Friday, June 28, 2013

Going Bananas for Banana Leaf!

I am counting down the days until we can install our Carleton Varney "Brazilliance" wallpaper in our new home and FINALLY move in! In case you missed it, check out my mood board for our Beverly Hills Hotel inspired banana leaf dining room.

Until that glorious day arrives, I've been picking up some adorable banana leaf items to get my fix...

I had been eyeing this Juicy Couture blazer for quite some time... unfortunately it sold out online, but I stumbled upon it at deep discount at the Juicy Couture Outlet! How cute is this blazer on Stefanie over at Life On The Squares??

This blazer is so versatile! Here is Sydne from Sydne Style with three adorable ways to wear the fabulous banana leaf blazer...

Click here to find the Juicy outlet closest to you... or call and ask them to ship to you direct. FYI... I found this blazer to run a bit small, and I purchased a size larger than usual.

If you cannot locate the Juicy Couture blazer, this one from Joie is just as cute, and is still available in select sizes. How adorable does it look on Bradley over at Luella & June?!

My bargain banana leaf shopping spree continued when I purchased the iPhone and iPad cases on sale from the Juicy Couture website. And for a limited time, all sale items are an additional 30% off!!
Palm Leaf Neopene iPad Case, $48.00 $17.49
Palm Leaf iPhone 5 Case, $35.00 $13.99
(also available in Passion Pink and Crocus/purple)
On my wish list... These fabulous Charlotte Olympia heels and clutch, made exclusively and in limited edition for the Beverly Hills Hotel. Call The Logo Shop 310-887-2140 to order over the phone, or even better - book a little summertime getaway and pick them up in person (oh, I wish!!)
The Logo Shop, The Beverly Hills Hotel
For a more budget-friendly splurge, check out these banana leaf flip flops, also from
And how cute are these "Beverly" invitations from Ecru Stationery & Design? This design is also available in note cards, starting at $60 for a box of 24... and there is no additional charge for personalizing the cards with your name! Email Jessica at to set up a free consultation.

Mood board for our Beverly Hills inspired dining room... stay tuned for installation!

An "Adore"able Sneak Peek: Maria Barros

J'adore Adore Home Magazine, but today they tortured me just a little bit with this sneak peek of a beautiful and colorful home designed by the insanely talented Maria Barros.  The entire home will be revealed on August 1, and I cannot wait!!!

Want to see more of Maria's work? Click here to see my recent post on her fabulous flamingo wallpaper and some of my favorite rooms from her incredible portfolio.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Our Banana Leaf Dining Room

I'm getting super excited about our move! The walls are being painted this week, and we are finally in the home stretch!! Our move-in date keeps getting pushed back, but it looks like late July/early August.

I must say... the one room I am most excited about in our new home is our dining room. I  have written before about the fabulous Carleton Varney "Brazilliance" banana leaf wallpaper that will cover our dining room walls... I am completely obsessed with this wallpaper. The rolls are currently living in our guest room waiting to be hung, and from time to time I go in and gaze upon their splendor. I tell my Brazilliance it is such beautiful wallpaper, it does not deserve to be living under the bed... and that soon it will be unveiled in its full glory for all the world to see!

In the meantime, here is an inspiration board I created that captures my vision for our dining room...

This abstract art will be hung above our vintage mirrored buffet, which you can see in the short video below, taken the day we brought our Labradoodle puppy, Marilyn Monroe, to our Dallas home... I can't believe Marilyn is two now!! You can also catch a glimpse of the 1930s tulip chairs we had ebonized and recovered in ivory leather...

Fabulous Brazilliance wallpaper!

