Monday, June 16, 2014

Monday's Muse: Classy Ceramics

Jars Dinnerware of France 

"To those who enjoy the simplicity and joy of being around a unique & beautiful table…every day".  Jars CĂ©ramistes

Photo: DIDRIKs
They call it: Art de' la Table.  I call it beautiful & functional, this gorgeous stoneware is meticulously handmade in France for over a century (since 1857).  This stunning ceramic pieces show an obvious passion for art & an attention to detail that is in perfect harmony with contemporary lifestyles found today.

Master ceramicists at Jars Ceramistes are renowned for their rustic warmth in adding exceptional character and depth of color to every piece.  Can you see it?  Gorgeous right?

Can you imagine how amazing these would look in a kitchen with open shelving so you could always feast your eyes on these beauties at all times? 

Who wouldn't want to present their delicious meals on art like this?  Makes you just want to clean your plate as quickly as possible so you can unearth the beauty to see it again.  :) 

They use a 17-step technique to shape and glaze their stoneware collection by hand.  All that handwork is evident in every piece & it's even chip resistant too!  
To this day, the company has remained true to the founder’s creative vision of turning objects of day-to-day living into works of art, while transforming  the functional into the beautiful.

PLUME:  Like all those small organic treasures we gather in the morning along the silent beaches: shells, feathers, rocks and fossils of the present.

VUELTA Blanc Perle:   The shape of the arena, from the ancient mystery of the circus to the glory of the festivities.

VUELTA Gris Silex

The making of Jars for Williams Sonoma

Do these beauties speak to you as much as they do me? 
I am drooling and lusting over Plume.  
What's your favorite style? 


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Cooling Off with Ceiling Fans

The ceiling fan has come a long way over the years, seeming to go from blah to WOW (thankfully so) There are many beautiful styles available, along with the possibility for customization, you too can be sitting under a fabulous fan feeling the breeze as it heats up for the summer.

Image via Houzz    Shelter Island beach house by Wettling Architects
 When the right one is chosen, it can add dimension & style to a room just as a fabulous piece of art or interesting accessory can.  Truth be told besides the simplicity and sexiness of this ceiling fan (shown above), I am also flipping out over how gorgeous this home is (not far from where I grew up).

Image via Houzz   Emerald Coast Real Estate Photography
In large spaces, having more than one provides double the pleasure. Not only can they help with cooling costs in the summer, they can look cool too!

 Interior by Amy Morris Image by Atlanta Homes as seen on Savor Home Blog
With many manufacturers offering an array of styles, sizes, multiple blade options, finishes and much more, this allows for designing and customizing one to be perfect for whichever space you choose.

 Image Via Houzz The Beach House by Anderson Studio Architecture & Design 

 Image Via Houzz The Beach House by Anderson Studio Architecture & Design 
Stylish even in a relaxing bedroom (doesn't hurt to have that incredible view)!

Image Via Houzz  Paradise at the Pier HOUZZ by Stofft Cooney Architects

In more contemporary rooms, the ceiling fan can blend into it's surroundings in having it be similar to the ceiling color and possessing a sleek design helps minimize it's presence.

Image Via Houzz  Paradise at the Pier HOUZZ by Stofft Cooney Architects

 Not only do they provide function they also help lower heating & cooling costs all year round when in the proper setting.
In the Summer have the fan go in a counter clock-wise (forwarddirection to provide a wind chill effect helping the room feel cooler. 

In the Winter have the fan run at a low speed in a clock-wise (reverse) direction to help with drawing cooler air from below blowing it upwards as the warmer air will be pushed down.

Have you been swayed into believing that ceiling fans really can be stylish?
Let me know what you think.



Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Gardening & Attracting Hummingbirds

In keeping with the beautiful time of year, let's continue to have many reasons to get outside…
admiring the impressive Hummingbird.

Some interior designers love to use their gift they have for designing interiors in the same way for outdoors too by creating gorgeous gardens.  By layering textures, colors and adding depth/scale in using these similar techniques applied indoors, a garden can possess an attraction for homeowners in the say way and be a space to enjoy for many years to come…and if done right, grabbing the eye of hummingbirds too!
Hummingbird in the Garden Photo: Jim White 

Besides providing a natural way to feed them (feeder), they feed by sight on routes that they regular follow.

