Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | A Wandering Eye: Travels with My Phone

Renowned Argentine photographer and bibliophile Miguel Flores-Vianna has followed up his wildly successful first book, ‘Haute Bohemians’ with a stunning second tome. This time around, in A WanderingEye: Travels with my Phone,’ published by Vendome Press, Miguel has expertly compiled some 250 of his most stunning images from his travels to 14 countries over 5 continents. But the really impressive part? All of these sharp, saturated, and stunning photos have been taken with an iPhone. There is no way you would guess that upon inspection of the delightfully colorful and crisp pages; it’s honestly incredibly inspiring and makes me want to do better with my own smart-phone photography.

The images are not categorized or broken up into divisive chapters, which I think perfectly creates the flow of one image to the next. And somehow Miguel perfectly pairs images on the opposing pages as well; hand-crafted intaglios are set next to a page of rounded stones (uncarved, touched only by natural forces), for example:

I had the honor to ask the author how he came to choose the brilliant order and pairings of these images, and he replied "I chose mostly guided by instinct. At times I wanted a photo to be followed by something completely different as the reader/viewer turned the page. I think that by doing so I had a good chance of keeping him/her engaged. As for the pages facing each other sometimes I chose contrast and at times I wanted the photos to complement each other." 

The full-bleed pictures are interrupted only a few times by small anecdotal notes or memories written by Miguel himself; somehow in a matter of two to three sentences he manages to transport you to the location of the image and give you a sense of the feeling he had when he was travelling there. After first thumbing through the book and viewing beautiful image after beautiful image, I thought to myself, ‘oh I wish I knew where each of these was taken!’ Well, of course he thought of that, and included is an extensive index of each image in the back of the book. 

If you are a design, photography, or travel lover, this book checks all the boxes. It is so inspiring and something guests will be guaranteed to pick up off of your coffee table and be captivated by. Put this one on your holiday list for all of your design & travel savvy friends as well! As you would expect from such a sought after photographer, Miguel’s Instagram is superior to the rest, so be sure to find him here. You can purchase your copy of ‘A Wandering Eye: Travels with my Phone,’ here


Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | Beige Is Not A Color

Carlos Mota is the creative force behind so many of the amazing photographs you see in the world of design. He is likely best known for his many years serving as Editor at Large of Elle Décor magazine and style editor for Architectural Digest. However, his editorial work producing and styling feature stories can be found in nearly every major design and shelter magazine (including House & Garden, Interior Design, Vanity Fair, and Vogue, among others).

You can see his love of creating memorable spaces and producing sophisticated events for select clients in everything that he does. Mota is known for expertly working with color, so who better to create a tome dedicated to showing us how we should be living in and with color? ‘Beige Is Not A Color,’ published by Vendome Press, is his response to exactly that.

In his latest book, he has curated some 280 of his favorite images, with the common thread being the beauty of color. Images of exuberant rooms, table settings, wallpapers, floral arrangements, and architectural details are expertly combined with quotes about color and beauty by a host of designers.

The cover, with it’s nod to chinoiserie hand-painted murals, is a piece of art in and of itself:

You’ll find it a visual feast set up not by chapter or ‘topic,’ but instead by colorways which seamlessly blend into the next. I found myself particularly drawn to the pages celebrating all things GREEN! For example, I don’t think we could ever tire of Tory Burch’s mossy velvet heaven (and you can view her chic & colorful dinner party celebrating the release of Mota's book here):

And equally ravishing is Wendy Labrum’s Lake Forest lacquered library of my dreams:

Carlos’ genius can be seen in his every-day images of his own home; I have often obsessed over his all-over patterned bedroom which pops up in his Instagram feed every now and then:

This book is a must for every design lover with a penchant for sophisticated color palettes in all of it ranges. You can order your copy of ‘Beige Is Not a Color,here and be sure to follow Carlos Mota’s design adventures on his IG account here


Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Textbook Tuesday | Tom Scheerer - More Decorating

When I ponder the start of autumn the first things I think of are school, a fresh start, fall fashion, and beautiful new book releases. I am so excited about this seasons line up of amazing new coffee table books, and I plan to give you several reviews over the coming weeks. Vendome Press is always a leader in the design genre, and this fall is no different; let's kick start the season with Tom Scheerer: More Decorating (photography by Francesco Lagnese).

