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Horchow’s Win Your Cart Sweepstakes

10.23.12

Like shopping? This giveaway is for you. Horchow’s hosting a “Win Your Cart Sweepstakes,” where you could win up to $15,000 worth of merchandise. To enter, create a Horchow account and add all your dream items to your cart. And be sure to hurry. The deadline to enter is October 29.

I put luxury linens, a cashmere throw, gold flatware and a cowhide rugamong other things — in my cart. What will you choose?

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Photographer Spotlight: Evgeni Dinev

10.22.12

When it comes to the visual, few things transport and elicit as intense of an emotion as photos. And given the main goal of decorating is to elicit emotion — as I explain in detail in my book — photography serves not only as ideal decorating pieces, but also as the perfect jumping off point for a room — or as I call it, your muse. So I’m always on the hunt for talented, awe-inspiring photographers. After all, the better the photo, the more intense the emotion we feel.

Of course, saying that begs the question: What makes a great photo? When it comes to landscapes, I believe the best photos are those that walk the line between real and unreal. The photos that appear so fantastic you can’t believe they’re real, yet they’re so real — so true to what you know — they must be. Those are the ones that take your breathe away. The ones that make you feel the most.

And Bulgarian photographer Evgeni Dinev‘s photos fit that bill. His photos have that surreal, jaw-dropping, I-can’t-believe-they’re-real quality to them. If you like what you see, I urge you to check out his portfolio. And if you’re so inspired, a number of his prints are available for purchase.

See More of Evgeni Dinev’s Work »

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A Parisian Kitchen

10.18.12

source: Dave Shea

source: Betty Lou Phillips

When you switch your flight last minute, you can’t be choosey. You get whatever flights are available, which in our case meant a 10 hour layover in Paris. Yes, 10 hours. Luckily those 10 hours started at 10:00 am. So instead of spending them cursing airport chairs, we whittled away our time walking the streets of Paris.

And it was stunningly beautiful. The absolute perfect fall day — bright blue skies, puffy white clouds and people everywhere enjoying the crisp, cool breeze.

After meandering in and out of shops, we stopped to eat lunch in the gardens outside the Louvre. While sprawled on the lawn, Brent asked, “What do you think of Parisian architecture?”

I looked around, and the first thing that popped to mind was, “The mixture of metals and the exquisite details.”

Everywhere you go in Paris, you can find stunning metal work. Railings. Gates. Bridges. Doors. And more often than not, the metal is mixed to highlight and draw attention to the stunning intricacy and details of the metal work. And while I love the way it looks outside, I think its most stunning use is in the kitchen.

There’s no better way to bring a touch of paris to your kitchen than mixing metals. The most common way to do so is with a mixed metal hood or stove, as seen above and below.

I find mixed metal hoods and stoves extremely sexy yet refined, like fine, French lingerie. The details are structured and streamlined leading the eye to appreciate the beauty of the shape. It’s beauty in the simplicity.

What do you think?

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ON A SIDE NOTE, the first thing we discussed during lunch was how crazy lucky we were to get a 10 hour layover in Paris. Never thought I’d use the word lucky and layover in the same sentence, but it’s true. It was like a vacation in a vacation. And from now on, whenever I plan international trips, I’m going to exclusively book flights with extremely long layovers in cool cities in order to get bonus vacations. You may want to do the same, especially considering they’re often cheaper.

See 11 more stunning metal kitchen hoods »

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All Hallows’ Eve

10.17.12

source: Better Homes & Gardens

The night of fright will be upon us in just two weeks, and I’ll be honest, I haven’t even thought about how I’ll decorate for it. Have you? If so, I’d love to hear all about your spooky decor. If not, here are a few fun ideas. I know I need them. If only one utilized cardboard boxes. I’ve got enough scattered around to fill a whole cemetery, or better yet, to make a hundred coffins.

See 8 more fun & spooky Halloween decorations »

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Gold Notes

10.16.12

It’s no secret. I have a mild massive gold obsession. In fact, when I see something in gold it’s hard to resist. And in case you’re like me, I thought I’d share these chic correspondence cards from the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

After hours of searching for stationary, I stumbled across these beauties. Perfect for both everyday and special occasions, they make great gifts for the gold obsessed on your list. I chose the plum blossom, and it was even more beautiful in person.

Now back to unpacking. There seems to be an endless stream of boxes.

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