Thursday, December 18, 2014

Christmas 2014 - Norfolk Pine Tree

It is only a week left until Christmas, and today is my last day at home in Hawaii. We are going up North for Christmas, all the way to snowy Canada.  Since we would not be home, my initial inclination was  not to put up a tree at all. Family voted me down... - as a compromise we decided to do "only some minimal" decorating.  

One of the new ornaments for this year: I picked this cute rocking horse up in Amsterdam

Monday, December 15, 2014

A Fuzzy Little Flower

The other day as I was walking home from having dropped off my 10-year-old son at school, I found this flower by the road. It was a nice clear Hawaii day and I took some photos of it. Though somewhat small and unassuming, it has a vibrant beauty to it. Just another perfect little thing for this blog. I hope you are having a great day, wherever in the world you may be.

Friday, December 12, 2014

Great Architecture: Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin West

Lucky me got to take a short trip to Arizona last week. The entire sojourn lasted only four days, and two of those were really mostly travel. When you live in Hawaii, even the closest thing is five plus hours away by air. The flight from Honolulu to Phoenix was a little under 6 hours. 

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

An Evening With The Makk Family in Kailua

Last week I was invited to a lovely soiree combining art with architecture. The home, where the event took place, and which I have written about before (you can see it here) is a sprawling Kailua beach estate, and the art displayed within is by the Makk family. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Make Your Own Advent Calendar

Advent is only two days away (can you believe it?!?) and it is time to reveal the advent calendar I have created for this year. First of all, let me say, that buying the chocolate filled calendars at Trader Joe's is definitely the easier way to go.  They also only cost 99 cents, I believe - what a bargain. However, if you want something a tad more personal and upscale, and have the time, why not make your own?  

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Deer, Deer and Some More Deer

Some days are just like this one: instead of doing productive work, here I am browsing the internet for cute stuff.  Lately I fancy deer, probably because Christmas is coming.  My first deer sighting was in a Pottery Barn catalogue. This reindeer pillow is just fab! 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Antique Blue Toile Wallpaper

In July my friend Dora and I spent four days in the Netherlands, more specifically, in Amsterdam. One of the sights we visited was the Museum Van Loon. A private residence built in 1672, the former town home is now a museum. The name Van Loon comes from the prominent merchant family who called the house home from 1884 and who were the founders of the museum. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Advent Calendars

We are already well into November and advent is only a few weeks away. Time to gather inspiration for advent calendars. Instead of giving my kids the usual chocolate calendars (which have been a long-standing tradition in our family) this year I am making my own calendar to fill with little daily gifts for them. I think I already know what I am going to create. The many great ideas floating around the internet provided plenty of inspiration, and to inspire you, too, here are a few of them. 


Saturday, November 8, 2014

I Love My Lemon Tree

One of my long-standing garden related wishes was to have a couple of citrus trees. Most of all I wanted a lemon tree. About seven years ago my wish came true: my parents gave me a Meyer lemon tree as a birthday gift. I planted it happily and waited for the fruit. Three years the tree stood there not giving me a single lemon. I guess citrus trees need time to acclimate to new surroundings. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

A Welcoming Pumpkin

Last week I posted about our pumpkin painting party. Today I share a picture of the pumpkin my fabulous friend Jodi created at our get together.  Jodi hosts a big Halloween bash every year and the painted pumpkin greeted guests at the entrance.

The pumpkin was originally orange, and Jodi painted it white first, then stenciled the words on with black paint. Looks great!

With Halloween gone, this lovely pumpkin  does not need to retire yet, as I am sure it would make a great welcome sign for Thanksgiving also!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Amsterdam in the Summer

Dear Readers,  
Summer is just a distant memory now, but here in Hawaii the weather is still plenty hot. Kinda like it was in Amsterdam in the middle of July when I was over there. No, I take it back. It is actually warmer here in Hawaii (and it is already November!) than the Netherlands was in July. We had warm but lovely weather in Amsterdam and spent our four days exploring the city mostly on foot. Below are some of the photos taken during my wanderings.

 Check out the clear blue skies above the picturesque buildings

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall Color for the First Time

As enjoyable as it is to live surrounded by the warm topical breezes of Hawaii, looking at pictures of fall colors always makes me long for the crisp air and colorful foliage of temperate climates this time of year. It grew up with four seasons, and sometimes wish my kids got to experience the wonder of nature changing throughout the year.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Pumpkin Painting Party

After the success of last year's experimentation I wanted to have painted pumpkins again for Halloween. While I had a good time painting them last fall, I thought this was truly an activity best enjoyed in good company. So on Monday I invited some friends over some pumping painting. The five of us had a great time creating colorful fall art.

