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Bathroom Remodel Reveal

9 Jan

How do I love my new bathroom? Let me count the ways: 

 1. IT’S DONE! We’ve known for years that we would need to remodel the bathroom because the pipes were clogged and we couldn’t use the sink. (Yes, we had multiple plumbers attempt to fix it but they all determined that the wall would need to be removed to access the pipe.) So, after several years of brushing our teeth in the main bath, we can finally use our sink again and for that alone, I say Hallelujah! 

  

2. WALL-TO-WALL COUNTERSPACE. Our old vanity was tiny (offering only an inch or two on the sides) so it made any basic task, like putting on makeup, extremely difficult. Even with all the pretty things in the new bathroom, the counterspace is probably my favorite feature! To have a daily task simplified like this feels like a great luxury to me. Oh – and did I mention that we lucked out by finding a pre-fab marble countertop at Home Depot that fit perfectly? It came with the sink and was a fraction of the cost of a custom marble top!     

3. ART. I always knew I wanted some green in the bathroom and even considered banana leaf wallpaper but when I saw these prints from The Aestate (they’re the Beverly I & Beverly II trimmed to fit the frame), I knew they were perfect. (Bonus: they’re cheaper and less of a commitment – perfect for my fickle taste!) Note: The frames are from Crate and Barrel and the wall color is Benjamin Moore Cloud White. 

  

4. AN INDUSTRIAL LIGHT. I fell in love with this gooseneck from Restoration Hardware and didn’t look much further. (Truth be told, if I could go back and change one thing, I’d go with thin sconces on the sides of the mirror instead of the overhead light. It’s cool but you can’t really see the gooseneck detail because it’s up so high.) 

  
 5. CERAMIC TILE.  I’m obsessed! Isn’t it beautiful? I’ve got to give credit to Pablo on this one. (It’s the Circulos Black from Cement Tile Shop.) We were considering some classic small hex tile and he spotted this on my Pinterest board when I was showing him something else. Note: Our contractor had a lot of trouble with it. The dark grout stained the tiles and he had to buff them to get back to the correct color. So, please – if you ever use this kind of tile, be warned! 

  
6. PRETTY TOWEL HOOKS. They’re from Anthro. Cute, huh? 

  

7. A CUSTOM VANITY. Our contractor also happens to be a master woodworker and he made this beauty to our specifications and just like that, all my vanity dreams come true. (What? Am I the only one who dreams of bathroom furniture?) I love how it looks like a piece of furniture because it has feet and doesn’t quite reach the walls. And it gives us a lot more storage inside than our old one did! (The brass and green hardware is from Anthropologie but they’re sold out now. Sorry.)  
8. A MODERN TOWEL RING AND HAND TOWELS.   I labored over the hardware but decided that since we just needed a small hand towel, I didn’t want to use a rod. But finding a ring that doesn’t scream “welcome to 1983!” proved difficult. Enter this cheapie from Urban Outfitters (so cheap it didn’t even come with hardware)! I love it and it works perfectly with these thin Turkish towels from West Elm. (Pablo says he’s afraid to use them because they look too fancy!)  I think he finally relaxed when I showed him that I bought a bunch of them – from grey to white. Here’s what it looks like with the white one:  

 9. WAINSCOTING.  I originally wanted white subway tile in here but I’m so glad we decided to switch to wainscoting. It looks classic but the dark paint (Benjamin Moore Black Jack) makes it modern. Get this: our contractor MADE every piece of trim.  He’s amazing!    

10. A PRETTY T.P. HOLDER.  I understand that I shouldn’t be this excited about hardware but isn’t it so nice? I love how the antique brass looks against the black wall. (It’s from Pottery Barn if you must know.)   

11. ACCESSORIES. I’m not into lots of “stuff” on countertops so we only have a few accessories. I can’t find a soap dispenser I like so until I do, this J.R. Watkins Aloe and Green Tea hand soap while suffice. The malachite bowl from Hillary Thomas was a Christmas present from Pablo last year. I have a malachite obsession but I know there’s a little malachite fatigue in the market right now so I’m actually glad we only made a small investment in it. (This beauty is just the right size to hold rings while I’m washing my hands.)    

 We keep our toothbrushes in a green glass from Anthropologie. And of course we have a Baies candle cause, duh, it’s the best candle on earth.   

