Inspiration: The Anderson's Rustic Chic Wedding

September 30, 2010

I just can't get enough of this gorgeous wedding! I'm so delighted to share all the beautiful details of Laurel and Nicholas Anderson's Telluride, Colorado wedding. A close friend of mine introduced me to Laurel because she had planned, designed, and executed her own wedding. I'm always eager to meet wonderfully talented people and share their work with others. Laurel couldn't be more delightful, and what a real genius! She enjoyed the entire wedding planning process so much, she decided to start her own event planning and design company - Esla Event Planning + Design. She has great taste and amazing attention to detail, as evident in her own rustic chic wedding.

Laurel and Nic met in 2005 when they both worked at Stone Yamashita Partners, a small boutique innovation consulting firm. The two Stanford grads hit it off from day one with a memorable introduction in the company break room. One conversation lead to another  and the rest was history. Nic's goofy character and Laurel's adventurous nature were a match made in heaven. A couple of years later, Nic proposed to Laurel along the beautiful coast of Maine during the fourth of July weekend. 

The wedding took place in Colorado, Laurel's hometown. It was the perfect location and reflected their down-to-earth nature. Laurel focused on lots of simple and elegant details and executed them to perfection. Here are the gorgeous photos of their special day:


Doesn't matter if it rained, the umbrellas look so chic!

Hand stamped linen bags filled with rose petals for each guest:

The programs coordinated with the invitations and were hand-sewn.

Friend Christina played the violin during Laurel's walk down the aisle.

Love this father and daughter shot!

They are so sweet! The couple paired with nature = breathtaking! The flowers were so simple and understated, they complemented the rustic charm of all the details through pops of color. LOVE the peonies of course!

Gotta love a bride who can have fun with mud on her Louboutin's! In Laurel's words: City girly-girl meets Colorado outdoorswoman!


Nicholas Anderson and Laurel Kropuenske (now Anderson)
Wedding date: June 26, 2010
Location: Telluride, Colorado (where Laurel grew up)
Size: About 90 guests

In Laurel's words:

Our Personal Style:
While “modern” is something that is tossed around so much it’s hard to know exactly what you mean by it, that’s the first word that comes to mind as our normal style. But really, it’s the idea that clean lines can often be the most beautiful, simple but well-designed and thoughtful “things” can be the most stunning or, often, work the best. Basically, you won’t find a lot of clutter in our house, but you will find a lot of deliberate details – bold paintings, little hand carved toy cars, and little trinket boxes from Iran, Tanzania, and Cambodia.“Modern” however did not jive so well with our chosen wedding location: a rustic lodge in the middle of the Colorado Rockies. So, from day one, the challenge was how to find a look that felt authentic to both us and the setting.   

The Vibe of Our Wedding:
Ultimately our look was what I called, “Rustically Modern Garden Party.” Think Anthropologie but in the mountains. Nic and I really focused on trying to create a fresh, clean, and vibrant feeling through some of the design details. This was achieved in part with our color palette, which had a bright pea green as the main color and accents of scarlet. To be true to the setting and venue, however, we did a lot of these details with a sort of whimsical, almost nostalgic vibe. For example, we gave guests little linen bags with pink petals in them to toss. The material and color of the bags felt very rustic and homey, but the design of the stamp that went on the outside provided a burst of color and used modern fonts and layout styles. It was an ongoing challenge to make sure things felt unified even though they were crossing the “modern-rustic divide”—but I think it worked!

The Vendors:

Ceremony and Reception Site: 
Holli Owens, Telluride Ski and Golf 

Invitation design: 
Becky Hui Chan, Honey & Bloom

Melissa Plantz

Jean-Louis Capelli

Susie Mead, Siempres Flowers

The Power Company

Robin Berndt

Viking Rentals

Dean Rolley

The rustic setting, hand-made details, pops of color, and thoughtful touches came together so effortlessly and conveyed Laurel and Nic's vision perfectly.  Congratulations on your new venture Laurel! We wish you all the best and cannot wait to see more of your amazing work!

For more information on Esla Event Planning + Design, please contact Laurel Anderson at:

Artistic Collision: Mary Katrantzou

September 20, 2010

I've been busy researching trends for 2011, and I must say I'm extremely excited for what's in store for our closets and our homes. What happens when art meets interiors meets fashion? Can you say Mary Katrantzou? Known for infusing amazing illustrations into her architecturally chic clothes, her new Spring 2011 collection boasts whimsical details inspired from old issues of Architectural Digest and World of Interiors. I am seeing a lot of extremely sculptural pieces on the runway, and her collection by far is the most whimsical. This collection should be displayed at the MoMA. Bas relief and trompe l'oeil details combine with interior illustrations and result in a 3D work of wearable art. 





