Sunday, July 31, 2011

Looking Up

Thing are looking up. 3 weeks ago I dropped Ryan off at art camp - now he's coming home! He came right out and said he's ready to go to college now. I guess I have a year to get ready.
Today's the last day of July, so sorry to see it go. I wish I could live 12 months of July, it's my absolute favorite month. This July has been particularly wonderful; each day felt like forever, just like when I was a kid.
Images are of the Beverly, MA Public Library, near Montserrat College.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Can You Mix Metal Finishes in a Bath?

For the new, larger remodeled bathroom in our lower level I'm considering:
Color: BM Mysterious AF-565
Tiles: Using the large white ceramic tiles I already have (8 x 6) for the wet room area which will have a white stand-alone tub and shower.
I"m leaning towards a natural brass for the faucet (color similar to this bracelet) but I'm not sure I want to use brass for the shower and tub fixtures. The wet area will be visible from the vanity.

Can you mix metals in a bathroom?
If so, any advice you would give?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Hole in Floor - Our Renovation Underway!

If you've read my blog awhile you know about my problem room. Built in 1954, our house had a narrow "dining room" that connected the living room to the family room addition (seen in the background of this photo) and the kitchen and den/office. The kitchen is another problem child as it has an awkward L shape. Nothing like opening your dishwasher only to have 5 inches of clearance to get by to the basement stairs.

Above pic, Narrow Dining Room, Christmas 2009.

Well, finally after living here 10 years, it dawned on us that we could relocate the stairs to the basement from the kitchen into the dining room*. (*which we haven't used as a dining room since last year when we made the former den/office the dining room.) Above is the tape marking where the new stairs to the basement will be. You'll head down the stairs from the living room.

The office/tv den (currently functioning as the dining room) was originally a carport.

Here's the new first floor plan showing where the stairs will be. This gives us a larger kitchen that is not L shaped!
- There will be a tall window too to let light into the space and down the stairs.
- The opening to the kitchen will be about 7 ft wide, flanked by built in cabinets on either side. From the front door you won't be able to see the kitchen sink but you will get a view into the far corner of the kitchen/family room area.
- It's also possible during the renovation that we'll expand the kitchen out a bit to the left, into the hall/stair space.
- The wall that is against the dining room will be the cooking area, our counter depth Blomberg fridge will relocate to the right side of the sink, in the corner. I also plan to put my grandmother's small kitchen table, with drop down leaves, in the center of the kitchen.
I love my carpenter! (aka my husband) Here he is, hard at work, starting to remove the floor. I'm not worried since he built our family room addition back in 2004. He might not be worried either, but I'm not sure how happy he is... As he keeps telling me, "I'll be happy when I have it all finished."

New Lower Level - Because of the slope of our lot, our basement is 2/3 above ground. After we renovate that area we'll have:

2 bedrooms
1 bath (expanded from it's current size)
TV/media area
Multi-purpose space with laundry, craft area, storage and wet bar for entertaining

I'll post on that tomorrow as I have to head off to work now. I've been off for 3 weeks so this will be hard!

Friday, July 22, 2011

You Can Rent India Hicks' Villas

Many, many bloggers (including me) have drooled over the interior of India Hicks gorgeous Hibiscus Hill home in Harbour Island in the Bahamas. Did you know that three of her homes are available for rent - the Guest House, Cricket Pavilion and King's Treat? Here's a peek into King's Treat - more photos here. Hope you have a great weekend - stay cool.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Trash Chair Meets Pierre Frey

I found this mid-century chair with the vinyl seat cover and cute brass leg detailing put out for trash in my neighborhood.
I painted it Sherwin Williams Dover White but it looked a bit too white. So I mixed Farrow & Ball Bone with glaze and a tiny bit of Dover White and covered the chair. Sorry for the out of focus picture - the glazed side is to the right.
Last year I got this sample of Pierre Frey Les Muses Et Le Lion from a friend. On the site they mentioned it's "finished with a slight calendering to afford it a glossy and elegant appearance." The fabric has a great finish and I think will hold up well on this chair that will serve as a catch-all by the front door.
The only problem is that I wanted the lion (my favorite part!) to be centered. So I cut and sewed the sample to center the lion.
Here it is - finally finished after 2 months of thinking about it. The bureau is only here temporarily as we've starting a remodeling project and had to move some things around. (more on that Monday)
I also love the owl sitting on top of the urn.
I never did do a post on the greek key trim I added to my living room curtains. The trim was found at Haute for $10 a yard at the time.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Magnificent Marblehead

After dropping my son off at camp over a week ago, I headed over to Marblehead for the afternoon. I left seriously doubting why we ever moved from Boston 20+ years ago. The flag says Don't Give Up the Ship. I'd say don't ever give up your property in this idyllic coastal village. Yes, I've spent many hours in the last week searching property listings...

