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Friday, May 31, 2013

Fabulous Room Friday 05.31.13

Greetings from Las Vegas! I flew in Wednesday night for a business meeting yesterday and I'm headed home in a little bit. It has been a whirlwind trip for a very exciting project I can't wait to get started on!

This gorgeous kitchen designed by Jeanette Whitson and featured in House Beautiful has been making the rounds in blogland-- and for good reason! The kitchen is huge and classic with a masculine twist and a bit of a Southern accent. The beautiful antiqued brass hardware and plumbing fixtures, antique lantern, and bistro stools give the space that Continental-meets-the-American South sensibility. Every other element-- the marble, white painted cabinetry, subway backsplash that goes up to the ceiling, and wood floors are completely classic and timeless.

{How amazing is the gorgeous hood? And that faucet? SOOO good!}
Have a wonderful weekend! Be sure to visit LDV on Monday because I have something BIG and exciting to share with you! 

Thursday, May 30, 2013

LDV Top 10: Beach Essentials

Can you believe we’re mid-way through the year and summer is already upon us? Time really flies! This past weekend, many of us headed to the beach to celebrate Memorial Day. Memorial Day weekend typically marks the unofficial start of summer in most parts of the country—so naturally, the beach and pool time are on the brain. I need to spend a little more quality time with my Tracy Anderson videos before I feel totally beach ready, but these are the items on my list of must-haves for fun in the sun!





{1. J. Crew Double-Stripe Underwire Halter Tank | 2. J. Crew Panama Hat in Natural | 3. Tory Burch Thin Flip Flops | 4. Maslin & Co. Jaguar Towel in Natural | 5. Miguelina Anna Embroidered Lace Minidress | 6. J. Crew Punk Floral Triangle String Top and Bikini Bottoms | 7. Joie a la Plage Palmetto Neon Sandals | 8. Joie Louisa Woven Tote | 9. Oliver Peoples Jacey Polarized Sunglasses | 10. Missoni Omar Beach Towel}

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Design Under the Influence: Frank Stella

"What you see is what you see." ~ Frank Stella

You've probably seen his iconic intertwining geometric shapes before, but didn't know who he was. Meet Frank Stella, mid-century minimalist American painter and printmaker who paved the way for Pop Art through the flattening of objects with the use of solid color, and the denial of space and depth illusion with the removal of the brushstroke.

Originally hailing from Massachusetts, Stella moved to New York City in 1958 after graduating from Princeton, and quickly began to produce works that focused on graphic as subject, rather than a representation of some real-world object, person or scene.

After a visit to the Middle East in the early 1960's, he created his groundbreaking paintings Protractor Series (above), each piece named for one of the circular cities he visited while abroad. Here he fully celebrates the painting as a flat surface, turning away from even a slight attempt at spatial illusion. In the mid-1960's, Stella began experimenting with printmaking, introducing new techniques to produce his pieces. In 1973, he had a print shop installed in his home in New York City.

I'm a huge fan, and always adore seeing his work in various interiors -- they enliven a space and can easily become the central focus of a room:

Frank Stella became the youngest artist to be the subject of a retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art in 1970. He went on to experiment with relief, collage, and finally three-dimensional art forms, particularly free-standing sculptures in public spaces by the 1990's...and he continues to work in New York City. But it is his work done in the 1960's and 70's that defined him as a leader of the minimialist movement. In 2009, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts by President Barack Obama.

A living legend, literally.

Are you a fan too?

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10 / 11 / 12 / 13 / 14

Sponsor Spotlight: Atchison Home


{The Beautiful Atchison Home Showroom}

La Dolce Vita is thrilled to welcome Atchison Home as our newest sponsor! Based in Mobile, Alabama, Atchison Home is a fantastic resource for designers and design-savvy consumers alike. The company was founded in 1985 as Atchison Imports sourcing country pine furniture from England. In the years since, Atchison Home has evolved tremendously,  importing mostly from France and Belgium and offering lighting, bedding and accessories along with furniture, making it a one-stop shop for anyone looking to furnish their home.


{Atchison Home Showroom}


{Atchison Home Showroom}

I recently had a conversation with Taylor Atchison, whose parents founded Atchison Home and we discussed a bit of what makes Atchison Home special.


{Atchison Home Showroom}

Paloma Contreras: Atchison Home has obviously evolved quite a bit since the company was started in 1985 as Atchison Imports. What has endured throughout the past 28 years?


{The Exterior of Atchison Home}

Taylor Atchison: The one thing that has remained is our European influence in business and design. Often clients tell us they feel like they are traveling abroad when pulling down our long drive. In true European fashion my parents built their home in the same building as the store. So many times on our trips to Europe we will be with dealers and shopping their inventory which seamlessly turns to having coffee or champagne at their kitchen table(that we will undoubtedly make an offer on). It just made sense to us. As a child I often came home and furniture would be missing from my room. When you deal in pieces of such quality that they last for centuries it makes it just a bit more special to know who was using it last.


