In The Mood For: Iris Apfel

We are such big fans of Iris we have this print of her by Rosie Harbottle in our shop! Rosie is a UK based illustrator with a passion for travel and culture, has a knack for prints and textiles, which made her the perfect person to illustrate Iris Apfel. Last June, we read Accidental Icon, a collection of Iris’ musings, for our book club! If you are new to the eclectic and patterned-filled world that is Iris Apfel’s, we recommend starting with this post about her here, and grabbing your own copy of Accidental Icon! It’s a very entertaining read, packed full of photos that will make you want to avoid anything that is a bore and live like Iris does!

Decorate like Iris

“I am inspired by everything around me…I’m just inspired by being alive and breathing and meeting people and talking to people and doing things and absorbing what’s happening. I think if more people did that, there would be better fashion. “

Iris Apfel is iconic for her fashion sense, but her taste spills over to her interior design in abundance. With references to 18th century France and Italy, vintage monkey sculptures everywhere you look, hand-painted chinoiserie patterns, and bold prints that somehow just work, Iris Apfel’s homes are strong evidence that self-expression is the way to go!

 

Dress like Iris

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be stared at, I dress for myself.”

Below you will find chunky acetate chain necklaces (an absolute Iris staple) paired with patterned blazers, hot pink head wraps, and thrifted finds but with a wink in Gucci’s direction. If anything we just said feels overwhelming, don’t worry, take a note from Iris’ playbook and start wherever feels right. But trust us, you’ll be surprised how good an eyebrow-raising day of fashion can feel.

 

“There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about self expression and, above all, attitude.”

Photo Sources 1 | 2 | 3

Hint Hint Hubby: Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas 2021

It’s that time of the month, I mean, year! Time to celebrate your love, of course! I gather you are here for some insight and guidance. 2020 was rough to say the least, and last year’s Valentine’s Day happened before all the mayhem. The lady in your life has dealt with her share of trials this past year and needs some extra pampering. Let’s shower her with some extra love and gifts she will appreciate.

Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas

We categorized our Valentine’s Day gift ideas to help you narrow down your search. From practical to romantic, from unexpected to comforting, we have you covered! Explore our curated list below, and check out the Lars Valentine Shop for more ideas!

Lars Valentine Shop

Valentine's day gift guide

This is just the beginning of the Valentine’s Day Gifts we carry in our Shop. Click here to see more accessories, cards, decor, and more.

Romantic Gifts

Spoil her with a purse she didn’t know she needed, earrings that are on trend, candles that are on her wishlist, linen sheets that have over 2000 positive reviews, slippers and bubble bath soap that will make her feel like a queen. Indulge her hidden wishes and top it off with chocolate straight out of a Wes Anderson film. These are the gifts that are sure to win you a personal Husband-of-the-Year award.

Valentine's day gift guide | The House That Lars Built

Useful Gifts

So much time has been spent indoors and naturally there have been things around the home, things that are used every day, that are in need or are in desperate need of sprucing up. She might need a beautiful brass wick candle trimmer because it’s difficult to cut wicks that are towards the bottom half of the container. Speaking of candles, lighting candles on a modern Moroccan candlestick or these glass candlesticks will instantly upgrade dining at home. (And don’t worry, both of those candlesticks are great options even if your significant other is a picky decorator.) For everyday use, these pink blue light glasses, felt coasters, watering cans, and colorful slides will brighten ordinary tasks. There’s an upgrade you can find for almost everything she uses, and that is a gift that will tell you you notice all her hard work.

 

Unexpected Gifts

These gifts may not have crossed your mind but will be a pleasant surprise. Consider a charming chess set made of plexiglass board and wooden game pieces because she watched A Queen’s Gambit and is ready to learn or renew her love for the game. If she is not into chess but still loves boardgames and puzzles, this Scrabble Deluxe Edition or any of the puzzle sets are sure to provide some fun times together. If you want to pick out clothing or accessories and are unsure of her taste, you can stay safe with a nice pajama set and/or a chic headband. There are plenty more unexpected Valentine’s day gift ideas she will love!

