My Favorite Things: 5 Winning Hostess Gifts

‘Tis the season to be jolly. And also for lots and lots of socializing (I don’t know about you, but my dance card is just about full!). But before you dash off to your next dinner party, don’t forget to grab a hostess gift. Here are five of my favorite go-tos that are sure to make spirits merry and bright.

1. D.L. & Co. Candles

candle 2

A girl can never have too many pairs of shoes, and a home can never have too many candles. D.L. & Co. candles are some of the best. Super fragrant, and gorgeous as all get out, too.

2. Soap Rocks

soap rocks

These soap rocks by Many Hands Gallery have been of my favorite hostess gifts for some time now. They’re unusual, unexpected, and unique (and it certainly doesn’t hurt that they’re so darn pretty!).

3. Far Niente Dolce


If you’d rather bring a bottle, grab some Dolce from Far Niente. It’s the best dessert wine ever.

4. Christmas Ornament

ks ornament

This time of year, an ornament makes a sweet and thoughtful hostess gift, especially when it’s beautifully wrapped. This adorable Kate Spade ornament fits the bill, and Nordi’s gift boxes are some of the very best!

5. Faux Fur Throw

fur throw

You can’t go wrong with these ultra faux fur throws from Restoration Hardware. Your hostess will love you for it (trust me).

Lovely readers, what are your favorite hostess gifts?



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Four Fab Alternatives to Red & Green

I love tradition—I really do—but that’s never stopped me from branching out beyond the traditional color schemes I always see this time of year. If you’re looking to shake things up a bit this Christmas, consider one of these fabulous alternatives to red and green.

Winter White

There’s something so magical about an all-white Christmas tree, don’t you think? You can carry this theme throughout the house for a beautiful winter wonderland look. It’s always so classic.



Via craftberry bush

Silver & Gold

Talk about merry and bright! A metallic color scheme is just as festive as red and green, but with much more sparkle and shine.


Via Centsational Girl

gold tree

Via Ballard Designs

Nature’s Neutrals

Decorating with wood tones will give your home that rustic chic look that’s still so hot right now. Nature’s neutrals also work beautifully if you’re going for a log cabin look, which is always so timeless.


Via Pinterest



Turquoise or Aqua

If you’re craving color but not tradition, opt for a fun, bright shade that is unexpected, yet still elegant. Turquoise and aqua are fun and festive, and they also look super stylish on a Christmas tree.


Via Decoholic


Via TuTu Divine

Lovely readers, what colors are you using to trim the tree this year? Share your favorites with me in the comments section below!



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5 Thanksgiving Place Settings You’ll Love

I love the idea of “a place for everything and everything in its place”—especially when it comes to planning a holiday dinner. And here’s why. Personalized place settings do more than just direct your guests to their spot at the dinner table. They also make them feel welcomed and special (this spot’s just for you!). Moreover, personalized place settings are such a fun, easy way to add some personality and pizazz to your table. Here are five Thanksgiving place settings I’m really loving (and I think you will, too).

1. Gorgeous Gold Leaves


Via Brit + Co

These simple, seasonal beauties are traditional and timeless all at once. Aren’t they lovely?

2. Fabulous Feathers & Herbs


Via Kara Rosenlund

I love the look of these festive feathers—so rustic and rich.

3. Lovely Little Lemons

Thanksgiving Place Setting with Lemons-1000blog

Thanksgiving Place Setting with Lemons-1003blog

Via Casa de Lewis

For a casual SoCal gathering, I love the idea of using bright citrus on the Thanksgiving table. So fresh and bright.

4. Pretty Pinecones


Via Pinterest

Nature provides its own perfect place card holder—all you need to do is grab some gold spray paint and tuck the card in. Simple and smart!

5. Rustic Rosemary Wreaths


Via The Kitchn

Aren’t these little rosemary wreaths the sweetest?


Darling readers, what’s your favorite look for your Thanksgiving spread?



