I get ideas in my head about how certain clothing stores aren’t for me. My bias (OK, stubbornness) isn’t really against the stores themselves so much as it is against myself. I hold on pretty tightly to certain stylistic choices when it comes to my clothing (and my work, and my home, and everything else), and since I still have that teenage “non-conformist” thing hanging around my neck like an invisible chain of angst (OMG, shut up), I tend to write off a lot of options as being for pretty, popular girls—i.e., not for me. Anyone who has attempted to go clothes shopping with me (I’m looking at you, Jen and Jenna) knows how ridiculous I can be. Taking me into J.Crew is similar to taking a small, reasonably polite child to a fancy dinner party: I’ll put on a nice face and try not to throw a tantrum, but really…I just want to get the Hell out.

Aside from dabbling in a few accessories, Madewell is one of those stores that scares me. I don’t want to put my hair in a topknot. I don’t want to wear a chambray shirt. I don’t want to wear navy. I can appreciate these things on other people, but on myself? I don’t think so. Pass the skulls!

These jeans, though? They all look pretty nice.

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A couple of months ago, I mentioned something on Twitter about needing new jeans. I’ve lost a bunch of weight this past year, and after wearing my old jeans from the last time I lost weight (HAHAHAHAHA…ugh) into the ground, I needed to find at least a couple of pairs that would fit me really nicely and help me to feel good about myself. My former favorites (these and these) have been discontinued, so those options were out. Pretty much immediately, several people (including Jaime, who knows my body type and gets my style) recommended that I try Madewell jeans.

So I got over myself, went in, and tried on a bunch of pairs of jeans. I’ve gotta admit, they are pretty swell. I tried on the High Riser Skinny Skinny fit in several washes, but settled on the classic, dark-blue Davis wash. They’re high-rise, yes, but not in a too high, costume-y way—they come to just below my belly button. The length is a little shorter than what I’m used to (and this style only comes in one length, weirdly), but I actually kind of like that in jeans that are this skinny. I have a feeling I’ll be going back for these black cut-edge skinnies, too, because apparently I’m just enough of a loser that I’ll pay $128 for perfectly pre-ripped denim. Sigh.

I also tried on a few pairs of Alley Straight fit jeans, which are a bit longer (they’re available in two lengths, too) and slightly looser around the leg. They’re more similar to the jeans I usually wear, and if they were available in a dark rinse, I’d probably have bought these instead. If I find myself needing a pair of plain black jeans, these will be my go-to.

For reference on fit, I’m 5′6″, about 145 lbs, with a high waist-to-hip ratio. I usually wear a size 6 or 8 (or even 10) depending on the store. Madewell jeans are pretty stretchy since they have a little spandex in them, and between that and the usual vanity sizing ridiculousness, I find they run pretty large. Depending on the wash, either a 27 or 28 works perfectly for me. Happily, my jeans can go for numerous wearings without stretching out or bagging at all, and they come out of the wash without any weird twisting or anything. And yes—they make your butt look nice.

Maybe you’re not so bad after all, Madewell.

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Here’s what I wore to work today:

1. T-Shirt: Madewell, Slub v-neck pocket
2. Necklace: Madewell, Stonehold pendant (On sale…still!)
3. Sunglasses: Free People, Kensington
4. Blazer: Lucky, coated cotton (On sale! It looks like the product photo here, not like it does on the model.)
5. Scarf: Block Shop Textiles, Zipper
6. Jeans: Madewell High Riser Skinny Skinny, Davis wash
7. Boots: Frye Jackie Button Short
8. Belt: Wood & Faulk, Matchstick
9. Clutch: Renna Deluxe, gold coated & initial-stamped

I don’t know if it’s because of the time I recently spent in Marfa with Daniel, or it has to do with all of the still-living (!) plants in my apartment, but lately I can’t get enough of cactuses. Cacti. Whatever. Or maybe it’s succulents in general, since I can never seem to remember what makes a succulent a cactus.

