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Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Hope everyone has the loveliest of holidays alongside their family and friends!

Image via Martha Stewart

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Flair for Style

I stumbled across these images of Flair Home on Layers of Meaning, a fabulous blog whose author was sweet enough to name me her favorite blog of the week. She also happens to be building a beautiful house near Atlanta. Maybe she knows, NeNe! I kid, I kid. Anyhow, I stopped dead in my tracks as soon as I saw these incredible images of Flair Home. It's just too good! Bold palette...check! An eclectic mix of unique furnishings and decorative accessories...check! A fabulous combination of European and American design...check! How much do you love the bold black walls? The white mouldings, furniture, and artwork all look so great against it.

Here is a little more information from the Flair Home website for you to read while I keep swooning.

"Founded in 1998 in Florence, Italy, FLAIR is the realization of the highly personalized style of Alessandra Tabacchi and Franco Mariotti. In contrast to the prevailing decorative culture of traditional antiques in Florence, the furnishings at FLAIR are reflections of various eras, both modern and timeless.The iconic black and white mood provides a setting for the juxtaposition of ebonized Napoleon III armoires with chalky white ‘40’s plaster sculptures, opalescent Venetian glass with ‘70’s chrome consoles. Precious materials such as parchment and stingray mingle with plexiglass and marquetry finished rosewood. English tweed and pinstripe flannel upholstery contrast with pillows created of vintage Italian 50’s printed couture silks.

FLAIR now has three stores in Italy – Florence, Milan and Capri. Each store represents the FLAIR style appropriate to the atmosphere. The grand windows of FLAIR Milan provide a showcase for ebonized wood and gilded consoles, neoclassic sculptures and Futurist paintings. The creative energy of Milan is captured in the large selection of vintage artworks and ‘70’s Italian Modern furniture. FLAIR Capri is located just steps away from the famous “Piazzetta” and reflects the worldly, yet relaxed, beach style of the island. Cerused oak tables, bergere chairs upholstered in raffia and raw silk mingle with sinuous ceramics, chrome lamps and black and white photographs of Capri Island.

In April 2008, FLAIR New York opened in Soho, the natural location for the “FLAIR style.” In a space evocative of a traditional Soho loft, the black and white atmosphere is softened by the warm, rich tones of natural woods and the shine of polished textiles. The transparence of plexiglass contrasts with polished brass, black lacquer with Moroccan rugs, French 19th century with Italian ‘70’s FLAIR New York is a reflection of the artistic history of Soho mixed with the polish of unique vintage European furnishings."

I am thankful for...

1. my dear husband for being incredibly supportive, loving, and funny. He is my best friend and my favorite person on the planet.

2. my wonderful family

3. my fabulous friends- old and new, real and virtual. Thank you.

4. the courage to try something new even if it has been more difficult than I had imagined and in spite of the fact that it may not be completely right for me at this stage in my life.

5. the opportunity to travel a little bit this year. Experiencing new places, people, and things fills me with such joy.

6. our home and the desire to constantly do little things to improve it and make it ours.

7. the fire I feel that keeps me from being complacent and drives me to figure out what it is that I am meant to do.

8. the promise of change.

9. my health and the over all health of my family

10. this blog- my creative outlet, fountain of inspiration, source which has brought so many incredible people into my life and has really helped me to examine who I am and what I would like to do. Starting my blog is truly one of the best and most rewarding things I have ever done. I certainly didn't expect any of these things before I sat down to write my first post.

I would really love to know what you are thankful for this year if you are willing to share. Happy Thanksgiving!

Image via HouseMartin

Friday, November 21, 2008

Have a Fabulous Weekend!

Do something crazy. Get swept away. Relax. Whatever you do, I hope it's wonderful.

Image via Rodney Smith for New York Magazine

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Antiques & Interiors on Dunlavy

Sally Wheat's booth filled with so many amazing pieces at Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy

This past Saturday, Fabian and I stopped by Antiques and Interiors on Dunlavy to see what was new. The space is sort of like a smaller version of Memorial Antiques and Interiors, but there are still plenty of fantastic booths to peruse. The booths consist of very edited, put together vignettes by different antique dealers and decorators. Most of the booths specialize in the Belgian / Swedish/ French look or Antiques from the UK, while one booth that really stood out, featured some fabulous Hollywood Regency and mid-century pieces, and Sally Wheat's booth presents a perfect, eclectic mix.

This small booth includes some architectural pieces, like the marble columns and the green shutters, as well as some decorative accessories.

This booth was jam-packed with a mixture of styles

A close-up of the grey, marble-top console and mirror in the back of the booth

I LOVE these angel wings! They are such a gorgeous statement piece.

