Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Trends,whats here to stay and whats steps out the door

Good morning, I have been so busy lately, this entire week is a bit crazy. I suspect it may be this way for a while as we are racing towards the finish line for our house. (In reality the finish line is quite far away but we have a "semi finish" line we are aiming for :)
Back by popular demand, and the list continues! I heard from many of you and your voice has been heard.  Since my previous post (click here to view) was so popular and  sparked such an interesting parade of commentaries, I thought an encore was warranted. Many of you brought up other trends that are indeed really big right now and fit well into this post. So lets delve right in shall we?

WHITE SUBWAY TILES. Whether marble or ceramic, white subways....are big. Real big. They are on one hand classic and understated but on the other hand seemingly everywhere in every kitchen in every magazine. It wouldn't stop me from using them and its very likely that in fact, I  will use Calcutta gold subways, may do a big over sized one however they have never been as popular as they are this very minute. What do you think? Are subways on a fast track to extinction or here for the long haul? I think this very popular trend is here to stay.....

LINEN SLIPCOVERS Another very popular trend. Neutral earthy toned linen slipcovered chairs, white linen sofas, white linen drapes, white linen pillows, white linen in outdoor settings, white linen in the bedroom...you get the pictures, its all over the place. Especially in blogland, I feel like on any given day, you can find a few dozen posts posting pictures of white slipcovered chairs and such. I think it must have originally started out in charming French country settings, but have crossed over to more modern rooms, outdoor spaces, its everywhere! What do you think?

Monday, September 12, 2011

Behind the blogger...meet Kate from Party Resources!!

Good morning! I am starting to feel falls crisp cool air slowly making an entrance, as I took Teddy out this morning it dawned on me, summer really is over. Though I will admit, I do love the season of fall, from the beautiful crisp weather to the gorgeous foliage to the luxurious clothes that accompany it...just wish we could push fast forward and then go right back into summer, skipping winter! Enough of my weather woes,  I am so happy to be here with another fabulous behind the blogger interview, definitely one of my favorites. So please welcome.......

Kate from Party Resources

Kate's blog is part of my morning routine, my blogworld visits would not be the same without a stop over at her exquisite blog showcasing everything having to do with elegant entertaining and beautifully planned events of all kinds that range from amazing destination weddings to elegant soirees both at home and exotic locales. Her mother, the renowned party planner, Dixie Todd and Kate started this blog to showcase their talents and expertise in all matters having to do with party planning and its crystal clear that the "extraordinarily good taste gene" runs in the family. I get so many amazingly great ideas from Party Resources, based in Litchfield County, and its always great fun to discover a new idea for a party or a new inn or restaurant that they are profiling. Their work takes them all over and one look at their site, you will see why their services are in high demand! Trust me, there is always something fabulous going on over there!  If you don't know of her blog yet, run don't walk over....you are in for a mega treat!

Click on the header to visit Party Resources and thanks Kate for participating......

So....... what inspired you to start blogging in the first place?
We wanted to expand the reach our family business – Party Resources with fresh fun ideas on entertaining. 
And my friend Erin of Element Of Style is someone I have known for years and was very supportive. 

How did you come up with your blog name?
Not very inspired – it is the name of our company. 

Do you have a favorite all time movie?
I have a few that come to mind: Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Julie and Julia, The Hangover, Rear Window – how about that for an eclectic list! 

You get to spend a month in the European  countryside.....is it Italy or France?
I have been fortunate enough to spend time in both countries. Italy – no contest! The people, the scenery, the food, the language and the wine! 

Favorite meal?
This time of year it would include: oysters on the half shell paired with champagne, caprese salad with local summer tomatoes, fresh corn from a local farm stand, a crusty baguette served warm with home made basil butter with a really good bottle of rose or Sauvignon Blanc. I am not much of a dessert person. 

Tell us as little or as much as you want to about your family.
My mother is the person who runs Party Resources. Her name is Dixie and she is one hell of a style maven! 

If you could have any career what would it be? I think maybe interior design, as I love all things visual.

Favorite design style?
Classic with eclectic, modern style 

If you could only live in one color what would it be?

Favorite season and why?
Fall. I have always lived in New England (with short stints in Chicago and London). The changing of the leaves, crisp clear air, a cozy fire and a warm sweater.

Design icon?
Tory Burch

One place you haven't been that you want to visit-
South Africa – I have been to Morocco but would love to go on safari in S. Africa

What's your number one pet peeve?
People that don’t know when to stop texting or talking on their mobile phone.

What are the two best things about blogging?
Fellow bloggers and the readers. I had no idea what I wonderful community I would encounter when I launched our blog a year ago. 

