Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………

I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.
 What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service.  Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!
 And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH
 This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

 
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
 Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have  woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable.  The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT
This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living room, they all have fireplaces 
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!


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Homes away from home…..and my own house update!

First this is totally off topic from anything that this post is about today, but I was so excited to just learn that Dreamworks is producing the movie based on one of my all time favorite novels….The Help by Kathryn Stockett. It was soooo fabulous, and I am ecstatic that a movie is in the works, if you enjoy reading..and haven’t read this I highly suggest you do. Now moving on…………



I love to travel. Maybe its this very long winter that has helped me reach my threshold fast as to how much winter I can stand, but I am ready to go on a vacation! I have been fortunate that I have been able to travel to many places both abroad and throughout the U.S. Of course,making this blanket statement does not prelude me from saying I have a list….a very long list at that, of cities, places, hotels, museums, cultural establishments that I long to see. I presume as my kids all eventually fly the nest (not at all wishing that to happen soon however), it will give us more time to pursue our love of travel later on down the road. While the choices worldwide are seemingly endless, we have many treasures right here on our own turf. Some of which I have been lucky enough to visit while a few remain on my wish list.

?What makes up a truly great hotel to me, is first the comfort and luxury of the room, how comfortable I am there. How accessible the facility is for the guests, how welcomed they make you feel and how personal the service is. Of course a hallmark of a truly great hotel, is making you feel at home….and feeling that you could see yourself staying awhile. For this reason I prefer smaller more intimate properties where you are almost guaranteed personal and custom service. ?Today, I pay tribute to these beautiful, majestic properties all in the U.S. worth visiting. Have you been to any of these and if not, does one appeal to you…where would want go if you could pick up and go tomorrow? Or do you have a personal favorite? Do tell!

?And last, a few updated house pictures, just got in the new batch of limestone for phase II install so we are pretty excited about that, and you will see that Inspector Teddy was busy making sure things were done correctly:)

Inspector Teddy on the prowl
In search of what he needs to inspect next….
Beautiful limestone cartouche for back entrance
Teddy snooping around to make sure everything is where it should be!
Unwrapping it to check it out!

I am still in awe of the amazing framing our talented crew did…. a work of art indeed!

The old fountain that was on the property, which we will restore
One of the original birdbaths which has been since wrapped and put away for the winter….
The beautiful limestone work on the breakfast room bay
Our pretty cupola

Limestone water table

The roof is Vermont slate, they did an outstanding job
The palettes of stone await the masonry guys first thing Monday morning

Now onto the homes away from home…….

STEIN ERICSON LODGE IN DEER VALLEY, UTAH

?This majestic grand ski lodge modeled off a European ski lodge is situated in heart of picturesque Deer Valley. The rooms are luxurious in a upscale Nordic feel and the public spaces are as inviting as they are warm with many oversize fireplaces in almost every room. Obviously the key draw here is the epic skiing, but the town of Park City is only minutes away and boast of many world class restaurants, the famed Sundance Film festival and a lively downtown scene with something for everyone. This is a great place for a family getaway or a couples retreat.

The beautiful traditional lodge

Sleigh riding is a must!

All the interiors are down to cozy lodge perfection
Balcony overlooking the grand foyer

?
A typical guest room done in rich woods
Another guest room
BLACKBERRY FARM, TENNESSEE
?Think Currier and Ives meets world class dining all set at the foot of the Great Smoky mountains. Nothing is spared at this amazingly upscale and beautiful resort which has 51 rooms, both situated in the main house as well as several cottages. This is set on almost 4500 acres and is the epitome of fine country living. The cuisine is world class and award winning and is modeled after the farm to table movement so its the best of the best. The rooms are luxuriously outfitted in all the finest linens and furnishings including country antiques and overstuffed feather beds.Everything from gourmet cooking classes, fly fishing, spa treatments to being given a tour in a horse drawn carriage are offered. A famous 60,000 bottle wine cellar completes this idyllic home away from home. I plan on finally going there this summer!
This pretty understated sign welcomes you
One of the rooms..pure luxury

Eating lunch outside by the lake
One of the picture perfect cabins

Beautifully outfitted guest room

The main dining room

Gorgeous setting to dine on incredible food

The dining table in the wine cellar

Picture perfect…..just waiting for some takers

Another sumptious guest room

A picture perfect picnic
THE MAYFLOWER INN AND SPA, CONNECTICUT
One of the dreamiest places I have ever been to. A very good friend and I went for the ultimate girls getaway and we both agreed this was perfection and one of if not the nicest spas we have ever been to. The rooms are decorated with antiques, the finest linens, and I think all have ?woodburning fireplace, no detail was overlooked at The Mayflower. Absolute luxury in the most relaxing atmosphere imaginable. ?The spa is world class and is always very private feeling. The food was spectacular in the formal dining room. This is a dream getaway weekend destination.
The beautiful tended formal gardens with a walking path leads to the spa building and tennis courts
The stunning all white “relaxation room” where you wait until you start your spa treatments, I could stay in this room all day, and practically did!

