Gardens in Austin

An anonymous reader who read about my blog A Modern Cottage in Austin reminded me of a garden boutique in Austin appropriately called Gardens. If you happen to visit this fabulous city, do not forget to stop by this little shop, it’s just a few miles from downtown.

It’s part home decor shop, part nursery & also an architecture & landscape firm. Look at these yummy pictures…

Some of their work…

A garden boutique oasis…I can’twait to visit again!

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Impatient Me!

Aside from wanting to lose some weight right this minute, I’m being quite impatient in wanting to get our new space feel like home right away (in a matter of a week!). Five days into shopping, I’ve finally accepted that it can’t be done. Not if I want it to truly be a reflection of our personal style & taste. Me of all people should know this. Accessories & unique finds are what makes a space exciting & full of life. Not only should they be conversation pieces but should also evoke thoughts, feelings & memories bringing you to the exact moment you found it. It’s like Kismet!
The inspirational duo of John Derian & Nate Berkus apartments are my current inspiration.

Nate Berkus’ apartment is full of vintage accents & accessories.

John Derian’s decoupages are known to be inspired by his flea market finds.

I have a few of those unique finds & I wish I can share the pictures with you but they’re in storage.

… A pair of architectural artwork made by a local artist in Quebec.
… Corals of different shapes & sizes given to me by my sister-in-law (soon to be)

… A pair of Thai Buddhas holding musical instruments (found at my fiance’s parent’s attic).
… A Malaysian textile matted & framed given to me by an Aunt.
… Antique Postcards (have several) found at the Paris Flea Market (my favorite is the Arc De Triomphe one).
… An old birdcage & a small pedestal table I lovingly painted in yellow.
… Nesting miniature chinese stools from a local flea market.

How about you? I’d love to hear all of the unique finds you have in your home.

So I thought I can one-stop shop but that wouldn’t be me. Delayed gratification, patience…i’ll try, I know it will be worth it.

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Exfoliate, Unclutter, Get Organized!

I can’t believe it! I’m actually off for a week! Yippee!

My first work-free Monday in a long time and I lined it up with some shopping at Sephora. I’ve been struggling with dull, lifeless skin and my skin care regimen probably needs an overhaul aside from high doses of unstressed (is there such a word?) minutes and hours. I did rack up a hefty bill (oh what the heck, my skin care products have been of over the counter kind in the past ten years). Oh & I had a wonderful facial at Milk + Honey & was advised to exfoliate at least twice a week. Yes, as old as I am now, my regimen is just washing & moisturizing. As we get older, dead skin cells do pile up more & less likely to slough off making our skin look uneven. Call me weird but during the facial, it made me think of how our home lives should be…clutter free, everything should be organized, everything in the right place.

My previous closets have been somewhat organized but I’ve always wanted the “real deal.” The kind where a closet designer actually draws the specs, you choose your material, color, etc. So, tomorrow, I’m off to The Container Store, Ikea (love their green plastic sliding doors) & More Space Place. In the meantime, I’m going to drool over these fabulous wardrobe closets.

Sorry, I have to post these pics of celebrity wardrobe closets. Mine’s more like Nicole Richie’s (in the home I just recently sold).

No, I don’t plan to have these many shoes.

Those floors! The chair! Love it!

Our new space is very small & a walk-in closet with salon chairs, my cast iron wardrobe form and wide-plank hardwood floors is unlikely but I know either More Space Place & The Container Store are going to whip up something very cool. Can’t wait!

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Hello ladies! I’ve been so stressed lately. My fiance told me the other day I looked older (haven’t seen each other in two weeks). He immediately took it back… I’m glad for him that he did! Anyway, when it rains, it pours.

First off, my car’s lock/unlock mechanism is not working. So I can only access the driver’s & front passengers side. Imagine my daughter & her friend actually attempting to get out of the car thru the window! I tried putting gas the other day & the gas door can’t be opened. Come to find out, they’re all connected! A mechanic showed me how to open it from the inside. It’s still not fixed as the diagnostics did not reveal any specific problem.

