Caroline Hayden’s White Christmas Dress

by Lauren Setum

I purchased the Caroline Hayden dress, pictured below, from a sample sale here in Minneapolis this past fall. There was only one available, and it fit me perfectly! I, of course, featured it in a New Outfit post immediately afterward. Since then, it’s been deemed the ‘White Christmas dress’; its color, full circle skirt and chic silhouette resembles the dress Judy wore during the fake engagement announcement in the movie White Christmas (no fake engagements for me though!)

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With six inches of fresh snow on the ground today, it seemed like the perfect day to wear my ‘White Christmas’ dress to work. So here I sit, writing a blog post about my Caroline Hayden outfit and perusing her new spring designs. A lovely balance of classic white and pops of color, don’t you think?

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An Evening in the Parc

by Lauren Setum

I know it’s a wee-bit cold in Minneapolis today, but there are still fun times to be had around the cities. Tonight, I’ll be heading to Northeast for Parc Boutique‘s social media party. Complete with Surdyk‘s appetizers, fabulous fashion and great company, it’s sure to be a fantastic evening out. The party starts at 6pm so stop by after work and see what’s new in store. Here are some of my picks from the store’s current offerings:

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Denim Baseball Cap  |  Striped Henley Dress  |  Leather Tote Bag  |  BB Dakota Hana Coat  |  Striped French Terry Shorts  |  Seychelles Leather Boots  | BB Dakota Yara Skirt  |  Caitlin Coat

Parc Boutique’s Facebook page is worth adding to your list of ‘likes’. They post some lovely, luxurious looking ensembles that are sure to peak your interest…

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Balancing Act

by Lauren Setum

Well, you’ve seen design ideas for the KitchenDining RoomMaster Bedroom and Guest Bedroom in my friend’s new home. Last, but not least, is the Living Room. The paint color for this space is…

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Sweet Rosy Brown by Benjamin Moore

As you can see in the space plan below, the Living Room is long and narrow, but by strategically placing furniture of the correct size, cozy conversation areas and reading nooks emerge. You’ll notice that the area rug is labeled as a 10′ x 14′. It’s important that the rug not be smaller. Smaller rug = smaller feeling space. The two lounge chairs across from the sofa are placed in front of the large window for a reason. If you want to see an interior designer cringe, place a large sofa in front of a window (CRINGE!). The chairs are more appropriate for this spot because they feel lighter in comparison to one big sofa. A sofa would make the window feel blocked off; we want to welcome the light in! Finally, end tables are drawn in at just the right size: not too small, not too big.

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Now, let’s talk about focal points in the room and how they should be addressed. You probably noticed on the plan that the fireplace is tucked into one end of the room. While it should remain a charming architectural detail, it’s important that, in the interest of visual balance, not everything be directed toward just this one end of the space. First, let’s focus on how to include the fireplace as a focal point.

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The photo above (walls are awaiting their new paint color!) gives you an idea of the fireplace’s existing brick. You can also see that there is an existing mantle. Instead of a single piece of art above the mantle, I’d suggest a look like (one row of) this…

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It’s a great way to showcase special photographs. The layered look of these photos suggests that they’ve been acquired over time and  that there’s a real history to the home and the people who live there (which is true!). I’d also recommend replacing the chandelier you see in the Living Room photo with this spotlight fixture from Home Depot. The placement of the existing chandelier is a little awkward; this spotlight, mounted on the ceiling, would allow the photographs to shine. (Tip: when purchasing a fixture that’s meant solely for highlighting other elements in a room, try to match the ceiling color as closely as possible; no need for a big dark blob on a white-ish ceiling!)

Then, to complete the fireplace area, add a small lounge chair as seen on the plan. Notice that whichever way you look at it, whether from the kitchen or from the other end of the Living Room, you see a lovely composition at the fireplace. Plus, what a great spot to curl up and read a book!

Now for the other end of the Living Room. The wall opposite the fireplace needs some attention so that the space won’t feel visually lopsided. My idea, as seen in the elevation drawing below, involves a credenza and a few key accessories. First off, the homeowners would want to keep an eye out for a mid-century credenza that’s about 5 feet wide; vintage shops, like findfurnish in Northeast Minneapolis, are great places to find such treasures. The floating bookshelves from The Container Store designate a place for reading materials and create a great asymmetrical look on this wall (necessary because the doorway to the dining room is to the left and restricts any kind of wall hanging that projects). A large scale piece of art and 30 inch high lamp complete the look. Oh, and don’t forget these gold trays from West Elm; they allow the credenza to be turned into a great little bar at a moment’s notice!

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And, of course, materials and finishes…

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1) Sofa Fabric: This color did not work well the way the previous homeowners used it, as an accent wall. Toss this fabric from Pollock on a sofa though, and you have one fabulous pop of color!

2 & 3) Sofa pillow fabrics: A little pattern (Schumacher) and a texture (Pollock) with just the right colors can work wonders.

