Friday, June 24, 2016

Looking for 2 great interns - Apply!

Image via PinkPot.

Things have been so busy around here that it seems it's time to find a motivated intern to help out! I'm looking for 2 great interns to help with social media, in addition to writing and editing guest posts for my interior design and lifestyle blog. While this is an unpaid position for now, there is much to be gained! I am an entrepreneur with multiple businesses outside of my blog. I also have a law degree and I work providing business development services for new businesses and entrepreneurs. I would love to help mentor a writer/blogger/new entrepreneur through this opportunity. This is a work from home, remote position. College students are perfect for this opportunity, although being a college student is not required. Applicants should have strong writing skills. To apply, email your resume and cover letter to:

Bonus skillsets: Illustration, strong writing skills, video editing, graphic design, journalism experience, DIY crafts, DSLR photography, fashion & apparel design, social media marketing, journalism experience, Photoshop software

For more information on this opportunity, visit my post on - Thank you in advance for applying!

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fashion meets Interiors: featuring stylist Mar'Tee Steward

Today's edition of Fashion meets Interiors showcases the powerful impact of pastel and blush shades in a chic summer outfit! Celebrity stylist Mar'Tee Steward chats with me about life as a stylist, the beauty of blush pink, and why the interior design photo I provided her was so inspirational. 

Jacquin: Working as a fashion stylist sounds like a fun job! Tell us all about your career and personal style.

Mar'Tee: My name is Mar’Tee Briann and I am a fashion stylist based out of Los Angeles. I work on a wide variety of projects including TV shows, editorials, celebrity styling, and personal styling. I would describe my personal style as minimalist glam. When it comes to wardrobe I rely a lot on basics and solid color palettes, but I always up the ante with statement accessories.

Image via House Beautiful

Jacquin: What inspired you about the interior design photo to come up with your outfit?

Mar'Tee: I was really drawn to this photo because of the color palette. My personal wardrobe mostly consists of black and white, but when I’m not wearing those colors I tend gravitate to softer hues. The couch in this photo definitely inspired my blush toned dress. I’m obsessed with soft blushy colors at the moment because they always look really pretty and feminine. I decided to add the white blazer to this look to coordinate with the white throw pillows in the photo. I think the white throw pillows add a pop of freshness to the room and I wanted to include that to my outfit too.

Adding a blazer to an outfit will always take your look to the next level, not to mention that bright white makes for a crisp and clean look. Definitely a great reason to try a classic white blazer or jacket. I also decided to do a knee-high black heel to coordinate with the black accents in the photo. One of my favorite elements of this outfit are my geometric cutout shoes. They really compliment the geometric shapes on the throw pillows well. To bring it all together I threw in some dainty black and gold accessories, which bring this look together nicely. My outfit captures the feminine essence of this room.

Jacquin: What is the best thing about your career as a stylist? What are some things that are more challenging?

Mar'Tee: The best thing about working as a stylist is helping people feel their absolute best. Inner beauty will always be the most important thing about an individual, but feeling confident and secure in how you look can be extremely powerful. The most challenging aspect about working as a stylist is the grind. This job isn’t glamorous! Lugging racks, garment bags, duffel bags, steamers, etc. all around town is a hustle and very physically demanding. 

Jacquin: What is an average day like for you as a stylist?

Mar'Tee: There is no average day! But that’s what I love about it. I can have a day where I’m running around like crazy- shopping, pulling, and having fittings- or I can have a day where I’m on set for 12 hrs. Some days I work from home and some days I work with personal clients in their homes. Every single day is different and I’ve learned to appreciate that in my career.

Jacquin: What has been your favorite or most memorable styling job so far?

Mar'Tee: My favorite styling job so far was actually a more recent project. A few months back I went on a press tour with actress Holly Robinson Peete to promote her show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, “For Peete’s Sake”. It was a last minute, crazy, whirlwind of a trip but we had so much fun and our whole team bonded. It's was a great experience.

Jacquin: Where is your favorite place to go for creative inspiration?

