Saturday, July 30, 2011


Lately I seem to keep coming across beautiful pieces of driftwood in decor that I really love.  It is sculptural, natural and rugged all in one.  My parents have a gorgeous piece from a past beach trip that sits on on a windowsill and, despite it not being art, can really hold its own!  When I get back to Oregon I am definitely making a trip to the the hopes that I can find some beautiful, artful pieces of driftwood to take home with me...

All Driftwood Furniture

Roman and Williams

Pottery Barn

House Beautiful

Tracery Interiors

Atlanta Homes Magazine

Crate and Barrel

South of Market

Pure Style Home

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Spanish Dinner Party

Our trips to Spain over the last few years have inspired me to come up with
a menu for a Spanish dinner party!


This is the perfect time of year for a Spanish-themed dinner, when tomatoes are at their peak and the table can be set up outside on a warm summer evening.   This menu includes some foods we had on our trips and some other recipes that I am hoping to try myself for the first time this Summer!

For some great Spanish inspiration look here, here and here from some past travels. 
For some outdoor settings to inspire your table, look here, here, here and here. 

Cote Sud

 Starter Platter:
Manchego, very thinly sliced, drizzled with olive oil and cracked pepper
(I had this for breakfast every morning in Barcelona - YUM!)
Goat cheese with honey* 
(*I know that combo sounds a bit strange, but I had it in a little cafe in Seville and trust is wonderful!)
Breads with artichoke aioli and romesco sauce
Spanish Olives with chopped rosemary and garlic

First Course: 
Gazpacho Salad

Main Course: 
Asparagus with almond sauce
Drunken shrimp with sun-dried tomato aioli
Grilled beef tenderloin with Blue cheese and garlic potato chips

Mango Mousse with Mango Sherbet

Sangria (of course)
Artadi Rioja 2007 - we loved this in Barcelona!

Many of these recipes, as well as a CD of great Spanish music, can be found on The Music and Food of Spain book and CD.  I received this as a gift from a dear friend when we moved to Europe, and I love it! 


If you enjoyed this post, you might also like to see my post about a Portuguese Dinner Party inspired by our trip there.  You can find that post here.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Sweet Swedish Spaces

This is the last in my series about Scandinavian Design until after we return from our trip.  A week from tomorrow we'll be on a plane to Copenhagen!  Today I put together some more beautiful Swedish designs, but before we go there... 

In light of our upcoming trip including Norway, I wanted to take a moment to recognize
the terrible tragedy that happened there last Friday. 
My sincere thoughts and sympathies are with all of the victims' families.

Now, on to lighter topics:

via ApartmentDezign Blog

This room reminds me of my post on Effortless Design
I love this look!

Veranda Magazine
This house is actually in Texas, but I love this interpretation of Swedish design!

via Skeppsholmen Realty
Simplicity at its best.  And, what a cool chair...

Veranda Magazine
Beautiful, right?  I thought so too.

You can find more posts about Scandinavian design here, here, here, here, here and here.

By the way, my parents arrive from the US tomorrow, so my posts may be a bit light in the next week
or so as we enjoy our time together.  
I'm sure I'll put out a few posts in between visiting though.  I can't resist.  :)

Happy Monday everyone!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

My Munich

A while back I wrote up a guest post for Lise's wonderful blog, Urban Style Vibes*, describing of what I love most about Munich.  I thought it would be fun to add it as a page to my blog as well, so now you can read about my tips for Munich anytime right here or by clicking on the tab along the top of my blog. 

Take a look if you want to have a little tour of Munich today and to find out what the picture below is all about...

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Book Review: Great Destination Reads

via The Selby
In case anyone is planning a trip to a great destination coming up (or wishing you could go there), I thought I'd provide some of my favorite destination-based books that I have enjoyed over the last few years. 

I have to warn you - these are not light, easy-reading books.  Rather, these are stories that (hopefully) will really draw you into that location and time...which is, to me, what makes a book really worth reading.  Here goes:

Shantaram by David Gregory Roberts - set in India.  One of the best books I have read in a long time, but also very edgy.  It really shows the underbelly of India, so it's a unique read.

The Help by Kathryn Stockett - set in civil-rights-era South.  If you haven't read this already, you MUST.

