Last month I was invited by Element Hotels (Starwood’s eco-wise brand) to a complimentary stay at one of their properties to experience their hospitality first-hand. After a quick look at their website I was intrigued by their claim to being much more than a “green” hotel concept that motivates guests to go and do!
As I was scheduled to attend BlogFest2013 in NYC I decided to check out the Element Times Square West location. At first I was weary of being in crowed Times Square area, but once there I was impressed with quiet zen-ish feel of the hotel.
A stark contrast from the bustling and noisy neighborhood, the hotel itself is designed to make guests feel instantly at home; spacious guest rooms each with a large king-sized bed, a work desk, a kitchenette with a full refrigerator and dishwasher, spa-like showers, and big windows boasting views of the city. Rooms are stylish, sustainable and designed for comfort. Floor plans maximize flow and flexibility. Naturally lit open spaces invite conversation and inspire creativity. Best of all, (for me), they are pet-friendly! Dexter was given his own bed and food bowls and if his wags are any indication (they are) he also enjoyed his stay very much.
From their complimentary RISE breakfast spread, which guests can take back to their rooms to enjoy, to their RELAX beverage and snack to unwind in the early evening midweek, no detail in ensuring guests enjoy their stay was overlooked. I especially loved the sunny greenhouse in which they served their RISE and RELAX spreads. Im totally eyeing it for a private event.
Even their rooftop patio is equipped with comfy loungy seating with views of the Hudson river. A 24-hour fitness center, an on-site laundry room and bikes to borrow are some of the other amenities that add to charm of Element Hotel in Times Square.
Energy-conscious travelers take note: The flooring in each room is made using recycled tires, (super durable), the design of the windows allows abundant natural light and reduce dependence on electricity, and the appliances are energy-efficient. Hotels even have electric car-charging stations!
For a limited time some of their hotels are offering free second night. You can take a list of all Element Hotel properties here.
My dad taught me so much growing up – how to change a tire, make a bed with hospital corners, and how ride a bike. He deserves more than the usual card, and I found some unique and useful Fathers Day gifts for every type of dad there is!
This liquid gold leaf pen is probably the best new craft toy I have come across in a while. Easy to use and mess-free, I can’t get enough of it. This morning I glammed up a set of natural stone coasters by painting the rims gold.
Give a plain iPhone case a stylish makeover in under 5 minutes. All you need is one sheet of round mailing labels in gold (found at most office and craft supply stores for under $5) and an iPhone case.
Acclaimed Italian architect and designer, Paola Navone unvieled her new Out of India line for Anthropologie in NYC this past weekend. Inspired by her time spent in India, the line features vibrant colors and bold layered pattern designs including bed linens, furniture, suitcases, lighting and accessories. Navone says the line is, “an unbelievable melting pot of colors that happily embrace each and every object”. Here are a few of my favorite pieces from the collection, but make sure to see this exclusive collection for yourself.
Everyone I know is talking about the return of the Bluth family May 26th on Netflix. After 10 years we can only imagine what huge mistakes they’ve made in their lives. Housebeautiful.com has a fantastic interview with set decorator Jennifer Lukehart about how she was able to recreate the family’s penthouse, the model home, and a few new locations for the comeback season.
image via Housebeautiful.com
Lukehart incorporated some of the shows running jokes in the decor. Lucille Austero’s Art Deco apartment (above) features a statue of a seal with a ball on its nose!
image via Housebeautiful.com
She also has some tips and tricks, I mean illusions, from the screen that can work in your home. Such as using a lampshape in a color other than white to prevent a distracting glow.
image via Housebeautiful.com
I also just love her positive spin on turning a decorating challenge into a way to expand your field of creativity (they had to recreate the family’s penthouse in just two weeks!) Grab a frozen banana and check out the full interview and more pictures of the set at Housebeautiful.com.
Baz Luhrmann’s adaption of The Great Gatsby is finally out and I was dying to watch it in 3D last week but had too much going on to find the time.
From what I can see (have seen/been drooling on for so long), in the trailers, posters, and photographs, it is a fresh, sexy and tasteful adaptation of a timeless love story filled with indulgences and excess. Im in awe of the brilliant set decor and style of the entire movie! Art deco in 2013! What’s not to love?
The production is fantastic and the cinematography that makes you long to live in Jay’s house, be part of his fabulous parties, wear lots of jewelry, that convinces you that champagne is all sorts of good for you, wonder why we dont have dance parties everyday, and walk in to a room filled with beautiful orchids, peonies, lilies, tulips, in many beautiful arrangements.
I cant wait to take a little time out and watch it in 3D soon but until then Im loving these clips of the movie.
The amazing F. Scott Fitzgerald story of decadence and excess of the 1920′s could not have found a better director than Baz Luhrmann, known for his epic films (Moulin Rouge is still my favorite). But the look of the time is a character all its own: the angles of Art Deco design and the sway of beaded fringe dresses are mesmerizing. Today’s mood board is filled with modern vintage looks to inspire you get a little decadent and jazz up your everyday. And of course, we all love to dress up for a glamorous party!
Putting together a color palette for your new home can be so intimidating ( ok, fine, flat out terrifying for the most indecisive of us.)
It can also be empowering to select all of the amazing, gorgeous details of your space. Maximize this beautiful form of self-expression and creativity by being inspired, motivated and decisive. The most brilliant home owners (or renters making it their own!) realize that things can always be changed if and when the spirit moves you. Most agonize–at least a bit–over the initial choices, especially those doing it for the fist time!
Here are some tips on the best ways to arrive at paint selections you will be happy with:
1. Find a piece of inspiration
Perhaps it’s a unique canvas, a bold fabric; maybe its your bedding or even a lamp or pillow. Find a piece that moves you and it will dictate the feel for the colors of that room.
be influenced by bold
2. Do your homework
Scour all of the amazing Internet resources like Pinterest, Houzz and (hello?!) Mochatini for all the ideas you’ll ever need. Start your search with the influence of your inspiration piece and you’ll find tons of color schemes and combinations.
they got it right!
3. Go to the paint store
Believe it. The colors are so much more alive on a swatch. Also, the light boxes help to show you just how the colors will translate inside your bright, new house. (PS-you can also buy samples of your potential paint color to try out if you’re already living where you’re painting.)
4. Have FUN!
Mix, match, enjoy! Have fun on the adventure of decorating your home. Think outside the box…accent walls, textures and stenciling are all incredible ways to feature gorgeous paint detail! Although initially it may feel like an overwhelming challenge, you don’t have to be scared of a ‘mistake.’ Paint is not permanent, so take pleasure in the process.
The editors of Country Living magazine have outdone themselves! All the best decorating, storage and DIY advice from the magazine have been compiled into their new book, The Little Book of Big Decorating ideas. It’s almost like a Pinterest page you can carry around with you without the annoying broken links! They even have a simple and concise appendix in the back for the how-to features.
From afternoon projects – like how to show off souvenirs from last years beach vacay, to weekend warrior overhauls – like using varnished craft paper as wallpaper, the projects inspire endless ideas for your home. There’s also an entire section for turning your lawn and garden into beautiful, easy to manage haven instead of a distracting chore.
This June, when you pick up the book, make sure you have time to swing by the local hardware and craft store as well, because you will definitely want to have supplies ready when the inspiration from these pages hit you!