12. A MASSIVE MEDICINE CABINET. We fell in love with the Rivet mirror/medicine cabinet from Restoration Hardware and having it inset makes the bathroom feel so much bigger than before. Plus it’s pretty and offers TONS of storage inside (so much that I even let Pablo have some)!  

 Do you hear the angels singing? Because I do every time I open it!
 
I hope you enjoyed this update as much as I love our new bathroom! Sorry for the no-bells-and-whistles blog post (i.e.: no links but plenty of crappy iPhone pictures). I haven’t written in so long and I just don’t have the time to do it the “right” way! Right now, it seems that life is more important than blogging for me. Sorry I’ve been MIA for so long but if you’re interested in what projects I’m up to, follow me on Instagram @sue_erneta. (Maybe I’ll eventually get around to writing a post about Sophia’s amazing Starbucks latte Halloween costume!)

XO

Sue at Home

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The House of Versace

22 Sep

Back in high school and college, there was not a designer I worshiped more than Gianni Versace. You need to understand, this was the time of the Elizabeth Hurley safety pin dress and the ads with megawatt supermodels with one name like Helena, Linda and Christy. (Man, do I love this image. )

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Versace played an interesting role in my life when I was spending an uphappy semester at UCONN (nothing wrong with the school, just not the right fit for me). That fall, it was a Versace exhibit at FIT that lured me to NYC for a weekend. I saw the exhibit, fell in love with the school (I was already seriously in love with NYC!), and convinced my parents to let me transfer schools (again!) so I could spend my final college years in NYC. Best career move I ever made. Thanks Mom and Dad!

That same year, Versace purchased Casa Casuarina, a spectacular mansion in Miami. Image via Born Rich.

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Years later, I was an assistant at ELLE when I heard that he had been murdered on the steps of his mansion. I can still picture where I was when I heard the news.

I was heartbroken and vowed to visit Miami one day to pay my respects. Well, a few years later I took that trip to South Beach and was floored with the location of Casa Casuarina. For anyone who has never been there, his manse was right on South Beach, in the middle of all the tourist traps and right across from the public beach. Needless to say I was still dying to get behind that gate.

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Then a few years ago, I had the chance to get inside. I was back in Miami when I found out that the mansion had become a hotel and restaurant so I decided to visit for lunch. And this week when I heard it had been sold again (more on that in a sec), I had to go and dig up my pictures from the visit. Check it out:

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Everywhere you looked, there was opulence.

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How beautiful is that tile?

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I didn’t get to see the whole space–the restaurant was in the courtyard–but I was able to take a look at the pool area. These steps lead from the courtyard to the pool.

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Just a little plunge pool. No biggie.

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I can’t imagine the time it would take to do this kind of work. (Note: This is so not my style but I find it fascinating. Don’t you?)

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In case you forgot who’s house you were in.

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Courtyards are such a European concept. I wish we had more of them in the US.

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But the most ridiculous, over-the-top, display of ostentatious behavior was the restaurant’s bathroom. (Image via Born Rich.)

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Yup, you’re seeing that correctly. It is in fact a carved marble toilet with a gilded lid.  Ah, Gianni Versace. You were one-of-a-kind.

And it seems that Versace has been popping up a bunch in this past week’s news.

VERSACE IN THE NEWS #1) I heard that the mansion was sold to the Jordache Jeans heirs for $41.5 million. That’s a lot of denim.

VERSACE IN THE NEWS #2) On October 5th Lifetime will air an original movie, “The House of Versace” starring Gina Gershon as Donatella and Enrico Colantoni as Gianni. Image via MyLifetime.com

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Gina’s got the lips down. Image via ABCnews.

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I love this guy and think the casting is great. (Enrico, I’ll forgive you for Just Shoot Me, which was the worst portrayal of a fashion magazine ever, because of your fine work on Veronica Mars.) Image via Styleblazer.

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VERSACE IN THE NEWS #3) Check out Donatella’s latest collection that was shown last week during Milan fashion week. I’m missing the jewel-encrusted bustiers but I still think it’s pretty great. Runway images via style.com

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XO

Sue at Home

Foyer Update: New Lighting and Stools

8 Apr

As I told you when I revealed our new foyer table, the lighting I had there was just borrowed from the bedroom and I knew I needed to find something else. Here’s a refresher of the foyer table with the borrowed light:

After the table went in, I went on a lamp shopping spree at Target but none of the options were quite right.

