Monday, May 31, 2010

A Simple Brazilian Retreat

To celebrate the first of June (the unofficial start of summer), I wanted to share with you the exotic yet simplistic work of Brazilian architect, Marcio Kogan. Please do me a favor and imagine a night time pool party at one of these casually chic estates. Lengthy pools, inside/outside environments, ample palm trees and flawless lighting are all given features in any of Kogan's designs making his simple designs come alive. I actually used Kogan's Panama House (fifth image down)as a source of inspiration for my retail concept last studio class without realizing it was his work until I recently stumbled upon his website. I was immediately inspired by his open layouts, interesting choice of textured materials and the perfect balance of indoors/outdoors.

I say if the weather doesn't pick up within the next week, we should all rent out one of these places for the summer--I can't imagine one could ever have a worry if you were residing in one of Kogan's Brazilian creations!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

What I'm Loving Now {at home}

I'm baaaack--safe and sound in Seattle after a full 24 hours of traveling. I am happy to be surrounded with my wonderful family and friends and spent the weekend unwinding and getting back on Pacific Time. It still hasn't hit me yet that I have been living in the U.K. for the last five months because as soon as I arrived back home I felt like nothing had changed. It is such a strange feeling, but I am looking forward to the next several weeks just to reflect on all the experiences and memories :)

However, I also have a lot of wonderful things to look forward to this summer and here is just a small sample of some things I am currently appreciating :)

1. I am loving Ellie Goulding, Empire of the Sun and The XX--all three of these British artists make for a wonderful combination of feel good playlist.
2. The Gym!!! I have forgotten how much I adore my 60 minutes of cardio.
3. No more conversions (what I see on a price tag is what I get, no more multiply everything by 1.67)
4. As cliche as this is, driving around with my windows down and fresh mountain air--I have to say I was a bit hesitant to step into my car after 5 months of not driving but so far so good...
5. Fast Wi-Fi, no more slow ethernet internet from student housing :)
6. Summer clothes, despite the weather I cannot wait to break into my solid collection of floral sundresses and skirts!
7. Mariner Games--I am so excited to finally hit up a ball game and in 3 weeks I can finally experience the infamous beer garden. Whoohoo!

What I am not loving:

1. The wet weather (obviously)
2. Unpacking 5 months of my life into my room which is already full of boxes from my previous move.

(If only Domino could magically transform my closet into this one)

I guess the combo of rainy weather and lots of re-organizing won't be too bad and maybe kind of therapeutic...especially with a recently updated ipod and free time!

Hope everyone had a fabulous as well as relaxing weekend wherever you might be!

If you need me tomorrow I'll be buried in my room, trying to sort out my belongings...

All my love! XX

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Celebrity Sightings

Ahhh! I just got back from seeing John Mayer perform at Wembley Area and I literally am stuck in a dream. He was absolutely flawless. It was the perfect way to end my five month adventure in the UK. I am so giddy, I have been dying for the day I can finally see him live and I got the opportunity to do so in London--who would have thought?! Tomorrow I am handing in my final project and then trying to make down to Leicester Square to catch the SATC 2 premiere! The girls are in town and I hope I can see them in all their glory on the red carpet :) I am getting excited to see the movie downtown with my dearest friends Sunday...Can't believe tomorrow is really my last day. Good news though, I packed up everything with the help of 4 vacuum bags to save my life--Phew!! I'm calling it a night, talk to you all soon and some of you in person this weekend! XX

Image courtesy of Google

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Homework Break

Images courtesy of Theory & Nordstrom

Today while I was waiting around all day at "uni" (what the Brit's call college haha) I happened to stop in Theory across the street and run my hands through the new summer collection, all of which I absolutely adored. I love how clean and sophisticated all their pieces are. They truly know how to convey timeless, effortless and chic style yet still be practical. All the pieces are of such high quality and versatile--needless to say I wanted everything!

I also browsed Nordstrom online while waiting to print my final project and was loving what I saw! I forgot how much I adore Michael Kors--he can do no wrong. In my personal opinion, he is one of the greatest American designers--his new camel coloured tote is absolute eye candy! I love that neutrals are in this season because I have slowly been switching my color palette over to more lighter, softer hues. I am getting excited to hit up Nordy's this weekend and visit my "other" home in Seattle. Now if only I still had my discount...