{The Pantry in the Kitchen on the Residential Side of the Atchison Home Building}

PC: It’s great to hear that you offer such a lovely old world approach, with all of the conveniences of a modern shopping experience. Why did you decide to start an e-commerce site?


{Atchison Home Showroom}

TA: I recently started which took some serious convincing. We made the site to serve our out of state designers/clients and we use it as a tool when working on the floor with customers. Everything on the site is not only in-stock, but available to be viewed somewhere within our four story showroom, which is being constantly rethought by our designers/staff. The design process never ends!





{1. Vogue Magazine Cover “Woman in Swimming Pool” | 2. Egg Lamp by Charlie West | 3. Dalia Sofa by Cisco Brothers | 4. Othello Coffee Table by Arteriors |5. Cowhide Zebra Rug | 6. Calypso Sheeting Collection by Peacock Alley | 7. Cisco Brothers Goodman Chair | 8. Venice Bed in Weathered Gray | 9. Acrylic Bar Cart | 10. Gold Leaf Pattern Bowl by Michael J. Clement | 11. Chester Chair by Verellen | 12. Green Cattail Balls by Roost}

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

LDV Top 10: Wedge Sandals

 {These ultra-chic ladies each finished off their fabulous outfits with a pair of stylish wedges.}

The right pair of wedges can take you from day to night in the warmer months which is exactly why I adore wedge sandals. On top of the fact that they are stylish, they also tend to be so much more comfortable than regular heels. They can look fabulous with dressier outfits as shown above and work just as well with casual ensembles a la Jennifer Aniston, as seen below. This season, I am all about the wedge!
{Jennifer Aniston in her Beloved Stuart Weitzman Wedge Espadrille Sandals}
{Kristin Cavallari in the Sogno Wedges she Designed for Chinese Laundry}

LDV Top 10: Wedge Sandals
LDV Top 10: Wedge Sandals

What type of sandals do you wear the most: wedges, flats, or regular heels?

Monday, May 27, 2013

Beautiful Kitchens: Contrasting Cabinets

Tommy Smythe Kitchen via La Dolce Vita

{I never tire of Canadian designer and TV personality, Tommy Smythe’s chic former kitchen, which features contrasting high-gloss black lower cabinets and white upper cabinets along with a beautiful slate herringbone floor, white marble backsplash, and oversized lantern.}

I believe that every chic space has at least one statement-making element. When it comes to kitchens, one of my favorite ways to add a big style statement is by painting the upper and lower cabinets different colors. The result feels just as classic as keeping all of the cabinets the same color, but feels very fresh and modern. Not completely convinced? Take a look at these gorgeous kitchens and let me know if you change your mind.

{This pretty kitchen is a great illustration of the transformative power a few coats of paint, new hardware, and backsplash can have on a builder grade kitchen! I really like the dark, slate grey color of the lower cabinets. The modern brass pulls add a fresh touch.}

{This classic kitchen features white cabinetry around the perimeter of the kitchen with gorgeous walnut countertops and mirrored backsplash while the island has black painted cabinets and a thick marble countertop.}

{This kitchen featured on, features charcoal colored lower cabinets and white upper cabinets. They used a dark grout here with the classic subway tile backsplash to further play up the contrast. The wood accessories really amplify the masculine feeling of this kitchen.}

{The contrast in this kitchen is more subtle in terms of paint, but more encompassing as far as the whole space goes. The cabinets throughout this dream kitchen are painted white, while the island is a great shade of grey. It also has a walnut top while the rest of the kitchen looks to have honed black granite countertops. Further playing upon the theme of contrasts—chic gold hardware and lighting from Circa Lighting along with white subway tile backsplash in some places, and black honed granite along the back. I really love this kitchen, but wonder if some of you might think there is too much going on here. What are your thoughts?}

{Lauren Gelb Weisbarth’s Hilary Thomas-designed kitchen features classic elements and a contrasting black, marble-topped island.}

{This kitchen featured in House and Home includes many stylish elements—brass hardware and plumbing fixtures along with a gorgeous marble waterfall island. I had to include this kitchen because of the variety of elements—gloss white cabinets and painted black cabinets, marble, butcher block countertops, and painted cement tile backsplash. There is a lot going on here, but it comes together beautifully.}

{Last, but certainly not least, I love this chic kitchen, also featured in House and Home. You have ivory and warm espresso cabinets, both topped with marble. I think the use of the different runners is ingenious. The bold striped rug really pulls the room together!}