Oh Gatsby…..

10 Jan

For a long time now I have loved the roaring twenties era. The fashion, the design the sheer vivaciousness of life then..post war and full of decadence! So I was uber excited when I heard that the movie was being remade with Leonardo diCaprio starring as Gatsby.

Baz Luhrmann  of Romeo and Juliet fame is directing the new Gatsby movie and this second trailer was just released…the sets and costumes look so amazing I’m sure it will spark off a revival in 20’s deco style. I for one will be finding a way to incorporate flapper dresses into my everyday wear!

Will you be going to see this movie? What’s your favorite historical Era?

 

 

Dining in style…soon

4 Jan

For the last 6 years – since we moved to the USA from London my little family has been dining on a basic white round table from Ikea. We loved it when we bought it and lord knows we have had great use out of it but with more and more guests on the horizon and finally being able to entertain in our home it was high time to splash out and get a new table.

I have been keeping my eye open for a table for a while but I wasn’t getting very far – I really was torn about what to buy…wood or white? make our own concrete topped one??? Modern or traditional?

I needed help. So I started hitting my design sources for ideas (aka Pinterest!!) and I was heavily  inspired by this great dining set up……

Modern meets traditional dining room

Modern meets traditional dining room

I actually found this image on the Novogratz facebook page taken from the NY Times blog, the photograph is by  Magnus Marding.

The combination of modern & traditional is right up my alley and the legs on the above table are amazing. And so with this image in mind I finally knew what style I was looking for and after some time I found it. Yes, I have finally chosen a dining table…..

Grand Baluster in Black Drifted Oak

Grand Baluster in Black Drifted Oak

It’s from Restoration Hardware and I was able to take advantage of their end of year sale which was a bonus. I love the lines on this table and the black color is so dramatic! I cant wait to see it in situ. It also extends out to 96 inches which is perfect for the times we have more people over for dinner! (well not for another 4 weeks till we get it delivered!)

As for the chairs I am thinking I will add in some white modern eames moulded chairs around it to play off the traditional lines. Exactly like the ones in the first image above. What do you think – do you like the Black & White combination or would you add in some color???!!

Help!!

New Year Tidings and Inspirations …..

2 Jan

In keeping with the new year and the made resolutions that are surely on everyone’s mind right now, I’m sharing these inspiring bits of artwork that can help keep you on track to fulfilling your promises to yourself!!

Carpe Diem Print

Carpe Diem Print

 

Be Yourself Print

Be Yourself Print

She Believed Print

She Believed Print

 

My personal resolutions this year are to try to blog more regularly, waste less time procrastinating (ahem Facebook that means you!!!)  and to live in the moment with my beautiful family!

What’s your personal mantra going to be for this new year?

Links :  1. 2. 3.

 

Pantone Color of the Year 2013 is…..

12 Dec

Emerald Green! I am thrilled by this as its my birthstone color  but its a gorgeous rich color that is really difficult to use in interiors without it overpowering rooms. Too much and you could end up with a front room looking like the Wizard of Oz’s castle!

Here’s my favorite pin-spirations of people using emerald-green in their homes in a chic and tasteful manner…..

Emerald green walls

Emerald green walls

Accenting with Emerald green.

Accenting with Emerald green.

A chic entry way using green & polka dots!

A chic entry way using green & polka dots!

Bold curtains on a neutral backdrop

Bold curtains on a neutral backdrop

What do you think of this year’s color? Would you put any emerald-green accents in your home or is it too overpowering for you?

Pin Sources 1. 2. 3. 4.

The Inspiring Work of Erwin Olaf

6 Dec

We are getting to the stage in our home that I have dreamed of for so long, the decorating stage. To be  honest it’s almost overwhelming as I cant afford to get it wrong. I have a full house to do and I don’t know where to start!!!

So I decided to take a deep breath and let inspiration come to me – I figured that if I give it enough time ideas and pieces will appear and our home will develop its style organically. It doesn’t have to be perfect from day one.  The one thing I do know is that I want art, lots of art, and I want to own art that speaks to me.

I found this in the work of Dutch photographer Erwin Olaf today. I am stunned by his photographs – they are so evocative, moody and sensual whilst being incredibly restrained. I particularly love this  60’s style series. Part fashion, part social commentary, part painting – they are so beautifully composed.

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I would love to own one of these pieces for my home art collection!  You can check out more of his work here.

All images by Erwin Olaf.

Moody Hues

30 Nov

Life has been going at a roller coaster pace recently but I have been able to sneak a bit of time to pick out a color for our formal living room. I wanted an accent wall and after being inspired by the images below we finally made our choice…..

Benjamin Moore’s Hale Navy – it’s a rich dark grey/navy tone which I cant wait to get on the wall! Updates and pictures will follow but in the meantime here’s some other homes to drool over…

Dark Gray walls provide a dramatic backdrop

Dark Gray walls provide a dramatic backdrop

A glamorous home

A glamorous home

Dark walla in a dining space

Dark walls in a dining space

Have you used a dark color in your home? Any styling tips/tricks?

Image sources   1.   2.   3.

Our House,Year Two: Weeks 30-31 – Our guest bath sorta takes shape.

20 Nov

Um so yeah I’ve fallen behind on the updates again (2 months!!) and there’s actually NO real reason other than I’ve been at this for over TWO years now and I think I’m tired! But a lot has happened in the house….we are so close to being done I can almost taste it  and its driving us crazy as I think we are both just fed up with living in constant chaos!

