Travel | Scotland | Part One

Every year or so my husband, sister, and brother-in-law head out for some kind of International trip. Travling has been a big part of my life since about 20. My first trip was with my sister, we explored many spots throughout Europe and the UK.  I have been hooked ever since. I can always rely on my travels to inspire me and open my eyes to someting new. 

So, as often as I can, I will put a travel guide together for you. I will share all the lovely places to eat, sleep and play. 

Last year we took a beautiful trip to Scotland. We have family that lives in Aberfoyle and Stirling. So we bounced around the areas surrounding these two. 

Aberfoyle is named "The Gateway to the Trossachs". It is part of the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park,  It is the most charming little village nestled in the foothills of the Trossachs. The main road that makes up Aberfoyle is about a mile or so long and just wide enough for one car to drive on. The buildings are old and charming, and all the residents know eachother.  Some have lived here there entire life. 

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 The road to the Trossachs is right past this red stone building you see above. You can also visit the lovely town of Callander while you are heading through the Trossacchs. If you decide to sleep in Aberfoyle take many walks. The crisp very clean air is very liberating. 

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|From left to right| The old Church sits right in front of Lake of Menteith, Grasses bordereing Lake of Menteith, a charming row of homes in Aberfoyle. 

|From left to right| The old Church sits right in front of Lake of Menteith, Grasses bordereing Lake of Menteith, a charming row of homes in Aberfoyle. 

As you head in toward Aberfoyle, another stop I would highly reccommend is The Lake of Menteith. This is one of the only "lakes" in this region. As you may know Scotland is known for many beautiful "lochs". This lake is stunning. The Hotel that sits overlooking it is gorgeous and makes the "sleep" list in this guide.  It would be a wonderful spot to stay while exploring this area. We had fish and chips, which were very good, while we peered out over the beauty of this Lake. It is a very peaceful spot. 

The Aberfoyle Delicatessen is fantastic. We stopped in about three times while we were here to get some homemade meat pies for dinner. They have a chicken curry pie to die for. Also, grab some onion jam for your cheese while you are here. They make mostly everything themselves,  and it was all delicious. 

travelscotland

While we were here, we stayed about 2 miles down the main road of Aberfoyle.  McDonalds Forest Hills Resort is where we called home for the week. It sat over looking the beautiful Loch Ard. It was quite the peaceful spot. My only warning, if you are a person that needs to be "connected" at all times with your social media accounts, this is not the spot for you. Very poor internet. That being said, I feel a break from social media is good for the brain. Going back to basics and simply reading and having conversation with other humans offered a wonderful time. We got out for daily walks and runs in the crisp fresh air...a very peacful little corner of Scotland. 

Feel freee to email me with any questions you may have on traveling through these areas of Scotland. I have tons more resources to share. I will be writing Part Two of this trip next week, it will include Invarary, Stirling and Edinburgh. 

Have a lovely weekend. 

[ Images : Girl and the Abode ] 

DIY | Floral Photo Backdrop

My sister and I have taken up this fun and quirky hobby of making our own photo back drops for gatherings that we host.  We have made about five at this point. It is such a fun element to share with guests at a party. It always seems to lighten the spirits  and draws out the silly side in us all!  This one was inspired by a photo booth we saw on Pinterst. It was really fun and really easy! 

Tools

  • Lagre piece of composite wood ( whatever size you prefer) 
  • Fake Grass
  • Silk Flowers 
  • Staple Gun
  • Scissors
  • Two Saw Horses 

Instructions 

Set up two saw horses or clear any large flat surface. Place your composite wood board on top. Unroll your fake grass and cut to fit about 2 inces bigger than the board itself. Start at one end of the board, and simply tuck the grass behind the board and staple your little heart out, Continue to do this until the grass is tight and smooth, covering the surface of your backdrop. 

Here is the fun part! Start arranging your florals all over the top part of the backdrop. Attach your flowers and foliage with the gun and some staples. 

Violà! You have a fun and fancy photo backdrop for your next gathering.                          

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{ images - Girl and the Abode } 

Hotels & Inspiration| High Road House - London

HIgh Road House, London  is one of many of the exquisite Hotels owned by the SoHo House Group. High Road House is one of my personal favorites. It has a "Schoolhouse Electric" vibe to it. Very utilitarian, but warm and inviting. 

You can thank Alexander Evangelou &  James Waterworth of Alexander Waterworth Interiors for this beautifully executed space, full of so much interior design inspiration. They chose to go with a bright palette , yet really grounded the space with all the lovely dark accents and mid century furniture. Apparently much of the furniture was from Mar-Den. Hop on over and check out what they source. You will be inspired,  I promise! 

The Brass accents in the bar and on some of the light fixtures lend to a sense of refinement in the rooms. I love them in combination with all the other materials in the room. Such as, the painted brick, tile, dark wood floors and the moldings. It adds so much interest when you combine materials. 