This was my friends room…all rooms have queens or kings

The Mayflower and all its glory during the winter

This was my favorite spot in the entire place, the relaxation room…it has this plush overstuffed chaise lounges looking out onto the lake…it was dreamy

Another award winning room

Beautiful guest room, most have balconies/decks

Part of the library, open to all guests

Yes, all the rooms are this stunningly beautiful

Exterior of the main building

THE BARDESSONO, NAPA VALLEY, CALIFORNIA

We were here last year and it was one of the best getaways my husband and I have had in a long long time. Napa Valley really pulled at my heart strings and appealed to my every sense, I could easily have left it all and moved there, it is THAT amazing. Beyond the wine tastings, which to me can get tiresome day in and day out, the sheer beauty of this laid back region is just breathtaking, then you couple in the fact that it has some of the?best restaurants I have ever eaten in..and you have a winning combination. (Sorry to who this might offend, but after our long anticipated visit to the French Laundry we were very disappointed) however many others there were downright incredible and warrant a return visit. What makes this hotel so interesting is it is a building built of green materials, has its own food production garden so you get farm fresh ingredients in every meal, the building materials are from salvaged trees and they use organic linens in addition to cooling and heating the entire facility with an underground geothermal system! It is quite fascinating and worth reading about…click here.

The exterior of the “green hotel’

Yes, all the bathrooms look like this, very luxurious and huge!
Loved our fireplace
The rooms are THIS beautiful
Outside jacuzzi and outside shower
The chic bar
The elegant dining room
Dining room….you can also dine al fresco by the pool

TWIN FARMS, BARNARD, VERMONT

This gorgeous idyllic country resort nestled in the mountains of Vermont, houses 20 separate buildings/cottages on over 200 acres. No sparing of country elegance and luxury has been missed here, hospitality knows no bounds and the award winning gourmet cuisine will not disappoint even the most seasoned palette.Each cottage is decorated completed differently but all retain that same upscale country chic luxury. Seasonal activities and all meals are included once you reserve a cottage here at Twin Farms..this is the ultimate mountain getaway!

An overview of the property

A living room shot
One of the cabins with a gorgeous stone fireplace
Another charming and cozy cabin
A pretty living?room, they all have fireplaces?
Yet another setting…love the cow print chairs!

So what are you waiting for? Pack your bags…..I don’t know about you but I am ready to go! The only difficult part would be deciding which one to go to…..these could easily be a home away from home for me! Have a wonderful day!



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Sunday showhouse…….and you’re invited!

Happy Sunday! Its Oscar day….love watching the Academy awards and am making a wonderful dinner for the occasion! I am in an “arugula state of mind” hence my menu of  Spaghetti with arugula and lemon, a small flank steak marinated in arugula oil and a fresh baby arugula salad with a spritz of lemon and olive oil. I have made them all before and they are each AMAZING in a simple, fresh kind of way. 
 Normally we go out on Sunday night but there is no way I am missing a minute of the fun pre shows, watching all the glamorous and sometimes not so glamorous fashions make their grand entrance onto the famed red carpet. I am personally rooting for The Kings speech, such a wonderful film and I am always thrilled when I see a movie “of real substance”  honored and recognized by being given an esteemed award like an Oscar, which I personally think its very deserving of. Just in case you too, are in for the day or just having a lazy morning…you might enjoy this quick run through of open house Sunday. Three entirely different locales…and three very different homes. All so beautiful, each with its own distinct personality. Do you have a favorite? Enjoy your day!

First stop is in Palm Beach,Florida and to this gorgeous Mediterranean..I am normally not a big fan of Mediterranean homes but when done right, they are truly magnificent. Case in point is this fabulous newly constructed home with vistas and views out of this world! I appreciate the attention to detail shown throughout the house from the main hallways and their softly glazed gray walls to the stunning covered porch. The house also has so much natural sunlight…..everything just glows. I think this house does Addison Mizner proud!

Then we are off to Houston, Texas….. an area certainly no stranger to beautiful grand homes. This French inspired home is beautifully done in soft neutrals throughout and though formal it is still very much a family home. Love the lush green foliage and old world feeling that the home, though newer has maintained. It is so important when building a new home to pay close attention to the landscape, the setting and to do ones best to preserve the integrity of the land on which the home is built. I think they did an outstanding job here.

Last we go back to East Coast, to the famous quintessential New England vacation island, none other than wonderful Nantucket …here is a beautiful understated wood shingle home decorated by Victoria Hagan. Love the crisp, fresh decor…very cohesive, elegant without feeling stuffy and breathtaking at every turn. Definitely the ultimate beach house in my book!

Wow! Those are some beautiful homes indeed. Do you have a favorite? I would have to pick a few spaces from each home to make the ultimate home……each of them are so well done. Enjoy your Sunday, hope its relaxing!

Sunday showhouse…….and you’re invited!

Happy Sunday! Its Oscar day….love watching the Academy awards and am making a wonderful dinner for the occasion! I am in an “arugula state of mind” hence my menu of ?Spaghetti with arugula and lemon, a small flank steak marinated in arugula oil and a fresh baby arugula salad with a spritz of lemon and olive oil. I have made them all before and they are each AMAZING in a simple, fresh kind of way.?

?Normally we go out on Sunday night but there is no way I am missing a minute of the fun pre shows, watching all the glamorous and sometimes not so glamorous fashions make their grand entrance onto the famed red carpet. I am personally rooting for The Kings speech, such a wonderful film and I am always thrilled when I see a movie “of real substance” ?honored and recognized by being given an esteemed award like an Oscar, which I personally think its very deserving of. Just in case you too, are in for the day or just having a lazy morning…you might enjoy this quick run through of open house Sunday. Three entirely different locales…and three very different homes. All so beautiful, each with its own distinct personality. Do you have a favorite? Enjoy your day!

