Friday, May 22, 2015

Spring in My Step!

I LOVE going on long walks but especially during the Spring! There is an abundance of fragrance and color (pink & white especially...two of my faves)...I find it all so inspiring!

I make a point to live with fresh flowers inside my home all year long...but in the Spring I amp it up inside as well as outside...I want to be SURROUNDED!!

 I also move my accessories around a bit to mix things up after getting a little stale over the Winter. I think this vintage Limoge platter with brass trimmings makes a perfect Spring partner for my marble side stand... I accessorized with a little brass vase and some little flowers and a little stone votive and voila... a pretty vignette!


I like little vases everywhere...they brighten up all the little spaces here and there...here they are outside as well...



Almost every tray in my home gets a floral accessory...talk about waking up with a smile with all the "pretty" around me...


More inspiration on my walks these past weeks...



Speaking of brightening things up...remember when I mentioned in my previous post (click here) that I had ordered something fun from Turkey for my dining room? I ordered these Turkish towels for a little whimsical color and a bit of a boho/beachy/slightly ethnic vibe for the Summer months...


Here's a view from the living room...


I also decided to play with some accessories in a new way...I found this vintage brass cake stand...added a sliver of fabric on the bottom with a pretty vintage plate and a glass dome...it now rests on my kitchen island and it just smiles at me every time I walk by....


More fresh flowers around the place...


who can blame me for wanting to bottle some of the images seen below...simply outstanding! Mother Nature rocks!


I even like the dandelion fields...I don't know why people are obsessed with getting rid of them...


This little scene "had me at hello"...so charming!


Another renewed obsession for me is with white verbena..I'm using it in my pots outside...and loving it's texture and bright whiteness in my designs...


Speaking of the outdoors...I haven't been blogging much because I have been busy in every free moment working in my garden...here is a little preview...



I will be posting more images from my outdoor spaces in the weeks ahead...I love to watch a garden grow...

Have a wonderful weekend! XO Emily



Saturday, April 25, 2015

stripes..checks & stuff...


Wow.. this Winter is hanging on here in the Midwest...but I am refreshing my inside spaces to push things along as I do every year...I love all the Seasons but really...it IS the end of April!

I (hopefully) will soon be putting all my energy into my outdoor spaces so I thought I would catch you up on my indoor musings this Spring...Loving my new fireplace decor...brass and white stripes on brass feet...swooning!

I also freshened up the mantle with a new vase and some white tulips! 



On a little shelf in my living room I wrapped one of the antique books in white and black striped paper for a little extra "pop" and to carry the theme....I found the brass stool on the right recently and styled it with a few coffee table books. I am using it as a fun door stop- it is very heavy and does the job brilliantly and I love it as a little vignette on it's own against the door.



I have been collecting brass serving pieces...this brass addiction isn't waning... lol...

A set of these were just too good to pass up as well...

these too...



I love PINK (I know...shocker!)as much as brass and when I stumbled upon these pink Lucite letters I just had to have them for my office!


My everyday spices have outgrown my spice cabinet next to my range so I decided to pretty them up nearby...plus I have another cook in the kitchen now (daughter trying out recipes) so things are now making it to the tray instead of being left around the kitchen...


I found this amazing and unusual collection of shells in an estate sale and since I can never pass up a magnificent shell or two (or forty)...they all found there way in this long birch bowl...I smile and think of the beach every time I look at them...



I also like to layer artwork...sometimes not hanging something works too...I found these interesting pieces and decided for now I like them as a duo under my console in my family room...



Checkmate!...A marble chess board (still waiting for me to find fab chess pieces) is currently serving as a tray for a fun Spring bloom...


My house is always filled with fresh blooms but this hot pink Hydrangea is just so fab...I can't find another one with as deep a pigment of pink...I better keep it watered!


When the weather became just too much this week I sprung for some peonies...I have a serious crush on PEONIES!


