dracula on decorating

Monday, October 31, 2011

Regarding a house, "I am glad it is old and big. I myself am of an old family, and to live in a new house would kill me. A house cannot be made habitable in a day; and, after all, how few days go to make up a century."
Count Dracula in Bram Stoker's Dracula, 1847

Bran Castle dates back to 1377 in official documentation. It is in Romania and in the region of Transylvania. You can read more about the history of Bran Castle here.
Photo by Stonehill College

Happy Halloween!

growth charts

Friday, October 28, 2011

I've been shopping for shower gifts for a fellow nomad with munchkins/bambinos/kids/children/whatever you want to call them lately. I've noticed some really clever growth charts that can move with you. I am so loving this if you are crafty (and want to make it for me, just kidding) you can find the directions here on WhipperBerry.

Personally, my family was quite old fashioned. We preferred the method used in Drayton Hall in Charleston, South Carolina - right smack on the wall. Although, unlike the Draytons, we didn't include the height of our dogs!

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Photos by Drayton Hall and Anne G

kitchen utility sinks

Thursday, October 27, 2011

While blog surfing I've noticed that a few Country Living published kitchens returning to utility. I'm loving these simple, functional sinks.

Historically as in the James J. Hill House and Vizcaya Kitchen

Vizcaya by HardHeadedWoman
Consider this filed away.

Photos by
Country Living, Sara Duane-Gladden and HardHeadedWoman

high - low

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

How funny, the original version by Verdura.
The Stella and Dot version is very pretty and very on sale.
The cuffs remind me of when my husband took me to a Verdura exhibit. The brooches were my favorite. The first is a golden sapphire heart and the second a lion's paw shell. I love the use of cabochons and the shell is very old Verdura which used a lot of corals and shells if memory serves me.

I never did get in the habit of wearing jewelry when I was younger. Not even costume/fun things. It seems that I was always around horses and they have a way of making everything just plain dirty - really it seems a lot of bother and a very expensive habit, personally. However, it never hurts to admire how nice it looks on others!

Side note - I adore the colors in that shell brooch. How fun would it be to inspire a room with sapphire blues and coral pinks? And even the cuffs, they could translate into a room with just white walls but by adding splashes of jewel tones in accessories and upholstery, even a rental could just pop.

Photos from Luxist, you can see more pieces from the exhibition here.

pensacola, two of two

So aside from walking around the downtown, Pensacola has two museums that are totally worth a trip. There's a lighthouse sure, but my favorites are the T. T. Wentworth Museum in the Old City Hall and the Naval Aviation Museum on NAS Pensacola.

This is the T. T. Wentworth Museum. It is totally free (bonus!) and it has some really neat exhibits, including one on the Luna, a Spanish galleon from the mid 1500's that was recently recovered in Pensacola Bay. I was kind of/totally obsessing over the original hex tile floor design.

HistoricPensacola.TheseWallsofWhite.16 by These Walls of White
So I'm not a big Aviation buff, but if you are, this place loans many of the planes in the Smithsonian in D.C. so definitely worth a visit. The real gem for me is the architecture on Naval Air Station Pensacola which is spectacular and holds so much history. The base was originally designated a shipyard in 1825 President John Quincy Adams and Secretary of the Navy Samuel Southard. In 1862, due to the Civil War, most of it was reduced to rubble. Many of the current structures are from the effort to rebuild after the war, including the houses on North Avenue. A handful still survive after the 1906 hurricane. In 1913 Naval Aviation was born in Pensacola and going into WWI the US had 38 naval aviators, 163 enlisted men trained in aviation support, and 54 fixed-wing aircraft, all in Pensacola. ref

The Chapel and field in front is where generations of Officer Candidate School graduations have taken place.

Then there is the Mustin Beach Officer's Club.

As it was in 1948, love that awning.

And then there's the historic housing on North Avenue! Some of these are multiple unit houses now, but how spectacular are those porches?!

Lastly, there's the landmark 1859 lighthouse on NAS Pensacola.

