Thursday, April 30, 2009

I love a charade

Recently me and my sister were discussing movies and wishing that there was a site that told you the state a movie took place in and documented all the stores, restaurants, parks etc that were filmed. A site where you can log on, get all the info and go try the place out yourself.

Sometimes it’s easy to figure out what state a movie is taking place in. You see landmarks and realize oh they are in NY. But since I’m only from NY I sometimes don’t always pick on the clues when a movie’s location is in another state and it takes me a while to realize that the movie is actually in CT.

Where we enter even more of a problem is when movies are suppose to be in a certain state, but they are actually filming it in a totally different location like Canada and you end up trying to jot down store names that don’t exist where you think they do.

Ah the magic of movies!

I swear my long rambling has a point. I hope. In NY we have our fair amount of TV shows and movies being filmed all year round. One of the locations that is very popular to shoot in is the Hamptons, but here is where charade part comes in. The majority of the time it’s not really the Hamptons that you are seeing, but Old Westbury Gardens, which is a mere 5 miles away from me.

Enter the house in Cruel Intentions, Sex and the City Hamptons wedding between Bobby Fine and Bitsy Von Muffling and mostly recently Nate’s family estate on Gossip Girl:

Entrance Gate:

entrance gate

The Mansion:


This house is the main estate in Old Westbury Gardens. It is called Westbury House and was completed in 1906 by English designer, George A. Crawley. The Charles II style mansion is nestled amid 200 acres of formal gardens, landscaping grounds, woodlands, ponds and a lake.

Here is a virtual tour of the gardens. Walkway to the Rose Garden:


Walled Garden Pond:

walled garden

East Lake:

east lake

Click here to check out all the TV shows and movies that were filmed at Old Westbury Gardens.

So long story even longer does your town have any famous locals that are constantly being used for films, tv shows?

Spill the details and lets dish!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Home Improvement: Kitchen

The kitchen was one of the only rooms in our house that needed a complete over hall. It was a mess full of yellow and burgandy colored tiles, horrible wood cabinets,an old chambers stove, detachable dish washer, the list can go on and on.

The stove I actually loved, but it didn’t have a lot space inside and would have made it difficult for cooking so it had to go along with pretty much everything else.

Here are a couple of the before shots of the space:



We closed on our house Memorial Day 2007 and didn’t move into January 2008 when this kitchen was in workable condition. Removing that tile was torture. It was cemented into the walls, which meant a lot of the walls came with it.

The kitchen eventually started coming together and the cabinets got hung, (I would have preferred to the ceiling, but hubby disagreed and marriage is a compromise...blah blah blah), the new appliances arrived and I got my farm sink!

I wanted a beautiful glass tile backsplash of course, but  with Ann Sacks taste and a Home Depot budget that wasn’t going to happen right away.

Now enter 2009 and the kitchen still had no backsplash, I wanted to repaint the walls to a white/beige and paint the floors! I begged, begged and begged some more and finally with my birthday coming up my hubby gave in!

The tile of my dreams was still out of the question, but I was able to find Subway tile for 24 cents a piece at Home Depot so this little weekend project come up to around $150 for the adhesive, tiles, spacers and grout.

Here is what the kitchen looked like before we added the grout. I would have loved to have used dark grout, but Jon felt better about doing it white. It didn’t matter that much to me so we went with white:

kitchen 003

Jon’s not happy that this project took a bit longer than expected. He/we were working on it Saturday afternoon, all of Sunday, and Monday evening. Plus he wasn’t too happy that I was snapping pictures of his crazy hair. Ha ha.

kitchen 006

Here it is finished product with the white grout. I spent the majority of the day yesterday putting the kitchen back together and whipping up some snacks because my hubby thought it would fun to invite guests over when most of my kitchen supplies were residing in the dining room. Ah fun times.

kitchen 011

Here is the corner where the old stove and dishwasher resided. We moved the dishwasher to next to the sink and added more cabinets and counterspace.

kitchen 012

Close up of the tile:

kitchen 013

So we are now almost finished (famous last words). Next step is to paint the walls a lighter shade in the white/beige family and then take the green that is now on the walls and paint the floors that color.

Here are my offensive wood floors:

kitchen 015

Bear got a little angry when he was in his puppy stage and started to kibble and scratch at the floor.

So of course I now need to ask for advice. What color do you recommend I paint my walls? I love color so I haven’t really worked with a lot of  light shades in the past. I need help!


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Color Splash: Kitchens

Since we are still in the midst of finishing up our subway tile (pictures coming later on today) I’ve had kitchens on the brain and can’t stop thinking of them.

