Friday, April 30, 2010

365 Days Of Inspiration

(I know I havent been posting for a couple of days, sorry about that. Ive just been very busy. Posts should resume tomorrow asap. For now, Im taking a minute to say this...)

One year ago today, I launched Design Fetish. I can't believe its been one year already!

First and foremost, I'd like to thank my coolest friend, the friend who inspired me to start this all, Fadi Bitar (he's a brilliant writer by the way, writes the best articles, you should check out his website, Survival First. You won't regret it, I promise).

I'd also like to thank all you fans and followers out there. Thank you for your constant encouragement. I just love your emails, they always manage to put the biggest smile on my face :D

You guys are what keep Design Fetish going.

Thank you so much and here's to another 365!!!!

-Yasmine "kushu" Zalek

our miniature garden

I used to be bothered by a small gap which ran all along the steps of our stoop. The gap was only a couple of inches wide, but in places very deep. This careless flaw irked me, and I often imagined a little foot, hand, or treasure eventually becoming stuck in the crack.

Last summer Adelaide and I spent about a month together, planting a miniature garden in the bothersome gap. A little bit here and there we chiseled and dug it out a bit more, sweeping and clearing away carefully like a couple of archaeologists. Once our task was done we traveled by bus to our favourite garden centre, where we were reassurred that our choice in vegetation - chicks and hens - would last the cold winters of our Canadian mountain. Together we then carefully selected our favourite little babies, loading then up in our stroller for the journey home. Several bus trips and transplants later, we had our miniature garden, running along each of the 11 steps to our front door. A pretty little solution to the possibility of a trapped toe!

I am so pleased that our babies have survived the winter (although it was mild) and they are thriving! Adelaide and I have now begun to clear out the opposite side of the stairway, in preparation of continuing our miniature garden. The gap on this side is much smaller and less irksome, but I am hoping that these magical little plants would love to call this place their home.

A grand stairhall

While reading 'The private world of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor' by Hugo Vickers, recently, I was struck by the lush details in their stair hall in the Bois de Boulogne, Paris. I know a lot of people dislike the Duke and Duchess (and let me know why every time I post on them!), but they were incredible tastemakers in the mid 20th century, hiring the best of the best. This house was primarily decorated by Jansen and I think we can all agree to admiring them if not these particular clients! They supplied the sconces seen above, which incorporate the Royal Arms of the Stuarts.The incredible faux marble walls caught my attention first. I think I like them more than the real marble floors! The Louis XV desk in the entry hall is very useful, especially for hosts who keep a guest book, such as the Windsors.The faux marble commode was probably made for the couple in the 30s by another 'great' of the 20th century, Syrie Maugham. Isn't the stair railing gorgeous?
The trompe l'oeil painted ceiling is suitably grand for the house, much more appropriate than plain white! The lantern incorporates the Prince of Wales feathers and was brought to the house by the Duke from his house Fort Belvedere as was the banner which was brought from Windsor Castle.
Beautiful photography of the house in the book was by Fritz von der Schulenburg

Thursday, April 29, 2010

romantic + rustic

I have been on quite the rustic kick lately and I truly believe it is because of the calming and romantic atmosphere the look can create. I think these spaces are the perfect examples of that...

(images scanned from simply contemporary)
Hope you have a lovely weekend! And don't forget to enter the kage famers market tote giveaway!

I Am So Proud!

Yeah!!!!! My vintage flower frog was featured on the front page of Etsy this morning! I am sooo proud... I feel like a new mom who sees her baby walk his first steps... OK, this calls for celebration, especially since FrenchByDesign is going to celebrate its 3rd month of activity on May 3... Thank you Etsy!!!

via: Etsy

Andre Medina Interview

Andre Medina: Character Layout Artist
Media: Traditional Mediums and Adobe Photoshop.

soothing symmetry

This week has been quite chaotic and I expect that today will be the same way. I thought the clean style and impeccable symmetry of this sitting area would help to start the day with order.

(room design by kendall wilkinson)

An Industrial Loft on the Countryside!

No, this is not a NYC or San Francisco loft, this one is located in the Perche, in the French countryside! Candice, its owner, is an industrial era vintage lover and it shows...

via : Cote Sud

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

the great outdoors

Yesterday morning I woke up to my daffodils blooming and sunny skies but today I was greeted with chilly air and snow covering my deck. Hopefully tomorrow I can wake up and have this lovely outdoor area in my backyard...

(via nuevo estilo)
Wishful thinking I know but it would be a wonderful place to start the day with a cup of coffee. Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

giveaway {kage farmers market tote}

As a thank you to all of you readers that make writing delight by design so much fun and incredibly rewarding, I thought it was high time for a giveaway! If you have read for a while you will know that I love the creations of Kage Handbag's and am excited to be giving away one of her canvas farmer markets totes. I know I would love taking it more than just to the grocery store!
All you have to do is comment on this post (make sure to leave your e-mail address) before 5 PM EST on Friday! Simple, right? Will be announcing the winner (at random) on Sunday, May 2nd! Also make sure to check out some of her other lovely bags and accessories.

Space Invaders Tie

The Space Invaders Tie is a silk tie, with either blue or green Space Invaders accents. Get it here.


Lego Tables

By Lunatic Construction.


