Footwear Color Pop

Hope you all had enjoyed your holiday! If you're like me your nursing a Turkey hangover and thinking of creative ways to inject turkey into next week's meals so you can get back to eating turkey-free food ASAP!

As with most holidays, I spent this Thanksgiving with my Mom and my Dad (picture the movie "Four Christmases" only Thanksgiving with slightly less drama, but just as much comedy). One thing I noticed as I was preparing for mad dash up and down the New Jersey Turnpike, was that my shoe game has gotten a little drab. Don't get me wrong, I have a bunch of cute shoes that I adore, but my collection lacks color. I've been asleep at the wheel, guys. I literally have no less than 10 pairs of black shoes.

Well, the first step in addressing a problem is admitting you have one. My name is Nik, and I'm addicted to purchasing black shoes. Next step? When you know better, do better. The easiest and most budget friendly way to add color to  your wardrobe is via accessories, so I did a little internet shopping today and picked up these babies from Lorishoes.com. Yes, I am aware that they contain a lot of black. Baby steps.

Here are a few other fly kicks I came across during my search. The red boots? Yes, they are giving me all sorts of fever! Do tell, have you developed an addition to "drab" when it comes to your wardrobe? How do you add pops of color to your looks? Enjoy!

Footwear Color Pop

Charlotte Olympia high heel shoes
$875 - nordstrom.com

Brian atwood shoes
$995 - nordstrom.com

Nicholas Kirkwood satin shoes
$1,385 - nordstrom.com

Jeffrey Campbell high wedge
$180 - solestruck.com

Jeffrey campbell shoes
$160 - solestruck.com

Alexander mcqueen shoes
£630 - harrods.com

Yves Saint Laurent suede shoes
$775 - nordstrom.com

ASOS flat slip on shoes
$45 - asos.com

$184 - lorisshoes.com

Dolce Vita Sana
$245 - solestruck.com


Ed's Salvage Co.

Last weekend I had a chance to visit (and shop) at Ed's Salvage Co., in Jersey City, NJ. A quaint, shop nestled in a multi-level, brown stone style house, in the McGinley Square section. ESC's offers a curated inventory of unique, vintage and salvage goods. Salvage artifacts and antiques from estate sales, and homes that have been remolded or demolished making this shop a bit atypical as vintage shops go.

I chatted the eponymous owner, (while I eagerly and simultaneously explored/shopped) Ed, about the store, his inventory of Victrolas, and the future of the ESC brand.

Here's the skinny:

1. About Ed: He's warm and uber friendly. Born and bred in Jersey City he's connected to the surrounding community, which probably explains his ability to get his hands on some of the phenomenal items he sells. Ed runs the store using the formula of  "people and community getting connected" as part of his business strategy and judging by his network and the success of the store, I'd say it's working!

2. "Ed's Exchange": As part of that formula ESC will launch Ed's Exchange in the near future,  to promote and sell the work and goods made by local artists and artisans. This is an admirable outreach method as getting noticed can be tough for up and coming creatives.

3. "Turn on the old Victrola!" During my visit there were at least 4 of them on hand. These coveted, antique music makers are totally refurbished, (thanks to Ed's connects) to play vinyl and old school records (Record connoisseurs call them by numbers like 78's or 50's or something. Clearly I'm no connoisseur.). I actually fell in love with the yellow one pictured below. I have a bunch records and nothing to play them on, (yes, the quandary here is obvious- not sure why I've never addressed it before) so between the novelty, the color and the fact that it plays records AND the radio (bonus) I'm seriously considering the $300 price tag. No, seriously.

4. Consider Consignment: ESC is also a consignment shop, which means if you've got apparel or valuable pieces that you are looking to unload and want to make a few dollars off of, you may want to talk to Ed. It also means that his inventory is not strictly vintage, especially where apparel is concerned, which is also good because unfortunately, vintage is not for everyone.

5. ESC Events: So, in addition to the boutique Ed's Salvage Co. hosts parties and events throughout the year (Ed is serious about connecting with community and making his business fun, ok?). Most recently the space was opened for a Halloween Masquerade party. Check out the ESC Facebook and Twitter pages for updates on future events.


DIY African Brass Wax Bead Necklace

About the Necklace: brass wax beads, hardware nuts, and gold end beads strung on gold ball chain, creating a unique, textured piece that mixes industrial edge with cultural chic.

About the Beads: These handmade beads were bought in from Ghana. they are Shaped around a wax mold,  the brass wire is laid around the wax, and the wax is melted out. What remains are these stunning brass beads.

I've got a few more pieces with varied beads in the works. An Etsy shop may be my next move. I'd love to hear from you. Love it or Leave it? Enjoy!


What "Luxe Grunge" Looks Like

"Luxe Grunge." Sounds a bit like an oxymoron, right? That was my reaction too. Anyone who is familiar with the epic fashion movement made popular in the 90's by the likes of musicians, like Kurt Cobain and celebs like Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, knows that the look was, at the time, the epitome of frugality and distress.

