Tag Archives: sirene collection

Serenity…french market baskets and peshtemals

I am still obsessed with this lovely French Market Basket from Sirene Collection. It was a gift from my friend (and Sirene proprietor) Nell Love–and I have to say, this is one of the BEST gifts EVER! I use it all the time. I find myself styling the contents of the bag each time I use it. Clearly I have a lot of time on my hands and I’m now a wee embarrassed that I’m sharing. Sometimes I purchase baguettes as props just so I can have a loaf poking out of the top–you know, to complete the look. (Oh, not embarrassed at all now.) I am writing this post because as I’m packing my tote for the park (mind you, the park is probably fifty feet from my apartment) I’m stressing out about what to include. Do I bring a disposable bottle of water or should I invest in one of those metal things I always hear clinking around and falling over in yoga class? Should I take a leather-bound journal (anything other than moleskine) or stick to reading the paper? Should I load my iPod with podcasts or hum along to the sound of nearby construction? What blanket or towel will go well with my lady of leisure vibe? That one is easy because I can choose from any number of stunning towels at Layla in Brooklyn or stock up on peshtamals at Bath Style: Turkish Bath Accessories on Etsy. The great thing about these towels is that they are so lightweight they can double as a scarves in the fall…(and for now they’re a great prop for your market basket…haha)


I’m always excited for winter beach vacations. Leaving the cold miserable New York behind for the warm sun and sand anywhere. (Although, I hear we’re in for some wonderful warmer weather this week!) We leave in two days and I’m already packed. Granted, I have severely over-packed so I’ll have to do some major editing over the next couple days, which means packing and re-packing ten times. I’m completely stressed out over the 3-ounce carry-on rule because I’m toting sunblock for everyone (some of us are very pale right now) and I have no room for my arsenal of restorative hair treatments. (The sun and salt water can wreak havoc on my tresses.)

I am extra excited because my boyfriend has never been on a proper vacation… I know! I was confused, too. Our conversation went a little something like this: You’re saying you’ve never been on a beach vacation? WHAT THE WHAT? After I picked myself up off the floor I decided to troll the internet for some beach-themed images to prepare him for our Caribbean adventure, via Powerpoint. I found a few great vintage pictures, Coppertone ads, and Jantzen swimsuit ads (which also look a little frightening) to get us in the mood. I know my 1960’s and 1970’s style fantasy is NOT going to be the reality in Cabarete, Dominican Republic…but I can pretend.

Another fabulous resource that ALWAYS gets me in the beach mood is my friend Nell Love’s Sirene Collection Beach Girl Blog!!!

Yeah, ok. Younger looking skin, tomorrow? More like a leather satchel tomorrow.


This is quite a mixed bag of visual inspiration… I plan on compiling a library of vacation photos and write a travelogue of Cabarete, Dominican Republic upon my return. Stay tuned!



I love the idea of a home-office and in our case a home-office/art studio—but what we’re dealing with right now is more office than home and I need to figure it out. When I lost my job (oops, where’d it go, I can’t find it) I was excited to spend time writing and working from home. I love being home. But I would love it even more without the clutter, mess and ugly printer/modem/tower/wire-nest/surge-protector pile-up at our feet–not to mention the brushes, ink, paint, pencils, 18×24 Bristol boards, portfolios, drafting table, eraser shavings and inspiration clippings strewn about the living room. As anyone living in New York knows, space is scarce and expensive. Since we’re both toeing the starving artist line I’ve been trying to transform our small apartment into a functional and livable home.

I’m still negotiating with my self-diagnosed OCD and with both of us working here (well, he’s the only one technically working, I’m window shopping for work) every little paper or pencil out of place gets my full attention. I’ve taken to stylizing the corkboards, imagining the perfect drafting table and pontificating on the livability of a workspace. I basically do anything to avoid actually doing anything. Oohhhh that’s not true. Look at me now: typing away, typing away. But really, most of my attention goes to envisioning ideal antique wooden flat-files for his artwork… And, of course, a new desk for me (if you build it, work will come). I spend hours formulating a sophisticated space for us. Now, if I could only get him to throw away all of his stuff, hand me a blank check and free rein–this tiny apartment would be just right. Do you hear that? Like a chain gate crashing in front of me, he will shut that idea down. But he can’t diminish my design dreams!

With a little patience and a frugal boyfriend in mind I’ve been poring over the Design Sponge website for inspiration.  I want minimalist. Industrial meets antique. Kitsch with class. Simple and Stylish. But I’ll pay with my unemployment pittance on a shoestring budget. Here’s a little heads up I gave myself at about two hours into my love affair with the Sneak Peak features on Design Sponge…I doubt anyone understands the terms budget or pittance. There are perfect homes and airy, light filled, banquet-hall-sized places in Brooklyn that I would off an old lady for. So, proceed with caution and remember–anything can be recreated with a few relationship-testing trips to Ikea in a U-Haul, an out of town flea market and fearless dumpster diving.

Here are a few of my favorites:

These are both pictures from Jason Roskey and Maggie Goudsmit’s home in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. They own a Brooklyn-based furniture store called Fern. The table above is a military inspired  Officer’s Writing Desk. I love simple. But I think I need drawers to hide the junk. Although, those little dewey decimal library drawers might do the trick.



This is the shared home-office/living room space in a small (750 sq ft) house of photographer Kimberly Cornelison and her husband Alfie Ferreyra. I like that they are limited on space but still make it work and look uncluttered. There is nothing worse than having your office look like an Applebees! (The first image of the post is borderline Applebees kitsch with the chachka everywhere–I already have a headache.)



Unfortunately, we don’t have the studio space that artist Rob Ryan has–but I’ll take this helpful organizational tip for my boyfriend’s creative utensils. I’ve already found something on MUJI that should work perfectly.



I have to include the drafting tables. The first one belongs to Texas boutique owner Lara Collins. She inherited it from her grandmother. The second one belongs to Ken and Shino, a husband and wife team behind Fugu Fugu Press.

We are currently housing an oversized, modern, college themed drafting table and I would love to replace it with something timeless and unique. You can’t go wrong with a traditional wooden artist table. Now try convincing my man to replace a perfectly useful anything just for aesthetic reasons. Do you hear that gate? He’ll be shutting me down again!


This office has to be my favorite. Illustrator Alessandra Olanow lives in Brooklyn and requires the same features in a home-office that we do (table-top space, room for art and organization) … I love the order. I love the stylish simplicity. I love the enormous Brooklyn digs! And since she designed the perfect tote-bag for my friend Nell’s swimwear website Sirene I’m sold!

Stay tuned for before and after pics of my home/office improvements.