Why not consider ways in which to attract them to you?  Hummingbirds are inquisitive by nature, so providing them with a possible new food source, you maybe lucky enough to have them linger longer in your yard.
Male Ruby Throated Hummingbird

Because they are also very visual creatures (most birds do not have a sense of smell), consider creating a hummingbird habitat that provides an abundance of nectar/food that they will visually be attracted to.
Images from Pinterest  storyboard created using PSE

Plants, Trees & Shrubs  
 (just a few suggestions): 
Butterfly Bush 
Cape Honeysuckle
Flowering Quince 
Morning Glory
Coral Bells 
Trumpet Creeper

Additional Features  Hummingbirds Will Enjoy
Water (ideally mist, fountain) 
Gazing Ball (blue or red
Perches (small to grasp onto in an open area to keep an eye out) 

  I couldn't help but share a few stylish Hummingbird Feeders nice enough perhaps even for the pickiest  peeps (designer approved) that may want to add a little pizazz to their gardens while having an additional feeding source for the hummingbirds.

Note:  Ruby-throated Hummingbirds found in the Eastern part of the US, are very territorial and tend to defend their flowers and feeders.  So, you may want to consider putting up several feeders out of sight from each other.

Feeders in North America should be put up early enough as the hummingbirds are in their migratory pattern (timing will vary greatly depending on where you are located, can be as early as January in Florida).

Hummingbird Food Recipe (re-fresh every 3-4 days)
1 Part Sugar
4 Parts Water 
Boil water 1-2 minutes, add sugar till dissolved. 
Cool & Store in Refrigerator 

Sometimes seeing something void of color can be just as beautiful. 
A rare site to behold: an Albino Hummingbird.  Photo by Kevin Shank 

Time to get busy!  Don't forget to let us know how your new garden turns out. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Friday Furniture Find: Outdoor Time with Kingsley Bate

It's here already, Spring has arrived.  I am not sure how it happened so quickly, but, it's here now and it's the absolute perfect time to go outside and enjoy all the beautiful surroundings.

Outdoor spaces are an extension of your interiors, they should feel like a continuous flow from one to the other.  Enticing you…drawing you outdoors.  Just like this stunning covered patio area does.

From enjoying a delicious prepared (grilled of course) meal sitting in a stylish comfortable chair in the dining area (pool is a nice added bonus/treat too).

To fabulous sitting areas on a stunning patio for conversation.  Enjoyed by both the warmth of friends and a fire.

To a relaxing space for a little solitude with a great book and a glass of wine.  Imagine yourself…here.  Can you do it?
Elegant outdoor furniture. Known for their exceptional teak by Kingsley Bates
Outdoor furniture is key to designing the exterior living space to create that continuous flow from the interior space.  How do you envision yourself enjoying your outdoor space?

Happy Spring!
Now go throw open those doors and get out there!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Benjamin Moore Blows…It Out of the Park!

You know when you order something and then soon after you get that email that says, "thanks for your purchase, please review it and let us know what you think"…and, well, you sort of cringe at the thought of having to take the time to write a review…but yet, secretly you are reading and appreciate them all before jumping ahead with a purchase.

Society seems to take so much time being negative that we rarely find the time to applaud, compliment and be grateful for amazing people and products.  Acknowledge and being grateful in my book is a necessity…yes, admittedly we probably all could benefit in doing it more.

Soooooo, with that being said…here I am being grateful for what may seem like something small, but in my book, totally worth sharing this positive review.  

It's for a Benjamin Moore product I used for a personal project that I am working on (which so happens to look oddly similar to the background of the above posted sign).

OK, I will admit, it didn't start out so rosy at my recent trip to the local Benjamin Moore store.  It had me reminiscing with the lady at the counter about how we both had family that worked with/sold Benjamin Moore paint when we were younger.  The conversation led to how shocking it is on how pricy things have gotten in our short time here on earth (no, I am not going to reveal anyone's ages).  I can't imagine those that have been around for longer on how much more they are shocked at the cost of things.  It's not just paint, it's everything!   From fabrics, to gas, and please, don't get me going on food!  That's where I can go on and on… lol

I admit, I was a little skeptical at $50+ a gallon with the new and improved interior "Regal Classic", now transitioning to their "Regal Select".   Well, let me tell you…WOW!  Super impressed.   I am loving what they are doing with their product (even loving the new labels)!

