Saturday, January 3, 2009

The first weekend.....

I hope everyone enjoys the first weekend of 2009! Remember that you can shape and mold your own destiny, just like this bush in front of Chanel in Paris!! (for the record, I hate woodchips in a garden like that! ugh).
photo courtesy of flickr

Friday, January 2, 2009

Umm - wow?

Yours for only $75k - thats a lot of crystal. I say, pay me ONLY 50k, give me a bag of rhinestones and a hot glue gun and I have myself a weekend project (and a REALLY ugly toilet!) Now thats CRAFTY!
Courtesy of Jemal Wright via DesignCrisis

Shades of Gray

I'm sure everyone has seen this already, but in the January 2009 issue of House Beautiful is a showhouse apartment in NYC by McAlpine Booth & Ferrier Interiors that I really loved. I know, I've been posting too many magazine articles lately and not enough NEW stuff - it's on my NY resolution list! This is MY take on the article. Since there was no client, Susan Ferrier (head of the project) chose this painting above in the living room as inspiration for the color palette of the space. I think this is the PERFECT color palette for a city pied-a-terre. Actually -this is exactly the palette in my own apartment so maybe i'm biased! Even in a new building like this, the hushed gray tones help to soften the hard edges and create a soft environment. It's just pretty!
The living room has this cozy screen surrounding the couch, making a little nesting pod. I love this unusual industrial coffee table that was found in France.
These old fashioned blinds cast the best light in my opinion. I love the antique fragments used as lamps throughout the space.
I do love a modern kitchen. This Poggenpohl system blends seamlessly with the rest of the apartment. I love the topiary in the window too!
The really great updated retro-looking stove is by Gaggenau. The photographer (Thomas Loof) had a genius stylist; So many beautiful vignettes in this article!
The 2nd bedroom was treated as a den; the bed made into a cozy couch. Everyone prefers to lounge in a bed while watching tv anyway, admit it! The darker colors are very cozy for an evening spent with a movie and book.
The designer chose to use a lot of open console tables in front of the windows. I think this helps the space feel more closed in and cozy -otherwise your eyes would go out past the glass, making you feel exposed. So many modern floor to ceiling window apartments are not very comfortable.
This entryway is really charming - I LOVE the antiqued mirror treatment. Honestly though, how often would a candle get lit in the entry way? Thats a bit hokey, don't you think?
The dining table, in the corner of the living room, is adjustable so during a party this can become another seating area with coffee table. So smart in a small space!
How pretty is this vignette in the dining room? The stylist is a genius.
The bedroom is very beautiful, I love the bone covered sidetable. The antique anchors on the wall are an interesting touch.
Yet another console alongside the windows. I know a lot of people hate them, but I will always love these vintage looking shades. The thick tape adds so much personality and stability to the blinds. Those antique fragment lamps are so beautiful - I always love dark shades.This goes to prove that you can make even the smallest, most boring 'modern' bathroom interesting. The sculpture in the window and the benches under the sink help to humanize the space. I hope House Beautiful keeps up with these wonderful articles!!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year!

I had a small supper for a few friends before a party tonight: It's not New Years Eve in my book without sauerkraut and kielbasa! I kept the centerpiece simple -just a bunch of candles on an antique mirror. A celebration of light!
I used an assortment of mismatched crystal, my grandmothers silver, my coalport harebell china and some white napkins. Nothing special but I thought it was pretty - and simple! I hope everyone has a Happy New Year!!

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Thank you, PVE!

Probably the best part about blogging is the friendships that happen between bloggers. Along the way I've made quite a few friends, but the first was Patricia from PVEdesign. We met while I was in NYC a few months back and toured the Cooper Hewitt museum together to see an exhibit on interior watercolors (read the original post HERE).
Well imagine my surprise when a pretty little package comes my way from...PVE!Such a cute little card with a sketch of a jacket (just like the one I wear to work everyday!)Well, she must be a faithful reader of my blog, because she knew that not only did I LOVE snoopy but I collect kitschy hallmark ornaments. This is especially notable because it's a NYC snoopy -where she and I met!
Here it is on my tree, see, not too late, Patricia!
Thank you so much, Patricia -your thoughtful gift really made my day! Thanks for all the work you put into your blog and for being a great friend! If you haven't already become a faithful reader of her blog, visit her today HERE!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Chateau d'Anet

Beautiful picnic, right? but check out the background. The Chateau d'Anet in Normany was originally built for Diane de Poitiers, the mistress to Henri II in the early 16th century as a gift from the king on the land of her former husband's estate. Interestingly enough, she was 20 years his senior, talk about cougars!Her remains were laid to rest in the chapel on the estate after her death in 1566 but were later removed during the revolution. The original grave can be seen below. While the chateau escaped being pilaged and burned during the french revolution, the estate's entire contents were put up for sale. Later, most of the chateau was torn down with interesting pieces being salvaged to be put into the famous Ecole des Beaux-Arts. After World War II these elements were given back to the chateau. the chapel on the estate
The chateau was faithfully restored first in the 1840s by the Comte Adolphe de Caraman and later in the 1860s by Ferdinand Moreau who also began to collect items originally belonging to the chateau. Moreau's family still own and live on the estate but it can be toured. In 1851 it was declared a historical monument. The main dining room, seen in the 2 photos above, is really spectacular. Beautiful paneling with tons of gilding. However, the part of the chateau I really love is in the caretakers 'cottage'. The dining room housed there is less grand, but equally as elegant.
The doors opening to the garden really make the room for me. The paneling isn't bad either!
Even the ceiling is interesting with a polychromed treatment.
I thought the flowers below, gathered from the estate were just icing on the cake. To see more pictures of the estate and also pictures of an event there, please visit New York Social Diary
Visit the official website of the Chateau HERE for visiting times and prices.
Pictures from Classic Entertaining by Henrietta Spencer-Churchill and

Monday, December 29, 2008

so Habitually Chic!

While visiting family in Pittsburgh for the holidays, I had the pleasure of meeting Heather from Habitually Chic. Here we are in front of our favorite store, Toadflax. She doesn't think the picture turned out well, but I think she's beautiful, don't you?We intended to spend the afternoon shopping on Walnut Street in Shadyside but rainy weather forced us inside for drinks. She was with one of her best friends since childhood and we had a really fun time. Toadflax carries an assortment of gift items as well as being a really beautiful flower shop. Both of us agreed, if we opened up our own stores, it would be precisely like Toadflax! The side window had this charming collection of owls, I especially love the one that lights up below -don't you? What a great nightlight!