Monday, June 29, 2009

Green, Rustic and Romantic Backyard Spaces

Sorry about the delay, internet connection went down at
home yesterday. Trying to get it fixed.

In the meantime, we've been having some great weather in
San Francisco the last few days. The weather has inspired me
to do more posts on outdoor living and backyard spaces.
The space above is rustic, charming and romantic. Can
you just see the space at night lit up with lanterns and
candles?

I think some of the most romantic things about
Paris are its wide boulevards, gorgeous architecture,
cafes and of course little romantic vignettes like this
little balcony overlooking the street. One doesn't always
need a lot of space to make special little place.

When I was young, I loved tree houses. Who am I kidding?
I still love them. Wouldn't it be dreamy to have a tree house
like this in your backyard? Complete with drapes and a bed.
I love it.

This is such a relaxing porch by the sea. I
could totally lounge here with a book all day.

If you don't have a porch but a courtyard instead,
it can definitely serve a similar function and space.
An inviting place where you might have tea or prune
your plants.

Talk about a fresh and romantic space for dining.

Here's the same space without the canopy
between the trees.

Nothing like a white table setting with
candle light for romantic ambience.

I love the idea of putting sconces on the trees.

The pink table cloth really adds color to this space. I love
all of the plants and the cute chairs as well. Looks like a
wonderful place to have a summer meal.


The green and romantic spaces above led me to
think about shade gardens. There are certain
plants that grow wonderfully in the shade and
make for very pretty gardens. I've picked out
3 books on Shade Gardening if any f you are
interested.


Making the Most of Shade

Hope you are all having a
wonderful summer thus far.

Photos from We Heart It,
House Beautiful, AhParis and more.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Use Paint to Liven Up Your Furniture ~ Boldly Paint Furniture with Vivid Colors

It's amazing what a simple coat of paint can do to a room.
You can also use paint to give your furniture a complete
make over to liven up your room. The above bedroom
is absolutely gorgeous and it just wouldn't be the same
without the boldly painted wicker divider in bright blue
for a headboard. The lime green is a really nice accent
to go with blue and dark brown comforter.

It is absolutely okay to go wild with color on an antique
or vintage piece of furniture. The French bergere styled
chair to the left is proof of this. Vivid pink with cheetah
patterned fabric, it's loads of fun.

How about a pop of cherry red in this simple country
styled room?

The Orange headboard just screams out at you.

Opposite the headboard, a burnt orange chest
of drawers.

A White chair with a zebra pattern to mix it up.

And a sunny yellow faux bamboo chair.

I've posted this photo before but I wanted
to show it again so one can see that instead
of Teal, it could have been any other color.

Black to anchor this colorful blue living space.

A bright blue desk is certainly unique.

50 Ways to Paint Furniture

And with my addiction to books, here are
a few on the painting of furniture.

This is a more technical primer with step
by step instructions on how to paint furniture.

Painting and
Decorating Furniture

Painted Furniture

Great examples and ideas.

Painted Furniture: Decorating
Ideas and Projects


Better Homes & Gardens publications
always have fun ideas.

Your Home: A Living Canvas


And last but not least is a beautiful book
with photos and inspirations to painting
not just your furniture, but your home.
This one is worth checking out.

Any of you thinking to makeover or paint
a piece of furniture this summer?

Photos from Canadian House & Home

Monday, June 8, 2009

Off to London, New York City & Netbook Chatter (Samsung NC10)

Well, I'm off to the land of the Union Jack tomorrow. Wrapping
up things today at work and then packing. It's sort of funny that
I've trekked to many far off places but haven't really had a chance
to tour London yet. I'll be going with my mom for a week before
stopping by New York City for a few days (a family friend's
wedding.) I'll be back on June 24.



I'm always super excited when I'm
getting ready to travel.

I think I've done enough research to be an expert at
London's transportation system. This is by no mean's
going to be a leisurely vacation as I often get very
ambitious when hitting a place I haven't before.

I always want to try everything I can. In fact, in planning the
itinerary out - I can already tell I need another trip back to
London already because I couldn't fit in everything I wanted
to this time around.

Since travel deals are so awesome this year, I did manage to
score a great deal on air fare and hotel. $1200 for round trip
tickets from New York City to London including 6 nights at
the Intercontinental Park Lane in London. Of course the not
so great thing is thath the flight has a stop over and is a
red-eye. I think staying at the Intercontinental will make
up for this. The Intercontinental Park Lane is in sight of
Buckingham Palace.

Items on the itinerary include Afternoon Tea at the Ritz Carlton,
time at the Royal Botanical Gardens (Kew Gardens), going to Bath,
England for what else but the hot spring, lunch while cruising down
the Thames River, Borough Markets and more.

We'll also be going to Stratford-Upon-Avon (Shakespeare's
hometown), visiting Warwick Castle and having lunch in the
Cotswolds.

Of course there's also the city of a thousand spires, Oxford
and Christchurch College where Alice in Wonderland was
imagined and written.

I thought this was a pretty fun picture from the Daily Mail
of cleaners on Big Ben. I don't even want to imagine what
it's like that far up because I'm afraid of heights (strangely
enough I have no issues with flying at all - but if you put me
on the edge of a precipice with no railing...)

