Friday, September 30, 2011

Be Inspired No. 17 - Cozy Corners

I always find it amazing just how transforming a small corner can become.  The translation is alway cozy. I love a window seat, but a cozy corner comes in a very close second.

Just something about being tucked in a quiet serene corner.

Image Sources: Traditional Home, House Beautiful, Decor Pad

Thursday, September 29, 2011

RSVP Collection No. 21 - Crockpot Mac and Cheese

Crockpot Mac and Cheese

1/2 pound elbow macaroni
4 cups shredded Cheddar cheese, divided
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1 1/2 cups milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper


Coat the inside of the slow cooker with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with fresh and evaporated milks. Mix in uncooked macaroni and 3 cups shredded cheese. Transfer to slow cooker, and sprinkle remaining cheese on top.
Cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. Do not stir or remove lid while cooking.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Speaking of Walls No. 3 - Something Other Then a Picture

There are many things that draws one into a well-designed room. One of them is details. And one of the most important details is the appointments or accessories. This compliments and completes the design. It is also where the most creative part of the design shows.

I purposely used the word "picture" in the title of this blog post to emphasize that when addressing your wall, artwork can become just a picture. This can be prevented if you give the same energy to the appointments and accessories in your room that you gave to the groundings (furniture and flooring).

This is why I am so paper obsessed. There is such a story that can happen on one's wall, by using early lithographs and ephemera that can't happen using ordinary pictures. But let me take you even beyond this and show you some images of other objects that become art on the wall.

I'm loving the mix of the turtle shell collection with the plates in this kitchen.

These repurposed Asian grates give such dimension to the fireplace area.

Loving the color of this oyster plate collection enhancing a simple mirror.

I think this amazing mirror would make a stunning headboard too!

Image Sources: House Beautiful, Restoration Hardware, Traditional Home, Vicente Wolf

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Rethinking the Look of Things No. 13 - Equestrian Chic

I am liking the look of decor using equestrian touches in a more updated manner. This look has been labeled "Equestrian Chic".  It has a young, hip, transitional yet classic look.

The layering mix of new and vintage or reproduction pieces are used in just the right balance.

Image Sources: Traditional Home, Style at Home, Elle Decor, Elements of Style

Monday, September 26, 2011

Once Upon A Time No. 1 - Hemingway House

There are places we visit that seem so surreal. It seems these places for me, are those with fascinating stories attached to them. One such place is the Hemingway House in Key West, Florida. This was Hemingway's home from 1931 to 1939. And though some of the stories shared during tours of the home are controversial, surely most are true.

It was in this house that he did some of his best work, icluding the final draft to "A Farewell to Arms" and the short story classics "The Snows of Kilimanjaro" and "The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber".

According to Wikipedia, the house was originally purchased for $8,000. It was sold after Hemingway's death, empty, and without furniture or books.

The house was a filming location in 1988 for the sixteenth James Bond movie "License to Kill". In the scene Bond resigns from the secret service and then flees through the garden.

Image Sources: Wikipedia

Friday, September 23, 2011

RSVP Collection No. 20 - Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roasted Brussel Sprouts 

1 1/2 pounds Brussel sprouts
3 tablespoons good olive oil
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
Cut off the brown ends of the Brussels sprouts and pull off any yellow outer leaves. Mix them in a bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Pour them on a sheet pan and roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly. Sprinkle with more kosher salt and serve immediately.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Be Inspired No. 16 - Banquette Seating

Be inspired to think outside the box when shopping for breakfast nook seating. The simplicity of the dining table allows for the partnership of upholstered banquette seating paired with individual chairs or a pair of banquettes to create an inspired look.

Whether custom build-in or stationary upholstered banquettes - the possibilities are endless. And don't forget the bells and whistles..pillows, nail head trim, fabric choice, and comfort.

Loving how the banquette seating looks great with all table shapes and styles.

