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??



#WINITWEDNESDAY : SIDESHOW PRESS

Yay! It's Wednesday! And you know what that means. More goodies and a chance to win our #WinItWednesday giveaway! 

Living in Charleston, you don't have to look far for artfully crafted, locally made treasures. So this week's goodies come straight from Cannon Street. Sideshow Press, founded by fellow Charlestonians Amy Pastre + Courtney Rowson. Their shop is a style-minded office supply enthusiasts' dream complete with nostalgically colorful clipboards, mail tape and message pencils.


Recognized by Martha Stewart Weddings (among others) for their made-in-house, vintage press pretties, their trademark is a simple charming goodness that I just can't get enough of.

Trust me, you're going to want to hop over an take a peek if you haven't already!

One of my favorite items in the shop is this Book Cloth Journal. With it's evergreen letterpress cover and manilla pages, it could easily be found on Don Draper's desk. Or maybe Joan's.




And if you enter to win, it could be found on yours too! For giveaway details, follow us on Instagram- @ameninspireddesign!

Good luck!

PS- The green Le Pen is up for grabs along with the notebook. Because it's my fav and perfect for writing those Christmas cards and gift tags!

12/03/2014

#WINITWEDNESDAY : ANNAPOLIS CANDLE

Well, jingle jingle everybody! The most wonderful time of the year is officially upon us! Even in the craziness and chaos, there are so many reasons to love Christmastime. One of the things I love more than anything is getting all cozied up and going shopping for the ones I love. Of course I could be just cozying up on the sofa and shopping online. Either way, there's just nothing like it. Hunting down the perfect gift; the thrill of knowing they'll love it. Giving gifts is so much fun!

So along with the rest of this vast and cooky blogosphere of ours, I do want to give you a few gifting pointers. But I'm not into telling you to buy from places that I'm endorsing for a commission. In fact, I don't want to get anything from this. I want to give you something! 

Which is why every Wednesday from now until Christmas, I'll be introducing you to some of my very favorite small businesses, artisans and makers, sharing their stories AND (the most fun!) giving away the goods!! 

Enter to win by following these lovely little companies on Instagram AND following the simple steps on my Instagram post. Follow me at @ameninspireddesign for the details! So easy. Don't miss out!

Ok, let's get to it then!! 

We all know I have a thing for candles. Like a serious thing. And not any old Glade (or worse, Yankee Candle). Thoughtfully crafted fragrances have the power to elevate the dimension of a space in a powerful way. Did you know that humans link smell and emotion before they're even born? How crazy is that!? So for anyone who thinks candles and fragrance are just a nice little afterthought, think again. 

This is exactly the conversation I had with my friend Michael Waldon, fragrance believer and owner of Annapolis Candle, our #winitwednesday biz! 


Michael and his wife Jenny are a bi-coastal couple; Michael a native Annapolitan and Jenny hailing from the west coast. Both came from different professional backgrounds and started making candles together as a hobby. 

When Michael's schedule of working in the newsroom became too much for their growing family, Michael and Jenny gave Annapolis Candle a shot, and personally, I'm so glad they did! 

A distant Annapolitan myself, I obviously love their brand and packaging (which they do in-house!). But Annapolis candle goes beyond that. How many of you know that you can get a pretty candle at Target but that crap burns right down the middle and with a faintly noticeable, cookie-cutter fragrance (no offense, Target) and you're mad you paid $17 for it. 

Annapolis Candle's soy wax and lead + zinc free wicks burn evenly, releasing gorgeous, thoughtfully developed fragrances indicative of the naturally beautiful land and seascape of the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic coast. Fragrances like Dock Side, Coastal Dunes (Jenny's fave) and Maritime (Michael's fave) are an ode to the place I grew up, so without even smelling them, I'm already nostalgic. And with a description like "invigorating saltwater fragrance blended with a touch of orange blossom" that will "bring you to the mouth of the Bay as it pours open to the  waters of the Atlantic." 

Yes, please. 

So you want one?? I know you do. 

Get excited! We're giving away my favorite seasonal Annapolis Candle, Blue Spruce and Pine Cones, with bright notes of spruce and cedar, to one lucky Instagram follower! For details, check out @ameninspireddesign on Insta. 


It's a perfect gift for someone on your list or yourself! And while you're at it, grab a few! Michael and Jenny were kind enough to send me a few of the seasonals and I can tell you they are amazing and full-fragranced candles. 


If you want to learn more about Michael + Jenny and Annapolis Candle, check them out here! Good luck and happy shopping! 


11/28/2014

GREAT JOY

Anyone else already feeling totally overwhelmed by the holidays? Sure we're only a few days out from Thanksgiving, but Christmas is less than a month away. Since this is my first year as a shop owner, Christmas and the holiday season has been on my mind for a long time. The collections, the logistics. The sales. The advertising of the sales. 

This Christmas, being the first for Amen Domestics, will not be overdone. Mostly because we're new at this and with everything we do, don't have time. But I'm not too upset about it. I don't want to add to the all noise.

In fact, can we just take a break for a sec??

I'm all about premature, overplayed Christmas music and the gratuitously sentimental ornaments and shopping for gifts and all of that, but sometimes, if I feel overwhelmed, it stops being enjoyable. And I feel like remembering the meaning of it all- reflecting on that instead of stressing out about what to put in my gift guide, and will anyone even care, and really who even cares about what I tell you to buy or what sales there are, and bla bla blaaaa- I just have to stop. 

For just a second. We just have to stop. 

Obviously, I'm a very visual person. Small visual reminders of what this season is all about are helpful. So I made this little 8" x 10" print the other day as just such a reminder.



And I wanted to share it with you as a free download to use as a reminder in your home or office as well. 

[Right click and click open image in new tab for the printable file. You probably already knew that but...]
Beyond the music and the gifts and festivities, which are all wonderful, crazy things, this holiday season is about good news of great joy that lasts long after the gifts are unwrapped and the decorations go back in storage.  

So cheers to the holidays, the craziness and the joy. The great joy that is for all people. 



11/21/2014

SAY IT!

I've been super convicted lately about the lack of thankfulness in my life. I think busyness is the culprit, and that totally falls on me. But with Thanksgiving being next week (!), it's the perfect time to course correct.

One of the things I've wanted for this blog is to be place to share authentically, not just about design, but about life. I design the settings for real life, and occasionally, I like to talk about real life. I'm looking forward to sharing a little bit about what I've been learning about thankfulness lately, but for now, I thought I'd just share something a little shorter, because hey, it's Friday.

And right now I just want to look at something pretty. Which is exactly what these tangible little tokens of appreciation are!


I feel a little skeezy because I L O V E Mac & Murphy and usually shop there for all my stationary needs, but today I was picking up some artwork for a client and came across these gilded little pretties- perfect for sending notes of thanks to people in my life that I really don't know if I could survive without. 

It's the perfect time of year to express gratitude those you love. There's still a little time to pop a note in the mail and really tell someone thank you!




It's something I should do more often, and I hope you'll join me in genuinely spreading thanks this year! A little gratitude goes a long way!