Paint your front door

I was in London this weekend strolling through beautiful Notting Hill, and surrounding the famous Portobello Market, quaint restaurants and fantastic boutiques, there’s a neighborhood with some incredible charm. House after house features major curb appeal with the most welcoming facades. Ornate knockers and bright front doors summon you up the steps. And these Londoners have stepped out of the safe zone–very few red, cobalt blue or black doors in this mix. Take a cue from our neighbors across the pond, and bathe your front entrance in a hue that’s bold and inviting. And check out these knockers too.

Orange front door

Draw guests in with a happy deep tangerine.

Orange door brass knocker
One to try: Benjamin Moore’s Orange Rumba and this modern brass knocker (available in several finishes)

Periwinkle front door

Let them come and knock on your pretty periwinkle door.

Periwinkle front door
One to try: Sherwin Williams’ Dazzle and this vintage iron door knocker

Green front door

You’ll be the envy of all your neighbors with a kelly green door.

Green front door
One to try: Sherwin Williams’ Derbyshire and a monogram door knocker (also available in silver)

Pink front door

Visitors will be tickled pink when they arrive at this daring front door.

Pink front door
One to try: Sherwin Williams’ Hibiscus and a cast iron black lion head knocker

Flea marketing in Nyon

I’ve now been to flea markets in Geneva, Paris and Nyon. I love the Geneva market, was horribly disappointed in the Paris market (asking 45 euros for a simple wine opener) and found some interesting things in Nyon, a lakeside village about 20 minutes west of Lausanne. Point being, there are loads of flea markets in Europe (read: there will be many more posts on the subject).

Flea market chairs

But is that treasure really a deal? I decided to do some digging. I found these fabulous green vintage metal chairs (left) in Nyon. The seller was asking roughly $75 a piece. Seem pricey? The green retro chairs in the center are $135 if you live near Ruffs Dale, Pennsylvania; $635 anywhere else in the country. Or these rusty chairs (right) that need some serious TLC for $75 for one lucky New Jersey resident. Bottom line? My Nyon finds are priced fairly.

Tea set

I adored this tea set (left). The orange-and-gold color combo felt so 70s chic. The Italian vendor wanted $194 for the 18-piece porcelain collection. This one on the right collected $250 at auction. My advice? When you’re looking at a vintage piece, go with your gut. If you love it, buy it (within reason). You may never see something like it again, and you don’t want to kick yourself years down the road. Technology allows you to check Ebay, Etsy and Craigslist pricing on the spot. If your find falls within the scope of prices you find on these second-hand sites, then I say, “Let the negotiating begin.”

Letterpress letters

Be an archeologist of style. Buy what fascinates and speaks to your design aesthetic or your nostalgia. Letterpress letters remind me of my journalism roots, even though these alphabet pieces came way before my time.

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I love vintage because I like the pieces in my home to have a story, which is why I bought this set of carved wood pears in Nyon. The larger one is a box. I am completely intrigued by what might have been stashed inside. Jewelry? Love letters? Keys? The possibilities are endless and allow these ordinary objects to create interest in any room in the house.

Styling an entryway–for less than $100

A neutral and bright living space

Entryways may occupy the smallest square footage in your home, but the small space should not be overlooked when it comes to decorating. I partnered with the incredibly talented Jennie Sullins of BeautyHive Studios to illustrate a few ideas for making an entrance, whether you prefer a relaxed reception or a fashionable foyer.

There was one long wall in this entry, so I found an inexpensive long and slim console table on Craigslist and painted it Cathedral Gray. I decided on a gray, white, silver and gold palette for this project and painted the new hardware gold.

How to style an entryway

Think symmetry when it comes to creating order–even if you’re faking it–in the entryway. These matching starburst mirrors hang at the same level just outside the edges of the table, creating the illusion of a grander foyer and reflecting extra bits of light from the front door.

Styling the entryway

To add some personality to this passageway, I used what Michelle, the homeowner, already had–a collection of black-binded books, a blue vase and a pair of bookends (they used to be bright yellow!), which I painted with the same gold-leaf spray paint I used on the hardware.

Great gift ideas for Dad

Father’s Day is just around the corner, June 16. Don’t procrastinate picking a present for your dad, brother, husband, uncle or grandpa. Check out the gift guide I did for Parade magazine, featuring 18 fabulous finds. You can see the story here. Or pick up one of these–some of my faves that are personal, unique, even a bit quirky.

Father's Day Gift Guide

For the performer
Back up the a cappella rendition of “Don’t Stop Believin’” that Dad belts out in the shower with this wireless, waterproof showerhead speaker that pops in and out for easy recharging and streams music from any Bluetooth-enabled device up to 32 feet away.

For the metro man
Laced with aloe vera and witch hazel, these aftershave-filled flasks soothe his vulnerable skin and leave him smelling slighting warm and woodsy or fresh and citrus-y.

For the sports enthusiast
Want to knock this Father’s Day out of the park? Let Dad root for his home team wrapped in this luxuriously soft cotton robe that’s embroidered with his favorite ball club’s logo (also available with NFL logos).

For the perfectionist
Tool or toy? Depends how he uses it. Whether Dad’s handy or just curious, this field rule accurately measures the imaginary foundation for his future retirement home, the distance to home plate, even the girth of a tree.

For the minimalist
This curious-looking gadget weighs less than a ping pong ball but combines everything he needs for quick repairs and a bite to eat. Masked as elements of design on this four-inch stainless steel multitool are a flathead screwdriver, three metric wrenches, a spoon, a fork and a bottle opener.

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