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Iceland Jet Lag Journal: Vakta Cottage

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A beautiful small cottage in the center city of Reykjavic, Vaktahouse is historically the home of the city’s watchman, who stayed awake during the night for the sake of the safety of the townspeople and also acted as fireman. Today, it is renovated and available for guests to rent. Every nook and cranny of this small cottage has been custom designed with special furnishings by its lovely owner Margret in order to make the best use of its small spaces. When we arrived, there was a beautiful spread of pastries from Sandholt Bakery with Icelandic butter and spicy chili jam. We were also taken on a driving tour of the city in the Citroen that comes with the rental of the house, which was so important for my future bike ride, otherwise I would never have known of the special bike path and hot springs along the edge of the water.

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Savant: Life in a Vintage-Style Garage

Savant VintageSince I was last in Nashville, a mere two years ago to the month, it has completely boomed with shops and restaurants. So finding a place to move into for an extended weekend on 12th Avenue South was a happy accident. I booked a revamped garage behind the shop Savant Vintage on AirBnb. But last time I was on that street there were only a few things there: Savant, imogene + willie for custom jeans, and a popsicle shop. Now, the street is a hopping neighborhood brimming with boutiques, restaurants, BBQ joints, a spa, and a little old-fashioned peach truck that parks itself here and there selling brown paper bags of fresh peaches out of the truck bed. I had no idea until I arrived that it was a going to be a perfect place to stay and play local.

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House for Sale: Weeeeeee!!!!!

House on the market for too many months? Why bother burying a statue of St. Joseph upside down on the front lawn when you can build a freaking roller coaster tour!!!! It’s like Disney’s People Mover takes on real estate. Obviously something this cool happened in the Netherlands.

Discovered on: BBC

Bahamian Inspiration

54c2e40e131ca_-_04-hbx-trelliswork-foyer-1114-s2With Spring colors appearing in little bursts everywhere, I’m being drawn to oranges and greens in all shades. This house in the Bahamas shies away from the typical blue and white color palette (thank goodness, I can go off on blue and white for days) and embraces mint, kelly green, and bright orange bursts. It’s really as delicious as a Creamsicle.

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The Tea Calendar

Tea CalendarIf your New Year’s Resolution is to hit the gym, good for you. If it’s to increase your 401(k) percentage – like me, buckle down. If it’s to Zen out, meditate and drink more tea, this is the solution for you. Continue Reading

Yes, It’s Cold, But I Wouldn’t Call it a VORTEX

The weather outside is cold, but not yet frightful. Lines for hot coffee are extra long in the mornings these days, and I am anticipating a couple evenings spent admiring Bergdorf Goodman’s holiday windows and a few hot chocolate martinis at Gramercy Tavern. I am also on the hunt for some lovely table decorations for both Thanksgiving and Christmas. Here’s a quick roundup.Holiday Table Decoration Collage

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Miami Beach Jet Lag Journal: Parking Garage Turned Penthouse in Miami Beach

Miami Beach Jet Lag JournalI went to the coolest cocktail party in Miami Beach recently, at 1111 Lincoln Road. Among all the shops and restaurants is a giant parking structure owned by developer Robert Wennett. When you walk through the ground floor, a large cedar door with a knob clicks open to let you onto a private elevator. Up you go to the rooftop, where Robert’s spare, gorgeous, and heavily-staffed home looks as though it hangs suspended underneath the concrete Brutalist parking garage architecture. Continue Reading

New York Decorator Showhouse

New York Decorator Showhouse

The 42nd Annual Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is in full swing at the Palace Hotel. A three story mansion, the rooms in the Showhouse are divvied up among New York City interior designers, who blow their budgets by making each room absolutely luxe. Of course, this results in the rooms not matching one another – some are extremely spare and contemporary, while others are traditional and cozy (including one that was part Scottish country castle, part Japanese historical homage).

It is so much fun to wander through these rooms and admire every wall treatment and drawer pull, and of course to pick your favorite room. Now I must confess that no photography was allowed so I kept my camera hidden in my bag, looked over my shoulder before I snapped, and tried not to get caught (and I was shamed by one of the volunteers, oh so shamed). But if you can’t share the beauty of the show house, or raise awareness of a very cool project for a good cause, then what’s the point? Those designers did not do all that hard work for nothing, and I hope you admire it too!

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Please check out Curbed for a more fully comprehensive review of the Showhouse (since they didn’t have to sneak attack their photos), plus descriptions of the inspiration behind each room.

Add this to your list of summer to-dos! The Kips Bay Decorator Showhouse is open only until May 29, and requires a $35 entrance fee at the door that benefits the Kips Bay Boys & Girls Club.

Botany & Blooms

Botany & Blooms

Springtime is a pysch-out here in NY, a great big fake. So in honor of the season we have yet to celebrate, a few springtime blooms and produce for your enjoyment.

Botany & BloomsFrom the top row:

Beatrix Potter (you know, Peter Rabbit’s mom) was an esteemed conservationist during her day and her botanical illustrations were meticulous. They can be viewed in her out-of-print book Les Champignons and at a special exhibit at the Victoria & Albert Museum, Beatrix Potter: Nature’s Lessons.

This floral body paint artwork was created by photographer Jeanne Ciasullo and featured on Ocean Violet.

A new line of bowls called Reversed Volumes was created from resin-casted produce that captures its imprint and texture.

This cotton fabric by Pierre Frey is called Dejeuner sur L’Herbe (like the famous Impressionist painting), and the temporary tattoos of Victorian blooms is from Pepperink.

Mushrooms meet Eames in this Genus Chair by Phillip Estlund; the original printing of Taschen’s book of shells was so popular in Paris in 1780 that it turned the study of natural history into a fad.

Have something blooming on your desk and nestle it in a planter that’s just as pretty, whether this wood and brass structure or a set of three geometric mini planters from ShadeonShape.

Come on, Spring! Bring on the blooms!

 

Bookshelves For Bookworms

Bookshelves For Bookworms

It’s not quite unknown that I and my boyfriend have amassed quite a lot of books, stacks and stacks. Literally, stacks–there’s some towering and taking over a corner of our tiny, odd-shaped living space. For a  few years now, even with 2 jammed full bookshelves (his and hers, naturally) we’ve been speaking about “doing something about those books.” But just never put any energy into what we talked and talked about. I’ve been hesitant to start making “permanent” adjustments to the apartment that I felt like I could always say goodbye to once another year was up on our lease, and planning out the wall shelves seemed to always take a backseat to other purchases (travel, fashion, you know the goooood stuff). But finally, I think we both can’t stand it anymore–this is the year.

Of course, if we had our dreams come true, we’ve have an entire room and wall devoted to books like you see on all the design blogs, a nook waiting for you to cozy up in. But alas, we’re getting crafty and just probably going to be selective in our hardware but go for Ikea dark shelves (again, I just can’t fathom pouring out hard earned dollars for a shelf I’m specifically building for this space and won’t use again). But for fun, here are some that are so cool they have me blissfully dreaming bookworm dreams.

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Some of the photos are from The Design Files and Artchitecture-Art-Design.

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