1/22/2015

BRIGHT + BEAUTIFUL

I'm so ready for spring. And I know I'm the only one! This winter has just felt so long and gray. And while gray is one of my favorite colors, and I'm not averse to winter, I just need a little brightness in my life right now. I feel like my eyes will atrophy a bit if I don't set my sights on some color.

So....

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And I don't even have anything else to say!

Besides that I'm ready for sunshine. And the beach. And a beach house with all of these lovely things in it.

That is all.



1/17/2015

NOTED!

It's hard to beat a good notebook. One with perfect paper weight, a pretty cover and good binding. Do I sound like a total nerd? 

Probably yes. 

But I know I'm not alone. I have stacks of notebooks in my studio and at home. I've come to grips with the fact that I may have a bit of a problem. But a girl's gotta take notes, ya know? For projects, grocery lists, journaling. I mean really, I can think of any excuse to pick up a pretty notebook (and rarely do I actually fill one up before I'm on to the next).

So I've rounded up six (well, technically seven)  of my favorites that I plan to add to my excessive collection. 


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So whatever needs to be noted, make sure it's noted in style. It's always more fun to be productive when it's done in style. 

Write that down! 


1/08/2015

[ 2015 ]

Am I the only one who still can't believe it's 2015? 

Hey, I'm not complaining. I'd be lying if I said I was sad to 2014 go. Sure, some great things happened, like the launch of our Amen Domestics shop, but if I'm being 100% honest, it wasn't the easiest year for me personally. 

It was kinda rough, actually. And I know I'm not the only one. But ya know what? I'm super hopeful for this year.  2015 has begun with a glimmering uncertainty. It feels full of promise and optimism, though for what specifically I'm not really sure. There are a few things, but we'll have to talk about those later. 

Honestly, I'm not one for super specific New Year's resolutions, but I'm a huge believer in knowing your vision and defining your goals. So this year, I'm super excited to be using Whitney English's Day Designer to keep myself on track. 


For a long time, I've kept my schedule on my iPhone, but this year, I'm going analog. And I couldn't be happier about it. There's not much I don't love about this planner, from super helpful goal-setting worksheets to practical day-to-day scheduling, I'm already pretty giddy about using this beautifully designed tool, especially as life grows busier. 

There's so much more I want to share, but I have a meeting in 20 minutes and a toddler to get dressed, so wish me luck and let's chat more soon! 

Happy 2015, friends! The best really is yet to come!

12/30/2014

A DAY IN DC

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. 

That's me letting out a long sigh of relief that the holidays are over. Does that sound terrible?? Don't get me wrong, I love Christmas, but I know I can get an amen from some mamas who know the chaos/craziness of orchestrating meals and families and travel and a million other things. Not to mention the fact that Christmastime is the craziest when your husband's on staff at a church that has a cumalative 90-some services between all their campuses. 

So I'm super thankful that Brendan has the week after Christmas off every year. Some years we just hang around the house, but this year we've headed north and are spending a relaxing week with my family in Maryland. 

I wish I would've had something super Christmasy to share earlier, but like I said, too much craziness. Plus I'm trying really hard to take a real, work-free vacation, so instead of talking design and stuff, let me share some of our nice, obligation-free time here in Maryland (or DC;). 

Like a couple of  dumb-dumbs, we thought it would be a great idea to take two-and-a-half-year-old Eva to DC to hit up some of the museums and landmarks that Brendan and I both so enjoyed visiting as kids. 


I don't know why this pic is so blurry. Or who that little boy is. What I do know is that the Natural History Museum was a total madhouse. Winter break was definitely something we failed to consider.

Due to Eva's wreckless independence and overall obstinance, we couldn't stay long. But we saw a few cool things.


Predictably, Eva loved the fish.

And I wish we would have more time in the mammal exhibit.


Not an exhibit, but I think maybe my love of architectural detail started right here.


I wish the quality of this picture was better because the light in this Smithsonian stairway was so beautiful. And you can't necessarily tell from this picture, but the paint color is almost identical to the NoLa-inspired dining room we've been working on (blog post coming soon, but you've probably seen snippets on Instagram).

Speaking of architecture, our nation's capitol is pretty magnificent.


I feel like I've mastered the art of being a drive-by tourist; stealthily snapping pics on the move, so as not to blow my cover as total photo-fanatic nerd.

That being said, I actually did stop for this corridor in the EPA building. Can you blame me?

I was pretty slick with the others though...




We had a chilly but pretty walk to the Nation Mall and let our little chicken run around for a bit, knowing that traffic out of the city could keep us in the car for a while.


We all know this little kook stays still for no one. So this was our best effort at a family monument pic. 


Ya win some, ya lose some. I still think I'll frame it. 

Speaking of winning, we did hit up Shake Shack, which in all my times in New York, I'm a little embarrassed to say I've never tried. Maybe because of the outrageously long lines. But we had lunch there in DC and were not disappointed...


....especially the french fry queen who refused to take off her sunglasses. #Diva

Also speaking of winning, this is what happened when we got back. 


Eva has loved helping Pop-Pop make the fire and Brendan and I love it because we have neither the fireplace nor the weather to support it back in Charleston. I'm sitting in my Dad's armchair by the fire right now, actually, listening to an old piano jazz record on the turntable he got my mom for Christmas with a Heavy Seas brew on-hand. 

