Saturday, February 21, 2009

Happy Weekend!

Winter has returned to this part of the county so it's a good weekend to stay indoors! I hope you all have a great weekend and don't forget to watch the Oscars (or at least the red carpet!)
Image courtesy of This is Glamorous - The best fashion & design blog, check it out if you haven't been!! Image of a doorway from her trip to Scotland - you can see other pictures from her trip HERE. Magical!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Houses in Houston

Just a little more house love from Houston....

The Charleston style houses seen at the top of this post all had exterior entries through a door into gated gardens. These brick verandas led you into all of the public spaces of the house through french doors with no proper 'front door' - interesting, huh? I love the ceiling fans that line the porch.Above you can see the 'front door' onto the veranda. Great for the Texas climate! This Vegas style beauty below was next door to the house I featured yesterday. While maybe not as tasteful as yesterdays post, this house still has its charms, doesn't it?

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mediterranean style house tour

While in Houston this past weekend, I was able to tour this Mediterranean or Spanish style house being built. It was quite a treat! I hope you can all appreciate these photos and not just the geeky architect in me: you have to use your imagination somewhat as it's still under construction.
The front door had this beautiful limestone surround and mahogany door.On the left hand side of the front was entry to the motorcourt with seperate guest suite off to the far left side (with the ventilation hose going into the window!).
You enter into a beautiful round stairhall with walnut floors and a curved staircase (no banister yet!). The treads and risers on the stair were also walnut (unfortunately covered with paper here to protect them). All of the trim, casing, doors and floors in the house were walnut.From the stairhall you entered into a gallery which opened up to the living room ahead. Terrazzo was in the process of being poured on the floor in a geometric grid, which you can see below.Below you see the living room as seen from the gallery. There is another gallery on the back side of the living room which faces the backyard seen through the french doors. Notice the vaulted ceilings in the gallery! Every opening in the house seemed to be an arch.Off to the side of the entry was the dining room. It had this unusual arabesque entry way that will hold an iron gate which guards the walnut paneled wine cellar.
Seen from the french doors in the living room gallery is this beautiful poolhouse with 5 french doors, spanish tiled roof to match the house and even a decorative chimney.If you look to the left you will see the sides of the house which wrap the backyard. Below is a view of the kitchen area and gallery. You can see the pool being poured as well as a hot tub.Also off the living room was a huge powder room. It had this really beautiful blue shimmery tile in the W.C. that I had to share with you.Off the kitchen was a secondary staircase, also in a round hall (with a windowed tower above providing light).It had an opening into a bar which was visible from the gallery when you entered. On the lefthand side you see the pantry, silver closet and housekeepers office. This is the top of the stair hall with windows providing light.But save the best for last. My favorite room of the house was at the top of the main staircase: a gamroom.
It had a beautiful wood cathedral ceiling and a whole wall of storage built in below a counter.
And the view you ask? It faces a lake of course! I hope you enjoyed the tour!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thank you PVE!

Last week I was surprised to get a beautiful package from Patricia at PVE! She was kind enough to do my blog header awhile back based on a conversation we had over lunch in New York. I was very uncertain of what to use but knew I wanted a sketchy architectural scene in shades of gray. She is a genius and produced a beautiful header that I couldn't have come up with myself!
This will proudly hang on my gallery wall at home; a reminder of not just my blog but of Patricia too. She was great to work with, if anyone needs a blog header or artwork for a gift, she's the girl to head to; talented and easy to work with! Check out her website HERE
I took the pictures at work ( i grabbed the package on the way out the door ), that explains the odd background -ignore that!

Monday, February 16, 2009

On the Cote de Texas.....

I spent the weekend in Houston, TX - remember how I mentioned I was going someplace warm and sunny? Warm, comparitively at least for a northerner like me, but it ended up being gray and drizzly unfortunately :-(
I spent Saturday with the super stylish Joni of Cote de Texas. We met for lunch at the yummy Raven Grill (which has an adorable trained pet chicken roaming around the front of the restaurant, seen below) in Rice Village and then hit some of her favorite shops, many of which she has mentioned in her blog. The shopping is as fabulous as Joni claims and her taste was exquisite of course! She kept pointing out hidden treasures that I might have missed otherwise and was full of great stories about each store! I coudln't have had a more knowledgeable tour guide. I'll show some of my favorite pieces from our adventure. I forget the names of some of the stores but will write them in where I can remember!By far, my favorite shop was 'AREA'. Unfortunately as I was busy shopping I didn't take many photos, just these 2. The store has a great mix of antiques and modern pieces, books and gifts -all put together very creatively, sort of like a fabulous house. I could have spent all day in this store alone but there was so much more to see.....
Joni has blogged about Shabby Slips, my next stop.Shabby Slips had just repainted the walls white from gray for a very fresh and open feeling in the store. A mix of beautiful antiques with a few upholstered pieces thrown in to live up to their name filled the space completely!The last store Watkins & Culver, adjacent to shabby slips, was so exquisite. The walls were newly faux finished and were really just incredible. They looked like 200 yr old stucco walls in Europe. All of the pieces were out of my price range but so fun to see including some really unusual pieces there that I think Joni will mention later this week. I ended up getting a really great candle here as a hostess gift. I recommend anyone to go shopping in Rice Village!I was very tempted to buy these 2 pastel drawings above - very picasso'esque of harlequins in beautiful at the top of the post is of a wall of amazing framed antique 'weeds' available at Neal and Co.