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Jumat, 30 April 2010

Lacquered Walls: A Maximalist's Dream

Christina Murphy Now that I've blogged for a while, I've started to see trends emerge in my tastes and interests that I don't think I would've noticed without the virtual paper trail. One of the biggest things that I've come to realize about myself is that I tend towards maximalism -- not just in design, but in life. I'm a big believer that bigger is often better, just as more is often more. I've

Kamis, 29 April 2010

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Pink Wallpaper

This week I'm thrilled to have Shannon from Pink Wallpaper guest blogging. Shannon's blog was one of the first design blogs that I started reading. She consistently delivers with some of the most beautiful, most inspiring (and under-the-radar) images in the design blogosphere. In addition to being a designer, Shannon is also currently running a successful e-business reselling some of her

Rabu, 28 April 2010

Change Your Accessories To Bring A Room Back To Life

As we all know it's the finishing touches which lifts a room and gives it the 'wow' factor. Yes, of course you have to get the colour scheme right, along with positioning furniture to make the most of the available space within a room, but it's the creature comforts which transform the look of rooms by providing balance and cohesion.

Table lamps contemporary in style are one accessory which no home should be without. They don't have to be matching, if fact table lamps with different base shapes and shades add to the interest of the room as well as being ideal to create the right mood and ambience in a room.

Most homes in the UK have central ceiling lighting and whilst this is okay when you need to illuminate the entire room they can cause a room to look either over illuminated or harsh. Soft and gentle lighting placed strategically around a room offers a much calmer and refined lighting effect which is also conducive to relaxation and provides an informal homely feel.

Look for table lamps with unusual shaped bases, along with shades which coordinate with you colour scheme, turn off the central light and you'll be surprised at the difference within the room.

So rather than re-decorate try adding new accessories, such as table and floor lamps, cushions and rugs to bring a tired looking room back to life.

Senin, 26 April 2010

Quick & Easy Mini-Makeovers

While I'm a huge fan of the monumental DIY projects that many of my fellow bloggers tackle on what seems like a weekly basis, I'll admit that sometimes after a long week at the office I'm just not up for that. Instead, what I'm after is the kind of quick and easy project that gives you a big pay-off for minimal time (and monetary) commitment. If you're anything like me, you don't have each and

Jumat, 23 April 2010

Has Your Home Got A Sunny Disposition?

It's warm and the sun's out and just as we start to shed out winter clothing so our homes breathe in the fresh air! But only if you open the windows and let the sunshine enter your home through squeaky clean windows!

Rooms which have a sunny disposition will give you an instant pick-up, keeping rooms light and airy with appropriate windows dressing which are practical, functional along with complimenting your interior design style will work wonders for your interior and your morale!

With the fabulous assortment of blinds online you can choose styles and colours which suit your home and you budget. You don't have to spend a fortune to have beautifully dressed windows. Blinds are ideal for all styles of interiors, from traditional to contemporary. Just choose a colour which fits in with your colour scheme and design style.

Wood roller blinds tick all the right boxes in terms of value, style and versatility. If you want to add patterns to your windows opt for Roman blinds which are ideal as the sole window dressing or look stunning when used in combination with the latest eyelet curtains styles.

Image: Freshome

Kamis, 22 April 2010

My favourite thing this week

One of my weekly guilty pleasures is tuning in to watch High Society on the CW channel.  Anything that combines New York and socialite in the same sentence makes me want to watch!  Yes it is like watching a train wreck at times but I can't take my eyes off the screen.  The show is based on Tinsley Mortimer (socialite) and her life.  Although when I say her life I mean her scripted "life" for the

Sarah's House kids rooms

    Girls roomLove the headboard!Boys roomLove the panelling and barnboard ceiling!

The Colors of San Jose del Cabo

The Colors of San Jose del Cabo 

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Patricia Gray Inc
is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Shop Like a Design Blogger: Material Girls

This week's great shopping tips come from Lauren, who runs the Houston-based arm of the multi-city blog Material Girls. Although Lauren got her design training at OU, Lauren now lives and works in Houston as an interior designer specializing in kitchens and baths at Kitchen & Bath Concepts. In addition to her day job, Lauren is preparing to launch her own interior design business, Lauren Haskett

Rabu, 21 April 2010

Wine Spa Treatment

"Come! I am tasting the stars!"
  --Attributed by legend to Dom Pérignon (1638-1714)

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Outdoor Wine Spa Treatment cabana overlooking ocean  

I had my first wine spa massage today – it is the hottest new trend in the spa industry. Grapes, grape seeds and grape vines contain some of the nature’s most powerful antioxidants. The French have known the rejuvenation properties of grapes for centuries, and recent studies are showing that the French suffer less heart disease due to a regular intake which confirms that wine not only tastes good - it’s good for you on the inside, and now on the outside.  

