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Currently Loving {12.30.18}

GREETINGS from the Arctic Tundra!! Hope you guys had a great holiday and that your pants are tight and you’re logging lots of time with loved ones and still in your fuzzy socks (like yours truly).

I feel like I’ve heard every other person I know say they’re taking off until January 7th, which I think (if you can do) is A BRILLIANT IDEA… cuz this is what 2018 felt like:

So fun, but INSANE. So, I’m trying to pull a January 7th myself. I haven’t slept past 5:30am in ages and I slept a cool 10-12 hours a night (like a LOG) when we were home for the holidays, then would fall asleep sitting up watching movies during the day in my cocoon of sweatpants. I didn’t even know I needed it but man, it was stellar. And now that we’re home, I just want to spend some time with my boys – whom I feel like I have neglected this year because I was never not on a plane and when I was home, I did not exercise good work-life balance (whoops)… So today, I turned on my out of office and am going to Spring clean, relax, ski, sleep, and drink gallons of green juice to counteract the carb-rabbit-hole I went down this past week. I also have resolutions on the brain – one of which is blogging more frequently. I swear it’s good for the soul. What do you guys want to see more of, btw?

On that note, let’s play a round of Currently Loving – shall we? (Pssst! Click on the images to link to their sources).

First of all, these tamales are the best things you can buy at Costco right now.  We have friends coming in for New Years for a few days to hang and ski, and we bought a slew for easy breakfasts: with over medium eggs + avocado + Cholula? BOOM. I’ve already had them for breakfast and lunch today. Ask me how my green juice initiative is going.

Look at the door glazing (and hardware) detail:

So beautiful. I wish I dressed like this more often… (those boots are bananas, btw)…

Instead, I dress more like this on the reg. PS, these are the best sweatpants I have ever owned.

 

Hands down THE most beautiful side table I have ever seen. I am so jonesing for this for my office – I reached out to the artist, Christopher Stuart (who’s a hop-skip from my hometown in Indiana!) but I may have to wait till I hit the big(ger) leagues for that bad boy… $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

Who wants this for dinner tonight?

The most beautiful plumbing suite in the history of ever, from Barber Wilsons & Co. The Brits know wassup.

Have. you. ever. in. your. life.

One of the prettiest rugs I’ve seen in awhile. Just used it in a project I’ll show ya this Spring 😉 Drift Home is probably my new favorite rug outfit for Moroccans in particular. The shop owner, Nataliya, is also a GEM.

I also love this one – “Inca Trail.” I never met a pink rug I don’t like. I think lilacs and rosy hues throw a lot of people, but you know why I love them? Because so many of us decorate with so much blue and green – so many cool colors – that I feel like a little warmth & whimsy on the floor can be a really beautiful complement to those.

Pink isn’t everybody’s thing, but in general, I do find that clients get really caught up in feeling like evvvvvverrything needs to match – or just in one color palette or style altogether. Which – when you install an entire space that way – the room falls really flat (e.g. all greys, all “industrial modern” furniture, etc etc). This is where the trust factor comes in and if you’re working with a designer, you gotta pour yourself a stiff cocktail and let go of the reigns. I mean… if you don’t listen to me, listen to the inimitable Summer Thorton (Cliffs Notes: the part covered up at the bottom is: Matching is for amateurs.”)

Totally reminds me of the master shower we did at Casa Covet Living – may actually be the exact same tile. But looks like they used copper plumbing fixtures, which is an unexpected and really beautiful choice!

Still my favorite armoire ever. I’m opening up a new(er) office that’s an Elk-Ave-facing storefront in about a month and trying to decide between doing one or two of these (plus some tile storage somewhere) or custom cabinetry. New office in a WHOLE OTHER post though…

Holy Hell, that’s a dress.

Pulled this from the Covet Living archives ca. 2010 – I have no idea how I ran across it, but I still love it so.

My new favorite fabric from Beata Heuman. I just twisted my homegirl in Charleston’s arm to have her little boy’s euro shams done in it – and I’m not even horn-tooting when I quote her reaction – just reminding you to trust your designers, people: “THESE ARE BAD ASS! Good call Ballard – I adore. Seriously the coolest fabric in the history of ever.”