Since then, the foyer has gone through a couple changes. You may have noticed a couple of them when you saw our foyer on Apartment Therapy. (What? You missed that?? Well, our living room–which includes this foyer area–was featured on Apartment Therapy last year. Yup. It sure was!) Anyway, we were using an old mirrored lamp with a quick-fix shade from Target but I wasn’t crazy about it. We also got a new runner from Ballard for a song. It’s an indoor/outdoor rug so it’s super durable which is just what we needed. Is it a perfect forever runner? Probably not. But it’s good for now. (You can pick one up here.)

And then I revealed the little “hi” in the foyer back in November.

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And it even got a brighter gold update back in this post:

hi collage

But let’s get back to the hunt for a lamp…

Like I told you back in October, I was eagerly waiting for Nate Berkus’s collection to hit Target and when it did, I was there. It took a little hunting (read the harrowing tale here) but I found the lamp I wanted.

nate collection

I figured I would just update this post that I started last fall with a nice picture of the Nate lamp and say it was all done.  But…womp, womp…it wasn’t quite perfect. Believe me, I really wanted to love it but it just felt kinda wimpy and just not quite right.

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 …and I didn’t like the way the shade looked with light shining through it. (Yes, I know it still has the plastic on and yes, I know you’re not supposed to put it on like that but how the hell else are you supposed to see how it looks with light shining through?! I promise I just held it over the bulb for a few seconds, Mom.)

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So, back to the drawing board. I picked up another lamp from Target with a panelled shade and that’s filling the space now. (I can’t seem to find either on the site right now so I guess they’re sold out but they’re both from the Threshold line which is killing it so go check out what else they have here.) It’s pretty but it’s not the lamp of my dreams.

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So what would the lamp of my dreams be, you ask? Of, I don’t know. Probably something like the Robert table lamp from Matthew Studios in Amethyst:

Or the Veronica in quartz:

If you’re interested in purchasing one of them for me and you have the $3500 required to get one, you can go to rareculture.com to pick it up.  (Actually don’t. That’s gross. If you have $3500 to spend on a table lamp, please just use the money to make a donation to Cookies for Kids’ Cancer for me. Thanks.)

You’ll also notice that we finally got some stools that sit on either side of the table. I might be DIYing a little addition to them soon I won’t into too much detail here but they’re from Serena and Lily and yes, they come with the dipped legs. Cute, right?

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My little foyer is still a work in progress but it has come a long way since this!

foyer BEFORE

XO

Sue at Home

Our Wedding: What We Wore

24 Jul

On Friday, Pablo and I will celebrate 10 years of marriage so in honor of the big day, I’m having Wedding Week here at Sue At Home. Yesterday, I introduced you to Newport and the Beechwood mansion.

Today, the clothes!

As a fashion editor, I had a special kind of pressure when shopping for my wedding dress. I looked EVERYWHERE and tried on every dress in existence. Finally, I fell in love with a halter gown from Carolina Herrera with a pleated organza underskirt that peaked out underneath and swung in a huge train in the back. I loved it then and I love it now. Considering it was 10 years ago, I think I should be sort of mortified by what I picked but alas, I’m not. Check out this amazing ad with my dress from way back then. (I showed it to Sophia and Lily today and Lily said, “Why is she playing chess and not at a wedding or something?” Good question, kid.)

The closest pose I have is the one below where I sat down in someone else’s seat while my dad made a speech. I love this picture. (The dress didn’t bustle so I just dragged it around all night. It was filthy by the end of the night but I didn’t care!)

I was an editor at ELLE at the time of the wedding so I was able to order my dress directly through the Carolina Herrera showroom and have all my fittings done there by the head of her atelier. If I were you, I might want to punch me after reading that but I promise that I know I was incredibly lucky to have that treatment and I pinch myself just thinking about it. Even as my wedding diet kicked in, they did an amazing  job altering everything so that it fit like a glove. It fit so perfectly that I didn’t even have to wear a bra which is a testament to both their talent and my pre-kid boobs. (That’s right. I just linked something to that phrase. You’ll have to click it and see what it goes to!)

I wore a blusher and a full length veil for the ceremony and then removed the long one and left the shortie on for the reception. Yes, I am one of the those people who wore her veil for the whole night. I’m kind of old fashioned like that.