To start off the wine spa massage treatment you arrive 45 – 60 minutes before your appointment for your ‘guided relaxation sequence’: 10 minutes in the steam room or sauna relaxation; pressurized rain shower cooling-off and rinsing; 10 minute Jacuzzi immersion; cold plunge immersion for blood pressure stabilizing; 15 minutes in the relaxation lounge. The “La Vin” Massage is a personalized anti-stress massage using the unique therapy of Chardonnay oil containing antioxidant grape seed extract oil. The Merlot massage claims to treat sunburn and extreme dehydrated skin. After the wine spa massage I was escorted to the relaxation lounge where the Wine Spa Sommelier had designed the perfect pairing between “Haute Signature” canapés, and a perfect glass of wine from Valle de Guadalupe. 

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Wine Spa Therapy Relaxation Lounge / Wine Spa Therapy Facility

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Selasa, 20 April 2010

Welcome to the Hotel California

Yesterday I set off to visit the legendary Hotel California in Todos Santos, Mexico.  The Eagles made this song famous in the 70’s|(listen to it here on YouTube as performed at the 2007 Grammys.)  According to the locals - Todos Santos was a town that the Vietnam draft dodgers escaped to in the late 60’s.  When communicating with home they would discreetly say they were staying at ‘The Hotel California’, hence the words of the song:

“We are all just prisoners here
Of our own device……
You can check out any time you like
But you can never leave……”

The drive to Todos Santos from my Hotel (on the Los Cabos Beach corridor) is approximately 1 hour, on the two lane Highway 19.  I bravely rented a car for the day and set off on my adventure only to get lost before I left Cabo San Lucas.  It turned to to be an interesting diversion, as I got to see the area of town where the locals live, which I might not have seen otherwise. Back on Highway 19, which is undergoing construction, the speed limit is posted at 60 km per hour or 80 km per hour.  I soon found out that was only a ‘suggested’ speed limit, as I had huge semi transport trucks right on my bumper and passing me on this narrow highway on a solid yellow line.  Once I sped up to the going speed of 110 – 120 kms per hour I fit in nicely.

There were two stops that my Mexican Personal Assistant told me that I had to stop at:  Art & Beer for their famous drinks & decor,  and Miguel’s for authentic Mexican food.  Visiting the Hotel California was the anti-climax of the trip as it was very touristy, but the Pina Colada and appetizers at Art and Beer, and the Chili Reno at Miguel’s were unforgettable.

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The bartender at Art and Beer making his famous Clamato drink (above.)  It has 17 ingredients and could constitute a entire meal.  These are the ingredients, if you want to give it a try: Tomato juice, orange juice, worchester sauce, soya sauce, lime juice, hot sauce. wasabi, dijon, horseradish, oyster sauce, small scallops, clams, cracked shrimp, celery, celery salt, Vodka, ice. 

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Me with my Pina Colada - it was sooooo good / Appetizers of squid & scallops and clams on the half shell

The Pina Colada was served in a pre-frozen half pineapple, with appetizers of fresh clams on the half shell, and a separate plate of baby squid and the smallest, tenderest scallops – both were topped with Mexican hot sauce.  In Mexico when you order a drink you automatically get something to eat with your drink.  This time I got a full meal with my Pina Colada.  The seafood was fresh caught locally that morning.

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Art & Beer on Highway 19 – Todos Santos in distance
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The seating area at Art & Beer / Umbrellas from drinks along with business cards placed on the posts throughout Art & Beer

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You can lounge in hammocks while enjoying a Margarita 

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The view from Art & Beer towards the Sea of Cortez

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Cactus and Succulent at Art & Beer
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Hotel California Todos Santos / Mannequin in lobby of Hotel California 

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My final stop of the day before heading back was at Miguel’s Restaurant in Todos Santos to try one of his acclaimed Chili Reno’s.  Miguel and his wife started their restaurant 9 years ago with two tables and it has grown into a renowned establishment with recent press in the NY Times and LA Times.  The food is authentic Mexican – Miguel’s two sisters and aunt were cooking in the kitchen, and I was lucky to get to see my Chili Rellenos prepared. The decor is traditional with dirt floors and typical thatched roof.

Miguel's Chili Relleno
Fry the green chilies in a fry pan to brown the skins to make them easy to remove. Discard the seeds and pulp inside.  Dip the chilies into boiling water (to remove the hotness).  Stuff with cheese.  Beat up an egg white and dip the chili into and then coat with fine bread crumbs, fry until golden brown and the cheese inside melts.  Serve with rice and brown beans. 

