Mix n Match

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Remember last week when the china of the week was a pattern named Harebell by Coalport? Well, a reader was selling a service of 12 on ebay as fate would have it -she offered me a great deal I couldn't refuse! HIP HIP HORRAY!After getting over the initial thrill of my new purchase, I started to think about how I could use it. The pattern is beautiful but very strong: I need to mix it with some more sedate pieces. Quickly I realized this is harder to do than I thought! I have a small service of monogrammed haviland limoge pieces that you see above, the blue is just a LITTLE off and the gold is a little harsh, but the whites match and it's not AWFUL.
It works a bit better when you use the dinner plate -you can appreciate the Harebell pattern more. I also was disappointed that I couldn't use much of my white china: the whites clash! They all inevitably appeared gray against the brilliant white of the Coalport (gray and CHEAP - like dirty teeth). My rosenthal sansoucci - BAD!This minton underplate from my dinner last week goes PERFECTLY(but of course I don't have a service for 12 in it!).
This picture is just because I was proud of my creative storage! I have a VERY small apartment -where would I put all this china? Well, as luck would have it, the entire set (with the exception of 3 teacups) fits PERFECTLY in my dishwasher that I never use! PERFECT STORAGE! Also, this is very easy access so I can use it often! Fashionista's store extra clothes in their empty kitchens, bibliophiles store books but I store my china in my dishwasher! VOILA!
I should explain that I never use my dishwasher because A. I love to wash dishes, it's relaxing. B. much of my china isn't dishwasher safe and C. I simply need the storage!
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Now that fall is here and in full swing, I find myself longing for cozy places to curl up. I prefer my bed with piles of pillows with a stack of magazines and pot of tea. Where do you like to hibernate?

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The Duchess review

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Earlier last week I mentioned the movie, The Duchess. I went to see it this weekend and really liked it. I didn't love it but it was really a great film.
The story felt a little glossed over at points but I plan on reading the book to fill in the details. The sets were, of course, beautiful -mostly the table settings! I left this movie hungry! The clothes were beautiful as well but not in your face (like in marie antoinette). The whole film reads very believable and accurate seeming, but not as dreamy and as great a film as 'Marie Antoinette' -however, thats just personal opinion. I would give it a B+ and definitely go check it out on the big screen for all the details that you won't notice at home!
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Hair salon

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I've been following the building of a new hair salon in Australia by Scott Weston over at desire to inpsire that is a twist on a traditional french 'salon' and it was just such a cool place I had to share it with you all here, just in case you missed it! Scott says he was inspired by Marie Antoinette -I can approve of that! The space looks like it is in a very modern building and has a twisted simplification of traditional french details. The main cutting room. A closeup of the corner chair. The boiserie is printed on paper and mounted to the wall! Even the chairs are stylized! I'm not sure how those curtains will hold up with all the hairspray in the air! I hope they're synthetic!The table for each stylist is clever as well. Notice the outlet hidden on the side! I assume the cupcakes are only for the opening party: They would get pretty hairy! I love details like these painted drawer interiors! Notice: same color as the draperies! It all ties together thoughtfully.
I think this is the entry hallway and waiting area below. Very modern in contrast to the 'traditional'. I would LOVE to get my haircut someplace like this - Australia is just a bit too far though :-(
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British GQ

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No one does style like the British and this photo essay from British GQ proves it. Not only is the photography beautiful, so are the clothes and the locations! Enjoy this saturday fun post :-)

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Demille Estate

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Back in April I read about the Cecil B. Demille estate up for sale on The Real Estalker- only $26.25 million asking price for 2.1 acres along with the buildings. A little out of my price range but it's always free to look! I think this is the most beautiful house. Above is the entryway. I love all the plasterwork!I'm sure this isn't the original kitchen as the home was built in 1914 but it really is my dream kitchen. I love the white cabinetry with glass doors and white marble countertop and backsplash. Notice the vintage stove in the alcove. The wood floors connect it to the rest of the house and make the space more homey, breaking up the expanse of white. What a great place to eat breakfast in the morning! I love this library: Space for all my books and magazines! This house also has lots of large expansive windows looking out onto the wooded lot.
The living room -more bookcases and huge open windows! You may recognize the name but not know who Demille was. He was a famous academy-award winning director in Hollywood in the first half of the 20th century.
Born in 1881, Demille started with silent films (obviously) in 1914. By the 1920s he was THE director to turn to in Hollywood! One of the few directors to be famous in his own right, he was practicaly canonized forever in the public's eye in 'Sunset Boulevard' when Gloria Swanson says "All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up!". Demille played himself in this movie and in a few other films. He passed away in 1959.
I LOVE this master bathroom (assuming there is a shower around the corner that we can't see). I like the idea of putting an oriental rug in a bathroom and treating it as a real room. The double sink with lamps in front of the windows is charming!
The master bedroom - a fireplace and huge balcony -what more could you want? Is that a towel hanging on the wall? I'm not sure what that is about
What a cute little getaway this poolhouse is! The rear of the home from the pool.
All this and a guest house too! I'd be happy just living here! While the house is beautiful this dining room is semi-tragic. While I like the wood paneling, the carpet is too dreary, the chandelier too small and the furniture looks cheap and underscaled. And that fabric on the chairs - yikes!I also found some vintage photos of the estate from back in Demille's time.

The magic of Hollywood.
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dinner with a friend

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I had dinner last night for my good friend LODA to catch up and thought I would share it with you and what went into the evening. Here she is before the first course.
The day before I first planned the menu. The primary concern was that we were meeting straight from work so everything had to be ready to go and easy to make. Caprese salad to start because it's easy and delicious! I served this on these beautiful hand painted Limoge (by CFH) plates. I made pork loin and new pototoes in a red wine and stewed tomato sauce in my crock pot. Just threw it in in the morning and let it go! This was served on the underplate you see here: a white minton plate with a pale blue sidelight, gilt edging and a beautiful silver and gold raised monogram (for who knows who and who cares!) . For dessert I made the pear dessert I blogged about a few months ago on my white rosenthal sanssouci china. I served a little cordial of the port to go along with dessert and mint tea: always a great way to top off a meal!
Before bed I ironed the table cloth and set the table. I placed the salad plate here just for the photograph and to see how it would look - at dinner the napkin was on the plate before the first course. I used these very large european sized irish linen napkins with my monogram; a thoughtful Christmas gift last year! Thankfully the silver didn't need to be polished!
Here is dessert after our fun dinner of gossip and drinking!
Always a polite guest, she brought these beautiful sunflowers as a host(ess) gift! Thanks Laura!!
They're so pretty -the last taste of summer! Then the clean up and things get put away. The table flowers were just some simple pale pink carnations in a silver trumpet vase that hopefully will grace my table for the next week!
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a NOT so modern stair

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Yesterday's post got me thinking about stairs. Like I've mentioned before they are my favorite part of any building. My favorite stair I've seen is the main staircase of the Palazzo Reale (the spanish palace) in Naples. It is referred to as the 'Scalone d'Onore' or ceremonial stairway. You can see why I'm sure! Beautiful space, lots of natural light, beautiful carving and imposing!Designed by Domenico Fontana (by the bequest of Viceroy Fernandez Ruiz de Castro), contruction began in 1600 but didn't finish till 1843 (by Gaetano Genovese)!!
door to the main entrance courtyard
This ceiling reminds me of wedgewood
Is anything not carved?
The stairs must be 15' wide at least!
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