Sunday, December 9, 2012

Places we love: Paris Apartments

If you are lucky enough to have lived in Paris as a young man, then wherever you go for the rest of your life it stays with you, for Paris is a moveable feast--Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

We were speaking of Paris...and Paris apartments. Those bleached herringbone floors...those tall windows open to the light of an old city...pale silk curtains swooping down and caught up with tassels...chandeliers dripping with crystals...large gilded mirrors...fireplaces with carved mantels...plaster rosettes on the ceiling that rises far above...wrought iron balconies overlooking the the winter, these apartments can be cold and drafty and both hosts and guests wear coats and gloves indoors and hold their fingers to the fire but it does not matter, because it is Paris and everyone is beautiful and the wine is good, and the food is good, and it is Paris. One day, we will be there, hopefully one day soon, and we will drink coffee in cafes and eat where the locals eat, and we will wear black, and we will pretend to be Parisians, even if just for a moment, and even though we will never be true Parisians, there for generations, we can still dream of Paris.

One of my all time favorite rooms
Lou Lou de la Falaise's Paris apartment, via the Daily Mail

A flock of deer at 31 Rue Cambon
Coco Chanel's Paris Apartment, via Eye for Design

Sofia Coppola in her Paris Apartment,
 photography by Andrew Durham for Vogue Nippon, via This Is Glamorous

Designer L'Wren Scott's Parisian home that she shares with Mick Jagger, via Vogue

A modern take on a Paris apartment by Gabriel Wick and Oliver, via Design*Sponge
Darker tones than usual but the bones are still the same
via This is Glamorous 

A view of the Seine, via ParisPerfect (apartments for rent in Paris)

The Paris Apartment: Romantic Style on a Flea-Market Budget, by Claudia Strasser, available via Amazon. Visit her blog for more inspiration at TheParisApartment 

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Things we love: Timeless rooms 1

We love antiques...but don't want to look old fashioned. We love modern...but don't want to follow the latest trends. There is nothing more dated than when a trend passes. The art of the mix can be difficult, but when it is done right, it can be oh so perfect.
For instance, take the room below. The piece of abstract art, the richly colored walls, the persian carpet, the sculptures. Would you believe that it was done in the 1960s.

via houseandhome

This was the London living room of noted interior designer David Hicks. The walls were painted in a rich high gloss chocolate, a color he came up with when his wife, Lady Pamela, the younger daughter of Earl Mountbatten of Burma, last Viceroy of India and a great-grandson of Queen Victoria, "began throwing glasses of Coca-Cola at him during moments of marital discord." Despite the drama, she loved him, and at his death, said "'He was an absolute volcano to live with, but so life enhancing...I already miss his slamming of doors. David filled your sails with his enthusiasms. When I met him, I was visually blind, always with my nose in a book. He opened my eyes.''
Space + richly colored walls + abstract art + 18th century chair + slipcovers + glass and chrome console + persian rug = timeless

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Things we love: Velvet sofas

I love velvet sofas. There's a Seinfeld episode where George said he would drape himself in velvet if it was socially acceptable after he saw his girlfriend's velvet couch. I'm with George. I need to redo my sofa and I would love to redo it in velvet if I can find the right color.

First I thought of olive velvet...and even bought two lots from Fabric Guru. Unfortunately, I couldn't get enough of the olive I really liked, and the other olive was just darker and clashed with my rug.

                                                        Miles Redd, House Beautiful

Then I thought of gray...charcoal or silvery.

                                           Washington School House Hotel, Park City, Utah


I haven't been able to find the perfect gray, so the search continues...

The Tourist was not the greatest movie, but wasn't this the most awesome red velvet couch? It would make anyone sitting on it feel oh so glamorous (Not that Angelina Jolie or Johnny Depp need much help in looking amazing). Unfortunately, red doesn't go with all my other stuff, so I don't think my sofa will be red.

I don't think yellow works with what I have, but isn't this sofa from J. Crew's Jenna Lyon so pretty? For years, my sister had a yellow sofa in her family room in her old house in Dallas, and it was such a happy color.

