Tuesday, December 30, 2008

No words

How exquisite is this chandelier?

From Atelier Abigail Ahern

And call me weird...I like the ostrich table lamp as well.

Blue and white done to perfection

So my mom (decorator extraodonaire) and I worked on a cobalt blue and white theme for our future kids room and bathroom. The rooms make me happy and fit with the exterior Mediterranean theme of the house. My only concern has been that this space doesn't necessarily "flow" with the rest of the house...which is a lot of neutrals.

When I found the following images, I was struck by how well they carried off the blue and white theme, but with a neutral base. Just a few blue accents still give the same cool effect...just a bit subtler.

I think we've got our answer on how to tie these rooms into the rest of the house...play up the neutrals a bit more. Perfect!

Monday, December 29, 2008

Hammock time

We spent our holiday in Puerto Vallarta with my parents, brother, sister-in-law, and her parents. We had a lovely time full of sailing, whale watching, golfing, shopping, tequila tasting, and pretty much everything else that you can get up to in Mexico.

One morning, Mr. Big and I ventured into town with my parents via water taxi. Just to get you in the mood for this post, I thought you might want a little taste of the ride.

Yes, it really was that pretty....

Once we reached town, I peered over into the garden of one of the hotels and immediately fell in love with their hammocks...of all things.

Aren't these beautiful? The lacy sides are unique and slightly romantic set off against the green lawn. (Although the front one doesn't seem like it would be all that comfortable once you got in...with your bum on the ground and all).

Well, I'm sure that you can imagine what happened next...Mr. Big had to put up with my hunt for the perfect "lacy" hammock through the markets. At the end of the day, we ended up with a beauty for around $88. I cannot wait to get it up.

But don't fret, Mr. Big didn't miss his special find of the day. Although his was a bit less expensive ($2), equally as authentic (also purchased from a street vendor), it was easier to manuever with (gone instantly).

Yes, you can purchase marlin and shrimp on a stick for $2 (check out the size of the fillets he uses for each one...unbelievable). Mr. Big and my parents swore by it. I may be able to recreate the hammock, but odds are stacked against me on the fish-on-a-stick find. :)

Mirror, mirror on the wall(s)

One year, two weeks and a few days after moving in, the mirror in our upstairs jack-and-jill bathroom was installed (not that I was counting of course). To be honest, it was a fairly awkward year explaining to guests why we didn't have a mirror for them...especially when we weren't entirely sure ourselves.

This will hopefully serve as a kids bathroom in the future, and as such, we went away from the rest of the house decor. Instead of concrete and neutrals, we went for a Mediterranean style with lots of cobalt blue, white and clay. In fact, it was designed after a hotel bathroom in Marbella, Spain that we found to be particularly fun and casual.

Overall, I'm pleased with the final result (well almost final, but good enough for now). I did have the urge to bring down the mirror 4-5 inches when the tiling was done, but unfortunately I held my tongue. I really wish I hadn't. If this is for kids, it would have been best to get the mirror as low as possible. Oh well....too late now.

Today we spent the day doing little jobs around the house that have been neglected. I got a little shelf up in the adjoining toilet/shower area. And what did I decide to put up there but a Mexican mirror that I've had for years.

So yes, we went from no mirrors to two mirrors in a matter of days. Our building crew has taught me well!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

A journey with Jordan

Sweet little dog. We brought you home after much concern about our home being a building site. After much frustration, here you are on your first day with us. Sweet tiny little guy...

You were a curious George for sure....checking out anything new, no matter how large or small. Yes, that's a camera...

You weren't so sure about the water for a long time. When we tripped to Stingray City, you would perch yourself on the rear transom and bark for your dad's attention. "Hey, get out of there! Or at least come back to me!" And when he would, he was greeting with loads of dog kisses. Fortunately, the surrounding boats usually found your barks (or attempts at barks) endearing.

But even more than Mom and Dad, you always loved spending time with the kids. Forever trying to give them kisses. What was with that?

And within a two month span, you went from pup to protector. Whether it was land or water, you were going to keep us all safe. From cats, iguanas, and especially the land crabs. You would show them!

