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  • Fall Porch

    Overnight freezing temps have finally decended on Louisville, and while there hasn't been one of those wicked, planter-killing frosts yet, I know it's coming.  I'm trying to enjoy the last few days of the beautiful Fall porch we had this year.

    Pumpkins- both smooth and beautiful, and wart-covered and ugly- paired with acorn squach and mini gourds in front of my beautiful purple and green vines.  Green mercury-glass votives held battery-operated tealights, which were scattered among it all.  

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Guest Room Redux

    Our sweet little guest room has seen its share of decor shifts over the last few years.  From plain contractor-white walls and water stained ceiling, to plain, pale gray walls and my 15 year old Target furniture and zero art, to reconfigured for my mom, with refrigerator and microwave included, she's ready for another change, and ready, finally, I believe, to look like she belongs with the rest of the house.

    The entire room needs to be repainted, as the walls have been badly dinged in the last couple of years, and I love the soft, almost-there greige of Benjamin Moore's Apparition.  It's a whispy, comfortable shade that makes me feel like I'm being enveloped, which seems to be perfect for a cozy bedroom.  

    My new upright desk and poster bed from the Lacourte Collection at Williams-Sonoma have been delivered (remember when I was swooning over it?), along with a bamboo-backed chair, and I'd like to keep the bed simple.  I have a white matelasse duvet cover and shams from Target that may be staying in the space, but I've loved our linen bedding from Parachute Home so much that I may have to splurge and grab the white set for the guest room as well.

    The inside of the Lacourte desk is so handsome- a leather worktop, rich wood accents... I'd like to keep accessories just as luxe: perhaps horn bookends and mercury glass accents.

    As for art...  I've completely fallen in love with the simple, calligraphy-like graphics of Lexington artis Elliott Puckette.  Her recent, hot pink piece, Southwind, is calling my name.

    I'd love to have this room finished asap... The holidays are quickly approaching, and I'm sure we'll have folks needing a place to lay their head.  I'm hoping that place will be beautiful as well as functional!

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • NEW LISTING!! 1154 South 3rd Street, Old Louisville

    Completely and immaculately renovated Victorian in Old Louisville's Millionaire's Row.  From handmade, French tile on the fireplaces, marble baths, and a chef-worthy kitchen, the owners have left no detail behind.  

    Aside from a lovely history, and dramatic, architectural details, this beauty offers five bedrooms and three and a half baths, a detached, three-car garage with alley access, and a clean basement.  Two laundry options and a first floor and third floor family room allow plenty of space to stretch out.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.  

    For more information, click here.

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **

  • NEW LISTING!! 12603 Sanderstead Drive, Bay Tree

    Well loved home in Louisville's deisrable East End!  Soaring ceiling in the foyer, gas fireplace in living room, and eat-in kitchen allow for living space options, while formal dining room and HUGE finished basement offer plently of space to entertain.

    New roof, ceramic tile flooring, and an option of new carpeting await the lucky new owners.  Three bedrooms, two-and-a-half baths, a two-car garage, and a finished basement allow plenty of space to spread out.

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    For more info, click here.

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **



  • Bellaire, Completed

    I can't believe this day has finally arrived...  my sweet little home on Bellaire is complete.  After 6 months of extensive renovations, a resetting of the foundation, and new floor joists and subflooring, the addition of a stackable laundry in the huge master closet, ripping out soffits in the kitchen, adding all new cabinets, granite, and appliances...  

    I really feel like this place has become incredible, and will be a beautiful little get away for someone.  With out too much more ado, take a look for yourself;

    To view or share the listing on Airbnb, click here, or for a video tour, click this link.

    Huge thanks to Ben Burgess of Burgess Construction, Kraftmaid Rep Jenifer Hardin-Downs, Southern Kitchens, and Justin Cook at Dragonfly Visual Productions for helping me make this place just incredible. 

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **


    Sources:

    Paint : Sherwin Williams Extra White and Urbane Bronze

    Wood Laminate Flooring and Bathroom TIle : Lowes

    Blinds : Levolor

    Curtains and Hardware : Target

    Kitchen Cabinets : Kraftmaid Durham door in Maple Slate

    Kitchen Granite : Allen + Roth Galactic Storm

    Sink and Toilet : Kohler

    All Faucets and Kitchen and Bath Hardware : Moen

    Sofa, Chairs, Bed, and Nightstands : World Market

    Coffee Table, TV Stand, Kitchen Table and Chairs : Target

    Rugs : Target

    Lighting : West Elm

    Pink Pillows : Pottery Barn

    Bedding : Target

    Bedroom Lamps and Floor Lamp : Target

    Dishes, Glassware, Flatware, and Table Linens : Target

    Accessories Throughout : Target

  • NEW LISTING!!! 2327 Lindsey Drive, Shively

    Cute and comfortable Bedford stone home has been well-maintained and well-loved by the same owner since 1960!  By updating the roof and windows, and expanding the living space into the attached one-car garage, the owners have offered the lucky Buyer an abundance of peace of mind as well as possibility.  Two bedrooms await on the first floor, while an additional room in the basement could be used as a third sleeping area.

