Tuesday, December 23, 2008

My Favorite Things

Ever wonder how Ruthie Sommers likes to spend the holidays? Or Charlotte Moss' favorite book? Or, err, my favorite Christmas song? Well you're in luck! Head on over to All the Best and check out the 'My Favorite Things' profiles. Here's a few of my favorite things above ;)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Inspiration: Erwin Olaf

Photo: Hope 5 by Erwin Olaf, as seen in Erwin Olaf

Lately I've been inspired by photographer and filmmaker Erwin Olaf, so I thought I'd share an image I styled with Patrick Cline as a mini shout-out to the cover of Olaf's latest book! While our photo is certainly true to Patrick's own style of photography, lighting and brilliant depth of field, my styling was inspired by the color palette, rich textures and shapes found on the front cover of Olaf's new book. It's also a little shout-out to two of my favorite companies: J. Crew (the shoes!) and Williams Sonoma Home. (My greek key rug!) In early January our work will finally be available to purchase online, (yippie!) so please stay tuned ;)

The Family at Home

Photos: Penny Wincer

Every year around Christmastime I tend to get extra sentimental about...well, everything! I'm heading home tomorrow to spend the holidays with my family, so I thought I'd do a post about families. Today while I was out holiday shopping at the Shabby Chic store in SoHo, I stumbled upon a book called The Family at Home, by Anita Kaushal and absolutely fell in love with the photography, style and message. Kaushal asserts that homes should be designed to function as seamlessly for stylish grown-ups as they do for growing children. She shows how you can design rooms that are highly creative and inviting for children yet also sophisticated and relaxing for adults. While I'm years away from starting a family of my own, this book made me smile because it's exactly how I envision my own home to be one day. So enjoy :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

A little inspiration

Last week I picked up a copy of the Coach Madison Edition catalog, and found myself drooling over the photography, inspiration boards and interviews! Bravo. Here's some of my favorite images (click to enlarge)...

Ok, how cool is she!

Monday, December 8, 2008

M.A. Belle's Eco-friendly Gift Guide

Photo: Patrick Cline for Rubie Green
Happy holidays everybody! Here's twenty of my favorite gift ideas, and proof that style and sustainability can coexist ;)

1. Banana Republic Faux Fur Muffler $98 (I'm obsessed with it, and it's so convincingly real-looking that I'm almost worried I'll get paint thrown at me!;) 2. Hanes Organic cotton tank $10, 3. eBay Vintage clip-on earrings ~$10 (currently my favorite accessory!), 4. eBay Vintage costume jewelry ~$10, 5. Foley + Corinna Recycled coffee bean sack tote (waiting for this puppy to be back in stock!), 6. Feral Childe Stripey Skirt $105 socially responsible and locally made (and amazingly beautiful!)
7. Dirty Librarian Media Bracelet $100 custom made from entirely vintage materials! 8. Paperdoll Triangulator jacket $180 socially responsible and locally made, 9. Branch Papier-Mâché Bird $46 made from recycled cement bags by fair wage artisans in Haiti, 10. Pottery Barn Organic Spa Robe $99, 11. 44 Knots Crab Tote $99 Made in the US of 100% recycled vintage sailcloth, 12. West Elm Organic Snow Leopard Towels $10-20 (hurry, they're on sale!)

13. Vidreco Recycled Glass Pedestal Bowl $61, 14. Rubie Green East Village fabric $90/yard, 15. Ortolan Organic Fishnet Pillow $110, 16. Virginia Johnson Elephants Shawl $210 made of eco-friendly silk screened wool, 17. Branch Embroidered Pillow $98 "The collective that manufactures these pillows works to preserve traditional Romanian handicrafts while providing jobs for women that allow them to stay home and raise their children." 18. Rubie Green Jackie fabric $90/yard, 19. Butter London 3 Free Lacquer $12 made free of Formaldehyde Toluene and DBP, 20. Pottery Barn Water Lily Tray $20 made in collaboration with SurEvolution.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Reader Request: Mystery Wallpaper

Can anybody identify the maker of this wallpaper? A reader/friend would love to find out :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Photo: Younga Park for Sprig, featuring Jackie by Rubie Green!

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! I hope you're all enjoying spending time with your families and eating a bit too much ;) As for me, I'm headed to the grocery store for some sweet potatoes and egg nog (mmmmmm) so cross your fingers the line isn't out the door! I'm incredibly thankful for all your support, and wish you a happy day. (And PS, for those of you who haven't yet set the table, click here for some amazingly chic eco-friendly place setting ideas! My favorites are above and below;)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

J. Crew Liquor Store

All photos by Brian Berman via A Continuous Lean

Last weekend while out holiday shopping, I finally made my way to the new J. Crew Mens Shop, and was blown away by its decor! Offering a well-curated selection of limited edition pieces, everyday staples and vintage accessories, the store was designed by Andy Spade and his business partner Anthony Sperduti. Spade's advice for cultivating personal style: "Go Back to your history and where you came from. Research things that are special to you and not available to everyone." His wonderful piece of advice can easily be applied to both decorating and gift giving this holiday season.

