Inspiration + Sara Berman's Closet

I find Ms. Berman very inspiring as an unknown lady, who became recognized for her all white attire and orderly closet of simplistic objects that she possessed. A replica of her closet is currently on display at The Met. 

It's been a while

It's been quite a while since I have written anything here, so I'll just talk about the important events that have happened in the past two years. To start, I finally found some time to update my site, which includes the addition of new work as well as blog posts about past projects and inspirational outings. While I have been busy working on some interesting styling and interior design projects, I also have been dedicating most of my time attending graduate school to obtain a masters degree in education. A year ago, I decided to shift my career path and pursue teaching children. This direction in education has lead me to my current job as an assistant teacher at a private school – which I love! Although I spend my days teaching first grade children and my nights as a grad student, I still continue (when I can) to work as a stylist and interior designer – on the side. As a creative person, it has been quite a fulfilling as well as an exciting journey to become someone who is able to bestow my knowledge and ideas to little ones. I couldn't ask for a better way to spend my days, both as a teacher and an artist.

Last year, there was also a new addition to my household. Please meet my cat, Smokey. Charles and I brought him in as a stray. Smokey used to live on our street block in Harlem. When he was a friendly street cat, we used to visit him for the occasional feeding or petting session. Because Smokey became severely injured from a cat fight, he developed an abscess on his forehead which became infected. With the help of a neighbor, we managed to trap him and take him to the vet. However, on the way to the vet, Smokey managed to break free from the cage and run away. Despite our efforts to search for him in midtown and post flyers, he was missing for two days. Thankfully, a lady saw our flyer, spotted Smokey hanging around in a park, and called us immediately to retrieve him. His capture was less than simple. Smokey put up a fight and went into hiding, deep inside a bush. A cat rescue crew, along with Charles and I waited a whole day with "Looney Toon-like" traps for him to come out – but he never did. After a long night, Smokey finally was forced out of the bush by two large dogs being walked. While the dogs were barking at him, we seized the moment to grab him – which took four people to wrangle him into a cage. Happy to say that he did make it to the vet and made a full recovery. After that whole rescue debacle, Charles and I had to take Smokey in. A long story short, he is now our cat – grumpy and content – in our home, after one year.

Due to Smokey's popularity as a neighborhood street cat, I made an Instagram account for him for our neighbors who continually ask how he is doing. Follow his story @smokeyfromtheblock.

A Beach Wedding

Two summers ago, my favorite creative partner, Nikelle, and I styled a beach wedding together. Since then, Nikelle has been incredibly successful in her path towards becoming a floral designer. Not only has she established herself as one of the most successful florists in Raleigh, North Carolina – she also has become a notable small business entrepreneur, by opening up her own floral shop. The shop doubles as a place to buy flowers as well as a retail space to purchase a curated selection of small gifts. Nikelle's company is called Wylde and has gained much recognition for her stunning floral creations. I often find inspiration in Nikelle's work and I feel so fortunate to have been a part of her journey towards becoming a talented florist.

Hibiki's 8th Birthday Party

On November 24th 2015, my sister (Janice) and I helped create and decorate a birthday party for my best friend Mami's daughter, Hibiki. It was a "sewing" themed party – where Hibiki and her closest friends were surrounded by sewing décor, indulged in sweet treats, and learned how to sew a small purse. Our lovely Hibiki turned eight that day.

Design inspiration + Egon Schiele + Cafe Sabarsky

Visited the Neue Galerie over the weekend and saw the Egon Schiele exhibit. Back in 2011, I had the luxury of seeing his exhibit, entitled 'Women' in London at the Richard Nagy Ltd. Gallery. Seeing his work again after 4 years, I found myself moved, for a second time, by the grace and beauty that lives in the crudeness of his art. 

I was able to see this exhibit with my sister, Janice and my best friend Mami. Janice was the one who introduced me to Schiele's work so it was really nice to see this with her. See her post about the exhibit here (hml/egonschiele)

Inside the Neue Galerie

Early lunch at one of my favorite places in NYC, Cafe Sabarsky

The last day of winter... hopefully

This winter has been pretty brutal. Although I do love the snow, I will have to be honest and say that I am READY for spring. As I stored my winter boots away on Monday (last week) thinking it would be spring soon, on that Friday, March 20th snow unexpectedly fell and fell hard again. I guess winter did not want to leave quietly before the first day of spring.

