Musee des Montreal

It was ahh-heaven for me when I visited the Musee des Beaux Arts in Montreal, Canada. They have a permanent collection of furniture & decorative items from Renaissance to today ranging from Eames to Rietveld.

These teapots truly deserve to be in a museum, they are made by Michael Graves. The masses came to know him as the first designer who introduced a line of revolutionary household products at the big box retailer, Target.

A few other items caught my eye, like this emerald green giant fan & these oh-so-cute capsule lamps.

High design meets high fashion as “LOVE” is showing, a Yves Saint-Laurent Maison de Haute Couture collection. I was able to take a pic of this gown before a museum guard caught me. Oopps!

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Store Inspirations-Part II

I’ve been to New Orleans several times but last November was my first time to see the Garden district in a different light. If you happen to go, don’t just stay in the French Quarter; the Garden district is a fabulous stroll for oh-so-charming shops, good eats & beautiful houses & mansions. I loved the store Perch.

It’s also in New Orleans that I found $8000 vintage chandeliers. It came all the way from Paris & made of salvaged parts.

Abroad, I fell in love with this window display in Paris.

The lighting was very good & the tufted walls are just lovely. This window is just better to see in person!

So, sorry, I didn’t take a lot of pics at that time of shops. I think I was scared of being kicked out by boutique owners.

In the Philippines, my home, I visited wholesale companies like this one. I seriously loved these venetian ispired mirrors & frames, but to tuck them in with my luggage would have been a total disaster and this hammock/sofa is just way too big.

In Austin, my would-be-home, these are my favorites.

Mercury Design Studio, this shop is very chic.

Finch is one of the new kids on the block in the second street district.
At The Domain, I loved Rachel Ashwell’s Store. All white & shabby chic.
My recent finds, Zone Maison in Quebec City and Beige in Montreal.

Zone Maison

Haah, so many shops, so little time. More window-shopping opportunities to come!


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Store Inspirations-Part I

Ever since I started conjuring the idea that I’ll open a shop, I started visiting fabulous cities & checking out their wonderful home décor shops. It gives me a visual of what I want my shop to be when it grows up (or in my case, when it’s born). These places are awesome! Of course I have my own vision, but they sure give me a lot of inspiration.

Jayson Home & Garden in Chicago is already very popular and for very good reasons, of course.

I wasn’t able to take a picture of this shop, Zella Brown (which happens to be one of Home Décor Buyer’s retail stars of 2007). What a feat, I’m so jealous! But so well deserved. Here’s a piece at the store, a media cabinet from Shine.

Honorable mentions are Porte Rouge (all Parisian items) and Willow, a shop specializing in tabletop items & small accents.

In Seattle, I saw Maison Luxe for the first time. This place is really glam.



I also saw the most beautiful decoupage pieces & learned about the John Derian Company at Sirenza. Sirenza is not a home décor store but a fragrance & bath shop. I only took a picture of their sign, which I thought looks vintage & cool.
More to come: New Orleans, Paris, Philippines and more.

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Walls Galore!

All rooms start with a blank canvas, your walls. It’s up to you if you want to make it drab or fab. Sometimes choosing between satin or eggshell finish is not enough. Nowadays, you can let your walls talk with wall words…

from The Surface Store.

Or show your visitors who the real queen of the house is with this crown wall sticker from Danielson’s Designs.

Make it look romantic & candelit with the new Ralph Lauren regent metallic paints,

Or match your favorite denim with their indigo finish.

You can even feed monkeys (or whatever animal you love) and smell the flowers with these whimsical wall decals.

Or just show off your unique personality with glamour chic wall paper & wall decals for grown ups. Here are my favorites:

See more haute wall paper at and

Imagine the icon of glam right there in you walls, Audrey found at The Surface Store.

Or these iron vines and chandelier wall decals from Blik.