When I first moved into my house I knew I wanted WHITE in the kitchen. Like most I fell in love with the kitchen in Somethings Gotta Give and went off and designed a kitchen with white cabinets and dark countertops and of course with a touch of me as well. 

Now I still love the kitchen that I have, but I wish had another couple of homes in which I could play around with different kitchen looks.

What is your favorite color combo in a kitchen?

Do you like the all natural wood look and granite?

wood kitchen

Or are you bold and like a big shot of color in the kitchen?

orange kitchen

Maybe you are walking the line between both and would love to have color on the bottom cabinets and wood on top?

green wood kitchen

Perhaps color isn’t your thing and you would rather paint the town white?

white kitchen

What’s your dream kitchen look like?

White or bright or a little bit of both?

All images are from Breathing Room designs a boutique LA based design firm that specializes in Hollywood Regency style and all things glamorous.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Shop till I drop…

I wandered out this morning to the outlets in search of a good buy for my SIL’s gift. Her birthday is on Wednesday so I can’t really order anything online, because it won’t get here on time.

I haven’t been out shopping for awhile now and totally thought I would want everything in sight. Handbags, shoes and clothes oh my, but nothing was calling my name expect for this:

camila random 038

camila random 039

camila random 040

Oh look at that linen, with the Amy Butler fabric and the nail head trim!

Loved everything about it, but of course it was still thousands of dollars at the Neiman Marcus Last Call clearance center.

Boo to that and I still need to find the perfect for gift  for my SIL birthday on Wednesday!

Heading back out for round 2 of shopping.


Sunday, April 26, 2009

When it rains it pours

Hello loves,

Hope you all had a lovely weekend. We spent the weekend putting up subway tile in the kitchen. Of course by we I mean my hubby and my FIL. They didn’t want any help from me so I was busy cleaning out my closet and the whole house along with yard work.

Oh so tired now and can’t really think straight. It’s been an exhausting weekend. Now I take a look at my calendar and see that I have 7 gifts to buy from now until the end of May!

pink present

Image from here.

I’m at a complete lost over what to get anyone. Here’s who I have to shop for:

This week I need to find a fabulous gift for my SIL that is turning 25. (Her birthday is on Wednesday)

On Saturday I have a joint 30th Birthday party. I need one girly gift and one manly gift or a joint gift.

Of course Mother’s day is right around the corner. I need two gifts. One for my mom and one for my MIL. Hmm my birthday actually falls on mother’s day this year…think I can get away with making myself the gift for my mom?

Then Jon’s grandma is turning 86 and the very next day my other SIL turns 21!

I’m already exhausted thinking about all this shopping. So this recessionista needs help. What do I get all these people that is not only a thoughtful gift, but easy on the wallet?




Friday, April 24, 2009

In Her Shoes – This Young House


Unless you’ve been living under a rock you must already know the youngsters aka Sherry and John Petersik that write the blog know as This Young House. They are two twenty-something's that moved from NYC to VA , bought a house, got married at the house, and decided that it would be fun to document all of their renovations on a blog. What started out as just a fun idea has turned into a full fledge business. Sherry now works from home and not only blogs, but helps readers with design dilemmas, and runs their shop as well.

Since Sherry is the one that wears the high-heels in this family I decided it be fun to see what a typical day is for her. So sit back, relax and get comfy.


8:22- John smooches me as he heads out the door for work. Ok. Ok. I'm up. Pad over to the den in my pjs to check the blog and get my first post of the day ready.

9:08- The first post of the day is up so I respond to a few blog comments and email questions for the next hour or so (people are curious!).Grab some organic yogurt and granola with raisins (my favorite breakfast because it tastes like desert- very vanilla pudding-esque).

10:10- Feel sort of slackerish for still being in my pajamas (what if the UPS guy rings the bell and catches me again?). Off to shower and toss on some "work clothes" (99% of the time that means jeans and a black tank top or t-shirt). Take my laptop out into the sunroom (one of the perks of working from home is my private "corner office" with a view of the backyard). Burger decides he's done sleeping in (I kid you not, our Chihuahua sleeps late every day) and wants me to let him outside to play. Nice to see you too. He does some bug hunting and then settles in with me on the daybed. Here's a visual (without me cause I was busy taking the picture).


10:41- Respond to a few more comments and email questions and write up a Reader Redesign(we're so fortunate to have so many clever readers who send us their fabulous before and after pics). Fix a typo I just noticed in my morning post. Oopsie.

