Archive for August, 2011
Even though I live in the big city, I’m definitely a country girl at heart. Maybe it was growing up on an old farm in Minnesota, the house always full of dogs, cats, kittens and birds, or just the peaceful feeling you have being in the middle of nowhere. Whatever the reason, when I saw the Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana, I knew they were on to something special. Located in the mountain of Western Montana, this full service ranch is just as green as it is country. The existing buildings provided much of the inspiration because the owners were able to keep a lot of those furnishings and light fixtures to incorporate into the new design. In fact more than half of the woodwork like beams, floors, walls and cabinetry came from the existing property. All of the rooms in the main lodge plus the freestanding cabins and log rooms are decorated differently. I couldn’t decide on just a few to show, so I’ve included a large smattering of some of my favorites. Enjoy!
The living room at Bear House, a separate log cabin on the property.
Bedroom at the Bluebird Cabin. Not to be biased or anything, but I think this might be my favorite.
The Loft bathroom. How cool is this bathroom complete with barn doors and a freestanding tub next to the window?
Riverhouse living room
Moose House, one of the log cabins. Amazing view, huh?
In addition to the main Granite Lodge, the Ranch at Rock Creek also has a few luxury canvas cabins. You feel a little closer to nature, but have all the comforts of home including chic dude ranch decor and a full bathroom. This one would be my choice if I was staying at the Ranch at Rock Creek.
The living area in one of the canvas cabins. I love that wood burning stove!
And for your dining pleasure, the Dining Room at the main Granite Lodge
Not be outdone, the Ranch at Rock Creek also features a full service spa with a roof made of sod & planted with wildflowers. I’m loving how they even decked out the pedicure stations to match the decor.
Photos from the Ranch at Rock Creek
I’ve been loving the recent explosion of color everywhere, from walls and furniture to fashion and accessories. But colored floors? Other than carpet, that’s not something you see everyday. It’s a fun way to add some interest to a room, especially for the young at heart. So to add a little spice to the start of your week, I’ve put together a round-up of the most colorful, fun and eco-friendly flooring products out there. Don’t just call them green!
USF Contract has come out with a few colorful and environmentally friendly flooring products made from renewable resources. The first is their Bamboo Hues collection which comes in a variety of different colors, a few of which are shown above.
USF Contract’s Cork Decor line is just as colorful as their bamboo and just as green. Their palette contains 36 common hues in six different cork products, a few of which are shown above.
Made from linseed oil, linoleum is always an environmentally friendly choice and is now just as modern as can be. Marmoleum (yup, that Marmoleum from your Grandmother’s kitchen) has just about every color under the sun in their standard line. And just because I’m such a big fan, I’ve included a few installation shots to convince you naysayers. (I realize that both of these shots are black and white, but just image if they were fuchsia & black or something fun like that.)
LV Wood Floors is always a go to choice for gorgeous reclaimed wood flooring, but did you know they also have a wild side? You can see what I mean from a few of their colorful options above. And because most of what they do is custom, the sky’s the limit when it comes to color matching and textures. Now, how amazing would that Black & Blue sample above look in a dark and sexy dining room?
Porcelain is always a reasonably eco-friendly flooring choice because of the way it’s created. But how fun is this tile from Italian company, Ora Italiana? Their Uonuon collection is a modern, Warhol-esque take on wood that’s totally in your face. They also have an online tile creator so you can play around with color and pattern choices and see how it will look before installation.
Unfortunately our long weekend away coincided with this season’s New York International Gift Fair so I didn’t get to wander the aisles looking for new products and catch up with all my favorite vendors. Even though I wasn’t at the show, my inbox has been full of sneak peeks and new releases. So of course I had to share a few of my favs with you. If you went to the show, share your favorites in the comment section below.
I’ve always loved Fluf’s reusable bags for their chic patterns and easy storage solutions. But I’m really loving this pink Big Zip to store whatever you can think of. I would probably use it as a travel bag, but I love their suggestion as a clutch for a night out.
