Obsessed With: Polished Pet Picks

I’m traveling this week for a fun project: my collaboration on the forthcoming Real Simple Home, which you can read more about here. But naturally, my kids don’t give a crap about why Mom’s out of town or all the cool designers she’s pumped to be working alongside in New York. What’s on their mind? THAT WE’RE GETTING A PUPPY IN AUGUST!! OHMYGOSH IT’S GOING TO BE SO AWESOME MOM CAN WE PLEASE GET THE GIRL PUPPY AND CAN WE NAME HER COOKIE OR FUZZBUTT AND WILL SHE SLEEP IN OUR ROOMS?? OMG OMG OMGGGGGG

 Image credit:  Allie Sepanek

Image credit: Allie Sepanek

Yeah. They’re a little excited. Before now, the only canines in our home were two bronze whippets that previously lived my childhood home in California. My mom mailed them to me in Boston a few years ago, which must have cost her a fortune because they weigh ten thousand pounds. They even got a cameo in my book, as well as a highlight in June’s Rue Magazine feature (photo at right).

Our live pup, meanwhile, is going to be an Australian Labradoodle, owing to A) my allergies and B) our general aversion to dog-hair dust bunnies. Our neighborhood is also Doodle Central—families in our area really seem to like the breed for their size and temperament for city living, and because they’re particularly good around kids.

Our pup’s breeder is super-informative and completely dedicated to his dogs, so for the most part, I’m taking his advice on all things pet gear. There are some uber-practical items we’re going to need: a crate for training and sleeping, and something like this Porch Potty for quick let-outs when it’s freezing and we’re all still in PJs. (We have a limited patio area sans grass.) Mr. Breeder recommends leather dog leashes from Leerburg and something called a martingale collar for walking, and we’ll no doubt take his advice to buy those.

But there are also some opportunities to have some fun with the necessities we buy. Once our dog is crate-trained and walking well on a leash (i.e. not pulling), I’m totally going to accessorize—everything from pet beds to treat canisters. Because ME.

Here are a few things I’ve got my eye on.

  1. Found My Animal ombre adjustable dog leash in Indigo, $62,  chewy.com . 2. The Foggy Dog navy pinstripe dog poop bag, $22,  Etsy . 3. Archie and Oscar herringbone dog bed, from $61,  Wayfair . 4. Clair blue three-piece lidded canister set, $63,  Joss & Main . 5. Waggo dipped ceramic dog bowl in Navy, from $22,  Food52 . 6. The Foggy Dog limited-edition Arroyo dog bandana, from $32,  Etsy.

1. Found My Animal ombre adjustable dog leash in Indigo, $62, chewy.com. 2. The Foggy Dog navy pinstripe dog poop bag, $22, Etsy. 3. Archie and Oscar herringbone dog bed, from $61, Wayfair. 4. Clair blue three-piece lidded canister set, $63, Joss & Main. 5. Waggo dipped ceramic dog bowl in Navy, from $22, Food52. 6. The Foggy Dog limited-edition Arroyo dog bandana, from $32, Etsy.

What am I missing? Any tips on maintaining sanity and style with a new pup in the home? Do dish in the comments or over on Instagram

Featured! My home in Rue Magazine

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few of these pics in the last month. But I wanted to share a link to possibly the most-fun feature I’ve ever been a part of: a Q&A and home tour in the beloved online design magazine, Rue!

The feature landed earlier this summer, and it’s still live here. Here’s a sneak peek of what’s inside. Photographs are all by Allison Sepanek.


They even included a few of my real-life design tips, and featured pieces from my new ceramics collection with Jill Rosenwald!


If I’m being totally honest, these spaces are usually much more lived-in than they appear in this feature. We use every inch of our house, and our counters are usually topped with all manner of construction-paper art projects, pipe cleaners, breakfast dishes, and mail. But whose aren’t? In any given month, these rooms look like the above pics approximately twice, for about twenty minutes at a stretch—and never at the same time. I did manage to sneak in some reminders that people live here, though. Who can spot the Beanie Boo owl on page 21?

Head on over to Rue to read the full story.  And huge thanks to editor Kelli Lamb for the beautifully produced feature!


Me + ​Real Simple = OMG


I’m mayyyyyybe going out on a limb here, but if you’re reading this blog, I’m guessing you’ve heard of the magazine Real Simple. I remember when it launched in 2000—I was a magazine intern at the time, and I thought, “Holy crap. A magazine that’s all about how to make things easier, not just fancier/better/prettier/[insert comparative adjective here]. Why has nobody done this before?”

Real Simple pretty much invented the home hack. I’ve been a reader from the beginning, even contributing a tip or two to the magazine now and then. My 2016 makeover of a Bachelor couple's space was featured on their website, too. 

So it’s extra-exciting to share some news this month: I’ve been tapped to style the kitchen of the Real Simple Idea Home, a project that’s going to be revealed in full in their October issue! A teaser appears in the July edition:

What's the Real Simple Idea Home? In short, it’s a real-life residence that’s going to be full of “aha” moments, from smart decorating ideas to budget-stretching solutions. Each space is being furnished and decorated by a different brand or designer. Being Real Simple, there’ll naturally be tons of storage tips as well, courtesy of the organizing team at Neat Method. There is an INCREDIBLE roster of design talent on board for the project, which I won’t share yet... Just know that I’m floored to be in the mix!

Right now I’m still tinkering with the design. Given my job at Joss & Main, I’ll be filling the space with lots of budget-friendly kitchen items and decorative touches from the website.

You’ll have to wait until late September for the full reveal, but for now, click here to read a teaser from the issue now on stands: "5 Pro-Approved Ways to Make a Small Kitchen Look Bigger."  The kitchen pictured in the article is my own, photographed by Joyelle West for my book (link to purchase here). And pick up a hard copy before it’s gone! 

Obsessed With: Lilac & Saffron

I’m not a purple girl, but lately I’ve been oddly attracted to moody shades of lilac and lavender. Maybe it’s the gray undertones I’m seeing in today’s purples; they feel dusty, moody and sort of antique.

And then, on the opposite end of the spectrum, I’ve been loving bright hits of saffron, yellow mustard, and brighter shades of ochre. One piece in a warm, sunny-afternoon hue can brighten and modernize any space.  

So why not bring them together? Here’s a sampling of lilac- and saffon-colored pieces that caught my eye in June. I’m loving what happens when the two shades mingle.  

  1. Fonteyne purple and teal area rug, from $27,  Joss & Main . 2. Delphine chair, $2,295,  Jayson Home . 3. Wonderland Tropisk wallpaper in Yellow/Green, $1.68/square foot,  Joss & Main . 4. Morphew barrel chair, $290,  Joss & Main . 5. 'Taupe Floral' framed print on canvas, $150,  Joss & Main . 6. Tasseled velvet pillows, $58 each,  Anthropologie .

1. Fonteyne purple and teal area rug, from $27, Joss & Main. 2. Delphine chair, $2,295, Jayson Home. 3. Wonderland Tropisk wallpaper in Yellow/Green, $1.68/square foot, Joss & Main. 4. Morphew barrel chair, $290, Joss & Main. 5. 'Taupe Floral' framed print on canvas, $150, Joss & Main. 6. Tasseled velvet pillows, $58 each, Anthropologie.

Purple and yellow in your house: Yea or nay?