My Favorite Things from the Annual Kips Bay Decorator Show House 2018

Well better late than never! I've been wanting to share my Kips Bay Show House tour with you since forever, but have been side tracked with my full-time job-- what a pesky little nuisance it's been (not the helping people part, the amount of time it takes from my day part). Thankfully I'm planning to go part-time in the fall, and should have more opportunities to do things for Trulery, like keep up with the blog, see consulting clients, teach, and do research on dress and emotional functioning. I'm really excited about getting the chance to do  different things so I'll keep you posted. But back to the Kips Bay! This year I went back with my friend Maribel fully expecting to see fun, quirky, and chic designs I can steal. I brought my camera this time, but of course neglected to take my wide angle lens, making it kind of difficult to capture full rooms or wider spaces. So instead of featuring full rooms, I've captured favorite aspects of rooms I really like-- which is what I'm usually drawn to anyway when I go to show houses. I look forward to taking bits and pieces of rooms I can store and use in my own space.

This year's show house was beautiful-- a 19th century Upper East side mansion originally designed by August Hatfield in the neo-Grec style (think stately Brooklyn brownstones with simple lines and incised, carved ornamentation). This year there were lots of lady-like spaces with Chineoiserie, mixed in with edgy, alluring, and colorful interiors. Here are some of the spaces that caught my eye.

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This room, simply entitled "Bedroom" was designed by Katie Ridder. It feels sweet and inviting with it's bohemian mix of prints, textures and styles. I really appreciated the stenciling on the walls. It didn't feel hokey, and was a crafty way to add visual interest to the top part of the room, which kept it from being too bottom heavy.

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Here is the other side Ridder's room. It's modern, fancy, and proper with the mirrored wall making the space feel more expansive and dramatic. The abstract, modern artwork ties in all the colors nicely.

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There was a lot going on in this room and I found it quiet enjoyable (I'm kind of a maximalist although I try not to be). This room, "Cherry Bitters", designed by David Netto, has a mix of modern, mid-century, and ornate furnishings with white wrapped books for a strong architectural statement.  I'm not exactly sure what the name Cherry Bitters is referring to but the cherry wood walls make the white and bits of color stand out for an overall modern statement.

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This little corner of Phillip Mitchell's room, "Drawing Room", was just one of the cozy nooks in this room. The elaborate picture frame with the cheeky picture, the rattan with floral printed cushions, the wall of art, and the moldings all create a space that feels both upscale and relaxed at the same time.

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Designer, Brian Del Toro calls this "Laura's Room." And I don't know who Laura is but I can imagine Laura living here. This traditional Chinoiserie room with it's recognizable bird, floral motif is offset with modern, graphic lines like the scalloped tufting of the headboard, angular side table, and boldly shaped chandelier.


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All the pretty extends to the other side of Del Toro's room. This must be where Laura gets gussied up for her date with... Tod (?). 

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"Olympia Folly" is the name of this room designed by Alexa Hampton, and it pretty much describes the essence of the room. The room draws from the classical period (think Greek and Rome architecture during BC or the early centuries) and brings it into the 21st century. I like the  pairing of orange and red, and the mural wall covering.

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Sasha Bikoff's "Stairway to Heaven" hallway was a showstopper. I'm only sorry I didn't have my wide angle lens to capture it more fully for you. But as you can see it's a smorgasbord for the senses. She incorporated black and white artwork of hip hop artists on the walls giving it an edgy, party-like-a-rock star feel.

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I dig these chairs, and together with the waterfall mirror, they capture the ultra modern, fantasy vibe of the hallway. 

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I really loved this "Look of the Day" dressing room by Marcia Tucker. The muted colors, cushy padded walls, feminine details, clean lines, and bold lighting did it for me. Just goes to show a chic dressing room doesn't have to be decked out with glitzy, glammy furnishings and stand out colors.

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This rainbow ceiling in Barbara Ostrom's "Art and Ala Carte" room is so ooh-aah, and pleasantly unexpected in this grand, first lady style space. 

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This is the entryway to the show house, and I loved the mural against the black and white fabric. I actually planned to put a black and white forest motif mural in my dining room, but after seeing this colored one, it's changed my mind about colored murals. 

What part of the show house do you like the most?

