Monday, October 31, 2011

Light Up In Style

In anticipation of the snow on Saturday (and potential power outages) I took stock of my supply of candles and flashlights - did we require replenishments, batteries, and so on. Last year I bought a bunch of flashlights from L.L.Bean for members of my family living in the tri-state area. I picked up the solar-powered/crank-up ones as well as battery-operated ones. The kids, too, each have one by their bedside in case of emergency. Home Depot also sells mini flashlights in packs of 10 which we use while trick-or-treating with the littler kids in the family. They love feeling responsible for keeping their paths lit and it keeps them safe while they have fun. This also had me looking at my candleholders. On Friday I received the latest west elm catalog which  I instantly warmed to. Here is why.



To take a further look at these and others available go here. I am certainly not surprised to see the mercury glass ones or the fun, chalkboard votives. I love the look of the Manzanita Candelabra which looks like branches in the winter but really could be used throughout the year as suggested, and could be considered as a modern menorah. Each piece is different - festive, stylish, colorful or whimsical. In all honesty I could see each one of these in my own home.

Are you drawn to any particular votive or candleholder?

Please Note: I have not been compensated in any way by this company. The views and opinions expressed in this post are solely mine and are based on my experience with the company and someimes on the purchase of products.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa

Friday, October 28, 2011

A Luxury Villa in Camps Bay, South Africa

This luxurious home is situated 10 minutes from Cape Town, South Africa in Camps Bay. The Azure Luxury Villa is designed to maximize mountain views as well as unparalleled 180-degree views of the Atlantic Ocean. The expansive living room with its sliding glass doors is all about bringing the outdoors in. This enhances the sense of peace and calm which is carried through the entire house in the choice of colors and the low, relaxed furniture, the art on the walls and decorative pieces.

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town

Amazing Beautiful Villa Azure in Cape Town
Images via

I love the wooden pieces of furniture (like the carved dresser) and the fireplace in the living room makes quite a stunning statement when lit. Interestingly, there are very few circular items (side table, a few decorative pieces on the coffee table, the basin on the vanity), to be found in a home with a lot of linear architectural elements (walls, windows, doorways, fireplaces, vanity, pool, and so on) and angular furniture. But these prove sufficient to contribute toward the overall sense of balance. The views of the sea are breathtaking. This house can be rented throughout the year; the cost depends on the season.

Do these pictures convey serenity? I think the architects have used the surroundings to truly create a paradise in an idyllic setting and the owners of the property have further extended that in their decor.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

The Great Jack O' Lantern Blaze

We are fortunate to have the phenomenal Jack O'Lantern Blaze, a night-time walk-through experience showcasing over 4,000 intricately carved lit pumpkins located in the Hudson Valley on the grounds of Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson, NY. A couple of years ago I took the kids and one of my sisters to the show. These tickets are sold out very quickly and hundreds were turned away last year.

The first four pictures are from the Hudson Valley website. With music and sound effects setting the scene, thousands of people enjoy this unparalleled experience. The range of designs carved into these pumpkins is quite astounding - dinosaurs, abstract designs, skeletons, birds, an aquarium, pirates, a cemetery and so on can be seen in themed areas such as Egypt, Greece, Jurassic Park, Undersea Aquarium and Pirates Cove.

  




The following pics are from my iphone taken so they are not of a good quality but they certainly give you an idea of the skill level and creativity of those responsible for putting together this show. The pumpkins are scooped, carved and lit by more than 1,000 volunteers. 




Some of the pumpkins are real and some are "art pumpkins" but they are each individually carved and can weigh anywhere from 5 to 50 pounds! Carving of the art pumpkins begins in the month of June and the real ones need to be replaced several times during the run of the show which is on for about 5 weeks. It takes 15 to 20 volunteers to light the pumkins each night of the show starting about 3 hours before it opens.






The lighting, the music, the crowds, all contribute to a highly charged halloween experience which is not to be missed. If you are ever visiting the NYC or even the tri-state area in the month of October area The Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze is a must but tickets should be purchased in advance to avoid disappointment. A jaw-dropping experience which, although now part considered a fall festival, truly does "pay tribute to Halloween and Sleepy Hollow Country"!