    Retro pink and green tile in the bath and original kitchen cabinets can keep the feel of this home cute and vintage, or allow the new owner to make any wished updates.  Huge, fenced backyard is flat and beautifully green, even in October.  

    Brought to you by Joyce Duncan, Semonin Realtors.

    For more information, click here.

    ** photos by Dragonfly Visual **



  • Pumpkin Risotto

    I try around each Halloween to make something festive and of the season.  Whether its a hollowed out pumpkin filled with ground beef stuffing, roasted slices of the gourd along pork chops, creamy pumpkin bisque, or this, my favorite pumpkin recipe since I stumbled upon it; Pumpkin Risotto from The Cozy Apron.

    I love risotto no matter what... slow cooked rice, warm and creamy.  It warms the soul, and on chilly, rainy October days like this one, its the perfect thing to usher in the Halloween season.

    I chose to cook and serve this (thanks to the apples) slightly sweet dish in an orange, pumpkin-shaped  staub cast iron dutch oven.  I find that the Cozy Apron's recipe makes enough to feed four with hearty appetites.  Becuase I just can't own enough dishes, I store the leftovers in the small, ceramic pumpkin dish.  At a half quart, it's a cute presentation for gifting two extra servings to neighbors or friends.

    The recipe calls for 4 cups of chicken stock, but I love a looser risotto, so I suggest planning on using 4 1/2-5 cups of the hot stock.  Keep a little extra on hand in case you need to heat up leftovers.... if there are any.

  • Jean Genie

    We know I love a good embellished shoe...  The only problem I sometimes find is that I'm not sure how to couple them with an outfit.  Case in point, and hopeful solution: The Francesca Emboidered Pump from Tory Burch.

    These shoes are gorgeous. There's no other way to say it.  But, after trying to pair them with a chainlink pattern skirt (as shown in TB's instagram post), it just didn't feel like me.  I decided to go with what I know...  Grey-washed jeans, and a white blouse.  

    A simple wardrobe allows these shoes to shine on their own (with the help of mirror appliques)...  I'm excited to see how they look in a more formal situaton!

    ** shoes, jeans **

    ** this post was not sponsored in any way **

    ** photos by Kyle Lueken **

  • Pittsburgh: The Art

    When I think of Pittsburgh, I think of most other towns that boomed in the early 20th century.  Steel towns, alive and smoky with indsutry, whose buzz went silent after the 1970's...  Cleveland, Detroit, and yes, Pittsburgh.  I assumed I would visit a town covered in ages of settled soot and smog, quiet in the downtown area.  I was wrong.

    Alive and hopping, Pittsburgh seemed to be filled with energy- whether through sports teams (congratulations to the Penguins, by the way), a quickly moving downtown business scene, or the dozens of eateries alive during the weekend, reminding me a lot of the South Loop area of Chicago- those who live there seem to be a people of resurgence, and- thankfully- a people who desparately appreciate the art scene.  My visit with other members of Louisville's Speed Museum earlier this month took me to three museums, two private collections, and two Frank Lloyd Wright properties within just 60 or so hours.

    Fallingwater

    Stop number one on Thursday morning was Frank Lloyd Wright's masterpiece, Fallingwater.  Completed in 1938, Fallingwater was the weekend home for prominent Pittsburgh family the Kaufmanns, of Kaufmann's Department Store fame.  The son, Edgar, Jr. was a student of Wright at his Talliesin Fellowship, and commissioned Wright to build a getaway for his family on the 5,000 acres of Bear Run Nature Reserve.  An average size house by all counts (clocking in at under 2,900 square feet, excluding terraces), every inch of the home is well thought out and usable, and very modern for the 1930's.  The setting was incredible, and I find myself itching to head back when there's snow on the ground.  Sadly, no photos were allowed inside, but I was able to get that iconic shot from the famous view.

    Kentuck Knob

    A quick drive from Fallingwater, we visited Kentuck Knob, another Frank Lloyd Wright property.  The owners of the 80-some acres of land in the mountains, the Hagans, were friends of Fallingwater's Kaufmans, and decided to reach out to Wright themselves to build a home in 1953.  Smaller than Fallingwater, and Usonian in style, the home was still open, warm, and livable, while being perched close to the Youghiogheny River Gorge, where on a clear day, they Hagans could see for 40 miles.  

    In 1986, the Hagans decided they could no longer live on the mountain due to their age and health, and Lord Palumbo of England purchased the property.  A former Chairman of the Arts Council of Great Britain, Lord Palumbo has filled not only the house with his extensive collection of art and artifacts, but has filled the grounds with a collection of English modern sculpture. Exterior shot of the home via Trip Advisor.

