Thursday, August 30, 2012

On Vacation

Hi all! I just wanted to let you know I'll be taking some time off for a couple of weeks, for personal reasons. Do not fret! I will be back before you know it :)

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Design Crush: Reese Witherspoon's Ojai Home

Elle Decor has been planning a special about Reese Witherspoon’s gorgeously stunning home in Ojaj, California for months for their September issue (which FINALLY came out!) but the secluded home has already hit the headlines recently, but not because of the fabulous decor. Are you racking your brain yet? For those of you who don't know, Witherspoon generously loaned the place to Robert Pattinson (who co-starred with her in "Water for Elephants") as a place to escape the media and regroup after the revelations about Kristen Stewart’s infidelities with a married man. Yikes.

Purchased by Reese Witherspoon purchased a historic Wallace Neff ranch, named the Libbey Ranch, located in Ojai, California in 2007. Ojai is a bucolic village in the foothills north of Los Angeles, which served as Shangri-La in the 1937 film Lost Horizon. The property sits on seven acres that include a swimming pool, a barn, a horse paddock, and guest cottages. Originally built in 1923 as stables for Edward Drummond Libbey, who was a big player in the glassware industry, the hacienda is one of the earliest works by Neff, best known as the designer of Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks's mansion, Pickfair. "His method was a subtle painterly approach that gently topples the design over into the world of romance and fairy tale," wrote historian David Gebhard in his foreword to Wallace Neff: Architect of California’s Golden Age.

"When you buy a beautiful piece of art, you don't really own it...You're just the caretaker." Witherspoon says of the hideaway, where her family spends weekends and holidays.

It seems that the Libbey Ranch provides a serene setting to be with her family, and looms large in her approach to parenting, because Witherspoon also wanted her home to be very ‘kid friendly'. Indeed, Witherspoon has turned Libbey Ranch into a menagerie. A Friesian horse and a chestnut pony share the paddock. There are donkeys, goats, pigs, chickens, and four whimsically named dogs: Hope, Nashville, Coco Chanel, and Hank Williams. In L.A., the actress lives in a Mediterranean-style home with her husband, talent agent Jim Toth (whom she married in March 2011 at the Libbey Ranch), and Ava, 12, and Deacon, 8, her two children with ex-husband Ryan Phillippe. She and Toth are expecting their first child.

"It reminds me of growing up in Tennessee, where we spent all day outside," she says. "I wanted my children to have that experience, to get muddy and hang out with the animals."

Seeking traditional interiors with a modern edge, Witherspoon turned to her friend Kristen Buckingham, a designer with experience decorating Spanish-style homes. Neff's original architectural elements — brick and stucco walls, Spanish tiles, exposed beams, and elaborate iron light fixtures and hardware that were forged almost a century ago in a foundry on the property — had been well maintained over the years. So Buckingham searched for compatible pieces, including European antiques, rustic accessories, and animal-themed art, as well as custom-designed upholstery.

The great room typifies Witherspoon's style. A simple country kitchen opens onto a dining area with a long table and a mix of Swedish chairs, tufted leather benches, and his-and-hers linen wing chairs. "We had 20 people here for Thanksgiving last year," says the actress, "so there has to be plenty of places to sit."

Buckingham has an affinity for Hollywood homes from the 1920s and '30s, and she transformed the long, two-story living room into two distinct spaces — an intimate sitting area by the massive fireplace and a more casual area with a games table and bar. A staircase with tile-accented risers leads to a loft den with deep-green and denim-blue seating, ikat pillows, and overlapping Turkish rugs. "It feels fresh and youthful even though it's traditional," says the designer.

On a typical weekend, the grown-ups gather outside and watch their kids run around, or they play rummy indoors. "Everyone congregates around the stone fireplace in the great room. It's cozy and warm," says the actress. "In the summer, it's the coolest room, because of the stone."

To Witherspoon, the house is more than just a beautiful home. "It's meditative and restorative," she says. "As soon as I drive through the gate, I relax. The air is fresh, the phone isn't ringing, you can't access e-mail. Time slows down. Within an hour I'm lying on that couch taking a big fat nap. It's like having a little bit of Tennessee in California."

