Saturday, June 25, 2011

Cabinet of Curiosities

I hope everyone enjoys their first weekend of summer! Nothing says summer more to me than seashells from the beach. Why not display them in a gorgeous antique cabinet, such as this one from the Getty Museum in LA; what could be better?!

Friday, June 24, 2011

The charming Chateau Marmont

While in LA, friends stayed in a bungalow at the famous Chateau Marmont and we spent a lazy afternoon lounging at the pool. I just had to share it with you!

Nestled into the Hollywood Hills above Sunset Boulevard, the hotel offers extreme privacy and actually feels more 'east coast' then Hollywood.

Right under the disturbing billboard James Franco put up in honor of Brad Renfro (seen above) is the pool where we had bottles of rose and fresh cherries delivered while dangling our feet into the near bathwater temperature water; heaven.

Built in 1929, the hotel feels like a relic stuck in time, in the best way possible. I loved this patio furniture.

The bungalows are behind the pool along a series of heavily planted pathways with charming surprises around each corner like this little water feature.

The doors have arched sidelights and beautiful stained glass which look to be inspired by Frank Lloyd Wright. The front door leads directly into a casually furnished living room .

The design throughout speaks of the arts and crafts movement and every little detail could be original to the hotel's building.Each bungalow has a small kitchen that I imagine myself spending most of my time.

Love the high painted wood wainscoting and wallpaper.

No dishwasher here - we're back in time afterall! I'm not sure I'd want to cook a full meal on this vintage stove, but it's a charming place to warm up water for tea or leftovers. My grandparents had a similar stove and refrigerator in their basement that were original to their house and I always just loved the look of them.If you ever find yourself in LA, I highly recommend a stay at the Chateau! For more pictures and information -visit the post by HabituallyChic from last year HERE.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The William Penn Hotel

Since opening in 1916, the William Penn Hotel has been the cultural hub for many of Pittsburgh's more elegant social events (my parents were married here as well as having their high school proms on the upper level ballrooms).

While the hotel might be a tad bit shabby these days, I never miss a chance of having a drink in the Terrace Room off the lobby seen here, and last weekend was no exception. Elegant crystal chandeliers, great old details and wood paneling, not to mention the sense of history here, all draw me in (as did the bartender's heavy pour!).

Do you have a favorite local hotel that you haunt?

Monday, June 20, 2011

New Life, Old House

While in Pittsburgh this past weekend, I was able to tour a beautiful old house in one of my favorite neighborhoods and see the process of reinvention.

Sitting on a large lot in a mature neighborhood, the house clearly has good bones but was beginning to look a little tired. The roof is currently covered in flat clay tiles, but during the renovation slate tiles will be used (you can see the roofing work on the left hand wing).

The houses in the neighborhood all are stately but their presence belies their relatively small footprint. They may be mansions but they're not mcmansion size: rather they are human scale.

The brickwork was amazing. A watertable lies under the first floor and the windows have brick casing. This window goes into the beautiful paneled library below.

Who doesn't want a room like this in their house? It's no surprise it is the only room to go through the renovation untouched.

Double doors lead you from the entry hall into the room.

This jib, or hidden, door leads back to the butler's pantry and kitchens.

The old doors found through out the house are beautiful painted wood, raised-panel doors with a very elegant design that I haven't come across very often in my work or studies.

Many old houses don't have the insulation required for modern mechanical units so the walls throughout the house are being built-in (see the 2x4 wall construction mounted on the old plaster walls). I loved finding remnants of original wallpaper throughout the house.

This old iron light fixture was found on the ceiling of the screen porch on the back.

In the screen porch you see all of the elements coming together; beautiful old wooden screen doors, interesting wood windows, beautiful brickwork and terracotta clay tiles. In this age of the tear-down and rebuild, it is refreshing to see someone working with what they have.