Country Cottage Couture

February 26, 2010

cou·ture (k-tr, -tür)n.

1. The business of designing, making, and selling highly fashionable, usually custom-made clothing for women.
2. Dressmakers and fashion designers considered as a group.
3. The high-fashion clothing created by designers.

[French, sewing, from Old French cousture, from Vulgar Latin *cnstra, from Latin cnsuere, cnst-to sew togethercom-com-suere,to sew; see sy- in Indo-European roots.]
hmmmmm…
Despite this definition’s obvious allegiance to cloth…I think I can stretch the word’s use and understanding to describe “the business of designing, making, and selling highly fashionable, usually custom-made” decor for homes.
Ok!
Then…I also have to stretch the word “custom-made”
to describe anything put on this earth and/or crafted by human hands
that was proverbially meant just for one special space.
So…
to me…
in my Utopia…
when grouped with “country” and “cottage”…
the word “couture” becomes everything BUT it’s connotation alone.
It becomes the heart and soul and singularity of a truly country cottage inspired space.
I was swept away this week by the 2010 Cottage Style publication…which I am about to steal from my mother’s collection.  Page after page of gleaming whites, gorgeous wood tones and glimmering strokes of teal and green seem so timeless and natural.  I’ve always had a love affair with white wash and distressed painted finishes.  Their use in the hands of inspired individuals seem to provide endless possibility and undying re-invention.
Despite my liberties with the individual definitions of each word in this post’s title…it is no stretch to assume that those cozy, country, comforting, cottage-y types out there understand it perfectly.
It speaks to the painstaking collection of new and found objects
that gradually organize themselves into spaces that define us
and welcome our guests.
It beckons the mind’s eye to the wonder and whimsy of time, places and gatherings past.
It brings to mind tea and cookies, bread and wine, earth and hearth, sun and splendor, sugar and spice and surely
…all things nice.

Style Whisperer….shhhh

February 19, 2010

Don’t tell.

We all have guilty pleasures.

One of mine is watching ABC Studios’ The Ghost Whisperer…whenever I come across it….wherever I land in the episode.

My husband cringes, and I invariably find myself defending my adoration of the show!  I realized that EVERY time I gave my diatribe about why it’s “OK” for a discriminating actress to watch this fluffy piece of…fluff, I would end with my insatiable desire for the wardrobe of the lead character, Melinda Gordon (played by Jennifer Love Hewitt).

So there it is.

She is adorable.

Her wardrobe is adorable.

Her Victorian inspired HOME and all it’s vintage-eclectic decor is adorable.

And I love her hair and make-up, too.

I did a little research to find out where her pieces come from and sadly…so many of them are original vintage pieces.  But, thankfully, there is a resurgence of vintage inspired labels and boutiques!  Last week I highlighted a dear friend’s vintage inspired boutique, www.shopmadisonbelle.com, which is a phenomenal place to find unique housewares, gifts and fashion accessories.  I spent almost an hour (which we all know is hard to come by) browsing the gorgeous pieces on www.freepeople.com , and all us girls with any bit of ethereal flower child in us are die hard www.anthropologie.com fans!  These sites have some eye-popping and affordable accessories that speak to some of the greatest trends in fashion history, and individually create a stylish statement.  Wear one of these cute little trinkets with a basic cardigan, blazer or button down shirt and a pretty scarf or belt, and you’re transformed!

Most of the ensembles that Miss Melinda G. displays include a mix of modern items and vintage finds, including pieces from Cosabella, Willow, and Citizens of Humanity .  So, I know all you fun and fashion loving ladies (and gentlemen, too) can find a way to put your own spin on a combination of past and present threads.  Scour your thrift stores and treat yourself to a whimsical piece or two that will inspire a heavenly ensemble ala Melinda Gordon

…The Ghost Whisperer.

Where have I BEEN all my life!

Ha ha….

Well, in addition to being a personal lifestyle warrior, I’m a full time mom and an often times actress.  So, life got hectic for a while (thank goodness for steady work)…and I completely dissolved any contribution to my blog!  I see in the future, though, a time when I may be primarily rocking a style website, and I need practice writing down my thoughts and ideas.  I also need major help figuring out how to make this blog pretty.  It’s all in my head, but I’m technologically…slow…so there’s a learning curve.

For lack of my own adorable website, I would love to introduce you to my gorgeous and talented friend’s online boutique, Madison Belle!!!

This phenom-friend of mine, Brooke, is a truly passionate entrepreneur and an equally spirited soul!  Her site has been featured on many popular style blogs and she was even highlighted in Country Living.  She scours the land for the most adorable and crafty pieces with vintage flair.

Find a unique gift, or an amazing conversation piece to add style to your world!

the adorable style of http://www.shopmadisonbelle.com

See!  Comfort and style CAN be bought!!!

www.shopmadisonbelle.com