Thursday, March 28, 2013

Belladonna Spring

Are you hosting Easter at your house? Or a Passover Seder? Blogs and TV shows are abundant with DIY tips for decorating, or preparing tasty holiday meals.

Easter goodies at Belladonna - photo by Sara Essex Bradley


You can also just pop over to your favorite store and snap up a few seasonal decorations. One of my faves is Belladonna. They always have the best seasonal decorations that become keepsakes for years to come.

Rue Magazine did a feature in a few shops in New Orleans, and Belladonna was featured.

Belladonna in Rue Magazine

While you're there, check out their collection of John Robshaw bedding. This is a great time of year to refresh your bedrooms.

Check out the bedding at Belladonna - photo by Sara Essex Bradley

What is your favorite local shop for filling those Easter baskets, and for decorating your Spring dining table?


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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

What Does A Little Paris Kitchen Look Like To You

So many of us have a fantasy of living in Paris. Perhaps we envision a small pied-a-terre that we could visit a few times a year, and pretend to be Parisian. We would go to the markets and buy the most beautiful food, and prepare perfect little French meals in our tiny city kitchen.


I have had so many small kitchens in many rented apartments. Yet I always enjoyed cooking, and often turned out large meals for dinner parties, and brunches. A small kitchen was never daunting. It was just a way of life.







A few months ago, I stumbled on a gem of a cooking show called "The Little Paris Kitchen".  It was charm at first sight. A young woman from the UK was showing classic simple French food prepared in her teeny-tiny kitchen. There were scenes of her shopping in those very markets of my dreams.

Rachel Khoo shopping for food in Paris


Rachel Khoo in her little Paris kitchen

A Spanish style tile back splash will give you the look

The tiles could be from Mexico

The tiles could be from Morocco or Portugal


I did some research on the girl, who is Rachel Khoo. The TV show was an off-shoot of cook book she was writing called "The Little Paris Kitchen". So she tested recipes, for diners who paid to have dinner in "the smallest restaurant in Paris", which was her apartment. The BBC filmed a half donzen shows of that experience.

The Little Paris Kitchen

Rachel's oven looks like a toy

I love this cook book, The Little Paris Kitchen now available in the USA


Rachel calls herself a "food creative", which entails cooking, writing, TV, event planning, styling, branding - anything creative to do with food. Her cook book just came out in the USA this past month, and I got it, and I love it, and yes, I have made a few things from it. The lavender chicken rocks.

Not only am I charmed by her food, I am charmed by the idea of a small picturesque yet functional kitchen.










This month at Houzz, I did my Guest Picks based on Rachel Khoo's little Paris kitchen. I tell you where to find decorative things that you could use to create her look, and functional cooking equipment that every French cook has.

Go to Houzz to see my Guest Picks


So what does your fantasy of a little Paris kitchen look like?



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Friday, March 22, 2013

Florals - Yes or No

Vicki Archer had an intriguing post called "French Women Don't Do Florals". I had to  laugh because I had just gotten a floral pant suit for Spring.

Kate Spade

Do you think Americans wear florals? Or the English? Or South Americans? Do they wear them in Italy or Spain?



I don't like "mumsy" florals that can drown a woman of any age, but I obviously enjoy the right print.
What about you? Will you wear on trend florals this Spring and Summer? 





Photo by Sara Essex Bradley - My new floral pant suit - I'll also wear the pants alone with a striped fisherman's shirt and flats



I always loved the idea of a floral print chintz suit ever since I saw Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
wear one on the old BBC show "Changing Rooms" (that became "Trading Spaces" in the US)


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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rue In New Orleans

It's Spring! And Rue took a walk with me in New Orleans.


Rue Shops New Orleans

The whole March/April 2013 issue of Rue is dedicated to my favorite topic: C*O*L*O*R*

Go check it out. Go on now...

Rue March/April 2013

from Rue March/April 2013

From Rue March/April 2013

 
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Monday, March 18, 2013

Bekye Fargason Small Blessing

Bekye Fargason lives above her shop in a small jewel box of a loft like space. She is featured in the Spring issue of New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles. Go check it out.

What's the smallest space you ever lived in? How did you decorate it? Did you love it? Anyone else downsizing to a smaller space?

Enjoy some outtakes from the article. All photos by Sara Essex Bradley. Produced, styled, and written by Valorie Hart.


The living room in the open floor plan loft like space

Bekye did the faux tortoise treatment on her vintage coffee table - She also did all the finishes on the walls and on much of the furniture in her home

Bekye addesd the shutters throughout the space instead of curtains
The small chairs were once in her son's room when he was a child - She also painted all the beams with a faux finish to look like wood, and of course painted the armoire

You can really see the terrific job she did on the beams

Bekye has many gallery walls



The kitchen is compact and efficient



Love the iron garden trellis used as a pot rack

She has so many interesting collections of smalls

Bekye did the silver  and gold leaf on this chest

Let's peek into the one bedroom right off of the main living space

I love the vintage suitcases used for storage

Bekye did the silver leaf on this chair in the corner of her bedroom - The gallery wall holds family photos

Detail of a nightstand Bekye did the finish on

Detail of objects on her dresser that belonged to her grandmother

Bekye in her studio below her living quarters

She is having an opening at her studio on Wednesday night - if you are in New Orleans please stop by

And do check out the story and whole issue of  New Orleans Homes & Lifestyles

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