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Summer Lovin

It is a sweltering 106 degrees here in Austin with zero zip zilch signs that summer will end any time soon (I have my sights set on you, November) but the interwebs tell me that the rest of the world is taking that last jump off the rope swing into the lake ‘cuza schools starting soon and, for the lucky majority of you, leaves will be (gasp) changing color.

Well, I want in.  I am ready for a seasonal change.  One so imminent that I hold tight to the last days of summer, sadly watching them zoom by.  Squeezing in one last summer vacation before I snuggle into my boots and jacket.  Yep, I’m shutting my eyes tight and pretending that summer is about to end.  I’m spending the last days here:

Oh, did I forget to mention that I own a fantasy summer home in Portugal.  So sorry, let me go on:

Back in the real world I do actually own a giant green lamp much like this one, as well as a handmade woven stool.  Maybe If I ask Erin real kind and nice like she will spend the next several weeks on craigslist finding me all the other goodies I need to bring it all together.  The lamp is, like, a huge start, right?

A quick reminder:  while Erin is shopping craigslist, I will be laying here.  poolside.  at this very real summer  house that i very much own.

I also own a hanging chair almost identical to the one shown, so I’m feeling like recreating this in austin really isn’t much of a stretch.  are you with me?

Look!  I’m not the meany you thought I was.  I’ve laid down a second towel for erin to come join me once she has found everything on my list.  I’m pretty much the image of altruism.

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Book Smarts

Guten Morgen!  I’ve got the travel bug (read: hot burning desire to stay in a dreamy hotel with room service and fancy cocktails) and today’s fine destination ist das Vaterland.  Germany.  Germany, people.

Pack your baggies, we’re about to check out the only hotel on the planet that manages to make craftiness look chic.

The Michelberger hotel was designed by a team of friends who wanted a space that would “feel like an ad agency.”  Great.  But let’s talk about these book lights.

Yep, thems is handmade, let’s get a closer look

I see some sort of nut and bolt action and the previous picture shows some sort of wire support contraption holding the whole kitten kaboodle together.  If someone out there wants to attempt this at home, photograph your process, we’ll put it on the blog.  You’ll be a star and see your name in lights.  Maybe then you will have enough money to stay at the Michelberger.

Ha!  Joke’s on you, the michelberger only costs 54 Euros a night, which is a good thing because this blogging thing don’t make diddly.

Anyway, make a lamp, send me a picture, I’ll shower you with love.  Moving on.

The Michelberger continues the book theme into one of the guest rooms

Another view of the wall of books.  Ok, this needs to be discussed.  This looks pretty awesome but have any of y’all been in a used bookstore recently?  Newsflash:  those books get moldy.  Like crazy moldy.  Like raging headache dirty hands if you touch them moldy.  So, lovely, but the, ahem, shelf life is pretty short.

I’m not crazy about this picture but this may be my favorite use of books.  I love that just the ends are used to create texture with minimal color.

So the Michelberger isn’t all books all the time: here’s a view of the restaurant with it’s sexy concrete walls.  That wasn’t sarcasm, i really do like them.  And, bonus!  no mold.

From the restaurant looking into the bar.  Still lovely.

One of the 85 guest rooms.  I really love when beds are next to windows, especially in bustling cities.

Ok, so when you dudes get back from your stay abroad, remember to toss together one of those book lamps for me, I can’t wait to see your handywork!

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recepción detrás karly!

Hidey Ho everyone and welcome back to me!!  Thanks so much to Erin, Chromie, AB, and Pillow Mint for holding down the fort while I was gone.  You guys rock my soul!  It has been a lovely 2 week blog vacay, part of which I spent on actual vacay:  The hubby (and Jeff and Diana) and I cruised down to Mexico for 5 days at a big, Disney-fied all-inclusive resort just south of Playa Del Carmen.  Our hotel was lovely.  And Big.  And filled with yummy food, but it wasn’t really exciting enough design-wise to share with you.  

We did manage to pry ourselves away from the beach and free cocktails long enough to pop our heads into town to check out the 2 dreamy hotels we did not stay at.  (Some of you may remember that I was waxing and waning on all inclusive vs. boutique hotel)  Here are some shots of the pads we declined.

