Monthly Archives: August 2013

Pool Love

Living in a warmer climate allows for outdoor time throughout the year. Many homes here in South Florida have a pool of some sort. Most of the time it’s a basic pool with a deck. However, I want to give you some inspiration. Whether you want to install a pool or want to revamp your current one,  I want you to take the images below and think about what you would like to do with your space.

These images show that landscaping around your pool space will add a lot of appeal to the space.

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Having a playful space for the kids as well as the adults will provide hours of laughter and entertainment. Using a trampoline instead of a diving board is genius idea!

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How about a poolside movie experience? Just get some great rafts and floating drink cooler and you’re set!

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Adding elements like lights or floating orbs allows you to doubling your pool area as entertainment space.

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Another way to add a lot of pizzazz is by using your pool tile as an artistic element. It may be a bit more in the budget, however the wow factor is well worth it.

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How about a beach like entrance to your pool? I love how this looks, and it’s easy for kids or older folks.

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If you have a big budget here are some amazing inspiration photos to pin on your wish list.

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Whether you choose a traditional pool or something more elaborate, remember this will be a space that you can utilize for more than just swimming. Use the design of this space as an outdoor room that you want to show off and enjoy over and over.

Post written by Jennifer Harris of JLHWordsmith.com

Marble Sculptural Art

When you think marble sculptural work, is the first thing that comes to your mind, people’s bodies/heads? Have you seen them at museums and on TV/movies? You might be surprised to see some of art people are now creating with this versatile material. Keep in mind that if you have an idea the staff at Real Stone and Granite can more than likely get it done for you!

This mix of black semi dipped on white granite make this raven a great focal piece and a different take on just the classic white sculptures.

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Artist Ai Weiwei has thought far outside the box of normal marble sculpture by making replicas of clothes and a sweatshirt hooded person sitting in lotus pose being watched with security cameras.

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Artist Elizabeth Turk takes marble to another level. She creates abstract art that seems like one thing but is really something different yet so beautiful. It doesn’t matter that you can’t tell what it is.

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Here is a video showing her at work

Xavier Corbero’s amazing installation piece light this white marble hall and brings your eye to the fire like element inside the piece. 

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There is inlay art which has been shown in earlier posts, but I wanted to revisit. Taking inspiration from paintings different color marble and granite can be used to create replications. There is a lot of thought and trial and error when creating a piece like this. Finding the right stone for the various elements takes time, but a piece like this makes a huge impact in a room.

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Japanese artist and architect Yutaka Sone carved an intricate sculpture of miniature Manhattan entirely out of marble. Using photographs, Google Earth images, and references after experiencing several helicopter rides. The chiseled work is impressively detailed for its small size and one of the most beautiful “maps” of the city.

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Thinking outside the box with stone, granite and other natural resources is key when you want to bring unique elements into your home. The cost may be higher, however the benefit of an amazing conversation piece is priceless.

Written by Jennifer Harris of JLHwordsmith.com

Kitchen Gadgets

Today I wanted to share some cool new kitchen gadgets. All of these are available in the US and a quick search online will bring them up.

Breville Elements Premium Four Slice Toaster

This toaster has all the bells and whistles. It has an internal smart chip that lowers bread into the toasting slots with a single touch and also regulates the toasting time. On the “a bit more” setting bread is automatically lowered for additional toasting time. The auto lift and look feature automatically raises the bread carriage during toasting without canceling or resetting the cycle. This enables you to view, and if necessary, cancel the browning cycle at any time.

The LED panel illuminates according to the selected setting on the variable browning control. The display acts as a toasting progress indicator, counting down how long is left in the toasting cycle. Four wide slots accommodate waffles, bagels or toast. Defrost, reheat, bagel and cancel functions.

Cuisinart Ice Cream Duo

Do your family’s tastes differ? This double-action ice cream maker will keep everyone happy by churning two “flavas” simultaneously. Takes 20 minutes to make, but you must pre-freeze bowls.

RSVP Onion Goggles

I know I’m not the only one out there that hates cutting onions! Say goodbye to tearing, stinging, irritated eyes when chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing onions and their relatives—leeks, scallions and chives. Wearing the stylish and comfortable Onion Goggles will protect the eyes from irritating onion vapors. The soft foam seal keeps out the nasty onion vapors. Kitchen folklore remedies such as burning candles or matches, slicing onions under water and freezing the onions before cutting are not effective.

Aladdin Tea Infuser Mug

I love tea, and much of my tea is loose leaf, however traveling with loose leaf tea is a bit of a challenge. This mug allows you to quickly make your tea and get on the road.Works with loose tea, tea bags and coarse ground coffee. Microwaveable–no tea kettle required, Convenient snap-shut lid, fits in standard car cup holder. Made of BPA-free plastic; dishwasher safe

I hope that you will take a more detailed look at some of these great items and possibly buy some for yourself or for someone else as a gift.

Written by Jennifer Harris of JLHwordsmith.com

Fireplaces

Here in South Florida we do not get many opportunities to use a fireplace. However it is one of the quintessential cozy feel good places in a home if you do have one. To have the chance to curl up next to a warm fire with a cup of tea and a book, or having drinks and great conversation with friends. A lit fireplace is like piece of art that is always changing, so having a beautiful mantel/hearth will accentuate a fire’s natural beauty.

If you have a fireplace that needs updating, or wanting to install a new one, the images I’m going to share with you should help you think outside the box.

In this first set the use of a mix of mediums can give you a very interesting focal point. Adding a slight recess in the wall  give you additional play of light when the fire is lit. Or using materials to make a unique pattern is artistic will definitely stand out immediately when guests enter the room.

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Marble is a great classic choice and comes in a wide array of colors and choices. You can also have the stone cut in sculptural designs to give extra visual appeal.

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Outdoor fireplaces are also a great option for those who have the space to entertain, especially in climates that allow for time outside more often than not.

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And of course don’t for the unusual and weird. These will be sure to start a conversation all on their own!

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Whatever you decide to do with your space, make sure it’s inviting and that it’s only purpose is not just to warm the space but also to create a warm environment that welcomes relaxation.

Written by Jennifer Harris of JLHwordsmith.com