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Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thornton Designs has a new blog!

I know many of you are familiar with the work of designer Lee Ann Thornton, and personally I love her work. She "finds inspiration in the colors and comfort of classic design and enjoys updating this aesthetic to suit modern individuals and families. She's known for balancing style and comfort, and firmly believes luxury and practicality can be combined for today's family living. Beautiful fabrics combined with original, elegant furniture are hallmarks of Thornton Designs."

Lee Ann has recently started a new blog, called 'It's Everything I Love', and I'm sure it's going to be one of my favourites. Take a look at some of her work:


So, do yourself a favour and check out her brand new blog, and her lovely website. Oh, and make sure you say hi from me!

Have a wonderful weekend,

5 Best Tips for Kona Big Island Ironman Visitors

Welcome back everybody who is interested in Hawaii vacation tips!
After our recent post about '10 Best Hawaii vacation tips' today's post has vacation tips for those Hawaii visitors who are visiting Kona for the Big Island Ironman.

I can't believe it that another year has passed and Kona on the Big Island is once again preparing for its biggest Big Island event: the Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Ford World Championship. It's still 9 days to the Big Island competition of this biggest endurance race for triathletes in Kona Hawaii on October 9th but Kona is already hustling and bustling with hundreds of triathletes getting a feel for this year's race swimming the rough Pacific Ocean waters, running along Alii Dr or even trying a bike ride to Hawi.

Before I share my personal '5 Best Tips for Kona Big Island Ironman Visitors' with all of our Best Hawaii vacation fans, here is a great youtube video by everymantri.com which shows an interview with top triathletes like Craig Alexander, twice Ironman champion in the last two Big Island Ironman races. What does Craig think? Can he do it again? Get right into the Ironman mood with this interesting preview event video from Kailua-Kona Hawaii Big Island.

Having been to the Big Island Kona Ironman many times in the past, live and later on through TV and videos, here are 5 tips which pop up in my head for Hawaii visitors who visit Kona for the Ironman this year 2010:

1. When you stay at a Kona hotel downtown, don't even think about taking your car to get anywhere on the day of the Kona Ironman. You can't.

2. When you come from a place farther away on the Big Island, get early into Kailua-Kona like around 6am to secure a parking place and a good observation point in Alii Dr for watching the spectacle at 7am when thousands of swimmers jump in the ocean and fight for a top position. BTW, best top triathletes get a privileged early start before big crowd.

3. You stay on another Island and decide for last minute visit to Kona for Ironman and try to book a hotel room. Kona Hotels are solidly BOOKED for the Ironman weekend and most of the Ironman week. Try places north of Kona like vacation condos in Waikoloa Village (best rates, about 30min drive to Kona) or condos at Waikoloa Beach Resort (more expensive, about 30min drive to Kona). Another option for Ironman accommodations is South Kona.

4. Prepare yourselves for a long day in the hot Hawaii sun and heat: water, sun screen + hat are a must. Remember you'll have an early morning start and it will take a bit over 8hrs for the first men and about 9hrs for the first women to arrive at the finish line after the marathon.

5. Stay away from restaurants at the regular meal hours. They will be totally jammed. Plan your lunch for 2pm and your dinner for 9pm or even later. After the first huge Ironman excitement between 3 - 5 pm with lots of cheering, things calm down somewhat later but if you are in for the long haul, there are many more exciting moments coming before midnight when the Ironman cutoff (no more counting who comes in at what position) takes place.

Hope these 5 best tips for Kona Big Island Ironman visitors will help you make it through a day of unbelievable excitement and exhilaration. Aloha, Pua Hawaii Vacation
Last but not least, get yourself a Kona and Big Island West Coast map to make sure you know which roads or highways are closed for the Kona Ironman race on Sat. 10/9. Also see Ford Ironman World Championship Road restrictions from Kona to Hawi.

Big Island Ironman Related Posts

Ever wanted to visit Big Island Ironman for your Hawaii vacation
2009 Hawaii Kona Ironman Visitors Information
Kona Ironman ccommodations
Hawaii Ironman Triathlon Kailua Kona 2006

Retro lunchbox

It's a bit silly, but this 'I Love London' lunchbox is very sweet. It might make a nice cake or biscuit tin for the kitchen, or just spruce up your Tuppaware collection with it.