12:04- Call in a bunch of orders to the printer (our little shop keeps us busy these days, and getting everything professionally printed means we chat with those guys a few times a week and John swings by to pick up orders every few days). Feeling a little snacky. Time for some peanut butter straight from the jar followed by a can of tuna straight from the can. Lunch of champions. Respond to a few more blog comments and email questions.


1:30- Hop on the phone with Allie from The Creative Career (she's Skype-ing me to do an audio interview about my "unusual career path" for her blog). It's fast and fun and before I know it it's done. Publish the second post of the day and write a quick guest post for (we're doing the 48 hour challenge with them and we send over weekly updates of our progress).

2:30- Ok, enough procrastinating. Time to whip up a Design Dilemma (a custom mood board that we create to take the guess work out of decorating). It's for a living room/dining room and it's actually really fun once I get started. They always feel kind of daunting beforehand since they take anywhere from 4-6 hours  to complete (we sift through a questionnaire to pin down the client's style, source a slew of furnishings and accessories for their makeover, bring the images into Photoshop, cut them out, number them and write a post all about the what, the where, and the why).

3:30- Snack time. Tossing a heaping handful of edamame into the microwave is the easiest way to get some veggies down. And sea salt makes them finger lickin' good. Grab three Hershey Kisses (dark chocolate) in celebration of vegetable consumption. Back to the mood board.

4:49- Site's down. Freak out. John calls to say he's already on it. Increased traffic = yay, but blog crashes= boo. It's back up in about 11 heart wrenching minutes. Whew. Back to the mood board (with a few more gray hairs than I had 12 minutes ago).

6:11- John's home. This is obvious by the berserk dog howling like he's possessed. Once John steps through the sunroom door barking turns into excited wiggling. Glance up from the computer screen to smooch the hubby and realize my leg is asleep and I should probably get up and stretch. Daybed typing is hardly ergonomic. John trots off to get into comfy clothes and make some dinner (pasta with shrimp and feta). I love him. Back to the mood board while he gets his chef on.

6:41- Pause to scarf down some scampi. Mmm. I'm in the home stretch of the mood board so John settles in on the sofa next to me (each of us with our laptops on our lap) and we put on Oprah for background noise. Romantic.

7:17- Oh happy day! The mood board is compete and I'm super excited about it. Send it right off to the client so nothing sells out before she gets a chance to snatch everything up. Grab a big glass of chocolate soymilk (it's like a milkshake that's secretly made out of soybeans). Then it's time to write two more posts to publish the next day when my whole blog-centric existence starts all over again.

So that's a day in my $9 Target shoes.



What a fun day Sherry has and cute shoe taste as well! I’m totally jealous of her daybed work space. So much better than being stuck in a cube all day.

Thanks so much for being our first featured lady!

Stay tuned next Friday for our next mystery In Her Shoes featured lady. So secret that I’m not even sure who it is yet.

Anyone special you would like to see featured. Let me know!


In her Shoes – New Weekly Series

Hello Loves,

What a beautiful Friday! Before I get started on my new weekly series I want to give you all a big thank you on yesterday’s comments. Jon came home last night and said that I could paint the floors!

Yay! Victory is mine. Now the compromise that he came up was that I leave the wall color as is, but it’s already that same green that I want to paint the floor so I NEED to paint them. I’ll work on him this weekend, but I think I can get him to see my point.

Ok now my new exciting weekly series. I’m always so curious about the way people live and by curious I totally nosey. Plus in breaking my way into the Interior Design world I thought it would fun to see what different people in the field do on a normal day. So that is how I came up with my In her shoes series. Every Friday I will be feature a new person that follow on a day in their life and of course they’ll also let us know what shoes they sported that day as well.

Ok I’m off to finalize my first featured lady and the post should be up soon!

Hurry back!




Thursday, April 23, 2009

Battle of the Sexes

Ok dear readers and friends of mine I need help. I know my husband probably doesn’t have the easiest life with me it’s not easy to be married to a decorator. Pretty much every night when he comes home I ask him , “Will it be possible to do __________” in the house. The majority of the time I’m meet with a big fat NO!

Mostly because while I’m the brains behind my design vision he is the muscle and it normally means another project will be added to his honey-do list.

There is one project though that I’m now campaigning for and I won’t give up on it.

I want painted floors! This is always met with,  “No not everyone is going to like that and what will it do to the resale value of our house".

See the house we are now isn’t that big so it’s won’t be our forever house so my hubby is always thinking about what potential buyers will be thinking.

