Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Flowers

{Photo via House Beautiful}
Happy Weekend!

Thursday, February 26, 2009


There's nothing that quite catches the look of a steel frame casement window. They are so elegant and make the window itself worth looking at.

Many of these windows that were installed in Europe and even the U.S. are being torn out and replaced for newer and more energy efficient windows... with these being single pane, I suppose the green girl in me can't criticize too much.

{Photo via Parterre}

So what are steel frame window lover's to do??? Recycle of course!

Refit with mirrored panes and voila... fabulous, vintage, eco-chic mirror at your service.

{Photo via Trouve}

A used window frame should be steal right? Oh no no...welcome to the world of Antiques! Large antique window mirrors usually go for a killing, especially if they're European. Beauty does come with a price.

{Photo via Relics}

Though in my financial logic, you're really getting a 2 for 1... it looks like you've added window when hung against your wall AND it provides the functionality of a mirror. See, in a convoluted way it can be made reasonable.

{Photo via Ballard Designs}

Even without my logic, there are options to be had. Many retailers now sell reproductions in more affordable price ranges. In contrast to higher end antique stores where the mirrors are usually already made, you might find raw frames at good prices at consignment shops or salvage yards. You are left to do the legwork of turning it into a mirror, though you now have the option to select the type of mirror that goes into the frame (or any other surface at that- try cork!).

The last option is one I've tried and tested... cutting out the middle man.

While walking my dog past my neighbors house a few weeks ago I saw a discarded old steel window, broken panes and all, out for bulk trash collection. I stopped dead in my tracks... I barely knew my neighbors, but I had to have their trash! Getting it was the issue... it was a little embarrassing, I mean I was oogling at their garbage for goodness sakes! I contemplated just going and taking it, though they have a security camera and it was inconveniently angled right on the window... I thought about going in the middle of the night in all black, though the chance of being caught and branded as the neighborhood's sketchy klepto designer kaboshed that idea. I had to ask them for it... there was no other way. So I practiced my spiel on the phone with my sister, she wished me good luck with my dumpster diving, and across the street I went. Luckily my nice neighbor encouraged my "recycling" and didn't make me feel awkward at all. The next morning in 38 degree weather, my husband and I lifted my 38 degree steel window and brought it home. That 150 ft walk never felt so far, but I now have a vintage steel window frame gracing my garage and awaiting a new look.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


was the best comment I heard today...

{Photo via darthservo's flickr Photostream}

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Parades, Beads, and Bevolo

Being Mardi Gras, it's the perfect time to take a virtual trip down to New Orleans and sneak a peak at some of the prettiest gas light fixtures available. That means we're going to Bevolo. [You know you're design-obsessed when you're checking out light fixtures during Mardi Gras.]

Bevolo has been making lanterns since 1945 in the tradition of French lights from the 17th century. The original Mr. Andrew Bevolo got his break with famed architect A. Hays Town , whom has had so much influence in the area and commissioned the first "French Quarter Lantern."

Bevolo has been passed down in the family from Andrew to Jim Bevolo, who now runs the company with his son Drew. Bevolo's showroom is in a patina'd old brick building in the middle of the French Quarter, oozing light and charm. It's got a tall and rough wood beamed ceiling and a tall narrow staircase that leads to the shop (though they do have an off site shop as well). Each copper fixture is made to order, many of which in this particular shop. A feature I found to be very cool is that the shop's worktable-top is made of an old bowling alley floor. It is speckled with drill holes and looks spectacular... what else would you expect in NOLA!

These French Quarter Lanterns look so elegant in this McAlpine Tankersley Courtyard. The yoke hanger is a fabulous feature.

An inviting veranda is made even more with this soft glowing lantern. (Great Shutters too!)

Here is the same French Quarter Lantern, but wall mounted with a bracket. To top it off with potted orange trees and a stone fountain... ah perfection!

A traditional New Orleans Courtyard with some wall mounted French Quarters... love the brick detailing on this wall.

Here is the French Quarter Lantern with a Mustache bracket... isn't it cute!

And another French Quarter wall mounted... It's architectural lines look stunning with this handsome facade.

An interesting way to mount the lantern is with a Corner Bracket, as seen above. I love how New Olreans architecture is so mysterious and intriguing... those high walls certainly do keep one wondering what beauty lies beyond.

Another wonderful design is the Governor Lantern.

Elongated and stately, it looks fantastic mounted between tall doors.

The fixtures are really more than a light source, they become an architectural element key to the aesthetic of the home.

Fancy or casual doorways both look amazing with a Lantern. I love the bell!

On the wall are Bevolo's Cotton Exchange Lanterns used in combination with a Williamsburg Post Mounted Lantern. Besides gas light, each lantern is offered in an electric version. Very practical for those of us not in the Vieux Carre with gas hook-ups as a standard! The electric versions have glass hurricanes to shield the bulb and Bevolo offers a pinkish tinted spun glass bulb that mimics the light of a gas lantern. It provides a beautiful light.

The creme de la creme... the Ritz Carlton Fixture. As you may guess, this was originally commissioned for the Ritz Carlton Hotel. Brings new meaning to "putting on the Ritz" doesn't it?

Bevolo offers some more ornate designs with a strong European influence. This Marseille Lantern and scrolled bracket certainly won't be overlooked.

Napoleon House Lanterns bring such charm to an entry way.

