Welcome to Monday Funday, 4th Edition!

It’s time for Monday Funday, Stiletto-istas, when The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions about home beach houses/decor and celebrities/movies/TV all into a single fun post!

So, who are the lucky ducks who managed to guess the answer to last week’s Monday Funday pop quiz, about a rom-com starring Diane Keaton and Jack Nicholson as a sparring odd couple inadvertently thrown together – and eventually falling in love – in her Hamptons beach house? A couple of you wrote in with the correct answer and it is, “Something’s Gotta Give”, of course! We love that movie and yes, we LOVE that beach house probably even more, hahaaa!

pop this DVD in, grab a bucket of popcorn and call me…maybe?

So for this week’s pop quiz…are you Stiletto-istas ready???

This Monday Funday is especially dedicated to the fashionistas out there: this world-renowned fashion designer has made his fame and fortune by making us all hanker for his all-American, now iconic preppy designs. Back when I was in high school, all I wanted to own was one of his polo shirts with its sought after logo on the upper left hand side of the chest. It was considered the epitome of preppy cool…(sigh! chuckle)…and all these years later, astoundingly, it still is!

From clothes, shoes and bags, perfumes and sportswear, his global fashion brand empire now includes bed and bath linens, home decor and accessories, all designed to inspire the all-American spirit and lifestyle. What’s made his success all the more remarkable is how, in spite of his fame, the spectacular homes around the world and his billions, this designer has remained very much a devoted family man, husband and father, still married to the same woman for 40 years and having raised three extremely goodlooking, well-adjusted and highly successful (in their own right) children, one of whom now works in his company. Are you starting to guess now who this designer could be?

Check out this designer’s spectacular beach house on the Caribbean island of Jamaica below – all images courtesy of Architectural Digest – and you may recognize some of his home fashion accessories in these photos:

touches of chinoiserie give the beach house an exotic Asian feel

high ceilings, an antique mirror & chandelier gives grandeur to this living room but the reading nook in the corner does make it warm & cozy

a closer look at the reading nook…sigh! makes you want to slip off those shoes & just curl up on thos pink & turquoise cushions, huh?

I have an ongoing obsession with directors’ chairs (I have 2 at home that I picked up at a New York flea market & which I love) and the ones in white canvas on this patio are just so beachy-chic!

just adore how tropical this bedroom looks, with the bamboo & wicker furnishings, white linens & mosquito net…according to the magazine, the floor matting is made of banana (!). reminds me of jute actually…

genius idea…of course a beach house has to have a screening room!!! the rich polished mahogany is gorgeous & will only look more beautiful with age…

Isn’t this beach house just to die for? What I’ve shown you here are interior shots of the main house of this designer’s beach holiday home compound…this family compound in Jamaica also has a stunning guest cottage, the interiors of which I’ll show you when we reveal the identity of this fashion designer.

TELL ME – can you guess who it is??? Let’s play Monday Funday, y’all!!!

Snuggle Up: 8 Cozy Cottage Bedrooms to Inspire You

summer lovin’…

Buenos dias, Stiletto-istas! I absolutely love lazy summer weekend mornings, waking up to the sound of birds chirping, soft breeze and gentle morning sunlight caressing the trees outside, cup of coffee in hand and having all the time in the world to browse through the latest on my blog’s Reader (which aggregates posts from blogs that I follow). This morning, this is what caught my eye…

It’s Monday Funday Time, 3rd Edition!

It’s Monday once again, our dear Stiletto-istas, and that means one thing: Monday Fundays! Where The Bamboo Stiletto combines her obsessions for to-die-for beach houses/holiday homes, addiction to the movies/TV and celebrity gossip, all into one single fun post!

Did you figure out the answer to last week’s Monday Funday pop quiz ? We asked for the name of the blonde Hollywood actress who became a rom-com star after headlining three of the late Nora Ehpron’s biggest blockbusters and whose envy-inducing Martha’s Vineyard beach house we managed to get a peek into, courtesy of Elle Decor. One of our readers wrote in with the correct answer…yay! yes, it’s Meg Ryan, of course!