Ok fine I won’t paint all the floors, but the kitchen use to have linoleum, which we ripped out to find wood baseboards, which were then stained and sealed in the hopes that they could come back to life, but they don’t look so hot. Very shabby not so chic.

I keep trying to tell myself if I saw that look in Anthropology I would love it, but it’s just not working anymore.

Here is what I want to do, but it in a more jadeite green color:

windsor smith

Image from Windsor Smith

Ok if you are still reading. Thank you! I had no idea how long it would be to explain this.

I went on to My home ideas and here are their top 10 reasons to paint a floor:

1. Easy weekend project. All you need is patio paint and a brush.

2. Less expensive than refinishing and staining old floor. (Ok we already tired that and it didn’t work)

3. Hide flaws and imperfections! (Did I mention one of our pups decided it would be fun to try and chew up the floor)

4. Suits any look.

5. We love patina and not only does it withstand everyday use, but also gets better with age. (Jon is so not going to go for this one)

6. It helps define small spaces.

7. Fun conversation piece.

8. Instantly brightens a room!

9. No better way to add large pattern to a room. (I don’t need to have a pattern so this won’t help my argument)

10. Easy to maintain. Just soap and water.

Ok now I need everyone to put on their thinking caps and help me think of more ideas as to why this is a great idea. Help! Also Jon thinks it’s going to be a huge project, because we’ll need to sand the sealer off first. Thoughts? Can we do something and still just paint over it?

Big round of applause for you getting through this massive post.

Any help would  be greatly appreciated!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Design Crush: Kim Coleman

I recently found the work of Kim Coleman by reading the NY TIMES and no it wasn’t in the Home and Garden (even though it should have been), but in the Style section under weddings! One of my favorite things to do on Sunday is read about all the recent couples that tied the knot and see what they do for a living. In doing this I saw that Mrs. Coleman’s son recently wed in Palm Beach.

Mrs. Coleman started her career in 1981 and was a founding partner at Design House Interiors. She then moved on to working at Sotheby’s Auction house and most recently has her own firm that has offices in New York and Palm Beach.

I'm happy to hear that she is nearby neighbor and that some of her work includes homes from out on the island.

One of my favorite examples of her work has to be this South Hampton residence:

Nice view as you are pulling up to your driveway:


Then you get to enter this amazing living room in cool tones of blues and cream. I love the mix of Swedish design elements and beach cottage style which just comes off as plain elegant yet comfy.


Below is a close-up shot. Don’t you just love the Greek key trim on the sofa! Oh and that rug!



Then we move on to the sitting room, which has amazing an amazing map of the island:


Moving on  below is my favorite bedroom in which I would request to sleep in if I was ever a house guest. I love that pop of blue that boxes the room. I once designed a room around that blue shade. It was heavenly. I loved the energy I got from being in that room, but now I love just the little pop of it.


Now we can slowly make our way outdoors and enjoy the view from the sunroom:


Of course no Hampton’s home would be complete with a spacious pool and outdoor area. I love everything including the landscaping and would totally love a peek into that pool house!


I hope you enjoyed the tour. I found a new crush and someone I’ll be following from now on.


Dear Mother Earth,

I just wanted to take a moment and wish you a happy Earth day! I have been trying very hard lately to be as green as I can be. I stopped using plastic bags, no more water bottles, unplug all outlets when they are not being used, switched my light bulbs, use only green cleaning products from my dish soap to my wood cleaner and try to buy locally when I can. Whew! What a list. I’ve tried being good so even though it is your day I think I deserve a little something too.

So I’m going to need your help in convincing my husband that I must cover my home in these lovely, amazing, beautiful and eco-friendly fabrics from Rubie Green!

rg yellow

Ok thanks!

Hugs and Kisses,


*Hope you all have a great day. I’m off to a baseball game today. If you know me you will know this is totally out of character. I’m not big on sports. I hope I can last the whole day. Hope Mr. Jeter doesn’t mind that I’m bringing a couple of design magazines along with me. :) Don’t worry I’m going to leave you with some lovely design eye candy before I leave. Stay tuned. *


Rain, rain go away …

I woke up again this morning to a sky filled with gray dreary clouds and raindrops falling. Yesterday it rained non-stop and it looks like today will not be different.

If this continues I’m going to need to stock up on some new rain apparel, because yesterday I didn’t look so cute running in and out of IKEA with raindrops pummelling my head.

So here we go with my rainy day wish list.