Our rug is custom, "Ellipse" by Stark in black and white. 
Our dining table is an Art Deco reproduction in Zebrawood that we had custom made by Deco-Dence in Dallas.
Our vintage Murano chandelier is from Again & Again, also in Dallas.
I'm sorry I don't have better pictures... all of our furniture is in storage. But this is one of a pair of huge vintage Hollywood Regency pineapple lamps I scored at the estate sale of a very glamorous model from the 1960s.
I cannot wait to reunite with our treasures!! I am also working on building a collection of blue and white ginger jars to decorate the buffet. Jennifer at The Pink Pagoda and Tina at The Enchanted Home have fueled my love for all things blue and white!
What do you think of the drapes? One of my lovely readers, who has become a friend and trusted design confidant, insisted that pink was the only option for our Palm Beach Chic/Beverly Hills Hotel inspired dining room, and I completely agree! Now I just have to convince my husband... Hey, I lost the battle on restoring our home's original pink exterior, so I think pink drapes in the dining room would be an excellent consolation prize!! :) 
Just look at how great Nicky Hilton's pink chairs and chandelier shades look against her Martinique Banana Leaf wallpaper!
Any recommendations on where I can buy bubblegum pink silk? 

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Happy Pink Flamingo Day!

Did you know that June 23 is Pink Flamingo Day? Pink Flamingo Day was declared in 2007 by Dean Mazzaralla, the mayor of Leominster, MA to honor the work of Don Featherstone, creator of the plastic lawn flamingo. Featherstone sculpted these pink flamingos in 1957 while working for Union Products, Inc. (in Leominster). Based on National Geographic images, the now iconic pink plastic yard ornaments went on the market in 1958, when the color pink was all the rage and Florida was touted as the ultimate tourist destination and paradise for retirement living.  

Who knew these whimsical little birds would cause such a stir... they have gone on to represent everything from bad taste to scandalous rebellion, in part due to an outrageous 1972 movie titled Pink Flamingos, by John Waters. Today, plastic pink flamingos are even used in "Flamingo Flocking Fundraisers" where organizations flock the yards of their supporters with roughly 20-50 flamingos and demand donations in exchange for their removal.

Featherstone was awarded the 1996 Ig Nobel Art Prize for his creation of the pink flamingo, and he also began his tenure as president of Union Products which he held until he retired in 2000.

Union Products closed in 2006, and the Flamingo stopped being produced. Yet shortly thereafter, a New York-based company purchased the molds for Featherstone's flamingos and sub-contracted production to Cado Products. In 2010, Cado Products purchased the copyrights and plastic molds for the pink flamingos and continues to manufacture them.

Want to add a little pink Florida fun to your life? Original Don Featherstone signed flamingos can be purchased for $17.73 a pair through Amazon. Featherstone began inscribing his name on the original molds in 1987 to differentiate them from the knockoffs. Today, all authentic reproductions made have his signature molded into them.

And if you want to learn more about this controversial plastic bird's history, Featherstone has written a book, "The Original Pink Flamingos: Splendor on the Grass," also available through Amazon. Or click here to read an intriguing article about the pink plastic flamingo and the flamingo's symbolic relationship to The Sunshine State.  

What are your thoughts on the plastic pink flamingo? I personally had no idea they had such a questionable reputation!

I would totally use pink plastic flamingos in a centerpiece à la Dana Small's fabulous "Flamingle" party! 

Friday, June 21, 2013

Welcoming Shell & Chinoiserie

One of the best things about blogging is the friends and fellow bloggers you meet along the way. And as a new blogger myself (just over six months, my how time flies!) I love discovering talented bloggers who share a similar design aesthetic. Today I'm delighted to welcome Emilie at Shell & Chinoiserie to the blogosphere! 

