Habit | Habitat: Iceland

January 2, 2014 | Alex

Happy 2014! I'm optimistically dubbing this year my Year of Travel. In fact, I'm so optimistic that my friend Andy and I even entered a gentleman's wager on which of us would touch down in the most airports in this calendar year. So far, I've got Norway and Sweden on the books. Game on, Andy.

Travel energizes and inspires me in a way I've never been able to replicate. Sometime in the last 5-6 years, I developed a severe fear of flying. But my wanderlust has proved to be even stronger than my newfound anxiety. (Just don't sit next to me in turbulence. I regret that I may have caused permanent psychological damage to a regional jet full of Aerolineas Argentinas passengers during a thunderstorm en route from Patagonia to Buenos Aires.)  

It's my hope that a year of jet setting will lead to wild adventures, new friendships and deepened connections to old friends, plus a firm grip on my Pteromerhanophobia (if you want to be all fancy about it).

Oh, and one more thing I'm hoping for: a revival of the blog column Habit | Habitat. Remember that Austin-inspired style post following my May trip to Texas? It was a solid idea for a column, but my intensive at Parsons and ensuing quarter-life career shift from financial regulatory reform to interior design grounded me until late November.

To usher in my Year of Travel, I'd like to kick off with a new installment of Habit | Habitat, inspired by my recent trip to Iceland. It makes me so very happy to be able to share my travels-- and resulting design inspiration-- with you. Here's to many more adventures together in 2014!

Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 5.01.12 PM.png


  1. Shearling Asymmetrical Zipper Coat, Calypso St. Barths - $3,295
  2. Silver Lapis Lazuli Studs, Far and Wide Collective - $89
  3. Parkan Backpack, Tory Burch - $247.50 (*on sale)
  4. Wood Casting, by Hilla Shamia - upon request
  5. A110 Pendant Light by Alvar Aalto for Artek, via Lumens - $272.00 (*on sale)
  6. Icelandic Sheepskin by Black Sheep (White Light) + Eames Molded Plastic Side Chair w/ Wire Base, via DWR - $271.15 (*on sale) original image via Pinterest
  7. Blue and Gold Agate Coasters (Set of 4), Jonathan Adler - $125
Screen Shot 2013-12-04 at 5.04.40 PM.png
Screen Shot 2013-12-05 at 10.20.59 PM.png
Habit Habitat - Iceland - Moss.jpg


  1. Men's Traditional Wool Sweater, Arctic Selection - $209
  2. Reindeer Moss, Crate and Barrel - $8.95 (image via DecoFleur )
  3. Modern Materials Container by Jeonghwa Seo, via Plastolux - price upon request
  4. Facet Bowl by Roger Lee for Richard Ostell, via Remodelista - $98
  5. Alafoss Lopi Blanket, via Nordic Store - $120.60
  6. Armchair 400, Alvar Aalto for Artek - price varies 

Habit | Habitat: Destination Austin

May 9, 2013 | Alex

Growing up, my family always played a type of game on family vacations: what would it be like to relocate to our vacation destination? What neighborhood would each of us choose to live in? What would be our favorite neighborhood dining spots? What would be our go-to outfits as we attempted to fit in with the locals? (The latter being a higher priority discussion for my mother and me. My father is not known for sartorial variety.) Our answers usually turned into spirited debates over a final meal or while waiting at the terminal for our flight home.

Even though I don't always tag along on my parent's trips these days, I still like to keep the tradition alive when I travel on my own. It's particularly tempting to imagine relocating to Austin, where the lifestyle is active, the climate is hot and dry, and an abundance of creative energy is all around. (And the legendary food trucks aren't exactly a turn-off...)

I'm no fashion maven. But when I travel, I do like to observe what people are wearing in an anthropological way. Hence the the launch of a new column, HABIT | HABITAT. I started with a clothing that struck me as capturing Austin's distinct style-- a unique mix of cowboy, borderland, rock n'roll and indie. Then I translated that style into a room in my imaginary Austin home.

Hope you find Austin's laid-back, eclectic look as inspiring as I do. And if you're so inspired as to book your own trip, I absolutely recommend the very mod Airbnb rentals we stayed in-- a 2 BR House  in South Austin and a 1 BR Guest House  in East Austin.


Habit Habitat - Austin.jpg

Habit | Lila Mini, LemLem - $170

Habitat | sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Plant Pods by Domenic Fiorello, via Design Public - $100 (not pictured)
  2. Vintage Safari Chair by Arne Norell, via LiveAuctioneers.com - no longer available (see similar here and here)
  3. Sunbathing by Beth Hoeckel (17x20" art print), via Society 6 - $35
  4. Tivoli Audio LLC Model One Radio (Frost White / Sunflower Yellow), via AllModern - $179
  5. Beep Lamp, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $260
  6. LAX Series Entertainment Shelf, via Smart Furniture - $980
  7. Navajo Rug/Weaving, via Allard Auctions - no longer available (see similar here)
  8. Knitted Basket by Ferm Living, via Fab.com - $55



mood 3.jpg

Habit | Demma Embroidered Dress  by Isabel Marant Etoile, via La Garconne - $505

Habitat | sources (clockwise from top left)

  1. Pearl Accent Lamp, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $175
  2. Herringbone Woven Throw,  Design by Conran for JC Penny - $70
  3. You Rock My World Postcard, Sugarboo Designs 
  4. Long Horn Cow Decal by wallsneedlove, via ProjectDecor - $30
  5. Brimstone Cabinet, Design by Conran for JC Penny - $2,295
  6. Beam Bed, Dylan Design Company - starting at $1,840
  7. Neutra Boomerang Chair (2nd ed.), via House Industries - $1,500
  8. Eames Wire Base Low Table (Red.Orange), Herman Miller via Design Within Reach - $275

PS As you might have spotted, I couldn't resist styling a few favorites from the Design by Conran for JC Penny collection. It's just too good!