What I Left Behind

Home life and “nesting” have always been hugely important to me. From a young age, I  always decorated my space. Starting with my bedroom at age seven, which I painted myself and chose the window coverings and bedspreads (both had a Mickey Mouse pattern, my mother sewed the curtains herself). My childhood bedroom underwent more makeovers in my high school years than I did, and my college dorm, in an old brick “castle” in Upstate New York, was likely the most sophisticated, grown-up space on campus. Making my space beautiful has always been one of my closest-held hobbies, so it…

An Epic & Easy Party Appetizer

Photography by Jess Diab and Orlando Soria Dear Party Diary, I had the honor of being invited to a party hosted by Anna Camp, Skylar Astin (of “Pitch Perfect” fame), and American Express last week. It was in a fancy mid-century home in Beverly Hills. The party was filled with tips and tricks from Anna and Skylar about how to host a fun holiday. There were crafts, there were drinks, but most importantly, there were celebrities wandering around giving tips on how to have the most epic holiday season ever. This is the view from the pool: Ugly, right? There…

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Seven Tips for Simplifying Holiday Decorating

Photography by Tessa Neustadt Courtesy Homepolish I’m the type of person that enjoys decorating for the holidays, but not all people are like me. Every time I invite a friend over to decorate with me, they get bored within minutes and start playing with their phones while I maniacally keep crafting, adorning, and festooning the house from top to bottom. Clearly, there are some people who would prefer to get their decorating done as quickly as possible. So today I’m going to share some tricks for how to simplify the holiday decorating process while still making your house as cozy…

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Creating a Festive Holiday Tablescape

Winter is the perfect season to invite friends over for conversation and coziness (to combat the chilly weather and moody skies). As you may know by now, I’m a big fan of holiday decorating, hosting, and fun times with friends, so go figure this is my favorite time of year. Today, we’re talking about how to create a festive tablescape to spice up your holiday home, for both everyday use and for dinner parties. One of the most frequent questions I get from clients about dining tables is how to style them for daily use. It’s not like you’re going…

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Design Inspiration: A Tour of Villa Kérylos

Dear Travel Diary, My trip to Europe in August was one of the most gorgeous journeys I’ve taken in all my life, where every place we went was more incredible than the last. Of all the places we visited, Villa Kérylos was the most fruitful for interior design inspiration. The home, built in 1902 by French gajillionaire Theodore Reinach. Not sure how he got all that cash, but maybe it had something to do with how many jobs he had. He was an Archaeologist-mathematician-lawyer-papyrologist-philologist-epigrapher-historian-numismatist-musicologist-professor-politician. GOT THAT? His masterpiece home, designed by architect Emmanuel Pontremoli, is located in Beaulieu-sur-Mer, which is about fifteen minutes away from Nice,…

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Epic Everyday: A Simple and Sensational Friendsgiving

Dear Thankful People Who Love to Chow Down, I’ve always thought it would be fun to do a Friendsgiving dinner. But my pesky family keeps getting in the way. We do Thanksgiving together every year, making the concept of a friends-only version off the table. But this year, I said “screw it!” I WILL HAVE MY FRIENDSGIVING. So I did what any dinner-party-loving crazy person would do. I had fake Thanksgiving a month before actual Thanksgiving. Luckily, I had a little motivation, as this coincides with my collaboration with American Express to take normal everyday activities (like, say, dinner) and make…

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12 Very Important House Rules That Must Never Ever Be Broken

Photography by Daniel Collopy, Tessa Neustadt, and Zeke Ruelas Dear Housekeeping Diary, It’s not a secret that I’m obsessed with life at home. I spend my days designing interiors, prepping “lifestyle” photoshoots (whatever that means), fantasizing about throwing dinner parties, and then actually throwing one every once in a while. As you can imagine, someone as obsessed with the (often failed) pursuit of home perfection as I am has concocted a lot of rules for proper living over the years. Many of these were passed down from my parents, but I’ve concocted some pretty insane ones all on my own….

Shop Small: Compartés for National Chocolate Day!

Dear Cathy the Cartoon and Other Chocolate Enthusiasts, It seems like every day is designated as some sort of holiday honoring a food, group of people, cause, or fictional character. For example, did you know that February 22 is National Margarita Day? Or that June 2 is National Doughnut Day? Or that August 20 is World Mosquito Day? I can’t believe that doughnuts and margaritas only get the U.S., but mosquitos are honored worldwide. So rude. I’m personally not a huge fan of mosquitos, but I am a fan of chocolate. So when American Express invited me to choose my favorite local chocolatier…

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The Spine-Tingling Ghost Necessary for Every Halloween Home

Dear People Who Are Huge Nerds About Halloween Like I Am, Last year, my mother made me a little handmade ghost and sent it to me in the mail. I have no idea what inspired her to make this, but I was immediately obsessed with it and stole the idea this year and made my own. I’ve tried to elevate my Halloween decor this year but there’s always room for a bit of frivolity so I love how this stupid ghost makes me feel every time I see him. It’s like, “Hi, I want my house to look nice but also…

Spooky & Sophisticated Halloween Decorating

Dear Guys and Ghouls, I grew up in an area where Halloween was a pretty big deal. In the small community of Yosemite Village where I was raised, trick-or-treating was acceptable until you were well into your teenage years, locals built terrifying haunted houses and covered their yards in spooky corpses, witches, and spider webs. Every year, months before Halloween started, my sister and I would start figuring out what we wanted our costumes to be and start pestering my mother about making them (my older brother was less high-maintenance and always did some variation on the “scary-mask-with-regular-clothes” costume). We weren’t…