Champagne-ing in France

One of my favorite things is Champagne!  On my travels to France this past week, with my daughter Haley, we had a fantastic time sightseeing, tasting the lovely foods of Paris and we took a super fun cooking class at La Cuisine Paris

French Cheese
charcuterie

Being a champagne lover, I have to say experiencing champagne tasting in a small town outside of Reims was the highlight of my trip.  We stayed at Le Château de Rilly, “a privileged location, between Reims and Epernay, in the heart of the Champagne vineyard created in an old 18th century Champagne house.”

 Le Chateau de Rilly

Le Chateau de Rilly

The experience at Le Château de Rilly was so special.  I loved the authentic décor, wonderful hospitality of the staff and the delicious five-course dinner. It felt as if we were eating in a private dining room. It was so very special for Haley and I.

 Haley and I champagne tasting

Haley and I champagne tasting

We tasted champagne in the local’s homes (seriously we tasted champagne in the wine makers living rooms!). My favorite experience was at Didier Herbert Champagne, the champagne was so delicious. One of my favorite selections from Didier Herbert was La Grande Reserve Premier Cru, which had notes of caramel and vanilla. I will never forget the taste of this particular champagne and this wonderful, once in a lifetime travel experience with my daughter.

Happy Designing & Happy Travels!

xo,

Sérendipité

a summer necessity

fouta-about_foutacircle We love Foutas and can't get enough of them! They are the perfect summer essential.

If you spend a lot of time at the beach or outdoors during the summer a fouta should be at the top of your necessity list! These soft, versatile towels are practical and also very stylish. They make great beach towels, beach cover ups, bath towels, picnic blankets and table cloths.

Foutas originated in Tunisia where the local people have been using them for years in the Turkish Baths. More recently they have become a style statement in the US. They are absorbent, 100% cotton and come in many colors and styles.

Read more and check out some of our favorite foutas at foutalifestyle

Happy designing!

xo, Serendipite

fouta beach chairs

fouta hand towelsfouta table clothimage credits via foutalifestyle.com, serenaandlily.com  & pinterest

We love chairs, what can we say?

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 4.50.35 PM    Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 4.52.17 PM Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 4.52.52 PM    Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 4.53.49 PM We love chairs, what can we say?

Have you ever had too much to do so you decide to do something that is unrelated to keep your focus? I know I am totally complex here but seriously! When I am overwhelmed, I need to refocus on something totally off task to get back on task. Well, this happened to me (again) today. I have drawings, bids, design work and imagining to do on various projects, and what do I do? Look for chairs that inspire me.

I LOVE chairs! I have a collection of chairs that I love to admire in my home and office. If I see a fabulous chair, old or new, I will find a spot in my home or design project to place it in. Do any of these chairs speak to you like they do to me? I am excited to hear!

Happy Designing!

xo, Sérendipité

In the Moment

  
Coincidence or serendipity? Several months ago I dreamed of a beautiful, black butterfly. Since then I met and began working with a wonderful client that shared a lovely and personal piece of art with me. It was a black and white photograph of his grandmother who had a butterfly resting on the back of her head, much like the dream I had a month prior. Shortly after we chatted about the delightful photograph, the client and I were out shopping and we stumbled across a striking work of art that was composed of forty-eight real, saturated abalone colored butterflies in an oversized shadow box. The client and I were both awe struck! This piece of artwork became the inspiration for the client’s formal dinning room and now hangs in his home for all dinner guests to admire. 

My favorite mantra is being in the moment. After a long couple of weeks of working very hard, always on the go and not having much “me time,” it finally dawned on me; I need to start living by my own mantra. I need to be more present, have better balance between my work and personal life, and focus my energy on living in the moment!

 
I decided this past weekend, although a very busy one, that it was the perfect time to start living by my mantra. I was in Las Vegas for my precious daughter, Haley's, last club soccer tournament. During this trip we were also celebrating Haley's 18th birthday, which falls on March 17th (She is my dear, precious leprechaun!).
 
