Tuesday, March 31, 2009

April Food Day: Bloggers Fighting Hunger

Our current economic climate has created difficulties for many American families. People who never had to worry about food before are having to think about where their next meal will come from. People who have never needed any type of assistance in the past are showing up at food banks, only to be turned away because their shelves are bare. Meg Fielding of Pigtown*Design and Chris Cox of Easy & Elegant Life have joined forces to create April Food Day in an effort to make a difference in over 200 communities in America.

Dear readers, I am asking you to please contribute $1.00 today or tomorrow, April 1st. If you can, anything more than that would be greatly appreciated, of course. One dollar will provide ten pounds of food, or seven meals to feed families in need. $25.00 provides seventy-five meals.

Did you know that "one out of six children lives in a food insecure household, which means they do not always know where they will find their next meal. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), more than 12 million children in the United States live in this condition – unable to consistently access nutritious and adequate amounts of food necessary for a healthy life.[i] The states with the highest rates of child food insecurity are Texas and New Mexico, where more than 24 percent of all children are at risk of hunger. The other states with child hunger rates above 20 percent are: California, Idaho, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee and Utah. Washington, D.C. also has a child food insecurity rate above 20 percent"?

There are many negative implications for children who face food insecurity. Their physical, mental, and emotional health is impacted negatively.They are put in jeopardy of developmental risk and they often fall behind at school. You can read more about the ways in which hunger affects people throughout the United States on the
Feeding America website.

The blogging world has proven to be a kinder and more generous place than I could have ever dreamed. April Food Day officially begins today and ends tomorrow, April 1st, so please open up your hearts and give what you can to this worthy cause, even if it is only $1.00. Every little bit helps, and for every dollar you give, ten pounds of food, or seven meals will be given to hungry families. Click here to make a contribution. Just imagine how many people we could feed if every person who reads this donates $1.00! Thank you!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Style Profile: Angie Hranowsky

The Living Room at Godfrey Park Place
The work of Charleston-based designer, Angie Hranowsky has made its rounds on the blogs, but I couldn't resist sharing the love. In a time when things are pretty grim (i.e. the current state of our economy, etc), it is refreshing to see vibrant, youthful interiors that are infused with color and personality. Hranowksy's interiors feel current and hip, yet a lot of the furniture and accessories that she selects are actually vintage or antique, and are sure to stand the test of time.

"Combining a refined mix of vintage and new, bold color and clean lines, Angie's interiors take on an unexpected and modern approach to comfort." Angie, an established graphic designer, decided to take the plunge into interior design in the summer of 2004 and studied at Parsons in New York. Her background in art history is evident in her work, as one can tell that she is a very thoughtful designer. She seems to examine how objects relate to one another and creates beautiful stories within the spaces she designs. Her work has been featured in publications such as House Beautiful, Domino, Metropolitan Home, and Home.

Godfrey Park Place: This home was featured in House Beautiful, and happens to be my favorite of Angie's projects.
I love the vintage bamboo coffee table and the Dorothy Draper chest selected for the living room.

A Parsons console in coral and a stylish little bench play host to a pair of vintage lamps.

I love the deep eggplant color used in the dining room, along with the fabulous table, vintage Pagoda style chandelier, and La Fiorentina fabric on the chairs.

I want this little console! How fabulous are the bamboo detail and mirrored inset?

This has to be the coolest vintage bathroom I have ever seen! The patterned, yellow wallpaper goes perfectly with the original black and white tile work. The bamboo-style mirror is in perfect keeping with the rest of the house.

I love this office! The walls are the perfect shade of chocolate. The simple little desk is lovely and the shelving and accessories are fantastic! Notice the great, little jars.

The master bedroom does not disappoint! Angie chose pink and the loveliest shade of blue as accent colors for this room. I love the draperies and upholstered bench!

A huge Venetian-style mirror faces the bed

The room also features a very pretty dresser with an antique silver leaf finish.

Oakdale Place: This is Angie's personal home and was featured in Metropolitan Home and Charleston Magazine.

Again, Angie chooses a rich, chocolate shade for the walls and uses colorful accents throughout the space. This reminds me so much of Erin of Elements of Style!
Angie's living room is filled with vibrant colors, like a fuchsia sofa and vintage chair in purple. I love the lucite tables she used here. They look both chic and fun in this space.

In the dining room, Angie used the same draperies as the one she has in the living room. The Parsons dining table is paired with antique chairs and a Sputnik chandelier.

Downtown Charleston: This home is high on style, though it is slightly more formal.
I adore the rich colors used in this room: gold, deep plum, magenta.

This coffee table is bananas!

I love that Angie played on the height of the ceilings in this grand residence. David Hicks' La Fiorentina draperies are fabulous! The table lamp and vintage glass chandelier used in this room are fantastic, as well.

