Category Archives: Travel

London Calling – Modenus’ BlogTour 2012

(Cue Violins)

Ok so last month I didn’t win the coveted open spot on Blog Tour London.  You should all be ashamed of yourselves for not voting more and from every device you own.

I forgive you this time around. 

I’m trying not to be a sourpuss but following the Twitter Hashtag #BlogTourLDN and seeing all the awesome pictures (like Christian May sleeping or Patti Johnson in her awesome hat and great heels) makes me a bit jealous.

ANYWAY….

Enough with my sniveling.

I didn’t get to go but there are 14 amazing bloggers and designers that I think it’s time you followed.  If only because over the next few days and weeks you’re going to see a whole heaping lot of Brit design.  All served with pinkie up, with a fresh scone.

Ok maybe not with the scone but if you pour a cuppa tea before you read their posts you might feel like you’re in Jolly Old England.

And sometimes that is all that matters.

So check ‘em out…. And report back would ya?

Igor Josif – Happy Interior Blog

Maryam Montague – My Marrakesh

Nyla Free – Nyla Free Designs

James Bedell – James Bedell – Lighting Designer

Robin Horton – Urban Gardens

Christian May – Maison21

Raina Kattelson – A Stylist’s Life

Jennifer Mehditash – Dec-A-Porter

Lynn Byrne – Decor Arts Now

Patti Johnson* – Chatti Patti Talks Design

Rashon Carraway – Mr. Goodwill Hunting

Cheryl Kees Clendendon – Details and Design

Jill Seidner – Jill Seidner Interior Design

Vitania Liscio – Verdigris Vie

*An Official Member of the DCoop Stalkeratzi!

And if you want to learn more about Blog Tour or the awesome Modenus website…. click here ya’ll!

 

 

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Letter From an Eternal Cynic – 7C

Dear 7C -

I thought I’d settled in for a quiet single hour flight.  I scoped out the perfect endcaps in an otherwise filling airplane – an elderly woman nearly falling asleep in her copy of Fifty Shades, and an off duty pilot.

And then you came along.

The plane was full.  And the pilot?  Well he was just along for the ride.

So you took his place.

And my peace.

Quite possibly my sanity.

Certainly my Bombay Sapphire up with two olives had settled in. But you had a baby.

Cute. But active.

And you?  I was never quite sure if we were experiencing turbulence or if you’d just let yourself drop back into your seat as if someone had simply cut your strings and let you loose like dead weight in a mob movie jostling me back to reality from whatever level of drowsy I’d managed to succumb.  And I’m sure you were attempting crude Morse code with your overhead light (though I’m assuming your wife ten rows back was enjoying her peaceful nap because she never did quite get the message) so wonderfully pointing in my direction.

And lest I forget, I’m a bit of a size queen.  So though you had wonderfully large, potentially delectable shoulders, and I’m sure you use them well, I prefer the full 17.25 inches allotted to me by Southwest.  There are just some places where an inch makes all the difference.

Yours Truly,

An Eternal Cynic

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Me, London, and Blogtour

It’s Wednesday and guess what, it’s raining here in Las Vegas.

I know right?

Rain.

And it was kinda cold. Makes you want to stay in side.

Kinda reminded me of the last time I was in London.

And what I hope it will be like in London again in September when My lovely readers all vote for me to fill in the last remaining spot on The Modenus BlogTour London.

What you say? There is one more spot?

Why yes and it was this morning when I landed that I received the tweet that I’d been “nominated” to join the elite that is BlogTour.

So do your part (pretty please!) and head over to the Blogtour site and vote for yours truly Mr. Brandon Smith.

Because one small London step is a whole ton of photos for you!

Vote here.

Hugs and kisses!

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The Open Road – Pebble Beach

I’m a fan of countdowns. 

They get you excited.  They remind you that something awesome is around the corner.  Though the one downside to countdowns is the inevitable piddle stain on the carpet because you just couldn’t contain your anticipation.

I’m guilty of that from time to time.

Though I have hardwood floors.

And a dog.

It’s easy to blame piddle marks on the dog.

Because she’s a dog.

