3.29.2011

Changing Light Bulbs

"Incandescents Going Dark"   According to the Times Tribune.com   
(Text below by David Falcheck)
Our Bedroom Chandelier
"Largely unchanged for a century, Thomas Edison's incandescent bulb with its glowing strand of tungsten will soon be a thing of the past.  Manufacturing of the bulbs will be banned, gradually, starting in 2012 with the high-wattage 100-watt bulbs (note:  it has already been in effect since January in California, see here). The 75-watt bulb will follow in 2013, then the 60- and 40-watt in 2013."
What does that mean for the reading sconces in our kitchen?
Or the comforting glow in my sister's guest room?
Or the lighting in our guest room?

Hey, I am all for improved energy efficiency 
and helping the environment...
but is anyone else concerned about the aesthetics of LED bulbs?  
I have LED bulbs in the outside lights, closets, pantry, laundry room...
but in my lamps and sconces, too?
Will there be small enough bulbs to replace those in the antique sconces that my mother gave us?
Or white and sparkly bulbs like in Rachel Ashwell's chandelier?

 Running low on bulbs, I went Home Depot today to investigate. 
Sure enough, as we are in Californiawhere the 100 watt incandescent 
light bulbs are already banned, none were to be found.  
I bought these new "EcoVantage" bulbs to try.  
 They have a much better look than the spiral 
compact fluorescent bulbs and they are dimmable and turn on instantly.
 This type of bulb is not yet available in blunt or candle tip 
(at least at our Home Depot), but I would imagine they will be as the 
75 and 60 watt bulbs are phased out.
Not bad, right?
On a related note... I bought battery operated wax candles at Pottery Barn 
and placed them is these somewhat difficult to light hurricane lamps.  
 The cool thing is that they are on a timer set to go on at the same time every night for five hours.  
So, I can come home to safely lit, twinkling candles.  Think they look fake?  
Don't answer.  I already spent $19.99 on each candle.  But YOU don't have to make this mistake.
Think these candles are real?  Yes.  
Are you concerned about changing your light bulbs?  






3.25.2011

Our Home in Florida

With the cold, rainy weather here in California and the gorgeous weather in Florida, 
I have been thinking about our last home in Fort Lauderdale.
We lived here three years ago.  I designed this kitchen with honed absolute black granite counters, mini slate subway tiles for the back splash and Vaughan lanterns.
My photos were lost when my computer crashed (lesson learned).  
These are all the pictures I have now taken from photocopies.  
Our new landscaping grew quickly in the tropical climate.  I loved the Royal Palm trees.
At the time, I was working for Scalamandré, as well as, 
taking interior decorating and renovating projects.  
I had plans for linen drapes in this room with Scalamandré trim.
Notice the chiseled edge travertine flooring?  This old world look is relatively 
inexpensive in southern Florida as it is imported from South America into the ports in Miami.  
But, with all the crevices, it was difficult to keep clean.  
Of course, we had barefoot children running in and out.
 The master bedroom had wall to wall seagrass carpeting (which I would definitely recommend 
for low maintenance and durability).  The balcony over looked the back yard.
Here is the pool, which would be lovely right now.  We used it almost all year round.
 My friend, Ann and I used to walk four miles along this beach and back home twice a week.
Source: FL Visitors Bureau
So,  rain is in the forecast for next week?  It's not all perfect in paradise...

but close (I haven't even mentioned the great restaurants).



Best Wishes,
Mary Ann

Particpating in Blue Monday.

3.22.2011

Can't Stop Stairing

This beautiful stairwell was designed by my friend, Debbie.
 Notice the pretty Reggio register and
the striking wainscoting and seagrass runner.
There is an open upstairs landing with a Lantern and skylight.

Here are two unusual stairwells designed by Phoebe Howard.
I like the horizontal planking  and light fixture below.
 In my friend, Claire's mid-century beach house, she painted the banister black
 and added the zebra runner and an antique French mirror.
  Incidentally, it's a good idea to dress up a honey oak builder's grade banister by painting it all 
black, like Claire did or paint the hand rail black and the spindles white.

When we were renovating our 1950's beach house, we tore down a wall to open it up. 
In this above before photo, there was a door at the bottom of the stairs.

We added a custom banister designed with a modern cottage feel.

What about a runner? 
Acanthus and Acorn has a helpful post regarding stair runners here.
I think a striped runner would be in keeping with the coastal theme.  
Or seagrass or a tight sisal might be good.  What do you think?

Lastly,
 here's a "vintage mid-century" (ha!  sorry guys) banister featuring my cute "Arizona"cousins.  

Best wishes,
Mary Ann

Participating in White Wednesday at Faded Charm,  Wow Us Wednesdays and Good Life Wednesdays 
and Transformation Thursdays.

3.19.2011

10 Trends Spotted in NYC

Yesterday, many in the blog universe observed a Day of Silence out of respect for the people of Japan.  With all the suffering in the world, entertainment such as blogging often seems trivial.  Sorrow, however, regarding the tragedy in Japan exists pervasively throughout the internet.  

While in New York City, stop in and see what's happening at ABC Carpet and Home. 
This multi-storied, upscale, eclectic home store never disappoints with the trends of the moment
(or of the recent past).  It's expensive to buy here but fun to explore.

1.  Colorful, hand stitched quilts from India
2.  Geodes
Rock formations with internal crystal formations make one of a kind décor accessories.  
Sorry, not the best shots. (How about the herringbone wood floor?).
3.  Pretty Indian scarves and sandals
4.  White ceramic dishes

5.  Delicate Venetian Glass style cups
6.  Mercury glass containers and carved Buddhas
7.  Pendant lights in multiples

(Netta taking a photo).
8.  More Suzani inspired goods.

9.  Luxurious imported bath textiles
10.  "Color Reform" rugs
The dying of imperfect, vintage carpets from Turkey, India and Pakistan 
gives them new life with intensely bright colors



On the way back to our hotel in vibrant Soho, we stopped at an oasis of quiet,
 Rachel Ashwell's Shabby Chic store.
Their feminine mood board above.

What do you think of ABC Carpet and Home?  Have you been there?  Would you like to go?

Best Wishes,
Mary Ann
 
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