Archive for the ‘architecture’ Category

All in the Family: The New Beach House

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Over the weekend I took quick trip down to Connecticut to not only pick up some amazing side tables I had made for the shoot we’re doing of my house next week, but also to see the progress on my parent’s new beach house my Dad and his firm designed. To my amazement, it’s almost complete save for a few details and landscaping.  Look how adorable!

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Right down the street are a couple cute little lobster places with spectacular, quintessential New England coast views. I am pretty darn excited to have this place to escape to.

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I have the task of helping them decorate this beauty.  We already ordered these great Arteriors stools and some bold marine blue Windsor chairs from Ethan Allen as well as end chairs from Williams Sonoma.  We’re working on a much bigger table, rug and lighting.

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I’m thinking a stripey dhurrie like this one from Serena & Lily- but maybe bringing in aqua, the other color in the scheme we’ve been playing with.

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The kitchen is impossibly bright with gorgeous soapstone counters with white veining. Mom and I were joking that she might need to wear sunglasses while doing dishes.

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The view from the sink and the vaulted ceiling in the living room.

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The colors we’re working with, like this Mally Skok fabric and Sanderson’s Ooti in Indigo.

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The inside of their TV cabinet built in is painted Farrow & Ball’s Arsenic, one of my favorite colors and we’re thinking of adding in some throw pillows in Studio Bon’s Fuzz print to the seagrass Pottery Barn wingsbacks that flank it.

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View from the dining/kitchen area to the living room.

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The front door leads to the entry hall, at the end my Dad installed an old beautiful window we found at Brinfield five years ago and it looks so cool (behind it is a bar area and the pantry and laundry spaces).  To the right is the study, which Dad designed with wood trim and built ins to give it a more “old sea-captain’s house” feel.

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We’re thinking of using this vintage paper my parents have stock of in their barn somewhere in here- either under the chair rail or above.

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I’m loving these Thomas Paul pillows for the chairs in there too!

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The first floor bath has Nantucket beadboard made of PVC wrapping all the way into the shower and a sheet of glass, half milky half clear that swings over the window for privacy and to keep water out but lets the light in.

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The first floor has a guest room (aka my room).  I already did a little board showing some ideas for this space- these will be adjusted but it’s a jumping off point!

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Pottery Barn headboard // Stanley side tables // Stanley dresser // India Hicks for HSN skirt & shams // John Robshaw bedding // Jaipur rug // Teil Duncan art // West Elm lamps

Here’s the master bedroom (their bath not quite done yet) and the second floor guest bath, which I love.

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The glass subway is the prettiest shade of grey-green.  The Circa sconces are nautical and fun.

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A cool big antique anchor my mom and I found at an antique store and the pretty stone wall at the back of the lot overlooking the harbor.

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I’ll be keeping you guys abreast on decorating progress!!!

24 Hours in Newport

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

Last weekend Andrew and I spent a night down in gorgeous Newport at Castle Hill Inn to celebrate our anniversary. We lucked out with some glorious weather (mostly) and a fun day of touring the mansions and eating and drinking by the ocean. Some images from our very quick vacation….

The inn’s main house.

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The Harbor Cottages.

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Taking a walk up to dinner and the bikes you can borrow to tour the area.

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The Lawn- where Adirondack chairs and blankets make for a cozy cocktail hour.

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Our beach cottage- the most splendid location right on a private beach! Adorable!

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The view from our porch was spectacular.

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Complete with a cute mini kitchen (and Nespresso machine that we fell in love with). More views.

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Waking up this close to the ocean is heaven.

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Taking a walk up to the lighthouse.

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The shale rocks are so beautiful.

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The mansions- something I haven’t done since I was little and are just amazing!!

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Andrew sizing up Rosecliff.

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I ADORE the architectural details and pink and white stripe awning.

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The Breakers- home to one of the most stunning bathtubs I’ve ever seen. One piece of marble, people.

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This brings me to the topic I am considering making a repeat feature on this blog: Things I Make Him Wear.  I bought Andrew this striped J.Crew shawl collar sweater a few weeks ago and he begrudgingly wore it this weekend because 1) we were in Newport and 2) it was our anniversary celebration and he saw the act of wearing it as “a gift”. He thinks I try to dress him as I would my gay male friends. And he already gets enough attention from his own gender, if you catch my drift. So I try to convince him that he looks very straight and very handsome. In this particular outfit, he said he looked like a sailor. I think the stripes really threw him for a loop. Kind of like the Men’s Cardigan Incident of 2010- which ended in some very nice sweaters being donated to Goodwill and me sulking in a corner.  How many of you have to fight a battle to get your guy to dress “hip”???

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I have gotten him into a slimmer cut dark denim though- these are Rag & Bone (he was HORRIFIED I paid more than $50 for jeans) and his other favorite pair I’ve gotten him are by Bononos (Slim Straight).  They aren’t “tight” but not baggy either.  A perfect slight bootcut that looks dressed up enough when paired with a blazer for dinner out but still looks casual with a sweater. Andrew’s 6’4″ and on the slim side and these fit great, FYI.

As for me, I was ALL about the seaside comfort of white denim, sweaters and Converse.

