Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Going Under

& not going "Down Under" to Australia unfortunately...

{ Cable Beach, Broome, Western Australia }

Don't you think could run forever on this beach & get tired before you ran out of sand & surf ??Kind of a tropical Long Beach? And the retro station wagon? Love love LOOOOOVE it. But I digress...

Soooo ~ both my kids are in a private clinic this morning getting their teeth fixed up. Long story short they inherited their parents' weak enamel & it would take an interminable series of hour-long visits to get the work they need done, done. In light of the dental techniques & equipment of old:

...I think the current scenario is pretty sweet. They are getting their teeth taken care of in a sterile room with fuzzy ducky blankets to cozy into (Paulina) & cool high-tech equipment to check out (Sebastian).

So, to keep my mind off the fact that my kids are being put to sleep chemically & having are surgery (yikes!) I am blogging. Blogging about going under...

This bed from Anthropologie seems like somewhere you could have sweet dreams:

{ Dawning Lark Bed }

And this is something I would dream of if I could pick & choose:

{ De Beers Enchanted Lotus band }

And of course, because this is a design related blog in my dreams I'd be able to pick the brains of this trifecta:

She kind of scares me because I'm not sure how friendly she'd be. She looks perfectly perfect. Which I am so not. Not even kind-of perfect. But her talent is hard to dispute. Evidence here:

{ Viceroy Hotel, Anguilla }

and here:

{ Hillcrest Estate, foyer }

Billy Baldwin

I love his quips & quotes found here. I like a lot of the things he liked (books, the iconic slipper chair, rattan, pattern on pattern) & dislike most of the things he is averse to (fake flowers, fake books, (although I don't mind leggy furniture), fake fireplaces, satin, clutter). I think you could have a really good chat with Billy Baldwin, probably over a cocktail of sorts. One of my favourite quotes about design is his: "Be faithful to your own taste because nothing you really like is ever out of style". I like the fact that his rooms stand the test of time.

{ La Fiorentina }

{ Billy Baldwin Design }

And Billy Baldwin Decorates is as useful today as it was when it was first published.

True confessions: I stalked Erika's blog & design website when we were building our house on Sunnycrest. Her design work is approachable but is always something that you wouldn't arrive at without her insight. Case in point her recent work featured in Coastal Living & Southern Living:

and here's another of her creations that I drooled over while I was in construction mode:

And [small, small world] she is actually a dear friend of my sister, Leah's, best friend, Katie. Any friend of Katie's must be pretty fabulous.

So now, wake up, stop dreaming.... I have 2 post-surgery kids who are convalescing. Must run...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Tea Party

We took the children to see Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. Visually it was everything you could ask for: fantastical, fabulous, far over-the-top. The story-line was OK but the eye candy made up for whatever was lacking in spades (or should I say hearts??!!).

Ever since I was first read the story by my parents, I was fascinated by Alice & her Wonderland world. And tea... well, I've loved tea ever since I can remember.

{ Arthur Rackham's illustration }

Since the weekend I have been obsessing over garden tea parties. Paulina suggested that we have a Wonderland tea party for her birthday which made my heart leap. Let's hope she doesn't change her mind between now & mid-April or mummy will have to have a little temper tantrum of her own.

Couldn't you just imagine a bunch of little Alice-look-alikes gathered around a table like this one enjoying tea with some funky mini Mad Hatters? I could.

{ photo from Martha Stewart }

{ stack of Martha's teacups just waiting for a cup of lovely brew }

{ sugar cubes from The Secret Garden Tea Co. }

Could tea with sugar cubes like the ones above inspire a chandelier like this? Methinks so:

{ 1950s light fixture can be purchased from Gilt & Gloss }

Would a lovely old teapot like the one above inspire you to wallpaper with this:

{ wallpaper from Anthropologie }

Perhaps. And how about this photo:

I love the silver teapot redolent of another age, the Asian-inspired blue cups with double saucers & the rustic, well-used tray. I love the beat up trunk used as a coffee table. I love that there is a fancy-pants couch with a rolled arm nearby with an up-cycled sweater pillow on it. You could lounge back & read in that couch with the pillow behind your back. You could lounge with teacup in hand, and still have room for a friend at the other end. It looks like it might be a scary couch but really it's quite friendly. Friendly enough for tea. I like that.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Room to play

A quote attributed to Maria Montessori is that " is a child's work". As parents we can see that in the faces of our little ones when they concentrate with great intensity on their task at hand. Be it building LEGO creations, dressing up dolly or racing around at the beach, our children are doing the work of childhood & it is wonderful.

My sister, Esther, has her own little Maria...

{ Maria-Leticia playing on the beach }

... & has decided to convert a maid's quarters at the back of their home in Quito, Ecuador into a playroom.

Although Esther has great style & a knack for making any space look fabulous she has asked for my advice on putting the playroom together without too much expense. Here are the before pictures (will post "afters" soon I hope!):

{entrance to playroom}

{ interior space }

Not wanting to do a theme that Maria-Leticia will grow out of quickly, Esther's idea is have a lot of areas for creative play. The bottom half of the walls will be painted a sweet soft yellow colour similar to Winter Sunshine (Benjamin Moore 345) & Esther's sister-in-law Patricia will paint a garden-themed mural on the wall. I've suggested possibly adding some inexpensive light fixtures from Ikea like these cutie-pie flowers that come in pink or white:
Floor covering will either be a large rug keeping with the garden theme like this one from Rosenberry Rooms online:

or perhaps puzzle-piece foam numbers & letters.

Mosquito netting will be hung in one corner over a couch or a pile of pillows to create a secret hideaway place to read or make-believe with dress~up clothes nearby similar to these:

The existing bare light bulb could be covered by Chinese lanterns (this Paper Lantern Store has a fabulous assortment online) such as:

{ but maybe hung closer together... but not too close to the
light bulb so as to cause a fire hazard!! }

{ love the multi-colours & vintage look of these lanterns }

or a hand-made floral ceiling fixture like this (click here for 'how to'):

{ for Maria's playroom I'd use tone-on-tone yellow paper for
the flowers or do a mix of yellow & green & pink }

I'm getting so excited to see this playroom in progress & after. I just want to hop on a plane to Quito & craft & laugh & paint with my lil' NetBet & her family and see Maria-Leticia in her new space. For now the virtual world will have to suffice. Will post more as the project progresses....