Thursday, June 28, 2012

Good-Bye Vienna

We will definitely miss you!  Thank you for a memorable experience that we will always treasure and hold close to our hearts!

Blogging will definitely continue but probably will be a bit sporadic as we transition back to the US.  But, I'm looking forward to all the new and exciting changes that await.  See you soon!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Local Design - Sage Design

I'm trying to get my head around the fact that by the end of this week we will be back in the US and will be looking at houses in CT the week following.  As a welcomed distraction, I'm really happy to post a local designer in CT that I found through Connecticut Cottages and Gardens.  

Katherine Hodge, the owner of Sage Design, specializes in kitchens, baths and rooms requiring customized millwork and interior finishes.  Her kitchen and bathroom designs are so sophisticated and timeless.

She recently won the 2012 Connecticut Cottages and Gardens Innovation in Design Awards for both kitchen and bath.  

This kitchen is stunning and there are so many elements to love.  Did you notice the exposed beams on the ceiling and the high baseboards?  Every detail has been taken into account.  

The vanity is gorgeous, but look at beautiful wall paneling!

Her design aesthetic is one that I admire.  It is clean and crisp where architecture often takes center stage.  After browsing her portfolio, I really like her calm and subdued color palette of washed whites paired with grays, greens, and blues.  She has a real knack for playing light colors off of dark colors to create contrast.  A technique I hope to achieve in my own home.

All images via Sage Design

If you want to see more of her work, visit her website.  Ok ... enough daydreaming.  Now I have to get back to our travel prep!  I'll soon post more about our last days in Vienna.  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Some Serious Style...

So I am going to leave you this week with some serious design styling infusion!  I stumbled on Kelley Roberts home via Gypsy Soul Interiors.  She is a home owner and interior designer residing in Ft. Worth who opened her own firm in 2011 called Beckley Design Studios.  I'm at a loss for words over her stylish pad!  Check it out...

All images via Gypsy Soul Interiors

Crazy good, no?  I would love to see more of her work!! 

Happy Weekend, my friends!!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Design Worthy Ebay Finds

Browsing Ebay is always a good thing.  You never know what you can find and at what price. Here are some of my recent finds....

Ebay French marble top coffee tables $295 & Traditional Home

Ebay Wheat Table $147 & Lonny

Ebay Chrome rocker $31 & Design Crisis

Ebay will absolutely be a go-to source for furnishing my new home.  What finds have you found on Ebay recently?  Do share!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Inspiration Goodness

One of the rooms I am very excited to design in our new house is little E's room.  The poor thing has not had a proper room since she has been born.  No joke - she's been sleeping in our walk in closet here in Vienna.

I don't have the perfect plan yet, but I'm getting close.  Since living here, I've picked up some things that are definitely going in her room.

A tablecloth I got from an Indian clothing and fabric shop (to be transformed into something else), a wooden tray, a brass hammered cup and the perfect pale pink nubby linen pillow from my new favorite store, Flamant (I wrote a post about it here).

So that is it for now.  Stay tuned as to how this all unfolds.  And, speaking of little E, I couldn't resist of sharing a picture I took of her yesterday right before we were about to meet Daddy for lunch!

She was so excited!  I hope you all are having a great week!

Friday, June 15, 2012

A Bright Face Lift

In three short weeks, we will be flying to Connecticut to do our house hunt.  This will be an intense house hunting trip - four days with the hopes of flying back with contract in hand.  I'm preparing for our trip by making a list of our 'must see' houses.  In the meantime, I'm seeing a lot of ugly out there!!  Dark paneling, no light, low ceilings, etc.

I stumbled on this oldie but goodie renovation that was published in Southern Living a while back.  And, I think it a great before and after story....

Family Room Before:

Family Room After:

Kitchen Window Before:

Kitchen Window After:

Eat in Kitchen Before:

 Eat in Kitchen After:

Kitchen and Family Room After:

Before and After Floor Plans:

Amazing, huh?  Now, I don't think we're up for quite a big renovation project like this one, but it does get you thinking of the endless possibilities, doesn't it?  To see full article, go here.  

Hope everyone has a great weekend!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Antiquing in Vienna

When we first moved here, I found loads of antique stores located in the innerstadt (downtown Vienna).  It didn't take me long to realize these stores were outrageously expensive.  They are highly specialized in European art, history, antiques and the decorative arts.  The history alone in these stores is absolutely amazing, much less the beauty!

It took me a long time to find the kind of antique/vintage stores that were more affordable and reasonable.  Here are some snapshots of what I've found on the outskirts of Vienna.

