About Olive Juice

This is a journal of sorts of our ideas (as the design goddesses that we are) that don't necessarily get executed and instead just live in our heads. Punctuated of course with things we just plain love, covet, or if you will..."Olive Juice".

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Counting Down the Days...

I have that feeling that I used to get when I was a little girl. That feeling of sheer excitement I’d get a few days before my birthday party when I had just been to the store with my mom to pick out all of the decorations and favors, selected my cake and was trying to pump my brothers for hints about the contents of the beautifully wrapped gifts just waiting for my big day. Yesterday, I came across this awesome news over on The Love List. Then today, I saw this promo air on Bravo.

My current design crush is actually a ménage à trois. Bob and Cortney Novogratz are a husband and wife design team who own the NYC based design firm Sixx Design, and authors of my current favorite design book, "Downtown Chic”. I’m in love with their chic, eclectic style of combining old and new; budget friendly items with definitely not so budget friendly items, and amazing detailing solutions. These two think crazy far out side of the box to solve those annoying little design problems. Why have a typical sliding door to get to your patio from your kitchen when you could have a fully operational garage door instead?

The extra cool twist to these two is that they are the parents of SEVEN children! I’m tired just thinking about that. Their crazy lives are featured on Bravo’s new docu-series, 9 By Design, premiering Tuesday, April 13. I have followed (and worshiped) Sixx Design’s work for years and cannot wait for a behind the scenes look at their design process and personal lives as they take on several new design projects including the design/construction of their own home.

Kitchen to patio via a garage door

Novogratz clan

{images from here}

Friday, March 26, 2010

A Love Affair: Black and White

I love black. I love white. The danger with combining black and white is that they can lean towards boring without a punch color or two. A fun belt, some red shoes, fabulously large and dangling Anthro-esque turquoise earrings with a crisp white button down and big collar…you get it my point. One instance where I absolutely adore a plain, black and white match up is a staircase.

I love the stark contrast of a bright white rise, with the heavy black run. It’s always a clean look. A b&w staircase also creates a blank canvas to really go wild with a dramatic handrail or runner without competing for attention.

Some of my favorites:



And my all time favorite…love, love, love this runner (when used correctly, obviously)

When my dear friend, Nat, moved into a new house in Uptown a few months back she asked me for some paint advice for her staircase. Of course I suggested my old stand by favorite b&w…and voila!
Now all she needs is some fun art!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Snapshots of a Weekend…

This past weekend, I volunteered to watch my “nephew” while my brother and sister in law were in Vegas. My “nephew” is a 10 month old Black Lab puppy. Emphasis on PUPPY. Think lots of running off energy at the dog park and very, very little sleeping. I found myself sticking close to home with him whenever possible. Even with very little uninterrupted sleep (apparently laying on your head is cuddling in puppy world); it turned out to be a lovely, low key weekend.

Clockwise from upper right…

1. worked at the shop
2. started my bookclub book which is set in Sweden so I treated myself to some Swedish Fish, naturally
3. movies and tea (Lemongrass Green Tea from Good Earth: I'm obsessed)
4. LOTS of caffeine to keep up with a puppy
5. more work at the shop
6. many, many walks to the dog park
7. some light baking*
8. sofa lounging with the pup

* I don’t bake. I just like to decorate the baked item so I buy the break-n-bake variety and simply roll it out. This gets me to the fun part much quicker. Perfect for my attention span.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Answer my Calls.....

Three hundred count Egyptian cotton sheet, bliss products in the bathroom, a hot pink mini bar, and these are just a few of the amazing amenities I enjoyed during my Saturday night stay at the W. While all these accoutrement's are pretty fantastic they are not what make a girls stay complete. What might you ask makes for a well rounded stay? Well, ladies and gents it's the way the concierge answers my calls, perhaps you should take note. "Whatever, Whenever!" Yes, it's Christmas, the first day of spring, and a few other things I can't mention wrapped into one delicious greeting. Whatever you can think of whenever you would like it. You want oreo's and milk at 4 am, done. Forgot your tooth brush, need more hairspray, lime's for your beverage, whatever you like...kinda like the TI and Rihanna song "You can have whatever you like..." well at least when staying at the W. I am however wondering how far I could push the limits...is a pony, or flying trapeze act too much to ask for? Or my dream of a Barney's right here in Mpls. I guess I will have to wait until my next stay to let you know how far we could take these requests.

