Sunday, July 20, 2008

Slacking off

What do you do when you are at work and completely uninspired? Usually I tough through it, but on Wednesday I just couldn't do it. A simple lunch break normally snaps me back to attention. Well this day it did that and a bit more.

I have been longing to get some palms for our master bedroom for some time. And what better time to act than when you are bored at work? I came back to the office 2 hours later with a pretty impressive receipt in hand. And I anxiously worked through the rest of the day so that I could get home and see these buddies. Home purchases = productivity.

We've spent time getting most rooms in the house presentable. But we never had the energy to get to our own room. How is that?

So welcome to our new friends. With their addition, the room went from oversized dorm room to somewhat relaxing. We've got a ways to go (sitting area and rugs to come) but we can take our time now. It's in a semi-presentable state.

Has anyone else done something similar or am I the only slacker who would play hooky to decorate their room? I may need help...

We will survive...I think

We need to have Gloria Gaynor singing her famous anthem throughout the house at the moment.

We've patiently (or at least we believe patiently) been waiting for our construction zone to be taken over by landscaping since December. For the last month, we've been teetering on the edge of completion. We had such anticipation. The final steps! Each day we've eagerly run home...only to find various elements stacked against us...human, animal, and mother nature.

We've must run the gamut by now. I can't imagine anything else that can pop up, but then again, we don't really want to tempt fate. We will survive right?

1. First off, the back and side yard could not be completed until the final color was put on the house. The final color could not be put on until an overseas shipment arrived and the remaining stone tiles were laid. The stone tiles could not be laid until the contractor purchased thin set. And the thin set could not be purchased until funds came in from another job that the contractor is working on.

Wow. Does that make your head go in circles? All of this to get a few grass plugs in. Believe it or not, everything finally came to conclusion a week ago. Yeah...we were ready to start the yard!

2. The yard started on Monday and everything was progressing beautifully. Tuesday we notice that Jordan likes to lie in some of the plants (tolerable at this point). Wednesday morning Jordan dug through an entire pile of fill (should have expected it...he gets a stern reaction). Thursday Jordan pulled 1 of every 2 plants out of their beds (discipline now in full effect...Caesar style). Friday the landscapers voice their concern that the dog might undo a lot of their hard work (you think?)

The dog was back in his kennel and a plan on how to slowly (and responsibly) introduce him to the yard was developing. Things are looking up.

Yesterday morning the last tree and all grass plugs went in. The landscaping looked beautiful. We had gone from construction site to home site. I plan to take pretty photos for the blog first thing Sunday morning. Success!

3. Not quite. Last night at 2am Tropical Storm Dolly rolls through. Wait, this babe wasn't even a tropical depression yesterday! Daylight brings a rather bleak view of just how strong this storm was (and will continue to be).

We slowly turn to look out over our day-old yard. Ugh. What a bummer.

It's completely flooded. All the top soil that we purchased last week is running down the street into the canal. Fab. Talk about $ down the drain. As the rain lets up, we can gauge the impact a bit better.

The good news is that it can all be fixed. And we're not that far off from final completion...once again. The three strikes have hit so we must be done now. We will survive.

With that being said, entertaining comments on the humor of the situation are welcome. Ours are building over a bottle of wine. :)

Friday, July 18, 2008

Airport love?

These posters from Grafik 180:City Love are modern and reminiscent of familiar locations at the same time. The Orlando, Paris, and San Francisco posters are currently my favs, but it could also be the location.

GRAFIK180:CITYART / A series of artwork inspired by the distinctive architectural element from buildings around the world. Whether it be a pattern or shape that distinguishes these buildings, it is the first layer of visual iconic recognition. The cities in which these buildings reside in are called out by their airport code instead of their names, creating another layer of graphic distinction, akin to the visual alignment between architectural elements and buildings. The codes also function as a beacon of destination, proclaiming the cities' association with inspiring architecture. An interpretive project from Lian Ng and Jean Orlebeke, in limited edition of 180.
These might be fun in a guest bedroom. Or is it too much of a reminder of the airport hassle that they just came through to visit? Thoughts?

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Bathroom desires

We're well past this point, but I just can't help sharing the following bathrooms. Wouldn't they be special to slip into at the end of the day?

Mai Linh as featured on Desire to Inspire

Valerie Pasquiou as featured on Desire for Inspire

MR Architecture + Decor on Desire for Inspire

Jolanda Bukhard from Desire to Inspire (of course)

A hard day's work

Originally, our entrance to the house (translation: owners entrance to the house from the garage) was through the laundry room. Now how relaxing is that? Come home to find loads of laundry and buckets of cleaning agents? Pass.

