Paris Loot

During our trip, I made sure to work in a little shopping time. Shopping in Paris sounds like the pinnacle of retail therapy, however, two buzz-killing conditions loomed over me: 1) the exchange rate is still not awesome and 2) I'd have to lug any purchases home with me. I got over the negative factors and found some great stuff...making the rule to only go into stores that we don't have in the US.

Some of my favorites included Flamant, Habitat, Maison de Famille, Zara Home, and Hermes. I'll do a whole other post on the stores themselves since all were gorgeous.

On to my loot...from Flamant I got a darling new decanter (it has polka dots!) and a few tiny silver cups.

I came home to blooming hydrangea and rose bushes so I cut a few buds for the cups.

I didn't actually buy anything at Habitat, but I'm sure I would if I lived there. It was like Crate and Barrel meets IKEA. They also were generous with the air conditioning (unlike everywhere else in Paris), which was heaven.

At Maison de Famille, a little glass butter dish found its way home with me. Now if I can only get my hands on some of the fresh French butter I had...

 At Zara Home, I got this lucite tray table and box. I had to take the table as my carry-on for our flight home...the customs guy clearly thought I was nuts.

I also stumbled across this shop, Les Toiles du Soleil, which I was thrilled about because I've seen their website before and they carry mostly striped goodies, which I adore. I picked up a pair of these super cute placemats. It's located at 101 rue du Bac - 75007.

I saw this turquoise melamine tray in the window of a store (that I can't remember the name of) and went directly in and bought it. Since it's melamine, it'll come in handy for poolside booze/food too.

Hermès was completely amazing. Their home section made me want to become a drug kingpin so I'd have enough cash to actually buy things (only kidding). Among the best - and actually attainable - things were the table linens. I especially loved the H bordered placemats and napkins. They had them in tons of different colors.

Speaking of Hermès...drumroll please...I came home with the long-coveted Avalon blanket! It wasn't purchased from the flagship store on rue du Faubourg Saint Honoré...it came from the duty free shop that was right by our gate at Charles de Gaulle. My sweet mom got it for me under the condition that she gets to use it when she visits :) The orange one has always been on my radar, but the shade was a big disappointment. It was way more yellowish brown than it looks on their website. I'm considering exchanging this oatmeal/ecru color for the dark gray, but the warmer neutral is really growing on me. Thoughts?

Finally, I got big, acrylic salt and pepper grinders from the Peugeot store.

They will enjoy their new lives here in America :)


More done to-dos

I'm back from our trip to France! Sorry for the unannounced absence and total lack of blogging. I had planned to schedule posts in advance and things got too crazy before getting out of town to make that happen. I thought about taking my laptop and trying to blog from there but I took the digitally disconnected route instead and left that and my phone in Big D. Anyhow, we had such a great time, but I'm happy to be back in the USA :) A billion photos were taken, so once I sort through those I'll do a few posts on the trip. Until then...here is a post I drafted for last week:

Changing the overhead lighting in pretty much every room of the house has been loitering on my to-do list since we moved in. Little by little, I'm getting it done and happily, the end is in sight. The guest bedrooms all had dim, bland flushmounts, so each room needed a lighting facelift. I'm happy to report that now I've got two down and only one to go!

When something doesn't work in one room, it's often worth trying it in another. Let's face it - money doesn't grow on trees so sometimes you have to channel your inner Tim Gunn and just make it work. I like to apply this concept to chandeliers. The white chandelier currently in the breakfast room came from the dining room. So, the black chandelier that was originally in the breakfast room got moved to the back guest bedroom...as you can see in the photo above. I'm feeling good about it in here. The rug, on the other hand, is a perfect example of when the "make it work" mantra just fizzles. It was great in our old house but just doesn't fit anywhere in the new one. It might end up on Ebay pretty soon.

Another item off of the to-do list is a roman shade project. Since a grayish brown finish was ideal, I ordered these natural bamboo shades and decided to stain them myself so I could get the color right. Plus, custom shades are pricey (these were only about $20 a piece) and I don't want to invest in those at this point in case we decide to upgrade our windows.

Now that I've found that my experiment worked pretty well, a few other windows around the house will probably be getting these too!

Finally, I found a new home for the displaced artwork...homeless due to the musical artwork game referenced in the last post.


House in flux

I'm constantly moving stuff around our house...occasionally this happens as a result of bringing something new into the mix. This was the case with the mirror in our dining room. Et voila...what do you think?

It replaced a gold antique carved mirror and I'm really liking the larger size of the new one. It's from HomeGoods so it was only $200!

So the entry is the gold mirror's new home...

Which means that the botanical print got moved here...

While we're focusing on this area, check out my cool new black and white chevron throw. It's Nate Berkus from HSN! Never thought I'd be an HSN shopper, but the NB stuff lured me in (on the website, I do not watch it on TV). The quality of the throw is really impressive - it's very thick - and it was under $40!