    The Carnegie Museums

    Our first stop on Friday, The Carnegie Museums caught me off guard...  Not only was I visiting the Carnegie Museum of Art, but the Carnegie Science Center, and the Carnegie Museum of Natural History.  After viewing the original grand hall (green marble and gilded cielings!!), the Hall of Architecture, and the grand staircase, our group split up and viewed different exhibits.  Some chose the permaneant collection, while I and others chose to view 20/20: The Studio Museum in Harlem and Carnegie Museum of Art, a collaboration between the two museums reflecting the foundations of America's democracy.  Photograph's by Pittsburgh's own Teeny Harris were my favorites of the collection, including Man wearing sunglasses and eating a popsicle, 1960 and Quinten Morris's Untitled. A quiet wander alone through the musuem afterwards put me face-to-face with a large Franz Kline. 

    The Frick Pittsburg and Clayton

    Friday afternoon, our group arrived at the Frick in Pittsburgh.  A tour of the Henry Clay Frick family's home, Clayton, was impressive.  The 22-room mansion has been well preserved and restored since the family moved out in 1905, and when the home opened to the public in 1990, visitors were able to view the Frick family's own collection of art, as well as their original furniture, preserved silk wall-coverings, china collections, and books.  Some of our group finished the home tour early and wandered into the museum for self-guided tours.  I can't put into words how in awe I was of the incredible pieces here...  Sadly, the fundation did not allow photos, so the ones below are taken from their website.

    The Warhol Museum

    Saturday morning, I wandered across Pittsburgh's Roberto Clemente bridge to meet up with the rest of our group and visit The Warhol Museum.  I've always been a fan of Warhol's work, but was ignorant to his beginnings in commercial work, and had no idea about his early life in Pittsburgh.  The 7-floor museum was curated beautiully, and organized cronologically, with tours beginning on the 7th floor, documenting Warhol's early life and upbringing and some of his earliest pieces, then working down to his portraits on 4.  2 and 3 housed private collections and offices, and the first floor had the most fun and colorful gift shop I've ever been in.  I just loved his 1961 piece, Bathtub. 

    I made it home Saturday night completely exhausted, and totally exhilerated.  I'm itching to go back in cooler weather, stopping in at Phipps Conservatory along the way.

    ** this post was not sponsored in any way **

    ** unless otherwise noted, all photos by me.  please use with permission only **

  • Altius, Pittsburgh

    Last week, I had the pleasure of travelling to Pitsburgh with the Speed Art Museum to view some incredible galleries, collections and works (more on that Friday).  I was fortunate enough to be travelling with a group of 20 who seemed to love food just as much as I do.  Thursday night, then, our group found ourselves atop of Mount Washington, overlooking the city, and dining at AAA Four-Diamond Award winner, Altius.

    The size of our group allowed us to take advantage of the glass-walled private room on the second floor, with four tables set for five allowing our servers to navigate the room easily. After we were all settled in, metal cones of cheddar popcorn arrived on each table.  My cocktail, "Remember the Blackberry?" was a wonderful mix of vodka, blackberry, vanilla and lemon, shaken with an eggwhite for a nice, frothy finish.  

    Shortly after ordering- most of us with three courses- mini onion tarts floated out from the kitchen, as a surprise from the chef.  Soon thereafter, waiters swooped in with our choice of bread- onion focaccia, a brioche roll, or zucchini bread, alongside a roasted red pepper relish or whipped honey butter.

    I skipped a first course, but a tablemate chose the corn and razor clam bisque, which was a sight to see!  Sweet corn was piled in his bowl, while a single finger of endive acted as a conduit for our server to pour the piping hot razor clam bisque out of a silver teapot and directly onto the mound of sweet corn.  Gorgeous!  A second tablemate decided on calamari Provencal- large squid stuffed with shrimp, wrapped in crispy proscuitto and served with a dollop of squid-ink risotto. 

    For a main, I can't be steered away from a filet mingon, and the one at Altius did not disappoint...  10 ounces of beef so tender and flavorful! green beans, tender carrots, and duck fat fried fingerling potatoes came alongside, while an herbed butter made its way along my plate.  I love a simple dish and this one was perfect.

    Dessert....  oh, dessert!!  I opted for the Millionaire Bar. Shortbread topped in dark and white chocolate ganache, atop caramel, sprinkled in sea salt, and looking like a sculpture.  My words and the photo I took could not do this thing justice (though you can get an idea here, from Open Table).  It was stunning, and just as rich as you'd imagine.  Even after sharing with my dinnermate, I couldn't finish it all!

    Opened only three years, Altius has won awards not only for its incredible cuisine, but for its archetecture and design as well- Architect Teresa Bucco brought the unassuming, original facade back to life, and opened the interior, allowing floor-to-second-floor light fixtures, glass walls, and the VIEW to take center stage.  It's easy to see why- even on a Thursday- this place was packed to the gills, buzzing with yummy sounds, and hypnotizing us all with the cuisine as well as the view.

    ** this post is not sponsored in any way **

    ** all photos via Altius' Instagram and website **