Friday, June 24, 2011


Location: Drakenstein Valley( Located in the heart of the Cape Winelands about 45min. north of Cape Town, South Africa)

I have wanted to go to South Africa for as long as I can remember. Stumbling across this small vacation property and large farm re-lit the fire inside me. Take a look at the photos below and I'm sure you will see why.

The property is a 17th century Dutch(!love it, obviously) farmyard that was built in the Cape Dutch Tradition. The Cape Dutch style typically includes white-washed stone or brick walls,  thatched roofs and ornate gables. The property features a large farm and guests can enjoy picking their own salads, guided tours through the farm, or a meal at the properties restaurant where they use the materials grown on site.

The simplicity and pureness of the area draws me in and I adore the graphic tile wall in the restaurant where the daily menu is written.
The suites are also beautiful and feature small kitchens where you can prepare your own meals, using fruits and vegetables you picked right outside your door.

All photos copyright Babylonstoren

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Local Favorite: Hubbard Inn

Location: Chicago, IL
Designer: Owners Adolfo Garcia, Daniel Alonso

This beautiful tavern, inspired by travel and tradition is rich with a slight bohemian feel. You could easily assume you were stepping into your well traveled friends library. The space is filled with artifacts, old paintings, gilded fixtures and rich wood. The small plates being served also allow you to experience a bit of everything, much like the interior.

All photos © Grub Street

Monday, June 13, 2011

Virtual Caffeine: Blue Bottle

Name: Blue Bottle Coffee
Location: San Francisco; Mint Plaza

While we have many coffee shops in SF that top the charts for their coffee (our favorite cup of joe comes from Philz on 4th & Berry). One of my favorite stops for coffee shop design is Blue Bottle located in the Mint Plaza. It is clean, modern with just a hint of industrial science lab. Take a look:

(This is how the drip coffee is created, it is a beautiful process)
Image © Scott Beale

Image © Mapplr

Image © Scott Beale

My other favorite Blue Bottle location; The San Francisco Ferry Building. I would grab a cup here every Saturday morning to stroll around the farmers market with.

Image © Jaunted

Friday, June 10, 2011

Bell Book & Candle

Location: New York City, NY
Designer: Grade

Stunning! The space feels moody, intimate and warm and included so many of our favorite features; exposed brick walls, tufted booths, modern artwork and industrial fixtures & furniture. The long community table and open kitchen gives you the impression you are in the middle of all the action. We can image the wonderful chorus of clinking pots and pans would create a wonderful energy to the space and experience. Perfect for catching up with family and friends. We also love that the booths are a bit untraditional in size and can easily fit between six and eight.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Mama Shelter

Name: Mama Shelter
Location: Paris
Designer: Philippe Stark

While stumbling through my daily design blogs I can across a wonderful giveaway currently being hosted by Oh Happy Day!. While I would love the chance to win a trip to Paris, what I found most intriguing was the hotel the winner would be laying their head at. Mama Shelter was designed by Philippe Stark and was created inside a former garage. The feeling is hip, slightly brash,clean, modern with a large technological aspect (think iMac tv's in each room and panels & tables displaying photos & messages you upload).

all photo © Mama Shelter
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