Saturday, February 16, 2013

Alamodeus on Pinterest ...

While not every photo has been pinned, many of the great archived images from my Alamodeus blog can now be found on Pinterest.

Our Valentine dinner. Table set for two. Candlelight and champagne at home.


I spent the last week getting set for Valentine's Day and preparing for family house guests. Tomorrow is a special birthday celebration for my husband, so I'm taking a short break from posting this week.

With no posts to keep you occupied, head over to Pinterest to revisit some of our favorite past images.  I'll keep adding more as time allows.

Have a great week ahead ...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Mint condition ...

I keep seeing mint turning up again this year for spring and summer, and we're not talking gardening here. That refreshing snippet of green is making its way through fashion and accessories, with a pair of skinny jeans topping my shopping list.


Images above: Hudson jeans; glasses via Piper Lime; Prada purse; TomKat Studio straws;
and Swiss watch.

Images above: Elie Saab gown on the runway and wedding cake via Brides of Oklahoma.


Yummy vintage door with a mint reincarnation.
 Love this door!

Charming vintage bicycle in mint.

Makes me want to ride.

Meet my new love, Terry Macey ...

Every once in a while, I come across a designer whose work seems to grasp who I am and what I love. Terry Macey is one of those designers. I just recently discovered this UK label, and I find myself smiling with delight at every piece in their line.


I was looking for some inspiration to make a velvet dress (which I've wanted to create for some time). And, there it was ... a beauty in luxurious asphalt gray speaking to my creative desires from Somerset, England.


It was the work of Terry Macey and Angelika Elsebach, the design team (pictured above) who follow nature's path rather than trends in creating a line of clothes that have a quality of freedom and individuality.


 

They design apparel "for women of every size, shape and age" in natural fabrics that have a classic simplicity and timeless appeal. Their bespoke collection of romantic and feminine pieces have earned a loyal client base.



From their garden studio set in the tranquil Somerset countryside, Terry and Angelika have blended their talents to build a growing design label that is crafted by local women from artfully selected fabrics.





In Autumn and Winter collections, there are lots of velvets, crushed silks, English wools, Scottish tweeds and cashmere.



Spring and Summer collections predominately include linen, muslin and silk in various weights. Until their designs cross the pond, I'll just have to appreciate their beauty or place an order directly with these talented Brits.

All images via Terry Macey.
  

Happy chocolate day ...

Okay, you may call it Valentine's Day, but let's be real. It's all about the chocolate! Dark, indulgent, swoon-inducing chocolate. Seriously, there is only one way to satisfy this addiction, and that calls for deep, dark chocolate in an OMG level cheesecake.

Image via Bon Appetit.

I'd like to thank Bon Appetit for introducing me to this plated seduction. My husband is going to love this.

RECIPE: DEEP DARK CHOCOLATE CHEESECAKE

INGREDIENTS:

Crust
24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted

Filling
1 9.7-ounce bar of 70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, chopped
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

Topping
3/4 cup whipping cream
70% cocoa bittersweet chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
Bittersweet chocolate curls

PREPARATION:

Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9 inch springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

Filling
Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

Topping
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. DO AHEAD Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.



Saturday, February 2, 2013

Seduced to sleep ...

After spending six nights in a hotel room recently, I can tell you how important it is to have a comfy bed, great pillows and a welcoming ambiance. Now that I'm back home, I want to create equally appealing guest accommodations here.

Image of Global Views quilted leather headboard.

We're going to have a house full of family in a couple of weeks with no time to get new paint or decor in place before their arrival.



Images above via Bourbon and Pearls (left) and designer Alex Hamer (right).

So, I'll focus on sprucing up the bedding and making sure everyone has a comfortable pillow for their heads. Even though I'm not tackling the big ticket items, I've cruised the net to find inspiration for ways to add little 'hotel amenities' to the rooms.

Image of Greenwich Hotel room.