Photos and article courtesy of Elle Decor.

Monday, August 27, 2012

What Caught my Eye This Past Weekend...

1. A simple, old world candelabra lantern looks luxe and elegant in a gold finish
2. Graphic patterns, gorgeous hues and white line prints define LuLu DK's latest collection
3. Pretty Pegs is a company in Sweden that makes after-market legs for your IKEA furniture
4. Fair Trade Kantha quilts

Frech Toast Sugar Cookies

Yesterday afternoon while on Pinterest, I came across a recipe for French Toast Sugar Cookies...which spunned a  spur-of-the-moment, sweet-tooth-craving inspiration that yes, I was going to make these right this very second. After grabbing everything the recipe called for out of my cupboards,  I come to find out that of course, I did not have Maple Extract (I could have sworn I had leftover from this past winter...), so I decided to substitute with, well, Maple Syrup. Now, I don't use that super sugary Aunt Jemima crap. I have always used good 'ole natural maple syrup, and I don't care about how much more it costs. The taste alone should have anyone converting, I swear.

They were absolutely delicious. I can’t decide if these taste more like french toast or a brown sugar cinnamon pop tart! Either way, these sugar cookies are fabulous and a total hit with Carl and I, so enjoy! (They tasted even better with my morning coffe this morning hehe!)


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly softened
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 3 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1 lb. powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tsp. maple extract or 1/2-1 c. of natural maple syrup (add more for desired taste)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons milk, or to desired consistency
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Cream sugar and butter with mixer; add egg and beat until combined.
  • Add dry ingredients to a sifter. Alternate adding milk and dry ingredients to the butter mixture while mixing. Then add vanilla and stir.
  • Chill for 30 minutes before rolling out. Roll out on floured surface, cut into squares and bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes, being careful not to over-bake.
  • To make the frosting, cream softened butter with 1 cup of the powdered sugar and then slowly add in the rest.
  • Add maple extract (I used 3 teaspoons) and milk, and stir. The consistency you’re looking for is thick and spreadable; not runny.
  • Frost cookies, sprinkle with cinnamon and enjoy! Store in an air-tight container at room temperature to keep fresh for at least 3 days.
Serving size: Yields ~ 36 cookies; 1 cookie per serving Calories: 158 Fat: 5.4 g Saturated fat: 3 g Carbohydrates: 26 g Sugar: 18.2 g Protein: 1.4 g

Liebster Blog Award Nomination!

Hello to all my TPC readers! Megan from Lemonade & Mason Jars has nominated The Posh Coincidence for a Liebster Award!! This would be my very FIRST one, so I am extremely excited and flattered to get a nomination! :D

Megan's Questions for me:

1. Where do you find your biggest inspiration for blogging? Anywhere! Trade publication magazines, blogs, articles, everyday life.

2. Do you have a quote, phrase or mantra that you live your life by? What is it? Being a huge quote junkie, I can't give you any just one! I try to live my life by looking forwards, not back and I'm also a firm believer in choosing your own path to happiness. I also love Elizabeth Gilbert. Recently, she had written a short article in Oprah about the key to a well lived life. And EG's secret? Lighten Up! 

3. Kindle or good old fashioned books? Since I am an owner of a Kindle (and have been for a coupe of years), I am a fan of yes, both. I love seeing books on my book shelves, the feel of the cover and pages, the distinct smell of the new pages...but I love being abe to throw my kindle in my purse and take it with me wherever I go (yup, see #12 above). Which makes taking books on vacations easier and also being able to read my kindle outdoors and have no glare on my screen.

4. Who is your hands down favorite blogger?
Erin Gates, of Elements of Style. I love her random injections of humor and her design style.

5. Where is your favorite place to blog i.e. coffee shop, kitchen table, etc.? In my lovely office! I can selfishly say It's all MINE :)

6. Coffee or tea? Hmm...I have a love of both. Coffee for it's amazing wake-up capabilities, and tea for its comforting soothingness. I would say probably tea, as I can't spazz out from a caffeine overload, haha.