I wanted this glass jug so badly.  It was reasonably priced (not cheap) at 50 euros.  The packing and shipping home would cost me an arm and leg.  And, how I do love that scroll leg table at only 35 euros.  And, how cute are those chairs in the background?

Love this rattan bench.  How cute would this be in a girl's room, sunroom or even an entry!  I stumbled on this antique warehouse called Die Glasfabrik located in Ottakring.  WOW!  This place is a mecca for interior design lovers.  Endless inspiration in this place.  I'm going back. 

Lucite and chrome towel bars.  I might just have to get these!! :)

I actually liked the fabric on this antique chair.  

This was a gorgeous burl wood pedestal table.

I like the striped Louis XVI oval back chairs in the background and I also liked this marble industrial accent table.  

I plan on going back to pick up some little things that I can stuff in my suitcase.  I already have one (maybe two) suitcases reserved for all my finds!!  

Monday, June 11, 2012

Attainable Design

It is easy to get caught up in this ideal world of interiors especially when there is so much beautiful design right at our fingertips.  Many times, I need to step away and remember 'my reality'.

I am a firm believer that when it comes to design you can't have it all - "good, fast and cheap."  I will always fall into the "good and cheap" categories, because quite honestly, I can't afford "good and fast."

And, so I am even more blown away when I see designs that are not only beautiful, but are also attainable.  And, I'm not talking about a house entirely furnished by Pottery Barn.  (Nothing against PB.  I own pieces by PB, but I think interiors should have a mix of furnishings and styles.) 

The other day I revisited one of my favorite designs from the talented blogger, Bryn (Bryn Alexandra Interiors).  I think she mastered designing a beautiful and collected space that encompasses both affordable and attainable pieces.  This is not as easy as it looks.

A nice mix of traditional and modern.  The patterns, colors and textures all work well together and are balanced.  

Ikea glass candlesticks act as mantel decor and framed plates in shadowboxes serve as art.

A Home Decorators bookshelf gets a custom touch by painting the backs navy blue which echos the navy blue used in the dining room. Antique chairs gets a fresh and modern look with new upholstery.

A flea market mirror gets an update by being silver leafed.

The TV console was kept, but was updated by adding new nickel pulls.

It was just really refreshing to take a look at this beautiful space again.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Gruss Gott: Our Final Weeks

We are wrapping up our time here in Vienna and slowly getting ready to leave at the end of this month.  Ahh, it's going to be so hard.  We are now accustomed to living in Vienna, with the museums, concerts, shopping, easy transportation (U-bahn and straßebahn), a great school, and the numerous playgrounds!  Top it off with great food and wine, friendly people and a few close friends and you've got a recipe for staying.  But that's not in our cards.  And so we've been packing in as much as possible.  This is what we've been up to....

Luke and mommy went to Schönbrunn Palace to see a marionette production of Mozart's opera Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute).  It was shortened down to an hour, to accommodate a child's attention span.  And it was great!  In addition to the music and the story, the marionettes (and their handlers) were unbelievable. We loved it.  

And here's Luke, waiting for the second act to begin.

The next day, we decided to walk into the innerstadt for ice cream at Vienna's most famous eis (ice cream) salon.  While we were strolling along eating, we noticed a carousel set up in Stephansplatz.  So Luke got a ride on a mermaid/horse thing.  Ice cream and an amusement ride, Luke was in heaven.  

In the spring, there a number of bank holidays here.  So on one of them we took the train with some good friends to visit to Baden, an old resort/spa town for the rich people of Vienna back in the 18th century.  It's a 45 minute straßebahn ride south of Vienna.  It's a beautiful little town with great architecture and gardens.  

Here are daddy and Elizabeth at the entrance to one of the gardens (sorry, it's a little washed out).

Here is one of those rare instances where Luke wasn't on his scooter (or "roller" as they're called here).  He abandoned it briefly to ride on a seesaw.

Horst and Elizabeth, good family friends and natives of Vienna, came with us to Baden.

Luke was begging to climb up on this statue.  He had to settle for this pose instead.  

In the largest garden, you can rent row boats and see the garden in style.  We were tempted but with Luke and Kevin horsing around we may have capsized.  

At the end of our day, we went to a heuriger.  This is a really unique experience.  A heuriger is a small restaurant (usually serving just cold food) that is connected to a vineyard and offers only it's own wines.  And you eat on the grounds ... usually in the yard of the owners.  A heuriger isn't strictly a restaurant (they have a different license) and they operate intermittently, for maybe a week or two per month.  Here we are with Horst and Elisabeth, as our food was just arriving.  

K went inside to get some more silverware and took his translator (Luke) with him.  Luke did all the talking - in his new language, German.   

There are so many more things I wanted to include, but I'll save it for another post.  Hope everyone is enjoying their weekend!