Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year

If you could glance into the future, at the end of 2013, and see that everything is exactly as you wanted, would you be content, let go of worries and absolutely enjoy the present, the now?  I have been doing a lot of reading about setting intentions, using the power of your subconcious mind, praying, connecting to your higher self, learning to create your own reality by what you think.....  Everything I read states the same thing, "think from the end";  visualize, believe, know that what you desire is yours, it is done. 
Once you have given it a lot of thought, it is easy to think about what you want in life.  The belief that it is coming to you and allowing it to happen are the hard parts.  That means trusting;  trusting a higher power to bring all the people, circumstances, events together to arrange precisely what you desire.  We want control, we want to put together the deal, we want to figure out all the exacting details.  This includes worrying about when it's going to happen, how it's going to happen, why hasn't it happened yet?  We become quickly discouraged when it doesn't show up immediately after we state the intention.  All the worry, all the angst, all the struggle does not bring us anything but more worry, more angst, more struggle....  I know this all too well. 
Stating our intention, believing, expecting, knowing it is coming, all while enjoying the now is how it will come to us.  We forget to trust that we are closer to our higher power, God, the universe, source, whatever you call it, than we think.  I'm not saying there is no work involved, anyone who has put their mind to think in the positive and belief knows it takes a lot of work to get there.  It is a new way of thinking for most, especially me;  training your mind to focus from the negative chatter in your head to your positive desires.  Once you do this, your higher power, God, the universe, source, whatever your belief, will start sending out clues for you to act upon and the things you desire will start showing up.  It is your job to recognize the leads and act upon them accordingly.
Gratitude is a big part of the equation.  Being thankful for what you have, the clues that are given and all the other positive things will bring more to you.  What you focus on grows.  Wouldn't you rather grow a garden full of flowers than of weeds?  Grow positives instead of negatives?
Knowing that the force inside you, when directed properly and nurtured, creates and guides your life is a delicious thing!!   We tend to believe that forces outside ourselves control us, this is untrue.  We have all been given the power to create the lives of peace and happiness that we desire, we just need to learn to tap into this source and trust. Once we do and we believe and are grateful, we learn to create what we want by going deep within ourselves and believing it is done with our higher good in mind. 
This blog will still be about design, but as I'm learning, to truly live a "luxurious life"  it is important to be in touch with our power within and recognize our blessings and our ability to create "luxury" on a much deeper level.  This is a journey I am on to truly create a life that is not only beautiful looking, but is full of deeper meaning and beauty.  One that is full of the power of love;  love of design, love of work, love of life, love of family and others, love and gratitude.......
My greatest wish for the new year is that I can look back at it when it's over and realize that all is exactly as I wanted and that I enjoyed it with peace and happiness as it was progressing. 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Today's Luxury, Doing What you Love......

My favorite place to sit and relax.....

It has been quite awhile since I've posted. I've missed writing this blog, but work and life got in the way; that is my inspiration for today's post, doing what you love. So many times we get caught up in the day to day grind that we forget to sit back, relax, take a breath and do what we love. I had forgotten how much I like to write about home, interiors and what I find to be everyday luxuries, until I recently took the time to revisit some of my posts; I have neglected to even take notice of the simple luxuries in my everyday life!!

So today I'm going back to the start, I am going to get back to doing and noticing the things that I love to do; taking the time to list at least 5 a day.

Today's list includes:
1-Sitting in my favorite spot (pictured above) having my morning coffee (and hopefully a glass of wine tonight!!)
2-Meditating on the positive things I hope to bring into my life. I've read a lot of good books on this subject that have helped and I will post about at a later date.
3-Wearing my new pair of boots.
4-Talking to my daughter after her day at school; it is always so refreshing to hear a 6 year old's perspective!!!
5-Thinking of new subjects I can post about!!

Simply listing things that you love, want to do or are thankful for is such an easy and uplifting thing to do. It can help you through a trying time or make a good time even better. I suggest you take a few minutes today to make a list, I promise it's one of the simplest and best luxuries there is!!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

I'll Just Take a Minute of Your Time...

Katie Lee Joel's townhouse, photo courtesy of Hooked on Houses

A close up of the seating area courtesy of decorpad
My computer has another virus (the 2nd one within 3 days!!), so I am using my mom's computer to finish a few documents for clients. I thought I'd write a quick post on a room that I love, Katie Lee Joel's New York townhouse living room designed by Nate Berkus. I like the mix of colors, the blues, the browns, the grays... The room has a sophisticated formality, but because of the fresh color palate and interesting furniture combination seems young and vibrant. Another thing that caught my attention about this room is the use of metal. The soft texture of the velvet, used on all the furniture, warms up the metal. The texture of the velvet, the rug, the pop of gold, make it lush but not stuffy. There is a lot of detail in this room, but because the color palate is minimal, it has a quiet formal simplicity. And it has a settee over by the stair!! Today's little luxury is looking at a beautiful room for inspiration!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

To A Luxurious and Relaxing Weekend!!!

Yves Delorme Linens

Some days nothing would be more luxurious than to climb into a big bed full of fine white linens with a big stack of magazines and a pot of tea!! Like sleeping on a big fluffy cloud of down!! To a luxurious and relaxing weekend!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

From Inspiration to Reality.....

