Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Beauty and the Bath :: Frank Webb's Bath Center

With May coming to an end in just a few days, so is National Home Improvement Month. If you weren't aware of the 31-day fete dedicated to facelifts for your home, do not fret. If you ask me, any day is a good day to repair and restore all that is rusted and in need of retirement in and around your humble abode.

One of my favorite rooms in a home is the bathroom. Although I love my master bath, my fantasy oasis is an ultra-luxe, spa-inspired space flaunting an expansive marble vanity, Japanese soaking tub and heated tile shower with cascading rainfall. And accessories for added ambience -- think scented candles, soft jazz, a glass of rosé and Calgone to take me (and my troubles) away. Pure bliss, I tell you.

For a look into what's trending in the world of bathrooms, I spoke with Deb Dumel, manager and design consultant at Frank Webb's Bath Center. With more than a thirty locations in the northeast and a stunning showroom in South Boston, the luxury retailer can turn bubble bath dreams (like mine) into a reality.

According to Dumel, consumers who walk into Frank Webb are looking for their dream bathroom -- a vision that often leads them to designing a resort-style retreat. "A majority of people get their inspiration from hotels and want build the same bathroom in their home," Dumel said.

With 15 years of design experience under her belt, Dumel offers consumers expert advice on anything from flooring and fixtures to lightening and limestone. A top trend she is witnessing in bath remodels this season is the transition from a dual bath and shower stall to a standing tile shower. With tile adding to a bathroom's décor aesthetic and a standing shower adding square footage to an often petite space, there's much to be envied. Consumers, Dumel added, are also installing luxury amenities to their shower such as steam.

Color choice is also important as it pulls a room together. Consumers are forgoing the once popular Earth tones for sleek grays, metallics and whites when picking paint and tile. Chrome faucets and glass shower doors are also gaining momentum as both offer a contemporary look and are easy to maintain.

Frank Webb's Bath Center has multiple locations and also specializes in kitchen remodels. For ideas and inspiration, visit Deb Dumel and her design team at 307 Dorchester Avenue in South Boston.

{images courtesy of Frank Webb's Bath Center}

Friday, May 17, 2013

And the Liebster Award goes to...

A huge thank you goes to my fellow Boston blogger, Lindsey of L's Fashion Dish, who recently nominated me for a Liebster Award. A quick Google search about the accolade reveals that the award is given to your favorite bloggers and/or bloggers who have less than 200 followers. This nomination is a nice way to get to know fun facts about one another. I look forward to hearing from my nominees.

1.) Why did you start blogging?
I have been a creative writer since I was in elementary school. After graduating from Northeastern University with a degree in journalism, I freelanced for a major newspaper for two years before reluctantly taking an advertising sales position in television. Au revoir creative spirit. Although the job was not the right fit for for me, used the time to strengthen my relationships in the media and pursue my master's degree in corporate communication.

Shortly after grad school, I took a position in creative sponsorship at a neighboring television station and began writing again. My career then took a 180 degree turn into a completely different industry. While remaining true to myself and desire to write, I launched Rue Le Chat as a way to channel my creativity, pen my passions and network with like-minded individuals. I have never regretted a moment and am loving every minute. 

2.) What kind of blog do you have?
Rue Le Chat is a lifestyle blog featuring style, beauty, home décor and social events. I also write about my cat, Manolo.

3.) What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I love using my creativity to paint a vivid picture; whether it's sampling the newest trend or dinning at the hottest restaurant. I believe creativity is the key to enticing your audience and allowing them to share in your experiences.

4.) If you had a super power, what would it be?
I would definitely want to be invisible and discover what others really think, say and do about anything and everything. 

5.) What are your five favorite songs at the moment?
"Sweet Nothing" by Calvin Harris
"Feel the Moment" by Pitbull
"Don’t You Worry Child" by Swedish House Mafia
“Started from the Bottom” by Drake
“Stay” by Rihanna

6.) Do you prefer the city or country?
I’m a city girl through and through. I would, however, consider the country if it was oceanside...gotta love being by the ocean. 

7.) Where would you most like to visit?
I’m torn between Greece and the California coast {wine country to San Diego}.

8.) What are three of your goals for 2013?
As a writer, I would like to contribute to a lifestyle magazine. As a budding entrepreneur, I would like to collaborate with a lifestyle brand. As a philanthropist, I would like to work with the Animal Rescue League of Boston, the Ellie Fund and Belle of the Ball.

9.) Who is your style icon?
Jacqueline KennedyOnassis, Audrey Hepburn and Kate Middleton. I crush on classic beauty and style. 