Only 2 Full days left in London...
2 Empty Suitcases...

(Already reminiscing my beloved Portobello Market)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Is it Really Over?!

This is what I find myself doing instead of doing my final assignment for class tomorrow. Photo Booth, thats productive.

But tonight I am battling a series of emotions. I am about to end my 5 month stay in London and I can honestly say I am feeling quite a bit heartbroken. This city has become my home and I'm not sure how ready I am to depart in 3 days...especially when it has been 75 out!

My heart and mind are now being split between my hometown of Seattle with my dearest friends and family and with London, this city that I have fell head over heels for. It feels as if just yesterday I arrived here on January 1st of 2010. It has been the most amazing whirlwind of an adventure a girl could ask for between working, traveling, constantly becoming inspired with my surroundings and soaking up the 'Great Brit' culture :) Each moment has been an amazing memory and a source of inspiration for years to come. I feel so very blessed with this opportunity and all that has come with it and opened up my perspective on life, design and who I want to be as a person. I have to say though, London, I have a feeling I won't be gone for long, I have fallen too hard for you to be absent for long!

For all of you in lovely Seattle, I will see you Friday...I am excited to explore and become inspired in a new light. XX

Image Courtesy of andria lindquist

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tea Party

I am so thrilled to say that I finally got the chance to see the Soho Hotel and have my long awaited traditional "English Tea". I have been dying to go over and scope out this five star boutique hotel before I had even arrived in London. I have seen this particular hotel written up in several of my favorite design books and magazines plus I have been doing a lot of research on boutique hotels lately for class so I couldn't have been more giddier to spend an afternoon there for tea. It was absolutely stunning and in a fabulous location. Kit Kemp (owner of Firmdale Hotel) has absolutely impeccable taste and literally has my dream job of owning and designing these luxurious accommodations :)

Inside was filled with colour, prints, eclectic art and pottery and overall lively atmosphere. It was definitely the kind of place you feel at home but home to a stylish, chic owner. I loved all the use of textures, colour and light throughout the space, it was the perfect balance of design elements. Plus the tea was equally amazing, I tried jasmine green tea and as well as an endless amount of homemade scones, strawberry jam, crustless sandwiches & cupcakes. What else does a girl need?! I absolutely loved it and I highly recommend going there for an afternoon tea if you are ever in the area (they also do champagne tea too!)

I am off for a run in Regent's and then its time for me to hit the books one last time! Lots of Love from London...

A Day at the Bay

Friday a group of us from "uni" took of for the day for this so called town of "Brighton" we had kept hearing of. We weren't really sure what to expect but I had heard that it had a similar feel to Coney Island in New York and they was even in fact a beach! I forgot how much I miss seeing the water, living in Seattle has spoiled me :)

Brighton is only a hour out of London and is a completely different environment. All of us were a bit stressed with finals and getting ready to leave next weekend so it was the perfect escape from our busy lives to simply relax and soak up the rare UK sunshine. It was a perfect kickoff to our last weekend in London. I enjoyed just sitting on the beach, day dreaming, chatting, wandering the pier and even braved it up to ride some amusement rides! I ended up riding the rickety roller coaster on the pier as well as the hammer ride which literally flips you upside down 200 feet over the pier--I really did almost see my life flash in front of me for a moment.

All in all this weekend was a 5 star weekend, with 5 star friends and 5 star weather. I couldn't have asked for a better weekend to roam Portobello, eat gelato in Regent's Park and go to an 80's dance club and finally have tea at the Soho Hotel (next post). Absolutely Flawless...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Instant Attraction {Kenneth Jay Lane}

(creeping tough on some prized possessions ha)

Saturday I hit up Portobello Markets to soak up all the goodness for one of the last times. This time I had a chance to spend awhile in Hirst Antiques, which is a one of a kind experience if you are a jewelry fanatic like me! It is absolutely chalkfull of vintage treasures and not just cheap costume jewelry, we're talking vintage Chanel, Dior, and my newest obsession, Kenneth Jay Lane. His pieces are the epitome of statement jewelry and all are beautifully embellished with corals, turquoises and crystals. Do me a favor and just google his name, what you will find will amaze you. Here are just a few of my favorites for today :) I honestly love every piece, especially all his coral and nautical pieces...Diiiiivine!!!

