Photo credit: Ralph Lauren’s Mark Reynolds transformed his home’s unused basement Space.
The small space is the new cool space.
I turned my closet into an office, and Ralph Lauren’s Mark Reynolds repurposed his Hamptons basement into a hangout space — which he affectionately calls the “naughty room” – filled with all the items he won’t part with. Another New Yorker concealed a baby’s room in an open-floored dining area by using outward-facing book shelves.
Look around and create what you need in your existing space. We all need a place to let loose and we all need a place to store our prized possessions.
“Increase the square footage of your house now without virtually any construction or additional cost,” said Reynolds, senior director Creative Services at Ralph Lauren.
So, how did he do it?
“I simply took what we already had in storage below — unused furnishings, lighting, artwork, additional household supplies, including liquor, of course, and all that family junk too precious to part with — and organized it into a living space, added a little music room, dimmed the lights and, before we knew it, a room filled with our personal blast from the past has now become the ultimate party room,” he said.
Give your space a New Year’s revolution and rebel against interior convention.
Here are some pieces to get your started:
Modern beds from Overstock
Get organized with baskets from the Container Store.
Rattan and metallic woven rugs from Calypso St. Barth
Jo Malone candles to add some allure to your space
Books books books: The Strand has everything from fashion books to Hemingway.
Anthropolgie’s bedding and velvet chairs
Event designer Jung Lee has cool tabletop items that are perfect for any dinner party.
Murano glass ashtrays
An Hermes tea set
Philippe Starck plastic dining chairs
Shearling anything from Overstock
Glass bedside lamps from Lamps Plus
view AmNY Article >>
With the weather in a funk and Mr. Sun no where to be found unless you live in Miami, let make our own January a little more fun.
Channel Kim Kardashian and wear white and pale colors ( a forecast of Spring 2014 to come, btw. I’m obsessed with Rag and Bone/jean grey jeans and a simple white v-neck tee.
Smell like the beach. Head out and get Bobbi Brown’s Beach fragrance and her body cream. Just because you can’t be at the beach doesn’t mean you can’t be beach like
Speaking of beach like, Bumble and Bumble ‘surf’ gives texture to your dry limp winter hair. Get sexy and loose, even in January.
And for your skin to feel moisturized, try FRESH sugar body scrub. You will taste like candy and your skin will feel so soft and summer like.
For those who like au natural, you can always slather yogurt all over your body. it really makes your skin feel amazing, but you MUSt be fully naked and allow the yogurt time to soak in, so either feel good about your body, or tell everyone you are washing your hair for HOURS.
Speaking of naked, Im obsessed with TOM FORD bronzer and Barrys Boot Camp. Im in need of getting this bikini body in shape not for the sun, but for the SUPERBOWL party food, Im sure to be indulging in. So get on that treadmill and get that buttocks hot and high off the ground.
For those who are obsessed with working out and the right of passage that exercise gear allows (WHAT???)))) I have to work for it and some women just walk around with a fancy bag pretending that panting is sweating. GRRR. Regardless of how you work out, C&C California has great leggings and so does JCPENNY ( yes, you heard me!!). Im obsessed with my SOUlLCYCLE and Nike workout leggings, but there is so much out there and pattern is the new black in athletic wear.
I CAN MAKE YOU HOT, but only if you SWEAT.
helpful trick, start with 5 burps every morning. Get that blood boiling, grr while you are working out, and Purr to the rest of the world. Go get ‘em!
The girls and I took to Montauk for a girls vacation and stayed at the Blue Haven. We walked all over, hung out at the beach, had lemonade ( I had a piña colada) at Surf lodge, ate fried yumminess at the Clam bar, spent the days fishing on the Montauk Viking, where we caught over 100 fish, and we took to the Hampton Classic, where we ran into Sam Edelman and watched the Grand Prix. Last, but not least, we had a bonfire and cooked our catch to celebrate the last day of summer, and the beginning of fall. Memories are what you make, so make sure you make what you want to remember.
