Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Rustic Wine Country Wedding

I stumbled upon this beauty of a wedding, and have completely fallen in love with the natural beauty of this event.  From the lush landscape of leafy trees and vineyards, to the rows upon rows of bistro lights strung above the tables.

My favorite parts:
  - Her dress.  Oh my gosh, those ruffles!
  - The Chairs.  Such a small detail, but the wooden chairs reminiscent of a turn of the century school 
     house bring such charm!!
  - The Lighting.  The lights strung in the trees create such a whimsical event space.  They make such a 
     large outdoor space feel cozy, and capture the magic you'd want to feel on your wedding day
  - The flowers.  A simple combination of white and green, they are loosely gathered into vases to avoid 
     being  fussy.  There is a lot of natural greenery used in addition to the lilies and hydrangeas, which is 
     unique, and compliments the venue, as opposed to taking away from the natural beauty of the space.
  - The Stage.  Looks like such a fun reception - set for a live band and dancing till dawn






Heaven is... a Spacious Chef's Kitchen

I wish I had a picture of how teeny our SF kitchen is.  Let me paint the picture - its roughly 5'x5' and has two itty bitty countertops on either side of the farmhouse sink (can I just add, the sink is the one kind of awesome thing in the space!)  Naturally, we do not have a dishwasher (Kris calls me his dishwasher... sooo not funny), so one of the two small counter-tops is consumed by a dish drainer.  This leaves me about one square foot to prepare food - not exaggerating at all.  To say that cooking ANYTHING in this kitchen is difficult is an understatement.

To add to this tragedy, I happen to love to cook, so I find myself constantly day-dreaming of hosting fabulous dinner parties, and hanging out with friends and family in a beautiful, spacious kitchen.

Can we talk about the tin ceiling tiles above the TWIN ISLANDS?!  This must be how starving children in Africa would feel if they saw a photo of a Las Vegas Buffet.  I don't even know what I'd do with all this counter-space!  You could teach cooking classes here!  You could start a bakery here!!  The tiles bring some old school glamour - it reminds me of some of the turn-of-the-century hotels in San Francisco - but the installation of modern glass lights makes it fresh and contemporary.  LOVE.

Hello, future kitchen.
Your Total Renovation
Wow - between the panelled ceiling, the grand fireplace, and the contrast between detailed white cabinets and glossy black counter-tops, this kitchen is both dramatic and cozy.  The floor to ceiling windows don't hurt either :-)

great kitchen...
To me, this is farmhouse kitchen meets French Chateau.  The details on the cabinets keep it quaint while the huge arched window, intricate chandelier, and ginormous hood range create multiple focal points for the room.  I'm also loving the white marble backsplash - all the white coupled with the vaulted ceiling keeps it feeling airy even though this space isn't super expansive!

Bight and airy kitchen
More black and white - I'm sensing a theme here! In kitchens, and in all rooms, I'm a huge fan of keeping things simple and neutral.  This room doesn't look boring because of the small details - the hood on the range, the lantern, and the fresh flowers.  These are the things you can more easily change, but be sure you don't commit to a trend that will easily go out of style.  Kitchen appliances are pricey, so don't throw your money away on a quaint country fruit themed back-splash (a popular look in the '90's).  Go for a look that has been popular in the past and present - timeless wins every time.

light, spacious, beautiful kitchen
Un-named Source
I hate not being able to track photo's back to their original sources, but this kitchen was too lovely to leave out!  I love the idea of a dine in kitchen - people congregate in here for parties and dinner anyways, so having the table in the kitchen is so functional - it provides seating, and allows people to linger, long after the meal is finished.  When Kris and I start a family (and buy a home) I absolutely want to be sure that we have a large dining area in the kitchen.  I picture our kids doing homework there while I cook dinner.  A girl can dream, right?

spacious white kitchen, i love!
Again, a smaller space in the scheme of my imaginary kitchen, but between the globe light fixtures, the nail-head trim on those chairs, and the gradated tile, I know this is a look that Kris would love as much as I do.  It's modern without being "modern".  It has just enough classic charm to keep it soft.

