St James Sweater

 God! have I forgotten this gem blog this week?  Not in my heart though.  I've been running around and this post has been sitting there for two days now.  Yesterday was a hectic day, running around from one work site to the other and when I noticed it was too late to make it to the Kips Bay Decorator's cocktail party to which I was invited.  Oh well these are the days! 
Without even knowing it was going to rain today I prepared this post on Sunday night, but it seems too appropriate since nautical inspirations many times have to do with loads and loads of rainy ports.  Enjoy!


 Coco Chanel

images from Tumblr, The Sartorialist, pinterest

Food for Thought

"Remember that there is nothing stable in human affairs; therefore avoid undue elation in prosperity, or undue depression in adversity." Socrates
"Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power."  Abraham Lincoln

"The words that enlighten the soul are more precious than jewels." Hazrat Inayat Khan
"Just because you are blind, and unable to see my beauty doesn't mean it does not exist." Margaret Cho
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear." Mark Twain
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Benjamin Franklin
Have a happy weekend!
1 The Thoumieux Hotel in Paris via Departures, 2 Le Corbusier, 5 & 7 via Dress Design and Decor Pinterest,  If you know of the rest, please let me know.  Thank you!

Kitchen of the week: Completely open ones

Ever since kitchens became the center of the house, meaning that they are usually literally in the middle of the house.  More often in homes or apartments with an open floor plan, they are looking less and less like a kitchen.  Leaving upper walls empty of cabinets that could make the space feel cramped or closed in and instead making them a focal point by using beautiful stones or tiles, adding sconces, art and many other things that before were more commonly used in other rooms of the house.  I like this new recent trend, I like the idea of making the kitchen part of the decor of the house, if living in a place where the kitchen is open. Enjoy!


 A very minimalist and rustic kitchen.  Love the stove.

 This kitchen is too cute!

 Love the home school feel of this kitchen.
This kitchen is simple but it's very clean and organized.

images 1 via Carlotte Minty, 3 & 6 via Simply Grove, 4 Nuevo Estilo, 2 & 5 via Tumblr.

Eye Candy: Javier Castilla

Just a few gorgeous images to freshen up your day.  No need for many words, these images by Javier Castilla speak by themselves.  Enjoy!

All images via Javier Castilla.

Wearing that room

This weekend I snapped this picture of my Michael Kors boots at The Greek and Roman Art Gallery at The MET.  I love the color of the leather and the brass button on the sides, a perfect pairing to the fabulous library designed by Will Wick for Elle Decor San Francisco Showhouse.  Isn't that room crazy hot?

This room means a thousand words to me.  That leather sofa screams comfort and cuddling and the Klismos brass chair says settle down now.  This sofa may have convinced me to let my husband get himself a leather...something.

This thing, perched inside an antique secretary, is Taylor, my friend Cathy Lerebours's cat and he is a sweetheart.  He comes to greet me every time I go there and he likes to be pampered.  I couldn't resist taking this picture of him.

Love, love this building in the UWS.  It's just stunning!
Looking for the perfect red nails. These are still not it, yet. 
2 image via Elle Decor, rest by Belle Vivir

L'Wren Scott's Paris Apartment

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home office
Divine vignette in the living room of L'Wren Scott's Paris apartment, with Damien Hirst spots hanging in the back wall.
Lately I've been drawn to more neutral interiors.  Interiors where warm-beige-painted paneling walls work as a backdrop to a combination of soft and textural furniture.  L'Wren and Mick Jagger's home in Paris, featured in Vogue May issue,  is the total opposite of what you would expect from a Rock-Star home: with beautiful paneling, walls painted in beautiful light tones that go from lilac to beige, herringbone floors all throughout the apartment, antique rugs, and the perfect balance between wood and fabric.  The final result is a jaw dropping home.   What I love most is how updated the apartment looks by keeping the paneling walls in light tones.  Enjoy!
L'Wren Scott's Paris Home living room

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home vignette

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home dining room

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home hallway

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home office

L'Wren Scott sitting in her living room of her Paris Home

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home mirrored bathroom

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home
It's all about lighting, look how the space behind the door reflects a bluish tone.