4) Ceramic art above sofa: Kimberlee Joy Roth is a Minneapolis-based ceramic artist. The piece shown on the board above is lovely, though I’d recommend going with one of her blue finishes. Check out the fabulous installations you can do with her art here.

5) Side table: You’ll notice on the floor plan that I’ve placed a small end table between the two lounge chairs. I love this one from Ballard Designs for that spot.

6) Lounge chairs: I found this pair of chairs (there are actually two of them) at findfurnish in Minneapolis. The shape of the chairs is absolutely perfect for this home.

7) Fabric for Lounge Chairs: The lounge chairs are indeed wonderful, but they definitely need to be reupholstered. This fabric from Schumacher does a fantastic job of picking up on the blue color seen here in the Living Room and throughout the rest of the home.

8) Pillow fabric: Repeating the red color on the chairs with some pillows using this Schumacher fabric.

9) Art for over the credenza: I’d shown some art placed above the credenza in the elevation drawing. A couple things that I feel are important: a) The colors; love that this piece has red, blue and gold tones. b) The subject matter isn’t too serious. While I love that this space is moody and almost a little dramatic, I think it’s important that the tone not be overly serious. The homeowners are young, vibrant people, and their space should reflect that. This artwork is fun and unexpected, but it still works.

And the all important rug, shown at the bottom of the board. This beauty is from Dash & Albert.

If It’s Meant to Be, They’ll Turn Out

by Lauren Setum

That’s what I told my lovely photographer, Laura, towards the end of this chilly shoot. I don’t think she’s going to use my declaration as a tag line for her business anytime soon, but we both had a good laugh! I was determined to get some snow-filled outdoor pictures with this outfit, even if it meant braving 3 degree temperatures. So out we went, to Northeast Minneapolis, to photograph this red sweater dress (my mom’s from the 80s…I guess some good fashion did come out of that decade, who knew?!). For a similar sweater dress, check out this one from BCBGMAXAZRIA at Nordstrom. The rest of the outfit consists of earrings from J Crew (find similar here), brown suede boots (try these from Nordstrom) and a knit headband from Paper Hat in Minneapolis. I’m happy to say that the photos were meant to be; they definitely turned out…

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Quick note here…I totally recommend the Big Book of Chic by Miles Redd. A great (and truly chic) addition to any coffee table or bookshelf!

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Wishing you all laughter and joy this holiday season!

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A Cardinal That Rolled in Ketchup…

by Lauren Setum

Signing papers for a new house can seem scary and overwhelming. Then you get to the ‘let’s pick out new paint colors’ stage, and signing those loan documents seems like the easy part. Yikes! Selecting colors…no, make that selecting the right colors…really isn’t easy. Page through a paint deck, and you’ll notice just how many subtle variations there are between paint chips; choosing the right one can even be a challenge for professional designers sometimes. A couple things to consider:

  • Have you looked at your paint sample in the room that you’ll be painting? If not, you should. Lighting makes all the difference, and each space is a little different. You see a sample at its ‘truest’ color during the day when it’s light out.
  • Have a favorite color? Awesome. There are a couple common mistakes people make when it comes to colors they love. Let’s say your favorite color is red:

1) Just because you like red does not mean that you should go out in search of the bloodiest, I’m a cardinal that rolled in ketchup red. I mean seriously. While there may be situations where that type of red is appropriate, more often than not, that color probably isn’t going to translate into what you had in mind.

2) Just because it’s your favorite color doesn’t mean it belongs on your walls. Consider whether it might be more appropriate to use ‘red’ as an accent color. Think POPS of color.

Alright, now that we’re on the same page, let’s talk about some recent paint selections my friend and I made for her new home. Today, I’m going to share the Master Bedroom paint color. It is….

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Cedar Ridge by Benjamin Moore

Benjamin Moore is a great, high quality paint. The company offers a wider range of color selections than most paint vendors, which is also a big plus. The mood board below shows how a few layers of fabrics, art and accessories work with the paint color to create a lovely Master Bedroom:

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Note: My friend and her fiancee have existing dark wood furniture that will be used in the space.

Abstract floral rug from Surya: With the paint color being a little lighter, this rug, with some deeper tones, does a great job of grounding the room and defining the space. Plus, since it’s 100% wool, it’s durable and will last much longer.

Duvet cover from Restoration Hardware (in Prairie)Since the rug utilizes a large scale pattern, there was no need for pattern on the bedding. The Prairie colorway is just right because it’s slightly deeper than the walls and therefore adds a little depth without being too busy.

Pillow sham fabric by Christopher Farr Cloth (in Natural)Since this fabric is sold by the yard, the shams would need to be custom made. Getting shams made is easier than you think though (especially if you know an interior designer!). In this case, I feel it’s the best solution because this fabric is what pulls the room together. If you click on the link and zoom in on the fabric, you’ll see that it has all the colors used in the room. This is key in making a space feel cohesive. Plus, bed-in-a-bags drive me crazy…way too matchy matchy and not very personal. Combining these shams with the duvet from Restoration Hardware yields a much more unique look. Finally, since the scale of the pattern is considerably smaller than that of the rug, the two work together well.

