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Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Rodney Smith: The End

The incomparable photographer, Rodney Smith has released a new book entitled The End. His office was nice enough to send me an advance preview copy of the gorgeous coffee table book. Not only are the photographs beautiful and memorable, but Smith's point of view and tongue-in-cheek sense of humor resonate in each of the indelible images. To call Smith a photographer would be an understatement. The man is an artist and a visionary. The 16 by 20 inch limited edition books can be purchased here. Only 1,000 copies are available for sale and each one will be signed by Mr. Smith himself.

Images 1 and 2 of Mr. Smith's book taken by Paloma Contreras

All other images by
Rodney Smith

Personal Style, Defined: Sarah's Fab Day

This week's installment of "Personal Style, Defined." will focus on the fabulous Sarah of Sarah's Fab Day. Sarah frequently features interior design, fashion, and food on her blog which is a great source of inspiration. She also features some fantastic-looking shops that she has visited as well as her adventures in motherhood all while showcasing her great sense of humor. I absolutely love the rooms she chose for this feature and am sure that you will, too!

“Wow”, was the first thing that I thought when Paloma asked me to be part of her Personal Style. Defined. series. So honored and mighty flattered so thank you very much Paloma. I will start by telling you a little about myself I'm Sarah from Sarah’s Fab Day. I’m no designer, not even a decorator; I’m just someone who loves good design and pretty things. My mom is a designer and my dad is an architect so I think being surrounded by design talk growing up made me appreciate all of the hard work and thoughtfulness that goes into making something beautiful as well as functional. I think that my own personal style is traditional with lots of vintage and unexpected touches. While I like new materials and fabrics what really makes me swoon are furniture pieces that have a story to tell.

Foyer designed by William Hodgins

This room designed by Monique Keegan that was featured in Country Living is one of my favorites. The room has lots of vintage pieces that are put together in an eclectic mix that is so inviting. While I love this room because of its unexpected use of something like an old hospital cart, I’m really crazy about the fact that you can see the owner in this home. I love pretty as much as the next girl but when a room tells a story about who lives there it gives the room life that being simply pretty just doesn’t do.

Living room designed by Monique Keegan
This closet by Celerie Kemble is a wonderful example to compare with the earlier room because while it is very lovely, don’t let it’s pretty face fool you. A simple closet is made exceptional by small details such as the wallpaper on the ceiling, the chandelier and mirrored cabinet doors. Again classic with some wonderful finishing touches that make the room sparkle.
Closet designed by Celerie Kemble

Something that I always strive for in choosing things for my own home is listening carefully to my inner voice. I always know what I like and I know all tastes evolve but I try not to second guess myself in my design choices. I want my home to look as if it’s been collected over time and doesn’t look like a showroom. Even if something that I’m drawn to isn’t being seen in the latest design magazines or blogs if it speaks to me and would work in my home I’m good with it. I think the most important thing in designing for one’s own home is to choose things that you love and will work for your lifestyle.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Dining

Summer time is usually a great time to dine alfresco. Unfortunately, this is not the case in Houston where it has been hotter than hades for the past three weeks! We have reached temperatures over 100 degrees several days in a row now. This awful heat has me longing for cooler weather in which one could enjoy a beautiful meal outdoors without melting or being eaten alive by mosquitoes. I've gathered some alfresco dining images for us to daydream about together.
Harper's Bazaar

House Beautiful

Phillip Harvey for Domino
This looks so French!


This one is from an old real estate listing here in Houston.


Amanda Harvey



House Beautiful

House Beautiful

Do you do a lot of entertaining outdoors? Which of these images is your favorite?

This Week's Quote

"A good home should gather you up in its arms like a warm cashmere blanket, soothe your hurt feelings, and prepare you to go back out into that big bad world tomorrow." - Ina Garten

Friday, June 26, 2009

Fabulous Room Friday 6.26.09

The San Francisco Showcase house is always a favorite among bloggers and design lovers and this year's house was no exception. One of my favorite rooms from this year's showcase was the beautiful and sumptuous master bedroom by San Francisco-based designer, Cecile Starin.

The luxurious room features rich fabrics and a muted color palette of white, cream, and various shades of grey alongside gilt pieces.

I adore this clover shaped mirrored-surface table. It adds an extra touch of glamour and femininity to the room.

The master bedroom features one of the home's four inlaid fireplaces as well as built-ins and a sitting area and his and hers dressing rooms.

Images 1 and 3 via Sunset Magazine
Images 2 and 4 via Jennifer Salyers for SF

And the Winner is....

I used to generate a winner of the CSN Rug Giveaway and the lucky lady is #8, Blue Hydrangea! Congratulations and enjoy your beautiful new rug. Thank you to everyone else for participating!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

What was she wearing?

I love watching Tori and Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood. Not only do Tori Spelling and her husband Dean McDermott have a great relationship and two adorable babies, but they seem like such a sweet, down to earth family. I love watching her decorate her home and deal with everyday life.

On this week's episode, Tori was in New York attending some events at Fashion Week and meeting with her publishers. I thought it was adorable that after meeting Christian Siriano, she recounted the event to her gay husband Mehran by telling him she had met Ferocia Coutura! Love it! Anyway, the point of this post is to see if any of you know where I might find two of the dresses Tori wore on this week's episode. I absolutely love the green dress she wore to the Potty Dance with Liam and the little tweed number with the bejeweled neckline she wore on the Today Show. Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Personal Style, Defined: My Notting Hill

I sincerely hope that you all have enjoyed the "Personal Style, Defined." series so far. We have had some incredible posts from several fabulous bloggers. I am so grateful that Michele of My Notting Hill is sharing her home with us today. Not only is this a great read featuring a beautiful room, but Michele has no idea how much this is helping me. With a crashed hard drive and still no word on whether I will ever see my files again, it is so wonderful to have a blogger of Michele's caliber step in and give you a great post today. I hope that you enjoy reading about her room. Keeping in step with her style and the overall theme of her blog, the room is beautiful and sophisticated, yet relaxed and inviting. There is nothing stuffy about this room or My Notting Hill. It is all stylish, yet personable. Thank you so much, Michele!

