Thursday, May 31, 2012

Why This Works

Happy Thursday and welcome to the series Why This Works... where I highlight a designed space and talk about what I love. Today's office space comes to you from one of my favorite designers- Sarah Richardson. I have loved following her shows and seeing all of her unique, creative ideas on design. She is one of those designers that I would let go wild in my home, without worry.


images via

Lately, I have definitely embraced bold color and am drawn to rooms with pops of fun color. This beautiful hue of yellow is perfect for this time of year and awakens this office space. I love that it's tastefully carried onto the drapery, pillows and even coffee table books, yet the furniture stays a creamy neutral for balance. It's just the right amount of color for this space. The soft touches of gold in the coffee table, reading lamp and chandelier also work well and pop against the creamy white on the walls and furniture. That chandelier makes the space and draws your eye up! I also love that Sarah hung the drapery rods several inches above the window casing, also helping the eye look up. This is a great trick to make your windows and walls appear taller! Every room also needs some black for grounding, and the chair legs, side table and frames do a great job of anchoring the space and giving it depth. I have also been drawn to sectionals and modern frames like you see here, which I think brings a great balance of traditional with modern and adds a touch of functionality to the office. (Sometimes, you just want to relax with your laptop or a decorating magazine on a comfy piece of furniture!) The flowers on the coffee table make the space feel warm and inviting, which is what you need to want to enter and get work done! Overall, this space works!

What are your thoughts?? 

Are you ready to decorate your life? Click on the 'design services' link at the top of my blog to get started today!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - Maple Leaves and Sycamore Trees

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am excited to have Kat here, from her blog Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees. I love stopping by Kat's blog to see her latest antique and thrift store finds. She has a great eye and has amazing DIY skills! So without further adieu, here is what Kat came up with-


Hey guys! I'm Kat from Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees, and I'm excited to be over here sharing some of my favorite spaces, so thanks, Amber, for having me. If my blog were a room (or rooms!), it'd have a relaxed, casual feel just like some of these spaces. First let's start with the exterior. I love a home that's not humongous and has nice details--like working shutters, differing facades, picket fences, and detailed trim work.



I love the green door on this simple house. It's all in the little details!


Now let's go inside and start at the heart of the home: the kitchen. What I love in these kitchens are the different finishes, antique rugs, and that little bit of vintage industrial flair.
The lighting in this kitchen is great, isn't it?


If you haven't checked out For the Love of a House blog yet, you're in for a real treat. I love just about everything in Joan's house including her gorgeous kitchen.


We just redid our kitchen (well actually, it's still a work in progress:/) and there wasn't any room for open shelving. I do love the look though. Look at how pretty these shelves are!


I have a soft spot in my heart for unique lighting. Love these wall sconces.
Source: houzz.com via Kat on Pinterest


Perfect styling: those old jars, a chippy sign, and subway tile...yum.


These wood shelves add a nice warmth to this white kitchen. (Oh and that's another look I love--paneled walls. Can't get enough of them! Psst...we're putting some in our renovated bathroom!!)
Source: flickr.com via Kat on Pinterest


Can you tell that kitchens are my favorite room in the house? Okay, I better move on before you wanna fix yourself a sandwich. Dining rooms:
I'd love to have a dinner party around this rustic farm table. It has such a non-fussy, organic look to it.


Here's an eclectic dining room with fun wall art and a bookcase. This would be a great solution for a room that must do double duty. (BTW, do you love settees at dining tables as much as I do? Ah...LOVE that look!)


This "dining room" looks like it's part of an open floor plan where each room flows into the next. Talk about great for entertaining.


Some sort of display storage is necessary (in my book) in a dining room. Love this piece with the white dishes stacked casually but neatly inside.


And the last room I'll cover today is the living room: cozy, inviting, and down-to-earth--all characteristics that I hope you sense from my blog.


Love all the texture in this room. 


Thanks again, Amber, for having me. It was fun sharing some of my favorite spaces! Hope you guys can stop by Maple Leaves & Sycamore Trees sometime and check out the renovations going on around our place.