  

As for shoes, I spent a ton on a pair that no one saw. Advice for brides-to-be: Get something under $250, like these, and spend some money on a nice pair of sandals for your honeymoon instead.  FYI: They were Manolo Blahnik and they were similar to these but in champagne satin. I wish I could show you a picture but there isn’t one!

My bridesmaid’s wore cream lace strapless cocktail dresses that were custom made from Blue on St. Marks Place in NYC. I don’t think the place still exists but if it does, DO NOT go there. The woman is crazy and a few of the dresses barely made it to the girls on time. And they were made like crap. You can see on the wedding video how my ladies are repeatedly pulling their dresses up while dancing. My maid-of honor wore a sleeveless v-neck version. That smart girl avoided the potential nip slips the other bridesmaids were dealing with all night. All that dress trouble for this photo opp. Thanks ladies!

For my main man’s attire, I sat Pablo down for the Oscar pre-show and made him watch the red carpet to pick out his look. He loved Benjamin Bratt’s classic black tux with a black vest and a long white tie. And I agreed! By using some store credits and an editor discount, I was able to score him a Burberry tux for a few hundred dollars! (That’s me – always bargain hunting!) The tie was from Saks. I’m pretty sure it was Brioni. Doesn’t he look handsome – and so young! – in these pictures?

There we are giggling and happy. It really was a very magical day! Stay tuned for more wedding pics all week long as we lead up to our 10 year anniversary on Friday.

XO

Sue at Home

All photos by Mark Nelson except for the Carolina Herrera ad which was a picture I took of the ad from an old magazine. (How the hell else am I supposed to credit that?)

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A Few Fashion Bon Mots from Lily

10 Jul

Me: “Lily, how was school?”

Lily: “Great. Everyone said my dress was ADORBS.”

One evening, Lily started complimenting my work outfit but her kind words quickly turned to a dis as she explained that the outfit would be “much better” if it was all pink. Another time, when I was wearing a casual dress and flat sandals, she said “Oooo…Mommy! I like your dress! But you should wear high heels with that.”

So, I guess the tip is: Everything is better in pink and with high heels.

The other day I couldn’t find my sunglasses so I grabbed a pair of Pablo’s John Varvatos shades that were hanging around. I thought they looked a little masculine on me but they were fine. Lily took one look at me, made a face, and said “Mommy. You look like a DUDE.”

XO

Sue at Home

Summer Dresses

29 Jun

I love a good dress.

I love them in the winter with tights, a sweater, and boots. But I love them even more in the summer when all you need is some high heeled sandals and a little fun jewelry. I was perusing my favorite fashion mecca (J Crew. Duh.) and saw this beauty that I had to share with you. Now, I know that I have no need for a feather dress (nor do I have the $895 that this dress costs) but I just had to share it because it’s so damn cute. I would totally rock this for a City Hall wedding.

But let’s talk about some realistic dresses. Don’t forget that this blog has not totally taken over my life: I’m still the fashion editor for Ladies’ Home Journal. (Who am I kidding? The blog has totally taken over my life!) Anyway, this week at the day job, I wrote a blog post with lots of super-cute summer dresses – and they’re all under $100. Plus, if you know me, you know that I never pay full price for anything. So be a diligent sale shopper like me and keep an eye on some of these and I’m sure you could score some July 4th deals next week!

Here’s the link: Beat The Heat: 7 Summer Dresses Under $100

I think I might pick up the stripey Gap one this weekend. As for the feather dress? Well, I’ll just have to dream about that as I lay my head on my feather pillow and snuggle up in my down duvet!

XO

Sue at Home

P.S. I did promise you I’d write about fashion way back in the beginning. It only took me 26 posts to do it!

Image via J Crew

DIY Painting for the Dining Room

12 Jun

Allow me to reintroduce you to my dining room. Dining room, readers. Readers, dining room. You might remember that you met this room back in this post but here’s the recap. This was our dining room before we moved in. Simple. Subtle.

Cream and brown.

Here’s how it was recently.

The only big problems were 1) the too-short curtains that need to be replaced by something that goes all the way to the ceiling and 2) that weird art by yours truly. The curtains are going to take a little time to hunt down but I got to work on the painting yesterday. I was inspired by this picture I had seen on Amber Interiors but I wanted to do it with a gold background instead of silver. (Yes, I know that silver would “go” better with the gray walls but that’s precisely why I want to use gold. You get me, right?)

