Friday, January 31, 2014

Friday Crush

Design by Alex Papachristidis via The Pink Pagoda

Oh my. Perfect composition. There is absolutely nothing in this image that I am not completely smitten with. Such an elegant bedroom with a handsome, tailored color palette. The lamp with that wallpaper is serious business. And check out the reflection of the bed in the (to-die-for) mirror - crisp and simple. All you need when the rest of the room's accoutrements are so lovely. Even the vent cover is gorg.

This is the time of year when everything starts to slow down a bit, and I'm not complaining. It feels like after Labor Day we are bouncing around straight through the holidays. But I feel like the crazy is finally starting to subside and we can have some quiet weekends at home with minimal plans and no traveling. C and I have the itch to get working on some small home projects that have been on our to-do list for years. Hope you have an enjoyable weekend...see you next week!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Chinoiserie Lamps

Grab a paper bag and prepare to hyperventilate.

Have you ever seen more beautiful lamps?

I surely have not. They are all from Carson & Co. and I simply want every single last one of them. The colors! The Chinoiserie motifs! The lamp shades! Serious works of art in a functional lighting vessel.

These are, ahem, luxury items but when you consider the unique beauty these would bring to a room I think they are likely worth every penny (about $1,000-$1,500 each). Gorgeous!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Sarah Hollander Botanicals

Welcome to the work of local Alexandria artist Sarah Hollander. Sarah creates stunning botanical prints by digitally enhancing mother nature's floral specimens and putting them against bold backdrops truly highlighting the glory of each bud.

These are not your grandmother's florals:

Each one is more beautiful than the next! These bold florals can really bring a modern edge to a traditional space...but the subject is flowers so it's still a soft touch. I just love the colors and textures Sarah captures in each one.

We just commissioned Sarah to custom color a beautiful piece to hang in my client's guest bedroom...the result is stunning and I'm looking forward to seeing how it boldly ties the space together.

Visit Sarah Etsy's shop just FULL of beautiful items here...

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Crush

Photo by Bjorn Wallander, Design by Annie Brahler via House Beautiful

In the overall plan of my life, I will eventually own a house with white walls. Preferably an old Virginia farm house near the Blue Ridge. And when I do, I might consider this for the stairwell. Mirrors for days...a beautiful way to display a collection (and a great excuse to stockpile antique mirrors).

Y'all, it's cold. Really cold. But I'm not complaining. I love cold weather...maybe not frigid weather...but give me sweater weather over summer sweat any day. Hope you're staying warm and have an enjoyable weekend. See you next week!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Update From My Plates

My plates wanted to give you an update on their status.

They have been installed in the kitchen and are quite happy. And chic. Happy Chic, if you will.

They are exactly what I envisioned and fit so well with the kitchen. They are much heftier than my last set so we had to do a little reorganization of the cabinets, but I think this set-up works better than our previous one so I'm pumped.

The set looks great. Feels great. Let's hope it holds up to some wear over the coming years.

And not that my coffee mugs are hanging out anywhere near the wall"paper" at any point during any day, but they look real good together:

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Speaking of Gil Schafer...

The February issue of Southern Living features a kitchen by my most recent design crush, Gil Schafer. This time, though, it's in CHARLESTON. South Carolina. Be still my heart.

All photos by Laurey W. Glenn

So, Gil basically has magical powers. I'm just in love with his new historic spaces. See how I used an oxymoron there to drive home my point? His spaces just feel so charming and lived-in...and timeless. Like completely current yet completely old. How does he do that?

Some details from the feature...

 And some wise words from the master:

I circled that last one for you. Remember that pottery vase I bought at the South Carolina State Museum? Here it is with cut flowers by my sink:


Friday, January 17, 2014

Friday Crush

Design by Sally Homan

My friend Beth, Queen of Chinoiserie, did a spectacular roundup on her blog this week of black and white Chinese Chippendale chairs. If you love this iconic chair as much as I do check out the post and get ready to Pin. So much inspiration!

Thank you for the well wishes re: my sickness last week AND your sweet thoughts re: Ana Claire's birthday party. Y'all are the best. I'm happy to report that I am definitely on the mend! Happy to start tackling some of my 2014 project this weekend. Hope you have a great weekend...see you next week!