First stop is in Palm Beach,Florida and to this gorgeous Mediterranean..I am normally not a big fan of Mediterranean homes but when done right, they are truly magnificent. Case in point is this fabulous newly constructed home with?vistas and views out of this world! I appreciate the attention to detail shown throughout the house from the main hallways and their softly glazed gray walls to the stunning covered porch. The house also has so much natural sunlight…..everything just glows. I think this house does Addison Mizner proud!

Then we are off to Houston, Texas….. an area certainly no stranger to beautiful grand homes. This French inspired home is beautifully done in soft neutrals throughout and though formal it is still very much a family home. Love the lush green foliage and old world feeling that the home, though newer has maintained. It is so important when building a new home to pay close attention to the landscape, the setting and to do ones best to preserve the integrity of the land on which the home is built. I think they did an outstanding job here.

Last we go back to East Coast, to the famous quintessential New England vacation island, none other than wonderful Nantucket …here is a beautiful understated wood shingle home decorated by Victoria Hagan. Love the crisp, fresh decor…very cohesive, elegant without feeling stuffy and breathtaking at every turn. Definitely the ultimate beach house in my book!

Wow! Those are some beautiful homes indeed. Do you have a favorite? I would have to pick a few spaces from each home to make the ultimate home……each of them are so well done. Enjoy your Sunday, hope its relaxing!

Six degrees of separation from a white kitchen!

Good morning! 
Don’t get me wrong..I like white kitchens, no make that..I LOVE white kitchens. But I will not lie when I say I am a little tired (yawn) of seeing them coming and going….white cabinets, white marble, silver hardware and faucets, its all quite played out and pretty predictable. My own ‘inspiration folder” is bulging with pictures of white kitchens, all beautiful, and I appreciate a beautifully done white kitchen as much as you do. Nothing feels more inviting, elegant or crisp than to walk into a really well done kitchen in all its white glory. I think its safe to say this is way beyond a trend and white kitchens have not only made their mark in the kitchen world but have permanently carved out a big niche and are staying awhile BUT it does not mean that other kitchens should get left in the dust!

That said, I have an immense appreciation for kitchens that think “outside the box” dare to go beyond the white that we see everywhere, gracing every magazine page, every kitchen advertisement,etc…….I am personally for my own kitchen,  going with a creamy glazed cabinet color with a lot of black accents (long black island and possibly black or very dark stained butlers pantry),its very French and I am excited about how things are unfolding. Today I salute all those kitchens out there feeling like they aren’t part of the “popular crowd” anymore because they have been ousted by their  white counterparts. These pictures prove how GORGEOUS kitchens can be in many different colors, textures and using many different combinations of woods and finishes. Hope you enjoy….let me know what your thoughts are…you know I love to hear! Have a wonderful Friday…..

