About

I am a writer and editor, as well as the founder and designer of the lifestyle company Garland Collection. In addition to covering all aspects of the lifestyle industry, I also write personal essays. I was the Style Writer for Los Angeles Magazine and a frequent contributor to InStyle, Elegant Bride, Travel + Leisure, NYLON, Hamptons, Gotham, LA Confidential and New Beauty. I have written for Self, i-D and many online publications. 

During my time in Los Angeles, I often appeared on KTLA’s morning show (The WB) offering expert style advice. I was a featured guest on NBC’s “Your L.A.,” and was a CBS red carpet commentator for an Oscar night national segment. I have been interviewed by NPR and appeared in The New York Times regarding my work in the lifestyle industry. 

Garland Collection, "Up Chic's Creek" and I have been featured in publications including Vogue, The New York Times, Elle, People Magazine, W, InStyle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Women’s Wear Daily, The Los Angeles Times, Angeleno, Entertainment Weekly, Variety, and The Hollywood Reporter.

In short...I am a writer-editor-designer-curator who serendipitously (i.e. accidentally) created a brand that is built on family (Garland is my grandparents’ last name) and inspired by a life well-loved and lived.

Now here's the real story behind Up Chic's Creek

It seemed that to understand the lifestyle reflected by Garland Collection is to also understand the life and style of the person behind the brand. For example, what kind of person would design classic gold engraved nameplates…and also offer wiener dog condiment dishes to boot? 

I've spent my editorial career advising people on what to do, where to go and how to get it and this seemed like a fun way to share those extra tidbits to family and friends of GC.

Also, I love to tell a good story and I needed an outlet. 

To understand my style...…

If Liberace and Audrey Hepburn had a love child at Woodstock, who was raised by Annie Hall and Slim Aarons…well, that almost sums it up –  classic...but eclectic.

How I dress... … 

As I said, classic is what counts. I never saw a bow or a pair of gold bamboo door knocker earrings I didn't like. I own red pigskin pants and think that leopard is a primary color. I’d monogram the dog if I could. I have a tendency to wear boho dresses that encourage pregnancy rumors. I am not permanently pregnant. I just really like that look. Bergdorfs and Home Depot are my two favorite boutiques. I wear enough fine jewelry at any given moment to rival Mr. T…and because I’m a firm believer in more is more (and layering high and low!), my trademark vintage costume rams head bangles usually finish the job. But don't be surprised if you see me in Birkenstock clogs - I spend a lot of time in the garden and they are crazy comfortable.

How I decorate...

First and foremost, with a lot of color, brass and chrome. Or sometimes in a minimalist, modernist farmhouse aesthetic. Throw in some Hollywood Regency gilt (think Liberace) and a bunch of African safari masks and ephemera, add a dash of bohemian (we used to have a teepee in our living room) and place a couple of carefully chosen vases in the shape of heads at arms reach - and you’re almost halfway there. Oh, and we literally live in a barn. 

How I live... 

Travel and food, like many of us these days, is on the top of my list. We’ve honeymooned in South Africa, gone on safari in Botswana, fished off the coast of Belize, hiked in Iceland and will take a good ‘ol fashioned road trip anytime, anywhere. Buying trip to Cleveland, anyone? Cross country with a couple of babes who are not quite two? Seriously. We (my hubby and kids, who are too young to have a choice) think that’s fun.

I clear my head in the kitchen - it's how I soothe my soul and also how I nurture and love. Laughing with family and friends over good food (well, it's good most of the time) around a table is one of life’s greatest elixirs. But, I am an honest foodie. When my husband and I returned to our honeymoon suite after our glamorous NYC wedding, our bed was not sprinkled with rose petals, but Skittles. Everyone knows that they are the way to my heart. I keep them in the center console of my car so that they are accessible on the return from my daily morning workouts. 

We moved our family back to New York after nine years in Los Angeles. We now live in an old farmhouse and barns (known as the Barnhouse) on Long Island and commute to Manhattan and sometimes LA. Both will forever feel like home.

  Camp

Camp

How I love...

I have a loving husband named Mike that I met as a twelve-year-old at sleepaway camp (chorus of  “oooohhhhs”) and twin five-year-old sons, fondly known as Sweetlips and The Bean. Lola, our Cavalier King Charles, is my official unofficial business partner. We think (know) she can talk. Like most mommas, my family is the center of my universe. Mike tends to be the center of my stories. He's a supportive hubby - in part because he delivers my best material. 

 

Basically, I take my family and friends seriously (most of the time), and the rest is just for kicks.

 

 

 And almost 20 years later...

And almost 20 years later...

 

Garland has ultimately grown into a reflection of all of these things - my family, style, inspiration, discoveries, mishaps and misadventures. 

Fabulous and messy - hence,

Up Chic’s Creek.

XOXO,

Nicole 

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I hope you enjoy the new look of Up Chic's Creek. We have archived many of the oldie but goodie essays on the new site with updated shopping and travel content. New essays and inspiration will be posted regularly. Thank you for being with me.