One side of a very chic nursery (the crib is on the other side). There is no "theme", but a defined color palette was selected.

Tremont Boulevard: This chic abode was featured in Home Magazine.
I love the pale aqua and orange used in the living room. They make for a very chic combination! I also really like the lines of the sofa and the prints above it add a lot to the room and the color palette.

This dining room is just lovely! I adore the vintage chairs, pink vintage lamps, mirror, capiz chandelier, and seagrass wallcovering.

I love Angie's rendition of the plate wall. This is slightly off topic, but don't you just love the smell of seagrass?

Congratulations, Anne!

Congratulations to Anne of The City Sage! Not only does she write a wonderful blog, but she is the winner of the first Mr & Mrs Smith Travel Trivia Contest on La Dolce Vita. She will be receiving a $100 gift card good towards a stay at any of the fabulous hotels featured on the Mr & Mrs Smith website.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the first trivia contest! It was a big success! In case you were wondering if you knew the answer to the clues, the hotel featured in the first contest is the beautiful Hacienda de San Antonio in Colima, Mexico.

From the Mr & Mrs Smith website: "This coral pink Hacienda de San Antonio in Mexico’s small highland state of Colima raises the boutique-hotel bar to lofty new heights. Built more than 120 years ago and decorated with style and passion by the Goldsmith family, its elegant arched buildings sit serenely in a jaw-dropping landscape of coffee plants, avenues of bamboo and the awe-inspiring backdrop of the Colima volcano. "

Stay tuned for the next contest which will begin next Monday!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Eric Cohler: Oceans 3 Showhouse

Part of the living are in Eric Cohler's Oceans 3 Condo

I was seriously blown away by the April issue of Traditional Home. I'll be honest. I have never been a huge fan of traditional interiors, but I love the direction they are taking and the fact that they are showcasing modern traditional homes with a bit of an eclectic spin. I think over time, our style tends to evolve and I am definitely starting to gravitate towards this look.

Eric Cohler's design for his condo in the Traditional Home Oceans 3 Showhouse completely exemplifies this look. He says, "I wanted to give a global view not limited by the ocean". The Showhouse is anything but a beach house and features three condos designed by Amanda Nisbet (see my post on her rendition here), Eric Cohler, and Philip Gorivan, whose design is yet to be unveiled. I must say that so far, Eric's condo is my favorite. I absolutely love what he has done and think his take on traditional interiors is spot on.

The windows in the dining room offer sweeping views of the ocean in Montauk. The amazing sawhorse dining table is by Ralph Lauren and the chairs are Eric Cohler's design. The wrought iron and wood bead chandelier is from Donna Parker Habitat Limited Antiques. The draperies are Lee Jofa.

Cohler chose a neutral palette punctuated by various shades of blue.
The antique chairs came from Old Town Crossing and the Game Table is by Eric Cohler. The basket is from Mecox Gardens and Style L Aluminum Floor Lamp is from Ralph Lauren. I love the contrast it gives against the otherwise very traditional pieces.
In the kitchen, Cohler chose contrasting cabinetry in Ivory and Coffee Bean finishes. He opted for modern hardware and used cowhide counter stools of his design.

The library is just beautiful! I love the faux bois wallpaper, graphic pillows, and amazing light fixture. The Tang table lamp is from Circa Lighting.

"I wanted the bedrooms to feel urbane and elegant even though they are in a beach house," explains Cohler. In the master bedroom, that goal translated as a handsome Modern History secretary, an antique French chair, a high tufted American Leather headboard, and a shapely all-upholstered bench with hidden storage that Cohler designed for Lee Jofa."

The master bedroom features a private patio overlooking the ocean.

Cohler selected natural stone surfaces, such as the grained, polished Equator Marmara marble tile from Artistic Tile for the master bathroom.
A second shot of the master bathroom shows a couple of Kohler vanities and silver leaf tiles from Artistic Tile.

The girl's bedroom features vibrant colors and modern touches. That isn't wallpaper! The walls were painted in six-inch vertical stripes. The pink chair is by Rob Jones, and the lighting is Eric Cohler for Visual Comfort available through Circa Lighting. The bold rug is from Megerian Rugs.
How great is this children's room? The Calabar wallcovering from Lee Jofa is very "Where the Wild Things Are" and that shade of blue is beautiful.

This is my favorite room in the house. I love the brown and blue palette and the use of modern elements like the upholstered headboard paired with something like the Louis J. Solomon bench, which lends a traditional sense of elegance to the room. The desk lamps are Thomas O'Brien for Visual Comfort and the drapery and wallcovering is from Lee Jofa.

