Monday, January 31, 2011


Well, it is that time of the year again, we are off to Maui for a few weeks of sun, sand, and family time. Do not worry, I will not be abandoning all of you while we are away. Between having some fun post scheduled in I will also be having some fabulous bloggers over here to keep you entertained. All of our jobs will continue under the eye of the Hubs father (who was a builder for 35+ years), so everyone will be in good hands.

I am off to finish up our packing, the plane leaves in a few hours and I am more than happy to ditch all of this snow and sub-zero temperatures behind. Mel xo

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Simply Stunning

Image via Book Shelf Porn

Happy weekend! Mel xo

Friday, January 28, 2011

And the counters will be...

I can not wait till these slabs will be fabricated to fit perfectly into our home. Here is a glimpse at the beautiful stones that I recently finalized for our new home.

The Kitchen
Statuario, isn't she lovely? This amazing stone will be gracing the perimeter counter tops in our kitchen and it will also be used for a solid slab backsplash...I am so in love with this stone. We will also be using it for the butlers pantry and backsplash in that area as well. It is just stunning in person, I have been known to caress it when I am at our suppliers. Templating is going to be a long and painful job, besides book matching (making sure the veins line up) I am also going to be heavily involved in deciding where the cuts will be made, this is going to be a labor of love, but in turn a work of art!

Master Bathroom
Calacutta Carrara, hi honey!! When I saw the images of this stone before it was shipped over from Italy I knew it was wonderful, but in person it just gleams. She will be used on our vanity tops, backsplash and another little detail that I am saving for later. I am now on the hunt for the perfect tile for the shower...something elegant but with a bit of flare.

Wet Bar
Cappuccino, sigh. The wet bar in the lower level is all Robs, he is in charge of designing it and the wine rooms...OK, so I will have the final say and I am the one that picked this stone, but how could I just walk away from it?! The movement is just striking and it will go perfect with the Manly Man Vibe I am going for. 

The only 'fail' that I had with my selections was the fact that they are all on the top end of the price scale. I have been able to justify it to the Hubs, but I will admit that he is so busy with the upcoming possession and other homes that I am pretty sure as soon as I start to discuss materials for our home he zones out. Fine by me, now as long as he can do that when I am finalizing tiles, carpet, lighting, cabinet hardware, and on and on and on. 
And yes, I may be crazy for using the Statuario in the kitchen but I honestly do not care. Nothing else would come close to this stone, the tone, the veining, all of it. I can't wait till you all come home!! Enjoy your day. Mel xo

Thursday, January 27, 2011

If I had a ski lodge...

If I had a ski lodge I would want something like this. Open and rustic but fun. I can envision the snow blowing outside, the jazz music blaring, and great friens and family sharing laughter...and some wine in this space.

Image via Houzz

Off for a busy day, suppliers to see, samples to pick up, professional images of Montgomery to be taken, and we are turning the home over to the clients today...must make sure it is all in order! Mel xo

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Project Updates: Our House

 I have been at our home non-stop, answering questions from the framers, electricians, plumbers...yes, they are all working there at the same time, and you can add roofers to that list later today. (That is 20+ workers at the house today, WOW!)

The exterior is about 90% complete; all of the windows are installed, the roof is sheeted, we are moving on to the decorative cedar deatiling such as the pergolas, fascia boards, and brackets. Below is the outdoor room, the post are being built out so we can apply the stone and cedar to them. I am seeing many bottles of wine enjoyed under this roof in my future!

Now, with every job there are issues, mistakes, mishaps and for us we can include the bow window units. When I saw the framed opening I thought 'that looks way to short' but whatever, I could live with it, that is until I saw the units go in. Somehow, someway we went from having 18" wide windows to 14", that was just not floating my boat. So here is Hubs talking the change over with the framer that spent hours upon hours framing this wall to perfection. The entire middle section on the main and upper level now have to be ripped off and re-framed. But hey, now is the time to do it, this was not a mistake I was willing to live with.

So it is rocking and rolling, we are on schedule to have the drywall done while we are far far away sipping tropical drinks. Now off to bake more cookies, gotta keep the trades happy!!! Mel xo

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Knock Knock - Nappa Valley

I love it...all of it. Take a look at this stunner by Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects, it is true love.

All images via Backen Gillam & Kroeger

I'm inspired, are you?? Mel xo

Monday, January 24, 2011

For the Boys, the Jack & Jill Bathroom...

Here is the concept behind the boys Jack & Jill bathroom that they will be sharing in the new home, I think it may just be turning into one of my favorite spaces...

1. 36" tall white subway tile wainscoting
2. White hexagon floor tiles
3. Kohler Bancroft widespread faucet in chrome
4. Chrome industrial style lights for above the vanity sinks
5. Yellow & white chevron shower curtain
6. Honed absolute black granite vanity top
7. Cole & Sons Woods Wallpaper
8. Custom Shaker style cabinets in a crisp clean white

There are a few more elements that I have up my sleeve, but you will just have to wait to see them. Have a wonderful day!! Mel xo

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simply Stunning

Image via Houzz

Sorry I missed posting this yesterday, we have had a long weekend with a very sick little boy in the ER with a bad case of the flu. Happy to report he is on the mend and back to arguing with his brother. On that note wash your hand a lot and enjoy your Sunday!!! Mel xo

Friday, January 21, 2011

Fridays Favorite - Spinning at home

After THIS post I had a few inquires as to my spin routines, songs I listen to, or just how I do it at home. So let me introduce you to one of my true favorites, iamplify. I have all of the indoor cycle programs from this site, but by far I think the BEST ones are from Tracey Mallett. Your best bang for your buck is the Blast Away Fat: Indoor Cycling Package for $29.95. It includes 4 programs that will get you into shape in no time, I promise!!!