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8 Pretty Pumpkins

Picking a pumpkin is one of my favorite Halloween traditions. It was a really big deal when I was a kid. I remember one year my mom bought this massive one. It had to have been three feet in diameter. Talk about a great pumpkin! But really, the beauty of pumpkins is that they come in so many different shapes, sizes, colors and textures—and as a collector, I’ll happily take one of each. This year, I’ve been inspired by all the painted pumpkins I’ve seen. Carving’s fun and all, but there’s always such a mess. Painted pumpkins last longer, and these eight beauties will look just as festive on your Thanksgiving table as they do on your front stoop (gotta love a decoration that works overtime!).

1. Sequin Polka Dot Pumpkin


Via Sugar & Cloth

I love an all-white pumpkin, don’t you? Sequins up the glam factor and give these festive pumpkins such an elegant appeal.

2. Lace Pumpkin


Via Lauren Conrad

This little white pumpkin looks lovely in lace. Such a sophisticated (and still wonderfully festive) take on the Halloween pumpkin.

3. Painted Pumpkins with Glittered Stems

pumpkin 2

Via aunt peaches

These little lovelies can be done up to match your tablecloth, centerpiece, or dining room décor. And wouldn’t they be sweet place card holders for an autumn dinner party?

4. Metallic Stripe Pumpkin

pumpkin 3

Via 4 men 1 lady

Spray paint and tape is all it takes to turn these traditional pumpkins into shiny showstoppers. Love it!

5. Mint & Gold Pumpkin


Via The Subtle Statement

Black, white and orange not your thing? Try some pastels instead. This mint and gold pumpkin is about as pretty as it gets.

6. Pink Pumpkins

Pumpkin 9

Via Chatelaine

I think these pink pumpkins are practically perfect in every way—and a super chic alternative to orange and black!

7. Thumb Tack Pumpkin


Via Country Living

Such an easy way to bring modern elegance to a pumpkin. I love this idea!

8. Black & White Pumpkins


Via oopsey daisy

I’ve always been a fan of black and white pumpkins. It’s the sophisticated, grown-up approach to the jack-o-lantern, and always so classic.

Darling readers, what’s your favorite pumpkin from our Halloween round-up? Share your top picks with me in the comments section below!



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10 Stylish Books for Mother’s Day

Books serve two purposes in my life. I love leafing through page after page and losing myself in beautiful pictures, but I also use books as styling accessories. I love the way they look stacked anywhere—coffee tables, bookcases, or even on the floor by a chair. And I frequently shop for them based on the colors in the room I’m designing. They’re always hardcover. Always. And they have to be just as pretty on the outside as they are on the inside. Because, let’s face it—all “judgment” aside, a great looking cover is the first thing that draws us in.

With Mother’s Day right around the corner, I thought it would be fun to compile this list of 10 stylish coffee table books that I think just about any mother would love. They’re filled with gorgeous images, inspirational designs, and, yes, they all have pretty fabulous covers, too.

1. World Tour: Vintage Hotel Labels from the Collection of Gaston-Louis Vuitton


“Show me your luggage and I’ll tell you who you are” was a popular Louis Vuitton slogan from the 1920s. Even if she’s not a world traveler, your mother can take a gorgeous trip down memory lane when leafing through this collection of luggage stickers and travel ephemera.

2. Vogue Living: Houses, Gardens, People

mother's day

The images in this book all come from the pages of Vogue and Vogue Living, so you know they’re going to be fabulous. And with 400 pages to linger over, this is one gift that will keep on giving.

3. When Art Meets Design


If you love the gorgeous purple cover as much as I do, you’ll be delighted with the Southern mansions inside (and my guess is that Mom will, too).

4. Slim Aarons: Once Upon a Time


Slim Aarons was famous for taking photos of “attractive people in attractive places doing attractive things,” and this lovely, luxurious, and wonderfully nostalgic  coffee table book captures just that.

