Recap: Austin Vacation

May 8, 2013 | Alex

For me, a good vacation needs two qualities: relaxation and inspiration. Austin knocked it out of the park on both counts. 

Our schedule in Austin was fairly unambitious-- in the best way. We stayed in two awesome Airbnb rentals, took Hektor on a tour of Austin's dog parks, read our books, picnic'ed on a pontoon with friends, paddle boarded for exercise and turtle watching, hiked in Pedernales Falls State Park, scoped out UT's School of Architecture, ate tacos for almost every meal and fell asleep, bone tired, by 10pm every night. Happiness.

Tomorrow's post is chock full of Austin-inspired style. But for today, here's a quick instagram recap of our Austin vacation:


Dispatches from a Student/Blogger

February 24, 2013 | Alex

Yikes. The truth is I didn't have a post prepared for today. Bad Alex! Instead of skipping today and hoping no one notices (a strategy that crossed my mind...), I thought I'd share a few instagram shots of what's been keeping me so busy lately.

Back in January, I enrolled in a 24-session continuing education class at Parsons called Interior Design Basic Core. We meet for three hours, two nights a week. It's taught by two architects and is essentially a crash course in architectural modes of communication-- floorplan, axonometric, perspective, collage, diagram, etc.

Here are a few of the assignments I've completed so far, plus a gratuitous shot of coffee (the fuel that keeps me powering through late night homework sessions) and a lovely valentine's day bouquet that is still going strong 10 days later!

(I so wish I could share some photos of my classmates' work, but I don't want to put them up on the interwebs without their express permission. You would be blown away by some of these collages. Suffice it to say, I am not the class prodigy.)


Clockwise from top left:

  1. Week 1: Orthographic Drawing. A floor plan of my bedroom + bathroom in 1/2" scale and my bathroom in elevation.
  2. Week 2: Axonometric Drawing. An axonometric collage of my bedroom and bathroom in 1/2" scale.
  3. Week 3: Perspective. A collage of Tadao Ando's Modern Art Museum of Fort Forth, identifying the vanishing points and focusing on our own interpretation of material selection.
  4. Weekend Diversions. My morning coffee from Bien Cuit and a floral bouquet by Flora, courtesy of my very thoughtful boyfriend.
  5. Week 3: Perspective. A collage of Peter Zumthor's Therme Vals,  identifying the vanishing points and focusing on our own interpretation of color and light.
  6. My homework taking over our dining table. Sorry, Linzee!

Recap: Summer Vacation

September 19, 2012 | Alex

Every summer, I like to spend at least a week at my parents house. Every year I pray for sun. And every year it rains.

The town my parents live in is swarmed with people during the summer months. We adopt something of a bunker mentality come August. My dad stocks up on wine, bottled water and local produce. My mom hits up the library for romantic comedies, often with a theme, for evening entertainment. This year's theme was Woody Allen. We rarely leave the premises, except for the occasional early morning or evening beach excursion. And we have a blast!

This year, we even started a vegetable garden in the yard so we could withstand the blockade for longer. Note: Viewer discretion advised. These chronological photos get pretty "Little Shop of Horrors" towards the end. We're still getting a handle on the whole pruning thing.


Three beds on the left for tomatoes, veggies, herbs and lettuce greens. Long bed on the right for flowers.


Opposite view of beds. Garden shed in background. Sign on the gate says, "The Early Bird Gets the Worm."


Heirloom tomatoes ripening on the vine.


Italian eggplant.


Almost there!


Little Shop of Horrors.



This year, I hoped to multi-task relaxing with running errands beyond the walls of our fortress, so I planned to visit the week after Labor Day. Predictably, it rained. Looking on the bright side of life, the rain did contribute to my productivity on the errand front. Once I checked off the final item on my to-do list, I set out on a self-guided architectural walking tour of the area. Here some houses I'd happily move right on into:


And, of course, this house. Oh god, this house. I love this house. My parents love this house. Who doesn't love this house? We've eagerly watched every step of the building phase-- since the "For Sale" sign came down on the lot. I have no idea who owns it nor do I know who the architect is, but I feel such an inexplicable personal connection to it. I feel a part of it solely because my mom and I watched every phase of the construction process with mounting excitement.


Then, in the last 24 hours of my vacation, the sun miraculously showed its face. And it was glorious.


While at my parents, I took a few interior shots of the house. I understand that when you care about interior design, you never feel like your space is really "finished." Instead, we tend to dwell on the imperfections. I know I feel that way in my own space. But whenever my mom and I chat about how her house looks, I wish that for one day, she could see how it looks to everyone else. Or even just to me! To her, it's "dated", "frumpy" and in need of "sprucing up." To me, it's comfy, timeless, charming and filled with lovely memories.


Plus, four additional vignettes from my bedroom, including a money shot of a very lazy doggie at 11:30 a.m. on a Sunday (!). As the adage goes, "a tired dog is a happy dog." At the beach, Hektor is one very happy puppy.



Top Left

  1. Oil on cavas by Jim Gingrich
  2. Vintage iron jack, Coastal Home
  3. Teak 3-drawer dresser, Crate & Barrel - $1,299 at full price (purchased on sale)
  4. Wicker hamper, Pottery Barn (No longer available)
  5. Vintage vases

Top Right

  1. Duvet cover, WS Home (No longer available)
  2. Petite Trellis Sky Matelasse Coverlet, Pine Cone Hill
  3. Italian Hotel Stitch White Sheet Set, Restoration Hardware - $250
  4. Hektor (No longer available. He's all mine.)

Bottom Left

  1. Oak Wishbone Chair, Fisher's Home Furnishings - $295
  2. Rens Sheepskin, Ikea - $29.99
  3. Orange alpaca throw blanket, Elementos Argentinos
  4. Oblong driftwood lamp, West Elm (No longer available)
  5. Desk is a salvaged farmhouse table

Bottom Right

  1. 1930s Studio Task Table Lamp, Restoration Hardware - $189
  2. Wicker basket, Pottery Barn (No longer available)
  3. See "Top Left" above for all other items