Today is National Dog Day. For dog lovers, every day is National Dog Day, but I do like the idea of a special day designed to celebrate our four-legged friends “decorating” designer rooms with the wow and the woof factor for National Dog Day.
Our son and his girlfriend sit on the board of the Shepard rescue in their community. Their caring and extremely rewarding work with rescue dogs brought them Caramel, and is inspired by our dear Ollie, our original rescue dog.
Go for a walk with, throw a bone to, design and decorate your life around and consider adopting a rescue dog today on this National Dog Day.
A mighty wind may blow, howl, scream and threaten destruction, but never underestimate the resolve of a city whose beauty and soul is rooted in its centuries-old history – a city seemingly built to entice and enchant the eye as well as the heart of those who admire and appreciate this architectural landmark called New Orleans.
New Orleans architectural styles fascinate me more and more with each and every visit to the Crescent City. With a flair for finery reminiscent of the 18th century French and Spanish influence from which it came, New Orleans architectural elements are without a doubt some of the most notable, emulated and coveted features in architectural and interior design today.
Beginning with an iconic favorite, the iconic gas lamp is synonymous with New Orleans architectural style. Authentically crafted in antiqued copper, the Bevolo French Quarter lamp is one the most recognizable architectural elements lighting the streets, sidewalks, storefronts and entryways throughout the French Quarter and Garden District. Cementing its role as a prominent New Orleans architectural element, Bevolo Gas and Electric Lights began in the French Quarter in 1945. The design vision and expert craftsmanship of Andrew Bevolo Sr. together with the tales of renowned architect A. Hays Town resulted in a brilliant design execution. The French Quarter gas lamp is quintessential New Orleans and an architectural element that commands attention to detail.
Columns, ornate wrought-iron laced designs and historic balconies rule the New Orleans architectural elements royal court. These sublime features wrap the city in intricate detail so historically ingrained and so hauntingly associated with the French and Spanish style architectural history of New Orleans.
Thoughts of what once was and what could be again dance the dance of possibility in the minds of restorers, the hands of architects, the boards of designers and the hearts of the New Orleans devoted. Purveyors of architectural grandeur understand and infinitely appreciate the fine point of architectural perfection in an imperfect state.
Opulent crystal chandeliers are synonymous with the finery that is New Orleans’ antiquities. Ornate moldings, ceiling medallions, elliptical archways and decorative trimmings denote the architectural element hallmarks of the city’s Greek Revival homes.
Dating back to the 1850s, the ornamental wrought and cast iron balconies, fences, galleries and gates of the Vieux Carré stand tall as the prominent architectural element most associated with the oldest neighborhood in New Orleans.
Pairing these two design elements together is a bespoke design element demonstrated throughout the Crescent City.
Elaborate in design and characteristic of the French Quarter, ornamental ironwork frames a large portion of the landmarks and homes of New Orleans.
The New Orleans Shotgun house possesses an exterior charm as unique as the feather, scroll and gingerbread architectural elements for which they are known. A shotgun house is elongated in length and narrow in width with rooms flowing one into another. Modeled in Eastlake, Neoclassical Revival and Italianate styles, the shotgun houses throughout the City of New Orleans were built with lot size constraints in mind. Form follows functionapplies here.
Shuttered doors and windows continue to be a prominent fixture among the classic New Orleans architectural element scene. Adopting and adapting exteriors to mirror the customary French architectural design element of louvered shutters on all windows caught on and remains one of the most instantly recognizable traits of New Orleans design. Shuttered doors and windows were strictly a utilitarian feature with a three fold purpose early on- privacy, protection from wind and sun and to control ventilation. The climate of New Orleans is not one that is conducive to complete comfort in the spring and summer months. Shuttered doors and windows remain a characteristic feature of French Quarter buildings, restaurants and hotels today. I have opened many a window and French door and pulled many a pair of shutters my way over the years to block the noise from the streets of the French Quarter.
An architectural enigma of sorts in a city so well know for public displays, the New Orleans’ courtyard is viewed as an architectural feat of patio splendor. The New Orleans courtyard is an intimate walled garden usually tucked away from street view- a hidden and shaded Shangri-La. Flowing fountains, lush plants and fragrant tropicals line the walls of the courtyard providing a tranquil place for residents, tourists and locals alike to ensconced themselves in privacy. This is my idea of The Big Easy.
