Christmas has come and gone like a flash. If yours was like mine, the bonus was the lack of chaos this year with travel at bay. It was a time for peace, family, and a resurgence of simple traditions. Yet, as always, the pressure of the new year lingers in the air like your trusted Chanel No 5. A new year, a new you, new goals. Typically we vow to be fitter, accomplish more, meal plan, and “Marie Kondo” everything.
Can we get real for a minute? 2021 is not the year to strive for perfection? We are still in survival mode. 2020 picked us all up from our cute little playground (like Helen Hunt in Twister) and dropped us in what felt like a battle zone in a third world country. But you know what – we adapted. Take a moment to pat yourself on the back. I mean heck – most of you were promoted this year to a chef, teacher, music instructor, and camp director. Is now really the time to promise you’ll take 10,000 steps a day? P.S. I can’t make this up; Billy Joel’s “Pressure” is playing in the background as I type away.
Let’s agree to nix the resolutions this year and instead have more focus, peace, and joy. One of the reasons I’m drawn to interior styling is its power to create your own atmosphere. Design is not a one size fits all thing – thank goodness. I love a mix of old and new, soft blues, and blush. Remember the 2016 Pantone colors of the year: rose quartz and serenity blue? This palate is my mantra. It is essential as we spend more time in our homes that we set the tone.
Nate Berkus once said, “a home should tell your story.” Mine modestly tells where I’ve been and where I’m inspired to go – literally and figuratively. Mirroring my wardrobe, I gravitate to an interior that is timeless, hip, and never cookie-cutter.
A simple way to add focus, peace, and beauty to your home is to update your coffee table book collection. Mine is growing, and I have little piles everywhere (pun intended, Reese). Tip – stack in groups of three to five, each facing different directions. Below I’m sharing a few favorites that I’m sure will bring solace and inspiration for what lies ahead.
Best new book? I’m fascinated with S is for Style: The Schumacher book of Decoration by Dara Caponigro. Dara is the creative director for Schumacher and does not disappoint us in her latest design bible. Thematically organized by unconventional chapters such as “Sensual & Spare,” “Ladylike,” and “Preppy,” you are sure to define your style. The lavish imagery of Schumacher’s famous patterns will rival any Instagram scroll. With three cover styles to choose from, you can sneak them into more than one room.
Keep it classic. A-list designer Suzanne Kasler does just that in this reflection of her timeless, sophisticated interiors. The book is a collection of residences with a mix of American and European influence. It is especially going to spark your creative entertaining juices, setting the stage for you to be the perfect post-pandemic hostess.
Looking to support local? I have two suggestions. First, by decorator and textile designer, Northern Virginia native, Lauren Liess’s Habitat. Lauren inspires design enthusiasts with a laid-back decorating guide focusing on nature, lighting, and creating a mood. You’ll wish she was your bestie. Second, history buffs will want to check out Arlington by the Arlington Historical Society. Take a visual journey from Arlington’s Civil War-era to its unparalleled population growth and diversification.
For my trendsetters, consider The House That Pinterest Built by the one and only Diane Keaton. Admittedly I bought this book as it was all the rage, because, hello – Diane Keaton. It surprisingly sparks inspiration in a relatable way. Diane feels like one of us and opens up candidly. If that wasn’t enough, the images are intoxicatingly beautiful by Lisa Romerein, Los Angeles based photographer. If you’re in the restoration process, add this to your library – er bedside table.
With female empowerment on a significant rise, a coffee table book in this category is vital. One of my passion projects is advocating for clean beauty. I help women (and men) start their safer product journeys. Beautycounter is pioneering this movement and supporting thousands of women with economic opportunity.
In the spring of 2017, I attended a leadership conference in Phoenix, Arizona. Funny enough, as soon as I landed, I got a call from my doctor letting me know I was pregnant. The entire weekend I was surrounded by strong, fearless women (and signature cocktails I had to pass on). As nervous as I was about my secret news, I left feeling emboldened. This brings me to my next must-have book: Our Shoes, Our Selves by actress Bridget Moynahan. At the conference, Bridget was our guest speaker and had copies of her new book for us all. The book examines forty accomplished women, from Kelly Wearstler to Katie Couric, and the story behind their most memorable pair of shoes. I easily get lost in this book! P.S. for SATC fans, Bridget is team Natasha.
Travel, a word that elicits a lot of emotion these days. Albeit one of the petty side effects of the coronavirus pandemic, many of us had to cancel plans. Plans to travel to exotic locations, plans for second honeymoons, plans to visit family across the globe. It was a hard blow for all, but this too shall pass. In the meantime, we have all been given the gift of time – time to thoroughly plan a most incredible adventure. Get your bucket lists updated, so all you have to do is hit go when normalcy returns.
Forever Wandering by Emilie Ristevski is a soul-awakening page-turner that documents the beauty of our natural world. I found my copy at Anthropologie, thinking it was a pretty addition to my dining room credenza. It is so much more. This book tells a meaningful story of how we can find a deeper connection to the universe and ourselves at a time when restoring balance has never felt more pressing.
Love and light to all.