Kitchen of the week: Luis Bustamante

Before this kitchen it was hard to imagine a home kitchen that would look like a cozy country club restaurant.  Love love love the way the open leggy banquette makes everything look more open.  A fantastic way to lighten up the closed cabinets.  If it weren't for the two fridges in the back I would not think this was a kitchen, perhaps a bar area... or part of a family room?  I don't know... I'll take whatever was left over from it!
Designed by Luis Bustamante, spotted at VT.


Because it's too beautiful to wait until tomorrow.
image from Pinterest

Oversized lucite sandwich frame


I wanted to frame this gorgeous painting my father-in-law made for me but I wanted the result to be modern and light.  Sort of to not take away anything from it so I decided to frame it in a Lucite sandwich frame.  It's a wonderful way of making a painting take reign without having to rely on more expensive frames.  I first saw this style of framing a few years ago in Sag Harbour, NY at one of my favorite stores, Ruby Beets and I loved it! then I saw it in Elle Decor.   The size of the frame is pretty big, exactly 49" by 47" ( I left two inches all around to leave space for the 9/16 Hex head cap screws in a brassy color I found at Lowe's).  The screws were long so I took them to an Iron shop to have them cut.  This is something that can be done with a manual saw though, something for a man.  I had the acrylic sheets custom made at Plexi-Craft in Queens, NY and put it together myself.  A sandwich frame like this would take about four weeks so it's good to plan way in advance.  Lowe's and Home Depot have acrylic sheets as well, but the biggest sheet available in store is 36" wide.  I love the result.  It's a look that can go with either a traditional decor or a modern one.

two bottom images, Elle Decor and Architectural Digest

Food for Thought & Bon Wee-kend

  "Ah, if I were not king, I should lose my temper" Louis XIV (1638–1715)
  " For parading without a license each of you gets thirty days. For planning to knock me off, you get the guillotine." Louis XV (1710-1774)
"I was a queen and you took away my crown, I was a wife and you liked my husband,  a mother and you took my children away from me.  All I have left is my blood.  Take it.  But do not make me suffer long."  Marie Antoinette (1955-1793)
Have a very Royal Weekend!
images via Pinterest

Rooms that work: Gallery Walls

I can't think of a better way to make a wall look more beautiful than with a very well displayed gallery wall.  From more conservative ones, same frame and hung with symmetry in mind, to more asymmetrical ones framed in different types of frames, a gallery wall always looks gorgeous and makes a room look bigger and taller.  Enjoy!


How to make more space in your closet

I had our closets custom made a year ago to make our morning routine a lot easier and it makes a big difference.  Before redoing them it used to take me forever to decide what to wear and I think it was because I couldn't see all the pieces of clothes I had. 
Recently I paid a visit to TJ Max and came across these very thin velvet hangers called Closet Complete a lot more affordable than other similar ones and got a bunch to replace my original wooden ones.  With the wooden hangers some lightweight blouses would slip off but now these velvet-covered ones hold them so well and the best part is that because they take a lot less space it gives me more room.  You can see the difference in the two pictures of how much space is empty now that I switched the hangers.  What girl doesn't need that?

Photos by me

Kitchen of the week: A country kitchen in the City

I know, I know, you've seen this kitchen a few times already but when I received my T Magazine on Saturday I knew this was going to be the kitchen of this week.  The patina all over it is like that of a well lived-in French country kitchen but in Soho, New York.  It kind of reminds me of horses and saddles.  Olatz Schnabel, the world famous super model, designer and entrepreneur and ex of Julian Schnabel is the owner and designer of this kitchen and her travels around the world come across every detail.
The bathroom makes me go 'whoa!!' And, The openness of it would make many people nervous Especially those who are only comfortable with the regular alcove closed in shower -because it's a very predictable world out there, let's keep it like that- This is a bathroom for people who think outside the box.  Love the all checkered black and white tiles.  Give me more, please!
images via T Magazine

Five Beautiful Years

Today is my wedding anniversary.  I can't believe it's been a young five years, the best of my live!  I'm proud of what we've done together and I look forward to spending the rest of my life with my sweeter than honey, soul mate!   HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!
Our Wedding Day!

Rooms that work: Global Chic

the living room in a yali in the bosphorus is restored in a global chic style via belle vivir blog
The Global Chic look has always appealed to me because it's probably the kind that speaks more eloquently about it's owners' life, travel and sense of style.  I also especially love it because it's the most purest of all to it's habitat.  These images are from a wooden home, probably a Yali, overlooking the Bosphorus.  My wildest dream or maybe one of them!  Interior Designer Serdar Gulgun, sorry no website, was the one in charge of the magnificent restoration of this incredible 19th century home.  Enoy!
the staircase of a yali in the bosphorus restored in a global chic style via belle vivir blog
a turkish bath in a wooden home  in the bosphorus is restored in a global chic style via belle vivir blog
That bathroom, looking like something you would find in a Hammam (turkish bathroom) is, without a doubt, one of a kind.  Take a look at the mosaic ceiling, amazing!  Love how the detail of painting the moldings in different colors adds another layer to the room.  The ceiling of this house is pretty spectacular as well.
a yali in the bosphorus is restored in a global chic style via belle vivir blog
A very monochromatic dining room with very ornate dining chairs and a black and red Suzani tablecloth that picks up the red from the carpet and console.  The incredible ornamentation above the doors appears to be a Tromp l'oeil
Photos by Juergen Frank

