Sneak Peek

My sister and I did a photo shoot for our garden book this weekend. Just one little shot as a teaser of things to come in the book! 🙂

An entry way should be warm and inviting and convey a prelude of what’s to come when you step inside. This homeowner has perfectly combined the use of stone, wood and wrought iron to create an interesting palate that captures your interest and leaves you wanting to see more. The addition of the fabric drape softens the hard scape materials and creates and indoor/outdoor feel.

In this circumstance, the homeowner uses the French Doors as the main entryway. By flanking the French Doors with the large symmetrical placements of the urns and lanterns, it invites the guest directly into the home.

A Day In The Garden of Eden

I’ve mentioned before that my sister and I are in the beginning stages of working on a garden book. We have some incredible homes lined up, so I hope I can hold up my end and capture them to the best of my ability.

Yesterday, we went to scout our first home. My sister, Vicki Petulla of The Creeping Fig, was actually hired to plant the urns in the yard for an outdoor party so I decided to photograph the areas where she planted the urns but I cannot wait to go back to do a real shoot there as it is an amazing property.

I’ll be posting teasers as we work on our project. Here is an example of what you might see in the book. Enjoy!

I’d like to wish a ♥Happy Mother’s Day♥ to all of you lovely ladies who give so much of yourself to your families. I hope there is a Garden of Eden waiting for you somewhere in your day!

The Power of Good Design

It seems as though I’ve been in or around the world of Interior Design and Architecture for most of my life. I was influenced as a child by my mother who was an Interior Designer and I have subsequently worked, in one way or another, in the Architecture/Interior Design field, including owning my own Home Staging business. So you can understand that I have a deep appreciation for the love of architecture and design.

It was the combination of my love for design, travel and photography that started me on this blog adventure which has proven to be such a creative, fun and satisfying outlet for me. In reviewing some of my recent photos, it dawned on me that I had truly experienced a serendipitous moment when my love for all of the above collided during my stay at the Amangiri Resort in Utah.

I thought that through these images I could share my passion for architecture with you using this resort that I feel has been so well designed by architects Marwan Al-Sayed, Wendell Burnette, AIA, and Rick Joy, AIA of I-10 Studio (design story here). Since I have done a previous post on my experience at the resort itself (here), I am going to try not to duplicate the photos and keep these to my favorite simple design images.

There are many reasons why I enjoyed my visit to Amangiri as it is a very well-managed resort with incredible service and attention to detail, however, one of the main reasons I enjoyed it so much was because of the way this property was designed. The architects at hand truly designed this property so each guest can connect and enjoy the full experience of the surrounding landscape. The merger of the indoor/outdoor living experience is so well executed that it almost feels as though you are camping…in the most luxurious sense possible.

Some of my favorite key design elements are:

1) The incorporation of the existing environment and landscape into the design.

The buildings here have been designed to blend into the landscape for an almost seamless transition.

The pool wraps around a huge boulder making you feel at one with the landscape as you swim.

2) The use of pattern, textures and natural elements.

The design above incorporates concrete, wood and a creative water feature wall that allows algae to grow which then organically creates an amazing design.

Basket weave patterned wood slats create airy barriers for privacy.

Water features throughout the property create visual interest and a soothing sound. 

3) The design of angles and lines that draw your eye to a specific point.

Throughout the resort there are enticing visual angles and lines to the buildings that draw your eye towards the incredible landscape.

4) Utilizing materials that compliment the environment.

Here steel, concrete and wood are materials that compliment and work nicely with the surrounding landscape.

Wrought iron beehive and cooper light fixtures add interesting design adornments.

Overall, I found this to be one of the best designed resorts that I have personally experienced which makes for a very pleasurable time. Never under-estimate the power of good design!

For more pictures of the interior and surrounding landscape of this resort, refer to my previous post (here).

Buy Gifts That Keep On Giving

This holiday season as you’re doing your shopping, why not consider making your purchases from companies that give back. Give a gift that keeps on giving.

Here are a few companies that give back to the community. Click on the picture and it will take you to the company website. Feel free to recommend more companies that do the same. Happy Shopping!

Greyston Brownie's Moto: "We don't hire people to bake brownies. We bake brownies to hire people."

As seen in Oprah - Footzyrolls is proud to be a contributor to The United Way.

Joan Hornig Jewelry worn by Celebrities. 100% of the profit goes to the buyer's choice of charity.

Winemaker Ron Mondavi created One Hope and donates half of the profits to charity.

Philosophy supporting the joyful heart foundation.

Gifts that Give donates 20% of merchandise purchased to the charity of the shopper’s choice.

PUNJAMMIES™ are made by women in India rescued from forced prostitution seeking to rebuild their lives.

Girlfriends, Glitter and Garland

What is it about girls, glitter and the holidays? I speak for myself when I say, I look forward to anytime that I can get together with my girlfriends, but add in a dash of glitter and the sparkle of the holidays and I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl! So you can imagine my excitement in receiving my invitation to Lulu Pom’s Annual Holiday party.

Lulu Pom is a chic home furnishings and interior design shop located in the picturesque town of Los Gatos, CA.  Owners and designers, Laura Ziffer and Linda McFalone began their adventure many years ago at a quaint location in San Jose. Over the years, they have successfully grown their business, managed to move their shop to the trendy town of Los Gatos and thrive throughout this down economy.

One of Lulu Pom’s signature events is their annual holiday party. However, don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary holiday party ~ for the women that attend, this is a coveted event. Women look forward to this event months in advance, they call one another up, make reservations at their favorite restaurant for their pre-party drinks and nibbles, talk about what they’ll wear and then in large droves meander over to the store day-dreaming about what extraordinary item they will acquire to take home to showcase.

Charming owner, Laura Ziffer greeting us as we arrive. Beautiful window boxes prepared by Vicki Petulla of The Creeping Fig.

The excitement starts to build as you approach the charming shop with its perfect wooden window flower boxes filled with white hydrangeas, pansies and dripping ivy. As you walk through the door, your head starts to spin from not knowing where to look first. Vintage chandeliers, mercury glass votives, silver trays, old world glass, shimmery holiday ornaments and apothecary jars filled with bubble gum pink candies dance for your attention. Your heart starts to flutter with excitement at the sight of such beauty.

For this event, the shop is filled with sparkly holiday ornaments and gorgeous Boxwood and Magnolia wreaths ~ some adorned with beautiful ribbons and dressings ~ that are immediately snatched up by the more experienced women who attend this event each year and have the routine down. The novice women stroll through the store in a daze as they try to process what has just hit them, but even they eventually find their footing and fall in stride.

As the evening comes to a close, the women grasp their packages with content smiles on their faces as they head out the door. Ah, another successful Lulu Pom holiday party as Laura and Linda exclaim with a hearty, “Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!”

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Lulu Pom, in downtown Los Gatos is a home furnishing and interior decor shop. The shop has a wide selection of one-of-a kind vintage pieces combined with modern home furnishings. It carries china, glassware, garden, furniture and more. In-store interior design consultations are also available.

Lulu Pom ~ 100 West Main Street, Los Gatos, CA 95030 ~ Phone (408) 399-5572