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Call a Spade a Spade

When I was younger, one of my absolute favorite books was called “From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler”. It outlines two children who take up residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Claudia Kincaid is almost twelve, a straight “A” student, only girl and eldest child of four, who decides to run away to somewhere beautiful, comfortable, and preferably indoors. She brings her brother Jamie along and they use the public restrooms by day and snuggle up to their favorite statues by night. I have always imagined sneaking into a museum and living amongst the tapestries and tea gardens!

Certain stores also fill me with a sense of yearning – to sleep in the confines of a small boutique, covered in fashion, design, and beauty! Case in Point: Kate Spade, replete with floral walls, microphones hanging from the ceiling, faux tour posters, drum kits, matchboxes, colored extension cords, and rococo ottomans! (The best part? You can buy much of the interior decor HERE, even down to the wallpaper used in-store.) Kate Spade’s new motto is “Live Colorfully”. The Spade aesthetic relies on bright, bold, and geometric shapes. Color is always accented with black. Punky meets Preppy!

(Images photographed by me, except for the Kate Spade catalogue design cover and Signature Spade pattern, done by 2×4.)

A sketch of the Kate Spade store on Fifth Avenue in NYC by Caitlin McGauley – who also designs some stationery and iPhone cases for the brand.

Kate Brosnahan Spade (born Katherine Noel Brosnahan; December 24, 1962) is the namesake designer of the brand Kate Spade. Although most known her for her boxy handbags, bow accents, and bright stationery, Spade has won numerous awards for her bedding and linens, as well as interior design. Kate’s interior designer, Steven Sclaroff, mixes his own style with Kate and Andy’s finds. Andy is Kate’s college sweetheart, they first decided to move in together while she was working at Mademoiselle. Andy is David Spade’s brother, but also a designer, advertiser, and publisher! They are long toted as one of the most creative power couples of the 20th century.

Let’s take a gander at the couple’s fabulous and timeless NYC Apartment:

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Bag Lady

Online Shopping is the new, lazy woman’s window shopping. From the comfort of my own couch (braless and in sweats), I can pretend to be a classy lady meandering the streets of the Upper East Side. I often find myself searching the same products over and over again. For some reason, certain products are just so calming and wonderful to look at and imagine in my closet (and on my person). Reed Krakoff (President, Executive Creative Director of Coach & Designer in his own right) has created my perfect tote. I have a visceral reaction when I view his neutral and nude color palettes. I want to fawn over this bag. I once visited the store just to touch the leather and see the colors in person. Crazy bag lady? Perhaps.

Ok, so as of right now on my very poor budget, I cannot even vaguely afford these bags. I would forego a month of rent and eat only canned goods to even begin to pretend that I could afford to carry one. Why do I love this bag so much? Let’s take a gander at The Boxer Bag Breakdown, as quoted on Reed Krakoff’s eponymous site. It includes:

  • Black Nickel Hardware
  • Burnished Glovetan Leather
  • Vachetta Leather (Vachetta leather is left untreated and is therefore susceptible to water and stains. Sunlight will cause the natural leather to darken in shade, called a patina. In this way, Vachetta Leather actually is constantly changing and evolving its colors depending on wear.)
  • Linen Accents
  • A square, architectural and minimalist shape
  • Contrasting, yet subtle pigments
  • A slightly masculine, menswear (Savile Row) inspired palette
Now let’s imagine this handbag as a room!
Although, I would probably just crawl into the bag itself and try to live there as well. 

(Via Apartment Therapy)

(Found Here.)

(Found Here.)

(Found Here.)

Shop by the Numbers: 1 /2 /3 /4 /5 /6 /7

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Octopus’s Garden

Everyone’s favorite mermaid, Ariel, kept a curated display of her favorite objects from the land above (on the sands above). She had gadgets and gizmos (aplenty), she had whoozits, and whatsits (galore), she even had twenty thingamabobs. Everyone knows she delighted in using a fork as her very own hairbrush. I guess brushing hair underwater seems like a lesson in futility. What Ariel did not realize is that the colors in her sea-foam world were so much more beautiful than those on soil. I guess the grass is always greener (or the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake).

Karl Lagerfeld, of Chanel fame, dreamed up an underwater wonderland for Paris Fashion Week for Chanel’s Spring 2012 line. The setting was replete with mother-of-pearl stages, seahorses, a tunnel of bubbles, oversized coral, glimmering curtains (mimicking the iridescence of water), and giant shells.

“I absolutely wanted to avoid mermaids and things like that,” Karl said backstage, wearing a seashell pink shirt and matching tie. I was inspired by the movement of seaweed, its lightness, and by certain fish that have very modern shapes, like sting rays.”

When in doubt for a color shame, view photos of the ocean (found on National Geographic or ThundaFunda) in order to re-inspire oneself. The ocean never gets its hue combinations wrong. Steal from the briny depths!

(Here.)

A nautically inspired, wave pattern blanket! Clean blues and whites mimic sailor stripes, but also the colors of the bright sea (Here).

Wall textiles created by Mini Moderns using 1950’s linocutting techniques! (Here.)

Cottage style, beach house. The painted wrought iron bedding is the perfect touch. The colors are drawn from yellow starfish, and gently bay waters.

I did not even choose to include the Hermes scarf in the pricing below because it was something like $410 – $870 dollars. I seriously love their patterns, and if I had money to burn this would be a purchase, however I often find similar patterns in a local vintage shop for $3-12 each

Lake Superior Curtain
$208 – anthropologie.com

Spiny Lobster Rug
$498 – anthropologie.com

Edwardian Knob, Aqua
$10 – anthropologie.com

Molten Spectrum Knob, Aqua Swirls
$8 – anthropologie.com

Parsons Bed in Colors – Room & Board
$699 – roomandboard.com
And in case you want to become extremely literal with this under the ocean theme, here are some finds that include FISHES (I am allowed to use the plural FISHES if I am discussing multiple of several species of fish. GRAMMAR POLICE OVER).

4. Lalique Light Blue Angel Fish Figurine – $99 – neimanmarcus.com

4. Lalique Golden Angel Fish Figurine – $99 – neimanmarcus.com

3. Fish Hotel – $35 – crateandbarrel.com

1. Fishs Eddy Charley Harper Fish And Lily Plate – £15 – liberty.co.uk

1. Fishs Eddy Charley Harper Orange Fish Plate  – £15 – liberty.co.uk

5. Fishs Eddy Charley Harper Little Fish Bowl – £8.95 – liberty.co.uk

6. Rhodes Acid Washed Frame – $42 – artgalleryframes.com /  Fish print from Paper Source (actually wallpaper sold by the roll) and Starfish print found at Shop AD by J. Pocker & Sons, Inc.

7. Giona Aquarium – Fish bowl Transparent by Skitsch – £257 – madeindesign.co.uk
Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. – H. P. Lovecraft