Actress Meg Ryan relaxes outside her sophisticated yet homey beach house in Martha’s Vineyard

This week, we’re going to test your Hollywood movie trivia skills once again as we visit the set of one of The Bamboo Stiletto’s favourite Nancy Meyer films. Director Nancy Meyer seems to have specialized in making movies featuring production sets of the most gorgeous homes for us to drool over.

For instance, how many of you can remember the house from the Steve Martin classics “Father of the Bride” and its sequel “Father of the Bride II” when they added the baby’s nursery into the house? How about something more recent, like the house from that hilarious Meryl StreepAlec Baldwin starrer, “It’s Complicated“? I can’t remember the exact details of the movie or if Meryl Streep ended up with her rogue ex Alec Baldwin or promising new romance Steve Martin, but dear me in heaven, do I remember her beautiful Santa Barbara ranch-style Mediterranean!

In today’s Monday Funday, browse through the beautiful pics of this divine Hamptons beach house below – and tell me if you recognize which movie it comes from (all images courtesy of another The Bamboo Stiletto addiction, the Hooked on Houses blog):

the charming living room, so stylish it warranted a feature in “Architectural Digest” magazine

here’s another look at that living room, with lights dimmed during an evening storm

such a cozy dining room!

love, love, love this reading nook in the library…sail away, sail away, sail away…

THE showpiece in the house…I mean, this kitchen is just a stunning beaut!

the main character’s master bedroom, with the gorgeous bay windows framing her cute little home office, where she works as a writer. when Herr Hubby & I watched this movie and I saw this home office, I told him: “that’s what I want to do for the rest of my life, write and work from home…and I want a home office like that to do it in.” he patted my hand & said: “then you shall have it, my love.” hahahaaaa!

By now, you may have recognized the house already and may be racking your brains for the movie’s title. Soooooo…to make it easier, it is only the beginning of the week after all and we don’t want to frazzle you too much, here’s a photo of the movie’s main stars and a short plot synopsis below:

Divorced writer Diane Keaton and notorious playboy bachelor Jack Nicholson “Meet Cute” at her Hamptons beach house when he is invited to be her daughter’s weekend date then unexpectedly extends his visit due to a heart attack while on premises. He convalesces in her guestroom while daughter (the always cute Amanda Peet) heads back to Manhattan and his hunky heart specialist (played with heartthrob soulfulness by Keanu Reeves) seems to be showing special interest in the lady of the house. As Jack and Diane spend more time together in the house and on the beach while he recovers, all kinds of comical and romantic “complications ensue”, as they say in screenplay lingo.

Have you figured out the title of this romantic comedy yet??? Let us know…for our 3rd edition of Monday Fundays! C’mon, don’t be shy, we would LOVE to hear from you 🙂

Staycation? Escape with a Reading Nook at Home

grab a book, get comfy…and sail away, sail away, sail away…

Not all of us are fortunate enough to go away to the beach or travel on an exotic holiday this summer. The next best thing? Indulge in a “staycation” and escape by creating a cool, cozy reading nook right within your own home then curl up with your favourite summer read. Haven’t read it yet (and not sure if I actually will) but, “Fifty Shades of Grey”, anyone?

Here’s a few excellent practical tips from our favourite addiction – the Apartment Therapy blog – about how to create the ultimate summer escape in your own home:

Cool, Cozy Reading Nooks Creating an Escape at Home | Apartment Therapy.

Summer project, love it! Anyone doing this with me?

I managed to convince Herr Hubby to come and window shop with me at Phinns Casa, a high-end lifestyle store in Guangzhou specializing in premium antiques, quality furniture, home accessories and fine art, simply because I had heard so much about it. Once I spotted a flyer in our residential compound’s clubhouse, I thought, that’s it, I’m dragging him kicking and screaming out there.

