Hip Mom: It's Hip to Hibernate
Are you tired of all the New Year’s exhortations to get to the gym? Lose weight? Better yourself? Well, me too. This year I say poo poo to all that self-improvement hooey. This year I’m having none of it. I am going to wrap myself in a big blanket, grab a large mug of hot chocolate piled with extra creamy whipped cream, and settle in for the long, cold winter – also known as “Suckuary.” And instead of improving myself – gah, I’m good enough, dagnabbit – I’m going to focus on little improvements to my house. After all, you and I are going to be spending many hours ensconced within these walls for the next few months, likely with puking and/or snotty kids here and there. So why not make our homes lovely little nests to inhabit until the warm breezes (oh, OK, and tornado warnings) waft through?
First, it is probably de rigeur to head to the new West Elm store in Utica Square. West Elm started back in 2002 in Brooklyn, New York, which automatically makes it a hip destination. West Elm is committed to supporting local artisans who use handcrafted techniques; the company also partners with local designers to handpick regionally sourced pieces for each of its stores. Their wares include everything from Honduran Stone Artisans to Mississippi Furniture Makers to Jaipur Block Printers. In our Tulsa store, several lines of accessories by Tulsans are featured, with plans to feature a local furniture designer in the works as well. Lesley Zellers, a local Tulsa mom, has had her graphic prints featured at the store; when I visit, Tyler Thrasher, another local, is showing his intricate, beautiful pencil sketches. The sketches are arresting, and voluptuous in their detail. I can picture hanging several in my house and fooling people into thinking I’m an art connoisseur! And these featured local artists vary throughout the year, so there is always something new to see. The West Elm’s vibe strikes me as edgy but earthy; hipster but homey; sustainable but a wee bit sassy. I love their sleek, yet functional couches and sectionals. Their cheeky barware inspires me to throw an intimate little mid-winter cocktail bash…just because. I spot an intriguing two-tier coffee table that seems full of potential. Whether you’re contemplating a big overhaul to your living room, or just need a few fresh contemporary accents, West Elm is worth a look.
And while you’re there, Margo’s is a delightful little gem in the back of Utica Square. It’s been tucked near the Polo Grill for 65 years now, and is a treasure trove of unique gifts and home accessories. Margo’s carries everything from candlestick holders to frames to kitchen linens (I buy a set of kitchen towels portraying watercolor renderings of Napa Valley; they make me very happy!). Margo’s also features one of the largest collections in the US of Christopher Radko ornaments, which are exquisite mouth-blown glass ornaments (maybe hold off on those until your babies are over…5?!). You will not leave Margo’s without a little something to brighten up your nest.
Blake Avenue is a darling, brand-new home and accessories store in the King’s Landing shopping center at 96th and Riverside. Their offerings run the gamut from furniture to artwork to saucy gifts and OU/OSU fanware. The displayed artwork is striking: I love a watercolor of a grand piano painted in a kaleidoscope of colors, and another canvas of Paris, gloomy in the rain. There are tons of fun throw pillows, frames, and bedding. Blake Avenue also offers furnishings such as beds, leather couches and heirloom chests. The offerings vary, so it’s always a surprise what little tchotchkes and treasures you might find!
Finally, it’s worth mentioning that the delightful On a Whim has opened another location in South Tulsa, right next to the Whole Foods at 91st and South Yale. The South store joins its sister store on Brookside; while the stores offer many of the same products, they don’t entirely overlap. On a Whim never fails to lift my mood; there is always some funny card, goofy magnet or silly gift I have to buy. And the cleaning products! I don’t actually like cleaning any more than the next hausfrau, but oh how I love pretty, ambrosial-smelling scents and spraying them on every flat surface (then, alas, I have to wipe it all up, but at least there are all those nice smells waltzing through the air!). On a Whim has potions from Caldrea, candles, aromatic room sprays and lotions galore; really, everything you could possibly want to create a home that smells divine. It also is the only retailer in Oklahoma to offer the opulently whimsical line of products from Mackenzie Childs. Mackenzie Childs is a bodega I discovered when I lived in Manhattan. The enamelware makes you feel like you have been invited to a dinner party at Alice’s Soiree in Wonderland, except now Alice is all grown up and happens to have recently exercised some really nice stock options. On a Whim also offers gifts and tableware from Jonathan Adler, one of my favorite New York design gurus. Anything from On a Whim will automatically bring a bit of sunshine to a neglected spot in your home.
So stay away from the gym this January. Worry about all that nonsense later. Enjoy your couch, your winter’s nest, and your booger-faced kids while they can’t go outside. The time will come when you’ll actually want to hop out of hibernation and do something silly like go for a jog. But join me and just stay put for a while. Slow down time a bit, snuggle with a kidlet, and just be.