You get to have a private dinner with any two people in the world, they can be from the fashion, design world, literary world, Hollywood, politics,etc....your choice. Who are the lucky two? Bono and George Clooney 

Do you have a favorite saying or quote?Her genius was her oneness with herself. Said about Georgia O’Keeffee

Reading anything interesting that you want to share?
  Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton  It was suggested by a restaurant owner here in Boston and is all about the adventures of the food world for an aspiring chef.

You are 18 again. What do you do?
Enjoy the freedom from responsibility and not be in such a hurry to grow up! 

What are your plans for the fall? To me, fall in New England is all about crisp air and fall foliage. I spent Labor Day weekend at the stunning Stowe Mountain Lodge and am already planning a return trip. I haven't gotten further than that yet.......

In ten years I will be....................

If you could live anywhere on earth and money was no object where would you go?
I would have a place in Boston (where I live now), a house on the ocean on the Cape and a place in Tuscany. 

Best tip or two for any new bloggers reading this.......
Blog consistently 5 days a week
Read other blogs for inspiration and leave comments
Ask fellow bloggers to do guest posts, it is a great way to get to know other bloggers and expand your following.

What a great question! I think I would rather answer with a few entertaining tips that I love for entertaining. Serve a signature drink for your next party (small or large). Pair them with a personalized stirrer- like a pinwheel or monogram.

Blogging to me is
 A creative outlet.

Give me four words that describe your personality.
Energetic, creative, funny and loyal. 

And here is a little recap of the things that Kate loves......

Kate, thank you so much for being my guest today! I am sure you can all see why I think so highly of Kate and her wonderful blog and incredible eye for all things beautiful. In addition, anyone who will have both George and Bono at her dinner table, is a girl I want to be friends with! Please do stop by and say hello, click here to visit Kate at Party Resources. Have a wonderful day!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

9-11.....Where were you? What will you do?

I get chills and become teary eyed just writing this post. I don't think anyone can possibly ever forget where they were those moments where our world changed forever. I think it is forever etched into our minds and subconscious. 

Where was I?
I was at a meeting at my sons school and ironically was due to head downtown into the city right after that meeting! As we were leaving, we started to hear rumblings that there had been a plane crash/"accident" in the city, within minutes we realized it was much much more than that. I remember walking around literally numb for days on end. I remember feeling like I didn't know if our world was coming to an end on that fateful day of 9/11. I gathered my kids and my husband and we say next to the TV together literally for days, feeling dumbfounded, as we tried to make sense of what was happening. It was and still is so utterly surreal.  As much as looking at the images is a haunting, chilling and heart wrenching reminder of that catastrophic day I think too, it is important to remember it, never forget it and to honor all of those lost innocent lives.

What will I do?
It is even more important that they did not die in vain. I hope that through this unspeakable tragedy, everyone learned something from that day. As I started to think more about the events that precipitated that day, I realized at its core what fueled such a violent, hateful act was all about differences, judgement, an inability to understand each other and extreme hatred. I pledged to become more about tolerant, more forgiving and to accept easier. Where does that start? With our children. Children are not born to hate, to discriminate to hurt or to judge. This is learned behavior. No matter what color you may be, what race, what religion or what culture you represent. If there is one lesson to be learned from this life changing day, let it be  one for all of us to look within ourselves and open our hearts and our minds to be a kinder, less judgemental, more compassionate person who will pledge to try to understand, accept and tolerate others regardless of our differences. I think we should have a national day of tolerance. A day where we reach out to talk to someone who is different than who we are. It begins with one person. And this is something we are all capable of, by starting in our very own homes with our very own children. Where were you? What will you do?

Lets honor those that died and make their memory the catalyst for change and a never ending quest for our world to live in peace.

If you ddint't see the amazing guest post that Mary Ann of Classic Casual Home did on my love for pillows yesterday please visit! LOVE her blog, so just in case you missed it....click here.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest posting today at Classic Casual Home!

Good morning! So happy its  the weekend though I have a pretty full day ahead of me..no rest for the weary. I am really excited to be guest posting for a fellow blogging friend, who I adore...

Please join me over at Mary Ann's fabulous blog, 
Classic Casual Home
where she has asked me to participate in her "Pillow Addict" series. I was so happy to oblige! Please click on header to visit........her blog is AMAZING. She lives in a GORGEOUS home in California (I know, I know if she wasn't so nice I would be insanely jealous)

Just to show you what I am talking about, THIS gorgeous kitchen is not out of a fabulous magazine spread but it is Mary Ann's own dreamy kitchen! Make sure you poke around when you visit her, she has tons of incredibly beautiful posts all about her exquisite home and a few on some of her friends equally gorgeous homes...a true treat, I promise!

Enjoy your day!


Friday, September 9, 2011

Things I am loving Fridays and house updates!