Beautiful, deep rich colors make this beautiful kitchen look timeless, modern and elegant, Summerour Architects
Beautiful mix of colors and materials creates an elegant old world feeling kitchen in this stunning Atlanta home
Warm and classic kitchen done with a twist, it get its inspiration from bamboo, and the rich warm woods are accented with a blue island… by Rinfret
Beautiful green washed kitchen with creamy accents on the island and beautiful limestone hood from Francois and Co.
Design Galleria designed this gorgeous rich space…love the beautiful furniture like cabinets flanking the entrance as this allows the hood to be a focal point….beautiful colors
Beautiful subdued rich greens and natural tans against the brick wall make this a picture
 perfect kitchen!
Tina Muller from Drury Kitchen design  designed this beautiful sleek dark wood kitchen..check out that glass island top…so different.
Matthew Quinn from Design Galleria, designed this beautiful kitchen, mixing a gray green painted cabinet with other textures like the wood topped islands and the pretty pewter hood
This pretty green glazed kitchen works beautifully with its graceful design and beautiful sculpted wood floors with low sheen, a nice touch..also love how they did the paneling in the same color, very pretty
A rich dark charcoal, not quite black looks stunning in this kitchen
A stunner, and one of my personal all time favorites, from Jack Arnold. Love the mix of woods and of course the big black island is the real masterpiece along with the big stone range hood
This creamy colored kitchen gets drama from the dark wood beams, countertop and window trim from One Posh Place
Wm Ohs successfully paired several finishes, including a taupey glazed cabinet with a gray green distressed island…love those floors in a herringbone pattern!
Here is the yellow kitchen that made Clive Christian famous..here they mixed it with a large pine refrigerator hutch and a beautiful hearth in pine for the range
Warm rich tones create a cheerful European feeling kitchen,love the diamond patterned backsplash…makes it rustic and inviting, Traditional Home
This pretty gray/blue kitchen by Habersham gets a heavy “distressed feel” from the rubbing process used and gets warmed up with the countertops and rich wood floors, Habersham
The limestone hood is a beautiful focal point in this pretty warm colored kitchen, love the peaked beams, makes it feel really open and airy
This large industrial inspired (and sized) kitchen blends many woods for a rustic and very
 grand effect, Fresh home
Great and successful mix of colors of woods and materials here…lots of rich warm woods, a big stone hearth, beautiful exposed beams, limestone floors all come together by Rinfret
Big black island enhances the dark glazing on the dark cabinetry to create a formal but inviting kitchen, love the painted coiffured ceiling…. by Renaissance Cabinets
Habersham created this washed black kitchen…to look very old world and grand, its a bit heavy looking, I prefer black with a mix of creamy cabinets and other woods
Christians designed this rich looking walnut colored kitchen, its a timeless look
Clive Christian designed this creamy yellow kitchen, the pine hutch cabinet gives it a lot of warmth as does the dark teak countertop
This black cabinetry is accented with gray heavily distressed island and reclaimed looking wood floors to create an old world look, Habersham
Christian’s designed this pine kitchen with a contrasting pale blue island
Had this picture for a while, but always loved how the green accents plays on the dramatic black and white here
Soft buttery yellow always looks so elegant and warm from Main Street Design
This beautifully heavily glazed kitchen gets a lot of pop from the black and white diamond patterned floor….Traditional Home
The grays are used to perfection in this pretty space by John Jacob
Tucker and Marks created this dramatic red Asian influenced cabinetry in this eclectic space
Beautiful rich warm woods are aglow in this gorgeous space
A more country look with the medium golden hues in the wood, but very warm
An all black kitchen with pops of color, think the glass cabinets are a good idea to lighten
 things up
Yes, yes I know there is some white cabinetry here…BUT the real showstoppers here are the rich warm island the gorgeous black range and hood…the white kind of take a back seat here
Beautiful stained blue cabinetry with the rich woods is quite pretty…love the volume of this space….beautiful exposed beams and gorgeous window
Again a mix of textures and materials is so successful here….LOVE the island that doubles as a table, these types of unconventional pieces really make a kitchen feel custom and unique
How rich! Dark navy glossy butlers pantry is quite elegant and dramatic
Mix of rusty woods with limestone counter tops and hood, very French and country like.
A chefs own kitchen, such an interesting shape that opens to the next room..kind of like an open air kitchen! Architectural Digest
Rich play of colors here make this a dramatic kitchen, I like the banquette seating
Interesting mix of the reclaimed woods, exposed beams and bright yellow..who would have thought to put this together but it works!
A simple classic pecan colored kitchen, very symmetrical and sleek looking
Lots of rich warm woods used here, love the pizza oven and storage for wood underneath, you could have some fun pizza parties in this kitchen!
I like the mix of the dark blue island, the golden colors against the white, makes it interesting
The floor is really what catches your eye here, but love the dove gray island color
I am all for non connected free standing pieces in a kitchen..case in point here, this lovely white and gray separate unit housed for the sink and dishwasher, something very old world feeling.
Buttery yellow Christopher Peacock kitchen, love the diamond shaped glass front cabinets
A super dark brown stain makes for a beautiful and rich looking kitchen…..check out that back splash with the stone hood!
You know I love to hear from you…do you have a favorite? What is your feeling about the above kitchens over their white counterpart? Curious to know your thoughts! Have an enchanting day!


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Six degrees of separation from a white kitchen!

Good morning!?

Don’t get me wrong..I like white kitchens, no make that..I LOVE white kitchens. But I will not lie when I say I am a little tired (yawn) of seeing them coming and going….white cabinets, white marble, silver hardware and faucets, its all quite played out and pretty predictable. My own ‘inspiration folder” is bulging with pictures of white kitchens, all beautiful, and I appreciate a beautifully done white kitchen as much as you do. Nothing feels more inviting, elegant or crisp than to walk into a really well done kitchen in all its white glory. I think its safe to say this is way beyond a trend and white kitchens have not only made their mark in the kitchen world but have permanently carved out a big niche and are staying awhile BUT it does not mean that other kitchens should get left in the dust!



That said, I have an immense appreciation for kitchens that think “outside the box” dare to go beyond the white that we see everywhere, gracing every magazine page, every kitchen advertisement,etc…….I am personally for my own kitchen, ?going with a creamy glazed cabinet color with a lot of black accents (long black island and possibly black or very dark stained butlers pantry),its very French and I am excited about how things are unfolding. Today I salute all those kitchens out there feeling like they aren’t part of the “popular crowd” anymore because they have been ousted by their ?white counterparts. These pictures prove how GORGEOUS kitchens can be in many different colors, textures and using many different combinations of woods and finishes. Hope you enjoy….let me know what your thoughts are…you know I love to hear! Have a wonderful Friday…..



