Interview with Lucie Ayres- Interiors 22

I recently posted tips from our friend Lucie Ayres of 22 Interiors on how to make a great master bedroom. Read below for more insight into her interior decorating and her business.  Thanks Lucie!

 

When and how did you decide to become a designer?

 

I’ve wanted to be a designer ever since I was a little girl and rearranged the furniture in my room constantly.

 

Lucie at age 8.

Lucie at age 8.

 

Tell us the name behind your company… 22 interiors — what does it mean?

 

It’s a lucky number; I was born on the 22nd, I rode the 22 Tram in Prague when I studied abroad (I was also born in Prague) and my husband went on our first date on 2/2.

 

The city of Prague.

The city of Prague (Ken and Lucie studied abroad together in Prague in 1997).

 

Describe your style and aesthetic.

 

My style is a hybrid of soulful European meets playful Californian.  Comfortable, slightly surprising, and always interesting.

 

Soulful Euro, laid back Cali. Photo by Amy Bartlam

Soulful Euro, laid back Cali. Photo by Amy Bartlam

 

Is it possible to decorate someone’s house when their style doesn’t align with your own? How does it work?
Absolutely. My portfolio is VERY diverse because I actually enjoy the challenge of making someone else’s style and desire work with my eye.  I see it as a visual puzzle that can be a lot of fun to solve.

 

Various projects by Interior 22. Photos by Amy Bartlam

Various projects by 22 Interiors. Photos by Amy Bartlam

 

What is your favorite part of decorating and designing someone’s house? It is coming up with the ideas, or the installation? What and why?

 

My favorite is 100% the installation – there’s nothing more satisfying than walking around, feeling and seeing the final product.

 

Lucie during an installation. Photo by Amy Bartlam

Lucie during an installation. Photo by Amy Bartlam

 

Where do you find your ideas and inspirations?

 

Everywhere – blogs, magazines, old books, new books, movies, tv shows, travel. I think if you love what you do, you are hungry for more of it, so you are constantly on the HUNT.

 
Who are your clients and how do you find them?

 

My clients are as diverse as they come – from entertainment industry professionals to doctors and lawyers. I tend to get many young family clients who have never worked with a designer before.  They often find me online via sites like houzz.com, and it’s fun teaching them the process and showing them a variety of sources they never knew existed.

 

What has been your favorite project?

 

It’s hard to pick a favorite but I’m working on a project in Nyack, NY and it’s slowly becoming a favorite only because it’s tiny – 800 SF cottage built in 1904 right on the Hudson River.  Every decision is greater than in a larger home, the details are key, and the curation of what we put in it is incredibly important.

 

Nyack cottage.

Nyack cottage.

 

Tell us your top 5 favorite home decor stores.

 

Arteriors, Gregorius|Pineo, MadeGoods, CB2, and EBTH.com

 

Any tips on how how someone could easily (and affordably) fluff up their home?

 

Paint, paint, and paint.  It’s the most amazing way to get the most bang for your buck, in terms of design.  You can paint your ceiling a color.  You can paint just the trim,  You can do striped room.  Or just a fabulous color on your wall. Color is magic.

 

Striped ceiling by Jenna Lyons.

Striped ceiling by Jenna Lyons.

 

Thanks so much, Lucie! All this color and decor makes me so happy.

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Zara Candle

As mentioned Friday, I have a newfound love for Zara Home. When in Paris a couple of weeks ago, I bought a simple candle that made me happy. Most candles these days seem to cost 40 dollars plus, so when I found this pretty (and beautiful smelling) candle for 17 euros, I knew I had to buy it.

 

Pink and green box.

Pink and green box. Tuberose smell — sweet and perfect. (Minorly crushed in my carry-on… apologies)

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Zara Home

I love Zara — both the adult and kids’ clothes are my go tos for shopping. And now, I am in love with Zara Home. Although there are no stores currently in the United States, Zara Home is all over Europe and online. Think home decor at Zara prices — a win win for everyone! They have a terrific selection of linens, bedding, tabletop, accessories, and more. Recently, on my quick trip to Paris, I went in and oohed and ahhed at the selection (and prices).

 

Zara Home.

Zara Home.

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Currently Loving April 2017

The beginning of April was a complete whirlwind — the night we traveled back from our Spring Break (Puerto Rico, Florida, and Oregon!), we moved into our new apartment. Then, that Friday, it was the Passover Seder at my daughter’s preschool which I have been co-chairing for the past four years (a huge event for 400 plus people). That night, I flew to Paris to run the Paris Marathon. Call me a complete NUT CASE, because all of that on its own is stressful.  Put it together, it is insane. Anyways, now I am back and readjusting to life…….and here is what I am currently loving!

 

1. Flying Tiger Flower Pens

 

For those of you who do not know Flying Tiger, you need to. It is a Danish store, similar to Ikea, but for home goods and gadgets. It has everything and anything, at super cheap prices. Luckily for me, it is a block away from my son’s school, so I always find myself in there when I am early for pick up. It is great for party favors, silly gifts, and your own home. Check it out!

 

This pen cost ONE DOLLAR. Isn't it beautiful?