First off I'd like to say thank you to Paloma for asking me to participate in Personal Style, Defined. It's flattering (and fun!) to be asked and afterwards a bit humbling - or should I say informative. I find it's good to look at your home through the lens of a camera because it allows you to notice what's working and what's not.

If I had to describe my decorating approach I would say it's "eclectic traditional." I like symmetry and comfort but prefer it to include unexpected pieces or combinations. My hope is also that the accessories in a room will be interesting enough that a guest will inquiry about something or feel compelled to pick it up for a closer look. Of all the rooms in my house this is probably the most traditional.

My goal for the living room was to use my existing furniture and to create a light space that kept this small room feeling as open as possible. If I had to do this room all over again I would not buy a sofa as the room's ackward layout prevents any other placement. This sofa couldn't stand on it's own and needed some type of console table. I went through a number of options (including the metal table that you'll see in the third pic) before I tried my grandmother's Shaker drop-leaf kitchen table. When I added the yellow and white fabric along the back it seemed to make the sofa and table relate to each other more. The current fireplace surround is more indicative of my earlier style which was more sparse and streamlined. Looking at this photo I recognize that the painting appears quite lonely on this wall and that the mantel needs to be "beefed up."

Here's the view from the dining room. I'm very pleased with the two level coffee table. Partly because I found it on the side of the road but also because the slightly taller height adds a nice change of pace from the seating height. Right now I have a vintage book on Carribean islands opened up, along with some razor mussle shells we found while on vacation in Maine.

Our family room is a better respresentation of my current style. In this room there's a mix of metals, painted wood and upholstery. I'm only showing a bit here because the furniture is currently in the process of a re-do. The metal console table is from Pottery Barn a number of years back. I think it's a bit of a riff on the shaker style, even with the X bottom feature. The accent chair is from my British Colonial phase in the 80's but I was surprised when I placed it next to this table that it worked. I have alot of accessories on this table (yes more faux coral!) but I tend to find alot of stuff appealing as long as each piece still holds its own. The circle ringed lamp is one of my favorites and it plays off the circle sconces over the bar cart in the pic below. I don't mind mixing metals as long as they're of a similar tone.

This is the space between two french doors that lead out to the backyard. Not that I'm advocating alcohol as a focal point but this 60's Drexel Heritage bar cart fit perfectly here. I painted its pecan wood finish black. It's also very practical with a lined velvet drawer and storage underneath. So that was a bit of a peak into my home. Eventhough it continues to evolve and improve, it feels comfortable to me, and I hope to those who visit as well!

Monday, June 22, 2009

New Giveaway: CSN Rugs!

La Dolce Vita has partnered up with CSN Rugs to bring you a fun new giveaway. They are offering one of the gorgeous Chandra Dharma rugs pictured here to one lucky reader. The 2' x 3' rug would be perfect in so many your bedroom, office, or even in your kitchen. I think the ethnic pattern and the vibrant colors are just gorgeous!

In order to be entered into the drawing, simply leave a comment in the comments section of this post telling me what you would do with this fabulous little rug. Be sure to include your name, a valid e-mail address so that we can contact you if you should win, and whether you prefer the brown rug or the black one. The winner will be announced this Friday, June 26th. Good luck!

Check out CSN's fabulous selection of area rugs!

This Week's Quote

The hard drive on my main computer crashed on Saturday, so needless to say I am freaking out! I won't know for sure if we can save our files for another couple of days, but I am on pins and needles. The idea of losing all of our personal photos, my tutoring files, blog research, and blog photos makes me positively ill. I am currently on our laptop, which doesn't have any of my important files on it. I also happen to hate blogging on this thing. I prefer my desktop. I am praying that we will be able to recuperate our files. The worse part is that this could have been avoided if we had backed up our files. I feel like an idiot. Please send some good vibes my way!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Fabulous Room Friday: 6.19.09

I'm currently loving this chic bedroom by Courtney Giles of Atlanta. The moody grey walls look fabulous against the deep orange of the beautiful headboard and bedskirt. I also love the multitude of patterns used in this room. Normally, I wouldn't think to do zig zag, gingham, and greek key all together, but not only does it looks fantastic! I love that the bedding and drapes are very simple. The fact that they are understated keeps the room from being over the top.

The mix of styles, along with the use of new and antique furniture really works here. I think the key to making this room successful is the limited color palette with the mix of patterns.

The plate wall looks great and isn't something I would have thought to use in a bedroom.
I am not 100% sure, but I am inclined to say that the image above this caption and the one below, are both of what the room looked like before. You have the same plate wall, same layout, same chair, lamp, and paint color.

Do you like the before or after better?

All images via Courtney Giles Interiors

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Frank Roop's Nantucket House

Be sure to visit the always inspiring Style Carrot today to see her post on Frank Roop's gorgeous Nantucket home. Marni wrote an article about it for the Boston Globe's Sunday Magazine and it features everything you could possibly want to know about the beautiful home. The piece is a testament to the high caliber of talent in the city of Boston. The article was written by Marni featuring the work of the insanely talented Frank Roop as photographed by the incredible Eric Roth. What more could you want? So, take a quick look here and hop on over to Style Carrot for all of the details on this amazing home.

All images via Style Carrot {Photography by Eric Roth}