london calling

my dears, can you believe it's the last day of april? my time in europe is winding down just as the weather is warming up, so you can bet i'll be making the most of it! i'm off to london this weekend for michael's birthday (he's turning 21 — this is big!). it will be fun to see him and a few friends before they head back to the states. here's a little weekend wardrobe inspiration for me and for you...
how about an effortlessly chic headwrap and a classic cardigan for traveling? (somebody please teach me how to do this without looking sloppy — i could just go incognito until my curly hair grows out!)

simple but chic layers for traipsing around the city on saturday, though i think it's still pants weather in london (i should check that out...).
something a little sexy and sparkly for the birthday festivities...
{corrie bond for marie claire}
...and some pretty little things to lounge around in come sunday.

what are you up to this weekend, my loves?

desk du jour {is bigger better?}

the talented mother/daughter team at good bones, great pieces recently raised an interesting topic that i've been mulling over for a little while. they say here that the widespread use of laptop computers has eliminated the need for such "hulking" desks, which we now seek to replace with sleeker pieces that could be put to use in a number of different rooms. does this ring true for some of you?

personally, i love having space to spread out my textbooks and whatever project i'm tackling at the moment. while suzanne and lauren picked out some truly gorgeous pieces, i have to ask: where would you put your stuff? a desk with no drawers might look stylish, but where do you put your school supplies? similarly, a desk that could do double duty as a console table is definitely more versatile, but where would you place your printer?
{the desk of malene birger via full house)
it also makes me think of jen of made by girl's home office, featured here, where she pushed together two parsons desks. might that be the perfect compromise between a desire for less bulky pieces and the opposing need for extra space? i love the big wide desk in the space above and the fact that it could even be shared by two people. as an aside, i also like the idea of propping frames on shelves instead of hanging them directly onto the wall. what are your thoughts on this space and what seems to be a new trend in workspaces?

a time for picnics and porches

how is the weather where you are? we're having wonderful weather in france and it makes me all the happier to be back. i've already had two picnics in the jardin des prébendes and on a park bench along the loire... spring has officially sprung! why not celebrate le beau temps with a handful of my favorite outdoor spaces?

the outdoor room is definitely an up-and-comer when it comes to design trends. with the newly widespread availability of indoor/outdoor fabrics like sunbrella, why on earth shouldn't we live outdoors?

i spotted this space yesterday on one of my new favorite blogs (and the newest addition to my blogroll!) and had to repost. how sublime is the wicker furniture paired with the pink-and-white striped pillows?

the exposed beam ceiling and trellised everything need no further explanation.

i don't think you could lure me back into the house! this outdoor room has everything one could ever need: a fireplace for roasting marshmallows, a dining room for family barbecues, even a lime green garden stool that i spy with my little eye...

doesn't this time of year make you want to throw a party? i'd love to model my birthday party after the color palette of this lovely outdoor table setting.

perhaps i'll include some hanging paper lanterns à la this beauty, though truthfully i've been eyeing these babies forever:

{pretty in pink poms by party poms, $30 for seven}

though this table setting is also calling my name...

either way there's nothing that being outdoors this time of year can't solve. i hope you're enjoying the lovely weather! p.s. if you've built anything like this:

...i would like an invitation as soon as possible.

p.p.s. i've been feverishly uploading photographs from our whirlwind spring travels and would love for you to head over to my travel blog, mackenzie en france, to check them out if you're interested. so far i've gotten through venice, florence, and rome — next stop, greece!

style icon {cameron diaz}

the woman needs no introduction. cameron diaz is 36, has acted in everything from kiddie classic shrek to chick flick favorite the holiday, and has a smile and a body that many would kill for. her fashion picks on and off the red carpet — think minidresses galore — are perfect inspiration for the warmer weather ahead. (above, stepping out in pierre hardy wedges.)
rocking an asymmetrical j.mendel dress and blush pierre hardy heels at the new york premiere of my sister's keeper.

sporting a punchy orange in 3.1 phillip lim at spike tv's guys' choice awards in 2008, where she won the "decade of hotness" award. well-deserved, no?

cameron opts for a playful pink chanel minidress for the premiere of shrek the third.

one of my favorite looks: a demure zac posen sheath for the 2008 premiere of what happens in vegas.
lunching with mike meyers in proenza schouler.
radiant in alexander mcqueen at the tokyo premiere of shrek the third.
keeping the accessories to a minimum in a john galliano for dior dress at the 2008 oscars.
one of her most daring looks: paring a magenta dior gown with turquoise jewels for the costume institute gala at the metropolitan museum.
stealing the spotlight in oscar de la renta at the 2010 oscars.
{photos via day old news, in style, and people.}

the only thing i love more than lucite is you

...i mean it! returning from twenty-four days on the road to all of your comments and emails made my week. your kind words mean the world to me and i'm truly grateful to each and every one of you for reading and commenting day in and day out. you rock!

