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Friday, October 30, 2009

Happy Halloween weekend!

Hope you all have a very happy {spooky} Halloween! Filled with tricks, treats and hopefully lots of silly fun. Do you celebrate Halloween? Any fun costume ideas or halloween parties?


Thursday, October 29, 2009

Understated glamour: Fiona Barratt


Fiona Barratt's sophisticated Chelsea apartment is study of simple, modern glamour. Nothing too fancy or outrageous, just clean simple lines and profiles in neutral, calming shades of grey. Far from being dull, there is a sense of sophisticated drama with strong black accent pieces, black and white photography, and of course shiny silver metallics.


Fiona found this dramatic vintage squares mirror while travelling in Cuba. The effect of the mirror in this room is like a large, sparkling piece of jewellery to an outfit - it automatically seems a little bit glamorous. Throughout the room - the chromed lamps, beautiful silver vases and pewter pillows - all tie together the grey and silver theme.




Fiona adds a shot of colour with regal purple tones.

I love this dramatic black trio of Jonathan Adler-esque candle sticks - and how they are used to display little silver pots filled with greenery.

Fiona's own favourite piece in the apartment is her antique, black Asian dresser it creates a focal point. The use of strong black stops the space from becoming too feminine, I think it's this balance between both that makes the space so soothing.



A large black and white self-portrait, taken by a friend is prominently displayed in the bedroom.


A simple bed dressing with moody blue tones and dove grey accents to match the walls, all set against crisp white linens. The night table is a dramatic black but it's more delicate frame stops it from looking to heavy.


On the dressing table, an Ochre table lamp and vintage crystal perfume bottles.



In the kitchen, a more rustic vintage Japanese dining with matching dining chairs is set against dramatic art work and high above, a pair of crystal chandelier with heavy black shades. The result is absolutely stunning. I think it may be my favourite room in the house.


And of course, what could be better outside a chef's dream of a kitchen than to enjoy your morning coffee (tea for me) outside at the black cast iron bistro table. Or perhaps share an intimate dinner al fresco. The trio of topiaries is just perfect - at once formal, sophisticated and a little quirky.

A state of the art kitchen tops off an already idyllic urban retreat - a soothing sanctuary to come home to. Fiona believes "a good interior enhance, not dictates, the way we live"."This is very much my style," she says of the space, according to her own standards I guess she has accomplished the mission of any great design.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A fantasy tour: A Fairy Tale Castle: Neuschwanstein

I've always had a deep fascination with beautiful homes and buildings. I've decided to start a little series here on A Life More Fabulous focusing on inspiring architecture and fantasy homes and spaces. Far too often as grown-ups we're kept locked inside the grounds of practicality and reason, our immediate world forms the basis of what we believe is possible. I think it's important to take a step outside the box every now and then, and realise the amazing wonders and magical spaces that exist all over the world, maybe even around the corner. Maybe it will even inspire you to turn some of your own fantasies into a reality also.
Enjoy!


For the first post in a series on fantasy homes, I thought I'd start at the very beginning, with my very first dream house. Like all aspiring princesses, the ultimate fairy tale castle would be the obvious choice, so nothing fits the bill quite like the Neuschwanstein castle in Bavaria, Germany. Used as the inspiration for the iconic Disney castle it's become so familiar to many of us, without us even knowing its name. I remember being so disappointed I couldn't go through the whole castle at Disney World, so here's a small chance to take a peak into the ultimate fairy tale castle.


There really is nothing subtle about Neuschwanstein, the interiors, like the exterior are all created with a vision of grandeur and splendor. Intricate woodwork, mosaics and lavish murals cover almost every surface in the castle. In the lower hallway (below) high vaulted ceilings and marble mural portals astonish you with their opulence while silently showing you the history of the castle and its past inhabitants.

Dark oak panelling is a predominant feature interiors - intricately carved florals frame the portraits and murals that adorn each wall. Rich gold accents are lavished throughout the space in the gold-leafed murals and opulent chandeliers. Clearly the designers behind this space wanted to convey a message of extravagance.


Many of the murals throughout the castle convey the romantic imagery of popular legends such as the story of Tristan and Isolde, featured in the King's bedroom. Another prominent theme in the sculpture and murals of the castle, is the legend of The Swan Knight (seen in the mural below). A King sailing in on a giant scallop driven by a regal swan -just that kind of romantic scenery that surely is fixture in any fairytale Princess's bedroom.

See the romantic swan imagery in the upholstery and stained glass in the small
sitting area off the bedroom (below).

Of course, I saved one of the best for last - a magnificent kitchen with state of the art technology of that day and big enough to host a King-sized banquet. Perhaps a fairy-tale Royal wedding? I love the soaring vaulted ceilings.

Perhaps castles are the stuff of girl-ish fantasy but I still swoon at the sight of perfect peaks cresting above the mists of the mountains. There's just something magical there...

