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Archive for May, 2011

Today’s post is all about taking a closer look…one of the outdoor rooms from yesterday’s post sparked my interest, a Venezuelan home designed by the homeowner and architect Fernando Arriaga…this home is unbelievably beautiful but what really blew me away is the innovative use of materials…built in concrete sofas (third photo) serve as functional pieces of furniture as well as objects of art…their modern form work in perfect harmony with the natural wood columns, raw open beam work, lush green landscape and vibrant blue water…brilliant! For me, the most spectacular room is the guest bedroom (last photo) that opens to a dramatic view…the space is furnished with a custom concrete platform bed, an African chair, Tolomeo reading lamps by Artemide, and the floor is sandblasted marble…can you imagine waking up to that view? Wow…

photos by Simon Upton for Elle Decor

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To kick off summer, I thought I’d share with you some of my favorite outdoor rooms! Whether a simple country retreat, city roof deck or tropical paradise, these mouth watering homes are sure to get you in the mood for summer!

photos from Elle Decor

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Just for the summer months, Memorial Day thru Labor Day, I’ve decided to take the weekends off! A little extra time to explore the outdoors, recharge the batteries and enjoy the ones I love…wishing you a wonderful weekend and I’ll see you Monday!

photos by me ~ mimi and bella in Bar Harbor Maine, summer 2010

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salt water pool

We made it! It’s Memorial day weekend! I hope most of you have Monday off so you can enjoy this beautiful summer weather! In celebration of the long weekend, I wanted to share with you my favorite pool! It is located at the Colony Hotel in Kennebunkport Maine…filtered salt water from the Atlantic ocean is heated to perfection while expansive views of ocean and sky take this pool experience to a whole other level…I can remember going for an evening swim with a full moon over head…warm salt water, cool night air, and the reflection of a bright white moon over the ocean…so peaceful and beautiful…wishing you magical moments of peace and beauty this weekend!

photos of the pool at the Colony Hotel, Kennebunkport Maine

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standing guard

who’s that standing guard by the front door? it looks a lot like mimi lou!

wishing you a glorious day today!

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I just had to share with you one more discovery from designers Garagnani and Poccianti…they were involved with the extensive restoration of Castiglion del Bosco, a magnificent Estate situated in the heart of Tuscany’s Brunello winemaking region…purchased in April of 2003 by Massimo Ferragamo, the Estate boasts 4,500 acres of protected nature preserve, 130 acres of vineyards (all licensed to produce Brunello wine) and twenty 17th and 18th century farmhouses re-imagined as luxury Villas…the heart of the Estate, Il Borgo, is perched on one of the highest hilltops and has been thoughtfully restored to accommodate many of the Estate’s exceptional amenities including ~ 23 Suites and Guestrooms, a cooking school, two restaurants featuring seasonal menus and regional wine, a cozy bar, library, an organic Italian kitchen garden, a spectacular infinity pool, and the Chiesa di San Michele Arcangelo with its breathtaking 1345 altar fresco by Pietro Lorenzetti…I hope you can take a minute out of your busy day to enjoy this Tuscan masterpiece…

photos from Castiglion del Bosco

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I happened upon The Castle of Mugnana, or Castello di Mugnana, while researching designers Francesca Garagnani and Carlo Ludovico Poccianti…this castle belongs to one of their clients! Located 16 km from Florence in a luscious landscape of olive trees and vineyards near Strada in Chianti, the castle is a family owned and operated bed and breakfast equipped with a swimming pool and gorgeous views of Tuscany…imagine sleeping in the 1000 year old tower or walking the grounds on a sunny afternoon…oh, and of course the local wine would be perfection! Enjoy!

photos from Castello di Mugnana

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Yesterday’s “painted garden” reminded me of this breathtaking home, a 15th century Tuscan villa owned by Leonardo and Maria Beatrice Ferragamo…it is one of my all time favorite spreads from Elle Decor (April 2005)…what I find most remarkable is the livability of this noble home…although grand in scale and lush with detail, it never feels “old”

Designers Francesca Garagnani and Carlo Ludovico Poccianti, who specialize in “historical renovations that combine sensitivity to the past with commonsense notions of contemporary comfort”, helped the Ferragamos realize their dream…Francesca allowed the carefully restored frescoes to influence the decoration and palette, a restrained but colorful combination of silks, linens and cottons…take for example the artfully extravagant double height ballroom (fourth picture) whose walls are adorned with Piranesian ruins set against a clear cerulean sky…she thoughtfully furnished this opulent room with modern sofas and ottomans upholstered in a vibrant blue silk velvet, and in the center of the room, a king-size cocktail table of smoky travertine…”it’s a Modernist accent that lets everyone know what century the Ferragamos are really living in” explains Francesca…what a magical counterpoint!

Please enjoy this home, brilliantly re-imagined for today’s living but with a deep respect for the past…

photos by Pieter Estersohn for Elle Decor, April 2005

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For part sixteen of my Sunday tradition, I thought I’d mix things up with an unexpected springtime post…the twist, it’s a “painted garden” by Rodolfo Fantuzzi!

Boschereccia – or “Little Wood” – dates back to 1810 and is one of the finest examples of garden style trompe-l’oeil from the early 19th century…complete with a French parterre and Classical ruins, it is located in Bologna and is now part of the Bologna University…

Imagine how breathtaking this would be in person…my favorite, the last image, one of two Doric temples that hide the main entrance doors…artful, theatrical, so beautiful…enjoy!

photos and resources from The World of Interiors

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a summer dream ~ santorini

The sun has finally made its way through the clouds and mist…it feels like summer! My thoughts are of the ocean, vivid blue skies and the warm embrace of a soft gentle breeze…escape with me to Santorini, one of the most beautiful places on earth…how about a cocktail on the veranda overlooking the Aegean Sea?

photos from Vijay KiranClint Baker, Marcel Germain, Moni, bizarre world blogspot

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