My photo doesn't do the color of this door justice - it was arrestingly beautiful.
Boat mast as flag pole.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Today - West Elm Georgetown Pop-Up Store Opens!

Yesterday West Elm had a blogger preview unveiling their first ever pop-up store located in Georgetown in DC (3333 M Street NW), slated to be open through the holidays. Enveloped in white, this bright store with a loft feel showcases pieces that push the West Elm brand into new territory. There's definitely a global, collected vibe with artisanal handmade pieces and unique and limited edition offerings. This chair is draped in kantha throws handmade from recycled saris by a women's collective in India.
The bedding collection is a stand-out with organic cotton duvets in price points from $79 - $109. Love these little unique pillows - no two are quite alike. There's also reversible hand-blocked cotton voile quilts and shams that are certified hand-printed and quilted by India's nonprofit Craftmark.

Been coveting a Turkish pestemal style towel? West Elm now has a selection of hand-size ones in a range of colors. I'm thinking this blue one might become a pillow at my house...
There's also fun, little accessories. The ones below remind me of something you'd see in a high end store in London.

Glass vases and votives are made from recycled wine bottles.
This leather Chester armchair was my favorite piece of furniture - there's also a matching sofa. Love the nod to the traditional Chesterfield while simplifying the tufting detailing and squaring off the arms.
During today's opening, Brooklyn based artist Aakash Nihalani, known for his New York City street work in brightly colored electrical tape, will be finishing an installation at the store. I saw just a bit - can't wait to go back and see the whole work! On Saturday 7/16 from 10 am - 12 pm, Pleasant Pops will be handing out frozen pops with some sticks etched with prizes, including one $1,000 West Elm gift card.

I've only shown a bit of what's available. It's exciting to see the new direction West Elm is taking and I know there's a few pieces I plan to go back and get.

(This post is based on my personal opinions. I have received no form of renumeration for this review.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Eye Candy: Punch of Red

Isn't this shot of Oscar de la Renta's Punta Cana beach home amazing? Thanks to everyone who commented about my "burning bush" (post below) - you've given me some great ideas. Mine is looking a bit anemic compared to Oscar's lush display!

Back from Boston w/some great finds and pics - plan to post soon.

Monday, July 11, 2011

My Burning Bush

This bush died twice; the first one and the replacement one from the nursery. For a few years it lived outside like a little grave marker until I finally brought it in and placed it in this concrete pot. It's next to the secretary in my family room. (I've hardly ever posted on this room as it's been in flux. It's finally starting to come together so I'll be showing more soon. Not that you've been waiting.)
At some point I thought this side of the room needed a bit of red too so out came the Safety Red spray paint.
If you don't like it, nobody in my family does either. But here's my question, what should I put around my burning bush? I think moss will only make it look a bit like Christmas - what do you suggest?

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Off to Boston

I'm headed to Boston to bring my son, a rising high school senior, to Montserrat Art College for a pre-college summer program. Imagine 3 weeks of making art only a few blocks from the beach. We'll miss him terribly but I think he's going to be in heaven.

This heavenly Beacon Hill window was taken by Deborah of the wonderful blog, Boxwood Terrace. Hands down it's one of my favorite original images from the blogging world in 2010. During this trip I'll also be squeezing in a Sunday afternoon visit to Marblehead, a day trip to Cape Cod to see my parents on Monday, work on Tuesday and then a flight out that night. Busy but then again, how can't you be full of energy when you're in New England in the summer time.

Hope you're having a great weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Flambeau Finials

Yesterday I had a very interesting day, most of it spent gardening, which felt more like toiling in the dirt versus gardening amongst the blooms. Whenever I got hot or cranky (mostly cranky), I'd head in to read the most fascinating blog on gardening - Deborah Silver's Dirt Simple. (Deborah is the owner of Detroit Garden Works.)
I'm only just discovering it, so there's years of posts to read. That's where I came across this pair of flambeau garden finials (here) from an old Sotheby's catalog she had. Deborah noted that flambeau is flame or torch in French. Aren't these amazing?
Here's a tole flambeau finial from Linda Horn via 1st dibs
and custom carved wood flambeau finials with acanthus detailing from Edward Harpley, an English firm. Beautiful as well.

But besides the garden finials, this may be my favorite flambeau - a silver table lighter. It was up for auction in 2003 but didn't meet the minimum. I wonder what that was and where this piece is now? (via icollector here)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Entry Drama & a book recommendation

This stunning black and white entry is from the Hampton home of 1st dibs founder Michael Bruno. The coffered walls are painted a high gloss black and the steps alternate between white and black. To me, the styling of the demilune table is perfection.

This image is from a Benjamin Moore book, Interior Style: How to Use Color Throughout Your Home. Published back in 2004, it is full (and I mean full) of great eye candy. I also love how they take a color and then show you 7 variations/types of that color along with corresponding BM paint colors. The soft, laminated cover makes it perfect for beach reading!
Both photographs by Tim Street-Porter.


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