Wednesday, April 27, 2011

We Had A Nice Time, Okay More Than Nice

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I've never been an awning type of girl, but after seeing these, I definitely am.

I'm finally back from gorgeous Nice and have tons to share with you. Shame on me though for taking so long, but we had a few technical difficulties when we got back (I was dying to show you all photos!) and then just getting back on track with work and the time zone (we're falling asleep at 9:30/10pm every night) was keeping me away from writing. But, I'm back and just want to gush about our trip in France.

First of all, the whole time we were preparing for Nice, even up to the drive to JFK (yes, we drove ALL the way there so we could get a non-stop flight. not sure if we'll do that again...), I couldn't believe that we were actually going. The best way to explain myself here is that France is what you would call my "white unicorn". The mystical, never-going-to-travel-to kind of place since it just seems too amazing to actually go to. So, you can imagine my amazement when we landed in Nice and could see this gorgeous deep aqua coastline with mountain ranges behind it. Seeing that coastline, the kind you see in postcards and travel magazines, really made me realize that we were finally in Nice and that it's not the "white unicorn" anymore.

I won't write paragraph upon paragraph detailing our stay there since the photos and captions below will explain everything, but I will say this. Nice is absolutely, hands down one of the most amazing places I will ever go to. I just know it. The culture is relaxed in all things, yet there is a sense of natural chicness that you can't really pinpoint, but know it's there. The people here don't try to be stylish, they just are. And, well everything is just fantastically beautiful. Even narrow, cobble stone alley ways have some sort of charm over you when you're there.


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Snapped a shot of the seafront on our way to the port.


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Can you tell we're REALLY happy here?


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The food market was an absolute dream. How yummy does everything look?


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Our host was taking us around Old Town Nice and we happened upon this flea market.
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You can't see my face, but I am beyond beaming. This was like heaven to me.

A little back-story for the photos below. The following Monday after we arrived, we took an overnight trip to Villeneuve lez Avignon while Andrew and Trish went to Paris. We rented a convertible and drove out to the hotel. Along the way, we discovered that the rest stops have some amazing food. I kid you not, the sandwiches were of gourmet caliber and so were the pastries (chocolate eclair to be exact and it was in fact the best chocolate eclair I've ever had).

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Stayed at Hôtel de l'Atelier, one of the best affordable romantic hotels in the world according to Travel + Leisure.
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Lovely rooms that had simple furnishings. All you need when you're trying to have a romantic getaway.


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The view out of those two windows were of a roof top terrace and intoxicating garden below.
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Had to sit and relax out on the roof terrace. The top far right windows open are of our room.


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Steve was reading our travel books to find a flea market for me to go to the next day.
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The owner of the hotel brought up a bottle of rosé and a few munchies for us.


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After we checked into the hotel, we decided to check out the town and happened upon Chartreuse du Val de Bénédiction. Had to take a snapshot of this stunning courtyard.


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The next day we drove to Aix-en-Provence to a flea market that Steve discovered. I'm beyond happy here.
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I literally wanted everything, but Steve had to remind me of the shipping issues/charges that would arise if I did do that.


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Tunisian beach towels that came in every color you would want. We bought some to give as gifts, but Steve is refusing to let any of them go.


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You want soap, you got it. This is a soap lovers paradise. All colors and scents imaginable.


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Doing a little shopping at Caprice, a vintage shop that I did NOT want to leave. Instead of this dress, I decided to go with a polka dotted skirt instead.
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Thank goodness Steve was there to capture the shop. I was clearly too busy shopping to bother with taking any pictures of the store.


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On our way to the Matisse Museum, we see this gorgeous hotel (Regina Hotel). Later do we find out that Matisse had an apartment at this hotel.


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Matisse is one of my favorite artists, so I was excited to be at a museum dedicated to him and to see his works in person.


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This is the view away from the Matisse Museum - a park open to the public, complete with a carousel and cafe.


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We stumbled upon the Jardins de Cimiez, an absolute idyllic garden, while leaving the Matisse Museum area.


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During one of our day jaunts, we went to an ancient hilltop village called Eze, and found this ornately decorated church.


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I couldn't help myself, I had to take a gazillion photos of the inside of this church. The way the light was hitting the chandeliers was awe-inspiring.

{All photos taken by the Johnstons}

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bon Voyage! We're Off to Nice!

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As I write this post, I am in the midst of doing some major laundry and squeezing in some American Idol time, but by the time you read this, I'll probably be in the air en route to Nice! I have been so busy preparing for this trip that I haven't had a moment to write more posts this week, but I know that we'll have internet access at the apartment so I'll definitely try to write a post out there if I can.

Hope you all have a great rest of your week and weekend! Bon Voyage!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Interpretations of a Modern Farmhouse Kitchen

Coastal Living Annie Schlecter Kitchen
Coastal Living via My Home Ideas

When I think of the farmhouse element of a kitchen, I think of easy living. And what better way to live than with open shelves?