The illustration is very cute and reminds me of hand-me-down picture books I was read as a child, and makes me wish I lived in 1960s London and could commute alongside men in trilby hats and wear smart, swish outfits all the time. Which of course would be most tiresome really... but that's my romantic vision and I'm sticking to it. 

Anyway - this comes from Bouf, which is a spectacular website if you're not familiar (it's essentially a storefront for all sorts of interesting small-scale designers). And it comes from I Love Retro and costs £7.16 (random price, but it's on sale right now, so get in quick).

Elegant Courtyard Stunner Home Designs

home plans

house plans designs

Fall Inspiration

I know this picture has been everywhere but I love SJP at the Burberry Prorsum show....Makes me happy it is early fall.

Image Huffington Post

Why to choose Vinyl Gazebos

Moonlit nights can be more romantic, afternoon teas and temperate days can be more pleasant, if you and your family are accompanied by shades of vinyl gazebos while there is a fine tuning from a band playing in the background. Your very own gazebo can be designed to reflect craftsmanship, elegance and iconic style for your family members. At the end of a busy day the vinyl gazebos can be a great retreat for a place to read favorite books, or just relax to your dream end. If it is a delightful party or a center stage or wedding occasion, I must say the panoramic view of your vinyl gazebo will add best charm into it. It can very special to your memorable pleasant happenings. This is from the scenery beauty point of view.

But what are the must to have features you should verify assure your best buy?

If you have chosen vinyl composition then what are the benefits you should expect as compared to wooden gazebos?

To answer these:

• Vinyl fencing is four times stronger than wood
• It is quite flexible and do not have fear of breaking under stress. Rather it will move to neutralize any friction.
• It will not shrink or wrap
• It is impermeable to wood damaging insects and dry decay.
• You do not need to paint or stain it. It dies not change color to exposed sun light or chemicals in rain water.
• Vinyl fencing looks good as compared to wood. Wood fence has a typical look of rail side in one of its portion which looks ugly. But vinyl fencing has a similar look both side.
• Wood fences aged more than a month seems to be worse decorated when rusty nails and screws get out of the fixtures. Such options are not available with vinyl gazebos.

Finally when you have make up your mind to go for vinyl one then check certain things with your gazebos manufacturer like: Best and affordable price, high quality construction of gazebos kits , life time guarantee, better outlooks and good customer supports etc. You can avoid deterioration and high maintenance charge with exciting landscape features like vinyl gazebos.

Why to Choose Cedar Gazebos and Wood Gazebos

If we talk about world’s most durable woods it is certainly western cedar woods. Though it is expensive, but Western Red Cedar is the premier choice for outdoor furniture because of its natural resistance ability against moisture, decompose and insect damage. Cedar Fibers contain natural preservatives that are toxic to decaying fungi and other infectants. Gazebos made of cedar woods are worth of investment. For other outdoors like hot tubs, saunas also cedar woods are optimum choice. Good quality cedar woods are imported from well managed and certified forests in North America. Cedar gazebos come with different shapes and measurements. For different seasons and styles also such gazebos are ultimate treat to your vision.

Among all the variety of gazebos, wooden gazebos are the ones
mostly used. These are versatile and durable also. The natural intricate look of the wood gives a special effect to the freshness of gazebos. If you are looking for Wood Gazebos plans, there are numerous search results from book stores, local library, and gazebos websites that would definitely help you build a new one of your own. Besides cedar you can use redwood, pine etc. A quick search through Google or Yahoo will gift you free to access thousand of pages which can best guide you on the procedure. Thus you can save some money for yourself while building up your very own hand rooted and planned gazebos.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Stunning Landscape with Gazebos

Home improvement, home decor is a big industry as a whole. Reason is the pool of passionate architects, exclusive designer and decorators who are there to devise new structure everyday. Gazebo is generally a pavilion type structure placed in garden, parks and public places. This is a format of leisure, peaceful and comfortable time spending tool that nourishes with energy and sophistication. A beautiful garden or lawn with a nice set up of gazebos would give you relaxation, shade, shelter everything.

