Monday, September 27, 2010

Front Doors - A window to your style

Front doors often provide a peek into the personality of the homeowner. I love the bright color on this front door above.
On my recent trip to Baltimore, I loved snapping photos of some of the front doors on the row houses in some of the old neighborhoods. Although row houses are found in many cities, Baltimore has more than most. The blocks just go on and on with plain brick or stone block on the facade like this photo above and below.
Not too exciting? Many of these homeowners seem to like to use their front door to show off their personality and style. Color, extra mouldings, a few pots of flowers, some beautiful hardware......that's all that's needed to provide a little punch.

I love blue....this is charming!

Such a nice substantial welcome. The black is such a great contrast to the brick.

Interesting multicolor combination. Beautiful and unique!

Lovely stained wood doors in cast stone surrounds.

Two different color schemes on similar doors. Both very different and both have lots of personality.

I love this orange door with the stained glass in the windows.

Another blue with a cute window box!

Love the knocker!

I think behind this door a party awaits!

What kind of statement have you made with your front door?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Baltimore Gem

I was in Baltimore last week accepting a Homes for Life award from the NAHB Remodelers for a master bath remodel I designed for a wheelchair bound client. This was such a nice evening, in part because of the venue...Baltimore's Tremont Grand. What an architectural jewel! There was such exquisite craftsmanship and detailing, it was a real treat to enjoy that space. My husband snapped the photo above of me accepting the award in one of their fabulous rooms.

This building was constructed in 1866 as the Grand Lodge of the Maryland Masonic Temple, located in downtown Baltimore. It was restored after 1998 and reopened in 2005. It underwent an extensive renovation and now serves as premier site for social and business events.

The small but beautiful entry hall on the first floor.

The Corinthian Room where I attended the NAHB event. Beautiful marble and exquisite gold finishes with an incredible ceiling.

Ceiling of the Corinthian Room

The hallway upstairs, with large marble columns, beautifully painted ceilings, and period lighting.

This granite slab seems to smile at you from down the hallway!

Look at this incredible meeting room upstairs. Stained glass, marble columns, and the ceilings!

I didn't get into this room, but it is perfect for weddings, the Edinburgh Hall.

The Oriental Room

Lovely upstairs meeting room.

Ceiling detail......just incredible.

Carved and painted wood panels

Art and tapestries adorn the walls.

A hallway wall sconce.

What is more eye catching....the art or the adornment around the art?

The ladies' room! Gorgeous marble, chandeliers, and a grand ambience.

More beautiful Ladies' Room

The wall sconce illuminates the glass bead wallcovering. Very glamorous!

Definitely worth a look if you are in Baltimore and have even the slightest interest in architecture or interiors! The Tremont Grand is a real delight!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Art Glass

I love art glass. I have some beautiful pieces I've collected over the years and love to find new ones to add. Whenever I use them I remember where I purchased them or who gave them to me. I love how each piece is handmade by an artist, unique and a little bit imperfect.

I recently visited Wimberley Glass Works in Wimberley, TX where I saw these stunning pieces. I love the vivid colors in the sconces above.
Beautiful wall mounted pieces form a large art piece on this wall.

Delicate, graceful curves and swirls.

I love the pattern in the glass in this sconce. All the lighting they have in the showroom comes from Hubbardton Forge. I have one of their fixtures in my home. They are all hand forged and have a graceful but strong, clean look. A perfect, simple iron framework for the colorful, patterned glass.

Must have for my collection! Iced tea anyone?

Hubbarton Forge and Wimberley Glass Works.....a stunning combination. Below are a few of my pieces, collected primarily when I lived overseas. I have a penchant for cobalt.

This beautiful decanter is from Randsfjord Glassverk in Norway. Pewter crown on the cork....pewter is widely produced and used on tables in Norway.

I purchased this decanter with it's nesting liqueur glasses in Salzburg, Austria at a gem of a little glass shop in the old city center. I love how the glasses fit perfectly to the shape of the decanter.

My favorite sugar and creamer. The yellow is so cheery and bright. It just pops off the table.

My husband gave me this vase when we lived in Norway from the Hadeland Glass Factory. Again, my favorite cobalt. A few white tulips look divine in this vase. When we lived in Oslo, we drove up to this glass factory several times to shop at the seconds store and watch the glass blowing. My children each have a piece they were allowed to blow themselves.
I love the gorgeous colors and handcrafted beauty of art glass. It's so nice to have such a lovely place to shop for it in the hill country of Texas!
Wimberley Glass Works:
Hubbarton Forge:

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Container Gardens

I love gardening although I don't get time to do too much anymore. It's an extension of the home interior, the same rules of design apply just in a different medium. I love clustering and combining plants to create visual interest in the garden.

In a recent trip to the Texas hill country, my husband and I stopped off in Gruene, TX (pronounced "grin") for lunch. The Gristmill, a historic mill turned restaurant has a beautiful container garden that I love to see. They use old wooden barrels, all bunched together at the front of the restaurant to greet customers when they walk up. Notice the prickly pear amongst the zinnias above? Such a nice textural combination.
The garden in the front is in full sun and boasts zinnias, periwinkle, sweet potato vine, even some herbs thrown in there.

The old barrels are a perfect container for this historic Texas town sidewalk. What a gorgeous combination of color and texture.

I've tried to recreate this look in my back garden, but things don't thrive quite as well. I'm sure these pots are watered and tended much more than mine.

Rosemary grows well all over the hill country, usually a very dry climate in the summer.

The shady area by the bar in the back is not forgotten, with sweet potato vine and philodendren. Again, such a lovely combination of leaf sizes, colors, and the fluffy texture of the asparagus fern in the back.

More shade loving plants all crowded together living harmoniously in pots.

The Gristmill boasts a view of the river below, you feel like you're in a treehouse.

If you're ever in the hill country you should check out this landmark spot and see what they have growing in their containers!

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