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Friday, May 30, 2014

Fabulous Room Friday 05.30.14

benjamin vandiver

Earlier this week, Domaine featured Nashville interior designer, Benjamin Vandiver as their “Designer Crush” and I could easily see why. One glimpse at his beautiful work and I was smitten, too! While they featured a few of his projects on Domaine, this one in particular really struck a chord with me. I love the composition of the room and the graphic contrast of black and white. The palette is completely pared back, save for a few accents—the chic burlwood table, a pair of leopard throw pillows, and the striped silk pillow on the white club chair. Sometimes, the absence of bold colors and patterns can have more visual impact than a palette filled with them. Don’t get me wrong, I love the use of color and pattern, but there really is something to be said about restraint. This particular room feels lush, inviting, and even sexy thanks to the mix of textures, interesting shapes, and striking art. I look forward to seeing more of talented Benjamin’s work.

benjamin vandiver2 {The mix of sculptures, the burlwood table, vibrant white peonies, polished nickel reading lamp, and white upholstery are ultra-chic.}

benjamin vandiver3

{Details on the Coffee Table}

Have a fantastic weekend!


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Jet Set: Mystique in Oia Santorini, Greece
Hello LDV readers! Brendan here of B.A.D | Blog About Design. For today's Jet Set post I've decided to take us to the wonderful country of Greece. The Mystique Hotel, is set in the mountains of Oia Santorini. The hotel features a pool, spa and restaurant, as well as many nearby activities such as snorkeling, horse back riding, sailing, etc. This is the hotel to go to if you are looking for an escape. Personally, I can't wait to plan my trip. (ABOVE) The Cycladic architecture of the hotel screams Santorini, Greece. 1
(1) The pool is wonderful. It is set overlooking the water and mountains; I can envision myself relaxing here and enjoying life! 2
(2) The hotel's "Asian spa resort" is the perfect place to receive a facial, massage, or full body treatment. 3
(3) This photograph gives you a clear idea of where things are located on the resorts property. In the center is the pool area, to the right is a lounge area, to the far left is the Aura bar and Charisma restaurant. The hotel has unobstructed views of the city and water. No other structures blocking your view. 4
(4) At the Aura bar and Charisma restaurant you can enjoy fresh sea food, what else could you possibly want other than Mediterranean food on the Mediterranean?! This dish looks incredible--all that's missing is some wine from the hotels' 150 year-old wine cellar. 5
(5) The suites are designed to put your mind at ease. No crazy colors or prints. Here you'll find simple, clean design, that allows Santorini's Cycladic to shine through. This suite is known as the "Vibrant" suite. It's the smallest of the suites. 6
(6) The larger "Allure" suite features a separate living and sleeping space. I can really appreciate the architecture of this space. The hotel also features two other types of suites which are larger than this. 7

Sponsor Spotlight: Gretchen Scott Designs

We are thrilled to welcome back one of our favorite sponsors, Gretchen Scott Designs, just in time for summer! Gretchen Scott is a purveyor of chic tunics, blouses, dresses, handbags, and accessories composed of classic silhouettes updated in bright colors and bold patterns. The Gretchen Scott collection features global influences from India and St. Barth’s to Palm Beach and the Hamptons—perfect for the stylish, jet-setting bon vivant! While the Gretchen Scott collection is filled with vibrant colors and inspired patterns and most designs are available in multiple color ways  I can't help but gravitate towards classic whites which are the perfect fit for summer, but work all year round. 

{The Dot Tunic in White}

{The Mixed Eyelet Tunic in White}

{The Holy Tunic in White}

{The Copacabana Tunic in White}

{The Cotton Frill Tunic in White}

{The Sleek Voile Tunic}

{The Wave Dress in White}

{The Brooks Dress in White}

The Gretchen Scott collection is available in Houston at A Bientot as well as on

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Effortless Entertaining: Hosting Overnight Guests in Style

Hello, La Dolce Vita readers! It is Erin from Fig + Cotton again with some effortless entertaining tips.  With the summer months upon us, I know many of you will be hosting friends and family for holiday weekends and last-minute sleepovers.

Some folks are natural hostesses, but for some of us, overnight guests can lead to a bit of anxiety.  Below are some tried and true tips to keep your most treasured guests comfortable and happy, while leaving you relaxed and able to enjoy your weekend too!

1. The bed. Freshly cleaned (and even ironed, if you are ambitious) sheets are a must.  There is something so wonderful about climbing into crisp sheets when away or at home. Also, make sure there are extra pillows and blankets close by so your guests don't feel like they need to come calling in the middle of the night.  Throw a light blanket at the foot of the bed or on a chair in the room for easy access if the night turns chilly.

2. Lighting.  Make sure there is adequate reading light on at least one side of the bed, both sides for bonus points.  In addition, many guests will want to sleep in (hey, they are on vacay, right?), so think about ways to give them more freedom with how much light they want coming in the bedroom windows in the morning.  If you have blinds or shutters, that will do just fine.  If not, think about adding in some curtains before their arrival.

3. Their stuff.  Whether it is a few clean drawers in the wardrobe, a free section of the closet, or even just a luggage stand, your guests need a place -- other than the floor -- to place their belongings.  They will appreciate it.

