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Travel

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

July 22, 2014

Hey guys, its Kelly Brown and Holly asked me to stop in from time to time to post tours of beautiful spaces that I shoot professionally so you get to see them first. This is my debut post on decor8 so I hope that you enjoy it! I am so excited to share with you a shoot I did recently at Gracias Madre, a plant-based (vegetarian & vegan) Mexican-inspired restaurant in sunny West Hollywood, California. In my opinion, the only thing better than eating a really, really great meal, is eating it in a beautiful atmosphere. Wendy Haworth and her design team along with patio designer, Scott Shrader, have created just that at Gracias Madre. By the way, you can click on any image below for super large views to ohhh and ahhh over the details and to pin!

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

I visited the restaurant during a recent trip to LA and immediately fell in love with the space, not to mention the food! I couldn’t help myself but to walk around the entire restaurant checking out every inch of the space and noting all the amazing design features. Lets just say its on my “must go to” list in LA. The plantain fritters and the sopes, so delicious! Oh, and the drinks! Small batch mescals and tequila with housemade syrups, shrubs, tinctures, and bitters! Yep, I had myself a good time!

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

With a Mexican flare, the interior is fresh and bright, perfectly utilizing color and pattern to balance out the large space. Cozy corner nooks and an amazing outdoor patio makes you want to stay there eating and drinking all night. Its no surprise that Gracias Madre received the People’s Choice Award from The American Institute of Architect’s 10th Annual Restaurant Design Awards in Los Angeles.

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Tour Gracias Madre In West Hollywood, California

Executive Chef, Chandra Gilbert and Beverage Director, Jason Eisner go above and beyond to create beautifully distinct dishes from local and organic ingredients. Here’s what they say about the restaurant: “We first conceived the idea of Gracias Madre while visiting the families of our employees in Mexico. We wanted to both; offer organic Mexican food to the communities we serve as well as honor the mothers who work tirelessly in the kitchens of Mexico and often live without their husbands and children while they work side by side with us in California. Inspired by some of the recipes of these families and the love of their mothers, Gracias Madre serves organic, farm fresh, locally sourced food, full of flavor and love.” So, what do you think? Wouldn’t you love to eat (and drink!) in this beautiful space?! I know I can’t wait to go back! –Kelly

(text/photography kelly brown)

Travel

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

March 17, 2014

FvF in Berlin just teamed up with Vitra to create a gorgeous apartment that is now available to rent out for when you want to welcome friends for dinner parties, workshops and overnight stays. They’ve offered me a chance to use the space, so perhaps I will this summer (more info here) but until then, here’s a gorgeous view of the apartment they’ve designed. I just love the kitchen and the windows throughout the space. There is nothing like an old German pre-war building (particularly a Jugendstil altbauwohnung), that’s for sure…

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

FvF + Vitra = New Berlin Apartment

From their press release, “Under the direction of Freunde von Freunden, the architect Etienne Descloux and the interior architect Katrin Greiling, the 65sqm “Altbau” apartment on Mulackstrasse was rebuilt and designed to become a flexible apartment, adaptable to the diverse scenarios of everyday life.”

Anything in particular that you like about this space? When I look at it I keep thinking of how much I want to get back into client work again – I’d love to design a commercial space – like a restaurant, office, even a hotel. Would be so much fun! Perhaps later this year…

(images: fvonf)

Travel

Taste of Prague

February 28, 2014

Hello lovely decor8 friends! It’s Rincy again with another Simple Times post. I must say a very warm thank you for your comments on the last post here, it is such a comforting thing to know that we are really in this journey of growth together in 2014. (the recipe of the Lahmacun will be soon to follow, I promise) In the last few weeks since then Holly has welcomed Aidan, a beautiful new spirit into the world and aside from the qualities one hopes for another -purpose, reason, self-esteem, creative joy- in the last year I’ve begun to realize wanderlust is the most infectious of all to spread to a little soul.

Taste of Prague

This past week I was able to take a trip to Prague. It was a breath of fresh air and really one of my most favorite trips in the last few months of travel. I’ve spoken previously about the advantages of knowing a local in adding a richness to plans while abroad and I cannot speak more highly of the Taste of Prague team for doing just that for us. I’ve heard much about the touristy aspect of Prague however, prior to arriving we had maps of suggested less travelled walking paths, countless names of tried-and-tested restaurants and a four hour walking tour revolved around food to help aid in learning more about the culture and history of this beautiful city.

