inspiration: mercury Inn - portland, maine

by darraugh collins in ,


I already have quite a few bookmarks for places I want to visit in Portland, Maine when I finally get the opportunity...and this place is the latest entry. The Mercury Inn is a bed-and-breakfast residing in a Victorian home in the Parkside neighborhood. The innkeepers, Tim and Jacob, love Greek and Roman mythology - which inspired the name. Rooms are simply decorated with playful nods to this seaside town, and a dash of their signature bright yellow. The food at the inn is seasonally sourced from local farms and purveyors, and they proudly utilize sustainable environmental business practices in their daily operations.


inspiration: honolulu house - marshall, michigan

by darraugh collins in ,


While visiting my family in Marshall, Michigan this weekend, we walked over to the Honolulu House. The home was built in 1860 for Abner Pratt, and its unique Italianate style reflected his love for the Hawaiian islands - where he had lived. The sweeping windows and 15 foot ceilings are incredible, but it's the painted walls, ceilings, and circular staircase that make this place truly impressive.

*all images are mine, except where noted.


inspiration: 1805 philadelphia row house

by darraugh collins in ,


Lonny magazine featured the renovation of this over 200-year-old home in the Society Hill neighborhood of Philadelphia, and I wanted to share it. There are some lovely features such as high ceilings and beautiful floors that aren't detracted from with the clean, modern decor. Chanee Vijay and her husband own the home where she works as a textile designer in her fourth floor studio. Update: The couple recently moved from Philadelphia to Los Angeles, so this home now has some lucky new owners.


read: paper towns

by darraugh collins in


If you enjoy reading books geared toward young adults, then you will enjoy Paper Towns. Or, if you're like me and consider Orlando (and more specifically, Winter Park) home, then you'll enjoy a book that is based on that very place. The characters in the book attend Winter Park High, which is where I graduated from. The book mentions neighborhoods and other landmarks that are very familiar to me, so the nostalgia alone was worth the read. I will tell you that I think John Green writes very strong female characters - the ones with more experience than their age would indicate. I always find it fascinating when men can write women really well, which is probably why I enjoy reading his books - even though they're not necessarily aimed at my age group. This book is now out as a movie in theaters, and while it's probably entertaining - I'm a firm believer that the book is always better than the movie. I've been waiting for one to prove me wrong...



inspiration: spanish colonial renovation

by darraugh collins in ,


Living so long in Florida, I have a fondness for Mediterranean architecture. I particularly love the Spanish Colonial style. This L.A. renovation with interiors designed by Martha Mulholland is so well done for a young, modern family.

*original post via Remodelista here*




inspiration: amy's drive-thru

by darraugh collins in , ,


Healthy frozen-food company, Amy's Kitchen, has opened a vegetarian/vegan fast-food restaurant called, Amy's Drive-Thru. The concept is focused on serving non-GMO, organic food (including gluten-free options) to busy, hardworking families. The first location is north of San Francisco, and already is experiencing unprecedented success since opening in late June. Truly inspiring.



inspiration: the twin bed guest room

by darraugh collins in


We have twin beds in our guest room for when Bob's kids are visiting. I've been trying to decide what to do in this room, as I really don't like it. I try to tailor each bed to the kid sleeping in it; in this case, it's one boy and one girl. But it's not cohesive enough for me. And since the kids are getting older, I think I could get away with a more adult room that appeals to me when they're not here. I was inspired by this guest room, which might give me some ideas to run with. Do you have any great inspiration for twin bed guest rooms?



find: fiercely made

by darraugh collins in


Fiercely Made is an online collective of makers and designers from Brooklyn who produce truly unique items.



