Thursday, July 25, 2013

Bermuda - Stunning Exteriors

Ok, I know I'm obsessed with this place, but honestly,
can you blame me?

It's a designer's dream to be surrounded with all this charm, both inside and out, 
and I just can't resist sharing another post with you
So today I'm taking you on another little tour around the island. 
But  this time, I've narrowed my focus to 
because they truly are exceptional...and oh so unique.

Just look at this adorable little cottage.  
It looks like something straight out of Hansel and Gretel! 
Right in the middle of Hamilton, it's tucked between an office building and a park.
Notice the Bermuda Cedar door and gate. 

The Bermuda Cedar tree covered most of the island when British settlers arrived in the 1600's
and it was used for everything from building churches and ships to a cure for toothaches!
Loved for it's exotic aroma, it was also found to repel moths and prevent mildew and rot.
But in the 1950's a scale wiped out almost 90% of these beautiful trees.

Now, because of its rarity, Bermuda Cedar is a status symbol - 
seen only in the wealthier homes on the island.
And its aroma is considered a smell of affluence.
I would guess that this residence on the water has its share of Bermuda Cedar, wouldn't you?

Bermuda has a long history of ship building...and ship WRECKS!
I discovered this beautiful tile mosaic discreetly placed on a side wall of a shop in Hamilton.

"Bermudians seem to enjoy any opportunity to beautify their city 
with visual surprises in unexpected places."

One of my favorite places is the town of 
It is claimed to be the oldest continuously inhabited English town in the New World!
And the historic building are everywhere.
The amazing thing to me is that they are in such perfect condition.
The Town Hall is so pristine!

I'd be hard-pressed to find a more elegant post office!
Notice the Cedar windows?  Gorgeous combination of plaster and wood.

That's a drug store tucked in the courtyard. Wow!

St George street corner.
Check out the color scheme here - coral pink, green and blue with crisp white accents.

 I was particularly drawn to the deep balcony on this building.
You can just imagine the conversations that have taken place through the centuries on a hot summer day...

But THIS is the most stunning view, in my opinion.
The Fairmont Princess in downtown Hamilton is one of the crowne jewels of Bermuda!
Built in 1885, it was fondly named after Princess Louise, the 4th daughter of Queen Victoria,
who visited the hotel as a winter retreat and called it "a place of eternal spring".
I agree!

And yes, that's my yacht docked in the harbor...
One can always dream :-)


Friday, July 19, 2013

FRIDAYfinds! - Bermuda Interiors

I've always loved 
British Colonial Style
with it's breezy kind of elegance.
So taking a peek at Bermudian interiors,both old and new, 
was a real treat for me when I was there on vacation recently.

Tucker House, St. George, Bermuda
A must-see on my tour was the President Tucker House,
which is considered the most typical of early Bermudian house construction.

Tucker House dining room via
Inside was an very clean aesthetic so prevalent in British Colonial Style...
light walls, bare floors, and a decidedly civilized collection of silver, china and crystal

Bermuda became a colony of the Kingdom of Great Britain in 1707
and with it the came the refined tastes of British nobility who settled there.

But the interesting part of this story is that once they arrived
and experienced the tropical weather, their lifestyle had to adapt,
which is where British Colonial Style was born!

Tucker House bedroom via
They became very inventive in the way they integrated their love of elegant interiors
with a necessity to STAY COOL!

While their counterparts in England were embracing heavy adornments like 
velvet drapes, oriental rugs and excessive decorative accessories
the Brits of Bermuda were embracing lighter fabrics, clean surfaces
and cane-backed furniture that would "breath".

Tucker Point Lobby
And the aesthetic lives on!  
We had dinner at the glorious new resort, Tucker's Point
where they have successfully mixed traditional British style
with laid-back island charm.
Tile floors (just a few rugs), creamy walls and rich woods
set the tone while traditional floral drapes finish this unique look.
And our greeter, decked out in his Bermuda shorts, was picture-perfect, too!

Fairmont Southamton lobby
 Our hotel lobby was much larger than Tucker's Point but the 
British Colonial Style was still very evident with the
bright, colorful carpet, 
mahogany center table 
and those cute cloverleaf ottomans tucked in so perfectly.

But I'll leave you with this view that is far more spectacular than ANY interior space could ever be!  
Until next time,


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

My Liebster Award

Part of the fun of being a blogger is searching out other bloggers 
and sharing ideas.

sought me out to bestow the
which is given by bloggers to other bloggers
to "share the love" and maybe share some readers, too!

It's all in fun, but it's also nice to know that your blog is 
catching the attention of a blogger like Leslie,
who has far more experience than I do.

So here's what I have to do, if I choose to accept my "Liebster":
1.  Answer the 11 questions posed
2.  Post 11 facts about myself
3.  Nominate 5-11 bloggers for the award
4.  Tell them that they have been nominated
5.  Create a list of 11 questions for the nominees to answer

