design, Style

Designing our new space

Right now, I am viewing our new house as a blank canvas. A little intimidating. Ok, no, a lot intimidating…BUT also very exciting. While we don’t have a lot of furniture, what we do have fits really nicely into the space that, as a small family of 2, we currently reside in. The first room I want to complete is our family room. When we moved in and put all of furniture into the family room, I was surprised to find that coffee table that I hated while at our apartment, I actually liked, and now over time, love in our new family room. We got the piece at a random tag sale, for basically next to nothing…and I was going to be totally fine with getting rid of it and replacing it with something better.

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It’s super weird. Which is probably why I gravitated toward it originally. But now it has become the lead in inspiration for the whole room! I love the gentle curve of the legs, and the texture the wire crisscrosses give in the center panels. It may not be a true Art Nouveau piece, but I think it will really relate well to that style. I’ve been researching and found some other really cool things that will help complete the room.

I’ve found that Etsy is a really great resource for this type stuff, as well as buying art reprints from art.com. This exploration has been a really good ‘refresher’ on period art styles for me. I SO wish I would have paid more attention back in my art history lectures!

Last weekend, I caught 5 minutes of an interior design show on TV where they featured designer Aman and Meeks, who design fabulously rich homes in NY and the tristate area. While 100% outside my budget, their take on “formal” was an interesting concept. The idea that the new ‘formal’ are a bunch of eclectic pieces that all hang together in a unique way. Even though I do not have the type of money (or art collections) that Aman and Meeks clients do, I want to approach the design of our home in that way.

Happy Friday everyone!

xo

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3 illustrators to draw inspiration from

Texture is so important in design. Just as you’d layer a fuzzy cardigan over a silk blouse for a great fashion statement, our eyes are drawn to layering of textures in 2d visuals. Here are 3 examples of beautiful texture in illustration for you to take inspiration from!

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I love the small details of pattern that sit on top graphic color in Yellena James illustrations.

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Similarly, the strokes of the pencil used in Camilla Perkins shading helps give this piece more visual interest.

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Scott Waters, this one is my favorite. I love the juxtaposition of the dark industrial helicopter shapes over the vintage florals. I can TOTALLY see how this might translate to a really cool set of wedding stationery. Hmmm…

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4 things I’ve learned

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Managing a team is one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve encountered in my career. I’ve been lucky enough to have several experiences to gain inspiration from. It’s surprising how both good and bad experiences can be inspiring. I can remember several experiences I’ve had in the past that I want to make sure I NEVER replicate on anyone I work with. Here are a few positive things I’ve learned from some great people:

  1. Make the people who work on your team feel like they work with you, not for you
    1. The second someone makes me feel like I am answering to them, I can’t respect, or work with them the same way. Always think about that. A great team works together, not for their leaders.
  2. Lead without reservation
    1. I’d say that some of the most successful people that I’ve worked with throw themselves into the fire whether they know exactly what they are doing or not. Who cares if you’ve never done this before? If you go forward confidently, and problem solve your way through any obstacles you WILL come out on top. My boss and I recently took on a big project. She amazed me day after day with her positivity and get it done attitude. She never faltered, and we completed the project and impressed senior leadership. After the project wrapped, we met and she told me at times she had no idea what she was doing, and that she had never done aspects of the project before. Incredibly inspiring.
  3. The only time its acceptable to lie confidently
    1. Following #2, if someone asks you to do something you’ve never done before, don’t admit you’ve never done it. I know people who have successfully move up the ladder quickly by taking on jobs and responsibilities that were WELL outside of their expertise. Yes, I can do that, and I will do it well should be something you tell yourself often!
  4. Active listening = listening with more than just your ears
    1. This one took me awhile to grasp the concept, and I am just starting to get a little better at it. Active listening is something that will help you in all aspects of your life (just ask my husband, he will tell you how I need to continue to work on fine tuning my skills!). The people you work with are constantly telling you things without telling you things. Peoples personalities play into this also, and a lot of times it takes awhile working with people to be able to truly listen to them. Just yesterday I had a conversation with a new employee who came to NY from Chile. When we started talking, he mentioned to me how different N. Americans are from S. Americans, and that S. Americans like to share more about their lives in conversation. I had planned to go into the conversation with him selfishly wanting to know all about his past work experiences and how he planned on sparking creativity on our team. Instead, I took this bit of information into account, talked to him about his family, why he decided on taking the job in New York and how it was living in the city. By the end of our conversation, his body language was so obviously more comfortable and open. By changing my objective for the conversation, I made him feel more comfortable and willing to open up to me. Now, we have a more comfortable relationship, and I’m sure I will find out the answers to all of my questions in follow up conversations!