inspiration: sucre shop on better homes and gardens cover

by darraugh collins in


Just about three years ago when we decided to move to Saint Louis for Bob's job, I realized I knew nothing about Saint Louis and didn't know a single person. I started googling and searching Twitter, and my friend, Suzanna, sent me a stack of local magazines so I could read about local places and happenings. In one of those magazines, I read about a local woman named Brooke Pratt with an Etsy shop selling cute stamped wooden utensils. I started following her on social media (@sucreshop). About a year later, we met at an event and collaborated through my job at West Elm. I've watched as her business has grown (check out her fun party items) and she's appeared in numerous publications. So, it's exciting to see her work represented on the August 2015 cover of Better Homes and Gardens magazine. Last week we celebrated with Brooke at a fun rooftop party.


how to: healthy date snack

by darraugh collins in ,


I've been reading and trying recipes from The Good Gut by Erica and Justin Sonnenburg. The Sonnenburgs are PhDs working at Stanford University School of Medicine, and have made their research on gut microbiota the focus of this book. Now, this might not sound remotely interesting, but it should be required reading. If we all knew more about what actually occurs in our bodies - or cared to know - then we'd be more successful at reversing (and warding off) our rates of disease. This book is filled with scientific information regarding the biology of our gut, but the Sonnenburg's are also parents to young children, and they share valuable tidbits of how they've taught their kids to eat healthy.

One of the recipes I tried was for this easy and healthy snack of taking Medjool dates and stuffing them with cultured cream cheese, a sprinkle of cinnamon, and topping with a walnut half. This makes a great healthy dessert alternative and is reminiscent of eating carrot cake. Trust me. When you try it, you'll see what I mean.



find: thrive market

by darraugh collins in


If you buy lots of healthy products and would like to save money when you do - or, perhaps you'd buy more healthy products if the prices were less - check out online marketplace, Thrive Market. We've already used the site a couple of times and the prices are good. Plus, they get more and more healthy products added all the time, so if you don't see your favorite item now - chances are it will be available soon.


inspiration: susan hable smith in athens, georgia

by darraugh collins in


Okay, this is the last of my posts from the Southern Accents Style Guide - but it was too good to keep to myself. Susan Hable Smith is one half of the sister-duo behind Hable Construction - the New York City-based design and textiles company. They founded the company in 1999 when I was living in New York City, and that's when I first remember hearing about them. They create such fun patterns; You should definitely visit their website. Susan now lives with her family in Athens, Georgia while her sister lives in Brooklyn. Susan and her husband renovated an old cottage and infused it with charm and personality. Again, I apologize for the pics taken from a magazine, but it's all I got...


inspiration: the bunk room

by darraugh collins in


This is another inspiring pic from the Southern Accents Style Guide I shared earlier this week. This is a new-build in Rosemary Beach, Florida and this room was made into a bunk room for extra guests; However, I know many older homes with this type of "attic room" and this is a great use of space. I especially love the Schumacher bird print wallpaper.


find: the cathedral basilica of saint louis

by darraugh collins in


The construction of this amazing cathedral in Saint Louis was started in 1907. The installation of the more than 41 million mosaic tiles was begun in 1912 and finished in 1988. Pope John Paul II visited in 1999 and proclaimed it a basilica. With what is likely the largest collection of mosaic tiles in the world inside this structure - it is pretty amazing. Photos cannot begin to do it justice. If you are visiting, this is a must-see.


inspiration: soho loft with southern style

by darraugh collins in


I've hung onto a copy of a publication called Southern Accents Style Guide because it contained a few interior gems that I wanted to remember and share. Here is the SoHo loft of a southern couple who now live in New York City.  Courtney Daniels Hayden, the sister of the couple, who is based in San Francisco, helped them create a space that felt like home. I love the mix of traditional with some modern flair. And that bathroom...it's otherworldly. The couple's young daughter received a very sophisticated, yet perfectly appropriate little girl's room, don't you think? My apologies for the scanned magazine photos; I couldn't find them anywhere online.


find: brendan ravenhill church chandelier

by darraugh collins in ,


I'm a fan of Brendan Ravenhill's designs. I bought his dustbin at West Elm and actually use it to store fresh cat litter in the litter box closet. It's perfect.

