Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dialogue with My Husband

In reference to yesterday's bathroom post, an email exchange with my husband:

D: I really like the bathroom in this picture, what do you think?

C: I like it.

D: It's so elegant and simple...maybe it's the marble that looks so good. I think something like this would look nice for the bathroom. What do you think about the paint color?

C: Wasn't it just soft white?

D: No - it was more like a beige-pink.

C: Oh. I guess that's Ok. These are your decisions.

He's a good man, people. Even with pink! I think that shows that he trusts me, as I have yet to encounter a room in our home that he is not pleased with.

I can't tell you how many times I've turned over that bathroom pic in my's a winner. I see some paint samples in my future this weekend, and I've already started to collect some ideas about the mirror over the sink and other trimmings for the space.

Here's a peek at the fabric I plan to use for a shower curtain - a lovely caramel-toned ikat-ish stripe by Cowtan & Tout:

My plan B if the pink doesn't work out is to stick to a light caramel hue for the paint color...we'll see what I decide after this weekend!

p.s. A thank you to Beth for the "Setting Plaster" suggestion - will need to remember that one if "pink" doesn't end up going over well.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Bathroom Delight

Photo by Simon Upton via

I'm in the midst of picking a paint color and accents for our guest bathroom, and it's become a bit of a stressful endeavor. Seems my creative juices are spent on this house. We renovated this bathroom, and at the moment, it's a lovely white box with lots of white tile, white wainscoting and white walls...and I can't seem to pick what I want to do with it.

In searching for inspiration, I came across this picture - Ina Garten's NYC master bath - and I love it. Although my initial thought was to do something nutty in the bathroom (like paint the walls a dark, glossy navy blue), my thoughts have recently turned to something more neutral. I adore the light pink hue on these walls, coupled with what looks like a brass mirror.

And the setup is very similar to our own - we have a similar pedestal sink with the same faucet fixtures and wainscoting (albeit not marble wainscoting). I just picked up some fabric for a shower curtain that I think would work beautifully with pinkish walls and some brass this picture, the effect is a very elegant, warm bathroom. I like that.

Now, do we think Carter will let me paint it pink??

Monday, June 28, 2010

Virginia Living

Whilst sitting in the dentist's office last week, I picked up an issue of Virginia Living magazine...and flipped right to the Home section (as I do with most publications, if such a section exists)...and was stunned by the feature on a home in Fredericksburg, VA.

The historic home, named Smithsonia, is owned by the Stewart Family (Cathy, Doug and three kids). Upon buying the place, the Stewarts took on a cosmetic renovation and infused this landmark home with color, pattern and sophisticated fun with the help of designer Suellen Gregory .

All photography by Kip Dawkins via

(note the Chiang Mai roman shade)

There is a lot to love in this place...and from the article, the Stewarts were keen on keeping as much of the old detailing as possible. The home has terrific Chinoiserie touches and a wonderful use of color. Keeping it chic in the Commonwealth.

The article was a very interesting read - check it out here!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Friday Crush

Bliss. Courtesy of Angie Hranowsky. Just a warning - Ms. H has enough images in her portfolio to supply me with Friday crushes for years - you'll see her work again. She is quickly becoming one of my go-to designers for inspiration. This room is no exception - it's terrific. I love the color palette, but I can't decide if the x bench or the coffee table is my favorite element in the room....or perhaps the paint color - high marks for excellent purple execution.

Hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend - see you Monday!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Garden Stools Galore

Ceramic garden stools are classic. I'm not sure they will ever be out of style, but they are definitely having a heyday right now. You can find them at all different price points and in so many styles.

I came across these on QVC, and I appreciate the color choices...

You usually don't find garden stools in these more neutral, masculine tones...they are handsome. And, because you know I love a bargain, they are about $45, inclusive of shipping...not bad! The design is standard, but I think the colors are unique and would add a nice dose of Chinoiserie to any room.

Click here to score yours...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Loot: An Obelisk and A Rug

I bought a pink marble obelisk.

I found her on Etsy, and I love her. And she's quite pink (and heavy!). She will be finding a home in my living room (I think she works well in a house just a stone's throw from the Washington Monument).

If you like the look of an obelisk, or two, check out this pair currently on sale for $25 at JC Penney from Cindy Crawford's line (which is full of Chinoiserie touches, btw):

I love their glossy sheen and the white trim...nice accents at a great price (and they remind me of the look of these and these).

And in other news, my bff Margaret brought home some good loot:

She picked up that Urban Outfitters chevron rug I blogged about last week and put it in her Denver kitchen....I love it!! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More Fireplace Progress Pictures

Here are some more progress pictures of our fireplace mantel and bookcases! My father-in-law has been a trooper and spent yesterday finishing up the project. When I came home yesterday, I almost fell over...the finished product looks incredible!

These are the times when there are no words to thank someone for putting SO much time, effort and care into building something so beautiful for your home. THANK YOU JERRY!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to get a coat of white paint on the mantel and bookcases to tie them in with our existing trim! That will be our project for this coming weekend.

I'm a VERY happy camper...and owe it all to Carter and his dad. Bravo gentlemen!

Monday, June 21, 2010

I'll take this kitchen

Kitchen love.

