CB2 opens in Georgetown!

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Last night I was so excited to get a sneak peak of the HUGE new CB2 which is opening this weekend in Georgetown. After both potterybarn and west elm closed in the city, we really lost all locations for inexpensive, fun home items.

CB2 offers fun, colorful and modern home furnishings and accessories at a startingly low pricepoint (no, they didn't pay me to say that!). While I wouldn't advise filling an entire apartment or house with their products (overkill), a piece or two in a room really would liven up any space by adding color and good, clean design.I loved this green coffee table, the wheels really are so practical!The red metal shelf over the bed really caught my eye; not just for the pop of color but also for the unique shelf layout. I could see this in an office or even a bathroom, providing extra storage.These 3 Pablo side tables were my favorite piece of furniture in the store. The best part -the set is ONLY $129. SERIOUSLY. They look like amazing mid-century pieces to me!This 'Fold' desk was very elegant; I loved the yellow top and the lady bug rug was so fun; great for a kids room (especially at $199)!Speaking of rugs, they carry FLOR tiles in store! I had never actually seen them in person and was surprised by their quality.More than just furniture, their accessories are an easy and even less expensive way to add some color to your house. This buddha pillow would bring a smile to my face everyday for sure.

Yellow seems to be the really big color everyone is pushing. These yellow canary tealight holders were so cute. I could see them lining your kitchen table, much like they do this headboard.

Or use them to decorate your houseplants! A percentage of sales from this weekend (April 30-May 1) will go to benefit the Capital Area Food Bank; a great excuse to shop for a great cause!
CB2 is located at 3307 M Street NW, across from Cadys alley.
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Spring Dance

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In honor of this spring weather (nearly summer!) we're having here in DC, I thought I'd share with you a photograph of one of my favorite paintings at the Smithsonian American Art Museum; Spring Dance by Arthur Mathews (1917). The painting is based in aestheticism; the custom frame being a part of the whole work of art by including designs and colors found within the painting. Mathews was a prominent Arts and Crafts designer and artist practicing in San Francisco who depicted his native California. Enjoy your spring dance!
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Log Cabins

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As a break from the historic mansions I regularly feature here, I thought I would bring you something a bit different. My parents now live in a very rural area of Pennsylvania, where to this day, the popularity of true log cabins still exists and are built regularly. Disclaimer, my parents do NOT live in a log cabin (thank god, I would probably visit much less often if they did). This log cabin is being built on their road and joins others in the area. I think it's so interesting to see it while under construction and the traditional techniques they use. Much like a lincoln log set (remember those?) the logs are notched near the corners and then stacked, building a basic box. The area between them historically would have been filled with a mixture of clay and mud, but today they use efficient blueboard insulation which then will be stucco'd over between the logs, giving a more insulative barrier. The interior will then be lined with a waterproof sheet and then a shallow stud wall will be built that drywall can be fixed to and can house electrical outlets and the like. Not for everyone but it makes for a nice visit!
Photos taken with my droid incredible while walking the dog over Easter weekend, thats why they aren't actually so incredible. Back to our regular and more stylish scheduled programing tomorrow.
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Georgetown Housetour this weekend

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Don't forget that the Georgetown Housetour is this weekend, April 30th - from 11:00 am until 5:00 pm. Pre-order tickets on their website or at St. John's Church located at 3240 O Street. Hope to see you there!
house pictured is not on the tour, but rather is one of my favorite houses in Georgetown.
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Allegheny Cemetery

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Yes, I know this post may be better suited to Halloween than a post-Easter followup, but what can I say, I love old cemeteries! Nestled into the heart of the city of Pittsburgh is the historic 300 acre Allegheny Cemetery, originally started in 1845.

At first glance, the cemetery appears to be more of a park than a resting place for loved ones. In fact, even on the gloomy, rainy day I was there (I call it Pittsburgh weather) the grounds were filled with joggers, dog walkers and people enjoying the warm spring weather.
The park is a veritable architectural history lesson, featuring buildings and mausoleums in many different styles. The Butler street entrance, seen in the top photo, originally dates to 1870 with later additions, such as the odd Mansard roof.