Family Getaway, Career Update, & Other Thoughts

Hi there! It's been a little while since I've blogged but I'm learning that blogging sometimes is better than not blogging at all. Truth be told, I've had a bit of a difficult year. My work load at my full-time job increased, leaving me little time to work on my wardrobe/interior consulting business and related projects. This tested my perseverance, and I felt trapped in my job. These kinds of trials have a way of bringing out our deepest insecurities, and I became overwhelmed with resentment, regret, and fear of failure. Although I wanted so badly to leave my job as a psychological evaluator, I was not in the financial position to do so, and I continued to work and serve in disappointment (a la Sarah Jakes Roberts). This has been one of the most difficult things I have had to do but I think God has a way of purging us before we become all that we want to be. Otherwise, if we take our insecurities with us, our success will be built on a shaky foundation, and we may not be strong enough to handle success with all of its pressures.

As of now, I continue to work around my full-time schedule. I'm still running the consulting business, and I have put together a social psychology of dress class that I hope to teach in a university or elsewhere. I also managed to start a podcast with my college friend, called Be: Finding Ourselves through Relationships. It's a chat show that explores friendships and topics of interest. We already did one episode and hope to get that  up and running shortly. Also, I earned a certificate in design psychology last year, and I'm currently working on a certificate in interior design. I'm excited to use all my new skills in my business. While things may be happening slower than I expected, I have faith that it is still happening.

So with all of that, my family and I decided to go on a pre-summer getaway to Orlando. We didn't do Disney, and from others' reactions, I'm realizing that is not the norm.  "Are you going to Disney?" was pretty much the standard line of questioning from anyone I told about the trip. But NOPE, it was just a chance to get away, spend quality time with my kiddos and husby, and most of all de-stress. Keeping in mind that I haven't taken a trip in a while, I had to get use to having so much free time. My husband planned the trip so I wasn't sure what to expect but it was fun for the kids, and pretty relaxing for me. We stayed at the Holiday Inn resort, and it was a true family resort with bright colors, palm trees everywhere, and lots of activities for the kids.

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Our hotel suite was simple, functional, with some modern design elements. The color scheme was neutral with pops of yellow, blue, and red; and it felt fresh and fun.

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While I appreciate resorts and what they have to offer families, I'm always interested in seeing where and how "real" people live-- even in Central Florida which pretty much looks like the rest of America with palm trees. Kind of like this below, but I'm usually into homes that are a little less....scary?

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Since we didn't have the time to devote to some serious house-stalking (with three bouncing children), we decided to visit flea markets where "real" people sell their stuff. We didn't find any that stood out, but we came across some ethnic food stands and must-have smoothies.

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After we had enough of exploring, it was all about the pool, for the kids that is. I, on the other hand, chose to spend my time in the hot tub since I already decided that I was not going to get my hair wet- the vanity! I know.

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On other days, we decided to do some learning (to make up for the kids being out of school and all that).  We toured the marshlands looking for alligators (we saw half of one) and got a glimpse of how indigenous people lived. I'm always so intrigued by the lifestyles and homes of natives and early settlers.

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(I thought I'd spruce up this amazing marshland with a little pink.)

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Of course, there's always room for ice-cream!

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...And antique stores! I found this wonderfully chaotic junk store while trying to drag my family to another vintage store I saw online but couldn't find. I was not able to search all that well with the kids, but saw some cute pieces. 

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This is the face I was making by the time I realized I was ready to come home- ha! not really. I was glad to be away, but coming home isn't bad either. We actually missed our flight (blame it on the security lines) and ended up flying at night. It was inconvenient but it worked out. Check out the view from the airplane -just breathtaking *sigh*.

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Last but not least, our plane selfie- well it's not really a selfie but ya know...

Recap: Colorful + Chic Harlem Digs

Hey Folks! How have you been? I'm still juggling my day job with my business and hoping to cross over soon to full-time business (*fingers crossed*, *hands clasped*). I've also been busy creating an undergraduate class, The Social Psychology of Clothing, and am excited about the prospects of teaching it. Hopefully, more on that soon. But today, I wanted to feed your senses with some serious home eye candy. Last month, I had the opportunity to tour the home of interior decorator, Minetta Archer, for Houzz. Minetta has a way of mixing color, patterns, and texture in such a wonderfully refreshing way. I don't doubt that she is on her way to becoming a powerhouse in the world of colorful interiors.

