Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Chateau de Gudanes

Every few months, I like sharing particular Instagram accounts that I follow. Today, I am featuring one of my favorites - chateaugudanes. The account description: "France. Follow the story of an Australian family currently restoring a Chateau in the South of France."
The Chateau, located in a small town called Chateau Verdun, was built in the early 1700s. Through the centuries the beautiful estate fell under significant disrepair, but still hold its neoclassical grandeur. Last year, an Australian family purchased the property and in November 2013, began an extensive renovation project to bring much needed tender loving care to the picturesque manor. The family maintains a blog to follow the refurbishing of the chateau, share stories of the Chateau's past, and celebrate what is yet to come!
"The past - clear and defined, the present - expected chaos....and the future - a surprise!"

When I traveled abroad in France last year, I stayed at an old farm house estate, La Giraudiere. The home had fallen into disarray after decades of neglect. La Giraudiere has been under renovation for many years, in attempt to restore the property to its old charm and splendor. Part of my time at the estate involved working on the home and land. La Giraudiere still has a way to go before it reaches complete restoration, but is a true testament to creative vision, hard work, passion, discipline, inspiration, and the triumph of bringing something back to life.
Speckled throughout the countryside, abandoned estates and chateaus are a frequent sight. As families moved from the countryside and farm life for metropolitan areas, the properties were left, neglected. In some instances these once-beautiful estates have become almost unrecognizable - overtaken by nature, with trees and ivy encompassing their walls. You would drive by fields and spot a collection of trees nestled together in the center of the meadow, after a couple of glances, you'd realize there was a home underneath the arbor canopy! It was crazy, I had never seen anything like it!

Any renovation project takes a lot of time, effort, and expense. But refurbishing a multiple century-old chateau classifies in an entirely different realm. As charming as it may seem to reside in such historic quarters, let's face it - it may be the closest you'll ever get to "Princess" status - it take A LOT of dedication, love, and patience to make it happen. 
It is such a joy to watch the family embark on this adventurous journey. As they make their way through all the challenges, they capture the most gorgeous moments - absolutely breathtaking scenes. I find their pictures help put not only their adventure, and the inevitable hardships that have come along with it, in perspective - but much of our own day-to-day routine as well. Life is full of beautiful moments and it just takes stepping away from the worry, the hustle and bustle, the cynicism, and the impossible, to look instead at the wonders right in front of us!
Life truly, is a wonderful adventure. 

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Sarah Rutson

Sarah Rutson is the fashion director at Lane Crawford. Lane Crawford is a retailing company with speciality stores in Hong Kong, China and online. The company was founded in 1850 and the shopping mecca is known for discovering international brands and introducing them to forward-thinking Chinese customers. Some would call the preeminent luxury store Asia's answer to Bergdorf Goofman. Rutson has been fashion director for the past decade, brought in to reinvent the company's image and open the groundbreaking new flagship store in Hong Kong. She is the heart and soul of the company, acting as the trend and fashion spokesperson. She is also worldly renown for her street style, a frequent fixture on the fashion show circuits. 

About her wardrobe:
"99% of my clothes are not runway. I wear a uniform - I live and die in a biker jacket and a tuxedo jacket. I am obsessed with shoes; I dress from the feet up. It is always about the feet, and then I work out from there. I don't shop trends. I am very proud that I have been recognized for my personal style, considering it really doesn't change so much and I don't spend a fortune on clothes. Also, I have a tiny wardrobe - it's just about how you mix it all together."

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Thinking Pink Flamingos

I spotted this coat in the Haute Couture street style albums. It's quite charming - a whimsical work of art. If you look closely, the drawings almost resemble a coloring book! A couple of weeks ago, I was a little bored one night, so I grabbed a coloring book and spent the evening coloring. My coworker gave me the My Wonderful World of Shoes coloring book and I had fun mixing and matching colors, bringing a little "pizazz" to the fabulous shoes in the book. Granted my drawings were quite juvenile, but when you are having fun - it doesn't matter! Needless to say, the imperfect pink lines in the flamingo finish make me feel like, one day, my coloring has the potential to be haute couture :) 

Miroslava Duma wears the dress coat down the pink carpet - well, of course. Wouldn't life be so perfect to have a complementary walkway wherever you go? 
And, the designer, Vika Gazinskaya, wears the Blouson Dress. 
Tres chic, no? For a price tag of $2, better be!
Shop a more reasonable flamingo pink look below.

Shop the look:

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Old Saybrook House

A summer dream house. 
Katharine Hepburn described her life-long seaside home as paradise.
The Connecticut estate, located on Long Island Sound, had been in the Hepburn family since 1919. Katharine built the home in 1939 and lived there until her passing in 2003, at age 96. 
Katharine Hepburn adored the private life and her home was a safe-haven. She bought acres of land surrounding the property to preserve the view and her seclusion. One of her favorite parts of living in Saybrook was the active lifestyle the surrounding area afforded. She walked throughout the property and was known for taking a daily swim, regardless of the frigid temps. 
Hepburn did very little to renovate the home, but the couple who purchased the estate following her death, worked extensively to upgrade the house. They purchased the property for $6 million and have had the house on-and-off the market for the past couple of years, currently asking $14.8 million - less than half of its original listing price.
The home is stunning and ideal for a serene summer escape. I love the clean palette, nautical decor, and the subtle tribute to the Hollywood legend that you can find around the home. 
Anyone want to treat me to a $15 million dollar home :)
Hope you're having a wonderful day, toodles!

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