by caroline, fabulous room friday, interiors

#frf . . .commune kitchen (for the love of bottle green)

time again for my bi-monthly column, #frf (fab room friday).  this week:  a kitchen by commune.  i am not sure i have ever, like, EVER considered decorating with bottle green.  it has just never kindled my creative fires.  and then this amazing kitchen came along and stopped me dead in my tracks. . .

commune is a design shop that is a modern-day bauhaus.  the collective design force covers the waterfront of design from graphic media and advertising to interior design and architecture, to interior merchandising.  the kitchen i feature here is the home of ramen shimshiri, one of the four founders of commune, who’s kitchen renovation and design of his 1920’s los feliz, california, home focused on saving and maintaining the gothic-arched windows that were original.  those arches are amaze-balls, to be sure, but its the green that stopped me cold.

i think what makes the green work is it’s play against the crisp clean and modern white, the honey tones of the natural wood, and the deep black references in the window casing and the commune-designed concrete mexican floor tiles (part of their “native” collection, available for purchase from commune here).   extending the same tiles onto the courtyard patio is such an amazing idea, at once rendering indoor and outdoor equal, cohesive, and un-interrupted.  the green then echos through the verdant plantlife draping the walls and bordering the courtyard. perfection! i really need to sip a mojito around sunset on that patio!!!

i love how unpretentious the kitchen is — there are no fancy materials or showy anything.  the materials and fixtures have a modesty that allows the awesomeness of the design to hold center stage.

if you have the time, you should check out commune;  it is largely considered among the most important design firms in california.  i became familiar with them through an article a couple of years ago in vogue and through regular stalking of my girl crush, jessica de ruiter (read my previous post, jessica’s jeans, here) who’s husband, jed, is an artist and designer at commune and who collaborated with jessica on the recent re-design of their silver lake home.  click here to see the picts of their gorgeous home and a fabulous feature on jessica at rip +tan, jenni kayne’s awesome blog.   enjoy!

have a great weekend!










all photos via and

by martha

super bowl party part uno…

super bowl commercial bingo

just a few days from the big game. this year i really don’t have a dog in the fight but i’m excited about seeing the commercials, especially if they are all like this. (which by the way makes me tear up every time) so how can i make the game more interesting if all i really care about are the commercials. what about a little super bowl commercial bingo. check this out. Essentially, each card has a list of categories and sponsors and the first to fill up a row etc… wins! a game that both adults and kids alike can play.

now the always classic one buy a square; again another easy game to assemble and one everyone can play. this one does require you to watch the game or at least know what the score is after each quarter but you also have a chance to win a little money to buy some of the classics caroline has been telling us about.

so lets talk about food; because i’m not martha stewart, i’m not going to give you some elaborate recipe to try. for real who has time for that?  plus it has to appeal to all ages, so just a few simple ideas and we let also throw out there; paper plates people! we want to set up and then throw it all away. no dishes to wash.

i’m all about the food bar. let’s talk nacho bar. i love this idea. cook some ground beef; grab some tortilla chips and any other toppings such as black beans, jalapenos, shredded lettuce; black olives; line them up on your counter and let your guests dig in.

the hamburger bar; again so simple; cook some hamburgers (or even hotdogs); grab accompiants from the classic cheese to the surprising guacamole. let your imagination go and just lay it out there.

make your own pizza. again, like the hamburger bar, you can go the classic mozzarella and pepperoni to feta and prosciutto . one helpful hint. before putting in the oven; grab a permanent marker and label your oven tray with a number and give your guest a number so you will know which pizza belongs to who.

tomorrow, i’ll have a few more ideas but on the libations side.



by caroline, handbags, shoes, sunglasses

kate’s closet . . .

can you even imagine what kate moss’s closet must look like?  thanks to british vogue, we no longer have to wonder. they hooked us up with photos of what it looks like to have the best closet, like, ever.  i’ve teased out my favorite shots below (all from her closet) but you can fetch the full story, released yesterday, with plenty of fantastic photos of Kate’s home, here.