Thank you so much for being here, Kat! Rustic spaces, unique lighting and subway tile... gotta love them all! And I can't wait to see the paneled walls in your bathroom- love that look. For great DIY's, unique finds and design chat, stop by Kat's blog here.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Italy Re Cap - Visiting Venice

I hope everyone had a great weekend! I enjoyed time with family, warm weather and great food! I'm ready to discuss more of our Italy trip- next stop... Venice! Venice is always one of my favorite places in Europe. It's so magical and amazing. It's hard to believe that the city is built on water! Every time I visit, I am more amazed than before.





As you can see, I love taking gondola pictures!  :)  I might make a couple black and white prints and frame them! There is so much to see in Venice, that we decided to eat on the go. We stopped at a little sandwich shop in St. Mark's Square and sat on the steps to eat. This way, we were back on the move, ready to explore the sites. When you visit big cities in Europe, I strongly suggest purchasing artist sketches of the city. The vendors are everywhere and are so talented. For about 10-15 euros, you can take home an 8x10 matted sketch of a part of the city. When we lived in Germany and visited other cities, I always tried to find a pretty sketch drawing. This time, I chose a black and white sketch of a canal in Venice. It's all framed and on the wall- (I'll have to show you that soon!) Even though Venice is a heavily touristed area, I think it will always be my favorite spot in Europe!

Until we meet again, Venice...

Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Holiday Weekend!

I hope everyone has a fun, relaxing holiday weekend! The weather here is amazing, so some outside bbqing and flower purchasing are in my future! Here are some great patriotic inspired images for your weekend...

















I also wanted to take this time and thank all of the armed forces members and their families for all that they do in keeping us safe. We should never forget and always be truly grateful for their sacrifice!

Have a safe and happy weekend!!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Italy Re - Cap... Eating and Sightseeing

Verona was one of the cities we visited while on our Italy trip. They have farmer's markets, a quaint fountain, beautiful, colorful homes and an amazing arena. Whenever we travel to Europe, I'm always amazed at its history. The arena in Verona is about 2,000 years old! Incredible! Verona is also known for Romeo and Juliet. You are able to see Juliet's balcony and many tourists flock there to take pictures. (Unfortunately, we didn't see the balcony on this trip, so no Juliet photos to share.) But the images we did take are amazing- they really speak for themselves...

Inside the arena...




A look down from the top of the arena...




The lion's cages inside the arena...




The arena was originally constructed in Roman times for live entertainment. There were gladiator battles, lions, and the images above are where the lions entered. They still use the arena for operas and ballets. While we were there, they were getting it all ready for a summer opera, which explains the red floor and stage/seating in the 2nd picture.

As you can see from some of the pictures, a storm was coming. We had to leave early, when it started to rain, but this beautiful city was worth even a small visit.

What to eat in Italy???

For us, we loved...

- The pizza! It's super thin and they give you the whole individual pizza, which you use a fork and knife to get through. It's so delicious! You really can't go wrong with any topping, but my favorite was Pizze con Funghi e Salsiccia. That's pizza with mushrooms and sausage. It's amazing!

- The pasta! I love it all! Our absolute favorite is Bigoli all' Anatra. That's a thick spaghetti with duck sauce. Really- it's incredible!

- The risotto! (Can you tell I like carbs??) Risotto is a thick, creamy rice and my favorite is Risotto con funghi, which is risotto with mushrooms.

I basically kept having those three meals again and again, never getting tired of it!  :)

Oh, and the dessert! When you're there, you have to have a daily gelato! My favorite gelato flavor is Straciatella, which is chocolate chip ice cream. 

Tell me about your favorite vacation spot! 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

If My Blog Was A Room - Next Up - The Peak of Tres Chic

Happy Wednesday and welcome to the series If My Blog Was A Room... where I pose the challenge to think of your blog as an actual space. What would that space look like? I am so excited to have Sam here, from her design blog, The Peak of Tres Chic. Sam has a great eye for design and has embarked on an interior decorating career of her own this year. She loves ikat prints, traveling and anything French, so I think we would get along very well!  :) Here is her gorgeous blog header:


Isn't it great?? And here is what she came up with! Take it away, Sam!