Sometimes this ornamental landscape is used as rain shelter or bandstands. Gazebos is a general term and represents various structure and shapes like pagodas, pavilions, kiosks, belvederes, follies, alambras, pergolas, and rotundas. These formations are trendy in warm and sunny climates. To view the outside architecture, it can be garden wall attached, roofed or open in all sides. It can also be freestanding which looks extremely fashionable also. Generally Gazebos are made up of wood and covered with typical roofing materials like shingles in England and North America. It all depends on the type of need and variety one need. Hence customization of Gazebos is also very popular. It can be tent-style structures of poles covered by tensioned fabric. Screens can also be attached to avoid flying insects and creatures.

Installing of Gazebo in your front side private garden or community park or sea side resorts needs a great plan and designer ideas. Simply it is a great treat to your family and yourself. But building it as per your style and decoration preference is crucial task. Here are few of the designs you can choose for your very own Gazebos.
Gazebos built up from wood with natural color or white painting can also be exciting. These include floor, paling and roofs or highly wrought with built-in benches, stairs and ramps. You can ask to your builder for new innovative concepts or plan for your gazebos. One can add some flavor in to it by introducing climbing and creeping plants. The base may be structured with lattice work which can be perfect support for climbing roses. Thus you can create a back drop arrangement with flower bushes which will stylize your romantic garden.

One can also try out for Gazebos made up of brick or stone. These construction materials are costlier, but they will also endure the elements quite well and add a majestic charm to your formal manor. Even you can apply windows fitted there and enjoy the outdoors behind glass in cold or stormy weather. This is an iconic style of lavish, grandeur yet calm and cool environment for your best time spend. If the landscape is near a ridge or a stream then this is the appropriate placement of soothing establishments. The whole outdoor entertainment can be simple as well as your budget permits. A cool set of tables and chairs placed along with plant tubs can also add charms to your gazebos and save your pocket as well.

On the whole gazebos should be as per your style preference that suits your needs completely. It should be enough customized in terms of placement, design, simplicity, features and looks to give it a perfect shape of landscape beauty very near to you.

The Gazebo Factory in Kingston, IL can be your ultimate destination for web resources on Gazebo collection. They are specialized with high quality Gazebos on reasonable price where you have options to choose the suitable one for your variety of needs.

Comfortable View and feel with Pergolas

Pergolas are the most naturalistic gardening styles one can image for their own garden, courtyard or a large open space. Modern pergola designs are favoring wood than stone fixtures. They are made from a weather-resistant wood, such as Western Red cedar or coast redwood. This is actually a garden feature or passage w ay of pillars supporting cross beams. This is a type of gazebos that provide hanging networking space for grape vines also. Pergolas can be an extension of the building also either as a protection for an open terrace or bridge link between pavilions. These pavilions may be stretched from a building's front door to an open garden feature like a lonely terrace or swimming pool. It can also be entirely free hanging structure for providing shelter and shade to the walk of the passage way.

Best Uses of Pergolas:

Primitively pergolas used to be the main attractions for gardens and open spaces. Now due to limited spaces and rare large garden facilities, people have started setting up pergolas on their terrace. It can be given a shape of series of arches, and then limply fibered with long plank, on which climbers and creepers can be rowed. If you have long terrace then such pattern can tempt you for green walk. Leafy glimpses will give you feel of paradise. You can also plant various fancy trees and express its form as an orchard over there. There are many more things that can add special effect and value to your pergolas. If you have an existing well decorated garden with exotic plantations, then why don’t you consider spa enclosures along with fixing the pergolas? This is very simple and unique idea to get your bathing arrangements close to your pergolas. You can take a peaceful leisure under the leafy pergolas and cooling sensation of natural view and wind. Amazing color coded and multi designing pergolas are the real charm when the shade of it will enclose your swimming pool or hot tub enclosures .

Whether it is a sunny morning during fall or spring, a cool splash of water bustling with energy ripped with shadows of pergolas would enchant you more than anything.

Sea fan watercolours

I've been planning on doing some watercolours of sea fans for some time now, and yesterday I managed to finish two. I've always loved artwork featuring pressed seaweed specimens and coral, and with these paintings I've tried to capture the look and feel of vintage botanicals, collected and framed.

 slightly skewed photo, but you get the idea

I'm thinking I might add these to my new range of artwork, and here's a preview of some other colour options I'm considering:





So, what do you think? How about the colours - maybe you have some other suggestions? I'd love to know your thoughts. You guys are always so helpful, so any comments would be gratefully received!

Now that I've started these, I have lots of other ideas - just not enough hours in the day. I'm sure I'm not alone there!

