Happy Thursday to you! Over in this part of the country, we are experiencing a mini heat wave, heat indexes approaching 100 degrees, with temps in the high 90’s. Thankfully its due to end in a day or so. However, I will still take it over winter (come August I may be singing a different tune). Busy week here with lots of house appts. and various other things, so happy summer is here at last! I start my post off with some house update pictures. The breakfast room paneling is done, and now we are selecting stain colors…thinking of going with a limed oak finish. Its a nice contrast to the dark wood beams. Bathrooms are getting completed and installation of plumbing fixtures has begun! Things are getting done and its very exciting to see us inch our way closer to completion. (still a long ways away) but we hope to move by August (yes, you heard right June is no more so now I am trying to be more of a realist) and will move to a small area of the house which will be completed and continue working. HOUSE UPDATES. The laurels are in bloom!! I had to include a few pictures to show you how gorgeous they are! They line the entire driveway and are all over the property adding such beauty with their fabulous white blooms. Things really are moving along even if it appears to be painstakingly slow. The most progress has been made upstairs, all that’s really left is to finish the trim in the main hallways and paint! Then we will start installing the vanities and plumbing fixtures and voila we will actually have a few completed rooms…as hard as that is to imagine. The breakfast room is basically done, just finishing a few areas of molding (feel like I have saying this for weeks but it really is)! The family room is underway…saw my kitchen two days ago, they just finished priming it and are starting the paint and glaze today. With luck I will have this kitchen by the end of June, that is what we are aiming for. Fingers crossed.? Entrance with gorgeous laurels just starting to bloom Family room paneling has begun Breakfast room basically done..now we need to stain! Husbands shower… Trim upstairs Door casings all complete upstairs! Kitchen powder room, basketweave honed with mini subways and chairrail Stairs is starting to look like a staircase…railing to come! Living room floor primed and ready for floors Dining room ready for floors Mahogany paneled door on 1st floor Favorite time of day..its so hot that there is a haze in the air! Original columns with stone fruit basket..I love this Laurels in bloom Aren’t they pretty? Breakfast room Breakfast room Breakfast room windows are done with their casing Beams ready for family room New batch of beams at the ready Guest room shower done..ming green and thassos marble A MUCH NEEDED VACATION. Since I originally was hoping to have moved at the START OF 2011, and clearly that is not happening…I could so use a vacation right now! I love writing about destinations both near and far. This one is very far, but so amazing looking, I couldn’t resist not posting it. I have always wanted to go to the Maldives, but not being a great flyer, the very long flight has kept me from going.This is the ultimate boutique hotel, with only 19 rooms and suites. Some day, maybe I will get there. But for now, ?this “virtual vacation” will have to suffice! So check out this gasp worthy resort, The Nalhadu in the Maldives….fabulous. IVY. Always loved it, and figure I always will. We are just now discussing with our landscape architect the idea of growing ivy on the facade of the house. Apparently once this starts, you really have to be committed to the decision as it tends to “stay while” once it gets going. That is just fine by me, I love the age, character and charm it gives a new home and since we want our house to look like its been there awhile…why not! I love the look and these pictures I think underscore my point quite well.? Love this growing on a covered patio! CHINOISERIE. Once again back into looking at chinoiserie which I have always known I am using in my dining room and maybe in our formal powder room. I had spoken with a few artists about hand painting my dining room but have since decided against it, first because its much more expensive and most have said it would take approx. 6 weeks and I just don’t want anyone in my house that long every day working on my dining room. So back to looking at a few manufacturers and I have narrowed it down to two. But the even bigger problem I am having is figuring out which color I want. I go back and forth between staying neutral and “earthy” to pale blues and greens to a more dramatic metallic paper. Too many gorgeous choices! So here are some ideas…does one really jump out at you as a clear cut favorite? This metallic paper is stunning…love the glow but not sure for a big dining room This color green is so light and airy and fresh, probably never gets old Or do I think outside the box and go with a pinky peach color? This is just too gorgeous! Then I see this yellow and its so beautiful and soft and welcoming Or do I go neutral and stay with the golds and beiges? All you style mavens…feel free to weigh in and give me your opinions! FUN DINNERWARE. I love the company Golden Rabbit. Have an enamelware dinnerware set from them that is several years old but still looks brand new. I just ordered the first set below and cannot wait to get them! I love their patterns, they feature so many wonderful summery looks, and have many coordinating pieces from plates, chargers, bowls, cups, mugs,etc…..Click here?to?see more of their fabulous collection. HADDONSTONE STATUARY. I love Haddonstones exact replicas of period statuary and planters. Their line is quite extensive, all expertly cast from stone, with an assortment of fabulous finishes. There is even an “aging solution”, called Stoneage designed to speed up the aging process if you really want to get that old look fast (I do). Before you know it, moss and lichen creep their way onto the statuary to make it look like its been there for hundreds of years! Their statuary is so beautiful. Take a look and click here to see more of their incredible line. WONDERFUL SOAPS. I just love bath products, give me great smelling soaps, wonderful scented candles, rich luxurious creams and I am ?a happy camper. One line I discovered when we were in Provence a year ago was this amazingly wonderful line, Pre De Provence. All their products are made in Provence, the soaps are French milled and last a LONG time! The scents are beyond heavenly and this is a product where you truly get what you pay for. The soaps are made from coconut and palm oil and are so rich and wonderful.(they are comparably priced to other higher end American companies) Click here to order. Well that’s about it for this Thursday. Anything excite you? Is there something you are loving this week that you care to share? Please let me know, I love hearing about new things that have caught your attention! Hope you have an enchanted Thursday.