4/30/2010

Suzanne Kasler

Last night I had the opportunity to meet Suzanne Kasler and have her sign one of my new favorite deisgn books! The event was held at one of Dallas' best home furnishings boutiques, Vintage Living by Lisa Luby Ryan.
As you can tell from the cover, Inspired Interiors is a beautiful book...it's filled with brilliant designs and thoughtful commentary. Her work is glamorous but livable, and there's always a really unique element in each room. For example, in the image used for the book cover above...the ebony-colored herringbone hardwood floors are a refreshing change from the norm.

Here's another one of her rooms that concurrently effuses a traditional yet vivacious mood. Her use of color and texture is always spot-on.

Suzanne was so gracious and friendly...she's gorgeous too (has super blue eyes). She said I reminded her of her daughter who is a fine arts major in school and will be interning with Celerie Kemble this summer! Not going to lie, I'm a little jealous :) What a lucky girl!

Like many of great designers, Suzanne Kasler teamed up with Hickory Chair to produce a line of furniture. It is one of my absolute favorite collections, all of the pieces are elegant and current....it's the kind of furniture that you have forever.

The Alexandra Chair was love at first sight for me and I'm determined to get my hands on it one day!

Design is clearly a labor of love for Ms. Kasler, you can tell by the attention to detail in her creations. For example, this Amsterdam Side Chair could've been pretty, but ordinary without the grosgrain + nailhead trim.


This Adair Mirror is also striking with the touch of crystals around the perimeter.

Close-up...

It was such a pleasure meeting this exceptionally talented designer. I look forward to keeping tabs on her amazing work and hope to welcome some of her furniture designs into my house. Keep up the fabulous work Suzanne!

4/29/2010

Budget Outdoor Living

With outdoor living areas being so popular these days, there are lots of affordable options in outdoor furniture. I'm not really in the market for any, but it's all over the place right now so I can't help but look! Also, after having ours for a bit, I have some tips that will hopefully help you choose new stuff or better care for what you already have.

We have a few items from Pottery Barn's Chesapeake Collection. I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but I've been really disappointed with the quality. After only 2 years, the wood is splitting and warping. I've had to re-stain it twice since the dark finish rubbed off easily. Also the wood umbrella from PB snapped in half. If I had to do it all over again, I would buy cheaper pieces, like the ones below (since I can't afford the really good stuff yet). HomeGoods and Target seem to have nice looking pieces too, so be sure to check those out.

From World Market...

From IKEA...










From Pier 1...
From Grandin Road...

The key maintenance factors are covering the furniture when possible (which I hate the look of) and making sure that all wooden areas are treated consistently. I was told to put teak oil (even though it's not teak) on the Chesapeake table, chairs, and chaises after complaining to Pottery Barn about the warping/splitting. Getting this advice AFTER most of the damage had occurred was much less helpful than had PB given it at the time of purchase, but whatever.

With that said...although I prefer the look of wood, metal or plastic wicker are definitely the most carefree options. We have this resort outdoor sectional from CB2 that is resin wicker, and it looks brand new.

We also have some of these $60 wicker stacking chairs from Pier 1. They're great too...just hose them off when they need cleaning.

I love the look of these... Rex Arm Chair from CB2 - $70
 
Do you have outdoor furniture that you love or hate? Ever bought from any of the retailers mentioned? If so, please share your thoughts!

4/28/2010

The Great Outdoors

Now that the weather has warmed up, I've been on a mission to get our yard in shape. One of the tasks has been adding some new landscaping. I bought lots of begonias, geraniums, and roses for color. I have a black thumb, so I'm praying that I don't kill it all!


Bed of Begonias, these hold up in our hot Texas summers

Double-Knock Out roses, supposedly these are bullet-proof. The real question is: are they Knight proof? Only time will tell.

Hot pink Geraniums

Climbing roses

We are blessed to have a yard full of azaleas. I only wish that their blooms stuck around for a bit longer!
 