The beautiful opening to your visit...
The luscious neon pink lobby...

A cozy robe (a must have of mine for any stay away from home) pink mini bar filled with exotic treats, and for those of you who forgot your over night companion, don't get your hopes up too high I am referring to the pink teddy bear! But maybe during my next visit I should call down to my trusty concierge and ask for Jake Gyllenhaal!


Monday, March 15, 2010

It IS Easy Being Green.

After a lovely weekend in Chicago celebrating St Patty's Day (think one green river and many green beers), I started thinking about some of my favorite uses of the color green in interiors. A unique characteristic of the color green can take on completely different moods depending on the shade. Not many other colors have such a range of transformation.

I have always worshiped the color of Will Truman's kitchen on Will and Grace. The emerald tone makes a bold, dramatic statement. I love to mix deep jewel tones like this with an animal (cheetah) print for an unexpected kick.

A bright green lends an energizing feel to a space especially when paired with a second bright color like orange.


I yellow-green can give a space fresh feeling (perfect for curing spring fever). It's especially sharp when contrasted with white.


A soft green can create a calming, serene retreat in any room.

Check out Rod Stewart's Beverly Hills home:


My laundry would always be SO clean if I had this room to do it in:


And then just for fun...

Chicago River dyed green:

Pub crawlin' with Chicago friends...look at all that green!:

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Get to Know Natalie and Liz

Nat and I have been friends since 1st grade. We know each other WELL. To help you get to know us better, we wanted to play a little game called "5 Things".

[5 things]... for fun...(Natalie)

5 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
- The Michael Buble concert
- Turning a dream into a reality (creating my own fashion line)
- Buds on the trees and springtime walks around Lake Calhoun
- Meeting Mr. Right
- Going to the Walker Art Center with my bookclub

5 Things I Did Yesterday:
- Checked my email way too many times
- Laughed with my nephew
- Ran around the lake
- Ate pineapple
- Found an amazing parking space in front of my house

5 Things I Wish I Could do:
- Eat and not gain weight
- Have fresh peonies in my room every week
- Fly (so I can be somewhere new and everyday[and see out of state family/friends
- Give love to every child who is lacking it
- Shop with a credit card that has no limit

5 Places I’d Like to Travel To:
- Fiji
- Paris
- Greece
- San Juan Islands outside of Seattle
- Sail boat trip around the world (with a captain, of course)

[5 things]... for fun...(Liz)

5 Things I Am Looking Forward To:
- Spending time this weekend with Chicago friends
- The Lost Finale (I want answers!)
- Going to London and Paris with my mom this summer
- Opening my own home furnishings/accessories boutique (someday)
- Summer thunderstorms

5 Things I Did Yesterday:
- Worked the shop
- Had lunch with my dad
- Discovered my new favorite green tea (Lemon at Good Earth)
- Looked (half-assed) for apartments in Linden Hills
- Went to the gym and pretended I liked it

5 Things I Wish I Could do:
- Knit
- Buy my red convertible dream car
- Be British (everything sounds better in a British accent)
- Meet Elvis Presley
- Sleep in everyday

5 Places I’d Like to Travel To:
- NYC (I’ve never been)
- Paris
- Greek Islands
- Savannah
- To the Olympics…anywhere (I love them)

To You, From Us

Welcome to Olive Juice!

Go ahead. Mouth it in the Mirror. It looks exactly like "I Love You," doesn’t it?

As designers, (Liz is an interior designer; Natalie is in fashion) we are constantly inspired by random things that we come across in everyday life. Ideas that are sparked yet tend to just rattle around in our heads and rarely ever see the light of day. Ideas that inspire a design, items that we covet, admire, long for; etc.
After countless Pinot Grigio fueled nights of us discussing the vintage sofa we just saw and love, shoes we HAVE to have, the new Burberry/Missoni/J. Crew spring line that we are drooling over, the funky new restaurant we just tried, the best shade of pink paint we have ever seen, (you get the picture)...we decided to write (well, type) it all down....and share it with YOU!
This is a journal of things that we just plain love, or if you will..."Olive Juice".