Archive for March, 2011

Royal High Tea. Jacuzzi Style.

I “got a giggle” when I found these royal tea bags. Produced by Donkey-Products in Hamburg, Germany, and being sold through Pylones-USA, these comic book like tea bags depicting Britain’s Prince William and his fiancée Kate Middleton are adorable. Get yours in time for morning tea on April 29th. We in the US will be up quite early to watch this affair. I’ll be at a sleepover at The Landsdowne Resort with my girlfriends just for this occasion. Wake up call at 4am (that is IF we even sleep). You tell me the last time six or more girls shared a room and rested peacefully. Tea anyone?

Dreaming in Jewel Tones.

Wow! The Washington DC area is fortunate to be overflowing with golden decorators and designers as is displayed at this years Dreamhome Showhouse at the Washington Design Center. Eight local interior designers were asked to to use jewelry as their inspiration for their room décor. In turn, seven local jewelers and a jewelry designer helped them choose the perfect piece. I’ve got my eye on Zoe Feldman’s bedroom suite. Right now I’m all about golden hues, abstract designs, glossy walls, and creamy textures – so this abstract ring and bedroom design hits the sweet spot for a cozy and relaxing bedroom reatreat.

What great inspiration for me in my own design work. Maybe I’ll be selecting a piece for next years event (if it’s the same theme). A great idea however! I’ll share more with you when I pop over the the Design Center this Friday for a peek.

Catchy Color Combination.

I’m working on the interior design of a local condo space and am using my clients own accent bolster pillow from the bedroom as my color palette for inspiration. A mix of creams, persimmon, sages, pale blues and accents of gold – the color combination is soothing and enliving at the same time. So today, when I saw some images shared through a Facebook friend for photographer Justine Ungaro, I was smitten. Of course, the photography is just beautiful. But the colors chosen to set the scene for this couples wedding affair were a perfect match to my design plan (minus the fuchsia – which I do adore).

Justine Ungaro photographer color scheme

Justine Ungaro photographer color scheme

Justine Ungaro photographer color scheme

Because I Never Tire of a Lucite Touch. Or Table.

Get this. Architect Benjamin Noriega is working with Plexi-Craft on lucite peices for his new online shop at BNODesign. I bought my waterfall table from Plexi-craft and could not love it more. I perused Benjamin’s beautiful crafts and settled on his simply elegant U Tea Table. I think it’s the proportions that I love. But the base had me at hello. The crystal clear curved acrylic bottom supports a one inch thick white acrylic top. Now, the price is the only thing holding me back – maybe it’ll make it to One Kings Lane next month. For a few hundred less. Perhaps yes. Perhaps no. In the meantime, I’ll oogle over it’s discreet splendor for a few more clear minutes.

U Tea Table Benjamin Noriega INterior Design

Spring Has Sprung.

bunny in golden morning spring landscape

Stop Crepe Myrtle Murder. At Home.

I have seen some sad-looking crepe myrtle plants on my morning walks with the dog. This fine flowering specimen of a tree is prized for its smooth trunk and air-kissed colorful petals that bloom from late Spring through the summer. I wanted to find out the right way to trim these beauties and searched for some ideas from the Grumpy Gardener. The objective with each pruning (do this like now!) is to maintain a well-spaced, main trunk with handsome bark and to thin out the center to permit easy penetration of sunlight and air. You can also trim back the tops of the plant no more than one-third. Heres what our Grumpy Gardener recommends:

Before you prune anything, it’s a good idea to know what you’re trying to accomplish. I always say if a bird can easily fly through the center of your crepe myrtle, the branches are spaced about right. If a bird can easily fly through the center of your house, you’re probably missing some windows.

Bad way to prune. And ugly result at that.

Bad way to prune. And ugly result at that.

To properly prune a mature crepe myrtle, you need 3 tools:

  • Hand pruners to clip twigs and branches less than 1/2-inch thick.
  • Loppers to cut branches 1/2-inch to 1-1/2 inches thick
  • Pole pruners or a pruning saw to cut branches more than 1-1/2 inches thick.

Remove branches in the following order:

  1. Suckers coming up from the base.
  2. All side branches growing from the main trunks up to a height of at least 4 feet.
  3. All higher branches growing inward towards the center of the tree.
  4. All crossing, rubbing, and dead branches.
  5. Branches growing at awkward angles that detract from the tree’s appearance.
Crape Myrtle After (could still use some thinning out of the inside however)

Crape Myrtle After (could still use some thinning out of the inside however)

Always cut back to a larger branch of the trunk. Don’t leave stubs. Removing seed heads on the end of branches is optional. Leaving them doesn’t reduce blooming. If you want to keep the height within a lower range, opt for a compact version. Continue reading ‘Stop Crepe Myrtle Murder. At Home.’

