Friday, July 31, 2009

The Bold Look

I was digging in the archives the other day and I came across these ads by Kohler shot by David LaChapelle. I don't remember seeing these, do you? I'm sure there were more, but here are the couple that I found. Gorgeous, no?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Gourmet Renovation

Dwell (yes Dwell!) had a great little spread this month about a couple of guys who came together to renovate a former crack-house in a run down area of Washington DC. Casey Patten (28) and David Mazza (30) are best friends and they were determined to open the best deli in the area. Isn't the exterior great? Photos by Joao Canziani.

So the story goes that these two who had attended middle school and high school together, attended Penn State together, worked together on a couple of house flipping projects, and at the time owned a residential property together so they figured they were good business partners. Their passion was to open a Philadelphia (Represent!) style deli and Italian (Represent!) gourmet market. Their location would be 1116 H Street NE in DC, an area riddled with abandoned real estate and check to cash storefronts as well as a good example for all the ways the District has failed its citizens. In realtor talk, Up and Coming!

But David and Casey would muddle through and turn the ground floor into their restaurant space and the upper levels into bachelor pads fitting enough for them to live in. The original floodplan of the residence made little sense and the friends called in architects Grupo 7 to lend a hand. They did the majority of the demo together and the results were industrial chic yet light and airy.

The kitchen consists of Ikea which Dwell praises as did the architects. Not so much for me. Don't get me wrong, I love me some Ikea, but there is something really brash about their unseemed kitchens. I like the back splash and even the stainless steel counter top but the cabinet legs and the individual unit piping are a dead giveaway of cheap, not chic. If you're going to do it, do it Bulthaup.

See? From the waist up it looks great to me but the kick box is missing. Don't they always say to invest your money in the kitchen? Yeah, they do. Sorry David, the rest of the place does look smashing though!

The brick wall was original to the unit and I love that they kept it. The flooring really brings the colors of the brick and the new walls and finishes together.

The gem downstairs is the main attraction of this article and it is easy to see why. Despite the current state of the neighborhood, it looks as though Taylor Gourmet Deli is bringing in the customers. David and Casey met with Adrienne Spahr of Green Living Consulting to help reduce the carbon footprint of the renovation process. They didn't know much about going green but they knew this was important and they knew they wanted to incorporate inexpensive materials.

The roll-up door was installed with the help of a private investment grant from the city looking to jump start growth in the area. The facade really sets Taylor Gourmet apart from the surrounding businesses.

Recycled steel, recycled insulation, recycled wood, and low VOC paints were all incorporated. Deconstructed shipping pallets were picked up from alleys around town and treated with a soy sealant to line the walls and counters.

Chain link fence poles were used as shelving supports and lighting beams. This picture is making me hungry and it isn't even lunchtime yet.

An incandescent bulb bouquet hangs over a larger dining table in the back of the space. The chef's table I presume?

David and Casey are proud of their new bustling business on H Street NE. As others in the area start to notice the design changes it is only a matter of time before other businesses spring up.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

My Sheree Amour...

..lovely as a summer's day.
My Sheree Amour, distant as the Milky Way
My Sheree Amour, pretty little one that I adore
You're the only girl my heart beats for
How I wish that you were mine....

La La LA, La La La, La, La, LA, LA, LA, LA.....

More Glamour...

I have no idea WHAT is goin on in this photo...

Arrival by carriage, of course.

Special thanks to Eddie for this Tangerine Dream...

Summer Addictions

Summer is my favorite time of year and I don't think I have to sell you on why. But nonetheless, here are some of the reasons for my love affair with summer:

I really love white wine in the summer. I have been recently drinking Chateau Ste. Michelle Sauvignon Blanc, it is the perfect balance of sweet and dry. I want to take a trip to this winery one day, has anyone ever been? It looks so relaxing.

Last summer we invested in a couple of these beach loungers with the little face rest and arm holes cut-outs. They are really great if there isn't any wind. It makes it comfortable to actually lie on your stomach and read at the same time instead of planting your face into a towel.

I love my clover shaped Van Cleef and Arpels shell necklace like the ones above. It goes with everything and adds that touch of summer to every outfit.

Chanel Hydramax + is my new favorite daily moisturizer. I used to be faithful to Laura Mercier but the smell and smooth texture of this facial fruit is amazing. Paired with the serum below, it just doesn't get any better.

I am not sure which smells better, the lotion or the serum, but either way it's the best way to get a summer day started.

Seriously, I need to quit the iced mocha. It might be time for an intervention.

Walking with my husband for a delicious sushi lunch on Saturdays at our neighborhood spot, Izaka-Ya. This place never fails to deliver.

There is no better beach read than a gossip mag. I have to have these when headed to the sand or on any flight. Something about their silly banter paired with their ridiculous photos are just entertaining. US Weekly and OK are my faves. I have taken a brief hiatus until the Jon and Kate crap dies down. I just want to hear about celeb break ups and make-overs, "not real" life drama.

Last summer I bought this Madras Tote from J. Crew before our honeymoon and it has become my go-to beach bag. It's big enough for my magazines, beach towel, lotion and everything else. Plus it's lightweight and easy to roll up and stick in a small suitcase to bring on vacation.

I picked up some Izze Sparkling Grapefruit (you'll see a trend here, I like Grapefruit!) and I love the refreshing punch these little sodas pack. The perfect summer libation.

I picked up these Pucci-esque Matthew Williamson sunglasses in June and I adore them!

My new HP Pavilion Entertainment Notebook I picked up for school. Since UCLA is on PC, the home MAC was giving me some issues with files. I really wanted a MacBook Pro but didn't want to have to reboot all the time. I went with this PC Notebook which was relatively inexpensive but still very powerful, has a decent video card, 4 gigs and an impressive brocade casing that consists of decorative stylized dragons. Weighing in under 4 pounds was also enticing. I am very pleased with it!

Kiehl's Olive Fruit Oil Shampoo and Conditioner is so moisturizing! I started using it a few months ago and I am really hooked. And that means something coming from a girl who doesn't mess around with anything but luxurious hair care products.

The best scent there is period, is even better in the summer. Henri Bendel's Grapefruit Candle is hands-down my all-time favorite.

I am still wearing my Gilda Gladiator sandals by Sam Edelman from last season and I still love them just as much as I did last summer.

I picked this little bottle up in the LAX Airport Body Shop for $17.50. The White Musk is exotic and luxurious yet still light enough for summer. I cannot get enough.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

What's In A Knob?

As designers, you know that even something as small as a doorknob needs to reflect a rooms overall style. Using the same knob throughout a home can give a uniform look but may fall short of representing the uniqueness of each individual space. Here are some old favorites from Domino.

Ebony Gainsborough Porcelain is an elegant look against a whitewashed door, $25.

Amber Amulet Crystal is a great choice to bring charm to a restoration, $78 set of two.

Hand hammered is a 19th century design that brings in a little pizazz, $275.

This satin chrome octagon would be great in any minimalist space, $57.

An ornate ebonized bone flower for an Edwardian look, $32.

Add an onyx swirl element to French Doors, $115.

And antique milk glass, perfect for the bathroom, $78.

Monday, July 27, 2009

I Guess I Have to Accept It

I am short. After coming eye to neckline with this teeny bopper munchkin while dropping off a FedEx in Kinkos about ten minutes ago, I have to come to terms with what my husband has been telling me for years, I am not 5'4".