Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Interior Inspiration: The HOUSE with 2 Courtyards!



This house is soooo ADORABLE!......I love it! 
Notice the brick paver driveway and the attractive garage door.  Antique shutters surround the front window, while an old bench sits out front.  I love the copper gutters!   To the right is the side garden which leads to the hidden front door. 

I found this home online. Heidi Dugan is graciously letting us see these pictures of her beautiful house first published in Houston House and Home magazine.  Dugan is a well known real estate agent in Houston Texas, working for Greenwood King.  She built this house several years ago using inspiration she got after traveling to France and Italy.  The house is filled with antique architectural elements brought over from Europe which give the house its special feel.    Interior Designer Ginger Barber sourced old and antique beams, flooring, shutters, and furniture from Houston dealers and also directly from Europe.    While the house itself is outstanding, the outdoors really set it apart.  There are two courtyards – one for dining and one that surrounds a small swimming pool.   The front door, with its side entrance, is reached through antique iron gates, creating a third outdoor space.

The side garden behind a wood and iron door, leads to the front door.  The pergola gives this space a room like feel.


In this picture of the foyer, you can see the iron railing on the gracefully curved staircase.  Antique trumeau and candlesticks sit on a French console.


The living room, across form the entry, faces out to the front yard seen through the large arched window.  Linen was used for the curtains and slipcovers.   The contemporary coffee table is juxtaposed against a trio of antique chairs.  Notice the gorgeous ceiling beams that came from France.  The rug is the only bright pattern found downstairs which is mostly cream, ivory, and white.


The dining room has a beyond FABULOUS antique French chandelier.  The table is Italian and the fabric on the chairs is Fortuny.  Just gorgeous!


In the kitchen, antique beams were used for the crown molding.  The island is an antique shop counter.  The countertops are 17th century stones!  Amazing!    The floor is Portuguese tile. 


Slipcovers and seagrass, a popular Houston look which Ginger Barber helped define.   The star of the family room is the 17th century mantel.   The antique beams found throughout are from Chateau Domingue.   Out the doors is the “swimming pool courtyard” – one of two courtyards found on the property.


In the powder room, a stone trough becomes the sink.  The trumeau and sconces are both French antiques.


The upstairs landing features a vignette with an antique console and a pair of balustrade lamps.  What a great idea – blow up one family picture instead of having framed pictures spread throughout.  Love that!


Heidi’s bedroom is all linen in beiges and sages.   Hey  - that rhymes!   The desk is an antique.  Notice the pair of lamps taken from old vases.   I love the slipcovered bench at the end of the bed and the candelabra in the corner.  The ceiling is vaulted and lined with beams. 


The dining courtyard features a large limestone table and a mirror made out of an 19th century zinc French window.   The landscaping is all green, mostly from box, bamboo, and vines. 

The same space – here you can see the 18th century fountain set up on a wall made of 19th century stone blocks.   I really love the pair of stone columns and finial.    So pretty!

The second courtyard, off the family room, is where the swimming pool is.  To one side is a draped pergola that creates an outside room. 


To read more about this house see the article in Houston House and Home HERE.  All these beautiful photographs were taken by Miro Dvorscak.  Visit his web site HERE.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Nutrition: The AMAZING benefits of SEA SALT


Sea salt is rapidly becoming more popular, as more and more people are learning about all the health benefits that the salt has to offer. The salt is obtained naturally from the sea, and does not go through any processing that alters the natural make-up of the salt.
 t contains many essential trace minerals that your body needs in order to be healthy. This natural salt is healthier than the iodized salt available in the market OBVIOUSLY!!!.  Sea salt naturally helps you to build up a strong immune system so that you can fight off the cold virus, the fever and flu, allergies and other autoimmune disorders. Sea salt is alkalizing to the body, as it has not been exposed to high heat and stripped of its minerals, nor does it have any harmful man-made ingredients added to it. Thus it can help you to prevent and reverse high levels of acids in the body, which in turn eliminates the risks for serious and life-threatening diseases.

Believe it or not, but sea salt can also help you in WEIGHT LOSS.....HELLO LADIES!!!... It helps the body to create digestive juices so that the foods you eat are digested faster, and it helps to prevent buildup in the digestive tract, which eventually can lead to constipation and weight gain. So if you cant move the POO you may want to think about adding a little salt to your diet...........;)

A sea salt bath can help to relieve dry and itchy skin as well as serious conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The bath naturally opens up the pores, improves circulation in the skin and hydrates the tissues so that your skin can heal.

Sea salt is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Thus the production of phlegm is slowed down so that you can breathe easier again. Some say that sprinkling sea salt on the tongue after drinking a glass of water is just as effective as using an inhaler. But the great thing about sea salt is that it has no side effects when taken in moderation.
Also we all know that Potassium is essential for helping the muscles to function properly. Sea salt not only contains small amounts of potassium, but it also helps the body to absorb it better from other foods. Thus it is effective in helping to prevent muscle pains, spasms and cramps.  Sea salt also has shown to be effective in treating various types of depression. The salt helps to preserve two essential hormones in the body that help you to better deal with stress. These hormones are serotonin and melatonin, which help you to feel good, and relax and sleep better at night
There is so many things that sea salt would help. Personally I noticed that when i added a pinch of salt to my water I felt so much more energy not as thirsty, my skin begin to plum up and glow......and who doesnt want to GLOW!!!!!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Design Inspiration: Chic Manhattan Apartment

I have always dreamed of living in New York but of course....the only kinda living in New York that is worth it is living in STYLE!.......I know it sounds cliche.....but when i saw the pics from this apartment in manhattan.......i couldnt help but publish them!

Love the wallpaper.....

It's hard for black and white to not look chic....

One day I will have a huge gorgeous mirror in my entry way like this.

