Tuesday, March 30, 2010


I am just GaGa over this kitchen.



It’s so springy! I love the farmhouse sink, the dark cabinets, the dark trim on the windows, and of course all the yellow accents and the milk glass. What else? Oh there’s the wood table for an island, and marble countertops which I have decided are a must for my dream kitchen. I’ve read a lot about them (pros, cons, opinions) and have decided that they are worth the little bit of extra effort. And like Genevieve Gorder (my Trading Spaces idol) says, they’ve been used for centuries, so what could be wrong with a product like that?

What are some things I might change? Well, I’m not so sure about the hood over the range. I think I’d need to see it in person to be convinced. In fact, I’d like to see the rest of this house! Where did this image come from? Geez, I neglected to source it! I emailed it to myself last week from Apartment Therapy and now I can’t find it through a search. I +think+ it came from a Country Living article?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Today is the greatest

Today has really been a great one, full of good news from old friends, new discoveries, and amazing connections.  I just love the blog-world.  If you had told me last year that this blog would lead me to this many powerful and affirming experiences, I never would have believed you.  But I’m glad Dr. Jay talked me into starting it, as I am with most things he talks me into.

What am I babbling about? Well, for one thing, the universe spoke to my question and I now have an answer.  The architect of Twomey Cellars in Healdsburg, California is Jacques Ullman.  The project won an AIA Chapter design award in 2004 and is featured in Wineries II:  Architecture and Design.  Mr. Ullman somehow found my post on the winery (which was originally called Roshambo) and answered my question in the comments section.  Thanks, Mr. Ullman!  If we make it back out to Northern California, I will definitely look you up.  And thank you, blog-world, for making the universe seem a little smaller once again.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Happy Spring


It’s finally here!  After 4 long months of cold and dark, it’s finally Spring here in northern Virginia.  And so the allergies commence!  Frankly, I had forgotten how bad my allergies can be because I’ve been on medication for them for several years.  Now, in my delicate state, I can’t take my regular prescription strength allergy meds and have been relying (miserably) on over-the-counter and home remedies.  The past two weeks have been kind of a haze due to Benedryl, Zyrtec, and sleepless nights, but I think I’m back in business thanks to a new allergist and a new prescription.

All my sinus woes got me thinking about how many things I’d become complacent about in our living situation because I was relying on medication.  There are many things you can do to avoid allergens in your home, from the construction of the house to its decoration.  I thought I’d list some in case it can help anyone else suffering the plight of allergies.

To clarify, I am allergic to both indoor (dust, mold, cat hair, etc) and outdoor (tree pollen) irritants.  I get all the classic symptoms:  itchy eyes, itchy throat, sneezing, post-nasal drip, and even (though rarely) hives.  Here is a list of things you can do in your home to mitigate the number of allergens in your home:

-Remove carpet in bedrooms, especially if your home is slab on-grade.  Moisture can seep through the concrete and and become trapped between the concrete and the carpet, causing mold and mildew which often goes undetected.  Hardwood or hard-surface floors are best because they are easier to clean and are less likely to trap allergens like dust.

- Avoid using heavy curtains or draperies, which can attract mold, dust-mites and bacteria.  Use lightweight curtains or shades which can be easily cleaned.

- If you have pets, bathe them frequently during high-pollen season, or at least wipe them down after they’ve been outside.  Don’t allow them to sleep on your bed or get on the furniture, which will only bring any pollen or dander on them closer to you.  We’ve just recently made this change in our house and I think it’s worked wonders.

- Minimize soft furnishings and excessive decor in your home, which only collect dust.

- Vacuum often (if carpets and rugs are present) and preferably with a vacuum that has a Hepa filter, which is designed to filter particles like dust and cat dander.

- Maintain your air conditioner and change the filter frequently, also using a high filtration system if possible.

- Use allergen-impermeable covers on your pillows and mattress and wash all sheets, blankets and mattress pads in hot water (130 degrees) at least every two weeks.

-Remove your shoes upon entering the house as they can track in dust and pollen they’ve picked up outside.

Hope you are enjoying the change of seasons.  Happy Spring!


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Happy St. Patty’s Day


This is what pregnant ladies do with their wine glasses: drink green smoothies.  That wine glass is one of my favorites, not only because it’s extra large, but because it reminds me of our trip to San Francisco and Northern California last January.  We visited the Twomey Cellars winery in Healdsburg, California and it’s the site of the Babble’s header photography.  I was blown away by the design of the building, which takes advantage of incredible views of their vineyards in the Russian River Valley.  I know the architect is local to the area, but I can’t seem to find it listed online.  Does anyone know who designed this building?

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Weekend Thoughts

We're in New York this weekend spending time with good friends. I wanted offer a few thoughts I had yesterday, but didn't get a chance to post:
Just a few Friday things on my mind. First of all, I found my new favorite song of the moment when I was searching for "White Liar" by Miranda Lambert on GrooveShark this morning. If you haven't checked out Grooveshark, try it! You can search for practically any song and make a play list to listen to for FREE. I've really liked White Liar lately (yes, I was born and raised in Georgia and still have a country station preset in my car) so I thought I'd see if Ms. Lambert had anything else I might enjoy. She DOES. My new favorite song right now is called Airstream Song. Go take a listen. Another thing that's been on my mind this morning: Sierra Leone. Meg Duerksen of the Whatever blog (another favorite inspiration of mine) traveled there last week on a mission trip. Her first set of internet-published photos came out this morning, and they speak volumes. I've traveled in third world countries, and her photos are still shocking, moving, brave and sweet. Visit her blog today and have your outlook changed.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

And the pillow goes to…

Wow, you guys must have really like those pillows!  Thanks to everyone that participated.  It’s been really fun to read the comments, and I loved that there was such a nice distribution of tastes.

