Monthly Archives: November 2011

Eye Candy: Estate in Aix-en-Provence!

Today’s installment of Eye Candy takes us to Southern France!  Check out this gorgeous estate featured in WSJ’s House of the Day.  Here’s what I see:

– Beautiful use of neutrals – notice how much depth a room can have simply with creams, tans, and greys.

– Mix of materials – check out use of wood on the beams and floors, metal in the art, and soft upholstery on the furniture and curtains.

– Pretty lines in the dining room – note the geometric pattern in the chairs, floor, windows, and rug.

– Love chandeliers – see the sparkle they add to the dining room and bedroom.

– Outside comes in – again, see how the design carries the outside colors in.

I’m so inspired by these pretty neutrals, I think I’ll do a post tomorrow on my favorite neutral paint colors – stay tuned!

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Filed under Decorating, Eye Candy

Coming Soon: Italian Restaurant, Yes! Organic, another French Bistro, and more!

Wow!   Another round of exciting comings to DC:

French Bistro (Petworth):  PoP is tracking the progress of Chez Billy’s, a French Bistro in the works for Petworth.  As reported earlier this month, another bistro is planned for 14th & Q in Logan Circle.

Smucker Farms (U Street):  PoP reports they will open very soon – bringing the tasty treats of Lancaster County, PA to DC!

Yes! Organic (Capitol Hill):   City Biz reports Yes! Organic signed a lease for a space  in Barrack’s Row, on the corner or 8th and Pennsylvania Avenue, SE.

Spring Mill Bread Company (Capitol Hill):  PoP notes a new bread company should open soon on Barrack’s Row.

Italian Restaurant (Columbia Heights): PoP is following the development of Maple, an Italian restaurant in Columbia Heights, hopefully opening in a month.

Coffee Shop-Bar Hybrid (Columbia Heights):  The Washingtonian reports the people behind  Tryst, The Diner, and Open City are preparing a fourth venture, a coffee shop / bar hybrid in Columbia Heights.

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Filed under Capitol Hill, Columbia Heights, Coming Soon, Logan Circle, Neighborhood News, Petworth, Restaurants, U Street

5 Ways to Make Your Home Welcoming!

The holidays are coming!  You want your guests to feel welcome.

Try these 5 tips:

1) Places to sit:  Make sure you have plenty of places to sit.  Make sure each has a place to set a drink and a light to read.  Have plenty of pillows and a throw for warmth.

2) Places to sit in the kitchen:  People love sitting in kitchens.  Take a tip from my sister Mandy (picture left).  She had a pretty bench built, added a cushion and pillows, and put a table and two chairs in front of it – making a beautiful and welcoming kitchen hang out!  At minimum, if your space is small, get a small stool for the corner.

3) Candles:  Nothing exudes a feeling of calm and relaxation like candles.  Plus they add intimacy and warmth.  Invest in a few glass hurricanes and keep one on your coffee table, side board, kitchen island.  Keep extra candles in a drawer.

4) Food:  The best hosts have out a plate of snacks when you arrive.  Invest in a divided hors d’oeuvres plate and fill it with whatever treats you have around – peanuts, olives, almonds, cheese, and crackers.

5) Fresh flowers:  Buy one of the big bouquets and break it up.  I have several small bud vases so I can put a few flowers in the foyer, kitchen, and guest bedroom.

Have fun getting ready for the best time of the year!

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Eye Candy: It’s good for you!

I’d like to introduce my readers to the concept of eye candy!

The best way to train your design eye is to look at pictures of houses and rooms.   It’s fun and good for you.  See what catches your eye, figure out why it resonates with you, then try it somewhere in your house.

Let’s start with the Wall Street Journal’s House of the Day.  This is a great source of eye candy. In particular, they recently featured an apartment in London.

Here’s what caught my eye in the London apartment:

Color is in the accessories – the blue hydrangeas, the colorful artwork.  Too often we think the color has to be on the walls.