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And her home is not the only thing that stood out during the tour. Her colorful outfit was a perfect complement to her home, and it made me think about how our wardrobes and interiors can really enhance the other. Minetta's outfit is classic bohemian chic with a fabulous yellow top and ethnic patterned head-wrap. I couldn't help but notice that she looks exactly like where she lives. If I just saw her on the street, I'd imagine she was going home to an global chic decor with lots of color and texture, just like her outfit.

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I've been really interested in ways to use interiors and clothes as a catalyst to the life you desire, and I see such great benefits in using your clothes and home to positively reinforce the other. I mean, shouldn't we look like where we live? Shouldn't our home look like us? At it's best, both our home and wardrobe provide us with opportunities to express our creative selves and reveal a lot about our emotional lives.

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So if your home was exactly the way you wanted it to be, what would your wardrobe look like as an extension of that aesthetic? I love classic furniture pieces mixed with the unexpected and pops of color; and that is how I'd describe my wardrobe as well. But if you haven't thought much about this, it may be good to consider, particularly if you think your home is doing way better than your wardrobe, or vice versa. You can look for clues in your home to build the wardrobe you want. If you like color, neutrals, and/or pastels in your home, you may like those colors for your clothes too.

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And the reverse is also true. If you have a fanciful or a modern wardrobe, maybe you'd like a similar aesthetic for your interior. In essence, use the confidence you have in one to build confidence in the other. Agree? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

See the full tour here.



Dressing For Your Body Type: Tall, On The Slim Side

Hey all! We've made it to the third and final (at least for now) installment of the Dressing for Your Body type series, and hopefully it's inspired you to learn how to appreciate your body even just a little bit more. This week I'm interviewing my loveliest friend Myriam. I've known her for years, and have seen her cope with body issues we all deal with. Here's what she had to say about how she has come to appreciate her body type.

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Trulery: Hi Myriam, I'm really excited to have you share with us! Tell us how would you describe your body type?

Myriam: This is kind of a tough one for me because I don't really feel that it fits in one category completely. I'm clearly tall and on the slim side but wouldn't call myself boyish or athletic. But neither am I curvy or pear-shaped. Is there a "Myriam" body type? Because I'm that for sure.

Trulery: I feel you. Sometimes it can be hard to define our body type in ways that really capture how we perceive it. How would you say your body image evolved, and how did you learn to appreciate your body image?

Myriam: I started to appreciate my body when I started working out, and oddly enough it didn't have much to do with weight loss. I became more confident when I realized how capable my body was. My aerobic conditioning and strength training really helped me to feel good about myself. When I'm fit-- in-shape and strong, I feel and look my best.

Trulery: Realizing what your body can do, can really go a long way with being appreciative of the body you have. What is one piece of advice you would give to anyone struggling with your specific body type?

Myriam: I'd say know you are more than your body! Be grateful for it and what it allows you to do (work, exercise, bear children...), and don't get caught up in what you should look like or what you wish you looked like. Also, accentuate your positives! We all have something we like about ourselves-- our legs, arms, neck, or whatever works for you.

Trulery: That's great advice. What styles or pieces of clothing work best on your body and why?

Myriam: Another loaded question! It's hard to answer because I favor so many different silhouettes. I enjoy dressing so I like to play with different styles. I'll say there is no substitute for a well-fitting pair of jeans.

Trulery: What are 5 must-have pieces for your wardrobe?

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Myriam:  (1) Jeans, of course! I love their versatility. They come in a variety of fits and washes, and you can dress them up or down. (2) I also really like how a blazer can instantly polish a look. I love to wear one draped over my shoulders. (3) A mid-heel or kitten heel in a metallic or a bright color is another must-have for me right now. And shoes are a great way to add a little personality to your outfit, especially if your outfit is pretty safe. (4) The cropped pant is another good one. I like these slim or wide legged. I'm obsessed with ankles, and being tall, this is a silhouette I can comfortably wear without fear of the inseam being off! (5) And I have to include a statement blouse. It's an easy way to elevate an outfit and try out new details, trends, or colors.

Trulery: Thanks Myriam!

Can you relate to Myriam's body image journey? Tell us about it!

shoes| blouse| jeans| blazer| pants


Dressing For Your Body Type: Full Hourglass

Hey All! I'm back with the next installment of my Dressing for Your Body Type series. This is where I interview women of different shapes and sizes about their body image issues and how they overcame them. No matter what size you are, you've probably had to overcome even minor issues with your body type. And I think it's really helpful to talk with other women about how they've dealt with it. This week I'm interviewing my friend, Kanika. She's funny, no-nonsense, loves being a nurse, and is really just a cool person. I've always admired her self-assured presence and thought she would be great to interview about her body image. Here's what she had to say:

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Trulery: Hi Kanika! So tell me how you would describe your body type?