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Gil Schafer's Greek Revival

I live for Saturday mornings. Carter and I wake up, pluck Ana Claire from her crib, brew two cups of coffee and head to our den where we watch old episodes of This Old House until the reality of weekend chores sets in.

This past weekend, we were watching this episode which included a tour of an upstate New York home done in the Greek Revival style (the same style being used on part of the project home).

Here's Norm standing in front of the visited home with architect Gil Schafer...who I now understand is brilliant.

That's a cruddy screenshot of the show. I think this home is Gil's. Not sure, but that's the sense I got from the interview as they walked through the house.

This house is beyond amazing. I think I stood up in the den and spilled my coffee to get closer to the screen to jump up and down and praise its beauty. It's not large (and I think it's meant to be a cozy vacation escape) but it's perfectly scaled. And the details are stunning. And get this....IT WAS A NEW BUILD.  That was the headline of the TOH piece...a new house built with old details. I was shocked that the house had no history...bits and pieces of it do...but it was definitely built from scratch with details to give it a sense of place.

Here are some great pictures from Gil's website that really showcase the home's charm:

^ Entry Hall ^

^ Dining Room / Library ^

^ Living Room ^

^ Kitchen ^

^ Bedroom ^

^ Bathroom  ^


Now excuse my video screenshots, but I thought some details were worth exploring...

^ Amazing entry with beautiful mouldings...^

^ Details like pocket doors and mercury door knobs ^

^ Reclaimed wood floors ^

^ An awesome butler's pantry with apron-front sink and vintage lighting ^

^ This kitchen is beyond words, I love it so. Butcher block counters! A painted wood floor. Vintage lighting. Glass-front cabinets. Great hardware. Modern appliances. A dining table. A FIREPLACE. ^

^ View of dining room/library looking into the living room. Love the shared fireplace and the double entry. ^

^ Another view of the living room. Love the art perched on the cabinet. Love the natural floorcovering done wall-to-wall...really grounds a very traditional space. Also, note the floor-to-ceiling awesome. ^

^ The hallway that runs from front to back of the house with the stairwell. ^

I think this house would be very at home in Virginia horse country...say, Charlottesville...a place Carter and I would be very happy living. Hmmm....

So I'm now obsessed with Gil Schafer's work. 

Update: thank you to my awesome commenters I now know Miles Redd had a hand in the interiors. And it appears the book already exists - I want it. Apparently I've been living under a rock to have just discovered Mr. Schafer's talent. 

Check out Gil's website here...

Monday, January 13, 2014

Raggedy Ann Birthday Party

As I mentioned in this post, Ana Claire had a Raggedy Ann-themed first birthday party. I really tried not to go overboard...and since the party had to be inside due to the cold of December, I had to keep the guest list slim. But let's be clear that my natural reaction was to make this the Party Of The Century...especially when Pinterest sends your party-planning mind into overdrive.

So what's the best way to prep for your daughter's first birthday party? THE STOMACH FLU! Naturally.

Carter and I were DOWN for TWO DAYS the week before the party. TWO DAYS. And my company holiday party was the night before her 11 am party...and apparently drinking two glasses of wine after having the stomach flu is equivalent to taking 73 shots of let's just say my 6 am wake-up call to finish the party prep the next morning was miserable. There might have been a 9 am breakdown where I asked Carter to call everyone to cancel.

But alas...I found my inner strength...Carter rallied...and we pulled it off. I didn't get to the cupcake picks. Or hanging the lanterns. And the cake wasn't really baked in the center (no one ate it). But as you can see from the pictures, the event was still delightfully cute. And the most important customer surely didn't care that not all of the items on my Pinterest board were completed.

Have a look at our sweet celebration:

All photos by Crystal Downs

 ^ My favorite picture ^

 ^ I made the cake but got the topper on Etsy ^

 ^ Kettle Corn favors!! ^

 ^ Mac n Cheese cups & Ham Biscuits ^

And here are the best pictures of all...the birthday girl in striped tights.


It was a great party. Ana Claire was surrounded by people who love her. She thoroughly enjoyed her cupcake. I wouldn't change a thing :)

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