Year in Review 2012

As the new year approaches everyone is doing some form of:  "A Year in Review."  I have my own Top 10 here at Carrie's Design Musings.  As always, thank you for your support and encouragement throughout the year.  You are the reason why I keep coming back!

A Renovation Near and Dear ~

ph:Tom Cane

O Holy Toledo

This designing duo, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, have kept me fascinated for years.  They are each other's muse and confidant; he is yin to her yang.  After meeting in New Jersey as young Cuban refugees, their love of the fusion of art and fashion and a new vocabulary burgeoning in the New York art/club scene propelled the two to a kind of cult status.

via Adrianna Sassoon

Isabel was experimenting with inventive shapes and designing patterns for clothing, working like an architect that brought such heavy hitters like Barney's to come calling.  I loved her collection for Anne Klein many years back.  It didn't last long because I think it was misunderstood by that customer, but it was memorable.  Isabel shied away from the traditional fashion scene and conventional fashion show productions as they were too fast paced for her.  She sells to private clients and has a loyal following thru Barney's to this day.  Doing windows at Fiorucci's, interning at the Costume Institute at The Met under Diana Vreeland, designing costumes for theatre, and working along side Ruben has led to an illustrious career.  She gained even wider recognition when she designed several dresses worn by Michelle Obama.

via Vogue

Isabel's fashions are considered timeless, elegant, structured, and wearable.  She looks toward the every woman with edge; an artistic woman who feels free to express her individuality through fashion.  Her designs, as well as Ruben's, have received accolades, awards, and several exhibitions in galleries and museums.

Sometimes it is hard to know where Isabel ends and Ruben begins, and vice versa ~

You may recognize Ruben's illustrations from Nordstrom catalogs. Ruben has illustrated books and numerous magazine spreads.  His designs grace product labels and he is often collaborating with fashionable friends.  His ethereal, whimsical, surrealist style, and his profound knowledge of fashion have placed Ruben in a class by himself.

For Louis Vuttion

Most recently Ruben teamed up with Ralph Pucci (again), and is doing an exclusive line of furniture featuring his surrealist painterly illustrations.

For Ralph Pucci

The Toledos live and work in a creative loft space in Midtown.  It's a place where art and life meld together in an unconventional way, just like the two of them.

ph: jason Schmidt

Isabel famously works out hula hooping

After 30 years, the two are still making magic ~
"You've got to love what you do and love who you do it with."

That's beautiful!

Illustrations by Ruben Toledo

Artfully Stacked

I love the look of artfully stacked wood.  It's not just practical ~ it's sculptural.  There is no reason why form and function cannot co-exist, even in the most utilitarian of objects.

Nordic Designs

Darryl Carter

Kathryn Ireland

Lillan August

Not unlike art in a room, the chopped wood becomes a focal point; a three dimensional element that is heavy on texture and layers in added warmth.  Even if there isn't a fire blazing nearby, it still has a significant coziness factor.

via CamilleStyles

via Shelter ID

Erin Martin


I practice what I preach ~ my den; but you can be sure I make sure all the wood is stacked evenly.  The structure of the stacks is where the artfulness comes in.  Messy won't do!

Having a Naturalistic Holiday

Let's be honest ~ it's challenging to be Jewish around the Christmas holidays.  I have always wanted to deck the halls, play reindeer games, bake and package cookies, and have theme trees.  The most I really do is buy paper whites or a topiary.  The perfect solution to wanting and being able to do something decorative can be found all around us; in nature.

A trip to Terrain in Glen Mills, PA was completely inspiring!  It's brought to you by the people who own Anthropology and Urban Outfitters.  That should give you an idea of the aesthetic.  It felt good to just breath in the smell of balsam fir and relax a little.

Decorating with cotton, bells,willow branches, greenery, and any plant material, live or dried, always looks warm, inviting, and non denominational.

Terrain's pots are beautifully planted.  They'll give you the recipe you need to recreate one for yourself, whether inside or out

I love giving a plant as a hostess gift.  Take it one step further and create a center or "statement piece"

Spoiler alert ~ If you get a gift from me this holiday season, it's going to be a truffle related product

Terrain is like a little respite from the madness of the holiday season.  Its tranquil environment, sweet smells, soothing sounds of trickling water, lotions and potions, and delicious foods (did I mention they have a great restaurant) are a comfort and joy.

I wonder what I am going to do with all this inspiration.  If you find yourself in the area, do stop in, but give yourself a couple hours!