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Beauty of the (Italian) Afterlife

I promised that I would share pictures from our most recent Italian vacation. I am starting to make good on that promise although I do still need to put together a proper post. I’m working on it…I swear. I am continuing to sift through thousands of pictures but I did manage to gather a few that are most appropriate for today, Halloween, the spookiest of all holidays.

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When it comes to traveling, I have found that one of the most exciting ways to get to know a city is to simply get lost and enjoy new discoveries that literally cross your path. As Mr. B and I wandered throughout Milan on one particular day, we took note of a building off in the distance due to its beauty and scale. We continued to walk toward it hoping to learn more. It turns out that the building that caught our attention is part of Milan’s most well-known cemetery, Monument Cemetery (Cimitero Monumentale in Italian). Our curiosity led us past the gates and into one of the City’s largest cemetery’s developed in 1886.

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We ventured inside only to discover an open-air market with a treasure trove of art and architectural monuments. As we strolled the grounds, it was immediately evident that some of the most notable artists and architects were commissioned to build beautiful, grand structures to mark the location of where some of the most wealthy and elite Italians have been laid to rest.

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All iPhone images by Reviving Charm.

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Buongiorno! Mr. B and I have been enjoying travels through Northern Italy. Traveling during this time of year is great because the crowds generally die down a bit and the weather is usually more tolerable. Unfortunately, we couldn’t escape the higher temperatures and it’s been in the mid 80 degrees in Turin, where we are currently staying. Another advantage for traveling during this time of year is that the prices are typically more reasonable. For me, that means hoping to buy more souvenirs with the money we save.

I took thousands of pictures on our Italian trip last year and realize that I never shared any with you. I recently went through all of last year’s pictures and created this small photo montage highlighting the architectural features, design details and the natural beauty that capture the essence of Italy.

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I have one very special post scheduled while I’m away and I promise to do a recap post of my current trip when I’m back. I’m also looking forward to posting more regularly. Fall is approaching and I’m feeling inspired. In the meantime, follow along on Instagram.

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Welcoming Strangers into Your Home

A couple of years ago I was at a local flea market and a complete stranger captivated me. I laid eyes on the artwork you see below and was intrigued by the woman in the painting. Who is she? Who painted her? What’s her story?

“You know, if one paints someone’s portrait, one should not know him if possible.” –Otto Dix, artist

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I know absolutely nothing about the woman in the painting. She’s a complete stranger but I knew that I had to have her. I welcomed her with open arms without any thought of how she would be displayed in our home. As a result of my uncertainty, she’s been sitting at the back of my closet unframed and hiding in the corner. Over the last couple of weeks, I did some major purging of items in my closet and realized that it’s time for her to (literally) come out of the closet and find a suitable place to be displayed. (By the way, at the time this post was finalized I still hadn’t quite figured out where to display her.)

I am fascinated by painted portraits. They create an immediate sense of history and elevate the decor in a space. Put them in a grouping and they immediately exude a regal quality.  Let’s take a look at how they have been incorporated into a few interiors.

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I once spent part of an afternoon with a friend at the Huntington Library making up stories about the people in various portraits. What would this guy’s story be?

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Red, White, and Blue

Tomorrow is the 4th of July holiday and today on the blog we are celebrating the spirit of summer with designs inspired by patriotic colors. Although I’m generally partial to neutral colors, I’ve always been drawn to a classic New England look that often incorporates red, white, and blue. Mr. B and I be celebrating by the water (one of my “happy places”) and heading to La Jolla. The fact that the holiday falls in the middle of the week this year is a bit of a bummer but it’s still a good excuse to seize the day and enjoy what summer has to offer, even if only for one day. What are your holiday plans?

I wish you a very Happy 4th of July. Stay safe..stay sane…

All the best, V.

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There’s nothing more classic than a good stripe so I created a series of thick stripes executed in watercolor. Most have already sold and very few are still available.

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SOLD. This is another painting I created for a client in Boston. This is one in a series of four different designs but all incorporated the same brighter blue and red tones. The colors seem most appropriate for a New England interior.

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from the office of reviving charm

From the Office of Reviving Charm

Dear Readers….I’m back!

I was away from my computer for longer than anticipated but I am officially back from my unintentional hiatus. What started by taking “a few days off” turned into weeks. Then I realized I had to deal with a technical glitch that required me to move my domain name from one host to another that resulted in an additional delay. It was actually a blessing in disguise because that had been something on my “to-do” list for quite some time. Sometimes life forces you to tackle certain things and this was one of those times. Has this ever happened to you!!??. I’m glad that I had to deal with the issue because it provided a wonderful opportunity to clean up a few things on the site.

