Sunday, March 15, 2015

Suddenly It's Spring

And suddenly, it's Spring here in D.C./Arlington.  The front flowering trees have been trimmed back and I can see the Washington monument clearly from the front bay windows. The Potomac is beckoning and there is a kayak out there with my name on it waiting for a day out.
   Things I've enjoyed lately:

restaurant in Alexandria River Bend
River Bend Bistro

   The River Bend Bistro where I can always go and get a "snack" consisting of their cheese plate and a glass of champagne or wine.  They actually have decent champagne by the glass.  The cheese plate always comes with something delicious like a plum chutney (alas, they haven't had that for months) or a quince paste (yummy!).  The staff is attentive and in the background. I love this place!

7966 Fort Hunt Road | Alexandria, VA 22308

Close to home: Pasha's, my neighborhood "bistro" that is in a strip mall close to a 7-11, but the surrounding belie the delicious food that can be found there.  My favorite is the grilled salmon salad with mango chutney and I like it so much that it's hard for me not to order it every time I go there.  The limoncello cake and the tiramisu cake are desserts to die for!
  You can also take out.
3911 N. Lee Hwy, Arlington, VA 22207

   I'm looking forward to a winery visit soon.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Elegant Bedroom Decor and French Style

elegant bedroom decor
 I'm dissatisfied with my townhouse bedroom.  I cannot seem to get it right somehow.  I want an elegant look and am wondering if that is possible in such a small space.  Yet, in some of the elegant bedrooms I see here, the small rooms do not seem to matter - or through the magic of photography the so-called "small" bedrooms are really much larger than they look! 
   I'm very fond of the elegant bedroom, above, with its touches of peach and those wonderful mirror-fronted closets on either side (I have windows where those closets are). The color scheme is wonderful, but my bedroom ends about 4 feet from the end of the bed while the one above goes on long enough to have a settee and chair in it. The tray ceiling is also quite high, while the ceiling in my bedroom is not high and does not have a tray.
   Again, this bedroom looks small, but it goes quite a way up.  I love the bed crown: it's especially effective with those ceilings. But again, the room is much longer past the end of the bed.
elegant bedroom decor
 While it's certainly not a little bedroom, I love the one below and keep it for inspiration.  The color is fantastic, as are the canopy, curtains, and mirror.
elegant bedroom

elegant bedroom
 Although I like the deep cream of this bedroom, I just don't know if I can do without color.  But the white and cream here may be perfect for a tiny space.
french style bedroom

french style bedroom
 Above, another color scheme I love. 
  Below, a bedroom with windows on either side of the bed, just like mine.  I also have windows to the right - my bedroom has an eastern and northern exposure and is full of light almost every time of day.
master bedroom
 Other than having high ceilings, this bedroom is quite like mine - at least the part we can see.  I just can't go with a taupe, however.  I love the balloon shades on either side of the bed with full-length curtains on the larger windows.
elegant bedroom
 Below, this bedroom just looks so comfortable, I had to keep it for inspiration. Also, I love the double-layered dust ruffle.
elegant bedroom

elegant bedroom
 Above, another half-canopy treatment that I think is wonderful  the dust ruffle I have now looks very much like this one.
Below, an elegant bedroom although I am not fond of green.
elegant green bedroom
 Below, a wonderful headboard and a soft color scheme when combined with a chandelier always says either "French style" or elegance.
french style

Parisian bedroom
 Above, a bedroom in Paris.  This is French style.  Look at the vibrant color of those curtains!
Below, I like the monochrome look.
elegant bedroom
 Below, and here is my bedroom.  The color looks much brighter in these pictures than it actually is. You can see the lack of space here. There is no room for a desk or dresser and the bed is a queen. To the left are 2 doors, one to the walk-in closet, the other to the master bath.  
So now, what do I do?!
peach bedroom

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Where I Live: Virginia and D.C. from Food to Interiors

  Still thinking of the delicious meal I had last night in Alexandria, VA at the French restaurant, Bastille.   From appetizers to desserts, everything was luscious.  I had a Burrata cheese and melon appetizer that was light and tasty.  My nephew enjoyed the fois gras tremendously; my husband almost licked the bowl of his Caesar salad, and the next time I go there, I will definitely get the delectable shrimp and corn beignets my nephew Grey had.  The bottle of Malbek was excellent as well. All in all, a very good experience and one we want to repeat!