I am a huge fan of the widely-published Scheerer and his impeccable design work. I was so drawn to the cover above, and even more excited when I pulled the dust jacket off and realized it's just as pretty underneath - it's hard to capture in a photo but the cane cover is actually textured and so divine in person!

In Scheerer's second book, he showcases 16 of his latest projects which are divided into three chapters. 'Town' features projects in Paris, New York, and Houston; 'Summer' is all about the Hamptons, Nantucket and Maine; finally 'The Tropics' sends the reader through Harbour Island, Antigua, and Abaco. I thought I'd be able to pick a favorite space or even favorite chapter but it's quite near impossible:

This chic Paris bedroom with a handsome pair of Louis XVI-style commodes and moss green velvet is simply sumptuous and really caught my eye:

Tom's expert use of color is so restrained but so impactful. Somehow against logic, he creates spaces that are simultaneously neutral and serene, yet colorful and energizing:

Probably my favorite use of orange I have ever seen, look at the base of those stairs!

Tom Scheerer: More Decorating is required reading for any self-proclaimed design enthusiast and all professionals in the field. He has mastered the ability to create serene and layered spaces that exude effortless beauty. Put this one on your list for the gorgeous statement it will make on your coffee table, and the endless inspiration it contains within its pages!

You can preorder your copy here (released Sept 17, 2019).


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

One Room Challenge Final Reveal | Spring 2019

Welcome! What started out as a 6-week One Room Challenge ended up as a ORC x 2 (around 12 weeks!!). But alas, things got a little out of my hands when trades were involved and timelines changed. Finally, I have the reveal of our exterior renovation completed for your viewing pleasure. After all, everyone loves a before & after right? Here we go ... if you've been following me through week 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5, you know that we started with a stucco-clad suburban 1989 builder basic abode.


We stripped the stucco in favor of cedar shakes, and it changed everything! Below I'll show you step by step some of the other elements that made this refresh come together.


I screen-shoted from a few video clips I have yet to compile with some 'after' reveal video clips, just to show you another view of the before's. Look at me, so gleefully unaware of all the craziness of the project I was about to undertake ... and just a month pregnant in these photos too! Talk about biting off more than you can chew ...

You can really see the close up of the California stucco, and that old front door and brick here:

So off came the stucco faster than we could say 'exterior reno,' and we decided to change up the 3 windows in the gables to create a more modern look:

Once the shakes were up and the windows and millwork were complete, we had one last job to tackle; the bricks. Upon inspection before purchasing the home, we were told the bricks above the garage were sagging and at risk of falling (as you can see directly below). A few years later, with two babies in tow, we did not want to take that risk any longer:

Since we had to repair the brick, we considered other options and their costs (ie, replacing with a different stone or replacing with more shakes); in the end a simple repair was the most cost-effective option. So we thought, instead of painting the bricks, what if we just re-pointed them with tons of mortar so that if some bricks came tumbling down we could manage to replace them and disguise them if they weren't a perfect match (because surprise surprise, they don't make these yucky 1980's colorways any more). So down the bricks came and up the extra-thick mortar went!

At this point in the job, I think our neighbours were standing by thinking, 'what in the world are they doing to their house?'

You can see in this progress shot the mortared vs. unmortared areas. In week 3 I also explained we had to re-adjust the spot the exterior lights were placed as they were originally at different heights (who does that?)!!





This was probably the best shot I got showing the difference between the overly-mortared and unmortared areas. Some visitors have told us it literally looks like we put up all-new bricks!

I love the window box in a spot that was quite lifeless before:

I left only boxwood hedge without any other plants behind because we need to access a main water tap in this corner, so again a window box was a way to fill the space without impeding on practicality.

Love love love the brass chinoiserie lanterns, and just in case you were curious I've included the Benjamin Moore & Sherwin Williams paint colors below:

Thank you so much for your patience waiting for this much overdue conclusion to an extended version of a ORC! I hope you had some fun taking a peek at what we've done. I know there are 100 more things I would have loved to do with this reno, but considering we stuck to a budget and squeezed every drop out of the funds we had to get the look we wanted, I'm quite proud of what we were able to achieve! As always, thanks for being on this journey with me. Xo

See all the other fabulous results of the ORC Spring 2019 edition here.

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