I have absolutely LOVED going out to eat ever since I was little girl. While exploring different types of food is a huge part of this love (duh), I am also drawn to the ambiance of a restaurant. The same holds true for my favorite bars!
When I go somewhere to eat or drink, I am looking for a “vibe”. What are they trying to communicate to me, as a patron, with lighting and decor? This vibe may speak to me, in which case I will remember that feeling and want to come back to re-immerse myself, OR it won’t and I won’t. I will say though, that as long as there is a good vibe created with thoughtfulness (even if that reads as “chaos”), I will respect it! For me, the dining experience is as much about this feeling as anything else.
I tend to favor restaurants on the cozier side and there is no shortage of those in D.C. The Hamilton is one of my favorites! Despite the fact that the restaurant is enormous, they still manage to make each dining area feel private using well placed booths/partitions, ornate lighting, and colorful decor. I would describe my favorite room as Tropical Traditional…
SEE! Tropical Traditional. I’m making that a thing if it’s not already. The food is wonderful and if you’ve never been you should definitely pop in! MAKE A RES though if you are going for dinner, they are always slammed because the restaurant is so close to the White House.
Another wonderfully cozy place to go on occasion* (it’s a tad pricy) that is right across the street from The Hamilton is the Round Robin Bar in The Willard Intercontinental. The hotel is a perfect place to take out-of-town guests which is exactly what I did this weekend! The Willard common areas, like The Hamilton, are huge but feel cozy all the same. It is ornate but warm…
The Willard is an amazing place that is quintessential D.C. in my eyes. Both of these establishments, The Hamilton and The Willard are perfect examples of places that inspire feelings of warmth and comfort that draw me back again and again. I think you will find this common thread in many of the restaurants and bars I feature on my blog! I’d love to know what you look for in a bar or restaurant aside from wonderful food…what vibe draws you in?
As I sit on my tush indoors to escape the sweltering heat this afternoon, I can’t help but daydream about mild summer nights spent with friends, lounging about in flowing fabric with a cool beverage in hand. For me this daydream conjures images of whimsical decor, a space where everyone can tap into the carefree and lighthearted version of themselves and truly relax! If we’re talking whimsy, NO ONE does it like Anthropologie.
I’ve been combing through all of my favorite sites in search of fun pieces for my own place and man, oh, man did I go down the Anthro rabbit hole today. We all need a little whimsy in our lives sometimes so I thought I would share my fave finds from my journey into the amazing vortex that is the Anthropologie website.
Sometimes whimsical is viewed as feminine. I most definitely do not see it this way. I see it as lighthearted or otherworldly, think Harry Potter or Alice in Wonderland. I see twinkling lights, color, fantastical things (like a deer in a bowtie)! Some of the above items are definitely more feminine as that is an element of my style, but not all of them. Whimsy is all about what takes you away to your happy place!
I hope that some of these items speak to you like they did to me and I encourage you to go get your click on the Anthropologie website and see what you can see!
For my birthday this year I was lucky enough to receive what felt in my heart like a billion flowers! I ended up with one large arrangement with a purple theme; another medium-sized arrangement with a yellow, orange, and pink motif; and yet another smaller arrangement with a classic white and pink color palette. As wonderful as each of these wonderful color bonanzas are, three arrangements like these can overwhelm a small apartment fairly quickly. In light of this recent predicament (the best predicament to have, really), I thought I would share with you how I decided to distribute the flower joy throughout my cozy living space.
The large purple arrangement has a natural home in the center of the dining table so that arrangement stayed intact. This arrangement also has a ton of gorgeous greenery in it that would not be as impactful if disassembled (in my opinion, obvi). The smaller pink and white arrangement stayed intact too as it is tall and skinny and has a perfect place in the kitchen. The kitchen, dining area, and living room are essentially all one room so placing the yellow, orange, and pink arrangement in there would be overkill. Our bedroom is out of the question as well due to the ever frustrating furniture limbo we are in, a common issue after moving into a new apartment. With nothing to put this arrangement on I decided to disassemble it and here is the result…
I divided up the flowers and cut down the stems to fit into three smaller glasses, one small 7Up glass (for a quirky, fun feel) and two stemless wine glasses. This way I can still display the flowers in our living room and bedroom without the arrangements becoming overwhelming. They fit on the limited surfaces available and you can still see and smell flowers at every turn!
Another thing I love to do with flowers is put them into beer glassware. We’ve got a ton of tall, skinny glasses with the names of different beers on them that make really interesting flower vases. I love that balance of masculine and feminine, it keeps things from being too frou frou. So next time you feel like your apartment is beginning to resemble a garden (again, the best predicament), distribute the flower wealth throughout your space using this trick!
If you watch Portlandia you’ll know what I’m talking about. If not, watch Portlandia, it is hilarious! I’ve always been obsessed with animals, but mainly those of the soft and fluffy variety. Only recently have I found myself fascinated by birds. They are so cute the way they hop around and move their little heads quickly in every direction, chirping and fluttering. These attributes apply mostly to smaller birds but my interest does not stop there. I find larger birds mesmerizing as well! The way larger birds swoop around makes me wonder what that might be like, but I definitely prefer my diet to theirs! I’m pretty sure birds don’t get to pour themselves a glass of Sauvignon Blanc on the reg so I’m good down here on my own two feet!
I look at certain birds and am struck by the naturally occurring patterns and colors that people strive to replicate. I find it truly amazing that that beauty just happened in nature! Needless to say, I am SUPER into the bird theme that seems to be dominating home decor websites and stores. SO, in honor of our feathery friends, I thought I would share some of my favorite bird-themed finds for whatever tickles your fancy!
