Sunday, June 28, 2009

Subscribe to The Designista today!!!!!

I am excited (and relieved to have completed this step because a lot of this web-stuff is like a foreign language) to announce that my blog now offers an RSS feed and an email subscription option!!!! Hip Hip Hooray! While you may enjoy checking in manually to my blog each day, this gives you an opportunity to have the most up to date information delivered to you as I post.

Both options are located below the "About Me" section on the right side of the blog page.

Email Subscription: Simply put in your email address and follow the steps. As soon as I create a new post, it is sent to your email. It's as easy as that!

RSS Feed: Let's first start with what "RSS" means. RSS stands for "Real Simple Syndication." RSS feeds allow for blog content to be more widely spread and reach farther audiences- that's great for me! What exactly that means, I'm not sure, but it sounds marvelous right? I need to do a lot more research on this subject. However, why this is great for you, especially if you look at multiple blogs a day, is that a subscription to a RSS feed gives you a way to manage all the sites that peak your interest showing you the most up to date posts without even having to visit the site.

Please subscribe to The Designista!


The Designista

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Antique Shop Extravaganza

Billy's Antiques & Props- 76 East Houston, NYC

"Step right up everyone and see the strangest and most unique street antique shop that exists in New York City." I have been walking past Billy's Antiques & Props since I moved to the East Village three weeks ago. If I didn't know better, I'd think it was a traveling circus. With it's large green tent surrounded by a chain link fence, signage posted between two vintage street lamps, and furniture lining the sidewalk, you almost expect people to be walking around in costume- perhaps the two headed lady or maybe, if I'm lucky, the ring leader!

This place was created in 1986, when according to it's website, the East Village was not often visited "except for the adventurous. As the sun would set on East Houston, the junkies and alcoholics would lurk around like zombies, asking for handouts." The East Village is nothing like that now- mostly surrounded by young professionals and NYU students. This shop is a little treasure in downtown. There are so many interesting and fabulous finds and unbelievable prices! So often, these type of random antique shops mark their merchandise up so much it is hard to make a justification for the purchase. There were so many things I wanted, as my imagination was trying to figure out with each piece how I could "glam it up." Thankfully, I was able to take two pictures of items that I absolutely LOVE before my camera died.

Both of these lights were working and in near perfect condition. The chandelier was $200 and the lantern below was $120. I unfortunately have no where to put them, but they are wonderful! They could remain as is- or be painted some interesting color, with or without little shades.

Going through my "inspiration" file of ripped out images from magazines, I found an image of a antique lantern similar in style to the above fixture, but much more detailed that retailed for $10,450!!!!! I tried to find it on the Internet, but alas, it must have sold.

The reason why these specific fixtures caught my attention is due to the fact that one of my favorite little dining areas was featured in the Instyle March 2008 issue showing off Nicky Hilton's home in Los Angeles. Take a look at the Beverly Hills Hotel inspired dining room and pay close attention to the light fixture. Different, but similar in flavor and style!

Isn't this room so fun and glamorous even with the iron patio furniture acting as interior furniture!?! Very much reminiscent of the golden era of Hollywood! The Banana Leaf Wallpaper is still available today at I intend on designing a room one day with this wallpaper- either for someone else, or perhaps my own garden and patio room. Yes, that's right. You heard me. I will have a garden room one day!

So for any of you New Yorkers who want some great unique pieces at reasonable prices and in fairly good condition, check out Billy's Antiques & Props. The staff is really helpful! You never know what you will find. Perhaps like me, it will be finding a piece like one I never dreamed I could afford!
The Designista

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Let the painting begin- Goodbye Yellow, Hello Hazy Blue

As you can see in the previous posting, my room is currently painted yellow- a bright yellow that is between a pastel and primary yellow. I strongly dislike it- for a bedroom that it. And my slight rant right now does not mean every yellow. There are many gorgeous and rich golden yellow colors. The reason being is that it hurts my eyes. I think I may be more sensitive to it than others. When I wake up and look at the walls, especially when it is bright outside, it is very difficult to focus. I know that may sound dramatic, but let me give you a brief description why. This is important for all you parents; especially those getting ready to do a nursery.

