Why I Forgive Restoration Hardware…

Over the 4th we packed the car full of swim toys, new luggage (I retired my well-worn set after it survived the injustices of being relegated to cargo on too many occasions to count), and picnic baskets. Regarding the luggage- I just transfer the contents of one un-packed suitcase into my new leather Bric’s set (a gift), add a few more clean pieces and Voila! If I were a lifestyle or fashion blogger you can bet I would go into great detail along with info-graphics showing you the “how-to’s” of my unique packing system.  By summer’s end, all I’ll have to do is store away the suitcase, no unpacking required.

The Fashionista and I are in the midst of a whirlwind of non-stop travel, most is personal travel with a touch of business mixed in (when I can). Back from Charlotte off to NY on Friday. Even through the hectic pace of the summer, I have actually managed to get work done, if you’re a Mom you know what I mean. Yes, I have used the little snippets of free time to hide myself in the closet (thank goodness the internet reaches the clothing catacombs of our house), the mosquito infested garden (dousing myself with every Citronella product known to mankind), and in the garage sitting on a large bucket of paint. The list goes on and on. So this weekend, with the help of my sister I was able to grab several hours of pure uninterrupted “me” time. I headed off to a mini-shopping mecca in the”tony” South Park area of Charlotte. While sitting inside the culinary paradise of Dean & DeLuca, sipping tea and sampling sugary delectable’s non-stop (another form of working out “hand-mouth, hand-mouth”),  I decided to take a leisurely walk, of which I was under a strict moratorium of window shopping only (imposed by the hubby). Hmm…there is Restoration Hardware. I peeked in. Then I took one step, and another until both feet were firmly planted on the other-side of the door threshold. It’s been years since I actually have done more than look through a window. Why? Because they changed quite a few years ago, and I was never sure how I felt about the new “RH Look.” I’m not a fan of change, and it was such a dramatic departure from their signature look of 5 or 6 years ago (or more) that I moved on. As a design blogger, I feel responsible to bring inspirational interiors, product, and even stores you can’t live without to the masses.

So from time to time, there were little nudges in the form of catalogs, well photographed and curated. Still, no. Then “the stack” came in the mail. If you are in the design field or a preferred customer, you’ll know precisely what I mean. It was heavy, I mean it was “flair up the old hernia heavy.” A stack of admittedly design heaven, that left  you wondering if you should bring it from the mail box into the house using a hand-truck. Don’t get me wrong, I understood the thought process. One large mailing would save money, and trees and cut back on trips to the mailbox. I’m sure they gave it a lot of thought, and since I don’t run a mail room the size of North America, who am I to judge? There were social media dissertations on the size of the mailing, and then there was the “calm” after the “storm.” On Saturday, I forgave them, because after I walked into the store and actually looked around I was impressed. Very impressed. I would even go out on a limb, and apologize for literally judging this book by it’s cover. They have won me back. The store in Charlotte was the equivalent of walking through a show-house, a very livable one. I mean that in the nicest way possible. It was “lord of the manor” perfect.  If I take out my camera on a day when I have a few hours of quiet, then you know I have been duly impressed. Which is my point, the few hours I had of peace and quiet were spent taking pictures and asking questions. The staff were very accommodating and nice, a huge shout there. Taken with my trusty i-Phone, I wanted to share the excitement, and hopefully give you some inspiration, because this company has certainly set the bar. So hopefully Restoration Hardware you forgive me for ever doubting you. You have won me over in a really big way.

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Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Endless possibilities as far as the eye can see…

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

I love map gallery walls, and honestly no one does it better. The heavy pewter-ware creates the perfect table-setting atop the trestle table. Simple is better, and less is more.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Large pillars, upholstered benches, floating shelving and a quadrefoil mirror and you have the perfect entryway.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

A closer look at the fabulous tables-cape. Cooked goose anyone?

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

I took this photo to highlight the gorgeous chandelier. This piece is large and “in charge” whether over a table or hanging over a bed. What doesn’t look better under glass?

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Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

 I love groupings on tabletops, and of course stacking books gives a collection more importance wouldn’t you agree?

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Which gives me an idea, even though this showcases various tablesettings, why not put silverware in urns on the table? This would allow your guests to help themselves from a unique display.

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 Photo/ Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

Artful living…

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Photo/Vicki Bolick-theaceofspaceblog.com

This photo is actually from my archives, and I took it when I was in NYC in the Flatiron District, and happened by Restoration Hardware. I loved them all, and thankfully I didn’t have to chose one (how hard would that be?).

Who isn’t inspired by the vignettes in this lifestyle store? Frankly, I was glad that I took a moment to look around, and next year when I get the delivery catalogs full of visual luxe, I’ll definitely be hoarding the stack..