Dying over these for our Hawaii trip in February.

Also, I sprung for my first Kiini on Shopbop over Black Friday cuz they had a bunch of separates on super clearance (like $30 a pop) and I’m now a believer. The detail is meticulous and the fit is superb. I’ve been pinning them and putting them on wishlists for YEARS – bout time I ponied up.

Speaking of getting in a bikini… I have posted these Pumpkin Beer Pretzels with Chipotle Queso no less than 75x and never made them. I’ll start Operation Hawaii as soon as I slam a few of these on New Years Day.

Doesn’t get much more straightforward than this. If you’re a person who makes resolutions, this is probably a good place to generate some idears.

Fresh new score for a client’s bathroom. And if it doesn’t work there, there are a few other folks in line for it. That shot of green is SUPER rare to see. We almost got one like this for Karrie’s nursery but some ho bag snatched it out from under us and I never thought I’d see another one.

I have loved the Cameron Lamp from Visual Comfort since somewhere around the beginning of time. It is sadly insanely expensive ($3300), but a girl can dream. You know I swoon over anything white, sculptural and made of natural stone (trimmed in brass).

This paint color is to die. Amie Corley’s portfolio is saccharin-filled and swoon-worthy.

I have major JOMO and I wish I was sorry about it.

Found this antique dough bowl last week antiquing in Carmel, IN. You know I can’t say no to a lilac-y pink patina (but I did say no to the $495 price tag). Wondering if I should go back to Round Top this year? I thought it was kind of a bust last year, but also not sure I have the will power to stay away from a 10-mile long antique festival. It’s the thrill of the hunt.

We ALMOST used this tile (Tabarka’s Palio) in Karrie’s kitchen 3 years ago, and we both love it still. Saving for my next extra special project (*cough* Jamie – should we entertain for Cade’s bath?!)

Vintage Gerald Thurston for Lightolier lamps, as seen on 1st Dibs about 8 years ago… I think I sobbed when I realized they were $7000 for the pair… then a few months later, found the exact same ones in white (!) at an antique store in Chicago for $500 DOLLARS FOR THE PAIR. To this day, it felt like stealing. I would cry tears down my leg if I ever saw the black version with the finials intact, comme ça.

New ring swag for Christmas!

Dying over this guy! Guglielmo Berchicci for Kundalini. Say that 7 times fast.

Have a Happy, HAPPY NEW YEAR! And, if you’ve made it to the bottom of this post:

a) Bless you, and

b) For real – if there’s anything you want to see (or see more of) in 2019, let us know!! Is it Design Tips, DJ playlists, Renovation advice, Fashion, Fashion Recaps (PSST! The Globes are on next Sunday 1/6!), etc? Ask and you shall receive.

xoxoxoxoxooxo,

 

 

Fall Must-Haves

I meant to do this post 2 weeks ago (whoops) – and considered just shelving it since we’re now *cough* 5 days away from Thanksgiving (how is that possible?), BUT there are so many goods on here to take you into next week and thru the Winter, if you wanna nab em.  Behold, my favorite staples – for the home, for suppa, and for you!

1. Black Elk Peak Candle from Ethics Supply Co, $38: this is the most delightful thing I have in my house right now.  SO GOOD for Fall!  Ethics Supply Co is running 15% off right now if you sign up for their newsletter.

2. B(air) Denim Ankle Skinny Jeans from 7 for All Mankind, $99: On sale from $199, or they have a 30% off with code VIP30 on these Best Sellers and of those, these with velvet stripes are killer… plus free shipping & returns. I have these in a classic fade and also in black and I live in them.  These jeans have just enough shape to hold all the things in and just enough stretch to be forgiving if you wanna slam some mashed potatoes. They’re also higher waisted which I love.