Black and white theme is carried from the outside to the inside – having the inside of your house reflect the outside creates consistency and there’s a certain comfort in that.

Lots of rich layering – the couches have multiple pillows and one has an afghan; the bed has four layers of pillows and a throw at the foot.

– Mirrors expand the space – I’m not a huge fan of too many mirrors, but it works in this space.   Old city apartments aren’t huge and yet the room looks airy and expansive.

Crystal chandeliers add glamour – and with the mirrors, a lot of bling.  You can’t go wrong with a pretty chandelier.

Let me know what you see!  And stay tuned for our next installment of eye candy.

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Five Tips to Clear the Clutter!

Do you dream of a clutter free house?  Thinking about selling your house and need it to look its best?

Here are a few tips that can help:

1. Everything needs a place:  If you look around, clutter usually consists of items that don’t have a place.  Make a place for them – clear a closet, a shelf, a drawer, or get a basket or container to hold them.

2. Purge:  Ask yourself if you’ve used something in the last year.  This is the rule I use.  If not, I toss.  Only exceptions are items with sentimental value.  I’ve missed a few purged items over the years, but not many – and the peace of mind of less clutter far outweighs any momentary longing.

3.  Clever storage:  Not everyone has tons of storage space.  So you need to get creative – add shelves to walls, buy tables with drawers, and use tons of baskets or containers.  I love these ideas on Houzz.

4. Clear tabletops:  If you can keep counter and table tops clear, your house will look a hundred percent better.  A lamp and maybe a a few small permanent items are fine, but no more.

5.  Open walls and corners:  People like to fill every wall and corner.  Don’t do it.  Leave some corners free and an occasional wall or part of a wall open, especially the floor area.  This will make your house feel more spacious and open.

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Coming Soon: French Bistro, Crossfit Praxis Gym, and Buffalo Exchange Thrift Store

Every day I read about more restaurants, bars, and shops coming to DC!  Today a few of note were announced for Logan Circle / U Street, as reported by Urban Turf, Washington Business Journal, and the Prince of Petworth.

Here’s the rundown:

French Bistro – 14th and Q Streets NW.  We can never have too many French Bistros, and what a great location and building.

Crossfit Praxis Gym – 14th Street and Florida Avenue NW.   Many DC neighborhoods need gyms, so great news.

Buffalo Exchange – 14th Street, just south of Rhode Island Ave NW.  I don’t know much about Buffalo Exchange, but it sounds pretty trendy.

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Filed under Coming Soon, Logan Circle, U Street

Tip: 5 Easy Ways to Improve Your Curb Appeal

photo.JPG1. Potted flowers:  Home Depot has great light weight pots.  Buy a couple for your front stoop and change the flowers out each season.  I love yellow mums in the fall!

2. Paint your front door:  Check out Feng Shui principles to help you narrow your options.  And then try something bold.  I’m into turquoises, oranges, and yellows lately.

3.  Change your light fixtures:  I’m a huge fan of clear glass because it twinkles.  I also like to error on the side of a little too big rather than too small.  And I love hanging porch lights.

4. Clean up chipped paint:  Check rails, shutters, trim for chipped paint and have it repaired and touched up.

5.  Add rails:  A pretty white wood or wrought iron rail around a porch or stoop can add a lot of character.

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Color Consult: Fun Fall Paint Colors

This morning I tweeted a story on Houzz about the comeback of the den.   The warmth and coziness of the pictures made me think about some of my favorite fall paint colors:

Meditation (Benjamin Moore AF-395): a deep olive-gray

Shelburne Buff (Benjamin Moore HC-28): a soft gold without too much yellow

Audubon Russet (Benjamin Moore HC-51): a perfect in-between of red and orange

Shenandoah Taupe (Benjamin Moore AC-36): a deep but not too dark brown (pictured)

Love these deep rich colors in small rooms like dens, dining rooms, or even foyers and hallways.  Maybe spruce up a room for the holidays?

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