If you haven’t already noticed, I like to talk about cars on this little ole’ blog of mine.  I can’t help but talk about the Audi R8 or the Bentley EXP concept or the really hideous Aston Martin Lagonda SUV concept.  It might be ugly as all get up but I still want to talk about it.

Which brings me to my own personal countdown.

21 Days. That’s right readers, 21 days and I’ll be off to Carmel for a few days of NOTHING BUT CARS.  Vintage automobiles. Brand new super cars. And of course a little personal one on one time with the Bentley GTC W12. It’s like I’ve died and gone to heaven. I may have to bring more than one change of pants.

So if you notice that there is a little number in the bottom of my blog posts just remember that it’s me getting all excited.

And trying not to piddle on the floor.

Images via [1] [2]

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The Open Road – Ferraris Make Loud Noises

If there is one thing boys do well it is make car noises.

We start out at an early age though typically those early vrooms are more like showers for anyone standing near them than an actual car noise. And as we get older we only perfect the talent.

That is unless we can find an alternative.

One of the great things about Las Vegas is that there are no shortage of experiences waiting around every corner. When I was born here (yes, I’m a native of Nevada….) some 30 years ago the whole idea that was Vegas then was gambling (with real coins and real slot arms) and maybe a bit of Wayne Newton. I distinctly remember getting pawned off on the arcade at the Circus Circus with a few rolls of quarters while my parents were out trying to out luck Lady Luck.

The Las Vegas of the 80s is no longer the Las Vegas of today. A major town for foodies. A mecca for shopping (a woman at Tiffany today told me there are four T&CO locations on the strip within walking distance of each other). A hotspot for entertainers looking to retire.

And my favorite – experiences. I’m all for a great helicopter ride over the strip. Or an insanely sexy dining experience. But as I mentioned, you never know when you will turn a corner and stumble upon something new.

Like a Ferrari F430 GT.

In which an instructor will take you two laps round the Las Vegas Speedway.

Or let you drive five laps round same said Speedway. It would probably be the most expensive 5.5 miles of your life but who the hell cares when you’re behind the wheel of a seriously ferocious red beast capable of hitting 60 miles per hour in just around 3.5 seconds, pushing you back into those very capable racing seats with G-forces of 1.5. Yes. That’s a one. And a point five.

And for those of you into fashion like I am? They dress you. In a matching speed suit. Shut up right?

You know guys…. I do have a birthday coming up.

The Ferrari F430 GT Dream Racing Experience
Starting at $175.00
www.dreamracing.com
Change of pants not included

D.Coop was not compensated for this post.  Though if there was one time I would want to be, it would be now.

Images via Dream Racing.

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Let’s Play a Game – Trade Show Season

Welcome to April!

Oh.  Wait, it’s only March 30th.  Whoops.  Close enough.

As I sit here in my office (staring at the black walls….) I kinda can’t help but cringe a little because my calendar is starting to look like a solid block of multiple colors.  Let’s just say the Gay Pride flag has nothing on my iCal. Seriously.

So anyway, this time of year is about that time of year that all the manufacturers and reps and vendors and salespeople of the world wake from their winter slumber, stretch open their arms and say “Lets go to a trade show!”.

I’m a fan of the trade show.  I love em.  There is something inherently fun about getting on a plane, arriving (freshly pressed…. this can mean drunk or ironed clothes.  I’ll let you make the judgement call) in some new city, wining, dining, talking smack about other vendors, getting back on said plane and then passing out.  Actually, forget the expos, I love the parties.  I can sleep during the expos.  This is why I have manufacturer’s representatives. HA!  Joking. But still… send me invites.  I’ll be there. Like Paris Hilton.

Minus the bubble gum pink Bentley.  Though I’d drive a bubble gum pink Bentley. Seriously.

I’m not joking.

Moving along…. What Trade Show season means for me is that in the next two months I’ll probably start spending more time in a hotel room then my own office.  I personally booked four of them. Am I crazy?  Probably a little. But you should already know that about me.  So just where will Waldo be this season?