Monday, October 20, 2014

The Perfect Little House in Wales

I came across this bridge and the adorable house attached to it during our summer sojourn in Wales. We had to stop and backtrack just so I could jump out of the car (into the drizzle) to take these pictures. The little house is just PERFECT. It looks like something straight from a fairy tale. What do you think?

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Paholei Street House: The Completed Project

To finish the three-part series on the Paholei Street house, here are the pictures of  the final result of three months of renovations. The home went on the market early in the summer and was immediately snapped up by a very lucky couple, who moved in this August. Great job, Debbie and Brian! Now it is time to find the next project...

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Paholei Street House: The Construction

Aloha Readers,  in my last post I showed you some pictures of what this home in Kaneohe looked like before the remodeling work started. Today I am sharing photos of the cinderella transformation that the property received in just a few months.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Paholei Street House: The Humble Beginnings

Our story begins almost a year ago. It was late autumn 2013, when my friend Debbie first laid eyes on the property below, and she knew it was the one. She, a realtor, and her husband Brian, a contractor, have been looking for house to buy, renovate, and sell. Some call it "flipping".  The house, located in breezy Kaneohe with gorgeous mountain views, has definitely seen better days. It was a fixer, however it had good bones, and a logical layout with no weird additions so many homes seem to be afflicted by.

Monday, September 8, 2014

A Kahala Avenue Stunner

It has been over two months since I last updated the blog, but finally I am back!  Lots have happened and as I catch up with life I am hoping to post more often.

Here is a property I have worked on. This Kahala Beach estate is modern, serene, and relaxing. The house features 5 bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms. It has just been listed for $14.5 million.

Friday, June 13, 2014

The Best Staging Prop: a Kaneohe Bay View

When it comes to properties, the old saying applies - use what you were given. The house below was definitely given much: above all else an awesome view of Kaneohe Bay. With a little work, we helped this property look its best. Check out the results below.

 The living room with the panoramic views

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A Special Place: The Manoa Heritage Center

A few weeks ago I was lucky to have been invited to a very special place: the home of Sam and Mary Cooke in Manoa - a historic property that is the Manoa Heritage Center. We toured the grounds and looked at the heiau (an ancient Hawaiian temple), and at the end of the tour we had lunch with the Cookes and visited their beautiful home.  

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

A Kaneohe Surprise

It has been forever since I last blogged, but today I am back with some photos I took at a property in Kaneohe a few weeks ago.  This house is perched on a hill and the reason it brought me back to blogging is not the wonderful views of the Koolau Mountains, but the interior of the home. This place looked awesome. The pictures speak for themselves, check them out below. What do you think?

The living room. The mirror propped against the wall makes the space seem larger.

Monday, February 24, 2014

A Lamp Project

It started with a large piece of driftwood I found on the beach.  After taking it home I watched it resting in the garden for a few months until one day the idea came to me to turn it into a floor lamp. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Great Architecture: The Reichstag, Germany's Parliament

The pictures below were taken last summer, but I am just now finally now getting organized enough to post them. I had the good fortune last July to take a guided tour of this great building. 

The Reichstag building is a wonderful mixture of old and modern, situated in the heart of Berlin. It has survived having been burned down, looted, and then being (mostly) abandoned for decades. This is where the German parliament met from 1893 to 1933. Having been damaged by a fire in 1933 it stood mostly empty for six decades.  After the reunification of Germany in 1990 the building was thoroughly reconstructed under the direction of British architect Norman Foster.  Since 1999 it serves once again as the seat of Germany's parliament.

Looking up to the cupola from the parliamentary chamber.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Staging Jessica's House

This was a project we did a couple of weeks ago.  My friend Jessica had moved from Hawaii a year and a half ago, and now they decided to put their house on the market.  Debbie asked me to help stage it for the photo shoot.  

Monday, January 13, 2014

Enlarging the Deck (Again!)

Aloha and Happy New Year!  I have been delinquent on posting lately… This is a project we finished a couple of months ago but I only am getting to writing about it ow.  We decided to add another bit to our deck, incorporating the palm tree into it.  It was a quick project, with the boys doing the construction and me doing the staining we finished it on a few hours.  There are still more projects waiting to be done on and around the deck area, and I will update you as we move ahead with them.