Half Way There - Kitchen Update

I am currently working on a kitchen that needed a little face lift. Really the before was not too bad but the owner wanted something completely different...You know I love wallpaper so needless to say I was thrilled when they went with this choice from Kravet...
So far we have painted, changed the counter top and backsplash, as well as the appliances. We still have some more to do- window treatments, new furniture, but I wanted to share the progress.

Factors To Consider Before Replacing Your Roofing In Muskegon

Are you planning to replace the roofing of your house? Determining when to replace the roofing is indeed a difficult task. Some might replace the roofing when they notice leaks and other such evident flaws in the roof. Home owners might also opt for a replacement procedure when they want to put their property on sale. Roofing in Muskegon tends to become weak after certain years. You can now determine if your roofing requires replacement by evaluating the visual and functional features of the roof of your house.

Points to Think over Before Replacing Roofing in Muskegon

Following are some factors to consider before deciding if your roofing requires a complete replacement.

Warranty - You should firstly consider the warranty before deciding to opt for roof replacement. It is possible that you might be eligible for free replacement under the warranty clause. Warranties stand cancelled if you attempt the roof replacement on your own. Check the warranty period and the nature of damage affecting the condition of your roof.

Shelf Life - Different roofs have different shelf lives. For instance, the shelf life of an asphalt shingle roof is around 15 to 20 years. If your roof is somewhere near this shelf life then roof replacement is a viable option. Any other roofing materials last longer compared to asphalt shingle. Generally, clay tiles or slate lasts longer than the asphalt shingles.

Examination - You can ask an expert to inspect the overall condition of the roof. Examine the shingles and tiles. You should also examine the flashing near the roof and chimney penetrations. Some of the evident signs that your roof requires repairing include blistering and cracking. It is also an indication that your roof requires an immediate replacement.

Other Indications - Problems inside the interiors of the home like staining near the attic are also an indication that your roof is leaking. It is advisable that you replace your roof as soon as possible. Similarly, a sudden increase in your heating or cooling bills means that you need to replace your roofing.

Authored By Melvillejackson

Setting the benchmark for a good home cleaning service

How do you clean your favorite silk scarf? Or your valuable cashmere rug? Ninety-nine out of hundred people are sure to have the same answer – dry cleaning. Home cleaning needs differ from one family to another; however, most rely on professional services when it comes to cleaning certain fabrics, and obviously removing certain stains.

What dictates your choice of such a service? There is a certain benchmark in this regard. Here is a concise guide to what you need to look for in a home cleaning service in Fort Lauderdale. If your dry cleaners follow these, you have made a wise choice. If, however, there are flaws in maintaining these, you had better start looking for another service.

Are they good at the job? Their task is to clear away the dirt and stains from the fabric. If they provide clean, odor-free clothes within the stipulated time and at a reasonable price, it is a good service. On the other hand, if the clothes comes back faded or without buttons, you had better not utilize their services anymore.

Are they customer friendly? You sure don’t want a service that is incapable of returning your clothes on time. Satisfied customers mean more business, therefore, services providing Home Cleaning Fort Lauderdale stress on quality. Friendly, cooperative staff help enhance the reputation of the service.

Are they environmentally aware? Most of the cleaning services use solvents like perc in the process. Do you know that this chemical has adverse effects on your home as well as the earth’s environment? Large concentrations of this chemical can cause serious health issues and ecosystem degradation.

You need to find a home cleaning service that uses non-toxic, and non-hazardous, substances like liquid carbon dioxide or liquid silicone. You can also opt for cleaners who use the ‘wet cleaning’ method – use of water and soap (biodegradable) to clear away the dirt and stains from the fabric.

If your cleaner matches the aforementioned criteria, you are a brilliant homemaker. If not, start looking for one that does. Ask your family, neighbors or friends to recommend a particular service or go for online Home Improvement Blog to find out suitable ones for your home.

Understanding how dry cleaning affects the environment

How does your choice of a dry cleaning service affect the environment? Many find it difficult to believe that small, insignificant things like this can have any serious consequence. However, this is not true. If you were aware of the dry cleaning process and its effects, you would understand the reason eco-friendly cleaning is important. Here is a brief sketch of the connection.