I have only one Saturday left in my home sweet London, meaning only one more day trip to Notting Hill, so heartbreaking! I am not ready to leave this fabulous city, especially now the weather is perking up...I am actually wearing shorts today--it's a miracle :)

Friday, May 14, 2010

A Traditional English...Friday

As I am wrapping up my final weeks in London, I have realized that there is sooo much I still want to do and see! I currently have my planner completely filled with events and places I want to go see before I leave (warning: I might need a strong push and shove to get me outta here). Here are a few things that are my "must-do" check-list
  1. Traditional Tea @ Soho Hotel
  2. Abbey Road
  3. V & A Museum, especially the Grace Kelley Exhibit
  4. Champagne Bar at Harvey Nichols
  5. Brighton, A small town on the beach (an hour out of London)
  6. Markets on last time, so bittersweet!
  7. Futbol Game @ Wembley
  8. John Mayer Concert
  9. Climb the top of St. Paul's Cathedral
  10. And finishing my studies of course :)
I did check off two major sites last Friday. I went to the Tower of London, which is right on River Thames and is one of the most historic sites in London. It was used primarly as a jail to house criminals and at one point was the most "scariest" place to be held. Now it is open to the public and houses the crown jewels which were the largest and sparkliest treasures I have ever witnessed--they didn't even look like they could have been real!(Unfortunately, I wasn't able to take any pictures).

Afterwards, I headed to the National Gallery and was able to see Van Gough and Monet in all of their beauty. I am so fortunate to be able to see these pieces face to face, especially since the infamous yellow sun flowers piece is located in London and also just so happens to be a previous source of inspiration for one of my earlier interior design projects (go figure-it's floral!)

Of course no Friday is complete without a quick pop into Anthro to start your weekend off right as well as scoping out the new summertime goodies. I was killing some time and decided to try on some pieces and fell in love with this particular dress...It might just be the perfect addition to the wardrobe this summer, as well as a great birthday dress. I think it would work flawlessly with my evening backyard garden party I am wanting to plan for my 21st get together :)
Images Courtesy of : Dress, Design, Decor & Anthropologie

Such a Tastefully Chic Treat

Last night I got the wonderful opportunity to go to the St. Marten's Lane hotel which coincidentally I have been itching to go to before I depart. I was invited by one of my friends here to meet up with her parents at the Asia de Cuba restaurant at St. Martens.

I couldn't have been giddier to take up this invitation! St. Marten's Lane is owned by the glamourous Morgans Hotel Group and designed by the legendary, Philippe Starck! Last summer when I was in San Fransisco my dad introduced me to the Clift Hotel, also owned by Morgans and I fell completely in love. Both Hotels have an "Alice in Wonderland" vibe which is simply quirky, mysterious, imaginative and completely chic. I love the lighting and the play of proportion throughout the lobby, restaurant and bar. After a glass of wine in the restaurant, Jenna, Becca and I (they were my partners in crime in Portugal, as well!) ventured in to the Light Bar.

Light Bar describes this space perfectly, still bright in colour but the play of light off of the soffits create a very dramatic mood. Plus the giant black and white faces upon the wall (of who knows who) made the whole experience very conservational! I can only wait till someday I will able to come and go throughout these hotels as I please and if all goes well, design one or two :)

Here are my personal pictures that I took which give off a slightly different vibe since they were taken at nighttime.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Black and White and PERFECTION All Over

I just came across this designer recently when I saw her gorgeous boutique open up the other month but only recently did I go on her website--and died--absolutely died! I have never seen such a beautiful collection of clothing, accessories and jewelry in my life! I think it is because she has all of my favorite elements...graphic prints, stunning statement necklaces, lots of embellishments and class!

Marene Birger is a danish designer with boutiques all over Europe. I have only walked by her store in Marylebone (again on my dangerous walk to class everyday, such a drag having to be continuously surrounded by such beautiful things) and was instantly obsessed how her interiors reflected her garment's style seamlessly.Inside is filled with rich textures, giant crystal chandeliers,a mostly black and white colour palette complete with large vases of fresh flowers throughout the store. Such a perfect canvas to display such chic pieces. For those of you who know what a jewelry fanatic I am, you can only imagine how I almost started drooling when I saw these bold and beautiful numbers below...Yes please!!!

Images Courtesy of By Malene Birger