Homey Gifts

Does your lady love decorating and rearranging the home? Gift her this functional and display worthy handblown glass cloche with matches. Or an oil diffuser that serves as a beautiful flower arrangement. If she’s redecorating for spring, a pop of yellow with this throw and striped pillow will definitely brighten things up.

Valentine's day gift guide | The House That Lars BuiltValentine's day gift guide | The House That Lars Built

Wrap it Up

Valentine's day gift guide | The House That Lars Built

Don’t forget the gift wrap! Check out all of our exclusive wrapping paper designs here, including the fun bold shapes above + our Cherry Wrapping Paper and Chocolate Truffles Wrapping Paper made specifically for Valentine’s Day!

Find more ideas from last year’s post or make a larger version of our Valentine Fruit Piñata and fill it with gifts you’ve found above. We also think face masks, cozy loungewear for working from home, blue light glasses, or some new office decor would make amazing gifts. Click any of those links to see our favorite options available! Look forward to more Valentine’s Day gift ideas in the coming week.

DIY Gold Foil Star Crown

We could have bought one for her as our gift, but what’s the fun in that when you can make it yourself and then have that added special sentiment? We made a template just for it so you can either hand cut it or put it into your craft cutter.

DIY Paper Gold Star crown

Materials:

Instructions:

  1. Using the template cut and out as many stars as you will need. The amount of stars you need will vary depending on the size of the head you are creating the stars for. All of the large stars have 3 stars stacked and the small stars are stacked with two.
  2. We used a craft cutter to cut out stars but you can do this with scissors or an x-acto knife.
  3. Once you have the right amount of stars cut out you will gold foil them.
  4. To gold foil the stars you will apply a small amount of gold leaf adhesive, allow 10 seconds to dry and apply a sheet of gold leaf.
  5. Allow 2-3 minutes for the gold leaf to set and then gently brush away using your soft bristle brush.
  6. Repeat step 5 on the other side. If you feel it looks okay you can just cover one side, however, Later on you will turn the edges up slightly which may reveal more color than you would like to see of the back. We covered both sides.
  7. Once all of your stars are foiled you will begin to stack them.
  8. To stack your large stars you will use a variation of three sizes of large stars and to connect them you will use a small dab of hot glue. Be sure you are placing them correctly because if you have to pull it off to replace it it will pull off the gold leaf.
  9. For the small stars you will repeat step 6 however you will only stack 2 of the small ones.
  10. Once all of the stars are stocked correctly you can begin laying them out on top of the string so you can adjust the placement and check that you have enough to make sure you have enough of the stars.
  11. Once they are all positioned correctly you can apply them to the ribbon with a small hot glue dab to the gold ribbon.
  12. Once all the stars are attached you will use a dab of hot glue to connect your ribbon ends, try to strategically place your stars so that the stop where the ribbons overlap is covered by a star.

Would love to see if you make it! Tag us with #LarsMakes so we can take a lookie! 

Printable 4th of July Glasses

We made these printable 4th of July glasses with celebration in mind. I live in a town that really celebrates the 4th. We’re talking a giant parade, a huge firework show/concert in the local stadium, and a hot air balloon festival. Not to mention the private family celebrations in just about every park pavilion for miles!

A blonde woman in a blue striped dress with red and white rick rack wears blue paper glasses with white accents in the shape of round flowers. She's standing against a blush pink background.

In a place like this where the 4th of July is such a huge deal, it’s especially fun to get into the spirit of the celebration. Why not join in on the good time with a festive outfit? Go all out with these printable 4th of July glasses, which are easy to make and fun for adults and kids alike.

various paper glasses, some with a round floral shape and some reading "fourth," in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

Make your own printable 4th of July glasses

The 4th is prime party time, and there’s always so much to do to get ready for a big celebration. The food, the decor, the playlist–it’s easy to get overwhelmed! But these printable 4th of July glasses would be a perfect party favor because they’re SO EASY to put together.

Materials

Instructions

  1. Print off the printables onto cardstock/heavier paper
  2. Cut around the templates with scissors
  3. Affix the “temples” (the long part) to the frames by folding and gluing together. Note: The Fourth design will be affixed to the back of the frames. Just measure your face to size.

