Thursday, July 30, 2009

How about Colorful Chalkboard Paint?

Chalkboard paint has been really becoming popular lately.
Although the above is one of my favorite images that illustrate
the use of chalkboard paint, one does not have to go all out
and paint an entire room in chalkboard paint - although this
shows how it really can work. Did you notice that even the
ceiling is painted in chalkboard paint? I thought that was
pretty unique.

Hallways and doors are excellent for painting with
chalkboard paint as well.

How about the front door?

This entry hall is very cleverly done with just the top
of of the room and the ceiling painted with chalkboard
paint. I love the pink/peach juxtaposed against the
dark paint. The beautiful chalk swirls and cursive letters
really do make a big statement.

Painting a teenager's room in chalkboard can
be fun.

And of course, it's absolutely perfect for kid's
or children's rooms.

This is an interesting wall that separates
the kid's beds from the main living space.
By painting the dividing wall with chalkboard
paint, it effectively creates a great play space.

I really thought this was very clever. Ever get
tired of craning your neck at the cookbook while
trying a recipe? Well now you can literally write
the recipe on your kitchen wall. Painting the kitchen
backsplash with chalkboard paint can come out with
unexpected benefits.

Here's a more traditional and rustic kitchen
paired with green chalkboard walls. I adore
the old door used for the pantry.

Isn't this a hoot? Bathroom graffiti is the
way to go.

This post was actually inspired by Hudson Paint. What's
unique about their chalkboard paint is the many bright
colors it comes in (as you can see from the color palette
above.) They give some great tidbits about using chalk-
board paint here.

I think a great point to remember that outside of painting
on a smooth surface, remember that not all chalk is made
equal. Here's a piece of advice from Hudson Paint about
using chalk.

Chalk sticks are not all equal, some are very hard, some
contain wax or oils which make them difficult to
erase, try
different brand for best results.

Some examples and ways to use Hudson paint
from their site. I love how they mixed colors
to make a grid for this mudroom.

A child's room or play room is fantastic for colorful
chalkboard paint. How often have you seen an orange
chalkboard? Pretty fun and cool.

An office is a great place to use chalkboard paint as well.
Here we have an entire wall with a red chalkboard.

This photos is just for fun where a school painted one
of their halls entirely in green chalkboard paint.

Remember the chalkboard paint isn't just for walls, you
can use it on all sorts of mediums such as furniture or even
appliances. I'll have follow posts on this in the future. So
how about it, would you consider using chalkboard paint in
your home?

Photos from Hudson Paint, Apartment Therapy,
Style-Files,, Lowes and

Monday, July 27, 2009

Black Walls...Black Rooms...Punk, Goth or Glam with an Edge?

A couple years ago, I started getting into black walls and
black rooms...I even painted my guest bathroom black.
This was after I lost the battle at home to paint the guest
bedroom black. Granted, it's not the usual color to paint
a bedroom or any room for that matter - but black as a
room color can definitely work. Take the above room for
instance, who would ever think of pairing this ornate bed
with black lacquered walls? But it works and to me it's
glam and chic with an edge.

Here's a room where the black bed frame blends into the
black walls and ceiling. It's actually pretty neat. Even the
bench, rug and door frame is painted black. The gray flooring
and white bedding give some contrast to an otherwise very
black room.

This room is painted all black except for the window frames.
The white desk and white bed linens help temper this space.

Black textured wallpaper on one wall can make quite a
statement without painting the entire room black.

Black and bright yellow. You can also pair black with
other bright colors where it can really make a color pop.

Metallics will always look good against black.

This is Jennifer's bedroom (Made by Girl). She makes
fantastic stationary and we share a common penchant
for the union jack. Isn't her bedroom cool?

This kitchen is from Domino magazine. I don't know
about you but I don't see many kitchen walls and ceilings
painted black - but this really seems to work. Painting
kitchen walls and cabinets with chalkboard paint has also
been popular lately. You can achieve a similar affect with it
and have the benefit of being able to use the wall as a
chalkboard - pretty nifty if you ask me.

Black can make instantly create the "cool" factor
in any room. It can also make a room feel cozy
like this great lounging space where the wall
disappears into the ceiling.

Sky blue with black and white - black
and be a great neutral color.

This photo by Ted Yearwood showcases
an all black bathroom - even the door
is black.

The black marble and crystal scones in this
bathroom really make for a swanky and high
end bathroom. Can't forget the lacquered walls
for some shine and glam.

I just love how smooth and shiny the black
walls are in this bathroom. The single yellow
chair in this room really creates visual interest.

My Favorite and My Best has a great post on the
black rooms and walls in her home. Definitely
check it out.

What do you think of painting a room black?
Would you dare?

A big thank you to Terri Sapienza for featuring

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A Gorgeous Loft &Trine Thorsen Photograpy

This gorgeous loft was photographed by Scandinavian
photographer Trine Thorsen. The loft is spacious and
entirely gorgeous with bright light and purple/plum

I've Totally fallen for the gorgeous dark
wood floors. How cool is that? The cement
gives the loft a more industrial feel and I
like how open and bright it is.

