If I Had a Cottage in the Countryside…

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it would look like this:

And the gardens would look like this:

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And I would drink tea and read on beautiful days here:

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And I would invite friends and family over and we would dine al-fresco here:

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And the kitchen, where I would cook and bake like crazy, would look like this,

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and this:

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And I would hang out in a living room that looked like this:

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And I would curl up in this nook to read and nap:

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And throw fabulous dinner parties in a room like this,

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or this:

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Finally resting my head here:

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Dreaming is fun.

**The cottage from the first image just happens to be A.A. Milne’s cottage (author of the Winnie the Pooh books).

Inspiration

Visiting National Geographic‘s site for their photos of the day is something that I love to do.  I am always inspired to take better photographs when I see the amazing work of the photographers showing their work there.  Below are some of my favorites from NG’s “photo of the day” black and white series.

Street Scene, Rio de Janeiro by Rasko Ristic

Children Playing in Rain, Bangladesh by Jashim Salam

Underwater Surfer by Tony Heff

Round Tower, Copenhagen by Robert Floerke

Hidden Face by Drussawin Leepaisal

Millennium Bridge, London by Nathaniel Gonzales

Chinatown, New York by Matthew Goddard-Jones

Alpine Climbers, Midi-Plan Traverse, France by Tommy Harris

Crowded Street, Kathmandu by Larry Louie

(click on the photograph for more information about the image)

Green Glass

Ever since I got these glasses from IKEA a few weeks ago, I have been pretty much obsessed with them.  I think it has something to do with their color…I am totally loving the green/aqua/turquoise color.  They make whatever you are drinking THAT much cooler.  I have not been able to get back to IKEA to get more of them (which is definitely in the plans) but I have had fun looking up other potential additions.  And the coolest thing about green glass is that, often, it is made using recycled green glass.  So, double bonus, recycling + pretty color.  :)

Here are some other beautiful pieces of green glassware that I found that I am loving.

Anthropologie – Love these!

Kastehelmi

Pottery Barn – I am definitely going to get a set of these. So fun!

Pottery Barn

Sundance

World Market

World Market

Stonewall Kitchen

Luna Bazaar –  Love this votive holder.

And to top it all off, a gorgeous tablescape at a wedding using some green glass mason jars.  ♥

Smithsonian Magazine’s 9th Annual Photo Contest

Smithsonian Magazine has just recently announced the finalists in their 9th Annual Photo Contest.  If you visit the site, you can help them decide the Readers’ Choice Award by voting for your favorite image.  While you can select only one image, you can vote every day up until March 31.

There are some pretty amazing images amongst their list of finalists.  Here are some of my favorites.  You should definitely visit the site to find your favorites.

by Zoltan Balogh

by Ben Hattenbach

by Budi Prakasa

by Shyamal Das

by David Lazar

by Chetan Soni

by Leon Lee

by Nicky Chang

by Somnath Mukherjee

(All images from the Smithsonian 9th Annual Photo Contest website)

Charming Black Walls

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Recently, I saw an episode of the HGTV show,  Home by Novogratz, and I was fascinated by the use of a black wall in the kitchen the designers remodeled (image above).  It looked so fantastic in that space.  I then remembered that my honey had once told me, several years ago, that he thought it would be so cool to have the walls of a room painted black.  I told him he was crazy and that black walls would make a space look like a dungeon.  Well, I am totally taking that back now!

I found so many examples of how fabulous black walls could be.  I mean, it probably would be easy to make a room with black walls look like a dungeon but, as it seems, with lots of natural light, with white trim and/or white crown molding, with lighter colored floors and with a decent amount of light neutrals and pops of color in the furniture and accessories, black walls totally work.  I had no idea how elegant and romantic it could be.  Below are some more pretty amazing spaces.

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Love how almost everything, except the walls, is light-colored in this room.

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L.O.V.E the pops of turquoise in the dining chairs.

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Love the use of the picture frames with the thick white mats here…it helps to break up that large black wall.

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Such an elegant bathroom.  Fabulous single yellow chair.

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Another example of a black wall in the kitchen.  So chic.

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Love the use of the black, gray and white.

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Adore the black paint over the paneled walls.

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Yet another kitchen with black walls.  I totally see a kitchen with black walls in my future.  :)

Postcards to Alphaville

by Alejandra Villasmil

Postcards to Alphaville is a very cool project consisting of illustrated postcards of characters from films.  The postcards are by guest illustrators who chose a film and then were required to portray one character from that film.  The project, according to founder Paul Paper “is [a] love-letter to films and those characters that brings us, the viewers, moments of joy, sorrow and revelation and sometimes seems more real than the neighbor next-door.”

It is so much fun to choose a film from the list and find out which character the illustrator chose to portray.  Below are some of my favorite illustrations but there are many more to see on the project’s website.  I love how each illustration is so different from the others.  Some are more like sketches while others are more like paintings or charcoal drawings.  Way too difficult to try and pick a favorite one!  :)

by Craig Atkinson

by Byron Eggenschwiler

by Joan Xavier Vázquez

by Anna Higgie

by Mia Christopher

by Will Bryant

by Daniel Göttling

(All images via Postcards to Alphaville)

“I don’t want to own anything until I find a place where me and things go together. I’m not sure where that is but I know what it is like. It’s like Tiffany’s.”  ~Holly Golightly, Breakfast at Tiffany’s.