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BEST OF: HEARTH AND HAND’S FIRST COLLECTION

Best of, ShoppingLauren BraudComment
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I'll admit I was hesitant the check out Hearth and Hand - the new collection from Chip and Joanna Gaines' that launched at Target earlier this week. I don't really need anything and our tiny apartment is SO overcrowded as is, but then oops I was in Target making a return, I clearly blacked out, and woke up with 3 ceramic houses in my cart. We've all been there. So, why not share some of my favorite pieces from the collection so you can make the same wonderful mistakes I did? Now, I've heard some complaints about the monochromatic feel of the collection but isn't that so inline with Joanna's signature style? This collection is edited, simple, and just the essentials. The handmade, natural feel is completely on trend and no one but Joanna could have created a successful, budget friendly version of the California-cool minimalism that has taken instagram and pinterest by storm.

What I'm Loving:

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I think the entire dinnerware collection is magical - I love the organic hand-moulded look of these pieces. The incorporation of black throughout the collection is refreshing; with the overabundance of bright white interiors these days a few moments of black help to anchor a space. The vases are all amazing, particularly the metal boxes that include a grate on the inside to help support the florals, making arranging a breeze. Now, I've seen the smoked glassware trend a few places this season and these pretty glass vases are spot on. These oversized glass vases would be gorgeous used as hurricanes with a big pillar candle (or a couple) inside on a front stoop or on your patio! (IRL NOTE : I tried to put candles inside the vases at Target today: the openings are too small! You would need skinnier-than-normal pillars - I still think it would be really pretty so if you DO try this let me know.) I wish I had wood floors because this tree skirt is fabulous (just not on my beige carpet, sigh, one day). I should have put these pot holders on my "I'm going to buy" list because the more I look at them the more I need them in my kitchen. Striped? Leather details? Yes and yes. Finally this log storage house is hands down my favorite piece in the collection. I wish I had more reasons to keep firewood around the house here in Southern Texas. 

What I'm Buying:

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This sweet little black house budvase will live on my desk at work. Same with this handmade-look mug for pens and such (any excuse to buy a new mug). I may really need this tote - at $35 it's perfection (sold out online but still in some stores...and a totally affordable dupe of this one from Nissolo).  This sweet little brass bell door hanger was the very first thing I bought - it makes the prettiest sound (and I've hung a similar-to-this looking wreath from a past Threshold Christmas collection on it. And yes I already hung up my Christmas wreath. What?) Oh and those salt and pepper shakers somehow jumped into my cart too. They'd make a perfect little stocking stuffer or hostess gift.

I know I left out almost all the Christmas stuff. That part of the collection just didn't do it for me, but that may have been because I already have way too much Christmas decor. If I was starting from scratch I might be more inclined to buy some. The bags and wrapping are fun but in the end skewed too rustic for me. Overall the collection is very Pottery Barn-esque, but at a far better price point. Now it's your turn! What are your favorite pieces? What are you CRUSHED already sold out?

WELCOME BACK AND WELCOME TO 2016

Best ofLauren BraudComment

Happy New Year everyone! Seeing as it's the first Monday of the New Year (and the day I truly believe our resolutions should begin...I'm all about easing into new habits) the blog is back with a vengeance. I would say that my last post of 2015 was rather fortuitous - ending my first Football Rooms series with a big winner - GO COOGS! After that post though the holidays really took over and between finishing up freelance projects, getting Wrightwood into hosting condition for a Christmas Day family fete, and generally spending time with loved ones, I learned the importance of making (and sticking to) an editorial calendar.  One of my intentions for 2016 is to up my consistency on the blog. What does that mean for you? That means that Wrightwood is starting to really look like a home! You're going to see all sorts of updates on the progress there - over the holidays big things happened: all the plumbing was installed, the beautiful marble countertops were put in place, I finished painting a bunch of rooms, and I feel like we're about a week away from having not only the guest room up and running but I will finally have an office to work out of. Phase one of my second yoga studio project just finished up in time for the new year so you'll get to see pictures and I'll finally be sharing a beautifully bohemian living room I finished up in November. On top of all that I'm hoping 2016 is full of travel and trends I can share with all of you, helping you find the best places online and in real life to shop, eat, and relax with a hot cup of jo (or something a little boozier) as well as more personal projects and renovation tips and tricks. But before we get too far into 2016 lets take a look back at my personal top five of 2015!

1. OK, so this is actually two posts, but it's where everything started - the upstairs and downstairs tours of Wrightwood. Definitely worth looking at before I start posting all the shiny and new renovated pictures. Truly amazing to see the transformation over the last year!

