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?).
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
Here are the things that won April at Live Simply HQ:
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.
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.
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.]
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??