Paris, I miss you.

Just a few more miscellaneous photographs from my most recent trip to Paris.

Top to bottom-left to right:  Notre Dame, just after the storm – Young girl playing with a sail boat in the Luxembourg gardesn – A traditional Parisian breakfast – The Canal at Versailles – Lighting in the Jardin du Palais Royal – Place de Concorde – Mixed jars of food, location unknown – Artazart Design Bookstore – Garden in Versailles – The Canal St. Martin

All Photographs by: Lauren Gries

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Cheesecake and Beer: A celebration of marriage and a family affair

Last year my brother got hitched! While he and his wife only invited the parents to the ceremony, which happened up in the mountains of New Hampshire (only mode of transportation to site was on foot).  Their wedding reflected their personalities perfectly. They live in the mountains, hike and go ice climbing for vacation, brew their own beer and own 3 maybe 4 cats.

A few months later, on a brisk September day, they held a celebration for the family and friends.  It was a simple, sweet, understated but elegant garden party that expressed what I think is the classic meaning of a wedding.  A celebration of two hearts united.  It proves however, that you can put together a great party on a budget with a little help from your friends, family and creativity.  Here a few images from the event all taken by yours truly.

The Couple:  Nate chose to wear his favorite New Hampshire tuxedo, fleece, Carhartts and a plaid tie.  Kelli a little more formal, wore a vintage inspired, above-the-knee, white dress.

The Food & Decor:  A lot of the decor was made by the bride herself.  She gathered the mason jars for floral arrangements, sewed the napkins from  fabric scraps and cuttings, the flowers were picked from the family garden, and the plates and dishes were a mix of my mother’s china and rental. The delicious menu was created and catered by my other brother, a personal chef owner of Edwardian Feast (Edwardianfeast@gmail.com).

The Cake: The assortment of wedding cakes and pies were made by family members. Some of the more famous recipes have been passed down through generations, ie. the cheesecake!

Bonne Chance to the couple.

All photographs by Lauren Gries

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Chairs

I frickin love chairs. I love all styles and sizes and colors and yada yada yada. When we were in Paris we went to Le Museé des Arts Decoratifs and there was a wall of chairs. I died. A little.

More eye candy. . . from Dior’s Couture showroom

Flea market finds in Paris


Chairs posted on Apartment Therapy from the post: Old-World STyle: Prints, Patterns & Accessories

and this one from the post: Chair with Bold Prints and Bold Colors

This one from my mom’s house

these which I’d love to get tattooed on my side . . . yes, I said that.

Lastly, I came across this post on the New York Social Diary about Kayel De Angelis. Who’s family for generations has owned a high-end custom curtain and furniture firm in New York.  “Over the years, the firm has earned a loyal following of respected decorators including the likes of Albert Hadley, Mark Hampton and Peter Marin.”- NYSD

Can you imagine having free range of all this furniture. I would love to just visit someday. It’s actually beautiful being able to look at all those pieces covered in white fabric, left to be appreciated for their lines and structure.  The last image is a pair of finished fauteuils for Albert Hadley. Yum!  Photographs by Jeffery Hirsh

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A Sport of Kings . . . . and princes and fashion models.

A few weekends ago my boyfriend and I went to the Veuve Cliquot Polo Classic on Governor’s Island, in NYC.  Even though it was unbearably hot and I was a part of the 8,000 +  visitors who didn’t get the free champagne, I had a great time.  A horse girl at heart, I will take advantage of any opportunity to be in the presence of horses; even if that means standing in the baking sun with a less than happy boyfriend for a few hours.  Luckily I was able to park the said boyfriend in the shade with his book and took to the side lines to catch the game as well as a few great pictures!

Everyone was dressed to impress with sun dresses and hats (some over-the-top). Others were head-to-toe in seersucker suits and ‘Veuve’ yellow.

