A Matter of Hats

So, hats…we all want to wear them but very few people actually do? What a tragedy! The other day I was talking to someone about what I consider to be the two most under-rated and under-used accessories right now: scarves & hats. And when I say scarves I don’t mean wooly winter wraps…I mean delicate, patterned silk scarves, the kind you wear on your head, neck or draped around your shoulders. It was only a few weeks ago that I pointed out the potential of this lovely item. And regarding hats…again, I’m not referring to a cold weather knit cap. I mean…well, here’s what I mean. See for your self…

Photo Credit: Zanita.com.au

Photo Credit: Zanita.com.au

Right? Isn’t this a far more fun way to dress up an outfit than the age old necklace or headband? (But, don’t get me wrong, I love both.) I’ve been keeping my eye out for this trend and it’s definitely peaking out. Here are a few more examples:

Photo Credit: Clothes, Cameras, and Coffee

Photo Credit: The Sartorialist

And if you need something a little more cozy, try this…

Photo Credit: Garance Dore

Or this…

Photo Credit: Sea of Shoes

Photo Credit: Garance Dore

Photo Credit: Radar Zine

Photo Credit: Garance Dore

And for the star of today’s post…(drum roll, please)…the lovely Garance, sporting both of my favorite pieces!

Photo Credit: Garance Dore

Do you have the courage to wear a hat?…please say yes! We can start a street style revolution together.

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Seeing the Sites

More updates…I’m tellin’ ya, I’ve been busy. Last week my hospitality design class visited several hotels in Nashville as research for this semester’s final project. We visited the newly renovated Hard Rock Cafe, which was very cool, the Hotel Preston, which was wacky and not too well-maintained and then we toured Hutton Hotel, a luxury hotel in Nashville’s midtown, which was by far the highlight of the day.

Photo Credit: Me

Check-In…

Photo Credit: Me

Notice the beautiful use of texture…

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

This is the front lobby. Doesn’t it feel like home (or what you would want your home to be)? And by the way, all the art showcased in the waiting area is from local students and artists…cool huh?

Photo Credit: Me

Penthouse Suite…I’m not even going to tell you how much this goes for a night but the sq. ft. is around 1,400!

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

It’s a Murphy Bed!

Photo Credit: Me

And if you want your own personal cardio machine in your room….

Photo Credit: Me

The conference center…ooo, pretty carpet!

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

And the restrooms are chic, too!

Photo Credit: Me

OK, I’m almost done…they are a just such lovely spaces. Now, the restaurant…

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

My classmate, Lauren, taking a break. She just looked so perfect sitting in this settee. (Sorry for the poor quality).

Photo Credit: Me

And finally the private dining room…

Photo Credit: Me

Thanks for your patience and I hope you enjoyed!

Alnwick Garden

Like I promised, I’m back to fill you in on all the recent excitement. Last week, you heard a bit about my visit to the Nashville Antique and Garden Show and especially the vintage poster booth that I look forward to every year. But I also mentioned a lecture I attended given by Lady Jane the Duchess of Northumberland. It was fantastic! Going into the lecture, though, I really didn’t know what to expect. It’s not everyday that I hear English royalty speak about the grounds of their castle!  Would she be distant or unapproachable due to her unique position in society?…I just didn’t know. Quite the contrary, though! She was beautiful…so elegant, composed, and genuine. Immediately, I felt as though she would gladly sit down for a cup of afternoon tea and a chat. She and the garden manager, Ian August, spoke together about the amazing transformation of the dilapidated  Northumberland estate garden into one of today’s most unique contemporary garden adventures.

Photo Credit: Alnwick Castle

Photo Credit: The Duchess of Northumberland, Lady Jane

Beyond her social grace and ease, though, her vision and design philosophy is what truly inspired me.

Photo Credit: Alnwick Garden Main Fountain

There is just no way that I could share this garden’s story with you the way I heard it two weeks ago, so I’ll give you the synopsis and you can make your own additional discoveries here. Basically, the Duchess’s main concern is for her community (both local and distant) and the children and families who visit each year. She has, through the help of a fantastic team, created a place of adventure, learning, community bonding and support. Since it’s opening, the garden has provided millions of dollars of financial support for the town of Alnwick through its work, job creation, and tourist draw. The garden is a charity organization that the Duchess receives not one penny from. It is designed to be accessible to people of all ages, abilities, and income levels. And admission is a mere 1 cent for any visiting child. In the process of designing the site, the Duchess strived for innovation and individuality. For instance, instead of growing a typical apothecary garden, the Duchess chose to build a poison garden. In this specially patrolled place, guided educational tours are given to teach the community about the power and danger of plants such as opium, cocaine, marijuana, etc. This allows for a healthy and safe introduction to the issue of drugs and drug abuse for many who may have never understood their great power until it was too late. *

Photo Credit: Alnwick Poison Garden

The Garden also features one of the world’s largest tree houses, which is completely accessible to the young and old alike.

