Vivez Bien * Live Well

Friday, May 27, 2016

Pink and Blue Will Never Do - or Will it?



The Pantone colours of the year for 2016 are Rose Quartz and Serenity. For those of us with more pedestrian attitudes to colour - that means pink and blue. I’m sure you already knew this, but perhaps your mind is occupied with higher things. My mind, on the other hand, is generally occupied with all things flippant and frivolous. Which is why I was wondering how Pantone come up with their selection. They definitely didn’t ask me! Maybe they asked you? 



Pinterest have also come up with décor colours of the year - grey and mauve. I think that might be more representative of the what people like. After all they base it on the things that people pin – people like you and me. I think grey is the most useful and versatile colour to use in decorating. But that just me – and as I already said, Pantone didn’t ask me.  


So back to pink and blue. I’m not entirely sure about this combination – it makes me think of babies and nurseries. Not that I don’t like thinking about babies and nurseries. There are a some happy memories associated with those days, although most of the memories are about lack of sleep and leaky body parts! My question is, are pink and blue indicative of decorating in today’s world, Have we not somehow evolved beyond that?  Don’t get me wrong, I like pink and I like blue, I’m just not sure I like them together that much. Maybe Pantone didn’t necessarily mean them to be used together.  

Apparently these colours were chosen because they psychologically fulfill our yearning for reassurance and security.  According to Pantone; "Rose Quartz is a persuasive yet gentle tone that conveys compassion and a sense of composure. Serenity is weightless and airy, like the expanse of the blue sky above us, bringing feelings of respite and relaxation even in turbulent times." Well, who can argue with that! 



When I was searching for pictures to illustrate this post, there were many horrible pink and blue combinations. But I found some beautiful photos too. I could see myself living quite happily in these rooms. So maybe Pantone know what they are doing after all.


I may be eating humble pie.



Last year's colour of the year was Marsala - the colour of red wine.  I was fine with that, even though, once again, they didn't ask me. While I didn't have any actual Marsala coloured decor in my home, I just made sure I was carrying a glass of red wine at all times and I was right on trend! 





I don't know about you, but I am waiting with bated breath to see what they come up with for 2017. I wonder if they will ask me?


Russian Artist Irina Chipenko 

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Till next time
Sharon x


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Borrowing from the Past - Barn Doors




It's been a while since I last blogged. For some reason I struggled to find anything to inspire a post. I even contemplated giving up entirely on my blog. Do other bloggers go through that?  I just had to remind myself how much pleasure it's given me over the 5 plus years I've been at it and I feel I must just soldier on through the inspirational drought and hopefully the rains will come again. 

Speaking of rain, we really need some here in Cape Town, but I must say, I've really been enjoying these beautiful balmy autumn days that we've been having. 

 So, onto today's post on barn doors. I really like the rustic, industrial feel they lend to an interior and they seem to work well in both traditional and more contemporary settings. .Here are some pictures I thought you might enjoy.


Traditional Home Office with Built-in bookshelf, Barn door, Hanging rustic door, Chandelier, Hardwood floors, Crown molding:


Barn Doors are big in decorating right now. I love them! They hang on the outside of a door and slide on a track.:

They are a practical solution for large openings between rooms that could be problematic for traditional doors. 


Joanna Stevens Gaines @joannagaines It was a downpour...Instagram photo | Websta (Webstagram):


They are also very useful for covering areas that one doesn't always want on display. 


Here they are cleverly used to hide an outside barbeque area ...


.... a laundry area, above and a few pantries, below.

Spacious and organized pantry area with an appealing sliding door that adds character to the entire space.:



They can also be used between a bedroom and en-suite bathroom....



....and ingeniously, to hide the TV when not in use.

 Open the barn doors for an entertainment center and close them for a book shelf - genius! #cottage #rustic:



Thanks for your patience and hopefully my blogging mojo will return and you will hear from me again shortly!.

Till next time

Sharon x



Sunday, May 1, 2016

A Weekend Well-Spent


Weekends are often spent carting children from pillar to post in between home maintenance, grocery shopping and other boring things, but every now and then a weekend just turns into a real gem. This is one of those....

....starting on Friday morning with a visit to Decorex with friends. Thanks to Miranda from NetDécor for the tickets! 
Here are a few things that caught my eye... 
...this beautiful lush arrangement (above) of  tulips, fruit, silver and glassware at the Plascon stand and (below) the installation at the MRP Home.


didn't like the Conde Nast House and Garden stand. Apart from the sofa, it reminded of my student days in a communal house when the lounge was filled with mismatched hand me downs. Was I missing something?  