This pen cost ONE DOLLAR. Isn’t it beautiful?

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Paris Food 2017

Although the US has great healthy options (salads, smoothies, greens, etc…), Paris ultimately has my favorite food, which we enjoyed last week at the Paris Marathon. We had great luck with the restaurants we chose and couldn’t have been happier (well, our stomachs are a little bigger, but C’EST LA VIE!).

 

Sunday Brunch: Our favorite, Cafe Charlot. Not many restaurants are open on Sundays (and Mondays), but this is a classic French bistro where all the cool kids go to brunch for seven hours. We ate and drank for hours on end. The food is delicious, the sun was shining, life was (is) good.

 

This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at my crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often, so when in Rome......

This burger was the best thing I have ever eaten. And this was AFTER my huge caesar salad with smoked salmon. The waiter looked at me crazy when I ordered two main courses, but hey, you only run a marathon every so often.

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Paris Marathon 2017

I just returned from a quick trip to Paris where I completed by 4th Paris Marathon (7th marathon total). It was great fun — both the trip itself and the run, and now I am looking forward to not traveling, not doing long runs, and staying put….. at least for the next couple of months (I have already planned my next two marathons…). Here are pictures of the weekend! (And what day is it today?)

 

Crazy as it was, we landed at 2 pm on Saturday. Which meant, the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is my feast that morning pre-race.

We landed at 2 pm on Saturday, 16 hours before race time. So the only thing we could do that day was go to the Expo to pick up our bibs and get settled for the race next morning. YUP. The race at 8:20 am the next morning! Here is our feast pre-race.

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Minor History Clutch

Greetings from Paris!  More to come after I recover, but I ran the Paris Marathon again yesterday – as beautiful and rewarding as ever.  Excited to share pics and the experience (different than the past ones here, here and here) later this week.  But for now….

 

One of my absolute favorite recent presents is a clutch / carry-everything-holder from Minor History. It literally holds everything and is the perfect size, color, and leather texture. A perfect small bag!

 

Flat like an envelope.

Flat like an envelope.

For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.

For sizing purposes, here it is in comparison to my hand.

You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.

You can also fold it over and use it as a clutch.

It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.

It holds cosmetics, other little carry holders, glasses, everything and anything.

 

This roomy zipper clutch is the perfect addition to my bag wardrobe. And it is also a great gift!  Au revoir..

Anika Yael Natori, aka, The Josie Girl

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Spring Break 2017 Sunriver

We are now full swing back to reality with school, tutoring, responsibilities, etc…so it seems hard to think that we were just in Oregon a couple of days ago — it seems like an eternity. I already miss my parents, the fresh air, the fir trees, the crisp delicious water, and everything Oregon. Here are some pictures of our week skiing in Sunriver, Oregon. Enjoy!

 

Ken is the downhill teacher. He did an amazing job each day spending half the day with one kid, and then the other half with the other kid. They made huge improvements!

Ken is the downhill teacher. He did an amazing job each day spending half the day with one kid, and then the other half with the other kid. They made huge improvements!

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22 INTERIORS – Guide to the Perfect Bedroom

We are so fortunate to have a lot of great friends, many of whom are incredibly talented in their field. One of these peeps is Lucie Ayres, a dear friend of Ken’s from his junior year study abroad program in Prague. Lucie is an interior designer for her company 22 Interiors based in Los Angeles. She has a beautiful eye, incredible taste, and great style. If you ever need a designer, I highly recommend her. And even if you want some inspiration, subscribe to her blog and follow her on instagram. In the meantime, here she is for a guide to the perfect bedroom!!!! Thank you, Lucie!  Take it away!

 

The perfect bedroom, styled by 22 Interiors. Photo

The perfect bedroom, styled by 22 Interiors.

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Rawmantic Chocolate

Happy Friday! Before I post an indulging (yet delicious) food item, I want everyone to read the article written by our good friend, Sasha Blair-Goldensohn. Eight years ago, Sasha was hit by a tree in Central Park, and is wheelchair bound. His op-ed in the NYTimes from Wednesday is an eye opener, so please do so. I also highly recommend watching the video that accompanies it. Thanks in advance for reading it.

____

 

I am constantly on the search for a “healthy” dessert.  While I am well aware of the effects of sugar …..I still love nibbling on something sweet at the end of my meals. Call it an addiction, or a vice, but it is a habit that I can’t stop. So these raw chocolate energy bars are perfect. Raw chocolate, sweet, nutty, gooey, and great.

 

Romantic rawmantic.

Romantic rawmantic, yes, handcrafted with love.

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Spring Break 2017 Week 1

Spring Break!  We were fortunate enough to spend our first week in the sun, first in Puerto Rico with my in-laws, and then in Florida (just me and the kids). Lots of sunshine, beach, pool, french fries, chicken fingers, and sunscreen. Here are some pictures to recap our week! Enjoy (and thanks for letting me indulge).

 

Love the combination of beach and then pool. And of course, minutes soaking up the Vitamin D on the ground.

We stayed at Dorado Beach for the fourth straight year.  Good combo of kids activities and things for my in-laws to do.  Love the combination of beach and then pool. And of course, minutes soaking up the Vitamin D on the ground.

