Oct 28, 2010

Inspired by the Drums

One of my first favorite bands was the beach boys. And by first, I mean I listened to endless summer on my fisher price record player (that is first). I'm pretty sure most of my music taste has flowed from that first exposure to music. So I got ridiculously excited when I heard the Drums. A self-described indie surf band, they are ridiculously catchy. They have lyrics like "I just want to be with you my dear" and "if you fall asleep down by the water, baby I'll carry you all the way home." Even better, it's not just straight up surf music but more...surf music meets the 80s (think the smiths, or joy division). I don't know what it is, but putting it on makes me want to ride shot gun with my feet out the windows, stay up till 4 am on a patio drinking with friends and wear a lot of sparkly eyeshadow. And I have to say, due to it's Southern California vibe it's been conjuring up some very distinct interior and fashion design ideas in my head.
For this kind of music I want exposed and untreated wood, shag carpets, succulents, and retro couches. Definitely not anything new or shiny that my wet swimsuit would ruin.

From a fashion perspective, the drums inspire a couple different looks. Either something super easy and sunkissed:
But it also makes me want to beehive my hair and put on a flouncy skirt and play it super retro:Clearly something that can inspire all this is worth a listen. Do you ever have fashion/music fantasies?
images via Bestor Architecture, Aubrey Road, Design Sponge (?), Vogue Australia, fashion images 2, 3, 5, 6 from dustjacket attic, image 4 coco + kelley

We're Going To Start This Nice. And Easy.

I am so excited to announce that my my multi-talented friend, call sign "GreenBalloon", is going to contribute some DIY projects to Subtlety of Taste. In addition to being a skilled artist, print maker, and just generally great craftsperson, she also has wonderful taste. You can see some of her awesome printmaking work here (she actually letterpressed save the dates for my own wedding). Her wedding was filled with so many touching little details, I knew others would definitely want to see some of these projects and maybe incorporate them into their own weddings. So without further ado:

So, the Matrioshka and I go way back. On the topic of taste, we've spent many an LA traffic jam and I5 cruise control stretch discussing such fundamental questions as, "IS taste something that can be objectively GOOD and BAD?" These nuggets were of course mere toppings on a conversational salad of Reality Bites quoting, but I digress...

I also recently had my wedding, after only a couple of months of planning and preparation. You may have, like myself, enjoyed M's little "tasteful adventures" on S.o.T. But in this planning process, I benefited from her headstart on wedding planning, not to mention her subtle curation of the overwhelming number of wedding blogs. For that I am grateful, and feel somewhat compelled to give back. As such, M has agreed to let me contribute the occasional post, focused initially on some of the wedding projects I took on and where such inspiration came from. Without further ado...

I needed to start with an easy one because a) I have a cold, b) it seems appropriate?

So, bunting. Who doesn't love bunting? It's vaguely nostalgic, bright & cheery, and pretty much means "there's a party going on. here."

I give you... bunting.

Credits: top left here, top right here, center here, center right here, lower right here, and lower left here

In terms of making bunting, it's pretty straight forward: fabric or paper triangles (or squares or half-crescents if you like to break with tradition) and some kind of cord or rope. It really depends on how you are going to use it: indoor or outdoor, flying free or against a backing, etc. You can make it much more complicated (and beautiful) by sewing two pieces of fabric together (with lining for structure) and using satin ribbon to string it all together. That would be great for accenting a table at a refined indoor reception. But that satin ribbon is going to untie on a breezy day at an outdoor wedding. In an indoor environment, people are more likely to inspect the details (but not necessarily) and at an outdoor event you just need big color that won't get lost in the landscape.

Our wedding was outdoors, so we went for big color and sturdy materials. I picked up some brightly patterned oilcloth remnant pieces at various fabric stores (oil cloth isn't cheap and since you're cutting it up anyway, go for those discounted remnants) and some gardening ribbon from the hardware store. Oh, and a stapler.

It doesn't look like much, but you could see that bunting from across the park. "Party. Here." Mission accomplished.

Are you excited about bunting yet?? If you are, but don't want to have to make your own, 100LayerCake just happens to be giving this one away this week:

Doesn't this make you want bunting of flags of the world?

Oct 27, 2010

sigh...pink walls

There was a time when we were really seriously considering painting our bedroom bright pink. After we moved, I fell in love with grey bedrooms but sometimes I'll come across a picture and my yearning for pink walls is totally reignited. This one below did it for me yesterday. I especially love the look of pink and red together (a color combination I really to use when dressing).
There is just something so happy and warm about pink. For some reason, I feel it is an inevitably retro color. And I love how it can either be super feminine or masculine depending on its saturation. When you get super saturated pinks (dare I say, "hot") as opposed to the more baby pinks above, it becomes almost so over the top that it stops being overly girly and even...masculine (definitely helped by a huge stag in the room below).
via Annika Backstrom, Elle Decor, This is Glamorous, design sponge, (no idea where this last one is from, sorry!)

ps. for those whose living with pink haters, Cassandra feels your pain.
pps. no pink walls, but I love the use of pink here.

