Inspired by Tradition

How would you like to start and end your day in this elegant bath? Modern Soaker Tub, beautiful light fixture, upholstered bench and iron table; the details are perfection. I have seen the use of antique carved doors, to mark the entrance of the master bath before, and I just love it.  These doors in particular are exceptional,  they have a washed finish to match the beams in the vaulted ceiling.  The chevron pattern marble flooring is another inspired tribute to tradition. It's wonderful to see the theme of old world charm merging into the modern home carried through right into the bath suite.

Polka Dot Glam

Large Dots, Small Dots, Polka Dots. 
This season dots are a little larger, and a lot more sophisticated. 
Did you know that polka dots are actually named after the "polka" dance. It's true.  They were both popular at the same time, some even think the pattern is connected to the movement of the dance. 

Living Large

A little inspiration for living large today, from the portfolio of Barbara Westbrook.  This space is  filled with charm and character.  If you look around, there are so many beautiful furnishings to see; 2 large iron side tables, the chair by the fireplace, the writing desk behind the sofa, antiques, lamps, art hanging from the built in shelving.  Neutral fabrics and fine lines of the iron tables keep the room feeling light and bright. 

A Fine Craft

I love a finely crafted piece of furniture.  Especially one that incorporates traditional manufacturing techniques, like carving, inlays, and forging.  These are just a few pieces that I absolutely adore from  fine furniture makers, Smith and Watson, and Theodore Alexander.  I am not one for overcrowding a room with  heavy decoration, but I do love it when a well crafted piece stands alone and makes a statement!  I wouldn't want all these pieces in my home, but I would welcome just a couple to add a little character.  Do you like to keep a consistent theme, or do you prefer adding a stand out piece in the mix just to add a little personality?

Around the House

A collection of just a few of my favorite exteriors.  The first three are from the portfolio of architect Ann Decker, and the last is the patio outside of Ina Garten's farmhouse kitchen.  My favorite features around the house are cultured stone, french windows, white painted trim work, and old lanterns.

Beautiful Belgium

Over the past few years, I have been more drawn to the natural beauty of Belgium. The design scene certainly has a lot to do with it, as some of my favorite homes are  Belgian homes,  It's kind of the perfect mix of classic french and Scandinavian design  And I admit it's the style I am most drawn to because it's a little less pretentious.  Architectural Digest recently featured this property in Belgium, a 50 acre estate that was recently renovated under the direction of Axel Vervoordt.  The grounds are pristine, and were landscaped by the firm Wirtz International.  The full features is a glimpse into paradise..  Recently Brooke of Velvet and Linen, took a little trip to Belgium, and visited a fellow blogger, Greet of Belgian Pearls, and her posts were amazing, from the countryside to  the design discoveries. Stay tuned friends, you'll be seeing more of my Belgian discoveries.

The Great Wall

Charlotte Moss

Thomas O'Brien

Pottery Barn

Scott Sanders

I am a big fan of the Great Wall of Art. Every time I see them, I think I need to get printing and buying vintage photos, pochoirs, pretty much anything that will look good in a frame. And then I remember how much work it is to actually complete, and I get discouraged  and think it will be one of those projects I'll start and never finish.  So for now, I'll sit back and admire.  But if I ever do get my great wall done, I'll be sure it measures up to these perfect pictures.

Vintage Summer

I spent the day at the beach yesterday, and it was absolutely beautiful. Plenty of warm sunshine, some clouds rolling over for cover every now and again, and a perfectly cooling fresh water lake.  Most of the day I had a watchful eye on the kids, but I did get some time to sit and flip through the pages of my favorite design magazines. 

I have been going to the same beach as long as I can remember.  It's actually a hidden gem that few people know of, and those of my friends who do know, are sworn to secrecy! The water is crystal clear, it's never too busy, and there is an endless sandy shoreline.  It made me think how the beach has changed so little over the years.  Most of the waterfront properties aren't overly developed, and there are some pretty old structures still around.  I thought about what it must have been like fifty or so years ago.  What women wore, their demeanor, the whole notion of beauty back then; elegant and sophisticated.  I have been really inspired by the classics lately, so here is a little taste of my ideal vintage summer style.  Isn't Elizabet Taylor just breathtaking?

Images via This Girls Vintage

Keep Cool

Is there anything else to post about today but keeping cool! This weather is phenomenal.  It's a welcome break.  Does anyone else remember how cold it was this past winter? I couldn't imagine living in a land where I couldn't experience every one of our beautiful seasons to the fullest.  So enjoy my friends! Call it quits early, head to the beach or the backyard.  Stay close to water, a sprinkler, pool, lake or ocean.  And soak in all that Sweet Sunshine.

Happy Summer!

Images via AD

Eco-Chic - Recycling Vs Eco

Eco-Chic Jo Alcorn of Whitewash & Co is back giving us some much needed perspective into the world of recycling.

Recycling has been perceived as being part of the green movement, however recyclable materials have their very own category separate from the eco world. I am back with another controversial GREEN term which needs to be addressed. The term recycle means: Recycling is the process of re-using a given product (beyond its intended use), or producing a new product from a recyclable material.

This does not mean you have purchased a product that is healthy or helping the environment, which so many of us have been led to believe. The marketing word “Recycled” on a product is solely in the description of the product, advising part of that product is reused, remade or reshaped to create the piece you are purchasing.

The recycling word is tricky; because yes, you are giving back to the environment in the means that you have prevented something from being thrown into the landfill, however, it does not mean you are not contributing in purchasing a piece containing high VOC’s, chemicals, toxins or if it is FSC approved, and etc. etc. That recycled piece you just brought into your home could be very harmful. It is also argued when breaking down recycled pieces/materials could case more air pollution and create an even larger carbon foot print, even more then it would be to buy brand new. In layman’s terms, it is easier to build a brand new house then it is to gut and rebuild on an existing foundation.

To really simplify what recycled materials means. Your friend who bought a stunning cabinet from over seas, which she had shipped over, no longer requires the piece and places it on the curb, until you come along and grabbed it. Now you didn’t really like the handles so you changed them and also refinished it in a modern colour, added a few details here and there and it is now current, trendy and perfect. You now have a recycled piece! Or what most of us used to call it before marketers were involved, was a hand me down or is even sometime called a vintage piece. Why because if you relate back to the meaning, the piece was either going to be thrown out, burnt or destroyed but you have saved it from all the above and are now re-using it within your home which has prolong the life span and functionality of the doomed furniture piece. (That’s it in a nut shell, of course there are more complicated definitions and processes to recycled materials)

Don’t let this label fool you, recycled is not an eco product, all it means is that it is or can be reused. This is still a positive movement and one that you want to support, most recyclable materials are found in or within certain metals, glass, fabrics, paints and reclaimed woods. However don’t think that you are contributing to the eco product world in full force just because you have a piece that is recycled. Recycling materials is just a smart solution.  

Stay Green and until next time,

Images via Lyring, Curbly, Desmint

Reclaimed Belgian Retreat

I was so excited to stumble across this beautiful lake side retreat located in Belgium.  It isn't a large space, but is situated just a few steps away from a pristine lake, and is loaded with so much character and charm. It makes wish I knew the homeowners.  You can scan these pictures over and over again, and find one amazing detail after the other.  From the raised fireplace and it's small screen door, to the placement of art, copper pot collection,  antique silver, reclaimed wood ceilings, rail-less stair case and so much more. Who wouldn't love a private little escape like this one, filled with all your favorite treasures, old books, and fabulous design?


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