This room is a nice reading refuge from the dark walls used in the master bedroom.

What do you think?

via Rue Magazine

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Fashion : McQueen MEETS PUMA!

Alexander Mcqueen designs for PUMA
Even though Mcqueen was designing for puma a year before he passed his company carries on the tradition. Here is the shoes from the new collection Crane Vs. Tiger

 Alexander McQueen PUMA is as theatrical and exploratory as ever, drawing inspiration from the discipline of parkour: runners maneuver through and around obstacles, using only their bodies, often through a city. The resulting collection fuses this ‘sport’ of efficient energy and self-preservation with the urban landscape. Graphics feature feathered wings, implying flight. 

They are grounded with a consistent palette of black, grey, yellow but only to gain strength—and then be set free by rusty magentas, electric blue pops, and a design legacy that continues to take leaps and bounds between the expected and the unpredictable.




Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Style Icon: Nick Ashford passes away at 69 - Remembering Ashford & Simpson

1942 - 2011

A motown legend passes at age 69 of throat cancer leaving behind his duo partner and wife  (Valerie Simpson) as well as a legacy of phenomenal top chart songs........Mr.  ASHFORD will be missed.

Since the beginning of their career together over 30 years ago, Nicholas Ashford and Valerie Simpson have become one of the most prolific and versatile musical couples in recording history. Combining skills as performers, songwriters and producers, they have created an unprecedented catalog of chart-topping hit singles and album, collecting 22 gold and platinum records and more than 50 ASCAP Awards. 

The couple met in 1964 at the White Rock Baptist Church in New York City. Nick had come to New York to pursue a dance career and Valerie was playing piano and singing with the church's legendary choir. Nick joined the choir and the two began writing pop songs for fun. Word of the talented duo spread quickly and Ashford & Simpson sold their first batch of songs for $64.00. A career was born.

As staff songwriters for Sceptor Records, Nick and Valerie wrote Ray Charles' classic "Let's Go Get Stoned" in 1964 which brought them to the attention of Motown where they wrote their second smash "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" for Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. Other Gaye/Terrell hits followed including "Your Precious Love," "Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing," and "You're All I Need to Get By."

Ashford & Simpson signed with Warner Brothers in 1973 as recording artists and recorded eight albums, four of which went gold. Their numerous hit singles include "Send It," "Found A Cure," "Don't Cost You Nothing," "It Seems To Hang On," and "Love Don't Make It Right." In addition to their own growing catalog of songs, Ashford & Simpson wrote and produced for Ben E. King, Chaka Khan, Gladys Knight and many more......Some of my favorite songs include "Im Every Woman" sung by Chaka Khan in the 80's and then remade in the 90's by Whitney Houston.

Check out this performance by Ashford and Simpson:


Mens FASHION INSPIRATION: White Collar Show - Neal Caffrey

His Style and and Looks are so HOTT it should be a CRIME!

Fitted suitstie bars, and fedoras are a few of the staples we've came to associate with White Collar's Neal Caffrey, played by Texas-born actor Matt Bomer. Rugged beards and stylish scruffy facial hair? Not this guy, he takes pride in being clean-shaven and immaculately well-groomed. Moderately inspired by Cary Grant  in "To Catch a Thief" and The Rat Pack Caffrey definitely looks like an StyleCode Gentleman™ .

Cary Grant in the 1955 movie "To Catch a Thief"
The show's costume designer Stephanie Maslansky openly discusses the makings ofNeal Caffrey's wardrobe on White Collar's official website. She says his look is 'mid-century gone modern' with suits by designers John Varvatos and Paul Smith (but let's not forget about his vintage Sy Devore suit from the very first episode). His tie bars are vintage, and his ties are also almost always vintage and bought at Manhattan'sStar Struck and Cheap Jack's. Speaking of accessories, so many wonder where Neal gets those fedoras, no other than Manhattan's oldest hat shop, J.J.Hat Center, And these days his sunglasses are often classic Ray-Bans.

Caffrey also sports his fair share of 3-piece suits, sorta like another USA Character. Can anyone guess? Harvey from Suits of course. Prepare for the Suits Giveaway, which includes a Kodak Pocket Camera.
All those who have been loyally watching since Season 1, like myself, know about the show's love for Thomas Pink… I remember a bedroom scene that was  joyously filled with Thomas Pink bags in the background– some of the show's swankiest product placement to date, lol. But they don't just use Pink bags for props, many of Caffreys cuff-links and shirts are Thomas Pink (as well as Paul Smith and John Varvatos).

When he's out with Mozzie or painting in his apartment (June's "guest room") we may find him in a few casual-wears, like crew necks, polos, and  button-ups. Those seldom seen looks vary in labels: sometimes shirts by Hugo Boss and Band of Outsiders, jackets by Armani, pants by Prada, shoes by Sperry for J.Crew, and all of the above by John Varvatos (this show really really likes Varvatos, and Thomas Pink, but definitelyVarvatos). When it comes to purchasing a little bit of everything (casual, business, clothing, accessories) costume designer Maslanksy also does her fair share of shopping at Century 21 and Barneys.

Note: One main style element that is consistent with Caffrey is the color blue, there's rarely an outfit that doesn't have something blue in it– whether it's the suit, a tie, his hat, shirt, or even a scene that has him in his drawers, 99% of the time he's wearing something blue. This is of course done to match Matt Bomer's piercing blue eyes. 
So let's review, To Get the Style Of Neal Caffrey: Mix vintage modern, stick with slim silhouettes for suits and dress shirts, and accessorize with vintage ties, tie bars, and classic fedoras. Pretty easy, eh? So on your next shopping trip implement a bit of Caffrey in your style, or you can shop the look below:


More Neal Caffrey Style Inspiration photos below:

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