This time of year always makes me crave clean spaces, solitude and calm. Which pretty much sums up the Graybarns Inn & Tavern in Norwalk, CT. Holy smokes, this place looks like a little bit of country heaven! I’m loving the simple, rustic decor and the incredibly charming architecture! It’s a historically rich property (with a past as a textile mill, speakeasy and inn where Liz Taylor and Eddie fisher honeymooned) that has been brought back to life.
I am a New England girl through and through so the exterior is totally my jam.
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As I mentioned in a previous post, I am all sorts of jazzed about this whole Meghan-Markle-as-Princess situation. I think she is a lovely woman, with smarts and humor and a drive to be more than just a pretty face. The kind ofgal we need more of the spotlight, right? Not to mention she has great style. And while I love me some Kate Middleton, I think Meghan is going to bring a slightly more youthful and fun look to Royal fashion. It’ll be interesting to see how she blends the propriety needed to be a public Royal figure with her own keen LA bred fashion sense!
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This beauty above we snagged for a gorgeous baby girl nursery!
These days, I find a good chunk of the rugs I use in my designs on Etsy. Still a place to strike a good deal on vintage designs, Etsy allows you to buy directly from vendors in Turkey and other locations know for their artistry in the rug field. This style of rug is so wonderful in a variety of spaces and with numerous styles of decor- from modern to traditional, in a bedroom or a kitchen. They also hide a lot of dirt and stains, which is a fantastic bonus when you have a toddler dripping ice cream on them.
When looking for great vintage rugs on Etsy you need to be smart about search terms (and that means also searching for rug types that are incorrect- as I learn more about rugs as I develop my own line, I am beginning to understand the proper names for different styles). The styles that I search for are “Oushak”, “Anatolian”, “Persian”, “Turkish” and “Caucasian”. Add to that the terms “faded”, “pale” or “washed” if you want something very worn looking. Or the specific color you want… or all three (ex. “faded blue Oushak”)
Below are links to some of the great vendors I like on Etsy for rugs of this style. A lot fo you ask where I get these when I share them on Instagram, so I thought I’d share a few. :) Click on each rug image for the link!
I have an extreme love of wrapping gifts. Every year I come up with a theme and get really into it. Someday when I’m a billionaire (cuz that’s gonna happen, right?) I’ll have a whole wrapping room. I mean, my first job was wrapping gifts at Christmas for my grandparents department store. Between that and my design career, I basically have a masters degree in wrapping.
So I thought I’d offer up a bunch of paper, ribbon and tag pairings to maybe spur your inner creative wrapping goddess. I am a huge fan of using two papers combined to create a cool center band down the middle over which I tie ribbon (like below, which was my wrapping look from 2014). On smaller boxes I mix up using the two papers, but use the same ribbon, etc. I’ve been known to sue leftover wallpaper, hand paint or stamp my own paper or tags and get into lots of various creative supplies.
There are so many amazing combos from my favorite sources (Etsy, The Container Store, World Market, Target, Spoonflower) that it’s hard for me to pick!
1.paper, ribbon, tag 2. paper, ribbon, tag 3. boxwood paper, blue paper, tag, ribbon 4. paper, wood tag, cork ribbon, jute ribbon
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What I love about my team here in the office is how different everyone is, and so it’s great to share what everyone wants for the holidays because I think it covers a lot of different ground. A little sporty, a little glam, a little preppy, a little adventurous…lots of great ideas. And I swear I did not hold a gun to their heads and make them all pick earrings from my M. Flynn collection “you guys love these, riiiiiight?” They actually each picked them randomly and all a different pair, which makes me feel good about the wide appeal of the designs!
Click the bold numbers below each collection for links!
1. Absurd, but a dream // 2. I had the original AirMax 95 in…well,’95. They were the best! // 3. Would love a piece by Emily Morgan Brown for my house // 4. Proof I’m an adult // 5. // 6. // 7. Winter is coming…// 8. A case for…// 9. The iPhone X -for the camera alone, honestly // 10. So I can throw out my three different curling irons// 11.
1. An original Caitlin McGauley// 2. an elegant scent diffuser // 3. // 4. // 5. Al says this smells insane. // 6. // 7. // 8. // 9. // 10. She needs a bigger condo to fit this, so really it’s two gifts :)
1. // 2. // 3. Kristen’s brother’s company makes these beautiful passport cases // 4. // 5. // 6. // 7. who doesn’t want a Golden puppy?// 8. Away bag for all her many adventures // 9. Designer fuel // 10. // 11.
1. We used these on a shoot and all loved them // 2. // 3. // 4. Cute return address stamp // 5. monogrammed, of course! // 6. // 7. Katie loves this product// 8. // 9. Dream light fixture // 10. // 11.