Archive for August, 2009

More Vancouver Love…

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My trip to Vancouver in late July was a favorite trip of my husband and mine. It started with our stay at the Pan Pacific. The hotel was great and we had a gorgeous view of the Harbor and the cruise ships bound for Alaska.

The culinary experience in Vancouver was fantastic. Our first stop was C Restaurant, voted one of the best restaurants in Vancouver for a few years running. The food was devine but the experience was elevated with the discovery of my favorite Pinot Noir, Kosta Brown. I had just posted about it the day before in my “31 days of things I love” entry on Vino. So, what a treat to find this elusive red on our trip. We just couldn’t resist buying a bottle.

The next morning was my fabulous brunch that I highlighted yesterday hosted by Ivan Meade. It was followed by an afternoon tour for Carter and me of the City by my new friends Michelle and Patricia.

We saw gorgeous views of the city and the marina.

A great visit to the Vancouver Museum of Anthropology was next. The exhibits were amazing but it was the architecture that was truly stunning.

The night ended with an amazing dinner at Il Giardino di Umberto, an Italian experience by the famed restauranteur Umberto Menghi. Below is a shot of the traditional interior but we had the pleasure of patio dining which is hard to come by as it is frequented by movie stars and other high profile visitors.

Day 3 was filled with a visit to the spa, shopping then lunch and a tour of the Vancouver Art Gallery

My lunch companions were Patricia Gray, Michelle Morelan, Albarosa Simonetti and blogger Maria Killam. We shared a ton of ideas about blogging and the design business over veggie lasagna at the gallery cafe. Then Albarosa was our personal guide to the museum exhibits. Apparently the gallery is one of Albarosa’s favorite spots and she is so knowledgeable about the works.

One of the current attractions is a Dutch exhibit and includes works by Rembrandt and the beautiful painting below, Love Letter, by Vermeer.

Also at the gallery is an interactive exhibit by Reece Terris that reconstructs interiors representing the most recognizable interior design elements for each decade from the 50’s through today.

I remember some of these lovely things from my parents and grandparents homes from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.

The sophistication level came up a notch from these retro designs for drinks and dinner.

We started with drinks at the breath-taking apartment of Patricia Gray. I’m not allowed to share photos of Patricia’s home yet because she is perfecting things so she can show your herself. But let me just say that I have so much respect for Patricia’s design. She uses the perfect amount of restraint in designing and decorating and her space is perfectly edited which makes for a restful and sophisticated interior. The interior is not quite minimal but it is primarily in shades of white, a color palette that I rarely use myself which is probably why I find it so appealing.

The Shangri-la hotel is home to this chic lobby and it houses a fantastic restaurant, Market by Jean Georges.

Market by Jean Georges, the famed American chef, is as interesting visually as it is to the palette.

My appetizer of watermelon with blue cheese was simple yet superb.

And the scallops with roasted cauliflower were equally fantastic.

The dinner with my new friends Patricia Gray and Michelle Morelan was a great culmination to my trip to Vancouver.

Vancouver is certainly a destination I will visit again and I hope it is sooner rather than later.

Vancouver, with Love…

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Last month I had the pleasure of accompanying my husband on a trip to beautiful Vancouver, Canada, I love to travel, so just a visit to this amazing city would have been exciting enough. But to make it ever more memorable, I had the chance to meet some talented bloggers and designers who had become my “on-line” friends since I started my blog almost a year ago.

I will never forget the warm welcome and amazing hospitality shown to Carter and me during our visit. It started with the most glorious brunch in my honor hosted by the charming and talented designer/blogger Ivan Meade of Meade Design Group in Victoria, BC.

Ivan put together a lovely brunch with attention to every detail especially for me. He invited 8 or 10 other bloggers and designers who I had the opportunity to meet and share ideas. The brunch was at the chic Loden Hotel. But it was the table decor courtesy of Ivan that made the occasion more special. Place cards, menu cards, corsages, gifts for me, party favors and the list goes on. And in honor of my “30 days of things I Love” blog series that was going on at the time, Ivan treated all the guest to adorable favors of tea with a quote from my Day 17… I love “afternoon tea, especially when I am in good company”.

The guests included the very talented Michelle Moreland from the blog A Schematic Life who presented me with a rendering of one of my projects. I was speechless at her kind gesture.

Also part of the group was designer and blogger Patricia Gray. Patricia and I became fast friends and I know it will be a relationship that will last a life time.

Another special friend I met was the lovely Italian designer Albarosa Simonetti from the blog Brillante Home Decor. Albarosa lives part of the time in Vancouver and the other part in Milan. I can’t wait to take her up on an offer to tour me around Italy.

Other talented, beautiful and engaging guests were Echo Eaton-Thorne, assistant to Ivan Meade, designer Kimberly Williams , and Victoria Lambert of the blog Design Ties.

The day was delightful and it was just the beginning of my visit. I will have more on my fabulous trip to Vancouver tomorrow but let me just say that my husband now ranks Vancouver as his favorite city and we came away with some life-long friends so I will have to give it high marks myself.

Arkansas Times Best of the Best

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With all my travels of late, I haven’t taken the time to thank the readers of the Arkansas Times for voting me Best Interior Designer in the Best of the Best 2009 issue. What an honor to win in the design category of Arkansas’s oldest and most prestigious “Best of” competition. So from the bottom of my heart I say…THANK You. And my congrats to all the other winners!!

All Covered up

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I wish I could tell you that in my absence from the blog this week that I have just been lying around reading, but the truth is I have hardly slowed down. I have been busy getting my daughter back in school, completing a beatiful project and sitting in important meetings about some fabulous opportunities that are coming my way.

I promise to have a slew of blog posts for you next week, but for now hop on over to my friend Ronda’s blog, check out her exciting new venture and enter her Beautiful Bedroom Contest. If you have created something as beautiful as the Rubie Green design above, you might just walk away with some amazing prizes.

See you soon.

Off again…

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I have so much to tell you. My trip to Vancouver, my visit from Ronda Carman, the new arrivals in my shop, my weekend entertaining in my home and much, much more. But unfortunately it will have to wait a bit.

I am off to New York City in the morning for a few fabulous days of girl time! My mom, my daughter, my fabulous assistant Ashley and my friend Queenie from North Carolina are joining me for a trip up North. On the agenda…a day trip to the Hamptons to see the showhouse, visits with a few friends in the city, lunch at the American Girl Store and the Lion King on Broadway for my little followed by a fabulous train ride up to Kinderhook to spend an amazing weekend with Michael Devine and Thomas Burak.

So until I return, please visit (or revisit) this post from my friend Brad Ford. He is a fellow Arkansan living the fabulous life of a successful interior designer in New York City and he has just created this gorgeous retreat in the Hamptons Showhouse.  I can’t wait to see it in person and I will share my thoughts on it and my other fabulous experiences with you soon. See you then.