Taste of Prague

We travelled everywhere by foot coming back to tired legs and full bellies but the effect of this city lined with its myriad of architectural styles, rich history, savory meats and of course the beer (and wine!) sure did leave it’s mark. I always find it difficult summarizing travels and images to share but wanderlust will always be aplenty after even the smallest of trips.

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

If you are curious, some of my favorites in Prague: EMA espresso bar Prague Castle this guide and the ToP crew also has an apartment for rent, too as shown below…

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

Taste of Prague

I sincerely hope that near or far around your area, you can find a little spot that creates that spark of wanderlust for you too. – Rincy

(text/images: rincy koshy)

Travel

Celebrating In Ireland

December 19, 2013

Hello friends! It’s Rincy again with a little post on the holiday season here in Dublin. I love this time of year, similar to spring, it feels as though there is a secret promise of a new beginning just around the corner. It can either be a frenzied blur of events or the slowest of periods and I think it’s safe to say that we’ve all had our fair share of both (takeout food and Friends re-runs, I’ve been there done that). But every now and again a funny thing happens in the midst of the chaos of presents, crowds or family politics, there is a moment of contentment. Bliss. Joy. Love. Gratitude. Ever so brief or all at once, it happens.

Celebrating In Ireland

Last week, we celebrated our friend Emily’s birthday in the midst of the holiday season. It was an evening full of collaborative efforts, DIY touches and a family whose love is incredibly palpable- it was beautiful to be a part of it. It was without a doubt, one of those moments.

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Celebrating In Ireland

Emily’s sweet take on the evenings events: “When I moved to Ireland just over five years ago, there were a lot of things that necessitated adjustment: driving on the other side of the road, not being able to buy anything in bulk at the grocery store, those kinds of things. What didn’t take any time at all to adjust to was how the Irish celebrate the Christmas season. They gather, they linger, they spend time around a table or a fireplace. They chat and they sing and time stands still for a few hours. On the day of the dinner party, I pulled my car over by the coast of Dublin Bay and trekked down to the water line. I pulled out a big old piece of driftwood and squeezed it into the back of the car. We suspended it above the table, and from it we hung the most beautiful geometric Christmas ornaments. Candles placed throughout the room twinkled and sparkled. We held hands around the table while my husband prayed grace over the meal. Then we ate, drank wine, shared stories and laughed. Time stopped for a few hours; there were no phones or work. We were right there, together, celebrating exactly the way I’ve learned to in my time in Dublin. Truly present, with nowhere else to be but right there.” – Emily

Celebrating In Ireland

Whatever way you choose to spend your holiday, I hope bliss, joy love and gratitude are a plenty. Wishing you a very happy holiday season from Ireland. – Rincy

(Styling: Ciara O’ Halloran, Flowers: Claire Ryan, Cake: Kate Packwood, Photography/text: Rincy Koshy)

Travel

Hungary With The Locals

July 30, 2013

Hello sweet decor8 readers, it’s Rincy again with my monthly Simple Times post and I am so excited to be writing to you from my travels here in Hungary. In my column last month, I encouraged you to explore more in your local area. This month, with many taking summer vacation, perhaps you can travel where your friends live and tap into their local expertise. I’ve only been in Hungary for a few days and already I am completely and utterly enchanted with this sweet country because I am with friends who know this region and somehow they make it seem like nothing is off limits! Suddenly statutes and bridges have stories, the hidden nooks and crannies of roads lead to the most beautiful surroundings and when the night lights turn on- it really feels like the most special place in the world. This is a simple pleasure that a travel book cannot provide – locals who happen to be friends that want to share the magic with you. I feel so lucky!

Hungary With The Locals

It may be one of the smallest states in Europe but right now it seems so big and full of inspiration. The land of castles, vineyards, thermal spas and gulyás is every bit as magical as I hoped it to be. I look forward to seeing what each day brings and would love to share it with you soon.

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Hungary With The Locals

Have you ever been to Budapest or a place that instantly seemed like a fairy tale to you? Will you be visiting somewhere soon to explore with local friends or family? I’m so curious to know, so please share. A girl can certainly dream.

With lots of love and light, always – Rincy, your little bird (whose wings are just starting to fly!)