Ikat Print Pillows

Ok, back to the pillow discussion.  This has been pretty much consuming my thoughts, so I need to start making some decisions!

Unfortunately, my day job has nothing to do with design or decor, so I live vicariously through other bloggers who are invited to fabulous design previews.  Emily of A Well Dressed Home recently posted the below photo from the grand opening of the Bel Air Studio & Design in Dallas, and take a look at those pillows!!  They are SO close to a few I had been looking at last week - I think I should definitely get some, but which ones?!

Ikat Pillows at BelAir Studio & Design - via A Well Dressed Home

Pillow Cover - Decorative Pillow - Throw Pillow - Toss Pillow - Ikat - Chartreuse - Both Sides - 17x17 inch
Kyoozi via Etsy
One Bansuri by Kravet Grey Tan Gold Cream Ikat Pillow Cover 18x18
Home Living via Etsy

18 x 18 Grey and Yellow Ikat "Bansuri" Designer Pillow Cover - Decorative Throw Pillow
Olive and Garland via Etsy

Monday, March 26, 2012

Improvements in the bedroom

      Before:                                          After:

I would like to preface this post by saying, our bedroom is nowhere near to being finished.  I had become so fed up with the glaring white walls, and the hideous $10 blinds that our landlord lovingly installed... so I made a few changes.  Admittedly, we still need a lot of work... A LOT of work.  The real transformation has been in the dresser and nightstands (original post found here).  You can hardly tell the dis-repair of the nightstands in this very poor "before" picture, but they were no bueno.

Still on the agenda is a new mattress.  Ours is just terrible, but the decision between queen or king is holding up the rest of the room's progress.  Once we decide on a mattress, then I can move onto upholstered headboards, bedding, and wall decor.

Really, not much has actually changed - I got new lamps which I LOVE, and hung a few mirrors, along with a few picture frames (remember those lovely french photo's from this post) and some curtains.  I look back at the old lamps and think how teeny they look.  The new ones are much more substantial... really liking that.  I hated the idea of just throwing them away, so I am in the purpose of re-furbishing them - that mini DIY project to be posted soon!!

After all the toil to get those quatrefoil mirrors, I am not loving them above the bed.  I think they may be better suited in the hallway or above the TV.  I also think that the row's of three (three mirrors, three picture frames) is just too matchy matchy, but alas, they will have to stay until other changes are made.

And do you like the new bedding?  I should say... "new" bedding.  Just flipped over the old duvet, stole the chevron pillows from the living room, and laid a cozy throw over the bed (originally because we needed a bit more warmth at night, but it has stayed).

I've already got a few ideas cooking, and have been working on a new inspiration board for the bedroom based on my biggest pet peeves and some of the challenges this space has.  Since it's one of the darker rooms in our place, I'll need to be strategic... keep your eyes peeled for some ideas here!

Happy Birthday!!

To my big sissy on her 30th birthday - you have always looked after me, taken care of me, and forged the road for both of us.  You may not be thrilled at the prospect of turning 30, but the 20's were for learning, and the 30's are for living.  The next few years will be some of the best of your life, and I am so happy that when I turn thirty, you can tell me how awesome it is...

They say the best time of life, is when your friends become your family, and your family become your friends.  I've always been lucky to have you as a sister, and beyond that, I've been lucky to have been your best friend since the beginning.

Wishing you a wonderful day and year.


Pretty Spring Flowers

The light in the living room was so pretty this morning, I couldn't help myself - I had to snap several pictures of the ranunculus that are blooming by the windows.  I love this time of year when the sun rises earlier, and sets later, asparagus is in season, and the most lovely flowers are blooming.