With the benefit foresight from our kitchen designer, walking into the house through this space become a treat. He suggested that we make the area larger and give it soothing, spa-like tones. No, I'm not trying to con anyone into thinking that doing laundry in this house is anything like going to the spa, but then again, it's not the dingy little room that our previous condos tortured us with.

View from the kitchen. (Washer and dryer stands yet to come)

View as we enter

My favorite spot in the room (possibly in the whole house) is this little area just inside the door to deposit my bags and Mr. Big's shoes. It's just nice to have everything put away as we get if we are depositing our work thoughts and days challenges at the back door.

If we never had to do laundry or cleaning, the room would be perfect. In the meantime, it's certainly enjoyable enough to entice me into these responsibilities every once in a while...but only every once in a while. :)

Mortgage or Artwork?

Mr. Big and I recently found ourselves in a gorgeous art gallery in Calgary by the name of New Zones. If you have the chance to go, it's definitely worth a stop. Your head will be swimming with piece after piece of gorgeous artwork. Sigh. And even moreso, they are very helpful in pulling out pieces that you might be interested in. None of the hoighty-toighty gallery people there.

But there was a slight problem. We couldn't figure out how we could meet our mortgage payment and own any of their pieces. Hmmm. Just as much as it is beautiful, artwork can be p-r-i-c-e-y. Of course I immediately came home and came up with a short term plan...find items that give the feel of the gallery pieces, but at just-moved-into-a-new-house-and-are-broke prices.

My first purchase was this gorgeous fashion print from Etsy seller redheather.

Seamless by Jerry Seguin

I love her! And for $25 + the cost of a frame, I feel pretty comfortable that she was within our budget. :) I've also commissioned an original piece from the same artist at a very reasonable price. Very eager to see what he comes up with.

Maybe someday we can roll up to New Zones with a roll of cash in our pocket (ugh...imagine the possibilities), but until then, the hunt is on!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Monique Lhuillier stole my home

Tonight I came across photos of Monique Lhuillier's newly renovated home. I'm sure that many of you will have seen it in the pages of Elle Decor earlier this year, but in case you haven't , it's definitely worth a peek.

Of course, I am biased because I love the color palette that she used. Well, that...and the fact that it's Monique Lhuillier's home. When Mr. Big and I were engaged, I went soft at the knees over her gowns. Now she's done it again with her home. Not fair...not fair at all.

Photos by Roger Davies. she perfect? What a stunning home.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Beautiful outdoors

Desire to Inspire never ceases to highlight designers and images that take my breath away. It's far to easy to imagine yourself enjoying the outdoors in these photos.

The wooden deck and dark pool tiles are beautiful. Unfortunately, the island sun was deemed too warm for my dreamy dark pool. :(
Images from Amanda McLauchlan Photogrpahy

Planters in a pool deck are a fav for me. And I like the simplicity of the concrete deck.
From William Hefner Architecture

Love the built in sofas and whispy reeds (cattails?) Very simple
From William Hefner Architecture

More built in and reeds. Dinner parties would never end in this space!
From William Hefner Architecture

I love our house. Is it bad that I love these as well? Or potentially more? Shhh...don't tell Mr. Big...

Back for more

With an abundance of friends and family visiting recently, I haven't been particularly diligent about updating this blog...or following others. How could it really compete with days filled with exploring the island with cute kids and good friends?

Truth be told, it was a really refreshing break. Lots of laughs, stories, and adventures.

And just as much as breaks are nice, I found a renewed appreciation for beautiful inspiration photos today. So stay tuned for some beauties.

In the meanwhile, thanks for being patient with me. And for all our friends in Calgary, thanks for the kind words of encouragement to keep the blog going. We had a great time with you as usual!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Sofa satisfaction

Finding a sofa that works for a 6'5" husband and a slightly modern decor theme has not been simple. We've nonchalantly been considering options for about two years now...unsuccessfully unfortunately. There were some contenders but none fit the bill completely. After a stop at the Miami Design District yesterday, I was starting to lose hope that a solution was actually available for us.

Of course, stories like this usually end in "until we popped by the most unlikely store". And so here we go. We stumbled into Holly Hunt 15 minutes before closing and both gasped when we saw the Augustin sofa. It's completely out of our price range, but proof that it can be found (and hopefully recreated).

It doesn't appear terribly impressive in the above photo, but it actually took my breath away. The construction on it is beautiful. Very clean lines, great support, and enough depth for a giant. British designer Kelly Hoppen used it in her own London flat in cream. Sigh.

So there we have it. A sofa that works for most everything. Whew. And P.S. If anyone knows how to get this type of furniture at a major discount, feel free to share the secrets! :)