Contemporary Cabinet Knobs

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I’m always looking for ways to update our apartment (much to my husband’s dismay, although I will say, he does usually see the aesthetic “value” after my updates are complete).  We live in a rental, so I try to be smart about the changes that we make.  Our little kitchen is one particular sore spot, the finishes and fixtures are certainly not what I would have picked had I been able to choose.  I recently swapped out kitchen hardware in a client’s rental apartment and was quite surprised by the dramatic impact this seemingly small change had on the space.  Inspired by the transformation, I decided to go on the hunt for new hardware for my kitchen!

My requirements:  hardware with a single hole installation (easily interchangeable with our land lord’s existing hardware), as well as hardware that was simple, clean, and contemporary.  I also looked for hardware with a polished finish (or stainless steel), I like a little shine and think it helps to make pieces look more expensive.  Lastly, since the quantity of pieces I needed was on the high side, it was important to look for affordable hardware.  Check out some of my favorites…

Contemporary Cabinet Knobs

  1.  Square Cabinet Knob, $7.40 per knob
  2. Hexagon shaped, Canfield Cabinet Knob, $11.00 per knob
  3. T Pull Knobs, $2.04 per knob
  4. Cubic, Tapered Square Cabinet Knob, $6.12 per knob
  5. Circular, Mid-Century Modern Cadet Knob, $5.80 per knob
  6. Bar Knob, $7.13 per knob
  7. Square Cabinet Pull, $5.18 per knob

Which knobs are your favorite?  Stay tuned to see what I picked and how it looks in our kitchen!

xo, emily

 

My Sister’s Wedding Calligraphy

Amy's Wedding Calligraphy

My sister’s professional wedding photos finally came back (she was married in April in Naples, Florida) and I am so excited to finally share with you some images of the calligraphy I created for her wedding!  This was truly a labor of love for me, it was special to be able to contribute to her wedding in this little way.

The images were captured by Set Free Photography (what a difference a professional photographer makes when it comes to capturing calligraphy!).  The wedding invitation suite and day-of materials were created by DM Paper Designs (whom it was lovely to collaborate with!).  Last, but certainly not least, the wedding was planned by the amazing Kehrin Hassan of Jet Set Wed.

La Playa Wedding Photographer Set Free Photography Naples Florida-1027
Amy's Wedding Calligraphy

My calligraphy in collaboration with DM Paper Design’s gorgeous wedding invitations suite.

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Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2015

43rd annual kips bay decorator show house

This past weekend I toured the 2015 Kips Bay Decorator Show House.  The firm I work for did not have a room this year, but it was nice to pull my head out of the sand for a few hours and check out the fabulous work of fellow designers.  This year’s show house is being held in the Arthur Sachs Mansion (which is all yours for a cool $35 million).  22 designers and architects decked out the sprawling 7 floors of the mansion.  For your viewing pleasure, below is a peek into some of my favorite spaces in this year’s show house.

Kips Bay Decorator Show House Stair From Above (more…)

Weekly Wrap Up: Memorial Day Weekend

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When I first started this blog, I didn’t really intend to put any personal, “life” information on it.  Now that I’ve gotten rolling I’ve decided that through the occasional “life” blog post I can keep a record of my life and of all of the (mostly) up’s and (a few) down’s I experience living in NYC.  With the complete expectation that the only people interested in these types of posts will be my parents (hopefully?) and my husband (who has no other choice), here I go.  Welcome to my first “weekly wrap up.”

We’ve been traveling like crazy lately so we decided to stay in the city for Memorial Day weekend this year.  We had big plans including Coney Island, Ellis Island, Governor’s Island, and museums (we obviously have no shame in being tourists in our own city), but what we ended up doing was a lot of eating and a lot of veggin’ out in Central Park.  It was perfection and just what we needed.

Central Park (more…)

Interior Design: My Brother’s Studio Apartment

Designing a Post Grad Pad

My little brother graduated from college a few weeks ago and in a few more weeks he will head off to Houston, Texas to start a new job and join the rest of us in the real world (dun, dun, dun, dunnn…).  He is moving into a studio apartment and has a very, very tight decorative budget (by the way, he would probably be horrified if I insinuated that he used the term “decorative budget,” this is my design speak).  So, having a big sis who is a designer and also someone who has grown accustomed to living in teeny, tiny spaces in NYC, he called me to help!

