Thursday, October 18, 2012

Travel - Amanyara - Turks & Caicos

Being a designer has created a few challenges for me, most notably an ongoing struggle as my pocketbook and my desire to be surrounded by beautiful things are at odds.  At home I am driven to be immersed in good design, and when I travel, I want to stay at gorgeous places.

Amanyara Resort - Providenciales, Turks & Caicos
Having this well-developed appreciation for good design creates an active filter as I experience everything.  Can I just say it…I’m very picky!!  I have heard on more than one occasion that buying a gift for me is challenging – sorry family and friends. When I travel I spend hours searching for accommodations that are fabulous. I can’t just stay anywhere – I am travel snob.  Big time! 

What am I looking for?  I search for good design that won’t make my eyes hurt and interiors that won’t make me feel uncomfortable.  I want to relax and enjoy just being where I am.  Interior design – it’s not just a job – it’s more - it’s a lifestyle.

Last year we traveled to Turks & Caicos for our vacation and I loved it!!  The beaches are wonderful, the snorkeling is fabulous, the climate – the best, the people are welcoming and gracious, good food and…LOVELY places to stay.

While we didn’t stay here at Amanyara (we rented a very private villa) I thought I would share a bit about this stunning resort on Providenciales in the Turks & Caicos.  I think the design is wonderful. The various spaces relate well to one another, interior and exterior are seamlessly married, the furnishings are restful, tasteful and just plain beautiful, and my spirit hums when I see these images.

Amanyara Resort

Amanyara Resort - lovely!!

Amanyara Resort

Amanyara Resort

Perhaps we will stay at Amanyara on our next visit - I can dream!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Another Furry Bench

Muffy Bench - Bradley Huges
My husband claims that things appear in two's or three's - case in point to support his theory - I just discovered this "Muffy" bench by Bradley Hughes just about a week after discovering the Jonathan Adler Mongolian bench (see my last post.)

It's another fun, furry bench that would add a bit of punch to almost any space.

The piece is handcrafted in the US and is made of Icelandic sheepskin on hand forged hammered iron legs.  The gold feels a bit bright to me - I might prefer it in an antiqued gold. 

Fun piece!  What do you think?

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Fun Bench from Jonathan Adler

X Bench by Jonathan Adler - Mongolian Leather from Edelman
Love this little 20" square "bench" by Jonathan Adler.

The lucite base makes it feel like it's floating.  The Edelman Mongolian leather adds the kick and the fun factor.

Wouldn't this be great as a set of two at the end of a bed or in the dressing room?

I'll take two!  :)

Monday, October 1, 2012

Pumpkin Love

I love that in the past few years we have been seeing more and more varieties of pumpkins appearing at local markets and garden centers. 

The classic orange pumpkin still has a warm place in my heart but with a possible 85 or so varieties of pumpkins to choose from - hurray that we are see some new types for fall decorating.

Over the last few years I have been enamored with the white variety but after my visit today to the local garden center - these green ones may be my new favorite.

I have tried growing these in my garden over the last few years with...alas...little success.  Sigh.

I have a few pictures from today's visit - what is your favorite color, shape, and size??  With 85 varieties the possibilities are endless.
Happy Fall decorating!!

Such a pretty table setting!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Dish Obsession - mix and match touch them every day, you use them all the time - why not have interesting, fun tableware????
Mix it up!!  Antique pieces, patterns, solids - have fun!
These fun pieces (below) would be super versatile.  Good for mixing and matching, great interesting shape.  I think I need these.  :)
Anthropologie has the best dishes!!!!
Curious Deciduous Dinnerware - Anthropologie
One thing that I do not have loads of, and that's on my wish list, is flatware.  I love these pieces from Anthropologie.  They would go well with loads of place settings.

Seaborne - Anthropologie

Crate and Barrel came out with a pre-mixed set of silverware about two years ago.  Love this set too but would probably enjoy doing it myself at flea market - if I only had the time!!

Maxfield - Pottery Barn

I think I should start making table linens and selling them...not crazy about what's out there "ready made."  I have a love-hate relationship with table cloths anyway. I've been using runners...they're nice...I feel like there should be the next great idea out there...let me ponder the possibilities a bit more.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Wonderful Fall Table Decorations - be inspired!