Anyway, I put together a little collection of some of my favorite cactus-themed stuff. I want all of it! Greedy, so greedy…

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1. Amelie Mancini / Cactus tote
2. Budi Satria Kwan / Cactus print
3. Sea & Asters / Geometric Cactus Planter
4. Simka Sol / Cactaceae leggings
5. Confetti Riot / Cactus print tea towel and pillows—white and peach
6. Visual Cities by Mariadiamantes / Cactus print

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1. Banquet Atelier & Workshop / Ten Cacti and Paddle Cactus screenprints
2. Sian Keegan / Cacti phone case
3. The Kingpins / Michael Cera Cactus button
4. The Black Vinyl / Early-1800s illustrated cactus chart
5. Nuukk / Cactus stamps
6. Make-Ready / Cactus print

Speaking of cactuses (I’m having a hard time with the word “cacti” for some reason), when was the last time you listened to 3rd Bass? I had The Cactus Album on heavy rotation during 1989 and 1990, and then 3rd Bass just kinda…evaporated. It’s a FANTASTIC album, though, and it still sounds great (maybe even better) 26 years later.

As an interesting (debatable) aside, did you know that 3rd Bass and The Smiths have something in common? Other than being white guys with tall hair, I mean. They both used the same sample! If you skip ahead to the 22:18 mark above, the beginning of “Triple Stage Darkness,” you’ll hear it: You are sleeping, you do not want to believe. You are sleeping… Now, if you’re a Smiths fan who appreciates Morrissey’s excellent use of samples, you’ll know that this is the very same sample used at the end of “Rubber Ring” (3:33 mark). Crazy, right? And considering how obscure the source of this sample is—a flexi-disc included with a 1971 book about communicating electronically with the dead, written by a Latvian psychologist named Konstantin Raudive—I think it’s mayyyyybe safe to assume that someone in 3rd Bass was a Smiths fan, and that mayyyyybe they actually took the sample from a Smiths record and not from the original source…but what do I know! Those crackles sure sound like they line up, though. Cool.

(How’s that for a tangent?!)

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Yeah, I could live there is a D16 feature wherein I post pictures of homes I want to break into, kick out the inhabitants and move in. This week, I’m staying local! I’m going right down the road to my former Brooklyn neighboorhood, DUMBO, where interior stylist Martin Bourne and fashion stylist Leilin López live.

So…HOLY COLOR. That hot pink Wegner Teddy Bear chair is killing me. I want that chair in my life. I want to come home from work every day, climb into it with a cup of tea and a dog on each side of me, and sit there for hours.

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Pale greens and blues aren’t typically where I tend to go color-wise, but I love it here. If everything were white (which is probably what I’d do), the space would still be gorgeous…but it wouldn’t feel as warm as it does here. It’s tough to make an open loft feel this homey. I love it.

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Such a nice office area! Simple steel sawhorse brackets combined with regular old 2x4s are a great way to make huge worktops for very little money.

Those Hugo Guinness pigeon linocuts have been on my wishlist forever. Someday! Sigh…

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Hello there, giant dining table. I love long, shallow tables, at least ones that don’t feel formal. Like the desks above, this dining table—made by artist Jarrett Mellenbruch—appears to have been constructed from very basic materials. It’s a really lovely design. Combined with the Wegner and Børge Mogensen chairs, I’m in heaven.

You can view more photos of Bourne and Lopez’s home at Architectural Digest Spain.

All photographs by Pete Bermejo for Architectural Digest Spain

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One of the things I’m hoping to accomplish with my new blogging schedule is taking the time to post about graphic design I love. Despite the fact that I design stuff for a living, I’ve kind of shied away from posting about commercial art here on the blog. My hope is to focus primarily on print, packaging, and other tangible objects, but my only real guideline is that the end product was designed for a consumer market.

I’m pretty sure I discovered Toronto-based Greenhouse Juice Co. through Anabela’s (gorgeous) Instagram feed. However it happened, my eyes glazed over as soon as I started looking at their bottles, and then a fresh juice company had a new admirer…a mere 500 miles outside their delivery zone. Maybe someday I’ll have a chance to actually try one of these delicious-looking juices, but for the time being, I’m happy to just look at these lovely bottles! Greenhouse Juice Co.’s brand identity was designed by Sarah Dobson.

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OK, packaging design aside, do you not feel like drinking ALL of these things today? I know I do. I keep looking at the subtle ombre of the Piloto and wishing a bottle of it would materialize on my desk. I mean…Brazil nut milk and cold brew coffee? How could that not be delicious?! Gimme. That Pink Milk blend is fascinating, too. I can’t even really imagine what it tastes like. A cool, creamy borscht, perhaps?

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Even if you, like me, live too far from Greenhouse Juice Co. to be a real customer, I still recommend following them on Instagram. Their beautiful photos make me want to drink more juices, which is a good thing. They have a really lovely blog, too, with articles about wellness and tons of great recipes, most of them vegan. This wild mushroom and leek stew is so up my alley.