Without further adieu, the winner of a brand new pillow from AllModern.com is:


ZigZag Pillow in Brown

Suzy chose the Zig-Zag pillow from Twinkle Living, and in her words:

I like the zig zag pillow and would put it in the rocking chair in our soon to be completed nursery.

That’s exactly what I would do with it, Suzy!

Suzy, please send me an email with your shipping information and we’ll get the pillow on its way to your nursery.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

the Babble’s first giveaway

Happy Wednesday everyone! Today is a special day for Architecture Babble because I am hosting my first ever reader giveaway! A few weeks ago I was contacted by a cool company that sells lots of fabulous stuff, everything from kids bedding to swanky modern furniture. Lately, I’ve been checking out the selection of crib sheets and retro/modern nursery furniture. They’ve got some pretty great stuff, like the Eames rocker.

image_RAR The generous folks at the CSN stores (who own cool sites like AllModern.com and AllChildrensFurniture.com) have offered one of my lucky readers a chance to sample one of their products. I chose three pillows from AllModern.com, and all you have to do is leave a comment.

ZigZag Pillow in Brown Chrysanthemums Pillow in Green Juniper Square Pillow in Aqua

(from L to R: Zig-Zag pillow from Twinkle Living, Green Chrysanthemums pillow from Thomas Paul, and Juniper Square pillow from Unison)

I'm psyched about these options and would love to win any one of them. Sadly, I cannot enter this giveaway, but YOU CAN!

Here’s how to enter to win your choice of the above pillows: -Leave a comment on this post telling me which pillow you like best and where or how you will use it. -Contest will be open until 8 pm on Thursday, March 11, 2010. -I'll randomly select a winner (using a random number generator) and announce it on the blog on Thursday evening. -Contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents only (sorry to my international readers).

Thanks for reading and good luck!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

my Etsy find

Last week I was browsing on Etsy (and thinking why don’t I buy everything from Etsy?) and caved with this purchase.


(Click for source)

It arrived yesterday and I’m pretty excited about it. This vintage-style map of North America is paired with a Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and I plan for it to hang in (drumroll please) our Nursery! Yes, I’m making the official blog announcement that we are expecting our first child in July. We are blissful and happy, and hopefully my condition explains the sporadic nature of the blog these past few months. We’re beginning to figure out a nursery design (in the room that is currently an office/guest room), so plan to see upcoming posts on that front. I’m tending towards bolder colors as opposed to pastels, and we aren’t finding out the sex of our little one until the big day, so that is a fun, creative challenge as well.

Please come back tomorrow- I’ll have another (not quite as) exciting announcement and a first for the Babble.

Friday, March 5, 2010

the blueprint chair

Is it crazy that I want this chair just because it's called the blueprint chair? Well, that and it's on sale. I know exactly which over-sized pleather office chair this can replace (sorry, Dr. Jay). Find it at CB2.com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Miami Vacay

We returned Tuesday from a short but well worth it trip to Miami over the weekend.  Rudy is helping me unpack.


That fur to the right of him is his pelt.  Don’t ask.

We were able to get some much-needed sunshine, eat Cuban food (thanks Amy and Max!), swim, fish, and be inspired by architecture.

Here are a few of the photos I took in the Art Deco District on Sunday morning.  Tip for all you vacation photographers: Sunday morning is the best time to capture a city because there are fewer people and less traffic, and if you time it right you can get great light.  We probably should have gotten up a little earlier for the best light in a sunny city like Miami, but hey, we were on vacation.

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Miami 007

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This next one might be my favorite of the old hotels.

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Here’s where we stayed. 

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Just kidding.  We didn’t stay there.  But we drooled over this strip of hotels from the beach.

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I absolutely loved this one (above).  Isn’t that little balcony amazing?  It’s the Ritz-Carlton, so I tried not to get too attached.

Just that morning I was thinking how much I like terrazzo flooring, and lo and behold we came across this:

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That’s not your average terrazzo, friends.  The embedded stones are huge.  Here’s a scale photo with my sandy foot in it.  Keep in mind I have freakishly large feet.

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These steps are gorgeous and belong to the Hotel Gansevoort (designed by the Stephen B. Jacobs Group) which we checked out in search of a restroom.   We were directed to their coffee bar, Cafe Bustelo, which turned out to be A-mazing.

Rows and rows of their coffee line the walls to the tall ceiling.

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It is beautifully designed, and great for people-watching. 

Just across the street (Collins Road) is the property I’d be interested in purchasing and redeeming:

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Anyone want to go in on an investment property?   This one’s a winner: prime location and great mid-century bones.

One last architecture photo from the trip.

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That’s a parking garage.  Isn’t it astoundingly cool?

Nothing  like a trip to a new city to gain some inspiration.  Miss you already, Miami.