Oct 26, 2010

what do we think of these?

I have decidedly gotten into the 70s thing. But dare I go here? Wouldn't these look awesome with a tuxedo shirt and some big glasses? Or are they going to be too weird?

From Emmerson Made (which has tons of other covetable items)

Dreaming of a White Christmas

I know, I know...it's not even Halloween. But I found these pictures yesterday and I knew I wouldn't be able to sit on them for the next two months. Basically, it comes down to this: I love me a beautiful, tall, and graceful Christmas tree. I love the smell as it permeates the house making you think about your family, yummy pies, and the thrill of wrapped presents. But that same smell....unfortunately gives someone some respiratory issues. A fake tree just seems like the saddest solution, doesn't it? Until I saw these pictures of an awesome vintage style fake white tree. Ordinarily I would not be into a fake tree, but I think I could get behind this.

I am definitely going to be on the look out for some awesome beading and gold ornaments in the weeks to come.

via Vintageportalen

Oct 25, 2010

Two Drastically Different Affairs

I really thought that once I actually had my wedding I would just be totally over looking at them...not so....at all. In some ways I enjoy looking at them even more. Instead of mining them for inspiration, they just remind me of those crazy wonderful feelings I experienced all day long.

Both of these weddings caught my eye in the past two weeks and I had to post a couple pictures and refer you to them because they are awesome in totally different ways. This first wedding comes from Sweden (not a surprise that I like it given my love of Swedish design). It took place in a green house from the 1800s! Isn't the bride gorgeous?! Her dress is Isabel Marant. And the sweetest part is that she and her husband performed as a gift to each other.

featured on the lovely Once Wed

The second wedding is the complete opposite. It's modern and dramatic and filled with little DIYs (go over to the link at the bottom to see them). I love the romantic landscape photos.
via one of my favorites, Green Wedding Shoes

Oct 21, 2010

The hills of Santa Teresa

When PB and I were booking our hotels in Rio we ran up against a little problem...the problem being we waited too long and all the hotels we wanted to stay at along Ipanema were booked. And while we were initially a little sad about it, we realized that it presented the perfect opportunity to stay in the Santa Teresa areas in the hills of Rio. We stayed in a villa converted to hotel called Relais Solar that presented amazing views of the entire city and quiet mornings reading out by the pool. We ate delicious kale and fried pork and feijoada along with these crispy cheese ravioli (I have no idea what they are called) at Bar do Mineiro. We also had a wonderful lunch at Espirito Santa of crab filled plantains, delicious vodka caipirinhas (you have to mix it up sometimes) and a coconut stew with shrimp. And we wondered along amazingly beautiful winding streets watching the way too cute street car pass by.

If you get a chance to go to Rio, I definitely recommend at least spending a meal and a few hours in the neighborhood. Oh, but don't try and take pictures of the tiled store shown above...you'll get in trouble :)

Oct 19, 2010

Wednesday = Half Way

This past weekend I flew out to California to celebrate one of my best friend's weddings (more to come on that!), and have a birthday celebration with my family. Then PB and I flew to Las Vegas for my first visit ever. Despite the fact that I am not a gambler I did enjoy the food (Bouchon? Yes, please) and crazy thematic hotels.
And this weekend, I am looking forward to actually getting a reasonable number of blog posts completed, karaoke in Annandale, and finally getting Grizzly (oh that's what we've decided to name the puppy!).


I have long lamented the fact that because we rent, putting up wallpaper isn't really feasible. I'm not about to spend a ton of money on some awesome wallpaper only to have to tear it down a few months later. But when we were staying at our hotel in Buenos Aires, I loved the way the designers had framed the wallpaper from the bedroom in the living room....and then it hit me...FRAMES!
Above: Inspiration. Below: in practice.
Now I just gotta find the wallpaper...

images: 1 and 2 by Me (Matrioshka) 3 via Abby Goes Design Scouting, 4 via Apartment Therapy.

Oct 13, 2010

The River is Overrun

Man! I have been trying to be a better blogger lately but working long hours has really made that difficult. And then...last night....we got our pictures from Matt and were basically out of commission all night as we poured over them. I will definitely share them soon!

But for now, isn't that couch great?! Just perfect with the heavy curtains and shag rug. Via Love with the Perfect Stranger

Oct 12, 2010

Sushi at Kushi

This past Saturday, PB and I finally made it to Kushi over in Gallery Place-ish and we were...fans. First of all, I loved loved loved the space. We got to sit right up next to the huge open kitchen at their bar. And it's just very sparse but somehow warm and welcoming.

And more importantly...second, oh second the food. We tried this crazy Japanese custard with shrimp, and mushrooms, that was like nothing I've ever had. Also, highly recommended was the grilled pork belly and short rib. And then...almost as an afterthought, we ordered the sausage stuffed quail. Seriously?! yes, seriously! So finger licking good. You must go, it's totally affordable and delicious. And if the setting and the decor weren't enough, you can wash it down with delicious cocktails (Yuzu Martini anyone?) and cold Japanese beer.


465 K Street, NW Washington DC


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