Voila!

paper glasses with a round floral shape in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

Just download our file, send them to your local print shop, cut them out, and voilà! It’s so easy that you can enlist your kids to help out.

Can you imagine how fun it would be to look around at your whole group sporting these goofy GLAMOROUS glasses together? Just make sure you take a photo!

A blonde woman in a blue dress with red and white rick rack wears red white and blue paper glasses reading "fourth." various paper glasses, some with a round floral shape and some reading "fourth," in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

You might also like…

This isn’t our first time making festive paper glasses, so check out our New Year’s and Valentine versions of this printable fashion statement. And if pie or cake features in your 4th of July celebrations, check out these printable pie boxes!

And if you’re looking to go all out with your 4th of July outfit, I can’t recommend this Lady Liberty flower crown highly enough. It’s the perfect way to add some natural whimsy to your festive look. Or try this DIY Tie Dye Bandana for the 4th of July to go with your red white and blue outfit!

paper glasses reading "fourth" in red and blue with white accents. They're on a blush pink background.

The Lars team wishes you a happy 4th! We’d love for you to tag us in your festive 4th photos with #LarsParties. Please celebrate safely!

Printable New Year’s Crowns

NYE Party Accessories

We’ve made New Year’s printable crowns in years past, and this year our crown is inspired by our wrapping paper. We’ve done a few in the past (see here and here) and they’re always a crowd favorite, so we thought we’d add to the group and fill it with all the craziness that this year has been–lots of patterns and colors, of course!

Like every other holiday this year, New Year’s Eve is bound to look a little different. But you still deserve to get a little glitzed up, even if you’re lounging in sweats as you watch the ball drop (wait…has that been canceled?).

Of course, the older I get (and the more kids I have), the more New Year’s Eve becomes just another night in, and I don’t usually make it to midnight. Still, I think 2021 needs a nice big welcome from humanity so we don’t get a repeat of this year…

Printable New Year’s Eve Crowns

These crowns are a cinch to put together. You could even leave out the paper and let everyone make their own! Could be part of the night!

Materials

Instructions

  1. There are 8 patterns in the PDF (here). Use two patterns per crown (or print off more to put the same pattern together. We recommend printing onto cardstock! Keeps them sturdy and reuseable! We designed them on 11×17″ paper so they could be big! If you don’t have that size for your home printer, we used our local print shop.
  2. Tape the two pieces from the inside and glue on the outside so you don’t see the seam.
  3. The tab is meant to be adjustable to the size of the head. Cut a slit where the head fits comfortably.
  4. Glue on poms for maximum effect.

We’d love to see your crowns in action. Tag us with #LarsMakes or #HolidaysWithLars so we can see them!

Other NYE Projects

If you liked this project, you’ll love these ones:

Galaxy paper crown tutorial is here (it’s got that vintage look we all love)
Printable NYE crowns
NYE party invitations
DIY Star Crown

Going Green: Using green in decor

Green Style

Find your shade! Are you a chartreuse kind of gal, or a deep emerald? Minty fresh or bright as a lime? This post is filled with every shade of green you can imagine, and we know you can find the shade that matches your personality best!

 

Maybe you don’t normally go all out on St. Patrick’s Day the way we like to here at Lars (we’ll take any and all reasons to celebrate!) Even so, we are handing you the perfect excuse to splurge a little and treat yourself! Is your closet already 50 shades of green? If it isn’t, you’ll be surprised how much adding in this fun color puts a spring in your step! Freshen your closet with these mint woven sandals. Grow your confidence with this forest green blouse. Embrace Grace Kelly vibes with this kelly green sweater. Step into the lime-light with this beaded clutch. This puff-sleeve sweater will have you sea-foaming at the mouth?? Too far? Oops!

 

Green in Decor

Let us give you some sage advice, this dining set is the perfect soft pop of color without taking over your kitchen. We promise, your old room decor will be green with envy. (Ok ok! We are done with the puns this time!)

 

Room Inspo

How to recreate some of our favorite rooms, using green as your inspiration color.

Room #1

 

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Room #2

 

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Room #3

 

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Room #4

 

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Room #5

 

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You can find all the mood board photos on our Pinterest, here!