5. Gardens are for Living


This gorgeous coffee table book is a breezy romp through some incredible (and incredibly inspiring) outdoor spaces. So much to love!

6. Kate Spade New York: Things We Love

mother's day

Who doesn’t love Kate Spade? (Hint: no one.) And I’m pretty sure the same is true for this quirky coffee table book filled with all sorts of stylish curiosities that will tickle mom’s fancy.

7. Yves Saint Laurent: Style


Whoever said that you can’t judge a book by its cover got it all wrong with this one. How gorgeous is that pink? And just wait until you take a peek at what’s inside…

8. Palm Springs Modern Living


If mom can’t get away for the weekend, she can spend it leafing through this little treasure of a book. It’s filled with sun-drenched images of iconic Palm Springs architecture and some pretty fantastic interior designs as well.

9. In the Pink: Dorothy Draper–America’s Most Fabulous Decorator


Ms. Draper was indeed America’s most fabulous decorators, and this book, chock full of Dorothy’s vibrant, innovative, and iconic designs, is one of the most fabulous on this list. Trust me, it’s a keeper.

10. In the Spirit of Beverly Hills



This little beauty is filled with glorious images of all the things that make Beverly Hills so fabulous, and some fun historical tidbits too. And that cover? Utter perfection.

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From Spontaneity in Sin City to Hospitality Design in Las Vegas

We’ve all got our Vegas stories. And one of my favorites took place on a random Monday evening. I called one of my best friends and said, “You wanna go to Vegas? Right now?” So we drove to Burbank, hopped on a flight, and $89 and less than one hour later, there we were. We only spent one night there, but we had the best time. It was totally spontaneous, and totally unexpected.

Maybe that’s what I love most about Vegas—the fact that it welcomes spontaneity. You know what else I like? You can choose which Vegas experience you want to have. Some people go to gamble, some go for the food, and some go to shop and see the shows. Vegas nightlife is legendary, but personally, I’ve found that the daytime options have gotten so much better. These days, I mainly go to Vegas for the food and the shopping, but put me next to the  pool with a cocktail in my hand, and I certainly won’t complain.

I’ve been to Vegas for so many events – big birthday bashes, bachelorette parties…you know the drill. My sister even got married In Vegas, which was loads of fun. Also fun? Designing the Downtown Grand, which was the biggest hospitality project I’ve taken on as a designer (and one that began back in 2011).


Pitching a design in a board room to 20 guys in suits was a much different experience than sitting down with a couple in their living room, but it was a pretty exciting experience.

My concept for this space was factory chic. The casino has great exposed girders, old brick walls, and exposed structural elements, so it was really begging for this vibe. And it’s located in downtown Vegas, so I knew we had to keep things relaxed and causal. But instead of going super industrial, I thought it was important to glam it up a bit. This is Vegas, after all, and I wanted the hotel to feel fun, playful, and also a little sophisticated.

We were able to accomplish this look with an intentional mix and match approach. Think beautiful tufted chair placed next to a steel table. And a mix of eras, too, like a time-worn antique placed by an upscale piece for a super refined work. You know what they say: It’s all in the details. And details are the things that really give the Downtown Grand such a fresh look and feel.

One of my favorite areas in the renovated hotel is the lobby space. The floor has a cool chevron pattern, and there’s so much sparkle and shine—it gives guests that “Welcome to Vegas” moment that can really transport and delight them.

downtown grand

I’m so excited to share more details about this hospitality design project with you, which I’ll be doing over the next few weeks. There are some fun spaces in the Downtown Grand, and I can’t wait for you to see them.  I’ve also got a BIG announcement to make soon, so stay tuned!

And now that you know how much I love spontaneous Vegas trips, it’s your turn! What’s the most spontaneous thing you’ve ever done in Vegas? Share your stories with me in the comments section below.