Beautiful, deep rich colors make this beautiful kitchen look timeless, modern and elegant, Summerour Architects
Beautiful mix of colors and materials creates an elegant old world feeling kitchen in this stunning Atlanta home
Warm and classic kitchen done with a twist, it get its inspiration from bamboo, and the rich warm woods are accented with a blue island… by Rinfret
Beautiful green washed kitchen with creamy accents on the island and beautiful limestone hood from Francois and Co.
Design Galleria designed this gorgeous rich space…love the beautiful furniture like cabinets flanking the entrance as this allows the hood to be a focal point….beautiful colors
Beautiful subdued rich greens and natural tans against the brick wall make this a picture
?perfect kitchen!
Tina Muller from Drury Kitchen design ?designed this beautiful sleek dark wood kitchen..check out that glass island top…so different.
Matthew Quinn from Design Galleria, designed this beautiful kitchen, mixing a gray green painted cabinet with other textures like the wood topped islands and the pretty pewter hood
This pretty green glazed kitchen works beautifully with its graceful design and beautiful sculpted wood floors with low sheen, a nice touch..also love how they did the paneling in the same color, very pretty
A rich dark charcoal, not quite black looks stunning in this kitchen
A stunner, and one of my personal all time favorites, from Jack Arnold. Love the mix of woods and of course the big black island is the real masterpiece along with the big stone range hood
This creamy colored kitchen gets drama from the dark wood beams, countertop and window trim from One Posh Place
Wm Ohs successfully paired several finishes, including a taupey glazed cabinet with a gray green distressed island…love those floors in a herringbone pattern!
Here is the yellow kitchen that made Clive Christian famous..here they mixed it with a large pine refrigerator hutch and a beautiful hearth in pine for the range
Warm rich tones create a cheerful European feeling kitchen,love the diamond patterned backsplash…makes it rustic and inviting, Traditional Home
This pretty gray/blue kitchen by Habersham gets a heavy “distressed feel” from the rubbing process used and gets warmed up with the countertops and rich wood floors, Habersham
The limestone hood is a beautiful focal point in this pretty warm colored kitchen, love the peaked beams, makes it feel really open and airy
This large industrial inspired (and sized) kitchen blends many woods for a rustic and very
?grand?effect, Fresh home
Great and successful mix of colors of woods and materials here…lots of rich warm woods, a big stone hearth, beautiful exposed beams, limestone floors all come together by Rinfret
Big black island enhances the dark glazing on the dark cabinetry to create a formal but inviting kitchen, love the painted coiffured ceiling…. by Renaissance Cabinets
Habersham created this washed black kitchen…to look very old world and grand, its a bit heavy looking, I prefer black with a mix of creamy cabinets and other woods
Christians designed this rich looking walnut colored kitchen, its a timeless look
Clive Christian designed this creamy yellow kitchen, the pine hutch cabinet gives it a lot of warmth as does the dark teak countertop
This black cabinetry is accented with gray heavily distressed island and reclaimed looking wood floors to create an old world look, Habersham
Christian’s designed this pine kitchen with a contrasting pale blue island
Had this picture for a while, but always loved how the green accents plays on the dramatic black and white here
Soft buttery yellow always looks so elegant and warm from Main Street Design
This beautifully heavily glazed kitchen gets a lot of pop from the black and white diamond patterned floor….Traditional Home
The grays are used to perfection in this pretty space by John Jacob
Tucker and Marks created this dramatic red Asian influenced cabinetry in this eclectic space
Beautiful rich warm woods are aglow in this gorgeous space
A more country look with?the medium golden hues in the wood, but very warm
An all black kitchen with pops of color, think the glass cabinets are a good idea to lighten
?things up
Yes, yes I know there is some white cabinetry here…BUT the real showstoppers here are the rich warm island the?gorgeous black range and hood…the white kind of take a back seat here
Beautiful stained blue cabinetry with the rich woods is quite pretty…love the volume of this space….beautiful exposed beams and gorgeous window
Again a mix of textures and materials is so successful here….LOVE the island that doubles as a table, these types of unconventional pieces really make a kitchen feel custom and unique
How rich! Dark navy glossy butlers pantry is quite elegant and dramatic
Mix of rusty woods with limestone counter tops and hood, very French and country like.
A chefs own kitchen, such an interesting shape that opens to the next room..kind of like an open air kitchen! Architectural Digest
Rich play of colors here make this a dramatic kitchen, I like the banquette seating
Interesting mix of the reclaimed woods, exposed beams and bright yellow..who would have thought to put this together but it works!
A simple classic pecan colored kitchen, very symmetrical and sleek looking
Lots of rich warm woods used here, love the pizza oven and storage for wood underneath, you could have some fun pizza parties in this kitchen!
I like the mix of the dark blue island, the golden colors against the white, makes it interesting
The floor is really what catches your eye here, but love the dove gray island color
I am all for non connected free standing pieces in a kitchen..case in point here, this lovely white and gray separate unit housed for the sink and dishwasher, something very old world feeling.
Buttery yellow Christopher Peacock kitchen, love the diamond shaped glass front cabinets
A super?dark brown stain makes for a beautiful and rich looking kitchen…..check out that back splash with the stone hood!
You know I love to hear from you…do you have a favorite? What is your feeling about the above kitchens over their white counterpart? Curious to know your thoughts! Have an enchanting day!



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Things I am loving Thursdays….

Its my day to rant and rave about what I am loving today, and this week my list is long. Too many pretty things catching my eye. Plus with the house decisions in full swing, I am getting stimulation overload from all the visits to stores, showrooms, wallpaper stores,etc and we have not even factored in the internet and how much you can find online….so without further ado here is what I am loving this Thursday! Let me know if anything here appeals to you too or if there is something you are loving this week that you want to share!




