Monday, October 21, 2013

Purple Love

I just can't help myself since moving to Paris,  I seem to be drawn to everything purple. The most interesting thing is, it matters not even what shade of purple, and regardless of where found. Since Fall is in full swing here, purple is everywhere.  I notice the purple's in nature, lingerie, bedding, towels, clothing, shoes, coats, hosiery, handbags, flowers, table linens, painted doors and walls. As I think about it, I have incorporated many those things into my life without even being conscience of it.  What fascinates me most, is how tastefully the french use the color purple, and how unpopular this color is in the United States.  I have even decorated my apartment with different shades of purple and gray. My apartment has a fresh feel during the daytime, and a warm glow at night.  Beautiful silk window hangings in a soft grayish purple, towels in my tiny little bath, and wonderful aubergine Le Creuset baking pans and spatulas.  I already had in my table linens collection a gorgeous Le Jacquard Français table cloth and napkins,  great kitchen towels, and monogrammed Julia B Cocktails Napkins.

It is fun to see how many colors work well with purple.  Red, pumpkin, blue,  peacock all look fabulous as accents in a purple room. Fall and Holidays are the perfect time to experiment with this luscious color. View even more great inspiration for purple on my Pinterest page... "Beautiful Purples"

enjoy my favorite color purple......

Love the bold printed florals here. Even with all the pattern, this room still feels airy and fresh.

Love the Chantal Thomass bra, and Chantelle panties, french lingerie, www. 
in aubergine! 
Oh, la, la ma cherie...

Crushed velvet sofa and the different shade of purple on the french chair.  The white walls here really make this not so decorated, and a perfect background for beautiful art.  I have white walls in my apartment also.  They are the perfect backdrop to bold colors on furniture to keep a room fresh. 

Need I say more.... Purple suede Louboutins....

The purple with the green here is just magnificent.  The glow in this room must make for a wonderful dining experience.

 The classic gray and white tile and white bathroom fixtures are so elegant.  Touches of silver add glamour.  The deep purple walls are ever so sexy.  I could soak in a tub full of bubbles forever in this space.

Lilacs, floral plates, crystal, silver and a bold purple napkin just sing to me....
Sferra makes lovely purple linen napkins, cocktail napkins, and placemats in several shades from aubergine to pale lavender.  Of course, I want them all....

Nina Campbell, one of my all time favorites, does the most beautiful bedrooms.  Here, her subtle use of purple accents are divine.  I adore the white linens with the embroidery, the floral boudoir pillows, dreamy.  Notice the bedside table.  I just love this bedroom.  Imagine waking up with the sun coming into this lovely space......

Sharon Osborne loves purple too, in this version of Hollywood Glamour. Notice the painted interior of the top of the bed in the subtle shade of lavender.  I think the bedside tables and chairs that do not match are perfect in the room.  I covet the purple glass lamps.

bring some beautiful purple into your life........

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Creating the Ultimate Guest Room

Having owned and operated Atlanta store Belle Chambre for 20 years, I have had the opportunity to inspire many bedrooms, and learned plenty about creating welcoming spaces.
The Belle Chambre style interprets the classics in a timeless, fresh way, with a focus on comfort, the ideal foundation for a comfortable and inviting guest room.

When designing your guest room, draw inspiration from hotels and homes where you most enjoyed staying.  The room should be even more comfortable than a luxury hotel suite, because you are sharing your own personal style with your guests. Below, I share with you examples of beautiful guest rooms, with tips and hints.
Download the ultimate guest room check list here.


  • comfortable mattress (no cheap mattress here please!)
  • cotton mattress pad
  • two high quality freshly ironed cotton sheet sets (extra set of pillowcases for changing each day)
  • pillows (at lease 4 for sleeping, 2 soft 2 medium , and decorative euro for reading or watching television in bed) only down for my guests
  • down comforter seasonal weight (placed at the foot of the bed, or underneath a coverlet)
  • coverlet seasonal weight (matelassé and quilts for winter, and piques for summer)
  • duvet cover (I prefer the duvet to match the sheet set)
  • extra blanket
  • cashmere throw (for afternoon naps, and late night reading)
  • scented candle

I prefer restful colors in a guest bedroom and this soft blue is an example . I also adore embroidered sheets, and lightweight coverlets for summer, as shown on this bed.

simple basics
  • alarm clock (pretty clock only, no clock radios here)
  • i pod docking station with a relaxing and comforting music play list
  • small tray for change, keys, jewelry, etc
  • nice hangers (don't forget to include a few padded hangers for fragile items)
  • luggage rack
  • wastebasket
  • water carafe 
  • good reading light
  • telephone
  • television and dvd player with a few DVD selections
  • good reading at hand (magazines, novels, local newspaper, five minute mysteries)
  • fresh flowers (a special touch if from your own garden)

This bedroom by Carter Kay has many of the elements for the simple basics in the above list.

thoughtful extras
  • provide privacy ( choose window treatments that not only provide privacy but light control)
  • set of house keys
  • security system instructions (and any other access codes needed for your community such as swimming pools, gates, etc...)
  • wifi code
  • local tourist information (maps, brochures, favorite restaurants and hot spots, laminated directions to your home on a map marking special locations with highlighter pens)
  • desk items (provide paper, pencils, scissors, tape)
  • ironing board ( or tell your guest where they can find yours)
  • welcome basket or tray (fill with healthy snacks, elegant bottled water, fresh fruit)

 Take my word for it, a welcome basket with above listed items is such a special touch. House guests get the "nibbles"in the evening just like everyone else.  So, while your guests are up late reading that book that they can get to only while away from home, they will be able to put together a tasty snack without having to sneak down to your kitchen. 
What guest would not want to get cozy in this bed!