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Renovation Post #5

OK, so this is the LAST renovation post because SOON, OH SO SOON, there will be a REVEAL POST which shows the apartment. So here are the latest photos of what is going on. Yes, still not liveable, still not a lot of lighting (and 3/4 of our belongings are still packed), so there is a lot to do. But here are the latest pics!

 

One wall in Cruzzie's room is this whole world map -- it is where eventually his bunkbed will go.

One wall in Cruzzie’s room is this whole world map — it is where eventually his bunkbed will go.

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Roasted Kale / Brussels / Broccoli

OK, this is the easiest recipe EVER, but it is so good that I have been re-creating it  (or some variation) for the past several weeks. Lunch, snack, dinner, WHATEVER…. I have even eaten it for breakfast! What is it? Basically, roasted veggie with pine nuts, goat cheese, olive oil and salt. I know, glamorous and sophisticated recipe, right?

 

So green, so good.

So green, so good.

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Renovation Post #4

Drum roll……This is our last official night living with my inlaws.  Spring break starts tomorrow and when we return, we will be in OUR NEW APARTMENT! We have been living in temporary digs since June 2016, so the return home will be that much better and sweeter. Our home! Here are some pictures of the current state of our apartment…not everything is done, like wallpaper, and lights, etc…but that will take place in the next two weeks (or so we hope!).

 

This is our future dining room and living room. I love the new floors (they are the same floors just sanded down and stained light vs the original dark color).

This is our future dining room and living room. I love the new floors (they are the same floors just sanded down and stained light vs the original dark color).

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Sugarwish Candy Delivery

Last week I received a present that made me smile! A box of candy! But not just any candy, it was an email saying that I was given a box of goodies from Sugarwish, and that I needed to pick out what I wanted.

 

It comes in a slick little box.

First, you receive an email saying that you were gifted some sweets, then you select what you want. Everything I picked arrived in a slick little box.

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Bloomingdale’s Pop-Up, Party

To celebrate its 40th anniversary, Natori designed an amazing ready-to-wear collection exclusively at Bloomingdale’s and on Bloomingdales.com. The collection is on display in a pop-up in New York (third floor), Short Hills, Aventura, and Century City. Amazing island-inspired prints, fun handbags, and accessories, and all at a more accessible price point than the high-end Josie Natori collection. LOVE, LOVE LOVE!!!!  (And read through the post for info on the launch party this Thursday).

 

screen-shot-2017-03-11-at-7-03-48-am

In between the escalators at Bloomingdale’s 59th Street. Prime location!

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Sweaty Betty Ski Pants

I buy new snow pants every 15 years, so when we had our ski trip last week, I knew that I needed an updated pant that was more durable, water proof, and a little more fashionable. There are an incredible amount of ski pant options on the internet (thank you world wide web), but they are either absurdly expensive, way too trendy, or just not good enough. So when I came across Sweaty Betty’s ski pants, I knew that they were the one.

 

 

Suspenders (or you can zip them off)

Suspenders (that are detachable if you don’t want them). They are wind and waterproof fabric with fleece lining, stretchy, lots of pockets, and fit perfectly over your snow boot.

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Val D’Isere

We just returned from a special 40th birthday party of a very dear friend in the French Alps. It was a weekend of snow, ski, rose, fondue, meat, relaxation, and lots of fun. An incredible experience that we will never forget.

 

Val D'Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time on this trip!

Val D’Isere is located in the French Alps, a three hour drive from Geneva. We landed early morning in Geneva, took a bus to our chalet, got fitted for skis, and went straight to the mountain. No wasted time!

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Josie Enchanted Garden PJ Set

I am not joking when I say that my new favorite pajamas are the Josie Enchanted Garden PJ set. They are perfection. Great for cold weather, hot weather, alone, surrounded by other people, cute, flirty, fun, and oh so comfortable. Terrific to lay around the house while looking put together, chic, and fashionable in your pajamas.

 

They come in two different color ways: one in

They come in two different color ways: one in hibiscus and one in coral.

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Quickfire Interview with Jennifer Maanavi – Founder of Physique 57

Holy moley, speaking to Jennifer Maanavi is like speaking to a legend! She is the founder of Physique 57, the boutique barre class that helped change the fitness scene in New York, and now, globally. She is not just smart, beautiful and fit, but she is also incredibly thoughtful, sweet, and incredibly friendly. Take a look at the quickfire interview, and thank you so much, Jennifer!

 

Jennifer.

Jennifer.

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Currently Loving February 2017

Here we are in the final stretch of February…a little odd because we are just in the middle of February, but because of the short month, it is near the end (#MathTeacher). Here is what I am currently loving this month.

 

1. Katy Perry ‘Chained to the Rhythm’

 

I first heard this song at the Grammy’s where she performed live with Skip Marley, and it instantly got stuck in my head. Now, we play it on repeat and everyone in the family dances along.

 

Katy Perry.

Katy Perry. What is not to love about this song? Everything about it — the lyrics, the beat, the tune, everything just makes me so happy and makes me want to dance, dance, dance to the distortion.

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