Thursday, April 17, 2014

Setting a spring table with style

With Easter coming up this weekend, it got me thinking about creative ways to style our holiday table this year. Growing up, our table was often set with this delightful vintage strawberry china from Fitz & Floyd. Side note- I had to look them up because I was nearly convinced the little FF icon stamped on the back meant "For Food".... which would have been perfectly fine by me. If it looks good enough to eat off of, I won't judge!

So with the 'vintage-vibe-meets-spring-time-fun' in mind, I decided to work on an elegant yet playful update, making this tablescape casually chic and kid friendly. After all, I am in that season of attempting to live stylishly with children. It is a tall order at times! And speaking of kids, since my cousin Leslie came over with her kids, we decided to make this a "working playdate"; as in moms work while kids play... when do we get to play? is it wine-thirty yet? So while we dressed up our table, we baited our little minions with candy and kept them busy with a fun Easter craft. More on that later.

I created a simple floral arrangement of wild chamomile in a glass pitcher to echo the strawberry blossoms in the china. The pitcher was a perfect accompaniment to the casual table setting.

Next up, I added brightly hued sweets displayed in mix and match dishware to accentuate the cozy vibe, and because, well, a little food bribery will get children to sit through a meal. I rarely do that, but being that it's a holiday I will make a small exception (I mean teeny).

My favorite impromptu addition to our table was this amazing artisnal candy from Papabubblela. These artful edibles were hand crafted for Land of Nod which had their tour bus in front of Papabubblela's shop in Old Town Pasadena, the same day we were planning to do our photo shoot. Being a big fan of all things from Nod, we stopped by and naturally, couldn't resist making a home for these quirky little conversation pieces. I don't think it was pure coincidence that their colored confections matched our table either. Meant to be!

Now back to the treat-gorging minions....

We filled their bellies with candy and put paint in their hands... we live on the edge like that.

They painted hard boiled eggs as well as egg shaped salt dough ornaments which the mamas prepared ahead of time. After we eked a little child labor out of them, we decided to hang the salt dough ornaments with turquoise baking twine found from the 1 spot at Target. Great little craft project for $1 if you already have the essentials- flour, salt, water and paint of your choice.

This was the end result, the piece de la resistance... ok fine, we just needed to let them hang dry away from little grabby hands.... the Japanese maple never looked so perdy.

Meanwhile, back in the design dojo, we finished setting the table in strawberry style.

And then this happened..... busted....

Luckily for Miss Olivia, cuteness makes up for her mischievousness.

As you can see, this shoot was easy breezy, free of interruption and after a day's work of high styling fun, the mamas joyfully sat outside, taking in the warm spring sun in perfect peace, while the angelic little babes, sat contently, rolling pleases, thank you's and other praises off their tongues as sweet as the candy they just devoured. Right.... now, let's return to earth. The day was not without distraction, but it was plenty of fun and no vintage china was harmed during the process... whew! The biggest take away from this and any holiday for that matter is making memories that last.

Whatever that may be in your home and at your holiday table, may you find the joy in the perfectly imperfect and bring that real life combo to light in the heart of your home, the place where we gather for meals. It will create fond memories, family bonding and years of laughter to come, promise!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Rock On! Designing with natural gems

There is nothing more breathtaking and exquisite than the colors, crystals and reflective quality of natural stones. They have a sense of history, permanency, and incomprehensible beauty. Using natural stone as accents, hardware and lighting brings nature right into the home, allowing it to gorgeously reflect and shine in your dreamy interior.

As children, many of us collected rocks, and I for one, still do... in a different way of course. I'm constantly in pursuit of the right gems to create a sanctuary at home that is both calming yet luxurious. Amazing how a colorful geode or amethyst can lift your mood, isn't it?

Here are some of my favorite pieces using natural gemstone. Ready to rock some in your home?  They will become the drool-worthy focal point of your room. I mean, who doesn't notice bling??

1. Gorgeously glam geode wallpaper from Kremelife.
2. Matching rock crystal lamps from Craig Van Den Brulle.
3. Black lacquered box with geode from MapletonDrive.
4. Lovely little airplant and crystal combo from Falcon&Finch.
5. Crystal wall sconce from Kallista.
6. Agate cabinet handles from West Elm.
7. Selenite tabletop decor from Plantation.
8. Charles Edwards crystal door knobs.
9. White quartz bookends from High Street Market.
10. Agate inspired gicleƩ print from Oliver Gal Signature Collection featured on One Kings Lane.
11. Belle&June agate and lucite serving tray.
12. Cole & Son malachite inspired wallpaper found at Walnut Wallpaper.

I love how working with crystal can be both dramatic yet soothing at the same time, I mean, when does drama and calm ever go together? This is why they are truly amazing and can create the perfect inspired accent in your living space.

So in spirit of throwing you a few design solutions (because stones would be umm... reprehensible), whatever you choose to do in your living space, may these gems be an inspiration to you.

