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Monday, October 16, 2017

Italian Style

We are just returning from a trip to Italy.  While in Rome, we  stayed at the Gran Melia Hotel and I was inspired by it's stunning design.

The Gran Melia Rome is a  perfect balance of modern luxury and ancient history. This former monastery and modern luxury hotel is located on the same spot that once housed the ancient Roman Villa Agrippina, the lodgings of Emperor Nero’s mother. During reconstruction, significant objects were uncovered, which are now displayed in rooms of the hotel.

The outdoor bar and eatery.



Lemon and lime trees were growing throughout the property.

 Walking into the lobby, you are greeted by a 5 foot statue of a man's face.  
 The reception area is gorgeous tones of gray and white accented with a tomato red color.


Notice the pattern of the wood floor.




 One of the prettiest cocktail lounges that I have ever seen. 


 Love the shape of the little settees.
While the rooms were not overly large, they were decorated to the nines!  Famous paintings in the form of giant wall murals decorate many rooms. 

This hotel was within walking distant to ancient Rome and the Vatican City.  The service level was impeccable and it was a joy  to stay there while in Rome. It is tucked back in a garden off the street and so you feel secluded and private. 

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fall Inspiration in the Asheville Air

It is morning and there is a nip in the air- 55 degrees and I see a slight tinge of yellow starting on the tree leaves.  Time to start thinking about fall- my favorite time of year.  Time to go to town and see what's happening that will inspire my fall d├ęcor.

I recently heard about a local pottery that has a store in downtown Asheville. They featured beautiful orange pottery on their website and I wanted to go check it out.



And yes- it was the perfect shade of orange for fall and will coordinate with many of my fall dishes.
It also was made in many other shades that are worthy of consideration- chartreuse, pink, gray and others.


A selection of great colors in their store.

 The pottery is made by East Fork Potters in Madison County, which is where I live.  I like to support local artists, so I purchased the 3 in the store and ordered 3 more. This color is called Ember and will be retired at the end of this month for a while.



 As I was leaving the East Fork Pottery store, I noticed a cute clothing store next door.  Vintage Moon is wonderful boutique that carries Asheville designer, Gigi Renee'.

 Look at the incredible colors in the romantic clothing line. 


www.vintagemoonasheville.com

.  She uses plant based dyes to create designs of organic leaves and flowers on her luxury fabrics.  The sweater is cashmere and dyed with turmeric leaves on the front. What a wonderful fall color combination!
 This silk camisole is embellished with hand dyed lace and leaf designs. 
 And she packages each one in these sweet green voile gift bags.   These are perfect gifts and the start of Christmas shopping.

 A trip to Asheville for fall inspiration  is definitely worth a visit to BB Barnes on Sweeten Creek road.  They have just started carrying fresh cut dahlias and zinnias from a flower farm in Fairview.

 Since moving here, dahlias and zinnias  have become a favorite of mine. 
I couldn't resist buying two bunches to go home.

 They told me to place them in warm to hot water once I got them home to extend their life.


 Two bunches were the perfect amount to fill my antique French champagne bucket. 





 I paired the orange plates with my Blackberry Farm dinner plates and anther gold and gilded plate- fun combination!
The East Fork orange salad plates look great with brown transferware and pewter chargers.









 At home, I placed a stack of the orange plates on my dining table and
added copper, horn and linen elements. The bucket of fresh flowers added the punch.




It's always fun to unpack my velvet pumpkin collection from Hot Skwash and bring it out for fall.


 I also found these wonderful "cut-glass" bottles to hold  fall vinegars and fruit enhanced spirits.

A final stop in Hobby Lobby lead me to these dried elements.


They were the perfect element for the faux bois urn that I had purchased in Highlands, NC a couple of weeks ago.



Silk artichokes, natural reindeer moss and feathers from BB Barns and Amazon
 fill the urns on the gathering room fireplace.

 And I could not resist these red-orange zinnias from BB Barnes for the outside deck. 

It was a great shopping day in town- full of inspiration.  Temperatures are in the sixties next week!  

It has now been a week since buying these flowers.  And I even like the way they are fading away.  The trick of the warm water really extended their life, as I have normally had to throw them away in 3 to 4 days.  Time to head to town to buy some more!

Monday, September 4, 2017

Cashiers, North Carolina Historical Society House Tour

While my girlfriends were visiting from Chicago last week, we made a trip to Cashiers, NC, a luxury summer community of great shops, wonderful homes and very good restaurants.  The local historical society was sponsoring a home tour of 3 cottages.  We were excited to tour them.

All of the homes were approximately 1800 to 2200 square feet and featured 3 to 4 bed rooms. 
                           A different designer was assigned to each room in the homes.


Though out the homes, many fresh ferns were used in containers.  I particularly liked this one with the antlers placed at the base.   Also, note the painted ship lap walls. 


A galvanized metal insert was in the center of this long dining table in the first cottage. 
A long split log was placed on top with the organic floral arrangement.


Ferns placed at the bases of orchids- very pretty.


I loved the faux bois tiles placed horizontally on the back splash of this sink.

Antique bookcase used for a towel rack in the bath.


An emerald green Asian inspired day bed in one of the guest rooms.



One guest bedroom was repurposed as a study with 2 large round tables- one slightly lower than the other, so it could slide under and create an interesting workspace.



 Very masculine guest room.



 I loved the use of the white shiplap walls through out this cottage.
 An interesting arrangement over the headboard.


 A great way to create a canopy bed.


 A very cozy spot to read!

 Fish used as a hat rack- too cute!



 Many organic nature inspired touches were used in this room.



A small foyer-


Love this island in this kitchen.


My favorite room- a screened in porch with a fireplace.   The rustic table
with the black and white dining elements is very inviting.



It was refreshing to see a home tour with smaller size homes rather than a  huge mansion.
It is easier to find ideas that you can actually implement in your own home.
It was an enjoyable day and all of us carried away at least one idea to try at home!