Beautiful Life and Style

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Artwork by: James Nares

You know when you discover something that catches your eye, and then you begin to start seeing it everywhere? Such it has been for me lately with the artwork of James Nares. I first saw his work several years ago, in the stairwell of an extremely posh office building in New York City. I remember the ribbon-like, blue painting seemed almost 3 dimensional and I probably could have stared at it for hours trying to figure out just HOW it was created. But of course the piece was then forgotten, until recently, when I saw this image of another work by Nares in this (may I add- EXTREMELY AMAZINGLY DESIGNED) Dining Room. Then I saw ANOTHER piece and so -of course- it is now time to share with you my love for this artist and his work!

James Nares in Dining Room

Nares was born in London in 1954, but moved to New York City in 1975. He was quoted as saying the motivation behind his move was the fact that  “All I did was read American art magazines. I felt like a real loner in London, being interested in all these artists that nobody else seemed to have heard of.” And from the moment he moved here, he began immersing himself in these artist circles, gaining respect from many of the painters he once admired. But it took some time before his work truly started to gain broader popularity. Now it is found throughout the world in private collections and major museums such as the MoMA and Whitney Museum.

James Nares Tetragram

While Nares’ paintings are most certainly unique, he especially stands apart in his methodology. His work is most often created in a SINGLE brushstroke with unique brushes of his own design. The brushes are created with a variety of everything from foam to feathers, and there is quite an experimental process to finding exactly the right one. He applies the paint while suspended over the canvas in an acrobatic harness that he created to achieve a gravity free painting environment.

James Nares painting

The painting process is one of erasing and recreating line-work before finding the perfect balance between improvisation and intent. Nares likens this artistic routine to hitting a home run in baseball, sometimes achievable in one go but more often requiring multiple attempts to accomplish.

James Nares What's What

James Nares I Do and I Don't

Nares’ unique process results in these fantastic ribbons of color. They have been likened to visuals such as swirling storm clouds, birds in flight and ocean waves. What do you see? Are you as mesmerized as I am?

James Nares Never Ever

Image Credits: 1 //2 // 3 // 4 // 5 //

Also link 3 is very cool interview with James Nares about  his early years in New York, and his process of creating and experimenting with the brushes he uses today.

I also read that recently Nares has further expanded his art into the realm of photography and film, with a film currently streaming at the Met.



Pillow Negotiations

I think that I mentioned a little while back that we are currently freshening up our bedroom. I can’t even describe how bad it had become. And not in a dirty hoarders kind of way, but in the way that when you live in a one bedroom apartment, there aren’t too many places to store things. The living room is the room you have to keep nice for guests, and so the bedroom quickly becomes the overflow for “everything else” (think: the drum-set from RockBand). I’ve  been trying to break the habit and we have been getting rid of quite a bit lately so now that I can actually SEE the top of the dresser- the next step is to invest in some new grownup furniture. I don’t mean custom $10,000 side tables- but at least an upgrade from IKEA.

Problem is, while we aren’t polar opposites, we can’t seem to agree on what direction we want to go. We both love neutral bedding and carpeting but while I’d like to stick with light/ white furniture, Nick prefers the dark contrast. It shoudln’t be giving me so much stress- but once we commit there is no turning back! I”m only dealing with the service elevator/ furniture delivery woes ONE TIME.

The lighter version:

White and Mint Neutral BedroomWhite Neutral Bedroom

And now with darker furniture:

Dark Contrast BedroomNeutral Bedding Dark Furniture2Neutral Bedding Dark Furniture

Actually I am really drawn to the indigo hues in the last photo….maybe I’m thinking TOO neutral?

Either way I want your opinions! Which do you prefer? Or do you love the little bit of color? And please for my sake, don’t quote that scene from Devil Wears Prada where they fight over WHICH turquoise belt to use because they are SOOOOoooo different. Because its been running through my head on repeat and I”m wondering what kind of crazy person I’ve become that THIS is the biggest anxiety in my life…..



Inspiration from above….

Have you seen this month’s Veranda??? I stopped in my tracks when I saw the Atlanta home of Danielle Rollins- especially the bar:

Astrology inspired rooms

The room was inspired by the ceiling at Grand Central Station in NY and the family’s zodiacs are the ones painted on the ceiling. Its no surprise the designer, Miles Redd, felt inspired, I bump into at least 10 people every time I find myself at Grand Central because I’m looking up instead of in front of me. I know I look like the ultimate tourist, but I can’t help it- there is something so inspirational and awe inspiring about gazing at the stars…even if they are painted ones.

Astrology inspired rooms- grand central

A quick search around the internet, and it seems I’m not the only one to agree.  Neither Grand Central nor the Rollins house are the first with ceilings paying tribute to the constellations:

So the question of the day: do you embrace astrology??? For me, its more of a fun game than a way of life- but I know people who won’t get out of bed in the morning without consulting their horoscope. I’m an Aries: headstrong, independent and COMPETITIVE- although sometimes very gullible. Even if I don’t always agree with my horoscope, I DO love wearing red and buying trinkets with rams on them. If you are looking for a ways to mix astrology items in your life, and don’t exactly have the budget to redo an entire room in the house, you will be happy to see these zodiac themed items that are little more wallet friendly-Virgos and Taurus especially 😉

What's your Sign??


Rental Wallpaper

Living in an apartment can be challenging. Especially when you are combining the lives of two people- its a lot of stuff! I feel like no matter how much we purge and organize- things are still a mess. But I’m making it my goal to take on one room at a time this year- January was my closet. February/ March is the bedroom. and yes. It definitely needs two months instead of one. joking aside, I’ve been looking to pinterest for inspiration for simple things I can do that will have a BIG impact. One idea is to frame panels of fabric or wallpaper. I LOVE wallpaper but obviously can’t start plastering it on our white rental walls and this version is also much more affordable- AND can follow me to our next home! A few examples:

framed wallpaper3

framed wallpaper

framed wallpaper4

framed wallpaper2


framed wallpaper5

Isn’t it DIVINE??? I’m taking recommendations for a pattern!

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Keeping Warm and Cozy on a Cold Winter Day

It is still FREEZING here in Boston. It seriously makes everything more difficult- walking to work, getting dinner, even the idea of getting out of bed in the morning (I can say I have been doing horribly with my New Year’s Resolution). Wouldn’t it be nice if we could all just skip work and cozy up under a blanket with a good book and tea?? I think Jessa from Girls says it best: “You know what the weirdest part about having a job is? You have to be there everyday, even on the days you don’t feel like it.” (ps I hope you all watch Girls– except you Mom- you would hate it)

Here are some things I put together for an ideal day out of the cold:

Keeping Warm

1. The coziest J.Crew flannel pajamas – added bonus that they are currently on sale!

2. Before the Broadway show and the blockbuster movie- Les Miserables was a book by Victor Hugo, and I have always wanted to read it!

3. You can’t have a cozy day indoors without a warm throw blanket. I’m swooning over the classic herringbone pattern here.

4. Can I just say how obsessed I am with Hermes china?? Drinking tea out of these cups would be all the more elegant.

5. Our tiny apartment lacks a fireplace- but the amazing Diptyque Feu De Bois Candle  is almost as good as the real thing.

6. Bellocq tea- the indisputable BEST. My favorite is No.35 (Earl Grey) but I might have to change it up and try this No. 36, Darjeeling 2nd Flush.