They sourced most of the art from local emerging british artists, with pieces from Elizabeth Price, Ryan Gander and Mark Wallinger. Don't you love the gallary walls?  I see no reason we can't copy placement and style of these pieces. Isn't coping the biggest form of flattery? 

The limited palatte used in the bedrooms creates a very calm relaxing space. I love the shaker peg rails used on the walls around the room. Adds extra storage and looks extrelemly stylish. What are your favorite elements of this Hotel / House? Any ideas that you came away with for decorating or remodeling your home? I am soon to be starting bathroom remodels so the black and white floors got my wheels turning. I also love the walls in the bedrooms. My husband and I might just copy this element too! 

Hope you have been inspired by another edition of Hotels & Inspiration! Have a lovely week! 

[ images : Remodelista ]

Been a While

It's been a while since I have written or done any work for the blog. I have felt the absense of it in my days. I am looking forward to fitting it back into my schedule.  I look back on  this year and understand why I have not written or worked much on our design business. This year presented us with a lot of highs and lows, and much businesses in between. I lost my sweet sweet little dachshund, Lucy. She was my little girl,  one of the loves of my life and I will never get over her loss. She was four. Too young. In all honestly, she made me a better person. We lost her on our anniversay day. A day we will always remember. 

 The high of the year, giving birth to my little human girl. It has been a whirl wind the past 3 months. She is the most beautiful, perfect little thing. Its amazing how intense a love you can have for a person you just met. I am so grateful for this love. I will always wish my Lucy could have been her big sister. They would have been the best of friends.

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In the midst of all the year held, we also purchased a town home. Which of cousre needed much TLC. So, yes, we also did some renovations. I will be showing you a bunch of before and after pictures through the next few months on this as well. With this, some great tips and inspiration for your home decorating needs.

Well, enough personal...I always have loved writing for my blog. I am going to be back at it! As you can see, we are working on building a new website. Our site will include a gallary page to feature some of our work, our blog, of course , the usual contact info and a bit about our company. Also,  I will personally be be collaborating with a furniture designer friend to bring you some wonderful Pouffs. Made of 100% natural and organic matierials Those will be available online and we will be traveling to some of the great craft fairs around California. So keep your eyes out for that. 

It feels good to be back writing a little post.. this is, afterall,  where I got my creative drive  back and  made my decision to jump back into the exciting world of interiors   I love helping others see the powerful influence that lies within the spaces they dwell.  It is my happy place. 

Looking forward to a fresh new year and  to all the exciting changes we have in store at Girl and the Abode. 

{ images - 1. Girl and the Abode 2. Girl and the Abode 3. Pinterest }

 

 

 

 

Hotels & Inspiration | Villa La Banane

At the moment, I am spending some time on the beautiful island of Kauai. I come here every year. It's just plain and simple, good for my soul. I disconnect from the frustrating realities that life throws at us for one peaceful, wonderful week. Because I feel so inspired by my tropical surroundings, I thought it would be nice to pass some island inspired decor on to you for your dose of Hotel Interior Inspiration. Typically, I am not a huge fan of island inspired decor. But, I came across the well done interiors at Villa La Banane in St. Barts and knew this would be appreciated by those of us who love interior design.

 
 
 
 

I love the use of bold bright colors in this hotel. The white ceilings and the beautiful wood floors set a lovely balance to the space. This would be a perfect example of using color in a space properly. Its not too flashy or in your face. It just makes you want to relax with a good gossip magazine and a  tropical drink!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Also, I am obsessing over these peacock chairs!

 
 
 
 
 
 

Such a lovely, soothing environment with the use of  light blue and white hues. I also really love the choice of wood chairs and table lamps. It adds the perfect amount of color to this space.

 
 
 
 

I think the creative team behind  Villa La Banane did a lovely job of designing a modern, bohemian and tropical setting for all to enjoy! Pin away people!!

{ all images from thisispaper }

Maker : Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

I am back after a 12 day trip through Scotland. We saw a lot and connected with family that live there. It was a wonderful time. I will be posting a travel guide for Scotland with loads of tips for you next week. Today I wanted to start sharing with you some of the talented makers that I am in awe of. We have such an exuberant amount of talented people on our planet, I love that these artists are getting noticed and recognized for their gifts. Being an artist truly is a gift. If we are one, we should be grateful, if we wish we were one, we should be inspired by those who are. So, with all that said, (can you tell I am passionate about art?) I want to share Tracy Wilkinson's Work with you. Tracy is a British designer who lives in Los Angles. She has created a stunning collective of handmade ceramics, furniture and home accessories. I am mainly showing you her ceramic collection today, but you can see all her pieces here. Tracy sells her art at a number of stores in L.A. and one in Portland.

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

Maker: Tracy Wilkinson - TW Workshop

 

How bad do you want one for your home? Me too! Hope you were as inspired by Tracy's originality as I was! Happy Monday.

