Happy Friday, friends! We’re only a few hours away from an extended weekend – woohoo! But not before a short ”Room of the Day” post.

I have a thing for blue, you know that. I also have a thing for beautiful home libraries, rattan chairs and earthy textures. But what happens when all of these things come together? Well, only the most fabulous room I’ve seen in ages! Jeffrey Bilhuber is a crazy talented designer, a master of color and pattern mixing whose work I’ve admired for years.

One of my absolute favorite rooms he designed is a cottage-style living room in Westchester, New York, that multi-tasks as a home library. I love every detail in this space, from the beautiful warm blues of the color scheme to the easy comfort of the upholstery, all the plants and the pottery.

blue library

”For the living room of an English-style cottage, Bilhuber says he chose ”a hodgepodge of low key furnishings, emphasizing charm over provenance”. ” (via 1stdibs)

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Have you heard the great news? Ina Garten’s new Barefoot Contessa series – ”Cook Like a Pro”- airs this Sunday!

”I’m so excited to announce that my new Barefoot Contessa series “Cook Like A Pro” starts this Sunday, May 28, at 11am ET on Food Network. I’m sharing lots of recipes and tips that I’ve learned professionally so you can cook at home with confidence. The first of 8 episodes is – of course! – all about chicken! I’ll be making Roast Chicken With Radishes, Chicken & Spinach Waldorf Salad, and Truffled Chicken Liver Mousse. Hope you can join me; it’s going to be so much fun! xxx Ina” 

Now although I’m a vegetarian, I still won’t miss any of it because the Barefoot Contessa is more than just a cooking show. It’s a lesson of effortless, chic living. In the meantime, I came across some new shots from Ina’s barn that I want to share with you. I’m sure you’re all familiar with her barn/filming studio – it has made waves throughout the design blogosphere years and years ago. Built in a Belgian farmhouse style (an aesthetic Ina and her husband Jeffrey admire) – with interiors decorated by Robert Stilin, it was published in House Beautiful and established Ina Garten as a style icon!

Recently, Ina has enlisted the help of architect Daniel Romualdez to create an addition to the above mentioned barn that would house her expansive collection of cookbooks, glassware and cake-stands and that could also serve as a hang-out space for her filming crew. The result is a cheerful, vibrant space that has a more modern pace than the rest of the barn. It is inviting,  youthful, and very fresh!

ina roses

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”A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in — what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” Victor Hugo

One of the best perks of living in the suburbs is that one can tend and care for a garden. It could be anything really, from small flowering shrubs that add to your home’s curb appeal (and keep the interiors pretty too), to ample vegetable parterres and orchards. I once read that gardening takes a lot of water, especially in the form of perspiration. If that’s the case, the satisfaction that comes from taking care of even the tiniest patch of land is worth the effort!  Plus, studies show that gardening lowers the risk of heart disease by lowering blood pressure, so let’s get gardening! I’m starting small by flower-sitting a friend’s avocado tree, we’ll see where that goes.

For those of you with a real garden and a willingness to get dirty, I have just the right inspiration. Tucked in my ”garden files” I found a pretty garden tour published in Traditional Home. It is a small cutting garden in Winnetka Illinois, designed by landscape designer Craig Bergmann of Lake-Forest. The owners wanted a ”secret” place in a private area of their property, with lush views year-round so Bergmann designed the perfect mix of annuals and perennials that bloom throughout the warmer months.

garden 9

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Summer is in the air…can you feel it? Finalizing holiday plans, enjoying the warmer days and finding any excuse to be outdoors – are all symptoms of the imminent arrival of summer! My favorite time!

I’ve planned on writing a post about the society wedding of the year (Pippa’s) but I guess if you were into that sort of news, you’ve already carefully analyzed every detail of her dress and her royal entourage so there’s not much left to talk about, is there? Instead, I want to share with you what I’ve been pinning lately. Pinterest remains my favorite place to seek inspiration, although Instagram is a very close second. You all know how much I love color, blues and greens the most though I’ve never shied away from reds and pinks either so I’m surprisingly pinning lots of white and neutrals lately. It is a phase I embrace in my own home as well, as I’ve removed most color accents from our favorite rooms. Anyway, here are some great spaces and homes that are serene and beautiful. All white and neutral. Enjoy!

Aerin-Lauder-Hamptons-Home-yard-view

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In line with yesterday’s post, I have a pretty little home to show you (again). I’ve blogged about it before, it was one of the first home tours I ever featured, but I know you won’t mind seeing it again. It fits the bill perfectly as it is all about transforming dark and dated interiors into fun, fresh, modern ones with minimum of effort and on a budget. Imagine that!

Country Living published the story in 2011 and it still remains one of my favorite makeovers! Designer Sara Story helped her sister Lisa redecorate her Connecticut house without breaking the bank. With a budget in mind, the entire home design was cleverly planned and carefully thought out. The major ”splurges”, or investments if you will, were made in the kitchen (new cabinets and appliances) and powder bath (new tiles and waterworks). The rest of the rooms got new coats of paint, wallpaper, old pieces were smartly recovered to play along nicely with some new catalog additions.

The end result is simply fabulous! It certainly pays off to have a decorator sibling willing to help you create a beautiful home.  With some clever tricks, the house looks brand new and so bright.

sara story 002

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