Thursday, April 21, 2011

Miami Design District

DC had its first taste of summer today, with highs in the 80s. It reminded me of the time Heather and I spent recently exploring the Miami Design District.

Outdoor restaurants abound. While we didn't eat at Martinez, seen above, it definitely seemed popular and a beautiful place to enjoy the weather!

Christian Louboutin, rather than fill the store with orchids, decided to decorate the exterior with a living wall.

Oh to live in a semi-tropical climate; this took our breathe away!Another outdoor restaurant; Modernism seems to fit this warm climate much better than in the North, don't you think?I loved this one group of buildings which appeared to be painted concrete. Early modernism inspired by neoclassicsm; one of my architectural weaknesses!Surrounded by tall, shaded arcades, the buildings provide the perfect place to window shop out of the sun's glare.While in Miami, definitely take the time to check out this revitalized area: remember to bring your wallets for all of the great shopping!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Vizcaya: circular staircase

Besides the main staircase at Vizcaya, right off the courtyard is another more sheltered stair, which also ascends to the southeast tower.
The little stairhall is decorated with more ancient porcelains and a little gilt table. Thick limestone treads are cantilevered off rounded walls forming a beautiful stair with bronze railing. Covering the first floor thru the third in an efficient manner, this was probably a more commonly used stair.Lit by sconces, the plaster walls are painted 2 charming shades of green (which speak so heavily of the era) as well as white plaster details.Looking straight down, the marble floor on the ground level gives you a focal point with its' design.The hall is brightly lit by sconces, a leaded glass window as well as a skylight.No detail overlooked, the design of the skylight matches the flooring down below. Also notice the mirrored walls of the barrel which help reflect more light into the hall.
Which stair would you choose to take? I'm definitely taking the circular staircase!

Monday, April 18, 2011

French Matting

This past weekend I tackled a project I have been contemplating for awhile. You may remember a few years ago, the generous Patricia from PVE designed my blog header that you see today. She sent me the original watercolor and I've refrained from having it framed because I've debated turning the mat into a French mat.
A true French mat incorporates lines, watercolored borders and the occasional bit of marbelized paper. My bastardized version includes only the marbelized paper but I think it adds a little something to the overall look and feel of the drawing. I hope Patricia doesn't mind my interference with her work! I plan on having it framed (finally) in the next month and will be sure to show you all the final result!