10.) What are the two best books you've recently read?
Lady Almina and the real Downton Abbey by Lady Fiona Carnarvon
A Woman Named Jackie by C. David Heymann
11.) What are your favorite beauty products and why?
Hair: Paul Mitchell Awapuhi Wild Ginger Shine Spray for glistening tresses
Body: Nivea Soft Moisturizing Cream for an ultra-soft body
Fragrance: Prada Candy Eau de Parfum for an intoxicating scent
Moisturizer: CeraVe Facial Moisturizing Lotion for a quality product at a pharmacy price
Cosmetics: MAC Studio Tech for flawless face coverage 

12.) Who are your favorite local bloggers?
{for the record, there are too many to name}
La vie...J'aime
Notes on Lifestyle by Georgina

13.) List 11 random facts about yourself.
I'm an only child.
I have family in Hawaii.
Pasta is my favorite food.
I was a dancer for 18 years.
I grew up with a parrot named Polly.
I went to Catholic school for 12 years.
I detest sweet wine {except some port}.
I have been published in two newspapers.
Rhode Island will always be my second home.
My favorite color is gray {or grey if you live in the United Kingdom}.
Growing up, my mom and I would drive by the homes of New Kids on the Block.

Monday, May 13, 2013

West Elm Market :: Boston Grand Opening

West Elm welcomed their new concept shop with a grand opening celebration in April -- a month also dedicated to decorating and home décor. West Elm Market takes a rustic and raw approach to retail. Think farmer’s market meets urban-chic boutique. The purveyor of all that is pure and pretty specializes in locally grown provisions, handcrafted kitchen accouterments and unique garden gadgets. Market also sells specialty goods ranging from sauces to scrubs.

Décor devotees mingled about the organic-infused space sipping cocktails and relishing the earth tones and clean lines that give West Elm and Market a serene and spend-worthy setting. I felt right at home surrounded by an abundance of furnishings accented with soft grays, baby blues and sunny yellows. I must confess, the rooms in my home aspire to mimic the beauty found in each display.

If you don't know me by now, I’m a far cry from Martha Stewart and a bit of a hazard in the kitchen...just ask Mr. Chat. Seeing as Market was offering a demonstration with their Damascus Steel Knife, I decided to give it a go.

Sarah, a slicing superstar, spoke with me about the precision piece. “The knife is honed at a 16 degree edge so it’s very sharp and you can cut easily,” she said. Sarah was patient as I became familiar with the knife's high carbon stainless steel blade. "The steel is one piece to the back of the handle. It has a full tang so that you get a nice even balance on the blade,” she added.

The sleek handle, carved from olive wood, did most of the work, so only minimal pressure was needed. After a tutorial, or two, or three, I had finally mastered the movement and cut my carrot into petite portions perfect for a salad. Voilà!

West Elm Market is located at 160 Brookline Avenue in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood. No fingers were lost as a result of this story.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Thursday Thoughts :: A New Chapter

I rarely write journal-style entires on the blog. As a matter of fact, this could be my very first one. I'm not sure why since I grew up journaling {on paper} almost every single aspect of my life from elementary school to college. But my writing didn't consist of merely crushes on cute boys {who barely knew I was alive} and teachers I disliked. As a young girl, I would fill spiral notebook upon spiral notebook with fictional storylines and imaginative characters...and the occasional crazy doodle. Although I am not an artist by any means and couldn't possibly draw to save my life, this is likely why I still doodle on everything today.

My vivid imagination was {and still is} a result of being an only child. My childhood stories are top of mind today because while cleaning my childhood home a few days ago, I discovered a treasure trove of my spiral notebooks and a gorgeous Smith Corona Galaxie Twelve Typewriter -- an antique my father had been saving for his daughter, the aspiring author. I can't recall when my father purchased the piece, but I know it was something he had been saving for me. 

The past month has been filled with waves of emotion. In mid-April, I was unfortunately not feeling well and was forced to take time away from a majority of my extracurricular activities {writing, friends, social events}. I used the time to rest, rejuvenate and reevaluate. Often when your body says stop, you must listen. Manolo knows this very well and I have been taking a page from his book.

My mother was also near the final stages of selling our family home and closing on her dream "empty-nester" adobe. It has not been an easy time to say the least. Saying farewell to the American dream my parents worked so hard to build and the place we called home for 30 years, was {and continues to be} an emotional roller coaster. Although time heals all wounds, our memories will last forever.

I'm thankful that life is slowly inching back to normal and that I'm feeling inspired to write again. Sometimes you just need that mental and emotional disconnect to once again connect to your inner voice. And as much as I love writing about my favorite places, products and people, I hope to dedicate at least one post per month to my inner voice.