When Life Hands You Lemons care package and tablescape with Spoonflower

My favorite Mother’s Day inspired Spoonflower patterns

I spent a good amount of time going through the Spoonflower Marketplace, which is thousands and thousands of independent artists and great designs. Yes, it took awhile, but I came upon some really beautiful options and had a hard time narrowing it down. I saved my favorites in this collection on their site.

Which ones are your favorites???

There are a lot of good ones, right?! I was going for a springy, floraly vibe that also felt refined and could be used throughout the year. Here were some alternative options I was eyeing:

Citrus fabric tablecloth with Spoonflower

Ultimately, I ended up going for this Multi Citrus Grove Toile by Danika Herrick. It has the right touch of deGournay with its chinoiserie feel. Plus, I always love some good citrus–it makes everything feel instantly refreshing.blue and orange table ideaCustom Home Decor Options

Perhaps you remember when I redid my bedroom in all Spoonflower? Right–so not only can you order fabric by the yard, but you can order things for your home to be made in the fabric of your choice and it’s all sewn right here in the United States. For my bedroom it was the wallpaper, duvet, pillow cases, curtains, and this time around I ordered a tablecloth for the Party-For-Mom that I will be throwing. I paired it with this Indian print inspired marigold print by Andrea Lauren because I loved the contrast of the yellow to the blue in the main selection and decided to use them for the cloth napkins.Indian block print napkins

Visualizing the process

What I find useful in their new home decor option is the ability to see them on a variety of products. You can do that by selecting Home Decor in the “Also available in” section to view all of the different home decor products and then it automatically shows you how it will look.

And the marigold:

Because of that, I was able to visualize what it would really be like. And it was going to be GOOD!

Pattern on pattern advice:

Pairing a pattern on pattern can be tricky, but there are a few ways to make sure it works:

  1. Identify the colors of the palette. The first pattern I worked with has a lot going on but I drew out the main colors: blue, yellow, orange, and green.
  2. Along the same lines, draw out the colors that you’d like to highlight more. If there’s a color in the fabric that you don’t necessarily love, don’t highlight it! On the flipside, if you like a color more than another, bring that color out more.
  3. The two fabrics should be of different scale. The first pattern has a very large scale so I knew I needed to go smaller on the second.blue and orange table idea

Citrus tablescape

To go with our Mother’s Day party, we created a centerpiece of citrus–grapefruit, lemons, and oranges, to sit atop the tablecloth. We matched with with some yellow plates, blue bowls, and goblets to tie it in with our beautiful fabric. Plus the pretty chargers that add some depth. And a dash of flowers to keep it fresh!

Mother’s Day Care Packages

Because we are keeping friends and family at arm’s length right now, we have been brainstorming DIY ideas of how to share uplifting moments with our loved ones near and far. We decided to make a tote from Spoonflower’s Linen Cotton Canvas –it’s the perfect thing to fill up with goodies and send along to someone who needed a dose of joy. A handpicked, handmade gift for someone you love can be the best surprise!oranges table idea

To match the amazing fabric, we made our gift bag lemon themed! You know, the classic, “When life gives you lemons”. With everything life is throwing at us lately, let’s just say we have been making A LOT of metaphorical lemonade. We filled our gift bag with lots of lemon themed hand soap, lotion, candles, and more. Everything our loved ones need to make this extra hand washing fun!

When Life Hands you Lemons Care Package

Additionally, I wanted to create a care package to send along to my mom as Mother’s Day approaches. Social distancing could have interrupted the celebration of such a special holiday, but instead it turned into something that lets us show our love for our mothers in a new way. After turning the beautiful fabric from Spoonflower into a tote (the tutorial is now available in the Lars shop!), I wanted to fill it with goodies that were fun and practical. So, candy was a must (der!), as well as hand sanitizer and other necessities. Paul and Jasper joined in as well to create a tote-turned-gift-basket for Paul’s mom too to send to her in Denmark.

Follow these simple steps to make your own gift tote bag:

DIY Tote bag

(inspired by the famous Baggu tote!))

