Thursday, 29 July 2010

Sneakity Peek: Rugs for Pure Style Home!

As I recently mentioned, we're working on getting an online store up & running for Pure Style Home.  It's going to be filled with one-of-a-kind things I absolutely love and want to keep.  (But because I'm not independently wealthy and don't have ten houses, must sell ;)  I am SO INSANELY EXCITED over the rugs we just recently found to be sold in the shop!!  (We were only able to buy 4 to start out with-  rugs are a serious investment- eek!)  All of the rugs chosen are hand-knotted, have an antique washed feel, and I want to keep every single one.  I'm in the process of photographing them and was just too excited not to share with you.  This one is a Mamluk rug, created in the style of rugs produced during the Mamluk Dynasty in 14th Century Egypt.  It's full of golds and browns with splashes of pale blue-green:

It's approximately 8 x 11 and I'm seriously in love,  Here's a close-up:

I'm really not a sales person but have started this venture out of my love for stuff.  Yeah, there I said it, I LOVE STUFF.  But I can't keep it all, and in my job, I see so many beautiful things that it's hard to walk away from them.  It's hard for me to "sell" things to anyone, but if I don't, I'll end up with either a house smashed-full of beautiful things and an empty bank acoount or having to continue to walk away from all of these treasures.  So, the new shop will be my outlet for making these items available to clients & others who love them as much as I do...  a place for my "uncommon finds."  I hope you never feel that posts like this are "salesy" and that I'm trying to push anything on you...  I hope you see it as me being so excited that I want to share things with you because that's truly what it is.

{A bunch of the other items in the photos above will be for sale too, but I'm not sure which ones yet as I'm having trouble parting with them- ha!}

I'm adding inventory to the store daily and am trying to get it up and running as quickly as possible.  I'll keep you posted!!  Would love to know what you think of it!!

xoxo, Lauren

Wednesday, 28 July 2010

The Tempel Lipizzan Legacy

A few miles from my dad's lake house (where we're visiting now) are the Tempel Lipizzan Stables which house Lipizzans, Europe's oldest domesticated horses, owned by the Tempel Smith family (of Tempel Steel).  The grounds are incredible and we love going to see the shows.
{The Stables}

According to, "Lipizzans are Europe's oldest domesticated breed of horse. They not only possess beauty and nobility, but also a rare combination of courage, strength, ability, temperament, and intelligence.

The Lipizzan breed had its beginning in 1580"... and was created by a combination of different breeds... They have been moved throughout the past 400 years numerous times to survive various wars including the Napoleanic Wars, and World Wars I & II.  "In 1945 General patton executed a daring rescue of the Lippizzans, the story of which is told in Disney's The Miracle of the White Stallions."

{photo of a photo I saw in the stables}

"In 1955, millionaire Tempel Smith (Tempel Steel) of Chicago, imported 20 Lipizzans from Austria, 11 from Hungary, and 6 from Yugoslavia..."

{Me creepily taking photos of one of the riders who was resting between performances...  he totally caught me- oops!}

..."Tempel Smith devoted 15 years, until his death in 1980, importing and breeding his herd to over 400 horses. Since Tempel Smith's death, much of the herd was disbursed. However, Tempel Farms still breeds a number of Lipizzans each year, and they still successfully compete Lipizzans for Tempel Farms."
{The Show...  The woman above was so beautiful & poised...  exactly what you would imagine. }

This year, the weather was perfect when we took Christian & Justin to see the show.  The horses are just incredible:

I can't believe how high they jump!!!

The boys had so much fun and even 7-month-old Justin was into it...


 {I loved this photo from the stables}

And Christian loved the old "fire truck"- 

I'm apey over the Guest House, which sits high up on a hill overlooking the grounds:

It can be rented for private events and there's a pool in the back:


... which overlooks this:

And the stables house some of the best design I've ever seen:

The hallway was gorgeous. 


They've kept everything as it was in the 50s:

Check out the heat lamps the horses use when being bathed:

...And of course I can't see all of this and not start to think about interiors.  Oh my gosh, please someone call me with a horse fetish!!!  (err passion ;)  I'm dying to do a home for a horse-lover now!!

  Check out these photos taken by Roger Davies for Elle Decor of Mark Badgley and James Mishcka’s home:  Mmmmmm.. love it!

 And this one from Nuevo Estilo Magazine via La Dolce Vita:

(I can't help but get a little bit excited for Fall when looking at all of these images but I'm holding it back because Summer's still in full force.)  

And one last picture of the horses as we drove by another day on the way home to the house...  You can see them right on Hunt Club Road: 

{The Tempel Lipizzans}

xoxo, Lauren

If you're still in the mood for horse-inspired interiors, definitely check out these 2 posts full of equestrian eye candy:  (so gorgeous!!!)

Chic Equestrian Style in Home Decor by Simplified Bee
Equestrian Chic by La Dolce Vita

Monday, 26 July 2010

Debra & Scentimental Gardens

{Love fig trees!!}

Last week we got to stop over to see our friend Debra Phillips at Scentimental Gardens in Geneva, IL and I was in Heaven!!  {Debra also recently opened up another store on Grand Ave in Chicago and writes the blog 5th & State. }  Debra & Sarah (below) greeted us at the shop and they are so warm & sweet.  Debra's amazing with kids & even gave Christian an adorable little concrete turtle he promptly named "Sammy."