Now, I just have to find a place to store all of our 'stuff' that general resides in one of the spare rooms. And, I guess my dusty treadmill will have to hide elsewhere, too.

Image via Elle Decor.

I'm up for the challenge just to welcome home my wonderful daughters and their fabulous men! It's not often that we all get to be together at the same time.

Purple reign ...

This spring, our front door is getting a purple paint makeover. That entry has been looking a little haggard with it's faded cinnamon hue. So, I've settled on a deep purple from Ralph Lauren's line of paints in a high gloss finish.


I've selected three colors from the RL Thoroughbred Palette (shown above) to try out.  Burgundy, Embassy Purple and Nairobi Dusk (left-right) are my favorites.

My purple door color inspiration image via Maria Killam.

It's a bold look that I think will complement our variegated, neutral bricks. I'm even thinking a brass kickplate would add a handsome touch.

Image via Martha Stewart.

While I was looking for inspiration, I came across some other great shades of purple. While these wouldn't work well at my entry, I find myself obsessing over these, too. What else needs a royal makeover?

 

Purple reigns supreme in the images above via A Not So Shabby Life (left) and Couture Carrie Loves (right).

How can you possibly go wrong with colors as delicious as these? Do you know how easy it would be to give directions to 'the house with the vivid purple door?'

Image via Simple Everyday Glamour.

Those Parisians get it right every time! What a tasty plum doorway.

Image via Beta Plus.

Speaking of entry's, I have a serious crush on the walls above in an eggplant hue. 

Oh yeah, purple it is!



Book ends ...

A couple of really simple bookshelves would do me a world of good. I'm totally organized about everything except storing books. My lack of book discipline is evident by the books that occupy every nook and cranny throughout the house.

Image via Elle Decor.

They are everywhere ... books in bedrooms, living room, office, studio ... you can even find reading material in the bathrooms, if you know where to look. 




Corralling volumes of books takes inspiration like that shown in the photos above. Images via New York interior decorator John Barman (left) and Gudruns Tights (right).

I know I need to bring my favorite tomes together in a library setting with handsome bookcases. I even posted some of my inspirations in natural wood finishes and dramatic paint treatments several weeks ago here.  Today, I'm happy to look at the beauty of winter white on painted shelving.

Image via From The Right Bank.

Decisions. Decisions. Light or dark? Do I find some ready made pieces (like the Billy Bookcases at IKEA) or have my talented husband craft some custom ones for the perfect fit?











Images above via Chicom (left) and Elle Decor (right).

And, then, there's the whole art of merchandising those shelves to make them look their best. This may have to wait until Spring cleaning time, when we can tackle everything at once!



Face to face ...

Up front, let me just say I'm a big fan of portrait art. If your intriguing visage was staring at me, I'd stare right back. I'm just spellbound by portraits. Peering into those canvas eyes, I love to daydream of the character behind the image as if the strokes of the artist's brush could reveal all.

Image of Diane von Furstenberg via Architectural Digest.

I don't know about you, but I would have a difficult time seeing my own face day in and day out. Perhaps I'm less objective or less narcissistic when it comes to art depicting little ol' me.

Image via Rue Magazine.

But, I am fascinated by just about anyone else's portrait. Seems that many designers and their clients feel the same with big, bold images popping up in every space imaginable.

Image via Urban Grace Interiors.

  
Image via The Walkup.

While large portraits contribute a big WOW in any room, smaller canvases with their strategic colors and placement can have a big impact, too. 

Image via Tink Makes Art.

From hyper-realism to abstract art, having those mesmerizing faces front and center is a striking contribution to any interior decor.

 

Images above via Flea Market Style (left) and Iris Shomaker (right).

I might be hesitant to include portrait art in my bedroom, however. Somehow, waking up at night and seeing someone staring back a me might be a little unnerving.

Image via Sugar Meows.

While my bedroom may be off-limits to piercing, painted eyes, I love the dynamic contribution of large scale portrait art just about anywhere else.




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