The entry to the Hotel Basico.  Just off of the tourist trap that is 5th street, the Basico is a sight for sore eyes after declining offers to have my hair braided for $10.  I’ve drooled over the Basico website several times and was anxious to see the hotel in person.  

The pictures from Basico site promise a shmorgusboard of fresh fruit and make-your-own cocktails.

The roof-top space has since culled the wheat from the chaff and simplified the offerings to the bare essentials:  booze.  The addition of a mirror delights me, as does the adorable bartender and his yummy, yummy, expensive cucumber martinis.

What the website has not shown me is this lovely lounge area, fitted with hand-made wood and rope seats and mirrored pots. Sorry for the craptastic photos, I was filled with sugary booze and veggies and high on:

the handmade seat you can see in the left side of this picture.  Welded steal frame powder coated white and topped with wooden slats and a cushion.  It was handmade without being crafty.  Matt and I made mental blue prints and hope to duplicate the beauty for our back porch.  That is, once we finally do the back porch.   

I’m glad we didn’t stay in this hotel.  Why?  See those 2 tubs at the top of the picture?  That’s the only pool offered at the Basico.  Here’s the shot the pros offer:

When I saw this online, lovely as it was, it was a deal-breaker.  I need to swim around like a fish, and then swim to a swim-up bar.  As you can see, that is not happening here.  (The pools at our hotel rivaled the ocean in size, btw)

The best part about the Basico (aside from the cucumber martini) was the way the designers repurposed used materials.  This rocker was wrapped in, what used to be, intertube rubber.  Awesome, yes?

But look closesly, the bestest bestest thing was the floor.  Oh, I curse myself for not getting a better picture!  The entryway flooring was made from used tire tread.  The tires were cut and laid side-by-side just as you would hardwood.  The result (not really shown here at all) was spectacular.  All 4 of us swooned.

After a couple of drinks at the Basico, we walked 2 blocks over to the Deseo, the other hotel on my radar.  The website promised me this:

And here’s what I saw:

Ok, actually, it looked a lot like the first photo, I just didn’t get one from that angle.  Or one that wasn’t blurry.  That’s the back of Diana’s head in the red.  Hi Diana!  Drinks here were good, but not as good as the Basico, btw.

The pool at the Deseo is much bigger than the Basico, but there is no ocean view when sitting poolside, instead you are left to consider “away from you” over and over and over again.

My traveling buddies all preferred this space, while I strongly disagreed:  Basico was better, hands down.  Of course, they may have been swayed by this:

Vintage Mexian Wrestling Vampire movies projected on the hotel after dark.  It certainly does help to tip the scales.

So, there you go, my tour of Playa del Carmen.  Sorry the pictures were junk, but, well, you see, for a few short days I didn’t obsess about design, instead, I did this:

 

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Happy Weekend & What I’m Looking Forward To

Happy Friday, homies!!!!  Even though today is short post day, I’m long on anticipation.  I’ve got lots of awesome stuff coming up to look forward to.  Here are my highlights for the next couple of weeks:

1.  The completion of my office.  No, that is not it above, but I could work like a mo-fo in that room.  With that view.  I do have shelves, so we’ve got that in common.  I’ll be brining you guys before and after photos once the project is closer to completion.  It’s getting near, get excited y’all.

2.  The completion of Erin’s dining room, also not pictured.  Hey, she’s got black walls, white chairs and she seems to have developed an affinity for empty heads of the table, so I thought I’d share this inspiration with her to help move her along.  See how nice I am?

3.  Throwing a wrench in Erin’s plans by posting dining room pictures that are nothing like her planned space but are so badass that the whole project needs to be reconsidered thereby striking out #2.  Not so nice afterall.  I will ride to Ikea with you, Erin, if you need me to.  Maybe.

4.  My 2 year wedding anniversary which will be spent right here.  Suck it.

5.  ROUNDTOP! ROUNDTOP! ROUNDTOP!  It’s only 6 wee little baby days away!!!!

6.  The launch of Lonny Magazine, Eye Spy posted yesterday that the Domino Crew is back in full form with a new online mag (yes, I want to hold and touch it, too) that sucker launches October 1.  

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