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19 Apr

A Classic Tudor Goes Hollywood

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

Happy day! My copy of Elle Decor magazine arrived several days ago and I finally had a chance to read it – well, at least most of it. One article that caught my attention is about a Tudor house in Beverly Hills that was completely updated by the creator of Will & Grace, Max Mutchnick and his partner, lawyer Erik Hyman.

Here are a few of the fabulous rooms that were photographed by William Abranowicz

Master Bath

Master Bathroom (my favorite!)

Master Bedroom

Master Bedroom

Dining Room

Dining Room


Sunroom (I love sunrooms!)



 Living Room

Living Room

The article dishes details on the home’s background and shares details on what went into the redesign.  And there are more great photos!

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17 Apr

Something Blue

Straight from Regina’s laptop. Sacre Bleu!

When I was a little girl, I asked my Mom to please, please, please buy me a box of doughnuts.  When she came home, I immediately ran with the box to my room.  I ate them one by one while looking in the mirror to see any sort of change.  You see, I had heard Crystal Gayle’s song “Don’t it Make My Brown Eyes Blue” but to my six-year-old ears, it sounded like “Doughnuts Make My Brown Eyes Blue”.  Man, was I excited — I could change the color of my eyes by eating doughnuts!!!  When it didn’t happen, I started crying and my Mom came into the room to talk to me.  When she heard the story, she told me that I was beautiful the way I was.  She made me feel so much better.  (I just recall her comforting me — but I can imagine that she had to have laughed heartily at some point. Will need to ask her about that.)

Since then, I’ve had a bit of a wary eye on the color Blue.  Don’t get me wrong – I do like it quite a bit.  It’s just, you know.  Some dreams die hard.  Let’s move on to a few beauties.

This tiled gorgeous-ness was featured in Elle Decor Italia.

The home of designer Michelle Halard was photographed by her son François Halard. The blue on the plaster walls of the French estate is a custom mix. The wooden chandelier was once a stage prop!

Beautiful and seamless ocean-inspired ombre finish by Miami-based Sweet Hues.

Turquoise Venetian Plaster works wonders on both a wall (left, via House Beautiful) and a ceiling (right, designed by Daun Curry).

Soft, lovely colors and vertical pattern via Seabrook Wallcoverings.

Gorgeous, gorgeous ceiling (and plaster walls!) – the sublime artistry of Michael Duté.

Love this space as featured in Architectural Digest. The big glossy work of art is just perfect but I also like the added touch of the slim stenciled border.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

So.  I looked up Crystal Gayle on YouTube.  I’m telling you — I can hear a “doughnut” in there!  I feel vindicated.  Regina 1, Crystal 0.  Except for the fact that I still don’t have blue eyes.  There is that.  But this Brown-Eyed Girl is over it.  Kinda.

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16 Apr

L’Hôtel de Ville

Straight from Regina’s laptop.  Bonjour!

A few weeks ago, this image of L’Hôtel de Ville captivated me.

I had to find out more.  I originally thought it was a hotel but I found out that L’Hôtel de Ville is actually the City Hall of Paris. (On a side note, I’m somewhat miffed my City Hall doesn’t look like this.  As in, not even remotely. Clearly, the French have a patent on making even the most mundane exhibit beauty.)  The interiors are blessed with gilding, sculptures, decorative painting and fine art.  Murals were commissioned from the leading painters at the time, including Jean-Paul Laurens and Henri Gervex.

The Paris City Hall Hall has been the center of the capital’s municipal institutions since 1357.  It was redesigned in the 16th century and then again in the 19th century.  The exterior boasts a Neo-Renaissance design while the interior ranges from the Renaissance to the Belle Epoque era.  The building has played a key role in many political events.

Exterior in the evening as photographed by Benh Lieu Song.

(above, below) Two of a series of photographs on Flickr by Hotels Paris Rive Gauche.

Below is just one pic from the excellent post The Paris City Hall in Some Details by ParisOslo.

They also host wonderful private events…

…and fun events for the public.

By the way, the very first image is by Audrey Felix, a French photographer and art director, who also blogged about her visit there.  (<– There are so many gorgeous images on that post I suggest you NOT miss clicking on it, trust.) Well, not only is L’Hôtel de Ville the seat of government, it also houses popular (and free) exhibitions.  It is closed on Sundays and holidays but open at all other times.  They also offer guided tours.  (Check for hours, though!)  The building also has a Metro nearby.  Have you been?  I’d love to go — it’s on The List.  Have a great day, everyone!

P.S. As a side note, it was also the background seen in Le Baiser de L’Hôtel de Ville by Robert Doisneau.  You might recognize the photograph. :)

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13 Apr

Colorful Columns

Straight from Regina’s Laptop. Word!