New Orleans’ native-born son, the incomparable Louis Armstrong, croons the question “Do You Know What It Means To Miss New Orleans?” The influence of the New Orleans architectural element in today’s interiors and exteriors is undeniable. Gorgeous copper, antique New Orleans bricks, ornamental iron, ceiling medallions, ornate chandeliers and shutters drive my interior design and decorating choices. I guess I do know what it means to love the architectural styles of New Orleans.
Starting the day with a splash of delicious and stylish inspiration puts the day in proper perspective and gets the creative process going. This statement comes on the heels of an entire weekend spent styling my kitchen for an updated our home page. Inspiration is everywhere and I found a splash of weekend decorating inspiration over many cups of strong Louisiana coffee. Who would have thunk it?
As I sipped and studied flow, balance and placement, I took a thought inventory of the kitchen counters, tabletop and marble top sideboard and the decorative accents and utilitarian wares soon to be placed upon them. I kept in mind the kitchen is first and foremost a working space based in design and style. Think of it this way- from prep to serve we “design” a meal. I’ve even been known to color coordinate the food to the china to the serving bowls. I’m just designed that way. If we meticulously select decorative accents, color, flooring, lighting, cabinets and counter tops that reflect and inspire our tastes and style, doesn’t it make sense to select items that make a style splash, keep it style simple and complement our design and decorating choices? From taste to tastes, it’s all in the details!
Look who’s designing, inspiring and making a delicious style splash! Design star David Bromstad has partnered with Coffee-mate and Target, making a splash with limited edition bottle designs inspired by coffee and Coffee-mate. The new David Bromstad designed bottles (French Vanilla and Hazelnut flavors) will be available exclusively at Target stores nationwide.
The Art of Coffee by Bromstad limited edition bottle design brings a splash of style to the table, and Coffee-mate brings a splash of flavor to your favorite coffee beverage and recipes. Did someone say recipes? Fall, football tailgating times and Holiday cheer time is upon us, and it’s easy to get recipe inspired with Coffee-mate. Impress and inspire the crowd with a specialty coffee, hot chocolate beverage, cake or bread pudding flavored with Coffee-mate French Vanilla or Hazelnut flavored coffee creamer. The versatility of Coffee-mate flavored coffee creamer from cup to counter is the Art of Coffee- a distinct look designed to complement a great taste. Coffee-mate is generously helping me spread the coffee love to one of my lucky readers.
The giveaway prize includes 5 mini journals, a pack of colorful pens, a coffee poster and 2 full-value product coupons ($45 ARV).
The giveaway period begins August 12 and ends August 20, 2014. The giveaway is only open to US residents age 18 and older.
More Chances to Win!
For more inspired fun, snap a photo of the newly designed bottles and share it on Instagram or Twitter with the hashtag #CMInspiresSweepsEntry for a chance to win a year’s worth of Coffee-mate, $500 Target GiftCards, and a signed print from David Bromstad!
Don’t miss the Coffee-mate #CMInspires Twitter Party on Thursday, August 14 at 7pm Central, co-hosted by Courtney Whitmore of Pizzazzerie and David Bromstad
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.
Reflecting back on 2013 and looking forward to things to come in 2014 takes center stage for a whole lot of people at this time of year. Once I weed through the resolution staples- lose weight, get organized, get healthy- I get down to the business of business that is decorating. With decorating comes hours of sourcing, viewing and discovering interiors. Commercial complexes, residential homes, restaurants, lounges, chain and luxury hotels- I’ve never met an interior I didn’t appreciate. The common denominator of design swoon and decorative admiration becomes more clear with each and every image. Fearless and fabulous color excites the eye, races the heart and commands attention. Isn’t that the idea?
Color is at the core of detail. Color excites, enhances and engages diners, travelers and celebrators. It is a measured ingredient, sometimes in appropriate hit you over the head excess, sometimes in take you by surprise I didn’t realize I like that color discovery.