7. You just won a 7 days all expense paid trip to where: San Francisco, Los Angeles or New York? If you come to San Francisco/Summertime will be a love-in there... I want to go becaue of the Victorian architecture, cable cars, Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman's Wharf and Ghiardelli Square, Lombard Street, Alcatraz (the history!), China Town, Union Square....just to name a few. I've been to NYC and I don't really have a desire to go to LA, because it's not really my scene. I'll take San Fran, all the way! When I go, I'll be sure to wear some flowers in my hair ;)

8. Who makes you laugh the hardest? I'd have to say Carl, because he gets me and my strange sense of humor (and vice versa).

9. Do you have any vices? What are they? Oh my goodness yes, do I ever! Shoe shopping - well, shopping in general! I do love my heels and boots. Another is home shopping...whether its accessories, planning my next room make-over pieces, pillows, etc., etc. But come on, can you really blame me? It's in my profession!

10. What was your favorite cartoon growing up? Disney princess over here! Belle, Cinderella Tinkerbell...I absolutely adored and loved Ariel -  and had the sheets, comforter and accessories to match. 

11. Sweet or Savory? Savory. Don't get me wrong, I love my sweets, but I can't pass up all the different flovors of finger foods and hors d’ mouth is watering just thinking about that...and the fact it's almost lunch!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

If These Walls Could Talk

Ever wonder what more could be done to your walls that was different than paint or a wall covering? The walls of a space are a blank canvas and have unlimited possibilities for designs. The layering of color, texture and pattern on the walls truly can set the mood for an entire room. Check out these pictures for some inspiration!

Wall graphic, Carnovsky for Blik
Butterfly wall, the Suffern Estate
Suffern Estate

Lacquered Walls
Gallery Wall
Plaster wall finish
Graphic wallpaper

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Gloss or Matte?

My eye always goes towards sparkly things. And today, that sparkly thing is the trend of High Gloss walls. At first, paint sheen seems like a minor design consideration - especially compared with color. But picking the ideal sheen for a paint job involves important visual and functional considerations.

As a practical matter, high-sheen or glossy surfaces are typically easier to keep clean. These paint formulations traditionally produce the toughest and most stain-resistant finishes - that's why high-gloss finishes are common in bathrooms, high-traffic areas and kids' rooms. Aesthetically speaking, sheen or gloss does draw attention to the surface and even smallest of flaws, especially indoors. If the intention is to hide or downplay a space, high-sheen paint should be avoided.

Most brands of paint come in several sheens, and both latex and oil-based paints are available in different sheen levels. Gloss sheens have the highest light-reflective characteristics, while flat or matte sheens have the lowest lustre.

Glossed Over
Glossy finishes draw the eye – so where should they be used? The most often uses are for craft projects, automotive or outdoor uses, as gloss sheens dry harder than any of the others. And, just as their name implies, hardens to a very shiny finish, making it difficult to justify using in most indoor applications. Many paint brands do not even carry standard gloss bases in their indoor paints.

Higher-gloss paint finishes can also help brighten dark spaces. Under most common lighting conditions, a high-gloss sheen should be avoided due to excessive glare. A dark space requires a lot of artificial lighting, and high-sheen walls catch and reflect all that light. Glossy paints have a thick, shiny film which develops on top of the paint and keeps water, mold and mildew from penetrating the surface, making it easily cleanable.

Striking a Flat Note
Flat paints, also known as matte paints, are a valuable design tool - when used correctly. Flat paints will have practically no shine to them after they have dried. Because they are not reflective, they tend to conceal surface blemishes better than paints with more sheen. In a visual sense, these finishes effectively "smooth" walls that are dented or rough. And, since flat finishes actually deflect attention from surfaces, flat paints are a great choice for ceilings or other surfaces you want to downplay.