KBIS – The Kitchen & Bath Industry Show

Think kitchens.  Lots of kitchens.  Oh.  And baths too.  I’ll be tweeting appliances and faucets and fixtures. Oh My! And if you’re actually at the show, look me up.  There may be a special little event in the works involving me and food.

April 24th – 26th, Merchandise Mart, Chicago Illinois

www.kbis.com

Light Fair International

You know I’m a whore for lighting.  And kind of a geek too.  Light Fair is the perfect melding of both.  We’re talking troffers and light sources and other stuff that really gets my juices going!

May 9th – 11th, Las Vegas Convention Center, Las Vegas Nevada

www.lightfair.com

Hospitality Design Expo

Listen, there aren’t many places where you can look at awesome new hotel decor and get sloshed at the same time.  At least the last time I tried to do this at the Baker showroom I was kicked out.

May 15th – 17th, Sands Expo & Convention Center, Las Vegas Nevada

www.hdexpo.com

ICFF – International Contemporary Furniture Fair

Furniture.  New York City. Enough Said.

May 19th – 22nd, Javits Convention Center, New York City New York

www.ICFF.com

Now I know, there are a sh*t ton of other shows going on at the same time but these are the four I’ve decided to grace with my presence. Expect some tweeting.  Ok, expect a lot of tweeting. And look for me too.  I’d love to chat with you in person (especially if you’re holding a martini for me!).  And of course I’ll wear a T-Shirt with your name on it if you’d like to sponsor any part of my trip :D Takers? No?  Yes?

Well… you now know where to find me.

D.Coop was not compensated in any way for this post.  Though that isn’t saying that I don’t want to be.

 

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Design in the ATL! GuyGirlTravel Dishes on Atlanta’s Hot Spots

Wednesday around these parts is like my sabbath if you haven’t already figured out.

Yes, I avoid doing a post myself like overbearing children avoid eating sugar-free food (or anything green… unless it’s Slime…  or boogers).  I can’t help it.  Let’s call it what it is and just move forward. I know you still love me regardless.

So anyway, I had the most recent pleasure, during this year’s Design Blogger’s Conference in Los Angeles, to meet the wonderful, lovely, talented, insanely beautiful (Claire… did I get in all the adjectives you wanted?) long lost sister.  Needless to say she’s decided to jump into the crazy world of blogging with her new blog A Guy and A Girl Travel the World.  Making you jealous?  Spend some time on her site and you’ll be committing at least two of the seven deadly sins. Lust?  Envy?  Heard of them?

Needless to say, I treat the DCoop Bloggie like a confessional (except for that Boudoir post. And the Kneepad post.  And the… nevermind) so what more could you expect from the Reverend Honorable Brandon then to hand over the orb and scepter to Claire and let her try her hand at making you commit those same sins here.

It’s OK.  I won’t make you say any Hail Marys. But please drop a dollar in the tithe bucket on the way out.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Hello design lovers! I must start by saying that I am not a designer by trade, but I am fascinated by how the eye can look at a space and create something livable, functional and beautiful. As an artist, you are inspired by the life surrounding you whether in your own town or while traveling to another city. That’s where I come in! I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to do so. I recently returned from three amazing weeks in Thailand. (Edit: I told you she was going to make you jealous!)  It was my first trip to Asia and the minute we landed my senses were in overload. The vibrant colors in the meticulously placed tile on the temples, the smell of cooked chicken and burnt rice along the streets, the sound of a million scooters whizzing by in morning rush hour and the ebb and flow of emerald waters makes that every sense melt in its wake. These don’t even begin to touch what is available for the creative mind to draw from by venturing out into a new world.

But today, I am going to show you a little bit of my everyday world. If you love to travel and you love design, then put Atlanta on your list! This southern gem is the region’s go to design destination. We are home to interior masterminds Suzanne Kasler, Charles Neal, Brian Watford, Décor Demon creator Brian Patrick Flynn and Heery International. When you are in town, there are two major areas to find the best in furniture and accessories.

Buckhead

Huge homes, old money, great restaurants and the soon to be “Rodeo Drive” of the south all reside in the Buckhead area. Set inside the perimeter, it’s also where you will find Atlanta Decorative Arts Center.