Until then... rock on with reckless abandon!


Friday, March 28, 2014

Color Crush of the Month- Emerald

It's March people, which means it's Emerald City over here at Emily LaMarque Design Studios. In honor of spring, this lively and vibrant hue is a perfect addition to add a pop of fresh color at home. 

Emerald is a powerful color; a go big or go home kind of bold. If you're ready to walk on the wild side, here is a roundup of some of my favorite emerald items I am digging right now.

1) Malachite Tea Set from One Kings Lane
2) Neon sign wall art from Etsy
3) Jade fabric from Schumacher
4) Green lounge chair from CB2
5) Malachite frame by Jonathan Adler
7) Emerald lacquered bar cabinet from Worlds Away
8) Painting by James Nares
9) Palm inspired fabric from Christopher Farr Cloth
10) Kate Spade journal
12) Leather key fob from Etsy
13) Embroidered pillow from Trina Turk

If you're using emerald as the focal color of your interior, try pairing it with white, gold, and black to deliver a space with the utmost sophistication. For a more preppy vibe, simply switch out black for navy. If you really want to "taste the rainbow" (stylishly of course), try pairing emerald with citrus yellow, aqua or orange.

Don't have jungle fever just yet? If you're lukewarm, try a few emerald accents in your current space. A small pop of this powerful hue can really work to rejuvenate, renew and refresh your home. That's what spring is about after all!  Natural stone such as malachite and jade offer a calming balance, while many of these exotic palm inspired prints create a sense of outdoor adventure and escape. 

Welcome to the jungle baby! 


Monday, March 24, 2014

On the hunt: Vintage Pyrex

Lately I’ve been having a mini-obsession for vintage pyrex bakeware. I have to say "mini" because I came across this nugget of truth allegedly from Mr. Gosling himself... so, NO I am most certainly NOT a hoarder,  not ever... unless we're talking about Ryan Gosling.... then yes, he's completely hoard-worthy. 

So hoarding, err, I mean "collecting" aside, the Pyrex brand has nearly a century of brand recognition as being an American made, durable and reliable high performance glass cookware. If you’re American, or you live in America and you cook (I’m guessing you fall into one of these categories), more than likely, you have at least one pyrex dish in your home. Maybe you’re like me and can recall a few favorites that your mother or grandmother used to use on a regular basis.

Like many brands with a long standing history, Pyrex has gone through many design periods, and one of my favorites date back to the 1950’s-1970’s eras when they introduced colored pyrex with some pretty groovy pieces that served up great food and great style. In fact, many of these pieces are so beloved, that they are considered collectibles. If you’re on the hunt for some of these vintage lovelies, you can find them at local antique malls or flea markets, if not online. 

Here are some of my favorite collections and groupings. There are oh so many bright and cheerful eye catching pieces... what's a girl to do...


Living Room. Just pretend you are a gypsy. Ladies listen. Gypsy men know. Trust me. they do. i hate most women. For a reason. But not all. Also this. Gay men. They are good. run to them. I would. I do.

Arranging cookware in collectible groupings allows it to become useable kitchen art, which I love. Stylish cookware should be on display, it livens up your kitchen space.Whether you stick to a specific color grouping or mix and match, the only major rule to follow is to have some uniformity by pairing the same color in groups or the same color combination, otherwise it will look hodge podge. If you have a large display, this seems to work best. If you have a few pieces, then you can definitely be more experimental and use them to add a cheerful boost to your living space. 

This space is a great example of clean, not cluttered, with a healthy dose of midcentury style. I particularly love that the planter is decidedly pyrex- inspired. Fab!Dreamy display of pyrex and other vintage goodies...
"So Emily, are there any other ways you can display vintage Pyrex?" Why, Ryan, I am so glad you asked! Here are some creative ways you can use and display these gorgeous pieces in your own home.
Cute use of PyrexPretty pink vintage Pyrex. Yes, please.

I love the idea of repurposing pyrex to organize smaller items you already have in your living space. Why shove supplies in a drawer when you can put your creative passions on display? I love that colorful spools of thread and fabric get showcased here, not shelved. 

Pyrex can also be used as flower pots or planters as shown here, or fruit bowls on your kitchen counter or dining table as a centerpiece. The ideas are endless.
Seattle, WA: Brandon and Rebecca - eclectic - patio - seattle - Sarah Greenman 

Love the idea of vintage pyrex but not committed to the collection just yet? Check out these fabulous pyrex inspired products.
Framed Vintage Pyrex Poster- Blue

Stacked pyrex dish art print from Etsy.
melody+miller+pyrex+for+kokka+1.jpg 400×503 pixels
Pyrex inspired fabrics from Melody Miller. You still get the look without committing to a display of dish ware.

Tea Towel Subscription: 12 months, 12 Pyrex Tea Towel Designs, Flour Sack Tea Towel Printed With Water Based Innk   
Pyrex inspired tea towels from Etsy.