Now you're officially grown, but that curiosity is not lost. Our walks are a constant hunt for the next iguana, next fish to jump, or anything out of the ordinary. Probably every 20 feet, you run to the canal wall to make sure that all is in order. Do I get it? Absolutely not. But it's cute as heck and you love it.

So to our grown up little guy, thanks for all the laughs and fun times. You're firmly embedded in this family...the first dog. That waggy tail, constant licking, and eagerness to do anything are so special...

Oh, and thanks for keeping us safe from those wild cats and landcrabs.

Help us find a new side table

It may seem like a small inconsequential item, but I am pretty committed to get the right side table to go between our two main recliners in the house. We're in these chairs often and I would like to make sure that the space is comfortable. At the moment, we're using an outdoor teak table that needs to find it's home back outside. :) Ah the joys of temporary....

Yes, we need more color in the space...we'll get there

Because we've got a lot of wood in the house, we're looking for a different material. And we don't want the tables to be more than 18 inches wide. The options that we have come up with so far follow:

Mirrored nesting tables

Funky nail-head metal table by Jed Johnson home (Mr. Big's fav but we have no idea on price)

Slender modern option via Etsy seller MetalArtistAustin

Seen anything recently that might fit the bill? Or have a strong thought on the above options?

Not so traditional house plants

Anyone else looking for houseplants, but not really the traditional house plants? Something a bit different, fresh?

Very simple and crisp against a neutral background via Another Shade of Grey

A modern planter by Great Nordic Design

Photo styled by Louisa Grey (reminds me how much I love paperwhites)

Aluminum pots from Chiasso

And while this is for outdoors, Apartment Therapy has a great DIY bench that could easily bring some green onto patios that need more color.

Any other other ideas or inspirations out there would be much appreciated.

Perfect outdoor dinner parties

We were fortunate recently to purchase some great teak outdoor furniture at 70% off (the store obviously didn't share in our good fortune...). The good news is that our back yard is starting to feel "lived in". In fact, most of our dinners have been outside in the past two weeks...such a treat now that the weather is slightly cooler.

Yes Mom, that's the umbrella from the wedding...finally out of the box!

On a side note, when we contacted the store's recommended upholsterer, their quote was almost double what we paid for all the furniture. And after indicating that the price was out of our range (obviously...), they discounted their quote by 20% immediately. What? Why do businesses do that? Needless to say, we're still looking for a good upholsterer.

We had our first outdoor dinner party this week and it was brilliant. Although, after seeing these beauties by Pieter Stockmans, my head swirled about whether it could be that much more brilliant. His outdoor table lights are pure perfection.

It's so nice that we're finally at this point...starting to use the different spaces how we had imagined them. No, we're not "done" yet, but considerably closer. :)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Rug fetish

So the post below turned my fascination with beautiful rugs back on. I've been saving the following image ever since it was posted to Style*Files. Unbelievable...look at that beautiful rug.

While clearly not in the same league, the laser cut felt rug from Brocade Home still catches my fancy, even though I suspect it would be the ultimate frustration to vacuum. For $199, I'm sure that it's far less expensive than the other options that I've been drooling over.

I've even though of hanging the runner on one of our longer hallway walls, but worry that the weight of it might make it sag. Hmmm....

More neutral masters

A visit to Living Etc. opened a treasure chest on the post below about neutral bedrooms. My two favs...

Oh that wall. (Insert sighs here). And the linens are gorge. So simple, and so breathable.

That round rug tugs at my heart. With the lacey pattern repeated in the pendant and the stunning artwork, I could move right in.

Any thoughts on where to find a similar rug to that bottom image would be greatly appreciated (not by Mr. Big of course....).... :)


Just when I was thinking our master could use a little color, I ran across this gorgeous image from Gaelle Le Boulicaut that reminds me why we went this way in the first place.

So fresh and snuggly.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

So true

Etsy seller enchantedpond touched a cord with this print titled "Only the sea".

Looking forward

Sometimes it's hard to believe how fast a year passes. Other times, like right now, I eagerly look forward to a new year. We've got computers around us that serve as calendars, but they just aren't as charming as this calendar from etsy seller hellohandmadepaperie.

Apparently it was charming enough to have one for the office and one for home as I purchased two of them. This is my first calendar purchase in a really long time. Am I the only one?