20 DECOR ITEMS I LOVE RIGHT NOW

The older I get, the more excited I am about one day having a real house to decorate and call home. There are so many pieces and projects I want to try that I just don’t have space for in a studio apartment! But just because I don’t have the space right now doesn’t mean I won’t share my recent findings with all of you. I love this round-up quite a bit if I do say so myself!

design darling apartment decor

(1) Serena & Lily suede cap pillow cover ($98)  (2) One Kings Lane pink bone inlay chest ($1,699)  (3) Sister Parish pitcher ($75)  (4) Navy tall ship print ($50)  (5) Slim Aarons Villa Artemis print ($399)  (6) Katie Kime Savannah side chair ($875)  (7) One Kings Lane striped pouf ($125)  (8) Flamenco abstract print ($24)  (9) PB Teen Links A Lot comforter ($99+)  (10) One Kings Lane ginger jar ($75)  (11) One Kings Lane round box with sea urchin ($99)  (12) Target Threshold tray top table ($69)  (13) Urban Outfitters Stella shag rug ($249)  (14) One Kings Lane stripe pillow ($125)  (15) Blue coral pillow ($45)

Will gave me the Slim Aarons print above for my birthday and I swear I will treasure it forever. (He’s a keeper, that one.) It’s a perfect addition to my apartment and I know it will fit perfectly with the rest of the decor wherever we wind up next. I love the idea of collecting art together and I think that’s what’s so great about decor in general — if you purchase quality pieces you truly love, you can enjoy them practically forever!

If you’ve been waiting on an update on my apartment, you might just want to check back in on Monday… ;) Have a wonderful weekend and thank you for reading! xx

OUTFIT {TEE + JEANS}

Thanks for all your sweet notes on yesterday’s post! I was reading them on my phone as I walked the NY Now trade show with my mom in search of new goodies (I trust her taste more than anyone’s!). We found a few cute things here and there but mostly it was a reminder that a lot of the products I want to decorate with just don’t exist yet… and it’s up to me to make them! Here’s what I wore for a day of wandering in search of hidden gems:

old navy jeans

First of all, these are Old Navy jeans and they cost — wait for it — $32. The wash is great (as close to navy blue as denim gets) but I’m most excited that I don’t have to hem them! Hear that? It’s the sound of petite girls everywhere rejoicing.

three jane map necklace

I’ve been layering these two necklaces a lot lately. The first is my monogrammed necklace from Elizoebeth Jensen and the second is a map necklace from Three Jane. The designer Katie is an incredible new friend of mine and I couldn’t be more in love with the personal touch behind every piece she designs. One side of my necklace features a map of my hometown in Connecticut with a tiny diamond for where I grew up and the other side is a map of our neighborhood in Nantucket with a matching diamond for our family home there. How awesome is that?!

vanessa mooney turquoise cuff

I don’t know about you but I live for a good gray t-shirt. I have one from American Apparel that I “borrowed” from a friend in high school and it’s super soft from years of wear! When Old Navy asked to see how I’d style a simple t-shirt and jeans, I knew it was time to scoop up a new gray t-shirt that I’ll wear thin in the years to come. I love the drape front on this one — girlier than the unisex number I have from high school and roomy enough for a post-dinner food baby. ;) This has kind of been the summer of Old Navy t-shirts for me… and I’m totally cool with that.

gray draped t-shirt

Old Navy t-shirt c/o  //  Old Navy jeans c/o  //  Madewell d’Orsay flats (more options here)

C. Wonder sunglasses (old, similar)  //  Henri Bendel tote bag c/o

 Elizoebeth Jensen monogrammed necklace c/o  //  Three Jane map necklace c/o

  Vanessa Mooney turquoise cuff c/o South Moon Under  //  Brandy Pham scalloped cuff c/o

This post was sponsored by Old Navy. Check out Old Navy‘s latest fashion lineup in store or online at oldnavy.com.

WHAT I’M WORKING ON RIGHT NOW…

I’m always a little hesitant to share what I’m up to in my work life because I don’t want to give away too much or (more likely) put anyone to sleep. But since several of you asked for more insight on what I do on a daily basis and I’m feeling pretty excited about everything I have on my plate these days, here’s a peek at the projects I’m juggling right now…

pace yourself cocktail napkins

{Note to self: PACE YOURSELF. Cocktail napkins will be back in stock in two weeks; striped straws and wine opener are back in stock now!}

1. I’m slowly but surely getting to the point where I can’t manage everything on my own anymore, which is both exciting and terrifying. On a given day, I’m getting a kajillion emails from customers, current vendors, prospective vendors, sales reps, and freelance artists and designers I’m working with, not to mention the PR pitches, sponsored post proposals, and reader questions for my blog. The customer service side of things alone can sometimes take several hours a day! I do my best not to beat myself up but I hate feeling like there aren’t enough hours in the day to manage everything and manage it well. I had two summer interns who were INCREDIBLE and showed me what was possible if I just freed up a few hours of my time to actually do the things I’m good at. The experience totally changed my perspective on running a business and taught me that investing in good people, while it can be daunting in the beginning, is worth the initial investment, like, 10,000 times over. I can’t wait until I’m able to build out a true Design Darling dream team!

stop and drink the rosé print

{Yes way rosé.}

2. You guys have been loving the artist pop-up shops we’ve done this summer and so I’m lining up a few more in the months to come. It’s been super cool to see you incorporating original art in your homes right next to prints we carry year-round. Keep those Instagrams coming! Right now you can shop Anne Harwell McElhaney’s beautiful acrylics and watercolors. I’ve been a fan of hers for several years now and just can’t get enough of her Palm Beach-y aesthetic. This palm tree is my favorite!