Because I still hate the look of the right side of this room, I'm thinking of ordering the rug below to see if it improves. The current rug is too beige/bland/light. Thoughts?

Anyhow, back to the musical chairs mirrors/art talk. My husband's dad gave us this great mirror made from an old window and I initially thought to use it in the middle guest room, which is where it was put...long ago. You've never seen a photo of this room because it's been faithfully serving as my overgrown junk closet. I finally forced myself clean it out and thereby rediscovered the mirror. Since the color is blue, the executive decision was made to put it in the den. So...."hang giant window mirror" is officially crossed off my to-do list :)

I like how the old wood of the mirror looks next to the modern art.

Don't worry, there's more to this story. Like Phil said of Claire in Modern Family, I can "make lists for days" so the to-dos will never cease :) You'll have to see where Pink Floyd poster ends up. Quite the cliffhanger, eh? Stay tuned for the rest...to be posted on Monday!


Slimming down the to-do list

I'll start off by apologizing again for my lack of posts...I'm sure that you're all sulking around in despair by not hearing my jabber every day ;) In any case, my world has been busy and productive lately, so I've gotten to check a few things off of my to-do list and wanted to share the progress!

First off, our yard needed lots of sprucing up. It was starting to look like Edie from Grey Gardens was the head groundskeeper around here. Thanks to the landscaping design skills of my mom, everything looks great now! The leaning fence by the pool is getting repaired next week and then we will be planting some sort of trees against it.

We cleaned out the beds, replanted, then added black mulch (which little did I know, this part makes a HUGE difference).

We also spruced up the outdoor furniture. Some ornery little squirrels decided that they needed more comfortable beds and took it upon themselves to steal the stuffing out of my chair cushions. Since those are now ruined, I headed to IKEA and picked up these cute ones for only $13 a piece. After some Scotch-Guard, hopefully they'll hold up longer than the Pottery Barn ones that preceded them. The umbrella was a steal from Overstock.com - I think it was $100. It seems sturdy and I like the color.

Hard to see in the pic, but we planted Mondo grass and Daylilies in front of the Azaleas. 

In case you're bored to tears by yard talk, here's a sneak peek on the interior changes I'll post on tomorrow...


New York Dream Home

In last month's Veranda, a gorgeous townhouse located in the Upper East Side of Manhattan was featured...it completely blew me away. I'll admit that I can be a superficial shelter mag reader and often just cruise the photos on my first pass through. So, it wasn't until I was in one of my favorite Dallas boutiques, Madison, that I came to find out that homeowner is none other than Kelli Ford. Along with her sister, Kirsten Fitzgibbons, Kelli owns Madison. The sister duo also runs Kirsten Kelli, LLC - the design firm behind the stunning interiors shown below. I just love their style...super luxe and chic, but never fussy. Here are my favorite shots from the spread:

This staircase is amazing...according to Veranda it was created by architect Peter Pennoyer who led the home's major renovation.

Modern art and graphic patterns keep the room fresh. You can't see it from this view, but my coveted Hermes Avalon blanket is in here :)

What a fantastic bedroom. Besides the bed, the curtains are my favorite element...I'm officially obsessed with gold rods/rings now! This is a perfect example of how a neutral palette can be dynamic.

While I love a white kitchen, this one reminds me that the look of dark cabinetry can be so sophisticated. The mix of metals used in the room is fabulous too.

The stately exterior...
All photos above from Veranda

Finally, here's another example of Kirsten Kelli's work that I just had to include because it's breathtaking...particularly the floors!


Pillow Source

Was sorting through my inbox and was so glad to run across Hable Construction as a fun new pillow source.

I spotted their totes/bags in Daily Candy Deals email (code DCHABLE will get you 25% off the items in the "Carry" section). The cheerful yet sophisticated prints shown in the email lured me in and it was nice to find that they had a "Decorate" section on the Hable site. In hand-printed cotton canvas and linen, their fabrics make for excellent accent pillows. Hable offers custom sizes including a euro sham option, which is awesome.

Not going to lie, the prices are a little steep. I'm guessing that their quality is exceptional and warrants the price tag, but it's hard to tell online. Speak up if any of you have reviews! Here are a few of my favorites...

I also saw these nifty hampers and bushels in the storage section....pretty cute way to stash laundry, blankets, toys, etc. A bushel would be perfect for our pool towels.

Also...sorry about the unannounced blogging hiatus! Last weekend was hectic and there weren't many spare moments during this week, so Knight Moves got neglected. Lots of little projects have been completed, so at least I've been productive and can report on the progress next week. Anyhow, despite the recent lack of posts, I hope you'll bear with me and will keep reading :)

Happy Friday!