 Vintage Pyrex Recipe Cards - Set of 16
How cute are these recipe cards from Etsy?

I hope you've enjoyed the walk down memory lane, and hopefully you too will be inspired to find some great treasure from the past and display it with pride. Now if you'll excuse me, Ryan and I have a date at this swanky joint....


Friday, March 14, 2014

My Top 10 Hit List for the Home

"I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best"
- Oscar Wilde

Mr. Wilde my friend, I concur! I love punchy humor for one, but this could not ring more true when it comes to fashioning your living space. Don't confuse "best" for "expensive", after all, some of the best things in life are.... ok, you get the idea. But truly, when you create the right style and sensory experience in your home, it can literally uplift your mood.

I've been thinking about my non-negotiables when it comes to everyday living and these are my top 10 must haves that are game changers. It's the little details that make the difference.

1. Something Scent-sational. These scent diffusers from Antica Farmacista can transport you to a state of bliss from the comfort of your own couch.

2. A beautiful go-to table cloth. This Crate & Barrel classic makes even a spur of the moment gathering feel pulled-together.

3. Art that inspires. I might be slightly obsessed with Brit Brass (hubs, this is your cue to add it to my birthday wish list... ok thanks).

4. Things that make you go hmmmm.... in my book, the quirkier the better. This piece from Jonathan Adler is a delightful conversation piece.

5. A reliable handyman. Little improvements like switching out knobs, repainting, installing new lighting, etc. can make your home feel brand new. 

6. Instant ambience. Get it with a dimmer like this one from Ikea. Lighting absolutely sets the mood and can be simply installed with the help of your #5 bestie, the handyman :)

7. "Tray chic". A place for everything and everything in it's place. I'm a sucker for anything stylishly minded that also organizes my space, from baskets to this lovely lacquered tray from Swing Design.

8. A cozy couch, chaise or oversized chair. Who doesn't want to curl up into a heaven of billowy fluff at the end of a long day? Feet up with a glass of vino in this oversized chair from Crate & Barrel... sign me up. 

9. Bold pattern. Add a dose of dramatic backdrop with delightful wallpaper like this from Black & Spiro. Try it, you just might love it! 

10. Something sparkly. Because we all need a little glitz in our lives. A piece like this from ZGallerie will be your daily reminder to shine. Promise.

And that's a wrap! Whatever your must haves are for your home, the biggest reminder is to never settle for less than the best!


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Classic White Kitchen with a Twist

I have to admit, there is nothing more lovely, clean and bright than a classic white kitchen.  I am currently redesigning a white kitchen in an old Spanish bungalow built in the 1920's. The homeowners want to incorporate their own fresh take, giving the kitchen a modern bohemian feel with a vintage eclectic twist, while still paying respect to the period of the house. The result? A family and pet friendly home with a cozy, laid back boho vibe that is oh so So-Cal.

Here is an inspirational style board on how you can achieve this look by mixing modern function with vintage flair. Vintage style pendants over the island, a brass faucet and farmhouse sink, crisp white subway tile, and Carrara slab are reminiscent of an earlier era. Mixing and matching brass and oil rubbed bronze is fun and casual - and totally acceptable! Choose a clean but warm white that has a little depth to it, like Benjamin Moore's Moonlight White, so it doesn't feel too stark or chalky.

Classic White Kitchen with a Twist

Decorative hardware

Rose City

Here are some other examples of gorgeous white kitchens that have caught my eye, and maybe yours too! I'm loving the mixed use of white and warm wood counters and floors that gives each kitchen a decidedly cozy look. Modern stainless appliances and luxe marble counters give these kitchens a feeling of refinement. And of course, I particularly love those with a bright splash of color!
Arch over range, countertops, tall cabinets, subway backsplashRustic modern kitchen, really digging the wood island, white cabinetsCountertops, pops of color, clean lines of cabinetshttp://www.alamodemaven.comDesigner Christopher Peacock's Kitchenlove the color of the wood, the subway tiles, the vintage pendants

Stay tuned for a sneak peek of this fabulous white kitchen to come...

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Oh so Lovely Lucite

When I was a sassy little teenager and asked a "get to know you" question like "what's your favorite color?",  I used to fire back a quippy response and say "clear". Truth. I have family that will vouch for me on this one.

Many moons later (ok, not too too many), it's pretty ironic that I do in fact choose clear over color in my interior design work. More specifically, I work with lucite, a gorgeous acrylic lightweight material. It can add just the right sparkle to a room and it's widely available in both home furnishing and fixtures.

Still can't picture it clearly in your space? Well here's a visual of one of my projects recently featured in Small Room Decorating.

Many of the pieces featured here are from Design Within Reach. Lucite can work in virtually any space. So now that you have some clarity, go pick out something clear! Oh and now that we're all adults here, if someone ever asks a get to know you question such as "what are you wearing?", be sure to tell them "something low cut and see through that brings out my eyes"... (wink wink). Yep, still can't shake the sass!