Whatever you choose, the options are endless. Let your walls express yourself!
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I recently just came back from a well-deserved R & R to Punta Cana. Punta Cana is a region in the easternmost tip of the Dominican Republic & one of the fastest growing Carribean destination.I am a novice traveler as far as Caribbean destinations and my very first time to an all-inclusive resort. Endless buffets, sun, sand and beach. This is what the phrase “rest and recreation” was coined for. I never thought my multitasking, must-be-productive-all-the-time self would love it but with fabulous company and awesome surroundings, who wouldn’t? I also started taking notice to the Caribbean style of home decorating. Caribbean style is all about bright, bold colors .

Imagine wild magenta, highlighter yellows, orange and lime green.

Like this yellow-lime & flower inspired capri chair.

or these mulitcolored capiz platters.

It’s also about tropical accessories, like the shells floor lamps featured above.

Or these mango wood filled candles from West Elm.

It’s also about natural fibers and this rattan hanging cove chair certainly evokes a Carribean feel.
For a suburban cottage or city loft, going all Caribbean style just won’t look right but with a few punches of this amazing style, it may just be the way to bring the feel of a vacation to your home.

Of course, you can always go all out in your back patio with…

This rich yellow cabana or…

this cocoon hammock.
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Runway to Home

Most celebrity crossovers are big flops. Case in point, Mariah Carey almost got lost in oblivion after doing the movie “Glitter.” It would be years before she got emancipated as Mimi and revived what she truly are, a singer. Yet fashion designers crossing over to the home accent world is always a success.Calvin Klein did it with sleek and contemporary bedding, tabletop items and accents almost reminiscent of the underwear he became so famous for.

The American Summer, Cape Lodge and Mayfair collection all evoke of what an American Classic is. That is what Ralph Lauren is all about.

And the newest addition which I am most excited about, Vera Wang just came out with her own home collection.
So ethereal! I love her flower adorned accent throw pillows as much as I love her beautiful bridal gowns.

I can’t wait until other fashion designers do it too. I mean, take the leap from runway fashion to home fashion.

Diane Von Furstenberg’s classic wrap dress
reminds me of this caned-inspired stool.

Betsey Johnson has been dubbed the queen of punk fashion, but at her home she likes pink and chintz.

She would probably love this cherry dresser.

If Monique Lhuiller’s black gowns would be recreated into a candleholder.

It would be this polyresin petal tea light holder.
(Comes in different colors at my site).
And who reminds you of this uptown silver accent table?
Well, Karl Lagerfeld of course!

Runway or home fashion, these designers can certainly do it. They are just not selling clothes or tabletop items, they are selling a lifestyle. And it is a glamorous, sophisticated and beautiful life!


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The Old is the New Black

I admit I’m one of those women infatuated with “vintage décor” right now. I find myself visiting flea markets and antique shops every chance I get to find that one-of-a-kind vintage find.I used to not be a fan and not sure where this infatuation with vintage is coming from. Is it because of Chloe Sevigny’s red carpet walks? Anthropologie’s oh-so charming home décor catalogs evoking a French flea market style or are my choices evolving and maturing? I’m not sure. But first do I even know what vintage means?

For wine lovers, it just means an exceptionally fine wine from the crop of a good year. In vintage clothing, wikipedia explains that clothing made before the 1920’s are considered “antique,” those made between 1920 and 1975 is what is considered “vintage,” and those made after 1975 and 20 years ago are “retro.” I think all of us have used these terms interchangeably.

I checked the dictionary for more help, and Webster defines vintage as “excellent” and “best of its kind” (ok, it also means old-fashioned, outmoded and obsolete). Whereas antonyms for the word includes inferior, minor and unimportant.

For me, vintage décor just means rare and unique finds (the Joneses will highly unlikely have) made by true artisans with its intricate make and styles. They are certainly not mass-produced by a factory somewhere.

And so this is why I love vintage décor, it may be old fashioned and outmoded but it is also classic and enduring… much like a little black dress.
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