Yes, yellow is a neutral and happy color which is obviously why it is so popular. Yellow reflects the most light of any color and therefore, it is can cause irritation, headaches, and the straining of one's eyes. I remember in design school my color instructor said studies had discovered that babies were more likely to cry in a yellow room versus any other color. Hey mom, perhaps that why I cried so much? they tell her. Since we're on the subject, go with neutrals (that includes beiges and grays,) blues and greens. They are very suitable and calming for the babies. Also, pinks and reds are great too, however, they too, are loud and energetic so should be used in moderation as accents.
I have decided to paint my room Benjamin Moore's Hazy Blue in a high gloss finish. There is a color similar to it in my bedding. However, the main key to choosing a paint is holding it up to the walls against the main item, that being my bedding, and making sure that it works in different types of lighting at different times of the day. The color is not a pure aqua, but rather more of a dusty aqua- a bit muted. Yes, it may seem dark for some because my room is so small, and believe me, it has been a concern. But due to the high gloss finish, it will reflect light. High gloss paint should usually only be used on walls that have no imperfections, meaning it should not be used on my walls, because there are spackling marks everywhere! But..... I am going to take my chances. I intend on having a lot of decor on the walls, so hopefully it won't be a problem. But hey.... remember how I said in my earlier posts about the trials and tribulations of design? Well, here is one. I am going to take a chance!

Hazy Blue- Benjamin Moore 2040-50

Well, I am off to work now, but wanted to share my decision with you today. I am going to buy a scanner today. There are so many things I want to show you; for instance, the nurseries mentioned above and sketches and inspirations photos am using for my own design purposes.

Have a great day everyone!!!


The Designista

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Open door policy to my bedroom

So, I guess I should preface this entry with the fact that I have been apprehensive to even make this post and the pictures that are to be included. As a designer, one tries to portray themselves as all-knowing and without fault when it comes to their design practice. However, the truth is, we, that is "designers" and creative minds alike, try multiple things to satisfy our interior desires until we finally get it right. And even then, we may live with it for a short time, hate it, and start new. Or even worse, we realized we made a mistake. Much like when you failed to buy the pair of shoes you loved, but said you would think about it. You go back to buy them and they are no where to be found....and you can't seem to get them out of your mind.... days, weeks, months.... We have all been there!

Well, I have decided to let you in on my trials and triumphs when it comes to my design process. The first project will be my personal bedroom here in the East Village in New York City. I'll take you through the tour of my room as-is right now. Keep in mind- I moved to NYC without any furniture. These are things I am accumulating one-day-at-a-time!

Here goes:

I am standing on my desk to get this shot because my room is so small. 10x12- actually, that's not too bad for NYC standards! I bought the bed, nightstand, floor lamp, desk and small filling cabinet (shown in the pictures below) from the guy I rented from at Columbus Circle. I bought all of that for $200.00 and no moving needed to be done! Not my first choice of furnishings, but convenient none the less. The bedding, though to some may seem loud in terms of color, makes me so happy. I contemplated this purchase for almost 4 months. I feel like it reflects my personality- crazy, fun, colorful, and somewhat misunderstood by many! I bought it at Anthropoligie. The quilt and euro shams are from the Bella Collection and the standard shams are from the Iris collection. I didn't want to do it all from the same collection because it looks to matchy-match. It has somewhat of a country feel to it because of the fabric and quilting, so I am going to look for a silk Ikat fabric in the garment district to make a pillow or two for more formal accents to the bedding. I am on a desperate search for a headboard. Think I may have found one- I'll keep you posted (literally!) The whole look of this bedroom was formed from the bedding. This room will have an ecclectic look of french bohemian aka Moulin Rouge-esque, meets Great Expectations (the movie,) meets contemporary lines and ethnic flair!

This nightand is horrible. I hate the color and the height, but it will do for now. What I really want to do is find two small nightstands with doors, paint them black and hopefully be able to put antique mirror in the doors. I want them to go on either side of the bed with matching lamps. The lamp on my nightstand was purchased at TJ Maxx. I love the lines of the base, but the shade is atrocious with a blue and white flocked floral damask print. It was just a good purchase for $30. I know I'll use it elsewhere and hopefully I can find a nice shade that works.

A little note about NYC: I had to store this at TJ Maxx for a week until I could bring it home somehow. As a transplant, you forget that you can't just put something in your car. Alot of places have delivery, but it adds up. That is one reason why this city is so expensive. $5 delivery from Trader Joes +tip, $15 delivery from Bed Bath and Beyond, $7 dollar cab ride from TJ Maxx..... the list goes on and on.

