Monday, March 11, 2013

Cats at the Winter Garden Theater

As a New Yorker, I'm used to seeing brick walls and alleyways when I look out my window. So it's still constantly amazing to me that now that I live in Los Angeles, I can walk outside and be in my own private garden.

Last month marked a year since we moved here and I took over the garden (and a year since I started this blog) so I'm still in the process of figuring out when things happen and whether I am truly a plant murderer. I was halfway scared that I basically killed everything in the garden during my tenure here. But now it looks like I may be wrong. Now that the night chill isn't as biting cold, small signs of life are emerging in our garden. It's a theater of color. I missed capturing the pomegranate bushes in bloom, but here are some snapshots of Signs of (Un)Intelligent Life.

My two Meyer lemons, not quite ripe

Giant geranium bush with pretty leaves

A flowering shrub with little purple flowers.

Hells yeah, the irises came back!
From the thingy under the plum blossom tree
My favorite succulent

Cats, tickets now on sale at the Winter Garden Theater

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Living Inspiration: The Getty Villa

When visitors come to town, I tend to look at Los Angeles from a tourist's perspective. What in this city is actually worth sitting in traffic for, or spending half a day at? Pink's Hot Dogs? Nope. The Hollywood sign? From afar. The Venice canals? Maybe.

When the husbo's parents came to town a few weeks ago, we ended up spending an impromptu day at the Getty Center and the Getty Villa. I'd been to the Center, but the Villa is one of those things that you hear about and never really make it to until parents are in have to make advance reservations and buy tickets ahead of time. But I was very glad we ended up going, as it made for some nice design inspiration and a great way to spend an afternoon.

Built atop a hill in the Pacific Palisades in the style of a Roman villa, the Getty Villa actually reminded me of my college semester spent abroad in Rome, Italy. Oh, if only our garden looked like this:

The main things that I remember about Rome are stuffing my face with penne all' arrabbiata and drinking red wine with my new Italian friends at Il Fox, our favorite pub in Trastevere. The alcohol eradicated any self-doubt about my language skills and allowed me to speak Italian freely and without worrying about sounding like an idiot. La vita e' bella!

Occasionally, though, occasionally, vague memories of studying ancient Roman art and architecture will trickle through all the food and drink memories. Oh yeah, Il Foro. Ohhhhh yeah, Caravaggio! He was that guy who painted, like, dark shit. Right?

The Getty Villa included a fantastic outdoor herb garden, one that I would love to have in our backyard. Unfortunately, Crazy Backyard Squirrel would put an end to that quick.

I loved how the Villa designers used color, too. Look at the contrast between the aqua tiles in the pool and the bright yellow spring daffodils.

Apparently, ancient Greek and Roman statues were actually fully painted back in the day. We're just so used to seeing them after the paint has worn off, with the pupils gone. But this just looks creepy, doesn't it?

I see you, Jake Scully.
Ahhhh... what I would give to spend a year living in Rome again.

Can you imagine if this was your home, like the Roman emperors used to do it? Imagine the bad-ass house parties you could have. I'd Gatsby that up in a second.

Monday, March 4, 2013

With a Little Help from my Friends...

Any Asian knows at least one person who's got their glamour shot wedding photo blown up to a wall-sized canvas and displayed in their living room.

Sorry, I found your pic on Google.

Needless to say for me, hells to the no. I've always shied away from putting too many personal photos on display in my house, but I'm rethinking that now. My parents' living room is cluttered with personal photos of our family vacations, weddings, kids, etc--and I love looking at all of them. My husband and any other visitor also gets a kick out of seeing all these old photos of us.

Recently, I visited a friend who'd moved to a city far away from her friends. Her apartment was filled with great photographs of her family, friends, and pets, all framed and, quite honestly, evoking those very people, even thousands of miles away. It was a testament to why we keep old photos and display them. It's like having your friends and your memories all around you, at all times.

I've yet to put up photos because I just haven't gotten around to getting frames, but also I'm trying to figure out a good way of displaying images without cluttering up our space and while keeping the overall aesthetic of our home.

Here are a few ideas I'm toying with to display more personal photos:

Create a cluster of frames

A pic here or there may look messy, but strength in numbers is key!

From Apartment Therapy

or something more geometric, like what I did for these cool Cassia Beck photos:

Create a shape out of unframed photos


Clotheslining Polaroids

We have a bunch of great polaroids from our wedding that would work great for this. And we could really fill up the office window (which looks sort of gross anyway) with this trick.

From Apartment Therapy
Create a rotating clip board 

This super simple DIY featured on involves a strip of wood, screws, and four paper clips--plus your choice of photos to display and change as you please.


Keep a photo board / mood board

Nothing better than working at your desk and looking up to see all the people you're not hanging out with.

From Dustjacketattic

I love this idea...would work great with our dark office wall.

From Smitten Studio

Create washi tape frames

Cheap, colorful, and cute!