Unlike paints with higher sheen, a non-reflective, flat paint finish has a porous texture, which can trap dirt, oils and results in burnishing when scrubbed or rubbed. While many homeowners choose a flat paint because of its smooth, dull appearance, be warned that flat paint, in most cases, collects dirt, and is not scrubbable. Unfortunately, stains are often difficult to remove from flat finishes.

One last option: in-between
With four levels of sheen available in most products, designers can usually find a paint finish that matches their vision. But, if a manufacturer's sheen does not work aesthetically for a particular project, consider mixing two sheens together to get a custom sheen or an "in-between finish."

What do you favor, gloss or matte?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Introducing: Doodle Home

Last week, I eagerly accepted the invitation from my fabulous mentor, Marla, to attend an introductory presentation and lunch for a new-er company, Doodle Home. Launched in May of 2011, Doodle Home is located in downtown Detroit at the M@dison, formally known as the old Madison Theatre Building.

The beautiful, newly renovated M@dison Building, located adjacent to the Detroit Opera
House and Grand Circus Park. Photograph courtesy of Bedrock Real Estate.
Let me be the first to tell you, Doodle Home will revolutionize the interior design industry for the 21st century. I was absolutely delighted to have attended, meet some of the awesome team, and to finally have a better understanding of what Doodle Home is all about.

I can tell you this, they are more than just a web site; it is an interior design destination, providing its members – the design community, manufacturers and consumers – with a new online tool offering design inspiration, advice and resources, as well as the ability to purchase home furnishings. Manufacturers will be able to showcase their brands and be exposed to new customers, while design professionals will gain national visibility by being featured on their site. The main idea? To revolutionize the interior design space and make it more efficient, and in doing so, expand the entire system of designers, clients and manufacturers. 

“Through interactive and immersive technology, Doodle Home will forever change the interior design industry by providing innovative ways to create distinct, beautiful spaces.” - Fernando Prieto, President of Doodle Home.

Lunch was catered by Holiday Market and held at the state-of-the-art 'industrial chic' event space that tops this amazing building renovation. The view - and design - was to die for! I don't even think that you can get this view from any other rooftop nearby. This building, full of dynamic entrepreneurial companies, encourages their employees to utilize the space - meaning yes, take your work and laptop with you! This is amazing rooftop (and floor below) has a commercial kitchen and bar, which makes it perfect for memorable business gatherings, weddings and other parties/events.

One side of the spectacular view

Doodle Home invites designers, manufacturers and consumers to join their online community, where they offer:
  • Free membership 
  • The ability to search, discover and purchase from a finely curated selection of luxury home furnishings
  • Interactive design tools and resources to create unique, personal spaces
  • Doodle Home’s Style Finder, to identify personal design style
  • Inspiration from its "Look Book" of beautiful, professionally designed spaces
  • Doodle Home’s "Color Finder", allowing members to use inspirational images to create a customized color palette
  • Advice from professional interior designers
  • Ability to connect with design professionals
Here's a link for all my fellow designers to check out the Designer benefits of joining. What more can I say? Sign me up! 

To learn more, check out their website:

Pantone Fall Colors 2012

Pantone's fall colors were announced (sorry I'm a tad late!) and here are the new gorgeous shades for the upcoming season:

So here is an illustration of a room utilizing one pair of these on-trend colors. Which is your favorite?

French Roast & Bright Chartreuse
Honey Gold & Olympian Blue
Pink Flambé & Titanium
Tangerine Tango & Rhapsody
Ultramarine green & Rose Smoke

Monday, August 20, 2012

What Caught My Eye This Weekend...

