Recreating a Serene Dining Room

I came across this beautiful dining room situation in BHG's Septemper issue and instantly fell in love with it. I looove the stormy cloud wallpaper by Cole & Son ( Nuvolette Black & White). It really sets the tone for the entire room. The cherry on the cake is the dramatic lighting. I need to find out who it's by, but I found a very similar glass globes, tiered chandelier at Pottery Barn. The room feels serene & atmospheric, and at the same time luxurious.  I wouldn't mind eating a meal or two in here! 

This is a look one could easily recreate in your own home...

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Here's how:

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wallpaper - pearl cloud   (I found a similar pearl cloud wallpaper at Home Depot! It's not as nuanced as the original, but could totally work)  / paint - Benjamin Moore - rocky coast gray /  curtains/  chandelier / concrete top table / Spanish style dining chairs  with nailhead detailing / 1-2  slipcover chairs /  tall chinoiserie jars / wild English roses /  greek key rug 

 

And there you have it.  Keeping it short & sweet this week since it's been a busy few days!  Will be back next week with some Fall inspired fun. It's officially Fall... but when I look outside my window it's an entirely different story. fellow Bay Area residents will relate! Well, here's to orange having it's comeback moment soon! :)


p.s. I love hearing from ya!   Got a decor question or comment? If you're looking for ideas for a room, trying to tackle a "problem area" or dreaming up ideas for an upcoming occasion, let me know. If you'd like me to cover a specific topic in a future post,  let me know in the comments or shoot me an email!

Mitchell Black

I hope everyone's had a great start to their week! 

I just realized it's been a while since I've shared a wallpaper post on here! I discovered this cool new wallpaper source, Mitchell Black, over the weekend and instantly wanted to share it with you guys. I've been pottering around their site all week & they've got some really fresh and fun designs.  What's great is that their wallpapers are peel-and-stick (aka removable wallpaper).

Wallpaper has made a major comeback in the past couple years... it's ascended from "grandma's house" status to being totally chic. A great way to make a bold statement or set the mood of a room. Removable wallpaper works well in places where you want to get the look but without the commitment. And it looks pretty darn great too!   An accent wall? Kitchen backsplash? The kids' room?  These would be perfect.  I think the key is to go with quality paper & to hang it as smoothly and carefully as possible (here's a great tutorial by Apartment Therapy that explains how).  I like Mitchell Black's mix of designs - funky geometrics, uber feminine florals, whimsical patterns inspired by vintage Asian / African/ Australian textiles, and vibrant monochromes - they have a little bit of everything! Check 'em out.

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I'm kinda sorta obsessed with this antelope sketch! Talk about DRA-MA.

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It got me peeking into their Wall Art section.  Some really great finds here too. How fantastic is this swimmer series (splash, dive, in the air)  & the letterpress key!

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A Stunning Dining Experience

I have an absolute TREAT for your today.

My friend Emily Heston has one of the most aesthetically pleasing blogs I've ever read - Splendid Market.  I LOVE Emily's posts because they open up worlds to me in ways that are so in-your-face beautiful, you can't help but want to just be in them!

I've experienced the rustic villas in the south of France, the Friday market in Italy and the streets of Marrakech through her blog, and I've gotta say, they are magical, magical worlds.  It didn't take me long to figure out that it was Emily who was bringing the magic, no matter where she goes!  

I asked her if she'd share one such special experience with us here and I'm so glad she did.  See and be amazed, friends. You are about to get sucked into a world that's quite literally dripping in beauty!

Emily taking over!

 

I was so honored when Zeenat asked me to share an experience from the South of France with you. Though many thoughts came to mind at first, it didn't take me long to narrow it down to one particular experience.

Whenever I visit our Pied~a~Terre in Eze~bord~du~Mer, France I always have a mental list of new places I want to explore, and of those certain special places to which I'm yearning to return. One of those spots Mas Provençal, an incomparable dining experience at the base of the Alps just outside of Eze Village. Given that the tag line for Zeenat's blog is to "Allow space for something wonderful to happen", I decided this would be the perfect place for us to visit together.

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Mas Provençal is uniquely designed to delight diners on many different levels each evening, every one of your senses are triggered beginning the minute you walk in the door. Each time I pass by the ivy covered exterior and make my way through the small doorway I am taken aback in absolute awe of the floral wonderland that greets me. The ceiling is literally dripping with lilies,

 

amaryllis, crystals and grapes,

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mosses, hydrangeas and strands of cherry tomatoes.