There’s an emerging trend called “E-Design” in which designers work with clients virtually, designing rooms and houses entirely via email, phone, video chat, and digital documents.  This mini-project for my little brother has sort of allowed me to dip my toe in the e-design water.  I’d love to do more of this pending clients who want to hire me!

Below you’ll find one of a few furniture plans I laid out for my brother’s space.  His apartment is somewhere around 550 square feet total (by New York standards this is a huge studio) and is a loft with 14 foot high ceilings.  In terms of the layout, his only request was to add a little privacy to his sleeping space.  I wanted to ensure he also had designated spaces for entertaining and dining, but at the same time, it was important that the whole apartment be cohesive with an open feel.

Furniture Plan

In terms of furniture and decorative items, my brother is bringing with him an existing bed, dresser, and desk.  He really didn’t have any special requests for the new items needed to furnish his apartment.  Because one space will be used for sleeping, eating, entertaining, etc., my design intentions were to keep things simple, clean, and neutral.  Appropriately scaled furniture was key, but I was also conscious of making sure furniture didn’t look too bite-size (too small furniture is a big mistake in small space design).  I selected an open bookshelf to maximize storage and serve the dual purpose of room divider.  I chose crisp white pieces to blend in and not take up too much visual space.  Pieces with mixed metals, wood, and leather will give the apartment a masculine punch.  Floor to ceiling windows, along with books and personal items to fill the bookshelves will add another layer of color, texture, and personality.  As part of the “e-design” package, he was sent a source list with multiple options for every item needed.  Below are my favorites.

Steven's Apartment Decor

1. Floor Lamp:  Target, $299.99
2. Sectional:  West Elm, $2,747
3. Room Divider/Shelves:  Ikea, $199
4. Coffee Table:  Wayfair, $83.99
5. Area Rug:  Joss & Main, $323.95 *no longer available
6. Side Table:  West Elm, $119.99
7. TV Console:  Ikea, $119
8. Dining Chair:  Ikea, $79
9. Dining Table:  Ikea, $199
10. Table/Desk Lamp:  Target, $90.00
11. Storage Bin for Room Divider/Shelves:  Amazon, $12.97
12. Hamper and Storage Basket:  Land of Nod, $89 & $49
13. Barstool:  Target, $99.99 (for a set of 2)
14. Pen Holder, Desk Accessory:  Wayfair, $17.99
15. Desk Chair:  Wayfair, $105.99
16.  Doormat: Domino, $50

What do you think of my ideas for my brother’s post grad pad?  I’d love your feedback in the comments section below!  Interested in “E-Design” for your space?  Contact me at honesttoemily@gmail.com to discuss!

xo, emily

 

Tex Mex Queso

Post 10 Title - cinco de mayo delectable!In honor of Cinco de Mayo, I am posting the recipe for my favorite queso!  One of my college roomies passed this recipe along to me and I’ve been making it for about six years now!  It is perfect for parties, holiday’s, tailgates, or those times when you’re a homesick, small town girl in a big city without true tex mex queso!  Enjoy!

Queso Image 1

Queso Ingredients

Ingredients Image

Queso Instructions

Queso Image 2

Fiesta

If you try my queso recipe, please let me know what you think in the comments section below!

xo, emily

Fabulous Fine China

"She eats takeout on china and serves champagne with pizza"

It’s been a long time baby, but I’m back!  The past two months have been CRAZY.  I’ve been in Nevada, Massachusetts, Texas, Florida, New Jersey, Connecticut, and am now back in New York… until we’re off to Oklahoma next weekend.  I’ve been busy with weddings, bachelorette parties, birthday’s, and also my day job.  I spent a lot of time crafting for my sister’s wedding (post(s) on these projects to come soon).  In a nut shell, it’s been a wild couple of months, but I am happy to finally have a little more time to focus my attention back on the blog.