As a child, Emilie spent her summer days at the beach searching for shells and watching boats sail toward the horizon of Long Island Sound. She would retreat to a home full of ikat upholstery, blue and white ginger jars, and Chinoiserie wall coverings. She loved to get lost in the bustling world of the pagodas and people who lived in those Asian villages.
Her recent honeymoon in Thailand reignited a nostalgia for shells and Chinoiserie, and Emilie’s inspiration for her blog was born. Her childhood pastime had grown into an adult pursuit to find this familiar, yet faraway combination of the beach and Asian inspired design. Through Shell & Chinoiserie, Emilie writes about her design interests, ranging from flea-market finds, to DIY crafts, to travel.
I adore Emilie's budget-friendly design "Monday Makeovers"... Here is an amazing remake of one of my favorite rooms by Barclay Butera, proving that high style can be achieved at low cost.
Barclay Butera
Click here for additional information and pricing. And check out this stunning wallpaper Emilie found at The Home Depot! What a deal!!
China Toile Wallpaper from The Home Depot 
Here, Emilie recreates the cover of the June issue of Coastal Living for less than $1,800!
 Laura Motley
Intrigued by her story and her blog, I asked to conduct a Q&A with Emilie to learn more!
Q: Do you have any professional decorating experience?
A: None at all whatsoever (but my husband says he’ll give me five dollars for our apartment so I can call myself a professional).
Long story short: I have always found myself impacted by my environment and place much value on creating beautiful and inviting spaces through interior decorating.  
In college I came within a hair of becoming a wedding planner, but ultimately took another job at a women’s fashion/lifestyle magazine in New Orleans, which folded after Katrina. Somehow I ended up in Boston with a master’s degree in clinical social work and a certificate in family therapy, so sadly my decorating has always been confined within the walls of my own home, but I certainly would love to expand to other homes, as well!
Q: It sounds like your Mother has fantastic taste! Would you say she has been the primary influence for your design style? Any other decorators who have influenced you?
A: My mother had fantastic taste—and it was taste, as it just came naturally to her because she never seemed to have to try. She inherited some beautiful pieces (including a five foot tall porcelain pagoda!), and she would incorporate them seamlessly with current pieces, making our home beautiful and comfortable. She really had an eye for mixing patterns, too—floral, tartan, ikat, toile, and Chinoiserie...
I also have four older sisters and they all have fabulous taste as well, but we all have such different styles! It’s fun to see how we have each been influenced by our upbringing and applied it in our homes.
My mother had the biggest influence on my style, but I have also been influenced by travel, and certainly by professional decorators. My first love was Rachel Ashwell with her Shabby Chic empire, but my style is evolving as I mature and also attempt to incorporate a man (my husband) into my once very soft style. These days I am gravitating toward bolder colors and more tailored interiors. Right now I am obsessed with John Knott and John Fondas of Quadrille. I love Meg Braff, Barclay Butera, India Hicks, and Mary McDonald. I am also keeping a close eye on Lauren Liess of Pure Style Home, and Anna Spiro of Black and Spiro.
Q: You are currently living in Boston, but moving to Charleston… What brings you to Charleston, and will you be sharing your decorating adventures with your readers?
A:Yes, we are currently in Boston, but we recently made the decision to move back to Charleston, where I spent much of my later childhood, where my husband and I went to college, and where my father still lives. I will miss so much about Boston, but really look forward to the endless inspiration and sophistication that Charleston has to offer in the form of architecture, antiques, boutiques, and—of course—the beach!
I am hopeful this transition in our lives will also allow me to pursue my passion for interior decorating in a more professional manner, and I absolutely plan to share our journey with my readers! It is always so much fun to get a glimpse into someone else’s life—to see how they interpret and approach things—especially decorating! I think you will see my posts getting a bit more personal as we search for and (eventually) find a home, and then decorate! Stay tuned!
Thank you, Emilie, for sharing with us your impeccable taste, and for taking us inside your personal life! I’m so excited to follow your journey!
Click here to visit Shell & Chinoiserie, and make sure to follow Emilie on Pinterest! She is one of my absolute favorite Pinners! 

Emilie from Shell & Chinoiserie

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Pagoda Mirror Score!

I am forever indebted to Linda at Calling it Home for helping me find my latest treasure!!! I have been on a major quest to find a bargain-priced vintage pagoda mirror for quite some time.  Not an easy task, as many of you know!!

Linda and I were emailing one day about her upcoming move to Florida, and I told her how great the bargain shopping is here. Linda and I are both Craigslist junkies, and I have found some pretty incredible deals here in the Sunshine State.  In my email, I mentioned one recent gut wrenching CL gold mine... a vintage pagoda mirror for sale in Fort Lauderdale listed for $80 I missed out on by mere moments. A few weeks later, Linda (who has been stalking Florida CL in hot anticipation of her move) emailed me a link to this beauty for just $250!

