Rustic chic interiors are on the rise. Perhaps we have Joanna Gaines to thank for that – shiplap anyone? Some of the most functional and beautiful elements often featured in rustic spaces are barn doors. Since their introduction from the exterior to the interior, barn doors have continued to evolve to span all design aesthetics – from neutral, reclaimed woods, to industrial steel and metal, and even to brightly colored modern materials. They don’t have to be rustic anymore – there is truly an option for every type of decor and taste.
Beyond the design aspect, the versatility of barn doors makes them even more appealing. Once installed, barn doors function like any sliding or pocket door – they just pack a lot more visual punch. It is a great solution for small spaces or to cover up any unsightly views (such as a laundry room or pantry) or rooms that require some privacy like a bathroom.
There are a variety of barn door options available for sale on Etsy and you can search for sellers close to you to keep shipping costs low. Check them out here.
We moved into a new apartment a few months ago and I’m slowly plugging away at designing our space. Apartments in New York are notoriously small, so we spent the last few years being very selective with our furniture. We just didn’t have the room for anything that wasn’t really necessary.
But, with this most recent move, we lucked out with a bigger, more open floorplan so I’ve made it a point to live in our space for awhile before making any major changes or choices. The wait wasn’t easy, as I really wanted to do a complete overhaul of our decor and furniture due to all of my Instagram and Pinterest perusal for inspiration. However, I couldn’t be happier that I did wait as things are starting to come together and I’ve only had to purchase a few items.
One of those purchases were counter stools. I’d never purchased bar stools or counter stools before as I’ve never had the need for them before. I sat on the decision for awhile as I couldn’t make up my mind about which aesthetic I wanted to opt for. I was between a metallic wire look and a more minimalist approach in fabric or leather. Then, one fateful afternoon, I was scrolling through Instagram and found the exact counter stools I wanted in my kitchen.
As you can see, I loved them so much, I even commented asking them where the chairs were from. I did some research and soon found that the original design is by Harry Bertoia for Knoll and they retail for a little over $1,000. Expensive taste, huh? Obviously, I wasn’t going to let that discourage me and after a bit more searching, I found some great options for replicas in a variety of color options, both for the metal and the chair pad. I ended up purchasing mine from a site called Advanced Interior Designs for a few reasons, namely the price and the fact that the shipping time was just about a week. So many furniture purchases take weeks to arrive, so the quick turnaround was a huge benefit for me.
They arrived within a week, came wrapped securely to protect them in transit and look just like the photo. Eventually, I want to purchase different seat pads to help add some texture and warmth – but, for now, they’re perfect!
Here are a few other options that were at the top of my list!
You may have (hopefully) noticed that I’ve been missing for the past few months! For those of you who follow me on social media, you also have probably noticed that relocating to New York has kept me pretty busy! I’m finally feeling a bit more settled and able to get back to things that I enjoy and make me happy, like writing and keeping up my blog! Of course, a little break for the holidays helps too!
I’ve been trying to make the most of the city that never sleeps…which means I’ve been doing a whole lot of eating and drinking my way through Manhattan. I have tons of new restaurants, bars and cocktails to review, as well as a few shopping secrets!
Stay tuned and in the meantime here are some ways I’ve been spending my time.
I’ve been waiting for retail brands to use Pinterest in more inventive ways and voila! Leave it to J. Crew to pave the way. The iconic brand just released its Fall Catalog Sneak Peek on Pinterest! Many of the looks aren’t as bold as the J. Crew we’ve come to know and love but there are still a ton of pieces that are making me crave the crisp fall weather and pumpkin spice lattes.
The collection is available on Wednesday and you can preview it at one of J. Crew’s Style Sessions happening nationwide. If you’re in New York, be sure to check out the Style Session this Thursday, August 22nd at J. Crew’s Prince Street (99 Prince Street, New York, NY 10012) store from 6:00-8:00 pm. As an added bonus, Habitually Chic has partnered with the store and if you mention the blog at check out, you’ll score a 25% discount!