I don’t know if it’s the coming of Spring or it’s an actual design trend coming along nicely, but lately I’ve been seeing more and more colorful columns.  As in, bright, happy colors on columns.  As in, heck yeah!

Beautiful space with a vibrant, textured pillar as photographed by Pelle Bergström.

It’s obviously not for all but my heart loves this color.  I like that it was used for 1) a slimmer column and 2) an industrial-like space. It was featured in the blog, Miluccia.

Love that turquoise pattern! This is the Milan home of Margherita Missoni as photographed by Mark C. O’Flaherty.

~  ~  ~  ~  ~

Granted, two of these have wallpaper on them but they can easily be finished similarly by a decorative painter — and there would be no seams!  I think it’s a fantastic way to acknowledge a beautiful column in a space and bring it to life, as opposed to making it fade into the background.  Have a colorful weekend — see you back here on Monday!

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12 Apr

Finding the Original Source of an Image on Pinterest

Straight from Regina’s Laptop. Word!

I don’t know if you know this about me, gorgeous ones, but I really enjoy Pinning.  I do know, though, that I’m not alone.  Most of us also enjoy sharing proper credit and give a virtual high-five to our fellow creatives — but then you click on an image’s link and find yourself at a site where there is no information whatsoever.  What to do?

I thought that today I’d give a short tutorial on two ways to find the original source of an image and/or credit, especially for a site such as Pinterest.


The first way is super quick and easy.  I must give a huge round of thanks to Lynne Rutter for clue-ing me into this in her recent post about wonderful blog policies to keep in mind.  She mentioned a “reverse image look-up tool called Source Image” — and that opened a whole new world to me.  Src Img is a free tool that does the image research for you.

Simply go the site, drag the link to your Bookmarks tab and Voila!  The next time you come upon an image where you would like to know the original source, click on the Src Img link in your Bookmarks tab while the picture is open on your browser.

(above) I’ve used one our studio’s Venetian Plaster projects as an example.  The bookmarklet will bring up multiple white squares with questions marks within them.  As you hover over them, they will individually turn black (like so) and once it does that while you’re over the image you want to research, click on it.

(above) It will then bring up the best guesses for that image via Google Images.  As you can see, it includes Pages and Visually Similar Images.

Sometimes, it will bring up the true original source, other times it will bring up a blog or website that featured it and provides accurate information for you.  The pages it brought up for this image — my Home Workshop guest blog post Venetian Plaster Demystified and my Pinterest page — both lead back to my studio, Garay Artisans.


Let’s say you have an image on your hard drive and you’d like to know the source or you don’t want to install the bookmark.  For this, you can go directly to Google Images itself.  Here, I’ve used an image I had for the post on the book, Living in Cuba.

(above) I paned the Windows side by side, clicked on the image and “dragged” the photo onto the Images bar.

(above) It’ll look like this…

Google Images then gives you it’s best results for that image.  Please note that both those pages come back to Fauxology, where I would definitely have provided proper credit.

~ ~ ~

Sometimes it takes just a few more clicks into the pages given to find the right source, but I think it’s worth the extra few seconds if only to provide the proper information and credit.  I always think “What if it could lead to a project for them?”.  I like that thought. :)   Let me know if you have any questions or if there’s anything else I should cover.  Have a great day, lovelies!

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11 Apr

Suddenly a Centerpiece!

DIY No Comments by Peggy Pardo

From the keyboard of Peggy Pardo…

Even though spring hasn’t “officially” begun, I am well under way with the spring cleaning. After the hard stuff is done, I can get to the fun things – like decorating the table!

Centerpieces don’t have to be elaborate flower sculptures to be beautiful. In fact, I find that some of the simplest arrangements using everyday items are the most charming ones. There are no rules; so uses your imagination and have fun!

I’m always looking for creative ideas for centerpieces and while searching I found plenty. I thought that I’d share them with you…

Photographer: Keith Scott Morton

Photographer: Aimee Herring

Photographer: Andrew McCaul

Photographer: Aimee Herring
The above photos are all from Country Living

The above photos are from Martha Stewart

Quilts as table cloths, cupcakes as decorations, watering cans and birdcages as vases  – everyday items used in creative ways to make fabulous centerpieces. What unusual item have you used to create something beautiful for your table?
Cheers to all,
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10 Apr

Royal Design Studio Pinterest Contest!

One of our fab blog sponsors, Royal Design Studio, is holding their very first Pinterest contest — with a $250 Stencil Shopping Spree prize.  Sweet, no?  Do be sure to check their Stencil Ideas blog for full details — all you gotta do is Pin it to Win it!  Of course, please feel free to spread the word and share!  Someone has to win… :)

Click for Details!

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