This Neoclassical mausoleum seen above really caught my eye - so lovely! The verdigiris bronze doors really are show-stoppers. Unfortunately, the rear stained glass had been damaged and bricked over. However, if you peer through the glass in the door you can still see remnants.This Egyptian Revival mausoleum was interesting: I suspect the family buried there was very very stylish.

The numerous little Greek temples with Doric columns reminded me of a folly in an English Garden. While taking tea in a mausoleum might not sound so great (or be your 'cup of tea', har har) - there is very little difference between a European garden folly and these mausoleums!

A single person mausoleum: compare it to a studio in the city I suppose.

The interesting thing about the cemetary is that the sections are mixed. You'll find a tombstone from 1845 next to a mausoleum from 1915 next to a fresh grave. I find it so interesting to see how the styles changed. I thought these tombstones with the ogee scroll were very pretty. Is it morbid to choose your future tombstone: cemetery window shopping?

A cemetery this large has numerous entrances of course. This entry gate and pavilion along Penn Avenue was built in 1885, designed by Henry A. Macombs who had won a design competition for the structure. During construction, the design was modified so that the 135 foot tall bell tower would match the famous courthouse downtown by Henry Hobson Richardson.

Good design can be found in the most unexpected places!

Sorry for the poor quality of the photos: they were snapped with my phone!
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Miami Design District

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DC had its first taste of summer today, with highs in the 80s. It reminded me of the time Heather and I spent recently exploring the Miami Design District.

Outdoor restaurants abound. While we didn't eat at Martinez, seen above, it definitely seemed popular and a beautiful place to enjoy the weather!

Christian Louboutin, rather than fill the store with orchids, decided to decorate the exterior with a living wall.

Oh to live in a semi-tropical climate; this took our breathe away!Another outdoor restaurant; Modernism seems to fit this warm climate much better than in the North, don't you think?I loved this one group of buildings which appeared to be painted concrete. Early modernism inspired by neoclassicsm; one of my architectural weaknesses!Surrounded by tall, shaded arcades, the buildings provide the perfect place to window shop out of the sun's glare.While in Miami, definitely take the time to check out this revitalized area: remember to bring your wallets for all of the great shopping!
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Vizcaya: circular staircase

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Besides the main staircase at Vizcaya, right off the courtyard is another more sheltered stair, which also ascends to the southeast tower.
The little stairhall is decorated with more ancient porcelains and a little gilt table. Thick limestone treads are cantilevered off rounded walls forming a beautiful stair with bronze railing. Covering the first floor thru the third in an efficient manner, this was probably a more commonly used stair.Lit by sconces, the plaster walls are painted 2 charming shades of green (which speak so heavily of the era) as well as white plaster details.Looking straight down, the marble floor on the ground level gives you a focal point with its' design.The hall is brightly lit by sconces, a leaded glass window as well as a skylight.No detail overlooked, the design of the skylight matches the flooring down below. Also notice the mirrored walls of the barrel which help reflect more light into the hall.
Which stair would you choose to take? I'm definitely taking the circular staircase!
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French Matting

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This past weekend I tackled a project I have been contemplating for awhile. You may remember a few years ago, the generous Patricia from PVE designed my blog header that you see today. She sent me the original watercolor and I've refrained from having it framed because I've debated turning the mat into a French mat.
A true French mat incorporates lines, watercolored borders and the occasional bit of marbelized paper. My bastardized version includes only the marbelized paper but I think it adds a little something to the overall look and feel of the drawing. I hope Patricia doesn't mind my interference with her work! I plan on having it framed (finally) in the next month and will be sure to show you all the final result!
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Vizcaya Details

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I thought a weekend post would be perfect for a few of the little details I noticed on the 2nd floor loggia of Vizcaya. Remember, the hallway is open and surrounds the courtyard below and provides access to the numerous bedrooms of the estate. I loved this dinner bell right off the stair.
This chandelier in the shape of a dragon carrying the lightbulbs is just too cute not to photograph!
This is the hallway in question -whats that door at the end of the corridor beside Mr. Deering's bedroom suite?
A private elevator, beautifully paneled and painted of course. Now thats riding in style!
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