Saturday, May 23, 2009

First rose of summer

I was walking home the other day and noticed that the roses are coming out in full force. I guess summer is upon us! I hope everyone has a great weekend and takes some time to smell the roses!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Architectural master 'pieces'

Well you knew it was going to happen someday. Lego has started a new collection called 'Architecture'! You don't know how excited I am: as a kid lego's were just about the only toy I was interested in! Probably the most fun so far are the sets based on Frank Lloyd Wright masterpieces. Released in conjuntion with a show at the Guggenheim (of which there is also a model, seen above) called 'From within Outward' with the help of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation these sets will help young budding architects learn a bit of American Architectural History piece by piece. The show at the Guggenheim looks pretty great too, I need to head up to New York to see it before it closes in August!Also in the series is a BEAUTIFUL (but expensive at $299) set of the Taj Mahal.The Empire state building above and the Seattle Space needle below are just as fantastic and a much more reasonable $20. For nieces, nephews, children -anyone? I can't wait to see what comes out next in the series!
Model at top of the post is of Fallingwater: the Kaufmann's summer home outside of Pittsburgh.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Blogger Tea Party

This past Saturday I hosted local design bloggers for a meet'n greet High Tea at my apartment. A few of us had met before, but it was so great to be in one room all together. We are trying to keep up our blogging social meeting once a month - power to the DC bloggers!Here you see Beth of Style Redux and Chinoiserie Chic serving champagne to the guests.
Only a blogger can know how fun these online friendships can be. We get to share our design passions and interests online daily with one another and it's fun to bring these into real life conversations!Michele from My Notting Hill poses by the drinks station. Champagne, lemonade, sparkling water, tea and coffee were the drinks of the day.
Allie from Summer is a verb took some artistic shots of the tea table, which she thinks are blurry but I think are more impressionist! Strawberry shortcake, croissants, tea sandwiches and some other snacks all proved popular!
The spread before....... And the spread afterwards -chaos and empty plates show that everyone had their fill! I used my Harebell by Coalport china for most of everything, but couldn't resist using a plate from my strawberry cream service by Royal Doulton for the tea sandwiches to go along with the strawberry theme!
Whats a sign of a good party? Empty champagne bottles and glasses litter the coffee table!
Also in attendance was Scott from Domicidal Maniac (who I've known since early college days and motivated me to start blogging),
Thomas from My White Shirt,
Janet from JCB
and last but not least, Abby from Semigloss Chic
The peonies even got some showtime in the bathroom - I put one single flower in a bud vase to liven up the sink.As little 'host' gifts, I gave away my favorite carrotcake cupcakes from Georgetown cupcake -a nice little treat for the ride home :-) Hopefully this will encourage you to meet some of your local blog buddies!
Participant in Tablescape Thursdays!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Save La Ronda!

Recently while reading the Elements of Style blog I came across the plea to save La Ronda. I have to admit I had no idea what La Ronda was, but I instantly recognized the building as one that was designed by Addison Mizner, the famous architect, as his last commission in 1929. The current owners, who wisely are remaining anonymous (trust me, they'd be getting numerous phone calls and emails from me otherwise!) wish to tear down this architectural treasure for something slightly smaller, more modern and 'with air conditioning'. Seriously - tear down a gem so you can get something as basic as air conditioning. With a little ingenuity and a good architect & mechanical engineer you could have AC anyway. NEWS FLASH -that is not an excuse to tear this place down. And I have to ask -why did you buy it in the first place?
image courtesy of 'road less trvled' on
Admittedly the house is immense, measuring in at 14,000 sf and at one time had 27 servants to tend to it. That can't be easy to take care of I'm sure- but look at what you're taking care of!The house is filled with beautiful details that are painstaking to reproduce and rarely are. The house was $3,000,000 to build back in the 20s (more than what the current owner paid for it) -imagine what it would cost today? Tear it down? What?!
A grass roots effort has started to save the mansion through their local conservancy group, Lower Merion Conservancy and a cause that I support annually, The National Trust for Historic Preservation. I'll let you know if something comes through that we can help save this place. Currently it looks like the only way to save it is for a conservation minded purchaser to step forward. I've contacted numerous members of the local commission and they all say any buyer who intends to keep the mansion intact has their full support. The current owner paid only $2.5 million for the mansion, how much do you think it will take to make them release it from their deadly grasp?
Watch a video that sums up the mansions plight nicely HERE.
Learn more about Addison Mizner HERE
Images where not credited are from the article which you can read HERE.

A little supper

This past Thursday I had some friends over for a little supper. Nothing fancy, just a little pasta and salad after work. I set the table the night before.I know you're not supposed to put flowers with a lot of fragrance on the dinner table, but I couldn't resist these pretty peonies!Easy as 1, 2,3 -I think it turned out ok. Beats pizza at the coffee table!