Here are some of the looks that I can’t wait to see in person on Thursday:
This outfit is so soft and pretty. I love the combination of neutrals and everyone woman needs a great white coat.
The softness of the outfit above is completely contrasted by this edgy ensemble. If done right. leather leggings can look professional and pass for 9-5.
I love everything about this look, from the statement sunnies to the auburn-hued clutch. While the outfit is impeccable, each piece would pair wonderfully with tons of other items in my closet. Plus, it wouldn’t be a J. Crew season without a bold print or bright color!
Ladies, if you haven’t been alerted to the Kate Spade Surprise Sale yet, I’m about to ruin your productivity for the afternoon. And no, I’m not sorry but you will be if you don’t check it out now!
There are some crazy deals happening and if you’re an avid Kate Spadeaddict fan like yours truly, then this sale is more exciting than Ryan Gosling without his shirt on. Ok, almost as exciting.
I’ve included some of my favorite finds below. You might be wondering why the heck I chose a baby bag considering I’m childless, but let me tell you. I have a similar bag from the Kate Spade Outlet and it is by far the best work bag I’ve ever owned. I use it every day and am able to comfortably fit and carry everything I could ever need, including my gym clothes. After all, isn’t that what baby bags are intended for – carrying anything and everything? My anything and everything just doesn’t involve any children.
I ordered the black and white Kingsbury Park Catalina bag. A friend has it and raves about it, so I thought I shouldn’t pass it up considering we live in different states now! I can’ t wait until it gets here! Hurry up and shop before the sale is over tonight at midnight!
The weather last weekend was quite possibly as close to perfect as it could get. Sunday was simply glorious, so you can imagine how I squealed with glee when we went to visit our friends in Brooklyn and they suggested we attend Smorgasburg in DUMBO. Did I mention they also welcomed us with mimosas? And a nine week old french bulldog puppy? Sunshine, blue skies, a food market, mimosas and a puppy? Yeah, life really doesn’t get better! Don’t believe me, check this puppy out.
I’ve been like a broken record since we moved to New York, telling my husband over and over how we have to go to Smorgasburg. Around 75+ vendors from the greater New York City area gather to sell their packaged and prepared food and drink. On Saturdays, you can stumble across Smorgasburg in Williamsburg and Sundays in DUMBO at Brooklyn Bridge Park inside of the historic Tobacco Warehouse. I was a total tourist snapping pictures of the bridge, but how could I not with this gorgeous view!
Just one of the rows and rows of food stands.
I sampled way more vendors than I’d care to admit, but my absolute favorite had to be the Bamburg chicken schnitzel sandwich from Schnitz. Life changing, seriously.
And who wouldn’t enjoy some good old fashioned pigs in a blanket from Brooklyn Piggies? I also sampled a strawberry basil lemonade which was tasty but could have used a good straining. The mini cheesecakes from Bite Me cheesecakes will NOT disappoint.
Last but not least, a few of my Sunday staples. A great hat, sunnies, some lipgloss, a statement necklace and a postcard from Bite Me.
If you’re planning to head over to Smorgasburg, friends so you can sample each other’s dishes and cash. All vendors are cash only and while there is an ATM onsite, it is best to be prepared Most dishes are a full serving, not just a sampling, and cost $10. The vendors with the longest lines aren’t necessarily the best, just the ones with the most notoriety. Don’t get sucked in and waste time waiting in line. Oh, and definitely save room for dessert.
He was snapping shot after shot during his entire visit and captured some beautiful shots of the city. I thought it was the perfect opportunity to share a couple of the shots of my new hood and the views from my roof deck!
Pushcart Coffee, on the corner of Second and 21st, is the quintessential neighborhood coffee shop. With superb coffee and even better customer service, I walk in and want to stay around for awhile to let my caffeine buzz be compounded by the shop’s bustling energy. They also sell iced coffee concentrate which is crucial for summer!
