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Thursday, January 31

Southwestern Family Room

Yesterday's mild thaw left me craving warmer weather all the more. Or at least craving somewhere where the sun is shinning instead of this incessant rain. I've also not been able to stop thinking about this room in Arizona that I posted last week. And the result?  An {imaginary} family room or den furnished in the pastel, earthy colors of the mesa. My jumping off point was the Phoenix Dhurrie rug from West Elm. Since it made it's first appearance in a trade preview late last year I've been in love.  If I had a place for it, it would be mine. 

But a rug, a room cannot make alone. I've added touches of saddle leather and natural, raw woods to echo that earthy, elemental landscape of the southwest. And let's not forget a little metallic bling, to keep the room feeling fresh. 

Wednesday, January 30

A Moveable Feast

These days it's hard to imagine a kitchen without that oh-so-coveted kitchen island. All that extra space for prepping food, rolling out pastry dough, beating bread dough into submission and the list goes on. While kitchen islands aren't going to disappear from the dream kitchen wish-list anytime soon, I have noticed a trend towards making these islands more of a design feature; using different materials from the  periphery cabinets. And lately, even replacing the traditional built-in mammoth with a moveable kitchen island. 

Smaller carts have always been easy and inexpensive ways for renters to get extra kitchen prep square footage but these larger, luxurious moveable islands from William Sonoma are just as fabulous as any built-in island.

{Images via Williams Sonoma

Tuesday, January 29

Barista at Home

This post was inspired by the fact that I dearly miss coffee! Since giving up coffee I've been collecting images of home coffee stations like crazy.  I've had to trade in that rush of my morning sugar-milk-caffeine for smoothies because coffee is too acidic. Smoothies are delicious but the ritual is so not the same; whirring blender versus the slow simmer of my stovetop espresso maker. I'd prefer the later in my half-asleep morning state thank you very much. 

{Images via 1 / 2 / 3 }

Monday, January 28

Suspended Canopy

My love affair with canopy beds started in childhood when it seemed that our fairy tale heroines all slumbered ensconced in a bed surrounded by silks and sheers. Years later I'm still weak at the knees for a gorgeous canopy even if the charm of sleeping beneath yards of fabric does tug at the strings of my claustrophobia. What I've only just discovered is that you don't need an unwieldy four poster bed to achieve canopy perfection. Instead it can be suspended from the ceiling, much like half canopies and cornice crowns. ::groans in self annoyance at this oversight:: I love the airy, elegant effect this creates. No stuffy brocade need apply.

Off to a late start today, sorry. Last night's Downton Abbey really threw me for a loop and therefore I spent way to long looking at cute animal pictures to put myself right. If you saw this episode you know what I'm talking about, if you haven't watched it yet you'd better prepare yourself. Think chocolate and wine. 

Friday, January 25

Warmer Tones & Warmer Climates

 It's been remarkably cold here in New England this week, especially in Boston where rampant wind tunnels turn already single digits into negatives. Even with the heat cranked up on my radiators and swathed in hefty lumberjack/hunter grade flannel, I am still freezing in my apartment. Hopefully this ends soon? Given my icicle state, is it any surprise that I was drawn to this delightful, warm space with its gorgeous creams, blonde wood tones and pops of gold metallic? 

At first the built-in seating had me thinking this was somewhere like southern Spain or Greece, a warm vacation getaway.  In reality, while it is somewhere warmer than here, it's still in the continental US: Scottsdale, Arizona. However, I wasn't far from the mark, as the entire house was designed to emulate a rural Mediterranean farmhouse. I'm really loving the subtle pop of modern accents used in this room and throughout the home. Especially the gold drum light fixture in this image, it adds just the right amount of glamour to keep this rustic, neutral space from falling flat. Check out the rest of this stunning home here.

{Image via OZ Architects}

Wednesday, January 23

Cozamia Fine Art Prints

I stumbled upon Nancy Ramirez's artwork the other day while searching through older pins. I'm sorry that I only just discovered these colorful and mesmerizing prints. She combines her own paintings and photographs and reworks them into original, digital prints. And can we talk about the fact that flamingos make an appearance in one of her pieces. Love those crazy birds. 

Tuesday, January 22

Dramatic Walls

Exactly what is it about intensely dark walls? I'm especially loving the depth they add to bedrooms, adding enticing layers of drama, warmth and just maybe a touch of mystery. Worried that this level of saturation wont work with your design style? Don't be, it seamlessly blends with any style, from traditional, bohemian, minimalist and modern. Just to name a few...

I considered going this route with my own bedroom. However, personally, I think there needs to be a significant amount of natural light to balance out highly saturated walls. Sadly, this is why I had to abandoned the idea. Curse my insufficient light!