Empress of the Eye pillows by Jane Schott

I am head over heels in love with this credenza. This booth had so many great things...

including eight of these red chairs for sale in addition to several other great chairs and tables.

A bevy of beautiful reupholstered chairs and French chandeliers

I thought these chairs were pretty. There is a pair of kissing birds at the top of each one.

A pretty vignette featuring a lovely bust

JK Capri Hotel

The lounge features furniture designed by Michele Bonan.

Last month, I posted about the gorgeous JK Place Hotel in Florence, Italy. While doing my research, I came across the Florence hotel's light-hearted cousin, the JK Capri Hotel. Equally chic and polished, the Capri hotel wears its personality on its sleeve. The Ferragamo owned hotel was also designed by Italian architect and interior designer, Michele Bonan, whose signature style is present throughout the hotel.

The JK Capri is set in one of Italy's most beautiful destinations.

The fabulous library features Bonan-designed furniture, vintage pillows, and framed photographs of famous guests. Despite the fact that Bonan used more color in this hotel than in the one in Florence, his signature use of white upholstered sofas and chairs, dark wood furnishings, and dark wenge floors is still present.

I love the contrast of the navy blue walls, white furniture and architectural detailing, and the blue accessories in the lounge.

M.A. Belle was lucky enough to vacation at the JK Capri back in July. This is her take on the hotel lounge.

Evidently, Bonan doesn't like for his reception areas to look like the typical check-in area of a standard hotel. I love that it looks more like a luxurious home. The walls are woven seagrass in a warm yellow, which looks fantastic against the white paneling and dark floors.

I die over the Bonan-designed, Asian-inspired staircase. I'm not a huge fan of Asian details in decor, but this just takes my breath away. The banister, the runner, the's just perfect.

A view of the dining room as seen by M.A. Belle

First four images via
JK Capri Hotel

Last four images via
M.A. Belle

Make sure to
check out her post on the hotel for many more pictures and details from her stay there.

This Week's Quote: A Quarter-Life Crisis in the Works

"It is better to live your own destiny imperfectly than to live an imitation of someone else's life with perfection."

- from The Bhagavad Gita according to Elizabeth Gilbert in Eat, Pray, Love

I am just now reading Eat, Pray, Love, if you can believe it. The book sat on my nightstand for at least a year and a half, but I never felt the urge to read it. Maybe something greater than me was waiting until the right time for me to start the book. A time during which the book would speak to me quite loudly. As someone going through a bit of a quarter-life crisis, I am constantly trying to figure out what I want or what it is that I am meant to do.

Make no mistake, I am very blessed in my personal life. I have an incredible husband, who is both my best friend and the love of my life, a loving family, and friends whom I adore. The area where I seem to be having trouble is in my professional life. I just can't figure out what it is that I am meant to do. I tried teaching and felt unfulfilled and bogged down, and I have been doing the real estate thing for a little while now, but things are so slow that I feel like none of my efforts have paid off and the wind has just been taken out of my sails.

If it weren't for little things like bills, mortgages, and other adult responsibilities, I would take off, travel the world, write, live life, and figure things out while sipping a beautiful Rioja in a Spanish square or while taking in the view of the ocean from the hills of the Amalfi Coast. I feel like I am a walking contradiction at times, I want to start a family in the near future, but I want a successful career as well. It feels like so much to figure out. If anyone is looking to hire a girl who loves design, travel, food, writing, is fluent in Spanish, near-fluent in Italian, and somewhat conversant in French, let me know! I'm kidding. Well, mostly.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Capucine La Mignonne

Once upon a time... from Capucha on Vimeo.

I saw this video for the first time this morning on Petunia Face and I couldn't resist passing it along! This doe-eyed, beautiful little French girl tells the most adorable story and helps anyone who has ever taken French brush up on the language. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Top Chef Season 5 Starts Tonight!

Bravo produces reality shows like nobody's business (Flipping Out, Real Housewives, anyone?). They are the best at what they do and have successfully gotten me hooked on nearly all of their reality shows. When it comes to the competition-based ones: Project Runway, Top Design, Make Me a Supermodel, and Top Chef, it's hard to pick a favorite. Let's see, I like fashion, design, models, and food...what's a girl to do? Which show is your favorite?

All kidding aside, I have to say that Top Chef is my favorite of the competitions. Maybe it's my love of food and cooking coupled with the bold personalities (Hung, Marcel, and perennial guest judge and culinary bad ass, Anthony Bourdain) or the occasional cutie (Sam) that keep me tuning in week after week. I like the constant element of surprise, the fact that the scariest looking dude likes using minimal ingredients and traditional methods, and the fact that every dish elicits a big reaction, be it good or bad.

