Design: Flowers in Sinks

One way I see kitchens styled is with flowers in the sink. The photos look so pretty. In reality, it’s rarely as picturesque. Who agrees? When I bring flowers home, my sink is full of stems and leaves. The flowers are also in the sink for less than 5 minutes. But photos of flowers in kitchen sinks looks so pretty!

Monika Hibbs via The 36th Avenue

Real Estate: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

Every time Suzanne Dimma, former Editor of House & Home magazine, travels to Mexico, I’m impressed. Each photo makes me want to hop on a plane and explore! Suzanne and her sister recently bought a place in San Miguel de Allende, and they’ve begun renovating. Suzanne recently launched her website and blog, so you can read about some of her updates of Casa Louise (and other projects) there.

All this to say that I went down a research journey into San Miguel, and I came across some gorgeous properties for sale. The patios and greenery are what drew me in, but the luxurious finishes, wine cellar, and spa-like bathrooms are what kept me there!

Casa Joven, $3,150,000USD, Sotheby’s Realty

Travel: 10 Resources for Travel Planning

How do you plan for your trips? What online or offline resources do you use? I guess the sites and books you read may depend on where you are going, your budget, and what you’d like to do. Many of my trips include design-friendly stops in shops and hotels, a touch of luxe (as much as my budget allows), cultural activities, architecture, and food. As such, I go to books and sites that suit my interests and are curated for people like me.

Here are some of my go-to sites.

1.Expedia.ca. I book many flights and hotels via Expedia.ca. I’ve been a repeat customer ever since the site started.

2. Google Flights. I have recently added Google Flights to my travel planning list. It’s easy to navigate, and I like seeing the different price options on the calendar.

3. Trip Advisor. I go to Trip Advisor for hotel and food reviews. I think people are generally honest and want to help each other out.

4. Design*Sponge. After my flight is booked, I generally stop at Design*Sponge. Here, I can learn about interesting places to see, shop, and eat, and familiarize myself with districts that might appeal to me for a spot to stay in, too.

5. Architectural Digest. This isn’t a site for the budget traveler, but I often learn a lot about architecture, design shops, and restaurants that appeal to me on the Architectural Digest site. I make note of locations they’re in, too, as this might help me narrow down hotel locations.

6. GOOP. Like Architectural Digest, this isn’t a site intended for the budget traveler. But GOOP usually has a great round-up of recommendations for cultural sights, shopping, and restaurants for design aficionados. I read up on GOOP and narrow down options that fit with my interests and budget.

7. Aesop. Okay. This one might seem a bit odd. A while ago, I came across a tweet that was something like “I choose hotel locations based on Aesop locations.” I thought it was an interesting tweet. Essentially, this traveler (who I cannot remember) suggested that Aesop – the store for high-end lotions and potions – opens up in design-friendly neighbourhoods. Likely, according to this person, if there’s an Aesop, it means that there are design-y hotels and restaurants not too far away. So, yes, now, sometimes, I do a search for Aesop stores. Partly because I’m curious. Partly because I am testing out a random tweeter’s hypothesis.

8. Travel & Leisure. The Travel & Leisure magazine is great. The website is pretty great, too. This is one of my go-to stops as I plan my journeys as the guides and articles are curated by travel lovers!

9. 1000 Places to See Before You Die. My sister gave me this book many years ago. I always consult it when I’m in the planning stages. I love highlighting things I’ve seen and done post-travels, too.

10. Travel guides. I continue to take out travel books from the library when I’m headed to a new location. I know so much information is readily available online, but I still like gathering up a ton of books from the library to read up on where I’m going. After years of travel, Lonely Planet and Eyewitness travel guides remain my usual picks.