Another option for downloads are from a site called iTrain.  While I do have a few of these, the Tracey Mallett package is still my go to for some major fat burning. But any that you do chose to go with will give you an amazing workout, just remember, you have to push yourself. No one may be in front of you to make you increase the tension or to pick up the speed...but just envision that you are in the class and you want to kick some serious booty.

Now for the bike...there are a ton of options out there. At our cabin I picked up an inexpensive bike, since it only gets used in the summer I didn't want to spend a massive amount of money on it. The  Stamina 9200 CP Spin bike is perfect if you only plan on maybe spinning once a week or for a second home that will not see the abuse that your main home gym would give.

For my home gym I went with a more ridged higher end bike. I use it between 2 - 4 times a week, so I wanted something that would hold up over time. I opted for a Schwinn AC Classic Indoor Cycle, seriously, I love this bike, but I really love what this bike has done for my thighs!

OK, now go off and enjoy your weekend and get some activity in if you can, say maybe a spin class?? Mel xo

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Knock Knock - The Gym House

The Gym House, located in Seattle and listed at $1,695,000 for all 2980 Sq. Ft. Here is a glimpse of the unit in the building that dates back to 1920. For someone who is typically not head over heels in love with modern this home has taken my heart....I know the lights and table in the image below have a lot to do with that!

Enjoy your Wednesday, I am off to bake some cranberry oatmeal cookies for the trades. Mel xo

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Everything needs a beautiful home

Even the food you eat deserves a beautiful space to call home. This is one aspect of the kitchen that I am looking forward to, the big, organized, beautiful pantry.
 Image via Country Living

I plan on incorporating lower cabinets for storage of dishes, glasses, and small appliances. Having the counter-top will also come in handy when we are entertaining, I like to plate some food in advance so this will allow me the perfect spot to keep things organized and out of site.

Can you really have enough storage in a place like a pantry??

Here is what I have in mind, maybe some pull out baskets too for potatoes & onions. Isn't it beautiful?

 Image via Gast Architects

I think that this will be my mission today, get this space designed and put together. I will admit that with 2 small boys I know my pantry will only look as good as the ones above for a few hours, so maybe all of the excitement will be short lived once we are in the home...but then again, after all of the waiting I don't think so.

Mel xo

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hard workers & updates...

Seriously, there is nothing I can say or do for our amazing framers that would show my appreciation. The weather has not been kind to us for the last week, average of -20 and below. They had to take a few days off due to the wind chills and wind but they did show up on Saturday and even yesterday...and it was still -20 outside! So Rob & I decided to cook them up a killer lunch; a few slabs of ribs on the Big Green Egg, a couple of salads, and a freshly baked batch of my very best chocolate chip cookies.

While they are making progress on installing windows, finishing off smaller roof sections, and putting up some of the timbers it is still too cold to get a crane in to assist with the roof, so that has also put a complete stop on our Lynx job. Unfortunately Lynx can not go any further until a crane is on site, fingers crossed the weather forecast for this coming week is true, warmer weather is on the horizon! 


Here is the last look you will get of the Montgomery job until I have the professional images. A lot has happened since last weeks update, the cabinetry has been lacquered, the stunning kitchen backsplash has been installed, appliances delivered, & the guys were there finishing off the acid stained concrete floors in the basement. I am just beyond thrilled with how this is turning out! 

As I mentioned above, fingers crossed for better weather, the guys are deserving of it!! Enjoy your Monday! Mel xo

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Much appreciated...

It is much appreciated to get any sort of accolade in this industry. Sometimes people do not realize that a simple 'thank you' or 'wonderful job' goes a long way. So I would like to take this opportunity to say a HUGE thank you to Darcy at The I.Design Box & Mona at Providence Ltd. Interior Design for awarding me with a Stylish Blogger Award. I appreciate the compliment and you only drive me to continue to grow as a designer and bring inspiration to all that I can.

Part of this awards includes sharing 7 things about myself that you may not know. So allow me to take this time to share with you 7 little details into my life...

1. I studied art at Rode Island School of Design and then School of Visual Arts in NYC, 2 amazing cities that I still hold dear to my heart.

2. I'm tall, 5'10", but I still love my heals, even next to my 5'10" husband.

3. I have an addiction to photography, mostly having my family captured by amazingly talented artist.

4. Entertaining is something I thrive for, I love to host all kinds of events and am looking forward to the massive party we will be having once we are settled in our newest home.

5. Exercise is a must, at least 6 days a week. I need the early morning time alone when the house is still asleep to just let my mind wonder. I have come up with some of my best ideas on my spin bike, that is my therapy.

6. Designing my own home is a nightmare, seriously, I would rather have 100 homes to work on with tight budgets and time lines than work on selections and design for myself. I over think, I like it all, if it is out of budget I get my heart set on it, and I find it exhausting.

Image via Getty

7. I am number 7, the seventh child to amazing parents that have always had my back, always let me run with my imagination, and who gave me amazing siblings that I miss and love immensely.

And now I would love to pass this along to 10 other wonderful bloggers that I admire and enjoy reading. Here you go my lovelies!!

Lilac & Grey                                       Satisfying Spaces
The White City Project                       VT Interiors
The Countrypolitain                            Willow Wisp Cottage
Pink to Green                                      Ma Nouvelle Maison
Moth Design                                       Tales of Me & The Husband

So girls, please share 7 wonderful things about yourself and pass this along to 10 amazing blogger. Mel xo
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