2005 that I still love. Then we have some of my husbands gold records and plaques up as well as some of his touring posters from over the years.”
“I love old photography and have a couple of creepy old photos of other people..the one on the top center is of an old bald guy playing the piano. It’s creepy but romantic. Some wedding photos are up there as well.”
In the master bedroom more beautiful textiles take center stage. Amber draped a brightly colored ikat scarf from H&M over a simple canvas upholstered headboard from Nate Berkus for HSN. The pillows and the quilt are from John Robshaw and she paired them with an Indian Paisley duvet from West Elm and classic embroidered stripe bedding from Sferra. Her nightstand is a simple Ikea chest which she freshened up with new hardware and black paint. The lamps are from CB2
The pair of benches at the foot of her bead were finds from HomeGoods and the artwork above the bed is from one of Amber’s favorite artists named Audrey Kawasaki. The mirrors on either side of the bed were from a thrift store and she paid just $25 for the pair. “They were in bad shape so we sanded them and painted them white. (Haute Tip: painting wood furniture white is a great way to hide distress and make something old and scuffed look fresh again.)
Across the room is a chic rattan canopy chair that Amber found at the Salvation Army. The Chevron fabric on her curtains is from Premiere Prints. The horse head sculpture is from Jonathan Adler.
Thanks so much Amer for sharing a tour of your home with So Haute! To see more stylish DIY ideas from Amber visit her blog here!
It’s always a good idea to hang on to leftover paint from a project in case you need to do touch-ups in the future. But have you ever stored your paint in its original can only to find it completely dried out when you need it? Once you pry open a paint can, it’s no longer sealed so you’re inevitably letting air in which will cause your paint to dry out quickly. A simple and stylish storage solution is to store your paint in airtight food storage jars! Above is some leftover paint I had lying around the house and below is what it looks like now. I used these jars from the Container Store which have an airtight seal in the lid to keep food fresh but it works just as well for keeping paint fresh too! They also have a pretty pattern embossed onto the glass so they’re both functional and good looking. They’re also a steal with the largest size costing just $3.99. You can also work with old metal lid food jars you already have at home, so long as you’re sure the seal is still in tact. Jelly jars work quite nicely. Be sure to label your jars so you can keep track of your colors.
Louis XVI chairs from Elizabeth Pash Antiques via 1stDibs @ NYDC
Back in February, 1st Dibs, the online emporium for fine antiques and 20th century modern furniture from dealers around the globe went brick & mortar when it opened its first physical showroom at the New York Design Center. 1st Dibs @ NYDC spans the entire 10th floor of the NYDC. Although the NYDC is typically only open to the design trade, the 33,000, gallery-like 1st Dibs floor is completely open to the public. Below is a peek at the beauty you’ll find inside. For information about hours of operation visit the NYDC website. And if you can’t get there in person, you can shop the 1st Dibs @ NYDC offerings online! Kudos to the NYDC and 1stDibs for making great design accessible to everyone!
Knox Martin Paintings from StellarUnion
A vignette from Lisa Laserow Antiques
1930s French Armchair from Objectiques at 1stDibs @ NYDC
I loved this pair of faux malachite chairs
Agate & bronze waterfall coffee table
A 1970s Victor Roman polished brass console
A Milo Baughman Sofa
All photos by me.