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Glamorous writer's retreat

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Chic retreat for a fictional blogger – would you find inspiration here?


Welcome to the Fashion Writer's Retreat, which we created for our fabulous but fictional woman of the house, a nationally known fashion blogger with impeccable taste, strong opinions and a reputation for helping launch – or sink – Chicago-area designers. (We love a good back-story!)

We chose a relaxed and elegant mood that is chic but not too fussy, in keeping with interior designer Susan Brunstrum’s trademark LivableLuxe style, which she calls “the little black dress of design.”

The simple black and white backdrop is perfect for our intrepid fashion blogger when she displays or photographs the fashions she is critiquing. Notice the playful faux logos painted on the ceiling in glossy black, mimicking haute couture design houses, the black sisal rug and flat black walls. Gold metallic accents satisfy our blogger’s urge for a little glam.

We selected almost all white furniture and accessories, most from New York City-based Oly, an ideal partner for Sweet Peas Design because the line is chic, not too fussy and has unexpected elements, just like us and our fashion blogger.

The centerpiece of the space is the huge, chalk-white Oly dining table with shapely deer legs, which serves as her desk and injects a pitch-perfect note of whimsy. We added a white chair and a round ottoman with metal legs where she can lay out clothes and accessories while musing over the perfect words to describe them.

The oversized gold custom framed mirrors hanging from the ceiling serve several purposes – to evoke a posh dressing room, provide a convenient place to hang outfits from well-known Chicago fashion designers Azeeza Khan and Maria Pinto and to disguise the unbalanced window placement.

Entrepreneurial bloggers need storage space, which we supplied with a lacquered white chest of drawers, again from Oly. Flanking that is a pair of gold hammered metal book cases. Of course, the étagères are stocked with vintage fashion books and accessories from our blogger’s favorite handbag and shoe designers: Diego Rocha and James Sommerfeldt respectively. Both have been featured on Lifetime network’s Project Accessory.

When guests are expected our fashion writer can check out her own ensemble in the gold sunburst mirror above the chest. Lighting is critical too when evaluating the latest fashions, so we selected a stunning bubble chandelier conveniently placed over the desk, as well as sconces upon entering and a lamp for the chest, all from Oly. A series of six black and white watercolor sketches, framed in gold, line the hallway and help set the scene.

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