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All white

A grey, rainy day - my favourite kind of day off - and spent with my favourite person of all. Today calls for white sheets and robes, fresh coconut and maybe a cupcake? Big, white sketch pads and great big ideas. And then of course, there's laundry to be done (all whites, naturally). I always come back to the haven of all white to clear my mind and unwind a little.










I'm taking full advantage of the lovely mellow tone of today, will be back later with something fun!

Hope you're having a wonderful week so far!
x


{Photos: 1-NorbertSchoerner, 2-SweetHomeStyle, 3-NgocMinhNgo, 4-MartynThompsonforGucci}

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Michael Kors New York Apartment

I figure Michael Kors knows a thing or two about pulling together a chic emsemble, so it was no surprise that his West Village apartment was fresh and sophisticated. He's pulled together a clean, balanced space focusing on design classics - a little Mies van der Rohe and Knoll - and a neutral black and white palette. Simply reading the previous text would be indication enough as to why I love this space - I can never get away from my addiction to black and white. Of course, never one to be dull Michael mixes in spots of bright colour and rich texture. Simple but bold botanicalss and of course, in theme with today, little shots of red. See if you can spot them below.

Note the black vertical blinds against a crisp white wall - adds a little polish and subtle drama.


See, red doesn't have to be so scary, it can be as simple as a collection of an autumn favourite - crisp McIntosh apples, or one of the items on my kitchen wish list - beautiful cookware by La Creuset (although, from the above quote, perhaps it may be a little more aesthetic than functional here.)


{Photos: DouglasFriedmanforInStyle Aug'08 from here and scanned by ALifeMoreFabulous}


*PS - Nothing starts the day off right like a great review! Thank you Danielle.


A touch of red...

That sweep of red lipstick. A simple red rose in a vase. A small spot of red instantly catches your eye and draws you in. There's always a little spark and a certain sexiness that comes from a dash of red. A guaranteed way to make a statement, without saying a word...







This charming little frame heart-art is from Sarah and Bendrix, on Etsy.








{Photos: 1-PatrickClineforLonnyMag, 2-SofiaCopolaforLouisVuitton, 3-DecorPadviaSimplySeductive, 4-SarahandBendrix, 5-viaBelleVivre, 6-BarnabyRoper, 7-GaranceDore}

Monday, October 26, 2009

Leave your shoes at the door...

It seems inevitable that especially in Spring and Fall, around the entrance a row of boots will begin to appear. Often neatly tucked in a row, descending in size like a chain of elephants and sometimes growing to create little cityscapes with boot skyscrapers in the area around the door. This accidental decorating fixture can be so revealing, adding a suble personal
touch to your space.

You can often immediately tell the inhabitants of a home - see the evidence of Jenna Lyon's son Beckett with the tiny sneakers and flame rubber boots.

A very sophisticated line-up for Sophia Coppola.

Perhaps the perfect excuse to get beautiful shoes, they double as art in decor?

A little entrance vignette by the ever charming Emersonmade (love that cheetah print coat!)


Eddie Ross' country home


Right now there is a pair of wellies, some ballet flats and a few of Mr M's ski-like boots at our front door. Which shoes are fixtures in your entrance?


{P.S. A whole week of lovely shoe posts including a little contribution from myself
at Mustard Seed Collective}


{Photos: 1-LivingEtc, 2-SofiaCoppolaforLV,3-JohanCarlsonforSkonaHem,4-Emersonmade,
5-FrancoiseHalard, 6-PatrickClineforLonny, 7-SimonBrownPhotography}

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Easy like Sunday morning...

Hope your weekend has gone well so far and has allowed you the opportunity to unwind, relax a bit and get back to yourself. If you've been caught up in the rush of it all, here's my advice to you - starting right now...



Slow down a little. Sleep in a little later, don't get out of bed a minute earlier than you need to!

Take some time to explore your artistic side, start that painting, maybe just doodle. Give that left brain the afternoon off and see where your creativity will take you.

Dust off that novel - the one you were either reading, or writing. Have a little vacation exploring the lives of others, or maybe yourself, then stop to ponder -or maybe just laugh -
at the folly of it all.

When all else fails, be sure to lounge around all day! (and keep that blackberry off!)

Hope you have an easy, rejuvenating Sunday!


{Photos:MattJonesforElleItalia}

Friday, October 23, 2009

Best in show: Dogs + Boots

Two favourite things: beautiful boots for fall + an adorable side kick.
There's nothing that makes me happier than seeing the happy little face of a dog out on a walk. Sheer bliss. This weekend I hope you experience a little of that - whether it's out on a walk, enjoying some gorgeous new fall boots, or enjoying some time with your favourite furry creature.


{a pretty little Cavalier has on my wish list for a while - don't you think she looks like a girly Javier?
I think he needs a sister... }





Whatever's on your mind, a little canine intuition will set you straight - I swear they have the answers to it all...

Have a happy, lovely weekend!

{All photos: OprahMagazineNov'09 by KatherineWeissman}
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