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Five Designer-Selected Shades for Your Bathroom

We’ve all seen them. White, eggshell, or beige bathrooms that may look clean and serene, but are also a bit…well, boring. If you want your bathroom to stand out from the rest, consider opting for a bright, bold, unexpected color palette.

Color is one of the easiest ways to liven up what is really a quite basic room in your home. And since it’s a small space, it’s a small risk, so why not go all out? Powder rooms are like little jewel boxes in the home, and filling them with gorgeous gem-colored shades will really make them shine.


Red is a powerful accent color that can take your bathroom in a number of different directions. Depending on the shade you choose, it can read as bold and daring, elegant and sophisticated, or traditional and timeless. One thing’s for certain, though—it always makes a statement.

Designer Tip: Instead of using red on the walls, try updating a vanity with a few glossy coats.



Watery shades are a no-brainer when it comes to choosing color for the bathroom, but deeper, darker shades of blue can be a little more unexpected and eye-catching. Navy lends itself to a nautical-themed room, while royal blue and sapphire can give your bathroom a more dramatic, upscale, and even Spanish-inspired feel.


Photo via


Is there anything more charming than a pink powder room? They were all the rage in the 1950s, and there’s still something sweet and timeless about this feminine shade. To give your bathroom a more modern look, consider using pink in unexpected, updated ways. Painting bathroom ceilings is one of my favorite ways to inject color into the room, and tent striping always adds interest to any space.


Photo via Habitually Chic


One of my favorite color combinations for a bathroom, hands down, is black and gold. It’s rich, sophisticated, and dramatic. If you have a small, colorless powder room that needs some serious updating, going for the gold is one of the best ways to make a big splash.

ev-black and gold

Photo via House Beautiful


You’ll see plenty of sea-inspired shades in powder rooms (think aqua and sea foam), but if you’re looking for something a little different, consider jade green. It’s a richer, more dramatic shade that can really transform a bathroom. If you love a little old-school Beverly Hills action in the powder room (and really, who doesn’t?), consider going with malachite wallpaper or incorporating a dark, tropical vibe with palm leaf wallpaper.


Photo via Haus of Mason

What are your favorite colors to use in the powder room? Share your top picks with me in the comments section below!



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Ten Treats for Grown-Up Easter Baskets

I love Easter. The bunnies, the chocolate, the floral dresses and big hats—it’s just so fun and festive! And let’s not forget the baskets (filled to the brim, of course).



When I was younger, my sister give me a huge Easter basket filled with chocolate, toys, and one extra special item every year. Since she’s 18 years older than I am, she spoiled me like I was her own daughter. It was great! My favorite gift ever was a giant stuffed sheep. I used to bounce around the house on it—so much so that eventually all of the stuffing went flat. I think I was six.

I may have outgrown stuffed sheep, but I’ll never stop loving gift baskets filled with springtime treats and treasures. After all, Easter isn’t just for kids, and I think grown-up Easter baskets can be loads of fun, too.

Here are 10 treats I’d love to find in my basket on Easter morning.

1. Sofia Mini


I just love these sweet little cans of sparkling wine. The four-pack comes in this pretty pink box, which would look so gorgeous in a gift basket.

2. La Maison du Chocolat


The next best thing to eating these delectable chocolates in the South of France (which I totally did!) is finding them in your basket on Easter morning.

3. Bunny Tealight Holders


These tiny ceramic tealight holders are just so darn cute. Such a fun way to add some (candy) color to your Easter table.

4. Nest Fragrances Candle


Nest candles are some of the most fragrant out there, and longest lasting, too. The orange blossom scent smells like springtime in a glass. So lovely.

5. Kendra Scott Cassie Bracelet


Talk about eye candy! This fabulous pink link bracelet is so girlie (and so gorgeous!).

6. Stonewall Kitchen Pepper Jelly Collection


This trio of savory jellies would be a yummy addition to any Easter spread.