My personal measure of fearless and fabulous color done right is when the balancing act of hue, tone and saturation come together to engage the eye in real time without sensory intrusion, but makes it’s biggest impact in memorable afterthought. That’s a color your world impression, and isn’t that the idea?
Wynn Las Vegas
Dave the Builder and I had the pleasure of staying at Wynn and Encore Las Vegas for our 25th anniversary. The celebration and importance of the milestone could not have been better framed for a more memorable experience than by the impressive design and decor attributes richly bathed in color.
There is absolutely nothing common about the design and decor details of the common areas. I do like and appreciate the tone down of color in the guest rooms. At home or on the holiday road, decompressing and relaxing is so much easier when a space is done in a tasteful, tranquil palette.
In the case of Wynn and Encore, the serene Californicated neutrality reserved for the guest rooms is a well thought out color application.
Switching gears and geographical locations to further the point is the fabulous guest rooms of the SLS Hotel South Beach.
Architect and designer Philippe Starck brilliantly succeeds in pairing quintessential South Beach elegance with French influences that fascinate the eye and relaxes the soul. Let me ask you this: How long did it take to draw your eye straight to the pink accent pillow? There are times when just a blush touch of color is all it takes. Stark (no pun intended) white with a fearless hint or fabulous from floor to ceiling saturation – fearless and fabulous color has the will and the power to influence, inspire and impress. Isn’t that the idea?
Sweater weather days and crisp fall evenings are here! Weekends are a prime time for a bit of personal downtime. What better way to recharge the battery we run down during our busy and hectic week than with a good book, a hot beverage and a few creatures of cozy comfort in the form of cable knit home decor favorites.
Remember this golden oldie recipe for hot spiced tea? It really is the best!
Hot Spiced Tea from TANG
1 1/3 cups TANG
½ cup sugar
½ cup instant tea*
1 teaspoon cinnamon
½ teaspoon cloves
*Or use lemon-flavored unsweetened or sugar-sweetened instant tea
Combine ingredients and store in tightly covered jar. Makes approximately 24 servings. For 1 individual serving, place 1 teaspoon of spice tea mix in a cup, fill with boiling water and stir until dissolved.
Okay, we’ve got the warm beverage part covered. Speaking of covered, don’t forget the braided cable throw and knit slippers. Have you read any good books lately?
I recently won a copy of House Proud: Unique Home Design, Louisiana by Valorie Hart, and am eagerly awaiting its arrival. In the meantime, the November Holiday issues of Southern Living, Better Homes and Gardens and Real Simple will provide me hours of reading enjoyment.
This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of CB2. All opinions are 100% mine.
CB2 has partnered with the dynamic husband -and-wife designing duo Robert and Cortney Novogratz on their latest collection,CB2 and Novogratz Collection, debuting May 2nd. Unique originality is never a boring calling card, and quality home furnishings inspired by affordable sophistication, bold colors, warm woods, and a vacation home in Brazil is brilliant! CB2 recognizes the spirit of sophistication and fun in home furnishings and decor. Robert and Cortney have a guided eye to whimsical, the vintage, the modern, and the color that puts the stamp of approval on fun, funky, and fresh home furnishings.
Outdoor spaces have quickly become extensions of the life lived within our homes. Whimsical in theory, neutral in palette, and classically fun- the Luli Lamp will pair perfectly to any outdoor space decor. It doesn’t monkey around with its stylish statement.
Bright and bold color injects essential life of the party looks to a space. From small indoor pops to grand outdoor statements, color makes its welcomed personality known in the CB2 and Novogratz Collection. Hot color mixed into warm wood, a wide range of items and price points, and a design nod to vintage love from a thoroughly modern designing couple makes for one desirable collection.
I’m a big fan of husband-and-wife designing teams. Just ask Dave the Builder. The couple that designs and decorates together deserves a beautiful vacation home in Brazil!
Remember me mentioning this collection puts an emphasis on style and fun? You and 3 of your friends could win the trip of a lifetime by entering the CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes. On lucky person will win a one week stay at the vacation home of CB2 collaborators Bob and Cortney Novogratz in beautiful Trancoso, Brazil! Ten other lucky winners will receive a CB2 giftcard worth $100 along with a personally signed copy of the book “Home by Novogratz”. How’s that for style and fun! The CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes runs from May 2nd through June 3rd.
