Saturday, October 27, 2012

Luxe leather ...

I'm in a white leather mood and thought I'd share some of my inspiration. You see, I'm actually designing my company's exhibit booth for the 2013 markets, and as of now, luxurious white leather will play a part in the concept for showing our ACEQUIA Bath and Body Collection to buyers.

Image via Trend Zona.

There's nothing subtle about a white, tufted leather Chesterfield sofa. Glam, purely glam!



Images above via Elegance Code (left) and Decor Pad (right).

I'm leaning toward the styling of Barcelona chairs. White leather over a lean, luxe and iconic classic. What's not to love?! 

Image via Become.

The 'X' legs of this Europa ottoman mimic the Barcelona chair's silhouette. 




Images above via Domino (left) and Houzz (right).

Adorable, tufted slipper chairs might be nice, too. Since my business, Capistrano Soap Company, produces a luxury line of all-natural soaps and lotions, our branding at market is all about modern elegance.

Image via Ciao Bella.

High gloss patent leather might translate that streamlined contemporary feel I'm after, but, I have to say that it also scares me in American markets. It may be better received in Europe.

Image via West Elm.

A couple of weeks ago, I posted about a desire to create an upholstered headboard for my guest bed. Now, that I see one dressed in white leather, I think it may have selected my project material. Yummy!



Saturday, October 20, 2012

Blue plate special ...

I've been feeling a bit blue lately. Nope, I'm not sad. I'm just lusting after gorgeous blue plates. So, my collection grows and my husband is left pondering the attraction.

Here are some gorgeous ceramics that I would love to bring home ...

Image of Botanical plate from Crate & Barrel.

Image of Fez plates via Kay McGowan.

Image of antique Blue Hare plate by Teurel, circa 1650-1700. Sold by Guest & Gray.

Antique blue bird plate from Iran via Victoria & Albert Museum.


Safavid antique pottery dish (c. 1600s), probably Kirman, SE Iran, sold at auction by Christies for over $25,000.

Image of Scandinavian faience by Stig Lindberg.

Image via Harmonies du Soir.

Image via Remodelista.

I'm quite certain I'll be non-traditional this year at our Thanksgiving dinner. Blue's the hue, and I'll post photos with my newly acquired dishware at our holiday tablesetting. Until then, I'll keep adding to my growing collection ...

Bistro banquettes ...

Would you prefer a booth or a table? What a strange little question, when you actually give it some thought. It sounds like the restaurant's choices lack seating. "I would prefer a handsome, tufted leather banquette with a rustic, hand-carved wood table by the window, please!"

Image via Flor.

While every night can't be spent in my favorite bistro, I would love to bring that atmosphere home to share with my family and friends.

Image via Kim E. Courtney Interiors.

For me, the mystique is in the banquette seating. I've eyed every inch of my breakfast area and dining room to come up with a plan.

Images above and below via Coco + Kelley.

The photos above and below capture the modern beauty of banquette dining.


Every bit of this space is picture perfect in my mind, and I'm hashing out every scenario that would allow me to duplicate this look at home.


Banquettes present some versatile options in staging a dining space for entertaining. Just pull up some extra chairs, add another table and cover for additional guests.

Image via House Beautiful.


If it's not a built-in unit, banquette seating can do double duty in the living room. 


Image via Inspiration Guide.

I'm a sucker for the modern vibe, but traditional looks have a charming attraction, too, with Country French a favorite among less formal styles.

Image via Southern Hospitality.

I love to see sofas and benches added as banquettes. Charming! Now, if I just had someone else willing to prepare our dinner.









Houndstooth hoopla ...

Any fan of houndstooth is a friend of mine. I have a special place in my heart for this classic pattern in black and white. Always have, always will.

Image via A la Parisienne.

I get a great deal of inspiration from the streets of Paris. And, this year houndstooth abounds. During Fashion Week, my favorite pattern turned up on many of the fashionistas taking in the shows.

Image via Who, What, Wear.

And, if you're stepping out in Paris, the Place Vendome Restaurant (below) is a picture perfect study in black and white houndstooth with cotton candy pink accents.

