A Little Mountain Vacay

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?


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.


 Chickens, especially.


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


It went on forever along the walking path!!!


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


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!


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


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.


A stunning stairwell.


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


The ceilings were all magnificent- and each one different.


And the gardens, oh my, the gardens.






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


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

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.












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!




A Modern Farmhouse

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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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.


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! :)


Gimme Shelter

At the end of last week I ventured out to the Hamptons to visit a project I’m working on. It’s a bit of an adventure getting there from Boston- first te big ferry from New London then two little ferries to shuttle you across Long Island itself.  It’s a BEAUTIFUL drive and if I had the time, I would have just explored for hours and hours.  Especially little Shelter Island.  It’s a bit more quaint than some of the other parts of the Hamptons and my only experience there was waitressing one summer in college at a hotel there for three whole days before quitting and going home.  It was a bit Bates Motel and I just was beyond creeped out.  But now I’d like to go back and see more of it.  Certainly there is a lot of style out there- one spread in the new House & Home particularly piqued my interest.  So here are a bunch of images from projects all over Shelter Island…..



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Sarah Story





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Sarah Story


Jonathan Adler and Simon Doonan have a big place on Shelter…. talk about cool neighbors!


Andre Balazs’ Sunset Beach is THE spot to dine, drink and stay.




As I was driving around I was getting whiplash trying to peek at all the homes- specifically the ones that had for sale signs outside. Like this one. OHMYGOD the potential!!!!! All those white beams! An outbuilding (office??)! Gaaaahhhhh!











Current Obsession: Steel Doors & Windows

I have been seriously obsessed with steel doors and windows lately.  I love the industrial meets minimalist look and the amount of undisturbed light they let in.  This Carter Kay Interiors kitchen was the image I used as my inspiration for my kitchen, but I wasn’t able to do the steel window I craved:


I’m not how these function in the Northeast- I believe they are single pane? That wouldn’t be great in the dead of winter. But oh how I LOVE THEM!!!

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This whole situation is pure amazing.




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I also love how I’ve seen the doors used in showers! I wonder if I can make that happen in my master bathroom addition eventually??

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What do you think? Do any of you have them?