Anyway  enough of the moaning where were we…ahh yes I last left you at the guest bathroom…

The shower in here had been ripped out about 4 months ago  when we were remodelling the family room as we needed to break into the walls to put in a beam. This made having guests in the house a slight logistical challenge as there were 4 adults and 2 kids using one bathroom to shower! And so this room became pretty important quite quickly! Once the walls had been sealed and the shower pan made watertight we were ready to begin the tiling phase.

This is our only full size bathroom downstairs and as its now a windowless room we decided to keep it clean and simple and chose a mostly all white color scheme. We picked white subway tiles  for the walls to give it that classic finish and then a small mosaic for the floor to add in texture.

Guest bath floor mosaic tiles

The white subways went up first and already I was excited. Our tiler (who we nicknamed George Michael due to his uncanny likeness!!) was working so fast it was amazing to watch. He had the whole back wall done in no time.

Speedy Subways!

But then…… DISASTER.  We’ve actually been pretty lucky in that we havent made too many boo boos until now however we/I decided (having been inspired by this picture on Pinterest) that we should run the floor tiles vertically and not horizontally.

(I know stop me RIGHT NOW)

Dark Grout & Wiggly wall lines = tiling mistake no 1.

BIG MISTAKE.

Why? Well our walls aren’t straight  ( yeah old house etc..) so the tile lines weave in and out against the wall and it looks messy. To make it worse I chose to highlight the lines with a dark grout  (again more Pinterest inspiration) so its even more obvious that they aren’t straight. Wahhhhhhhh

I must iterate at this time that our tiler totally  suggested we run them horizontally and was completely confused  by our request to do them vertically and we insisted. He did his best but in the end we messed up!

Note to self – just because it’s on Pinterest doesn’t make it ok!!!

Spot the tiling error…….

And now there’s nothing we can do about it… and we hate it. Like “I couldn’t sleep that night due to thinking about it”  kind of hate it.

I’ll be totally honest – we came very close to ripping up the floor and starting all over again but our budget just doesn’t allow for that kind of extravagance right now. So after a few deep breaths and a resigned “it’s not that bad” we have decided to live with it and move on. Ya win some ya lose some.

And so David installed the toilet just before he had to head back to the UK and  Jon fitted the shower pieces.

Jon “testing” out the new guest bath…

See you can sit on the toilet and almost shower at the same time..genius!  Actually there’s a big old piece of glass to go in there but not yet  because ya know that costs over $1k and it’s almost Christmas. I don’t imagine  a giant piece of glass going over well with the kids as their gifts!

Also we are missing a vanity (which is embroiled in the kitchen drama), lighting and a mirror but hey its progress and we are proud of it!!!!

Up next….the Kitchen.

 

Inspired by Nord

13 Nov

I’m super excited to share an amazing design house that I just discovered with you. By Nord is a collection of housewares and clothing created in 2008 by Danish designer Hanne Berzant. Their mix of nordic inspired imagery  printed onto high quality sustainable goods is simply breathtaking. Their products are so effortlessly cool that I almost can’t stand it – and I want them ALL!!!

Here’s a few of my favorite pieces. Prepare to drool!

Kids Wolf bed linen

How amazing would this be in a boys bedroom? It’s literally the coolest bed linen I have seen in a LONG time!!!

Cozy Cable Knit Throw

I’d love one of these to snuggle up with on a cold winter’s night.

Sea View Shower Curtain By Nord

And the print on this shower curtain is just dreamy – this would add instant cool into a pristine white bathroom.

Lastly I’m dying over their take on the traditional holiday stocking. I want these for our modern fireplace immediately!!!

Holiday Moose Stocking By Nord

 

You can check out the rest of their range here.

A Cable & Cotton special offer….

12 Nov

Have you heard of Cable & Cotton?

They are so great for making a cool light feature in a room and you can customize them in ANY color choice  using their pick your own tool, which is perfect for the little light feature I am making for my eldest sons room.

Based out of the UK  (and shipping to the USA) they create beautiful handmade string lights in Thailand  using skilled workers  to weave natural cotton and glue into the ball shapes around balloon which they then pop and  secure onto the sting lights. They also provide training and education for their workers and insist on healthy working environments so you rest assured that your dollars or pounds are ging to help others.

Cable & Cotton String Lights

There’s so many things you can do with these lights – table top decor, or a cool light feature in a glass vase. You could even make a set of lights to match your holiday decor – I just ordered a plain white string so that I can hang them over our stairwell.

Cable & Cotton light decor

They  have a great deal on right now – 40% off for their US-based Customers. Enter XMASUSA  at the checkout. And don’t delay – this offer expires in either 7 days or when they sell 1,000 sets of 20 lights!!!!

Entering A New Era

7 Nov

Its been a crazy few weeks in the Renovation Diaries – tons of travelling for work (including a NYC visit right on the eve of Hurricane Sandy hitting) and major family commitments means I’ve had next to no time to blog about our house progress. And there has been some which I promise I will share in another post v.soon.

But today is more about reflection.

Today we enter a new 4 year period of continued change in the USA and for that I am grateful. Change isn’t easy – its hard and sometimes it hurts but I believe the country will come out stronger in the end.

So as a non voting resident of this amazing country I celebrate all of you who used your voice to try to make a difference, no matter which candidate and party you voted for.

Image by Brooke Schwab Photography

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