Kanika: I'd have to say hourglass-- with the right undergarments!!!! Undergarments smooth out and shape, and push things to where they need to go. It's like photoshopping. It doesn't add what you don't have, but it sharpens what you do have.

Trulery: Real life photoshopping- so true! How would you describe how your body image evolved? Or how did you learn to appreciate your specific body type?

Kanika: As I got older, I realized you got to work with what you have. In hindsight, I wish I had been more appreciative and accepting of my body. I would have been more inclined to maintain and value what I have. People are getting butt injections to have a bigger butt and that's natural for me.

Trulery: I agree. I think we should try to value our body, even if it's not exactly where we want it to be because it's the only one we have and one day we might wish it was the way it is now. What's one piece of advice you would give to anyone struggling with your specific body type?

Kanika: I'd say focus your shopping energy and money dressing the parts of your body you like. I like that my waist is naturally narrow so I don't shy away from high-waisted pants or skirts, or clothing that cinches at the waist. It makes my top and bottom look proportionate.

Trulery: That's so much better than focusing on the parts you dislike, and having a bad shopping experience because you somehow only noticed clothes that highlighted all the wrong areas. What other styles or pieces of clothing work best on your body and why?

Kanika: I like looser tops, fitted bottoms. I use to be opposite, but now I realize good quality, fitted fabrics thru the hips and thighs are more flattering for my ample bottom and narrow waist.

See Kanika's 5 must-have pieces for her wardrobe and why she likes them.

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1. dress 2. boots 3. spanx 4. pants 5. bag

Thanks for your insight, Kanika!

Can you relate to Kanika's body image experience? Tell us about it below.


Dressing For Your Body Type: Petite

Hey Everyone! I'm excited to share with you a new mini-series, Dressing for Your Body Type. It's where I interview women about their body image and how they've overcome insecurities about their body type. I think most of us have struggled through body image issues at some point in our lives no matter what size or shape we are. As I have gotten older, I've had a hard time trying to maintain my 20's body, and have not always felt as comfortable in my skin as I'd like. I work through it by trying to keep a consistent exercise regimen, making healthy eating choices-- most of the time, and understanding that I do not have to wait until I reach a certain size to value myself and my body. I try not to be so focused on my physical appearance that I forget my worth and purpose is much bigger than that. It's definitely an ongoing process but it's worth it to keep at it, particularly when we often get unrealistic messages about what we should look like. For this series, I decided to interview three women with different body types in hopes that you'll be able to relate to at least one of them and their unique journey to a healthy body image. This week, I'm interviewing the lovely Nicole Borjas. Here's what she had to say:

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Trulery: So Nicole, how would you describe your body type?

Nicole: I'm definitely petite.

Trulery:  I think being clear and confident about your body type is a great first step towards a healthy body image. How has your body image evolved, or how did you learn to appreciate your body image?

Nicole: I've learned to embrace trends that are more flattering to my body type and not feel so bad about skipping the ones that don't always work for me. That in itself has helped me learn how to appreciate my shorter frame more. There are a lot more clothing brand options now for petite ladies which is fun to find.

Trulery: I agree that knowing what works for your body is key. What is one piece of advice you would give to anyone struggling with your specific body type?

Nicole: Finding clothing that is tailored well to your body frame is very helpful. It took me a while to figure that out. Sewing machines, or tailors are your friend.

Trulery: And it's always good to have clothes that are uniquely fit since so much of what we see is standard and mass produced. What styles or pieces of clothing work best on your body and why?

Nicole: I am loving the high-waisted trend. High-waisted jeans are my favorite. They make my shorter legs seem longer which I appreciate.

Trulery: What are some must-have pieces you think make a good foundation for your wardrobe and why.

Nicole: My must-have pieces are....a little back dress, high-waisted jeans, a quality white T-shirt, black jeans, and a leather jacket. I like good wardrobe staples that you can adapt from day to night, and can wear in different seasons.

Thanks Nicole! Check out her wardrobe staple picks below!

If you can relate to Nicole's body image journey, feel free to share it with us.