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AGD

A few weeks ago I went to Anguilla to check in on one of my projects.  The build is going very well.

When I think of the mood for a beach house, the first thing that comes to mind is relaxation.

I’ve been looking at books in my library and pulling images from the internet for inspiration.  The bathrooms don’t have to be from a Caribbean beach house but must have some elements that would work in that environment.

There are many decisions that have to be made. What kind of finishes? What color? If we use tile, what size?

While this is a house in Anguilla, the style will not be British Colonial.  It’s too formal for a beach house.  There will be touches (like a mahogany four-poster bed) of course but mixed with a contemporary spin on Caribbean design.

Below are few spaces that caught my eye:

This bathroom is from a home on the tiny Island of Mustique.  I love the natural feel of it.  We’re already using poured cement for the kitchen counter tops. To use it again in the bathrooms might be too much.

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Photo: Elle Decor

This large en-suite bathroom in a Sicilian villa has a stone sink.  Love the simplicity of the shower stall and the use of wooden stools.  This is a newish boutique hotel.  I must see Rocca delle Tra Contrade in person.  The photos are stunning.

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Photo: Rocca delle Tre Contrade

I’m not a fan of shower caddies.

Our clients for the Tuscany project were very clear that they wanted built-in spaces for shampoo, soap, etc.   If it’s early enough in the build/renovation, I recommend going in this direction.  Just make sure there’s a slight slope, so water doesn’t pool in the space.

A partial wall works for this project.  It never gets cold.

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Photo: Elements Of Style

Getting away from the neutrals for a minute, this bathroom from the La Banane hotel on St. Barths is very bright and colorful.

A fun design like this might be a great idea for one of the smaller bathrooms.  Or the powder room.  In a large space this color and pattern would be not be relaxing to me.

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Photo: Villa La Banane

Brass fixtures are having a moment.  I like them in this bathroom.  I look at all this tile and worry about cleaning the grout.

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Photo: Habitually Chic

I LOVE outdoor showers.  The ones at Cap Juluca in Anguilla are fantastic.

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Photo: Cap Juluca

A more traditional style at Oscar de la Renta’s former home in the Dominican Republic.

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A shower in Marrakesh.  Fantastic built-in bench.

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Photos: Mark D Sikes

I don’t know where this house is but I like the contrast of the stone-tiled floor with the black contemporary trim on the windows and with the lines of the tub.

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Photo: Pinterest

How funky are these chairs?

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I am a big fan of Kelly Wearstlers commercial work, yet the Viceroy in Anguilla took me by surprise.

A few years ago I met clients for a drink at the bar.  At first, when I walked in, the décor seemed so “uncaribbean” to me.

Then I walked around.  It IS very Caribbean.  Wearstler’s use of natural materials, her color palette, and the subtle nod to more tradition Caribbean design makes the Viceroy one my favorite hotel spaces.

This hotel is huge and could easily feel very corporate (thinking of a certain hotel on the Dutch side of St. Maarten that ruined one of the best beaches on the island).

Instead it’s unique and jaw dropping gorgeous.

Not a bad place to meet for drinks, especially with a locals’ discount.

I have more meetings this weekend about my Caribbean project.

Feeling very inspired

Buon weekend!

 

 

Last year I wrote about the vacation home in Tuscany I’m working on with architect Domenico Minchili.

Our clients had some photos taken and below are a few of them.

First, a before shot of the living room.

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After.

The room is so much lighter.  The new “old” floors make a huge difference as does the paint color.  I was consumed for days regarding which shade of Farrow & Ball white was the best white for the  walls.  We decided to use Skimming Stone.

The chairs were custom made by Tondini & Radicchi. So were all the draperies in the house.

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One of the bedrooms mid-renovation.

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After.

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A bathroom before.

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After.

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Wider shot of the living room.  The sofas, coffee table, and sconces are custom.

The studio.

This room receives little natural light.  Many people assume that a small dark room must be painted a very light color in order to make it look bigger.  Not true.  It seems counter-intuitive but going darker gives a small room more depth.

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One of my Italian friends called this décor, “Relaxed Chic.”   Another friend said it was “Casual Luxury.”  Both work for me.

Every bedroom, and its bathroom is unique, yet the entire home is cohesive.

The paint is from Farrow & Ball.

Most of the new furniture was custom made.  We also sourced pieces from Flamant, Barthel, and small shops in Rome and Tuscany.

Our fabric sources were, Dedar, Ralph Lauren Home, Kathryn M. Ireland, and Pierre Frey.

If you would like to know the specific colors or more information about the fabric or furniture, please feel free to ask me in the comments section.

This property is available for vacation rental.  It’s in the heart of the Chianti region surrounded by vineyards.  The views are stupendous.

For more information (and some exterior photos), please visit the luxury rental  Abercrombie & Kent website.

Photos by: Mario Flores

I do not like having my photo taken.  Correction, I’m game when I’m in a group shot.

It’s not just because the camera adds ten to fifteen pounds.  It’s because I feel like a big dork standing there while the photographer snaps.

Thanks to social media, I had to get over my discomfort.  That said, I still get salty when unflattering photos are tagged on Facebook.  What the what?  Does the tagger need new glasses?  Good friends don’t let folks tag bad photos.

Gina wanted to take a few head shots during our terrace photo shoot.  I was sweaty and wiped out. So even though Gina is a talented photographer I thought, “no good can come of this.”

She convinced me to at least try a few.   I did and this is what happened:

terrace_062I  did a brief interview with Gina and she has posted more photos from the shoot on her blog.