Platforms will always be here. When you’re short and need length they work, when you need something with a cushion-they help. People constantly want to “croak” this trend. I don’t know why. But I say they’re here to stay and offered in so many different types of lifts, you will now have to reprogram your mind to figure out just how high or low you want to go.
Here’s a fall sampling of my favorites:
Reality bites sometimes. I fell in the street this summer. I fell in flats. Yes I did. I wasn’t texting and walking. I was trying to get to Loehmanns and I fell on west 73rd street breaking (it’s not as bad but easier for story purposes) my right foot. So my summer/preFall will be in these medicinal marvels. $50. And giving me a wee bit of a lift because I can’t wear my Adidas
Slides with everything.$50.
The silver semi “Ferragamo” inspired, Art Deco shoe with a lug sole-any lug sole-makes me always feel like a sexy truckdriver. My favorite Alaia’s have a lug sole. Which you need in NY. Strapped up, down…The pavement is so hard and you’re always walking…it’s a way to look badass and elegant. @Prada stores soon. Waiting list open. I will be buying these anyway. My Prada size never changes and ill slip these on when I’m healed and no one else will be wearing!
Prabal Gurung for Casadei
Sex on a stiletto! this is a slice of heaven. Slim platform, olive, crazy buckles another contraption. Gawd. These make me INSANE! @Barney’s NY at store now!
Sam Edleman Boots
These are a replica of a Balenciaga boot. The Olsen twins (both)wore the original one and I missed out on it then and now it’s back and under $100. I think these are haute and I would feel like an Olsen who are my style icons. @century21 stores but RUN
One sad thing this summer about basically breaking my foot is not being able to wear my new Alexa Wagner platforms. I had plans to pair a summer shoe with tights and contrast for fall but I won’t be back on heels for a while if I want to walk again. Anywhoo-these are so beautiful. High. But so GORGEOUS on the foot. Give your leg quite a line. An elongated calf even if you don’t have legs for days. (If your calf is very wide you probably will shy away from it.) I love news and this is where it’s at. @Far Fetch (Online order)
I just think these are outstanding. He adds a small pad in the shoe as he knows women suffer to be sexy. Small platform is manageable. These are like little works of art that you can walk in. I love the colors. I love the mix. I adore the design. He’s such a pro and used to design for Donna Karan-now he’s all on his own. Made in Italy (for real) Keep watching.
courtesy of Sasha Charnin Morrison
Us Weekly Magazine
Is this going to be the fall where no one wears makeup, and lives up to every man’s dream that their female love can walk around without makeup? This no makeup madness seems to be a big trend that has us normal girls, a little miffed. Is the Kardashian look out, and fresh faced is in? Can Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus get away with being major A list stars and go on the VMA’s without makeup???? The look of naturally beautiful is in. And fortunately that works for most of us, like myself that put false eyelashes on and couldn’t get them off even with goons of baby oil. Guilty. I typically stick to bronzer by Urban Decay and eyeshadows by Tom Ford beauty,and my mascara is typically L’real Voluminious- for I don’t like makeup all the time, but I do like doe fresh eyes. I love the keep it fresh look, but for those who want to go rocker, that trend is hot and sexy this season too. Check these fresh faces out.
Tell the world that is yours. Im obsessed with monograms and I even put out on my jean shorts. I monogram paper napkins, plastic cups, and even pillows. The Monogram Shop will monogram wine glasses. They made me “FORCED FAMILY FUN” plastic cups and note pads that had “complaints” on them for any cast mates with complaints. My girls and I love the uniqueness of the monogram, its speaks to Old Guard charm, and has a playful sensibility. Louis Vuitton’s Soho store showcases how they monogram right before your eyes. It made me want to get a monogram LV bag. Is it my style?
How Kelly Killoren Bensimon and her family are using the forces of social media, traditional media and personal brand building to make positive change in the world.
Hey baby, how’s your brand? Everywhere you turn these days, otherwise normal, well-adjusted people are talking about the importance of their personal brands, the proper use of social media and how to grow their network of followers and friends. Wasn’t it just a few years ago you thought Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were frivolous past-times, like playing Minesweeper or Candy Crush Saga?