I’m so happy that Coco, from the ever popular blog cococozy.com, was able to transition from design blogger to product designer. I’m loving her colorful and graphic pillow collection as seen here from Coco’s booth at NYIGF. Jump over to her blog to see the rest of the booth. (Photo from Cococozy)
The gorgeous handblown desk lamps come from Tempo Luxury Home Collection. I really love the interesting shapes, unique shade system and subtle colorations. It looks to me like these lamps are lit with LEDs, hence their title Smart Lights.
Natural Curiosities has a wonderful new collection debuting at the NYIGF. This Turot Geometric piece is one of my favorites, silver leafed to add dimension and sparkle. Take a peek at the rest of the collection online for a bit of artistic inspiration.
Last but certainly not least is an installation shot from Christen Maxwell‘s newest line of pillows and throws. I’m especially loving that zigzag pillow just off of center as well as the metallic linens (center). She’s also put together a gorgeous little e-catalog full of inspiration pics of the latest products that you should definitely check out.
We escaped the hustle and bustle of New York and have been spending a lovely long weekend in Newport, RI with family. It’s always nice to get out of the city for a few days, especially when you’re staying in a town as charming and historical as Newport. In my opinion, one of the best parts about this town is the architecture and especially that of the huge mansions on the ocean. Not only are these “cottages” extremely large, but they’re also incredibly opulent and well crafted examples from the Gilded Age.
I would have loved to visit each and every one of them (plus maybe a peek or two into the private homes off of Ocean Ave), but we decided to narrow our focus to two: the Breakers and Marble House. Both were built by members of the Vanderbilt family and were designed by architect William Morris Hunt. Although I wouldn’t call either of these mansions eco-friendly or green because of their size and propensity to import products from all around the world (Italian marble, French furniture & Ottoman treasures), I do appreciate the fact that the houses have been well preserved for modern guests. Unfortunately for photography’s sake, it was a rainy weekend and photos aren’t allowed indoors, so the pictures below are from what I could gather from online sources. If you’re ever in the area, you should take your own tour of these amazing residences. In the meantime, enjoy!
This is the gold ballroom which as been coated in, you guessed it, gold leaf. Although you might think it’s gaudy, the gold leafing actually has a really beautiful texture and sheen when you’re in the space. Not that I’m going to be adding this time my home anytime soon…
After seeing the Marble House, we moved on to the much larger but just as opulent Breakers (it’s the huge house in the background of this photo). The house was built by Cornelius Vanderbilt II, brother to William K. Vanderbilt. It’s just down the street from Marble House, so I suppose this meant the two families could easily visit one another.
It’s a bit easier to tell how huge and impressive the Breakers is when standing on the back lawn, isn’t it? An interesting fact for you: although F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Great Gatsby took place in Long Island, the movie was actually filmed at the Breakers. I couldn’t think of a more perfect setting.
The main hall when you first enter the house. After seeing it for myself, I can tell you that this picture doesn’t even nearly do this grand room justice. It truly is a remarkable space to be in, especially if you can imagine what it must have been like to walk into a grand ball here.
Even though the picture is a bit small, this Loggia was one of my favorite spaces. Located in a more private area, this outdoor space overlooked the ocean and was the family’s exterior living room in the summer months. I can imagine that the shade, stone and ocean air made for a very pleasant and cool place to relax.
One of the things that I love about New York City is that with a lack of open spaces, people have to get creative with seemingly normal activities. A great example of this is a wonderful restaurant in the West Village called Bell Book & Candle. Like many restaurants in New York, they have subscribed to the organic & local food movement. But but they do it one better. BB&C’s local food is even closer than the nearest farmers market – they grow their veggies with an Aeroponic system on their very own roof. We visited the restaurant last winter, but unfortunately didn’t get to sample their produce (January & February are really the only months that they don’t grow vegetables, but they do harvest their herbs to use as dried spices in the winter months). So with a friend in town last weekend and the plethora of greens this time of year, we figured August was a perfect time to try their food for real. I can attest that the food was amazing, the staff is very friendly and the space is warm, inviting and cozy. But don’t take my word for the decor, take a peek yourself!