I have found a designer I like quite a bit who I was previously unfamiliar with.  His name is Skip Sroka and he is located on Wisconsin St. in Washington, D.C.
living room decor
 Skip Sroka's rooms are wonderful comfortable looking and luxurious without being at all stodgy. The muted room above has a great furniture arrangement and I love the sconces over the fireplace.
living room decor
 Above, I adore this room!  I could stay here for hours reading and drinking tea, and yes, even working.  Look how wonderfully comfortable the seating is.  Check the lighting in the built-in alcove bookshelf.
living room decor
 Above, a room where the focus is on books, art, and comfort.  Notice that you'd never have to search for a place to put down a drink or one that had proper lighting for a good book.  I am generally not a fan of the gold color used here, but the room is so perfect that I would love it!  This is the way intelligent people should live.
 Books in the bathroom? I'm all for it!  And behind the picture that you see on the bookcase is a small hidden television.  The sconces on the mirror are perfect and so much better than overhead lighting.  The towel is in easy reach and there's a chair that will come in handy for your clothes or dressing.
The small powder room, above, has a vanity with a vessel sink that manages to look traditional and contemporary all at once! Again, the sconces are great!
   Best of all, Skip Sroka is not afraid of color! 

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Blue Rooms: Classic Beauty No Matter What Style

blue living room
 Ah, the many shades and hues of blue.  They are all beautiful, and blue rooms are true classics. If you have white walls or grey walls and you are looking for a change, consider the humble color blue. It is instantly calming, can be vibrant or soft and subtle, and suits all furniture and design styles whether lush Old World or spare minimalism modern.
 Not sure what to use with it? Try doing a monochromatic blue and let natural accessories to the room such as books add extra color.  Look at the wonderful library below! Do you really need more colors? And molding painted blue is gorgeous!
blue library
 Use blue with crisp white or with cream, 2 classic combinations.
 The hall below is perfect.
blue hall
 Artwork is beautiful on a blue background.   Below, the blue and gold combination is an oft-used scheme in traditional homes.
blue living room

blue decor
 Above, crisp white with a darker blue, very clean and classic.
 Below, a robin's egg shade of blue is appetizing for a dining room.
rooblue room
    Bathrooms in blue and white look clean and fresh.
blue bathroom
   Calming blue is perfect for the bedroom.
blue bedroom decor

decorating with blue and white
Notice the ginger jar below, an easy way to add blue and white to any room.
decorating with blue and white
I love the bedroom, below, with the ceiling painting blue and stenciled.
decorating with blue and white
Classic toile belongs in the bedroom, and is especially good for guest bedrooms.
blue toile bedroom

A blue and cream/white kitchen is pleasant to work in: not overly bright, not too dark. 
blue kitchen

blue kitchen
Love the kitchen below; perfect if your kitchen has plenty of light.
blue kitchen

Monday, May 26, 2014

The Best Rooms Have Art!

I have several home decorating blogs that I read regularly so that I can keep up with decorating trends, (and also so that I can criticize those that I don't like!). I've noticed a distressing trend lately.  People don't seem to be hanging art on their walls.  
Now I know that many young people just starting out in life think that they cannot afford art, and sometimes they really can't.  But I've even noticed that people who are established in their jobs and their lives seem to have rooms that are distinctly lacking in art, especially paintings.  Look at the room below.  I love it! The room that is.  And the furniture.  The chandelier, the curtains, the mirror over the fireplace and the rug. 
But just imagine how much more beautiful this room would be with a painting next to the fireplace (over the bench) or a print or two on the wall to the left. For those going for the no color look, art still has a place in this room. Wonderful drawings, black and white prints, subtle paintings would all work here.
french style decor
.The same goes with the dining room below.  Now, I do hate the chairs and love the mirror, but this dining room is screaming for art on its walls.

french style decor
Look at this wonderful room below.  It has color, which I applaud, but this wouldn't be the same room without that wonderful painting over the fireplace.
decorating with art
Below, a very subtly colored room, but it would look like an empty rental without those wonderful paintings on the wall.
decorating with art\
There is no excuse for not having art.  Here the watercolors are hung on the shelves, very English country.
decorating with paintings
A fantastic wall of art. If that wall were blank, all the personality would be sucked from the room.
gallery wall
In a Parisian room, art runs up the walls and even over the doorways.
gallery wall
I love having gallery walls over sofas.  It's also a perfect focal point when a room does not have a view or a fireplace.
gallery wall
Below, just one painting would make a beautiful difference in this dining room. 
french style decor
Corners can be used for art, too.  The space does not have to be huge.
gallery wall
The three framed drawings below are quite fitting in this formal room.
decorating with paintings
The all-grey room below needs a painting between the windows.
french style door
Another gallery wall of great interest.
gallery wall
This formal room has formal portraits to match.
decorating with paintings
I really don't understand the lack of art when there are so many artists out there dying to sell their wares.  You can even find original paintings in thrift stores. Watercolors and drawings are usually much less expensive than oil or acrylic paintings and can look just as good on the wall.  Even museum posters framed would be good for those who have a limited income.
But please, hang some pictures!!!!