Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Charming Cities of the South Series Part II • St. Augustine, Florida

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Have you ever been here??? St. Augustine is absolutely gorgeous. From impressive buildings to quaint buildings, heavily adorned detailing to straightforward lines––St. Augustine runs the gamut on historic architecture. On our return from our holiday trip, we were able to breeze through this delightful city once again. Every time we visit, I ache to plant my feet down a little firmer and stay a bit longer. Unfortunately for us, we are typically running short on time and only have a few hours to envelope ourselves in the oldest city the US has to offer. 

Notice the column layout. I loved this detail! One large square column flanked by two simple dorics. Gorgeous!

Fabulous, fabulous, fabulous!!!!! You know my obsession with neo-classical detailing. This house makes me wide-eyed and breathy ;) 

Notice that this is two homes adjoined by a central breezeway/hallway. I didn't notice until I snapped a photo, walked away and then went to retake. 

Flagler College was once Ponce de Leon Hotel––a magnificent structure built in the Spanish Renaissance manner.  It is said that the Vanderbilts and the Rockefellers fancied the place and would stay here in their travels south. 

According to paranormal experts, the original owners wife hung herself on the 4th floor after the death of their young daughter. How sad. It's rumored that the 4th floor is terribly haunted––so much that university officials refuse to have the space put to use, no matter the need for more room within the school. I'm gettin' the vapahhs!

St. Augustine has a fantastic array of beautiful doors and entryways. Look at the marvelous detailing here. 


 What is so wonderful about St. Augustine is the mix of anglo and spanish architecture. Here we have a Spanish Colonial style building and a Saltbox/Cape Cod building. Both important to American architecture, yet two wildly different approaches.

A tiny coffee shop! Adorable!
All roads in the square are cobblestone. Nothing says charming like cobblestone lined streets!

This photo does not do the scale justice whatsoever. The brackets were easily 1' wide and 6' tall. Very impressive. And interesting blend of both the Anglo and the Spanish––while I saw many examples of either or, this building was one of the few that merged the two styles. I'd say the balcony was added much later than the original structure.

And of course, every blog post is better with a picture of Amos! Teehee! Forgive some of the crooked pics––it's Amos' fault. I swear!

I wanted to illustrate the gorgeous view of the Bridge of Lions, which leads to Anastasia Island, the island facing St. Augustine and closest to the Atlantic. Had we had time on our side, I would have run over to the island, which from my vantage point had several giant and beautiful homes just waiting to be captured with my iPhone. Harumph, Mr. Impatientgetmehome was hot on my tail and would not allow me to drag out my tourist dorkery any further ;)

Don't you want to visit St. Augustine now??? It's truly beautiful and I was not able to immerse myself for a smidgeon as long as I would have liked. I keep saying that next time we are over that way, we are settling down in St. Augustine for at least one night and two days––there's just so much to see and do and I love the history and architecture coupled with the sheer volume of multi-cultural visitors. Truly amazing––I would venture to say that one out of two people walking were speaking a completely different foreign language than the one before him or her. Made me proud that others were so interested in where our remarkable country began back in 1565.



Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sounds Good To Me Music Series: Day Late And Dollar Short

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I've been out of town visiting my momzie, grandmother and step-father, so today's post is a little late! 

Hope your Christmas was FANTASTIC! I know that mine was. Great food, more love than I could ever imagine, more laughs than my belly could stand and a great vacation to top it off. I am truly fortunate!

I LOVE this song by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros––a large group of traveling musicians who (from what I gather) live communal style––a concept that rather fascinates me. As if living with one other person doesn't have it's own set of complexities....could you imagine living with 10? It sounds like a blast nevertheless! Their energy is contagious and after finishing up long road trip myself, I couldn't keep this song out of my head until we arrived back home early this morning. 

A quieter, more contemplative sound from M. Ward––a musician that I can literally set on repeat and never get tired of hearing. I listen to him more often than I'd like to admit. If you like this song, I highly, highly recommend the albums "Post-War" and "Transfiguration of Vincent." You are in for a treat, trust me. 

I have some good 'interiors/pretties' posts coming up on the blog this week, so check back in the next few days! 



Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Everyone!

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Photo courtesy of Denny Culbert

A party photo booth, a few cocktails, a long strand of red licorice and beige blanket were just what my peepers needed to spot in the room to complete the ensemble.  I think I make a mighty fine Joseph if I do say so myself. Heh ;)




Monday, December 20, 2010

Sounds Good To Me Music Series: Merry Christmas!

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A fun one! The Waitresses are such a breath of fresh air, huh?

And while this is not  considered a Christmas song, I love Jeff Buckley's voice so much that I wanted to add it :)

And from all of us in Louisiana to you:


All the love in the world,



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick Last Minute Gift!

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We have NINE more days until Christmas!!! Aaack! 
Here's an easy and very quick gift to make up when you are short on time. 
I love haystacks during Christmastime, you know––the chow mein, butterscotch and chocolate treats that are so popular. Well, this year I decided to modify the recipe and do a minty, white chocolate-y version and if I do say so myself, they are outstanding! 

Of course I can't just do a foil wrapped chinet plate (heehee), so I bought some very inexpensive materials and whipped up a great looking little package to give to everyone. Makes this treat all the sweeter! An inexpensive vase, satin ribbon, fabric, a little cardinal flown in from China and some very faux greenery made this gift, in my opinion, adorable! I can't wait to give these out!


Here's the recipe:

You know I don't measure, right? Which is why I stick to such rudimentary recipes––the accuracy of baking boggles my mind completely and frankly, I'm not that ambitious! 

You can use more/less peppermint oil. Just taste as you add. I'd speculate that I used 2 tsp, but it may have been more.  These were quite the hit at a party I brought them to a few weeks ago. **Most important: small portions....not just for  the sake your hips, but these tend to be difficult to eat if you have to take more than two bites!




Sunday, December 12, 2010

Introducing My "Sounds Good To Me" Music Series • Every Monday on All The Trappings

Pin It As a lifelong music-devotee I love listening, watching, searching and discovering the new and the old in the music scene.  My insatiable thirst for music is what brought my husband and I together and I'd say we would travel to the ends of the earth to catch a live show. In fact, our honeymoon revolved around scoring tickets to see one of our favorite bands at the time.  Our 1st 'date' was to a music event, and after discovering our eerily similar taste in bands, we were inseparable from there on out! In addition to being voracious enthusiasts, the mister plays guitar in a band that is quite popular in our area.  

I've camped {yes, me! yes, in a tent! stop laughing!}  out in 97° heat for four days solid while crammed in a tent city with 90,000 other enthusiasts just to see some of my favorites. If that's not crazy enough, I did it two years in a row! Admittedly, I started to feel a little OLD after the 2nd year and decided against round 3 ;) But who knows, I may go back someday!


I grew up in a musical household, as my dad is a gifted musician and singer and my mom, a die-hard festival goer and music lover. If my dad wasn't strumming the guitar and singing silly John Prine songs {which absolutely MORTIFIED me when I was young....I was such a prude!}  he was busy exposing me to Led Zeppelin, Cat Stevens, Pink Floyd and the Rolling Stones. My wonderful mom brought my sister and I to every festival she could and introduced us to every kind of genre imaginable. My fondest memories stem from these experiences and I look back now and realize how lucky I am to have parents with such an appreciation and great taste in music. 

So, I got to thinking. Half of my passion about music is sharing it with people–– it's as much a part of me as interior design, and I'd like to do a weekly feature on what I've discovered lately (or rediscovered) on All The Trappings. Every Monday, I will post one or more songs from an artist {or artists} I love. They may be new news, old news....but to me, good news ;) I hope you enjoy!


Today, I want to feature two artists. The 1st band is named Blitzen Trapper, from Portland, Oregon. They are not a new discovery for me, but they may be for you! The song titled Furr, grabbed my attention so intensely when I 1st heard it, I think I must have played it on repeat at the very least, 20x. The mister, while he loves the song too, was about to kill me. No, seriously.  I'm completely maniacal when I discover a new band I love and I just devour the album from beginning to end. The world could be on fire and I'd not notice ;)

The lyrics and metaphors here nearly stopped my heart. What a beautiful song about life :)

Second, we have St. Vincent, a VERY beautiful young lady from Dallas, Texas. Her voice is like cashmere and she's quite the adept guitarist. I love her sound! Here, she plays the song "Paris is Burning" one of my favorites of hers. Haunting lyrics and an equally haunting, yet still dainty composition. 