Materials:

Instructions:

Step 1: Print off our tote bag template found here

Step 2: Cut your bag pieces out of the fabric using the pattern, making sure to note which part of the fabric you want to highlight on your bag and which direction it will face when complete

Step 3: Starting with the main bag piece — face right sides together

Step 4: Sew the sides with a single stitch (and finish off the edges with a zag zag stitch if desired)

Step 5: Pull the edges of the notched part of the cut fabric, on the bottom of the bag, together to form the flat bottom of the bag. Sew a single stitch straight across these edges you have pulled together

Step 6: Turn your main bag piece right side out to prep for future steps. Now to move on to the handle straps!

Step 7: Take one of the cut handle strap pieces and fold the long edges in a quarter of an inch. Use your fingernail to crease the canvas fabric fold well.

Step 8: Once both long sides are creased, fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet

Step 9: Pin and sew a single stitch down both long sides of the strap. This will flatten the strap and make both edges look the same.

Step 10: Repeat steps 7-9 for the second handle strap. Next for the shoulder strap!

Step 11: Repeat steps 7-9 for the shoulder strap — to repeat, crease in the long sides a quarter of an inch, then fold the entire strap in half so both folded edges meet. Sew a single stitch down both long edges of the shoulder strap.

Step 12: Now you will attach all straps to the main bag piece — to do this, make sure your bag piece turned right side out

Step 13: Position the handle straps in the center on the bag opening, on either side, facing down towards the bottom of the bag with the short edges aligned with the top opening edge of the bag. Pin them in place and sew them on.

Step 14: Attach an end of the shoulder strap piece to both edges of the bag, with the strap facing down just like you did with the handle straps, and sew them in place.

Step 15: All straps should now be sewn on the outside of the bag, facing downwards, so they when folded up inside the bag to face up the seam will not show. You are almost done!

Step 16: Take your facing pieces, on both pieces, crease one long edge in a quarter of an inch.

Step 17:  Face both pieces right side together and sew both short edges

Step 18: Place the sewn facing pieces around the opening of the bag, over the edge of all the straps. Make sure the creased edge is facing down and the un-creased edge is aligned with the top opening edge of the bag.

Step 19: Sew a single stitch around the top opening edge of the bag, attached the facing pieces to the bag

Step 20: Turn the facing piece to the inside of the bag, making the straps fold upwards and the seams will all be hidden inside

Step 21: Turn the bag back inside out for the final step – Sew around the bottom creased edge of the facing pieces to keep that inside edge from fraying.

Step 22: Your bag is finished! Turn it back right side out to admire your work!

Send a Mother’s Day care package

What a wonderful way to send love when you can’t visit in person! Plus, who doesn’t love surprise presents in the mail? We think that, in lieu of a visit, sending gifts for Mother’s Day can be the next best thing! orange and yellow tableorange tablescape

Mother's Day table ideaDIY Baggu bag templatehow to sew a baggu toteWe’d love to see your Mother’s Day party-for-ones or care packages. Tag us with #LarsLovesMamas so we can see them! 

Discount for Lars readers

Lars readers can get 15% off with code LARSTABLE15 for all Table Linens and Tea Towels.

This post is sponsored by Spoonflower, who we love for their many home decor and fabric options. We love working with sponsors who allow us to create awesome new content for you!

I Voted! printables and embroidery pattern

Embroidered “I Voted” Pattern

As you know, we’re getting more and more into embroidery (Celebrity crush dolls anyone?!) and the idea of making something that will last a little bit longer than a throw away sticker is really appealing. In this way, it acts more as a patch than a pin. We couldn’t be more proud to let people know that we voted so might as well keep it up all year long!

How to embroider an “I voted” pin

Materials: see above

Instructions:

  1. Print out the “I Voted” embroidery pattern. Use a sharp pencil to poke through the paper on the felt along the lines of the type (you can also use embroidery transfer paper).
  2. After poking through with a pencil, remove the paper and lightly connect the dots to create lines.
  3. Trace around the pattern pieces and cut out pieces following instructions on pattern.
  4. Once pieces are cut embroider the type with a satin stitch on the smaller pink circle.
  5. Once that is done, center it on the background felt color and pin them together.
  6. To connect the back and front, whip stitch the edge of the front circle to the back circle following white stitching.
  7. Attach last circle to back to create backing.
  8. Using hot glue attach the broach piece with hot glue.
  9. Wear around to let everyone know you voted!