OK. So we’re all recapped now. Let the painting begin!

I used Craft Smart acrylic paints from Michael’s in Gold and Neon Pink. I actually had to make a run to the store to get more Neon Pink. That’s what happens when you share your paints with 2 little girls. (Who am I kidding?  I used it all myself!)  I made my first coat and I could still see some of the other colors through it. I liked it on the pink part but the gold was just looking greenish. (Also – please note my amazing art studio. It’s called laying-newspaper-down-on-the-living-room-floor-and-leaning-over-the-painting. Really fancy, huh?)

But luckily after a few coats later, it was finally covered – with just a little bit still showing through the pink part.

I actually like that little bit peeking through the pink. Nothing like a happy mistake!

So, it’s good…for now. I’m quite sure I’ll be changing it in a few months, but until then, I’m content.

And I’m not the only one who likes it.

XO

Sue at Home

P.S. I’ve been working on my foyer and I’m thrilled with how it’s coming together. Then again, anything would be an improvement on what it’s looked like for the past 18 months:

Details and “after” pics soon…

Starting the Next Chapter

12 May

When I graduated from college in 1996 (yes, I’m that old) I had one goal: get a job in the fashion department of a magazine. I was lucky enough to land one right away as the Closet Assistant at GQ. (Explaining what a closet assistant does is another post for another day. But it does involve male models sitting around your “office” in their boxer briefs. I. KID. YOU. NOT.) Anyway, back to my story…

For the past 16 years I have worked as a full-time magazine fashion editor so when I switched to a 3 day/week schedule just a few weeks ago, it was a bit of a culture shock. There are big negatives, like  How the hell am I supposed to get my job done in 3 days? And of course, the cut back in salary that goes with working less hours is not very pleasant either.

But on the flip side, there are positives, too: More time with my girls, Sophia, 7 and Lily, almost 4. (That’s them in the family pic from Aruba. I swear Pablo and I didn’t intend to wear coordinating ensembles. I apologize.) Oh…and now I’ll only have to do my maddening 90 minute commute from suburban New Jersey to NYC 3 times/week. I’ll also get to take care of life (ie: laundry, groceries, birthday party organizing and whatnot) on Mondays and Fridays so I can spend my weekend enjoying life rather than organizing it. But one of the biggest positives is starting this blog.

I’ve been blogging as an editor for Ladies’ Home Journal for several years writing posts about fashion, parenting and relationships but as personal as it sometimes got (and it did!), it just wasn’t really mine. But this is. I’ve named my blog Sue at Home because it’s just that: My life on these new “off” days. It’ll include lots of the things that make me tick like:

1. Renovating and decorating my small split-level mid-century house. You’ll see everything I’ve done in it and hope to do including all the successes, the happy mistakes, and the epic fails that a novice DIYer like me suffers through. Plus –  how I do it all on a non-existent budget.

2. I’m sure some stuff about my kids will pop up. I know every parent thinks this but my kids are highly entertaining! I’m no child expert but I’ll tell you what’s working in the kid department and what’s not. Plus you’ll see all the crafty, creative stuff that goes into having kids.

3. And certainly there will a little bit of style stuff because even though it’s my day job, fashion is still something I love and think about 7 days a week so it’s not like I know how to turn it off.  BTW – please continue to follow me at lhj.com for worky fashion posts (I’ll be doing all my “mom” blogging here now) and by god, please subscribe to Ladies’ Home Journal to see what I’m doing there. It’s only $5.99 for a year. I mean, seriously. It’s like we’re giving it away.

And if you know me, you know I’m an open book. So, please tell me what you want to hear about and I’ll do my best to give it to you.

I can’t even put into words how grateful and completely humbled I am that anyone (other than my mom or husband) would have any interest in reading what I have to say, so if you made it this far through my rambling, I can’t thank you enough for starting this new chapter with me. It should be fun!

How to find me before we meet again:

1. If waiting for the next post is just too much to bear, you can follow my personal tweets @sue_erneta. (Work tweets can still be found @lhjfashionlady.)

2. And if you’d like to see what someone obsessed with Pinterest looks like, check out my Pinterest boards here. (Let me know if you need an invite.)

3. Update: I wasn’t on Instagram when I started this blog but I am now. Follow me at sueerneta.

Thanks for reading!

XO

Sue at home

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