The little table was an important find. I have that giant pink jewelry box from Hold Everything (which unfortunately went out of business a couple years ago,) and needed something for it to sit on. I also found this table at TJ Maxx. I paid $59 for it. I like the lines, perfect size, and the fact it has a drawer and shelf for storage. Living in NY, I have really had to become storage conscious.
I envision this table in a red paint, reminiscent of the old chinese red laquer pieces, and a really unique and large piece of hardware for the drawer pull.

I am so embarrassed about the fact I am plastering this messy pic on the net, but what can I say? I am still moving/ designing/ figuring out where to put everything! Like I said before, I bought the desk from one of my subletors. It does not work in the room, but for right now it will have to..... I have something very specific in my mind, and will keep searching craigslist for the right piece. Above the desk will be shelving.... still contemplating the design of it though.
I love this dresser! I needed a tall and skinny piece that fit in this specific space and saw this on craigslist. It comes across in the picture as cream, but in reality it is fairly yellow with gold leaf paint accents. But surprisingly, it works. I am not a huge fan of the hardware (very dated,) but "that'll do" for right now (That's a Babe reference for any of you who didn't catch that. Gosh- I don't know if I have ever quote Babe!) So many other things to focus on. And hardware can get pricy..... so we'll see. I may eventually paint it, but it does look nice with the yellow in my bedding. I bought this from craigslist for $115. Great condition- and they delivered it up to my 5-floor walkup!!!!!

I have two windows in my bedroom which I LOVE!!!!!! I get so much light and my windows look onto the center of the buldings where there are trees and it really is just a pleasant view. I am looking forward to doing something fun with the widow treatments. I envision one panel draperies on a rod pulled to either side of the widows. My bedroom window is directly across from a yoga studio, so everday I see the people practicing yoga, and I can't even imagine what they see me doing!
This little piece will always hold a special place in my heart. I bought this at a flea market aka junk market the first morning I woke up in my new East Village apartment. I was out for a walk early sunday morning and stepped into a parking lot where older ukranians, many of which had cigarettes hanging out of their mouth, were selling any and everything. I bought this lantern for $10. I was told it worked, and when I plugged it into the wall, a wire was exposed and it electricuted me and sparks started flying out of the socket! AHHHHH!!!!! I was flipping out! My hand had black burns on it for a day or so and I was definitely shaking for a couple hours- and not because of fear, but electric currents still flowing through my body! I am not sure what I will do with this piece. I'll for sure take the amber glass out (save it for something else) and probably spray paint it a bold color. Whether or not I'll rewire it, is another story.

This is my first official design post. The next thing on the agenda is paint! Paint color verdict - posted tomorrow!!!!


The Designista

Big Drop Event- I got my pics on the net! Looks like I'm coming up!

Last week, I was helping out at a shopping event that Big Drop hosted for Dress for Success. A percentage of the proceeds went to the charity. There were some photographers there and I got my picture on a couple of websites. Since I am so new to this scene, I thought it was really fun!!!

I met this great girl at the event who blogs about all things related to fashion. Her blog is Check it out!

This was the caption to the picture: "Amy, Big Drop NYC Sales Assistant who is coming out with her own interior design blog by next week. We totally had a convo about blogging. My words of wisdom "Dude, it's SOO addictive!" Word."

Thanks Eileen for the shout out! And you're right, it is addictive!


The Designista

Sunday, June 21, 2009

First, a little about me- Miss Amy Davis

Good Morning everyone. Actually at this point, everyone might just be my mom. Hi Mom! There might be a few others that I have told with a reluctant grin, letting them know I finally started my blog.....And hello to the rest of you four!

For those of you who don't know me..... HI!!!!!

Amy Davis (1979 - )

I thought about going right into my first design post, but then realized, there might actually be people who wonder who I am, why I live in New York, and what I am doing here. Let me be the first to say, "My name is Amy Davis. I grew up in sunny southern California all my life, and moved to New York City on February 11th, 2009- 6 days before my 30th birthday." People ask me what I did for my birthday. "Anything special?" "Ummmm, yeah. I moved to New York."

My sister and I at my 30th birthday party she hosted for me at Lolita Bar in the Lower East Side. I had about 30 people show up. Some friends new and old and a really fabulous night!