Happy Monday!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Amazingly Easy Breakfast Treats

Sunday mornings are our day to sleep in late, lounge around the house, and while we love to go to brunch on weekends, sometimes it's nice to stay in, brew some coffee, and whip up something quick.

It's been non-stop rain here in San Francisco, and you couldn't pay me to walk 8 blocks to brunch today.  Naturally, I haven't been to the store to stock up on weekend goodies, so looking at what we had, I realized I could make some chocolate filled breakfast rolls.  Seriously, the easiest and most delicious breakfast treat.

 - Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (comes in a tube in the refrigerated section)
 - Chocolate Chips
 - Butter

Just roll out the dough on a baking sheet and sprinkle the chocolate chips on the dough.  I focused most of the chocolate at the fattest part of the triangle because this is the middle - the best, most fluffy part.

Next, roll them up, starting at the wide end of the triangle, and pinch the ends to be sure the chocolate stays inside once it melts.

Brush a bit of melted butter on top before putting in a 350 degree oven (not necessary but it makes them that much better).  It took about 10 minutes for them to puff up perfectly!  Eat them while they are hot!  So delicious!

Happy Sunday!

Friday, March 23, 2012

Home Decor - Living Room Inspiration

I made some headway last weekend sprucing up the apartment - hanging our gorgeous new piece of art, and revamping my sunburst mirror - however, this week, everything has fallen apart.  I have been so busy with work, and travel, and the HUNGER GAMES (we can get to that later) that everything is a mess. Clothes are all over the place, hamper overflowing, dishes in the sink, and dead flowers galore.  One step forward, two steps back.

I am determined to clean everything from top to bottom, and then I am moving forward with some more small details.  I have a few small projects in the works (one involving sea fans that I am rather excited for) but I am also looking into ordering some new pillow covers off Etsy.

Remember the living room inspiration?
Well I am moving forward on the pillows now.  As it stands, we are working with a total mishmash of whatever came with me from my last apartment.  This leaves us with several sad pillows that are well used (little frays here and there) and there is zero continuity between why they are all together.  I want to stick in the same color palate as I originally designed - browns, aqua, blue, tan, grey, and some yellow
Pair of Ikat decorative pillow covers, spa teal blue, brown and grey, throw pillows
Custom Listing for Riley

Yellow, gray and ivory floral ikat pattern decorative pillow covers, throw pillows

Decorative pillows, Pair of Multi-color gold, yellow, gray  floral medallion decorative pillow covers

ONE Suzani Powder Blue Pillow Decorative Pillow Cover Tapue/Aqua 18 X 18 Inch
Decorative Pillow Cover - Floral Pillow in Gray, Green and Taupe - Accent Pillow - Throw Pillow - Pillow Cover

Decorative Pillow Cushion Cover - Accent Pillow - Throw Pillow - Dwell - Vintage Blossom Azure, Teal, Branch - 20 x 20 inch

That said, I also still find myself to fabrics with pops of color.  Would it end up being to matchy matchy without some other color variations?  Will this end up looking like a sore thumb or afterthought?  That is the problem with Etsy - because most of these shops are a single person running a side business, there are no returns no a lot of it... what do you think?  Are these too much?  Should I stick with the original plan?
Pillow Cover - Decorative Pillow - Throw Pillow - Sofa Pillow - Kravet - 17x17 in - Yellow - Red - Blue - Taupe
Pillow Cover - Throw Pillow - Sofa Pillow - Decorative Pillow - Suzani - On BOTH SIDES  - 20x20 in - Sage Blue - Red - Yellow - Brown
Pillow Cover - Deocrative Pillow - Throw Pillow - Sofa Pillow - Kravet - Ikat - Suzani - BOTH SIDES - 20x20 in - Linen - Pumpkin - Taupe
Pillow Cover - Decorative Pillow - Throw Pillow - Toss Pillow - Ikat - Chartreuse - Both Sides - 17x17 inch

So many options, so little time!