                                 Jenna Lyons home, Domino magazine, via Habitually Chic

I think I've finally settled on blue. A deep rich indigo blue.  'm in the mood to go bolder. Besides, since I am not going for patterns, I think the blue can still work as a neutral so long as I keep the rest of the colors subdued, allowing me to change things up when I feel like it (that's my practical side speaking, or the side that knows I will want to change it up often).

                                                            Anthropologie Amelie Sofa
Sex and the City 2, Carrie and Big's apartment, via Elle Decor.
(Funnily enough, I have a similar painting I bought years ago that is currently hanging over my sofa. I won't be able to use it over my sofa once it is reupholstered without looking like I was totally ripping off the movie. I bought my painting before the movie, I swear).

So blue it is...I think :) I need to stop by the fabric store to see if I can find the blue I want. I'll also stop by online sources such as fabric guru to see if they have anything. Since I need more than 10 yards, it needs to be a good price per yard as well. Keep my fingers crossed...

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Things we love: Black and White Photographs

There is just something about black and white photographs--a sense of mystery, drama, a certain depth that you don't always get in color photographs. Perhaps, it is that sense of a story that you need to dive into, that you don't get to see everything, that you have to close your eyes and imagine the colors. There is also a feeling of another time, another place. The pure lines of black and white photographs can work well in a modern setting, but can also modernize a home filled with antiques. Black and white photographs can go with any color. They can calm a vibrant palette or sharpen a muted color scheme. They can be massed for effect, or they can stand alone. The images can be of anything, pictures you have taken and pictures you have collected. Play with light, shadow, subject matter, size, frames and displays so that it is personal to you, so that it is your collection, and not anyone else's.

                                    Among my first purchases from ebay from years ago
Photographs from 1940s India from a man whose father served in India during WWII.
One of my most memorable family holidays as a kid was in Kashmir, with a view of the Himalayas. I love the idea that his father may have looked out at the same view so long ago.

                                                 A gallery wall via House Beautiful

Curated photographs add a cool vibe at the Hotel NoMad, via NYT

Love the small touches of color against the black and white color scheme
                                                       Metropolitan Home via DecorPad
        Leaning photographs against ledges, chairs, and walls allows for quick switchouts
Vincent Wolf's home in Veranda

Black and white photographs serve as a focal point in the living room
Ellen Pompeo's home in Elle Decor

An oversized black and white photograph adds drama in the kitchen
Ellen Pompeo's home in Elle Decor

Black and white photographs + paintings + prints + dark walls make for a great art wall
Source unknown, via designdumonde
Black and white and sepia toned photographs look stunning against dark bathroom walls
Feirstein & Heckman, Lonny Mag, via DecorPad
               Flowers pop against a black and white photo collection via Maryam in Marrakesh

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Creating the story of your home

The homes we love have wonderful stories behind them, telling us more about the people who live there. Think about what your home tells about you. Now think about the story that you would like it to tell, the person you would like to be. It is not about the house we create for others. It is about the home that we create for ourselves. Create the story, then slowly make it happen. It may take a lifetime to finish. In fact, it should. It is not about going to the store and spending a lot of money and finishing it all at once. Instead, it is about surrounding yourself with the things you love, with the people you love, and building a life you love.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Style Muse (People we love): Tony Duquette

This is the first of our new series on our favorite designers and style muses. From them, we can learn more about what we love and get ideas for our own homes and selves.
Who better to inaugurate this series than one of our favorite designers, the late, great Tony Duquette (June 1914 – September 1999).
"More is more" was his mantra and nowhere was that more evident in his fabulous homes, Dawnridge in California, and his Malibu estate Sortilegium. His homes were layered in patterns, colors, textures, gilt (and lots of it), findings from around the world, highbrow, and lowbrow items, where a priceless antique could be found next to an item from a garage sale. While many of his items may have been priceless, he always said that beauty, not luxury, was what he valued. Gold spray paint could work wonders. His homes have a timeless quality, a feeling of Alice in Wonderland, where the Queen of Hearts or the White Rabbit could pop out at any moment. 

He was a jewellery designer...

A picture of his wife Elizabeth (nicknamed Beegle because she reminded him of the industry of a bee and the poetry of an eagle) wearing one of his creations
Item from the new Tony Duquette for Coach collection based on his archives and favorite motifs (including animals, sunbursts, seashells and jewels)

A costume and set designer...