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

Simple Patterns Made Into Stunning Style

Patterns play a huge part of our lives and although you may not be a 'pattern person' and prefer plain fabrics for your home, there is something simply stunning about stripes and zigzags which is almost mesmerising.

Blue stripes on a white background give a nautical look which is very on-trend this year. Choosing lightly quilted bedspreads king size of course, provides a sleek and stylish way to give your bed and your bedroom the 'wow' factor.

These colour combinations also provide a crisp, clean look to the room, add the bed canopy with a slightly smaller stripe and the eye is automatically drawn upwards, which is a great way of making ceilings appear higher.

The all important finishing touches need to be kept with the same crisp, clean lines and yet adding a different pattern in such a subtle way is the perfect answer to having a beautifully made made bed and a stunning bedroom to-boot.

If blue is not your preferred colour the same effects can be achieved using just about any other colour teamed with white to get the clean look. Red striped adds a touch of drama and romance which is ideal for bedrooms, just remember that the darker the stripes the more of an impact they will make.

Image: Absolutely Beautiful Things

Senin, 19 April 2010

Sex and the City 2

I don't know what I am more excited about, the fashion or the interiors!  I have seen some images of the movie starting to pop up on the web and I wanted to share them with you.  Whether you are a Carrie, Samantha, Miranda or Charlotte I think we can all appreciate the great fashion.  I myself am a huge Carrie fan and she can do no wrong in my eyes when it comes to her fashion sense.  I wish I

Best laundry room ever....

After a weekend hassling around with our old washer and dryer (which now manage to get unbalanced anytime I try to wash or dry more than a few items at a time), I'm dying for one of the new high-tech versions from Electrolux, which wash and dry a load in as little as 36 minutes (allegedly). While I'm at it, I'd perk up my now very beige and white space with the turquoise models and cover the

Jumat, 16 April 2010

Hola from Los Cabos

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Warning: Depending where you are when you are reading this, you might feel a tinge of envy, but let me preface this post by saying that this vacation is just what I am needing to recharge and ‘smooth my feathers’... I am sitting on a beautiful sunny beach in Los Cabos, Baja Mexico sipping a Margarita and eating a pizza with Mexican hot sauce ....two weeks of bliss….with lots of  time to waste away in Margaritaville.  The resort I am staying at is situated on a magnificent private coral beach with 6 swimming pool, 3 restaurants, and a world famous Wine Therapy Spa with treatments called vinotherapy (more on that in another post.) I arrived late Sunday, and on Monday I did not leave the pool deck. I was totally mesmerized by the warm ocean breeze, the sound of the surf, and the reflections in the infinity pool.

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Mexican Pizza with Hot Sauce & a Lime Margarita
The bird in the background was trying to get a bite of my pizza.

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Wildlife at the pool.

This iguana has a good thing going. He slinks under the deck chairs and waits in prey for any unattended food that he can pilfer. The first time I noticed him (or may it is a ‘her’) he had a slice of tomato in his mouth, bigger than the size of his head, and was scurrying across the pool deck back to the safety of his rock to devour it. It quite shocked me the first time I saw him, but over the course of a few days the more I saw him the more familiar he became.

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The resort is at the bottom of a high outcropping of rock. Walking back to my room these are some of the view corridors to the ocean. My favourite time of day is in the late afternoon, when the sun is lower in the sky and casts dramatic shadows.

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Shadows on the trunk of a palm tree
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One of the restaurants is situated on the edge of the ocean and is lit entirely by candle light where Chef Gerardo Rivera reigns supreme. The service staff bring flashlights to look at the menu. For my main course I had the most delectable local Sea Bass firewood cooked with tomato chunks, lemon grass and cilantro accompanied by a glass of Chateau Camou, El Gran Divino”, (Late Harvest). For dessert I waited patiently for the 20 minute cooking time for the Chocolate Bomba scented with Cardamom and Bitter Chocolate, which was baked in a wood oven. In Spanish -  Bomba de chocolat amargo y cardomomo.

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Chocolate Bomba baked in a wood oven.

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One of the paths to the beach / Private deluxe beach cabanas

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An early morning walk on the beach
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The waves washing up on the beach (left) / The waves receding (right)

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Coral Reef Beach
Wish you were here!!!!

Patricia Gray Inc is an award winning Interior Design firm  in Vancouver, Canada who blogs about WHAT'S HOT  in the world of Interior Design.
2010 © Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™