Thursday, May 5, 2016

The little cottage we’re spotlighting today had location going for it all along; situated on the Italian Riviera between Bordighera and San Remo, its views of the Mediterranean are ones most of us will only ever hope to replicate by way of paintings and photographs hung on our walls. In this case, the art lies beyond the window frames.

But besides the luxury of vantage point, the home boasted little other amenities (read: it had approximately zero toilets) before the architects Emil Humbert and Christophe Poyet got their hands on it. Not to mention, it was, and is, barely more than 350 square feet. Including the terrace.

The designers had not merely to solve the small space challenge, but also find a way to incorporate modern amenities into what was essentially a long-retired ship. So they did what I would have told them to do: (let’s try to somehow involve me into this genius) ensure every element included storage capabilities. To that end, the stairs are, in fact, drawers.

The other main design decision? Floor to ceiling white (is this where I sign my life away to these people?). Nothing would attempt to compete with the stunning blues and greens of the Italian coast, for anything compared to that would surely fall flat. Instead, the intent was for the white walls to act as frames for the natural splendor outside.

And then, of course, there are the brass fittings throughout, the Carrara marble in the kitchen, and the subtle naval influences with tease your head in the most delightful way (Am I on land? Or is this the most sublime sea vessel ever?).

Sneak it:

You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view! You won't want to miss the tour of this tiny seaside cottage...white walls, brass fittings, Carrara marble, and that view!

Seen on Honestly WTF via Architectural Digest Spain

 

 

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Want to Live Simply but don’t know where to start? Or, maybe you’re well along in the process, and are zealously seeking new and exciting ways to further free yourself from the burden of unnecessary belongings. In either case, this latest installment in our (always popular) ongoing ditch-it list is ripe with editing motivation (I hope).

Here goes.

Beginning today, you are no longer allowed to feel bad (purposeful grammatical choice, there), or sad, or even wistful about getting rid of the following:

13 things to get rid of today. Warning: you might feel like she read your mind. Or has secretly placed cameras in your house.

 

1. Sets of stationary you’ve purchased over the years at museum gift shops (I see you with those Monet Water Lilly’s notecards and matching envelopes), small boutiques, and Papyrus shops that you’ve never sent.

 

2. Greeting cards you purchased two decades ago that now, in hindsight, you realize are fugly and you’d dare not send them to a person you like, let alone one you don’t. 

 

3. Rolls of bubble wrap, speciality mailing envelopes en masse, et al.  

Unless you’re running a shop that necessitates you to constantly ship/mail things to customers (you would know if you are). Or, unless you’re running a FedEx office from out your dutch door, collecting naked items in need of packaging from your neighbors and strangers. (Again, you would know if you are. You might not know that you needed counseling, but that’s a revelatory list-post we’ll save for another day.)

(Hands up if we’d like a “list of things that indicate you’re not in possession of a sound mind,” (in my humble opinion.))

 

4. Mystery keys.

 

5. Mystery bags of hardware.

 

6. Mysterious parts, bits, knobs, levers, controllers, I could go on–

 

7. Assembly instructions for furniture pieces you’ll never in your life un-assemble and then re-assemble (read: essentially everything, perhaps with the exception of a crib and changing table.)

 

8. The first item your significant other gave you.

Divorced? Going strong? Doesn’t matter. What is that person giving you today? What might they give you tomorrow?

(Hands up if we need a helper script on how to navigate this scenario with grace towards all.)

 

9. Cartoon-emblazoned, logo-announcing plastic cups that were hand-outs at sporting events / fast food drive throughs and the like, that somehow managed to weasel their way into your more legitimate drinkware collection.

 

10. Branded drinking vessels: wine glasses etched with the name of a winery you once visited, glasses plastered with the names of various beer companies, etc.

 

11. Chipped glasses. Chipped plates. Chipped bowls.

This isn’t sculpture work. You aren’t carving until you set an angel free–that I know of, anyway. You’re just holding on to increasingly dangerous objects that one day a family member may slice open some part of their body on, be it a hand or a lip.

 

12. The collection of baby cups, bowls, snack carriers, and eating utensils your “baby” has long since outgrown. 

 

13. Your child’s toy that endlessly plays an insipid tune, robotically chants the same refrain, that lights up and walks across the room and that always manages to end up under foot, so that you’re forever tripping over it and stubbing your toe on and then whisper-yelling FUCK, not because it hurt so much as you know you’ve just set it off on its tirade.

