Three Days in Georgetown, Malaysia

Our second stop of our #PickensinSEAsia adventure was in Georgetown, which is on the island of Penang in Malaysia. We heard about this destination first in our travel guide, but after doing a bit more research, it seemed like a good stop to build into our itinerary for a few reasons. Georgetown is well known for its culinary culture as well as its rich historical background.

Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia, Georgetown Malaysia, UNESECO world heritage site, Klan House, Culture, Asian Culture, Southeast Asia, Travels, Trip Review, 3 days in Penang, 3 days in Georgetown, 6 days in Malaysia,

We arrived to Georgetown (about an hour and a half flight from Singapore), in the early afternoon on day one and after checking into our hotel, we set out to explore. There is one main road in Georgetown (Lebuh ) that has all of the main touristy religious destinations, so those were amongst our first stops.

We first went to Kapitan Keling Mosque, walked past Sri Mahamariamman temple (which was closed at the time), headed over to Kuan Yin Temple and lastly stopped at St. George’s Church. So in the span of a few hours and a few blocks we visited places of worship for Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist and Catholic faiths. I love that you can see all of these different sights and learn all about these different cultures so close together, it’s a pretty unique experience to say the least.

Afterwards we made our way out to the coast and soaked up the views for a while before touring Fort Cornwallis, which was actually really interesting to see with some of the vintage cannons, the unique shape and the history of the fort on the island. Next to the fort, there was a large field, The Esplanade, that happened to be featuring an exhibit of the United Buddy Bears while we were there. Although we didn’t take any pictures of the bears for who only knows what reason, they were all decorated by artists from different countries and positioned in such a way to be linked when joined to create a united circle. The bears apparently travel around the world for different exhibits and you can look up more on them here.

We wrapped up day one with a walk through Little India and a delicious diner there before calling it a night.

Day two kicked off with a visit to the Blue Mansion, aka Cheong Fatt Tze’s Mansion. If you have any interest in architecture or design at all, or if you enjoy history, or you’re just a fan of great storytelling, the Blue Mansion is worth the trip for the guided tour. We both really enjoyed the tour of the mansion for all of the aforementioned reasons. The interiors and architecture were something else. The colors, patterns, textures… talk about inspiration (I could do a whole post on this place… but I won’t)! The history and the way our guide shared the stories of how the mansion came to be were the icing on top.

After the Blue Mansion, we made our way over to the mint mansion… Okay they don’t call it that, but the colors of Penang and the Georgetown Heritage zone were really special. This second stop was at the Pinang Peranakan Mansion, which also had a really unique history and some great interior and architectural inspiration. We had a tour here as well and our guide was entertaining to say the least. I’d say it was another worthwhile tour here.

When were were finished touring these mansions we found our way to some fresh dragon fruit and pineapple from a hawker stand, and then found our way down to the Klan Jetties. The jetties are series’ of stilt houses that extend out over the water where people still live today. Though many are open to tourists, you should be mindful and considerate as you walk through that these are people’s homes. We walked through the Chew Jetty, one of the more popular Klan Jetties and it was definitely worth the stroll just to see the way some of the people live here. Really unlike anything you’d see back home.

We wandered and meandered through the streets making our way back to the hotel and seeing what else we could see along the way. For dinner we had local Peranakan style cuisine that was so tasty, and followed it up with good old fashioned American dessert at a little cafe we stumbled upon.

Day Three, we opted to find the hop on, hop off bus for Penang. This bus had two route plans, one for the Heritage zone, which we felt we had thoroughly explored and one for the beach route that leads you out to the jungle. We opted for the beach route and the jungle. One winding scenic ride, loads of bug spray and 2 huge bottles of water later, we were at the trailhead and on our way out to Monkey Beach! This trail route is heavily trafficked and very clear with the exception of one tree we had to scootch under. The scenery along the trail was really awe inspiring with the water off to our right following us around the edge of the island and the jungle to our right, it was like nothing I’d ever seen before and it was stunning.

We made it out to the beach and waded in the water, took in the sights and had some snacks. We didn’t see any monkeys on the beach as the name would imply, but we did see monkeys both on our way there and back-it was amazing! There was an option to hike further past Monkey Beach out to Lighthouse Point I believe it was called, and we thought we’d try it, but we got about halfway and the path was a bit trickier which we hadn’t anticipated with our footwear and clothing choices, so we turned back. What we saw on our hike was really incredible, and if we ever go back, I’d definitely make sure to dress appropriately and hike the jungle a bit more.

After climbing out of the jungle, we had a few more snacks and bought more water while we waited for the bus. Then we made our way around the rest of the beach route, enjoying the drive past many other sites on the island. Again, with more time we would have maybe included some additional stops, but we prioritized what we wanted to do and made it through our list. Everything that we did get to see/do in our short time here I would highly recommend to anyone heading this way. Penang and specifically Georgetown, were a great cultural experience all around.