The Royal Sonesta Wall Lantern.

Bevolo urges their clients to use a combination of fixtures, and not just one for a project. Even on the building above different fixtures are used on the different levels. It makes for a much more interesting experience.

It's easy to get overwhelmed with so many wonderful choices of lanterns and brackets and sizes, so I find it a great service that they have in house lighting designers who are experts at knowing just what should go where. I've sent over plans and elevations and gotten back a gem of a lighting design, with sizes and mounting heights properly appointed. Both their ideas and gracious Southern Hospitality are first class just like the fixtures!

And with that, its time for a Hurricane and some King Cake!

{Pictures from Bevolo and one from my camera}

Monday, February 23, 2009

True Tuscan in Texas

It was love at first sight with this Austin home by architect Michael G. Imber and designer Marcus Mohon. They've taken a refreshing and accurate approach to Tuscan style, which is such a wonderful change from the unauthentic Tuscan-American look we have seen so often (that being said as politely as possible!). Each space is so easy on the eyes...

The mix of rustic materials with refined furniture remind me of John Saladino and Bobby McAlpine. The monochrome palette highlights the fabulous lines of each piece. The smaller tables and benches must be great for entertaining.

The Kitchen is surprisingly modern, but the crisp lines fit right into the rest of the home. The espresso finish is a wonderful contrast to the stainless steel and the displayed white china. Love the rustic detail of wood wall paneling. Doesn't the Holly Hunt candelabra seem to be made for this space???

The sheer linen panel is ingenious. According to the designer, "It's the modern echo of a tapestry."What a great way to make the Dining Room more intimate without closing it off.

I love everything about this space, including the echo.

The study looks like dark chocolate-y caramel. The modern lines of the shelving, the monochrome palette, the mix of traditional upholstery... so handsome, rich and refreshing all at once.

Cozy nooks are created within the Master Bedroom with furnishings and screens. The high quality of Mohon's taste is evident with his selection of the Barley twist desk and the Knoll Sofa. I love the soothing color palette against the dark floors.

A bathroom to spend an afternoon in...

There's not one element on it's own that makes this house so stunning, it's the combination of many pure materials, textures and finishes that do so (and that can be incorporated into an interior of almost any budget range). Here are the ones that speak to me most:

Neutral Color
Dark Moody Color
Nailheads on contemporary upholstery
Stone & mortar
Cavernous limestone fireplaces
Steel Windows
Crisp Clean Lines
Un-fussy Ironwork
Open shelves
White China
Several single variety floral arrangements
Dining al fresco

For all those mourning the recent loss of Domino , check out Western Interiors. (where this house was featured in Jan. 2008). It features a great mix of styles and has digital back issues on it's website... a source for hours of entertainment and eye candy!
My fingers are crossed that this one will outlast the current magazine epidemic!

{Photos from Western Interiors and Mohon-Imber}

Saturday, February 21, 2009

White Hot

{Photos from J. Crew and Coach}

Monday, February 16, 2009

Beauty Sleep

{Photo: Rodney Smith}

Sunday, February 15, 2009

You can keep the Butler, but I'll take his Pantry

When I saw the $0.98 clearance sticker on these water goblets from Cost Plus World Market I didn't hesitate for even a second... I was overjoyed with my bargain find and wasn't even too disapointed when I learned they were marked down from only $1.99! Ce la vie...

Anyway, the real dilemma arose when I got home and realized I didn't have a home for these little finds. My husband was quick to remind me of that and that we already had more glasses than we need. Minor detail. A quick rearrange of the china cabinet just barely fit them all.

This of course would be no issue with a real Butler's Pantry...

{photo via Decorno - Stephen Karlisch photographer}

Love the skirted countertop and the combination of Wine Room/Pantry in this space.

{Photo via COCOCOZY}

In a real Butler's Pantry, illuminated glass door cabinets are a must. The chandelier looks quite amazing in here too.

{photo via French Home by Josephine Ryan}

Less glitzy and glamorous, these simple open shelves are so convenient for everyday items.

{photo via Willow Decor}

You have to see the before and after of this blogger's Butler's Pantry. It's amazing to see what four regular ol' walls turned into.

{Photo via Eddie Ross}

I also loved seeing what another blogger did when he had a closet, rather than a room to transform. Tiffany's meets Butler's Pantry.

When there isn't room for a closet or a room, you can certainly have a Butler's "Shelf" that looks just as pretty. Anyone else feeling a weakness for stacked white dishware???

{photo via Cote de Texas}}

This Kitchen by Pam Pierce mixes the right amount of vintage with crisp, clean and tailored. Her built in shelving unit is so convenient next to the table.

Okay, this might just be open shelving in a Kitchen but it serves the same purpose none-the-less. I love the industrial chic stainless shelves... kind of like a trendy restaurant kitchen has moved into your house!

{photo via Briger + Briger by Cris Briger & Paul Briger}

Another example of a cool shelving unit that gets the job done. A detail like the striped back wall instantly customize this look.

{photo via French Home by Josephine Ryan}

Whether it's a room, a closet, or a shelf that you use, a huge part of it's success is in the way it's organized. Displaying the plates vertically on a back wall and hanging tea cups from hooks are both functional and pretty tricks.

So take some inspiration from this, re-organize, and go get those dishes/glasses/platters you thought you didn't have room for. Stimulate the economy even if it's only $0.98 at a time!
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