DOG PORTRAITS.I fell in love when I spotted one of these outrageous originals at someones home. For all you dog lovers out there……let me introduce the “Dutch Touch”…the amazingly cute, whimsical, beautiful, elegant dog portraits! Inspired by the masters, artist Valerie Leonard will replace a splendid “period dog painting’s face with your  Blue Boy, Skip or Bruiser (or whatever you call your beloved four legged friend)  with your dog’s face! These are just too cute for words and make an amazing gift as well. Not to mention no one will have the same painting. Great gift for those dog lovers out there……………Teddy, get ready for your closeup!
 Visit Valerie at http://www.vldesign.biz/AnimalPortraits/

Now this guy here looks uncannily like Teddy…by golly, it could be one of his ancestors! Does this mean Teddy has royal blood running through his veins?

POLISHED NICKEL HARDWARE. Love the look of polished nickel and am using it in every single bathroom except two powder rooms. Also putting polished nickel sconces in every bathroom.  The finish is gorgeous and reminds me of a fine European hotel. Perrin and Rohl make some of my favorites faucets, all modeled after classic English/European faucet’s. Just classic, simple and understated beauty.

WALLPAPER. True, I am a long ways away from having to put up wallpaper but its a great starting point in designing a room because it allows you to follow a theme/color scheme/feeling and can make other selections a lot easier. So below are some of the wallpapers I currently have samples of that I really like for various areas in the house. I love the soft pale blues/grays as you can see, but love the ones with soft gold patinas too and the chocolate brown is gorgeous as well. Any favorites? What room could you see it in?
Would be pretty in a ladies closet or dressing room or small bathroom with soft painted creamy cabinets with maybe a subtle blue glazing?

Don’t know for where, just think its so pretty!

I like this potentially for my sons room, handsome and timeless
This would be drop dead gorgeous in a dining room

Soft sweet pattern…love the base color

This could be gorgeous just about anywhere..love the rich brown!

Love this for a pretty, feminine dressing area or bathroom

Gold foiled, whats not to love?

Another beautiful paper…love the pale aqua and gold..so rich!
DESIGN BOOKS. I was given this AMAZING book by a dear friend as a belated birthday gift, and I must say it has my name all over it. Have you ever been so inspired by something so beautiful that it takes your breath away and literally brings tears to your eyes….well this book did that for me. I think part of it is the sheer beauty of the French interiors which are so beautifully photographed for this book, in my eyes there is no equal for French decor. Then the other part of it, was it brought back a strong rush of wonderful memories from having just been there and very much wanting to be back. So, if you are like me and love home decor and architecture books I highly suggest you get this one, its so heavy it doubles as a free weight! Love it!
PLANTERS. I have always loved, loved loved these charming, uber elegant French planters from Provence planters. They are just spectacular looking and so authentic. What do you think? Though I would personally go for white, black or possibly green….I do love all the fun colors they are available in! Visit them at http://www.authenticprovence.com/ 
LOVE this setting with the orange trees….visual perfection!

All the pretty colors! 
Gorgeous green in this metal 19th century planter with masks
ENAMELED RANGES. Love me a European enameled range…thankfully today there are cheaper alternatives to the famed Le Cornue (and more user friendly too) If I could use a 48′ range I would go with this Bertazonni, borrowing its look from its European counterpart, Le Cornue..it has the good looks, but the added feature of being user friendly and is about half the price! I also love the Ilve, wihch I am nearly positive I am going with but go back and forth betweent hat and the La Canche, an equally beautiful and well reupted range. They are all great looking and you can’t go wrong, lets be honest here. I love the rich enameled colors with the brass and silver trims…..beautiful!
The Le Cornue in white

The Le Cornue in black
Here is the Italian, Ilve in a 48 inch, black with brass
And finally here is the La Canche.
LIMESTONE HOODS. I am using a limestone hood for my range. I love them, they are old world add instant warmth and authenticity to a kitchen and do add a bit of grandeur as well since they were used hundred of years ago. Here are a few examples from Francois and Co.

AMAZING HARDWARE FROM SHERLE WAGNER. Well, let me clarify…anything, anything at all from Sherle Wagner. The ultra luxe brand that was originally famous for their amazing reproduction hardware that unfortunately for me, has branched out into lighting as well. Love these bird sconces. Here are a few gorgeous faucets, a beautiful marble console and a bird sconces…that I wouldn’t mind having!

MARBLE. One of the oldest materials on earth…whats not to love? Its gorgeous and looks beautiful well, just about anywhere. I have almost for sure decided that I will go with a simple subway tile, possibly beveled in Calacutta Gold to match the counter tops, I want it be very subtle and to just blend…..love how the subtle warm and cool colored veining looks against the crisp white…by far my favorite marble for a bath or kitchen!

WOOD FLOORING. Yes, I am in the throes of selecting a lot of different floorings right now, wood, stone, marble, bathrooms,etc….one of the ones I was most excited about was selecting Parquet Versailles for our living and dining room….stunning!

These are reclaimed floors….fabulous!

Unfinished…but stunning!
MONOGRAMS. I love monograms, always have…maybe its the Southern in me but they are just so classic and make, well anything personal. In fact, never met a monogram I didn’t like!  I am always on the lookout for beautiful monogramming companies and I recently found one!  Monogram Inc. will help you create a custom monogram based upon your personal style and color preference. Their work is really exquisite. Below are a few samples, if you want to visit them go to http://monograminc.com/.