Gold throw by West Elm (on sale!) & To the Moon pillow by Red EnvelopeAccessories add color, texture and personality to a space.

Lamp is vintage from findfurnish in MinneapolisThis textured lamp is so fabulous. Since my friend’s new home was built in the 50s, the lamp is definitely era-appropriate. Don’t shy away from these pieces; something as simple as a new lamp shade can give them a whole new life!

Egypt print from Zazzle: Framing inexpensive prints is a great way to get something on your walls without breaking the bank. Since my friend and her fiancee have been to Egypt, I thought this would be perfect for them.

Last but not least, a second option. The space, with a few small changes could work with this rug from Surya, too. Which do you like best?

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Procrastinators Unite!

by Lauren Setum

It’s officially the week (and a half) before Christmas; holy cow, time flies! If you’re still looking for gifts, be sure and place any online orders in the next day or so. Many companies won’t guarantee arrival by Christmas Eve after that. Not sure what to get? Take a look at my picks for last minute gifts:

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Clock-wise from top left:

Book {Fashion}: My cousin got me this book for my birthday, and it’s fabulous! You can purchase it through Amazon.

Umbrella {Polka Dots}: This umbrella was previously featured in a Salt and Pippa New Outfit post in a different colorway. I love the various scales of the polka dots; the wood handle and black and white make it a classic. Check out Gina and May’s website for this umbrella and other fabulous designs.

Earrings {Gold}: Designed by local Minneapolis artist, Meghan J. Nelson, these earrings are modern and simple yet intriguing. Her work can be found here in the Twin Cities at I Like You and Paper Hat. If you’re not from the area, check out Meghan’s website.

Rolling Pin {Marble}: For the classy cook in your life; I much prefer this chic rolling pin to typical wooden ones. Get it at Sur la table.

Moroccan Leather Slipper {Coral}: There’s something I just love about these slippers from Heidi Merrick (available in other colors). The pop of color and 100% leather material make them a lovely, unique gift for the holidays.

Brownies {all different flavors}: These brownies, delivered anywhere in the U.S. straight from NYC, are scrumptious. My friends ordered me a box for my birthday, and let’s just say they didn’t last long. Plus, how awesome is the company name? Visit the Fat Witch Bakery website for more details. Oh yeah, and they were featured on Oprah’s list of favorite things in 2002…in case you think Oprah is more credible than me. Ha.

Cup {Yellow Taxi}: I was intrigued by this particular cup because it kind of looks like a really pretty paper cup. In fact, it is actually stoneware designed by Gwyneth Leech and available at Anthropologie. Buy a set of the same design or mix and match all the different designs. Up to you. Either way they’re all fabulous!

Dish Towel {Dachshunds}: For the person who loves wiener dogs. The sweetness of this towel from Anthropologie speaks for itself.

Print {Love Courageously}: This pretty print is from Sevenly. I love this source because $7 of every purchase (all year round) goes to charity. The charity changes each week so check the website to see what your dollars are supporting. This is one of their prints, and I love it…pun intended. There are many other delightful designs though, too, so be sure and take a gander.

I Feel Pretty, O So Pretty

by Lauren Setum

With nearly a half a foot of snow on the ground here in Minneapolis, it’s officially time for jackets, coats, scarves, and gloves. I have to say that after awhile, it gets somewhat cumbersome putting on all the layers and packing shoes in addition to boots…let’s be real, high heels were not made with snow in mind. By February, I’m usually getting a little lazy when it comes to style and just willing spring to come so I can leave the puffy layers behind. Today’s mood board consists of a few items I love that are stylish AND functional for this chilly time of year. No reason to not feel pretty even if it does feel like we’re in the North Pole!

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Wool head wrap from Banana Republic: I’m all for a cute winter hat, but sometimes it’s fun to change it up. I went with a neutral palette today, however, this piece is available in some brighter colorways as well.

The description that accompanies this Sheer Addiction Jewelry necklace is so fitting for today’s post: “For the girl who takes a moment to soak in the beauty of the first snowfall”

Non-toxic nailpolish from Scotch Naturals: I adore this particular color (To Hell With Swords and Garter). Just the right amount of brown mixed with just the right amount of red. Yum. Perfect for some much needed winter manicures.

These long leather gloves from Max Studio have made an appearance on the blog before. Here they are again for an encore. Can’t get enough of the lovely details. Pair them with 3/4 sleeve jackets or dresses. Super chic.

Colorblock cable sweater from Michael Kors at Nordstrom: It received just average reviews online, but I have to say, I’d give it five stars. I just purchased this sweater last night (in fact, I’m wearing it right now!), and it’s even more flattering on than it looks to be online. Available in several other colors, I assure you, you won’t be disappointed!

Winter wedge shoes from Pikolinos: Now these are what I call ‘rustic-chic’. Beautiful details, great lines and a sturdy shoe. Well-worth the investment.