“My handbags are arranged by: black vintage, black daytime, bling evening, Chanel, colourful daytime and, lastly, simple clutches.. I usually carry a classic Louis Vuitton bowling bag.”


“My wardrobe is brimming with Louboutins – the classic black Pigalle stiletto in patent or matt black leather is my go-to shoe. I have so many pairs that Christian designed a style with a sharper toe and nail-thin heel, which he named the So Kate.”


“Sunglasses are for playing dress-up. I collect anything from the original Ray-Ban shapes through to Seventies Aviators or Eighties mask shades.”


all photos by michael trow


by caroline

the basics . . . the black turtleneck sweater

omg, are you already bored???  hold up.   seriously, y’all, it’s really time to do the “grown up” closet.  and not the “i’m still trying to make it at my first job” closet.  part of that is bearing up under the complete boredom of investing in quality basics.  because, let’s face it: it is soooooooooooo much more interesting and exciting to buy a colorful “spring coat” or handbag right now, am i right?

but, there are much greater dividends to be had in the quality basics sector.  promise.  you never, ever regret investing in the highest quality basics you can afford.  this is not license to throw caution to the wind and start buying things you cannot afford simply because they are “basics.”  but, as when buying antiques and furniture, because of their enduring nature, you serve yourself to buy the best you can afford, and leave the poorer quality, cheaper pieces to those that have a high rate of turnover, i.e., trendy pieces.

enter the black turtleneck sweater.  you really need this gal, and a quality one, in your closet.  she can take you through any sitch you can dream up in the fall, winter, and early spring.  she looks great with jeans, she looks great with slacks, she makes your winter coats look more chic and stylish just in the peak we see above the collar.

my absolute favorite is ann mashburn’s cashmere boyfriend version, available here.  the cashmere is sturdy yet supple, it does not pill easily or attract lint (two great ways to tell you just bought really cheap cashmere or wool), the proportions are great, hitting below the hip bone to give that casual edge but tailored through the shoulders so as not to appear sloppy.  (i feel strongly that you are going to want this piece to be modestly slouchy — you are getting into a whole different territory when the turleneck gets snug).   gucci, equipment, and victoria beckham each have fantastic options available here, here, and here.

you must maintain your investment.  washing in cold water actually strengthens the cashmere fibers (just make sure you are washing in cold water and laying flat to dry).  the laundress totally hooks you up with their wool & cashmere shampoo (which includes a how-to on the back of the bottle) available here.

below: a super sweet scroll of the love affair between the style icon and the black turtleneck, plus a couple of modern-day streetstyle picts to keep it fresh.  enjoy!



kate . . .black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-kate-moss-stylebriefs

jackie . . . black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-jacqueline-kennedy-stylebriefs

audrey . . .black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-audrey-hepburn-stylebriefs



daria . . .Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-daria-werbowy

 ali . . .Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-ali-macgraw

marilyn . . . Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-marilyn-monroe


kate . . .Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-kate-moss

elin kling . . . (follow her blog here)Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-elin-kling



olivia palermo . . .Black-turtleneck-sweater-streetstyle-stylebriefs-olivia-palermo

about the men, by martha, music

this one is about the boys…

st. paul and the broken bones

st. paul and the broken bones

i’m a huge fan of st. paul and the broken bones; maybe it’s because my formative years were spent at a school in south alabama by the same name or maybe it’s because the band is always so well dressed. in any event i’m begging you to go check them out. you can see them here or here or download their album here then pour yourself a glass of wine and sit by the fire and enjoy.

but besides their powerful vocals they always look like they could leave the stage and head straight to a party without skipping a beat; so i started thinking… i love a well dressed man. i don’t want something too funky; i’m a classic kind of gal with a twist. put a man into a pair of well fitting slacks, a nice blazer and a simple button down and i’m sold. i don’t even mind changing the jeans for the slacks as long as there are simple; no designs on the butt or no holes in the crotch; and please do not wear a floral shirt unless you are in hawaii and even then…

here are a few of my favorite st. paul and the broken down looks. the word that keeps coming back to me is natty; these guys are debonair. you won’t see lead singer paul janeaway without a pocket square; and more than the half the band are wearing ties during a set looking elegant and dapper. cheers to this band that brings good style to their looks and their music.








