Sunday, August 23, 2009

design obsession: bedside carafes

i've seen them everywhere from movie adaptations of jane austen novels to charlotte york's beautiful park avenue palace in sex in the city...regardless of time period and location, i have always had an affinity for the bedside carafe. they are a sophisticated approach to the utilitarian need to quench ones thirst in the middle of the night...and such a thoughtful touch for guest bedrooms!

when we moved into our new apartment, i went "carafe carazy" and purchased two for our bedroom and one for our "guest quarters." and given the fact that they come in such a wide range of styles, they seem to me to be worthy of a being a "design obsession"...whether your style is traditionally classic or eccentric and funky, these carafes offer a fun and thoughtful way to express your own design preferences.

and who says they are reserved for the bedside? what about using a bunch of them at a dinner party for individual beverages? so chic. the possibilities are endless, really.
...happy sophisticating...

fabulousness from cb2. and at $10, is it any surprise we bought 3?

a fun, modern carafe from unica home.

a true classic, from williams sonoma. love the monogram!

a very vintage touch, from posh chicago. perfect for a shabby chic-style room!

love love LOVE this shape! from grasshopper510.

and another fun shape from grasshopper 510.

the larger glass is nice. from crate and barrel.

anthropologie. need i say more? fab for the dinner table!

made from a recycled wine bottle. brilliant! available from meredithsmirrors on etsy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

omg: ma(i)sonry

i just invented a new feature category--omg--which means "OH MY GOSH i've discovered something so amazing that it is category-less."

so- OMG my husband and i just returned from a delightful week in the bay area and visited napa for the first time. i could go on and on and on about yountville & oakville & rutherford & st. helena...suffice it to say we plan to retire in one of these charming little towns.
too fab.
BUT across the street from our hotel we visited the most incredible place called ma(i)sonry--one part tasting room, one part gallery, one part boutique, all parts oh-so-sophisticated.

the building was built by an italian mason using stone from the eastern hills of napa valley. now it houses the most phenomenal collection of furniture, art and home accessories, and it features some of the most incredibly designed outdoor space i have ever seen. ever. you can grab a seat anywhere...really...anywhere...and sip or taste or take in the general splendor. they call it their living gallery. oh, and everything you see is for sale.

enjoy these photos. you'll die. in a good way. omg.
...happy sophisticating...

is it not stunning?

fab outdoor seating option #1. how great would this be for a private event?!

fab outdoor seating #2. the husband by the unbelievable fire pit.


so incredible.

one small piece of the fabulous boutique situation going on.

wouldn't you just love to sit here, oh, forever?

Saturday, August 1, 2009

sophisticated traditions: milk glass

i have been surrounded by milk glass my entire life. used for simple centerpieces, festive drinking glasses, placed ALL OVER my grandmother's home...i have seen these lovely treasures for decades and had no idea what i was looking at. once i started decorating a home of my own, i realized how much i loved it and what a wonderfully sophisticated tradition it had become for me.

milk glass comes in many forms--dinnerware, lamps, vases, even jewelry. pieces range from intricate and ornate to incredibly simplistic and you can find it in pale, milky blues, greens and oranges, even brown and white--but my favorite is the classic white.

here is some eye candy to inspire you.
...happy sophisticating...

a truly classic collection. even piled onto basic white shelves, doesn't it look darling?

one of the most classic designs--hobnail. it looks like stylish polka dots!

at an event--how sensational is this?! clean, pure...a lovely vintage touch that makes even the most simple floral arrangements look special.
photo courtesy of

even pottery barn has jumped on the bandwagon. these colored milk glass lamps are sweet and sophisticated.

a fabulous orange milk glass chandelier. so dreamy and makes me think of a creamsicle...
photo courtesy of house beautiful magazine, july 2009

these bathroom accessories by martha stewart would look so amazing in any bathroom.
photo courtesy of house beautiful magazine.

unbelievably darling. i l.o.v.e. the subtle stripes on the vase in the foreground. too fab.
photo courtesy of elseachelsea

this might be one of my favorites. SO simple but so SO SO sophisticated. darling!
photo courtesy of country living.