The biggest draw of the event was getting the chance to see Prince Harry and Nacho Figueras (Ralph Lauren model) ride.  As many have heard, Prince Harry fell off his mount, I was fortunate in getting a some pictures of the tumble.
After this event I felt compelled to pull together an outdoor dining space that would be inspired by my experience.  Although I don’t have a yard of my own, I think these finds would make for a great casual outdoor dining area.  The main color story of black, white and yellow pull the space together, while the small accents of the seersucker prints, sun hat textures, and equestrian motifs add character to the space.  Maybe someday I can actually create a space using these elements, but for now I’ll just have to use my imagination.
Info on Collage Images: From Clockwise, Photograph taken from the Time Out NY “Own This City” blog.  Veuve Cliquot bucket, Umbrella – Target.  Garden screens & planters – Ballard Designs.  Straw Hat – Urban Outfitters.  Sisal Rug – Pottery Barn.  Dining Set – Pottery Barn.  Dinnerware – Bloomingdales. Fabrics – Calico Corners. Pillow – Williams-Sonoma Home.
Above photographs and collages by Lauren Gries, all rights reserved.

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My Style in One Picture


Wow! What a challenge! the blog From the Right Bank has asked their readers to post ONE IMAGE of a room that would sum up their style.  I did a lot of soul-searching and archive searching trying figure this out.  In a few words I would say that my style is: Traditional Comfort, with a touch of Glamour.  I came up with a list of certain qualities that must be present to represent my style.  Those are:

Book shelves full of books:  Books are beautiful.  Books are influential. Books are educational. Books are entertainment.  And I believe one’s library will tell you a lot about that person.  Their books reflect their interests, their taste, and in some cases their IQ level.

Picture walls:  I love walls filled with pictures.  I love art and looking at it.  I also love the patterns and dimensions picture walls can create in a space.

Color:  I love a balance between punches of color and neutrals.  Bright colors bring vibrancy to life, while neutrals settle one’s mind, creating stability.

Light:  Light is so important to me in a space.  I am most happy in my apartment when the sun is shining in and space is enveloped in light.

Pattern:  Patterns create mood,  interest and movement in a space.  I also like how you can pick up any patterned object or textile and know exactly when in history it was designed.

History:  In everything I love, I seem to find that there is a sense of history involved.  Because I believe that every design decision should be intentional and relevant, having a understanding of historical influences is very important to my sense of style.  I always want to figure out why I love something and where it comes from first before I use it in my designs.

Other aspects of my style include french chairs, hardwood floors (french zigzag parquet floors are my favorite), mirrors and lastly, hints of chinoiserie influences.

The image that I found was pulled from an issue of Domino Magazine (Sep 2008).  The living room of Tori Mellott’s (the decoration editor who now is the contributing editor for Lonny Mag) apartment is the best representation of my style.  Her entire apartment suites my taste and of course the room I chose as my one image can’t have everything I love, because it would be far too much for this small space; but if you look at the rest of the place now available on brides.com, you can see how most of my qualities are exhibited in her apartment.  I also chose this apartment as my style representation, because for this time in my life, it is the most realistic.  My style has to reflect my life, I live in a 450 sq. ft space in New York City.  Everything I chose to put in my place, needs to be practical and fit in with my lifestyle.

photographs by Anne Schlecter

Here are some other rooms that I love, but just couldn’t make the cut:

Images pulled from Lonnymag, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, and Living Etc.

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Curtains: Making the best decision for your budget.

Today as I hibernate indoors away from the 90º heat and ultra humidity I am working on my curtains.  One thing about being on a budget in designing your space is having to make sacrifices on the things you want, for the things you need.  As for now, I’m spending money on having my AC blasted while saving money on paying someone to sew my curtains.  Curtains can be extremely expensive, even if you’re doing it on your own.  One thing is for sure, I could not pay for someone to sew my drapes for me, but even the cost of all the materials needed, was a bit of a surprise to me.  I know I wouldn’t want anything pre-made from the catalogues because I wouldn’t say that my style isn’t cookie cutter.  So when coming up with curtain ideas, I first thought about the basic elements that I wanted the pattern to have.  Those elements include, being classic yet relevant for today, lots of movement, colorful, and whimsical and lastly, a larger repeat.  Next I picked through tears sheets and my design library.  That led me to an old Domino article that I had saved about chintz and floral fabrics, which I loved.