Food For The Soul

 “I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where. I love you simply, without problems or pride: I love you in this way because I do not know any other way of loving but this, in which there is no I or you, so intimate that your hand upon my chest is my hand, so intimate that when I fall asleep your eyes close.” Pablo Neruda
Who, being loved, is poor?  Oscar Wilde
"Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who rejoice, but for those who love, time is eternity."  Henry Van Dyke
"Loving is not just looking at each other, it's looking in the same direction."  Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Wind, Sand, and Stars, 1939
Happy Valentine's Day!


How to add value and interest to your home for little money and effort

When we first started remodeling our home, one thing I regret is not having opened up the doorways.  I've always loved big, tall doors, but being just one month due from having a baby all I wanted was to move in and wait for that day without any hassle.  With that in the back of my head I always knew I was going to do something to my doors to make them look their best.  I crowned them, literately.  It's a simple and very affordable way to add interest and value to your home while enhancing the architecture.  I also painted them in a dark gray color and painted the molding silhouettes.

I chose a 3" Greek Key as part of the crown molding, but they were not too visible, so I painted it with a mixture of two colors, the door paint and the molding paint to make it lighter.

When there is not enough storage space and no additional space to expand, look at the corners and turns in your home which are usually not utilized.  I had this closet custom built on the landing of my stairs and it didn't take any extra space from the walking area.  I painted it the same color as the wall to have it blend in and the outside corner was done with a curve for free passage.  The new one became the linen closet and the empty one became an additional clothing closet we didn't have before.

Niches are another way of adding functionality and storage to your home.  Pretty them up with decorative paper or mirror and they become a point of interest as well.

Over the doorway storage like this one is very smart and interesting too.

Two last images via Pinterest and Apartment Therapy.

Kitchen of the week: Tommy Smythe's kitchen

Tommy Smythe Interior Design via Belle Vivir Blog
This delicious kitchen designed by Tommy Smythe, co-host of Sarah's house is very much like a perfect dessert where the red vintage lantern plays the role of a cherry on the cake.  Tommy revamped a  classic Victorian home in what he calls the new "Victorian look" and I can see why.  Painting the molding kitchen cabinets with three very traditional colors, paneling the ceiling and using red throughout is a genius way to modernize the Victorian style.  The beautiful floor is painted in a Roman style geometric pattern.  That custom made range hood, how handsome with that gleaming brass accent!
Tommy Smythe Interior Design kitchen via Belle Vivir Blog
This kitchen has all the thoughtful details, from the gray grouts between the ceiling-high subway tiles that gives it an older feel to the brackets under the cabinets that add more Victorian ornamentation to the style.
Tommy Smythe Interior Design via Belle Vivir Blog
A kitchen with a sitting area like this is not an average one.  I love how Tommy used black wood instead of an old-looking and Victorian era mahogany color.  The chair and tufted red sofa make a nod to Victorian style as well, but in a very updated way.  The floor to ceiling tiles add another beautiful layer.
Images via House and Home.

The Time of Elegance: Jardin à la Française

French formal garden style Chateau vaux le vicomte
Chateau Vaux le Vicomte

Jardin à la Française or French Formal Garden is a garden design based on harmony and balance born during The Late  Renaissance in France.  There French Landscape Architect named Andre Le Nôtre has received all the credit for The French Formal Garden.  He got the accolade after he was responsible for the transformation of the gardens of The Castle of Vaux le Vicomte, which after that became to be one of the most spectacular Chateau in France of its time.  This Garden design has its origins in Italy during the Renaissance revival.  Andre Le Notre is also responsible for the famous The Petit Trianon's garden which he designed while working at gardens of Palace of Versailles, the beginning of what is today The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, Chateau Fontainebleau and many other spectacular gardens not only in France but also in England, Italy and Germany.  The Jardin à la Française style combines the use of parterre or bed of greens in geometric shapes divided by gravel walkways, topiaries, fountains or pools in symmetrical patterns in an attempt to create a perfect integration to the Architecture of the Chateaus resulting in a perfect perspective view from miles away.
French formal garden style Palace de Versailles
Palace The Versailles
French formal garden style Petit Trianon
Petit Trianon
Below, modern versions of Gardens based on Jandins a la Francaise style.  French Formal Garden style.
French formal garden style
French formal garden style with pool
French formal garden style modern garden
French formal garden style Oscar de la Renta garden
Below, Oscar de la Renta's famous garden.
French formal garden style

French formal garden style boxwood and hedges

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