chandelier

Slightly extravagant guest closet makeover

guest closet makeover

Yes, I fully comprehend that chandeliers in closets are completely unnecessary.  Some might say extravagant.  I don't care.

Our upstairs is one of the few places in our house that's almost completely renovated, save a few little details.  One of those details was the ugly yellow closet with an outdated 1970's light fixture, painted shelves, metal rod and broken bi-fold door.

I figured it would be an easy weekend project to replace the door and spruce it up.  As usual, I was wrong!  The entire project ended up taking about three weekends, but it was too much fun to quit with a new rod and door.

Hanging the solid wood door was a challenge and that was just the start.  I also painted the walls and trim, hung a small chandelier, had new shelves cut at Home Depot and covered them with spray glue and wallpaper, installed a new rod... and finally... added the cherry on top with an antique crystal doorknob from Ricca's.

The changes brighten up our tiny closet so much.  I hope it'll be a sparkling little treat for our guests for years to come!

Restoration Hardware chandeliers at a fraction of the price!

restoration hardware chandelier for less

Without fail, I walk into any store and gravitate toward the most expensive thing in there.  The old adage couldn't be more true... I've got champagne taste on a beer budget.

I spent last weekend shopping for the finishing touches for our upstairs renovation.  The nursery and bathroom are complete, but we need new light fixtures for the guest bedroom and landing.

I checked out Home Depot and Lowe's for something cheap, but wasn't happy with anything I saw.  Next, we visited Lighting Inc., but had the opposite problem.  Everything I liked was outside our thrifty budget.  We stopped by Dop Antiques.  It's my go-to... a hot and sweaty warehouse, filled with European antiques and reproductions.  Again, it was more than we wanted to spend.  I hopped online and picked a couple mediocre options from Lamps Plus.  They'd work in a pinch, but I wasn't thrilled.

Suddenly a light bulb turned on.  It was the most brilliant interior decorating idea I can't believe I've never had before!  Children's stores!

I adore almost everything at Restoration Hardware, but who really wants to spend $2,000 on a chandelier?  So tried Restoration Hardware Baby and Child instead.  It was a GOLD MINE!  Their styles are so classic, you'd never know they're intended for children and the prices are a fraction of the "adult" store.

For $500, I got not one, but TWO stunning rustic, French country chandeliers.  And that included shipping!

Take a look for yourself, would you ever know the difference???

Winding Down in Wine Country

Chandelier hanging in tree at Viansa Winery Summer is finally over and Joe and I just returned from our last trip of the year to sunny California.  We visited family in Sacramento and fêted our dear friends Mike and Maggie in Sonoma.  Living in New Orleans, we don't get many chances to go wine tasting, so we packed as many stops as possible into a sliver of free time!

Our wine country tour focused around the Carneros Region of Sonoma Valley.  The area is just south of the town of Sonoma, off Highway 121, and makes some of the most delicious sparkling wines you've tasted.  We began our day early at Viansa, where for $10 a person, we sampled their reserve offerings and for $45, brought home a bottle of Cabernet.  The winery is impeccably landscaped and offers sweeping views from the rustic terrace dotted with tables, chairs, strings of lights and chandeliers in the trees.  We sipped, shopped, relaxed and strolled through the vineyards before moving on.

10 minutes up the road you'll find Gloria Ferrer- an expansive estate of the famed Ferrer family, who's been wine-making in Spain since the 16th century!  You may be familiar with their largest brand, Freixenet.  Much like the family she married into, Gloria has a knack for sparkling wine.  Her Pinot Noir-based bubbly, Blanc de Noirs is their most award-winning variety and offered a tasty start to our tour of the facility.  The $20 per person tour lasted roughly an hour and explored different varieties of sparkling wine as well as the wine-making process.

Last, but certainly not least, we made our way to Cornerstone Winery for Mike and Maggie's wedding.  It was a drastic departure from our previous stops.  In lieu of Tuscan architecture, Cornerstone boasts modern art and labyrinth-like gardens.  Everywhere you look there's a sculpture or art installation, intricately woven between shrub-lined walkways.  The ceremony overlooked a modern lily pond, dinner took place inside a tent filled with farm tables, and dancing spilled out of the barn and into windmills on the large lawn.

By the time Joe and I stumbled back to our hotel room, our heads were spinning from all the excitement of the fabulous day... and maybe all that wine as well!

Kingsway House: Contemporary Design With Rich History

Kingsway House Chandelier- Studio WTA A while back my neighbor told me he found his dream home.  Since his house is MY dream house, I figured this place must be amazing.  He was working on a movie that was being filmed at the Kingsway House, on New Orleans' historic Esplanade Avenue.  It's a 12,000 sq ft private residence that's rented out for movies, weddings and parties (my friend Kenny went to a party put on by Solange Knowles there)!

The home began as two separate residences in the 1860's and was combined into one in the 1930's.  Back then, it was owned by Count Leon Arnaud Cazenave, owner of the famous Arnaud's Restaurant.  In the early 1990's, the property was transformed into Kingsway Studios, which recorded the likes of Pearl Jam, Peter Gabriel, R.E.M. and Sheryl Crow.  In 2002, it was sold to Nicholas Cage.  Studio WTA worked on renovations for Cage and again for Sean Cummings, the current owner.

The Kingsway House boasts a floor-to-ceiling crystal chandelier- apparently one of only two in the world.  The decor blends modern minimalism with traditional New Orleans warmth. I think its absolutely stunning, but take a look at the pictures from Studio WTA's website and decide for yourself!