Photo of Charles on the phone looking out of our apartment window.

January visit to DC

House, 30th Street in NW Georgetown, DC

Just thinking of my last trip to DC and how nice it was to spend time with my sister, her husband and their cat Frances.

Gift from Japan

My friend Mami and her husband, Keichi, brought back a thoughtful housewarming gift from Japan. I have to comment on the perfection of Japanese packaging. It is absolutely exquisite the way every detail is thought out. I don't normally keep the packaging with objects given to me, but these are much too pretty and special to throw away.

The Talented Miss Hibiki

I had to post this gift made by my friend's daughter, Hibiki. She is only 6 and can fold simple pieces of paper into working objects and intricate shapes. While at lunch, she made this letter and envelope along with other origami paper creations in seconds. What I find most fascinating about this one in particular, is the fact that Hibiki was able to envision the whole concept of a letter in an envelope from start to finish without any help–somehow knowing the process from front to back, inside and out. She also amazed me when she declined the kid's menu and instead ordered an omelette with a salad! Such a sophisticated palete! She is quite the bright and creative little girl and I look forward to seeing how she grows up.

Pirate Ship & Max's Birthday

My nephew, Max celebrated his 4th birthday a couple days ago. Have been reminiscing about the time I was with him when he turned 2 and I built a cardboard pirate ship for him that day (with help from Charles). My brother was building a bed from Ikea and he handed me the discarded box and said "Hey, make something out of this for Max." Without hesitation, I said ok. We decided to make a pirate ship since Max seemed to be obsessed with pirates at the time. Everything just came together once I started cutting the big rectangular box. After about an hour the ship was finished! Complete with a poop deck, moving mast and sail, a canon, an anchor and even a place for Max (and Claire) to sit. He absolutely loved it!

Max's pirate ship built January 20th 2013

Happy 2015!

As I said good-bye to 2014, I reflected on everything that I was able to start and accomplish. Not only was I able to work on some amazing projects, I was extremely fortunate to work with so many talented people. I look forward to working with them again in 2015. Happy new year!

White Holiday Party 2014

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Most holiday parties consist of red and green décor or something colorfully festive, but not this party. The theme was white and everything (except a few red chairs) from my client's apartment to the food and drinks were white! All the whiteness was the perfect choice for a wintry, icy, modern and elegant holiday party in December.

As you can see from the last photo, I had a lot of fun styling (as well as attending) this event! 
Photo of me was taken (secretly) by my client.

Thanksgiving 2014

November into December has been a bit hectic so please excuse my late post.

Thanksgiving in Pennsylvania, as always, was an incredible time. This year, Wylde, handmade letters, and I worked together to create a beautiful table setting and bar area. We managed to make everything work, despite the 90's furniture and hodgepodge of plates and utensils at my parents' house! I created a petite place setting for my niece Claire (5) and nephew Max (3.5). I thought it was time they finally graduate to the adult table. Not only was it nice to include them with everyone, it was also funny watching them drink out of little stemmed cordial glasses!

Working with Wylde

I had the opportunity to work with Wylde, a small flower company in Raleigh, NC. We created all of the flower arrangements, boutineers, wristlets, and cake décor for a wedding. Lots of late nights and early mornings were involved with this job but it was truly a rewarding experience to work alongside someone who complements my sense of style and creative vision. Looking forward to working on more projects with Wylde.

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Orton Place, NC - Before & After

Here are more photos from my clients' Raleigh home. I've added the before shots for these rooms in particular because they needed the most organization. Seems like an effortless feat when you see the after photos consisting of a tidy closet and more welcoming foyer, a mess of special notes that became artwork, a clean and efficient office, and a transformed storage area into a future kid's room. Voilá!

Paper projects

These little gifts started out as ordinary oblong packages wrapped in colorful paper. Once I added the bow and Charles and I drew on them, the boxes suddenly had a personality all their own! I can't think of a better way to send a gift en route to two special kids.

Design Inspiration + Henri Matisse

Photo from MoMA.org

Photo from MoMA.org

I saw the Matisse Cut-Outs exhibit at MoMA today. If you want to be inspired by his use of hand-cut paper and playful compositions of shape, color, and space then I recommend that you see this. It is on view at MoMA from October 12th 2014 to February 8th 2015. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!