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Entries in Interior Design (205)

Thursday
Jun082017

how to clean out your candles

I'm such a sucker for a beautifully scented candle and bonus points for one that looks pretty enough to use again after you've burned through it!  (After all, isn't that the only incentive to fork over the big bucks for Diptyque - so you can stick Q-tips and fresh blooms in them???) 

Park Hill Candles are some of my favorites for this reason; they aren't too pricey, they smell amazing and the wicker and glass they come in make for gorgeous little vases once I've burned through the candles!

I'm probably the last person on the planet to figure out how to get the residual wax out of the bottom of the candle, but I'm going to post it anyway just in case there are still a few of you who, like me, have tried busting it out with a butter knife or freezing it, etc.  It's super easy and takes no time at all.  Here's how I did it:

-Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.

-Spread aluminum foil over a baking sheet and fold the edges up to prevent wax getting on the sheet.

-Place the candle upside down on the foil and bake for 5-7 minutes.  Watch carefully for the wick to fall out and take the whole thing out of the oven as soon as it does so it doesn't burn (trust me, you're kitchen will fill with smoke)

-Let it cool (I took mine outside on the deck) and then wash it out with soap and water and you're good to go!

How amazing are these "mermaid" alstromeria, by the way?  They've moved around the house more than I have the last three weeks, but they're the best five bucks I've ever spent on blooms, that's for sure!

Tuesday
Jun062017

a 19th century farmhouse at the beach

I can't think of a better way to hop back on the blogging bandwagon than to share an unbelievable 19th century farmhouse in Bridgehampton by design genius Steven Gambrel, which was featured in the latest Elle!  I'm obsessed with everything and anything Gambrel does and if there's anyone still out there visiting the blog anymore, I would imagine you're just as smitten as I am with the gorgeous homes he designs.  His signature color palette of pale blues and grays, textured walls and subtle nautical accents reign supreme in this stunner and are a beautiful backdrop to incredible architectural details that are true to the period of the home.  It's not easy to make a new home (or addition) look like it was built a hundred years ago but Gambrel does it with panache, while still mixing in modern art and furnishings to keep it fun and fresh.  Hanging lanterns, a great mix of patterns and textures, painted mouldings and cerused oak flooring are favorite design elements that Gambrel uses time and time again to create the feel of a sea captain's cottage without being kitschy and the result is always absolutely stunning - casual but super chic!

Tuesday
Apr252017

on my radar: goodies for summer

We just got back from a week at the beach and now, aside from lamenting over the decade we lived right next to the water, I'm so beyond ready for summer!  I definitely don't believe you need to live by the water in order to reflect one's love of the sea in your home - especially if you pick elegant furnishings and accessories that are anything but kitschy, so I've rounded up a bunch of goodies I'm loving lately that definitely fit that bill!  From a natural bistro counter stool that gives me heart palpitations and the extra large version of the Atlantis clam shell I already have (this one is a MONSTER!) to gold leafed chain book ends that I'm completely OBSESSED with and a white lacquer and raffia coffee table that is bananas, any of these picks would bring a bit of a beach vibe to any style decor:

Riviera Counter Stool in Natural / Gold leaf chain link book ends / Extra large Atlantis clam shell /

Marble wine holder / Rattan ice bucket / Gold bamboo mirror / Bone tray / Brass knot bottle opener /

Link pitcher / Shell cheese knives / Cabot square coffee table

What are you loving lately for warmer months??

Wednesday
Apr122017

new lantern lighting for my kitchen

 

This post is a LONG time coming - and not just because it's been forever since I've blogged!  It's taken me seven years to make up my mind on a chandelier for my breakfast nook and then find one I won't get tired of as soon as it's installed, but I'm excited to say I've found the perfect, linear, oversize lantern and I'm OBSESSED!  If you guys have been reading along here for a while you know I've had my heart set on finding an oversized lantern light for over my breakfast table but the search has been ridiculous because everything I found was either dwarfed by my vaulted ceilings or cost a couple month's worth of mortgage payments.  Seriously...it's much harder than you might think to find a ginormous lantern chandelier for less than a down payment on a car!

