Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker Event 2015

Better Homes & Gardens stylemaker workshop 2015 - #bhgstyle -

I’m fresh off my trip to NYC (and also Boston!) for the Better Homes & Gardens Stylemaker event this year (see previous events – 2013 and 2014) and my heart is just so full. It was a whirlwind trip that had me sitting in the airplane on the ride home feeling beyond lucky to have gone and connected with so many amazing people.  Especially since this was very much the trip that almost didn’t happen. Perilously close to not happening.

The Sunday before I was to leave, all of us came down with raging food poisoning or stomach flu – I’m still not totally sure what. All of us except the baby (hence my food poisoning suspicion). It was UGLY. And in my weird colon-less state (gee thanks, ulcerative colitis), I’m particularly prone to immediate dehydration when hit with such delightful viruses. So it was off to the ER for me for fluids and anti-nausea meds on Sunday night (thanks, Dad!). It was very much looking like I would be going nowhere.

Then on Tuesday, with me still kinda weak from it all, the baby started acting sick. I started to cry – there was simply no way I’d leave the baby home sick. Plus it was going to be the first time I’d ever left him at all, so there was that whole emotional element to it. Tough, right? Simon, ever calm, cool and collected, said to wait and watch. It would be okay.  And he was right. The baby wasn’t sick anymore and so on Wednesday morning, an emotional and wiped-out me left my sleeping family at 5am to head to the airport.


I loved that this year’s Stylemaker event was held in the Hudson hotel. I’d previously visited while at NSS a few years back with girlfriends, and loved the whole vibe. Think wood paneled library with rolling ladders, but with a twist. Upon checking in, I was immediately happy that I wasn’t sharing a room with anyone as it was, hands-down, the tiniest hotel room I’ve ever stayed in, even for New York standards. I mean, I would be shocked if that bed was a full size. Amazing. Isn’t New York the best? HA!  I then dashed over to Maison Kayser to meet my friend Sy Yang of Koko’s Nest fame, with whom I’m collaborating with for a couple of special limited edition blankets. It was the first time we’ve met in person, and there we sat over iced tea and treats, laughing about babies and childbirth and the funny things in life.

Pencil Shavings Studio for Koko's Nest - Sneak Preview!

I can’t wait for you to see the entire collaboration – it’s so so good, you guys. Those blankets are the pink of perfection. ALL THE COLOR! And the weave of the Egyptian cotton feels ridiculously luxe.

Another quick dash across town to check out ABC Carpet & Home to pay my respects to my much-beloved Madeline Weinrib as well as the quirky and delightful Fish’s Eddy before it closed for the evening. Here, let’s all take a moment to fully appreciate this yellow velvet chair.

Tufted yellow velvet chair at ABC Carpet & Home in NYC - Pencil Shavings Studio

SO so good, right? And also these fab dining tables, both showstoppers in their own right.

ABC Carpet & Home - NYC - ABC Carpet & Home - NYC -

And naturally a fab trellis rug. The pile was gorgeous.

ABC Carpet & Home - NYC -


Thursday was all about the BHG event. It’s such a great networking opportunity, and I love that it’s purposefully kept small. About 100 bloggers converged to chat with editors, get reacquainted, talk about issues related to blogging, and come up with some new big ideas. My favorite panel this year was on the truth about getting a book deal. It made me realize that my failed book deal earlier this year was a total blessing in disguise – I absolutely dodged a bullet.

Eddie Ross did a great panel on styling the perfect holiday table, and came loaded to the hilt with some amazing pieces. We all came away with a copy of his new book Modern Mix, which is an absolute must have. I’m pretty sure the whole room squealed when he announced it. (The publisher of this book was there too, and I can’t wait to grab a copy of it).

eddie-ross-styled-table-better-homes-and-gardens-stylemaker-event-2015-pencil-shavings-studio-2 eddie-ross-styled-table-better-homes-and-gardens-stylemaker-event-2015-pencil-shavings-studio


That night we all converged on the rooftop patio of the Hudson for a beautiful view and fantastic party, including none other than this month’s BHG cover girl, Brooke Shields, who is apparently drinking  unicorn tears because she doesn’t look like she’s aged at all. The sun set in spectacular fashion, and by 8, a group of bloggers congregated down in the Hudson Common for burgers, fries, and shop talk.

And then the next morning it was off to Boston – but more on that in part 2 later this week.

Thanks to Better Homes & Gardens for a fantastic event!

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