Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Please come in!

It's a phrase we say easily when welcoming friends and family into our home. However, I always seem to add: "Please don't pay attention to the mess" as I quickly usher visitors through our teeny, tiny, cluttered - and might I add, soulless - hallway into our spacious, bright, happy kitchen.

Where we live - a quiet Dutch suburb nestled somewhere between Amsterdam and The Hague - the homes are narrow, with entryways a careless afterthought. Dutch architects have little to work with in our neck of the woods, where square footage is hard to come by as everyone congregates to the west of the country to be near the big cities. So you will often find lovely homes with minuscule foyers, perhaps just enough room for a coat rack and a mirror. Most people choose to ignore the space and focus on the rest of the house.

I am, however, thoroughly fed up with our foyer. Because both the kitchen and the dining area open out into this area, both doors feature glass panelling like in the picture above and even our front door has a large window in it (oh Mr Architect, what were your thinking?!}, it's not something you can close the door on and ignore. So this is going to be my next project. Now for some inspiration...

Kelly Wearstler

Would stripes optically enlarge the space?
Mary McDonald

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Style Crush: Viviana Volpicella

If, like me, you are a blog addict and fashion aficionado, you may have seen this Italian fashionista gracing the sites of Tommy Ton and The Sartorialist. If not, let me introduce you to Viviana Volpicella, Assistant Fashion Editor for Vogue Nippon. In my humble opinion, Viviana is the most stylish woman on the planet (followed closely by Ines de la Fressange, but that's another post). It's not just her perfect figure, her enviable wardrobe, and daring color and print choices. I think that most of all, it's that amazing smile that is captured in almost every picture taken of her. Her joyous spirit is something that inspires me to always look on the bright side (pun intended!) Of course, the size 36 (Italian) and the access to designer duds might help!

Monday, March 18, 2013

Get your Juju on

There is something about juju hats as wall decoration that still has me enthralled, even after years of seeing them in countless interior design magazines. I simply never tire of them. It's not just the gorgeous array of colors they come in (although this is big reason), but also the shape, the texture, the level of strokability (not technically a word, I know, but bear with me), and it's the concept of this beautiful element of nature incorporated into your home in such an unexpected way. I love how something with so much meaning - for Cameroonian tribes the feathers symbolize prosperity - can also have such a decorative function in our homes. Not sure the Cameroonian's would agree, but these works of art carry a pretty hefty price tag, so perhaps their commercial value goes a little way to make up for the sacrilege?

Feathers have recently also featured increasingly in fashion. Although I feel a feather boa is best left to drag queens, I am partial to a flirty cocktail dress or wedding gown with the right amount of feather trim.
Personally I love the dress the ever intrepid Anna dello Russo sports below. Not that I could - or would dare - ever wear canary yellow feathers. I'd end up looking like an over-sized chick or fore-shortened Big Bird. I just love that someone out there can and does dress like this!

Anna dello Russo
Alexander McQueen

On the other hand, Beyonce single-handedly proved to me that feathers can also be a BAD thing! To me, the Givenchy number she wore to the Met Gala is a classic example of when bad things happen to people who should know better! This probably looked better on the catwalk. Let's leave any bitchy asides to a minimum. Nuff said!

Beyonce in Givenchy Haute Couture at the Met

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Emerald City

Emerald and malachite: opulent, sumptuous shades of green that, in my humble opinion, look good in fashion, accessories and interiors. From the moment I purchased Kelly Wearstler's tome Domicilium Decoratus and laid eyes on the Hillcrest Estate's malachite-accented study, I've had a love-hate relationship with the outspoken color, which has finally evolved into absolute, unequivocal love.
I am gaga over that green clutch, am coveting a pair of malachite earrings and a study or sun room with emerald accents. Not sure about the green walls, although I do believe that if you do something, you shouldn't do it half-heartedly.

Photo by Tommy Ton

Courtesy of Marcus Design Inc

Photo by Tommy Ton

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Headboard Heaven

When temperatures plummet, what's more delicious than hiding out in a big, comfortable bed. Make that a big, comfortable, pretty bed. With gorgeous, gazillion count Egyptian cotton sheets, fluffy pillows and a sumptuous duvet. And a kick-ass headboard. Apart from the big comfortable bed part, I own none of these. My sheets are in dire need of replacement, were never any type of high thread count to start off with, the pillows always end up on the floor, thanks to my other half! And the headboard is an eyesore, a sad reminder of when our cat used it as a scratching post. Embarrassing to admit, but there you have it; I've outed myself. My bed is fugly!!

This probably explains my minor headboard fixation. I'm kind of loving the following examples. Particularly the one with the nailhead trim and oatmeal grass cloth fabric.

Decor Pad

Coastal Living

Monday, March 11, 2013

Color me happy!

Welcome to Smash Cult's first official posting! We're finally - perhaps belatedly - joining the cyber rat race and are really excited to finally be doing this. Needless to say, this is considerably harder than all you more experienced bloggers make it look. 

Before getting started, a shout out to Kinzie's Kreations: Blog Designs for our background. Awesome!

On an unusually frigid, grey March afternoon such as this (one of the coldest in recorded Dutch history; yup, it's officially snowing), there's nothing like a dash of color to lift the spirits. I found these images on Pinterest - who doesn't love Pinterest?! - and was temporarily transported to a happier, brighter place.