Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Beautiful Rooms Paired with Beautiful Bags

There are a few things in this world that really make my heart pitter patter.  The first and biggest is the boyfriend, of course.  The others involve beautiful rooms and beautiful bags.  I could spend a considerable amount of time in front of my laptop looking at both.  The way one decorates their home is a direct reflection of their personality and I feel that the bag a woman chooses to carry is the same.  The same way she chooses which lamp to put on her side table or the color of the room she chooses to paint, so too is the personal choice of which bag she chooses to carry.  Okay, I'm being a little dramatic here but then again, so are these rooms and bags!  

This room was designed by Chad Holman and I felt like the Christian Louboutin Pave Clutch was the perfect match.  The black and gold screen, architectural lamps, and angular coffee table match the structure of this clutch. 

I don't know who designed this room but the Cobalt blue was perfect for Stella McCartney's newest Falabella Tote!  I was so tempted to buy this bag in black this fall.  It's even more gorgeous in person!

Atlanta-based Scott Laslie, who is another one of my favorite designers from the South, also designed this Asian-inspired room.  The soft palette and bamboo-like chairs paired perfectly with Ferragamo's Top Handle bag.

Fuschia!  Fuschia!  Fuschia!  I would dress this little Fendi clutch with a soft shade of beige, just like Marjorie Skouras did in a client's living room.

Another room designed by Scott Laslie, paired with an Akris top handle bag that mimics the soaring round ceiling.  The folds of this bag compliment the window frames and sturdy mantle while the color remains neutral.

Below is actually a hotel room that regrettably, I don't know the name of..  I found it on another blog (La Dolce Vita maybe?) and have been kicking myself since for not taking note of the source!  I would've died to stay there!!  This DVF tote is the perfect match.  

Designed by John Nelson and Michael Kirkland, I'm in awe of the colors and textures that they were able to meld together.  It's almost overload!  Someone with this level of sophistication is sure to appreciate a Maison Martin Margiela feather clutch.

What do you think?  Are bags a reflection of your personality or just something to hold your every day possessions? There are certainly no wrong answers, just as there is no wrong choice when choosing pieces for your home that reflect your personality.  

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Beautiful Wall Coverings

I'm working on a project right now that consists of a total makeover.  Complete remodel.  As in, it's the boyfriends home and since we've been together for two years, it's time his house bore my thumbprints as well.  I don't think he knows how large this project really is so let's keep it between us.. So with this project, I have fallen head over heels with the idea of incorporating wallpaper into some of the rooms.  The right patterns can make a room feel bold and larger than it really is. A small pattern in a large room may appear to be more textural, while a large floral print in a small room would be very graphic and catchy.  Here are a few that have caught my eye recently:

I'm putting this in a small powder room that's off of the foyer!  The pattern is so fun and the colors are perfect for the neutral tone throughout the rest of the home.

This one is by Porter Teleo and is hand painted on Japanese papers.  I'm sure it's astronomically expensive but if money were no object, this pattern would be my first choice for the formal living room.

Kelly Wearstler may be my all-time favorite designer.  Wickedly eccentric, she's known for her maximalist designs with plenty of color and texture.  This wallpaper was also designed by artist Kelly Porter of Porter Teleo.  

And for those of you who love BOLD COLOR, here's one by Jonathan Adler

And below is the inspiration for the Master bedroom.  Designed by Chahan Minassian and located in Paris, I'm head over heels for it!  I've been scouring the internet for months and taking notes at every hotel we stay at around the globe for the perfect inspiration room, and finally found it!  I love the traditional wallpaper with abstract art, the turquoise blue velvet, and the mirrored coffee table.  I'll instead create a tufted headboard in a similar fabric and use the mirrored bedside tables that I already have.  Paired with the right rug and now we're cooking with gas.

Have a happy Monday!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Year of the Honeysuckle

Pantone recently announced their "Color of the Year" for 2011 and it happens to be a beautiful shade of pink!  They're describing this color as, "A dynamic reddish pink, Honeysuckle is encouraging and uplifting. It elevates our psyche beyond escape, instilling the confidence, courage and spirit to meet the exhaustive challenges that have become part of everyday life."  Wonder if this has anything to do with our current economic state?  I'm still quite fond of last year's turquoise, but pink can be a sophisticated and not-too-feminine color when applied in the right way.  I'm not bold enough to paint my walls in any shade of pink (hats off to the brave folks who do!) but a few accent pieces thrown in here and there would brighten any room.  Here are a few images to inspire you:

 (via Country Home)

(via DecorPad)

(via DecorPad)

(via Douglas Friedman)
Say what you will about this girl but she does have an enviable shoe collection!  I've never seen so many Loubs in one room!

(via Douglas Friedman)

(via Miles Redd in Elle Decor)
The always colorful Miles Redd mixing cobalt blue lacquered walls, chinoiserie accessories, and holiday greenery with bright pink lamps.  Now that's bold.

And above is our own interpretation for how Honeysuckle can be incorporated into your every day decor.  My personal favorite way to use this color would be mixing it with other shades of pink with gold accents.

That's it for today but we'll see you again soon!


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Accenting with Trunks

When Craig picked out the antique trunks that we carry in the store, I was a little hesitant.  Mainly because I wanted our store to feel more hip and Shanghai-esque, so to speak.  Antique trunks just weren't on my radar screen.  But as we've arranged them in the store, either as coffee tables or underneath consoles (and sold them quickly), I'm beginning to get it.  Now that my eyes are open, I'm seeing well-edited homes that are blending styles with these antique trunks to create warm ambiances that aren't old-ladyish.  Sorry if that description is offensive to anyone :)  

I will take pride in our trunks.  They're not made out of brand new plywood and distressed to look old, even though they're often more affordable.  They don't even have metal staples or nails.  No, they're 120-150 years old and were hand-made, hand-painted, and put together using a "butterfly" technique that requires no nails.  They're heavy and are made to last.  I like that they have a story to them.  Just like the homes that they will eventually live in.