Now let's see how retailers translate this collection! I must say I'm a big fan of her clothing construction. The silhouettes look so fresh and the color palette is definitely invigorating.


Inspiration: White Done Right

I have a huge collection of tear sheets from magazines tucked in my file drawer and an immense digital library of all my favorite rooms on my laptop. Once in a while I go through them and find inspiration for new designs. Most images call out to me because of a certain detail or style that I adore. However there are a handful of photos that I'm drawn to because of pure perfection. Those images of rooms that are just so darn beautiful that I wouldn't and couldn't change a thing. I've decided to feature a couple of my favorites . Let's start with my favorite white space. Just to be clear- we ditched the "no white after labor day" rule a long time ago.

White is my favorite decorating color alongside my signature gray. It's clean, it's fresh, it's timeless, and it's just practical. My living areas are bathed in white, my office is white, all my bed sheets and towels are white and I have big old comfortable couches in my living room fitted with white slipcovers - which I must say- are easier to maintain than you think (even with a toddler running around.....can you say Oxiclean?). For me it just makes more sense to have white than any other color because it's the only one that actually looks better over time. My white slipcovers have only gotten whiter and brighter after washing, as opposed to other colors that just fade and dull over time. 

The thing with white is - it's very tricky. Done completely wrong- it can feel sterile and cold. It can look clean in one light, yet extremely dirty alongside other colors. Most people associate it with extremely modern and sparse spaces like art galleries, museums, and also what you get when you purchase a cookie-cutter home. It's seen as the safest color. I've heard "you can't go wrong with white" too many times. But let me tell you - yes you CAN go wrong with white!  White is not just white. There are so many shades of white and each of them can either work with or against your space. There are the creamy, yellow based whites. There are the bluish whites, the pinkish whites....etc. It's a true gift to effortlessly and successfully design with white - specially when it is more than just an accent and an actual statement.

Well here is an example of one home that I think does white perfectly.  Monelle Totah's San Francisco flat is one of my dream homes. She's the head of design at Williams-Sonoma Home, and with good reason- she is a genius! Not only do I love the style of the space (this is what heaven looks like to me), there is not one thing I would like to change. It's cozy, bright, chic, laid-back, functional, and downright gorgeous. The combination of furniture styles, textures, artwork, and architectural details come together effortlessly. It's white with a smart sprinkling of color that gives off energy in appropriate doses. Here is one of my fantasy homes...white done right:

Monelle Totah's San Francisco flat featured in ElleDecor's July/August 2009 issue:

Photos: ElleDecor

Bargain Finds: Thrift Store Score

September 18, 2010

A couple of weeks ago I dropped by my local Goodwill Store. Since it's conveniently located next to a grocery store I frequent, I end up making a little detour once in a while. It's a small, dingy, and to be quite honest depressing little shop. Nevertheless, I always open my mind to the possibilities and psych myself up for the thrill of the hunt. It is really like a treasure hunt. You need to look beyond the gritty displays and objects hidden beneath layers and layers of dirt. 

More often than not I leave empty handed. But on that day, I hit a gold mine. I scored 10 lovely pieces - get this- for $25! Three solid brass candlesticks, four milk glass vases, one silver tray, a glass and brass votive bowl, and a golden brass compote. I was beyond thrilled! Needless to say, they did not look like that picture above - it took me almost an hour to polish all the brass and silver pieces and wash my new vases.

Without a doubt, my favorite pieces from this wonderful find are these gorgeous vintage milk glass vases! They were less than $2 each! I started my milk glass collection last year, and this will make a great addition. I adore their modern quality and the fact that they are such versatile accessories.  The silver tray was $1. How can you go wrong with that? 

The brass pieces were so dull and dirty, my hands were sore after polishing them. It was worth it. They look amazing! The glass and brass bowl holds a votive candle, and I filled it with some of my WSH Safari potpourri. It will be fun to find different ways of dressing it up. The brass candlesticks (taper candles not included), are just classic home accents that work well in any style of room. The compote will work perfectly as a jewelry catch-all or small vase.

The silver tray looks great on my desk as a mail catch-all!