inside & out

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Did you know that Pottery Barn has a blog? And it is actually cute? Don't get me wrong, they're definitely selling their products but some of them are great and the blog has some lovely visual styling.

Whatever your plans are for New Years, wishing you all the best in health and happiness.

merry christmas

Monday, December 24, 2012

To those who celebrate, merry Christmas. Or as the mistranslated ads here say, "Many Christmas!" May your holiday be filled with peace and joy for you and yours.

nursery preview

Thursday, December 20, 2012

We finally had a day with nice sunlight to take a few sneak peek photos of the nursery. Also, I just graduated to DSLR (we're still getting to know each other) so hopefully these pictures show the lovely light in the room. I'm still waiting on the buffalo check which will go into a crib skirt adding a lot more blue. It will also be on a toddler duvet and euro shams but most everything else is in place. My seamstress says next week - this is good becuase I'm technically full term next week!

And why blue for a girl? Well I've always wanted a soft blue and white nursery. I can't really say why, but maybe it was because of this girl's eyes - one of my dogs enjoying some of the fresh powder.

lights on

Sunday, December 16, 2012

I saw these great renter-friendly pendants found at Home Decorators via Bryn Alexandra - what a good find! They just screw into any existing light socket, perfect.

Emile Instant Pendant - $69

Orb Pendant - $59

Globe Bronze Pendant - $99

Moravian Star - $159

cheat sheets

Friday, December 14, 2012

I have been a pinning machine lately. I think it is late pregnancy lethargy since it is so easy and effortless to use. At any rate, I came across these sweet illustrations from the Aestate.

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Source: via Ann on Pinterest

Finally getting to a point where I'm satisfied with the nursery so hopefully I can upload a few sneak peeks this week!

simple christmas

Monday, December 10, 2012

I remember when Style Me Pretty was just getting launched around when we were married. I've always loved their work but not being a bride, I admit I stopped religiously reading. More recently a friend and event planner, Kristeen LaBrot, had a stunning elopement featured which made me look at Style Me Pretty yet again. I'm so glad I did. I've been loving this newest section, SMP at Home. And this little Christmas Party is perfection. Sweet, simple and more about the company above all else.

a barry merry christmas

Friday, December 7, 2012

Are you decorating for the holidays? This year we have kept it very simple. And to be honest, I tend to be one for a kitschy Christmas with sentimental ornaments and colored lights - not such a decorative feat. I guess I am decidedly the antithesis of Reggie Darling's anti-red Christmas. Still, I can't help but really love the classic Christmas decorations by Barry Dixon at the Blair House that I found on Pinterest.

unpainted inspiration

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still have more travel photos to upload but in the meantime, I've been admiring this tranquil bedroom from designer Louise Brooks’ house as seen in Traditional Home.

It gets dark quite early now, so I'm enjoying cozying up and catching up on movies and books. A bit of quiet before our baby arrives. Also, I'm new to the "Tudors" which is pretty entertaining. I totally disliked it at first but now I can't stop watching the series on Netflix.

the lee teng-fang house

Thursday, November 29, 2012

While in Taiwan, we toured the  Lee Teng-Fang Archaic Mansion in Daxi, Taoyuan. Our hosts know I love a good house tour! The main house was built around 1860. The original owner was the son of a wealthy merchant who devoted his life to scholarship. Apparently between 1856 and 1868, he passed a series of examinations to become a high ranking official - Jiachuan Neigezhongxu. He commissioned the house to commemorate his ascension and achievement. ref

The house itself had some beautiful details and luckily our host hired a wonderful tour guide to explain many of them. She was so thorough in explaining all the details so I'll try to remember as much as I can despite this pregnancy brain.  This is the rear facade off the courtyard. The tour guide explained that the roof shape is meant to look like the horns of a dragon. As if the dragon is crouching over and protecting the house.

Standard bearer, or base for displaying the flags. There was some language barriers but I believe the guide said, thanks to my lovely translator, that the symbols were of his position within the government. I wish I had better pictures of the plants in the courtyard, there were a few pear trees, Apparently they are a symbol of welcoming.

 The guide also said that the wings would be added continually as the family grew. However these brick buildings, in contrast to the white plaster, were original. Additionally the two styles are representative of two local communities in Daxi at the time. The brick buildings are common in Shaoan Hakka architecture, if I remember correctly. And the white plaster walls are more indicative of local craftsmen native to Taiwan. I noticed the plaster buildings, being more living quarters for family than showplaces of the central house, seems brighter, perhaps because the sunlight was reflecting off of adjacent outer walls.

this image is from here, the rest are mine

The guide also explained that the doorways were built with these obstacles forcing you to look down as you stepped into the threshold, thus bowing your head.

Lovely details and carvings.

 Central courtyard replete with rain gutters that drained out to the pond adjacent to the house. The guide mentioned that in order to keep the drains clean they would employ turtles to eat any debris that may accumulate. What happens when a lazy turtle decides to lay down on the job? Apparently the popular remedy was to smoke him out!

 The house belonged to an official calligrapher so some of his original work is still prominently featured. This was painted in ink onto the plaster while is was still wet in a technique not unlike frescoes. 

Original kitchen stove with horizontal stone window slats to protect the cooks from invaders and robbers but still allow for the passage of dishes. The guide made an interesting point that in Feng Shui the window slats should be an even number for horizontal windows while an odd number for vertical windows.

Beautiful brick and tile details. I love the teal glaze on the vents.

Original courtyard well. Much like Georgian design, there was a false well adjacent to achieve a sense of balance - all in the name of Feng Shui.

 Cat holes and tunnels for natural pest control.

The gallery.

Incidentally while the tour guide worked for the local government, her family has owned a famous tofu house for generations. So after the tour we were treated to some unique tofu varieties. Architecture then food, my kind of tour!

All photos by me, please credit if you plan to share, thanks!

orchid bonanza

Monday, November 26, 2012

As promised, finally posting some Taiwan photos! While our trip was very brief, we had some very gracious hosts who planned all kinds of amazing activities. One of my favorites was touring Kin Shins Orchids, an award winning orchid grower. And with good reason!

The arrangement's true size.

And their very serious trophy case.


All photos by me, please credit if you plan to share, thanks!