Raffia, as we all know (and love), comes from a genus of Raffia palm trees native to the tropical regions of Africa. Fibers are carefully removed from the underside of each leaf and sun-dried to produce natural string. Similar to hemp twine and straw, these palm fibers are then woven to make breezy neutral accessories.

Raffia’s sustainability also makes for eco-friendly fashion, as the cultivated fibers are biodegradable and regenerate themselves post-harvest. With a feel-good material that’s also resort-ready, what’s not to love?

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By Jillian Hudon, Staff Writer

Want the lowdown on fabrics and more? Follow our What Are You (Really) Wearing? column every Tuesday.

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April 30, 2013

Pinboards
1. We’ve started planning for Memorial Day – and this board has our dessert table covered.

2. Are you as pumped for a coffee break as we are?

3. Color us crazy, but some of these vibrant combos are blowing us away.

4. Our sleep space could use a revamp. Cue the inspiration to get us there.

5. These luxe hair accessories have us rethinking our everyday ponytail.

Can’t get enough Pinterest inspiration? Check out past boards that caught our eye.  

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April 30, 2013
April 30, 2013

Make Leather Your Own

Leather is one of the most durable materials for upholstering furniture. Over time, and unlike other textures, use lends the piece a patina and character. The more worn-in it looks, the more it feels a like an integral part of your home. Now – on to making it such.

1. Tell a color story.
You can’t go wrong with an old-school, single-color look. But you also could really shake it up. Play the dark leather off of a bright wall color (like yellow) to make a strong statement.

2. Putting a leather club chair or two in the kitchen is unexpected, yet entirely practical.
It’s a new spin on the breakfast nook and a more comfortable way to sit back and catch up on the news. You can also grab a C-table and set up a homework station for the kids. You’ll make sure they stay on task while prepping dinner. And finally, guests always congregate in the kitchen. Give them an inviting place to sit and chat, rather than forcing them to stand or balance on a bar stool.

 
3. Leather ottomans are not just for feet.
Use the Jackson ottoman as a coffee table, entryway bench, nightstand, or settee at the end of your bed. Its uses are endless and the leather makes it feel more luxurious than wood.
 
Our Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams: Signature Leather Collections Boutique opens Tuesday, April 30, at 11AM ET.

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April 30, 2013

BLG-1434 Boutique Support Blackberry Farms

The mountains are vast, the spa is state-of-the-art, and the linens are luxurious. But in true Southern fashion, hospitality at Blackberry Farm – a 9,200-acre farm, resort, and Relais & Châteaux hotel in Eastern Tennessee – is served up on a platter brimming with the area’s finest homegrown cuisine. Named the #1 hotel in America for food lovers in Bon Appétit magazine’s May issue, the menu changes with the bounty of the season and nearly every dish is made with ingredients that have been grown, raised, or cultivated on-site – all the way down to the honey in your tea.

Beer lover? Along with raising their own livestock and planting their own fruit and nut orchards, Blackberry Farm now brews and serves three different beers to guests.

Living and breathing farm-to-table cooking, Chefs Joseph Lenn and Josh Feathers – along with countless gardeners, beekeepers, cheesemakers, butchers, and preservationists – have fresh, exquisite taste in mind. To give you an idea, we leave you with a recipe to try at home: Shrimp & Grits, a traditional Southern dish, in four parts.

Shrimp & Grits with Spicy Tomatoes and Pickled Pepper Emulsion
Serves 4

Grits

  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup stone-ground grits
  • 2 teaspoons Kosher salt

 

  1. In a heavy-bottomed sauce pot, bring milk and water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
  2. Whisk in grits and reduce heat to low.
  3. Cook for 45 minutes to one hour, stirring grits occasionally.
  4. Season with salt and reserve.

Continue reading for the complete Shrimp & Grits with Spicy Tomatoes and Pickled Pepper Emulsion recipe

April 30, 2013

For today’s Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Boutique, our Home Team took off to Greensboro, North Carolina, for a three-day photo shoot. There, they created five different worlds – one for each buttery leather chair to live in. Luckily, we were able to snap a few behind-the-scenes shots and see how each setting came to life.

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Our Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Boutique opens Tuesday, April 30, at 11AM ET.

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Continue reading “A Look Behind the Scenes: Inside Our Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams Photo Shoot” »

April 30, 2013

Pattern Play

Our Fashion on the Floor: Rugs in Trending Prints Boutique opens Monday, April 29, at 3pm ET.

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April 29, 2013

photo (2)Photo courtesy of nailside

Stuck in an office and can’t always get outside for some fresh air?  Well, this cloud manicure is the perfect substitution for all you 9-to-5ers.

What You’ll Need:

  • Three nail polishes (any colors will do)
  • Clear top coat

The How-To:

  1. Paint your nails with two coats of the polish you would like for the base, and let dry completely.
  2. Using the second color, start on the right side of the nail and make a straight stroke from the center to the tip. To make the cloud shape, allow the polish to drip and form rounded edges at the start of the stroke.
  3. Once dry, repeat step 2 with the next nail color, leaving enough room to see the second color.
  4. Repeat step 2 a couple more times as you move to the left side of your nail. Make each stroke shorter than the one before.
  5. Finish by applying the clear top coat.
  6. Let the daydreaming commence.

By Carolyn Schultz, Staff Writer

Want more mani how-tos? Check out our weekly Mani Monday column. 

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April 29, 2013

Yes, we all wear them. And sometimes we even like to flaunt them. But come warm temps? No one likes to see a bra peeking out (case in point) from behind spring’s skimpier dresses.

So, behold, a guide to the season’s most skin-baring attire – and the bras, tape, and cups you need to keep the girls effortlessly in check.

The Warm-Weather Bra Guide

Wearing: Backless
Try: A low-back bra that wraps around your waist. If you don’t want to invest in one, peep these DIY tips and transform your everyday bra into one of the backless variety.

Wearing: Strapless
Try: A perfect-fitting strapless bra. Tip: Since strapless bras lack shoulder support, the key is to go one cup size smaller. Or, if the dress is structured, feel free to go braless if you can – just snag a pair of pasties to keep chill-induced awkwardness at bay.

Wearing: White
Try: A nude T-shirt bra or tank. Contrary to popular belief, white under white (or sheer) is never okay. Also – avoid most lacy bras. The pattern still shows.

Wearing: Cutouts
Try: Silicone adhesive bra cups – they keep you perky and covered, and come in a variety of sizes. Fashion tape is a must, too, to avoid the errant slip-up.

By Joanna Berliner, Editor

Have a fit tip you want answered? Check our The Fitting Room column every Monday, or tweet us at @ruelala

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April 29, 2013

Spring is all about pastels, but don’t let their soft hues fool you. When paired with the right colors, they can pack a major punch. Start by incorporating them into your jewelry box. Not sure what works? Here’s your cheat sheet for this season-perfect palette.

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Our Pop of Pastel: Jewelry & Watches Boutique opens Monday, April 29, at 11AM ET.

By Brianna Lapolla, Staff Writer

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April 29, 2013