This Week's Finds!

I've been seeing so many fun little things lately, little things that add big personality to a space. I thought I'd share some of my favorites from the week with ya'll!  

These votive holders ( seen in BHG's August issue). They are replicas of nautical flags - aren't they awesome? :)  They'd be great in a little boy's room. Or even 1 or 2 in an accessory tray in an entry.

 
 

 

These dreaaaaaaamy plaid throws by Faribault Mill. I LOVE the muted colors.

 
 

 

Fantastic swan arm chairs at an antiques store. The legs need some paint, but other than that - kinda perfect. 

 
 

 

A pair of chinoiserie garden stools. They'd make for great indoor side tables as well, like in the picture below

 
 

Bringing the outdoors, inside 

 
 

 

These all white busts would be perfect in a room that's mixing antiques and modern.  

 
 
 
 

 

This from a couple weeks ago -  a cheery chartreuse stool sitting pretty under a stack of furniture! 

 
 

 

I like the clean look of this tufted cocktail ottoman at Living Spaces.  They've given the space a  beachy vibe in this setting, but I think it'll look equally good in a more formal setting (with darker legs though)..

 
 

 

Also at Living Spaces, this acrylic & gold tray table. A great example of bringing in big style with a small footprint.  Setting two of these with some flowers & refreshments would create a welcoming ambiance for guests!

 
 

 

And lastly,  I bought this beautiful set of 6 stem glasses for a total STEAL. I used to have a set of green stem glasses I was in love with and they broke over the years. I've been on the lookout for a similar shade ever since. I finally found these with pretty rope stems. I can't wait to use them in a Fall table!

 
 

 

Anything you've seen lately you really loved?!  Something fun that you wanted to bring straight home with you (or had to resist bringing home??  story of our lives!  ;-)) 

26 Fantastic Coffee Tables

I hope everyone's had a rejuvenating weekend and a great start to your week. My weekend involved hanging out with our nieces & nephew (the best!), entertaining family and friends, and making a couple new discoveries. One of them - these perfect-for-summer Faribault Mill plaid throws I'm thoroughly in love with. Dreamy. 

Anyway.... coming to the topic at hand :)  Recently someone asked me for coffee table suggestions for their living room - something different, not the usual fare. I though I'd do a round up of some of my favorites right now.  Ranging from rustic to glam, traditional to modern, each one bringing that extra something to the table.  In a future post I'll share alternatives to coffee tables in case you want to go that route. This post is dedicated to coffee tables that bring elegance and/or drama (depending on what you're going for!) into a room. 

A few pictures of rooms with great coffee table choices & my round up below!

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26 Fantastic Coffee Tables

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From Inspiration to Design

I came across this fantastic Better Homes & Gardens cover not too long ago (it's from the archives, a couple years old!) But this room is still so fresh and relevant,  I thought I'd use this as an inspiration image and show how to take inspiration from a room - maybe you like the overall scheme or certain elements  - and bring it into your own space.

For instance, with this room -

design by Erin Gates / Elements of Style

design by Erin Gates / Elements of Style

 

I love the clean lines of the bedding and found a similar bordered sheet set in porcelain blue. To capture the navy / orangey-coral scheme, I added on these bright orange throw pillows. The brown faux fur blanket is reminiscent of the the warmer tones in the room, as is the jute rug. These fantastic white night stands seen on Ebay have curved legs similar to their inspiration. I took the fun leopard print from the bench and extended that out to accent frames. Punching in some color with a statement hot pink pillow (that also has a fabulous hand-painted leopard - two birds one stone! ).  

It's fun to look at a room, analyze why you like it and then go pick out your inspirations!

headboardsheetspillows / night stand / jute rug /  faux fur throw blanket / ivory throw / table lamp / accent chair / Dana Gibson leopard pillow - pink / mirror / leopard frames / palm leaf candle holders / flowers - current crush - hydrangeas!


What do you think? :)

Christmas in July!