Mar'Tee: If you saw my everyday wardrobe you’d probably think I was a real city slicker who takes inspiration from urban life. However, those who know me well know that I absolutely love the beach. I’m enamored by its natural beauty and seemingly simplistic nature. Although it may not inspire my wardrobe directly, it certainly inspires me creatively and allows me to stay grounded in the present moment. I always leave the beach feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. My favorite beaches in the greater Los Angeles area are in the South Bay – Redondo Beach, Manhattan Beach, and Hermosa Beach etc. They tend to be less crowded and have a small town vibe. If I can’t manage to make it to the beach, sometimes I just enjoy being poolside with a book while listening to some smooth R&B or reggae music. A perfect afternoon for me.

Stylist Mar'Tee Steward's favorite place for creative inspiration is Hermosa Beach in California.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

Entertaining with Style: featuring We the Birds Macarons

Summer weather is finally here and that means it's party season! I'm excited to launch the summer season of my "Entertaining with Style" series, which is on schedule to be an epic summer of featured parties! If you have a party or specal event that you'd like featured, be sure to send me an email. Today we're popping over to Dallas, Texas to get a glimpse at the chic and intimate brunch of hostess Natalie Knowlton, blogger and macaron baker extraordinaire at We the Birds.

My name is Natalie Knowlton, owner and macaron-maker behind We the Birds Macarons and co-curator of We the Birds, a sister-duo fashion and lifestyle blog.  Coming from a transient background, we called ourselves “birds” because we were always on the move.  Our blog continues to embody our zest for traveling, fashion, and food - mostly macarons. :-)

Natalie's party theme is "Bucket List Brunch"! Check out how to make these DIY placecards at the bottom. 

I am an adventurous food and travel lover.  My recent trip to Hong Kong inspired the theme for this Bucket List Brunch.  The Bucket List Brunch featured an international breakfast buffet and included a fun destination trivia game highlighting everyone’s bucket-list destination.  I invited my two sisters, mom, aunt, and three close friends.  I adore everyone that came and loved that all my favorite women were able to meet and mingle in my home.

My apartment style is minimal, simplistic, and chic.  I love to mix modern and traditional elements and re-purpose glassware and dried flowers to decorate my apartment.  With my minimalist style, the food and company stole the spotlight at this brunch.

Try this recipe for Smoked Salmon Blinis!

Making guests feel at home is my number one priority when hosting.  This includes: prepping as much as I can days in advance so that I can be at total ease when my guests arrive; lighting candles in each bathroom with a delicate bouquet in each room; welcoming each guest with a hug and offering them a beverage, and as my mother says, “it is better to have more food than not enough." 


Time Saver Tip: Prepare ahead of time! This includes grocery shopping 3-4 days in advance, cooking and freezing menu items 2-3 days in advance, making gift bags, prepping/setting the table 1-2 days in advance, and making flower arrangements the night before. Leave a very small to-do list for the morning or day of the event. 

Money-Saver Tip: Make your own flower arrangements. Start by choosing an accent color then add greenery and one or two complimentary flowers.  I chose fuchsia pink as my accent color. My apartment consists of “cool colors” including grey, white, wood, and metals.  The fuchsia added the perfect “pop of color” to my neutral aesthetic. Another great way to save money is by re-purposing empty glassware as vases. I used a combination of mason jars, wine bottles, and glass milk bottles. Place the arranged bouquets throughout your home. Flowers bring life to a room and serve as a cohesive element in every room.

DIY TIP: Gift bags are the perfect take-away for your guests and can double as place holders on your table setting. For this Bucket List themed brunch, I found cute luggage tags for each guest and customized each with their name on the tag. I wrapped them in small muslin bags  and adorned each with a pretty name tag. See below.

To learn more about Natalie Knowlton, her blog, or these delicious macarons, head over to the blog We the Birds. Thank you for reading!

