I'm gearing up for gardening season. Never thought I'd hear myself say that, but it's true!
My Mum has always had hostas in her garden — brass ring, guardian angel, elephant ear — you name it, she's got it. So it's only natural that I've started researching the species for my own garden. And here's interesting facts that I've found:
- According to Plan and Plant, hostas are one of the best plant species for beginner gardeners (yes!)
- Hostas are available in more than 50 varieties
- These plants LOVE shade
Positive factor: Hostas don't require a lot of work, which is a bonus, because when it comes to being a green thumb, I'm a fan of low maintenance plants. Negative factor (at least for me): Hostas thrive in well-shaded areas, which I don't have a whole lot of in my garden (at this point). That being said, I'm going to give this species a try (I'll keep you posted on which varieties), and we'll see how things go.
I've been posting photos of hostas and garden layouts I love on my Pinterest, so check it out to see some of the ways I'm being inspired!
In exactly 10 days, the Mariinsky II grand opening happens in St. Petersburg, and so will begin a whole new era in the history of the famed theatre.
The new Mariinsky Theatre is a work of art, from its Jura limestone exterior with floor-to-ceiling windows to its breath-taking two-story interior lobby with rear-lit onyx stone walls and custom Swarovski chandeliers. From the lobby, a glass staircase connects the entire structure.
The new opera house in St. Petersburg was designed by Jack Diamond and his team at Diamond and Schmitt Architects, the Canadian design firm behind the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto and Maison Symphonique in Montreal. And while initially there was controversy over the building's exterior being too modern and too much a departure from the city's traditional architecture, once you take a look at the inside, the new Mariinsky Theatre proves itself true to classic theatre style. In keeping with the concept of 18th and 19th century opera houses, the Mariinsky II auditorium features a more traditional horseshoe shape as well as three balcony levels, an orchestra pit (with a moveable acoustic wall), and Swarovski accent lights.
For those concerned about the new structure abandoning traditional Russian architecture, Diamond and his team made sure proper homage was paid, and the entire foyer provides views of nearby Dekabristov Street, and more importantly, the original Mariinsky Theatre across the Kryukov canal.
The inaugural opening festivities will include performances by renowned musicians, dancers, and opera singers such as Placido Domingo, Mikhail Petrenko, Diana Vishneva, and the Children's Chorus. The audience attending during the Gala opening May 2-4 is said to include the original Mariinsky Theatre staff, WW II veterans, and members of St. Petersburg's artistic society.
London is just awash with adventure this Summer. Not only is the city playing host to the Summer Olympics, but the Serpentine Gallery is presenting — as part of Festival London 2012 — its twelfth commission in the Gallery's annual architectural program. Open from June 2012 through to October, this year's Pavilion is the product of famed architectural duo Herzog & de Meuron and Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei. The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion marks the first time this trio has collaborated on UK soil.
In a departure from past program's, this year's Pavilion actually allows visitors to analyze the history behind previous Serpentine Pavilion presentations. The design is absolutely extraordinary (just check these photos). For those of you wondering what exactly this great work of art is, here are the answers to the 5 W's on the project:
- Who: The architects who designed the 2012 Pavilion are Swiss design duo Herzog & de Meuron, and Chinese conceptual artist Ai Weiwei. You may remember back in 2008 when the trio created the Bird's Nest Stadium for the Beijing Olympics.
- What: Annual program (in its twelfth year) put on by the Serpentine Gallery
- Where: The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion can be found on the grounds of the Serpentine Gallery in Kensington Gardens, London.
- When: The Serpentine Gallery Pavilion is open from June to October 2012.
- Why: Each year the gallery commissions some of the most famed architects in the universe to create a temporary, seasonal structure that is open to the public during the day and hosts events in the evening such as "Park Nights".
- Also, How: This year's structure was actually created beneath the gallery's lawn, with steps going down into a cork interior. The temporary building has twelve columns that represent each of the previous Pavilions as well as this year's, and also includes an eye-catching floating roof with a reflective pool. Incredible.
Sex and the City lovers, rejoice! The infamous brownstone where Carrie Bradshaw lived during her single days is on the market. While on the show the building interior was portrayed quite differently, the heart of the real brownstone contains some serious historical details. Architect Robert Mook designed the building in 1866. You can head over to Sotheby's International Realty to view the actual listing for the pre-war property, but here are some of my favourite details of 64 Perry Street in the West Village:
- Herringbone wood floors
- More than a handful of fireplaces with carved marble mantles
- Ceiling moldings (Hellooo, look at these pictures!)
- High ceilings (12 feet and higher)
- Double parlours at front and rear of house
I've been searching for the ideal ikat curtains, and these West Elm window panels may be just the ticket.
Available in panel sizes ranging in height from 63 inches to 108 inches, the ikat ogee linen window panel from West Elm is a healthy blend of 55 percent linen and 45 percent cotton. The fabric texture is ideal for window panels, however the fabric thickness leaves something to be desired (for complete opaque coverage you'd need a liner).
What I love about ikat patterns is how they can work in just about any environment. Whether in a dining, living, or sleeping area, ikat patterns act to add interest and depth to a room without being too bold. And the ivory/straw colour of this motif? A calming neutral that will work with just about any colour scheme. The diamond trellis design of these particular West Elm curtains is completely chic and could work in a contemporary or more traditional setting.
These West Elm window panels have a grommet top, so once you find the perfect hardware to complement, you'll be set to install.
It's that easy.
Shop the Look:
Ikat Ogee Linen Window Panel, $73.29-$89.22CAD, West Elm