Photo Credit: Alnwick Garden Treehouse

The Duchess was determined to create an environment where even a child bound to a wheelchair could experience the  same excitement and adventure that their fellow able-bodied friends also enjoyed. So, this entire treehouse as well as a swinging draw bridge are wheelchair accessible. The Duchess referred to this vastly important childhood experience as “safely dangerous”.

Photo Credit: Alnwick Garden

LED lighting and state-of-the-art water technology create striking shows for evening viewers.

Photo Credit: Alnwick Garden Ivy Tunnel

There is so much more I could share, but I just wouldn’t do it justice. All I can say is that the story of this place is very special and I hope some day to have the opportunity to visit. Enjoy the pictures and find out more for yourself! See you tomorrow!

*Just a side note from the lecture. Apparently all poisonous plants from the Poison Garden kill, heal and are an aphrodisiac. And this is the case for most deadly plants.

Almost back again…

Whew! What a whirlwind of a weekend…and I can’t believe it is all over! The MTSU Interior Design Student Showcase went beautifully and I was completely satisfied by the end of the evening. Now I’m playing catch up for about two weeks of work…ugh, the price we pay! But, I’m excited to get back to business and update you all on a multitude of events including the showcase. Tomorrow, I will have pictures and stories to share with all. Hope you had a wonderful weekend as well and I’ll see you tomorrow!

Here are a few more vintage posters that I absolutely love!

Photo Credit: posterclassics.com

Photo Credit: posterclassics.com

Still going…

Now it’s crunch time! The MTSU Student Chapter ASID/IIDA 2010 Interior Design Student Showcase is tomorrow! (whew, that was a mouthful). I will definitely be taking pictures of my display  to share with all of you on Monday. Wish me luck!

Photo Credit: from ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND, by Lewis Carroll, with illustrations by John Tenniel

And see you next week!

PS This past week was also New York Fashion Week, but sadly I haven’t been able to follow any of it (from my computer of course). So I am really looking forward to all the beauties awaiting me after Saturday. I have seen a few sneak peeks from bloggers I follow (The Glamourai for instance) and it is very exciting. You can expect to hear more about that soon. 🙂

I Need Some Sun!

Good morning friends!

No, not a tan…although I need that too. This particular morning I need some sun, and fresh air, and color, and cheer…I think I mentioned earlier that I am preparing for a big event (well, actually I am coordinating it) coming up this Saturday. It is a student showcase, vendor exhibit, dinner and lecture that our interior design professional organization student chapter hosts each year for our students, their friends and family and community members. It’s always an exciting day and this year even more so because it is our 5th anniversary and my senior year. Pressure! I have been frantically working with classmates, our faculty advisor, etc. and haven’t had much time to prepare a lengthy post for today. So instead, I’m going to share a few things that I really need right now. 😉

Photo Credit: via Plush Palate

A quiet afternoon in the sun with a book…

Photo Credit: Lonny Mag

Fresh herbs…

Photo Credit: Girl Meets NYC

And a chance to dance all by myself!

What do you need today?

On a Roll with Buttons

Here is another fantastic reuse idea that could potential alleviate the excess button problem I know so many of us have. Use those odd, discarded buttons for a charming necklace or bracelet…

Photo Credit: Gogetit.com

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Photo Credit: Unexpected Boutique.co.uk

These examples from Marni’s Fall 2009 collection are slightly more embellished than you may want to try but, still an exciting idea. Felt bib necklaces, decorated with various buttons and baubles. Maybe you could try a simpler version.

Photo Credit: RTW Fall 2009 Marni via The Glamourai

Save Those Old Calendars

Today’s post is a healthy dose of DIY information as a follow-up from yesterday’s subject…well really from the past week. Recently, I been talking a lot about reusing the good items that you already have for a new and exciting purpose. Yesterday, I shared a few images of vintage posters that I absolutely love! Well, today you get it all in one. Every year, I am saddened by the thought of tossing my beautiful calendars that I so carefully selected 365 days earlier. It’s seems like such a shame! Well, a couple years ago I decided to keep those lovely prints around by clipping and saving them for various DIY projects. One such project was actually a school assignment in my lighting design class. We were asked to design a light fixture as a solution to a personal lighting problem. My personal lighting problem: one long sofa and only one side table and lamp. Solution: combine the two and use my old calendar of vintage european prints on the shade. Result…voila!

Photo Credit: ME!

Ok, so it’s humble, but a great idea for using your old calendar prints and enjoying them for a bit longer.

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Of course, you can always frame your favorite prints and create a grid or gallery collection.

Photo Credit: Me

Photo Credit: Me

For another idea, use your prints as a collage but, unlike your third grade art class, elegantly framed and hung on your wall as a piece of personal artwork.

Photo Credit: ME!

Photo Credit: ME!

Happy clipping!