I had seen the Sheffield 8-light lantern chandelier by Ballard Designs before but it wasn't until a few weeks ago when another catalogue landed in my mailbox that I thought it just might work in my space.  It was also on major sale so I bit the bullet and ordered it and you know what?  I LOVE IT!  It's just what the space needed; it's the perfect size, the finish is beautiful and the guy who installed it said he was amazed at the quality. 

The only thing I will say I wasn't crazy about was the fake wax drip candle sleeves (sorry, Ballard), but that was a quick and easy fix.  I ordered a pack of plain white plastic sleeves from Amazon and gave them a few light coats of Rustoleum Oil Rubbed Bronze spray paint, which matches the finish so perfectly.  This is a great way to modernize a chandelier on the cheap!

I finally feel like this space is finished, which is really saying a lot because I've constantly been changing things up to compensate for the fact that I had the wrong size lighting in here for so long. It adds just the right amount of drama and the prettiest, softest light (I used 15 watt bulbs).  I highly, highly recommend this fixture if you're looking for an oversize lantern light.  Thank you, Ballard...from the bottom of my oversize lantern loving, indecisive heart, thank you!

Thursday
Feb092017

kitchen essentials that are as pretty as they are functional

My kitchen is not only the heart of our home, it's also the hardest working room in the whole house.  I love to cook and bake and always end up using all of my countertop space while doing so, which has always made it hard to "decorate" the space.  Because of that, I'm willing to spend a little extra on gadgets and cookware that are as lovely as they are utilitarian and add a dose of pretty to my kitchen.  I cleared everything off my counters a few nights ago in an attempt to reorganize and clean and I ended up putting everything right back to where it was because I loved everything I had displayed so much!  Here are a few things in my kitchen that I use all the time that happen to be as functional as they are pretty:

Simple, oversize glass canisters are perfect for items I use every day and the larger size looks so much better on my counters than the smaller ones, which seem to get lost among everything else!

Rattan trays.  Perfect for corraling every day items but also great for a last-minute cocktail tray or serving appetizers whenever we have company.

Wooden bread boardsI like to mix it up when we have dinner guests and sometimes serve a few snacks or finger foods or a pretty cheese platter on a bread board, but I really love the fact that they look so beautiful leaning in stacks without taking up precious counter space

Copper measuring cups make for a beautiful gift for the perpetual baker!

Murchison Hume hand soap.  My kitchen is not complete without a little brown bottle of natural, non toxic hand soap; I'm obsessed with this brand and all the subtle, lovely scents they offer!

White pitchersThese look lovely on their own but are also great for holding utensils at gatherings or as beautiful vessels for flowers.

Blue and white dish towelsA great way to add a little color to my black and white kitchen.  I found this set at Ikea and use them as napkins, too!

Silver Revere bowls.  You can find these at any thrift store; I have quite the collection and use them for everything from holding fruit and planting paperwhites at Christmas to stacking and displaying them in my glass front cabinets.

Marble utensil holder.  A seriously chic upgrade to the plain old white one I've had for years.  This one is super affordable and comes in two sizes.

Tortoise highball glasses.  I'm obsessed with everything and anything tortoise and these glasses not only look super chic in my glassfront cabinets but they double as vases.  Three of these with flowers down the middle of a table would be such a lovely centerpiece!

Rattan napkin holderI used to keep paper napkins in one of my kitchen drawers but I needed the space for the 5,000 bibs for my champion puker.  This rattan holder has been a pretty addition to my countertops and will transition easily outdoors when the weather is warm enough for dinners on the deck!

Horn bottle opener.  Too pretty to keep hidden in a drawer, this is one of my favorite bottle openers!

What are some of your kitchen must-haves?