P.S. We will hopefully be posting another “Tastemaker” this Friday, many of our designers are photographing new work and want it to be included. But, we have the line up in place. Good things will come to those who wait.

A Master-bath Update: My Kohler product is beginning to arrive, and soon I’ll be taking you on a renovation journey of our Masterbath, complete with a vanity I designed with Kohler. I can’t wait to show you all the fabulous product from their luxury line that they provided us for our renovation. Thanks also to the team over at Sharp Communications in NYC, specifically Josh Schoenfelder, and Kate Harrington! Over the next two months Casa B. will be under construction, all I have left is make a decision about the tile. So MANY choices…

As always.

Be Inspired. Be Amazed.

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Interior Treats :: Me, Oh, Mama

After a week in Greenville, S.C. as part of my US of A tour, I decided to luxuriate in a bath full of bubbles bubbly or both…with my I-Pad charged and several hours of quiet, it was the perfect time to catch up. As a visual warrior in search of all things beautiful, I decided to start on Instagram. If you follow Instagram then you know the first images you are hit with are recommendations based on “People You Follow.” Uh-oh. Of course, I may have posted a few, and if I share one more sunset I think my followers are going to think I’m a nature photographer and not a Design Blogger. I watch the sky so much for the perfect moment that I tripped twice last week, once spilling out everything in my purse (it’s actually a large tote) to the stares of everyone passing by, yes I felt that people were being a little “judgy.” Why wouldn’t I have 2 cameras, 20 tubes of lipstick (A girl has to have choices right?) an extra pair of Kate Spade flats, numerous notebooks, pens from just about every hotel I’ve ever stayed at, a DVD player (don’t ask), the Frozen CD, a deck of Old Maid (I have an eight year old), a crossword puzzle book, and the latest copy of W Magazine & Veranda (for a coffee break if  I ever have time to take one), a hospital sized first-aid kit (perfect for small operations), and 7 pairs of sunglasses…and the list goes on. Don’t get me wrong I did have several men stop and help, one of whom mentioned that he hoped my husband “Cut up the credit card.” Why would Mr. B. do that? He wants to stay married right? I was going to post the sidewalk spillage on Instagram, but frankly the sunset might be a little more interesting, but certainly not as amusing.

So off I went to explore, and see what some of my favorite IG’ers had to offer. Then I stumbled onto O&D Interiors, a recommendation from Instagram. Hat tip to the genius’s over there. It was a feast for my eyes, because this dynamic duo can design. My mission is to share the latest and greatest with my followers. So share I will, in fact I have a feeling that some people will thank me. Alot. I really don’t know much about Nicole Davis & Becki Owens (yet), but their work certainly speaks for itself. They also have a blog meohmymama.blogspot.com. They were kind enough to give me permission this morning to share the photos off IG. P.S. Jeanne Chung (Cozy. Stylish. Chic) you wondered why I was up until 3AM…well this is why. I think you’ll agree that it was so worth it. On a side note: I do want to mention that we have our next “Tastemaker” in the pipeline, Jane Goetz, this talented “Tastemaker” hails from Atlanta, and had a project being photographed that she wanted to include. I have little doubt that it’s going to be worth the wait…after that several of my favorites from Greenville, S.C.

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Photo/ Ashlee Raubach-Designers/ O & D Interiors

These stunning doors give a little hint of the graphic drama to follow in the dining room…

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Photo/ Ashlee Raubach- Designers/ O & D Interiors

The marbled fabric on the drapes and shade are simply stunning…

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 Designers/ O & D Interiors

The vaulted ceiling & the soothing colour palette give impact to this stylish space…

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 Photo/ Ashlee Raubach- Designers/ O & D Interiors

 This bathroom is proof that white is still hot…

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 Designers/ O & D Interiors

 Encased in Carrera …

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 Designers/ O & D Interiors

I love the graphic play of the wallpaper with the veining on the counter-top.

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Designers/ O & D Interiors

The design on the wrought iron staircase adds architectural detail…

As always don’t forget to follow us on Instagram, Pinterest & Facebook for more design inspiration. P.S. I did want to clarify something from my last post. Although, I will be Design Blogger first and foremost, I will still have my hand in the design pie, we are the in process of setting up a unique service that offers remote design only. We will no longer be working with clients in person. Also, we are setting up a store that will offer art pieces to complete gallery walls from some of my favorite artists…More information about all that later. I hope you enjoyed this Interior Treat™.

Until next time,

Be Inspired. Be Amazing.