OK, I could go on and on but these are some of my top favorites….enough dreaming for one day. Let me know if you have a favorite or if there is something that you are loving this  week…and hope you enjoy the day!
Photobucket

Things I am loving Thursdays….

Its my day to rant and rave about what I am loving today, and this week my list is long. Too many pretty things catching my eye. Plus with the house decisions in full swing, I am getting stimulation overload from all the visits to stores, showrooms, wallpaper stores,etc and we have not even factored in the internet and how much you can find online….so without further ado here is what I am loving this Thursday! Let me know if anything here appeals to you too or if there is something you are loving this week that you want to share!









DOG PORTRAITS.I fell in love when I spotted one of these outrageous originals at someones home. For all you dog lovers out there……let me introduce the “Dutch Touch”…the amazingly cute, whimsical, beautiful, elegant dog portraits! Inspired by the masters, artist Valerie Leonard will replace a splendid “period dog painting’s face with your??Blue Boy, Skip or Bruiser (or whatever you call your beloved four legged friend) ?with your dog’s face! These are just too cute for words and make an amazing gift as well. Not to mention no one will have the same painting. Great gift for those dog lovers out there……………Teddy, get ready for your closeup!

?Visit Valerie at?http://www.vldesign.biz/AnimalPortraits/


Now this guy here looks uncannily like Teddy…by golly, it could be one of his ancestors! Does this mean Teddy has royal blood running through his veins?

POLISHED NICKEL HARDWARE. Love the look of polished nickel and am using it in every single bathroom except two powder rooms. Also putting polished nickel sconces in every bathroom. ?The finish is gorgeous and reminds me of a fine European hotel. Perrin and Rohl make some of my favorites faucets, all modeled after classic English/European faucet’s. Just classic, simple and understated beauty.

WALLPAPER. True, I am a long ways away from having to put up wallpaper but its a great starting point in designing a room because it allows you to follow a theme/color scheme/feeling and can make other selections a lot easier. So below are some of the wallpapers I currently have samples of that I really like for various areas in the house. I love the soft pale blues/grays as you can see, but love the ones with soft gold patinas too and the chocolate brown is gorgeous as well. Any favorites? What room could you see it in?
Would be pretty in a ladies closet or dressing room or small bathroom with soft painted creamy cabinets with maybe a subtle blue glazing?

Don’t know for where, just think its so pretty!

I like this potentially for my sons room, handsome and timeless
This would be drop dead gorgeous in a dining room

Soft sweet pattern…love the base color

This could be gorgeous just about anywhere..love the rich brown!

Love this for a pretty, feminine dressing area or bathroom

Gold foiled, whats not to love?

Another beautiful paper…love the pale aqua and gold..so rich!
DESIGN BOOKS. I was given this AMAZING book by a dear friend as a belated birthday gift, and I must say it has my name all over it. Have you ever been so inspired by something so beautiful that it takes your breath away and literally brings tears to your eyes….well this book did that for me. I think part of it is the sheer beauty of the French interiors which are so beautifully photographed for this book, in my eyes there is no equal for French decor. Then the other part of it, was it brought back a strong rush of wonderful memories from having just been there and very much wanting to be back. So, if you are like me and love home decor and architecture books I highly suggest you get this one, its so heavy it doubles as a free weight! Love it!
PLANTERS. I have always loved, loved loved these charming, uber elegant French planters from Provence planters. They are just spectacular looking and so authentic. What do you think? Though I would personally go for white, black or possibly green….I do love all the fun colors they are available in! Visit them at?http://www.authenticprovence.com/?
LOVE this setting with the orange trees….visual perfection!

All the pretty colors!?
Gorgeous green in this metal 19th century planter with masks
ENAMELED RANGES. Love me a European enameled range…thankfully today there are cheaper alternatives to the famed Le Cornue (and more user friendly too) If I could use a 48′ range I would go with this Bertazonni, borrowing its look from its European counterpart, Le Cornue..it has the good looks, but the added feature of being user friendly and is about half the price! I also love the Ilve, wihch I am nearly positive I am going with but go back and forth betweent hat and the La Canche, an equally beautiful and well reupted range. They are all great looking and you can’t go wrong, lets be honest here. I love the rich enameled colors with the brass and silver trims…..beautiful!
The Le Cornue in white

The Le Cornue in black
Here is the Italian, Ilve in a 48 inch, black with brass
And finally here is the La Canche.
LIMESTONE HOODS. I am using a limestone hood for my range. I love them, they are old world add instant warmth and authenticity to a kitchen and do add a bit of grandeur as well since they were used hundred of years ago. Here are a few examples from Francois and Co.

AMAZING HARDWARE FROM SHERLE WAGNER. Well, let me clarify…anything, anything at all from Sherle Wagner. The ultra luxe brand that was originally famous for their amazing reproduction hardware that unfortunately for me, has branched out into lighting as well. Love these bird sconces. Here are a few gorgeous faucets, a beautiful marble console and a bird sconces…that I wouldn’t mind having!

MARBLE. One of the oldest materials on earth…whats not to love? Its gorgeous and looks beautiful well, just about anywhere. I have almost for sure decided that I will go with a simple subway tile, possibly beveled in Calacutta Gold to match the counter tops, I want it be very subtle and to just blend…..love how the subtle warm and cool colored veining looks against the crisp white…by far my favorite marble for a bath or kitchen!