I thought I had a pretty clear idea where the shop location was, but we still ended up getting lost and after a half hour of asking for directions, we finally found the (well-hidden) shop. Yay!

facade of the Phinns Casa showroom in the Yangcheng Creative Zone. be warned: this place can be hazardous to your bank account! 🙂

For all his initial reluctance to go, Herr Hubby ended up enjoying himself as much as I did. One thing we do share is a love for artfully mixing an eclectic combination of Western interiors and European-designed furniture (especially Italian & Scandinavian) with Chinese and other Asian furniture and accent pieces.

Meantime, I was beside myself with excitement! Once we entered the cavernous Phinns Casa showroom, a young lady emerged and handed us a form with a pencil. This was in case we spotted anything we liked, then all we had to do was jot down the item number. How thoughtful! I hated disappointing her since we were only there to browse…

And browse we did! Their showroom sprawled out over two storeys. On the first floor, amongst the jumble of furniture, treasures and knick knacks, they had carefully curated and “staged” sets showcasing their furniture, home decor and accessories collections, e.g. a living room, a dining room, a study, a bedroom, a child’s bedroom, etc.  Very clever. You could so easily imagine the “sets” in your own tropical home (or, beach house) that you simply wanted to buy the entire set! Oh, desire and longing magnified…!

On the second floor were more jumbles of furniture strewn about but what surprised me was some wooden furniture were simply left out in the open (a section of the second floor had no walls) and were completely exposed to the humid Guangzhou air and ferocious sunshine!

Then, we stumbled upon an enclosed room with a sign that said:” Collectors’ Items”. Here they had stored all the majorly SERIOUS items; I guess these were all genuine Chinese antiques. All were labeled meticulously, mostly 18th century, in beautiful woods such as elm and oak and with stratospheric prices to match, ranging from USD 10,000 per piece to USD 20,000 per piece and even upwards. You couldn’t help but touch these pieces reverently.

Photography was not allowed in the showroom, including the Collectors’ Items room, but I took a few surreptitious snaps with my iPhone anyway (couldn’t help it!):

Downstairs, Herr Hubby had his eye on this handsome bar counter below- which I must admit would look really good in our Guangzhou apartment’s dining room, where we’ve already placed our wine refrigerator and bar cart trolley, and this could do double duty as a buffet sideboard:

I was absolutely tickled by this gorgeous, French country style wooden writing desk below which had a NAME! And guess what it’s name was: DIANE. Yes, isn’t it just insanely apt???

the Diane writing desk. uh, in case anyone out there is feeling generous, my birthday is in December…Tiffany antique lamps optional.

By far the most astounding piece we saw in there was this eye-catching Chinese bridal carriage:

madame, your carriage awaits!

Get a load of the intricate carvings on the doors:

Then, when the doors are opened…voila! The bridal carriage does not contain a nearly-suffocated bride but actually transforms into a very unique bar, with shelving especially made for storing bottles:

Here’s what the bridal carriage-bar looks like in someone’s living room (I swiped this photo below from the Phinns Casa catalogue). Although the carriage exterior is slightly different from the one we saw in the showroom, we can still see what a striking conversation piece it makes. According to the catalogue, one of my neighbors in our compound (who obviously has a lot of dough to drop) actually has this thing in their friggin living room, can you believe it?

I’d probably be a bit freaked out though if I had that sitting in my living room, especially at night. I’d always be imagining some poor ghost bride trapped in there just waiting to jump on me and scare me to death!

Anyway, so that capped off our highly imaginative and entertaining visit to the Phinns Casa showroom. Here’s how to get there: the showroom is located inside the Yangcheng Creative Zone, a funky but somewhat dilapidated art and design area in Tianhe district. Just get on Huangpu Dadao and head off in the direction of Metro supermarket and the B&Q big-box store. By cab from Zhujiang New Town, expect to pay RMB 30 or thereabouts (about USD 5). The Guangzhou metro does not go that way at all; there are numerous buses from what we saw but we didn’t explore that option.

The Yang Cheng Creative Zone entrance is sandwiched between the B&Q and a gas station. The first thing you will see is an Acura car sales showroom (funny thing to have in a creative zone, but well…). You will also see this sign:

So…will you be checking out Phinns Casa anytime soon? What will you buy???