If you are a designer and haven’t visited ADAC, book your ticket now! The site states “the ADAC campus consists of 550,000 square feet with 60 showrooms offering 1,200 of the industry’s finest product lines…” Having been there, I can tell you that this “campus” is more of a playground.  Eyes dance across the ceilings lined with luminous chandeliers, hands graze the rows of luxurious fabrics and you will find yourself saying ‘I want that and that and that and that.’ If the showroom hopping leaves you hungry, they have a little café called The Hungry Peach that serves up a delicious breakfast and lunch.

Want more fun? Boxwoods Gardens & Gifts Inc. brings outdoor and indoor delights. From the outside, this cottage store looks cute and quaint, but inside it is an antiques and garden mecca. With every turn of a corner there are little pieces of heaven.

Kathy over at Live the Fine Life wrote a lovely piece with great photos on her blog here. (edit: in case you were curious, Kathy is Claire’s awesomesauce mom!)

Another great spot to add to your list is the popular Miami Circle. Full of antiques, artists and more, this area is known for its fabulous selection of both new and old. It’s open to the public and trade six days a week (select few open on Sunday).

Shop for a bit, and then walk over to Eclipse di Luna for some tapas and sangria. Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your purchases after consuming the sangria. It goes down a little too easy and you may wakeup with buyer’s remorse.

West Midtown Design District

Knoll, Mary Bairstow Designs, SWITCH Modern and Masterpiece Lighting are just a few of the design spaces in this newly developed design district. This area is a true eat, work, live, play epicenter. Here are some must do and see places:

Stay:

Artmore Hotel: Renovated in a 1924 Spanish Mediterranean building, this boutique hotel brings southern hospitality with a modern twist to Midtown Atlanta. The courtyard and bar are a must for an afternoon Moscow Mule or Champagne cocktail.

Shop:

 

Savvy Snoot: Lovely consignment shop full of reasonably priced finds.

SWITCH Modern: Lots of thoughtfully constructed pieces in this store including Arne Jacobsen Egg Armchair.

Maison Atlanta: Furniture and accessories for every home and personal style.

Room & Board: This is always a great place to stop whether you are looking for something specific or just want to look. Make sure you seek out the sale section for pillows, art, rugs, etc.

Forsyth Fabrics: Wake up your senses in this fabric lover’s store. From the classic to the questionable, every style, color and type of fabric you could dream of is in this store. Hit their sale section too for some incredible deals.

 

Eat:

Abbatoir: A personal favorite of ours, this farm to table restaurant doesn’t waste a bit of anything in the kitchen. To start, order the Ceci peas with cumin salt (fried chickpeas) and the pommes frites with duck fat mayo. Then go crazy with the rest because everything is so good.

West Egg Café: Great for breakfast or brunch. Get there early if you don’t want to wait because they don’t take reservations.

Octane Coffee Bar & Lounge: Caffeine up for your shopping trip here. The coffee is wonderful and the french press serves up a good amount for a low price. If coffee isn’t your thing, then stop by in the afternoon for a cocktail.

Flip Burger Boutique: Top Chef winner Richard Blais has transformed your everyday burger here. For dessert, try my favorite burnt marshmallow nutella shake. You won’t regret it.

If you bring the family along with you, there are plenty of things to do to keep them busy while you comb through the design goodies. A CityPass is the most economical way to visit the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca Cola, Inside CNN Studio Tour, High Museum of Art and Zoo Atlanta for $49! Also, LEGOLAND Disovery Center just opened in Buckhead and will be a huge attraction for all ages.

Atlanta is a great city all around but if you can’t make it here, I encourage traveling anywhere. There is an amazing life waiting for you to discover, explore and inspire.

Thank you Brandon for letting me chat a bit about design in our little city. Contact me if you have questions or need recommendations @guygirltravel on Twitter!

Photos via:Portman Holdings, Live the Fine Life, Artmore Hotel, White Provisions, Revitalizing Places

D.Coop was not compensated for this post. Though Expedia may be making a little money.

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