So, what have you been listening to that you can't get enough of? I have an appreciation for ALL types of music, so don't be bashful! 

Have a great week!



Friday, December 10, 2010

Pantone Picks Color of the Year 2011--What Would You Do With It? Here's What I Would Do!

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Pantone released it's pick for the 2011 color of the year, "Honeysuckle." I'll admit, I (a) thought it to be a saffron hue when I read 'honeysuckle' on Twitter (b) at 1st glance said: "Mauve? Say it ain't so!" BUT I piped down and studied the depth of the color which reads more of a "Deep salmon meets Monica Lewinsky's Lipstick, the Babs Walters Interview." We all know what a ruckus that created, right? 

I believe Pantone is THE color authority and their stabs at up-and-coming colors have always been on target in my opinion. It got me thinking: 

"How will we use this color?"

 "Where will we use this color?" 

"I'd like to build a room around this color?"

So I did! 
I think that so many shy away from pink tones b/c of the stigma of being effeminate, but here, I purposely kept the idea of working the color around clean-lined pieces and did my best not to over-girly it where a man (albeit, a man who is comfortable in his own skin) would not be completely offended! 

By bringing this color into a public space vs. the tried and true powder room or bedroom we become familiarized with it's use. The beauty of a chroma that is not as in-your-face as red, but not as whispery as salmon, is unexpected and refreshing. I like that it packs punch, but not a hair too much. That makes it workable amongst many planes and far less trendy in my opinion. 


Some smart designers have already begun using a variant of this color. Look here:

Of course Suzanne Kasler, tastemaker extraordinaire was WAY ahead of the curve when she completed this room which graced the color of House Beautiful years ago. She stated in an interview that in real life the color was a deeper tone, so I'd venture to say it was much like "Honeysuckle" in person. Agree?

Mere months ago, Grant K. Gibson scattered touches of the deep rose throughout his teenage girls bedroom for the Elle Decor showhouse. I gasp over the hand painted DeGournay wallpaper every time!!!!!! 

Sweet Joni Webb of Cote de Texas brought the color in through fresh flowers and a casually placed throw on her Mouton-leg sofa. I love how the green of the apples comes alive as your eye travels from the deep pink to the green. 

Here, Mary Douglas Drysdale used a Honeysuckle-ish hue as the accent color in this...hold on, I'm still catching my breath and collecting my thoughts–––this bedroom that almost makes me cry I get so verklempt over it! Isn't that gorgeous?

 Another one of my favorite designers, Suellen Gregory, used the pink as the accent color amongst a palette of beautiful cream and seagrass. 


So, what are your thoughts on Pantone's color of the year so far? Hit? Miss? Love it? Hate it?
How would YOU use it? Where? Tell alllllll!




Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I Just Heard the BEST Quote and Wanted To Share With You!

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What great words to live by!! I've never heard this particular quote from Mark Twain and I wanted to remember it so I drafted up this quick little file to print out and keep in my view with the intention of sharing it with you all. So if you love it, by all means, print it out and stick it in a place where you can read it often!



Sunday, December 5, 2010

This Time I'm Walkin' In New Orleans

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Have you ever done the Magazine Street Stroll?? No? If you're an antique lover, then you MUST put it on your bucket list, trust me! Of course we love New Orleans for the music, the food, the culture, the architecture; but New Orleans is home to some FABULOUS shopping if you didn't already know.

When I was hopping around Magazine Street the other day I had the chance to stop in and visit with some of the most welcoming shop owners in the south––truly sweet people with great taste and superb southern hospitality.

This is only a tiny little cluster of Magazine Street featured today––the road goes on for MILES, and ALL of the shops have the most amazing inventory! Hopefully I can make this into a series and showcase all of my other favorites as I travel back to the city.

Care to take a stroll with me?


1st stop: Source.

