Home Edit: Shelf Styling

If you look at my Pinterest, it is blatantly clear that I have a thing for walls of shelves. So when I moved a few months ago, there was no question that I had to install one of those myself. After a taxing trip to Ikea and a long night of leveling out the individual shelves, I now have my lovely wall that stores everything from books to paperwork to mementos.

Along the way, I have made some mistakes but after I’ve found a method to my madness, I have corralled a few tips to style a shelf wall. Keep in mind that this is by no means perfect (see the vestigal cable at the bottom) since it is a space that needs to hold everything and anything, not just the pretty stuff.

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  • books, books, books – I know not everyone is a big reader, but in my opinion, shelves are for books and that has become the main focus of my wall. I know stacks of coffee table books are way more chic than rows of mismatched paperbacks, but for me, it is much more stimulating to see my favorite novels in neat order (which is why I opted out of the oh so popular rainbow organizing system).
  • cohesion – as much as I could I have tried to keep everything that is not a book in a concise color palette, bar for a few pops of color. As you can see, I have some pretty statement wallpaper right to side of the shelf wall, so I tied to keep it as muted as possible on the shelves with lots of white and muted pastels.
  • greenery – while I don’t have much of a green thumb, I added some cute succulents to break up the rows of paperbacks surrounding them. In their tiny white pots, they match the overall feel but add a bit of life and are easy to care for.
  • personal touches – I have added pictures of my family and little trinkets throughout to add a bit of personality and love to the wall. It not only helps to make the wall look more varied and airy but also reminds me of beautiful memories and the lovely people in my life.

So, all in all, this is far from rocket science, but I especially love this little space in my new home. While it unfortunately had to become a bit of a catchall for various odds and ends, I love how this wall of shelves (which are the LACK variety from Ikea btw) has become a focal point and an expression of personality in my small and cozy home.

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Style Staple: The Wool Coat

I find that the last dregs of winter are always the hardest. There are a few glimpses of spring already, but they are few and far between and the days still seem short and cold, so to make these last frigid weeks a bit more bearable, I picked ip a beautiful new winter coat to keep me warm.

Since coats are something I will only wear seasonally, I tend to get them in classic shapes and colors so they will last me for a fair few years and still look chic and stylish. Usually though, I am a pretty casual dresser, so what was sorely lacking from my collection was a smart, simple wool coat.

I decided to treat myself to the Cocoon Wool Coat by Vancouver-based brand Wilfred (sold in Aritzia) in a classic black as it is the epitome of timeless, classic chic while looking current and on trend.

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(via aritzia.com | seen here in Charcoal)

While this piece has definitely been a splurge, I feel like it will see me through several cold seasons and a multitude of different occasions. Dressed down with a pair of sneakers, a beanie, and skinny jeans, this will look just as good as paired with a nice dress and pretty heels or boots.

It is also the softest coat I have ever felt and while it feels substantial enough for even the coldest of days, it is surprisingly light. Since I picked this up on the post-Christmas sales, I am even more excited about my purchase, but even at full price, I think this coat (or a similar one) is a great investment and a definite staple in my wardrobe.

Fall Edit: Style

Fall is by far my favorite season. The weather gets colder and out come the cozy knits and layers. My style is pretty straightforward and simple, and that doesn’t really change in fall, but I love adding a few key pieces every season.

Fall Edit: Style

Skinny jeans are a must all year round and recently I’ve been loving the Topshop Jamie’s. I think a bit of a ripped knee could add some interest before the weather gets too cold to show even a sliver of skin.

I also love a big blanket scarf to bundle up in, which goes great with a black moto-style leather jacket in these early days of fall. I picked one up last season from Asos, but there still around everywhere.

What’s still missing from my closet is a nice grey fishermen’s style knit. I’m looking for the perfect slouchy but polished knit jumper, but I haven’t found the one yet.

I’m also looking for a big tote to carry around my essentials (and then some) and the Madewell leather tote bags look amazing but are slightly out of my budget. I’ve been checking out some nice alternatives at Nordstrom, but I have yet to take the plunge.

And finally, since I’m preparing for my first Canadian winter, a pair of Sorel boots is high up on my list. I’ve hear good things about them, so I’m thinking about getting a classic pair of the 1964 Premium style.