You do know about my move, I transferred most of my stuff to our clinic’s storage (which is on the second floor!). I forgot my gate key btw & had to call a friend since my home is almost 30 miles away. My 5’2” frame is absolutely exhausted, this body is not made for lifting! The clinic’s other location is opening next week & I haven’t even had the chance to organize it when we’re seeing so many patients at work & I find myself coming home late.

And then my site is down, domain & hosting problems! Haaah! To all who was trying to check it out…so sorry, especially the ones who just bought some items, I’ll send you the tracking numbers soon. So, I have pimples in my forehead, beautiful racoon eyes & I probably gained some lb’s considering I haven’t exercised in a week & constantly chomping on fast food and cheesecakes (and those waffle ice cream bowls!), in denial that swim season is coming soon!

Anyway,please help! Any stress-relieving ideas or words of wisdom?

Sorry for venting, I hope you’re having a remarkable week though….

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A Modern Cottage in Austin

I’m feeling quite nostalgic about leaving my Beaumont home. It’s a small cottage and although it’s no million-dollar home, I thought it did have an awesome personality. Now, I’m going from a cottage to a condo in Austin. It’s a big change, from not having a garage to seeing neighbors all the time during elevator rides, no yards to mow or topiaries to shape. But hey, it has an awesome 360 view,the Capitol, town lake and a few steps to the second street shopping district and rows of clubs on sixth. Me & my fiance plan to be here for a few years,and possibly step up to a modern cottage a few blocks away…. where he can have a yard to mow again. I saw tons of places at this blog but fell in love with this one in Hyde Park.

Can you see the hardwood floor ceilings?

It’s so cozy yet hip in this attic room.

It’s perfect to have cottage garden parties here!
Now, after a modern cottage, next up on my list, a Tuscan Villa with a lovely courtyard.
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The Viceroy & Maison 140

I came across Kelly Wearstler’s Modern Glamour design book while packing. Despite an overwhelming schedule, my mind went far, far away dreaming of a Spring getaway to either the Viceroy in Palm Springs or Maison 140 in Beverly Hills.

The two are both fabulous and although the they have different themes, the Viceroy being Hollywood Regency & Maison 140,the exquisite union of French & the Far East,I think they look a lot alike.

The Viceroy so retro-chic in citrus yellow, black stripes and crisp white whilst Maison 140 is glamorous as well in persimmon & Asian-inspired wall art.

Maison 140 looks so dreamy with chinoiserie & toile wallpaper. The Viceroy so starkly beautiful with bright yellow furniture & black walls.

The Viceroy pool and Maison 140 facade where white is the predominant color.

So will it be the Viceroy or Maison 140 for my Spring getaway? One can dream, right?

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Spring is Here!

I’ve been a busy bee. I just sold my home in Beaumont & selling all my furniture & other accessories, the closing is in April. Me & my fiancee are also busy clashing ideas on how to decorate the Austin condo & what furniture to buy. And of course, the headaches of packing. Aside from that, we’re getting the new physical therapy practice location together. I have to take a little breather from all this chaos and enjoy that Spring is here! These pictures reminds me to do just that.

Garden parties with hanging victorian frames from a chandelier.

A flowing, floral-inspired dress in cheery yellow from J.Crew.

Ah yes, my favorite sweets, french macaroons from Sucre in New Orleans. Satisfy your sweet tooth in any spring pastel color.

Decorating ideas from Tealights inside colorful eggshells & the famous chocolate bunny.

And don’t know why but Claus Porto soaps reminds me of Spring.

More decorating ideas from Williams-Sonoma, robin eggs & birdnests, pair with Rosanna’s plates and mugs in the same sophisticated color.
So, even though we’re having the last cold front here in Southeast Texas, I know Spring is here!
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Capiz or Mother of Pearl?

I’ve always been proud of what my native country, the Philippines, has to offer in the world of furniture design & decor. From rattan to mango wood, coconut products to bamboo and of course, capiz.