Monday, June 13, 2016

Home Tour + Interview with textile designer Kate Miller of elworthy studio

I recently discovered the beautifully earthy textile designs of Kate Miller, founder of elworthy studio and I knew I had to share her work with you! Kate effortlessly combines neutral shades with bold designs, making her collections of fabric and wallpaper designs desirable for a range of interiors. I had the opportunity to interview Kate Miller and learn more about her design inspiration and road to success. You can find the interview below.

Textile designer and elworthy studio founder Kate Miller at home in her living room. 

Jacquin: I really love your textile designs' earthy and sensual color palette. While the color palette is more neutral, the designs are still edgy, yet sophisticated. I think home owners would really like your collection! Tell us about how you developed elworthy studio's 'Decay Collection'. What was your process?

Kate: Thanks! You are totally right, the palette incorporates some soft jewel tones but overall, it is quite neutral and can work in so many different spaces.  To create these designs, I used a rust-dyeing process and it was actually quite experimental!  I wrapped rusted objects with pieces of fabric in a variety of ways, then allowed them to oxidize for a few days.  The impressions left on the fabrics were textural and organic, but I felt they needed some refinement, so turned to the computer (Photoshop and Illustrator) to develop the patterns and incorporate a more varied color palette.

elworthy studio sells wallpaper, fabric, and throw pillows. 

Home of elworthy studio founder & designer Kate Miller.

Jacquin: How was your experience decorating your home?

Kate: We’ve been in our current apartment for three years, and it is always evolving!  It’s been fun and challenging to incorporate elements from our spacious, lofty apartment in Shanghai (we accumulated a lot of furniture over there and ended up having a container shipped over) into our smaller, San Francisco-style apartment, and combine those pieces with new ones from local designers and artists plus textiles and accessories I’ve picked up while traveling.  Our home is definitely eclectic and I think that reflects our personalities well!  We come from different countries and have each lived in multiple places and traveled extensively, so it is fitting that our space combines a variety of styles.

Kate's favorite elworthy studio element at home is her custom armchair. Fabric shown: Desert Alchemy.

Jacquin: What is your favorite elworthy studio element in your home right now?

Kate: The upholstered armchair in our living room! (shown above) A friend in Shanghai who worked in furniture distribution gave me this chair as a gift many years ago…she was working on producing a new style and this was her first prototype. I got to choose the upholstery…a vintage-inspired sage green floral. It wasn’t a true upholstery fabric, and I have a cat who uses furniture as scratching posts. As you can imagine, the chair needed some love, so I had it reupholstered in Desert Alchemy, one of the designs from the Decay Collection. I love how the fabric’s design and colors work with the rest of our living room.

Jacquin: I come from an environmental law background, so I was excited to see that your textiles are eco-friendly and sustainable. How has your experience been developing a textile brand with an environmental focus? Has it been challenging to execute your designs while sourcing natural dyes and fabrics, along with the various other business decisions that go along with an environmentally-friendly business model?

Kate: More challenging than I expected!  I chose digital printing for my textiles and wall coverings because it is actually more eco-friendly than other printing processes.  Digital printing also happened to be the best printing method to capture the detailed textures and color range of my designs, so it was a good match on both levels.  Sourcing eco-friendly fabrics has been more difficult. At the moment my fabrics are made with all natural, sustainable fibers, but I am always searching for completely organic fabrics that work well for a variety of end uses and print well.

Just a couple weeks ago, I launched my accent pillow collection, which features the Decay Collection fabrics and exclusive inserts filled with alpaca fiber. I am the first designer to use alpaca in decorative pillows, and this came about because I wasn’t able to find an insert on the market that met all my requirements.  Sometimes it takes some extra work and creativity to find the perfect solution, but it is well worth it…I like knowing that my pillows are completely safe for my clients homes!

Jacquin: You have a really interesting career background! How was your experience working at Bloomingdale's instrumental in launching your business today? What are some key things you learned while working in visual merchandising and the buying office for Bloomingdale's?