To see more of Gina’s gorgeous work, please visit her website here.

My client travels frequently overseas for work but, like most of the native Romans I know, he enjoys hosting aperitivi and dinner parties when he’s in town.

He saw the work I did for another client and asked me to take a look at his terrace.

We wanted to make the space flow better, redo the landscaping, and buy new furniture to add to some of the pieces he already owned.

I think it’s important for the outdoor areas and indoor areas to be cohesive.  I kept my client’s interior spaces in mind as I looked for furniture.  My landscaper and I had a long conversation regarding which plants would work best for the terrace.

I wrote about photographer Gina Gomez (aka Warm Pears) on my former blog three years ago.  Earlier this year, we discussed collaborating on something.

The terrace was that perfect something.

Below are a few pictures from the shoot.

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Furniture: UNOPIU’

Lantern: Flamant

Centerpiece: Bloemen Florist – Via Terenzio, 37 (zona Prati), Rome, +39 06 6892901

I cannot wait to pick up a copy of the November issue of ARCHITECTURAL DIGEST (USA).

One of the stand out articles is about the restoration of a castle in Umbria.  The architect was Domenico Minchilli and the interiors were decorated by Martyn Lawrence Bullard.  The two were brought together by the client, Evgeny Lebedev.

I wrote about Domenico and the project we’re working on in Tuscany HERE.

Domenico showed me a few before pictures of the castle.  As I looked at the photos I thought,”the word ruins doesn’t convey what I’m seeing. Perhaps a pile of rocks would be a better description.”

I was floored by the transformation. It is truly inspiring.

The November issue is on newsstands (Stateside) now.

Buon weekend!

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All over my neighborhood are signs like this:

siamoferieBefore I was on Hollywood’s schedule, so August was a busy time for me.  While all my friends and neighbors fled the August heat and tourists, I stayed behind in Rome writing and pitching TV projects.

Now I’m on a local schedule and it’s a trip.   Last week I was running around town making sure to touch base with my vendors before they closed up shop for the month.

There will be NO furniture deliveries in August.

September will be out of control.  Everything is being pushed to that month.

In the meantime, I’m going to use this period to catch up on office paperwork. I also need to find more space in my tiny apartment for all the new books I have.  I’m literally running out of room.

One friend (who just left town for the rest of the month) suggested I see a few movies.  Then we started laughing because most of the movie theaters are closed too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I know people love to talk smack about Gwyneth Paltrow’s webiste, GOOP.   I don’t understand why someone would subscribe to a website they hated.   It’s not as if anyone is forcing them to read Ms. Paltrow’s musings.

Yes, some of her suggestions are bananas.  However, posts like The French Pharmacy are fantastic.

One great about living in Europe are the pharmacies.  Finally, some of the skin care products can be found in the States but usually at much higher prices.

Klorane is one of my favorite brands.  I will be working this weekend, including a very early Saturday meeting with one of my clients.  I ran into my local farmacia to pick up one thing and ended up also buying the Energia shower gel and some conditioner.

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Photo: Allure.com

I wish I could go to a spa this weekend.  Instead, I will do a janky home version.  Now, I need to run out to the market to get some cucumbers and limes.

Buon weekend!

Great news here at AGD.

The house in Tuscany is almost done and I’ve signed two new clients.

For one project, I’m helping my client redo his terrace.

The other project also includes working on a terrace and collaborating with my client to furnish her new apartment.

Both apartments are in Trastevere.

One thing I love about this type of work is that each project is unique.  My other Rome project is understated glamour.

The apartment I’m working on in Trastevere is contemporary with a very streamlined palette, white, black, gray, and some pops of red.   A few pieces came with the apartment and most of the additional furniture will be custom-made.

My client would like a home that is minimal, light, and yet cozy.   Minimal decors can be cold so I’m all about texture and natural materials.

I have an inspiration board for the apartment on PInterest.

For the terrace project, we are going to redo the plants, buy new furniture, and make the space flow better.  My client entertains often and it’s important that his guests feel comfortable.

My landscaper is amazing and I cannot wait to see how the terrace will look once the plants grow in a little.

I real enjoy working with my clients.  I know this something not every decorator can say!

What a week.

Just when you think Italian politics couldn’t be more confusing or bizarre, they are.   I have no idea what is going to happen now.  Maybe we’ll have new elections.

The Pope said good-bye yesterday.  The city is packed with tourists who came to see him for the last time.  Cardinals are flying in for the conclave and there are journalists in town from all over the world.

Work-wise, things were hectic. I’m not sure how it’s Friday already.

Yesterday, Domenico and I drove up to Tuscany to visit the job site and to meet with our client who flew in from Germany.  Normally, we would stay overnight but we decided to make it a day trip and left Rome at 6:30 a.m.

It was a very long day.   At one point my brain said, “BASTA!” and refused to cooperate.  It was around the time I was asking the contractor questions in Italian and then translating his answers into English.

On the drive back home, all I could think about was taking a long shower, getting in my PJs, and then watching Law and Order SVU reruns on Fox Crime (I have a thing for Detective Stabler).

I wish I had a shower like this:

A shower at MonteverdiUnfortunately, I do not.

The shower in the photo was designed by Ilaria Miani for Monteverdi.   Monteverdi is a group of rental villas and a hotel in the small village of Castiglioncello del Trinoro in Tuscany.

Stunning.  I hope to check it out sometime later this year.

In the meantime, Stabler and I will be relaxing this weekend.

Buon Weekend!

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