{ Images - store.LA }

 

In a Creative Rut - Part 3

I have just a few more tips on stirring up that creativity inside. It’s funny, through writing this series, I have worked myself out of my own creative slump. That can be yet another tip. Write something to share with other’s. It makes whatever topic you are discussing very real. Design a creative space - Most of us are effected or influenced by our surroundings wether we like it or not. Create a space that allows your thoughts to develop. That may mean to declutter a room so you have a work area that is clean and beautifully organized. It could mean that you display all your books and art supplies so you can get your brain thinking of all the artistic possibilities. We are all different, you need to think about how you feel in whatever space you typically work? Do you need a change of scenery to get those juices flowing? Maybe you should go to the corner coffee house or library to do some creative writing. You might need to move your creative project outdoors? Fresh air can be very liberating. Just think about wether the space you are working in day in and day out is stifling or encouraging creativity. Below are some lovely offices and studio’s that I would use for inspiration in redesigning my studio.

In a creative rut - part 3
In a creative rut - part 3
In a creative rut - part 3
In a creative rut - part 3

Learn from any failures - This is always a challenge. I hate failure, in fact I think it is a factor in why I have not accomplished certain goals. I have a certain fear of it. We all need to get past this. Its OK to fail, we learn this way! When you look back on anything you have accomplished that you are proud of, was there a failure involved? Probably. We never seem to remember that point. Those failures that we push way back in our minds are part of the process to success. When starting a new project or goal, always keep in mind that you will fail at something along the way.  This way you will be prepared for it and not fearful of it. Most importantly, you will be prepared to learn from it. Here is a wonderful article on failures from some of the most intelligent and successful people out there. We are not alone in our failures.

Make a commitment to a project - Get involved with and organization to help with a creative project. If you have a website or a blog, publicly commit to something. Start a new column, perhaps a DIY related one. Then every week you will be responsible for getting something wonderful to your audience. If you are a graphic designer, create a course on learning Illustrator and launch it on SkillShare. Perhaps you are a maker, volunteer to create something for a charity. When you commit to doing something you are suddenly held responsible for delivering. Plus, your name is attached to whatever you agree to, this makes it even more important to succeed. You think about the other people involved. Its not about you and your creative troubles anymore.

I hope you have enjoyed this mini series on creativity. It has helped me immensely to get through my creative troubles. So, for that, I want to thank you. We have to commit to always learning and developing our minds, and bodies for that matter. This commitment will keep us moving on the right path. The ever fulfilling creative path.

I will be visiting Scotland over the next few weeks. So there will not be much activity around G&A. I will be posting tons of great photos from the trip though, so follow me on Instagram here.

When I return, I will have a Scotland travel guide ready for you!  So stay tuned!

See you on Instagram!

{all above images via Pinterest}

Hotel Interior Inspiration - Ruschmeyer's

I have not written a “Hotel Interior Inspiration” post in sometime. I thought It might be about time to share another  beautiful and inspiring hotel. My goal in showing you these, is to stir up as many decorating ideas as possible. As I have said before…hotels ( when designed to be aesthetically pleasing and functional) can be a great source for your next interior design revelation. Today we will tour Ruschmeyer’s Hotel located in the woodland area of Montauk, New York. Rauschmeyer's is part of the well designed hotel group, King & Grove. Ruschmeyer’s is reminiscent of summer camp. Cabin inspired guest rooms loop around a common area where you can grill and engage in a friendly match of ping-pong.

Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's

Ruschmeyer’s also encourages summer camp activities such as paddle boarding, bingo and yoga! For the kids… bubbles and balsa wood! They also have a wonderful seasonal restaurant, only open in the summer months, named The Smile in Manhattan. You can get your fill of fresh local seafoods! Feel like music and cocktails? Head over to Electric Eel!

Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's

Enjoy your tour…

Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's
Hotel Interior Inspiration - Rauschmeyer's

Simple, yet "campy". I say campy in a good way.. eclectic and quirky might be better adjectives.  Makes me feel like I am in the adult version of the 1961 version of The Parent Trap!

{ all images from kingandgrove.com }

Dream Home - A Modern Farmhouse

Ever dream of living in a certain city, in a certain style home? Experiencing life surrounded by different things influenced by a different culture?  I am guilty of this on a daily basis. I browse hundreds of interior design and architectural images every month and drool over a vast majority of them. My mind starts to wander, I can picture my self in a London flat around the corner from the Victoria & Albert Museum. Perhaps I see images of a cozy rustic cabin, all of a sudden, I am living in the country side of Copenhagen. See what I mean? Its pretty fun, I recommend giving it a try. Its a nice escape from reality. Haha. This beautiful abode made me imagine myself living in Napa Vally, with a few grape vines and some olive tree's on the property. Summer would be filled with endless days of poolside parties.  This would be my modern farmhouse. No, it is not your typical farmhouse. I love the modern clean lines to the interior, and the contrast of the rustic stone that covers the exterior. Its unique, but somehow seems appropriate.

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

Dream Home - A modern Farmhouse

{images from Tribe Studio Architects }