I'd say it's been a pretty wonderful few days. 

So cheers to Christmastime, the wrapping up of Christmastime, and taking a nice, long exhale. 

Hope you all had a lovely holiday!




12/15/2014

YES, I AM

Amendment to the post I wrote earlier this week about fancy holiday dresses...

While I absolutely love those dresses and would be happy to be in any one of them, the reality is, I will most likely be wearing something along these lines to any and all holiday festivities.


So there you have it.

I am not always as fancy as I claim to be. But I'm usually cold as crap.

STORY TIME: COLORS OF HIGH POINT II

It's almost 2015 so I better stop dragging my feet on these Fall 2014 High Point posts!! I mean really, you'd think we were in the middle of crazy holiday season or something...

This one's hard because I really could tag so many gorgeous colors. Nonetheless, I put my head down and painstakingly pulled four of my favorites for this second installment of High Point Color Stories: Traveled Textiles. 



I might have said this in my last post, but I feel like this market was a real come-to-Jesus moment for me because it opened my eyes to some things that I think have gotten a little cray in my practice and forced me to realize that I need to come back to my roots aesthetically (and elsewhere). 

So what I love about this traveled, globally conscious aesthetic is that while it's very bohemian and even a bit eccentric at times, it's absolutely grounded in the fact that the world is full of rich vibrant culture that even in the most straight-laced of homes can be incorporated in a subtle or bold way to create a warm, inviting environment. 

Let's start with some Surya love. We all know the Amen Team loves us some Surya. I'm absolutely nuts over this tasseled floor pillow and I'm sure if it was by accident or not, but when I saw it chillin' out with this vibrant beauty of a rug, it was really love at first sight. 

I love the demonstration in this shot that pattern-on-pattern is really nothing to shy away from. Both of these pieces are stunning together and could certainly be paired in a space or used on their own as a more singular statement. 


Aesthetically similar, this patched Tarkan rug by Four Hands is made from 100% wool antique Turkish Rugs. How cool?? 


What I love about this trend is the detail. 

Notice the stitching in this piece. This is an element that could have been done much more subtly, but instead has been implemented in a such a way that it's really part of the aesthetic of the rug and works beautifully. 

Another fabulous characteristic of this trend is versatility

It might not appear as such initially, with all the bold colors and interesting patterns, but really, this rug could be equally as integral in a beach house with white sofas and cool coastal accents as it could be in an urban loft with sleek upholstery and minimalist fixtures. 

Bouncing back to Surya real quick, we're so excited for this next little grouping because we'll be carrying it this spring at Amen Domestics

This inky indigo + crisp white batik bedding is not only one of my all-time favorite color combos, but it's rich texture and detail transport me to a daydream destination somewhere in a remote West Indies paradise. 



If there's an element in my home puts off permanent vacay vibes, I'm not complaining'!


Ok there are two more that I want to speed through before getting to my absolute fav...


Love the South American vibe of these pillows. The colors are indulgent, but the raw texture and pattern bring them back to earth in an accessible, globally chic way. I'd love to see them on a stark white slipcovered sofa or a vintage leather piece. 

I feel similarly about this stunning antique grain sack textile from one of my favorite new friends made at market, Anna, who collects these gorgeous hundred-year-old, hand-loomed textiles from all over eastern Europe. You better believe we came back with some!!


Ok, ok. 

We've made it to the best part. And I don't think it really needs much commentary. 


Ralph Lauren. South American chic. Nailed it. 

Queue the drool. 


PS- You'll see that product links aren't shoppable to the public as these manufacturers supply only to the trade or retail. If you're interested in any of these pieces, shoot us an email at hello@ameninspireddesign.com and we'd  be happy to hook you up with the details and ordering info! 




12/10/2014

FAV [HOLIDAY] FROCKS

Do you go to holiday parties like this??  


I don't either. But I wouldn't turn down an invitation. 

Even if your calendar isn't full of next-level soirées, we can all probably use a good holiday dress (or two, or three) and I thought I'd share some of my favorites this season!

Naturally, we'll start with this lovely number from Kate Spade. 


I love the feminine blush + chianti color combo of the Swift Dress by Kate Spade. You can always count on KS for the most chic color blocking. Even if I wasn't going to a glitzy event like the first pic, I'd probably still pair it with a fur hat. :)


It's hard to make this list without including J. Crew. This Gilded Chevron Shift is comfy and chic. Total laid back glam. Possibly my ultimate fave!



Both of the above beauties are Anthro. Honestly, I feel like Anthropolgie could have been a one shop stop for this post. Seriously, such a gorgeous collection this year. I feel like both of these dresses channel a little Mad Men vibe. I can totally see Megan in the slightly boho green mini and obviously Joan in the gold. 

Love!!


And last but certainly not least, you know I have to pull in a little local love. And while you can find this amazing Troubadour Cap Cana Tulle-Hem Dress at Neiman Marcus, Troubadour has roots right here in the Holy City. How much do you love the painterly, inky print paired with ultra femme tulle??  

 I'm not going to pretend that I'm going to have the occasions to wear each of these dresses, but I sure wish I did! 

Wardrobe change, perhaps??