Regal Select is a paint and primer in one, using waterborne resins and zero VOC colorants that benefits from cutting-edge new technologies.

It goes on like butter (used Pearl Finish, which has a wee bit more of a shine than Eggshell) and got amazing coverage even with just the first coat in a deep base, with very little odor (and for one that is fighting a head cold, that was a huge bonus). 
1477 Deep Creek Benjamin Moore Paint

As a designer, I always tell my clients that paint is the least expensive part of a room that gives you the biggest impact.  I still stand by that statement 100%!

Here it is shown in Annie Werden's dining room in Southern Living.

Recently, I spent some time helping a friend paint her daughters room, using "that" brand from Home Depot.  It was a wee bit of a nightmare, you know the kind.  I think I lost count of how many coats to get the correct coverage, then on top of it the cans of paint were mixed differently (Yes, you are suppose to mix them all together to prevent that, but who really does that?).  :)  Making it necessary to go back and coat one more time all the walls so they match (sorry my friend).  Sort of felt like how this poor kid did about his face painting.

All of this is to rant and rave on how much this product rocks.   I have always recommended the quality and durability of what Benjamin Moore has to offer.  This personal experience with their newest "Regal Select" will continue to have me singing their praises.

Now, all I can hope for is that the choice of color used for the guest bedroom will have my guests feeling cozy and calm during their visit.

Anyone else have praise for something that recently used in their home they want to share?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

High Point Furniture Market Spring 2011....Fabulous Fun & Finds

Twice a year High Point Furniture Market takes's ALWAYS a fabulous time. Between seeing what's new & what's hot, there is also the many extremely talented gifted souls one has the pleasure of seeing that make market so much fun. The best part of it all for me is that I get to experience this with my dear friend and talented designer, Gloria Blalock of Blalock Interiors.

Here you will find just a few of the exciting things and amazing people that one bumps into along the exciting as well as exhilarating whirlwind of the High Point furniture market. Come join me for the intoxicating ride.

Hickory Chair, one of the most talked about showrooms at each market, and as predicted, they did NOT disappoint.
Alexa Hampton's furniture collection offers style & class for modern living.

Mariette Himes Gomez collection is clean, refreshing that offers a classic and contemporary vibe.

One of the highlights was sitting down with some brilliant designers and having a comfortable, relaxed and funny (Alexa Hampton is not only designs gracious and classic furniture, but she is also quite the comedian) conversation with Alexa Hampton, Mariette Himes Gomez, Mary Douglas Drysadale and Gloria de Lourdes Blalock.

Thom Filicia's line for Vanguard (which their ENTIRE showroom rocked) is best put in their words to describe this man's amazing talent and style..... "Thom Filicia, a designer of sexy, hip and exciting environments. Mixing refined details with raw edges, blending industrial and organic objects. Perfectly balancing elements in unique and beautiful ways."

The ever so talented Thom Filicia, along with president of Thom Filicia Designs, Marc Szafran.

Barclay Buttera, the name and man, well he has it all. Style, class, charisma and charm.

Barclay Buttera Lifestyle Showroom is always exceptional to visit, for the stylishness that this man creates is extraordinary. As one meanders from one room setting to the next, each one draws you in, wanting to linger and savor all that the eye beholds.

This spring at the Barclay Buttera Lifestyle Showroom, I was particularly drawn to this stylish buttery soft leather sofa which was just as comfortable as it was sophisticated in style.

Love..This market he also paired up with Eastern Accents to introduce a fabulous new bedding line (I don't think this man has time to sleep). To die for! Need I say more? Didn't think so.

The adorable Amy Jo Cosgrove has paired up with her mother in law, Barabara Cosgrove in selling her stunning & stylish lamp line, which sell in fine establishments such as Neiman Marcus & ABC Carpet & Home.....

There were so many beautiful, classy, and innovative lamps throughout it was hard to pick a favorite for sure.

So much to see, so little time.... this is just a sneak peak into the all the eye candy and remarkable people that we were able to catch a glimpse of.  

There was also amazing art, beautiful beds....

Trendy tables, cheetah chairs..........

Striking Chest of Drawers and magnificent mirrors. 

Vintage finds......

 And, the list goes on and on and on and on.........  

Stay tuned, for I will share more terrific highlights later along with some sensational people we saw along the way.