{Sarah & Debra}

I was totally in love with this room and wanted pretty much everything in it.  The slate tile floors were hidden underneath blah carpeting when Debra first moved in. 

How adorable are the chalkboard signs/ labels? (below)  What a cute way to label a drink.

Check out the industrial tabe below (mm mm!) and lately I've also been been loving silhouettes.

And here's one last photo at Scentimental Gardens of us all before a yummy lunch:

{Dave, baby Justin, me with Christian, and Debra}

While we were in Geneva, we also stopped at the butterfly house at Peck Farm.  Christian's been very into butterflies lately (there's a Little Einstein movie about them) and loved it:

I thought this one, called a "Julia," was awesome:

If you can get to Geneva, it's so worth it!!  ...  Lots of great shops & an adorable town and of course you have to stop in and see Debra!! (And the butterflies if you're into that) One of the things I love most about blogging is making & meeting new friends.  It's so much fun to be with other design junkies & to feel like you already know someone before you've even met them.    

xoxo, Lauren

Friday, 23 July 2010

Zit Cure: Plantain (I am so serious!)

I love plantain.  Not banana plantain, but Great Plantain, the stuff that grows all over fields and yards (like mine) that aren't quite all grass.  It has medicinal properties and I've even transplanted a bunch of them from my yard into my garden into a pretty row.  I don't have a photo right now but check out this photo below from here

I've always loved herbs & plants and spent a lot of time when I was younger researching the medicinal properties of plants, fruits, etc.  I collected volumes of books (before the internet was big) on the subject and used to go hunting for the herbs and would make herbal teas & concoctions.  My friends would make fun of me and I totally creeped them out with my weirdness.  One of the best herbs around that's readily accessible is plantain.  A puree of it is great for cuts and scrapes and even zits. (!!)  I wish I could say I'm past them, but I'm not.       So, first you pick a couple of the leaves: 

Next, wet the leaves and make a puree of them (I like to do it with a chef knife...  my dad made the one above and it's the best!!)  Below is the yummy-looking mixture ready to be applied:

hahaha okay and I seriously can't believe I'm sharing this picture with you....   but then you apply it to any trouble areas and just use scotch tape or a band-aid to keep it on your skin for 15-20 minutes. 

{Please forget you ever saw this}

hahaha ok, but I'm serious when I tell you that it really works.  If you don't mind looking like a fool, then this stuff is the best.  (And it also gives the whole family someone to make fun of.)

Have an awesome weekend!!

xoxo, Lauren

Wednesday, 21 July 2010

My Dream to Life

There are some projects that just get me deep inside.  Whenever designing a space, we think of all of the functions the room needs to have.  In this case- it was my dad's lakehouse bathroom and it needed to be practical and be able to handle lots of wear & tear from guests.  But beyond the functional, I always want something more. 

This cottage has been in my family since the 50s.  We've been been making memories here through now 4 generations.  I remember coming here as a little girl and the whole family piling into the cottage on summer weekends:  Beds pushed together, laughing & talking late into the night to the hum of the window air conditioning units.  This cottage was built in the 1930s and when my dad inherited it in the late 90s, he completely redid it.  I've been there helping along the way & we've had our disagreements believe me, but most of the time, I win.  I want to share with you one of my favorite finished spaces, the kids' bathroom.  We started with nothing.  There wasn't an original bathroom there, jusgt a small sitting room.  My dad raised the roof on the original cottage and made room for a large bathroom.  When I started on this space it was just rough- framing, sans-drywall. 

{Little galvanized buckets hold kiddie washcloths and toys}

There are details that my dad has filled in that were not the ones specified by me (such as the wall color, chrome outlet covers, etc.) but I am seriously trying to LET GO.  (It's not easy for someone like me..)  I got to this bathroom in spurts on visits and so it's not exactly as I want it but it feels good, which is what matters most to me.    I used fun bright colors- corals and aqua- to pull in the glass floor tiles and the scheme from the kids' bedroom.

A while back we made these little framed stamps of Christian's hands and feet:

I used the lobster print from the Natural Cuiosities centerfold:
{Still waiting to be properly matted}

And, finally, after years of waiting for the house to be finished, I got my dream last night:

The kids piled into the clawfoot tub!!  (It's not original to the house, but a new 7 footer.)  It was exactly as I'd envisioned and was seriously awesome.  I'm sure many of you feel the same way about creating a space:  you envision the way things will play out and "making memories" in the perfect setting.   We'd had a nice long day at the lake and then it was easy & fun to just run the bath water in the massive tub and pile them in at the end of the day.

i loved seeing them having such a blast. 

{Andrew, and poor Lily being squirted by Christian}

This is what it's all about and I just wanted to share with you.   When we're creating rooms we really are doing more than designing spaces.  We're affecting how we'll live.  I love it!!

xoxo, Lauren

*Sink: American Standard 
*Paint: "mountain haze" by Behr...  Eventually, I'll switch it to a more bluey/aqua-gray instead of the green-gray it is (the current undertones are wrong with the aqua floor tiles) or a creamy-warm-beigey-neutral  that works better with the glass floor   (...My dad used the leftover paint from another room ;)