Image Sources: Southern Accents, Traditional Home, Veranda, Metropolitan Home, My Home Ideas

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Be Inspired No. 15 - Simplicity

A few years ago I participated in the design of a room for a local designer showhouse. The room had a rather large gas fireplace flanked by bookcases. It was a dreary hole in the wall with no character. So we decided to remove the gas logs and fill the fireplace with stacked wood.

At first it seemed it was going to be an overwhelming task of stacking the logs just right, but nature proved us wrong. Because sometimes if you don't concentrate so much on creating a look it happens all on its own.

We have a wood shed for our wood-burning fireplace in our family room. I came home to measure our cut wood to see if it would fit the depth of the fireplace and was delighted to see that the stacked wood was art that happen all by itself. The art of simplicity.

Image Sources: Elle Decor, Willow Bee Inspired, Hall Ready, Reynold Still, Veranda

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Speaking of Walls No. 2 - Upholstered Walls

There's something so luxurious about an upholstered wall. It creates such a cocoon-like feeling in the room.

Image Sources: Ralph Lauren, Traditional Home, Elle Decor, House Beautiful

Monday, September 19, 2011

Well Dressed Home No. 11 - The Well-Appointed Guest Room

During recent storms we experienced a electrical outage and I was thankful to have a sister of mine allow me to use her nearby home to shower after a whirlwind one-day trip to move our daughter into her college dorm. She not only offered her home but graciously put out fresh linens and a shower poof for me and a lovely note.

It reminded me just how important it is to never forget the little things for your guests.  So I've come up with a checklist for the well-appointed guest room.

1. First and foremost a comfortable bed with fresh linens.

2. There is nothing says "welcome" like a nice collection of bed pillows in both soft and firm.

3. Fresh flowers are a simple, yet delightful touch.

4. A beautiful tray by the bedside with bottled water or cola, alarm clock, a vanilla-scented or fresh-linen scented candle with matches.

5. A selection of nice stationery or even a small journal for your guest to make trip notes.
 And don't forget nice ink pens or pencils. Not the "junk pens".

6. Provide a basket of lotions, pain remedies, sewing kit, soaps, and crisp bath linens.

7. A small flashlight near the bedside is a nice touch as well.

8. Magazines and books will be appreciated. Along with a comfy throw for that refreshing cat nap.

9. A folding luggage rack is a nice convenience.

Remembering to pay attention to these details will tell your guests they matter and you are glad they are there.

Image Sources:  Veranda

Friday, September 16, 2011

Well Dressed Home No. 10 - Library Ladders

The library ladder is form and function fused together beautifully. Though it dates back to the Victorian era, it is not reserved for the lavish library with its velvet seating and leather bound books.

As a matter of fact, this library ladder, isn't even reserved for the library. I could see it being used in the kitchen and butlers pantry.

Image Sources: Traditional Home, Elle Decor, Decor Pad, Putnam Ladder Co.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Gotta Love No. 10 - Decor Porn

I have to apologize if today's title offends, but there just isn't any other way to describe it! If you haven't received your 616-page Restoration Hardware Fall 2011 Source Book yet be prepared! The day you open your mailbox and see it - head straight inside, pull the drapes, light some candles, grab a bottle of wine, put on your favorite playlist and prepare to be seduced.

This book stirs your senses from page one! And I'm proud to say I'm part of the "lunatic fringe".

Here are a few of my favorite things...

Factory Zinc and Cast Iron Dining Table
Victorian-era sewing maching base reproduced in cast iron with zinc top.

Luxe faux fur
(I told you this was hot!)

Buquet's 1927 Counterpoise
Reproduction of the 1927 French drafting lamp designed by
Edouard-Wilfred Buguet.

Mayfair Steamer Leather Trunk
In distressed vintage cigar leather

French Postal Desk
I could get so much work done at this desk!

Filament Bulbs
Authentic Edison-style tungsten filament bulbs.

Foucault's Iron Orb
Inspired by 19th-century physicist Leon Foucault's gyroscope.

Linen Storage Boxes
Perfection for the paper obsessed (me)!
Image Sources: Restoration Hardware
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