Good morning..hectic days over here lately! Some delays which put me in a pretty sour mood, but considering we have had very few overall I am not going to dwell but trying to stay and calm and realize some things are out of my control! That said big progress is being made (and seen every day) so it IS exciting, and so incredibly wonderful to know the end is near! Do you have Fashion night out where you live? In NY its a big deal, I was invited to go with a group of friends to a bunch of neat things happening in the city last night, but between having to get my son from a practice, and being utterly wiped out, I opted out. I have heard wonderful things though.....have any of you been? I am expecting to get calls in a short while telling me all about what a fabulous night it was. Go ahead rub in what I missed!
I have been telling anyone who will listen to my ongoing saga that though fingers crossed we hope to move in about a months time, I can see realistically we have a good solid four months plus left of work that will continue to be done. So while actually moving is going to be amazing, its not like we are moving into a home that will be totally done, cleaned, sparkling waiting for someone to take residence in it..rather it will be like we are living in part of it and yet very much living in somewhat of a work zone still. I don't want to have any false expectations. Hope you are having a great week, we have been inundated again with buckets of rain but thankfully it looks like clear sunny skies are heading their way! So here we go.....

HOUSE UPDATES. I have deliberated about posting every other week because I feel like I often am posting the same pictures, well they might look the same but trust me they are not! Its just that in the finishing stages, things go slooooooow and though in person I see the changes in pictures it might not translate over as successfully. So keep an open mind when looking at these and where possible i will try to  highlight whats new from last week!
More of the paneling getting done
We are buying this small chest to use as a vanity for one of the formal powder rooms
From front door, looks really plain right now but just wait!

Living room


Hallway moldings....

Hallway leading to library
Test paints in hallway
Small vestibule leading to kitchen
Island details getting added....
Kitchen starting to really shape up.....minus the cardboard countertops

Peeking into butlers pantry
From family room
Butlers just getting started....
Family room 
Breakfast room is done minus final coat of sealer
This shows the color a bit better

Back mud room/area going to stain same color as breakfast

Future window seat
Stair complete
My bathroom, waiting for primer and then paint.....tub is done (not primed yet)

I like this unit we had built 
Vanity, we are experimenting with "creamy whites" any suggestions?

Closet color a very cool gray/blue.....
Molding going down stairs....
Living room
Think I am ordering this paper for kitchen powder room.....thoughts?

HARDWARE. This is a big deal for me, I was envisioning and resigned myself to living in my house for a year with a hodge podge of hardware samples taped up on my cabinets. I am proud to say that I made a decision and love what I picked and these bad boys are on their way to me in the next week or so! I went with oil rubbed bronze and chose to use an escutcheon behind the knob on most of the cabinets, a 5 inch pull on all drawers and am going to do something different for the butlers as the oil rubbed bronze gets lost on the really dark cabinetry. So I included whats been ordered for the kitchen first as well as some contenders for the butlers...and would very much love your opinion on what hardware you like for that area!

The chosen knob

That will be placed on this escuthceon

To look like this

With these drawer pulls
And this matching refrigerator and freezer appliance pull 

Now here is where I need you my dear friends......in the butlers pantry, the cabinets are black (technically a very dark stained java but they look black) They have glass fronts, the oil rubbed bronze gets lost so am thinking of going with an antique brass. I would like a knob possibly with an escuthceon but not sure (don't want  it to take away or compete with kitchen) and a pull of some sort for the drawers...so below are the contenders with which to choose from. I will number them so you can reference your opinion with a number! Thank you in advance, always love to hear what you have to say.....



PAINT. I am starting to feel like the "paint whisperer", in these last few weeks I have been looking at A LOT of paint. I am really becoming expert at dissecting the undertones in whites, creams and grays. Seriously you think white is white.....its a whole other world! Geeezzz, it is downright dizzying to think of the possibilties! Upstairs we mixed Linen White with another color and got a nice creamy white (kept it very neutral) except for my closet where I went with a gray/blue and my sons room where we went with a light tan. Now we are working on downstairs, and thats where it gets overwhelming. We were thinking of maybe a very milky gray for the living room.....many decisions left to be made! Below are some of the paints that I have discovered in my travels that I really like.....
Elephants Breath Farrow and Ball

Pointing Farrow and Ball


Pocket Watch White Ralph Lauren Paint




 A FEW NEW BOOKS I AM ENJOYING. I just got the Charles Faudree book and it does not disappoint. I always see something fabulous and inspirational enough in his books that gets me thinking in a new direction. I enjoy it, recommend it and am happy to add it to my CF collection of books.  For those of you who love that old New Orleans (and it WILL be that New Orleans again) I got this book from Williams Sonoma which really captures the essence of the grand dame that this city is, loaded with tons of wonderful recipes, this is a great book to any New Orleans fan. It explores and celebrates the cities 300 year old culinary history. Love it!  

Well that's about it for this week! Haven't had many chances to do much else outside of the house realm, but I am not complaining! How about you? Whats new and exciting in your neck of the woods? Always love to know! Have a fantastic day.