A roof deck ended up being one of the deciding factors in our apartment search which is ironic considering that outdoor space was not something either of us were initially hoping for. I set one foot on top of this roof deck though, and I knew this had to be my home. The views are incredible and since we live right above a park, it almost feels serene to sit up there and watch the world go by!
I’ll leave you with this snapshot that I took on July 4th. Yea, America! Happy Friday!
I’ve done my fair share of shopping since I’ve been in New York which, lets face it, is not abnormal. However, what is noteworthy is my new found obsession with shoes. While in DC, I got into what I’ll lovingly refer to as a “flats rut”. In my defense, walking a mile to and from my office in stilettos seemed like a surefire way to land myself in even less appealing footwear, say a cast to support an inevitable broken ankle. Sure, flats are practical and serve their purpose, but there is something about a fantastic pair of heels that just makes a girl feel like she is on top of the world. I believe it was Miss Marilyn who said, “Give the girl the right shoes and she can conquer the world.”
In my quest for world domination conquering NYC, I’ve been inspired by the fabulous footwear clacking down the sidewalk, hallways and subway stations and am slowly building up my shoe collection. One of my first weekends here, I hit up the DSW in Union Square. Now, I really only recommend this to anyone who really determined. It is incredibly crowded, requires a solid hour of sifting through shoe boxes and some serious guarding of potential purchases. For me, it is always totally worth it to snag two pairs of designer shoes at a third of their original price. And, since I’ve seen one of the pairs on ShopBop and a few other sites for sale, I thought it would helpful to provide a review. I always see great deals on shoes online but am afraid to purchase them since I have no knowledge of the fit or comfort.
The Rachel Roy Devyn Slingback Sandals immediately caught my eye at DSW. They are neutral enough to wear with anything, but a pop of neon and black snakeskin keeps them from being boring. At full price, these run $275 but on ShopBop they are $165 and at DSW I got them for just over $100. Yes, I’m giving myself a pat on the back right now.
I wore these for a rehearsal dinner (for my friend’s wedding) that involved the actual wedding rehearsal, cocktail hour, the dinner and then more cocktails. All in all, I was standing for almost 8 hours in these and was comfortable. They are easy to walk in, too! I went a half size up from my usual size and think that made a big difference in the comfort factor.
My only negative comment about these shoes is that while enjoying cocktails, we got stuck in some pretty intense rain and these shoes seriously suffered from the storm. They aren’t ruined by any means, but some of the black dye rubbed off on my dress, staining it, and the top band is puckering a bit which is somewhat visible below. While I don’t typically judge shoes based on how they perform after a good soaking, I would have been happier if they’d stood up a bit better, especially given the cost.
However, they still look and wear wonderfully and I would highly recommend both these shoes and this brand, Rachel Roy, if you’re looking for some sexy shoes that won’t have you hobbling home by the end of the evening.
I’m venturing into new territory with this post, but I felt inspired as I looked through pictures from my dear friend’s wedding. Bridesmaid dresses are always an interesting, sometimes polarizing, topic. The bride (usually) wants her maids to look and feel beautiful, but also has to marry (teehee) that with her own vision for the bridal party.
To make things even more difficult, the process of choosing a bridesmaid dress is no picnic either. It can be overwhelming to search through hundreds of styles, colors and materials just to get to a shortlist of options to try on. Then, on top of that, the lack of sizes and colors available forces you to choose a final dress based on a one inch square color swatch and a sample that could be three sizes too big. Oh, and let’s not even address the fact that these dress designers are playing some kind of sick joke on all of us ladies with their sizing. Whatever your dress size, in bridesmaid land you might as well add two sizes or more.
With all of these variables at play to produce a potentially disastrous experience, I feel its just as important to share when they all work together in perfect harmony! Gotta share the good to balance out the bad, right?