One of the changes I made is to incorporate a new feature on the sidebar called “From the Office of Reviving Charm”. It will feature something currently on display on my office bulletin board or in my office. I’ve occasionally shared a few images but decided to give it a permanent home on the sidebar. Be sure to click the new image when it’s posted on the sidebar because it will allow you to view a larger image as well as read about any comments I might have about it.

I always loved the art of collage and creating mood boards so when I had a chance to design my studio/office, I knew I had to incorporate an extra large bulletin board that would allow me to pin bits of inspiration gathered from here and there. The images change periodically; I’ll pin new images or sometimes just rearrange existing ones. Whatever strikes my fancy…

Here is a section currently on display. It includes a small 6″x6″ piece of art I created to post among various black and white images. During the time I’ve been away from my computer, I had the opportunity to start painting again. It had been a long while since I picked up a paintbrush but I vow to do it more often. What do you vow to do more often? 

This is the end of my Public Service Announcement. Tomorrow I’ll be posting about a designer I’m currently crushing on and featuring some photos from their portfolio.

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Tuesday Tip

Tuesday Tips are meant to provide inspiration for a particular decorating project that can infuse an easy dose of style into your decor. Tuesday Tip ideas are relatively simple to accomplish so they are perfect projects for those short on time. It’s been a long time since I’ve posted a Tuesday Tip but I recently came across an image that I thought would be a perfect little decorating tip to share with you today.

Frame special heirloom pieces of silverware to create one-of-a-kind artwork. Alternatively, look for pieces at flea markets or antique shops, which can usually be found abundantly and often at very affordable prices. Don’t feel like you have to find a match set. Mixing and matching pieces can be just as interesting, if not more interesting, than something too “matchy-matchy”.

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Graphic image created by Reviving Charm with photography by Rikki Snyder.

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I was originally planning a traditional Easter post filled with lots of pretty and pastel colors but then I remembered taking pictures of a public art installation during the Christmas holiday when Mr. B and I stayed at the Pendry Hotel in the Gaslamp District of Downtown San Diego. The hotel was hosting “Rabbitville”, a rotating public art exhibit comprised of 15 fiberglass rabbits. The exhibit began in May 2017 to commemorate the settling of the neighborhood 150 years ago. If you wish to see Rabbitville in person, the exhibit is currently on display at San Diego’s historic U.S. Grant Hotel.

Hoppy Easter…and Rabbit, Rabbit! (*if you need to know what that means, click here)

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A Winter Wonderland in the Eternal City

As someone who was born and raised in Southern California, I must admit that I am intrigued by the beauty of snowfall. When I learned that there was a rare snowfall yesterday in Rome (the heaviest they’ve seen in 6 years), I knew I had to share some of the beautiful images of the Eternal City draped in winter white. Doesn’t this historic city look lovely? Just when you thought Rome couldn’t get any more beautiful…

The snow is falling
The traffic is crawling
The world looks all calm and bright
If only for a moment everything looks pure under the freshly fallen snow and the glow emitted by the first snowfall of the season
My mood is happy I hope it lasts all season and throughout the new year too.  –Ann M. Johnson

Statue of St. Peter

St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican

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The Spanish Steps

Piazza del Popolo

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The Roman Forum

The Colosseum

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The Trevi Fountain

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Visiting Morroco, particularly Marrakech, has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. (What’s on your bucket list?). If ever find myself in Marrakech the Yves St. Laurent Museum will be one of my “must see” places to visit. It actually opened this past Fall and coincided with the opening of the Musee Yves St. Laurent in Paris. The museum was spearheaded by Pierre Bergé who was Yves Saint Laurent’s partner in love, life, and in business. Although Bergé passed away in September, he was able to see his vision come to life by visiting before his death. The building, with its intricate terracotta brick exterior, was designed by French architects Studio KO and houses a vast collection of couture, accessories, art, sketches, and photographs. Let us enjoy a virtual visit to the museum from across the miles…

“When Yves Saint Laurent first discovered Marrakech in 1966, he was so moved by the city that he decided to buy a house here, and returned regularly. It feels perfectly natural, fifty years later, to build a museum dedicated to his oeuvre, which was so inspired by this country.”   — Pierre Bergé

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In case you missed my previous post that includes pictures of YSL’s Marrakech home be sure to check it out HERE.  You can also check out the gardens of Pierre Bergé HERE.