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Friday, April 18th, 2014

Road Trip: Greenville, South Carolina

Becky

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You know how sometimes you’re headed to some town you’ve only seen from an interstate highway (near the Peachoid) for a wedding and your expectations are low? This weekend I traveled to Greenville, South Carolina for a wedding and I could not get over how charming and beautiful that town was. I even ran into John Legend twice – go figure!

Once a thriving textile town, Greenville went through a rough patch, but now the downtown area, the west end and the newly developed Swamp Rabbit Trail along the Reedy river are very impressive. Refurbished mills and new construction include design studios, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and art galleries.

At one end of the trail was this cheerful rainbow garden.

Heading downstream (Greenville is along the fall line, so the river is full of falls and gorgeous rocks), I came across this amazing view of tree roots in section.

The Liberty Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that spans the falls and lands you at the West End of town, which is the cool design-centric area. The bridge is supported by two 90-foot masts that hold the one suspension cable. Quite impressive and a beautiful feat of engineering, the bridge was designed by architect Miquel Rosales.

At the West End side of the bridge sits the charming Passerelle Bistro, where patrons can enjoy the view of the falls from the stone patio. There are also nice clean public restrooms around the corner — always a plus on these adventures.

The West End is full of design businesses like Postcard from Paris. Is this a great ghost sign or what? This is a view from the Swamp Rabbit Trail below.

Circling the West End before heading back to the hotel, we came across an old-school Army-Navy store. Then we ran into Legend and his cutie dog Pippa in NoMa Square, which was icing on the cake. Greenville South Carolina is a charming livable city at the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains that I’m still dreaming about almost a week later. I highly suggest a weekend trip, especially during spring or fall.

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Monday, March 31st, 2014

Mooning Over Miami II: The Fonts

Becky

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You read that right, by “The Fonts,” I am not coming up with some Kardashian-esque shortening for The Fontainebleau Hotel. Nope, I’m talking fonts. So I promised you some more fun snapshots from Miami. Clearly I’m not much of a photographer, but between the light, the architecture and, ahem, Instagram filters, it’s kind of hard to take an ugly shot there. Though it seems it is hard to take a shot from across the street without capturing a Ryder truck or road construction barrels and tractors.

One of my favorite things about Miami is the fun take on art deco architecture. One place you can see this unique playfulness is in a lot of the fonts you see around town. In South Beach, the hotel signs were some of my favorites.

Across the street at The Catalina, a playful cursive announces its presence:

By the way, this is an excellent spot to enjoy an al fresco breakfast, especially when you’ve overslept and your own hotel is no longer serving breakfast. If there’s a wait, this colorful, comfy and covered outdoor waiting room is a great spot to pass the time:

At The Nassau, the architecture has some fun throwing in some circles in the shape of a bullseye, porthole windows and if you look closely at the fence, you’ll see some more.

Oh I wish I had a better education in fonts. If anyone knows what any of these are called, will you please chime in and let us know in the comments section?

I love the more serious and crisp and bold all-caps I saw around town too:

And the smaller italicized “The” before “RICHMOND” here just slays me:

Another contrasting “The” over at the Regent at The Gale. Doesn’t a fun “The” just make things seem more important?

The font at THE PRESIDENT is elongated and casts some eye-catching shadows on the white facade. Check out how it’s centered underneath the box around the windows:

Seriously font folks, please share your expertise if you have it! Thanks!

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Thursday, March 27th, 2014

Bringing Modern Style To Your Outdoor Space

Becky

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I know some of you poor readers were recently blanketed with even more snow, but it is time to start planning for spring and summer and perking up your outdoor spaces. Since so many of you prefer modern and contemporary styles, here are some easy ways to bring a more modern aesthetic to your outdoor rooms.

Box it in. Square and rectangular planters and benches area an easy way to add clean lines to your patio or porch. Mixing in plants clipped plants with those in their natural forms helps emphasize them as well.

Shop modern outdoor accessories

Add bright bold modern furniture. You can mix more contemporary pieces with traditional outdoor spaces, like farmhouses or log cabin porches. These rockers are a modern take on the traditional Adirondack chair.

Go vertical. Is space tight? Look into planting a vertical garden. While this one is a beautiful professional job that looks like art, it’s easy to add hanging containers like the ones from Wallter. You can even plant edibles in hanging containers.

Light things up with a jolt of neon. Think about what will make your outdoor space an inviting space at night.

via tablet

Give the birds a mod little house.

Add squares. Simple pavers are an inexpensive and easy way to add a modern touch to a path, and help organize the space.

via Clark and Zook Architects, Atlanta

Add a groovy retro fireplace. What I love about Modfire is that it’s portable and much less expensive than hiring a mason. It adds a bold pop of color and will keep you toasty when you want to hang outside on cool nights.

Do you have any plans to modern up your outdoor rooms this spring? Please share them with us in the Comments section. We’d love to see pictures too! We’ll also be adding some of our favorites via Instagram as we come across them on spring house and garden tours.

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Friday, March 21st, 2014

Mooning Over Miami

Becky

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If you are one of the few who follow us on Instagram, you may have noticed a few Miami pictures showing up in our feed this month. Before, all I ever knew of this city was terrible experiences at the airport en route to places further south, Crockett and Tubbs, and, of course, this:

I’m so glad I got past the pushed-up suit sleeves, Real Housewives from hell and David Caruso stereotypes. What a gorgeous city Miami is. We stayed in South Beach at this small-ish swanky joint, The Gale, and were surrounded by fun vintage photos in our room and crisp, shall we say “space-saving” design.

I just love the lettering and the art decor curves and details on this building, from the sign to those bars across the doors to the the terrazzo underfoot:

That marble on the walls is not marble though, it’s some sort of brilliant faux painting:

Inside, the place is full of fun vintage photos from the era:

Up on the roof, there was a fabulous view of The Delano, one of the many art deco icons in South Beach:

Check out the way the facade folds, with the angled windows. The view the other way looked like this:

This level had this fabulous green wall. Yup, it was fake, but it looked great:

Even the graffiti in South Beach has it’s own unique flavor:

And the James Hotel provided plenty of playful parrot and dolphin fun on its facade:

I’ll share a few more photos with you in a post next week when I get them organized; there’s more great art deco to share.

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Monday, March 3rd, 2014

Hybrid-Home’s Brian Flynn … As a Muppet

Becky

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Oh if you just need a laugh today check out a day in the life of the Muppet version of the amazing Brian Flynn over at Design Milk. We know Brian and his wife Dora Drimalas from Hybrid-Home, which offer fantastic limited-edition prints like this one:

Pencils, Limited-Edition Print by Hybrid-Home

image via Design Milk

Watch Muppet Brian order lunch, brainstorm and collapse in yoga class.

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