7. Ceramic Bunny


Don’t you just love this sweet ceramic bunny? It’s the perfect shade of springtime blue, and a little bit modern, too.

8. Andie’s Specialty Sweets Candy Buttons


Believe it or not, these beautiful buttons are edible. And if you ask me, they’re also the prettiest thing you’ll find to put in a candy dish. J’adore!

9. Fluff Slide Slipper


They may not be bunny slippers, but they’re certainly as fluffy as a cottontail rabbit. And they’re pink!

10. Rejuvelle Bath Bombs



Wouldn’t these colorful bath bombs look fabulous in an Easter basket? (P.S. They’re infused with shea and cocoa butter, so they make your skin super silky.)

What are some of your favorite Easter basket items? Share with me in the comments section below!




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Sherle Wagner: More Than Meets the Eye

When I think of Sherle Wagner, the first thing that comes to my mind is over-the-top sinks and faucets—like these:

sherle wagner

Pretty spectacular, but not always the perfect fit for clients who want less of a statement piece in the bathroom.

Here’s the thing. I’ve known about Sherle Wagner for years, but until recently, I had never been to their LA showroom. I always expected to find super traditional designs and florals galore. But once I finally stepped inside, I realized that there’s more to Sherle Wagner than (initially) meets the eye.

The showroom is stunning. And I was pleasantly surprised by their transitional, art deco-inspired, and modern designs. I also fell in love with some of their stone fireplace surrounds.  So much so that I recently spec’d one of their French limestone fireplaces for a house in Bel-Air, along with some bird sconces that we put in the client’s powder room.  Both turned out fantastically.


I had another nice surprise when I finally had the chance to get up close and personal with the products. I was blown away by the amazing hardware, some of which is made with crystal and semi-precious stones.  The octagon pulls in amethyst and rose quartz are so fantastically feminine, and I’m a fan of these pretty rock crystal melon pulls, too. I’m also obsessed with this modern, sophisticated Apollo basin set in malachite. It’s like jewelry for the powder room! These are really unique accent pieces, and certainly not something you can find just anywhere.

sherle wagner

I guess that’s the beauty of Sherle Wagner. Their products really do have that designer, one-of-a-kind feel. The company was founded in 1945, and for the past 65+ years, they’ve been a premier source of formal, high-end hardware that just screams luxury. And when you’re looking for something eye-catching (and, let’s face it, super fancy), SW is a good place to start.


But what I really love is that now, with Mr. Wagner’s grandson at the helm, the company seems to have really evolved. They have a great “new traditional” aesthetic—with a twist—that works well in both classic and contemporary homes. And SW products aren’t just for powder rooms anymore. The collection now includes original, hand-silkscreened wallpapers, wall and ceiling lights, and even marble wall coverings. Oh, yes. And fine furnishings, too. I loved this stone fireplace. Really handsome and substantial.


I love surprises, and visiting the Sherle Wagner showroom after all this time was really a lovely one. Have you seen the new products in their line? Take a peek here and let me know what you think!





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Let’s Talk Art: A Q + A with Jonathan Wellerstein

The first time I saw one of Jonathan Wellerstein’s paintings, I was instantly captivated by his street-style artistry and fabulous use of color. His works are vibrant and lively, but not overwhelming. And as a designer, I love that they offer a nice complement to a room’s décor.  I also love nature, and Jonathan’s modern approach to botanicals results in vivid pieces that add a nice touch to any space, classic, contemporary, or traditional.


I recently caught up with Jonathan and asked him about his early beginnings as an artist, influences on his work, and favorite space in his home. I think you’ll agree that this artist is every bit as multifaceted and engaging as the work he creates. Join us!

EV: When did you first know that you wanted to become an artist?

JW: I had a teacher in second grade, Ms. Audrey Paley. Even at that age I was able to recognize that there was something special about the way she thought, the way she acted, and the things she said to us as second graders. (She also might have been my first crush as it turns out.) She asked us to read a book and either do a traditional book report or an illustration of one scene in the book that stood out. My book was Fish is Fish by Leo Leoni, one of the all-time great children’s authors.


