Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A Rainy Day in June Tablescape


What is with this weather? It's the end of June and raining like it's January!
It's too rainy to go outside and garden, so I decided to stay inside and play with my new dishes.

They were a recent flea market purchase, "Olde English Countryside" by Johnson Bros. and the inspiration for my tablescape today.

The scene depicts a lovely summer cottage garden, but it looks like a rainy day in the English countryside too!

Wicker chargers and bamboo flatware keep it summery.

I used my purple wine glasses, thrifted from Salvation Army and my new "Bienvenue" water glasses from Timeless Settings, a sponsor of Vignette Design.

The centerpiece was found at the flea market too. An old metal planter filled with succulents!

The numbered linen napkins are from Pottery Barn, last year.

The grain sack runner grounds the table with texture and its neutral caramel colored stripe.

A rainy, summer day in June tablescape!

I'm joining Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday.
Be sure to visit to see more tablescapes and hopefully, some real summer inspiration, including Independence Day themes.

I also want to thank Artie at Color Outside the Lines for his Tuesday Inspiration post on me.
His blog is one of my favorites and I never miss his posts, so to be featured by him is quite an honor for me.
You can read his post here.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Tuesday Inspiration: Wine Cellars


Whether you enjoy wine, or are a teetotaler, you have to admit, there is just something quite beautiful about a well designed wine cellar.
We don't have one, but it's Mr. A's dream to someday have a dedicated cellar for his wine collection. So here are a some fantastic wine cellars from my inspiration file.

Apex traditional wine cellar
Starting with my personal favorite, a romantic underground cellar designed by Apex Wine Cellars. I love how this cellar is designed to also be a dining area. Love the twig paneling.

Country Living
My second favorite!

In fact, I think that all wine cellars should have a table if there is room, for either tasting or entertaining.


Simply amazing cellar designed by Steven Gambrel.

private residence, corona del mar, california traditional wine cellar
Brett Valenstein
I love the barrel ceiling in this cellar.

Vignette Design
A wine cellar in Tuscany

wine cave contemporary wine cellar
An entrance to a wine cave, designed by Paul Farinato

Underground!

Architectural Digest
If going underground isn't an option, you could build a wine cellar cottage!

Wine storage eclectic wine cellar
Houzz
Another idea: A wine cellar living room.

Our basement in our 105 year old home seems ideal for a cellar. Unfortunately, it takes in water during winter storms and our furnace and hot water heater is located there. So, Mr. A stores his collection in a couple of wine refrigerators in the garage.
While it's not as romantic and inspiring as these photos, it gets the job done, keeping the wine at a constant temperature of 58 degrees. And that is the point!


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Sunday, June 26, 2011

Holy Mother Earthship!


While in Santa Fe, we took a side trip to Taos to see our daughter, Ashley.
She has an internship with Earthship Biotecture, a company just outside of Taos that builds radical homes out of recycled materials.

We were able to actually spend the night at an Earthship, which was quite an experience!
This one is called The Phoenix. Built and designed by the founder, Mike Reynolds, it is like stepping back in time to the 70's, or even like landing on another planet! It is also for sale.
Asking price? $1.5 million!

The architecture of this Earthship cannot be defined. Part art nouveau meets Mad Max, part space ship, part free radical art form in its design, make no mistake, this house is a very complicated structure.
Built out of tires, cans and bottles, as well as other recycled material, it is designed to live off the grid, using solar power and captured rainwater.

After our initial tour of The Phoenix, we settled in and explored the home's unique design, like the inside greenhouse where all kinds of food is grown, using filtered grey water.
Mr. A is either calling 911, or saying "Scotty, beam me up!"

The reason? This baby rattlesnake that found its way inside the greenhouse. I don't think he is part of the eco-system of flora and fauna here! Of course I over-reacted with blood curdling screams. Mr. A simply trapped him between the door and screen door.

Inside the greenhouse is a pond stocked with fish and turtles. We were told that tilapia live here and can be caught and eaten!

Just outside, a cute little bunny munched on the newly planted herbs.

Chickens provide fresh eggs every day. They even have their own Earthship chicken coop!


Inside the Phoenix, the artistic design continues to both inspire and amuse.
Me? As a designer, I wanted to redecorate! Although the kitchen is pretty cool.

Every surface inside this house is a creative art form, which is cool.
Nothing is "normal."

However sitting in the living room, I couldn't help wanting to give this room a new look!

The fireplace looks like an alien! I realize that was probably the point, but it was lost on me.
I could envision neutral walls, a more traditional style fireplace, Indian rugs and leather furniture.

At least there were many conversation areas.

Earthship Biotecture
As you can see, there isn't a clear line between living area and jungle!

The master bath with it's unique tub, making it like bathing in the jungle, complete with parrots! How exotic!

The interior walls have recycled colored bottles imbedded in them. When the sun shines through, it gives a beautiful stained glass effect.

Earthship Biotecture
There are actually two master bedrooms and baths in this home. This is the other master bath shower.

Earthship Biotecture
This is the master bedroom where we slept. The room is decorated in that retro 70's look that I have already lived through!
Love the ceiling though!

Out in the greenhouse, we sat with Ashley and her boyfriend and had drinks and hors d'hoeuvres. It was so good to see her and hear about her internship and everything that she is learning. They stayed for dinner, which she cooked, of course!

After dinner, we all sat around the fire pit and gazed at the stars. 7000 ft. above sea level, you can only imagine how many stars there were. Even a few shooting stars.
It was magical!

Here is the floor plan for The Phoenix. It is available as a nightly rental if you're interested in learning about this unique, completely sustainable home and the surrounding Earthship community.
For more information on Earthship Biotecture, visit their website here.

Yes, it was quite the adventure staying in The Phoenix, and one we will never forget!


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Saturday, June 25, 2011

Window Shopping In Santa Fe


I'm not going to lie, I've been doing a lot of shopping while in Santa Fe!
The first night, we found ACC, a fabulous home store, right on the square, with these two chairs in the window.

Also in the window, a unique bar stool. Isn't that upholstered seat cool with the woven upholstery webbing?
I'm in love with it!

Santa Fe has beautiful clothing boutiques also.

Boots galore!

And my personal favorite: jewelry. Especially turquoise jewelry!

Ortega's, also on the square had the best selection of turquoise.


We have had such a great time in Santa Fe. We took a side trip to Taos also, which I'll tell about later. Let's just say it was quite the adventure!


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