A Note on Style: A Clean Slate

Happy New Year! It’s Karima from A Note on Style with my monthly guest post on what’s shaping my moodboard for January.

The simple act of turning a page in a calendar from one year to the next sparks the desire to reflect and reset. I look back on the prior year to identify the good and bad and apply what I’ve learned moving forward. Both professionally and personally, I treat January as my clean slate to create a to-do list for the coming year. Without a strict timeframe, it’s a list I’ll refer to throughout the year to stay on track. It includes projects for the home, planning itineraries for travel and establishing habits for personal growth.

photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

January also stirs a craving for a fresh palette and desire to lighten things up in both my closet and home. I usually gravitate to white, but recently I’ve become attracted to something a little warmer and soft. Bright white paint has dominated the interior landscape world in Southern California (including my home) for years, so seeing hues with hints of color look sophisticated and timely. Benjamin Moore’s 2019 Color of the Year is a perfect example. A soft grey, with green and blue undertones, Metropolitan AF-690 translates beautifully to a range of interiors, suiting the taste for traditional, elegant, modern or contemporary styles.

photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore
photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore
photo courtesy of Benjamin Moore

Travel is a continual source of inspiration. Aside from taking in the food, culture and sights, I become absorbed in the design aspects of a destination. The influence of location on interior design is a study I pay special attention to. Hours of daylight, climate, and access to space are just a few of the elements that shape the way people live and create a home. In 2019, I plan on delving into the culture and style realm of Florence and London.

Last year, with another trip to Amsterdam, my infatuation with Dutch design grew further. Even before my first visit to The Netherlands years ago, I was enamored with the pared back look and muted palette of Dutch style. Unknowingly, it turned out my favorite hotel in Amsterdam, The Dylan, was re-designed by Remy Meijers, an interior designer whose work I’ve long admired. Sophisticated, contemporary simplicity at its finest.

photo: Rene Gonkel / The Dylan Amsterdam
photo: Rene Gonkel

Switching gears, the start of the new year also introduces the opportunity to reassess all matters of wellness. From what I injest (this easy to make detox soup) to what I put on my skin, it’s the perfect time to make adjustments if needed.

dry brushing deborah lippmann polish
I remain dedicated to products that work. I’ll continue with the daily pre-shower ritual of dry brushing and enjoy the benefits of improved circulation and exfoliated, smooth skin. I tried to give my nails a break from polish the last few months and am eager to paint them with one of my favorite pinks. Deborah Lippmann has the prettiest color range, plus, the polishes are infused with ingredients to nourish nails and prevent damage.

Recently, I discovered Westman Atelier, a tightly edited cosmetic line created by makeup artist Gucci Westman. I am absolutely hooked on the Vital Skin Foundation Stick. It’s hands down the best foundation I’ve ever used, and can’t imagine a better product replacing it.


A few colors in the range.

Lastly, the renewed sense of starting anew continues with the selection of pieces I want to wear now. A pale palette of neutrals looks relaxed and sophisticated, perfect for a month of nesting. Theory’s cashmere top and pant look very tempting for lounging about. The Row’s shoulder bag in oyster is a season-less pick and the small size reflects my current mood to pare back and carry less. Easing into a slip-on is always a good choice and makes getting dressed a breeze. Gucci’s coated canvas espadrille would certainly elevate my everyday casual looks.


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  1. I love Benjamin Moore’s 2019 Color of the Year, Metropolitan! And those beautiful Deborah Lippmann nail colours make me wish I could grow my nails longer than 1/32 of an inch – LOL!