Smart Smythson Style

For a while now, I've been coveting a Smythson tote to use as my work bag. Besides the sturdy construction, I love the versatile, preppy-sleek style that the label is known for. All of Smythson's leather goods effuse a straightforward, dramatic simplicity and the 125-year-old company often employs a fabulously bold color palette. The look is always polished and sophisticated, but the color adds a bit of pizazz.

I am really drawn to their style...it definitely echoes the aesthetic I'm into for interiors. It's like the clean lines and brass accents of Paul McCobb meets the classicism of Maison Jansen, all with hits of modern, colorful lacquer thrown into the mix. All in all, it's timeless and current at the same time and that's the perfect balance in my book. So, to celebrate all of the loveliness that Smythson is, here are some of my favorite Smythson pieces and colors blended with things for the home that are of the same color palette or aesthetic...

Paul McCobb Sofa - Empiric 1964-01 Vesper Coffee TableSmythson Cooper ToteHand Tufted Brio Rug

Navy Louis Chair - Smythson Chameleon Cosmetic CaseMadeline Weinrib Lavender Carlotta Cotton Rug - Smythson Small Grosvenor Clutch -  Double Sconce with Shades

Empiric Eight Arm ChandelierMary McDonald Annika LampAFK Gramercy Desk - Smythson Chameleon Camera Case - Flat Weave - Maroc - Amina Rug

Cole & Son Tweed Wallpaper - Waylande Gregory Blue Fan Peacock Small Bowl - Smythson Chameleon Medium Zip Around Wallet

Stray Dog Designs Jay Chandelier - Furbish Stripes 'n Tassels PillowJaipur Flat Weave Maroc - Smythson Jackie Tote

Isn't Smythson fabulous? I love the tiny, thoughtful details and the simple, classic design aesthetic. And of course, I am crazy about their vast color palette. It's hard to pick a favorite item, but I have my sights on a Cooper Tote. And I have to tell you that I am mourning the loss of an uber-special Colorblock Cooper Tote (shown above with the turquoise Paul McCobb sofa). I found it ON SALE at Barneys this week and stupidly didn't snatch it up. Now I'm totally kicking myself for being financially responsible! If any of you bought it and want to sell it to me, let me know ;)


Good Dog Art by Clair Hartmann

I am a dog person and an art person, but I don't have any dog art on our walls. Well, that's going to change one day soon because I plan to commission the very talented artist Clair Hartmann to paint my three Jack Russell terriers (or at least, I told my husband that this is a gift I'd like to receive). Clair is my #1 pick for dog portraits because she is very skilled from a technical perspective, and more importantly, she is brilliant at depicting the unique personality of each pooch. She paints quite a few JRTs and every depiction of the breed shows an inherent habit, expression, or mannerism that I know and love. After seeing her oeuvre, I'm confident that Ms. Hartmann is capable of fully capturing the spirit of my crazy trio of terriers.

Clair is also my artist of choice because I want to support her and her generous efforts to contribute to dog rescue. As you'll see below Clair donates proceeds from the sales of many of her pieces to various rescue groups. She also recently adopted a Jack/Rat terrier mix and I am forever grateful for those who take in shelter dogs.

My favorite pieces are her portraits that show the dog wearing a funny hat. This is how I want my girls painted...it'll be fun to decide what sort of hat each should don. I want Jazzy to wear a vintage Las Vegas showgirl headpiece. Maybe a jeweled crown and ermine robe on Wendy? Perhaps a geisha wig and a kimono on Miley?

Until I have three of my own to show you, here are a few of Clair's greatest hits...

Red Turban - 19x24" - signed print

Lucinda - 12x16" - oil on wood panel

Sir Hubert - 12x16" - oil on panel

Chiquita Banana - 30x30" - oil on canvas

All That Jazz - 16x24" - oil on fabric panel
Frida Dog - 24x36" - signed print

And here are a few beautiful paintings of canines without hats...
Lady Dane - oil on canvas panel

Jack Russell Terrier Sleeping in Morning Sunbeam
Desire - 36x36" - signed print
Looking Back - oil painting

Boston on Blue - 14x11" - oil on canvas
25% of the sale goes to Boston Terrier Rescue of North Carolina

Isn't her work amazing? If you're not dog-obsessed like I am, keep in mind that she paints other subjects as well. You can keep up with Clair Hartmann's latest work via her Etsy shop and her blog. And if you're not in the market for an original piece or a print, then you can buy Faithful, an art calendar comprised of Clair's dog paintings, for about $25. And you can buy one of her books...I plan to get:

All proceeds are donated to Adopt-an-Angel


Color Obsession - Warm Red

I've always loved oranges, corals, pinks, and reds and lately I've been so drawn to a color that combines that whole tonal range. You could call it a variety of things (neon saffron or hot coral, perhaps?) but Pantone's label is warm red, so I'll go with that. Here are some buyables along with the Pantone swatch to give you a visual of what I'm talking about:

XOXO Acrylic Occasional Table Red - Alexandra Von Furstenberg --- Hand Printed Cotton Fabric - Etsy - $9.50
Per Lutken Bulge Vase - Etsy - $190 --- Backgammon Set - Barney's - $795 --- Painting - Emily Rickard
Afghan Turkoman Runner - Oak Park Antiques - $1,195 --- Kim Seybert Latticed Cocktail Napkin - Barney's - $12

As you can see, the color is super saturated and bright and it looks amazing against dark hues like navy blue and brown and with neutral shades like camel and ivory. I like it alongside navy so much that I'm considering painting a vanity with warm red lacquer to go in my newly blue bedroom. I picked up this nail polish (Revlon Fearless 640) in case I want to do a color match...

What do you think about the color? It's definitely not for the faint of heart!


Nest and Other Changes in the Bedroom

I cannot fully express how excited I am about my new thermostat. Yes, you read that correctly...I am excited about a thermostat. What can I say...I'm a huge sucker for good design. After wanting one since first seeing it last year, I got a Nest through Reliant's Learn and Conserve Plan. I couldn't bring myself to spend $249 on a thermostat, so when I found out that the electricity plan included a Nest, I happily took the bait.

And I have to tell you, it's everything I dreamed it would be. It looks fantastic on the wall and the interface is so smart and simple. Plus, it can be controlled via cell phone or computer. I've only had it for about a week, so I can't confirm wether or not its presence will make us more efficient energy consumers, but I'm pretty sure it will deliver on that front. And let's be honest here...I do want to conserve energy but I'm mainly obsessed with the aesthetics. The design is so sleek and discreet...a HUGE improvement over the old white plastic one I had. Doesn't it look great?

So you might've noticed that the Nest is mounted on a dark blue wall and you might recall that my bedroom was formerly painted with Restoration Hardware's Slate, which is a warm gray color.

And thus, the thermostat is not the only thing in the bedroom that has gotten a makeover in the past month. One major wall in the room was going to have to be painted because of the bathroom remodel anyways, so my husband and I decided that we were ready for a change and went in a totally different direction in terms of color. He and I both agreed on navy so I color-matched some navy blue wrapping paper by Waste Not Paper that I got at my cousin's stationery store in Houston, Katie & Co. The color looks fantastic with Schumacher's Chiang Mai Dragon, so I'm going to use that fabric to recover a bench that will go at the end of the bed.

I'm pretty pumped about the Nest and the bold wall color. Especially with the new bathroom and freshly refinished and restained hardwood floors, the whole master "suite" feels like a whole different space. We just moved back in and I haven't hung artwork or draperies yet, so for now this little sneak peek is all I can offer. But stay tuned for the big reveal!