Friday Favorites: 06.23.17

I am so happy that it’s Friday, but am even more excited about our trip to Paris in a couple of days! Everyone in our office has been working so hard lately, so I am very much looking forward to a few days spent away from the office, enjoying the beauty of Paris and finding inspiration to bring back home.

Design: I have loved this dining room, designed by Neal Beckstedt for fashion designer, Derek Lam since it appeared in Architectural Digest a few years ago. In fact, I had it pinned to the giant inspiration board I used to have in our office. Lately, I have been very drawn to pale wood finishes and neutral palettes, so this elegantly composed, neutral dining room is right up my alley.

Style: I just started following the super chic French blogger, Marta Cygan on Instagram (@lifeofboheme) and love her timeless style. How chic is this simple, summer look complete with a basket a la Jane Birkin?

Watch: I realize that I am majorly late to the Veep party, but I am so glad that I finally made it! I caught part of an episode on HBO the other day, found it incredibly hilarious, and have been binge-watching ever since. I’m obsessed! How much do you love Gary?

Read: With my series, “The Style Files” and “Five Minutes With”, I am usually the one asking questions in order to learn more about people I find interesting and inspiring. Every so often, as I work on those posts, I think about how fun it would be to answer the questions myself. Well, this week, I was interviewed for two great Q & A’s! First, I chatted with Gen Sohr of Pencil & Paper about my style and favorite things for her series, “Creative Conversations“. Then, I spoke with my friends at Huff Harrington about my design aesthetic, travel, and sources of inspiration. I can’t wait to join them on a shopping trip in Paris this September! Next, I had a very interesting, in-depth conversation with The Lifestyle Edit about my career, design, and entrepreneurship in their Instagram series. You can read part one of the interview here and part two here.

Drink: My go-to drink is usually a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, but in the summer, I love a good rosé. While I don’t usually like frozen drinks, I finally had to see what all of the frosé fuss was all about and I have to say, I really liked it. It is so fun and festive! When it comes to rose, I prefer one that is a bit more dry and has a nice, very pale pink color. Bon Appetit has a great frosé recipe with some helpful tips for ensuring your frothy, pink drink is just right. 

Shop: Fourth of July is just around the corner! Between having our nation’s birthday upon us and heading to France whose flag shares the same colors as ours, I have been in the mood for red, white, and blue as of late. This red top is perfect for a dinner out, you can never go wrong with a great-fitting, pair of white jeans, and this bathing suit is super chic. Can we make this pattern into a linen sold by the yard, please? Below, you’ll find some of my favorite red, white, and blue picks!

Rhapsody in Blue

My friend, Kevin Walsh of Bearhill Interiors in Little Rock is a talented interior designer, shop owner, and one of the nicest people I know. His tailored, sophisticated style feels both fresh and timeless. We share an affinity for mixing traditional and modern elements and are both advocates of the cohesive color palette. Case in point, this beautiful house Kevin designed for his long-time clients for whom he had previously designed another home. The house is featured on the cover of the July/August issue of Southern Home magazine. Kevin emphasized the classic architecture and stunning moldings throughout the house with his expert use of color as well as by creating beautiful draperies that frame each room and draw the eye up.

The homeowner liked not only the look of the color blue, but more importantly, the way it made her feel, so Kevin used various shades of blue as the foundation for the color palette throughout the house, which he then accented with various neutrals and hints of lavender and purple. The result is beautiful and makes the entire home feel cohesive. Having an anchor color which serves as the thread that ties one room to the next is paramount in designing a soothing space that will tell the same story from one room to the next.

{Photography by Rett Peek for Southern Home Magazine}

Five Minutes With: Lucy Sykes

Lucy Sykes is a talented artist who hails from the world of fashion. She has worked as a stylist, editor, and fashion director. For six years, she was fashion director of Marie Claire and then went on to serve as fashion director for Rent the Runway. Lucy is also the creator of her eponymous children’s clothing line, Lucy Sykes New York which is sold in more than one hundred luxury retailers across the globe. Lucy moved to New York from the United Kingdom with her twin sister, Plum Sykes, who also happens to be an author, over twenty years ago. She currently resides in New York with her husband and their two children.

In addition to her glamorous career in fashion, Lucy is known as the co-author of the national Best Selling book, The Knockoff, which she co-authored with her writing partner Jo Piazza. After the tremendous success of their first book, Lucy and Jo set about writing their second book, Fitness Junkie, which officially hits shelves on July 11th and is debuting to rave reviews. I am so excited to dig into my copy on the plane to Paris next week! Fitness Junkie chronicles one woman’s obsession to fix her entire life by losing thirty pounds and trying every fitness fad along the way. We’ve all been there in one way or another. Fitness Junkie is just the type of delicious satire that I like to devour while on vacation. 

Paloma Contreras: How would you describe your style?