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Of course, if you do live in Toronto (lucky you!), you can visit Greenhouse Juice Co. in person and drink as much juice as your wallet can handle! All of their locations look super cute.

All photos via Greenhouse Juice Co.

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There’s a giant photo of my head on my blog. Bye-bye, comfort zone!

I didn’t start wearing brightly-colored lipstick until I was in my mid-30s. I was into deep reds in my teens and early 20s, and then I pretty much just moved on to sheer, pinky-natural glosses. The lipstick that brought me around was hot-orange MAC Lady Danger, which I wrote about in 2010. And for about four years, that was the only color I wore when I wasn’t opting for a gloss. (By the way, I’m still on my first tube—that’s how slowly I go through lipstick. Please don’t tell me it’s expired and that my lips are probably coated with invisible fungus. I don’t want to know!)

Late last summer, I started to branch out…but just a little. After seeing Jenna wearing a beautiful shade of hot pink lipstick, I went for it: I picked up a tube of NARS Funny Face, and suddenly I had TWO brightly-colored lipsticks that I feel good in! I’m kind of shocked that it works with my skin color, since cool-toned makeup is usually Bad City on me.

I really like the texture of NARS lipstick. It doesn’t wear quite as long as MAC’s matte formula, but it’s a little kinder and less drying to my lips. It’s also a bit more forgiving during the application process. When I run out of my MAC Lady Danger, I may try NARS Heat Wave for the sake of the formula since it’s a very similar shade.

I still only wear real lipstick once or twice a week, but it’s fun to have two to choose from. I don’t feel like I’m wearing a costume, I just feel…fancy. I guess that’s the lipstick look that’ll define my late 30s. (Hey, I still have a few more months before I have to say “my early 40s.”)

Oh, and in case you’re curious, here’s a list of the rest of what’s on and around my head today:
✚ Lipstick: NARS Funny Face
✚ Mascara: Ardency Inn (I wrote a review of this magical stuff a while back.)
✚ Dress: H&M (Looks like they don’t have this exact print anymore, unfortunately.)
✚ Black earrings: & Other Stories
✚ Gold earrings: Madewell
✚ Necklace: Madewell (Oh hey, it’s on sale! You can see much of it in my photo, but I love this necklace. I wear it almost every day.)

p.s. Semi-related, since this is the “vanity” category: This interview with Fran Lebowitz in Elle is so fantastic. I adore Fran.

(Giant photo of my head by John Vairo Jr.)

Around this time last year, I put together a collection of furniture and housewares for sale through Chairish. Since then, Chairish has grown to include a pretty mind-bogglingly impressive selection of not only furniture, but art—vintage, antique, and new.

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When Chairish came back to me recently asking if I’d be interested in creating another collection for them, this time consisting of art pieces, I didn’t hesitate. (The also asked if I’d like to do another giveaway. Yes, of course! Scroll down for the details on that…)

You can see my entire collection of 50 pieces of art over at Chairish, but here are a dozen that I particularly love…and covet.

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1. Alexander Calder – ‘Red Sun’ lithograph
2. Vintage black metal letter A
3. Arc de Triomphe paint-by-numbers
4. Heather Chontos – ‘The September Collection No. 9′ painting
5. Pierre Soulages – 1972 Olympics lithograph
6. H.R. Bresel – Haitian Farm Scene painting

By the way, if you’re interested in selling art (or anything!) through Chairish, you can get all the details on how it works in their Seller Guide. They also have an iPhone app (direct link, in case you’re reading this on an iPhone) that makes the whole process seamless, from photographing your stuff to getting it listed on the site.

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1. Silk-screened moon
2. Bronze Kinetic Sculpture – Dancing Man
3. Pair of Native American weavings
4. Maija Isola/Marimekko – ‘Lokki’ wall hanging
5. Mid-Century Scandinavian tapestry
6. 19th century lake scene painting

Giveaway time! Here’s how it works:
Enter your email address on the Door Sixteen + Chairish giveaway page.
Entries will be accepted from March 25th through April 8th.
One lucky winner will receive a $200 site credit to shop at Chairish! Yay!
If you’re the winner, I’ll notify you via email.

If you win the giveaway, you can spend it however you want—either on artwork I selected for my collection (I made sure to include a number of of pieces under $200!) or on anything else for sale at Chairish.

This post was written in partnership with Chairish, but all words, opinions, and selections are entirely my own.

