New York treasures for Charles Whyte HQ.
Anthropologie 'J' and 'E' hooks, clock doorknob and chalkboard jar.
A couple of years ago my brother returned from a holiday to the US with friends and disgustedly told me that a girl he was travelling with got so excited at Disneyland that she ran ahead of them all day exclaiming how excited she was. At the time, my brother and I rolled our eyes together and I empathised with him wholeheartedly. How annoying indeed.
Fast forward a few years to my New York City holiday last month and I found myself frequently so excited that I wanted to run into places and I had to stop myself exclaiming "oh my God, this is so exciting." Times a'changing and so are we all. If my brother ever reads this, he will give me heaps. Que sera sera!
One of the things I was so looking forward to on our holiday was the chance to visit some of the US stores that I'd heard so much about through blogs, the internet and TV/movies. Homewares stores are my kind of Disneyland, especially in a country that does everything bigger.
Armed with my list of 'must visit shops' and the Google maps on my mobile, I rushed around the city and finally got to see for myself amazing stores like ABC Carpet & Home, Jonathan Adler, Anthropologie, West Elm, Crate & Barrel and Pottery Barn. The prices were so good in most places compared to here in Australia. It killed me not to be able to buy everything. Here are my main finds for our house, after the shower curtain that I blogged about here.
The Jonathan Adler store in Greenwich Village is so gorgeous and colourful, it was impossible for me not to be happy in there. I'm a big fan of his book 'Jonathan Adler on Happy Chic Colors' so I knew I had to take something home with me.
I finally settled on the Cheval salt and pepper shakers because they screamed JA to me. And they were small enough to cart home. With only a tiny hole on the top of each, they look just as comfortable in a living room as a dining room so it's a cheat's way to get a piece of the happy chic aesthetic.
I would have loved a couple of these Jonathan Adler horses but at around 35cm high and $US295 each, it wasn't going to happen.
The cheval shakers have found a home on the mantle and inspired a few other changes here too. A pop of red worked for me for about a day until the clutter of extra frames irked me and I moved the two red pieces to a new picture ledge in the kitchen. Not very "happy chic" of me, I know, but the red wasn't good with the yellow and pink touches in this room. If you look closely in these pics, you can see another Jonathan Adler influence though in the form of his Greek Key print that I painted last year (full post here).
Anthropologie is a store I've waited years to see and because of that, my expectations may have been slightly overinflated. It was more rustic than I anticipated but I loved the home accessories and the prints used in the clothing (not so much the styles, a little old for me perhaps?). I went to both the Rockefellar Centre store and the one at Chelsea Market. The 'J' and 'E' hooks, clock doorknob and chalkboard jar in the top picture are all Anthropologie finds. The hooks have found a home behind our bedroom door. I love, love anything with vintage typography, especially initials. They probably deserve a more public home but we didn't really have a space and at least here they can be put to use to hold towels and things.
Hanging towels on the hook behind our door wasn't working anymore because of my scarves. I should have tidied them for the photo, oops! Keepin' it real for ya. At least you can see that hanging a damp towel over my scarves wouldn't have have worked. Gotta look after the scarves people and keep them smelling sweet! And now there will be no mixing up our towels with a hook each.
Speaking of vintage typography, I continued the theme with the alphabet discs I picked up at PB Teen. I'll be using these discs (by Chronicle Books, see here) around the house as labels or decoration and as gift tags. Think I'm too old for PB Teen? Ah, uh. I've heard plenty of people online lusting after the colourful bedding, cute cushions and even beds from PB Teen, particularly their 4 poster bed. When I saw a store on Second Avenue (at 76th Street) just a few doors down from the Upper East Side apartment we rented in our second week, I had no problem paying a visit. It's a very small store but full of treasures for teens and non-teens alike. There's more range online, so have a look and tell me you wouldn't be happy to own some of it.
As for the Anthropologie jar, it is hanging out on our kitchen bench. I wrote 'bribes' on the little chalkboard label and we pop favourite lollies in there for each other if we need to bribe the other to do something! The Anthropologie clock knob hasn't been put to use yet but I have no doubt a home for it will be found one day, giving us another means of remembering a wonderful trip. I just love having little things in our home to remind us of special people, periods, events and especially holidays. Are you the same?