Style Wishlist 6/15

In an effort to update my (very monochrome) wardrobe, I’ve been compiling a neat little style wishlist to pinpoint what’s been missing.

As I’m not extremely experimental or prone to following trends when it comes to clothes, it’s mostly accessories that have made it onto the list:

Style Wishlist 6/15

Ray Ban Erika Sunglasses – I’ve been lusting after a new pair of sunglasses for a while now and these seem to fit the bill: classic but not too mainstream, these are a pair of Ray Ban’s that I won’t see on a million other faces, but they still look effortless and cool.

Bar Studs – after having removed my tunnels a few years ago, earrings haven’t been super high on my list, but a simple pair of studs that will go with everything are an absolute no-brainer.

Nike Air Max – the particular pair here was a limited edition from a while ago, but I do love the paisley print and am hoping to find something similar around the internet. If not, I think a pair of plain black Air Max will be a nice addition as well.

Gold Bangles – I’m looking to add a bit more variety to my wrists, which, at the moment, sport nothing but a simple black and gold watch, and a small gold bangle (or a few) might be the way to go. I do like these engraved ones by Christina Kober and the little encouraging message would be a nice everyday boost.

Closet Revamp

In an effort to make my upcoming move a bit easier, I spent a good chunk of last weekend purging my closet. There little else that gives me the same satisfaction as getting rid of unwanted junk in my life. And let me tell you, there was A LOT of junk. I am essentially merging two closets (or rather a closet and a clothing rack), so it was hard to get an overview of the situation at first, but I think I did pretty well.

Closet Revamp

Since my closet was and still is a plethora of monochrome pieces, it wouldn’t be much use showing you the state of it, so I decided to corral some tips that have helped me in the process instead.

1. The Hanger Trick

At the end of 2013, I went through my closet and turned around all the hangers. I would only turn them back when I took out a piece to wear, so by the end of last year, I had a pretty good sense of what I actually wore. I let everything that I had worn be and then proceeded to go through the stuff that hadn’t been touched and evaluated from there.

2. Be Honest

Looking at all the unworn clothes, I still felt attached to some of the pieces, which made it a lot harder for me to give them away. But I decided to be completely honest and think about occasions to wear them to and if there really was the need to hang on to a certain item. Most of the time, I couldn’t come up with anything, so I decided to let those pieces go. It’s an oddly liberating feeling and makes you think about your style and tastes a lot more. Also, if it’s torn or ripped, be honest about your ability to mend clothes. I always promise to fix something and never do, so those things usually get shoved to the back of the closet as well.

3. Consider the Seasons

There’s one thing to keep in mind with the Hanger Trick and that is seasons. Since we didn’t have a very harsh winter last year, a lot of my super thick knits and cozy clothes didn’t get the use they normally would have. If I know I need something for a certain type of weather and I still like the look of it, I’ll keep it. It’s no use throwing out a perfectly fine winter coat if you’re only going to pick up another one when the first snow comes around.

4. Be Sentimental but Reasonable

Of course there are those pieces that have a sentimental value and carry memories. For example, I still have the dress I wore to my brother’s wedding 9 years ago, and even though it’s not my style at all anymore, I love it too much to give it away. For these types of clothes, I reserve and extra bit of space in my closet and keep them away from my everyday stuff. That way, they don’t bother me while rifling through everything else, and I know which section of my closet to head to when I’m looking for something fancy for a special occasion. I have dresses in there that have seen me through multiple festive occasions and it really is nice to have a little collection to rely on if you can’t find the right thing in the stores.

Style File #1: Quay Invaders

Sunny days might be few and far between at this time of year, but when I spotted this pair of sunglasses on an Instagram photo of Lauren Conrad, I knew I had to get them.

I was pleasantly surprised when I saw that the Quay Invaders wouldn’t cost me a month’s rent but were actually rather affordable. You can order worldwide from their site, but I  got my pair on Asos.

Quay Australia - Invaders

They do come in several colors like gold or white, but I went with the classic black because I think that the shape makes enough of an impact. The frame is super light and comfortable to wear so these have quickly become my staple pair of sunglasses for sunny mornings or golden fall evenings.

Quay Invaders

While they are quirky, I think the cat-eye shape – though exaggerated – is classic enough to pair these with a multitude of looks. They definitely are something a little different and I am so glad to have snatched them up!