I hope you don't mind if I deviate from interiors to some
travel posts instead. It's my other great love in life.

Prior to this trip, I was looking at netbooks including
the beautiful Vivienne Tam designed HP netbook. Sorry,
I'm going to get a bit geeky now. It sort of comes with the
territory if you live in the Silicon Valley.
This little netbook is less than 3 pounds and the red
lacquer on it is to die for! It's like red nail polish!

Feature include the following:

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 3 Cell Battery
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 60 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can buy a 2GB RAM chip to upgrade)

HP Mini 1140 NR

The HP mini goes for just under $600 at Amazon. I've
seen prices range from around $600 -$700 with an
occasional one that's been refurbished in the $500 range.

There is a separate mouse that you can purchsae that
matches the netbook. It's available at Amazon for $69.

Before making my decision, however, I checked another
netbook by Samsung. Samsung has sold laptops for a while
now in Asia but they never released any laptops here in the
U.S. until recently. Their entry laptop was actually a netbook
and it's made a killer impression because of it's great design
and value.
It comes in 4 colors including pink. Girls, how can you
Not like this color? It's the perfect Bubble Gum Pink.
What's even more impressive are it's specs. When you
compare the specs of this pink babe with the HP Mini,
you'll see that it has twice the battery power and twice
the hard drive space for a much lower price. To top things
off, I'm really picky when it comes to my keyboards and the
Samsung NC10's keyboard is 93% of a regular keyboard
which makes typing a joy.

  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 1 x 6.6 inches
  • 6 Cell Battery (8 hours of battery life
    and a 9 cell battery is also available)
  • Comes with XP Home
  • 120 GB of Hard Drive Space
  • 1.6 GHz Intel Atom Processor
  • 1 GB of RAM (You can upgrade to 2GB RAM)

The pink netbook is fashionable with white on
the inside. It's got 3 USB ports which is also
more than the HP Mini, built in Wi-Fi card and
a built in web cam which is pretty cool.

The Samsung NC10 also comes in blue, black and white.
If pink isn't your color then perhaps this cool blue will
do isntead.
The white is actually pretty slick too.

Samsung NC10 Pink Power

But in the end, I couldn't resist the pink. I've compared
many sites for pricing and ended buying it at Amazon
because it had the best price. The ones I found on Ebay
for less were refurbished ones and not new. The Samsung
netbooks go for between $389-$420 on Amazon and shipping
is free.

Why did I go with the Samsung over the HP Mini? I think a
little bit of practicality won out. I think the HP Mini is the
most gorgeous little netbook on the market, but I couldn't
bring myself to pay $200-$300 more just for the paint job
when the Samsung laptop was less money, more powerful
and had much better specs - not to mention the fab keyboard
an 8 hours of battery life. I bought a 2GB RAM chip and
it was super easy to install. When typing on the keyboard,
you don't even notice that it is any different from typing on a
regular sized keyboard and I LOVE that! The mousepad does
take getting used to but I'd trade a smaller mouse pad for a
larger keyboard any day. My solution is to bring along a small
ditigal mouse.

I'm trying it out on my trip so I will let you know how it goes.
Have any of you considered the netbooks above? Any thoughts?

In the meantime, my posts will not be as regular but I will try
to get in a couple posts a week while I'm away.

Photos from photo-clicks.com, Daily Mail, scrapetv.com,
FreeFoto.com, Hotels.com and CanadianCarlsons.com


Friday, June 5, 2009

Sunshine Yellow Inspiration For Your Home

For the weekend, I thought I might start everyone off
with some sunshine. Yellow can really brighten up
almost any space. Of course the shade of yellow you
choose will greatly impact the overall ambience and
outcome of the space. This hallway is bright and cheery
with fun words stenciled above the frames to echo the
sentiment of the cheery yellow.

Here's a more modern take on the yellow blended
with a sassy zebra rug and shades of white, black
and grey which make for a wonderfully modern
color combination.

The yellow is modern, but the furnishings are more
traditional mixed in with antique pieces. It's a great
juxtaposition to mix contemporary colors with antique
pieces and design.

This room is gorgeous. Although much of the room is covered
in yellow, the shade of yellow is just right. It's also tempered
by neutrals, corals and whites.

This is a great example of how the hue you choose of a
color can make a huge difference. This is a much more
traditional and country like style. The hue of yellow
here is muted and has a brownish tint to it.

I personally really love this particular shade of
yellow. It has a golden hue to it, sort of like
goldenrod flowers. I'd love to stay in a guest
room like this in the attic!

Great example of how you can mix a multitude
of colors against a yellow background. This room
is a bit more bohemian and artsy in it's color scheme
and different textures.


This kitchen has a ton of personality and character.
It looks like it belongs in the countryside. Super
homey and inviting.



Love the pink tub next to bright yellow tiles!

And we end with a bang! A super duper - in your face kind
of yellow. Not everyone can handle this bright of a yellow,
but it's certainly fun to look at.

Hope this post starts you off on a cheery weekend!


Photos from Country Living