3. Nublado Throw from the Citizenry, $395: My sweet grandmother just rolled over in her grave because I put a $400 blanket on my blog, but HOLY TESTICLE TUESDAY LOOK HOW BEAUTIFUL & CHUNKY & DELICIOUS IT IS! Also doubles as a work of art anywhere it’s sitting. If you’re like my family, we don’t throw blankets away until they actually disintegrate: I still sleep with the one I was swaddled in as a baby, and all the afghans we had in my house as a kid are still in a basket beside the couch at my mom’s house. Just sayin… #investmentpiece

4. Tapered Beeswax Candles in Black, $48 for set of 8: I love how unexpected the black is (and so moody!) – though any of the jewel tones would be gorgeous. I think they’re sold out of navy, but also love Forest.  Top image via 100 Layer Cake.

5. This velvet pillow as the crown jewel on your bed. We didn’t have enough pillows in the house (that’s a big fat lie), so I had this one made recently and have an extra. The fabric is a Suzani / vintage textile print on velvet, and it retails for (hold onto your shorts) $350 mother-loving dollars per yard. I wanted something really cozy that brought some color into an otherwise neutral palette (Chris made the wood bed, and those Carolina Irving Patmos Stripe euros are a killer staple, but they needed a friend with some pop).  Sham (no insert) is 31.5″W x 17″H, $150.  Face is this velvet, back is solid linen. I can have a custom-sized insert ordered for whoever gets this gem (prob another $50ish). UPDATE 11/17/18 at 3pm: SOLD! But DM me on Insta or email me at stephanie.m.ballard@gmail.com if you still want one – I had at least 15 people inquire so we can always make more!

6. Goē Oil, $49: This stuff SAVES MY BACON (hands) when it gets cold and dry outside, which is about 8 months of the year where we live. Vaseline Intensive imposter has NOTHING on this goo. Available via Goop or also at Anthropologie.

PS: Did you know women in Colorado age (something horrifying like) 40% faster than women in more humid parts of the country because it’s dry as a damn bone in these parts? Eek. So you better believe I slather this stuff on my hands a few times a day (little goes a long way, and it does soak in quickly). Thanks to one of my fave people & rad clients, Jamie, for turning me onto it! Had she not, pretty sure this would’ve been me in a year:


7. Mulling Spice from Trader Joe’s: I haven’t tried this myself but have heard people RAVING about it and being like: “You will never need to try to make mulled wine from scratch at home ever again.” And thank the goodnesses, because Chris & I tried to mull some wine a few weeks ago, and lemme tell you that it smelled glorious on the stove but tasted very much what I imagine a moldy foot tastes like. All the cinnamon sticks in the world couldn’t help me. Lesson learned.

8. Classic Nubby Sweaters. Sweaters are tough, man! Gone are the days when I can see something that looks cute online and then have it not look like a potato sack on me when it comes in the mail. They’re often either too frumpy or too scratchy or too boxy (*COUGH* Madewell, I’m pointing at you). Or worst of all, they have those giant bell sleeves, perfect for dipping in your soup – I would like to give a good slap to whosever idea those were.  So I don’t buy sweaters often – only when I REALLY love em… (this is me, setting you up for some-of-these-are-stupid-expensive-but-so-amazing-they’re-worth-the-splurge):

Heartloom Elsie Sweater, $68: I just bought this and it’s super cute and cozy. Runs large so size down (I got a small).

Forte Forte Round Neck Giada Sweater, $730: I know, get out of town…I can’t get on board with spending $700-odd dollars on a sweater, but I can get on board with sitting in my H&M sweatpants & dreaming about it, then putting it in my eBay “Saved Search” list and nabbing it when it comes up on supa-sale.

Joie Minava Sweater, $349 – I tried this on at Nordy last weekend and never wanted to take it off. The pic on the model scarcely does it justice – SO CUTE WITH HIGH WAISTED JEANS AND A TOPKNOT. Or a lob, if you have one.

St. Roche Sissy Sweater, $375 because the 80’s remain the best decade ever, and this one has just enough cute details with the perky shoulders and the neck detail and the ribbing at the waist.

9. Creamy Rigatoni with Broccolini & Sausage from What’s Gaby Cooking: I’m foaming at the mouth and can’t wait to make this. Nomnomnomnom.

10. Melbourne Patchwork OTK Boot from Sole Society, $149.95 less 15% off today: These are Karrie’s pick! So rad, good price for what they are, come in a few colors and have great reviews.

Have a great weekend!

xoxo,