If you are printing stickers use the instructions on the sticker paper to create your stickers!

“I voted” printable stickers

Make your own “I voted” stickers by downloading our set of 5. There’s an option for “I absentee voted” and even one in Spanish. You can find the full set here.

We can’t wait to see you wearing these around! Will you be printing yours off as a sticker or embroidering them? Be sure to tag us with #larsmakes so we can see them! 

This girl: III

I started this post with the bedroom because it’s been scientifically proven to be one of the best bedrooms of all time. Obviously. As I tried finding the right “This girl” who would reflect such awesomeness I couldn’t bear that any other have this room so I had to put myself in. And yes, to answer your question, I had problems sharing as a kid.
my photo by Rachel Thurston  |  Bedroom  |  Plate

DIY Presidents Day Dolls!

George Washington

Our country’s first president is immortalized as a plush doll with some adorable embroidery accents. I’m especially loving the fringe of the blouse and sleeve details.

Abraham Lincoln

Because of it’s proximity to Valentine’s Day, we have dubbed him Baberaham Lincoln. And if you look closely, the detailing around his jacket is stars! Only appropriate!

How to make a Presidents Day Doll

Materials:

You can find the materials list in our e-book here

To find your Presidents Day picture files, we recommend the following:

  1. Searching for the highest resolution images with the name and then “full body”. In Google you can go to “Tools” at the far right top bar and then “high” for resolution size.
  2. We brought our images into Photoshop and cut around the body and saved it as a jpg. If you don’t have Photoshop, there are a number of free apps that do the same job.
  3. Per the instructions in our e-book, we printed ours as big as it could go on a 8.5×11” size paper.
  4. Follow the rest of the instructions in the e-book to finish it off!

If you haven’t tried making these yet you’ve got to give it a go! We know you are going to love it! Tag us with #larsmakes so we can see your creations!

Meet: The Lars Girl (+ everything she needs for summer!)

Who is the Lars girl? Hopefully you!

The Lars Girl is the person we all are in our imaginations. With some intentionality, we can all become her! She is a person who loves color and whimsy. She has solid goals. Some seem lofty and impossibly, but she has a plan for each step along the way. The Lars Girl loves to explore different ways of being creative, especially with how she dresses. Though tempted by the occasional trend, she has her own stylistic fingerprint. Those who know her can look at something and know it is ~her.~ 

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the person I’d like to be is someone with quiet confidence. Someone who listens, someone who has a ton of fun but doesn’t lose sight of what she really wants. She is adaptable and flexible, but stays the course. And yes, she is prone to the occasional moment of obsession over a pair of shoes… I’m trying to be realistic here!

Becoming

It is my firm belief that having a fiercely-held idea of what you want can get you there. A *realistic* picture of the person you want to be can help you grow. Of course, there is a lot more to it than that, but I’m not the self-help guru. I am passionate, however. I am driven. I am excited, excitable, and at times entirely too frivolous. I’m who I want to be right now but I am conscious about how I have changed and how I hope to change in the future. 

Sorry for the mush!! This project of mine is designed to help you live a more beautiful life, and sometimes that means more than helping you pick color schemes. Don’t think I’m above that though – I love for color schemes. If you’re still having trouble picturing what you look like as a Lars Girl, check out our shopping links below! It’s got everything a Lars Girl needs for her summer style. Of course, there is more to a person than what she wears, but fashion is a perfect way to show who you really are. 

Go wild, my dears!

A lars girl summer style

A Lars Girl Summer Style

Summer dresses

You know I love dresses. I LOVE THEM. You can read all about why I only wear dresses and where I buy them, here. When we did our Dress the Rainbow series, I managed to find no less than 60 dresses in every (and I mean every) shade of the rainbow. Though I might never have the energy to tackle something like that again, I will never get tired of buying a new dress here and there. Even though I make dresses work all year round, even through snowy Utah winters, it is nice to be in the season where everyone loves a good dress.