I had the opportunity to be a part of the "Christmas in July" event last weekend at the fabulous Ascent Apartments in San Jose. It was such a fun evening with a great crowd and some really nice staff!  The property itself was gorgeous with this very relaxed, airy vibe to it. They threw open the floor to ceiling doors in the lounge area (where the event was) to let the outside, inside, which was amazing.

I was excited to put together something fun for the event and decided to go with a bold summer table setting.  When you think BOLD, you think Eddie Ross :)  You think color and mixing elements.  I decided to go with a scheme that had blue & white (of course!), with pops of magenta. And I did some print on print action too - stepping outta my comfort zone, but why not?!

Something else I wanted in there was a mix of traditional and modern elements. So you'll see the hurricanes & scalloped salad plates (which I'm thoroughly obsessed with), mixed in with dotted rim dinner plates and ikat print napkins.

Here it is!

 

Scalloped salad plates -  from Crate & Barrel, and I saw yesterday  Target's brought em back too,
Pacific dotted dinner plates - I used these Royal Doulton ones, a similar style available at Target 
Gold flatware - love this set from CB2 and this one at West Elm (well-priced).  I went with these.

 
 

 

I was going to go with solid napkins since the tablecloth's printed (Ralph Lauren blue & white). But I was immediately attracted to these ikat print napkins from World Market and they turned out to be the right mix.  I alternated the solid & print to balance it out.

The napkins were looking a bit flat lying on the plates, so I had a little fun with 'em! (here's a video on how to fan it out). It brings that festive touch!

 

Hands down my favorite find of the week were the hurricanes!   I love them so much. They bring a traditional-meets-modern feel to the setting (and some height to the table).

 
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Finally, I added on these pineapple salt & pepper shakers as accents. So many people asked me about these!!  They're quite adorable. One lucky lady got to take 'em home :P

 

A couple more pictures! 

 
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There was a nook next to my area where I put a simple scheme together for a feminine but stylish bedroom, or even a living room - black-n-white with dusty pink. Mixing stripes and texture. All from Target - zebra print ottoman ,  faux fur pillow ,  monogrammed mug

 

 
 

I had a great time talking to people at the event!  People telling me about their own spaces, and I was asked quite a few questions around decorating rentals / apartments that I'll share in future posts. Things like what to save on and what to invest in,  alternatives to coffee tables etc. stay tuned!

 

Overall it was a blast. And although I was poofed out by the end of the night (ready to kick up my feet and lounge in one of their poolside pods... instead I pretty much hit the bed the second I walked in), I was so glad to have been a part of it. Thanks so much for having me!!

Provence: Where the Pleasures of Life Abound

Since summer travel is on everyone's mind right now, I thought it'd be great to share a write up by my dear friend, author and travel blogger Caroline from Shutters & Sunflowers. Caroline is an expert on my favorite place of all time - Provence! 

Provence is SUCH a special place and no one knows it better than Caroline. She has a way with words and sweeps you into a world of beauty and pleasure, making you experience the beauty & bounty that the South of France has to offer. A perfect read as we go into the weekend! 

Her blog Shutters and Sunflowers is a travel resource where she shares stories about things which touch her heart. In her own words, "it's about living the journey not waiting to get to the destination!" Amen to that. Caroline has very generously shared her Provence travel guides with us for free at the end of the post.  Enjoy :P

 

What is it that consistently draws people to Provence and to the Luberon in particular? What precisely is Provence’s appeal, that special ‘je ne sais quoi’ which makes the region so captivating? Aside from its natural beauty, its enduring appeal is that it remains one of the few places whose charm has not diminished with the passing of time. Simple pleasures of life can still be found here, and in abundance.

 

Immersing Yourself In Simple Pleasures

Provence is a place where lingering in the shade over a long lazy lunch, watching the world pass by, is part of life and in our over scheduled lives, is perhaps the very essence of Provence’s appeal!

Aix-en-Provence

Aix-en-Provence

It’s where shopping means ambling through a brightly colored market, filling your basket with freshly baked pastries, ripe local produce, the soil still clinging to it, a medley of olives, honey and flowers.