It’s National Poison Prevention Week!

As pet parents honor this week by assessing animal toxins in their homes, the ASPCA wants to remind us to take care when planning (or planting) their springtime gardens, too. Our furry friends can come in to alot of danger when accidentally ingesting or coming into contact with garden-related products, insecticides, weed killers and pet-toxic plants.So, let’s save our furry family members with some helpful and healthy tips from the ASPCA.

  • When designing and planting your green space, keep in mind that many popular outdoor plants—including sago palm, rhododendron and azalea—are toxic to cats and dogs, and may cause liver failure or heart problems. These are blooming now so keep puppies and elderly pups at bay.
  • When walking your dog, take care to keep Fido off the grass and away from toxic lawn and garden products. Cocoa mulch—a byproduct of chocolate—is especially problematic because it attracts dogs with its sweet smell and can cause them gastrointestinal distress or more serious neurological problems if consumed in large quantities.

Continue reading ‘It’s National Poison Prevention Week!’

Ikea Hacking Gone Glamourous. And Gorgeous.

I found this dressed up dresser on Houzz when looking for storage solutions for a clients nursery (paired here with the Crate and Barrel Colette upholstered bed). What looks a lot like other manufacturers fine goods, the solid wood $30 IKEA Rast dresser is reinvented  into a high contrast two-tone jewel using just primer, a couple top coats of white paint, walnut stain finish, and new hardware. All very easy on the purse strings or wallet. Here’s how you can save a couple bucks and spend just a a little sweat creating this DIY dresser.

An Ikea dresser all grown up. Perfect here as a bedside table with the Crate and Barrel upholstered bed.

Start with the simple solid wood IKEA Rast dresser:

Ikea Rast Dresser

Gather the following items:

  • Kilz all-purpose white primer for the drawer fronts
  • Minwax Poly Shade in Royal Walnut (Stain and Polyuerathane in one can!)
  • Benjamin Moore OC-17 White Dove in Semi gloss for the drawer fronts.
  • A foam roller for the paint, and two brushes for the priming and staining.
  • 6 ring drawer pulls (see my selection below)

Start by painting the face of your drawers with a nice, even coat of primer. While the drawers are drying, move over to the frame of the dresser and start staining with the Miniwax. Use long even strokes and thin coats. Wait a few hours, then add a second coat of stain. Once that’s done, add the second coat of primer to the drawers. The drying time is fast for primer, so you should be able to apply the semi-gloss paint to the face of the drawers. Wait an hour or so, then apply a second coat on the drawer fronts. I’d leave everything to really dry overnight. Once the sun rises the next day, slide the drawers into the frame, and add your new shiny drawer pulls.

To match the picture above, these six shiney brass ring pulls should do the trick for the drawer fronts. This old polished brass drawer pull can be found at Hardware Hut and cost $7 each:

Add six brass ring pulls to accessorize the drawer fronts. These are from Hardware Hut and cost $7 each.

If gold tone is not your game, this modern brushed nickel drawer pull would suit the lines of this dresser beautifully for only $3.99 each:

Belwith Camarilla Drawer Cabinet Ring Pull (Satin Nickel)


And as with any weekend project, make sure you’ve got a full tummy, plenty of space to work, good ventilation, and a drop cloth to lay down because you’re about to get a little messy. It’s all worth it in the end.

Sandal Sweet Spot.

I saw the post from blogger KeepItChic about her yearning for that splash of navy in her wardrobe with a custom all blue pair of K. Jacques Triton sandal. I was just in St. Tropez last September and got fitted for my very first custom natural leather pair of Picons from K. Jacques 16 rue Seillon store. I can’t to wait to finally break them in this Spring. So, I empathize with you KIC about these sandals. When in Capri in 2002, I scored three custom pairs of leather flip flops (imitations now sold at so many retailers – like JCrew who calls it their Capri sandal. Go figure.). Blue would be a great touch for a neutral palette of which I am in the same club. And while we’re shopping, I’ll take a US size 7.5 in the Columbia’s for that animal print obsession I can’t quit (I’m restrained. I promise.). Ten years and counting.

St Tropez sandal natural Picon K Jacues shoe


Bring a Little Monarchy Into Your Home.

Got a prince and aspiring princess in your household? Check out Bliss Living’s Kings Road Redux dishes and Crown Wall Decal. Royal elegance is served in the Redux refined porcelain dinnerware embellished with a slightly over-scale 24k gold crown design. Perfect for that royal wedding party you’re thinking about having to celebrate the British couple. And sweet dreaming about becoming queen while snoozing under the wall decal in your palace. You know you will.

gold leaf dinner plates table setting blissliving home

gold crown wall decal bedroom dining room bliss living home

Just a Thought.

"A person should design the way he makes a living, around how he wishes to make a life" — Charlie Byrd

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