New Accents: Part I.

In Americana, Fur, Home Decor, Magpie Nest on September 16, 2014 at 8:55 am

I want so.much.stuff. for my new digs.  It’s kind of terrible and overwhelming.  Mr. Magpie and I decided on a budget and then decided that we could go one of two ways: we could either totally outfit one room all at once — soup to nuts, rugs to art to lighting and everything in between — or we could buy a few pieces that we really wanted and place them strategically throughout the house.  We opted for the latter, mainly because I couldn’t decide what one room deserved all the love: our bedroom, where we want to feel cozy and settled?  Our front living room, where we’ll greet most guests (and the first impression of the house)?  Or the basement, where I’ll venture to bet Mr. Magpie will spend a decent amount of his time (come to think of it, actually, we’ll both spend a lot of time down there, watching movies; relaxing with friends; etc.  We decided not to put a TV in our front living room, because we’re old and want to imagine having lots of cozy conversations with friends by the fireplace.)  I’ll one day offer a home tour, but it’s looking like that may be awhile since we have a lot of decorating to do…

At any rate, we made some big and exciting investments that I thought I’d share over a series of posts to give you a look in on our work-in-progress.  First up: an enormous bull painting by artist Javier Montesol.  This is probably our first serious investment in art.  We have lots of great pieces I’ve scavenged over the years, but they’re smaller in scale and more modest in price and value.  This is pret-ty amazing and pret-ty aggressive.  We’ve named him Augus, after an awesome wine guide we met on our trip to San Sebastian last year, and he’s pretty much the master of the living room.  You are gorgeous and I love you.  I found him on this awesome art marketplace called Saatchi.  You can find another painting from the same series by the same artist here.

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He looks oh-so-fab in our “modern American” living room, as my friend recently labeled the style.  We have an oversized upholstered sofa facing Augus — this style from Jayson Home, a local and incredible furniture store here in Chicago, but had it upholstered in a lovely gray-brown linen that’s much lighter than the color shown below.  Because we have a lot of browns and gray in this room, I added throw pillows in the Schumacher Hot House print ($90 each) and, of course, a cozy faux fur throw or two ($139)


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We’re currently using a leather ottoman as a coffee table (similar to the one shown below), which I style with a gold tray ($28 — but I LOVE this copper style from West Elm, $89) and some objets, including these gold urchins ($25), a Jill Rosenwald bowl in a bright and cheery orangey-red pattern, and a bunch of votives clustered together:


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We have two side tables with a variety of objets trouves, including some great porcelain foo dogs ($82), an awesome canvas print of Andy Warhol’s General Custer (I’m in love with the welcome contrast he brings to the room — so whimsical and mod); and a Jonathan Adler horse head ($295):

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We’ve also got some major animal love going on between our collection of antlers and bull horns (we’ve got a trio similar to this style, $129); a goat skin ($95) we throw over the back of a leather armchair; a “J” pillow ($35); and our trusty Ralph book ($35+):

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I have lots more trinkets/objets trouves in there that I’ll eventually share when I do a house tour, but this hits on my favorites.  Other items I’m planning on adding as the decorating process continues: Stark antelope carpet (die, die, die…and this stuff is…and also very, very expensive; I’ll need to procure an interior designer to help with this.  Not convinced?  See it in action here, here, here, here.); this vintage-looking burnished-effect mirror ($600 — a good price for the size! — and this West Elm style is also amazing, but too small for the space); additional green pillows for more color ($40 each); this gorgeous book of palms ($150); this checked ottoman to put beneath the window ($995)



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If we’re talking additional art for the space, I have my eye on this gorgeous photograph ($195-$295, depending on size), which, probably erroneously, reminds me of what it might look like where my brother and sister-in-law just moved (Billings, MT).  I’m also loving

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Also loving these vintage sets of prints, which I might stack all on one wall to create a great effect ($365 per set):

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I’ll also need a set of patterned, upholstered club chairs eventually, but have not seen anything I like yet.  While we’re on that topic, we’ll probably also need to get a new coffee table (I have my eye on this one, with a snakeskin effect on the top…the texture would look incredible in here!) and have been pondering adding even more color to the room, possibly with something funky and off the wall like this lamp shade.  But, I’m not totally sold on that idea — I think that it might throw the room out of wack.  We have lots of great traditional pieces and just enough whimsy and pattern right now…


In Accessories, Americana, Denim, Gold, Jewelry, Patterns, Pop of Red on September 15, 2014 at 10:41 am

These shirt-and-sweater combo dreams ($98-$110, select styles on sale for 30% off right now) are the perfect throw-and-go staple for the fall season.

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I’ll style mine with some distressed denim and some Tod’s loafers ($445):

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Finish with this cheeky tote (Jonathon Adler, $195):

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Other options to complete the look: plaid scarf ($55); puffy vest ($138); Annabel Ingall tote ($450); delicate gold knot earrings ($48); bow-toe flats ($125); tasseled pouches ($45 each); ladylike watch ($92); silky scarf ($55):

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La Rouge et Le Noir.

In Accessories, Black, Brights!, Fierce, Jewelry, Pop of Red on September 12, 2014 at 9:37 am

A few of my favorite bloggers have been claiming that cropped, wide leg pantalons are the way to go this fall, citing styles like this pair of Tibis and this Elizabeth + James style.

Y’all, I’m scared.

Very scared.

Those pants cannot do anyone any favors.  Cutting your leg off mid-calf?  Widening the width of your thigh?  Eek.  So we’ll do this my way, with a pair of full-length wide-leggers (Joseph, $535).  Now these I can get behind.  I am envisioning this with a bow-front blouse ($225 — so glam, and love the funky tassels on the neck tie), these ladylike bow-toe heels ($329), and the ultra-covetable double pearl earring from Dior ($290 — trust me, these are uber chic: check them out on Emma Watson and Olivia Palermo, though I’m sure you’ve seen them on dozens of other bloggers who have followed suit; get the look for less with these puppies, or, if the Diors are too scary, check these elegant ones out):


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La piece de resistance?  This ultra-chic Opening Ceremony purse ($545) in cherry red:

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So perfect.  Alternately, how about this simple and elegant fit-and-flare Chinti + Parker dress ($320) with this statement pearl necklace ($98):

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Finish with glossy red Valentino bow-toes ($695) and the sold-out-almost-everywhere Mansur Gavriel mini bucket bag ($495):





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Lastly, how about this floral white sweater (Erdem, $1,100 — or get the look for a fraction of the cost with this style) with a black leather mini ($475 — or get the look for less with this style) and a pair of Illestevas ($180):

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Pair with classic red pumps (Jimmy Choo, $595) and a matte Givenchy pouch ($1,240):

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Je l’aime.