Here’s a view of their aeroponic system. What’s amazing about this system is that because it doesn’t have need for soil, the plants grow a lot faster than if they were placed in the ground.
Don’t those vegetables look amazing? Makes me want to find a place with a roof so I can become an urban farmer. Okay, maybe not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
This is the bar, which is the first thing you see when you walk in. I love the slightly arched ceiling, which you’ll see throughout the restaurant. That coupled with the brick walls gives the restaurant the perfect vintage feel.
The main dining room of Bell Book & Candle. I also really love those hanging sconces over the tables.
More brick in the dining room – makes for a cozy restaurant.
Here’s where the magic happens. Okay, just kidding. The real magic happens on the roof.
Right next to the bar they have a tiny private dining room they call the Naked Lady Room. So named because of the awesome pink wallpaper adorned with, well, naked ladies. It’s a great little spot to bring a few friends and revel in your hidden gem.
Chandelier in the Naked Lady Room
Photos from Bell Book & Candle
I spent most of Sunday organizing the very large built in bookcase in our living room. Okay, okay, we also went grocery shopping, but I feel like that doesn’t count in the list of weekend accomplishments since I didn’t actually buy any vegetables (I opt for farmers market vs. Trader Joes produce where possible). Even though I didn’t paint, fix or install anything, our apartment feels a lot different. I’m actually quite surprised at what a change organizing can do for the look and feel of a home. I also tackled the mass chaos of wires underneath our desk on Saturday, having been inspired by this cool little power strip/cord hideaway box from the Container Store. Our bookshelves and desk are officially organized and staying that way. However, it does look like a bomb exploded in our living room since the items that didn’t make it back on the shelf are now sitting on the floor. So alas, no pictures of my weekend accomplishments yet, but I’ll be back with more green updates later this week. In the meantime, you’ll have to comfort yourself with the knowledge that my weekend of organization was a huge success and parts of our apartment look pretty darn amazing.
High up on my list of places to visit is Jordan, mostly for the chance to visit Wonder of the World, Petra. It’s not just because we share a fabulous name (if I do say so myself), but because of the stunning scenery and ancient buildings carved into sandstone. If you’ve never seen pictures of Petra, I urge you to take a look at these from photographer Mansour Mouasher. Or do a quick Google image search and you’ll see what I mean. A few hours drive from this lost city, is the Evason Ma’in Hot Springs and Six Senses Spa. Just like all Six Senses, this hotel has a deep commitment to the environment and local culture. Plus the hot springs and nearby Dead Sea make for a relaxing whole body getaway. Enjoy!
How stunning is this location? This green resort is nestled in the hills of Jordan.
The Six Senses Pool
The Pool Bar. Um, if this bar was next to the pool, I might not actually make it outside. Okay, okay just kidding, but how nice is this bar?
Brown Bar Terrace
Jordan Springs Restaurant
Zarb in the Olive. Such a romantic spot!
One of the Evason Ma’in guestrooms
The terrace of the Honeymoon Suite
Photos from Evason Ma’in Hot Springs, Jordan
Since getting our new bed from Dwell Studio, I’ve had a special place in my heart for gorgeous beds. When I saw this one from Finnish company, Woodnotes, I just had to share. The low profile, simple shape and neutral color make this feel like a very restful piece for a very restful area of your home. What I find most interesting about this bed is its upholstery. The fabric is made from paper yarn, which has been spun from durable heavyweight paper that can be recycled or burned at the end of its life cycle. The natural color comes from the lack of chlorine and dyes to color the paper. If you’re looking to get your hands on this bed, it’s sold through Suite New York (or I suppose if you’re in Finland, you can just buy direct).
Photos from Woodnotes