Good morning! You’ve made it to Friday–in just a few short hours you’ll be lying on the couch avoiding all those household chores you put off til the weekend. But first, a few TGIF! links to peruse.

Mean Girls wearing pink.

Small disclaimer: It really bothers me that people assign colors gender. I’ve never understood why less than a century ago, pink became assigned to girls and blue now belongs to boys. And I am forever indebted to my mother for painting my nursery yellow! That said, Racked had a feature recently called “How Pink Became a Color for Girls,” and it was really interesting!

Abraham Lincoln before his beard and his presidency.

Proof that girls have always run the world. (cue Beyonce) In 1860, as Abraham Lincoln was running for president, he received a letter from young Grace Bedell asking him to grow a beard. His reply is ever-so sweet, and he actually asked to meet her when he rolled through town on his inaugural train journey to DC. Read the story here. 

And while we’re on that subject: I’m just gonna leave this here. 

Reddit: Hillary Clinton Pantsuit Rainbow

The rainbow was created by this reddit user a year ago, and it’s basically my favorite thing right now.

Design*Sponge’s Grace Bonney recently sat down with Marie Forleo to talk about “Doing The Work You Were Born To Do.” I really enjoyed their discussion. (You can check out more Marie Forleo vids–they’re great!–on her YouTube channel.)

This needs no introduction. Just enjoy! (“We love you, Uncle Jesse!”)

Finally: My day job is working as a designer for HGTV and DIY Network. At the end of last week, we wrapped up a project months in the making: the new! Watch a little intro below and then be sure to check out the new site!


Red is Your Color

Red is Your Color | Hannah & Husband

Illustration by Coby Whitmore for Good Housekeeping, 1958

The other day an older gentleman stopped me on my way into a shop and said, “Red is Your Color!” Well, here’s a little secret: red is everyone’s color. Shopping in New York a few weeks ago, I was shocked at the lack of color in the stores. Why is everything black, white, and grey in the wintertime? It is cold and dreary outside so throw some color in your closet. Find just the right shade of red for your scarf, lips, or jacket to make your features pop!

Red is Your Color | Hannah & Husband

I have recently been coveting these double monks from Peter Nappi, but alas they do not come in my size. Someone please order a pair so I may live vicariously! | Peter Nappi, PIERA DOUBLE MONK SHOE IN FIAMA

Holly Golightly may curse the “mean reds,” but in Chinese culture, and apparently some old wives’ tales, the color red is lucky and can ward off evil and sickness. I don’t know about all that, but in the middle of flu season, who really wants to risk it? I can tell you that a little red always lifts my spirits and stands out in the crowd. So today, I put together a little inspiration to help you ease into red or jump in full force. (“Go big or go home, right?”)

Red is Your Color | Hannah & Husband

If you’re a little timid, start with red as an accent color. Add a bright red lip with your favorite cardigan or red nails with that Audrey Hepburn in Funny Face look.

For the boys, I’d suggest bringing reds into the socks or tie. Although, for Spring, I’m a sucker for nantucket red chinos. But for the love of Pete, don’t wear them with leather thong sandals like the guy on is doing… For shame, BB. For shame.


The key is finding the “right” red. I’m an Autumn so the reds that look best on me often have orange undertones. If you’re wondering how to find the “right” red for you, I’d recommend a stop at Sephora. They carry so many different brands that they won’t make something fit just because it’s insert brand name here.

If you’re a guy, red is usually not right next to your face. Unless, of course, you’re wearing lipstick… in which case, see above. Otherwise, I’d suggest visiting a menswear shop and trying on several different shades to see what feels right.

So tell me, what’s your favorite color to wear when it’s dreary out?



Hello, Gorgeous!

hello-gorgeous-RED-secretsofabelleToday’s random links are chosen in honor of one of the festive colors of the holiday season. Despite the fact that I may have said in a recent video, “Red is your grandmother’s color,” I really do love wearing red year round. However, it always feels most appropriate during Christmas, don’t you think? So today, I thought we would take a cue from ol’ Gwynnie, dab on a little red lipstick, and heat things up a bit…


White Christmas, of course! There are 2 particularly fabulous red outfits in this movie. The first being the red gloves worn by the sisters during the minstrel number & “Mandy,” and the second being the red & white Claus-esque garb the cast wears for the finale. Which is your favorite?


Diana Vreeland is known as the queen mother of the color Red. She surrounded herself by it and wore it  religiously. Thus, it is only appropriate that a retrospective of her work would have a deep red cover. I found this book years ago in an antique store and have regretted not buying it ever since. One of my favorite Vreeland quotes:

 “Red is the great clarifier – bright, cleansing, revealing.
It makes all colors beautiful.
I can’t imagine being bored with it – it would be like becoming tired
of the person you love.”