For more on our travels through Southeast Asia, come back Monday–next stop is Kuala Lumpur! Be sure to also read up about our first stop Singapore and continue on with all of the destinations of our trip!

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Mapping Out Your Gallery Wall

Memorial Day marks the unofficial start of summer and Labor Day marks the unofficial end (despite the fact that temps here reached 100 today). So, even though summer’s not really over yet, we are all diving head first into fall. Out of the heat, into the fall layers, kids are getting back to school, and our fall projects are lining up.

Gallery Wall 012Gallery Wall 0

For me, things will start to settle down a little bit as every night and weekend won’t be jammed packed with running around (whether for me or for clients), and I should be able to get some projects done around my own house!I need to put the finishing touches on the bedroom still and then take some pictures of that space to share with you all here and I can think of about a dozen other things I’d like to do around the house as well.

The first thing on my list, and something with probably the largest impact is to finish hanging our gallery wall. These pictures are from early Spring of this year when I had one of my friends over to take some pictures for the blog to not only map out my own gallery wall, but to document the process to share with all of you as well. About six weeks after these pictures were taken, we had a few friends over for brunch, and as I had been so busy, I hadn’t made time to get the gallery wall hung at that time. The morning before we were meeting with them, I broke out my notes from this planning session and started to try and get the gallery wall up on the wall. I was able to hang one painting before we needed to head out to meet our friends and I’m ashamed to say that that one painting is still the only one up on the wall.

But then, that’s life, right?! So now I want to share with you the process of mapping out your very own gallery wall, and how I mapped out mine, and then hopefully in a week (or so…) I will be able to share more pictures of my gallery wall completed!!

The process:

  1. First things first, you need to know the size of the space you intend to display your art on, so break out your tape measure and get to measuring. note the width (more important for now), and we will come back to the height later.
  2. Once you know how wide your space is, use your tape measure, some blue painter’s tape and your trusty assistant to mark out the width of your gallery on the floor.
  3. Get all of your frames and pieces of art together in one place so you can see what you have to work with.
  4. Once you have a good visual, start laying the larger pieces into your mapped out space.
  5. Build out from the larger pieces with smaller pieces, keeping in mind your spacing. Each area should use the same spacing so that the pieces group well and look balanced even when using different sized pieces and different styled frames.
  6. Swap out pieces to find the arrangement that you like the best and then take pictures so you can remember what it looks like in case you put it off for 6 months.
  7. Measure the overall height and width of your gallery wall. The center of the overall height of the gallery should sit at 57″ from the floor, placing the gallery at a good viewing level for yourself and your guests.
  8. Measure the spacing between your groupings as well as the spacing from the edges of the tape (your available hanging space) to the edges of the outermost pieces.
  9. Lastly, measure from the overall top of your gallery wall to the top of your central piece or your largest pieces and the overall edge of your gallery wall to the edge of your central piece(s), as you will hang these pieces first.

Once you have your gallery all mapped out, and your measurements determined and noted, you can clean up your mess on the floor and then start mapping out your hanging on the wall. Depending on your overall height of your gallery wall (x) and the measurement you got from the top or bottom to the center of this piece (y), you can determine where the screw will need to go. (x/2) will sit at 57″ from the ground. So if your gallery wall is 40″ tall, then it will span from 37″-77″ in height. Again, I like to break out my handy blue painter’s tape and mark the top and bottom of my gallery wall off so that I can use them as a reference while I’m working through hanging the pieces without having to measure it over and over again.

To begin hanging, I always start with the largest piece that sits most centrally located in the wall, or in my case, I have two large pieces balanced out with several smaller pieces, so I started with the largest piece on the left. Using hanging wire to support the pictures, pull the wire on the back to where it would sit if it were hanging on the wall, and measure from the top of the frame to that point (a). Add this measurement to the measurement that you got from number 9 and jot this down. this is the distance from the top of the gallery wall space to the height you will put the screw in at.

Next you need to use the overall width of your gallery wall, and the width from the edge (again, noted in 9), measure from the edge of the picture to the center (where the screw will go), add these two together and you will have the position of your first screw.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but once you have your first piece hung, you will build out the wall from there. You have all of your spacing measured and noted from mapping out your gallery wall on the floor, so you can easily fill in the wall with the rest of your frames until it is complete!

Is your head spinning yet?? What projects do you have planned out for the fall? Hopefully I can get this project wrapped up soon, with lots of images to document the process so I can share more with you soon.

Images By Lindsay Perry, click to expand.

Inspiration D’La Féte Nationale

In case you missed it, yesterday was Bastille Day! Or La Féte Nationale as the French would say. So I thought it would be fun to share some fun French spaces for some inspiration!

