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Friday, April 29, 2011

{Royal Wedding} Whites


What could be more fitting for a Royal Wedding day than crisp, fresh all white?
(from The White Company in London) 
I can never resist all whites done right - and this collection is put together beautifully
- love all the natural, rustic touches.





(Otto is actually the name of Kate Middleton The Duchess of Cambridge's dog :) )


A big congratulations to the happy couple! 
Wishing you every happiness as you start your life together.






Thursday, April 28, 2011

Mismatch



Love how perfectly imperfect these dining sets are - each chair is different but unified with a coat of black paint to create a beautiful set. Paired with a light grey or white table and brightly coloured chandelier and you have yourself a very fun casual dining space.






{Photos: 1- Douglas Friedman for Domino magazine; 2- The home of Sarah Jessica Parker 
and Matther Broderick, taken by William Waldron for Elle Decor}



Wednesday, April 27, 2011

In celebration...



With Royal Wedding excitement reaching fever pitch, it seems a British invasion has swept the world with British paraphernalia and tchotchkes galore, ranging from the classic and patriotic, to the fun and playful, to the rather tacky and bizarre. Here are a few of my favourite pieces to commemorate, if you so choose, what will no doubt be a memorable occasion.




A perfect grey {in the bedroom}


 We've just (finally!) finished painting our bedroom - a long overdue little project that ended up taking much less time than expected and had me wondering why I hadn't just got it over with much sooner. The rather drab taupe has been enveloped by a soft silvery grey and already the room feel so much lighter and brighter. I noticed right away that I could turn the dimmer down even lower, and the whole room had a beautiful glow. I think every bedroom I've ever been able to paint myself has been either a soft blue or grey shade - they always feel so tranquil and restful to me. 




Unsurpisingly, one of my all-time favourite bedrooms is in this shade as well. Staci Edwards recently invited me to share one of my favourite spaces and I chose Katie Lee Joel's Manhattan townhouse. Designed by Nate Berkus, I loved it's updated traditional romantic style. I think this guest bedroom would be such a serene space to start or end your day. Nate chose Benjamin Moore's Cliffside Grey - a lovely soft shade that looks luminous in the light of the big windows.



Stop by Staci's blog to say hello and to see the rest of this beautiful townhouse.


{Photos: Paul Costello for Domino June/July 2008 via La Dolce Vita



Tuesday, April 26, 2011

At home in the Bahamas: India Hicks


With the world buzzing with excitement over the upcoming Royal Wedding, it seems every network has chosen their token Brit to act as royal correspondent to cover the wedding. My favourite one of these is India Hicks - as Prince Charles' god-daughter who was also bridesmaid in his wedding to Lady Diana, I consider her a bona fide Royal Wedding expert. I always enjoy her candid dry wit, and (very British) self-deprecating sense of humour and I have no doubt she'll be an excellent guide to the occasion with her insider details.


I've long admired India's easy elegance and sense of style, which is no wonder, as not only is she real royalty (in her connection to the British throne), but also design royalty as daughter of legendary designer David Hicks. Her home in the Bahamas is a lovely mix of British colonial and laid back island style. While it's beautifully styled and arranged, nothing looks too precious to touch and it has a wonderful sense of comfort and ease.





The gleaming white walls and floor in this open space make it feel airy and even larger.



Tablescapes are an inherited compulsion—David Hicks claimed to have invented them (or at least the term) and India has continued the tradition.



David Hicks' iconic fabric prints can be seen throughout the home - the graphic brown and white La Fiorentina on the chairs in the living area (top photos), Hexagon House on the bedroom chair (above) and Herbert's Carnation on the headboard (below).




Throughout the home there is a lovely sense of harmony with the outdoors, with tropical leaves used to accessorize throughout and little sprigs of fuchsia bougainvillea, "I can never resist a shot of shocking pink," India says.



Watch a quick glimpse of India's look back at Charles and Diana's wedding on TLC here,
and be sure to follow her coverage of The Big Day this weekend.


{Photos: 1-6,8- Domino magazine, June/July 2007; 7,9 - Francois Halard}



Monday, April 25, 2011

Inspiration for the new week 25. 4. 11

A moment of calm in this photo before what promises to be a hectically busy week ahead. I'd love to be sitting right here in silence, watching the luminous clouds and their reflection in the water. Isn't it incredible?





{Photo: Max Kim-Bee}



Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy {Easter} Weekend






Stopping in to wish you all a lovely long weekend and if you're celebrating Passover or Easter - hope you've had a wonderful, restful celebration with your family and loved ones
(and lots of chocolate! )

xo

{All photos: Martha Stewart}


Thursday, April 21, 2011

A bit about Ikat


The beautiful pillows featured at The Bootstrap Project have had me thinking about Ikat, especially since the site shared a bit of the beautiful, and quite romantic fable behind this striking - and currently oh-so popular print  so I thought I'd share it with you here.