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What Has Me “Singing In the Shower”? DXV

Now that I am back from an island, (it’s true) I can revisit the amazing moments of my recent trip to the “Big Apple” for #BlogTour NYC. I’m looking forward to actually publishing a post without traveling up and down a beach with my phone in one hand and my computer in another looking for three “bars”. For those of you who may think otherwise,  I mean’t “bars” on my phone (the other bars I didn’t have to look for).  If you didn’t know, your i-Phone can be a personal “Hotspot” and as soon as I found reception I was able to hit “send.” Just a little “techno tip” from someone who would climb a roof (and I have) to send out e-mails or blog posts…

I miss New York, and if I could re-do #BlogTour NYC I wouldn’t change a thing, (Veronika, maybe one little thing) that we could add a few more days to the trip, because I wasn’t ready for it to end. It was four non-stop days of learning, looking and listening, and I’m still on Day 2 in recaps. For those of you who are just joining the party, BlogTour is an exclusive group of bloggers chosen by Veronika Miller, CEO & Founder of Modenus (www.modenus.com) to visit locations around the world and write about our experiences, it’s entirely sponsored by brands. Our amazing sponsors were DXV by American Standard, Miele, Rutt Cabinetry, Blanco, Prizer Hoods & WestEdge Design Fair. We also spent time with Tess Casey of Aisling Flowers, Michele Varian, Architectural Digest Show, DIFFA, Bunny Williams, McGuire & Neal Beckstedt.

After a morning with the magnificent Tess Casey, lunch with DXV at Eataly, we were whisked away in our private cars (yes, the only thing we lacked was the security detail) to the DXV Showroom in the Flatiron district, and immersed in four of the most influential design periods of the past 150 years (all in one mind-blowing afternoon). So are you ready for the answer to the burning question, “What has me singing in the shower?” It’s DXV by American Standard. Influenced by four major “Movements” in the companies fifteen year history-Classic, Golden, Modern & Contemporary each “Movement” contains one or two bathroom fixture suites including tubs, toilets, sinks & lavatories. Think furniture for the bath, combining both form & function. The details are breathtaking, the features unique to a company that has truly set the “standard” in the world of kitchen and bath. American Standard caters to everyone, even the most discriminating consumer. If you like a sink from the Classic Movement, a tub from the Golden Era, and a commode from the Modern Era, then mix it up, this harks back to my own personal philosophy which is “design should appear to evolve over time.” The brand has created product that will allow you to do just that. As stated by Margaret  Monteleone, Director of Luxury Product Marketing- “The product can be combined to create excitingly personal spaces in which timeless designs from disparate eras fall into an aesthetically stimulating dialogue” I invite you to visit  the DXV (www.dxv.com) website, and see what all the buzz is about…you won’t be disappointed.

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So while we tested out tubs (Typhanie), tried out faucets, and watched in awe as Debbie Drury, Director of Brand Communications showed us the features on the AT200 Smart Toilet, complete with hands-free flushing, automated lid opening & closing, seat heating and a nightlight (I believe I can speak for wives everywhere, a happy hubby could mean more time at the mall). I’m guessing it’s going to be a Christmas gift for Mr. B. (shh…..). So here are some moments and memories from the DXV Showroom, and a few P/R  photos to give you a glimpse into the unparalleled luxury of this exclusive brand.

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 A lunch to remember…and a feast of cured meats and magnifico formaggio at Birreria located on the top floor of Eataly where we enjoyed  an “open air” concept in dining under glass panels…

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From the Contemporary Movement.  Photo Courtesy of American Standard.

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 Photo Courtesy of American Standard/ The Roycroft Suite from The Modern Movement.

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From the The Golden Era. Photo courtesy of American Standard.

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I love the seamless tailoring of the toilets.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

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Yes, these are some fixtures I would love to see in my home.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

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The St. George Freestanding Tub from the Classic Movement.  Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

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 A room with quite a view. Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

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 Freestanding Soaking Tub from the Lyndon Collection. Photo/Vicki Bolick-The Ace of Space Blog

As A Design Blogger I am exposed to a large number of brands & manufacturers, it’s always been my goal to bring the most innovative and unique products to my readers. DXV by American Standard is “all that” and more. It was an honour to spend an afternoon with DXV in New York City, and be introduced to a “brand offering”  where luxury and unique design all intersect in a collection of unparalleled quality.

I’ll be bringing more of the “Best of the Best” of BlogTour NYC next week…but check back on Friday where I’ll be exploring the world of Novica (a National Geographic subsidiary). Also, next week I’ll be doing a doing a guest post for Alison Victoria of HGTV’s Kitchen Crashers, (it was a promise I made over dinner & drinks) as soon as it’s up I’ll give you a link to her website. She is truly adorable by the way!

Until then…

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