Thursday, March 31, 2011

A little surprise

The light was just right....for our surprise little snowfall.

And to think we have been outdoors pruning shrubs and trees for the past two days for the spring that will hopefully come soon!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

White (as in Belle Blanc) Wednesday

Treating you to a sample of photos from the gorgeous new book, 
Belle Blanc,Aus Liebe zu Weiß
by bloggers Mirjana Schnepf (of Belle Blanc
and Bianca Aurich (of White Living).

Even though the text is in German, the photos alone are well worth it. Beautifully staged, the settings are primarily true to the title ...For the Love of White. However, as you can see here, lovely colors also make their way into the book.

Love this taupe and slightly off white combination...

Recipes and flowers are main ingredients here. Garden roses are my weakness, so seeing the blooms lovingly displayed and named were a treat. For those of you lucky enough to live in central California, you can stop into Garden Valley Ranch to see, touch and smell the acres of luscious and super-scented garden roses that they grow and sell.

Ask for Fallon!

I purchased Belle Blanc here.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Gilt Tuesday

Enjoying the beauty and subtlety (yes, gold can be subtle!) of gold leaf in this transformed orangery in Paris. Swedish decorator and jewelry designer, Katinka de Montal, did much of the decor work herself after the structural changes were made.

White, cream and gold are a simply striking combination here.

Adding in glass and crystal for the piece de resistance:

Wouldn't you love to be a guest here?

Beautifully photographed by Barbara Stoeltie and Rene Stoeltie.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Blue Monday

I'm into the blues....

How about you?


I love experiments like these!


Sunday, March 27, 2011

Magnolia Beauties

Nothing portrays the beauty of Mother Nature at her best like the magnolia. Even up here in the northern climes of the U.S., we have magnolias that can live through our zone 5 winters.

If you would like a magnificent magnolia wreath such as this, 
you'll have to order it from Australia, here. Isn't it beautiful?

The first magnolia to bloom here is the magnolia stellata. The blooms do not last long, but they are blowsy and as white as can be.

Magnolia soulangiana opens next. There are many varieties; this next magnolia blooms a creamy white.

You are probably most familiar with this coloring:

The last to bloom in our garden is the Sweet Bay magnolia and it graces us with its scent and blooms all summer.

Long live the magnolias and their stunning beauty!

Thank you to Cindy at My Romantic Home!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Spy...

...a great way to hide flaws in your walls. 

A Vancouver couple, potter Janaki Larsen and her partner, Pascal Roy, recently opened Le Marche St. George, an organic general store in an historic building. As older buildings go, renovations were needed.

Using a textured or embossed wallpaper hides the flaws and cracks that may be very time consuming to repair for a painted finish. While the British Lincrusta and Anaglypta wallcoverings have been around for a long while, today's textured wallcoverings are also lighter and easier to apply. 

Janaki Larsen and her sister, Klee, applied the Debbie Travis paintable wallpaper and then had fun "aging" it with plaster and house paint.

I love how it turned out- taking a flaw and turning it into an asset! 

Besides painting and adding additional interest with plaster or textures, other finishes for textured wallpaper can include an interesting metallic finish, created by applying foil and glazing it to seal, or creating a verdigris patina on a copper or bronze paint.

What have you done to hide those challenging walls?

[via here and here]

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Happy

Spring tulips and hyacinths: the very definition of happy!

Mmmm, great fragrance...

Have you ever smelled mimosa before? It's soft and sweet, with its scent relatively short-lived. If you can find it very fresh, you are in for a real treat.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

In a Green Frame of Mind

Although I've never had a green room, 
I believe these would do very nicely.

Love the teal green and coral together. 
Of course, those plaster walls are amazing. 

Blue green lacquered walls... to die for. 
Imagine the amount of work that took!

Have you used green in your home?

[1,2,3,4,5,6 ]

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Something to Consider

If I had the right sized out building, I would definitely consider following interior designer Wendy Vallerie's idea of a green roof. 

Pansies in spring, geraniums in summer. Hey, why not?

[via, photo by Michael Partenio]

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Kitchen Makeover Complete!

We have completed our kitchen makeover! Renovating the kitchen is always a challenge, especially when trying to keep some semblance of order during meal prep time. But, we are thrilled with our new cupboards and new look! Of course, look where we started from... whew!

It took a few years and we did various areas along the way. The old cupboards and walls were completely removed, electrical updated (yeah!) and new cupboards installed. We removed the old flooring and installed ceramic tiles that are family friendly (i.e. don't show every tiny thing).

It took a while to decide on the backsplash. We finally decided on tumbled marble.

We purposely chose not to grout in between as neither of us likes the look. After a couple of months, we love our decision.

The eating area contained a wall of ugly paneling when we moved in. Two re-dos later, we now have a smooth wall. This time, we chose to use lime paint from Sydney Harbour Paints. I love this paint! They have a great color selection and the lime naturally "blooms" without having to do glaze layers on top. Lime paints and plasters have lives of their own. You can not know exactly what it will do as it continues to interact with the air for a few weeks until it cures.

We chose Burnt Umber for the accent wall and Old Church White for the remaining three walls.

I made many samples to see what we would like and to look at them in different lighting. I cannot stress the importance of doing this. We thought we wanted a butter cream, light yellow, but when we held up the 22" x 24" sample, we quickly changed our minds. Honestly, this took the longest time of all! In the end, we were guided by the colors of our tiles.

Samples of trim colors:

Here is the result:

Our curtain rod is held up by two vintage, French decorative hooks that I purchased from Sharon's (My French Country Home) online brocante store here. Aren't they gorgeous? We use the two smaller brass hooks for a quick hanging of jackets.

Since we prefer open windows and lots of light, we went with this funky, open weave silver metallic/silk combination. The "rod" is actually a chair rail that I stained, gilded with aluminum leaf (instead of silver leaf that tarnishes very quickly) and aged.

Closeups of a few pieces found at estate sales:

Our copper envelope with cute little feet holds our spring welcome.

Bring on the guests!

Thank you to Cindy at My Romantic Home!


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