Reasons why I love this kitchen:
1) It was designed by Phoebe Howard.
2) I'm pretty sure it lives in Richmond (my hometown - nice place).
3) The glass, turquoise subway tile...HELLO. What a gorgeous statement.
4) It's white (my preferred color for kitchens, sheets and towels).
5) Those bar stools...terrific against the white and the perfect pair to the...
6) Warm hardwood floors (so beautiful in a white kitchen, don't you think?).
7) The countertops - looks like one side is marble and one side is stainless the pairing (or perhaps it's all marble...either way, I'm good). I'm currently having a love affair with marble...wish we had some.
8) The stove which makes a beautiful focal point in this room.
9) It's a relatively small kitchen (at least from this view) - I like my kitchens cozy.

This would fall under the category of a dream kitchen for me....and, one of our next bigger projects is to tile our kitchen backsplash (which is essentially tiling the walls since we have a galley kitchen) and I'll definitely be opting for some gorgeous glass subway tile, although in a much lighter aqua hue. But, this tile is so divine in this space - everything absolutely pops around it. I adore marble countertops, but they can sometimes make a white kitchen feel a bit sterile - in this case, the kitchen gets a dose of warmth from the floor, barstools, and those tiles. Perfection.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Friday Crush

I had to repost this terrific shot of Manuel Canovas fabric Misia, posted by Kelly Green today. I LOVE this advert/photo (and love most anything by Manuel Canovas). I would frame it! The pink hues are perfection. And KG is fab, if you don't know it. It's one of my daily reads, and I had the pleasure of designing the blog for Australian-based blogstress was a fun project - especially since I had that great illustration by Lonny's Caitlin McGauley to work with!

I'm looking forward to round two of our mantel construction this weekend. Hope you all have a fabulous weekend of your own...see you Monday!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Papier Mache Menagerie

So, I'm totally lovin' on Ellie Somerville's apartment in the current issue of Lonny. It's completely normal for me to go back through issues over and over again to look at spaces, and I'm finding that this go 'round, Ellie's is the space I'm studying. It's the perfect bachelorette pad!

For sure, one of my favorite elements is that whimsical papier mache rhino head from Anthro hanging above her Parsons's the perfect touch of safari/whimsy/I-don't-take-myself-too-seriously/art:

Love it. I hopped over to Anthro (via the uber convenient link) and checked out their other papier mache animal bust offerings (never thought I'd write those words together), and I like the options:

 a gazelle
(i think she's my favorite)

I thoroughly enjoy a touch of the unexpected in a room, don't you? Happy surprises. And Mr. Rhino in Ellie's room fits the bill.

Hmmm...I bet all four of these might make a cool collection on a wall...

And on a side note, do you have fond memories of papier mache? I remember loving the stuff...all of that slimy newspaper...I was a messy kid - I had an affinity for mud, slush, clay. Papier mache ranked high among my favorite camp activities.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Serious Swank

All images via
Click images to enlarge

These are some seriously swanky interiors, courtesy of David Collins Studio, the masterminds behind this bar that is now a permanent fixture in my dreams. DCS is London- and NYC-based, and their designers are definitely of the luxury interior variety.

Commercial interiors typically don't get my blood boiling, but what I've seen from DCS does just that - what a treat to walk into one of these establishments! Especially since many seem to be peppered with glorious Chinoiserie!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Snug as a Bug

Say hello to this rug.

LOVE it. It's a wee one - only 2'x3' - but it's also only 10 bones, currently available online in Urban Outfitters' sale section. The freeform chevron pattern is terrific, and I adore the color scheme. This would be the perfect little accent in a doorway, or perhaps in a bathroom or kitchen. Oh, the possibilities (and did I mention it's only $10??)

Also in the sale section are these little flat-woven numbers, coming in at $49.99 for 5'x7' goodness - not bad.

Definite 80s vibe with the color palette, and I think those black scribbles are cool.

We've seen various versions of black/white striped rugs everywhere, and I think this is a great take on that classic - the various color shades and stripes almost create a hyperactive marbled effect.

I could see this being very chic in a young man's apartment....or in an artsy, modern space. Also the perfect juxtaposition if you're looking for a little touch of modern in a classic or traditional room.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Progress Pictures

Today's post doesn't have the usual eye candy...unless you dig construction photos. But, these photos are eye candy to me because my dream of having a proper fireplace mantel, plus bookcase built-ins, is coming true!

My father-in-law spent the weekend with us to help Carter tackle this project in our living room, and the guys got a ton done in two days.

Here is what we were starting with - a very thick moulding around our brick hearth:

I thought about the mantel design for months with different concept sketches and decorative ideas, but wasn't coming up with anything great - until I came across this image on Flickr. It had the simple lines I was after, plus the bonus of showing the mantel tied in with low bookcases:

So, we used this photo for inspiration - and after some adjustments and dimension-sketching to make it work for our actual space, we they got started.

Here are some progress pictures:

By last night, the mantel was finished and the left-side bookcase was over halfway done! I'm thrilled with how it is coming along, and I think Carter has learned enough from his dad to finish up the job. Woohoo!

The mantel and the top of the bookcases are nice and wide, so I'll have a field day decorating those. And we'll finally have a spot for family photo frames, books and all the little items that make a space feel lived in (and I can stop staring at a big blank wall).

I'll post some update pictures when it's all installed!
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