The good comes in the form of Love Lane, a ‘simple chic’ line created by Ivy & Aster. For this wedding, a few of us ladies ventured to Bella Bridesmaid in Bethesda and the bride, being wonderfully low maintenance and lovely, set us free to choose the dresses we so desired. We had eyed the Love Lane line prior to arriving, so we knew they’d be a contender, but once we tried them on, everyone was sold. The line offers seven dress styles and two fabric types in an array of colors, all available to view on their website. In our case, we were wearing dresses, of which there were three options, in one of three colors. I chose the Tori style in Champagne and couldn’t have been happier! Here is the dress picture from Love Lane’s website:
And a full length shot from the wedding:
So cute, right? It was a bridesmaid-frock trifecta: flattering, comfortable and it had POCKETS! It just doesn’t get better! Oh wait, it does. I forgot to mention it was under $200!
All three styles of dresses were extremely flattering and the colors went together beautifully. I’d highly recommend the line to any bride hoping for a classic but effortless look for her bridal party. I’d venture a guess that the line was designed to be mixed and matched as the dress styles all complement one another and the range of colors offer at least two options of every hue.
A few tips for any ladies considering this dress:
The sizing of this line is a bit more forgiving than others, yet another reason why its so wonderful! I purchased the Tori one size up from my usual dress size, despite the saleswoman’s insistence that I go two sizes up, and it fit like a glove. I didn’t have any alterations, other than hemming, done to the dress.
Like most bridesmaid dresses, these run long. It will likely require hemming and since there are three layers of fabric, instead of the typical two, it could be a bit more than a typical hemming job.
For a small charge, you can order thick straps which can be a fun and functional addition for the reception.
Like most bridal shops, all members of the bridal party must submit their dress order before the entire order can be placed. Make sure all bridesmaids are aware of the production time on the dresses so they don’t delay the order.
Now, the only catch is that Love Lane is available exclusively at Bella Bridesmaid stores, but with more than 40 locations it shouldn’t be too hard to find one near you. Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Last Saturday afternoon, as I was waiting for a bus to Queens, a woman asked me if I was a New Yorker. Out of habit, I responded that I wasn’t. Then my husband reminded me that we’ve been living in Manhattan for a month and a half now. I just about choked on my coffee – has it really been more than six weeks?
To be fair, we’ve traveled for about half of the weekends we’ve been up here which definitely makes it feel like we’ve been in New York for less time than we actually have. However, I have to give myself a pat on the back for the number of neighborhoods and restaurants we’ve explored in the time we’ve been here.
One of my absolute favorite days so far was when the hubs decided to surprised me with a nice little morning of R&R in the East Village. While we had a somewhat early wake-up call, our cab stopped in front of this sign and I knew I was in for a fabulous day. Great Jones Spa is quite literally an oasis in the concrete jungle. As we were being lead to the locker rooms to change for our couples massage (major bonus points), I could hear the faint sound of rushing water as the attendant mentioned, “full use of our water lounge.” Now, I know New York births many oddball trends, but I have never heard the phrase “water lounge.” Lo and behold, as I descended the staircase to the treatment rooms, I was greeted by the water lounge complete with a steam room, sauna room, “cold plunge” pool and thermal hot tub. Oh, and did I mention the fluffy robes, comfy chaise lounges and tropical vegetation all perfectly lit courtesy of the tremendous skylight above? Ah, yes. Perfection. We headed to our rose petal adorned treatment room and emerged an hour later in a state of blissful relaxation, ready to experience all the water lounge had to offer.
The only problem? We did not know there was such a thing as a water lounge, so we did not bring bathing suits. Great Jones Spa has a solution – disposable bathing suits. Well, I wasn’t about to walk out of there without experiencing the water lounge! Bring on the paper bikini! Let me tell ya folks, it ain’t pretty, but it’s functional. I proudly pranced into the thermal hot tub in my glorified adult diaper and paper halter top getup and then promptly hightailed it out once a silicon-enhanced bachelorette party showed up. Nevertheless, we had a wonderful time and would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a spa experience or a brief retreat from the city. You don’t need to pay for a treatment either – you can have complete access the water lounge for $50 per three hours. I know I can’t wait to go again!
*Photos are courtesy of Great Jones Spa and Spa Well Guide