It gets even better! A second view of the room reveals an amazing Somerset Bay chest paired with a Henredon quatrefoil mirror. Seriously, how fabulous is that chest? I can think of so many types of décor that it would look great with. Be still my heart!

All images via Traditional Home

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Jet Set: Chamberlain West Hollywood

This week, we will continue our journey through California and head north from Palm Springs to Los Angeles. I have never visited the style-mecca that is L.A., so this will be a slightly different installment of Jet Set as I don't have any personal advice to offer. Having said that, it is a city filled with stylish hotel options. I think the difficult part would be choosing which part of the city to stay in. Bueller? Part of the reason I haven't visited L.A. is the fact that it is a huge city and navigating it seems daunting! Now, I live in Houston, a big commuter city, so I am certainly used to driving. It's just getting the lay of the land that makes me a bit nervous.

When we finally do head to Los Angeles, the chic boutique Chamberlain West Hollywood Hotel will certainly be at the top of our list. It is nestled in a residential area of West Hollywood, but is just off Santa Monica Boulevard and is moments from Beverly Hills, Hollywood, and the Sunset Strip. Combine its location with its incredibly chic interiors, and you've got a winner! The décor was designed by David McCauley. Can you guess which very prominent designer's team he is a part of? The modern luxe interiors feature a palette of masculine blues and greys with touches of Hollywood Regency. According to McCauley, "textures like raffia wallpaper and suede-upholstery keep it from being boring."

The Chamberlain's American Bar and Bistro features twenty foot floor to ceiling windows, dramatic pendant lighting, and varying shades of green and teal. The restaurant serves Modern American fare with a California twist.

The use of cool greys, blues, and greens continues into the bar which features and expansive martini menu.

"The hotel's 114 suites feature a stylish mix of classic furnishings, contemporary amenities and a cool, clean palette inventively styled to evoke the feel and spirit of a private home."

"Luxury residential touches such as high thread count bed linens, gas log fireplaces and designer bath and body care amenities combine with up-to-the-moment hotel conveniences, including room service, in-room media centers with high-speed Internet access, LCD flat panel televisions and DVD/VCR/CD players."

A stylish work area in one of the well-appointed guestrooms

The Chamberlain has the look of a chic pied-á-terre, as it was once a residential building.

The hotel features a stylish rooftop pool with sweeping views of the city.

So, my dear readers, do you have any tips or advice to share for anyone looking to visit the city of angels?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Portrait of Spring: The Alpeter House

The 1934 home of Dana and Steve Alpeter with its bold and cheerful color palette is the portrait of Spring. The fully renovated home features walls of windows and french doors to let in an abundance of natural light. The family recently moved from Manhattan Beach, California to Minneapolis and decided that “the open, light, bright feel of a California beach house was the one thing we couldn’t leave behind." And they did exactly that! Designed by Dana in conjunction with Debra Martinson, the home is decorated mostly in shades of pink, green, and yellow.

The family room is actually an addition to the home. Notice the lovely coffered ceiling. The pink and green chairs and sofa are all by Barbara Barry, the scroll coffee table is by Thomas Pheasant, and the trim is painted in Benjamin Moore's "Super White".

The French doors in the family room lead to a beautifully landscaped courtyard.

This is my favorite room in the house! I love the defined areas within the large space as well as the bold colors. In regards to the palette she chose, Dana says “My inspiration was the living room’s original stained-glass windows. They were perfect because the house needed assertive color." The strong colors are introduced in the window treatments and furniture upholsteries, while backgrounds—ebony-finished wood and white marble floors and stark, white plaster walls—remain neutral but dramatic. “One of the things Debbie and I worked so well together on was flow—using colors with the same intensity in different rooms and grounding them with the ebony floors.”
The white sofa and citron side chair are by Thomas Pheasant. The coffee table and tub chairs are by Barbara Barry. The chandeliers are by Jacques Garcia and the gilded setee is by Victory.

The dining room was designed in "lipstick hues". The dining table and chairs are by Barbara Barry. The gorgeous "Metal Corset" chandelier is to die for and comes from Baker.

This sitting room features pink Chinoiserie chairs by Ralph Lauren, "Tejada" draperies by Design Guild, and a wrought iron table from the designer's own collection. The beautiful pillows are also from Design Guild. The unique flooring which is found throughout much of the house, is limestone from Choice Wood Co.

The bold use of color continues into the kitchen. It features carrara countertops, white cabinetry, and a "Water Glass" backsplash from Waterworks in "gimlet". Notice the stainless cabinets in the background. The stools are by Barbara Barry and the pendants over the island are by Boyd Lighting.

Are you sure this isn't The Hamptons? The exterior of the Alpeter Home is absolutely gorgeous!

Images via Traditional Home