After you drop off your clothes at the cleaners in Broward, or they take these away, a certain procedure initiates. The clothes are tagged, so that you get back yours and not someone else’s, and assorted. Cleaning agents are used on difficult stains. Non-water based solvents are then used to clear away the dirt and grime. After drying and ironing, the clothes are folded and ready to go back to the owner.

What happens to the solvents used in the process? They are washed away along with the dirt and grime. Do you understand the impact of this if the chemical solvents were toxic in nature? Without proper disposal methods, the chemicals are mixed in the soil, and the ground water contaminating these. If plants absorb these chemicals or animals consume these, directly or indirectly, it can wreck havoc on the ecosystem.

Do you understand the implications now? When you opt for Dry Cleaning Services Broward, the first thing you need to ask is what solvents are in use in the cleaning method. If it is something like perc, you had better avoid the cleaning service. Opt for services that use cleaning agents like liquid carbon dioxide or liquid silicone and such other eco-friendly substances.

You may come across advice to opt for clothing that does not need dry cleaning or go for home cleaning and so on. However, these solutions don’t work well in all circumstances. How are you supposed to clean wools and silks that tend to shrink without dry cleaning? Or rayon and polyester that attract stains too difficult to get rid of? Home cleaning won’t work if it is too strong a stain.

In such a situation, what you need to do is choose a dry cleaning service that offers you value for money and helps protect you as well as the environment from any hazards. Know more about green dry cleaning service from this home improvement blog post.

Midcentury Show in London and Bristol

The Midcentury Show in Dulwich, southeast London (Sunday 14 November, 10am-4pm) and Bristol (Sunday 28 November, same times), attracts dealers from all over the country, once a year. 

The event is now in its eighth year, and bigger than ever - with more stalls and lovely vintage goodies packed in than ever. Exhibitors selling both vintage and vintage inspired wares, include Mark Parrish, whose online shop I love; Lucy Bates, who collects original 1960s and 70s fabric from Heals and other lovely places; and Ruth Green, whose old-school style graphics adorn ceramics, wall stickers and prints. Find out more at the Midcentury Show's website.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

A touch of France

I'll be out and about in Brisbane today, and one of the stops on my list is this beautiful parfumerie in West End. Libertine is worth the visit for the decor alone, with the look and feel of a Parisian fragrance store. It's a feast for the senses, the staff are warm and welcoming, and you're encouraged to try any of the designer scents they have there.

If you can't visit in person, you can visit their website, or their facebook page. Oh, and my favourite scent?

It's my favourite. Ever. Not quite sure what that says about me though!

Vintage style lampshade from the Peanut Vendor

LOVE this new but old-style ceramic pleat pendant lampshade, with a distinctive green and black cord, from The Peanut Vendor

"New, but a vintage item of the future" they say. Quite. £95 - not cheap, but in that context an investment - surely?

Hi...Love You...Love Your Book

Besides meeting all the wonderful bloggers and hanging with my Dad, the best part of NY was the "What's New What's Next" event on Wednesday. I was in awe of the designers in different showrooms. There were many notable people, however, these designers I not only admire, but their books are either favorites of mine or soon to be favorites. Starting with Vicente Wolf...(me, Vicente, Camila and Nicole from So Haute -who is not only gorgeous but had on the coolest shirt)

I have admired Vicente's work for a while now and I am really looking forward to his new book coming soon. His talk in the Benjamin Moore showroom was funny, shocking and really inspiring, a breath of fresh air. I wish he could have stayed much, much longer.
Another handsome man I was excited to see was Barclay Butera...
I do not have his book (yet) but I love his work, especially his line for Kravet.
Then there was the lady who I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE. (remember my camera was on the outs and this is unfortunately what came out). Suzanne Kasler...I love your work. Really, really love it. Your book is worn from all times I have flipped through it. I think you are a insanely talented in a refined way.
If you don't have this book you need it...now, just saying.
Finally there was Jamie Drake, master of color.
I could go on and on about his boldness with color and design. I was so happy to meet him because when I first really started looking at design, rooms, etc. the room on the cover of his book grabbed me. It is the first picture I clearly remember seeing and having a reaction to and it has stayed with me for years now.
I love leaving a place with the feeling of new inspiration, new wind in your sails. After this event I felt inspired all over again. Any time you get to interact with greats in your field it is impossible not feel the creative spark growing stronger. Thank you to all of you above and everyone else who was there, it was fabulous.