The Spies of Warsaw by Alan Furst - set in World War 2-era Poland.  Great intrigue, colorful characters and lots of politicking!

Daughter of Fortune by Isabel Allende - set in Chile.  A South American woman's transition to America, composed beautifully.

Snowflower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See - set in China,  It's about Chinese foot binding rituals and more.  My feet hurt as I type this!

Winter in Madrid by C.J. Sansom - set in - obviously - Spain, during the Franco dictatorship. Very mysterious and intriguing.

Rebecca's Tale by Sally Beauman - set in England covering two timeframes in the 20's and the 50's.  A beautifully written mystery and love story that also examines the changing societal norms in England during that time.

I could be pretty darn happy curling up here and enjoying a good book!
If you want to see ideas for cozy reading nooks, you can look here.

What is the best book you have read lately?  I'd love to know!

Friday, July 22, 2011

More Danish Design: well, sort of...

Following along with posts inspired by our trip to Denmark coming up, here is an uber-cool apartment in Stockholm.  What's that you say?  Stockholm isn't in Denmark?   You're right. 

Although we won't get to Stockholm while we're there, we will have one night in the southern Swedish city of Malmö.  It's kind of a long story why we are also going there in addition to Copenhagen since they are so close together, but it will be a nice bonus to our itinerary.  We are excited to at least step into Sweden, even if it's just for one night.  :)

So, that explains why I thought I'd sprinkle in a bit of modern Swedish design too.  Hope you like this little spot!

So cozy.  I could definitely survive a cold Swedish winter snuggled up in here.

Gazing out that window over the city must be nice.

I don't like saunas but I love the look of this one.  And, when in Rome...

A great open floor plan that makes the most of the space!  So well done.

All images found here
You can find more posts about Scandinavian design herehere, here, here and here.

So, what do you think?

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Today I'm loving...

...this unusual countertop material from Caesarstone. I don't know if it's new, but it's new to me.  I think a little would be enough so the room didn't get too busy, but implemented tastefully this could make quite a bold and beautiful statement...

This would make such a sexy bar counter, set against a mirrored wall...

This would look great as a kitchen island and I love that it has brown and grays as rooms transition more and more to gray elements. 
It reminds me of the petrified wood my childhood friend and I would search for (and find) in the forests around our's such cool stuff.

This would be so crisp and pretty in a bath - I'd even use it in my perfect bath!

So, what do you think?
Go easy on me if this is old news to all of you...I haven't been in any type of kitchen/bath stores in the US for over four years...:)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Danish Design: KML Design and More

Here are a few more images of some beautifully designed rooms in Denmark - most notably by KML Design. Somehow the Danes manage to strike the right balance between boho chic, modern and elegant gracefully!   I'm impressed...  I don't know if any of these are exactly my style, but I love seeing the different perspectives on design that they bring for a refreshing change.  Take a look:

kml design
The gallery wall is so amazing...especially set against that mossy gray color!

KML Design
Of course the beams in the kitchen are eye catching, but I think what makes the kitchen are those unexpected chairs.  I have also seen these in other designs - I saw them work beautifully in a Belgian kitchen - and they are surprisingly versatile.

Best Home News

Design Scandinavia
There is a ton of energy in this kitchen!

Rum Interior Design
Worthy of Elle Decor, if you asked me...

Rum Interior Design
See what I mean about boho chic?  Very cool.

KML Design

Don't miss that walk-in wine fridge! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beautiful French Zinc Mirrors

Love, love, love!
French zinc mirrors make such a stunning addition to a room's decor. 

Here are some of my favorites:

alhambra antiques

the elemental garden


via doesnt cost the earth blog


country trader

clayton gray home

Any favorites?  The last one really got me...

Monday, July 18, 2011

Beautiful, Unique Wallpaper from Crezana

I have been in love with the office below for a while but didn't have a source until recently.  The combination of grasscloth and metallic is so stunning and as a contrast to the rough table...  It's perfection in my book!


Once I had the source, that led me to the website for Crezana of course!  They have such unique patterns and textures for truly beautiful decor.  They can even customize colors and textures to meet your decorating scheme...with ikat, croc, even nailhead beautiful!

There are also some great styling techniques at work here too - lots of great ideas just from the settings they choose to highlight their beautiful wallpaper ideas:

Would you use this wallpaper?  If so, in what type of space?


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