{Images via Pinterest}

Monday, January 21

Delightful Design: Miranda Brook's Urban Estate

 Doubtless you've already seen the images of Miranda Brooks' Brooklyn home featured in Vogue floating around the internet. So I won't talk about the fact that this idyllic paradise is smack dab in the middle of Brooklyn, that her daughters' bunnies, Peter and Bun Bun, have a state-of-the-art custom hutch on the roof which weathered Hurricane Sandy with nary a scratch or that she recently hosted a birthday party tea which included a living breathing pony, in her kitchen. Instead I'll limit myself to a few of my favorite images. 

I would be incredibly productive if this were my office. Incredibly productive. I'm loving the modern work table and chairs paired with the intricately, traditional fireplace surround. And those floor to celling bookcases.

Yes, this home is really in the city. Exposing the ceiling beams both added height and country charm to this living room. Also loving the combination of historic Fenching Blue and chartreuse. 

And this is happening. A sitting room/ master bathroom. That's right, there is a library in the master bathroom or a bathtub in the library. Whichever way you want to look at it, it's amazing. 

I couldn't not include one of the daughters' rooms. Cannot even handle the adorableness. Check out the hand-printed Marthe Armitage wallpaper. 

{Images via François Halard in Vogue}

Friday, January 18

The Art Opening

This post was orginally scheduled for yesterday but I had a luddite moment and pressed save instead of publish. Job well done, Allison. 

Art Opening

As a former gallery assistant I've developed a love of show openings. And not just because of the free libations. It's a given that I'm an art lover but I also love to check out new venues and how they work  (or don't work) with the artwork curated. Last week I attended an opening at a new space in the South End that was a phenomenal canvas for the artwork on view: white brick walls, high ceilings, black iron windows. Amazing art, amazing interiors. I'm a classically trained gallerina, so i've developed a uniform when I gallery hop: black dress, boots (or flats) and a few pieces of statement jewelry. Some might think it's playing it safe but I prefer to let the art steal the show. 

Wednesday, January 16

The Darkside

Gray and pitch black, have become ubiquitous in kitchens worldwide but these saturated colors shouldn't only be limited to kitchen cabinetry. I've noticed an emergence of images featuring dark built-ins or bookcases in living rooms, dining rooms and libraries appearing all over the internet and in shelter magazines. And I'm loving it. Especially when they play off walls painted a simple white. Painting these pieces white may be playing it too safe these days, why not give them more presence and oomph. 

{Images via Pinterest}

Tuesday, January 15

London Calling

After seeing this house on a friend's Pinterest, my first thought was to grab my passport and immediately run to the nearest airport. And apply for a £8,500,000 loan on the way. Yes, this exquisite property in London's fashionable Chelsea neighborhood could be yours. I'm in love with the scheme of greys, blues and pinks that weave their way throughout this townhouse. And the antique, rough wood floors are just tremendously beautiful. 

Can I even find words for this conservatory? Adding on conservatory spaces seems to be ubiquitous with London renovations or so my lifelong reading of British Shelter Magazines leads me to believe. I wish this style would catch on here in America. 

Best. Library. Ever. It may be incredibly narrow but it has everything necessary to be the perfect reading retreat. In my mind space I've passed through the computer screen, have just lit a roaring fire and am settling into the armchair with the latest read. Oh yes, it's also a blustery, rainy day and I have a tray of tea and biscuits.

Check out the original listing and more images here.

Monday, January 14

From City to Chalet

Thanks to a bit of computer related anxiety last friday I wasn't able to post my favorite spaces from the January - February issue of Lonny. I was particularly entranced by the feature on the upper east side home of Jessika Goranson, owner of the Boston-based Holiday boutique. Filled with vintage and antique finds that manages to be both simultaneously playful and sophisticated. I was also taken with their article on the scenic and cozy Austrian ski resort, Jagdgut Wachtelhof. Surrounded by the stunning views of High King Mountain, this petite resort is designed to make guests feel their right at home. 

A heated pool all winter long? Where do I book my trip? 

Read the full features and see more amazing images in this month's Lonny

{Images by Patrick Cline for Lonny Magazine}

Thursday, January 10

Dramatic Interiors: Martyn Lawrence Bullard

We all know Martyn Lawrence Bullard and his over-the-top, dramatic interior design from Bravo’s Million Dollar Decorators but until now we’d only seen snippets of his own abode. Elle Décor recently featured his magnificent 1922 Mediterranean Villa in old Hollywood. Traditional English Interiors are often informed by global styles from Britain’s once vast empire, Bullard has certainly spun a modern take on English design with treasures and antiques collected from around the world. 

{Images by William Waldron}

Wednesday, January 9

New at Kate Spade

A rapid little post for you today but packed for of loveliness all the same. Like many of you, I imagine, I get weekly blasts from Kate Spade. Yesterdays was announcing their new items for January 2013. I'm loving the pastels paired with bold black & white stripes. I feel inexplicably drawn to the "dusty mint" color, especially partnered with gold. I hope these brighten your day the same way they did mine.

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