Kate: Haha, yes, it has been an indirect journey!  My time at Bloomingdale’s was such a great foundation.  I learned how to run a retail business, how to edit a collection, and then how to sell product through marketing and visual display.   My experience with in-store styling and creating seasonal installations was a great education in color theory, combining patterns, and creating a cohesive overall effect.  I draw from all these lessons on a regular basis.

Jacquin: How was your experience pursuing graduate studies in textile design? Were you surprised by anything when re-entering school for textile design or was the educational process as you expected?

Kate: It was a mixed experience. I went back to school with eight years industry experience under my belt…I hoped to learn specific technical skills, yet was in a three year program which included liberal arts requirements, portfolio development, and learning to work as a team. Not the right fit!  I switched out of the MFA program and into Continuing Education so I could focus on taking the just courses I needed. After three semesters, I’d finished those courses and was eager to start my own line.

What I did love was learning various textile printing and digital design techniques, then having the total freedom to experiment and develop my own style. That said, nothing compares to learning on the job!

Photo Credit: Gina Benedetti

If you'd like to add elworthy studio's textile designs to your home decor, you can shop Kate Miller's latest designs at the elworthy studio website

Thursday, June 9, 2016

8 Steps for Newlywed Decorating

So you've successfully decorated your wedding, but now you and your spouse need to decorate your home! Here's how to go from getting married to being fully decorated with style and ease.

Step 1. Pick an accent color together for your main rooms (living room and bedroom), even if it's a neutral color. I'll warn you now, your husband or fiance may not be interested in the color pink. ;-) Allow this base color to guide your selections for all future home and decor purchases.

Image via Orange Drive, designed by My Plum Design

Step 2. Select your top 5 "must-display" items each. You and your spouse/fiance had your own favorite decor items and mementos before you met one another, so be sure that some of these items are represented in your new space together. 

(Left) Image via Pink Pot, (Right) Image via Death to Stock Photo

Step 3. Get rid of additional clutter. Your furniture and home decor (regardless of the style) will always look best in a minimal, neat space. Be prepared to purge some items to make room for your new spouse's belongings! 

Image via Death to Stock Photo

Step 4. Utilize bookshelves for displaying your "must-display" keepsake items. Now that you've gotten rid of the excess, you'll have more room to display your most impressive and sentimental items. 

via Place of My Taste, Part of a tutorial on creating DIY Ikea built-in bookcases. Check it out!

via Place of My Taste, Part of a tutorial on creating DIY Ikea built-in bookcases. Check it out!

Step 5. Be prepared to compromise! The likelihood of you and your spouse liking all of the exact same home decor items is low, but when you compromise (and keep things minimal), you'll find that you can create an all new style that you may like even better! Not to mention that compromise is an important part of marriage and can certainly make marriage more enjoyable.

Image via Death to Stock Photo

Step 6. Once you and your spouse have saved your top 5 personal items to display (and purged the rest), now you're ready to shop! Identify what needs your home still has once you've combined your belongings. Hit the store and shop together for these items. If you're not yet married, then a wedding registry would be perfect. Be sure to select items that compliment the accent color you selected together and remember to have fun!

Images via Crate & Barrel

Consider a Crate & Barrel wedding registry or simply stop by to shop! I registered at Crate & Barrel for my wedding and I was extremely impressed by the customer service and products.

Step 7. The last step is to accessorize with your wedding and family photos! Include photos from both of your families to make your new house feel like a home. Displaying your lovely wedding photos will be the cherry on top of a well-designed home! 

(Left) Grace Avenue Frame by Kate Spade (Right) White Orchid Easel Frame by Michael Aram

These lovely frames are from designers Kate Spade (right) and Michael Aram (left). You can find these frames at the Kate Spade website and Neiman Marcus respectively. Canvas photos are also excellent for displaying wedding and family photos, and can be printed in very large sizes.

Step 8. Live happily ever after and enjoy your home!

Here's a photo from my own lovely wedding day overlooking NYC!

If you follow these steps then you and your spouse should achieve decorating a space that you both will love!