Grunge was far more than a fashion trend. It was a rugged lifestyle adopted by the angst ridden, youth sub-culture, often  associated with: beanies, "thrift shop chic", alternative rock music, skateboarding (love a skaterboi), the term "Gen X," and what appeared to be an aversion to soap and shampoo.

It was one of the most significant trickle up fashion movements since the 80's Punk statement. This style revolution was the catalyst for my interest in thrifting (for clothes I'd actually wear in public), upcycling: crafting clothes and jewelry out of sweaters and building materials (ask anyone from my high school class- I was the resident weirdo), layering (my secret weapon for creating a near season-less wardrobe),  and all things Nirvana, Green Day and Smashing Pumpkins. I hope I'm not dating myself here. No matter, "Age ain't nothing but a number."  Thankfully, my encounter with this lifestyle planted the seed for a lifetime of exploration of, and an affinity for "the other," the counter to mainstream, the alternative.

Quick Recap:

The good news is the look, or key elements of it, are again becoming significant in mainstream fashion and design (yay!). Of course, as with any resurgence, it has been re-branded with a fresh moniker for mass consumption (also a great marketing tool to attract the newbies, who will no doubt assume Grunge 2.0 is a new trend). Grunge isn't dead but it has grown up. Check out the photos below for inspiration on ways to bring this hi/low look into your space. Do you think this is a look you could incorporate or is it best left in the world of fashion? Already, doing it? Show a pic of your "Luxe Grunge" inspired look/space!

Elements of Luxe Grunge
  • 90's Grunge inspired
  • volume
  • painted silks
  • layered metallics
  • vintage and boho chic infusions
  • dusty, distressed or matted fabrics
  • floral and graphic prints
  • Colors: grey

This is a theme that can be easily translated from fashion into the home with:
  • metallic paints on walls and accent furniture pieces
  • layered textiles in window and floor coverings
  • vintage artifacts and antique accessories
  • upcycled, antique and industrial furnishings
  • distressed, patterned, and metallic upholstery
  • unexpected texture and color mash-ups in one space


my eyes beheld...Weekend Edition

This weekend I took a much needed break from all things technology. Spending hours looking at a computer, even if laboring away on projects I enjoy, is no good for the creative juices. I took a walk around my 'hood and this is what I saw. Let me just say that some of the most breathtaking, detailed architectural masterpieces are found in cities big or small. You just don't see stuff like this in the 'burbs. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Curb appeal urban style...

inspiration is everywhere...beautiful doors & stunning architectural details


Feelin' the Oats: PrarieOats Etsy Shop

I discovered the prairie oats shop on Etsy during one of my weekly "faux" shopping sprees. So you know,  "Faux" shopping is what I do when I want to shop but lack the budgetary means to really get in there and go crazy. This is how it works. I visit my favorite online shops and  load my shopping cart up with all the things I want and love and would by if money were no issue. Then...I slowly close my browser, and back away from the laptop. No names, no credit card numbers, and no one gets hurt, especially my often anorexic savings account. It really takes the edge off. I highly recommend it. Read on for more about the vintage-y, salvage-y, prairie oats jewelry line.

When I came across the prairie oats shop I was surprised to find that I had accumulated damn near the whole shop in my little cart! Her stuff is earthy, edgy, vintage, structural, sophisticated, whimsical and beautiful, all at once. Salvaged fabrics, metals, and other objects are choice mediums for this collection and each item is hand crafted and reclaimed but reflects the original essence of the artifact used.  The shop includes earrings made from shell casings, a necklace with porcupine quills, and vintage necklace made from brass barrels. The designs possess an element that reminds me of Native American tools and symbols, a dash of culture is something I am drawn to in design. Take a look. Don't you want it all?!

 Click to Prairieoats to Shop

1. Backbone Fishspine and Silver Spike Earrings - $28.00

2. Diamonds Are Earrings by Prairieoats - $22.00

3. Hoist - Industrial Glam Pulley Earrings by Prairieoats - $86.00

4. Shield Me-Geometric Brass Shield Earrings - $24.00

5.  Cheyenne I - Porcupine Quill and Turquoise Rhinestone Pioneer Necklace by Prairieoats - $92.00


My Eyes Beheld...

Inspiration is everywhere. Equipped with a camera and an open mind I'll capture what I see and share it with you.

The images below come from Bal Harbour magazine.
Enjoy! -Nik

via Bal Harbour magazine

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A Look at Global Decor Inspired by "Frida Kahlo"

This weekend in between school projects, making adjustments to the blog (you like?), and other hundred things I save for my two days off (I can't even begin to tell you how much I need ALL weekends to be three days long), I was summoned to the world of renowned artist Frida Kahlo.  I say summoned because it seems like lately the universe has just been guiding my steps in a path that is speaking to many of my current goal and most pressing issues.

via fridakahlo.com


Office Supplies as Decoration

Inspired by a BizBash article on David Stark's installation at the Cooper-Hewitt Museum in which 3M tape and sticky notes were used throughout the event in really innovated and unexpected ways, i.e...

Dress from tape and hanging piece is sticky notes on string to create the look of rain

Rolls of tape used as seating cards for guest tables->Genius!

 I did a little digging to find other ways average office supplies can be come extra ordinary home decor. See what I found after the jump