Category Archives: London

How do You Feel About Your Front Door?

How do You Feel About Your Front Door?

With so many things to attend to inside the home, many homeowners, myself included, often overlook the front door. Although functional, my plain boring brown door sans design detail offers no curb appeal whatsoever and hasn’t exactly been on the top of my list. And, after getting a hefty price quote (storm door and new frame included) from a major home improvement chain, it is a decision I don’t care to rush into. First impressions mean everything and it is begging for some love. But exactly what? Not too sure. I need some inspiration.

While in London, I admired many brightly painted front doors that caught my attention and made me smile.

After surfing the internet and seing so many colorful doors, it reminded me of a song I learned in kindergarden:


Courtesy of Valspar

and orange,

Courtesy of Colour Me Happy


courtesty of Apartment Therapy

and blue

Courtesty of

shiny yellow

Courtesy of Real

purple too

Courtesy of Design Sponge

all the colors that you know, live in the rainbow.
And aparently, on front doors too! How do you feel about your front door? Does it have curb appeal or does it need a little TLC? Any plans for changing the color, and if so, will you play it bold or safe?

I am sharing this post with Domestically Speaking: The Power of Paint, Shabby Chic Cottage:Transformation Thursday and Funky Junk Interiors: Saturday Night Special.

Chloe Alberry

Chloe Alberry

Hope you had a beautiful long weekend. With the extra day off, I managed to work on a few unfinished projects and feel good about how they are progressing. I will share them with you as I complete them. Although it’s hard, I am refraining from starting anything new unitil the unfinsihed projects are completed.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Portobello Road Market, I visited Chloe Alberry, a must visit if you’re ever in London.

Happily surprised, when given permission by the shopkeeper to take pictures, I wanted to devote an entire post to some of the eye candy hardware you will find there.

Normally, I would apologize for all those reflections, but I think it’s a rather interesting photo in a strange sort of way.

Chloe Alberry has a huge assortment of…

stunning stone and gorgeous glass,

pretty porcelain,

charming ceramic,

shiny silver,

brillant brass,

beautiful black,

knobs, pulls, hooks, brackets….

tantalizing tins and so much more!

I was drawn to the ceramic knobs so I purchased a couple of them. No project in mind, just because. Because what? Because they were pretty. You just can’t walk out empty handed. Everything is just too irresistable. Chloe Alberry is a gem of a store that will have you saying out loud in that high squeaky voice, “oh, how preeeeetty,……. oh, how cuuute”, you know, like when you’re talking to a baby. Quickly looking around to see if anyone heard you thinking out loud, you will soon realize, everyone else is doing the exact same thing.

Have a “must visit” store you would like to share?

I am sharing this post with:

Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday

A Soft Place to Land: DIY Day

Shabby Chic Cottage: Transformation Thursday

Mustard Seed Creations: Furniture Feature Friday

Portobello Road Market

Portobello Road Market

London’s Portobello Road is an awesome place to visit. It runs approximately 2 miles from end to end and is comprised mainly of quaint vintage and antique stores and vendors. Definitely my kind of place!

On the weekend, the shops are over shadowed by the vendors and the street is so packed with people you can barely walk.

I don’t know what it is about London businesses – shops and street vendors alike – picture taking is a major “No No”.

This is one of two vendors (the other was at the Convent Gardens market) that gave me the okay to take pictures.

Don’t you just love the vintage buttons? I thought I was going to make my way back to buy some but by the time we got to the other end of the road, my guys and I were tuckered out.

Wow!! What a difference a day makes.

On weekdays, you can see all the great stores on Portobello Road.

Honey Jam is just the cutest toy store with “back in the day” toys, you know, the kind that don’t require batteries.

Everybody stops in their tracks for this one, not just sewers. All those vintage sewing machines and it’s a clothing store!

And even more inside!

Toward the end of this very long road, I found Chloe Alberry.

When I got a glimpse of their tables Between Naps on the Porch:out front, I was in awe of all the eye candy. Doesn’t this look inviting?

At this point, my guys and I had had enough of the crowds so I promised myself I would have to come back. But you have to come back too, so I can share with you some of the beautiful hardware this unique store has to offer.

I am sharing this post with Between Naps on the Porch: Metamorphosis Monday.

London Architecture

London Architecture

Hope you had a great weekend! I didn’t get a chance to really hang out in the garage as I had planned; however, I started brainstorming a few fabric design ideas that have been rattling around in my head. Since I can’t find the right fabric to complete a few unfinished projects, I figured why not experiment and see if I can come up with my own design. To me, that is the best part of the DIY process, using bits of inspiration as a catalyst for experimentation to create a design or idea that reflects the essence of who we are.

Speaking of inspiration, one of the things I instantly fell in love with, was London’s architecture. The buildings there have such presence with their ornamnentation and detail. Balconies ordorned with flowering window boxes were breathtaking and made my heart sing. As I walked from neighborhood to neighborhood, my jaw would just drop at the magnificence and overwhelming beauty. Here is a sampling of the eye candy I had the pleasure of seeing:

What do you think? Have you ever experienced architecture that stopped you in your tracks, compelling you to be in the present moment so that you can take it all in?

I’m Back!

I’m Back!

Hey there! It seems like forever since my last post and it’s nice to be back in blogland again. The last couple of weeks I have had an amazing experience. Can you guess where from these pictures?

IF you guessed London, you’re absolutely right! Above is a police officer, pedestrian directions (trust me they are a necessity), the Big Ben Clock Tower and Buckingham front gate and Palace. I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to travel with my family there and spend a couple of days in Paris. For the last two weeks, I have been experiencing British culture and it was amazing. I love London and we had the best time. Mr DIY, an IT Consultant in his other life, has been working on a project requiring monthly trips there. On his last trip, we decided to combine business with pleasure; he worked a week and we vacationed the second week. One of the biggest highlights – the flight! American Airlines Business Class is definitely a thumbs up! I had to keep asking myself am I flying somewhere or dining out at a restaurant? Mr DIY is use to it, but for me it was an unbelievable treat! Our boys enjoyed it as well.

As for London, our hotel was centrally located and we walked or took the Tube (transit system) everywhere.We stayed at the Marriot in Kensington which I recommend highly. The staff is friendly and helpful and the breakfast is heavenly. I looked forward to it each and every day. The weather was great; some warm days with a few showers here and there mixed with a few cool days.

We returned last night at 7:30 PM (12:30 AM London time) yesterday and I made a point of staying up to midnight (21 hours) with the hopes of getting in sync with the time change. NOT!!! Woke up 4AM (9AM London time) anyway. No. 2 son woke up at 4:30 AM as well. Mr. DIY, who is a pro at this, effortlessly woke up his normal time and headed out to work unaffected by the time change.

I kept a journal and took a lot of pictures (hope they’re blog worthy) of anything and everything that spoke to me. I will be sharing with you some of what I saw in the weeks ahead.

Gratitude is a big part of who I am. I make a conscious effort to not take anything for granted. This trip wasn’t just another family vacation. I viewed it as a “once in a lifetime” kind of experience. My last trip of this magnitude was when I took a 3 week class in Italy, before kids and a very long time ago. Will there be more trips like this in the future? Doesn’t matter, because I had this opportunity and I am very grateful.

Have you had a similar travel experience that gave you that “once in a lifetime” feeling?