The Standing Knife by Antonio Chiti and Andrea Bett

Elegantly shaped, this knife stands upright on its gently rocking base, making it easy to grasp for spreading butter, jam, or soft cheese. No more jam or butter on the table/table cloth! Made of polished stainless steel. Dishwasher Safe. Buy me! ($28.00) 

Small Dustin Dodecahedron Wood Pendant by designer Lauren by Ralph Lauren

Wood pendant. Finished in ebony and polished nickel. Buy me! ($440)

Thomas Paul Flock Dove Cream Flatweave Dhurrie Rug by Thomas Paul for Layla Grace

Simple and fresh, this dhurrie rug lends a modern geometric flair to any room you place it in. The rug features an oversize ink blot pattern in dove gray and cream. This dhurrie flatweave rug is hand woven from 100% New Zealand wool and comes in various sizes. Buy me! (7'9" x 10'6" $960)

Black Loop by Black+Blum 
The loop in black cast iron gives the candle holder an ultra modern, utilitarian feel. The thicker section wire is reassuringly heavy and stiff, made with steel and zinc casting. Buy me! ($38.00)

Cumulus Wall Covering by Weitzner Limited

Strands of salago fiber are applied by hand and dried in the sun to create the striated, cloud-like texture of Cumulus. Used as hanging room dividers, window shades or screens, the 39'' x 106'' panels work magic with light and shadow while enhancing any paint color when adhered to the wall. For more information or your nearest showroom, 888-609-5551.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How To Motivate Yourself – Self Motivation

Self motivation is a powerful practice of happy and successful people. No matter what your goal, motivating yourself to progress is the key to living a satisfying and purposeful life. Now let me let you in on a little secret: I've been having a slight problem with self-motivation lately. Why? That's pretty good question that I keep asking myself. Procrastination Nation is at the Galeana-Kelly household.

As I told you my fellow readers when I first started this blog, that I'm a recently graduated college this past April. So, reality has set in and the "grown-up" world of "important jobs" slaps me in the face and scares the heck outta me. And lately, I've been assaulted by negative thoughts and anxiety about the future. I'll be the first to admit that finding a job has been one of the hardest things I have had to do the past 3 months. 

After much reflection, I'm starting to believe that my "job blues" are the main reason to why I am suffering from a lack of motivation. I've been applying to open positions or just sending introductions letters, accompanied with my resume, to countless design firms, architectural firms and construction companies, I've come to find that I'm either "overqualified for the position" or I'm "under-qualified", which really means I don't have a lot of experience...but doesn't having two internships count?! Or here's my favorite "even though you have an impressive resume and possess the skills that go above and beyond what we're looking for, unfortunately due to the poor economy the past few years, we're not hiring at the moment..." I'm not going to lie, it's been discouraging...which has been leading to my lack of motivation. But I refuse to give up!

Some days I wake-up feeling energized and motivated, with a Let's do this! attitude. And other days, it’s easier to take the path of least resistance, which usually is not the path to greatness. Even when I'm in hot pursuit of my goals and I'm in desperate need of a relaxing day, it’s totally tempting to get sucked into mindless activity (Facebook/Twitter/Pintrest, anyone?) that I don’t necessarily enjoy, it’s just a way to pass the time (Just me, then? Ohhhh, you too?) So the answer to that is to set goals, daily even.

My goal is very simple: to live my life to the fullest. To be healthy, happy, and love life. Of course, doing so is ALWAYS easier said than done. To live a great life, you have no choice but to be motivated in making daily choices that support your goals - every. single. day. Not only do I have to make the choice to take action, I have to take it.

If I want to live my best life possible, I must first be motivated. When my motivation doesn’t not come naturally - or easy - I can practice self-motivation to align my behavior with my intentions. 

So if you're wondering how I motivate myself - even when I’m feeling distracted, bored, and avoidy? Here’s how!

Picture your goal
A great way to motivate myself is to picture my goal in my mind. A vision board (with quotes, photos and goals) helps me visualize my goal(s) regularly, and focus on the life I really want to live. When considering how I want to spend my day I look at my vision board and ask myself, “does this belong in my vision?” When a behavior or action aligns with my goals, I feel a rush of motivation! My Dad is actually the person I leaned this from. When he was starting his own dental practice, he saw a photograph of a house he absolutely fell in love with and made a goal of building it one day. He kept this photo taped to his bathroom mirror in his office, so he had a reminder of his goal, which he saw everyday. And lo and behold a few years later, his goal became a reality.