CB2 invites you to follow their social media channels for more updates on the CB2 and Novogratz Brasil Sweepstakes trip of a lifetime. Follow them on Twitter @CB2Tweets, Pinterest CB2, and CB2 on Facebook.
I like how one word can be associated with many different areas. Life, fashion, interior design, business, music, and writing all assign a sense of style however, I like to focus on the style of home. I’m not simply referring to decorating and dinner party ideas, the construction, or architecture of a house. The decor, personality, hospitality within, graciousness, and how we as hosts handle a less than comfortable situation measures the style of home.
Designers, actors, shop owners, one blogger, one musician and two chefs reveal their sense of style through meaningful words.
“I learned that passion about objects and furnishings makes for fearless decorators—and that if you are comfortable in your home, everyone else will be too. That sense of authenticity is what gives a home its soul.”
“In case of an entertaining crisis, take a deep breath and ask, ‘What would Auntie Mame do?’ If a guest accidentally breaks something, regardless of value, simply say, ‘Thank you. I’ve been looking for a reason to replace that old thing.'”
—Bryan Batt, actor/shop owner
“When I was in Italy one summer, our hosts served cashews and potato chips in crystal bowls while we sipped Prosecco. It was a revelation: right-out-of-the-bag snacks become sophisticated when they’re served in a gorgeous dish.”
“In life as in design, it is not perfection you should be after. There’s beauty in the faded and worn, the well loved, and the sentimental…After all, life has seams. Your home should be like a loosely woven fabric of desires, memories, practical, notions, and even compromises.”
Do you trip report? I like to keep the fun and memories of a memories of a getaway alive with a trip report. Long before Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, I was reduced to archaic methods of recording and reporting trip buffoonery. A 35mm camera, a honking huge video camera, and a written trip report got the job done. I definitely don’t miss the the video camera, kinda still like the pics from my 35mm camera, and will keep on keeping on with the trip reports.
After running across pictures from our trip to Dallas last year, listening to one of my favorite singers on Spotify, and getting a big old Texas kick out of the new Dallas on TNT, I’ve got memories from last year’s Dallas trip on my mind.
Our son called from the Great White North to inform us he was coming home for a visit. We will now be three for the trip over to Dallas to see the performer I refer to as “the voice” in concert at American Airlines Center.
The son quickly informed the mother he would be sitting this one out- the concert, not the trip. In spite of how health conscious and diet minded he is, he had his taste buds set for a west coast treat recently new to Texas. More on that later.
“The Voice” is the incomparable Josh Groban.
On our 25th wedding anniversary trip to Las Vegas, I had the pleasure of being introduced to the beautiful song “February Song” by Josh Groban.
Chill bumps! When he announced he would be touring in 2011, I kept my eye out for the dates. I zeroed in on a Dallas, Texas vacation, waited for the tickets to go on sale, and starting planning the trip.
The concert was fantastic! The pictures not so much, but you get the general idea.
I discovered a love of turquoise cowhide chairs while we were in Dallas. When in Rome and Dallas, as they say. While watching Good Morning Texas, I learned Vern Yip of HGTV’s Design Star and Bang For Your Buck was in Dallas on a promotional tour. Our schedule was not permitting me to attend, but my ever handy notebook and pen got an early morning workout. I sipped strong Texas coffee, paid close attention, and jotted down his home decor advice, suggestions, and tips.
Good interior design and home decor information. I knew I liked that turquoise cowhide chair.
California based In-N-Out Burger was the reason for our son’s excitement about our Dallas trip. Yes, they are that good! One of our favorite Saturday night Vegas traditions was seeing the show Mama Mia at Mandalay Bay, followed by a gourmet dinner fit for a dancing queen and her man at In-N-Out Burger.
Our trip to Dallas satisfied our son’s In-N-Out Burger craving, marked seeing Josh Groban live in concert off my bucket list, and gave Dave the Builder the opportunity to brush up on his tour guide skills. Load ’em up! I’m ready to hit the holiday road to the Big D again.