Hi Simple Dwellings readers!  My name is Sam and I am the editor of The Peak of Tres Chic, a blog focused on chic interior and fashion design, with a little entertaining mixed in.  Creating a room that represents my blog was such a fun challenge, and I am so excited to be sharing what I came up with.  I have often defined my blog in an outfit, but never in a room. 

Here's what I think The Peak of Tres Chic would look like:

{via}

I love the drama of the black accent wall juxtaposed by the large amount of light streaming through the windows.  The tufted gray headboard, luxe X benches at the bottom of the bed, and the Louis Vuitton coffee table book all add glam touches that fit within my blog's vibe.
To give you a better idea of what that vibe is, here's my blog's reciepe:

3 parts old Hollywood glamour
2 parts Parisian muse
1 part preppy school girl
a dash of 70s bohemian 
garnished with sparkles on top

And I happen to think this room fits perfectly within that mix of ingredients.  Thanks for having me, Amber!  I so enjoyed guest blogging today.  XOXO, Sam

Thanks so much for being here today, Sam! I love what you came up with- tufted wing back headboards are so gorgeous! And those herringbone floors?!? This room is perfection to me. Stop by and say hello to Sam at her blog here!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Time to Get Outside!

The weather here has been beautiful lately, (which explains my lack of posts last week) and I definitely have outdoor spaces on my brain! We have a patio in our backyard with pavers, and we got our table and chairs all cleaned and ready for the warm weather. I love when the umbrella is open, the sun is shining and butterflies are flying by........ it's the little things that make me happy. So here are some beautiful outdoor spaces to inspire. Enjoy!









Source: flickr.com via Simple on Pinterest






That last image is my favorite! Isn't it so dreamy?? I think I am particularly drawn to smaller outdoor spaces. To me, they feel very intimate, cozy and achievable. Even with a tiny bit of space, most of these outdoor looks can be imitated. I love when an outdoor space feels like an extension of the home- complete with lanterns, rugs and pillows. There are so many great outdoor fabrics on the market. Shopping for your outdoor space can be just as fun as the interior of your home!

What is your outdoor space like???

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Italy Re Cap - The Countryside

Happy Wenesday! I wanted to thank you all so much for weighing in on my rug dilemma yesterday! I truly appreciate your honesty. That's why I put it out there. I knew you would tell it like it is! That's why I love writing on this blog. :) I'm still pondering what to do, so I'll keep you posted!

As promised, I'm over jetlag and ready to show you some amazing pictures from our Italy trip! When we lived in Germany, I always wanted to take a picture of a herd of sheep! I thought it would look amazing blown up in black and white. I never got the chance and always regretted it. We were driving one morning, and there they were! In small towns in Italy, sheep are often seen grazing and even crossing the street. If you're lucky enough to try and drive down that street while they're crossing, you'll have quite the wait! This time, they were in the grass just to the left of the road. We quickly stopped the car, and I snapped a few pictures! I hope one of these will be the large black and white image on our wall!




I think the first image is a keeper! I love how the two sheep in the bottom right are looking right at me in the first picture! Just beyond the sheep was the highway, so I had to stop every once and a while to make sure I didn't have large trucks in my shot. I really love the simplicity of Italy. Everything is so laid back. There is no rushing everywhere, no hustle and bustle. Most small shops and restaurants still close from Noon-3:00 for rest and nap. I love that! People come home from work, all to spend some time together during the day. What a way to live!
These next pictures are from a family friend's farm (say that 5 times fast!) This is a complete working farm with cherry trees, grapes, chickens. We even left with a fresh batch of eggs for breakfast! They were so gracious to host a lunch for us, cooked all from scratch. We had risotto, pork, polenta and apple cake. It was all so scrumptious! Here is a picture of their growing corn field:


It was so peaceful there! Next up is a beautiful bed and breakfast. Some of Mike's family stayed there while we were visiting. The scenery here was gorgeous. It's a beautiful, serene place. I had to snap a few pictures!




The last image is of the lobby. I love that the owner parks his motorcycle inside! It was a beautiful place, complete with a pond and a gorgeous villa on the grounds.

So that's part one! Next up will be what we ate, and cities you have to visit!
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