Don't forget to watch tonight!

Image via Bravo TV.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


Deb's Mom's Apple Cake

In keeping with the "Has she been living under a rock?" theme of this evening, I present to you Smitten Kitchen, an incredible site for foodies written by a girl named Deb who lives in a tiny apartment in a former tenement building in Lower Manhattan. Not only is she an amazing cook, but she is equally talented at photography. I can't wait to try some of her delicious recipes. I think I'll begin by making the apple cake pictured above to take to a dinner party this weekend.

Bourbon Peach Hand Pies: These remind me of Mexican empanadas, which are always sweet, unlike Argentine empanadas which are savory.

All images via Smitten Kitchen

Late to the Party

I know they've been around for a little while, but I am completely, totally, and utterly hooked on Kings of Leon. I remember my friend, Jennifer went to their concert last year, but I just started listening to them this week. Their music is on fire. Listen here and here. Bananas amazing.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Preston Lee's Posh Home

Update: It has come to my attention that this home does not belong to Preston, but rather his design partner, Jen Dyer, who designed it. Click here for the full update.

Preston Lee's super swank design style earned him a place amongst the last three designers standing in the finale of Top Design last week. By now, you probably know that Nathan walked away with top honors, but I certainly believe that Preston's work deserves an honorable mention.

Preston's design aesthetic is a total reflection of who he is: young, sexy, hip, and very L.A., which makes him appeal to a broad audience. The Top Design judges consistently lauded Preston on his ability to pull a room together through the use of color and texture and often compared his look to that of a swanky boutique hotel.The pictures I have gathered here are from Preston's personal residence in Los Angeles.

The charming entrance to Preston's "chateau"

Preston plays with scale in his foyer.
Mix Master: Preston's living room exudes a very eclectic, Hollywood Regency vibe. I love his use of color and "I die" over that rug!

Preston seems to have pulled back a little in the breakfast room, where he chose to use a more muted palette of soft yellows, browns, and taupes. I think the mix of pillows is fantastic, the chandelier is amazing, and I love the idea of the banquette in place of chairs.

Preston cranks the volume back up in his dining room where he mixes colors and textures yet again. Picture this room lit only by candlelight on a Saturday night. It's a fabulous backdrop for a sexy cocktail party.

I just love everything about this bedroom! I like that it feels serene, yet there are many fun elements present and the colors he used are fabulous. It feels classic and eclectic all at once.

Images via Bravo TV and
Preston Lee's Portfolio

Wooly Bully

Why is it that every time I fall in love with an adorable, versatile dress at J.Crew, it turns out to be made of wool? I can't stand wool. It makes me itch all over. It doesn't matter if it's fine merino or even cashmere, or if the garment is lined, like this darling dress is. I cannot wear wool.

Images via J.Crew

This Week's Quote

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Rooms for Tots

I love the touches of green and the beautiful linens in this room designed by Amanda Nisbet.

Over time, I have collected some images of my favorite children's rooms. It seems that few designers ever feature them in their portfolios. Perhaps they prefer to focus on the more adult spaces within a home. However, I think that children's rooms are often the most whimsical and fun, as they very well should be.

Just a small side note: I was in Homegoods this afternoon and I saw the coolest print for a kids' playroom. It was pretty big, maybe 48"x60" and it featured the alphabet. It was divided into a grid and each square had a different letter. Instead of animals or other objects, each letter was represented by a country. A for Australia, F for France, I for India, M for Mexico, etc. Each country had its flag as well as something typical of its country like a kangaroo or the Eiffel Tower. Oh, it was so cool and only $59.99! Unfortunately, someone had it on hold and it was the only one. I would have loved it for my future children's playroom.

The perfect pink room for any tween, also by Nisbet

A functional Scandinavian room by Nisbet

A more sophisticated room for the little girl bound to transition from hosting tea parties for her stuffed animals to reading Jane Austen.

Designer Amy Weitzman utilized a cool, lavender palette in this room and made use of every inch of space. The silhouette print is darling.

A great play room by Weitzman. I love the cool lighting, pops of color, and the abundance of storage.

This room was originally featured on Domino's website and has since made it onto countless blogs. I am in love with the zebra beds and the subdued palette with just the right amount of pink.

What a fun mod room for a little girl! This one is from House Beautiful. The bed is gorgeous and I love the use of pink and orange, the lucite table, and the shag rug.
I first saw this nursery on Desire to Inspire. I like that it doesn't look like the typical nursery and that it isn't overwrought with furniture and accessories.

This is a room from a house I featured a while back. I love the bright colors, use of symmetry, and the awesome bunk beds with the rolling ladder. It is such a fun room. What more could a child want?