I was getting nervous about today’s post. Typically, by mid afternoon Sunday, I’ve wrapped up at least my Monday post. But for some reason, I just felt super uninspired and not inclined to work… on my blog, on wedding stuff, on anything! Which means I kinda had a relaxing weekend!
But my super speedy new MacBook Air led me to cleaning out old emails of post ideas. And within that long inventory I came across the Hotel Wiesler. Just like that, I felt inspired to write again. I’m getting better about not freaking out about moments with writer’s block or a lack of inspiration/imagination. It always comes and when it does…
You find really inspiring spaces and ideas like this design hotel in a historic building in Graz, Austria.
Truth be told, I’ve always been most interested in Austria because the Sound of Music was filmed there. I dug a little deeper to find some awesome things to see and explore during a day in Graz, Austria.
Images via Hotel Weisler, My Travel Diary in Austria, Graz Tourism, Tripadvisor, Lonely Planet
Over the weekend I watched Out of Africa for the first time. Such a beautiful film. You guys may have gathered that I’m more of a “city girl” when it comes to choosing getaways. That said, the Kenyan landscapes in the movie definitely piqued my interest. And with a little research I learned of the island of Lamu, off the coast the Kenya, that seems right up my alley. It’s considered to be the oldest and best-preserved Swahili settlement in East Africa and is protected by UNESCO as a place of cultural significance. Lamu seems like the kind of place that feels truly authentic – yet enthusiasts and preservationists are developing some amazing properties to bring in tourists and fuel the economy.
One of these places is the Lamu House Hotel situated right near the Old Town across from the waterfront. It struck as beautiful and simple, not overdown or flashy at all. Most of the time, the idea of relaxing for long periods of time scares me but I think at the Lamu House Hotel I’d be content to spend a good bit of time reading by the plunge pool.
If I were ever going on safari to Africa, I’d want to end the trip here. And here’s how I’d plan one of my days touring the island.
Are you as convinced as I? If we hadn’t already bought our Italy flight tickets, I might be campaigning for a different type of honeymoon!
Images via Lamu House Hotel, Peponi Hotel Bar, Sunset Cruise via Architectural Digest
When I told you the story of our new dining room chairs, I didn’t mention the sort of shipping farce that I went through to get them. The short of it is that I went to Greyhound two different times to reprieve the chairs to no avail. The second time my mom was with me. We walked about 30 minutes over to the store only to find it closed for a few hours “for mothers day.” Of course the few hours would fall right in the time that we’d gone to the trouble to head to the store. And remember this was my SECOND attempt to pick up those chairs. My poor mother witnessed my frustration reaching new levels and patiently waited for a recovery.
Of course, I’ve had run-ins with retail therapy before. But now I can firmly attest to the power of antique therapy, at least for me. My spirits were immediately lifted in just one block of Atlantic Avenue’s antique shops. And I didn’t even have to buy anything. (But I still wanted to.) Here’s a mini peek of some of the terrific shops on Atlantic Avenue.
See those cans? They are actually candles. Good move, Collier and West! Also, any store with a sea of chandeliers automatically gets magical points. It’s a treatment that doesn’t translate to residential quite as well though.
Sterling Place has always been one of my favorite Park Slope shops and the Atlantic Avenue didn’t disappoint. I love the idea of using letterpress blocks for picture or name cards. Also, I’m obsessed with having a hot air balloon in my future nursery ever since I didn’t buy a fabulous balloon from a shop in Chelsea years ago. This one’s pretty adorable!
Oh man, who doesn’t want to get lost in Horseman Antiques? Is it completely overwhelming? Totally. Is it worth spending hours wandering through? Definitely. Would I recommend leaving a bread crumb path? Possibly. BTW, I found their collection of metal cabinets especially impressive.
Atlantic Avenue, I’ve only begun to conquer you.
Images via Salvaged Grace.
Last weekend my mom, Aunt Ann, and cousin Em drove up to Hudson for the day to check out some of the wedding venues and run a couple of wedding errands. It turned out to be another wonderful upstate day. It amazes me how relaxed I feel a mere 3 hours outside the city! We decided to get a head start on the drive home by going about 45 minutes south to Rhinebeck for dinner.
