Slightly extravagant guest closet makeover

guest closet makeover

Yes, I fully comprehend that chandeliers in closets are completely unnecessary.  Some might say extravagant.  I don't care.

Our upstairs is one of the few places in our house that's almost completely renovated, save a few little details.  One of those details was the ugly yellow closet with an outdated 1970's light fixture, painted shelves, metal rod and broken bi-fold door.

I figured it would be an easy weekend project to replace the door and spruce it up.  As usual, I was wrong!  The entire project ended up taking about three weekends, but it was too much fun to quit with a new rod and door.

Hanging the solid wood door was a challenge and that was just the start.  I also painted the walls and trim, hung a small chandelier, had new shelves cut at Home Depot and covered them with spray glue and wallpaper, installed a new rod... and finally... added the cherry on top with an antique crystal doorknob from Ricca's.

The changes brighten up our tiny closet so much.  I hope it'll be a sparkling little treat for our guests for years to come!

It's a Jungle Out There: Safari-Inspired Nursery

Restoration Hardware Safari Inspired Nursery

Lil' Teapot is on his way!  And you know what that means.... the home renovations are in overdrive.

The first thing I did after learning I'm expecting is find a doctor... and THEN... start designing the nursery.  Of course, it wasn't until I discovered we're having a boy that I could really go to town!  My goal was to create a whimsical and nurturing environment that's timeless and more importantly, ageless.  I want furniture and decor that will last!

My inspiration room is a stunner from Restoration Hardware Baby and Child.  It's a safari-inspired escape, complete with mosquito netting and over-sized African art.  Of course, each of the four prints costs $800.  Yikes!  I decided to order the furniture from Restoration Hardware and find knock-offs for other pieces.  I chose the Emelia Conversion Crib in French Grey, which transforms from a crib to a toddler bed and finally, a full-sized headboard.  The Emelia Dresser becomes a changing table by adding a simple topper.  And the Emelia Bookcase is what it is.  I'm hoping these picks will last until I kick our kid out of the house for UCLA... or Princeton... or Yale. ;-)

To address the art dilemma, I searched online for months (no joke).  I finally came across some incredible antique reproductions in the Granger Collection from Fine Art America.  I'll have those matted and framed locally to save some dough.  I'm also pondering letter blocks, paper mâché animal heads, antique suitcases and other safari-inspired accessories.

We've already cleaned out the closets, painted the room Behr's Gobi Desert and the wainscoting installation is underway.  When that's complete, we'll refinish the floors, change the light fixture and start filling up the nursery for Baby Beau.  If it's anything like I imagine, it's going to be wild!!

Fashion Friday: Tallulah Designs at NOLA Fashion Week

When it comes to fashion, New Orleans is better known for Mardi Gras costumes and Saints jerseys than runway shows and stilettos.  We've been at the top of more than one worst dressed list, but some Southern designers are out to prove those critics wrong.  Last year marked the first NOLA Fashion Week, a trimmed down version of the New York and Milan fashion weeks that draw designers and celebrities from around the globe.  What we lack in size, however, our designers more than make up for in Southern charm!

I had the opportunity to interview Alabama-based designer Heather Williams before the show for her label, Tallulah.  Williams capped off Fall Fashion Week with a Saturday afternoon runway show of her feminine, tailored designs featuring upcycled and socially conscious fabrics.  I was so smitten with both Williams and her clothes, I snagged her magenta and taupe chevron skirt, which I am wearing (and adoring) as we speak!

Here are a few of my favorite looks from Tallulah, along with a couple shots from her runway show:

My interview with Heather Williams:


One Day Closet Makeover

My mother never quite understood me.  "How," she asked, "can my daughter's room look like a bomb went off, but her closet and drawers look like they were organized by an obsessive compulsive neurosurgeon?"  Mom, I've never quite understood it either.

No matter how filthy my floors, how weedy my lawn or how nasty my sink, most every closet in my house is neat and tidy.  That is, until I got married.  My illustrious husband Joe is smart, sexy, witty and successful, but organizing is not his strong suit.  Since we moved into our new home, his corner of the closet has started to resemble a 2-headed clotheszilla, ready to attack at any moment.  When begging and pleading failed, I waited for sexy Joe to go out of town and organized the damn thing myself.

It's no dream closet, but it'll have to do until our renovation reaches the master bedroom.  Until then, here are some quick-tips for a one day closet make-over:

Organize according to height: It may sounds obvious, but my 6'4" husband wasn't making use of the top shelves he could easily reach

Lose the wire hangers: Not only will your closet look better, but your clothes will move on the rod easier, hangers won't get tangled and you're less likely to get shoulder bumps

Use individual hooks: You can buy plenty of mounted hooks and hangers, but I prefer to purchase them individually.  You can space them out how you'd like and they have a sleeker finished result

Baskets are decorative and useful: They work great for tiny things like lingerie and bikinis, or on the floor for dirty clothes or shoes

Organize your clothing by type: My tops are sorted by camis, tanks, blouses, button-ups, long sleeves, cardigans, sweaters and blazers.  It saves time getting ready and small items like camis don't get lost in the fray

Show off your pretty stuff: You paid a fortune for those stilettos, so there's no need to hide them

Change out clothes for the season: It's amazing how much more space you'll have when July rolls around and you aren't searching through sweaters.  Vacuum bags work great to store those off-season items