We had a break between games so I suggested we take a detour to the Bellagio (my favorite place in Vegas). I knew this beautiful hotel would be the perfect place to slow down, spend quality time with my daughter and get inspired. The atrium at the Bellagio is a place where I find beauty, clarity and inspiration. The aromatic seasonal flowers awaken my senses and the beautiful scents make me feel so delighted and so very happy! I always take the time to go there whenever I am in Las Vegas.

The featured flowers this season include tulips (my very favorite flower) in all hues, hyacinth, lilies, mums and poppies. Among this delightful atrium was a greenhouse filled with butterflies, and I mean filled….butterflies of every size, shape and color! I was in utter amazement of this beauty and glory!

 
After this weekend, I have renewed my commitment to being present. I am reminding myself to slow down and promising myself to take time to enjoy the beauty that surrounds me. I now feel so happy and inspired for the new week ahead. I have so much gratitude for the gentle reminder that we are so blessed to see beauty everyday if we just take the time to enjoy the moment.
 
So you decide, is the re-appearance of butterflies in my life just a coincidence or serendipity? 

Happy designing!


xo,
Sérendipité
 
 
 

Books, Books & More Books!

vintage chair with books
 
We love books and think there is nothing more stylish than a home designed with books. Books are treasures that should be collected, cherished, scattered throughout your home…and of course, read!!
 
Make your living room livelier and show off your intellectual side by adding a few intriguing books to your coffee table or book self. It is an age-old trick but somehow in this era of smart phones, iPads and e-readers beautiful books tend to get overlooked. There's nothing like tangibly holding a book in your hands and being able to turn its pages.
 
Books make a classier statement than magazines and make a house homier. Not to mention, they are great conversation starters between you and your guests. Pick books that speak to you or are a reflection of what really inspires you. The more eclectic your collection is the more your guests get to know all the fun layers of who you are. 
 
Most likely your guests will appreciate books with beautiful drawings or photographs with minimal text. Two or three stacked books topped with an exquisite shell or bud vase makes for an elegant, timeless look. Try building a table of stacked books next to your favorite chair; this is fun, affordable and unique!
 

So, make a trip to your favorite bookstore or the used book section of your local library and see what kind of conversations are conjured up next time you invite friends over for a glass of wine!

Happy Designing!

xo

images via mylusciouslife.com, kikareichert.com, hgtv.com & pinterest 

  books with cloche   

 

 

 

 

 

Top of the Bed

Mirrored headboards

I believe the master bedroom is the second most important room in your home next to the ever famous kitchen.  My theory is that your master bedroom should be more or less a retreat and your sanctuary.

The average person should get 8 hours of rest a night...which is 1/3 of your day.  Sleep is the most important function for your health, productivity and as Jennifer Lopez mentions in People magazine this week (am I using Jo Lo as an example!?!) sleep is what makes her look so young essentially.

I am currently working on designing a few master bedrooms, so the idea of a sanctuary, rest, comfort, serenity and headboard concepts are swirling in my mind. 
 
 
 
The headboard is the focal point of a master retreat and is worthy of being creative and beautiful!  I am a big fan of re-purposing, flea market hunting and taking a vintage piece and reinventing it into something hip, cool or totally unexpected!  Here are a few ideas I am in love with.  I'd love to hear your thoughts on what you think your top of the bed should look like...sweet dreams!
 


xo,
Sérendipité


images via: southernpiphi, nannasnormasgrandaughters, and pintrest author not mentioned

The Well-Dressed Table

Holiday Place Setting
image credit Martha Stewart

In my experience, nothing makes a meal more delicious and memorable than a well-dressed table. Creating an ambiance and setting a mood for your guests creates a delightful dining experience!

Decorating with herbs and elements of nature brings the outdoors to your table. It is also affordable and organic. And, the colors of nature provide a soothing and calm setting for conversation and relaxation.

Take your family heirlooms and estate treasures to the next level. Use them to create a vintage and eclectic vibe. Everyone loves a great story! Create your story adorning your table with your great grandma's gravy boat from 1920 or your aunt’s silver butter dish.