I’m thrilled to finally share a post I’ve been working on and thinking about for awhile now, all about contemporary (and fabulous) fine china.  Registering for china seems to be becoming less and less popular these days (especially when you live outside of the south), but I am a huge fan of fine china, it is one of my most treasured wedding gifts.  Not only does china make occasions feel more special, but it can be a fun focal point in your home.  Not to mention, it will become a family heirloom for you to pass down.  I love the idea of selecting a basic china pattern (like this simple gold pattern I chose) and pairing it with a really fun set of dessert or accent plates.  Check out some of my favorites below…

Fabulous Fine China

1.  Nature Table Dessert Plate by Lou Rota  (Anthropologie has the cutest dining & entertaining pieces these days!  I bought my mom a set of these plates for her birthday last year.  Brides-to-be, did you know you can register at Anthropologie now?)
2.  Brandebourg by Haviland
3.  Etoiles by Bernardaud
4.  Hemisphere Gold Stripes by JL Coquet
5.  Antique by Anna Weatherley
6.  Gluckstein by Lenox
7.  Sol y Sombra by Christian Lacroix (loving the hand painted look of these gems)

So many hip and fresh china patterns to choose from!   (more…)

Affordable Art

affordable art

One of my favorite parts of my job is going art shopping with clients and finally, installing art in completed projects.  For me, art is the final touch that really makes a space come alive.  If a room were an outfit, art would be the jewelry.  Some outfits demand a statement necklace or a bunch of bangles or an antique watch – curating art for a room is similar.  I’ve been lucky enough to see some serious, museum-worthy art up close and in person.  If you can afford museum-worthy art, more power to ya, but as for the rest of us, I’m going to fill you in on how to find original, affordable art without stepping foot in a chain home decor store.

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Travel: Tulum, Mexico

travels:  tulum, mexico

Before I dive into this post, I’d like to take a moment to apologize for the lack of blog posts in the past few weeks!  Since I last posted A LOT has transpired.  We flew back to Oklahoma for my grandmother’s funeral, celebrated Valentine’s Day and our one year wedding anniversary, I’ve been busy planning my sister’s upcoming Bachelorette in Vegas, and we attended a destination wedding in Tulum, Mexico.  So blogging took a back seat, but I vow to write at least one new post each week from here on out!  Today I want to share with you the four days of pure bliss we recently experienced in Mexico…

tulum, mexico map

We were beyond excited when JC was asked to be a groomsman at a good friend’s wedding in Tulum, Mexico!  We love to travel, love weddings, and really love the bride and groom, so not going was not an option.  I’ve been to Mexico quite a few times in the past, usually staying at big, all-inclusive resorts, but Tulum was such a different experience and is an such an amazing “off the beaten path” destination that I knew I wanted to share about it here.

Tulum is a sleepy little beach town with one main drag of “mom and pop” feeling hotels, bars, restaurants, and shops.  You can walk, bike, or scooter (a few amigos from our group rented scooters – only $40 a day!) along the main drag, it’s completely safe.  All of the various events that made up the wedding weekend were at different locations and it was so much fun to explore the town!

Tulum, Mexico

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Calligraphy: My Sister’s Wedding Invitation Suite

Post 5 Title - i love calligraphy

Calligraphy is a “hobby” I picked up a little over a year ago, shortly after planning for my wedding ended and I was having major withdrawals for all things wedding!  I also love crafting but without my parent’s garage (apologies to my Dad for many, many messes), and limited space in my New York City apartment, most projects weren’t really feasible.   Calligraphy is the perfect big city craft because the supplies are small and you can write/draw/design almost anywhere!  After plowing through a few classes (thanks I Still Love Calligraphy and Paperfinger) and a few books (my favorite is Modern Calligraphy by Molly Suber Thorpe) I began taking on some small projects for friends and opened up my very own shop on Etsy.

I’m guilty of not taking nearly enough pictures of the calligraphy projects I’ve done thus far, but I just received my little sister’s wedding invitation in the mail (I addressed all of the envelopes and also worked with DM Paper Designs to provide calligraphy for parts of the invitation suite) and thought I’d share some images here!

Calligraphy Envelope

Invitation Suite

Invitation

Interested in working with me on a calligraphy project?  Email me at honesttoemily@gmail.com.

xo, emily