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Sweater: Vince Jeans: Citizens Bracelet: J.Crew Shoes: Converse Rings: Andrew :)

A Little Mountain Vacay

Monday, August 5th, 2013

I just got back last night from a great long weekend at the The Inn at Biltmore in North Carolina. What a gorgeous part of our country I’ve never seen! It’s always nice to go back down south with the hubs since he’s from there, and it makes me so glad a married a southern gentleman!  There really is more of a sense of propriety and chivalry down south.

This was the view we had from the hotel porch…. amazing, right?

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There is a winery on the property, which of course made me happy.  I loved the pink label on the sparkling one.

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We took a lot of walks on the property, especially down to the farm where they had a big kitchen garden and lots of animals.

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 Chickens, especially.

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The first morning we decided to take a long walk and came upon the most magnificent field of sunflowers that completely blew my mind.

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It went on forever along the walking path!!!

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After lots of exploring, they had the perfect porch to imbibe in some of their wine on.

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We also got over to the Grove Park Inn, which has the MOST amazing patio for dining I’ve ever seen in the States. I mean, every table is outside with this view. Andrew’s sister is getting married here in the fall and I can;t wait to see this area during that season!

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 I was soooooo excited to see the actual Biltmore Estate- the Downton Abbey theme song playing in my head as we drove up.

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I mean, this thing is massive beyond your wildest dreams!  And so full of intricate details and history that you could spend a whole day walking it’s halls and gardens.

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A stunning stairwell.

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Equally stunning conservatory (I wasn’t supposed to be taking pictures but I snuck a couple in!)

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The ceilings were all magnificent- and each one different.

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And the gardens, oh my, the gardens.

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But the best view? My ADORABLE niece (who is quite enamored with her “Big Unc”)

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A big thanks to my in-laws who took us on this trip (among many others) and to the girls at The Good Hound, who babysat my furry lovebugs while we were gone (call them if you live in my area- great for walking and playgroups too!)

 

 

Herringbone Dreams

Monday, July 29th, 2013

A friend of mine posted a picture on Instagram last week of her new herringbone wood floors and I nearly collapsed in jealousy.  There is nothing I love more than a beautifully installed herringbone floor- or even better- an old one in an antique home.  Especially if that home happens to be in Paris.  You don’t see people putting these in that often anymore (the cost being prohibitive) but I swear if I ever renovate or build a home in my future, at least ONE space will have these.

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Exquisite Surfaces has some STUNNING options using vintage wood!

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If you can’t swing the wood floors, you can also try installing wood tiles in a smaller space like muudroom or bathroom to get a hint of the look! These are all ceramic tiles!

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A Modern Farmhouse

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

I have long enjoyed perusing a little southern magazine called Garden & Gun after seeing it years ago in a trip down south of the Mason Dixon line.  While the title may cause guffaws from visitors to your home who see it on your coffee table, it’s not only for those entrenched in forsythia and firepower.  They have done many home stories that have knocked my socks off, as well as some of the best photography I’ve seen to date.  For example, this feature on a modern farmhouse in South Carolina.

I spent my weekend weeding, mulching and doing all sorts of sweaty outdoor yard activities as we prep our small patch of land for a fun re-do in August!  I can’t help but feel after a long day outside with my hands in the dirt that I could, someday, move to a place like this.  Nothing feels better than kicking back after some serious manual labor and the satisfaction that comes with doing something physical and beneficial with your time.  Now, let’s not get CRAZY, I live far from the actual country- and I love being able to still walk to dinner and coffee from my house- but I have to say, leaving the city was the best decision I ever made. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in a home.

So back to this house (I must be delirious from all the mulch and weed killer).  The country vibe can be polarizing but so happy and calming, is it not? And this modern take on it I find really lovely.

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I think we need to pause a moment to discuss the coolness of these stairs. I mean, really.

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Love the kitchen colors (looks like my color scheme!) and the super rustic old wood doors!

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There are those stairs again!!

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DONKEYS!

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Chickens and a relaxing little spot to sit.  Looks lovely, doesn’t it?

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After our big day of yard work, we cooked an awesome summer dinner and I wanted to share the recipes with you! It was THAT good. :) No styling here- just our actual meal seconds before Andrew ate every last bite.

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Mojo Chicken Marinade (via Weber Grilling Cookbook)

1/2 c. orange juice

2 tbs fresh lime juice

2 tbs soy sauce

2 tbs extra virgin olive oil

1 tbs minced garlic

1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce

1/2 tsp ground cumin

1/4 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

Whisk together in a bowl and place 2-4 chicken breasts in a large plastic resealable bag and pour marinade in. Place in fridge for 6-8 hours turning the bag once or twice. Grill. Yummers.

Deconstructed Street Corn (via Wall Street Journal Weekend)

6 ears fresh corn (or 4- we used 4 for the 2 of us)

1 jalapeno, finely chopped

2 tbs olive oil

1/3 cup freshly grated parmesean

2 tbs balsamic vinegar

if desired, finely chopped mint or cilantro

Pinch of salt

Boil corn and cut off the cob.  In a saute pan heat up the oil and cook the jalapeno for 2 minutes, add the corn and saute for another 5 minutes.  Pour into a large bowl and add the vinegar, salt, Parmesan and herbs and stir. Serve warm or cold!

** Note- I sent Andrew to the grocery store which means I got a JAR of sliced jalepenos and grated Kraft parmesan, not fresh. Also, our herb plants died int he heat. This ain’t no food blog, but it was still great! :)