Another duty has been cleaning up the outdoor furniture. I'll report back when this project is finished up!

4/27/2010

Normandy and Versailles

As mentioned before, my upcoming vacation will be in France. Our trip begins in Normandy where we will be staying at the gorgeous Château La Chenevière. Built in the 18th century, it was originally a manor house. During WWII, it was occupied by the Germans, then by the US after D-Day. The estate was restored in 1988 and became a hotel-restaurant. It looks very quiet and peaceful.

Stunning, isn't it?

After a few days on the Normandy coast, we will head to Versailles. Our hotel there is called the Trianon Palace and it looks amazing too. Apparently it's just been renovated and based on the photos, the interiors are fabulous!

That tufted settee is perfection...reminds me of this one from Windsor Smith.

The color palette is so fresh without feeling trendy

Gordon Ramsay's restaurant

Such a snazzy banquette

The tile mosaic on the floor looks like it's worth a closer look

Gold chairs + powder blue walls = win

Those pretty beds have funny little reading lights coming out of each side!

This photo makes me really want striped curtains on brass rods.

Don't normally like indoor pools, but this one certainly is photogenic

The stately exterior...



Hopefully we will have days as gorgeous as the ones in these photos! Last time I was there, it was late October and the temps were in the 40s. All of the gardens had been ripped up for the winter so we didn't get to see Versailles in all its glory. So, I'm really looking forward to enjoying a more colorful landscape this time!

 If you have any recommendations for Normandy, Versailles, or Paris, send them my way s'il vous plaît!
photo via

4/26/2010

Mood Board Monday

I've always loved PATCH NYC ink drawings so I'm thrilled about West Elm's new PATCH collection. To celebrate, I'm participating in Mood Board Monday hosted by Pewter + Sage. Here's my mood board inspired by 3 of the PATCH NYC letterpress prints. I'm thinking the walls in this living room are French Gray by Farrow & Ball. What do you think?


1) Eliza Smoke Chandelier - Jayson Home & Garden
2) Antique Tiled Mirror - West Elm
3) Wycliff Chest - Pier 1
4) PATCH NYC Framed Wall Art - West Elm
5) Movie natural slipcovered sofa - CB2
6) Labyrinth Pillow - Lemon 20" - Z Gallerie
7) Zebra Pillow Cover - West Elm
8) Sphere Table Lamp - West Elm
9) Priya Ironwood Nesting Tables - World Market
10) Peekaboo clear coffee table - CB2
11) Inlaid Bone Flower Tray - Wisteria
12) ALVINE RUTA Rug - IKEA
13) Gloria Chair - Jayson Home & Garden
14) Tray Accent Table - World Market
15) Juliette Chair - Jayson Home & Garden
16) Burke Floor Lamp - Z Gallerie
17) Brilliant Plaque - Z Gallerie

4/22/2010

Please wheel that cart full of booze over here

Why go get a drink when the drinks can come to you? I guess that attitude is why bar carts have been all the rage lately.  Most of what I've seen in the blogosphere has focused on the bar styling and not on where you can actually buy a cart. So, I'm here to get down to business and help you mobilize your libations!

Of course, 1stDibs, Ebay, and Craigslist are always worth checking out...especially if you want something vintage. But, if there's no time for deal-hunting and you need a vehicle for your hooch right away, I've provided the following round-up of online options (with prices):

$1,232.50 - random price, n'est pas?
Cosmopolitan Bar Cart - Williams Sonoma Home

$825
Roland Bar Cart - Clayton Gray

$549
Duncan Bar Cart - Restoration Hardware

$499
Teak Bar Cart - Frontgate


$460
Miami Tea Cart - The Well Appointed House

$399
Alfresco Natural Cart - Crate and Barrel

$279
Chesapeake Bar Cart - Pottery Barn


$69

Cheers and happy weekend!