Thank God It’s Eye Candy Friday: A Labour of Love in Bali

Welcome to our first edition of Eye Candy Fridays! Where The Bamboo Stiletto features real beach houses owned by real people (as opposed to those production sets that appear in the movies/TV), so that we all have something to fantasize about over the weekend!

Our Eye Candy Friday debut takes us to the mythical Island of the Gods – Bali, Indonesia – where a young AustralianFilipino couple, let’s call them “Tuan” and “Ibu”, has succeeded in living an idyllic island lifestyle that most of us can only dream about.  Previous residents of Indonesia’s capital of Jakarta and of Thailand’s holiday island of Phuket, Tuan and Ibu fell hard for the charms of Bali and eventually decided to move there. Most recently, the entrepreneurial Ibu, with her keen eye for style and design, launched her own line of handcrafted artisan leather bags. Bag aficionados out there (yes, you know who you are!) check out her quality products here  – http://www.kingsburybags.com – and note that the bags can be delivered to your home, in any corner of the globe!

Feast your eyes on the couple’s swoon-worthy villa, a genuine labour of love as the couple was very hands-on and involved in every step of construction and home decorating. The result is a modern Balinese interpretation utilizing lots of natural granite, sandstone and teak, perched on the cliffs of Jimbaran with majestic sea views.

Tell me you’re not groaning with envy right now in front of your computer:

The villa was designed by German architect Walter Wagner of Habitat Architects. Many thanks to Ibu and Tuan for their awesome generosity in sharing the photos of their gorgeous abode and for allowing us to have such sweet Bali dreams tonight!

Where would you like to have your dream beach house? Will you be dreaming about it tonight? I know I will!

Yesterday while completely getting lost in our hunt for DVDs along Tianhe Lu, Herr Hubby and I stumbled across the swanky new One Link shopping mall (right across the equally swanky Taikoo Hui mall).

I was extra-ecstatic when I discovered that this new mall had a Zara Home shop. Absolute home decor heaven! I couldn’t stay long and browse to my heart’s content as we were on our way somewhere, but made a mental note to myself to come back when I have more time.

From what I quickly surmised yesterday, even though it’s not a very large shop, they had everything from bed linens to bath accessories, kitchen knick knacks and lots of lovely little decorative objects for every room in your house. All in lovely hues of white, grey, beige, gold, silver and a soothing pale sea blue…ideal colours for a tropical home or a beach house! Oh – and for the cocooning fashionista, they also had delicious lounge wear and sweet cotton nightgowns, all in dreamy white.

Drooled over the scented candles and sets of bed linens (don’t you just love sliding into bed, with new freshly washed sheets?)…but made a more affordable purchase of a set of slate grey placemats and one sweet white cotton nightgown. Whenever we’re in the tropics, I love sleeping in white cotton nightgowns and I’m so lucky that Herr Hubby is only too happy to indulge me.

I still haven’t figured out how to really dress up one corner of the living room in our new home here in Guangzhou so I can’t wait to go back to Zara Home and pick up some ideas!

How to get there: Zara Home is on the ground floor of One Link Walk shopping mall on Tianhe Lu, right across the Swire-owned Taikoo Hui, so it is easy to take a cab or bus. When taking the metro, get off at Shipaiqiao station.

Just found out that Zara Home has landed in other cities in China, e.g. Beijing, Tianjin & Yichang…but, errr, not Shanghai. (Wonder why they skipped China’s most style-conscious city?)

Are you one of the lucky ducks with a Zara Home in your city?

Decorating with Black and White | The New Home Ec

I just love finding new interior design & decor blogs! Especially when I can imagine the designs being applied in a beach house somewhere…
Stumbled onto this on first thing this morning (before I’ve even had coffee!) and liked it so much, I just had to post it here:
Decorating with Black and White | The New Home Ec
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I really liked the dining room. What about you, are you a fan of black & white?

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