I have blogged about my fondness for Canadian House and Home magazine and its website several times. I love to watch the videos and stumbled upon the episode about the 2009 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhouse Living Room. The architecture of the house was based upon European farmhouse design. The interiors have a Belgium influence. Lynda Reeves, former editor of the magazine and the PMH showhouse coordinator, describes the living room as, very grown up in style, traditional with a hip flair and trendy influences and a warm spice color palate.

I love the elegant simplicity of the room. The lightwood floors, the minimal use of accessories, the beautiful linen fabrics and the natural elements throughout give the room its Belgium flavor. What struck me about this room is the gorgeous fabric on the ottoman; it is the one pop of pattern in the room. As the camera zoomed on the fabric I thought it would be perfect as curtains in one of my client's dens!! Lynda said, in the video, all decorative fabrics were by Kravit and that the patterened linen on the ottoman was by Ralph Lauren. A little searching around the internet and I found out the pattern was Divima Linen Paisley color onyx. I ordered a sample, showed my client the video and a printed color picture of the fabric and she loved it!! I hope the actual sample looks as great in the room as the printed version!! I will keep you posted on the progress. Just shows, inspiration can be anywhere. This is one of the reasons I love Canadian House and Home Magazine!

2009 Princess Margaret Hospital Showhouse Living Room

View of the inspirational ottoman

Ralph Lauren for Kravit - Divima Paisley in Onyx

Monday, November 1, 2010

Inspired By Martha, A Grilled Cheese Challenge.......

I caught the episode of Oprah, the other day, that featured Martha Stewart. To say I am inspired by Martha, is an understatement. I am not only inspired by her creativity and business acumen, but by the way she conducted herself during her whole "unfortunate incarceration" (see my blog entitled Martha, Martha, Martha!! 5/25/10) - but I digress.......
During her appearance on Oprah, Martha made "grown up" grilled cheese sandwiches. She had all kinds of combinations: gruyere, procuitto, arugula and tomato on white... fontina, harissa, and pear on rye.....cheddar, jalapeno and cilantro on white, to name a few. She also had tips on how to perfectly grill the sandwich.
I love grilled cheese!! It, to me, is the perfect comfort food. When I was first pregnant, a toasty, warm, silky smooth grilled cheese was the only thing I could keep down!! During Martha's presentation, I was salivating!! She suggested having a grilled cheese bar as a party theme; please invite me!! A gourmet grilled cheese and a glass of crisp white wine sounds like a perfect evening to me!!
I was inspired to develop my own combination and challenged myself to come up with one from ingredients already in my house. Below is my creation - not as creative as Martha, perhaps and my pictures aren't expertly styled as hers (I took them in actual time as I cooked) - but, please enjoy.

Mozzarella, asiago, pesto and roasted red pepper on 8 grain bread....

I buttered the backs of both bread slices and
covered the inside with pesto

Added mozzarella, asiago and roasted red pepper
to one side of the bread.

Covered the roasted red pepper with another
layer of the 2 cheeses to help the bread stick
to the roasted pepper.

Grilled the sandwich on a panini press. Buttering
the bread first gives it lovely dark, crisp grill marks.
I served it with nice crisp, sweet honeycrisp apple
What I like about this combination is that the mozzarella's mild flavor and great melting ability works well with the sharpness of the asiago. The sweetness of the roasted red pepper goes nicely with the sharp taste of the asiago, while the pesto adds a herbed freshness. It would go well with a nice crisp sauvignon blanc, but I had it for lunch so I had sparkling water.
The combinations are endless when it comes to this great sandwich type; I challenge you to come up with a grown up grilled cheese sandwich with ingredients available in your kitchen today. What can you come up with?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Decorating With A Box Of Chocolates.......

Yummy Godiva chocolates dressed for the season

It's Halloween weekend and candy is on everybody's mind!! I am not going to lie..... I am a chocoholic!! I love chocolate, dark, rich, smooth and aromatic. When it comes to chocolate, the darker the better for me please!! I love the crisp sound it makes when breaking a chunk off of a bar!! My love for chocolate goes far beyond the taste, I love the color. To me, nothing is as welcoming as a dark chocolate brown velvet chair or sofa; it looks so cozy and relaxing. I love the way velvet feels on the skin, simply luxurious!! Like biting into the most decadent dark truffle!!

Years ago, when I was contemplating my first real furniture purchase, I saw a dark chocolate brown velvet sofa in the Ethan Allen catalog. As I recall, it was in a white room with low bookshelves below the windows, lots of books piled around and cream colored pillows. The shape of the sofa and the color were exactly what I wanted for my first purchase. I went to purchase it, but decided on a dark caramel colored velvet and upgraded the sofa model also. But my love for chocolate brown interiors never faded. I painted my kitchen and eating area brown. I love the look of cream cabinets and brown walls!!

Chocolate brown goes with so many colors; it is a nice contrast against cream, nice with pinks, blues, greens..... the possibilities are endless!! Think of a box of chocolates, the different hues of the milk and dark chocolate work very well together. Think of how the colors of the fillings look with the chocolate, the pinks, the raspberries, the lavenders, the creams, the whites, the mint greens and blues let this be your color pairing guide.

Below are photos of rooms with chocolate brown; I have included many, because just as when I'm eating chocolate, I couldn't stop!! Real Halloween eye candy sure to satisfy your decorating sweet tooth!! Happy Halloween!!

All above photos from Decorpad