 (via Traditional Home)

 (designed by Ana Ros)
(from our store)

See you soon,

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Tour de Asia November 2010

We're back!  And boy do we feel blessed!  We're blessed that the store has opened with such an incredible response that we already needed to go back over to pick out the second container.  We're blessed that we also had the opportunity to hop around some of the most historic and culturally diverse cities in China for more than a week, and we feel blessed to have seen and experienced such a unique culture that many others will never get to.  Wow!  We have a lot to be thankful for!  So here are some highlights from our trip!

Our Thanksgiving Dinner at Made in China
 Beijing Day 1: This was the best time-zone transition I've ever had over there (there's an 11-hr difference) partly due to the effectiveness of Ambien CR.  Thank you drug-makers.  After an amazing breakfast with my favorite made-to-order pancakes, we're off to buy more furniture!  Here are a few of my favorites that will be coming soon!

The hardware on this piece is original.  As in, 150 years old.  WOW.

I love walnut furniture and the finish on this piece is beautiful

 This turquoise blue is to-die-for

This piece is a pair--fabulous to flank a fireplace or to use in a study, or geez, there's a gazillion options!

And these are the "Red Doors" at the entrance to the Forbidden City that inspired the name for our store!

This is just one of the many, many buildings that make up the Forbidden City.  It was really inspiring to learn about their culture back then and to see how it has shaped their society today.

Now we're in Shanghai, which happens to be my favorite city in China because of it's diversity, the European-influence in it's architecture, and overall "hip" factor.  The restaurants are top-notch and the views are killer.  It is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and I always have a blast when we visit.
One of the dining rooms in Vue restaurant at the top of our hotel

Yu Gardens

And for the first time, I was able to spend some time in Hong Kong!  I've always been intrigued by this highly populated island that used to be the banking hub of Asia.  The humidity was high on the first day so it wasn't as clear as I'd hoped but we were still able to take in some amazing views!

Crossing over to Hong Kong Island on a Star Ferry = check this off of my "Bucket List"

And this is at the top of the tram at the highest point on the island

My sweetie and I, he's also the brains behind Red Door Living

This was taken at the same point but is of the other side of the island--what a contrast!

We ate at Aqua on the 26th floor and had the best seat in the house down below!  I can't tell you how amazing it was to watch the laser light show take place across the island.  Life changing.

The next day it was much more clear--this is the view of the island from our hotel

Overall, we had an absolute blast and I am so grateful for the opportunities that have been given to us.  Bless Him!!  We had and have so much to be thankful for!

I took A TON of photos and had a hard time narrowing it down to the ones on this post but if you'd like to see the edited collection, feel free to stop by my Facebook profile (Betsy Harding) and have a looksee for yourself :)

We'll be sure to keep you posted when the new goodies arrive!

See you soon,

Thursday, November 18, 2010

To Cowhide or not to Cowhide?

Reposted from my personal blog :)

I've been debating on bringing in cowhide rugs to the store but it seems that everywhere I look, I'm seeing newer, fresh rooms in which they appear. I remember buying my first zebra print cowhide when I was right out of college and I just HAD to have one. I put it underneath a glass coffee table in my loft-style apartment and thought my new career should be interior design. Whatever. So now I'm seeing these updated versions like the one below in a home decorated by Jan Showers, one of my fave!

And the very simple version that Phoebe Howard used in a condo designed for House Beautiful as a part of a larger showhouse project, Designer Visions: Cinema Style. I love the cool colors of this room matched with the shiny ceiling. Very sophisticated.

Then there is Gabriella Sarlo's showroom in San Francisco. She wanted the feel to be a little Parisian, which I totally get!

White glossy floors? Tres Chic! And I would've never thought to combine black and white stripes, solid baby pink chairs, and creamy walls like this. But she makes it feel so pulled together.

And modern settings.. Um, and did you notice these Milo chairs below?? I did because I happen to be a HUGE fan! And have two of my own. That I bought SIX years ago. Before they were cool and Crate & Barrel carried them. Just sayin'.

(via DecorPad)

I'm digging the mix of antiques with all-white seating. The mirror along the back wall makes the space feel twice as big.

(via DecorPad)

So, I think we're going to move forward with stocking cowhides in the store! With all of these great inspirations, it reaffirms that cowhides are an ever-lasting flooring solution that are as affordable as they are stylish.

See you soon,

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Favorite AD Home of all Time

I've been thinking a lot lately about beautiful homes.  Not just beautiful rooms, beautiful decor, or beautiful furniture, but homes that truly stand out among the best in overall aesthetic.  I think about what it takes to create amazing spaces and the amount of labor, time, and creativity that must come together cohesively for a project to evolve.  Peter Marino might be one of the most intriguing designers/architects that I've ever come across.  He has created magnificent buildings and homes across the world (think Four Season, Louis Vuitton to name a few) and I recently toured one of them in Shanghai, although I didn't realize he had designed it at the time.  I'm always amazed when a designer can create and execute beautiful homes that are so strikingly different in their themes.  This is one area I struggle with myself!  From a very formal Rennaissance-period town house in Manhattan, to the modern and tropical abode in Palm Beach that happens to be my favorite home of all time, his work is nothing short of extraordinary.  I first discovered this house in the Architectural Digest issue from way back in January of 2008 (yes, this home left that big of an impression on me!) and it has stuck with me since.  Here are photos of Mr. Marino's spectacular creation: