Living Graciously & Welcoming Inspiration

Inspiration comes in many forms as we know and I gained a great deal of it last Friday when I stopped by Circa Interiors & Antiques to grab a copy of Jane Schwab & Cindy Smith's new book, The Welcoming House: The Art of Living Graciously.

there's nothing like relaxing in the sun to a good book

there's nothing like relaxing in the sun to a good book

Everyone at Circa was so lovely and warm and I couldn't help but be inspired by the body of work that these two ladies have completed over the course of their careers. They've created a mini-empire here in Charlotte with one of the most beautiful retail spaces around and have been designing elegant spaces for people all over the country (and beyond I'm sure) for nearly two decades. I can only hope to experience a fraction of the success they've had in my own career.

The book is beautiful and timeless and as it rests on my cocktail table atop the other books, I know my guests will enjoy looking through it for years to come. The gorgeous photos depict classic and thoughtfully designed spaces that seem to move effortlessly between one another. I am most inspired by the way Jane & Cindy's spaces connect to one another and flow naturally outdoors, beckoning guests to enjoy the beautiful outdoor spaces they've so thoughtfully created. 

My favorite home in this book is without a doubt the Schwab's Jackson Hole retreat. They intended to create a getaway "that would be one with the landscape" and it is truly magnificent. There are few places on this earth as beautiful as Jackson Hole and to have created a space that speaks to and reflects its grand surroundings is truly a feat of vision and talent. Everything from the homes construction made of old timber and Montana moss rock, to its tasteful & organic decor speaks to me and seems at one with its picturesque setting. I can only imagine what a coveted escape this is for the Schwab's and their friends and family. The fabulous Wyoming retreat is only one of eight beautiful projects Jane & Cindy explore in their book - each beckons in a distinctly different way. 

While I don't think that living graciously has much to do with a well-designed home, I do know that a well-designed home can welcome you warmly and that is exactly how I felt  last Friday when I met Jane & Cindy for the first time -- welcome. Like a welcoming home and a gracious friend, this book will continue to unveil its treasures over time, one page at a time.

'Til Next Time! 

xoxo Rachel

© THE WELCOMING HOUSE by Jane Schwab and Cindy Smith, Rizzoli New York, 2013.  Images from THE WELCOMING HOUSE are to be credited on a case-by-case basis and may not be reproduced in any way, published, or transmitted digitally without written permission from the publisher

Feeling the blues...

Don't worry - I'm not sad, down or in any way in a funk; I'm just really feeling the blues. You know, digging the shades of blue. Maybe its my perpetual state of mind that has me daydreaming of the oceanside, but I've always been drawn to the color. Indigo, turquoise, robin's egg blue - it doesn't matter.

I love this space. The combination may not speak to some people and that's okay, but to me its fun, unexpected & lively and combines some of my favorite hues.

My beautiful cousin Kayla is getting married at the beach next month and I've been thinking about the breeze, the water & sun...and of course what to wear. While I have no idea what I'm going to wear, I'm not opposed to wasting my time daydreaming of sunbathing and frolicking in the sand . . . Yes, frolicking.  

Alright, so I may be getting a bit carried away. Let's face it, Myrtle beach can't compare to the white sand & turquoise water of Turks & Caicos, but let's just pretend next month's getaway will feel a bit like this.

'Til Next Time!

xoxo Rachel

Creativity Resurfacing

As Saturday's snow melts, I just can't help but feel a sense of anticipation and a need to plan. I made a workout calendar today. The reality that I will need to wear a bathing suit in a month or two cannot be escaped any longer. I'm planning the garden, how to refresh the patio furniture and my spring wardrobe. I'm feeling the need to share a little spring sparkle.

I know that ombre hair color isn't exactly a new trend, but I love it and it will be my summer look. I'm a bit too old to be wearing shorts this short, but I can certainly wear a version of this and deceive myself into thinking there was a time when I could wear these shorts.

And these will be my spring & summer go-to sandal. Casual but fresh. 

And this is my new favorite cabin-meets-beach-house inspired bathroom. This space has me planning our renovation a bit prematurely!

And this little beauty isn't helping my daydreams. There's a little bit of sparkle in everything spring this year.

'Til Next Time!

xoxo Rachel

Lacquer liscious

I'm a lover of all things textural. Artwork, upholstery, apparel or otherwise, I love combining layers of texture whenever I can. One texture that I'm finding particularly satisfying is a high-gloss or lacquered finish. I love it combined with more natural & organic textures like grasscloth, metal or reclaimed wood. The lacquered cabinets in this kitchen combined with rough, wide-planked wood floors is gorgeous. I find the juxtaposition particularly interesting.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

The combination of the bright blue, high-gloss door combined with the yellow wall covering is kept grounded with the natural textures in the mirror and large basket in this entryway. I think this makes a fabulous first impression.

I love these glossy magenta counter tops offset by the natural wood grain of the cabinetry - colorful, textural and casual.

There are so many ways to layer interest within a space. What are some of your favorite combinations?

Let's go get inspired...

'Til Next Time!

xoxo Rachel

On My Mind

I know we all waited with baited breath for Pantone to announce the 2013 Color of The Year and thankfully, they confirmed my genius & trend-setting ability . . . (I seriously crack myself up).  PANTONE 17-5641 Emerald is this year's color du jour and for those of you like me, you didn't need PANTONE to tell you its fabulous. My very first post, Green Day, explored our need for more of this lush hue, and while I'm still swooning, I've moved on.

Right now I'm drawn to this raspberry-meets-violet hue and although I don't see it anywhere yet, it is certainly on my mind. This is it and I want it . . . on my nails, on my lips, on some pillows, drapes, you name it - I'm loving it.

Source: via Marissa on Pinterest

This just might be my gloss for spring. NARS Larger Than Life Gloss in Penny Arcade-Raspberry.

Source: via Rachel on Pinterest

Get a glimpse of the elusive color here in the forefront as it compliments the color of the moment.

Source: via Patti on Pinterest

Maybe I'm over gray & nude lips or maybe I'm must looking forward to spring & something fresh, but I'm loving me some color. Whether its emerald or raspberry-meets-violet, I don't see an end in sight to my color crush.

What colors are you craving?

'Til Next Time!