Friday, August 29, 2014

Designer Splurge: Ann Sacks Tile

Over the years when flipping through home design magazines, I usually don't too close attention to brand names of high end products, simply because I know we're not at the point in life to be using more custom and expensive designer products.  And that's ok-- whatever sized budget I'm working with, I always find it helpful to get inspiration from the gorgeous, sky's-the-limit decor choices you find in the glossy layouts in magazines.  But over time I kept recognizing the same designer name popping up in the credits for the most beautiful tile installed in these stunning kitchens and bathrooms.  Jady and I have learned the basics of tiling and finished our bathroom floor here and here and the guest bathroom, too, using classic, simple tile available in bulk at Home Depot.  It's clean and lovely and affordable.  

But the tile that Ann Sacks designs is in another category entirely.  Her mosaics create the most mesmerizing swirls and geometric patterns, and she incorporates gorgeous combinations of marble, glass and porcelain tile into her designs.


via Cococozy

I fell in love with this luminescent, large scale lattice pattern created out of marble and glass tiles.  If I only had an enormous master bathroom, this would be perfect!!

As special as these mosaic designs are, the company knows it-- and charges you appropriately:)  We're talking well beyond the range of anything at Home Depot here!  But thankfully, Ann Sacks does carry several lower priced tile options that still capture some of the special feel of her more coveted mosaics.  These glass tile patterns are all under $50, and a few are as affordable as $15 per square foot-- a helpful entry point for those of us who are fans on a budget:)

Seriously glam up a space with gold Arabesque tile.

Just in case I needed more inspiration, there was a fully installed bathroom to view at the NYC store.  Yes, please.



Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Summer Light

Since I am from AZ, I am always drawn toward the light. I love the light that creeps into our home early in the morning and lingers in the kitchen until 7:30 PM during long summer days. Last week the kids and I were invited to a private lake upstate. We arrived around 5:30, just in time to watch the sunset slowly over the course of two hours.  The light was magical!

I don't know about you, but as the sun fades earlier each day as we approach September, I get a little sad. The end of summer reminds us another full Fall is about to begin and my Ninos are growing much to quickly. Enjoy the last few summer days ahead. 



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Gearing Up: School & Beyond

Here in the North East we are beginning to prepare for the start of school. I am a little behind since we have been away quite a bit, but I am ready to share my back to school secrets. 

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Maine & Back

The Rev. and I are finally back to NYC. Sorry we have been a bit MIA around Mel & Liza. Rest assured we have some great event ideas coming up and much more. For today here are a few of my favorite pics of Maine. 

 Have you ever visited Maine?  It is truly as idyllic as the film Charlottes Web and beyond. 

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Mid Century Finds

While in the Catskills, I love to frequent my favorite thrift/antique stores. Last week while a friend was in town we hit up a very cluttered shop and to my surprise found a little mid century treasure, and in a pair no less…..

I picked them up at 50 dollars each, which is a steal. They are in great shape and just need a little love. I am already dreaming up some fun ideas…..

via pinterest

via pinterest
via pinterest

We will see what fabulous fabric I have around the casa!



Wednesday, August 13, 2014


When ever I leave home, I can't help but obsess over areas in my home I would love to improve. Two of those areas happen to be the walls leading up to the second floor and our bedroom floors. The floor are in good shape, the staining of them is a little blah for my taste. 

So, well away the mouse will play…..


Obviously, I am always working towards a bargain, so stenciling myself would most likely be the most cost effective. There are so many great ideas out, help me out! What do you guys love and has anyone out there stenciled floors?



Tuesday, August 12, 2014


The Rev. and I are away for a little vaca up in the Hudson River Valley. If you don't know of the area, it is a must!!! We are feeling very relaxed and my "to do list," has been IGNORED. Now that we are heading into week two of vacation, it is time to do a little work, so when September hits I will be prepared.
 A little work a day keeps the CRA CRA away. 

While we have been away, our meals have been exceptional. We are living our "Farm to Table" dream.  Each morning we head down the mountain pick up an espresso and then to Story Farms for produce, eggs, and cheese. 

In addition to the wonderful food, wild flowers are growing everywhere. Next week on my to-do list is to stake out my favorite local floral farms in the Woodstock area. I can't wait!

Now, I will let you in on a little secreto: if you are planning on making your way up the Hudson, my numero UNO favorite place to eat is....

Monday, August 11, 2014

I Heart Blue & Gold

This past week I noticed I had run out of stationary and happily stopped by to browse through the Kate Spade selection of notecards.  The last little box I bought for myself-- hot pink with gold accents-- made writing notes such a pleasure that I had to go back for more.  This time I picked up a different pattern in my favorite combination of turquoise blue, creamy white and gold.

This soothing, elegant combination of colors has been a longtime favorite of mine and one that I return to over and over.  Sometimes you just like what you like:)

White Haven Interiors

Decor Pad



Monday, August 4, 2014

R & R

The Rev. and I have arrived to our family vacation, which we have been looking forward to all year. Happily, Liza & Jady were able to join us for our first weekend upstate. Now, if you don't know the Hudson River Valley, it is a must!!!! 
The beautiful views, farms, and estate sales are such a wonderful draw. 

Our family vacations outside of Saugerties, NY every year, so it was such a treat to be able to share my favorite spots with Liza. Today we found vintage fabric I did not want to part with as we made our way through my favorite shops in nearby Tannersville.

If you are looking for a fabulous getaway, the Hudson River Valley is not to be missed!


Friday, August 1, 2014

Hedge Redo: Thanks a Lot, Polar Vortex

Dwarf Burford Holly hedge... what it's supposed to look like:)

All of those plants we added in our back yard last fall have been enjoying the summer, putting down roots and starting to bloom and put out new growth.  The first year after planting, most plants are still getting their bearings, but the second and third summers are when you can really watch things take off.  Gah! I'm so excited:)

Unfortunately, not *every* plant we put in the ground survived the worst winter we've had in 20 years, and I'm taking the chance to rethink a few of our choices for the second round.  The main section I'd like to replace is this tiny, pitiful, half-dead "hedge" of dwarf Burford Hollly bushes.  Lovely, right?  

The whole point of having a hedge there is to separate the smaller back garden from the main yard, and this little cluster of bushes just wasn't going to be tall enough anytime soon, even if they had lived.  So since we've got to replace most of them anyway, I figured why not check out our other options?  Here are some possible contenders:







It's exciting to think of planting something already large enough to make the back yard look more like it's meant to look!  Feel free to offer suggestions on what hedges you love.


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