2. Big Power Yoga was my biggest freelance project of the year and I couldn't be more honored to have gotten to help Laura and Nancy realize their dream for their newest studio. This tour took forever to edit and put together but I'm so proud of it! I can't wait to share more projects with you in 2016!

3. I posted my very first Football Room back in mid-September and it was such a fun challenge to take my alma mater (GO HORNS!) and translate it into a room sports fanatics and design lovers alike could relax in. I hope next fall I can continue this series with a whole new set of teams! (TCU? Syracuse? Auburn?)

4. This post on how to bring life back into your original trim work was my first attempt at an all-inclusive How-To post. It includes so many awesome tips and products that have been so helpful during our renovation. I know a lot of you in the Houston area have older homes inside the loop and with this post I hope you feel comfortable taking on some woodwork of your own!

5. This was one of the most festive posts to write - looking at all of the beautiful pieces in the new Kate Spade Home Collection and picking my favorites; thinking about how each could be used in the home.

I really cannot wait to write more this year and I hope everyone reading will come along for the ride! 2016 is going to be such a fabulous adventure-filled year! 

BEST OF: KATE SPADE NEW YORK HOME

Shopping, Best ofLauren Braud1 Comment

Stop the presses! Ring the bells and call the president and shout it from the rooftops! Kate Spade has officially entered the furniture design arena! I love me some Kate. From her stationary to her handbags to her cute as a button dresses, I’ve always loved her tailored, feminine, sassy aesthetic. I even have one of her very early, just-starting-stationary mailers from forever ago. Last week I attended a panel discussion with David Peck (Houston fashion designer extraordinaire) and he said his dream was to be a cross between Oprah, Martha Stewart, and Ralph Lauren – me? I think I’d go with a mix ofBeyonce (duh), Emily Henderson, and Kate Spade. I want to share some of my favorite pieces from her new home collection – pieces you definitely need if you want to bring home a little sassy (classy) New York flair. The collection is full of understated bows and clean lines and flashes of gold. The hardware is flawless and the upholstery is perfect – with moments that make you remember this is all coming from a designer who excels in the littlest details. View the entire collection here and keep reading for my favorites.

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1 | Lets start big. She introduced two sofas but take a real close look at the Downing Sofa. At first glance it seems like any other mid-century inspired sofa, so much so that I honestly glanced right past it, but the best parts are in the details and I’m pretty much head over heels for the piping panel that wraps around the back. I honestly can’t get over it. If you had a situation where you needed to float your sofa in your room, this sofa is it. It would almost be a crime to put a console behind it.

2 | Probably my favorite piece in the entire furniture collection is the Georgia Bench. It looks like an entire black-tie event got turned into a bench by a fairy god mother. Benches are fantasic, flexible pieces: in entry ways, at the foot of your bed, as a window seat, or if youre lucky enough to have a closet that can fit furniture – in your closet.  The legs recall Kate’s favorite bow-tie motif and while Navy and Gold will always be BAE, I’ve been really feeling Black and Gold recently.

3 | This Ellery Sconce is adorable. And classic. And glam. And tailored. Use it in an entry way to flank a mirror in a thin gold frame (over that bench?), use them over a vanity, in a moody dark powder room...use them everywhere. 

4 | A little while back I posted a Best Of: White Desks. I was 110% sure I wanted a white desk. But then this beauty came along in all it's hand-painted glory and suddenly I have always needed a polka dot desk and didn't even know it. Click the link and check out the hardware details. OH MY.

5 | These accent chairs make my little heart sing – they come in two beautiful colors – teal and a charcoal gray. They could be mixed into any décor and would make wonderful dining chairs as well. And would you look at that: the back looks like a bow. Not so much that they scream “LITTLE GIRL” but enough that Kate’s signature quirk shines through.

Maybe you're not ready to commit to a whole couch, Kate's got plenty of little accents for you to drool over. That black, white, and gold motif still dominating:

You can never go wrong with a bold graphic statement  pillow , a warm, white willow scented  candle , and this  Hampton Street Rosebowl  vase is so perfect - I would need a constant supply of garden roses.

You can never go wrong with a bold graphic statement pillow, a warm, white willow scented candle, and this Hampton Street Rosebowl vase is so perfect - I would need a constant supply of garden roses.

As if all of this wasn't enough, Kate Spade announced an athleisure collection with Beyond Yoga to be available this coming January. Y'all what a dream. So what are your favorite pieces? What do you think of the bolder colored pieces? Whats on your wishlist?