Colorful baskets at the market in Uzes

Colorful baskets at the market in Uzes

Life seems kinder here, that in itself is so integral to Provence’ appeal, where instead of rushing, one simply meanders....exploring the narrow streets, stopping every so often to admire a tall shuttered window or a worn brass door handle, which you just know has a story to tell.

Shutters on the streets of Uzes

Shutters on the streets of Uzes

It’s a place where one wanders down tree lined avenues, where bustling street cafés beckon, their only requirement being that you take your time over a coffee or glass of wine. Simple pleasures so integral to Provence’s appeal, just as alluring today as they were when Van Gough, Gauguin, Cézanne captured it on their canvases!

 

A Symphony for the Senses

There is so much to admire in Provence. To look at, to taste, to smell, to hear - simple but delightful sensory experiences which define it's appeal.

Sights of Provence

Provence and especially the Luberon, is visually stunning. The sense of the past is inescapable in its enchanting perched villages, its tumbled down castles, abbeys and medieval chateaux.

Chateau in Lourmarin

Chateau in Lourmarin

Set against a backdrop of breathtaking scenery and a magical light, Provence has enticed artists for centuries. This unique transcendent light has a sharply defining clarity which has the becomes almost translucent, a painter’s dream!

Church in Lourmarin

Church in Lourmarin

It is an ever-changing kaleidoscope, where streaming sun rays intensify and illuminate the natural colours of the spectacular landscape. 

Bounneiaux across the vineyards

Bounneiaux across the vineyards

Vibrant summer carpets of dancing yellow sunflowers and shades of lavender.

Sunflower fields in Provence

Sunflower fields in Provence

L'Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque Gordes

L'Abbaye Notre Dame de Sénanque Gordes

Endless rolling fields of bright green vineyards, olive groves and fruit orchards, which evolve into a deep, rich, ocher glow before shedding their gowns to rest during winter.

Vineyards in Provence

Vineyards in Provence

Fragrances of Provence

As the seasons change so do the natural fragrances, which in this part of the world have an intensity which perfumes the air like no where else. Lavender, verbena and olives, so defining of summer in Provence pervade. And later, the heady aroma of the vines, when lush crops of grapes drip like fat jewels, from ancient gnarly fists. Fragrances which giddily illustrate Provence’s appeal!

Lavendar at the market in Uzes

Lavendar at the market in Uzes

Grapes in Provence

Grapes in Provence


Tastes of Provence

Good food and eating in Provence, really matters. It is a place of mouth watering tastes; the flaky, buttery texture of croissants which melt on your tongue; of ripe tomatoes whose exploding flavor instantly reminds you of the summers of your childhood, of freshly cut grass, of not having to do anything.

Produce at the market in Uzes

Produce at the market in Uzes

Olives at the market in Uzes

Olives at the market in Uzes

Crusty, floury baguettes spread with soft, creamy cheese which oozes between your finger tips; small sweet strawberries, figs, nectarines and slices of chilled melon, a scrumptious regional bounty which is so much a part of Provence’s appeal. And as you feast on all this deliciousness, your ears full of the lyrical melody of the French language and the chirping of crickets, you’ll probably wonder if anything has ever tasted as good.

Crusty baguettes in Lourmarin

Crusty baguettes in Lourmarin

Perhaps the very heart of Provence’s appeal is that it is a place to find respite from the frenzied, interconnected world so many of us find ourselves consumed by, a place to enjoy the simple pleasures of life, as beguiling today, as it was many lifetimes ago.

Experience some of the beautiful regions of Provence for yourself:

What to See  UzèsAvignonLourmarin
Where to Stay  UzèsAvignonLourmarin
Where to Eat  UzèsAvignonLourmarin

Lourmarin Travel Guide - for Lourmarin & it's surrounding area
Uzès Travel Guide - for Uzes & and the surrounding regions of Languedoc, Roussillon and Provence.