Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bongo and Otto in King's Furniture

This ottoman in King's Furniture in South Wharf (Melbourne) caught my eye. I think the design is perfect for the girls' bedroom, in between their two daybeds that face each other.

This would work too, because their room is quite compact. The glass top makes it look like it's not really occupying any space.

These smaller stools will be useful as side tables for them too.

I also liked this outdoor unit in all-weather rattan. The whole unit swivels.

Here's that ottoman again, and the stool..

I got the catalogue which included all the measurements of the stools.

You can check them out here too.

King Furniture is an Oz brand that custom makes furniture. I'm almost sure the all-weather rattan is from Cebu or somewhere in the Philippines, but they didn't volunteer the info.

The store looked quite sparse, but I really liked the ottoman (ottomen?)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Sex in Chadstone, Melbourne

Chadstone is a huge shopping mall on the outskirts of Melbourne. The taxi driver who brought me here kept telling me it was is the biggest shopping mall in the whole southern hemisphere. I didn't want to dampen his enthusiasm by telling him I was from the land of super mega malls, so I just let him continue to tell me how expansive it was.

All the major Melbourne brands are here so it's a perfect venue for the Style Workshop I was attending upstairs in one of the office towers (more on that in another post!).

During our forty-minute lunch break, we had a chance to race through the mall and I chanced upon this Style exhibit of Sex and the City outfits!

 Samantha's slinky dresses

It was interesting to see the clothes up close, specially when the topic of our workshop was about knowing your style, dressing for your body shape, and determining the most flattering colors for your skin tone.

 Wedding ensemble

 The exhibit was curated by Patricia Fields, the show's own costume designer.

 Carrie's trendy outfits

I was never taken by the fashion worn on the show unlike many of my fashionable friends but now with heightened awareness, it was interesting to see how the costume designer interpreted each personality of each character by the style and color of her outfit.

Many brands featured on the show were coveted (or eventually coveted) by viewers, many of whom were glued to their sets just to see what the girls were wearing.

My style leans towards classic so I should identify more with Charlotte, but I found her clothes a bit boring--and those on display here were Oscar dela Renta. Miranda's was too corporate for my taste. Samantha's and Carrie's looked best of all. 

I once came across an exhibit of Jackie O outfits many years back. It had a title like "Jackie, the Washington Years" or something similar. I remember loving all her outfits. You can see some of them in this website. A lot of her silhouettes are back again and I can relate more to her clothes than to these Sex and the City types. Hmm..what does that say about me?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Versailles Details

I visited the Palace of Versailles long ago as a college student and don't remember much except for the pictures we took in the Hall of Mirrors. The photos came out really nice because of the natural lighting and I even used one of them for my casual photo in the yearbook.

Much older now and with an observant eye for interior details, I wanted to see it again. We had a late start from Bea's apartment on the 15th--but we also googled directions how to get there and while we were at it, downloaded the Rick Steves' audioguide to Versailles on our phone. Now we could nerd-out and listen to the history of Versailles on the train going there.

The websites we looked at even gave us tips on how to avoid the long lines, but we were lucky that there weren't any lines that day.

It was a nice quiet weekday. Too bad the sun wasn't out so my photos don't look too impressive.

The entrance fee to the palace includes a free audio guide which was a nice touch (some other places in Europe charge 3-5 euro for the use of their audio guides!) but I think the Rick Steves' guide is so much better.

I snapped a photo of this lady below wearing her Speedy with a strap. Nice idea!

There are too many things to observe in Versailles. I loved the chandeliers of course.

And look at these beautiful cremone bolts.

I love the look of distressed mirror tiles with brass trim. Antonio's has this in his Tagaytay restaurant sans the brass trim. I want to put a small touch of this in my house too.

Beautiful brass trim.

Here is the Hall of Mirrors.

Look at the detail of the hanging chandeliers. They are suspended with what looks like a rope and is topped off by a tassel.

There are gazillion painting all over the palace, each one with a story, or a symbolism of something important. I was just looking at the form of things, not really the substance.

And the famous gigantic painting, The Coronation of Napoleon. This blog I found talks about everything Napoleonic. Apparently, the original of this painting is in the Louvre.

Time to head to the gardens... oooh, nice black and white floor.

The gardens are so vast and beautiful but it was way too cold to stroll around.

We walked down until the Fountain of Apollo, but we were freezing and it wasn't fun anymore.

So we headed back and decided to train back to the city. 

The Palace of Versailles is so opulent that just one visit to the palace and you know why there was a revolution in France.  (Enter soundtrack of Les Miserables: Do you hear the people sing, singing the song of angry men....")

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Pine Inn, Carmel-by-the-Sea

I first stayed at the Pine Inn hotel 23 years ago, as a guest of my friend, Sylvia.  Sylvia was getting married in Carmel and she booked most of her family and friends at this quaint hotel on Ocean Avenue. As college students, friends and I would drive down to spend the day in Carmel--but we never stayed the night. This wedding allowed me to finally experience an event-filled weekend in this charming town.

Pine Inn is one of the bigger inns of Carmel with 49 rooms. I remember the rooms being compact but comfortable, like European bed and breakfasts.

I was truly enamored of Carmel after experiencing the close-to-magical events of Sylvia's wedding. I decided right then that if and when the time came, I too would get married in Carmel. Yes, I said it aloud to the people at her wedding. When I came home from the wedding, I told my mom about how beautiful everything was and repeated to her the same thing. Over the years I thought it, and said it aloud (I had no candidate for groom, but I already had a venue! lol)

Almost ten years later, I did have the wedding of my dreams in Carmel. There really is something powerful about saying things out loud. I booked my family and girlfriends at the Pine Inn hotel, and B's family booked themselves somewhere in Monterey. Our other guests stayed at other equally enchanting inns around the town.

Fast forward to the present. From the Bay Area, we drove down to Carmel to show the girls the church where we got married. We naturally showed them the hotel I stayed at the night before D-day.We also showed them the patio restaurant where we held our rehearsal dinner, and the famous restaurant where we had our morning-after brunch with all our guests.

I thought they wouldn't like the hotel because of it's period design, but they actually liked it.  Even C (yes, she is named after this town!), the daughter who always asks why our house doesn't look like the boxy modern ones down the street, actually appreciated the antiques and the old furniture.

I couldn't specifically tell why I was drawn to the Pine Inn back then, but now with my more discriminating eye, I could identify exactly what things I liked. I loved the details of the lobby: the gilt mirror, the candelabra sconces, the brass-tacked chairs. I also remembered the rooms had canopied beds and small-print wallpaper.

The girls liked this chair in particular, and fought over who would sit in it longer.

The lobby looked recently renovated because even if the furniture was old, it looked newly upholstered. Il Fornaio is still there but the French Country store Pierre Deux, which gave the entrance and the first floor so much character,  is no longer there.

Twelve years ago, when these girls above were but eggs in my ovaries, my bridesmaids and I had our picture taken in this exact same spot.

It was nice to show them Carmel. They loved the beach, the art galleries and the restaurants. Too bad we only spent the day there. I promised them we would stay a weekend next time we're in the Bay Area.

I wonder if any of them will want a destination wedding too.

What am I talking about? No one is getting married in the next twenty years if I can help it!

Pine Inn Hotel
Ocean Ave, between Lincoln and Monte Verde
Carmel, CA 93921


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