Now it seems to be commonly accepted that for anyone launching a business or seeking to be recognized as an expert, there’s no shying away from social media – or any media, frankly. A strong personal brand requires visibility – which leads you to more customers, more paying gigs and…wait for it…more power.
That’s right, we said “power”. Your media presence gives you a platform upon which you can speak, tweet and share your views. As respect for your voice (i.e. your brand) grows, you begin to influence people’s opinions and actions. They turn to you for your perspective on certain matters. That, dear friends, is power.
Now before you get all Lex Luthor on us, we recognize that the reason most people build a brand is not because they are power-hungry supervillains; they merely seek to get more people to buy their services or books or cupcakes or whatever it is they are selling. However, once you have built a brand and established an audience, you have an amazing opportunity to create social change – hopefully, positive social change. In other words, you really can use your powers for good!
A powerful example
The Real Housewives of New York City alumni and friend of Golden Girl Finance, Kelly Killoren Bensimon, is a terrific example of someone who has established a powerful personal brand, which she tirelessly uses for good.
Three years ago, Kelly was filming on the site of Housewives, when Haiti was hit with the devastating earthquake that killed hundreds of thousands of people and left some three million people without homes, jobs, schools, food or water. Kelly immediately began thinking about how she could use her platform as one of the ‘Housewives’ to help with relief efforts. She reached out to her fans, began to fundraise and ran a marathon to raise even more money. With the funds secured, she traveled to Haiti where she helped dig wells to bring clean drinking water into impoverished communities.
This summer, Kelly and her 15-year old daughter returned to Haiti, this time on a mission with Generosity Water, a non-profit organization dedicated to bringing clean water to communities in developing countries. Before they went, they once again raised money and awareness for the charity. As Kelly says, “With a media platform, even more than the money you raise is the database you can compile for these charities. Millions of people and supporters. One tweet can go to millions of people. Just think of the actions you can inspire.”
Generation of change
Kelly believes that the teenagers and kids of today are the ones with the real potential to implement social change. They are growing up naturally interacting with social media, reaching huge audiences and connecting with others around the world, without so much as raising a pierced eyebrow. It is therefore incumbent upon older generations to help guide them toward a sense of social responsibility and awareness, teaching them how to use their powers for good.
“I took my daughter twice to Haiti,” said Kelly. “I wanted her to go and see the wells we have built, to show her how much change can happen when people do what they say they will do. She visited the children at an orphanage and saw for herself what a difference having water from a well can make to their lives.”
Beyond building wells, Kelly wanted her daughter to meet the other mission volunteers. “She saw all these doctors, consultants and professional people who were using their vacation time to do exhausting work around the clock in order to help others. I want my kids to be exposed to people like that: inspiring, hard-working, generous people.”
Kelly’s daughter went on to raise $7,500 and built a well of her own that will supply water to people for 20 years. “The experience has given her more empathy,” says Kelly, “and a greater understanding about the hierarchy of needs.”
Of course, you don’t need to go to Haiti to teach your kids about helping others. Kelly started out taking her girls on food drives for the Salvation Army and on trips to the Food Bank for New York City.
“I didn’t expect anything of them at first, just brought them along when I would go volunteer or visit,” said Kelly. “Afterward we would talk about what they saw and I would offer positive encouragement. ‘Did you see the effect you had on people? When you handed that woman the bag of groceries, did you see how she smiled at you? Can you imagine how different her week will be knowing she has food to eat?’”
Kelly sees it as making kids comfortable with social responsibility. “Many kids are just not exposed to real levels of poverty and crisis. They know other people have less than them but don’t really think about how those people feel or what they can do to help. The more exposure they have, the more empowered they feel about helping and it becomes ingrained in them. They feel comfortable contributing on their own terms.”
Wielding your power
We all have finite resources. Once you and your family begin using your powers for good, you will quickly find that there is always more work to be done. More great causes, more people in need and more donations required. There will always be more requests for support than you can ever handle. So how do you choose what to support and what to decline?
Kelly offers these tips:
-Be aware and be proactive. When you choose to work with a charity, get to know how it works, financially and operationally. Always be hands-on when raising money and understand exactly where and how that money will be used. Unfortunately, there are people out there who create charities just to host parties. Seek out quality organizations that really need your help and where you can make the most impact.
