New Year, New Ideas and Inspiration!

In classic fashion, I’m doing a Year End Review a little LATER than the rest of the blogosphere. A Southern friend said to me with a smile, “You’re like the bloodhound trying to catch the rabbit!” And it DOES feel like it sometimes — everything takes more time than I imagine, while others (younger??) seem to snap their fingers & voila, DONE! But we all know that’s not exactly true & no matter, I’m quite happy with the pace of things & don’t WANT greater speed in my life right now.

What I DO want — & have heard many of you do too! — is less chaos + more time for friends & meaningful work projects, whether paid or volunteer, personal or professional. This past year was one of the most amazing (& challenging) ones in my life — and as I looked back on my camera roll, I see it all in technicolor: the good, the bad, the ugly & all the strange areas in between.

Here are a few highlights & areas I’m going to focus on in 2019. What are YOU focusing on this year & what areas do you need tips on this year? As you’ll see, I have some very cool interviews lined up for Elegant Mayhem this year so let me know who you want to hear from!

* Trip to California - Design Influencers Conference: Incredible forum where I met so many talented bloggers & designers….AND was so lucky to be joined by my friend Jen, & to get to see my old NYC roomate Christie.


(Jen & I had a very memorable meal in a restaurant I cannot remember the name of now! #seniormoment)

We took copious notes at the conference - especially hearing Miles Redd’s amazing talk - & came up with way more ideas than we could possibly do in a year! To wit, one of my New Year’s Resolutions is FOLLOW THROUGH. I tried The Bullet Journal method this year & found some success. However, I just ordered the Savor Life Planner mainly because it has such a punchy cover (& Lauren Bush swears by it!)….so we shall see if I can get my act together more in 2019 to EXECUTE more.


I got to meet Peter Dunham, who is one of my all-time favorite designers AND the super talented Sara Noble of Noble Designs  Sara is on my short list for interviews I’ll be sharing on Elegant Mayhem with you in coming weeks. 


She just wrote a design book, called “Finding Fabulous,” that has not only beautiful imagery of all her interior design work but also some often amusing and very relatable back-stories about how & why they made certain choices... 


She was just featured in House Beautiful & will be someone to watch this year for sure!

* Embracing my new neighborhood, Georgetown (DC): Our move from the suburbs to “downtown” DC (sort of) exactly 14 months ago was a MUCH bigger, harder undertaking than I realized it would be — and even better than I could have envisioned!  As I’ve written about before (and talked about on Sirius XM “Tastemakers” radio show last week), this quick turnaround downsize/move really challenged me!!


…BUT the pay-off has been tremendous - meeting people like Daphna Peled, a former lobbyist turned British antiques dealer at Pillar & Post, recognized by Architectural Digest as the best independent store in DC…


….doing all my Christmas shopping on foot (liberation from malls!!)….


...and going to impromptu gatherings in the neighborhood on a very regular basis — this more urban lifestyle has the tempo I was looking for and I’m SO grateful to everyone & everything that has come my way in the process of settling in here!


And no, the mayhem wasn’t limited to the move - we repainted the exterior of our new house, and I seem to have reupholstered about every chair in the house, and thanks to my friend Janet we redid the back garden, and are now building a garage….lot of moving pieces in the process - ayayaya!!


Country life & the chance to unplug: By the time I got to our house in New Hampshire for the summer, I was THRILLED to put down my decorating compulsion & just hang out a bit…The house in NH needs a lot more attention but it’s slowly taking shape - and has beautiful rolling hills & a lake nearby to keep one from really obsessing on domestic stuff too much. A good lesson for me to get outside more and smell the roses!


(Our living room in NH - super cozy….wall of bookshelves being built as we speak)


(View of Pleasant Lake - New London NH)


(Nearby - the historic Fells Estate, with incredible grounds and well-preserved house)

High Point Market & meeting whole new group: being part of the Fall Bloggers Tour was an incredible experience & has led to some really interesting opportunities for me to collaborate with design brands more and hopefully bring you all lots of great new inside scoop and products this year. Stay tuned!!


* Reunions with old friends - wherever the place (official college reunion, spur of the moment “I’m in town!” gatherings), 2018 was filled with so many wonderful occasions to visit with friends I’ve known FOREVER & love, respect more each passing year. So my 2019 resolution is to keep it up! And to take at least 10% as many pix of my friends as my kids do of theirs:)


(Avery with friends from middle school + college at our house in DC…loved having them all together here!)

Savor. While I may not be a cook, I did really appreciate more than ever the nights when we stayed in or just had quiet AM to read the paper on our trusty old dining table...


Yes, below the Dining Room chairs I re-covered (again!) in a fabric from Hollywood at Home that I just adore….Thrift shop plates with placemats from another beautiful neighborhood store, A Mano….life is good.


What are your goals for this year? What expert tips do you need to get there?? I’m looking forward to bringing you interviews with lots of amazing stylish REAL women this year, so if you have anyone in particular you’d like to hear from just tell me!

Thanks so much for all your support of me and Elegant Mayhem! Cheers to a happy, healthy 2019 for all!!



InspirationLeland Prince