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These items hang from the vine entangled trees that fill the space, many with moss covered branches.

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Perched on the branches are eclectic birdcages, ceramics and other lusciously quirky items.

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A secluded green house with a waterfall provides another level of mystery, verdant beauty and ancient architecture.

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Nymph like sculptures seem to frolic in the meadows of moss, orchids and other flowers.

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As you wander through this curious, colorful rabbit warren in search of your table the music plays {click on the arrow below to enjoy a more complete experience with a soulful rendition of Quien Sera by the house musicians}.

 
 

 

The intimate dining tables are each nestled within this lush flower~filled landscape.

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Each "dining room" makes you feel like you're actually visiting some fabulously eccentric aunty

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with it's own distinctive furnishings

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and eclectic settings of china, silver and linens.

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The menu, which rarely changes, is the best of traditional Provençal cuisine.

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The meal begins with tiers of local treats to amuse the palette and large baskets of whole vegetables served with an anchovy paste that is typical of the region.

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Then it's your choice of mushroom risotto with ham or scallops served from this parmigiano shell, milk~fed pig, veal, rack of lamb, grilled steak, garlic prawns or the exquisite sole meuniere.

 

By the time dessert is served a great deal of singing, laughing and sipping has occurred in this elegant forest

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and most people are in the mood to linger a little longer and sing and dance with other diners and merry makers

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or just amongst themselves as this festive group did the last time I was there. Click on the arrow to enjoy their spirit, more of the scenery and a brief cameo by Heinz, the owner and creative genius who pours all of his passion into making this special experience occur on a nightly basis during the season.

 
 

 

Then before you know it, the evening is over. But I always have to take one last glance back

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and think to myself...

 
 


Thank you for sharing this experience with me. Please visit me at Splendid Market for more adventures at home and around the world. I write "notions to inspire" about food, flowers, fêtes, finds and faraway places.

 

Are you guys as besotted by this insanely gorgeous dining experience, as me? If you are, drop us a line and show Emily some looooove in the comments!! :)

Some News! + A Design Tip For Renters

I have some happy news to share with ya'll!  Over the next few months, I'm working with a fantastic interior design firm in San Francisco, Marsh & Clark Design. They primarily do residential design. And they've done the offices of the fabulous Chairish - a design & decor site I love for its curated collections. I'm excited to be there and to be working on projects this Fall, while continuing to share fresh ideas, schemes and resources with you here as I expand my design horizons! 

Coming to today's post - one of you lovely readers recently asked me if I had any decorating tips for renters.  When you're renting, you don't want to spend a whole bunch of money up front, but you still want to bring style into a space.  Here's an idea I like to share with people - Invest in things that are easy to carry over from one space to another.  For instance, getting some cute side/end tables.  

End tables are not a big ticket item, they're easy to move around, and they're versatile. Today they could be in your living room, a few years from now, in a bedroom. Compared to rugs, or curtains - which are pretty specific to a space, a good end table can be worked into a lot of different spaces! 

 

2 cute end tables under $100

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I love this two-tiered glass table at All Modern. It spells glamour & style. 

 
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A pair of these would look oh so elegant in a living room. 

I pulled together this look  with a very similar table in gold. Layer with flowers and books to bring in the color. And I added gold/brass tones with the deer head and an industrial floor lamp - they tie in well with the table!

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A similar style table would look just as beautiful in a bedroom...

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Garden stools make for GREAT end tables & give an airy feel to a room.

 
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You could create a cozy nook in the living room or the bedroom like the one I've created below. A space to lounge, read a book or just relax it out!

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I love sourcing on Etsy too for off the radar finds.

How fun is this Queen Anne end table!  It could get a new life with some paint - perhaps a light grey with antique white drawer fronts, like these ones

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These wicker tables would make for a great alternative to a coffee table in a room that's going for a boho / beachy vibe. Soften with a linen throw and a tray.

 
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And that's a wrap! If you're looking for stylish additions to your home, keep an eye out for end tables. Go with something that's really calling out to you - you'll end up using it in different ways over the years.


And lastly, if you have a specific question or a problem area in your home that's bothering you, I want to hear about it! Tell me in the comments.  I'll be glad to pull in my decorating and resourcing prowess to help you out!

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!  ;-))