For pumpkin recipes, a downloadable template and tips on carving, go here.

Is this something you would enjoy? Do you  have a similar experience where you live? I would love to hear about it.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa
 

Monday, October 24, 2011

Mantle Items and Sources

This post was due to be published on Friday but I had internet connectivity issues, therefore the delay. Here are the details and sources of the decorative pieces on my mantle.

I used to have framed photographs on my mantle for many years. But recently, I thought I would try something different. The mantle updates were shared with you here last week. I wanted to share further details and sources of these pieces with you. 

The enamel flower used to lie on the coffee table (below)

but I like it upright with light against it which allows one to appreciate the details. This was purchased at a local housewares/gift store, La Dentelliere, with a gift card I was given. It is on a plastic plate stand. This is a picture at night with just the wall sconces switched on. What I love is that it does not rest on the mantle itself but because it juts off the ledge it adds dimension to the vignette.

Here it is during the day. It's almost like it is blooming, now that it is upright.

The milkglass compote was purchased a while ago on Etsy. It is a unique piece and I although I love the utilitarian aspect of it I appreciate it more as a decorative item with its "Old Quilt" pattern and empty!

This silver leaf chair was picked up at a store in Manhattan many years ago. Unfortunately, I cannot recall the store but it cost us something between $10-$15 and all those years ago it was possibly one of our first decorative accessories (small but perfect for a studio apartment). This adorable vintage brass cricket box was one of my more recent purchases from the Cottage & Vine shop on Etsy. Last week I shared some of the other precious items available at René's shop here. I like experimenting with the effects of the silver and gold color combination.

I liked the relief work on this cross which I picked up from a local Treasure Island which subsequently closed some years ago.

Next I placed the teal/turquoise/yellow handblown Maltese vase from the '70s which I purchased from  1001 Vintage. It contributes this sea-like coloration to my living room in its new color scheme. I shared items from 1001 Vintage with you here. Moving on to the stunning red/deep orange/amber vintage carafe with a ship embossed on both sides, another purchase from Cottage & Vine. This piece was so unique and stunning, I had to have it. The graduated tint is one of its attractive features. I like that it is an unusual item for a mantle and in terms of its color, too, it draws attention to the space.

The crystal votive was purchased at a Papyrus store a few years ago. These make great hostess gifts but I had to keep one (or two) for myself. I love the sparkle. I have a flameless candle placed inside it ready for use.

The sconces were purchased in a hurry from a local light store (in the midst of construction when we uncovered hidden wiring for sconces) and the raw silk mini shades were from Home Depot Expo (which closed a couple of years ago). And then there is the solo pumpkin, reminding us that it is Fall.




So there you have it. An eclectic mix of styles, colors, and metals without it being too busy. I added the milk glass piece to balance the other items and to tie the vignette to the (white) mantle. Make sense? Do you think I should paint the cross?

I am thinking about adding a natural, organic piece if I can find one..perhaps something from my backyard. I shall have to look. I thought about adding height to some of the items but that is where the decals and sconces come into play, extending the vignette while drawing the eye upward. I might add more to the decal pattern but I like it so far. I do not think that a mantle has to have too many large or tall items on it as long as there is one (the flower) but again, there are no rules.

I know some of you have commented on these items in my previous mantle post but please do not hesitate to leave another; I am always thrilled to read your thoughts and any feedback is always appreciated.

I would like to thank Tina, of The Enchanted Home, for graciously honoring me with the Versatile Blogger Award. Most of you are probably familiar with Tina's captivating blog as she walks us through the construction of her fabulous dream house with all the stunning details. If you have not visited her blog yet do stop by - you will be awestruck. This is the third time I have received this award and each time this has been an affirmation that my attempt at blogging - I had never read a blog or knew what one was before May of this year - is being appreciated. Thank you, Tina! Even though I have yet to check out the other recipients (and I will certainly do so this week) I know I must be in great company.

If you require any help with Interior Decorating please click on the tab at the top of my page marked 'Services' or click here for further details.

I would love for you to leave a comment. Thank you for stopping by; please do check back often.
Lisa