Monday, November 30, 2009

10 Fantastic Living Rooms with Cozy and Romantic Fireplaces

Now that everyone is absolutely stuffed from Thanksgiving
and recovering from Black Friday shopping for those who
were courageous (or wreckless) enough to give up sleep and
brave the crowds, we are now firmly into the countdown for

I always think of cozy and rustic rooms in the dead of winter
when I think of Christmas. Most of all, I wish I had a real -
honest to goodness working fireplace. Fireplaces provide
warmth and can really transform any room to feel more cozy
and romantic. Isn't the above rustic room with a stove
fireplace so cool?

This is a very modern and posh living room with a wood
burning fireplace. Love the tufted gray ottoman.

I used to sleep over at my friend's house during the winter
and we would go buy a Duraflame log to light in her living
room fire place. We would make hot apple cider spiked with
whole Cinnamon sticks and rum (yes we were underaged but
we spiked it for flavour and not for getting smashed.) The
best part was watching a movie an then breaking out cots
and sleeping bags to fall asleep right in front of the fire.

Very few things can replace the ambiance that
candles and the glow of fire from a fireplace can give.
It's a good thing that starting a fire in the fireplace is
not very expensive.

Even if you're alone, starting a fire just for yourself
and curling up with a book in a comfortable chair is
one of those little luxuries in life. Don't forget the
tea or hot cocoa!

I'm a sucker for the Union Jack and a pretty plaid pattern.

Building a fire is also great for the holidays.
Enjoy the season while you can build a fire.

Kindle - Global Edition $259

On a separate topic, I'm beginning to contemplate Christmas
presents. I'm considering the Global edition of the Kindle.
I have a friend who travels a lot and she adores it. The last
trip I took, I realized that it was ridiculous for me to be toting
4-5 books around by my return trip home. The only thing is
that when I'm at home, I still love real books - I love the feel of
them. This looks like a pretty good gift - I only wish the Kindle
books were a bit cheaper (you'd think that with no printing -
they could afford to sell the books for less than $10 a pop.)
Do any of you own a Kindle? What are your thoughts on it?

Photos from Ideal Home

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Have a great Thanksgiving!

I just wanted to wish everyone a fantastic Thanksgiving Day!
Today's post is short and sweet. I will be back on Monday.

The above room is my inspirational room for the week. I
think it's absolutely fantastic. Two tone with shades of
purple and Grey - topped off with subtle Moroccan
accents. Photo from Ideal Home.

Monday, November 23, 2009

The Great Thomas Britt - Old World Flavour with Modern Color and Elegance

I'm having a bit of technical difficulty with my scanner at
the moment. But it looks like Mrs. Blandings was inspired
by the same article as I. The December 2009 issue of
Vogue magazine has an article on the home of Alexis and
Trevor Traina of San Francisco whose home is designed
by design icon Thomas Britt. Isn't the above space just
simply jaw dropping?

Thomas Britt is one of the most prolific and well known
design icon of our time. I adore his style of marrying
old world flavour with brilliant colors and modern lines.
His designs are very distinctive.

Many of you have probably seen a photo of this famous
turquoise living room in a Greenwich Village apartment.
What some of you may not know is that this is also the
work of Thomas Britt.

I often wondered what the rest of the space in this home
looked like. Here is a before photo of that same turquoise
living room.

And a before photo of the kitchen.

Can't believe that space turned into this huh!

The apartment really went through a transformation.

This is the library/sitting area of the same apartment.
It's gorgeous isn't it? I love the dark blue walls and the
contrasting ceiling and colors in the furniture. He has
such a way with blending colors that you wouldn't think
to put together.

Yup, same condo. Totally different look. It looks like a
bedroom out of a fantastical dream. Britt literally covered
the walls and ceilings with a shiny patterned wallpaper to
achieve this fantastical look. It is so striking and original.

This is a different home that Britt designed in Tribeca.
The height of the ceiling is simply stunning.

The red lacquered walls are
completely stunning.

