A little Laura Ashley

Happy August!  Today is my childhood BFF’s birthday and it made me think about her room growing up — a place where I spent a lot of time as a pre-teen and teenager. She had a California King bed in her room which took-up most of the room but made for great sleepovers because you wouldn’t have even known there was someone else in the same bed.  Her bedlinens at the time were all the rage — fully coordinated Laura Ashley bedding and curtains with pink tulips.  It was sophisticated yet girlie at the same time and I just loved it — oh, the ’80s! 

I think the Laura Ashley brand has done a pretty good job of growing up but staying true to what it’s always been — a sophisticated look with a heavy feminine hand — case in point, this sofa and wallpaper.  All the yummy duck egg blues have a very calming effect.  So, on this August 1st — a shout out to both Tracy and Laura…

A passion for patchwork

I pretty much like all things  patchwork. While I wouldn’t want to go too over the top with it, I think this eclectic mix of quilted wallpaper looks great and seems to match the quirky nature of this house.  The homeowners used wallpaper samples  to create this look — a clever way to create a unique wallpaper look without the big expense (but perhaps requiring a bit more work).  It works well in this space with the high ceilings and the sort of, cottage-y look they’ve gone for.

Who doesn’t love color-coded bookshelves?

Another one of my big loves is color-coded bookshelves — when done well.  As a book-lover, I’m huge into bookshelves, in general, and love the look of floor-to-ceiling books.  What better way to display your collection than to have them color-coded?  Friends of mine in Boston took it a step further and covered all their books with white dust covers and then hand-labeled each book title which also gives a beautiful, unified look to your shelves.

Now all this scene needs is a big cup of steaming coffee…

I *heart* open kitchen shelving

My friend, Molly, rented out the most fabulous house in Telluride, Colorado last winter for the ski season.  There are so many things that I loved about this kitchen from the stained glass transom window and the tin ceiling to the open shelving (of course, the best thing to come out of this kitchen is Molly’s amazing cooking!).  I loved the look and I notice as I flip through saved cuttings from magazines in years gone by that it’s a look I have always loved as I have about a gazillion photos with a similar approach.  There’s just something very confident about a kitchen that doesn’t hide behind doors.  Here’s another example from Design * Sponge of a kitchen make-over.  I have about 100 more which I’m sure I’ll throw in from time-to-time…

Lighting galore at Eatery 120

This lighting is one of the key design features at Eatery 120 in Ranelagh.  I absolutely adore the interior design of this place — they have done a great job of balancing a cozy feel with a bit of upmarket luxury. http://www.eatery120.ie/

I don’t think the cottage could swing this look but if the rooms were a bit bigger and grander, this is one of the first things I’d be planning.

Rustic Luxury

Have you ever had a friend that likes exactly the type of things that you like?  That’s the way my friend, Christiana, is.  We are completely cut from the same cloth and I haven’t found many ways in which our interests diverge.  Case in point, the “rough luxe” look.  Christiana mentioned a house she’d been to in Dublin (much like this one featured a couple of years ago in Martha Stewart living).  Christiana’s friends left the weathered and worn paint on their walls  in their Georgian Dublin home to give it a rough and rustic feel.

After seeing the first photos of my dilapidated new house project, the first email I got from Christiana was about the walls! (Walls which I love so much that I dragged my friend’s band in to take photos).  If the sound-proofing and re-plastering don’t get in the way, I really hope I can leave at least a feature wall “rustic” in the same way the owners in this house have done.  I just love the look.  here’s one of the shots of the band at the house with my rustic walls as the backdrop. Check out their music on MySpace at: http://www.myspace.com/bluefevermusic

My new project

A good friend of mine recently said that if she spent as much time looking for a man as she did her new sofa, she would have been in happy couple bliss years ago… I’m not sure what this says about me since I’ve not only been searching for the perfect sofa but also the perfect home to go around it since I was about 13. 

I find that I get really restless when I don’t have a good project to get stuck into which is why I’m so excited about my latest project — a little 1890s, two-story artisan cottage on a cul-de-sac with a huge park at its doorstep.  I’m still a long way away from moving in or even breaking ground so I’ve got plenty of time to do some planning and inspiration finding…wanna join me?