WOOD FLOORING. Yes, I am in the throes of selecting a lot of different floorings right now, wood, stone, marble, bathrooms,etc….one of the ones I was most excited about was selecting Parquet Versailles for our living and dining room….stunning!

These are reclaimed floors….fabulous!

Unfinished…but stunning!
MONOGRAMS. I love monograms, always have…maybe its the Southern in me but they are just so classic and make, well anything personal. In fact, never met a monogram I didn’t like! ?I am always on the lookout for beautiful monogramming companies and I recently found one! ?Monogram Inc. will help you create a custom monogram based upon your personal style and color preference. Their work is really exquisite. Below are a few samples, if you want to visit them go to?http://monograminc.com/.

OK, I could go on and on but these are some of my top favorites….enough dreaming for one day. Let me know if you have a favorite or if there is something that you are loving this ?week…and hope you enjoy the day!

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Designers and their dwellings…come take a peek!





Good morning! Finally I am really believing spring will indeed rear its head sooner than later. In NY we got the lucky break from the weather Gods who have blessed us with two sunny, snow free days back to back and its putting a little pep in everyone’s step! 
Don’t we all wonder what the homes and apartments look like of the well known designers whose names grace so many magazines that we admire? I know I do and have often imagined and fantasized about the kinds of homes some of my favorite designers go home to at the end of a day. I think about their personal style and ponder  how much of it is implemented into what they love enough to call home. Sometimes their styles are a surprise but I have found that typically they reflect the style for which that particular designer has become best known. I will cover a few designers today and in a few weeks cover a few more…so here are some, would love to know what you think and if you have a favorite!



LINDA WARREN
This stunning home of designer, Linda Warren is in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico. Just so happens we were there last April for a magnificent wedding and this historic town is just too picturesque for words.  This designer has joined hordes of other Americans by choosing this quaint town full of life and color to call home. I love her style and of course she has a dreamy abode as a fabulous source of inspiration.

THOMAS PHEASANT
Thomas Pheasant, an American tastemaker and designer extraordinaire based out of Washington DC,who also has a successful line with Baker Furniture completed this beautiful home in DC. His furniture line and decorating style I believe, are in rhythm with how he has chosen to decorate his own Washington home..beautifully done.

CINDY RINFRET
Based out of Connecticut, Rinfret Designs has become widely known for creating classic, but very livable interiors. She uses lots of rich earth tones and always achieves a cohesive look in all the spaces she designs, her work was been featured in many national publications and her firm established in the 1980’s continues to grow. Her own home is a prime example of the style that she does best….classically but  invitingly beautiful. 

MARK AND DUANE HAMPTON
The late Mark Hampton will long be remembered as a classic American designer whose rooms and legacy will be cherished for years to come, also thanks in part to his talented daughter, Alexa who is continuing his mission of fine design. His elegant apartment done in an old world style was no surprise, its a treat for the eyes! Here is the  Manhattan apartment that he shared with his wife, Duane.

Hope you enjoyed taking a sneak peak into these designers home…do you have a favorite? Let me know which and have a wonderful day!


Photobucket

Designers and their dwellings…come take a peek!









Good morning! Finally I am really believing spring will indeed rear its head sooner than later. In NY we got the lucky break from the weather Gods who have blessed us with two sunny, snow free days back to back and its putting a little pep in everyone’s step!?

Don’t we all wonder what the homes and apartments look like of the well known designers whose names grace so many magazines that we admire? I know I do and have often imagined and fantasized about the kinds of homes some of my favorite designers go home to at the end of a day. I think about their personal style and ponder ?how much of it is implemented into what they love enough to call home. Sometimes their styles are a surprise but I have found that typically they reflect the style for which that particular designer has become best known. I will cover a few designers today and in a few weeks cover a few more…so here are some, would love to know what you think and if you have a favorite!







LINDA WARREN

This stunning home of designer, Linda Warren is in San Miguel del Allende, Mexico. Just so happens we were there last April for a magnificent wedding and this historic town is just too picturesque for words. ?This designer has joined hordes of other Americans by choosing this quaint town full of life and color to call home. I love her style and of course she has a dreamy abode as a fabulous source of inspiration.

THOMAS PHEASANT
Thomas Pheasant, an American tastemaker and designer extraordinaire?based out of Washington DC,who also has a successful line with Baker Furniture completed this beautiful home in DC. His furniture line and decorating style?I believe, are in rhythm with how he has chosen to decorate his own Washington home..beautifully done.

CINDY RINFRET
Based out of Connecticut, Rinfret Designs has become widely known for creating classic, but very livable interiors. She uses lots of rich earth tones and always achieves a cohesive look in all the spaces she designs, her work was been featured in many national publications and her firm established in the 1980’s continues to grow. Her own home is a prime example of the style that she does best….classically but ?invitingly beautiful.?

MARK AND DUANE HAMPTON
The late Mark Hampton will long be remembered as a classic American designer whose rooms and legacy will be cherished for years to come, also thanks in part to his talented daughter, Alexa who is continuing his mission of fine design. His elegant apartment done in an old world style was no surprise, its a treat for the eyes! Here is the ?Manhattan apartment?that?he?shared with his?wife, Duane.

Hope you enjoyed taking a sneak peak into these designers home…do you have a favorite? Let me know which and have a wonderful day!



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