"Many centuries ago, there was a king with a beautiful daughter. A poor local weaver fell in love with the woman, but the king refused to let them marry. The king joked with the man saying that if he could create a cloth that exceeded in beauty those that came on the Silk Road from China and India, the king would reconsider. The weaver was so upset at the king’s teasing that he spent the night by the side of a lake and cried. Through his tears, he noticed how the full moon on the water created a blurred reflection of the trees, he was inspired! After a night of dyeing and weaving, the weaver presented the cloth to the king, who liked it so much that he allowed the two to marry."



I love how Australian event designer Antony Todd uses this print in the bedroom to make a bold statement with two long Madeline Weinrib panels behind the headboard. 




 {Story via The Bootstrap Project; Photos: Antony Todd}


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Bootstrap Project

When it comes to shopping, nothing gives me more satisfaction than acquiring something beautiful and also supporting a worthwhile cause - be it a  local small business, a bigger firm that is really focused on the quality and artistry of their products, but most especially when the products are fair-trade and support and empower small business owners in developing nations. What's wonderful these days is that you really don't have to compromise your aesthetic tastes to do these things, just pay a little bit more attention.

I was recently delighted to discover The Bootstrap Project, devoted to creating a sustainable platform to promote and retain centuries-old crafts and customs while providing an outlet for local artisans. While I loved their mission statement, I was equally excited to see their beautiful - and very reasonably priced - product. 

Here were a few a my favourites, each with a story and a face behind the product.

Woven baskets and ikat pillows.

Beautiful wood carved platters.

Suzani tapestries and ornate wood footstools.










Tuesday, April 19, 2011

A rush of colour


Busy working away on a little project, but wanted to share these beautiful images by Douglas Friedman with you. There's such an expansive feeling to them, they're like a breath of fresh air. Punctuated with a rush of one solitary colour - orange. 
Yes, the orange crush continues...




 

Wishing you blue skies and sunshine !





Monday, April 18, 2011

Friday, April 15, 2011

Ann Taylor Spring '11

Running in the mornings recently, it's been amazing to watch the world come to life. Every day I see changes - small clusters of purple crocuses splashed across the lawn that has suddenly transformed to green; tight little buds on the trees, just waiting to burst open revealing soft blossoms. There's such feeling of excitement and anticipation in the air!
Ann Taylor's Spring Lookbook definitely has me excited about warmer days to come. Beautiful new fashions in crisp black and white, and soft lilac all shot in a lush green garden full of big frothy white peonies and soft lilac-y toned camellias - a perfect combination if I do say so myself!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Springtime in Southern Africa


Today is actually my birthday, in my very biased opinion, the very best day in the whole year, so I thought I'd share something a little more personal today. While I've completely fallen in love with the changing in seasons and the incredible energy and exquisite beauty of Spring here in the northern hemisphere, the other day I was thinking back on what Spring was like growing up in Zimbabwe. In this idyllic warmer, the seasons can almost seem to blend together as one blissful never-ending summer, but if you pay attention, each season really is quite distinctive and carries something completely magical. 




While it's often not even recognized as such, Spring in Southern Africa falls in September and lasts until the rains come in early November. During this period, the landscape is magically by soft shades of  lavender and lilac on the jacaranda trees that line most of the streets downtown. Escaping the heat often means ducking under the cover of a purple floral haze.



And then, when the thunderstorms finally arrive - purple snow - (as we used the call it) and the ground is carpeted with soft blossoms, that signal the official beginning of Summer.


Writing this blog really has been such a wonderful adventure and I'm so grateful for all the unexpected friendships and amazing wealth of inspiration I've found in this online community. Thank you all for brightening up so many moments over the past year with your kind comments, it really does mean alot. As I begin my thirtieth year, I have a sneaking suspicion that this just might be the best one yet.

Here's wishing you a beautiful day wherever this finds you!

xo


{Photos: 1,2 - here; 3 - dzimba}


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

At home: Federica Palacios


Every now and then a space comes along that is just so perfect you'd move in right away, just as is. This, to me, is one of those spaces. The beach home of designer Federica Palacios nestled on the Mediterranean coast seems an oasis of calm, and a perfect example of the outdoors being reflected in. All in white, punctuated with black and vibrant royal blue, the interior is definitely a visual vacation for the eyes.









Sometimes the simplest statement can have the strongest impact. This hallway definitely carries the feeling of modern drama. Bold, eye-catching but not overly complicated. While people often refer to opulence or very embellished spaces as dramatic, I find the simplicity seen here in this hallway, the most impactful.






{Photos: Gilles Trillard for Cote Sud via French by Design}



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