I did a drawing—a huge, elaborate bird with hundreds of feathers, each hand drawn and colored precisely and individually. I spent HOURS on the thing.  When I got called into a meeting with my mom and Ms. Paley, all I could think was, “NO! How did I do something wrong?” Turns out she called my mom in to tell her that she thought I had a gift. She said my drawing was so detailed and elaborate and thoughtful (and a million other nice things)-and that I might be an artist. The next day, I enrolled in pastel classes. She was (and still is) one of my all-time favorite teachers and basically single-handedly altered the course of my life.

jonathan wellerstein

EV: Are there any particular colors and/or color combinations you continually find yourself drawn to?

JW: I’ve always been a fan of plays on complementary colors. Or sometimes two sets of complements. That said, I find it incredibly difficult to limit my palette to such a small number of colors. When I see other painters do it, I think, “Man, that looks so good,” and I’ll go to my studio and try. Looking at my work, you can see that I struggle with it, to say the least.

EV: What kind of art do you have in your own home?

JW: I have a pretty great collection of Russian, Ukrainian and Chinese Communist propaganda posters, but I also have paintings by friends that I’ve been collecting since college. It seemed so innocent to trade work back then (and I did quite alright on a few trades). When I lived in Silverlake in the mid 90s, I bought a set of three Geoff Mcfetridge canvas screen printed panels when he was first starting out—just because I liked them and wanted to make things like his. That was a great $200 investment. I’ve had ‘em over my bed for almost 20 years and I still adore them.


EV: Do you have a favorite room in your home?

JW:  I just moved into a new place that I designed and renovated from the studs up. One of the guest rooms doubles as my library and writing room. It has an amazing view of a late 19th century Catholic Church. I also built the desk from salvaged roof beams. I kinda feel like there is good luck in the wood grain. It’s been here a good two or three hundred years longer than me. The bookshelves of both my library and my studio are also lined with tstochkes I picked up in my (fairly extensive) travels. I have Chinese hand-painted bicycle license plates and  armbands from the Cultural Revolution. Three-dimensional postcards of Che Guevara from Cuba. A Russian finial to be mounted on a marching flag from the early 1940s. Tons of stuff that was my grandmother’s.  And knick-knacks my students have given me. I just like being surrounded by things with history, with stories, things that meant something to someone else—whether I comprehend the significance or not.


EV: Which artists inspired you most when you were younger? Are they the same artists who inspire you today?

JW: I’m not sure I can even answer this question. My tastes have matured as I have, but being in front of a Basquiat or a Manet or a Guston or an amazing piece of graffiti or a Persian mosaic that has survived for centuries still moves me. I guess as I get older I know about more artists, but I’m not sure I appreciate them or feel any more inspired by them than I did when I was younger. In a way, the stuff that moves you so deeply when you’re a kid, the stuff that makes you want to be an artist even though everyone tells you to “keep it as a hobby,” that stuff will always be important to you.

EV: You’ve also taught painting. What’s the biggest takeaway you hope to give your students?

JW: The single most important thing I try to teach my students is to ask why, even when people around you, people you trust and care about, are telling you not to. The other is that we change. Our interests and tastes won’t be the same at 40 as they were at 18. And that’s ok. Get into lots of stuff. Try out things you never thought you would. And if it means putting some other things aside for a while, no big deal. You can always come back to them. Just be curious. Want to know more.  That’s the best advice I can give to any student of any discipline.


EV: What’s next for you in terms of projects or installations?

JW: Well, I’m actually editing my first novel of all things. I wrote it last summer and I’m trying to finalize a version. I took a bit of time off painting to do it, and have traveled to a dozen or more countries since. I’m dying to get back into the studio and begin my next body of work, inspired by what I’ve seen and learned.



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