Get inspired
I keep a folder, Pinterest board and my own folder on my laptop of inspiring quotes and messages. I share favorite quotes on Twitter and Facebook. I stick inspiring thoughts on notes around my house, in my office area and car. I love my post-its. I read inspiring books and articles. I surround myself with inspiration to keep me inspired. Check out this article, written by Elizabeth Gilbert. Its an inspiring piece.

Take care of you
Often when I’m feeling unmotivated it’s because I’m hungry, angry, lonely, or tired. I recognized these cues it’s time to STOP and have some me time. I take a bath. Get a mani/pedi. Curl up with a book. Watch Bridesmaids and laugh my butt off. I spend time with family or friends. I can take a nap or get to bed early. Indulge myself in a tasty treat. Taking care of my basic needs comes before happiness.

Take one step at a time
Sometimes I feel unmotivated because the task in front of me seems too daunting and it feels as if I’ll never get it done (that’s never happened to you, right?) When I feel overwhelmed, I can focus on doing one thing at a time. Instead of freaking out about the end result, I focus on the task at hand, which can be difficult because I have ADD. So by taking things one at a time, instead of jumping around, helps so I can check off my "to do" list faster. One step at a time.

Be present
A great way to waste time is to spend it doing something that isn’t meaningful or valuable. C'mon, we all are guilty of this! Every moment of my life doesn’t have to be filled with activity, but when I’m not enjoying whatever I’m doing - even if I’m doing nothing - then I don't feel very great. (This is absolutely the point I close my laptop when I’m mindlessly trolling...then am in shock over how much time has actually passed! Eek.) Being present in this moment, enjoying and engaging myself in whatever I do, is a great way to get motivated to do what I really want to do.

Be awesome
When I accept responsibility for the awesomeness of my life and for creating more awesome, I find motivation I didn’t know I had! Woot woot!! Tell yourself that today that you're gonna be awesome - no matter what.

Hearing or reading motivational comments is like practice for our mental strength. A golfer knows how to play the game, but still needs to practice to keep sharp. The same is true for each of us in life. Here are a few of my favorite quotes that I like to think about and re-read every so often (or tack on my bulletin board):

"I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work." — Thomas Alva Edison

"If at first you don't succeed, try, try again... Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it." — Mark Twain 

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could." — Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way." — Les Brown

"I do not try to dance better than anyone else. I only try to dance better than myself." — Mikhail Baryshnikov

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts." — Winston Churchill

“The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.” — Anna Quindlen

“You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” — Zig Ziglar

“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their mind to be.” — Abraham Lincoln

“You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough.” — Mae West

Monday, August 13, 2012

IKEA Kitchens: Super Stylish & Budget Friendly

I love, love, love Ikea. I love their furniture styles, textiles, lighting, accessories and of course, their price point. And I love their kitchens. It's no secret that IKEA offers an affordable, off-the-shelf alternative to a custom kitchen. With the flexibility to mix and match finishes and styles, the Swedish store is a go-to source for renovators, but it's also ubiquitous. Fortunately, there are tons of ways to personalize an IKEA kitchen.

Swoon Alert! Look no further, here's some of my top picks - would you have even guessed these jaw dropping designs are IKEA?

Check out this kitchen from Southern Living.  ALL of the countertops, cabinetry, and hardware are from IKEA.

This kitchen has the cabnitery and handles from IKEA, but the table (built from a restaurant supply store base and a butcher block top) and the wraparound shelving give the kitchen a custom feel.

This home is full of Mid-Century style, but the kitchen is IKEA. It looks tlike the homeowner chose a rich beech with a visible grain that perfectly complements the floors and marble countertops.

Customized Ikea Kitchen - by Carol Reed Interior Design.

The next two kitchens were featured in Living etc:

And lastly, even Sara Richardson uses them!! Isn't this kitchen just to die for? Super feminine and fresh, I would totally cook my pants off in there! Oh and the polka dots? An added plus.

So, have any of you installed one? Leave me your experience and opinion!
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