Capiz is also a province of the Philippines in the Visayas region. The capiz shell, or also known as mother of pearl is the outer shell of a marine mollusk found in the shallow coastal waters of the Philippines. Mother of pearl & capiz, yes, they’re one & the sae. Pearlescent, shimmery & translucent, I’m sure you’ve found them everywhere, from…

Gorgeous lamps

To fascinating tableware.

Inlaid mirrors and other accessories.

Even intricate walls.

Beautiful aren’t they? I know my accessory tree can’t get enough of them….mother of pearl earrings, necklace, bangles, the list goes on.

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Harry Bertoia: The Man, The Myth, The Legacy

If you don’t recognize the name “Harry Bertoia,” you most certainly would recognize his works. Among his list of talents – Sculpture, printmaking and contemporary furniture design to name a few. The Italian designer is probably most recognized for the furniture he designed for Knoll Associates, a relationship that formed back in the 1950s. While this relationship was not long lived, the success he saw from his collection allowed him to retire from furniture design and focus solely on his passion, sculpture. Quite an accomplishment if you ask me!

Born in Italy, Harry Bertoia moved to America in 1930, attending Cass Technical High School in Detroit. With the help of a scholarship, Bertoia continued his education at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. While there, Bertoia formed a relationship with Charles and Ray Eames, both of whom he would later work with in business.

While working with the Eames in their California-based studio, Bertoia began experimenting with molded plywood, a material that would later become commonly used throughout modern furniture design. Unfortunately, this working relationship was not meant to be – Working with the Eames was not all that Bertoia had hoped for. Reportedly feeling overshadowed by the Eames, Bertoia left the studio.

In the 1950s Bertoia joined another of his Cranbrook classmates, Florence Knoll in her Pennsylvania studio. It was here that Bertoia created his signature steel mesh series of furniture, including the ever popular Diamond chair.

The Bertoia Collection

Knoll’s signature Bertoia collection has become a symbol of modern furniture design and for good reason! Here are some of the most well known pieces and a little bit about each one.

Bertoia Diamond Lounge Chair: With its frame of welded steel, the Diamond Lounge Chair is available in a variety of finishes. Upholstered cushions and covers are also available in a variety of KnollTextiles and Spinneybeck Leather. Scratch, stain and chip resistant, the contoured, yet skeletal frame of this chair is truly something to behold! A child’s pint-size version is also available.

Bertoia Bird Lounge Chair: Another signature piece, also part of Bertoia’s 1952 seating collection for Knoll is sculpted from bent metal rods. Constructed out of welded steel rods, just like the Diamond Chair, the Bird Chair features a high back as well as a matching ottoman. A full, upholstered cover is available in a variety of KnollTextiles and the frame can be finished in black, white or polished chrome.

Bertoia Bench: Also part of Bertoia’s 1952 seating collection, the Bertoia Bench doesn’t share the same skeletal aesthetic as his other pieces in this collection. Constructed of solid wood slats, the bench’s frame is made of welded steel, just like the other pieces in the collection. The Bertoia Bench’s relatively simple design can be further enhanced with optional foam cushions, upholstered in a variety of KnollTextiles or Spinneybeck leather.

It’s amazing to think about the design legacy Bertoia created with this relatively small seating collection. While these designs make up only a fraction of all that he was able to accomplish throughout his illustrious career, his work with Knoll is by far his most well known work. It’s clear that Bertoia’s pieces will continue to symbolize modern furniture for decades to come.

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My Valentine Winter Market Event

I hope everybody had a fabulous time celebrating Valentine’s day over the weekend. I missed all the blogs about heart day. Mine was definitely eventful, I wish I could say, romantically…

I spent it in Vegas for an alma mater reunion. Had a blast catching up, eating heartily (and I always regret it), sniffed second hand smoke, played the tables attempting to look like a pro and what else? I went to the Las Vegas Market Winter Show. My very first time. The place is huge! Furniture & Decor Mecca!

I came in on a Thursday & knew that I won’t have enough time to scope everything so I did come in somewhat prepared just focusing on the vendors I’ve been dying to see. I did see some showrooms that were new to me, some were inspiring & some not. Here’s a photo collage of the trip. It’s a little dizzying as there’s so much to see!

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