Photos by myself, Film North Florida, Robin Sherman, NAS Pensacola's MWR and Balfour Beatty and Travel Confessions

pensacola, one of two

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We recently went to visit Pensacola, Florida. Pensacola is a little town that manages to stay very easy going and low key but boasts beautiful white sugar sand beaches and teal water. It is the cradle of Naval Aviation and we've spent a lot of time there because of this. I'm not going to lie, there are some areas where you can tell Pensacola really needs some revitalizing but they certainly do a great job of keeping the little historic area beautiful. The town center is relaxed and fun to walk around. The official "Historic Pensacola Village" is a collection of twenty-seven properties, eleven of which are open for tours. The town boasts of original settlement in 1559 with the official founding in 1698.
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Christ Church frolm 1832
Old Christ Church - Pensacola, Florida by fisherbray

While you are there, do not miss dinner at Jackson's. The property's renovation has been featured on HGTV and the food in the NY Times. We love this restaurant; it has many happy memories for us.

HistoricPensacola.TheseWallsofWhite.14 by These Walls of White

Photos of Historic Pensacola by myself, Fisher Bray and
Southern Living

pumpkins at the door

Monday, October 24, 2011

So loving this old fall post by Katy Elliott this morning.

Oddly, Katy was one of my "gateway bloggers" early on. She is an old childhood friend of my husband's family so I've been following her since her first post. My husband even fessed up to bugging her and his older sister incessantly as a boy! I haven't had the joy of meeting her yet since we're all over geographically but I'm so in love with her blog and her beautiful old house. Happy Friday!

those hoggs, two of two

Friday, October 21, 2011

The second Hogg house to visit is the Ima Hogg house called Bayou Bend in Houston. My favorite neighborhood in Houston is River Oaks - great restaurants, shops, et cetera. Will and Mike Hogg worked with Hugh Putter to plan and build River Oaks, in 1924. In the middle of it all, the Hoggs set aside an eighty-acre area called Homewoods divided into fourteen houses, the largest of which they reserved for themselves and called Bayou Bend. The house was designed by architect John F. Staub, was built between 1927 and 1928. The house was supposedly inspired by the, "symmetry of eighteenth-century English Georgian architecture with the romantic influence of Spanish Creole architecture from New Orleans." Miss Hogg apparently used the term "Latin Colonial" to describe the eclectic design.

Today Bayou Bend is operated by the Museum of Fine Arts Houston

For more on individual pieces in the collection see the MFAH. If memory serves me correctly on the second floor there is a quintessential long horn chair similar to this, not to be missed as well!

Photos by Antiques and Fine Arts Magazine, MFAH, http://houston.culturemap.com, http://www.dirtdoctor.com and http://janetblyberg.blogspot.com. Chair from Fine and Decorative Arts

Side note - I'm more house freak than computer geek so still trying to figure out how to reply to comments :)

those hoggs, one of two

Thursday, October 20, 2011

If you are ever in Houston, there are two house tours you cannot miss. I've got some old Texas blood so even though we only lived in Texas briefly, I have a fond love for that state. The first house is the Varner Hogg Plantation.

In 1824 Virginia native Martin Varner purchased land from Stephen F. Austin. The original plantation was 4,428 acres to establish a rum distillery. In 1834, Martin Varner sold the property to Columbus R. Patton of Kentucky and it became known as Patton Place. After changing hands several times again, in 1901, former Texas Gov. James Stephen Hogg purchased the land. The Hogg heirs never lived on the plantation but instead found it plentiful of oil reserves as Gov. Hoggs had correctly predicted before his death. In 1958, Ima, the governor’s daughter, donated the plantation to the people of Texas.

photos by http://www.visitvarnerhoggplantation.com

carved backsplashes

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Minor obsession, but these are anything but builder-grade for a rental. I've filed them away for another day.
Photos from http://www.thingsthatinspire.net, http://www.sarahklassen.com/, http://cotedetexas.blogspot.com, Southern Living and Pottery Barn's Lucca Console