-Focus your efforts. Choose one or two causes or commit to a sector. Kelly and her daughters have chosen to support charities that provide food and water to people in need. In addition to being a Celebrity Ambassador for Generosity Water, Kelly and her girls support the Food Bank for New York City.
-Give what you can. You receive a request from a friend or a charity asking for support. You believe it’s an important cause and want to help, but you don’t have the means to provide what they are asking for. Be honest. There are always different levels of support. If you can’t afford to buy a gala ticket, offer to help stuff swag bags instead. If you don’t have the time, maybe you can help corral a couple other volunteers.
Your own mission
We love the way Kelly and her family are using the forces of social media, traditional media and personal brand building in order to make positive change in the world. The philanthropic work they do to help others has the add-on effect of bringing them closer together as a family unit. It is a virtuous cycle of goodness that we hope will inspire you to find your own mission, too.
Matthew Zink’s Top 5 List
1. Black Paulina One-piece: I love a simple black onepiece. I think it is absolutely timeless. This one has a beautiful twist back, plunging neckline and a higher cut leg to add inches to your legs.
2. Paradise Andie Bikini: When I hand painted our “Paradise Print” I based my inspiration on Irving Penn’s book “Flowers”. The bikini features gold box chain trim that makes this a perfect summer string bikini.
3. Mixed Blues Charlie Bikini: I think everyone looks handsome in blue. Our classic Charlie Bikini mixes 3 different blues for a youthful and irreverent choice.
4. Lipstick Paulina Bikini: This is one of my most sensual designs to date. Our Paulina bikini wraps around your body and truly celebrates a womans body with it’s lines and movement. And in our perfect lipstick red.. you’ll be sure and get a lot of admirers.
5. Cognac Rita Bikini: This suit is based on a picture my mother sent my father in the 1960’s when he was fighting in the Vietnam War. It definitely has the same elegance and sophistication that may mother has always carried. And you’ll love this cognac color, so warm on the skin.
6. Mixed Animal Charlie Bikini: I am a slave to a great animal print. This suit features a mix of our Charlie Baby Leopard, Zebra, and Cognac Dot. I hope this suit can help you channel your inner Bianca Jagger.
Get all of the Bikini Collection from Charlie by MZ on Kelly’s official page by Charlie here >>
Where are you on your summer vacation? While I watch on Instagram friends Mediterranean specially Greece, my girls and I are keeping it local and All American family style. Where would I want to be when I have time off, with my family and friends. We packed a FIAT 500 and hit the 495 to Montauk to the Haven. Filled with luxury and Grecian inspired, the Haven is simple white, clean, and decked with the most beautiful flowers. Located near Gosmans on the marina, the Haven is a stones throw from the beach. ready for a bonfire? no problem. quick dip in the morning? no problem. MY 15 year old has even started driving in this safe and be achy environment. What have we been up to when we are not laying on the beach? i took the girl to the #rlgirl fashion show, we supported Lauren Bush Lauren and her family at the #FEED event, we sold In the Spirit of the Hamptons along with Alec Baldwin, Dr. Ruth, and even Gwyenth Paltrow to raise $300,000 for the East Hampton Library, ate tacos at the Hideaway, and listened to great music at the Surf Lodge, and ate ice-cream at Johns, and met friends for lunch every day at the best organic lunch spot Joni’s, where you will see hippies to Julianne Moore. I even had a few pina coladas from the Sloppy tuna and traffic, but the Surf lodge has the best, in my pina colada opinion What to wear in Montauk? i love Charlie by MZ bikinis and Melissa Odabash paired with nautical shirts and jean shorts. Neat nails are required and Raybans and my Persols are a must. The only bag I’m missing is a Goyard like Kate Moss wore in the Mediterranean, and of course my Sam Edelman sandals.Thats my Montauk, so far. Summer is not over and I’m ready for more fun. Next week…. get ready for pictures from my tag sale of the contents of my Further lane Home. Keep posted on twitter for date and location of the sale. Its going to be a big one!