Now for the 11 questions given to me:
1.  What inspires you in your work?  I'm such a fan of nature.  But you have to look at the details to really get it.  The gradation of color in a butterfly wing or the texture of sheep's wool can be a spring board!
2.  What is your best accomplishment that is work related?  Being the owner of my own firm, surviving the ebb and flow of the design business for 19 years.
3.  When do you find time to blog?  After hours when it's quiet around the studio.  Love this time to connect to readers!
4.  Are you super computer savvy?  Or are you just winging it when it comes to blogging?  Hmmm.  Good one.  Have to say it's getting better the more I do it.  Let's just leave it at that.
5.  What are your favorite color combinations?  I've always gravitated towards clear saturated color combos like aqua and coral, or pink and navy
6.  If you had a do-over, what would you choose?  Erase all the worry I've accumulated over the years.  It really serves no purpose.
7.  Have you ever lived outside of the United States?  Yes.  My family lived in Korea when I was 4 and 5.
8.  What are you still 'dreaming ' of doing?  Oh that's easy!  I have this long "basket" list but at the top is
my quest to visit as many "Magnificent Homes in America" as I can. 
9.  Do you have any regrets?  I wish I could have spent more of my adult life getting to know my Dad who died in 2000.
10.  What makes you happy?  In order, watching my grown children reach milestones in their lives;  using up all my creative energy on a project and then seeing the results that come out of the process- exhilarating!
11.  If you could have two dinner guests from history (if they are deceased, let's just pretend they could still attend), who would they be and why?  You definitely saved the best for last, Leslie!  
1. Jesus Christ - not only for his universal love and wisdom but also to hear how He would handle current world conditions
2. Thomas Jefferson - Genius in so many fields, it would be facinating to learn how he crafted the Declaration of Independence with so little to guide him. Consider the relevance that document still has in 2013! 

Whew!  Lots of soul-searching in those questions. . . but fun to think about. 

Now that I've accepted the challenge and answered the questions from Leslie,
 it's my turn to share 11 facts about me...

1.  I live in a highly-regarded Foodie town, which is a good thing, since I LOVE FOOD!
2.  I like to design jewelry with vintage pieces.  Still a work in progress. . .
3.  I'm a sucker for mid-century modern furniture.  Maybe it's the "Leave it to Beaver" thing.
4.  Nothing calms my spirit more than hugging my cat, Derby.
5.  I love ALL animals.  I've lived with them my entire life and I'm continually amazed at their beauty.
6.  My favorite composer is Claude Debussy.  My favorite piece is Clair de Lune (take a listen)
7.  My favorite artist is Claude Monet.  My favorite painting(s) are the series of  
8.  I'm a Francophile (could you guess???)
9.  I've always wanted to design furniture.  Could it be in my future?
10.  A secret dream when I was growing up was to be an Olympic ice-skater.
11. I thrive on a challenge.  Give me a difficult space to design and I'm in heaven!

This must be the longest post EVER!
But I have to be true to my promise to nominate other bloggers to receive the

But this has proven to be more difficult than I thought!
There are soooo many great bloggers out there but I have to narrow my choices
so "Here's to you, Scot, Ronda, Traci, Kathryn, Shari and Coco"
I hope you accept the challenge and share the love...

1.  Scot Mecham Wood of  the adventures of tartanscot
2.  Ronda Carman of  All the Best
3.  Traci Zeller of  Traci Zeller Designs
4.  Kathryn Greeley of  The Collected Room
5.  Shari of  Little Blue Deer
6.  Coco of  Cococozy

Nominees, if you think this is cool and want to accept this prestigious award, answer my questions for you and post them on your blog.
(Don't forget to finish the other requirements I've listed above.  After all, we must keep the 
spirit of LIEBSTER alive!)

1.  How would you describe "Design" in one word - and why?
2.  What was the tipping point that made you start blogging?
3.  Who is your design idol (anyone in history)? Explain their appeal to you
4.  If you had one day to do anything you could imagine, what would it be?
5.  My instant pick-me-up is...?
6.  Put "x" in front of me and I can't resist!  Fill in the "x"
7.  What path did you take to enter the World of Design?
8.  What is the most frustrating part of blogging?
9.  Are you a color fanatic or neutral groupie?
10.  Where do you want to be in 10 years?
11.  What's your idea of a "Random Act of Kindness"?

If you've made it to the end of this, CONGRATULATIONS!!!  
I can't wait to hear from my nominees. 
Check out their blogs for responses to my questions.  
Bloggers have such a way with words, so this should be really interesting!!!



Friday, July 12, 2013

BERMUDA - Design Style

If you caught my last post, you probably guessed I was headed to
for a little R and R.
As promised, now that I'm back 
I want to share my design perspective on this

And I'm hoping I can inspire you 
to translate some of these insights into your own homes.

I want to start with COLOR
because that's what instantly comes to mind when I think of Bermuda.
It's everywhere, and it's embraced by the island.
In fact, locals are encouraged to paint their homes and shops bright colors
in keeping with Bermudian tradition.

But the color isn't just on the houses...
The bursts of pink, green and yellow pop up everywhere you look.
I just can't help but think of Lilly Pulitzer when I see these combinations.
Could this island have been her inspiration, as well?

Lilly Pulitzer Spike the Punch fabric 

Did I mention AQUA?

One of my all-time favorite colors is seen in every imaginable shade.

But the most beautiful is the translucent aqua of the water.
(that's me floating around taking in the incredible view)

Does it get any more gorgeous than this?
Aqua and pink makes a striking pair.
Believe it or not, it's on a warehouse!
Who says you can't dress up a utility building?

And the same goes for your home. Take a cue from Bermuda
and add a shot of color into your rooms for an instant mood changer!

I'll be back next time with a peek at Bermuda interiors,
both historic and new
so stay in touch.


Monday, July 1, 2013

Pink beaches, Blue water

Courtesy of
Here I come!
Leavin' on a jet plane for this little island of paradise...
and wanted to let you know.
Anyone guess where I'm headed?
No cheating!

Be sure to check back next week for my
Travel Log - Design style 

Until then,