3. For the past year (at least), I have had approximately 382,672 product design ideas and roughly 0.2 seconds in the day to do anything about them. But rest assured that is about to change! I am so excited to show you what I’m cooking up and I’m extremely hopeful that everything will resonate with you so I can bring you more accessories and decor that you can find only at Design Darling! I basically live for the feeling of getting a new project off the ground so I’m excited about taking these first baby steps in the direction I’ve always dreamed of.

4. Reordering and restocking inventory post-birthday sale. Not glamorous but, hey, I’m keeping it real!

5. Replacing my debit cards what feels like every 5 days because some jerk in Salt Lake City thought it would be cute to steal my card number and ring up $2,800 at Harley Davidson. #onbrand #keepitclassy

sleep in print

{My favorite sleep in print over my new favorite thing in the universe, a navy scalloped headboard by Katie Kime.}

6. Contemplating office space / shipping solutions. This is not an easy decision for any small business owner and particularly tricky given the cost and space constraints of New York in particular. I’ve really decided to table office space for a few more months (how long have I been saying this, really? ugh) in favor of investing in the products that keep you coming back to Design Darling and that I long to produce myself. Sometimes I feel totally illegitimate because I’m still (mostly) a one-woman show and working from home and other days I just remind myself I’m onto something good and all the photos of packing orders in a studio apartment will make for a great first chapter in a book someday…

7. Continuing to blog once a day because, at the end of the day, I really do love it and I’m a big believer that you have to fight to make time for the things you love.

8. “Getting ready” for fashion week, which for me means ordering a ton of cool clothes and pretending this is the year I’ll up my fashion week game… and then returning everything and sticking to the tried-and-true pieces I already have hanging in my closet. #toohonest?

9. Seeking extra time in the day (someone teach me to wake up at 5?!) to start eating lunch, cooking at home, making it to the gym, answering every tweet, sleeping enough to stop getting sick in the summer, and occasionally remembering to remove my chipped nail polish or, I don’t know, brush my hair. Oh and planning more trips because getting out of town makes me see things in a totally new light when I get home. In all seriousness, I’m totally revved up about where my business (and life in general!) is right now and I couldn’t be more stoked for everything I have in the works!!! Just being honest about the day-to-day ups and downs that are happening behind every obsessively styled Instagram. ;) Please tell me there are other small business owners out there who feel the same way…!

This goes without saying at this point but thank you all for being part of this crazy journey! Your comments, emails, tweets, pins, purchases, and even just the silent support make my world go round day in and day out. Design Darling is a happier little corner of the Internet thanks to all of you. xx

20 TOPS I LOVE RIGHT NOW

You’ve probably noticed from my outfit posts that I’m a jeans-and-shorts kind of girl. Don’t get me wrong — I love an excuse to dress up, but I don’t typically turn to dresses and skirts on a daily basis for things like walking my dog, running out for coffee, and working away at my laptop. I’d rather be… comfortable. And to me comfort is usually an oxford shirt and chino shorts in the summer or a sweater and skinny jeans for fall. And I often switch from flats during the day to heels or wedges at night, hardly changing my outfit at all. While I’m pretty basic when it comes to denim and shorts, I do feel like a girl can never own too many pieces to layer on top. Here are 20 tops that have caught my eye recently (and 12 of them are under $100!)…

What outfit makes you feel most like yourself? Do you prefer jeans or dresses?

P.S. In case you’re curious, the shorts I live in all summer and my favorite pair of jeans.

WEEKEND RECAP

september issues

 

We had the best time in the Bahamas this past weekend celebrating our friends Jane and Scottie at their b-e-a-utiful wedding! I took roughly 68,239 pictures so I thought I’d share a little recap here. I’m the kind of person who likes to arrive at the airport three hours early and camp out with an iced coffee and a stack of magazines.

lyford cay club restaurant

Will and I flew into Nassau and took a taxi to Lyford Cay to check into a little cottage with our friends Mike and Natalie. SO. CUTE. Then we booked it to the beach immediately (surprise, surprise). I’ve never seen such beautiful clear water in my life! The first night Will read a hilarious poem for Jane and Scottie and had everyone at the rehearsal dinner in stitches. #proudgirlfriend

lyford cay club bahamas

The Lyford Cay Club was even more beautiful than I had imagined. Palm trees, pineapples, pink umbrellas… There was seriously a new Instagram-worthy moment around every corner!

lyford cay club tom scheererThe interior of the club was just beyond gorgeous. They definitely aren’t afraid of color in the Bahamas — I think we could all learn a thing or two. Bright palm leaf prints with turquoise pillows and coral sofas with chocolate walls (not to mention the PINK exteriors)… It’s going to make it very tough to appreciate New York’s gray skyscrapers again!

lyford cay pool bahamas

I think I could eat breakfast here every day for, oh, the rest of my life. ;)

lyford cay beach cabana

On Saturday, we hung out on the beach for a few hours (slathered in SPF 70!) before it got too hot and everyone went off in search of ice cream. I’d like to make room in my apartment for a casual little yellow and white striped cabana. Thoughts?!

lyford cay club bahamas wedding

The setting for the wedding was really breathtaking. Jane did such a great job incorporating the colors of the club into the decor and her bridesmaids’ dresses!

lyford cay wedding

Yay Jane and Scottie!!! Are they not the cutest couple?!

design darling turquoise tassel earrings

I wore a periwinkle silk dress from Zinke (c/o) and turquoise tassel earrings. And I always love seeing boys in their dapper best!

bahamas palm trees lyford cay

It was such a special weekend with great friends, great food, and an insanely beautiful backdrop for it all. Oh and bonus alert! I got to cross seeing a new country off my 101 in 1001 list. I hope we’ll be back again one day soon!