The glass in the bathroom is Lalique glass.   Mick Jagger bought in the 70's

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home fireplace mantal vignette

L'Wren Scott's Paris Home
images via Vogue

Characteristics of Georgian Homes

Today we are going to discuss The Characteristics of Georgian Homes.  But, first, I have the great pleasure of introduce you to Vyna St. Phard the mind behind High End Weekly, a blog dedicated to the highest standards of luxury lifestyle.  Vyna is a New York-based interior designer who draws her inspiration from culture, fashion, art, travel and nature.  Her aesthetic style is greatly influenced by the Art Deco style and Bauhaus movement.  Her daily posts cover everything from, of course, Art Deco, the luxury market, and lifestyle blogging.  Raised between Paris and New York she speaks perfect French and what I love more about Vyna is her bonne vivante personality and how easy going she is.  I asked Vyna to contribute to Belle Vivir and share with my lovely readers some of her extended knowledge.  Thank you Vyna for accepting.
When my friend and fellow designer Julie asked me to do a blog post on Belle Vivir, I was thrilled to accept and be part of all the excitements and inspirations she create every day on this blog. I hope you too get inspired by these beautiful Georgian homes because they have long been cherished, and stand as exemplary homes of long ago and a perfect standard for progressive architecture of the future.
It's all in the details
Georgian home style history and characteristics
Here's a quick rundown of the history of Georgian Houses. They were built in a style that was popular in England from roughly 1715 to 1830, during the reigns of the four King George. The Georgian style homes are noteworthy for their distinctive appearances and for the influence they still have on modern building styles which is why I'm especially fond of them.
Stella McCartney's Georgian home with wisteria vine
Stella McCartney's England Georgian style country side home.
Georgian Presidential house
Classic example of an early Georgian House
Georgian Presidential House, circa 1733, via History Org
Fun Fact: Did you know that this house (above) in Colonial Williamsburg served as a home for various presidents from the University of William & Mary? All but one president of the 300-year-old college lived in brick Georgian homes. Who what the odd man out?
  • A square, symmetrical layout.
  • A row of horizontal, evenly spaced sash windows on each floor of the home.
  • Early Georgian homes had sash windows.The principal of the double-hung sash, with pulleys and counterweights in sash-boxes, remained unchanged, even in modern times. The same goes for the arrangements of internal folding shutters.
classic women in front of a georgian house holding poppies
  • Fun Fact: Did you know that this house in Colonial Williamsburg served as a home for various presidents from the University of William & Mary? All but one president of the 300-year-old college lived in brick Georgian homes. Who what the odd man out?
Georgian house with cherry blossom trees in front
  • The average Georgian house had 2 to 3 stories, with a chimney on each end of the house.
  • The traditional number of windows is five on the upper floors, often with a Palladian window in the center over the door.
  • The above pictured doors are early examples of Georgian designs from William Salmon's Palladio Londiniensis of 1734. It has a sober Doric doorcase and an enriched Corinthian doorcase.
Tory Burche Georgian home entry way with big trees 
Tory Burch's South Hampton home via Vogue
  • Georgian houses are known for their large paneled door, usually topped off with a pediment or arch. The doorway is also often framed by pedestals or columns.
  • Georgian doors are tall, often filling the entire opening, but have often been cut down later to accommodate a fanlight. Front doors were painted in dark colors or grained to imitate wood.
  • Fashionable homes have a main staircase and a secondary "backstairs" for servants.
  • Ordinary homes have one wooden staircase of straight flights joined by landings, or winding flight for each story.
  • You will most likely find the most elaborate decoration on the main flight from the entrance hall to the floor above.
  • In late Georgian homes, staircases were made of wood, and were now open-string, with a stepped profile rather than a straight one.

A couple of years back, I toured a few Georgian houses, while my girlfriends and I were in the UK. This was way before I met my husband Michael, who happens to be British. Michael later told me that as a young man, he rented an apartment which was in a Georgian house. How delightful it must have been to live in such a stately house, I thought! These types of homes evoke lighthearted emotions, and I sometimes image Virginia Woolf slowly walking through such house, as she meditated on the characters for her novels. By the way, did she ever live in a Georgian house? As for me, I can easily imagine renovating one, and decorating it in a modern style. Perhaps I will forgo the renovation and live well enough alone (provided that the plumbing is working, of course). Even though I consider myself a modernist, I have a soft spot for Georgian houses, because they hold this timeless appeal, and boast an elegance which is hard to find in modern architecture.

Contributed by Vyna St Phard for Belle Vivir
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