Before I get into today's post, I just want to say THANK YOU to all of my loving friends and family members who gave me the best birthday celebration this past weekend. Even though my birthday was on Tuesday (totally forgot to mention it to you all last week!), I was somewhat selfish (can you blame me?) in spreading out my birthday festivities from Tuesday all the way through Sunday evening. It was a fabulous weekend full of fun dinners, champagne, and watching reality tv in our pj's (just the girls on Sunday).

My lovely friend, Alicia, had requested that I write a post on modern farmhouse kitchens. The reason being that her close friend, Stephanie, might win a new kitchen makeover and would love to redo it in the style of a modern farmhouse. I, of course, said yes since kitchens are my favorite room of a house. And any excuse to look at photos of gorgeous kitchens is fine by me.

Now, with any aesthetic, the interpretation of a single space is in the eye of the beholder so with 'modern farmhouse kitchen' in mind, these images (to me) have some element of a modern farmhouse kitchen. Check them out below and Alicia, I hope these help Steph out!

Coastal Living Lynn Morgan Kitchen
Coastal Living via My Home Ideas

Modern appliances mixed with those pendant lights in a white kitchen make for a perfect modern farmhouse kitchen. Although, this could totally go in the coastal direction as well.


farmhouse_kitchen myhomeideas Thomas Storey
My Home Ideas

School-house style pendant lights and a refrigerator with a chalkboard facade are a nod to the old-fashioned farmhouse style.


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House Beautiful

The warmth of the wood table & chairs balances the clean lines & industrial looking light fixtures in this somewhat stark kitchen.


Southern Accents Emily Minton Redfield Kitchen
Southern Accents via My Home Ideas

When I see this kitchen, I think of an English Countryside Manor with a circular gravel driveway and beautifully trimmed hedges.


Southern Accents Kitchen
Southern Accents via My Home Ideas


House & Home Modern Kitchen
House & Home

At first glance, this kitchen seems ALL modern but when you look at the pendant lights and the subway tiles, there's a sense of nostalgia and hominess even with the sleek lines and cool tones.


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House Beautiful

I saved what I consider to be the best interpretation of a modern farmhouse kitchen for last. How gorgeous is this kitchen? And is that a La Cornue stove in the back?


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House Beautiful

{Same kitchen as above, just a different view.} A pot rack, farm sink, wide-planked wood floors, and a display wall of kitchen memorabilia. Can't get much more modern farmhouse kitchen than this!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What I've Been Up To Lately...

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Waverly "Solar Flair"

Isn't the above fabric absolutely gorgeous? I picked it up yesterday at Joann Fabrics for only $10 a yard! I couldn't believe it when the woman rang me up. I was expecting to pay $20 a yard and it was on sale for half off. She said that the sale would be going on until tomorrow so I should come back to get more of the designer fabrics. Go check out your nearest Joann Fabrics! I saw a bunch of other fabrics that I was coo'ing over but just had to leave since I'm trying to watch how much I spend (foreign concept to me but I have to try, right?).

You're probably wondering what I'm going to do with the above fabric. I came across this awesome blog yesterday, Effortless Style, which had a GREAT DIY project - a DIY rug! This was a major find since I've been wanting a rug for my office, but haven't really found anything (in my price range) that I really like. So, the moment I read the post I decided that I would try my hand at it asap, which is why I headed over to Joann Fabrics. I haven't started it just yet since I need a sewing machine (which I don't have, hint hint mom or tran mom). I'll do a post on the creation of the rug as soon as I can.

Now, pictured below is a fab Craigslist find that I acquired over the holidays: a gorgeous black & gold Hollywood Regency style dresser (only $70!!). I purchased it with the intent to transform one of my parents' bedrooms into a glamorous guest room. I say 'intent', because I haven't had time to work on it yet. But now that I do have some time, I am on a mission to glamorize the unglamorous bedroom. I just had to share this chic and unique dresser with you. I'll make sure to keep you posted on how the guest room is going. It'll be one of my larger projects so I am super excited. Stay tuned for more on it!

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Friday, April 1, 2011

A Summer House Tour in Spring


I love it when I discover a new designer to get inspiration from. The most recent discovery is Summer Thornton, a Chicago-based designer who's own home makes me want to use wallpaper the same way she did. I found her through Apartment Therapy, where her home was featured in 2008 and with good reason. Her mix-and-match of vintage & new, modern & traditional, are exactly what I strive for in my own decorating. She does it beautifully and seamlessly in a charming 1890s building.

As you look at all of the photos below, you'll notice how well-edited her home is. Everything has it's place, but it doesn't look like she tried so hard to make it look perfect. It looks like this is exactly how she lives - practical but not serious, grown up in a fun, fresh way.




I'm obsessed with piped cushions - so crisp and chic!




Love how she played up the architectural features of the room by placing wallpaper inside the molding - brilliant!




I would seriously get some joy out of dressing myself if I had this wallpaper and yellow fabric in my closet.






What a fabulous way to use vintage trunks and suitcases.



{Photo Credit: Apartment Therapy}

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All photos are owned by Proper Hunt LLC unless stated otherwise. Please email me and cite Proper Hunt if you'd like to use any of the photos taken by me. Thank you!