The Kimpton Hotel Monaco in downtown D.C. is visually stunning, inside and out. I will be focusing solely on the interior here though, specifically the bathroom! You may find this odd if you have ever visited the hotel because there is A LOT to take in. From the green glass chandeliers in the lobby to the more industrial modern decor of the hotel’s restaurant Dirty Habit (the back bar is amazing by the way), there is no shortage of things to look at.
Let me give you some backstory before moving into my amazing sink epiphany! The last time I went to the hotel was to visit the bar inside the recently redesigned restaurant Dirty Habit, which used to be Poste (a downtown staple). I was struck by the decor and how amazing the service was. The drinks were delivered speedily and the faux (hopefully) alligator covered chairs made me feel particularly sleek and sophisticated. I ordered at least two glasses of rosé there on top of the two I had prior to our arrival at this spot so by the time we were leaving I was feeling extra fancy free! Oh well, I blame SaturYAY.
Before we left I needed to pop into the ladies room so I made my way up the stairs and after all business was tended to I went to wash my hands. There in front of me was one of the most beautiful sinks I have EVER seen! I almost didn’t want to wash my hands in it, it was too gorgeous! I’ve seen beautiful fixtures that made me stop in admiration but the sinks in the women’s restroom in the Kimpton Hotel Monaco take the cake.
Why do I love this sink so much? It is sleek and modern but also features organic shapes that bring warmth into the space. The sink of wonders also speaks to the importance of being detail oriented in a design approach. A ton of thought and physical labor went into shaping the main lobby of the hotel into a unique masterpiece and it is clear that the same care went into the bathrooms! High style and design don’t just stop with the rooms that have the most traffic. Themes must be carried throughout a space (even if your theme is a lack of one, like painting each room a different color).
A sweet angel woman walked into the bathroom while I was taking this photo and looked at me like a lunatic but said nothing. Don’t let this strange behavior be all for naught and go visit the Kimpton Hotel Monaco, Dirty Habit, and the bathroom ASAP!
My favorite color is, and has always been, blue! I love all of the different shades that can carry me from the sky to the sea and across continents. I’m not super into astrology but perhaps my love for this color is connected to my being a water sign but who knows. For me, a rich blue breathes life into even the most uninspired setting so I thought for my first true home design post I would pull in one of my favorite variations of the color, teal! While I know that teal is an impactful blend of blue and green, I’ve pulled in solidly blue accents to compliment the focal point.
This layout is my take on a comfy-cozy family room designed around a gorgeous teal sofa! While this sofa is a bit bohemian in this color and velvet fabric, the shape lends itself to many styles of complimentary decor that I played around with here. To ground the room I selected grey accents including a rug with a pattern that still has a touch of whimsy to it, a sturdy coffee table that isn’t too dense next to the large sofa, and a small side table with more of a silver finish that allows light to pass through. I wanted the items in the immediate area around the sofa to help lighten up the bold and cozy piece!
For lighting I chose a table lamp with a teal base and simple shade to continue the theme and pull in subtle gold accents. I LOVE to mix metallics but for me there must be one primary metallic (in this case, silver) and one accent metallic. In contrast to the table lamp, I chose a floor lamp with silver finishes and a “crystal bead” shade to add some dimension to the space and throw light throughout the room.
As far as additional seating goes, I chose a striking true blue velvet chair with gold studs to both balance the room and pull in another rich blue shade. The idea is to create an inviting sea of blue without being overwhelmed by the color. For wall decor, I wanted to bring in some organic but polished pieces. I am absolutely obsessed with all animal themed decor (think bird prints, ceramic horns, NOT real animals just to be clear) so the silver buck head drew me in. The floral painting brings in a pop of pink, orange, and green to add interest to the teal themed room. The agate coasters are a great way to continue the theme in a small way and are honestly, just beautiful and fun to look at!
To this mix I would also add some fun throw pillows in shades of grey or lighter blue (or even a deep green!) and a big ol’ mirror on the wall! This family room is meant to be warm and inviting, but also chic. To me chic NEVER means cold or sterile feeling and I love a thoughtful use of color. If you like this, there are more ideas brewing where this came from so stay tuned!
One of my favorite things about living in D.C. is the blend of the old and the new. I can begin a walk taking in the historic charm of Georgetown, careful not to trip on the unpredictable brick sidewalks made treacherous by years of wear and growing tree roots, and end up on K street peering up at stories of mirrored glass and ever busy tower cranes, in no more than 15 minutes. This blend creates an environment where everyone who visits can find something that makes them tick visually.
For me, D.C. is also a wonderful balance of north and south. Yes, the D.C. hustle is VERY real but it is still nowhere near the level of a city like NYC. There is still room here for the leisurely pace of a southerner and across the board, people in this city love to leave work early for happy hours! Work hard. Play hard. From a design perspective I see influence from everywhere here; a home that looks like it could have been dropped in right from New England or ironwork so intricate that seems it could only exist on a New Orleans French Quarter balcony. I am head over heels for this bevy of styles and feel inspired by this city that is still south of the Mason-Dixon but allows me to draw inspiration from another region.
It is not to be overlooked that D.C. is also an international melting pot. Every time I walk or drive on Embassy Row I get a kink in my neck from staring at the buildings and trying to identify who they belong to. I often try to do this by identifying the flag waving out front but I’m not so great with flags apparently so the google machine it is. My point in sharing this is to express that I love to try to keep my eyes wide-open to see the opportunities for creative inspiration that D.C. has to offer from all over the world.
I am so excited to share all of my ideas with you!