A gorgeous platform tatami bed (tatami are
tightly woven matts that the Japanese use
for flooring and for their beds. I just love the
rich, deep magenta color on the wallpaper.

Great shot of the bed using the mirror.

Here's another bedroom in the loft. As you
can see, this area uses a lighter flooring that
has a hint of grey in it.

I love mercury glass and those are a pair
of gorgeous mercury glass candle sticks.

My favorite part of this area is the very
natural and organic looking table. It's
got a rustic style to it and just gorgeous.

Danish Modern

If any of you fancy the Scandinavian sense
of design, you may be interested in some
of these books. Danish modern design blends
incredibly well with contemporary, modern and
organic designs.

Living With Light:
Decorating the Scandinavian Way

Lots of light, bright and white is another
way the Scandinavians design.

Scandinavian Modern

How do you feel about Scandinavian design?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bottle Shock -- Napa Valley

I watched an interesting movie this weekend called Bottle Shock.
It's a great movie that was entered into the Sundance Film Festival
and has an all star cast despite not having a huge release. The movie
is based on the events leading up to a contest that put Napa Valley
on the map. It also recognized California wines as world class where
the French had dominated in the past. The event that changed
California's wine industry was a blind taste test held in Paris between
French and California wines where there was shock when it was
announced that California wines won over the French wines in both
the red and white categories. The event was written about in Time
magazine which subsequently helped turned Napa Valley into the
success and fame that it knows today.

The cast is played by Alan Rickman (Snape in Harry Potter), Bill Pullman
(Independence Day, While You Were Sleeping), Chris Pine (Princess Diaries II,
Star Trek), Rachael Taylor (Transformers), Freddy Rodriguez (Six Feet Under,
Ugly Betty), Eliza Dushku (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Tru Calling, Dollhouse),
and Dennis Farina (Get Shorty, Law & Order).

It's not a documentary as it is a film, but the major events in the story are true
and it is filmed at the original building and vineyards of Chateau Montelena
which was the vintner who won the blind tasting test in 1976 for the best white
wine (Chardonnay.)

I thought I might give a little tour to those who haven't had the
opportunity to visit Napa Valley yet. There are amazing scenes
in the movie of Napa Valley. Photo by Gary Crabbe.

Napa Valley on a misty morning. Photo by Gerhard Bock.

The leaves on the grapevines turn into amazing colors in
the fall. This photo by Ivan Makarov really shows the
beautiful fall colors in the valley.

This is the winery of V. Sattui which is a well established
vintner in Napa Valley near Rutherford.

Isn't the landscape gorgeous?

Another gorgeous photo during the fall in Napa.

There are many beautiful places to stay in Napa Valley
and the rates really run a wide rage (from under $100 to
$5000 per night.)

If you ever visit, I highly recommend the Napa Valley Wine Train.
The Napa Valley Wine Train serves lunch or dinner while you have
a fantastic ride through Napa Valley to take in the views. They do
have Sunday Champagne Brunches and there are special dates in the
year where the staff dress in costume for Mystery nights (like Clue),
theater nights and special holiday rides. I highly recommend the
Vista Dome during the day.

This is a view from the train with dessert.
Photo from Diablo Magazine.

This is what the Vista Dome car looks like.
The windows are larger and you dine in
style up close to the gorgeous view.

Napa and Sonoma Valley have really beautiful back country
roads through vineyards for cycling. Another great past time
is to ride a hot air balloon so you can get an aerial view of the valley.

Probably May through October is a good time to go.

I had mentioned that the winning Chardonnay from the 1976
Paris taste test is Chateau Montelena which is still around today
and going strong. They are located in the town of Calistoga in Napa

This is Chateau Montelena's label which shows the
facade of the Chateau's brick structure.

The film Bottle Shock was filmed here and they had a special
showing when the film was finished. Doesn't the chateau
look amazing?

When in Napa, you cannot skip out on the culinary delights.
If you can't manage to get reservations at the 3 star Michelin
French Laundry, then the Culinary Institute of America in Napa
(called Greystone)
is a good alternative. It's also easier on the
wallet. Their menu change daily.

Napa Valley is so picturesque even the roads
are tree lined and gorgeous.

You may not know that Calistoga is also home
to one of California's only natural hot springs.
How can you beat a combination of beautiful
wine country and hot springs? Care to try a
mud bath?

If you're in for the 5 star treatment, Calistoga Ranch and Auberge du Soleil
(owned by the same company) are where your celebrities would go. The
balcony above is from a Calistoga Ranch room. Calistoga Ranch also has
a whole menu of spa treatments.

Last but not least is Auberge du Soleil which even has
private manisons. The rates run from $550 - $4500 if
you're renting out any of the private mansions.

Check out the pool deck and area for Auberge du Soleil.
Wow. Talk about glam, no wonder the celebrities come

Bottle Shock

If you do get a chance to watch this movie - it's entertaining,
informative and has gorgeous scenery. For all of you interested
in the wine culture and Napa Valley, it should definitely be on
your list to watch.