My first pick would be this red sequin body suit that I am coveting from Patricia Field. However, if that is a bit risqué for your taste, might I suggest a trusty tube of the perfect shade of red? MAC has numerous shades and all of the MAC ladies are trained to help you find the perfect shade. I’m a ‘Russian Red.’



Vote This Week

This month, I crashed an editors’ meeting at work. Things got pretty competitive. So my lovely readers, I’m enlisting you.

Disclaimer: While I, of course, *ADORE* glitter, it isn’t a color. And we shouldn’t pretend otherwise.


– – – – –

Actual disclaimer: Secrets of a Belle is a personal blog and none of its content has been read, approved, or endorsed by Scripps Networks Interactive.


Picking an Exterior Palette

Yesterday, I shared the Before & After of our recent paint job. Today, I wanted to share with you just how we got there.

Picking a color palette, especially one that is such a bear to get done as well as quite costly like your exterior paint, should not be taken lightly. However, I am also a firm believer in ‘just going for it.’ What’s the worst thing that could happen? If you are going with your gut, the odds are that whatever colors you choose will be great. Here’s how I like to go about choosing a palette.

First, I go to Pinterest. I look through all the images that speak to me at that moment and see if I can spot any similarities. Above is a collage of some of the pictures that were really singing when I was choosing the palette for our home.

Next, I go to the paint store and start looking. Live with the paint chips for a while. Carry them around in your bag. Get them out and mix them up. Odds are, after a couple of days, you will be looking at the same few every time you get them out. When you find a few that work, I highly suggest trying them out online. In the world of computerized everything, each paint brand has a way to “try on” their colors. We chose these 3 from Sherwin Williams.

Finally, look at accent fabrics. For this step, go back to your original set of pictures. What are the accent colors that are repeated in several photographs. Then, start sorting fabrics by what type of fabric you need (in this case we needed Indoor/Outdoor fabric.) and colors.

I chose the 4 fabrics you see above on, and then let Husband make the final decision. If you have a significant other, this is a great step to do together. To be honest, the fabric he chose was just one I’d thrown in the mix. It seemed a bit much for me at first, but now I am completely in love! Significant others have a way of seeing things that you may not even know you like, but you’ll be surprised at how much this stretches you!

Finally, don’t be scared! Try something new. If you don’t want to start with your whole house, maybe you just need some encouragement to liven up that old guest room. A little fabric and a fresh coat of paint can totally change your outlook. Just take my word for it!

It’s Like Having a Brand New House!

We moved into our house 6 years ago, and I’m pretty sure it has needed a paint job for at least 15. In the sun, it had faded to a pretty funky ombre… and, trust me, ombre is not nearly as stylish on a house as it is on your hair. So several weeks ago we were finally able to get it painted, and now it feels like an entirely new house. What do you think?

Please note the 2 small pumpkins on the front steps… I found them growing in our backyard!

We also made some seriously fab upgrades to the front porch including new screen, new fixtures, some upgrades to the furniture, new cushions, and a great table & chairs Husband thrifted at a local yard sale.  We’ve been spending so much time out there, it’s like adding a new room to our home! There’s nothing better than sipping a bourbon and hearing jazz drift through open windows out onto the porch. A few of the details…

Tomorrow I’ll share how we picked the paint palette and the fabric. What about you? Any last minute upgrades you’re making to the outside of your house before hunkering down for winter?

Runway to Room: Warming Up

Ever since the runway shows this Spring, I have been dying to wrap myself in a fur coat and ride by train through Russia with a vintage Louis Vuitton trunk and lots of burgundy lipstick. But travel budgets being what they are, today I thought I’d look at a few ways to bring these opulent Fall looks into our homes. Feeling like you’re there is almost as good, right? Here’s what I came up with…

Inspired by:

Louis Vuitton and Gucci’s Fall ’12 RTW presentations and, of course, the burgundy lipstick that everyone seems to be falling for lately.

*As a side note, I discovered on allure’s website and is called “Belle Etoile.” Needless to say, while I am still not convinced that burgundy lipstick is ever appropriate on a pale-skinned gal like myself, I found this to be the most appropriate choice.

The Room:

Couch / Faux Mink Pillows / Alpaca Knit Throw from Restoration Hardware

Art by Luli Sanchez

Bronze Chandelier from Lowe’s

Cadiz Rug from West Elm

Mercury Glass Bowl from Pottery Barn