(images: rincy koshy)

Travel

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

June 10, 2013

When you live only a few hours away from the border of Denmark, and your upstairs neighbors who are also very good friends are Danes, you can’t help but love all things Danish. As you know, I’ve been writing about and traveling to Denmark for several years now – in fact, Denmark was were we began shooting years back for my first book. I’ve made many good friends “up north” in the past years and most recently, a wonderful stylist and author from Copenhagen contacted me to offer me a great rate on her summer house next month since she read on my Facebook wall in March that I was looking for a beach house on the Danish coast to rent in July. I really wanted to celebrate our wedding anniversary on the coast this year so I’m excited to say that thanks to Facebook (!) we’ll be taking a few weeks off in July to drive up to Copenhagen and then further north, to stay in a gorgeous little cottage owned by one of Denmark’s best stylists. I can’t wait! Really!

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

I’ll take some photos and tell you more about my trip upon my return but I’m very excited about my upcoming trip as I’ve not had a proper vacation in a very long time. That last time I took a real vacation was in 2010 when my husband and I went with our dear friend Esra to Istanbul for 4 days. But that was 3 years ago and since, I’ve been traveling so much for work that it will be nice for once to travel for pleasure. After taking over 20 flights in 2011 and another 10 or so in 2012, my version of a vacation was to stay home. This year, now that we just bought our first car since moving to Europe in 2009, we decided to skip planes and just enjoy road travel again. It’s been so long since we hopped in the car to go anywhere – normally it’s the train for us – but with a car you can meander off here and there and explore (something I love) and in the summer months, isn’t that the best thing to do? Oh, there’s a roadside stand selling strawberries. Stop. Oh! there is a pretty little antiques shop. Stop. Oh honey, can you stop at that cute cafe so I can get a coffee? Stop. There’s a pretty field with flowers, can you stop so I can Instagram that? Stop. Thank goodness my husband is a good sport. When I think about it, I must drive him sorta crazy. But this is typical with blogger’s who are also wives, right?

Our trip to Denmark will be one welcome break and if the weather cooperates, I plan to spend most of my time directly ON the beach. Even if I cannot sunbath, because Danish summers are not tropical by any means, I will be just as content to throw on a sweater, grab a chair, and just read on the beach, snap photos and collect little treasures on the shore. To have a coastal vacation is a dream of mine for several years since I left America – I live inland now and don’t get to the coast nearly as much as my little heart yearns for, so this trip will be a big highlight of the year for me. To smell the salty air, eat some smoked fish and relax in a sweet little cottage  in Nordsjælland (she is even leaving me her bicycle to use!) is something I anticipate highly. It’s all I’m thinking about at the moment! After spending time in the sea cottage, we’ll then rent a space in the center of Copenhagen and spend 4 nights exploring the city. I’ve been there a few times but my husband hasn’t, so we’ll need extra time for him to see the sights and for me to do a little shopping and cafe crawling. :) I’m really looking forward to going to BLACK, the new store there that just opened by one of my favorite ceramicists Anne Black and Kirstine Meier Carlsen.

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

I wish I could see Astrid Svangren’s current installation there called BLOOM done with flowers, illustrations and still life vignettes. She is a Swedish artist who does some amazing contemporary work that I find fascinating.

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

I also want to check out the newish restaurant called Höst. Has anyone visited this place yet?

Summer In Denmark (+ a day in Sweden)

We also plan to spend a day in Malmö, Sweden since it’s a close train ride over from Copenhagen and my husband has never been to Sweden. I think he’d really love and with a name like Thorsten, I suppose he really should go there – I’m sure he’d find one of those souvenir shops with his name on a mug for sure, right? He never could when we lived in Boston, ha ha! Have you ever been to Malmö? Any MUST SEE book stores, cafes, shops, antique stores?

July is a good time to vacation because I’m in the midst of my next book and to have a break ‘in between’ shooting and writing will be just perfect. Then I can come back refreshed and energetic – ready to take on the rest of the project so we can turn everything in at the end of the summer.

Where will you go on vacation this summer? Tell me all about YOUR plans! Also, if you’ve been to Copenhagen within the last year, what did you LOVE and what do you recommend I check out? I’m particularly interested in beautiful shops, restaurants and cafes and the most photogenic neighborhoods…

(images: RUM, Black and Host)

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