4. Comforts of home.  Keeping a well-stocked welcome basket in their room can truly be a life saver for your overnight guests.  For tips and suggestions, see below!

5. Flowers.  Always, flowers on the bedside table.  Always.


6. Linens.  Again, freshly cleaned, fluffy bath towels are a must.  Make sure that the towels, wash cloths, and extra hand towels are in plain view so your guests know where to find what they need.

7. Toiletries.  Provide an array of toiletries such as shampoo, conditioners, body wash, a fresh bar of soap, toothpaste, etc. in the guest bath.  I know I usually forget SOMETHING when I travel, and it is always a welcome surprise when what I need is right in front of me.

8.  Don't overbook, but do make a plan.  Find out what your guests already have planned for their visit or what they are looking forward to enjoying where you live, and plan a few outings accordingly.  Flexibility is key, but having a tentative plan certainly helps the weekend flow.  If your guests are staying for multiple days/nights, providing them some alone time with some activity suggestions could be very welcomed.

9.  Meals.  Let you guests know ahead of time when and where the weekend meals will be.  This will help plan their day, and get them excited for the cuisine du jour.  For a fun way to communicate this to your guests, post the day's meals in the kitchen on a chalk board or even just on the fridge.

10.  Have plenty of snacks and food choices available.  In between meals, your guests may want to nibble or have a drink.  Make sure you have easily accessible snacks and libations on hand so your guests can help themselves.

11.  Don't forget about the kids.  Even if you don't have little ones running around your casa, a quick trip to Target for a few age-appropriate games or movies will do wonders for your pint-sized guests.  In addition, you may want to ask around for babysitting recs, in case you are planning a night on the town.

Here are my top picks for a no-fuss welcome basket sure to please your pickiest guest.

1 / zapps chips.  to die for.  // 2 / lots of magazines  // 3 / for those clothing mishaps
4 / burts bees  // 5 / lammes longhorns
6 / bedside water carafe  // 7 / yes, the wi-fi.  probably the most important.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The Start of Summer

summer ulla johnson

{Ulla Johnson—her summer campaign is everything, the total epitome of summertime chic!}

I hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend! I actually took the day off yesterday and it was just what I needed in order to get ready for the busy week ahead. We have a photo shoot and a big client installation in the next few days which is sure to be eventful. I’ll be sure to share some sneak peeks over on Instagram. In the meantime, I am so glad that summer is upon us. While summer isn’t my favorite season (it’s SO hot in Houston!), I do love easy summer style. From breezy white clothes and chic sandals to stylish woven accents for the home, some pieces just look and feel like they were made specifically for the summer months. Over the weekend, I spent a little time on Pinterest and couldn’t help but notice that summer was definitely on my mind given some of my more recent pins. What images evoke thoughts of summer style for you? For me, it’s all about easy, yet chic silhouettes in cool fabrics, chic, versatile sandals, stylish straw hats, a classic color palette, and the great outdoors, preferably with inspiring vistas.

summer tory burch 

{Tory Burch’s Stunning Southampton Home}

summer ulla johnson black

{Ulla Johnson}

summer poolside

{A Chic Poolside with Pretty Pavers via Bungalow Classic’s Tumblr}

summer thenletitbe

{More Ulla Johnson—Are you completely obsessed with her collection yet?}

summer wayne swadron

{A Beautiful Topiary Garden by Architect Wayne Swadron}

summer madewell

{Did you guys see the images from this darling feature on Hannah Henderson, co-owner of LA’s General Store on the Madewell blog recently? I love everything about this, especially her gorgeous vintage Land Rover Defender!}

summer mario buatta AD      {A Beautiful Blue and White Outdoor Space by Mario Buatta featured in Architectural Digest}

summer j.crew

{Summer Whites via the Chic New J.Crew Catalog}

summer cala bandida spain  {Cala Bandida Restaurant in Javea, Spain via The Travel Files}

summer isabel marant

{The chicest blue and white Isabel Marant tunic that is sadly no longer available or hanging in my closet.}

summer cabana domaine  {How charming is this little poolside cabana via Lonny? The round pool is pretty fun, too!}

summer stripes {Stripes are great all year round, but the simplicity of this outfit and short-sleeved top make it especially perfect for summer. | Image via Candice Lake}

summer ED Dining Room {Is there anything more beachy and perfect for summer than this chic dining room by Timothy Haynes and Kevin Roberts, photographed by Simon Upton and featured in ELLE DECOR? I love the scale of everything—the table, lighting, and even the size of the shiplap-style paneling is absolutely amazing.}

summer dree hemingway max mara {The beautiful Dree Hemingway looked super chic in this simple sheath by Max Mara recently.}

summer aerin lauder

{Aerin Lauder’s Beautiful Southampton Home}

summer whites

{Chic Summer Whites by Bittersweet Colours’ Veronica}

summer patio  {I love this stylish patio by Molly Wood Garden Design. It looks like it could be in the south of Spain, but it is actually in Los Angeles.}

summer amanda brooks zara

{The beautiful Amanda Brooks looks ready for summer in this campaign for Zara.}

summer bridal musings blog  {What could be more perfect for summer than sailboats and stripes? | Image Source}