Are you having more guests than you planed for?  Now you do not have enough matching place settings!  Mix it up, have your guests bring a place setting of their own china. The trick is that they actually do not use their own place setting. This is a fun way to share and even show off your guests’ treasures at your party; speaking from someone who is a sucker for dishes and a great story... me!

We at Sérendipité wish you and your guests a delicious, delightful and memorable holiday celebration!

Much love and gratitude!

Love,
Sérendipité Designs

Loving Laguna Beach & Love in Laguna Beach

For as long as I can remember I have loved the water and have always been drawn to the ocean! I stumbled across the most magical beach and my true “happy place” in my early 20's... Laguna Beach. Laguna Beach has always lured me by its charm, unexplainable energy, lovely rocks, and the aura of creativity and the feeling it creates for me; anything is possible! The sound of the ocean, the perfect weather almost every day of the year and the synergy I feel is intoxicating in Laguna.

Inspiration

After many wonderful memories of dining, shopping, sun bathing and countless walks in Laguna; during one unexpected trip I discovered a rock that I refer to as “my" rock. I have always been fascinated by the energy of rocks for some reason. One day I crossed over a particular rock perfectly orientated before my favorite hotel, the Surf & Sand Resort. I said to myself I this is the perfect place to sit and express my gratitude for the countless blessings the Lord has provided for me. From this day on I find myself pondering, seeking clarity, offering gratitude and just praying on this rock…. “my rock”!
December 6, 2012 marks the most magical day in Laguna Beach, my best friend George proposed to me on "my" rock that brings so much clarity and peace at the times I have needed it most. George, asked me to be his wife. This day represents another moment on "my” rock that I will cherish forever. I am so grateful to live near a place that is so picturesque, filled with beauty and pure magic for me. 
Laguna Beach engagement
 
I ask…do you have a place that is your "happy place"? I’d love to hear your story!
Xo
 
 

Never Underestimate the Importance of Lighting

Lighting is crucial in a well-designed room.  It is one element that should never be over looked or underestimated.  Without proper lighting a beautifully designed room does not live up to its full potential.  There are several different types of lighting including ambient lighting, task lighting and accent & mood lighting.  Sunlight, firelight and candlelight are other natural sources of lighting to take into consideration when designing a space.
Having more than one type of light source in a room adds a certain level of drama and sophistication and it will look like a room well thought-out.  You will be amazed by how proper lighting in a room dramatically affects the mood of the space.  There are so many different options to choose from including track lighting, recessed lighting, table lamps, floor lamps, wall sconces, chandeliers, nightlights, lanterns and candles just to name a few.  We encourage you to be creative with your lighting and mix it up! 

Tips for creating great lighting techniques

  1. Take into consideration what the function of the room is and what mood you are trying to create.  In order to better control the ambience of a room you might want to consider adding dimmer switches to one or more of the lighting sources in the room.
  2. Have more than one form of light source in a room for functionality and drama. Example: In an office have an ambient light source such as recessed cans but also have a source of task lighting near the work space for sufficient light to work.  In many older homes, bedrooms are only equipped with a single wall sconce.  Add a chic chandelier above the bed and a table lamp on both bedside tables to add ambience.

Fall in love with your lighting! Although lighting is essential to the function of a room, it is important to choose lighting fixtures that encompass your design style as well. Look at each light fixture as a piece of artwork.  There are so many beautifully crafted and even fun and whimsical light fixtures to choose from out there.

This room is a wonderful example of combination lighting with the contemporary light fixture hanging from the center of the room and a sofa flanked by matching table lamps.
image via www.janiehearts.blogspot.com

The mustard colored lamps in this room add a certain elegance to this otherwise monochromatic color scheme.
image via
www.theeverygirl.com
Not only does this room have a chandelier but also backlit cabinets, which cast a glow up the wall and candles which add a calm ambiance to the room.
image via
www.decorpad.com
This bedroom has four sources of light including natural light, recessed lighting, a chandelier and table lamps on the bed side tables.
image via Pinterest
, www.opaldesigngroup.com
Beautiful use of lighting
image via
www.georgianadesign.tumblr.com