I also found a tear sheet I had saved from a Brunschwig & Fils Bird and Thistle advertisement.  This fabric fit the bill perfectly, but costing over $100 per yard, I knew I couldn’t afford it at full price.

So my first choice was to wait for it to go on sale, but after a few months of not seeing it on my favorite discount websites, I had to settle for something else.  I researched several companies and fabrics, ordered lots of swatches, as you can see below.  I ended up chosing the fabric on the top left of the below montage.

It’s from Calico Corners, the name is Darjeeling, It was $19.00 p/yard.  When I ordered it from the website I didn’t think I would like it, but the pattern and the colors coordinate perfectly in my livingroom.  It also has the closest resemblance to the Brunschwig fabric.  In long run, I think having to source out other options has given me a better result. It’s a good thought to take with you when shopping around in the future.  To have the best design I think you really have to do your research, and probably not jump on the first thing you like, because you may regret those purchases later.

The one concern I had in the beginning about making my curtains myself was, if I could do it or not.  To be honest it’s not hard, it just takes a lot of time and patience. I found a great post from the blog Design Sponge that was a major help in the sewing process.  If you’re interested in that post please click {here}.  I’m pretty sure I re-posted this article several months ago when I was still researching fabrics, but it doesn’t hurt to post it again!

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Great Finds: French Ticking

Who doesn’t like a great unexpected find?  Yesterday I went to Anthropologie to return a few things and stumbled upon a lovely quilt.  It was on sale from $348 to $169. Now $169 is still a little high for my price range but I have looked for a quilt for a while that has the french ticking like fabric.


Although the recorded history of ticking fabric is slim, I found a little about the specifics of ticking. Vintage ticking was used to hold the feathers of old mattresses and pillows. It was important to individuals who slept on feather mattresses and pillows that the feathers did not poke them through the fabric.  It was also important to keep as many feathers in the mattresses and pillows as possible. The very tight woven vintage ticking provided both qualities.  True vintage ticking was woven with natural cotton colored thread and thread died with indigo blue dye. Original ticking was sold only with indigo blue stripes. As time progressed, different colors and patterns were developed and sold. Ticking was also made with washed-out red, blue and green stripes.  You can find a little more information about ticking fabric [here].

Previously when I was searching for bedding options I found fabric by the yard at Ballard Designs and that Restoration Hardware carries a line of bedding that has similar kinds of fabrics, but its $$$$.  If I didn’t have a million other projects going on I would toy with the idea of making my own quilts.  The Anthro quilt however, provided me with instant gratification! What I like best about the quilt is that it is reversible, with one side being a little bolder and darker than the other.  I put the quilt on my bed last night and decided that the less busy side works best for summer, because it has an airy feel to it.

The  quilt is also styled with an iron bed that is very similar to the bed frame that I purchased recently on a trip to Connecticut.  As past posts [here] have shown, I have a love affair with the Louis XV style bed.  Ballard Designs sells one, but with the cost of shipping and taxes the total would come to around $1100!  Unfortunately my post-grad/not yet full-time employee budget cannot afford that.

The bed I purchased was $345.00!  It has a French Industrial look partnered with the Louis lines and caning, that adds some charm.  My mother calls it tenement style, I like to call it French Utilitarian Chic!  But of course with a price like that, the bed still needs some work.  I really dislike the current color and faux finishing, however with a little paint the hidden charm will come to life.

I’ll have to post before and after images when I am finished with the painting!  In the future I want to go into detail about the store Preservation, where I purchased my bed.  It’s a great find in the quiet corner of Connecticut and definitely worth the trip.

photos:

Anthropologie

Ballard Designs

Lauren Gries

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