 

Sun hats and accessories

When we can’t find the perfect sun hat, we just make our own! But the hats and accessories below are pretty darn perfect already.

 

Swimsuits

This past Lars girls’ bathing suit and matching pink pool has us day dreaming a long and colorful summer. Shop any of the suits below, and let us know if you find a matching pool 😉 At the very least pick out a matching pool float!

 

Sandals

Every year we set out on the hunt for the perfect summer sandal. And this is one way 2020 really does feel like our year!

 

For more fun summer style ideas, follow us on Pinterest here! And check out our fashion board that I add to all the time.

Palm Springs Style You Can’t Miss

The city really took off after the 1940s when the Golden Age actors of Hollywood wanted a retreat from the growing sprawl of Los Angeles. With all of that wealth coming to town, architects came along with it. William Krisel and John Porter Clark and Arthur Frey and Jack Meiselman and so many more created masterpieces and tract houses alike in this town. While you and I probably can’t commission the architecture gods to build us new homes, we can take cues from their style! It’s also a very real possibility to snag one of the homes for yourself if you’re in the market.

John Porter Clark home. The sky is bright blue, the house is modern and flat-roofed and brilliant white, and the foreground is beige gravelAlbert Frey home made of glass and steel tucked into the plants and rocks of Palm SpringsA white and black Jack Meiselman Home at sunset. Palm trees sway in the background, and the front yard is xeriscaped.

Color Reigns

The look of Palm Springs is one of openness and ease, minimalism with playful twists. With the pervasive sun and expansive sky, most of the homes in the area are painted white but you’ll be hard pressed to find a neutral-colored door. Pastels and neons reign! Hooray! There is this random house that isn’t one of the rat pack mansions or anything, but it has become famous because of #thatpinkdoor. A few cans of paint is all it takes for you to bring this Palm Springs styling tip home with ya! 

Vertical image of a modern white home with a pink door, agave plants, and structural landscaping

Don’t Forget to Look Up

If you go visit Palm Springs, odds are you’ll be so busy looking at all of the fabulous architecture that you might not notice the sky. Who am I kidding – it’s huge and bluer than you’ve ever seen it before. You can’t miss it. The architects who polished this corner of desert into a gem certainly didn’t! It’s almost as if they designed with the sky as the centerpiece. Check out this picture from my good friend Frank’s house. Architect E. Stewart Williams wasn’t messing around – he was showcasing the skies. My favorite Palm Springs houses have windows that are higher than I’m used to seeing. They also have cantilevered sections and skylights. This stunning photograph of the Sunnylands Estate, AKA “Camp David of the West” shows how important the sky is to the design of the property. By the way, Obama and Xi Jinping hung out here a few years back. If it’s good enough for them, it’s good enough for me! 

Image of a house with a huge blue sky, topiary-style trees, modern flat roof, and a pink ramp leading into a flat blue pond.

Geometric Ease

Okay, thanks for humoring me while I ranted about the sky for a bit. A huge part of the appeal of Palm Springs is its ease. I just look at pictures and feel relaxed. The design is simple to understand; it’s all about straight lines and symmetry. I love this photo of a room at Twin Palms – the sunburnt orange color is definitely an homage to the earth tones outside. I love that color as a headboard! The symmetry of the room is so precise and uncomplicated that it looks good from every angle. Imagine having a wall of matching prints of identical size behind you for zoom calls! The exteriors of Desert Modernist homes tend to have breeze block and hardy plants that are almost impossible to kill. What’s not to love about that? 

If you’re looking to add some freshness to your space, try channeling the vibe of Palm Springs! Its simple color scheme, sky-inspired design, and linear geometry create such a feeling of comfort and relaxation. That’s exactly what I want right now!!

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Palm Springs-Inspired Accessories

Looking for more style guides? Don’t forget to check out our In the Mood For series! We’ve found fashion, home decor, and accessories inspired by Frida Kahlo, Josef Albers, The Queen’s Gambit, Andy Warhol, Alma Thomas, Monet, Wes Anderson, The Royal Wedding Anniversary, Jane Austen’s Emma, Iris Apfel, Little Women, Alexander GirardAnne of Green Gables, and Hamilton.

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