Paul Lowe/Photo by Linda Puligese

Fall is in the air and I am thinking about decorating the house and ... of all things ... dishes.  I have a minor dish obsession and I change my dishes almost as much as I change my shoes.  Changing dishes is so easy to do and it keeps me from feeling bored in the kitchen.

I start with two set of basic dishes; white and taupe.  To mix things up I either add a colored dish or funky fun salad plate or bowl. 

I hate matchy, matchy so here's the fun part, I stack/stagger the plates starting with the charger, the dinner plate, next the salad plate, and then sometimes finishing it off with a pretty bowl or an item on top of the salad plate.  I mix the style of water goblet and wine glass to add interest.  Add some great linens, flowers and candlelight and you have a gorgeous table. 

It really doesn't take much effort and it keeps each season or occasion special and interesting.  Luckily I have a great dish storage area in our basement.  On one new construction project I made a dish room in my wonderful client's basement and at the time I wondered how someone could ever fill it...I'm well on my way at this point.  :) 

Enjoy a few fall table setting photos - enjoy!!

Photo from

Love the rosemary sprigs with ribbon
Charlotte Moss

Simple setting with wicker charger, soft blue for an accent and a trailing of nuts for that fall feeling.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Fun Stand for Your Buffet Table

Sea grass Beverage Jar Stand - Sur La Table
I love to entertain and I am always looking for new (and inexpensive) ideas for table settings.  A buffet table is much more appealing when the serving dishes are at different heights  - voila'- the Sea grass Beverage Jar Stand from Sur La Table.

This earthy woven sea grass adds a texture that works across styles and palettes.  Wouldn't this be a perfect stand for a summer BBQ with a jar of lemonade, or for a Memorial Day Picnic holding a beautiful fruit salad, or for Thanksgiving suspending a yummy pumpkin or apple pie?

Best news - it's on sale now.  I just ordered 3!!  :)

Happy Memorial Day!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Bernu Bench is a Beauty

Bernu Bench by Arcons

I seem to be in my "bench phase."  I keep designing spaces with benches and finding great pieces to use. 

Benches provide great seating options in a small footprint.  You can sit down and spread out with all your bags or cozy up to lean on a friend.

This beautiful bench, the Benu, by Arconas has sleek lines, mixed materials and a great feel.  I love it!!

Monday, July 2, 2012

What's a Style Maker???

Style.  What is style?  A means of expression?  An idea? Is it natural?  Is it crafted? 

I recently returned from a Style Maker Summit and I am reflecting on all of these style questions as I strip layer upon layer of alligatored paint off of my old Craftsman style Bungalow.  Stripping paint provides me with plenty of time for reflecting.

To me, style is developed over time, whether it be a personal style or a design style.  Style is the compliation of our experiences blended together with our own inner voice.  It's an essence or a feeling that shows in our manner, our physical objects, or our ideas. 

What is your style?  What makes your heart skip a beat and makes your soul humm?

I brought a few of my current favorites to the Style Maker Summit to share with the group.  Here are my current favs.





A HUGE thank you to CAMBRIA for the opportunity to participate in the Style Maker Summit.  Cambria is clearly a company with a philosophy that celebrates style in all the many ways style can be expressed.  Bravo!

Complied pictures from the web.  Thank you.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Awesome Chair for Tight Space

Affixed to the wall this foldable chair by Mitab provides instant seating.  This is a great solution for those tight spaces where you need impromptu seating.  Fun, space saving seating!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Design - It Should Delight

After an intense year of service for our local design community, followed by a bit of rest, I am feeling once again excited and energized by design.

While searching for a Southwest style rug for a new client I happened upon this charming Gabbeh rug on the website The Rugman Of Santa Fe.

This great lion motif adds an element of whimsy and delight to an otherwise simple rug.  I think the fun lion element is what draws me to this piece and makes me want to incorporate this into my design - the color is pretty great too!

I think all of our rooms need something in them that makes us smile or gives us a moment of delight.  It could be the pop of color in an otherwise monochromatic space, the unusual piece of furniture that draws the eye, a FAB architectural detail or something like this primitive sketch of a lion on a fun area rug that brings us joy and keeps us engaged in the design.

I am so happy to be soaking up fun design again and can't wait to share my design discoveries with everyone.  Check back for more fun finds.