You may have heard of Rhinebeck before, it’s the Dutchess County town where Chelsea Clinton got married a few years back. It’s also one of the (many) adorable little getaway towns sprinkled along the Hudson River, north of NYC. I think of Rhinebeck as one of the more “cosmopolitan” river towns. It’s got a cute little independent theatre, a bevy of artfully designed shops and a flurry of restaurants (including one located in a former church.)
Rhinebeck is also the home of Asher House, which is my favorite antique store in the area. The store is located in a 1796 Dutch Colonial house right on the main drag Route 9 and has everything from period oak and Georgian mahogany pieces to early-20th-century designs. It’s a traditionalists dream. Below are a few of my favorite things found at Asher House.
After our short walking tour of the town (it’s only about 2 blocks, so it didn’t take long!), we settled on the Liberty Public House for dinner. Thought the interior is kinda amazing (proof below), we decided to enjoy the perfect almost summer day. Ah, there’s nothing like a glass of prosecco and a great meal on a beautiful day with some of your favorite people.
Images by Salvaged Grace (you can tell because of their blurriness… I’ve got to take a photo class!)
Hello again! Thanks for being patient with me as I enjoyed some down time last week. I’m back with a new Salvaged Getaway to Portugal.
I’ve never been to Lisbon before, but I like what I’ve seen so far. The Palacia Belmonte, with its tiled walls and marble bathrooms (with hints of the ancient stone it covers), is literally oozing with history. During the renovation, the owner, Frederic, rediscovered all the different layers of construction; hidden frescos, walled rooms and found fabulous archives; letters of queens and kings of Portugal, an escape dating from the Roman time leading to the Tagus, cisterns, roman tower, 59 panels of Azulejos. You know, I think I’d be quite content sitting on the roof deck chatting to the owner about his discoveries!
Winston Churchill once said ‘Portugal discovered the world. Let us, now, discover Portugal.’ I would be happy to. Here’s how I’d spend a day in Lisbon.
Palacio Belmonte images via Welcome Beyond, Pao de Rala from Botica do Cafe via Lisbon Noir, Belem Tower via All Things Europe, ,Tram visual via Bathwater, Galeria Romanas image via Lisbon Weekly Photo, Restaurant Olivier
Is it possible that I haven’t dreamed up a Salvaged Getaway to Greece yet? It seems too unreal to believe! With the days having been so grey recently, sailing off the blue shores of Greece sounds quite ideal.
The Kyrimai Hotel, about four hours south of Athens, seems a good place to start. For one, the views are stunning, day or night. But my favorite parts are the interior stone walls, beams and the washed out linens and fabrics. The design of the structure feels almost medieval, but the room textures and accoutrements take the space to such a relaxed contemporary place. I normally go for rooms with a bit more color, but I’m totally digging this situation. Perhaps I’m spellbound by the sea. I believe that could happen.
Images via Kyrimai Hotel
Everyone kept telling me I’d love New Orleans. And everyone was right, I definitely did. Old, historic buildings with a lot of charm and personality win me over every time. I love that it was possible to forget that I was in an American city and perhaps instead on some side street in Paris or even Buenos Aires, exploring a foreign land. I love that there was history on every corner and I wasn’t even mad about the cobblestones being clearly not conducive for platform heels. I love how engaged people are in the city – from the buskers all over the French Quarter sidewalks to the friendly people in the stores and restaurants. The only thing I can’t quite comprehend is how people live tucked away inside houses with those giant door sized shutters. Don’t get my wrong, I love the shutters but… isn’t it dark in there?
Yes, my trip to New Orleans, my first introduction to the old girl, was quite something. Thank you to Emmy, Em Ab, T and Caroline for making it a trip to remember and to Swirls and Brooke for planning this amazing weekend for us all. I appreciate and adore these ladies so much.
Happy weekend to all!
Over the weekend, we visited or saw quite a few places that peaked my interest. Here are just a few:
My cousin, Em, and I flew into Mobile on Friday where we met up with our friend Swirls* who lives in Biloxi on the Gulf Coast. Swirls had to run a secretive bachelorette party errand so she dropped Em and I off at Mary Mahoney’s for an afternoon beverage. The story of Mary Mahoney’s is that it was built in the 1730s and then opened as the “old french restaurant” in the 1960s by one Mary Mahoney. The space itself consists of an beautiful white house, a wine cellar (that is currently the bar) and a idyllic courtyard. We chose to spend our afternoon outside, enjoying the light breeze and a glass of wine.
