Wishing I were at a beautiful hotel instead of in CT with Hurricane Sandy

Hello from CT in the path of Hurricane Sandy!

We are bunkered down and the winds and rain are swirling. For us, up on a hill closer to the Merritt Parkway, our biggest concern will be wind and downed power lines. Many of our friends have been evacuated down near the beaches and the storm surge is going to take its toll. We have made all of our preparations over the last few days. We are as ready as we can be.

Below some really cool looking hotels for your enjoyment.

Sending everyone warm wishes, prayers etc. No matter where you live, if you are in harm’s way, may you be safe, enjoy your family and friends.

See you on the flip side…

Source: google.com via Mark on Pinterest

Source: lashotels.com via Emily on Pinterest

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Travel Inspiration – Hotel Xeriscaping in Phoenix, AZ

Last week, our family took a once in a lifetime trip to the national parks of the West with a Tauck Bridges tour. One of the best parts of travel is the opportunity to see different types of design. I particularly enjoy design that reflects the local landscape and culture.

Our first stop was the Four Seasons in North Scottsdale. While my husband played eighteen holes at Troon, I snapped these shots around the hotel. I particularly loved how the pots were incorporated into the landscaping. This is xeriscaping from the greek word, xeros, which means dry. The primary purpose of xeriscaping is water conservation. I love its subtlety of texture and color.

Enjoy!

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Photos taken by and property of Catherine Avery of Avery Design Interiors at the Four Seasons Hotel Scottsdale, AZ

Wishing for Summer

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Day before the Super Bowl and while purchasing ingredients for chili, I saw this in BJs.

Instant outdoor bar design? I immediately thought of some of my parrothead friends and makeshift tiki bars at concerts. Good memories.

Wordless Wednesday: Design Inspiration from Mother Nature

All week, my daughter has been reminding me that I wanted to take photos of the trees near the local golf course. They are a profusion of red and yellow. Monday, I drove around our neighborhood with my camera and snapped some photos. We are enveloped in a canopy of bright fall color and it seems to color everything around it. Nature is design at its best.

Design Inspiration: Falling into Fall

It’s another Wordless Wednesday with the wonders of fall as seen through the eyes of a child. After all, we took our daughter to her first day of kindergarten today. Where did the time go?

first day of school, kindergarten, back to school

Back to School

pumpkins, farm, halloween

Pumpkins

Fall, decorations, Halloween, pumpkin, carving

Carving the Pumpkin

animals, feed, Silverman's, farm

Feeding Animals at the Farm

raking, leaves, fall, inspiration, children

Raking Leaves

play, children, leaves, color, fall, inspiration

Playing in Leaves

thomas the tank engine, day trip, essex steam train, family, inspiration, fall

Day out with Thomas

Penn State, football, fall, inspiration, family

Mom and Dad at a Penn State Football Game

Fairfield, CT, trick or treat, friends, school, costumes, family, children, inspiration

Trick or Treat

nap, children, inspiration, fall

All Done

Design Tribute – Memorial Day

St. Paul's on the Green

Have you ever been driving and gone back because you saw something so breath-taking you just had to stop, take a photo and share it?  Today, I was driving home when I passed this sight.  I had to drive around the block and back to the church’s parking lot, because I could not let that moment pass by.

Flags at St Paul's on the Green

The front lawn of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church on the Green in Norwalk, CT has 5,481 flags on it.  Each one represents a US soldier who has given his or her life for this country in Afghanistan or Iraq.  It’s easy to ignore a death toll until you are given a visual reminder.  That number is not so staggering as wars past, but why should even one person have to lose a life?  Why should one mother or father or spouse or child have their child or spouse or parent taken away?

Sea of Flags

Look, I’m not going to get all political on you.  Whether I am for or against the war in the Middle East is not the point.  I lost twenty people in 911.  I have friends who lost over 100.  I have heard countless hair-raising stories of survival from that day and close calls from my own family members.

Mine is a comment on the preciousness and precariousness of human life.  How do we take this in?  How do we put our heads around it?  When do we stop fighting and learn how to love one another – no matter our skin color, or politics or faith?

Normandy Cemetery with Flags

It took me back to this moment in time – Summer of 1991 – last stop on the continent.  I had backpacked solo across Europe and spent my last weekend in Normandy.  I will never forget staring out at a sea of crosses with an occasional star of David.

Prayer for the Soldiers

Imagine what it must have been like for the people who came together to install these flags.  Can you envision them talking about how they would ever fit over 5,000 flags on the lawn?  Thinking – should we put in a path or just make it a sea of flags?  Walking through the path is so moving.  Did someone carefully plan it out and draw it up?  Or did it evolve in that organic way projects do when a group comes together?

Were they thinking what price do we pay for needing to be right?  What price freedom?  What price peace?

Imagine…

Imagine Central Park

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace…

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

–John Lennon

(Photos of Normandy and Imagine from latribune.fr and konradprojects.net respectively)

Happy Chinese New Year! Interior Design Inspiration is Everywhere

What could be more fun that escaping reality for a day with your family!  At the last minute we jumped into the car and headed into New York City to celebrate the Chinese New Year.  I love how we can drive an hour from Fairfield County and feel like we have entered another part of the world…

We took the subway to Canal Street, because C loves riding the subway.  Really, C loves everything about the city.  It must be the vibe.  We break out the stroller, which she loathes.  But… for the city, she will gladly ride in style.  It’s just so much easier for us to keep tabs in a busy crowd with C firmly planted in her stroller.  At nearly 5, she is getting way too big for the stroller, but I digress.

We started our day out with the most delicious dim sum at Ping’s and then walked all around Chinatown.

Onward to our trip in photos…  My design eye is never turned off so the camera is a must!

Fish Market

You really have to know fish to buy at these markets.  The freshest fish around – outside of Fulton Fish Market – heads, tails and all!

Brilliant Colors

Kites, flowers, toys… kid paradise…

Bracelets

I love the simplicity of the bracelets lined up in rows by colors – eye candy.

Shopping

I am ever attracted to fretwork on furniture and a big fan of greek key design – must be the simplicity of the lines and the pattern.

More fretwork

What can I say?  Drawn to it…  One day I will find the perfect large panel of fretwork and it will be mine for our master bedroom headboard.

More shopping

Because it’s hard to be an interior designer, if you don’t like to shop.  Just have to say, perfect pair of plump pigs because I can.  LOL!  A sense of humor, doesn’t hurt either.

Chinese Dragons

You can bet C insisted on taking home one of the dragons.  Can you guess which color?  Why pink of course…

Tea

Buying loose leaf jasmine tea for my dear friend who adores it.  I just happen to love jasmine too.

Candy

What could be more fun than lots and lots of glass jars filled with candy? Enough said…

Confetti

You can’t have a parade without confetti.  Right?  Right?  Right?  Really. So. Cool.

Brrrr...

Brrrr… or why we had to leave before the parade started.  We secured our great viewing spot at 12 noon for the 1pm parade.  At 1:30pm, the parade had still not started.  I have to confess that even I was getting tired of waiting.  I give C credit for hanging in that long.  And what fun is it to be bundled up to the eyes for a parade?

So we called it a day and went back to the apartment for a “picnic” of hot chocolate, cheese and grapes – much more fun than sitting outside in the cold.  Our parade viewing will just have to wait til next year.  Or til Disney where hopefully, it will be a bit warmer!

Starting tomorrow, I will be posting “Magic Mondays” – each Monday a view of one breath-taking room that I think is magical.  This is all part of my overhaul to my blog and other social media.  Let me know what you think!

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