to return the favor, i've put together a little feast for your eyes in one of my favorite materials. i hope you all love lucite as much as i do!
now i'm not suggesting you take your love of lucite to this extreme (though if you did i wouldn't blame you), but i do think a little dose here and there is one of the simplest ways to create visual interest in a room. a shot of transparency adds a unique layer that forces guests to do a double take — in a good way, of course!

the dining room does seem to be a popular place to introduce this material. the eros chairs in this space act as a neutral foundation for extraordinary floral arrangements and, i hope, vibrant color palettes and table settings for entertaining.
or perhaps you prefer these seemingly more comfortable versions? i think i do.

they would look equally fabulous in your bedroom...

then again the eros shape could be made cozy (but still chic!) with a custom cushion. oh, frank, how i love thee.

speaking of comfort and style, it doesn't get much better than the lucite chair in this dressing room (okay, and everything else inside it!). can you even imagine?

i love the curves of this comfy creation.

do a desk chair and a coffee table make for lucite overload?

how fun is the mix of modern and traditional here? the lucite desk is to die for.

a girl after my own heart, mary mcgee is a big fan of using lucite in her fabulous interiors. her portfolio is not to be missed!

i adore this lucite coffee table. if the hot chocolate walls, floor-t0-ceiling bookcases, fun fabrics, and jute rug weren't enough, the lucite adds even more texture.

a lucite console table that doubles as a bookcase? when it looks this good, why not?

a fresh take on the lucite coffee table are these two occasional tables. i love that you can peak through the tables to the cool geometric rug underneath them.

i know it's not lucite but i couldn't resist throwing in this transparent lamp and its gorgeous surroundings. i'm not much for bicycles in the bedroom but i'd take a lovely lamp like this one any day.

looking to introduce a little lucite into your own place? i love the feel of the following well-priced finds:

the container store has an admirable selection of lucite goodies for your jewelry and office supplies.

nesting tables, $180 for three

how does your love of lucite compare to mine? as always, i love to hear from you!

home sweet home (kind of)

well, my dears, i've done it. i've made it back to france and i couldn't be happier. or could i? i'm feeling a little like this:
but the thing is, i woke up at 5 o'clock this morning to hop on a 4-hour bus for a field trip south to périgord. the twenty consecutive days of travel plus the lack of sleep isn't ideal and, though i suppose i could have slept through the early morning bus rendez-vous, i do want to make the most of my remaining month in europe. this meant a little unpacking and repacking late last night:

so i could be ready to go first thing in the morning. they say to sleep when you're dead, right? with that in mind, i'm off to make the most of one of my final weekends. what are you up to? whatever it is, just keep trucking:

{corrie bond}
if i can do it, so can you! p.s. i know i use corrie bond and pamela hanson's photography too much than should be considered normal but i really can't help it. i could peruse their portfolios for hours — give it a go and you'll see what i mean! have a wonderful weekend!

photo no. 6

thank you to beatriz of that girl in pearls and mary ann of verbena cottage for including me in a fun little game in which i am to share the sixth photo i posted on my blog! i posted this picture in december 2009 as inspiration for finding the perfect seating arrangement for the influx of guests in our home at christmastime.
i can't claim that we ever created anything quite this lovely but i'm happy to report that the cheery color palette and the flexibility of this seating setup still appeal to me greatly, a whopping five months after i first posted it. i say this because my sense of style is constantly evolving which, though exciting, can also be frustrating. it's no fun to save a picture to my style files only to find it no longer appeals to me when there comes an occasion to post it on my blog!

the second part of the game is to tag ten other bloggers to do the same. i'm going to spare you the tagging of ten more bloggers (what with all the tagging done here, here, and here!) but if you like the idea and want to play along then consider yourself tagged by yours truly. let me know if you do decide to post your sixth photo — what fun it is to reflect on where all our blogs started out and, hopefully, how far we have come! thanks again, ladies!

April in... Athens

i'm going on my twentieth day of living out of a suitcase and getting very bored with the clothes i've packed. beating the heat in athens is no picnic and i'm ready for some lightweight spring clothes to keep me calm, cool, and collected in this stressful situation:

a colorful blouse for a casual daytime look...

{moschino cheap & chic spring/summer 2010 via style.com}
frilly and feminine eyelet to make the most of the temperate climes...

something a little fancier for dinnertime (we all know i love backless)...

{fendi spring/summer 2010 in new york magazine}
...though perhaps something a little more streamlined is in order. (rachel zoe just included these amazing sandals in her daily newsletter, the zoe report!)

p.s. i am supposed to fly from athens to paris with a layover in rome tomorrow... could this travel dilemma finally have come to an end? please wish me luck!