*My iPhone incorrectly corrected my friend’s name to Swirls, henceforth she shall be known by that name.
On Saturday morning, my gang of rock stars had brunch at The Court of Two Sisters. The two sisters, Emma and Bertha Camors, born 1858 and 1860 respectively, belonged to a proud and aristocratic Creole family. They ran a notions shop on the site, which was previously the home to five governors. The building is now home to a fabulous brunch place, with an unending buffet of breakfast delights. At the beginning of our meal, we were encouraged to go through the line at least four times. Especially interesting to me was the front hallway which featured the four flags that ruled over New Orleans throughout the years: Spain, France, the Confederate States, and the United States.
We hit a lot of traffic on the drive into New Orleans, which gave us optimal time for reading up on New Orleans’ most haunted places. Some days later, while waiting for dinner at Mona Lisa, we found ourselves standing in front of the LaLaurie Mansion, reportedly one of the most haunted houses in New Orleans. I’d tell you the story but I’m actually getting creeped out just writing this. So if you’re into horrific ghost stories read up on it. If you’re a big chicken, like I am, enjoy these photos of the home when Nicolas Cage was the owner back in 2009. It looks much less scary from this perspective.
Interiors of LaLaurie House via Examiner
Hello! I’m back from New Orleans and luckily not too worse for wear. My girlfriends created an amazing celebration and, most importantly, I was surrounded by friendships that are longstanding and fulfilling. If you follow me on Twitter (or want to check out my flurry of tweets from the weekend) you can get a sense of the fun that was had.
I’m not sure how we covered all that we did in two days: dinners out at Marigny and Mona Lisa Restaurant, jazz brunch at The Court of Two Sisters, afternoon at Jazzfest, singing along at the Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop piano bar, cocktails at the Hotel Roosevelt bar, breakfast at Cafe Dumonde… and we managed to squeeze in some shopping here and there.
One of the first shops we came upon was the gorgeous Antiques de Provence, which reads like a page out of the blog Velvet and Linen. More and more, I’m getting into (what I would call) a french/swedish hybrid design style -some combination of the whitewashed feel of swedish interiors with the pretty lines of french antiques. Were I executing that vision in my own home, I’d start with these classic french pieces. I love the scale of those big armoires and large garden urns, the detail of the chairs with their nailheads, and the overstuffed bergeres may be on my lifetime design must-buy list.
At the total other end of the spectrum (and kinda the other end of the French Quarter) sits a junk shop called Greg’s Antiques. Affordable and chock full of antiques, vintage and salvaged pieces, this is one of those place you’d want to spend a day wading through. They had a surprisingly large selection of giant drums that would be so cute as a low side table or nightstand. But I was most transfixed with an old yearbook, that belonged to a geeky looking sophomore named Steven, who was dating either a hot senior named Judy or a Judy in his class. Had I more time, I’d have rooted through the book to solve the mystery.
They’ve got some good antiquing in New Orleans! On my next trip I hope to get to spend even more time exploring the local shops.
Images via Antiques de Provence and Greg’s Antiques
What a beautiful weekend! Spring in New York is so delightful, especially when it feels more like a mild summer. This season also kicks off a busy time for me… BC’s birthday is next weekend and I have a few surprises in store for him, my mom’s coming for Mother’s Day weekend in May, and between now and then I’ll be (finally) tackling some of the more important wedding details (*cough*, save the dates!) and heading down to New Orleans for my bachelorette party the last weekend in April. And unbeknownst to us (at first anyways), we’ll be there the same weekend as Jazzfest, can you believe the luck!?
I’ve never been to New Orleans before and I’m so excited to soak up the history of this city! The countdown begins with today’s Salvaged Getaway to Soniat House, a historic hotel in the French Quarter. The Soniat House is comprised of three townhouses of guest suites, all outfitted with antiques handpicked from around the world by the owners Rodney and Francis Smith. You can be assured every detail has been through out and the spaces carefully pulled together (evidence below). Even if you aren’t planning a trip to New Orleans, you can (and should) get your fill of Soniat House in their online antiques store. There’s a painted banquette that has my name all over it.
Images via Soniat House