Friday, July 29, 2011

July Book List

Bringing Home the Birkin.  The true story of Michael Tonello's foray into the world of Hermes.  An ex-pat now living in Barcelona, Tonello discovered a lucrative venture that led to him gaining and insider's perspective on the elusive Birkin bag.  This book has many great points: first, the look into the extravagant and excessive world of Hermes and those that purchase its products; second, it's set against a gorgeous European scenic backdrop that takes Tonello beyond Barcelona across the European continent; third, Tonello's engaging writing style.  This is a perfect summer read!

A Visit from the Goon Squad.  This Pulitzer Prize winning novel was this month's book club pick.  Met with the most varying reviews from our book club selections yet, responses ran the gamut from love to hate of the read.  I personally fell on the love side.  The novel is comprised of intersecting stories and characters revolving around the music industry.  The book spans many years and does not take place in a linear fashion, instead moving back and forth in time depending on the chapter and point of view.  Despite the characters deep flaws you find yourself rooting for them in spite of yourself.  I found the book riveting and worth its praise.

A Piece of Cake.  This is the memoir of Cupcake Brown's life--her evolution from an abused child riddled with addictions to becoming a successful lawyer in her adult life.  Brown suffered innumerable atrocities in her youth, that sometimes leaves you reeling and not sure if you could even read on.  Becoming a drug addict very early in her youth, it seems her life is heading nowhere, until she hits rock bottom and turns her life around.  This story of triumph over a horrific childhood is empowering and inspiring, not to mention it will stick with you long after you finish the last page.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Closing Time

Today we close on our home!!  We couldn't be more excited with how everything turned out!  Then, in the afternoon we are getting our kitchen hardware installed.  And then it's back to packing and moving...

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Square Cabinet Pulls

One of my last home purchases (for now) is our kitchen hardware, which we decided to install after we close.  I wanted square cabinet pulls at an affordable price that would hopefully end up looking like some of these inspiration kitchens below:

Thomas O'Brien's Kitchen via Duchess Fare

Beautiful in gold!

Jeff Lewis Design 

Coincidentally, last night on Bravo's Flipping Out, Jeff Lewis professed his love for square pulls, preferably placed horizontally on cabinets.  Square cabinet pulls could be seen throughout the episode on his rental property and one of his remodels.  (The hardware pictured here is actually more rounded.)

via Elle Decor
I love how they add a modern touch to any style of kitchen:

via Decor Pad

via Houzz
The most affordable option I found are these from Ikea:
Photos of the installed hardware to follow...

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Our House is Complete!!

Our house is finished:

Today we have our final inspection (one last detail to be completed on our bathroom tub).

Thursday we close.

You know what that means--time to pack:
Image via Pinterest

You would think I would be good at this by now with all of my practice but it never seems to get any easier!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Monday Escapes: Wanderlust

Nestled in the middle of Southeast Asia sits Laos.  A country that travelers often overlook when traveling to that region--me included.  I have been to almost every neighboring country but have missed out on this stunning locale.  This month's Conde Naste Traveler magazine provided a reminder of what I missed with their article highlighting the city Luang Prabang.  I especially wish to see the caves with thousands of retired Buddhas:

Images via Pinterest
This virtual journey will have to do for now.  Have a great week!

Friday, July 22, 2011

House Progress 10

I was promised lots of progress and it was delivered.  The front of the house is getting its finishing touches--the shutters were installed--and the landscaping is currently being planted despite the sweltering heat:

The posts for the fence are up:

The cement walkway was successfully poured:

Our front door was painted:

All of our appliances were installed, with the crowning glory of our Viking stove (I better do a lot of cooking!):

The floors were stained.  Below is my best picture of the stain since the floors are all covered throughout the house:

The carpet was installed, and I will leave you with this last photo--one more week!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Out Sick

Image via Pinterest
I'm still battling this cold, so have been stuck in bed all day watching HGTV, drinking many cups of hot tea with lemon.  I will be back tomorrow with some incredible house updates.  We are definitely nearing the finish line...

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

West Elm Global Bazaar

I am feeling a little under the weather with a cold and the only thing that perked me up all day besides my herbal tea was seeing the new Fall Collection from West Elm.  I just love the the direction they are going in--they called it Global Bazaar and these worldly pieces are my favorites:

It was love at first sight.  I developed a mild obsession with this carved coffee table.  The only problem is I think it is too small in scale for my family room.

This sofa with a sumptuous amount of patterned pillows would look so inviting.

I am in need of a fabric ottoman to use as a coffee table, and I just love this one made from traditional dhurries from India.  Many months back I purchased a pillow at West Elm made from recycled saris--all were unique.  Word is that these ottomans may follow suit and be made from all different patterns.

I like the statement that these hand blocked pillows made from gold and silver metallic would make in a room.

Then, there are these hand blocked/hand quilted bedding that is very reminiscent of John Robshaw's--I am a huge fan of his textiles.

I love the colors and pattern of this traditional dhurrie rug too.

You can see the whole new Fall Collection (Global Bazaar) here.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yellow Ginger Jars

I love this Mary McDonald designed dining room--the color palette is perfection.  The crowning glory are those large yellow ginger jars:
Image via Casa Sugar
I remembered that the David Jimenez designed Palm Springs Home also boasted a pair of yellow ginger jars:
Image via Travelmoon
I recently ordered a pair of my own from Two's Company that I hope to set on my mirrored console:

Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Escapes

Given that we have had more 100+ temperature days here than I dare to even count, I could really use an escape to a place that may not be so warm.  Even though I visited this location about this time of year, it was fairly cloudy and cool, which would be a welcome break right about now:

This city is probably best known for a certain movie:

Where the surrounding Hills play a large role:

Along with a musical family who lived in this house (or at least they did in the film):

They aren't the first with musical abilities to call this place home:

That's me in the window!

It's Salzburg, Austria!

(Oh yeah and the movie-Sound of Music!)

Friday, July 15, 2011

House Progress 9

I have very few updates to show, which is a little unnerving considering we are supposed to be finished in exactly two weeks!  The builder assures me that by next week I will be astounded by the progress but it still feels very hard to believe it will be finished in time.

They prepped the front and back to pour cement for the walkway and driveway along with installing our exterior porch lights:

They installed our rain showerhead in the Master Bathroom:

And also installed sconces in the Master Bathroom mirror:

There I am again in a mirror picture.
That is really all to report.  They are in the midst of re-painting the interior walls of the house, making other repairs, and today they start staining the floors.  Hopefully, I will be blown away with the progress when I show photos on next Friday's update!

P.S. If anyone has any questions regarding sources don't hesitate to contact me via e-mail.  I have received some comments with questions but sometimes have a hard time finding an e-mail address to respond.