My new pagoda mirror!

My pagoda mirror was living several hours away in Punta Gorda, but my darling husband was able to pick it up for me while in the area on business. Mission accomplished!! I am thrilled!!! I will be hanging the mirror either in our dining room or in our entryway, I have not decided for certain. And I will most likely be painting it, as the gold paint has seen its better days.

If you are in the market for a vintage Pagoda mirror, here are a few available for sale...

Circa Who, $950
eBay, $1,366.16
 Circa Who, $1,800

C. Bell, $950
(With a little TLC, this would be near identical to the 1stdibs bank breaker below !)
$3,425, 1stdibs (ouch!)
These pagoda mirrors sell like hot cakes... I have seen Circa Who, Palm Beach Regency, and C. Bell sell them within the hour they are listed, so if you are interested don't delay!! They can also provide shipping so you don't have to drive across state to unearth your treasure. :)
Thank you again, Linda!!!!! 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Texas, Our Texas!

My husband and I returned late last night from a long weekend visit to Dallas. I am so incredibly homesick y'all, sometimes I think my heart is going to positively break. 

It was so wonderful to be back home! I got to see dear friends, and my parents even drove in for a night.  Although I grew up in a small town just west of Dallas, I joke that I got there as soon as I could. As a little girl, we would often drive to Dallas for weekend trips full of shopping and dining... I thought Dallas was the most glamorous place on earth, and I was obsessed with the original Dallas television series.

Whenever we go to Dallas, we always stay at The Mansion on Turtle Creek. Originally built in 1908, and rebuilt after destroyed by fire in 1923, The Mansion was known as one of the finest homes in town. In 1979,  The Mansion was purchased by Caroline Rose Hunt, of the famed Hunt family (H.L. Hunt's personal life was among the chief inspirations for Dallas). It was transformed into a world-class restaurant, and the nine-story hotel was added in 1981.

Restaurant Exterior, images courtesy of The Mansion on Turtle Creek
Hotel Exterior
We love The Mansion! The staff makes you feel so pampered, and the food is positively divine... the Tortilla Soup is the restaurant's specialty, and save room for desert - I always get the ice cream and sorbet tasting, featuring nine (yes, nine!!) seasonal varieties and a Texas sugar cookie. Mmmm..... The classy Mansion Bar is not to be missed Thursday - Saturday, with its delicious cocktails and live Jazz and Rat Pack music. 

Ice Cream and Sorbet Tasting at The Mansion, via my iPhone

Restaurant Foyer 
(the following images are courtesy of The Mansion on Turtle Creek)
The Mansion Restaurant
Hotel Entrance
Lobby Living Room
de Gournay wallpaper in the lobby living room (via my iPhone)
The Library at The Mansion Restaurant
The Bar
The Terrace
While in town, I had to check on my Alma Mater...  
image via SMU
This is Perkins Chapel, located on the SMU Campus, where my husband and I were married!
Perkins Chapel 
The gorgeous roses, Belinda's Dream, were in full bloom in front of the Chapel. 
Belinda's Dream roses in front of Perkins Chapel

Unfortunately, we did not have time to tour the new George W. Bush Presidential Center... The lines are long, but tickets can be purchased here in advance.
We'll have to fit it in next time for sure. In the meantime, here is a sneak peek from the June issue of Architectural Digest.
I had a few minutes to spare before meeting a girlfriend for lunch on Friday while my husband was golfing, so I popped into the recently opened Jonathan Adler. I learned there is also a Jonathan Adler in Miami! The Dallas salesman informed me it was one of the largest, I'll have to check it out!

Of course, no trip to Dallas would be complete without indulging in our favorite foods... And boy did we indulge! We squeezed in Neighborhood Services, The Mansion, Half Shells, Chuy's and MiCocina for Tex-Mex, and Bubba's for fried chicken. Needless to say, I'm on a diet this week.
I'm feeling a little blue today, back in Florida. But I'm hoping once we finally move into our new home, we'll have plenty of guests!! Miami is a fun place to visit. :)
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