Lastly, spend the night in your guest room occasionally. You can then experience what your guests will, and make any adjustments or additions to the room.  I love to spend the night in my guest room because I also feel like I am in a sanctuary away from home. Especially if I have had trouble sleeping,
spending the night in my guest room is just the medicine to sleep beautifully and comfortably without leaving home! bonne nuit....

Monday, October 7, 2013

Think Pink for the Bedroom

I have always wanted a grown-up pink bedroom, but the timing just hasn't been right yet.  So, in order to keep the dream alive, I have collected photos , which I have included on my Pinterest Pages, All Things Pink, and Beautiful Bedrooms.

Since it is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I thought it very fitting to share a few of the wonderful "pink inspiration" bedrooms that continue to inspire me and my followers.

Most of us consider pink a little girl color, and only use it in little girl rooms. Or, now all shades of pink have become very popular for young unmarried women, and there are so many choices.  Hot pink, soft pink, graphic pinks, pink monograms, etc.  Most of these I enjoy viewing, but I feel they are overdone, and too expected to be unique.  I believe so much in making a home unique, with one of a kind fabrics,  classic furniture choices, and a color that is more timeless.  After all, decorating, even on a budget, can be quite costly. Pink has a soft glow in the bedroom, that makes the skin and surroundings just dreamy. My favorite is a very sophisticated soft pink. Even a man would love to dream with me in some of these rooms....  Enjoy!

 This bedroom definitely qualifies as a Master Bedroom, without being intimidating to your man. The white walls tone down the pink here, and just the right amount of pink is used.

 My favorite! I just love the soft pink walls, and just the touch of additional pink on the "one of a kind" antique tapestry pillow. I would pass on the dust skirt, maybe just have the coverlet long enough to reach the floor, with a cashmere blanket or antique quilt folded at the foot.  The window hangings are divine in white with a soft brush fringe on the edge. French antiques lend a timeless look of sophistication.  Of course, the appliqué linens in gold keep this room "very grown up".

 Hot Pink pillows and window hangings on a gorgeous french bed! Can't you just imagine the sexy glow this room has at night!

 Shabby Chic, classic toile.  This is a great example of soft pink sheets working so beautifully with the hot pink fabrics.

 Hollywood Glamour!  Instead of painted walls, the gathered fabric behind the bed gives a romantic feel without being too girly. I love the bed with the quilted headboard and mirrored posts.

 I like this room because it mixes different pink fabrics so that it does not look so predictable.
The white bed linens are perfect here, the canopy keeps it cozy, and don't you just love the lilac ceiling!

A lovely example of the soft sophisticated pink that I love.  Leave it to Ann Gish to create the most beautiful pink linens in the market place. We love.....

Monday, August 12, 2013

Do it at your Desk!

Since I work most of the time now from my Paris apartment desk,  I have been collecting ideas for my new dream space. For me, it is so important to have an area that inspires creativity, but also a place with few distractions so that I may concentrate when dealing with numbers and writing my blog posts.  I prefer my desk to be a part of my living area, as I do not like to feel isolated. Rarely do I watch television, but enjoy music all the time in my little space.  My former home,  had a room just for my office, and I never went in there, preferring to write or check emails at the kitchen island, but then had to clean up all my papers when I wanted to cook!  As far as a closet space, I would never enjoy looking at a wall when working.  My creativity works beautifully when I am surrounded by things that help me daydream, and peak my curiosity.

So, for me, my desk by my french door windows is absolutely perfect!  I hear the birds singing, the people on the street, footsteps of passersby, breathe fresh air, feel the warmth of the sun, view blue skies, enjoy my flower boxes, and sometimes the sound and smell of a rainy afternoon.  I must admit, sometimes I just daydream a bit, and this is when my creative juices flow effortlessly. I can enjoy myself and my work for hours.  So, I share with you my tried and true tips for the most inspiring and chic desk spaces....

A desk with a view is so important. Use lighting, color, and decor to create a space that reflects your personality, and enlivens the imagination!  A wonderful example of a desk in the living space.

Choose quality furnishings like the lucite bookcase.  I just adore the painted blue desk.  Do not be afraid of using a bold color in your office space.  The room would not be the same without it!

Lighting is very important, and I prefer the use of a decorative lamp as opposed to an office one.

The crisp fresh white desk and the lucite chair in this office is just divine. Again, an office with a view....

Everything about this desk just makes me sing!  I love the wallpaper with the bulletin board layered on top in the same fabric; the white lamp adds an accent of freshness that is a must have for all of my rooms; the painted green desk probably recycled from a garage sale is so chic; and I cannot say enough about this ugly duckling of a chair turned into a swan!  This one says Paris..... Oui?

This is my kind of space. Très chic, design oriented as to become part of a room, a window, painted desk, and  pretty flowers.

I love the mix of the french chair with the divine peacock blue velvet, the modern desk, the floor lamp not taking up valuable desk space, and the glass table find for the printer from a flea market .  The collage of art on the walls makes this space not have that decorated look.

Even though this desk space is from Pottery Barn, I think it is very stylish.  I love the white modern feel here.  This works for someone who needs instant gratification!

1: Always recover an unattractive office chair, and make sure you have great lighting.
2: I love the clothespins and wire to hang projects or inspiration ideas.
3. If you have a small space, use mirrors to give the illusion of a lighter spacious feel.
4. Re-paint a flea market find to achieve a great one of a kind look for your space, and use a custom fabric covered inspiration board on the wall.

Love your Work  
Create a special space of inspiration!  

à bientôt