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We stayed overnight in the historic Duke Mansion B & B for Valentine’s Day. It’s located in the gorgeous Myers Park area of Charlotte, NC. For us, that was an easy drive. If you’re coming through town for a visit, to shop IKEA, or just passing through the airport, you might want to consider staying over for this unique experience. The Greek Revival mansion was built in 1915 by Doris Duke’s father and they only lived in it 4 years before it was sold to other prominent families until eventually it was turned into a non-profit B & B by the local historical society. The entry hall is black and white marble tile, with fire lit seating rooms for guests to linger and take part in coffee and cookies. Other seating areas took advantage of the garden view where huge magnolia trees embraced this architectural marvel.

We stayed in a “king porch room” that was very large, tastefully decorated, and furnished with a flat screen wall mounted TV, two cotton robes, and French doors leading out to the screened in porch on the second floor. The inn has 20 rooms, 3 floors, and a wonderful breakfast room with original lead crystal chandelier. Breakfast is served by the friendly wait staff and you have your choice of any of 8 gourmet selections. This touch of luxury was unexpected as the price for the room was very affordable.
Check out their website for more info.

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Filed under Architecture, Feng Shui, Fun, Holidays, Travel


I must confess: last week I went to IKEA. It was a big deal this year when they opened in Charlotte, NC and I hadn’t been to one in about 5 years so my curiosity got the better of me. I was impressed that you can now get an entire euro style kitchen (including appliances) and even have them install it for you for a fraction of what it would cost elsewhere. Their drawers have gliders and auto close features…there are many styles to choose from. And they seem to be better quality than the past. In any case, I was able to find a dry erase two sided easel to help with my roadside signage next summer in Maine at the gallery and the farmers market for cheaper than I could make it myself.

For those anti-IKEA people, I refer you to TINI store in Los Angeles.The acronym stands for “This is Not IKEA”. They have marvelous visuals on their website and an eclectic mix of furniture and accessories.

Photograph courtesy of TINI Los Angeles.

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Filed under Design, Feng Shui