If it’s making you loose your mind, and thus making you a worse parent, get rid of it.

 

Hopefully, any of these particular items don’t pertain to you, they’ll help jog your memory of other similar items you own that you’re free to let go of.

If any of these items rang a bell for you, I want to hear about it! Which items on the list apply to you, and, more importantly, what are you going to do about that?

 

 

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Here are the things that won April at Live Simply HQ:

top picks from a professional organizer!

 

1. Large expandable jewelry tray // medium expandable jewelry tray

Another winning option in the jewelry storage department, these won me over because of their expandability. The chances that your average jewelry tray fits perfectly in your drawer? Well, not bad if you’ve done your due diligence and measured first. But even so, it can be difficult to find an ideally dimensioned product.

You add an expander into that equation and what you get is a tray that’s almost guaranteed to sit beautifully inside your drawer.

Plus, this one has a lovely, plush lining (much nicer in my opinion than similar looking scratchy canvas offerings). The medium tray (pictured) is perfect for earrings, rings, and delicate pieces, while the large (not pictured) is perfect for bracelets, bangles, bulky necklaces, etc.

 

2. White supersize stackers  (also available in non-supersize)

My latest favorite to a traditional jewelry box solution, these trays stack to create a jewelry box effect.

However, the stacking nature allows you to pick and choose the construction of each layer. If bracelets are your jam, build a tower of trays with medium to large size, deep compartments. If earrings are all you’ve got–you get the point. It’s a more customizable option than a prescribed jewelry box, but one that, in the end, does indeed achieve the visual result of a cohesive unit.

Thumbs way up for these.

 

3. Striped floor bins

These are some of my favorite larger, floor bins for a playroom or otherwise. They strike that perfect balance between structured and flimsy, which allows you to store larger items in them without having the whole thing just tip over on you.

I supplemented these in a playroom this past month, as a way to corral large toys that would otherwise have littered the floors. Top marks.

 

4. Backpack

This has actually been a favorite of mine since mid-February, but as I’ve traveled with it a good three times, I feel it’s now been sufficiently road-tested.

In February, I came to the realization that it was high time me and the tote bag severed ties, at least as far as traveling is concerned. You’d be surprised (or not) by how much a tote can accommodate, meaning that the shoulder straps were never not digging frighteningly deep, red welts in my shoulders. For the uninitiated, this is not a cute look, nor one that feels altogether wise, well prepared–mature.

So I womaned up and bought a damn backpack is what I did.

This one gets special marks because it’s both appropriately sized for a smaller human frame, yet impressively vast. The two front pockets are appreciatively expansive, as is the main compartment. While the shoulder straps have just the right amount of padding to ward against digging-in, but don’t feel bulky in the slightest. And the entire affair has a sleek design that is precisely what I was after.

All in all, it’s maybe my favorite backpack I’ve ever owned and has revolutionized travel for me. While wearing it, I’ve incurred not a single shoulder welt to speak of, which feels oddly grown up, in an elementary school throw back sort of way. It’s fashion forward, no frills, storage on the go. 

[As it turns out, I’m not the only one: my client (completely independently of me!) had the same tote-bag-nope-bag realization, decided a backpack was the answer, purchased this very same backpack, though with a gold zip, and has found the experience of traveling equally transformed.]

 

5. Baggu standard reusable bags

I know I’ve included these bags in a past favorites post. Positive. But, as I was lugging home my groceries the other day in one, it occurred to me just how long these have been killing the game for me.

I’m sure I’ve had them verging on two years now (the same two bags, mind you!), and I continue to criminally abuse them each shopping trip. (I don’t know why I think it’s acceptable to call upon a thin piece of fabric to support the weight of the produce section’s heaviest offerings, all the beverages, and at least one box of La Croix coconut seltzer (ALTERNATE FAVORITE ALERT), except that each time, they do so without complaint.)

It’s practically scientifically impossible for those seams not to have busted spontaneously, Home Alone style, but there is not so much as a loose thread! AND I unfailingly get complimented on them by cashiers round the globe. I’ve washed them in the washing machine, I’ve even used one as a beach bag on vacation!

So, what I’m trying to tell you is: these are some ridiculously cute, gravity defying, impossibly strong, incredible reusable bags! (!)

 

P.S. bonus favorite: Little Secrets chocolate. Like m & m’s but not shitty.

See also: these a.k.a best caramels I’ve ever had that also happen to be organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, non GMO and vegan. Stupidly delicious. You are welcome. 

 

What rocked your world in April??