The bedroom is not as bright but still
littered with peacock blue.

I always dreamed of a canopied space like this as little
girl. This place is so perfect napping or reading. *sigh*

And here is Thomas Britt himself in the
striking space he designed.

So what do you think? Love it? Too much?

Photos from Architectural Digest and Vogue

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Fashion Inspiration and Photography

One of my other great passions are fashion and
photography. I love seeing great portraits and
photos that evoke a certain feeling.

This girl has an very sincere and powerful smile
that reaches her eyes. I love the combination of
feminine heels with a masculine shirt and tie. I've
always loved a woman in a suit or masculine
clothing. I think that the contrast is really sexy.

The angle of this shot is just perfect. I don't
think I'd wear these boots but how the skirt
lifts just to show a hint of skin where the boot
tops are is somehow very alluring.

Very cool photo. It's so hard to take a photo against
light - especially the sun. Such brilliance in the photo.

I must admit that I have a fetish for
gloves. I have a collection of them.

Sequins are really in right now - and in fact I'm hunting
for a sequined jacket. The feathers look so soft against
the shiny sequins. I think I'm just a magpie at heart.
Anything soft or shiny will always catch my eye.

More brilliance in a photo. The softened
light makes it look so ethereal.

Very romantic, chic, light and bright. Classic.

I think this dress and setting in Venice
is so romantic.

Aren't these pair of shoes the cutest shoes you've
ever seen? It's like the more feminine version of
Dorothy's shoes in the Wizard of Oz. By the way, if you
haven't seen the musical Wicked -- you absolutely
must. It's the Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch
of the West's perspective. Very Very clever, great
music and the twists will pleasantly surprise you. I
promise you'll never look at the story of the Wizard
of Oz the same again.

Dita von Teese - her fashion is the epitome
of old glamour. She always has impeccable
taste in dresses. I've always adored one
shouldered, assymetrical dresses and this
one is lovely.

Lounging in an exotic Moroccan room.

Probably one of my absolute favorite past times -
having tea or coffee outdoors while people watching.

I hope you've enjoyed the photos. The photos are from
one of my favorite pictorial blogs - Simply Seductive.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Cruising along the Mekong River in Style - Gorgeous Asian Chinoise Style Rooms

One of the countries I really love visiting in my travels
is Vietnam. Vietnam is still beginning to open up and
isn't to the point where it's over developed yet. It still
retains much of it's essence and unique blend of Asian
with French influences.

I think cruising is one of the loveliest ways to see a place
or country and what better way to do it than to do it in
luxury and style!

This boat is called The Jayavarman and it is run by
the Heritage Line. As you can see, the staterooms on
this little ship are completely luxurious and unlike
any staterooms I've seen before on a ship. It looks
like a high end hotel room instead of being on a

Each stateroom has a balcony with a table and
two chairs to lounge in while gazing at the scenery.

Even the bathroom has distinct
Chinese styled cabinets and doors.

They really did a fantastic job with blending modern
luxury with traditional Chinese and Asian aesthetics.

The wood work in the rooms are just amazing.

At dusk, the the lighting and the
scenery are romantic and peaceful.

The cruise either departs from Saigon (Ho Chi Minh City)
and proceeds upstream to Siem Reap in Cambodia or the
other way from Siem Reap downstream to Saigon. I still
prefer the name Saigon to Ho Chi Minh City. Saigon is so
much prettier.

There were no photos of the suite but I
thought this was a gorgeous rendering.

The open deck on top looks even better with daybeds,
gorgeous coffee tables and billowing curtains.

What you saw above was the deluxe room, this is the
superior room (or what you would call a standard room.)
Even the standard room is quite gorgeous. Take a look
out the window in this photo. Amazing isn't it?

I love the panels of plants and birds used
as a headboard in these staterooms.

It's tea time.

If you plan to decorate any of your rooms in Chinoise style,
hopefully this post has given you some great ideas on how
to blend modern luxuries with a more traditional asian look.

Wouldn't I love to be cruising down the Mekong in this boat...