Lucy Sykes: High energy and natural. I would also say “American Euro,” as I love the European undone with the American gloss.

{Lucy at Home in New York as featured on One Kings Lane}

PC: Where do you turn for inspiration?

LS: Right now Hulu, Instagram, and Memoirs. I am inspired by strong women such as Joan Juliet Buck, her book has stung me like a hive of crazy bees. The beautiful writing and courage blew me away. I am obsessed with Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaids Tale, it’s a book I’ve read three times. Hulu has released a series based on the novel starring the extraordinary Elizabeth Moss. This interpretation of Atwood’s book is equally visually and mentally stunning. I have to pace myself with how many episodes I can watch in one sitting.

Girls on the street inspire me too. I find myself taking sneaky pictures of their shoes and hair. I am also inspired by my different tribes: book club, work out class, mom friends, fashion friends – all of them are the only reason I have two books to my name – everything that I write I heard somewhere!

{Two of Lucy’s Favorite Book}

PC: What was the best vacation you ever went on? Why?

LS: India was the best holiday because I thought I would hate it but I fell head over heels in love. The people, the hustle, the beauty, the realness. There is a magical atmosphere in India and it totally stole my heart.

{The Beautiful Bar Palladio in Jaipur}

PC: If you were forced to live in a hotel for a year, which one would you choose?

LS: I think I would like to retire to The Carlyle. It is old school and up-town which is very different than the life I currently lead in the West Village. I have always adored the Cabaret, the staff, the high tea, and the rooms are grand and spoiling.

{The Always Chic Carlyle Hotel}

PC: What is your guilty pleasure?

LS: I try to be good most of the time, but I love birthday cake. The best are from Magnolia Bakery. I am a big pudding girl. Eton mess, or anything with whipped cream is hard to resist. But really, my guilty pleasure which I indulge in way too much is caffeine. I worship deliciously high quality coffee and will travel for the perfect macchiato. Toby’s on 5th Avenue and 22nd Street has the best coffee and baristas down town!

{Scrumptious Cakes from Magnolia Bakery}


PS: How would you like to be remembered?

LS: As a good egg.

{Lucy at Home in New York as featured on One Kings Lane}

PC: What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

LS: To be good, you have to be obsessed. 

{Lucy’s New Novel, Fitness Junkie, Co-Authored with Jo Piazza}

PC: If you could pick six dream dinner party guests, who would you choose and why?

LS: The Obamas. For me, they are the most admired, authentic, spiritual humans on the planet. I would also say Ivanka Trump (though at a separate dinner party). I think it would be an incredible opportunity to listen to someone who I admire about their beliefs, but who I do not understand. Kim Kardashian. I am intrigued at how she did it. Halston, I wish I had experienced that time in fashion culture. The first high/mass celebrity American designer. Lady Diana. I want to know ALL of it, and I adore her strength and beauty.

{The Iconic Lady Diana Immortalized by Mario Testing in 1997}

PC: Which skill do you dream of mastering?

LS: My computer!

PS: What is your favorite recent discovery?

LS: Exercise!

LDV Edit: Top Summer Sandals

{Image Source}

I love sandal season! Luckily for me, living in Houston, sandal season usually stretches further throughout the year than it does in other places. I am tall and while style is definitely important in my world, so is comfort, which means I tend to prefer flat sandals or those with low heels. The low, block heel is the best thing ever invented! Chic, classic, and comfortable enough to wear from day to night, it really is tough to beat. Summer also means my style gets a little bit more bohemian, so flat gladiator sandals and slides are also a must. There are so many stylish sandals on the market right now, but these are the ones my team and I are currently loving. My wish list just got a little longer!

{1. Mansur Gavriel Suede Mules | 2. M.Gemi The Gemello Slides | 3. Aquazzura Wild Thing Slides | 4. Nicholas Kirkwood Casati Suede Sandals | 5. Inara City Sandals | 6. Loeffler Randall Eryn City Sandals | 7. Suede Criss-Cross Sandals | 8. Stuart Weitzman Nudistchains Canvas Sandal | 9. Carrie Forbes Adam Pom Pom Slides | 10. Álvaro Aurore Rope and Leather Sandals | 11. Braided Slide Sandals | 12. Friendsy Raffia Slides | 13. Tibi Noah Metallic Sandal | 14. Chloé Scalloped Sandals | 15. Ancient Greek Eleftheria Sandals | 16. Nantucket Flat Sandals | 17. Loeffler Randall Sarie Sandals | 18.Fortaleza Braided Sandals | 19. Kana Lace-Up Gladiator Sandals | 20. Beek Pippit Sandals | 21. TopShop Leopard Slides | 22. Saint Laurent Tribute Slide Sandal | 23. Jack Rogers Lauren Sandals | 24. Tory Burch Gemma Metallic Slide}