Bastille Day Paris 2015

There are a lot of incredible things that we have gotten from the French: incredible artists, great fashions, delightful furnishings and interior styles and some really mouth-watering treats.

When I think of France, like a lot of people I’m sure, I think of the romantic imagery associated with Paris, along with the French countryside dotted with vineyards and seas of lavender. So in turn when I think of French decor, I think of cozy spaces, incredible chic traditional details and an overall dreamy quality. How does that equate to an actual interior scheme? Take a look:

Are you a fan of a French-inspired decor?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9.

Wall of Mirrors

I know I owe you all an update on what has been happening as we “Address the Bedroom” but while I am working on that, I can’t help but continue to think about other little updates and projects that I will be doing next.

Mirror Wall-1

As everything has been ordered and or planned out for the bedroom, we are just waiting for the details to come together. While we wait, let’s talk about our entryway.

We have this wall right across from our front door, it is the first thing you see when you walk into our condo, and it has a light switch dead in the center of the wall. Who installs a switch in the middle of a wall?? I have looked into moving it, but due to the fact that we live in a terribly old home home filled with years of character, the switch is not going anywhere unless the wall comes down.

So, we have to work around it. The space from molding to molding on the wall is 32″ and originally I bought a 28″ D round mirror for that space, as I really like the idea of a mirror in the entry, but due to the aforementioned light switch, the mirror found a home elsewhere.

That said, I am thinking of doing a wall of smaller mirrors. I’m not sure how it would feel being the first thing in the front door, and I haven’t pitched it to P yet, but I wanted to source out some inspo for the concept and get a few more opinions on it.

Mirror Wall Grid MIRROR GALLERY-VINTAGE WHITEMIRROR GALLERY-GILDED Mirror Wall Photo Ledge Mirror Wall Round

So what do you think? Are you a fan of a wall of mirrors? Would you do it in your own home somewhere?

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

A Welcome Weekend

Hope you all had a great week! I know it has been quite busy around here with lots of meetings, work and life happening. This weekend is a welcome break. Well, as much of a break as I will allow myself to take — it’s so hard to sit still when there are projects to be done! So, here is my 5 on Friday list for the weekend!

A look at the gallery wall as it was before.

A look at the gallery wall as it was before.

1.This weekend I think I will work on getting some of our art hung. As I mentioned yesterday, we have quite a few pieces leaning against the wall waiting to take their places.

2. I would like to look into light-fixture and mirror options for the entryway so that we can finish that project for real and at least make some final decisions on these pieces.

3. We purchased a light fixture for the Kitchen that I will attempt to install — It is just so dark in there that we really need a better level of light to really work in that space.

4. I have some client floor plans to finalize details on.

5. And this weekend, I would like to actually plan a menu for the week so that I’m not planning things day of and cooking from whatever we have on hand. Although it is good to do this every now and again to really clean out the pantry and the freezer, I don’t enjoy doing it regularly.

And if there is any time left, maybe I will read or knit, or dare I say both! Happy Friday, friends; have an awesome weekend!

For the Love of Art

I am a huge fan of art and I can appreciate a lot of different styles, mediums, etc. But I mostly love more modern or abstract pieces. When we were on our honeymoon (which I still need to do a write-up on) we bought our first ‘real’ art for our space. It was such a wonderful process and experience and we are still so in love with our purchases.

Jean Claude Picot's "San Giorgo a Venise"

Jean Claude Picot’s “San Giorgo a Venise”

So, what do I mean by real art? I mean something done by an actual artist, not sold at a big box store like Home Goods or Ikea. That isn’t to say that the pictures purchased at these places can’t be great additions to your walls — we have a HUGE print from Ikea in our living room and we have another big painting from Home Goods that I’ve always loved as well.

Some places to look for good investment pieces to really build an art collection are art auctions, small galleries — even local coffee shops/cafes — and Etsy! Galleries can be found in most every city center, major or not, you are likely to find a local spot that is displaying art. One of the first pieces of real art I fell in love with was in a coffee shop in downtown Seattle. I was in no position to buy art at that point in my life, but I will never forget that piece. If I could remember the artist’s name, I would probably scour the internet until I could track it down!

In Jersey City, there is a little bar/restuarant/gallery space called LITM that does a monthly exhibit, not to mention 942 Summit, an adorable little shop featuring tea, gluten-free treats, skin care goodies and of course local art — definitely worth checking them out if you are local.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

Art work by Lauren Taylor can be found and purchased here.

An Etsy artist that I’m in love with right now is Lauren Taylor, she makes beautiful fashion inspired watercolors. Shown above is her “For Love and Lemons” print that I think I might need for my bathroom. I also love her lipstick prints for the bathroom as well, but could see these prints along with any of the ones from her collection in a bachelorette’s gallery wall. She does great work.

Where have you found your ‘real art?’ I will have to do an art tour of the pieces we have around our condo now, but first we will have to get them up on the walls!