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Showing posts from May, 2013

Why don't you.....

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Why don't you buy a lot of different lampshades for your boring chandelier in contrasting fabrics, like here at the Brooks Brother store in Bologna? Love this look!

A hidden Venetian garden

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My Australian penpal, Neil, has been traveling again, this time to Italy. He sent me photos of this hidden garden in Venice that I just had to share with you!
The Palazzo Soranzo Cappello dates to the late 16th century and now houses the architecture authority for Venice, Belluno, Padua, and Treviso.
The house is beautiful but it's the garden that steals the show.
This classical folly anchors the end of a lush, green garden.
A closeup reveals a brick structure with worn stucco covering to appear as stone.
I love the Italian mindset as to preservation (the Palazzo was recently restored);  Let it look old, it doesn't need to look brand new like in Paris.
Maybe it's the architect in me but I need some sort of architectural anchor to give a garden interest.
Aren't these blooms spectacular?
You would never guess this was in the heart of Venice!
Perfect spot for a picnic.
The gardens are open to the public during office hours.
 Be sure to check it out on your next Venetian getaway!

This and That

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I've been busy getting back into the swing of things from my vacation but thought I'd share with you some of my weekend before getting back into normal postings (more Paris and other house tours!). I stopped by my favorite shop in DC, ArtisanLamp (antique lighting fixtures and lamps), where I picked up a number of fixtures for a project. They're soon to be expecting a new shipment of antique fixtures from France as well as the semi-annual sale so be sure to stop by!
The weather couldn't have been better and I spent Sunday visiting local real estate open houses, discovering some hidden neighborhoods that were real gems!
 I loved these antique fixtures flanking the frontdoor of an old stone bungalow.
I pass this house in Georgetown everyday and just love the climbing roses growing over their front railings. This time of year DC is a gardener's paradise with roses exploding throughout the city.
I can't decide if I like it better by day or night! What were you up to th…

GIVEAWAY: Novica gift ideas

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I don't often do giveaways here on the blog but NOVICA is a company I really believe in and love to share (I've done a few giveaways with them in the past). They're offering a $75 gift certificate to a reader of my blog.
Use it towards a larger purchase like the Celadon Vase at the top or something less expensive like these fabulous stone obelisks above.
This stone sphere would be really great in a tablescape and I'm loving the classical lines of the Parota wood table lamp below too. A silver heart-shaped necklace would make a great gift.
To enter, simply leave a comment below. Leave additional comments for sharing this on Twitter and on Facebook for even more chances to win! I will randomly select the winner Tuesday, May 28th at noon. Good luck!

Paris vacation - day 7

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Rainy day 7 was spent primarily at the Louvre. Overwhelming, immense, claustrophobically crowded, and over the top in every way possible, who can visit Paris without a visit to the Louvre?
The apartments of Napoleon III were luckily open and were awe inducing even after the splendors of Fountainbleu. The Grand Salon, seen above, reminded me of a hotel lobby in scale and how I would have loved to have had a drink there!
It was fascinating to see the furniture of Madame Recamier (including HER recamier) as well as numerous portraits of her including the famous one by David. The museum is so immense it is difficult to even follow the maps given upon entering under the Pei Pyramid but treasures abound around every corner.  While the highlights of the museum such as the Mona Lisa, Winged Victory, the Venus de Milo, etc., draw huge and overwhelming crowds, other parts of the museum are quieter and cafes are to be found in all sorts of corners for museum breaks.
I think the biggest surprise upo…

Paris vacation - day 6

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As you can probably tell we've done a lot in just a few days! So day 6 was kept intentionally slow. We decided to stay close to home and at the recommendation of a couple we met at dinner one evening checked out the Conciergerie.
 An odd museum, it encompasses the prisons used notoriously during the revolution. The history of the building goes much further back however as it was part of the old Capetian palace from the 15th century. Here you can see a recreation of Marie Antoinette's cell as well as a memorial to her and Louis XVI. I have to be honest and recommend that you skip this museum; so many other greater things to see in Paris!
The bonus to visiting the Conciergerie however was buying tickets to the adjacent St Chapelle and avoiding the horrendous lines!  I had never visited the 13th century chapel before and can literally say it took my breathe away (and not just the tiny circular stair which takes you up to the main Upper Chapel). If you can visit SOON as the restorat…

Paris vacation - day 5

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Day 5 started with a long overdue visit to the Rodin Museum located in the historic hotel Biron.  Despite ongoing restorations (half of the museum and gardens were closed) it was an awe inspiring visit; great house, great art, great story. 
One thing I have to say is that it was nice to see a place that actually looked OLD, at least on the interior. Most things I find here are 'restored' to a state more pristine than their original form.  Whats wrong with old sometimes? Being a museum since 1918 has left it a little worn though.  The entry foyer was a beautiful space seen above.
The art is amazing of course. The movement found within the pieces is my favorite aspect; these large hands were so expressive and probably my favorite piece.
A (quick) stop next door to the Invalides is also recommended, but you don't need to spend too much time here (unless you're interested in military museums).  Check out the chapel and Napolean's tomb (you can't miss it, under the do…

Paris vacation - day 4

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After the excitement of day 3, Day 4 was spent a little slower and more organic.  After sleeping in we wandered over to the Place de la Bastille for the antique brocante market.  Above you see the last remains of the dreaded Bastille.
The brocante market is a moving event throughout the city where antique vendors come from around the world to display their wares. It was the perfect way to spend a rainy afternoon. Expect to pay about 10 euro for entrance.
 A late lunch in a cafe on the Place des Vosges was a great way to relax and people watch.
 The Place des Vosges is one of the most beautiful spots in the city. While the townhouses surrounding the square are all very similar, each is slightly different proving you dont' have to have perfect symmetry to have balance.
Wandering around the Marais is full of surprises. The oldest existing part of the city you never know what you'll stumble upon. Ancient buildings are filled with new and inspiring art and clothing galleries mingled wi…