I’ll take one of these please:

whiteandblack raincoat

Then of course since it doesn’t have a hood I’ll need a chic umbrella. How cute is this little number? It even looks custom made for me with it’s high-heel print.

high-heel umbrella

Since I would already be sporting some heels on my umbrella no need to wear a pair on my feet. I would finish off with my rain apparel with these:

pink fleece welly

My morning wasn’t all gray and dreary, because as I was reading all my daily fixes I got the pleasant surprise that I won Seleta’s fab friday give-away!



Monday, April 20, 2009

In the closet

Ok I’ll admit it anytime that Clueless is playing on TV I will most likely stop what I’m doing and sit down and watch.


When I was younger I was obsessed with moving to California. A la  Brenda Walsh I wanted to move to the West Coast, have fun in the sun, shop and of course marry Luke Perry. Then 1995 comes around and enter a movie that shows me teenage life in California. I was in heaven. I read the book and watched the movie numerous times. I loved the scenery, the slang, and of course the clothes. Oh yes I rocked those above the knee tights one too many times.

One of my favorite parts of the film is when we get to see Cher’s closet.

clueless closet computer

Not only does she have a computer program that helps dress her, but she doesn’t even need to walk into a closet. As if! She has an automated rotating closet like the ones seen at a dry cleaners with a remote control and everything. Heaven!

A lot of time has passed since 1995 and we’ve been able to get sneak peaks into many celebrities closets:

nicky closet jamie lynn closet

mariamenounos closet eva's closet

Of course I oh and ah over their amazing closet more so for the clothes though then the actual closet because my heart still belongs to Cher’s closet.

I didn't really think people actually had automated closets, but at the Architectural Digest Home Show (which was pretty much a snore) I saw that it was possible with a Luxe wardrobe!

luxe closet

They offer conveyor belts in different configurations and even offer a vertical conveyor for your shoes!

luxe shoes

You can also download this to your iphone  and save pictures of your outfits, tag them, share them with friends and put together  outfits with the help of your friends.

So I can almost get Cher’s closet. It’s at the tip of my fingers. Now I just need to get a closet that is bigger than 3’ x 4’, find some fab designer clothes, order a Luxe system and get an iphone.

Ah so close, but totally not there. Whatever.

Great minds think a like. Make sure you visit Cassandra from Coco and Kelley today if you have a picture worthy closet or if you are in need of help for her new style (e)scape series!


Friday, April 17, 2009

Fabulous Find: JULISKA

I finally decided to hop and the bandwagon and join Seleta in her fab friday fun! I hope she approves of my fab find that I’m about to write about.

fab friday

Yesterday I headed out of NY for a quick jaunt to CT. I hit a couple of antique stores, but instead of finding a fun thrift store type antique malls I found lots of serious antique shops with prices in the thousands. Suffice to say I didn’t make any purchases yesterday, but had fun driving around CT and seeing all the cute towns.

On my way to find the highway home I made a wrong turn and stumbled onto a store that had the words, “Sip and Shop” all over the place. Turned out to be a perfect detour, because they shop looked too fab to pass up and my mom wanted a cup of coffee, before we headed back on the road.

Enter Juliska:

juliska store front

I gotta tell you the mocha and white striped awning along with that amazing blue door really lured me in.

Here is what we saw once we entered the store:

juliska cafe

Close up shot of the cafe:

juliska close-up of cafe

How amazing are those light fixtures and cake domes? Glassware is a huge part of Juliska and each of their pieces are mouth blown by artisans in the hills outside Prague. Talk about a conversation starter when you bring out their glasses at a dinner party.

The owners of Juliska really wanted to bring something new to the retail front and give customers a more European experience. The shop is part retail store, part cafe along with having a bridal salon so that you register for all your lovely gifts and a 9’ Koi pond fountain that also features their glassware.

Koi pond fountain:

juliska fountain

I love the way they had everything displayed. I swear I’m a marketers dream, because I wanted everything in the shop or to at least work there so I could be surrounded by such beautiful things all day long!

juliska store decor

Here’s a close up shot of their glassware:

juliska glass

They also carry ceramic dishes that are made in Portugal as well:

juliska ceramic

Plus their latest addition: Pewter Stoneware that can go in a dishwasher, microwave and oven!

juliska pewter stoneware

Let’s just say if I had known of this place during my engagement I would have gone nutty in there with my scan gun!

All Juliska images are from their Facebook page.

I hope you all have a lovely weekend. We are suppose to hit 70 today and tomorrow in NY so I’m excited.

Off to work on my DIY artwork project!

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