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.
This week’s Fetching Friday features signature design and decor interpretation, fashionable words, a perfect blend of antiques and modern, a summer settee, a full on fall preview, and a question for you all.
As illustrated in the Domino magazine feature “High Style Made Easy”, Interior designer Mary McDonald captures decorating lightening in a bottle in this office kitchen with her signature bold design choices. Decorating in a straightforward fashion strictly based on the function and purpose of the space does not always a statement make. Doesn’t this office/workspace with its playing it not so safe accents and accessories pop a bit more than a conventional just get the job done look?
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.