And now onto my brief history:
I went to school for marketing at San Diego State University. I lived across from the beach on Mission Boulevard- a little peace of heaven on earth. After graduation, I moved up to Pasadena, California to work for my family's lumber company, while I went to the interior design program at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising. You've never met a girl who knows more about lumber and wears 5" heals! Going to FIDM made me realize how important it is to study something you really enjoy. I truly loved going to class everyday. While at school, I met the talented celebrity event designer, Diann Valentine, and started working as her assistant on events, weddings, and interior projects. I eventually did a television pilot with her for a wedding reality show. What an experience that was! She is actually on the new TNT show, Wedding Day... Check it out!

Though I always had a strong passion for events, I knew I needed to get into the interior design world. After all, I did go to school for it! One thing led to another and I met a woman, who I proudly call my good friend, and started to work for her. She, too, went to FIDM. Here's a little lesson- NETWORK everyone! You never know who you are going to meet. I was her "project manager" for huge international projects. I even got to travel to London, Paris, and Bali. I received so much training and the travel wasn't bad either! I was truly blessed!

Now let me give you the dirt on why I came here to New York. Ever since I can remember, I knew I was bound for the city life- New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Boston.... I just wanted to be where there was endless excitement, fashion, design, and people, people, people. But, as life happens, things always came up and before I knew it, years had passed. Excuses like, "I have a good job, I have a boyfriend, I don't want to leave the weather, I may be too old for that life, I'll miss my family, this is good enough for right now, maybe later, do I really want to live in a shoebox?" But it was always in the back of my mind..... and weighing me down with regret, more often than not.

So....... after a difficult break up with someone I had spent years of my life with, as well as some dating disasters that followed, I decided to quit my job and move to New York! Yippee!!!!!!! I gave notice on my apartment and when it came down to finally moving, I CHICKENED OUT. Can you believe it? And again, I came up with all the aforementioned excuses (sans the boyfriend and job, of course) and was now in limbo. Thanks to my grandfather and his vacant house, I moved to San Clemente, California, where I spent 10 months living one block from the beach. I took a hiatus from design and started working at Nordstrom. I did a few freelance design jobs here and there, but primarily worked at Nordstrom. I am sure I'll go back one day and perhaps settle in Orange County permanently. Living at the beach is really a wonderful life. But I am not ready for that yet!

Though I LOVED living so close to the beach, I still thought about New York daily, but I never really talked about it with anyone. I was tired of being the girl that cried wolf. Then, on New Years Eve, I was sick with a cold and laying in bed. I remember I was watching "Love Actually" and even though I was sick, I was still drinking champagne. I refused to be at home on New Year's Eve and sober!!! But I had a moment of realization and it became clear to me that I had to move to Manhattan or I would regret it for the rest of my life. I didn't want to regret not doing things anymore. So.... I made the decision. Three weeks later, a friend of a friend was going to travel for two months and needed someone to take over the lease for that time. It worked out perfectly. From the moment I made my decision to my arrival in Manhattan, it was 6 weeks. My sister and best friend from college both live in New York, and they met me at my apartment that night. I finally took a leap and the net appeared. I was safe!
My sister Jeannie and I taking a picture while talking to my mom letting her know I had arrived safely.

My friend Wynter, friends for over 10 years, who met me at the airport to bring me home for my first night. Something she said she wished someone would have done for her! Thanks Wynt!

Living here has been an absolute blast and the experience of a lifetime. Meeting new people, traveling on the subway, food and entertainment, city life, staying up all night, a Britney Spears concert and so much more. Check out the pics below of two wonderful memories of mine in this city.
This picture was taken by me on a rooftop at sunrise less than two weeks after my arrival and two days before my first snow storm. Needless to say, it was FA-REEEEZING! But definitely worth it!

My sister wanted to see Britney Spears for her birthday so we got great seats and after the concert we decided to put all our Britney gear on and head back into the city and show up at another birthday party. I am sure we looked like freaks in our B-Spears shirts and masquerade masks, but it was soooooo fun!

But with all the fun, there has also been some difficult times- emotionally I should say. It has, at times, been really hard. The biggest point of contention is my living situation. I moved here in February and lived in East Williamsburg for six weeks, then moved to Columbus Circle across the street from Central Park for 2-1/2 months, and now just moved to the East Village. It has been hard settling down. And now, though I LOVE the location, I live with roommates.... Something I haven't done in 8 years. Also, my dog, Penny, is still at home with my mother. I decided to leave her at home until I was able to provide a comfortable place for her to live here in the city. I miss her so much, but thank goodness my cat Chloe is here with me! The job market is not so great here in New York, but I am actively looking for an opportunity that will allow me to live on my own, even in a borough, and bring Penny out here! Currently, I work at a high-end fashion boutique in SOHO, Big Drop, where I have the occasional celebrity customer. I have met some really great friends there, and for that, I am very thankful!