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Without fail, every time Erin from Cotton & Flax releases a new design, I want it. I already own several Cotton & Flax tea towels (Brushstroke, Black Plus and this limited edition beauty), and now I’m going to have to add at one more to my collection! Or maybe two more. Gimme all the tea towels.

Like all of Erin’s other textiles, Grid and Zig Zag (also available as a pillowoh my) are cut, printed and sewn in her LA studio. They’re made of a flax linen that is just the right softness, perfectly absorbent and durable. My Cotton & Flax tea towels have gone through the wash dozens of times (I air-dry mine, even though she says they can be tumbled dry), and they still have their shape and have held up beautifully. They look great in the background of baking photos, too!

p.s. Erin has been kind enough to offer free US shipping on all Cotton & Flax products to D16 readers through March 29th. Use the code DOORSIXTEEN at checkout. (Thanks, Erin!!)

p.p.s. There’s a great interview with Erin about being a business owner over at Design*Sponge today. Woo hoo!

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Photo by Frederik Vercruysse via Dwell

Yeah, I could live there is a D16 feature wherein I post pictures of homes I want to break into, kick out the inhabitants and move in. Today, we’re heading 15 miles northeast of Antwerp to the Brecht, Belgium, home of Rini van Beek.

Despite the fact that they’re not the most practical when it comes to usable living space, I’ve got a thing for A-frame houses. Between that an my affinity for black exteriors, when this little cutie turned up in Dwell a couple of years ago, I got major heart-eyes. They tweeted a link to the back issue a few days ago, and my adoration was renewed.

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Photo by Frederik Vercruysse via Dwell

The office extension on the side of Van Beek’s house was designed by a team from Belgium-based dmvA. Because of local building codes, only 290 square feet could be added to the original structure, but…all that glass! All that nature! All that white! I wish I could see before photos to compare, but the whole thing looks totally magical. What a lovely place to live and work.

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Photo by Frederik Vercruysse via Dwell

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Photo by Mick Couwenbergh via Divisare

I looooooove that Tufty-Time sofa. I love the shape, the proportions, the color…and the fact that it’s called “Tufty-Time.” Someday, when I’m a billionaire, I’ll line the walls of my entire home with Tufty-Time sofas.

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Photo by Mick Couwenbergh via Divisare

What a nice little kitchen! I have no idea why someone would need two sinks in a kitchen this small, but I’m sure there’s a reason I’m not considering. And I do kind of want to slide a vintage rug in there when I move in…

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Photo by Mick Couwenbergh via Divisare

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I know, Fritz. Bloggers talking about blogging make me want to bury my head in a blanket, too.

It seems like a lot of bloggers have been writing “What the hell am I doing here with this blog in 2015?” posts lately, and…I get it. Once upon a time, blogging was journaling. And then journaling became blogging, which eventually turned into a job for some people, and then came Twitter, which was like blogging but way easier, and then came Instagram, which kind of started to make blogging on a blog seem, well, almost obsolete. I’m told that there’s something called Pinterest taking away from the value of blogs, too, but I don’t know anything about that.

But you know what? I still really love blogging. After 17 years, it still feels like a fresh format to me, and maybe that’s because of all the things that have come along since those heady early days of LiveJournal. I’ve never had a grand vision of what I want my blog to become, which is likely the reason why I haven’t thrown up my hands in frustration and walked away. That said, my lack of a grand vision (and this is something I tend to lack in my attitude about life in general, not just blogging) means that I sometimes question why I’m posting (or not posting) something on such a myopic level that I wind up saving draft…after draft…after draft. Weeks pass, seasons change. Drafts stay drafts.

I’ve always said that I won’t post about anything unless I feel a compelling desire to, and that I won’t let the potential for blog content dictate choices I make in my off-blog life. Both of these things are still true, and while I don’t like to throw around the word “never” too lightly, I can come pretty close to using that word here. So, if I’m not posting about projects at my house, it’s not because I’m a lazy blogger or because I don’t want to share, it’s because I’m not doing any projects at my house. The biggest complaint (if you can call it that) I get from D16 readers is that they want to see more of that kind of stuff, and I get that, but…that well has kind of run dry, and I’m not going to dump a bunch of water into it and pretend it came from the earth. (OK, time to leave that metaphor alone.)

ANYWAY. I need some structure. I need a bigger focus. The words “editorial calendar” kind of give me the creepy-crawlies in the same way that “water feature,” “window treatments,” and “feature wall” do, but I kind of think that maybe possibly an editorial calendar might be the right thing for me. For this blog. And, hopefully, for you, the reader.