I loved this old fashioned loom at the Mungo stand - still in working order...


and I always love the Mungo towels, throws and blankets...


....as well as the products from Barrydale Weavers, below. 


This arrangement with blue and white china was stunning....


...and I loved the Patio Warehouse display! So pretty!


These lights from Luna Living were beautiful and different from anything else I've seen recently.


Trade Secret never disappoints. Can you see the reflection of Emma and Niki in the mirror? They are admiring the exquisite tents that are sold at Trade Secret


You can get a better idea in the picture below.


We stayed for some lunch and a delicious glass of champagne and then had to go back to collect children from school who were grumpy because we were a bit late, But who cares when you have some champagne in your system!

On Friday evening we went to the Alan Committie show at Theatre on the Bay. Which I can highly recommend for a good laugh!



It's only on until the middle of May
So hurry up and get your tickets without delay
You don't want to miss this hysterical play

I know.....move over Wordsworth!


On Saturday we headed out to Franschoek to have lunch with some friends. We went to Cafe Bon Bon at La Petite Dauphine which was a real pleasure.  (Thank you Jax!)


 These were our starters.... I meant to take pics of the mains and dessert but after a glass or more of wine, I forgot. Everything was beautifully presented and delicious.


We sat at a table outside and looked onto this pretty lake with fountain. 


The rest of the grounds are just as picturesque.....





This morning I met a friend for coffee at Cassis and then collected "The Family Stone" from DVD Noveau for Movie Night at home. 



 Now I think it's time for a little R&R before making snacks for Movie Night and the best of all - Monday is a Public Holiday which means, a lie in, no school lunches and no traffic! Yay!

Till next time

Sharon x


Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Perfect in Paris


After my post on a virtual getaway to Barcelona, my friend and fellow Francophile, Trish, has been nagging me to do a similar virtual trip to Paris. Not that I really needed persuading. Any trip to my favourite city in the world, virtual or otherwise, is an opportunity not to be missed. I decided to look for romantic 1 bedroom apartments, so if you are in the market for a second honeymoon, are celebrating an anniversary, a milestone birthday or just need some time out with your partner sans enfants, here are some places you might love.


This apartment is in the 7th arrondissement on the Left Bank. Just minutes away from the Eiffel Tower, the Seine, the Champ de Mer gardens, the position is perfect. 


Beautifully furnished in my favourite French style, you could imagine for a few days that you were a sophisticated Parisian couple instead of harassed suburban parents (or is that just us?)


La perfection....



And you can dine a deux with this as your view. 


Go here to see more info on this apartment.


The next apartment I found is also situated on the Left Bank and has views of the Eiffel tower from nearly every window. If you are a foodie couple, Rue Cler, one of the most famous streets for food,  is just 3 blocks away. Pont del'Alma is 5 minutes away and has the largest open market in Paris every Saturday morning, so make sure you are here over a weekend. 


The living area is attractively furnished in shades of grey with touches of red. 


I would ditch the Paris cushion. When you can see the Eiffel Tower from your window you don't need a cushion to remind you of your location!



Pretty dining area and compact kitchen


The romantically furnished bedroom. I just love all the pretty balconies!


More info on this apartment can be found here


The third apartment is in the same area as the other two and just 1 minute away from the Eiffel Tower.


This one feels just a bit more spacious than the others, I think because of the kitchen being more open plan.



The bedroom is beautiful with its own fireplace....


and it leads onto a spacious bathroom...


...that has a view of the Tour Eiffel from the bath! Mon Dieu!



Très romantique....


And finally, the most expensive of the four, this one has an extra bedroom so you can invite your best friends along on your romantic escape if you would like to. 


The attractively decorated living area and, below, the kitchen/dining room with fireplace, gilt mirror and gorgeous chandelier is so appealing!


 I would be so at home here, it might be a battle to get me to leave!



There is a passage leading from the living area to the bedrooms.


The bedrooms are gorgeous with white bed linen and touches of brown...


...and finally, the pretty bathroom.



For more information on this beautiful place go here.


So there you go, Trish, and whoever else is interested, I have found the most romantic places for you to stay in Paris. Perfectly located with all the main attractions of Paris on your doorstep, self-catering, so you have an excuse to visit those inviting food markets, and then coming home to a beautifully decorated Parisian pied-à-terre. What more could you ask for?

Till next time

Sharon x