Loving the wall color and black shade sconces!

They even have a rotating art exhibition in the fitting rooms! Loving the light fixtures and wall color too :)

Rubie Green in House Beautiful!

Thank you Jennifer, Orli, Amy and House Beautiful! I cannot tell you how much this means to me, and to my little sister Megan, who drew this pineapple :)

On my list faux sure

Banana Republic's Faux Fur Neck Warmer. Love it. H&M has some great looking faux fur right now too ;)

Eco-chic makeover in East Harlem!

Hello, and happy almost-Thanksgiving to you all! Tonight I'm excited to share some inspiration pics with you, and to fill you in on my first reno project! I recently moved to East Harlem in search of more space, and stumbled upon an apartment that occupies the entire third floor of a prewar brownstone! Surprisingly, I pay less rent than in my previous 325 square foot home, and I now have enough room for my very first Rubie Green office! The catch? It's in dire need of a face lift. So I've partnered up with a decorating magazine (wish I could tell you which one!) and will be spending the next few months giving my new home an eco-friendly makeover including paint, flooring, counter tops and decor. Here's a bit of inspiration...

Last summer when I visited the J.K. Capri, I fell in love with the combination of blues, grays, pinks, silver accent lighting and white wood paneling! I've been researching different types of eco-friendly paints, and think I'm going to choose Benjamin Moore's Natura collection with zero VOC's. They're available this spring in any color! (I like the two above;)

I also fell in love with J.K.'s thick seagrass wallpaper, so I've got my heart set on Phillip Jeffries' Madagascar Raffia, made of banana and palm leaves with an eco-friendly stain repellent finish. Lastly here's a small inspiration board for my living room! I'm working with Chairloom to reupholster a vintage armchair in my Rubie Green East Village fabric, and will also be hanging artwork by Patrick Cline such as the jaw-dropping horse photo above. (Patrick and I have been shooting together for almost a year, and will soon be selling signed prints! I'll be sure to keep you posted;) Finally, I'll be using a navy blue greek key print in my living room and office, and am hoping to get these sconces for Christmas!

Thursday, November 13, 2008


Photos: Bryn Sanders
I'm always fascinated by people who are effortlessly chic, whose style is timeless and laid back yet perfectly appropriate for any occasion. Women such as Ali McGraw, Jackie Kennedy and (dare I say it!) Amelia Earhart epitomize the look. Their effortless style transcends time and their influence is still seen on runways today.

In my own life, that person is my high school friend Allison Jayjack, who recently pursued her dream and opened a boutique in Columbus, Ohio called Ladybird. Offering a mix of indie labels and carefully selected vintage finds, Allison's store is like stepping into my dream closet. (Ahem, just look at the three ensembles above! Spot on.) The good news? Everything in Ladybird is affordable, and will easily compliment any existing wardrobe.

A few weeks prior to opening, Allison flew me to Columbus to decorate the space! We spent four days painting and digging our way through some hysterical antique malls, flea markets, and of course Ikea! The resulting look is both vintage and modern, relaxed and sophisticated. Enjoy :)

With a fashionable keep-all grandmother, Allison was often caught hunting around her attic and basement discovering family treasures. From '40s overcoats and fancy frocks to jeweled clutches and vintage scarves, she has now carefully hand selected every item in her store. (And hello! I want both of those bags!)

A cozy resting spot for boyfriends and sleepy shoppers, Allison offers up vintage issues of Life, Vogue and quirky design books.

We decided to purchase two oversized vintage wardrobes and remove the doors so that customers would feel as if they were peeking into a stylish friends closet.

Notice the red birdcage! We found this beauty at an antique mall for $35, and gave it a fresh coat of paint to make it sparkle against the navy walls. We also selected orange velvet Ikea curtains for the fitting rooms, a la Tory Burch ;)

This gallery wall was so much fun to create! The wallpaper was actually original to the store, so we decided to keep this section to highlight the cash wrap. The artwork is a mixture of flea market finds and framed images from books such as Painting People. I have a major obsession with the floral painting in the upper left hand corner! It's an original oil painting that we found at an antique mall for a mere $30, and I've already instructed Allison to leave it for me in her will ;)

How great are these suitcases?! Again, $30 at a goofy antique mall.
Our $5 Ikea lamp illuminates a vintage horse and beaded necklace combo. And finally a couple of ladybirds! Allison is on the far left, then there's me, Kim and Bryn who served as the inspiration for one of my newest Rubie Green prints! We're all friends from high school and we can't get enough of Ladybird.

Ladybird is located at 716 N. High St. in Columbus, Ohio between Jeni's Ice Creams and Rowe. It's open from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 5 p.m. Sunday. And yes, Allison is always available to offer her customers personal style advice ;)