Images above and below via Place Vendome Restaurant, Hotel de Vendome, Paris.


As a matter of fact, I like it so much that I've incorporated the pattern into my business. If you buy any of the bath and body products from our Capistrano Soap Company, it will be delivered in our signature black and white houndstooth wrap!

Why stop there? I think a few actual houndstooth purchases may be in order.

Images: 1) dress by Salvatore Ferragamo; 2) coat by Doggie Design; 3) tie via Missconstrued Boutique; 4) flask from The Hair of the Dog; 5) wellies by Darien Sport; and 6) Lexington Peep-Toe Booties by Bebe at Macy's.

I've got to find a way to sneak a bit of houndstooth into my home after viewing some great designer rooms.


 
There are so many ways to add houndstooth into home decor, and I'm noticing a lot of pairing with pink. Images above via Decorpad (left) and Design Hole (right).

While black and white is my personal favorite, houndstooth in other shades can be equally dramatic.

What a handsome, modern vibe in navy blue. I really like the subtle chair backs that give this dining space its personality.






On a cereus note ...

A one night life. That's it. For the Night Blooming Cereus, it's a show of spectacular blossoms lasting a few brief hours in the dark of night. I posted about my plant's first bloom in 2011 and the two flowers that emerged this summer.


Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flower by Alamodeus.

Several readers have asked questions since my last post, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to share more, since there is more news. Until this week, I only could count on one or two flowers in an entire growing season. But, that all changed when I noticed 18, yes eighteen, buds emerge from the slick green leaves in the last couple of weeks.



When the buds first appear, they are green and quite small. As the begin their growth, the buds elongate and turn red as shown in the photos above. Once the buds begin to arc upward, it is a signal that the flower will open within two nights.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

First, I'll clarify the type of Cereus I am growing. It is the Night Blooming Cereus, Epiphyllum oxypetalum, a semi-eipiphytic plant with aerial roots (meaning it derives some of its moisture and nutrients from the air and rain).



Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

This is a native plant of Mexico that grows to immense proportions given adequate space, filtered light and protection from cold. I started with a small cutting about 10 years ago and have helped it along with monthly, organic feedings of Medina Hasta Gro during Spring and Summer.

I didn't do a time lapse photo session this time, but you can see the shots I previously got on film here. However, you can see by the photos (above) that I did capture much of the bloom cycle.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flowers by Alamodeus.

The 'branches' of this Cereus are now well over 14' tall and drape several feet over the top of window frames.



I love these little jewels of the night! I just wish they bloomed in daylight. It is a night without sleep spent appreciating their beauty.

Photo of Night Blooming Cereus flower by Alamodeus.

The aroma of a Cereus flower is hauntingly alluring. It's an unforgettable, enchanting scent, obviously meant to match the blossom's unique beauty!

Until next year, my lovelies ...

All photos via Alamodeus.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Fat or skinny ...

Just about everyone agrees that anything covered in black and white stripes is a magnet for attention. The question is more about size. Do you prefer your stripes bold and broad or demure and thin?

Image via The Fat and Skinny.

I'm going to cast my ballot for a hefty presence. On sofas and chairs, stripes can turn tradition on its ear, creating a dynamic design element in any space.


Image via Brabourne Farm.

There is something compelling in the black and white scheme, and I'm convinced it's at its best when these modern fabrics are in juxtaposition with the traditional bones and classic lines of antique furnishings.

Image via Little Blue Deer.

Can it get any better that Louis, trimmed in gold and paired with black and white stripes? Ahh, the French sensibility. Stunning!



I love to see stripes on window shades, wall textiles and, most of all, draperies. The images above prove the beauty in striped fabrics. Images via Fleaing France (left) and Rue Magazine (right).

Image via Slim Paley.

Add a casual character to a room's decor with stripes ...

Image via Parlour Home.

or, give it a sensuous role in parlour or boudoir.

Image via Joy Tribout Interior Design.

Black and white can be a decadent addition.

So, pick a stripe width that appeals to you. Fat or skinny, there are no worries crossing these lines.


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