While flipping through the latest copy of Elle Decor, Ravenhill's Church Chandelier was mentioned. He designed it for the Bethlehem Baptist Church in Los Angeles - a Modernist structure designed by architect Rudolph Schindler in 1944. The church had been vacant for over a decade, but was recently purchased to be the church of a small African-American congregation in South Los Angeles.



on the road: chicago (#2)

by darraugh collins in


We spent a couple days in Chicago last week and got to see friends, explore, and eat some good food. Even better, the rainy/cloudy weather we've been experiencing so far this summer decided to subside while we were there. One of our favorite places was Floriole - near Lincoln Park. This café was rated by Food & Wine magazine as one the best bread bakeries in America. Everything was made from scratch using the highest quality ingredients. It's important to us to eat healthy, and that can be tricky while you're traveling. This is why we seek out juice bars and places serving high quality health food - because traveling usually involves a bit of indulging. We stumbled onto Stan's Donuts (speaking of indulging) and wanted to go in mainly because the shop design caught my eye. We ordered an iced herbal tea and a gluten-free donut (so, we weren't too bad), but look at that cute interior (see below)! The Hotel Lincoln is a boutique hotel across from Lincoln Park, and we wanted to check it out since we were right by it getting juice at Real Good Juice Co. It was really charming with a cute coffee shop just off the lobby and a farm-to-table restaurant - plus, we're told, a nice rooftop bar overlooking the park. We had a nice late lunch at Parson's Chicken + Fish with a bunch of other people playing hooky from work. The weather was perfect and this is the place to sit outside with an adult beverage and eat good food - or play ping pong. I will say the interior is awesome as well, for those days when it happens to be raining, or snowing, or minus two degrees. A little wandering around Wicker Park and we got to stop in Gather Home + Lifestyle - a home store if you like simple, well-made items. Her shop is a bit off the main drag, but her selection is well-curated and her dog, Abby, will do yoga stretches to keep you entertained. We were headed to Big Star for dinner, but a thousand people got there before we did and wait times were something like three hours (that's like eating tomorrow). So, we ate next door at sister restaurant, Dove's Luncheonette, which is also Mexican - but not chips-and-salsa Mexican rather, vintage luncheonette setting with good cocktails, flavorful food, and a record player. We headed into the heart of the city to check out Broken Shaker - the bar in the new Freehand Hotel/Hostel that was designed by one of my favorites, Roman and Williams. A cool '70's living room vibe with some truly unique house cocktails (and games!) makes for a fun night - especially with a group. We checked out another juice bar on my list, Owen + Alchemy. I really liked their juices and the packaging, but felt their shop was too dark and they were trying too hard to be like an exclusive night club. From the outside you couldn't tell if the place was still in business (perhaps they were going for a speakeasy vibe). Either way, I prefer places with curb appeal that make you feel welcome from the outside - even though the people inside were very nice. For someone who has never drank coffee, I L-O-V-E coffee shops. The ones that invite you to linger, perhaps they are part general store - or, in this case, part general store, part bike shop. Heritage Bicycles General Store in the Lakeview neighborhood is just the type of place I'd love to have in my neighborhood - anywhere. We got to spend time with a good friend and have dessert at Mindy's Hot Chocolate. It seems there aren't enough places open late with good dessert - this place is it - and the hot chocolate is crazy good. No weekend trip would be complete without me dragging Bob through an antiques market. I find the biggest one in town (just kidding) and that's where we go. Broadway Antiques Market was recommended by a friend- and it's a good one. While waiting for me, Bob found a Starbucks made from shipping containers. I'm obsessed with creative uses for these things and loved seeing this in person. I shouldn't tell you that we stopped in the 3rd largest Whole Foods in the world - but we did. A fitting way to end our trip. Just when I thought I had knocked a few more places off my list, I added more to it for next time. Until then, Chicago...


{pin}spiration

by darraugh collins in ,


Here's what I've been pinning lately...