This is my cat Chloe..... Been a little beacon of support here in the city. I know she misses the great outdoors in California. She looks a bit viscous here, but she is actually only meowing to me. Caught in the action!

This is the little apple of my eye, Penny. I miss her so much. How could you not? Look at that precious face. She'll be joining me as soon as possible! This picture was taken underneath the covers... so cute.

Putting the above complaints aside, I have never regretted my move. Don't get me wrong, there were times where I was severely homesick, especially during my first snow blizzard, and thought about coming home, but thank goodness for my friends and family who slapped me back into place! They know how much this move meant to me and they weren't about to let me come home just because it got a little hard! Thanks guys!

This was taken when I woke up and opened the draperies to my apartment. I was obviously going to be bound inside since I did not own snow boots and I just lost the other hand to my only pair of gloves! Pretty though, right?

I just wanted to share with you my little history, and for those of you that know me, this could have gone on for days. I am notorious for telling stories that never end! There are just so many details I think are important...but no reason to bore you with them. Perhaps this little story will give the umph to someone who's made a lot of excuses for not pursuing their dreams. If so, don't let the moment pass anymore.

This has been the experience of a lifetime and I am so looking forward to what each day brings!

Now..... Let the creative postings begin!!!!! Wooohooo!


The Designista

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Welcome! Amy Davis has finally started her blog!!!

Well, everyone, after much talk (more than a year,) I have finally taken the step and started my blog- The Designista. I have thought about this blog for a long time and toyed with different notions of what this blog could be. Should I write about the interior design world and current and upcoming trends? Nah, too many out there on this topic. I'd get lost in the shuffle. Or perhaps I should try to capture a bit of my exhibitionist spirit regarding my new life in New York City? You know, as much as I like to update my Facebook status with near novel-like entries, an entire blog on my life may be seem a little self-indulgent. Maybe it would be fun to document my own design adventures and do-it-yourself tips for those on a budget? Well, I do love this idea, but there is no way I can post a do-it-yourself task everyday. My heart desires it, but the hours in my day won't permit that. Let's see, I love to plan events, maybe I should stick with giving advice on how to be a fabulous host and entertainer? Again, I don't live in a space that could accomodate proper entertaning, therefore, how could I give advice everyday on the subject. Hmmmm, what to do, what to do. After much consideration, reading, and researching, I decided to start a blog that incorporates all of these things. They say you should start writing about what you are passionate about and...drum roll please....all of these things I love!

The name Designista came about because much like the term "fashionista," which obviously revolves around fashion, my blog will include all things related to design. One thing it will specifically focus on, which is one of my biggest passions, is taking old finds at flea markets, antique shops, family garages and closets (my own type of treasure chest,) and something big in NYC, street finds, and revamping them into new and fabulous pieces! I have always loved the idea of taking something one already owns and changing it into something quite unexpected for a new punch of color or added glamour to an existing space.

Entertaining has also been something dear to my heart. If there is an event to plan, I am there. Flowers to design, count me in! I have so many ideas to share regarding dining, events, and entertaining, I can't wait to share them with you.

Now, being a recent transplant from California to NYC, I can only begin to tell you the things I have experienced here so far; fabulous dining, new friendships, great museums, amazing shopping, roof top events, and so much more. Though, on the other hand, being so new, I am starting from scratch when trying to find design resources- wholesale flower marts, garment district, flea markets and second hand shops..... the list goes on and on.

The Designista will be a place for me to express the creativity that takes place in my life daily and will hopefully help others to harness their own creativity from within themselves. This blog will encompass all things from finding inspiration in Henri Bendels department store for a new jewelry display in my room (stay tuned for this entry!) to finding the perfect vintage dresser on craigslist, planning the "Perfect Picnic in the Park" (another entry I am looking forward to writing) or backyard bar-b-que in midtown manhattan.

Thanks so much for stopping by to check out my blog. My goal is to start with a posting a day and eventually, as I learn more about this thing called "the blogosphere," I can post multiple times a day. So check in often!

Cheers everyone! If I had a glass of champagne in my hand right now, I'd toast you!