Hope everyone has a relaxing, fall filled weekend!

xo

 

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Life

the COMMUTE.

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Happy Friday.

Today marks the two week spot of us being in the house, and me doing a hour long train ride commute into NY every day. The commute was probably one of the things I was most worried about when we signed the contract on the house. So funny right, something that doesn’t even exist on the property? TJ lived with his parents when he first started working in the city, so he knew what he was getting himself into. One of my best friends used to do a super long commute too (even further out of the city then we are!). I am happy to admit, that over all I am pretty pleased with the train ride.

A few things about it:

  • Pro: I get to spend more time writing posts and checking out other blogs and Pinterest
  • Pro: Allows me to have an extra two hours (back and forth) to do additional work before and after I’m in the office!
  • Con: Allows me to have an extra two hours (back and forth) to do additional work before and after I’m in the office!

I kinda feel like I’ve just been working non stop. Not so great. Something I will have to balance out a bit more moving forward. While keeping busy makes the train ride go by quicker, the workload has been a bit taxing. Yesterday I had a meeting with clients at their office in CT so I was able to drive. On my way back home I got annoyed with driving because I couldn’t be multi tasking. Anyone find it strange that I’ve tried to think of a way I could talk to my phone and have it capture notes for me? Pretty sure that’s a possibility, but I am also very sure I shouldn’t figure out how to do it.

TJ and I will be getting a second car proooobably before the snow starts falling. I am excited to have “my own” car again. I am even more excited not to have to drive back and forth from the train station 4 times every day (even though its saving us $$). The question is, what kind of car? I’ve never had to answer that for myself. To me, cars are one of the more difficult decisions to make because I am (pathetically) very swayed by the makers branding. Personalities are basically confirmed by the car that you drive. I am only half joking here…

Have a great first legit fall weekend everyone, xo!

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Change to be thankful for

I’ve lived in several different homes. The one I grew up in, the one I shared with three amazing girls in college, several apartments in Queens as a “working adult in the city”. A few days ago, TJ and I said goodbye to the first home we shared together, an apartment with a decent commute to our jobs in Manhattan, to move into our forever home in the “country”. (I put country in quotes, because while I see more wildlife then people on my commute to the train station every day, I am hesitant to commit to being a country girl…)

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The change feels really good. My parents came down to help us move in and unpack. Seeing my Dad and TJ sitting on the couch as I peered into our family room, I had an overwhelming sense of everything being exactly the way it was supposed to be.

The process for us to buy this home was not easy. We first saw it in April but didn’t end up closing until mid September. This is NOT normal, even for NY! So much of the time I felt like we were trying to put a circle peg into a square hole with the process, but I am so so so thankful that we stuck with it, gave where we needed to and held strong when necessary.

TJ and I are very fortunate and I am so grateful. My parents always taught me that hard work will always pay off, the easy way out is never the way to go. This is basically the way TJ and I approach life. Sometimes I complain that we are going crazy because of the decisions we’ve made, but in reality I love it. I love the feeling of reward from hard work and sacrifice. It inspires me and makes me work harder…

So here is to the next chapter in our lives, and the crazy, stressful adventures it brings!

xo

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