by caroline, red carpet

red carpet report . . . the sags

the sag awards are, to most of us, the award show between the globes and the oscars where everyone wears their 2d runner up — the dress that did not win the competition for the oscars, and also did not win 1st runner-up slot for the globes. . . until last night. there were a – LOT of gals that fumbled at the globes working hard for redemption last night.

below are my top ten. . .


emma stone in dior. . .
perfection.  nailed it.  my choice for best dressed.  love.


rashida jones in ungaro. . .
every now and then a girl comes along that can wear a heavy bang. this is one of those girls and this one of those moments. i get that most people probably hate this. but i am crazy about it. it just looks so fresh and cool. and spot on. and what? modern. super love.


felicity jones in balanciaga. . .
this is one of those where i just could not find a photo that did the dress and the styling justice. trust me, this one was supercalifragilistic. every detail was perfection. the coloring was just dreamy with her complexion. . .


julianne moore in givenchy. . .
i love a red head in green. this was spectacularly simple yet exquisite in every detail. love the styling and her hair especially. . .


jennifer anniston in vintage galliano. . .
whew! i like classic jen: great tan. great hair. great bod. simple dress. i don’t like the “pushing the fashion envelope” jen that showed up at the globes. i think she got the message. soooo glad classic jen came to the sags!


kiera knightly in erdem . . .
someone else’s globes experiment was a bust . . . (Eira-Kay Ightly-Nay). love this purple erdem confection. it plays up her still fab figure and thin arms and her hair looks great. love this. much better than a riff on old dutch masters. . .


viola davis in custom max mara . . .
i just. love. this. i just do. it is so perfect for her i cannot imagine anything that she will ever wear will ever look as good. expertly tailored. those shoulders . . . that skin. wow. love.


claire danes in marc jacobs . . .
thank you carrie mattheson for taking your meds and going for full hollywood glamour!! when claire does full face and hair and pulls on a figure-flattering frock, you just can’t stop her! this is fab. and, after the globes, i am not even going to say anything about maybe her hair is maybe over done.  i am just going to skip that. . .


sophia bush in vivienne westwood. . .
fab! great work. love me some vivienne westwood. the corset is perfection on her slender frame. the hair looks fresh and modern. . .


camilla alves in donna karen. . .
gorgeous. omg. she is amazing. . .
could someone please tell matthew mcconaughey to stop it. seriously. . .


some thoughts on people who didn’t make the list . . .

julianna margoles . . . so close and yet so far away. she just can’t seem to get there. it’s a hair and make-up thing, i think. also, this dress makes her look kind of busty and she is a rail. i just don’t love it.

Julianna Margulies

julia roberts . . .
no. wrong. wrong. wrong. wrong.  did she borrow someone’s jumpsuit?  who sent her out of the house with this on???  julia has enough clout to tell the seamstress she is just going to have to let a couple of the seams out and re-hem the pant legs.  no excuses here.


all photos courtesy of,, and

best dressed, by martha, classic looks, denim ideas, jeans, jeans stories, spring 2015

there was just a hint…

this past weekend there was finally some much needed sunshine and we warmed into the 60’s. now i know that will be short lived (hello! a chance of snow flurries; i didn’t mean that fast a turnaround) but whenever that happens i can’t help myself but start drooling over the spring items that are flooding my in box. but i don’t want to buy something that will just sit in my closet for the next three months waiting for it to warm up for good. so this time of year when making a “spring” purchase, i first look in my closet to see how i can “warm” it up with layers so it gets some good use right now.

here is a sweater i found on shopbop. with a touch of linen it definitely screams spring but i also know the cold will be coming back with a vengeance like… today. here are a couple of ways you can wear it now and what you can do to wear it later.



winter look:

black jeans and long sleeve t-shirt with over the knee boots

stuart weitzman lowland boots

stuart weitzman lowland boots

now for the spring look:

depending on how cool it is keep the long sleeve shirt or if it is warm enough make it a short sleeve. add a pair of white jeans and a pair of flats and voila an entirely new look for a new season.



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