But more than anything, he was a great home designer who knew that a home can be a fantasy.

                                                          Dawnbridge Drawing Room                                                        

                                                            Dawnridge Drawing room

                                                          Dawnbridge Drawing Room
                                                              Dawnbridge Bedroom

 Dawnridge Dining Pavillion
Tony Duquette Studio
Part of his collection of vermeil decorations
                                               (images from

For more on Tony's style, see the book by his long term business partner, Hutton Wilkinson, More is More, and Tony Duquette (by Hutton Wilkinson and Wendy Goodman) available on Amazon.

Style Takeaways
Layering + Gilt + Jewel tones + Collections = Amazing!

Thursday, January 12, 2012


This year, we decided to keep our resolutions tough yet simple.

1. Get fitter--less lounging, more doing. We love those stories of 80 year olds climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro. Unfortunately, right now, those 80 year olds will kick our butts. To be able to join them and be them years from now, we need to get fitter now.

2. Maximize ourselves--There are some people who have maximized what they have been given to the best of their ability. We are not them yet. This year, we are going to start thinking what we need to do to start maximizing ourselves and start doing what we need to do to become our best selves.

3. Do something to further our passions--There are things that we are good at, there are things that we love, but because we are so busy, we don't always make the time for them. If it doesn't have a deadline, if it doesn't have someone else needing it, we won't do it even if it is something that makes us happy. This year, we will carve out some time to spend on the things we love, for no other reason than the fact that we love to do it.

4. Give back more. Pay it forward. A single act of beauty or kindness or grace can make someone's day. Life is a journey, and at the end of the day, what really matters...who really matters....who do we want to be...

Image from here

Sunday, January 8, 2012

what's your style?

Have you ever wondered what your dream home decorating style is? If you asked us today, we would say eclectic, with a dash of global nomad, a helping of classic, a little bit of modern, a spinkling of French flea market, and a touch of Chinoserie. Ask us tomorrow and we may have a totally different style. (that's why we love eclectic since it is by definition anything we want it to be). We doubt that we would ever be stark minimalists (not that we don't sometimes love that look, it just wouldn't work with our love of many things) but otherwise our style loves can encompass many different styles and eras.
So where do you stand? Take this fun home decor quiz by sproost or this one by homegoods created by former Domino editor Deborah Needleman. Defining a style can be helpful when buying things for your home, because the closer it fits in your overall style, the more likely it will be something you love and the more likely it will help create a home you love. Things that don't fit in your overall style will end up as clutter, things that you don't really like, but which you make do with.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

What makes a house a home

As our first step into the blogging world, we thought we would set out our design philosophy, our ethos, if you will. We have very different styles, and what we love can change depending on the day and our mood, and the year, and the seasons. What doesn't change is our love of the unique and the different, the little things that personalize a house into a home.

Let's make this an amazing year full of fabulous findings and great conversations!

What we love…

Design that looks like it has been layered over many years and many generations. A old English cottage. A New England farmhouse. A tea estate perched on a misty mountainside. The sea. The house of a world traveller. A fabulous French apartment with high ceilings and chandeliers. A cabin in the woods. Modern mixed with antiques, with everything carefully chosen and loved. Items from around the world and down the street.

What we hate...

Matchy matchy design that looks like everything was bought at the same store at the same time. A catalog house. A generic house. A too perfect house. Too stiff, too impersonal. It may be expensively done but it has no soul. While there is much to be said to be finished with decorating your place, true beauty comes with time, with personal touches, with the history of a family and a place. It is what makes a house a home.

Homes that inspire us

LouLou de la Falaise's bohemian Parisian apartment (from the Daily Mail)

Bill and Marie Olsson Nylander's Swedish home (from Abigail Ahern)

Micheal S. Smith (from House Beautiful)


Welcome to our new cabinet of curiosities, filled with treasures. Think antiques mixed with modern, art deco mixed with mid century, Chinese scrolls and vases with Victorian treasures, a camel's saddle mixed with a chandelier dripping with crystals. We love the glamour of jewel colors and gild, and the calmness and mystery of old black and white photographs and postcards. In our blog, we will talk about our finds, as well as talk about design, and the places and ideas that inspire us. We would love to hear from you as well, about what you love and what you find.