Scary Shower Curtain

This shower curtain with a shadow figure is just too scary.
Buy it here.


Wallpapers For Designers

Cool wallpaper that every designer should have on their desktop for quick reminders or blunt statements! By Stephen Herko.

You can download them and other more from his website.


Swing Necklace

Buy it here.


My Urban Outfitters Sandbox

With Mother's Day around the corner (hint to my loved ones!!!!), here is a selection of cool products from the Urban Outfitters collection (sister company of Anthropology). Happy shopping!

Clockwise from top : Glass Half Bookends $58, Wire Frame 10" Letter $8, Bitch Bandages $7, Damsel Self Adhesive Wallpaper $78, Marquee Alphabet Lights $178, 2 Carat Cup $16, Wall Flowers Wall Decor $40, Mobile Photo Clip $14 and Acid Etch Letter $14.

Monday, April 26, 2010

The Inn at Phillips Mill

Nestled in Bucks County, PA, just outside of New Hope, is an old charming inn that I was lucky enough to stay in while visiting the Mercer Museum & Fonthill.

The Inn at Phillips Mill has been entertaining visitors since the 1750s when it began life as a farmhouse with attached barn. Numerous outbuildings are on the site which house a community center, an architect's office, gift shop, horse barn and a house or two.
The actual mill has been a community arts center since 1929 - one of the old mill stones rests in the garden, seen above.
The area has a rich history dating back to Aaron Phillips who constructed the original buildings. In 1894 the artist William Lathrop purchased the buildings and began an art colony here which would become known as the New Hope Group.
But back to the Inn. While it does have a few guest rooms, it primarily is a well-known restaurant with DELICIOUS food. You don't come here just for the food however, but for the ambiance. Romance and history pour out of every corner -everything lit by candle doesn't hurt. The service isn't exactly amazing but the ambiance and food more than make up for that fact.
The rambling inn has another darker history though, which I didn't find out about until I left. I've been debating writing about this since I got home. I don't want to be seen as the crackpot blogger and loose any of the little respect I may have earned. I suspect many of you have stopped reading by now though and are just looking at the pretty pictures!
Apparently the Inn is haunted. Allegedly. Two weeks ago, I might have scoffed as you just did, but I had an odd experience that has really put me on edge since my return. I'll share it with you now.I've never been one to believe in ghosts; I wasn't raised that way, but I never DIDN'T believe in ghosts. Truthfully, I never gave the topic much thought. I'll tell my little story matter of factly, as my experience unfolded and let you judge for yourself.
After a delicious meal and a trip into New Hope to walk around and see the sights, we returned back to the Inn as things were winding down for the evening and went to bed.
Around 3am (I think), I was woken by a loud noise, a rocking chair. Now, you might think a rocking chair isn't that loud and how did I know it was a rocking chair? I'm not an idiot and thats what it was! The inn is out in the woods along a small country road and only a few of the other guest rooms were being used that evening: it's dead silent and completely dark. Relaxing you might say. So I lay there trying to get back to sleep but the rocking seemed to be getting louder. I figured it was because I was annoyed and singling out the sound but I could not fall back asleep for 10 minutes. After this I started to get really angry: some other thoughtless guest was ruining my good nights sleep! The odd thing was, our room was out in a wing over the kitchen, with windows on all 3 sides and an upper dining room outside our door. As I contemplated getting up to knock on the rockers door and ask them to stop, I felt heat on my face and sensed light - like a candle. I opened my eyes and saw nothing -this went on for another 5 minutes -back and forth. I was confused. Did I have heartburn? Was I imagining things? Thats when my irrational thoughts began - "I'm in a 250 year old mill in the woods.....ghosts, yada yada yada".

By this point I was convinced the rocking was from our room. It was too loud to be in another guest room and I just KNEW it was from closeby! At this point I shook awake my roomate and said 'do you hear that rocking'? THE ROCKING IMMEDIATELY STOPPED. He hadn't heard anything, and without the annoying sound, I quickly fell back asleep. Yes, I tend to move on and forget things quickly. Blessing in disguise?I thought nothing more of the incident while photographing the inn the next morning or indeed till 2 days later when I thought I would write a post about this beautiful inn and recommend it. Some of the first hits that came up with my google search made mention of a HAUNTED Phillips Mill. Well, thats odd, I thought. It wasn't until I opened those websites and saw that they mentioned an old woman in a long dress who had been seen in a rocking chair that my experience came back to me and I really freaked out. Seriously freaked out. I questioned everything I had ever believed or not believed. I wanted to distance myself from the experience (and feelings) so I've waited a good 10 days to record my experience.Do I believe in ghosts now? Well, I suppose I do but I won't be thinking about it much. I am utterly convinced that I DID NOT imagine this. I hadn't seen any mention of a haunting or rocking chair before my visit. Indeed, I knew nothing at all of the Inn's history so I know it wasn't my subconscious. I just wonder if one of the previous guests, Charles Schultz had a similar experience. Was it a simliar experience that led him to repeatedly pair the peanuts gangs with ghosts? Now I'm grasping at straws so I'll leave you with the drawing he left at the inn which hangs in the foyer. He simply writes: Great Food, Great Lodging. I agree, but I won't be returning!