The gals at Source. really know how to combine the 'fresh, new and shiny' with the 'old, aged and unusual'. I absolutely fell in LOVE with this store, and Jennifer, one of the owners, was a doll. She urged me to move to New Orleans, so I immediately took to her––anyone feeding any more fuel for me to try to talk myself in to moving there is BFF material in my book ;)

 Loved, loved LOVED the pillows scattered throughout the store. And the faint Gustavian grey they chose for the finish updated that shield back chair into this century. Gorgeous!

The Barnacle Vase is beautiful!! 

I just flipped over this little French Deco side chair, just beautiful!

Isn't this shop a dream??

Pretty Pretty Pretty!!!! I kept falling in love over and over again!

Artwork by Sonya Shinn Edwards---you'll be hearing more about her, so stay tuned!!! I was entirely captivated by her beautiful!!!!


Next Stop: Piranesi Antiques

I was able to visit with Cary, one of the owners of Piranesi. She was a delight!!!! A former attorney (I'm seeing a trend with this attorney-turned-antiquarian/decorator, business––have you noticed the same?) Cary was as relaxed and down-to-earth as they come. Very sweet and knowledgeable with a fantastic eye, Cary's shop is a must see. 

Those petite fauteuil's were SO pretty with the deep grey outline on the decorative finish. 

LOVE the Italian(?) papier mache scrolls!!!! (they look Italian to me, what do you think?)  My mind was turning rapidly over where they could go in my home. 

If you know me, you know I'm a pure sucker for Maison Jansen pieces. This grand ottoman was TO DIE FOR!!! Perfectly patined, and great proportions––to me, this was the piéce de resistance amongst a sea of piéces des resitances (said in backwoods accent).

Piranesi runs the gamut on period pieces. From heavily adorned to straighforward and primitive it's all here, and well selected at that. 


And Across The Street, Bush Antiques:
The eponymous Bush Antiques!! Bush was one of the 1st on the Magazine Scene, starting in 1969. Their specialty is in beds, BUT as you can see, Bush offers a prime selection of many other beautiful pieces. The owner, Allain, is PRECIOUS! A tiny lady with a lot of spunk and a bit of funkiness––she was all smiles the whole time I was there devouring her inventory. I thought she was just cuter than cute!

!!!!!!!!!!! My heart raced over this turned wood chandy!!!! Love LOVE LOVE this!

 These handpainted doors were so pretty. There must have been 8 of them!

The burled desk was FABULOUS in person!!!

What a beautiful gift this set of cordial decanters would make! (HINT HINT)

How unusual! I really liked this bed.

 Dang, if I wouldn't have changed my last name when I got married, this beaut could have found it's way into my house! My maiden name started with "M"––isn't that FINE?

So sweet!

OOH, look at that handpainted neoclassical detail on the daybed!! 

I personally love a good brass lamp and papier mache shade. Perfect! But I was most interested in those gilded sconces––a beautiful pair, indeed!

Bush also has a fairly vast selection of ecclesiastical remnants. Love that Blackamoor statue-turned-lamp, too!


Last But NOT Least, Leontine Linens:

A trip to Magazine is not complete without stopping in at Leontine Linens. Leontine is simply the BEST for custom, personalized linens. Susan, the go-to gal over at Leontine is fantastic! Talkative and positive, Susan makes sure everyone is well taken care of as you walk through the shop. Take a gander––it's PRECIOUS!

Lavender linen-velvet!! Lucite & Scallops!! Is this not the most dreamy storefront ever??

The headboard is made of high-gloss Formica! A-D-O-R-A-B-L-E!!

EVERY appliqué at Leontine is made by hand. A guild of ladies in Kentucky painstakingly create all of this beauty with time-honored methods like your great-grandmother would.

I always say "I'm not a fan of monogram, UNLESS it's Leontine" I'm serious!  To me, it's the only way to go!

Ok,  is this enough gorgeousness for you today?? I had such fun on my Magazine Stroll––I sincerely hope to do it again soon! If you ever get the chance to visit New Orleans heed this advice: Ditch the Hurricane's at Pat-O's, skip right over Bourbon altogether and head straight to Magazine––the boundless beauty will give you a far better buzz ;)