Here’s what I’m thinking:

Mondays: Yeah, I could live there (other people’s houses)
Tuesdays: Greed (stuff I want)
Wednesdays: Vanity (fashion/cosmetics)
Thursdays: Work (graphic design-related things)
Fridays: My photos from the week

Sticking to this calendar, even if a bit loosely, doesn’t mean that there’s no room for any additional content, it just means that what falls outside of these guidelines would be…a bonus, I guess. Or just super irritating, if you’re one of those people who likes to read blogs because you don’t like the blogger. Haha.

Let’s see how it goes!

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I have a really poor track record with house plants. The air plant that kind of freaked me out? Dead. The jade plant I was “determined to not kill”? Dead. The gorgeous, lush, fiddle leaf fig tree that thrived for almost three years in my dressing room? Dead, dead, dead. (Yes, that last one is particularly tragic, and exactly why you need to make sure your fiddle lead fig tree isn’t too close to a radiator during a very cold winter. Sigh.)

It wasn’t without a good amount of trepidation that I decided to invest a fair sum of money in buying a WHOLE BUNCH of plants for the new apartment. The daylight here is perfect, though, and the deep windowsills really lend themselves to plant life. So, with a fresh attitude and about $150, I went for it! I bought a few plants at IKEA and Home Depot, but most of them came from Adams Fairacre Farms in Newburgh. If you live in the Hudson Valley and somehow don’t know about Adams (they also have locations in Kingston, Poughkeepsie and Wappingers), you’re missing out big time. Aside from having an awesome produce department and a full-service grocery store, Adams has a plant/nursery department that never lets me down. They have a great selection, reasonable prices at all times, and excellent seasonal sales. (They also have a great refund policy for any perennials that kick the bucket, so save your receipts.) Anyway, enough about Adams—I’ve been going there since I was a kid, and it’s fab.

Plants pictured above, left to right: Zebra plant, tiny cactus (that’s the scientific name, haha), assorted succulents, trailing jade (it broke off in transit and I’m letting it grow roots), crown of thorns.

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I’ve had this fiddle leaf fig tree for a while now. It was really small (also: cheap) when I bought it…maybe a year and a half ago? It would probably be bigger than it is now if I hadn’t been so stupidly lazy about getting it into a proper pot. I had it in its plastic starter pot until a month ago! The woven bamboo pot it’s in now is a larger, black version of the PARANÖT pot from IKEA—it’s not on their site, but I’m pretty sure they still carry it.

And hey! There’s my Morrissey poster that’s been going everywhere with me for the past 24 years. The leafy branch over his head is right at home in the new apartment!

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Left to right: Dracaena, string of pearls, hoya rope plant, hoya heart plant (hanging), spoon jade.

The hanging basket is the DRUVFLÄDER from IKEA, and the sweet little ceramic hanging planter is from Small Spells. I am still grieving Brooklyn’s loss of the Kentile sign last summer, but this laser cut chipboard model from Boundless Brooklyn is a nice daily reminder of its place in my heart.

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Before I talk about the plants, can I tell you about my new lamp? It’s the stacked marble table lamp from CB2, and I love it. CB2 has been killing it all over the place lately, especially with lighting (please buy this sweet pink glass and marble lamp and think of me, because I want it but have nowhere to put it). For some reason I wasn’t expecting the lamp to be this big and HEAVY (who knew solid marble would be heavy…), but I’m not complaining.

OK, plants! Left to right: Pencil cactus, something I can’t identify, jade plant that’s recuperating after being moved from the old apartment, black robusta snake plant.

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I’m obsessed with the pencil cactus. It looks like a crazy monster and I really hope it doesn’t die.

PLEASE NOTE: Apparently a pencil cactus isn’t actually a cactus, and it’s also super toxic to people and pets. I’ll be moving mine out of reach of my pups. (Thanks, Katrina!)

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I think my favorite of the new plants in my life is this trailing jade vine! It’s doubled in size in the past month, so I’m pretty sure it likes living with me. I bought the macramé planter holder and the faceted pot (now totally obscured by the plant, but oh well) from CB2 at the same time as the lamp, and both are pretty perfect. I’ve never had any macramé in my life before, but it feels good.

The banner is from Secret Holiday & Co. It’s OK!

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Such a happy little spot! The teeny cactus pot is from Normann Copenhagen, the print is by Lisa Congdon, the rocks were painted by Diana Fayt (sweet tokens from Lisa and Clay’s wedding), and the ceramic box is from J.Crew Home.