I also added some fun pink pops with white and pink to my dining room...



I just ordered these turkish towels....yes from Turkey...I hope they get here soon...because I have a fun idea for them for my dining room...I'll keep you posted!


Recently in Atlanta I was driving in a cute little hamlet and I happened upon this magnificent display of Azaleas...I can't wait until we have a fraction of this color outside our windows here!


Have a wonderful weekend! XO Emily



Sunday, April 12, 2015

Papiamento and Aruba!


I recently returned from a fabulously relaxing week in Aruba...I'm a huge fan of the Caribbean but this was my first visit to Aruba...Aruba is located about 15 miles just off the coast of Venezuela and about 40 minutes from the Equator...


Besides completely going "off the technological grid" for a week with my family...and enjoying all the great things about a great beach vacation... 


long beach walks, afternoon pina coladas, reading great books under a palapa, paddleboarding, fresh coconut and fish daily






we also got a rare treat to visit a private island where we snorkeled with a variety of amazing and colorful fish...but especially these extra large blue parrot fish...


Luckily the water was pristine...and the beaches white....two "must haves" on any trip to the Caribbean for me....however...I was delighted to find something else on this trip...



We went to dinner one evening at Papiamento Restaurant and I smile just thinking about it...what a treat!  The 126 year old Aruban "cunucu" house surrounds a pool and is filled with wonderful European antiques. The garden is lush and rambles with several "secret spots" as well as "out-buildings" that house a wine cellar, bathrooms, a bar and special dining spaces...



The sexiest Brazilian music (my fave) was playing live when we entered through a romantically lit path..the entire garden and home is surrounded by a stone wall...


and this is what I saw upon entering...the pictures just can't do it justice...it was sensory overload...the music, the smell of the food and flowering trees, the tropical breeze and the full moon...with my favorite music playing...I felt like I was on a movie set! It just couldn't be real...but I was delighted!!







 The restaurant took it's name from the culture of Aruba. Papiamento is the most widely spoken language on the Caribbean ABC islands (Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao). It is a language derived from African and Portuguese languages with some influences from American Indian, English, Dutch and Spanish...although Papiamento is spoken primarily in Aruba, Papiamentu is spoken on Curacao and Papiamen on Bonaire...all similiar versions.

Dining throughout all the interior spaces of the home is available as well...and of course...I wanted to take a few pics..but we had a poolside table in the garden...after the Winter we've had I insisted we eat "al fresco" every day....and especially here!



 

The wine room...



The moon was full and the flowering trees above us gently dropped beautiful blossoms into the pool and not into our food...did I say magical? Nature at her finest that evening!

 

Little seating areas and potting stations were scattered here and there...





A couple terracotta pots stored several umbrellas in case of rain which they informed me happens rarely...interesting roof lines created artistic vignettes...







A garden gate...and another view around a corner...





The outdoor bar...



 The food was delicious and felt very "homemade" including the decadent red velvet cake pictured below...they even brought all their fresh grilled food on individual grills to each place setting...




The ladies room...


 


Another little dining nook...under a pergola...


and other seating around the garden...





I wanted to take these topiary with me...


My son and I dining in one of the most magical places I have ever experienced...so unique...so un-fussy..aging so beautifully...
The older I get the more I appreciate aesthetics that are perfect in their imperfection...things that just work because they do...when it doesn't appear as if everyone tried too hard and designed and manicured everything beyond believability...

It is difficult to explain...you'll just have to visit!



 Now for one more fabulous dining experience...on our last night we decided to dine seaside at our hotel... the experience was also sublime...here are a few images of how things looked as we arrived.,,,at Simply Fish!

When you enter on the beach there is a covered pergola where you can sit and wait for your table and enjoy a cocktail and put your shoes on a shelf... this is a first...NO SHOES for service!




We ate barefoot as the sun set...
what a wonderful ending to an incredible week!




 It doesn't get much better than this...



XO Emily

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